Archive for science

2/24/2017: That Propaganda Machine of the Left

 

Valerie Richardson: Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency – “MIT’s Richard Lindzen says policies cause economic harm with ‘no environmental benefits’

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.

“Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world,” he says in his letter.

“It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty.”

Jonah Goldberg doesn’t quite get it, yet. He thinks The Press Is Not the Enemy – “But it’s not objective, either.” You can tell because he shines on enlightenment that doesn’t fit his view and does not realize that a propaganda campaign is a primary indicator that one is dealing with an enemy. It seems he thinks the President needs to stay above the fray but recent experience has shown that taking that approach spells doom for a Republican.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, had an unfortunate turn of phrase the other day. She said it’s the mission of the press to “control exactly what people think.”

But the misstatement resonated with a lot of people, as did Trump’s claim that the press is an enemy of the people.

It was a grossly irresponsible thing for the chief constitutional officer of our government to say. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point or that people are crazy for seeing it.

it seems patently obvious that the “objective” press is in the business of subjectively shaping attitudes rather than simply reporting facts.

The media play these kinds of linguistic games all the time. Economics professor Tim Groseclose walks readers through countless examples in his book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.

The language games are part of a larger tendency of journalists to follow certain scripts that conform to how coastal elites see the country.

Kelly Riddell: Playing the xenophobic card – “The press and Trump’s critics rekindle a narrative of anti-Semitism.” It’s a story of the media and their narrative and their persistence in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Last week, The New York Times detailed President Donald Trump’s press conference, and wrote: “A Jewish reporter got to ask Trump a question, it didn’t go well.” … CNN, also aghast, had a headline … The Washington Post, also clearly upset … Yet, Mr. Turx wasn’t insulted — heck, he actually understood Mr. Trump’s point of view.

When a reporter asked the president if he felt his administration was “playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones,” contributing to the surge of anti-Semitic acts, Mr. Netanyahu was quick to step in and defend.

But he doesn’t know the American press. When they sense they have an opportunity to paint Mr. Trump as a fear-mongering racist and xenophobe, they’ll pound that narrative home.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump dealt with the issue head-on.

Still, it wasn’t good enough.

That afternoon White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked six times about Mr. Trump’s remarks.

Of course, Mr. Spicer’s answers weren’t good enough — they were never going to be good enough.

Mr. Goldstein took the entire exchange out of context. But he wasn’t done there. Asked why he thought all of these anti-Semitic attacks were happening, he had a simple answer: “Because our president is creating an incubator of hatred.”

Will not accept reality and then wonder why they get lambasted for Fake News and polls show them as more despicable than Congress?

If you want to know who Tucker Carlson is, Mckay Coppins has an answer: The Bow-Tied Bard of Populism – “Tucker Carlson’s latest reinvention is guided by a simple principle—a staunch aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe.”

When I ask him why he was so infuriated by Duca, he thinks about it for a moment.

Finally, he answers, “It was the unreasonableness … It’s this assumption—and it’s held by a lot of people I live around—that you’re on God’s side, everyone else is an infidel, and by calling them names you’re doing the Lord’s work. I just don’t think that’s admirable, and I’m not impressed by that.”

Fair or not, this is the essence of Carlson’s case against the educated elites and well-heeled technocrats that comprise America’s ruling class (not to mention his neighborhood). They are too certain of their own righteousness, too dismissive of dissenters, too unwilling to entertain new ideas.

Notice that the header asserts “aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe” while the reality is that the aversion is to a behavior pattern, not the people or their beliefs. In this, Coppins makes his own significant error that is common in the Left that tends to personalize everything. 

i.e. intellectual integrity matters.

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2/22/2017: Fake Delusion Consensus and Reality

Anthony J. Sadar: Time’s misreading of science – “The magazine would rather settle than search.”

Accurate prediction is one of the biggest challenges in scientific practice, and indeed an accurate prediction for the right reasons is one of the conditions for a scientific assertion to be correct.

Joseph Curl: Media responds to Trump’s ‘fake news’ charge — by pumping out fake news! – “the new alpha wolf in town smacked the lapdog media repeatedly on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.”

So they proved his point, pretty much. All style, no substance — again. They talked about themselves — their feelings were hurt, darn it — but steered clear of covering what the president actually said.

But it gets even worse. Days later, the supposedly bias-free Associated Press (not at all unbiased) dropped this bombshell in a tweet: “BREAKING: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”

Boom. Huge. Except there was a problem. No, many problems, foremost among them — the story wasn’t remotely true.

So the press bristled at charges from the new president that they are selling fake news — and immediately goes out and proves his point.

Paul J. Weber: Judge blocks Texas cutting Medicaid to Planned Parenthood – “Sparks‘ unsparing opinion excoriated Texas for not providing “any evidence” of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing.” Another case of judicial activism being blind to evidence he does not like.

“A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations – these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,” Sparks wrote. “Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.”

A big problem is that PP does very little in terms of social health care other than abortion. Writing off video testimony as the judge has done is a disservice to justice. In another case, it was real Fake News rather than judge imagined fake news. OregonMuse on CNN: You Will Never Find A More Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy – “It seems like CNN has lost the first round of a defamation case in federal court for, get this, peddling fake news:”

So, for the purposes of pushing their preferred narrative, CNN just made stuff up. And then they tried to get the suit dismissed. The judge, however, told CNN to go pound sand: …

“The Court finds these allegations sufficient to establish that CNN was acting recklessly with regard to the accuracy of its report, i.e., with ‘actual malice,” the order reads.

You can read a complete summary at LawNewz. You can even read (or download) a copy of the 18-page ruling.

Ed Rogers: The ‘deep state’ is real. The ‘alt right’ is fake – “the Trump presidency may serve as the galvanizing force that links some of the formal established Democratic opposition forces, … with the informal deep-state cadre of disgruntled liberal bureaucrats, the hostile mainstream media and the usual suspects on the left. It’s a troubling phenomenon, with anti-Trump organizations and Democratic-aligned civil servants conspiring to actively work against the incumbent government.”

“Deep state” is a sexy new label being used in Washington to describe embedded anonymous bureaucratic bias against President Trump and Republican rule.

At the same time all this is going on, the left has taken to painting Republicans with a broad brush as the “alt-right.” Well, as best I can tell, the alt-right is just a new way for the left to call Republicans racists and Nazis without actually having to say those terms out loud.

IBT Editorial: Venezuelans Now On A Forced Starvation Diet — Thanks, Socialism!We call it a shocking indictment of socialism, and should be a siren call to people around the world: Bring socialism to your country, and you bring misery. It’s the one thing that socialism produces an abundance of.”

A new study of Venezuela’s stunning decline under Hugo Chavez’s socialist model, still followed faithfully by his lap dog successor, Nicolas Maduro, reports that the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in the last year. Today, the 2016 Living Conditions Survey finds, 32.5% of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, up from 11.3% just one year ago. And 93.3% of all people don’t earn enough to buy sufficient food.

It’s a sad fact that Venezuela was once one of the wealthiest countries in South America, and even now has the second-largest oil reserves in the world. It should be a rich nation, filled with prosperous people worried about gaining too much weight, not losing it to hunger.

Meanwhile, inflation at close to 500% a year is the highest of any country on earth.

If Venezuela seems remote and of little concern, consider this headline: “Democratic Socialists Make Headway In U.S. After Trump’s Win.” Yes, we know. The Democratic Socialists of America style themselves as kinder, gentler socialists. Think Sweden, they say, not Venezuela.

But the truth is, whoever practices it or whatever those who follow it call themselves, socialism is an economic system based on mass greed and class envy that has failed time and time again. There are no successful socialist nations, anywhere. Those that find this model appealing despite its obvious failures are the desperate, the poorly educated, the uninformed and those lacking entirely in basic common sense.

It is an economic philosophy of entitlement and grievance, one that always ends in poverty, wanton destruction, the breakdown of civilization and even death — as the Venezuelans, who willingly handed control of their country over to the socialists, are now finding out.

The President has put Sweden in the spotlight recently and efforts to deny him by denying Sweden’s problems show just how tenaciously socialists hang on to their dreams. To put the Venezuela starvation crisis in perspective, Keven D. Williamson describes Planet Nebraska – “A hungry world no more.”

World hunger is in dramatic decline. As our friends at HumanProgress.org reported over the summer, the hunger indicators are all moving in the right direction: Fewer people are going hungry, both in absolute numbers and as a share of the world’s population; hunger has fallen dramatically in China after a program of partial economic liberalization; those people around the world who are underfed are less underfed than they were a decade or two ago, with their average daily calorie deficits down to about 85 calories — just 1.5 McNuggets short of a full day’s nutrition; and world food prices are down steeply, having fallen by half in real terms over the past century. The USDA reported on Tuesday that world wheat production is expected to hit a record high this year, and that U.S. producers will export — not produce, but export — more than 1 billion bushels of the stuff. Export projections are up 50 million bushels since January, driven higher by large orders from China.

Not long ago, the great dream and aspiration of most of the people walking this Earth was to have enough to eat, for themselves and for their children, and to be liberated from worrying about whether they would eat again tomorrow or the next day. Capitalism can be a great deal of work, but it works if you let it work.

On the ‘scandal free’ Obama administration and especially for those who consider Trump the fascist, there is Richard Pollock on the story Obama’s Feds Tried to Hack Indiana’s Election System While Pence Was Governor – “Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to hack Indiana’s state electoral system with at least 14,800 “scans” or hits between Nov. 1, 2016, to Dec. 16, 2016, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.”

Federal officials are barred under DHS rules from trying to penetrate a state system without the express approval of the state. Neither Georgia nor Indiana approved the DHS scanning attempts.

The DHS inspector general has launched an official investigation into the Georgia breach attempt.

Governmental deployment of IT technology could be an evolving new tool against political opponents or to impose censorship, according to James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank.

“Censorship has always been an issue in the brick-and-mortar world. So, censorship in the digital landscape is simply just transference of methods,” Scott said. “I think within federal agencies it is possible to imagine that there are some overreaching, aggressive managers.”

There’s a solution for this …

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2/6/2017 The Deplorables versus the Depraved

But, of course, this sort of thing doesn’t matter.

First, the lawsuit could have been dismissed by the district court (or the court of appeals) in whole or in part for lack of jurisdiction. Second, the district court did not give the required legal reasoning in its order to justify the TRO. Third, the court had no business enjoining the executive order nationwide, instead of just in the two states. But fourth, once the district court issued the TRO, the appeals court had no authority to touch any other aspect of this legal challenge until it reaches the next stage of litigation.

Ken Klukowski explains the Travesty of Legal Errors in Immigration EO Lawsuit – “Washington and Minnesota’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order (EO) showcases a cavalcade of legal errors.”

But having made those errors, there is nothing the Justice Department can do until the TRO is superseded by a preliminary injunction (PI). A TRO expires within 14 days of being issued, unless another event overtakes it first.

Given the liberal makeup of the Ninth Circuit, however, the Justice Department faces an uphill fight in San Francisco. More likely this issue is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, meaning that President Trump’s EO—and immigration as a whole—could become a major topic of discussion in the confirmation process of the Supreme Court’s incoming ninth justice, Neil Gorsuch.

Byron York also weighs in: Justice Department demolishes case against Trump order – “James Robart, the U.S. district judge in Washington State, offered little explanation for his decision … Now the government has answered Robart, and unlike the judge, Justice Department lawyers have produced a point-by-point demolition of Washington State’s claims.”

the Justice Department argued that Robart’s restraining order violates the separation of powers, encroaches on the president’s constitutional and legal authority in the areas of foreign affairs, national security, and immigration, and “second-guesses the president’s national security judgment” about risks faced by the United States.

The government brief supported the president’s decision on both legal and constitutional grounds, starting with the law. And that starts with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

On the larger question of the Trump order’s constitutionality, the government makes a very simple point: foreign nationals in foreign countries do not have U.S. constitutional rights

strength of the case does not assure victory. As Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host who also served as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, tweeted on Sunday: “The law is on Donald Trump’s side. Doesn’t mean that the courts will follow it.”

Ilya Somin beclowns himself, again, trying to explain Why Trump’s refugee order is unconstitutional –“On its face, the order does not discriminate on the basis of religion” but, of course, he knows better as words only mean what he thinks they ought to. He goes into a tortured explanation about why a temporary ban of visitors from countries where citizen documentation is suspect that were selected by a previous administration is really a religious ban and not a security issue. Then Somin ignores precedent and diminishes that part of the Constitution he does not like.

A more reasoned approach is Focusing on temporary visas as protected “liberty interests” in the challenges to Trump’s Immigration EO – the key argument here is about a topic not explicit in the EO which is the matter of current visa and green card holders with established U.S. residence. The EO is being treated as if it was a lot more than it is.

In order to analyze that hybrid constitutional/statutory question, however, one needs to focus on the most legally plausible constitutional interest at stake that would counsel for a narrow construction of the President’s power. In my view, the EO’s point of greatest vulnerability is its depriving long-term U.S. residents with non-immigrant visas of their interest in entering the United States and returning to their homes, families, workplaces, and schools. By contrast, the claim that the EO violates equal protection faces a steeply uphill battle. Disparate impacts on Muslims are not sufficient to trigger strict scrutiny (although the smoking gun of Trump’s campaign speeches as well as Giuliani’s boasting about creating a “Muslim ban” might suffice to shift the burden of proof). Moreover, nationality-based discrimination is still deeply embedded in our immigration system, despite the 1965 move away from national quotas. The Hart-Celler Act of 1965 still maintains per-country limits on immigration, and, more recently, national categories similar to those in Trump’s EO were used to exclude immigrants from the visa waiver program in the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. I do not see federal judges eager to overturn all such nationality-based distinctions in immigration law in the name of equal protection.

Daniel Greenfield: Judge James Robart is the swamp that Trump must drain – “This is the radical judge who endorsed the racist Black Lives Matter hate group from the bench and illegally blocked President Trump’s order to keep Americans safe.”

This is why there is so much concern about SCOTUS and rogue justices and one of the major issues that help elect Trump. James A. Lyons essay on Restoring America’s leadership and security – “President Trump’s political revolution points a way forward” is pertinent here, too.

It is interesting that a Democrat on a talking heads panel was totally outraged and disgusted by Trump setting aside Putin murders with a ‘U.S. does it, too’ comment and then seeing a CBS Poll: Two-Thirds of Democrats Say Islam, Christianity Equally Violent reported by Neil Munro.

Almost seven out 10 Democrats believe Islam “encourages violence… about the same as other religions,” according to a new CBS poll.

The trusting attitude towards Islam is revealed in the February 2017 poll follows 17 tumultuous years of attacks against Americans motivated or shaped by Islamic ideology throughout the United States

Progressive and left-wing activists say much violence is caused by Christians, although few make the argument that the violence is motivated Christian doctrines.

Sarah Gustafson: Obama’s higher education record: a low bar for Betsey DeVos – “critics will continue to frame her as dangerously inexperienced. Even the slightest misstep will be held up as proof she’s out of her depth.”

critics should grade DeVos on a curve, with the midpoint set at the Obama administration’s less-than-elegant higher education policymaking. Let’s review that record.

Reviewing the follies of the Obama administration’s higher education agenda is not meant to be (completely) cynical. There are lessons here for DeVos. Making good higher education policy is challenging. And the stakes are quite high: bad policy and slipshod implementation put students’ futures and taxpayers’ dollars at risk. DeVos must treat postsecondary education with as much consequence and care as she would elementary and secondary education policies.

But the lesson for everyone else: the left-of-center politicians and advocacy groups who worry Betsy DeVos lacks higher education experience treated the Obama administration with kid gloves each time the administration botched a new reform. Take their sudden worry that DeVos will commit all sorts of policy blunders with a grain of salt.

Noting some whistle-blowing by Delingpole: NOAA Scandal Gives Trump The Perfect Excuse To Drain The Climate Swamp

In the field of energy and climate, President Trump has said that there is a massive swamp that needs draining.

But his efforts are being resisted at every turn by all those lying scientists, bent politicians, rent-seeking businessmen, and Soros-funded activist groups who insist: “What swamp? What crocodiles? What leeches? Nothing to see here!”

What does this all mean in terms of science? Not much. As we’ve seen above, there have been strong suspicions about Karl et al’s paper since the moment it was published.

In terms of the climate propaganda wars, on the other hand, it is huge: this is a blow from which the Alarmist establishment may never recover for it gives the Trump administration just the excuse it needs to sweep clean the Augean of corrupt climate science once and forever.

Trump is now in the perfect position to demand that climate-related scientific bodies in receipt of government funding (ie all of them) make their code and data available to the public.

This gets interesting because there is a massive effort to ‘save the data from Trump’ as the Left knows he is going to destroy it. The Left knows a lot of things, it seems, that are rather strange when viewed in the sunshine of reality. See John Bates on Climate scientists versus climate data on Dr. Curry’s blog – “A look behind the curtain at NOAA’s climate data center.”

I read with great irony recently that scientists are “frantically copying U.S. Climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump” (e.g., Washington Post 13 December 2016). As a climate scientist formerly responsible for NOAA’s climate archive, the most critical issue in archival of climate data is actually scientists who are unwilling to formally archive and document their data. I spent the last decade cajoling climate scientists to archive their data and fully document the datasets. I established a climate data records program that was awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2014 for visionary work in the acquisition, production, and preservation of climate data records (CDRs), which accurately describe the Earth’s changing environment.

Robert Knight: Left uses violence but decries ‘speech as violence’ – “Respect for faith and family trumps ‘the power of the people’” – “In the upside down world of leftist activism, speech is violence while actual violence is an appropriate response.” The Boy Scouts caving to Leftist bullying is the example.

Another form of anarchy is the violence done to language in the name of ideology. Without common understanding of the meaning of words, we cannot communicate, much less engage in meaningful dialogue.

The enemies of civilization in America figured out long ago that they could control debates by controlling language. In order to avoid the smear of “extremism” and to get along, most people reflexively adopt the new terms. You know, turning homosexuality into “gay,” abortion into “choice,” gambling into “gaming,” smut into “erotica” and government spending into “investments.”

One reason that Donald Trump evokes such fear and hatred among progressives is that he avoids politically correct phraseology. It’s not that he didn’t get the memo; he tore it up and sent it back in tiny pieces.

The mobs at Berkeley and the go-along-to-get-along leadership of the BSA might regard themselves as the vanguard of a cultural revolution, but they’re just peddling their own forms of anarchy. While they drift into nonsense, a quiet revolution is taking shape below the radar that aims to reestablish respect for the permanent things of faith, family and freedom. Not to mention sanity.

J. Christian Adams provides another example of “ violence done to language in the name of ideology.” Why the North Carolina voter ID case matters – “It’s actually an attempt to preserve the Voting Rights Act.” – “Because voter ID is overwhelmingly popular, and because courts have largely supported it, they are trying to change what the Voting Rights Act means.”

They may never admit it, but the civil rights industry is tired of spending millions of dollars only to lose most voter ID fights in court. Instead of declaring defeat, the strategy has shifted to changing the rules of engagement, and trying to transform the Voting Rights Act into something it isn’t.

On appeal, however, the judges ruled in the exact opposite direction for North Carolina: claiming that the state went out of its way to intentionally discriminate against minorities. It did this by substituting its own version of the facts, even though appeals courts don’t see witnesses, and even though experts for the United States were found to be not credible.

This difference between two courts was because of how the Voting Rights Act was read.

There is more at stake than the integrity of elections. If the Court does not intervene, the nation could see one of the shining achievements of the Civil Rights era be politicized.

Rebecca Hagelin has the ‘compare and contrast’ down pat in Thank God for Kellyanne Conway – “She’s one of the smartest, most kind, most thoughtful people you could ever hope to meet. And the mass media are intent on destroying her.”

the deeper reason for the particularly venomous attacks aimed at Kellyanne is so simple that it’s sophomoric: The media are professionally embarrassed that Donald Trump won the election despite their repeated attempts to kill his campaign. So, they have decided to destroy the one who made that victory possible.

While the media elites publicly ignore the fact that Kellyanne made history and should be lauded as a role model for all women who have struggled in the male-dominated political arena, they secretly obsess over the fact that she beat their pants off.

And they really can’t accept the fact that their woman, Hillary Clinton, was beaten by a man whose “right-hand man” is actually a conservative lady.

Thank God that Kellyanne continues to fight and win. And mark my words: She will keep fighting, with millions of Americans cheering her on.

Michael Filozof says The United States Cannot Survive as Presently Constituted – “With slight shades of difference,” wrote George Washington in 1796, Americans “have the same religion, manners, habits and political principles.”

The inauguration of Donald Trump sparked national protests – obscene, vulgar, and crude — by the Left. Over sixty congressional Democrats boycotted his inauguration. Plans to impeach him were in the works – before he had even done anything.

the Constitution of 1787 no longer articulates a set of shared principles. For practical purposes, today there are two separate and unrelated constitutions – a constitution of the Left, and a constitution of the Right. The Leftist constitution includes the rights to abortion, anal intercourse, and gay marriage. The Right, reading the “supreme law of the land” as it was actually written, sees no such rights anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

The Right regards America’s Founders as men of achievement, morality, and virtue. They see our European heritage as praiseworthy, for it gave us the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, electricity, medicine, clean water, automobiles, powered flight, and landed men on the moon.

The Left sees the Founders as wicked, greedy men who cheated innocent Indians and enslaved innocent blacks. Whites of European descent raped and destroyed the pristine environment with global warming, imposed monogamy and heterosexuality upon women, and subordinated the “peaceful” cultures (like Islam) of black and brown people.

Why waste time and effort trying to persuade people who cannot and will not be persuaded? If Californians want to ban guns, parade around in bondage leather, and allow illiterates and criminals to cross the border to receive government benefits, let them. Ohioans and Michiganders ought not be forced to go along with it.

But the present situation is untenable. The nation is like a car careening down the road, with two people fighting over the wheel. One pulls the car left, the other swerves back to the right.

Sooner or later, a crash is inevitable.

Jazz Shaw: Can the government rein in disruption and riots hiding under the guise of “protests?”

The old school idea of “protesting” which I grew up with has changed a lot in the 21st century. This new school of protesters focuses on “disruption” as the vehicle for their efforts as opposed to the old school, quaint concept of simply marching on sidewalks, in parks or designated areas with signs and songs. … At some point along that trail we crossed the line from protesting to rioting, and while we can debate the exact moment when it happened, we’re there now.

Robert Rohlfing: The Long War Of The Left – “The Left’s Long War is far from over, we see it now more than ever being exposed and played out not only in this nation, but on the world stage as well. With each battle they are losing ground, but they are not down and out.”

Judi McLeod: The Civil War Known as the Deplorables Vs The Depraved – “Obama’s legacy of hate is just beginning to show its hideous face. Words have meanings, elections have consequences and propaganda is changing the world into one where outrageous lies masquerade as truth. The worst is yet to come.”

Matthew Vadum: The seditious left – “Prosecute the Berkeley rioters by enforcing federal law.”

It’s the Deplorables versus the Depraved. 

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2/4/2017: Blindsided by preconceptions and a closed mind makes you a target

It’s not the new administration upsetting the applecart. Now the judiciary has set itself above established and explicit executive authority and in a most fundamental area. It used to be that the concern about terrorism was that it only took one lapse in security but a judge has now tossed that idea aside. It used to be that the executive could determine who could be allowed into the country but a judge has now tossed that aside. It used to be that citizens had special rights that non-citizens did not have but a judge has now tossed that aside. Andrea Noble reports Federal judge halts Trump’s immigration order – the judge has decided that the lawyers in the DoJ were incompetent and that many others who cannot find support for his view were wrong also. Basic concepts of precedent and prudence have been set aside for partisan ideological satisfaction even in the area of national security.

In written arguments in the Washington case, the Justice Department defended the president’s order and his authority “to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of aliens into the United States.”

“Every President over the last thirty years has invoked this authority to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of certain aliens or classes of aliens, in some instances including classifications based on nationality,” DOJ attorneys wrote.

Judge Robart’s written order, issued several hours after the court hearing, indicates that the plaintiffs successfully demonstrated that they would “suffer irreparable harm” if the court did not intervene.

The Associated Press reported that Judge Robart asked Justice Department attorneys whether there had been any terrorist attacks by people from the seven counties listed in Mr. Trump’s order since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“The answer is none,” Judge Robart said. “You’re here arguing we have to protect from these individuals from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”

John Sexton observes that “Politico notes this setback came just a few hours after the Trump administration prevailed in another lawsuit against the executive order.” In other words, it is warfare by attrition with no holds barred in attempting to subvert the established social order.

Slashdot may have a clue as to the “immediate harm” idea: Microsoft’s H-1B Workers Cited In Motion That Successfully Blocked Trump’s Travel Ban – “Washington’s technology industry relies heavily on the H-1B visa program.”

Washington ranks ninth in the number of applications for high-tech visas. Microsoft, which is headquartered in Washington, employs nearly 5,000 people through the program. Other Washington companies, including Amazon, Expedia, and Starbucks, employ thousands of H-1B visa holders. Loss of highly skilled workers puts Washington companies at a competitive disadvantage with global competitors.

Trump might get a ‘twofer’ out of this as the H-1B visa holders replacing American skilled workers has been on the burner for quite a while. It also provides fodder for those who endlessly complain about inhuman corporate interests except Trump is shown here as fighting those interests. That’s in addition to the national security and immigration promise fulfillment.

On a similar front is the civil war being conducted by the deep state. Andrew Restuccia, Marianne Levine And Nahal Toosi say Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump – they make it clear that the enemy isn’t the criminal or the terrorist but rather the people and their nation. If you run a company and encountered employees as described in the article, what would you do? should you do?

Federal employees worried that President Donald Trump will gut their agencies are creating new email addresses, signing up for encrypted messaging apps and looking for other, protected ways to push back against the new administration’s agenda.

At the EPA, a small group of career employees — numbering less than a dozen so far — are using an encrypted messaging app to discuss what to do if Trump’s political appointees undermine their agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment, flout the law, or delete valuable scientific data that the agency has been collecting for years, sources told POLITICO.

Just what is it that provides any basis for these fears of a “small group of career employees”? Such fears add to the concerns. Not only do you have employees who are plotting to undermine their employer, you also have indications that they are irrational in their behavior.

Russell Paul La Valle notes The Trump opposition: Hell hath no fury like Democrats’ scorn

Trump’s destruction is nothing less than the moral battle for the soul of America, and his sacrifice will reconcile God and the Democrats for the mortal sin of ever allowing him to be elected president in the first place.

Reaching this level of hatred and contempt has required cultivation.

John Sexton picks up on one example of where this hate can lead: Dakota Access Pipeline protest leader charged with inciting a riot, 74 arrested – “Dakota Access Pipeline protester Chase Iron Eyes was arrested this week and has been charged with inciting a riot, which is a felony.”

It might be helpful to the protesters if Iron Eyes were the spokesman for the Standing Rock Sioux and could be portrayed as a victim here. But in fact, the actual spokesman for the tribe, Dave Archambault, published a statement on the tribe’s Facebook page Wednesday which was very critical of Iron Eyes, albeit without mentioning him by name.

If you’re wondering, it was Chase Iron Eyes who called people back to camp this week despite a recent vote by the tribal council asking all of the remaining protesters to vacate the land before floods wash them and all their voluminous garbage into the river.

Chuck Ross: Look Who Funds The Group Behind The Call To Arms At Milo’s Berkeley Event

The left-wing group that helped organize the violent shut down of the Milo Yiannopoulos event at the University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday is backed by a progressive charity that is in turn funded by George Soros, the city of Tucson, a major labor union and several large companies.

And on its Facebook page, the group asserted that the vandalism and arson were not “violence.” Instead, the group argued that Yiannopoulos and Trump perpetrate violence through the policies they support.

Again, constructed outrage based on manufactured pretenses that displays projection more than any constructive effort to advance their stated purposes. Ace notes that Newsweek Enthuses Over Political Violence, Saying “Protesters” “Schooled” Milo Yiannopolous and the city of Berkley aren’t too concerned about the implications of riots that destroy property and commit assault and battery.

Allahpundit noticed the potential for ‘good cop, bad cop’ tactics in a Nikki Haley Russia blasting at the U.N. Another insight is Video: Kellyanne Conway on the “Bowling Green massacre” that didn’t happen – “when you’re a top White House advisor and the single most ubiquitous surrogate for the president on American TV, unreliability about a terror attack is a very bad trait to display, whether the mistake is innocent or not.”

But the heavy media coverage of her mistake today, in treating this as a “can you believe it?” mega-gaffe and an example of the “alternative facts” that Conway infamously touted a few weeks ago, is also being unreliable in glossing over her underlying point. She’s defending Trump’s temporary refugee ban by noting that dangerous people have been admitted to the United States before — which is true, and the two Bowling Green scumbags are paradigm examples. There was no “massacre” and she deserves to be called on that, but if you worry about letting people in from Iraq and Syria because you’re afraid they might have an interest in bombs and jihad, well, the Bowling Green incident gives you reason to worry. She misremembered it as a successful attack, but the intent to kill American soldiers was there — enough so to secure federal convictions.

If the press wanted to fact-check Conway effectively on this, they’d skip the buzzers and do what Elizabeth Nolan Brown did, asking the question of just how many refugees have gone bad like the pair in Bowling Green. The answer, according to a 2015 study: Three — out of 784,000.

Good point on the overblown ‘Conway Lies’ meme but missing the fundamental ‘it only takes one’ on the terrorist meme or, in this case 3 out of 784,000. That’s, of course, the 3 known terrorists. It’s like voter fraud where what you don’t know can be either a reason to ignore (the Left’s view) or a reason to check (Right’s view).

Andrew Malcolm says Donald Trump’s setting so many fires Democrats can’t keep up – “What is it exactly these congressional Democrats want instead?”

Perhaps you’ve noticed a fair number of protests, many of them violent, since Hillary Clinton was not elected president.

Perhaps you’ve also noticed the Democrat minorities in Congress opposing pretty much every single thing involving the man who was elected president Nov. 8

There is — and was — no main message.

That thematic void can be politically lethal in American elections.

Remember Alexander Hamilton or maybe someone else saying, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything? Well, the converse is true too: If you oppose everything, you stand for nothing. And that’s the muddy path that Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and their Gang of No has taken.

You may not agree with many or any of his actions. Or like his loud style. But the strategic truth is, in creating just two main themes, the unpredictable media magnet Trump has lit so many fires that Democrats under their elderly leaders can’t decide which to fight. So, they’re fighting them all, none effectively. Everybody watching the not-exactly spontaneous protests and the on-camera anger has their own tolerance level for outrage. But at some point, everybody has one.

“We need to be guided by a positive message about economic growth for everybody and a country that includes everybody,” Connecticut’s lonely Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy said sensibly. “We can’t respond to everything. You have to decide what to respond to based on what your vision for the country is.”

Good luck with that these days in Washington.

Steven Hayward, in his The Week in Pictures: Trump Train Keeps on Rolling Edition says “it appears the only thing that can possibly slow down President Trump is carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Michael Sainato says Everything Trump Is Doing, Establishment Democrats Set in Motion – “In 2006 Obama, Clinton, Biden, Schumer and 20 other Democrats voted in favor of a physical barrier to be built along the US-Mexico border.” This sort of comparison and contrast just makes it worse because it makes it clear that the opposition is really inane protest.

The Democratic Party has actively participated or remained complicit in several of the policies and plans now being pushed by the Trump administration, despite their rhetoric conveying a blanket opposition.

Establishment Democrats have acted outraged over Trump’s plans to develop a Muslim registry, but their criticisms were nowhere to be found when Bush and Obama had one in place between 2001 to 2011.

In order to develop serious opposition against Trump’s Presidency and the Republican-dominated Congress, Democrats need to face how their political cowardice and questionable policies enabled Trump’s ascendancy. … Understanding the Democratic Party’s past wrongdoings is vital to develop a recovery plan, but so far the Democrats continue to remain entangled in the policies that they claim to oppose from the Trump Administration.

Ed Morrissey expands on a point Rush Limbaugh made: Robert Reich: “Rumors” that Berkeley riots were a right-wing false flag, or something

Is it possible? Er … sure, in a theoretical, paranoid-conspiracy construct, I suppose. We’d have to believe that Breitbart.com is using its money to fund roving bands of thugs that only seem to appear when conservatives go to speak on campuses or when Republicans get inaugurated as presidents. And if you believe that, you can also believe that our friends at Breitbart have figured out how to travel through time to stage the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle, which featured similar tactics by people dressed and acting in an almost identical manner

Godwin’s Law [wikipedia] has been taking hits. The Left says it is suspended because Trump is just like Hitler in every vile way imaginable. There is a good explanation of This Hitler Nonsense on Regie’s Blog. His father “toured post-war Germany extensively in 1957 and ’58 as a child performer. And he often recounts the stories.”

These and other intense experiences in Germany sent my father on a life-long quest to understand this sociopath (Hitler) and the country that allowed itself to be dragged into one of the darkest chapters in world history. My dad is a Hitler/Nazi buff the way Indiana Jones’ dad was a Holy Grail buff.

As the son of a man with this hobby (one might call obsession) I learned a lot about Hitler and the Third Reich just by osmosis, growing up. My father would weave WWII stories into his sermons.

But the truth about Nazis isn’t funny at all. It’s bloody and horrible and gut churning. And it involves machine guns and butchery and inhumanity on a scale that takes your breath away.

The idea of comparing an American president to Hitler is just as absurd …from any angle, in any context.

Hitler took over a small, failing state that didn’t have separated government, enumerated powers or checks and balances. … His entire political career was violent from the beginning. … He disarmed the population, then nationalized healthcare and education.

Hitler was a real life murdering sociopath. He wasn’t just a charismatic speaker who incrementally fell into bad behavior. He wasn’t just a racist corrupted by unfettered power. In other words, you or I probably couldn’t end up being Hitler. A garden variety KKK leader probably couldn’t end up being Hitler either …or a community organizer …or a New York real-estate tycoon. It’s not that easy or simple.

But if you study enough about it, you realize the guy vetting and banning refugees is probably not Hitler …the guy CREATING refugees probably is.

If we keep looking for Hitler in every United States president we disagree with, we’re not going to recognize the real one when he actually shows up …in a different country.

Here’s a bit of the Californication of Nevada that might be on the positive side of the ledger, reported on TechDirt of all places. Good News: Nevada’s Strong Anti-SLAPP Law Is Constitutional – “SLAPP stands for a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. In short, SLAPP suits are lawsuits where it is fairly obvious that the intent of the lawsuits is to stifle free speech, rather than for a legitimate purpose under the law. “

the ruling basically recognized that Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute was similar to California’s (much older and much more broadly litigated anti-SLAPP) law, and that Nevada courts can use California case law for its own anti-SLAPP cases

Dan Calabrese says Trump’s blunt style throws foreign leaders into a tizzy—and has them rushing to meet with him – “Establishment voices think Trump is an out-of-control bumpkin who has no idea what the proper way is to operate on the world stage.”

One of the biggest mistakes of the political establishment – one they show no sign of grasping – is that when they constantly complain about how Trump is violating all the norms of politics, the presidency and international relations, they totally miss that this is exactly what the people who voted for him wanted him to do. And they totally miss that he is doing it intentionally and with purpose.

Career diplomats are appalled because their job description usually involves preserving the stability of the established global order. If stability is disrupted, a diplomat thinks that’s a crisis.

But there’s a concept in business called order from chaos. It holds that what appears to be order might actually be little more than a set of norms with which you’ve become comfortable. It’s not really producing anything positive, but it feels comfortable to you so you continue to operate according to it. An outside party can come into an organization and observe that the established order is not producing the desired results, but it can be difficult for those who have operated within the established order for awhile to see that.

Coyote Blog provides a Global Temperature Update – “I just updated my climate presentation with data through December of 2016, so given “hottest year evah” claims, I thought I would give a brief update with the data that the media seldom ever provides.” He’s probably a bit more in line with the “consensus” than the alarmists and shouters and the ideologues. There are graphs and charts and a bit of preening as well.

Blindsided by preconceived fantasies on so many fronts …

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Emotional Science and Irrational Politics and the Media’s fingers in both

ACSH: Media Think World Of Science And Health Will End On Inauguration Day 2017 – “a substantial number of Americans, goaded on by a sensationalist press and the hyperpartisan echo chamber of social media, strongly disagree. One could be forgiven for thinking that America is diving head first into a new Dark Age… or worse.” FUD Mongering headlines are cited. Then there’s the question: Are Science Journals Politically Biased? Editor-In-Chief Of ACS Journal Refuses To Discuss Editorial Policy – “there is a small but growing perception among Americans that scientists are becoming politically biased. Indeed, surveys have confirmed that Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in academia. And, over the last few months, the behavior of high-profile scientific journals has only served to reconfirm these perceptions of bias.”

It is difficult to avoid the perception of bias among the public when editors at journals are condemning a new president before he has even taken office.

Given the oddity of preemptively declaring war on an administration before it has taken charge, I was curious if ES&T Letters had published any editorials critical of President Obama. After all, he presided over at least two extremely controversial policies that were decided by politics rather than science

Combined, the message being sent by the scientific community is loud and clear: “We will give preferential treatment to politicians we like, and we will refuse to even consider treating fairly those we don’t.” That’s hardly an attitude befitting a scientist; on the contrary, it is what we would expect from a partisan or TV pundit.

Such conduct is bad for science. The honor and privilege bestowed upon this “secular priesthood” ought not be abused. Currently, science continues to earn widespread admiration from both sides of the political spectrum. And though a large majority of Americans still believe scientists are politically unbiased, that reputation will erode unless the scientific community makes a better effort to behave that way.

That horse has already left the barn and the concerns are a day late and a dollar short.

Ian Hanchet: Krauthammer: Young Man Starting Fire at Anti-Trump Protest Has ‘A Whiff of ISIS To It’ – “[I]t tells you how completely weird the parents and the other people out there are. These are the same people who show up at the IMF meetings, and world bank, the Occupy Wall Street. You ask them, ‘Why are you out there?’ They’re completely incoherent. … I mean, these people ought to be medicated.”

I think the real culprits here are the people who ought to be the adults. The one’s who ought to set an example, and that’s the one-third of Democrats in Congress, who will refuse to attend, and actively boycott the inauguration. I think that is scandalous. An inauguration is not the celebration of party victory. It’s a kind of civic sacrament for something that it is exceedingly rare in the world, which is the transfer of power, uninterrupted now for 240 years, the longest anywhere on earth. That’s something that you celebrate.”

Valerie Richardson picks up on this as Trump trashing and bashing becomes a permanent role for political left – “Is the political left getting ahead of itself in bashing and trashing the Trump White House?”

Nobody expects the losing party to celebrate after a presidential race, but political analysts say the postelection frenzy of fundraising, war rooms, protests and social media hysteria represents an alarming departure from the traditional stoic acceptance of years past.

“A democracy only works if the factions, the divisions are done peacefully and resolved peacefully, and compromises are made,” Mr. Horowitz said. “There’s a honeymoon after the election in which the losing party defends the legitimacy of the election result. That’s why we’ve had peace since the Civil War in this country.”

Democrats say Republicans didn’t make it easy for Barack Obama, who had barely got comfortable in the White House before the tea party announced its arrival with a march on Washington in September 2009.

On the other hand, conservatives never tried to upend the 2008 Electoral College result by urging electors to defect, or called for his impeachment before he took office, or organized dozens of demonstrations to coincide with his inauguration.

Fixating on Mr. Trump also prevents Democrats from promoting a positive message for voters, especially if he winds up scoring policy victories early on in his administration.

“His job is to produce for the American people,” Mr. Gingrich said, “and frankly, to the degree that the Democrats decay into just being the anti-Trump party, they will keep themselves in the minority a long time.”

Jon Fleischman: Dems Boycotting Trump Should Burn American Flags, Too – “When elected federal legislators announce that they are boycotting the official swearing-in of the new president, they are not protesting the person that was elected, they are protesting America itself.”

But I believe that for an elected member of Congress ,being on hand to affirm and support this peaceful transition of power between chief executives is their responsibility — one they are shirking to make a cheap political statement that does more to diminish themselves than anything else.

Thomas Lifson says Wynton Marsalis nails it on performers boycotting the inauguration – “Make people cheat you to your face, son.”

As some performers disgrace themselves with dishonored vows to leave the U,S. upon Trump’s election and petulant bullying of peers who dare express willingness to perform at the inaugural, a genuine star has put them all to shame. Wynton Marsalis posted an essay on Facebook that deserves to be read in its entirety

Mike Kimmitt describes The Democrats’ acidic petulance – “Still posted on the CNN website is a months-old interview that again reveals the stunning phoniness of today’s hard-left Democrat-press complex.”

Earnest believes that the rapidly diminishing numbers of Democrats remaining in Congress and in state houses across the land are so convinced of their own righteousness that the most revolting display of petulance is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

With thousands of anarchists conspiring to disrupt or curtail inaugural events, Democrats in Congress are essentially urging them on with their acidic behavior.

CNN did its part with a stunningly irresponsible report in which it wistfully speculated that Democrats might be able to maintain the White House if Trump were assassinated before being sworn in.

The dangerous garishness of the Democratic Party and their sycophants in the press and on the streets of Washington, D.C. is as unprecedented as it is shameful.

On the State Left’s Propaganda Machine Kelly Riddell notes The one-sided coverage of Donald Trump – “Everybody, including the Never-Trumpers suffers for it.” Wesley Pruden picks up on consequences as a A hearty last laugh for the Donald – “Donald Trump’s greatest contribution to America will be his stripping the media, particularly the overpaid and undereducated television media, of its last pretense to fairness and objectivity.” Jennifer Harper says Battered mainstream press limps into uncharted age of Trump, social media – “There’s no press honeymoon now and not much chance for one in the future.” Warren L. Dean Jr. fits in here, too with his look at The Democrats’ ‘dossier’ – “Spying on Russia’s mischief, or even faking it, is a dangerous game.”

“Our new president is a master of communicating directly with the world in his own way, and social media enables him to bypass the press,” said veteran pollster John Zogby. “Meanwhile, the mainstream press is out of the loop, suffering from fewer viewers and subscribers, and threatened by serious distrust from the public. Ironically, the media seem to need Trump more than vice versa because he is such good drama and copy for them.”

Then, if you are into FUD Mongering, consider Andrew Blake: Passwords of top Trump appointees leaked online after earlier data breaches: Report – “Cabinet members identified in the report had their internet passwords compromised and leaked online as a consequence of high profile data breaches suffered by LinkedIn, MySpace and other websites hacked between 2012 and 2016, Channel 4 said.” This is why the prudent person manages his passwords according to accepted best practices, unlike Podesta. The fear being spread is that anyone can now read the incoming official’s private correspondence. The reality is that the incoming officials are rather more prudent than the outgoing officials as there were no such leaks as envisioned by the FUD Mongerers in the Propaganda Machine.

Charles Hurt: Donald Trump the Revolutionary – “He is coming to change many things in the lives of Americans.” Indeed, the fear of change is what is driving much of the TDS hysteria. But consider:

From the darkest corners of the bloated federal bureaucracy to the bright marble columns of the Supreme Court, Mr. Trump’s mandate is as broad as it is dramatic. Illegal immigration, international trade, education, Obamacare and America’s war against terrorism are all on the table for complete overhauls.

Refreshingly, Mr. Trump’s mandate is not a partisan one. He owes very little to the Republican Party and absolutely nothing to the Democratic Party. He handily defeated partisans on both sides of the political aisle.

He also owes nothing to any industry or special interest group except the voters who elected him and the free market system that made him a billionaire. He is owned by no one.

As a result, Mr. Trump stands poised to reinvent the entire federal government in favor of the American people alone. He is a tireless agent of disruption and an unbending force for creative destruction.

Donald Trump would not know a “talking point” if he saw one. He could barely get along with the teleprompter.

But he could talk.

And in plain English, he promised to re-invent the federal government from the ground up. People here were shocked, horrified, scandalized, frightened. But, outside Washington and the establishment media, people loved it.

Jazz Shaw on the bitter end of the Obama Era provides a wrap up.

The proceedings have started. There is much more commentary and news. Time for a breather.

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1/18/2017: Bullies with vitriol and where’s the Truth?

Just a few more days and the pessimist wonders what these folks will turn to, then.

The bullies at the gate ahead of the Trump inauguration – “Hollywood, liberals and the political establishment descend into panic.” By Tammy Bruce – – Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As Jan. 20 approaches, the bullies are at the gate. Hollywood, liberals and the political establishment are panicking because they have no idea what to expect when Donald Trump officially becomes the president of the United States.

What Hollywood does know is that anyone in their industry who does not conform to the standard Trump Derangement Syndrome will be bullied until they submit.

The civil war we’re experiencing is not limited to the political parties and Washington, D.C., it’s throughout a culture within which a select few have cultivated an “us vs. them” mentality in order to benefit from government largesse and the power and influence that it provides.

The bullying isn’t only about performers. The Woodmont Country Club is also getting the treatment. Jazz Shaw:

“But the mayor – one Jeffrey Slavin, who I’m just going to assume is a Democrat – seems to be milking this for all he can get out of it. Rather than simply disagreeing with his fellow golfers, he’s chosen to quit and put out a statement describing the potential decision as intolerance. It doesn’t take much ability to read between the lines to know what that means. He’s accusing the members of being racists and the press is picking up the ball and running with it.”

On that civil war thing, consider the mercenaries. Record protest crowds expected to greet Donald Trump at his inauguration – “Take President-elect Donald Trump, add the rise of the professional protest class, and you’ve got a recipe for a record-shattering inauguration protest.” By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times – Tuesday, January 17, 2017. The professional protest class has become prominent enough to attract scammers. Hoax ads in two dozen cities offered protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural – “‘Dominic Tullipso’ prompts Fox host to laugh, say ‘this is performance art’.” Meanwhile, O’Keefe drops another video (DisruptJ20 Dramatically Scales Back Plans to Sabotage Inauguration After Project Veritas Sting) …

On the climate front, there is the ying and the yang. Richard W. Rahn describes the Bias, ignorance and reality in climate science – and why “Refusal to own up to the distortions of climate science is a costly mistake.” Then Seth Borenstein illustrates what Rahn was talking about by asserting Global warming could steal postcard-perfect weather days.

Trump Gores a Sacred Cow, and Liberals Lament – “The great Broom of Time recently swept away another failed ideology and political movement.” By Daniel L. Mallock

That the reaction of the Utopian Progressive Left is based upon anger, resentment, hatred, intolerance, and pique rather than logic is not important to them; it is a point that remains always unaddressed. Every political “dirty trick” that seems obviously a sham is accepted at face value, and bitter attacks built upon these false accusations immediately begin. The dizzying speed of the reactions, the overwhelmingly standardized nature of the talking points and commonly invoked yet faulty arguments, suggests a uniformity of thought more typical of an ideological movement or cult than of reasoned, cogent advocacy for a political candidate within a democratic open society.

Roger L Simon: The Real Reason John Lewis and Company Boycott the Inauguration – “When people “act out,” it’s often because a particularly raw nerve has been touched, some basic fear triggered.”

But that’s the surface of what’s really upsetting them, what the shrinks call the “presenting complaint.” Deep down it’s something else, something far more potent.

They’re afraid Donald Trump might actually succeed.

In a world where we often talk of disruptors in business, Trump is the ultimate political disruptor.

But the wound is too severe. Even devoid of a viable ideology, they fight on tooth and nail. Power itself has always been more important than what it stands for. The battle, as is clearly evident, is far from over.

To illustrate that point, John Merline: The Washington Post Takes Anti-Trump Bias To A New Level — 

The mainstream press loves to tell readers that it can be trusted because it employs professional journalists backed by layers of editors. Oh, and they’re all unbiased.

So how to explain a recent Washington Post headline, which manages both to misrepresent its own poll and expose the ridiculous extent to which its reporters and editors will go to bash President-elect Donald Trump?

Or, there’s this by John Kass: Trump, the media and a cure for hysteria.

So how about gigantic, five-gallon jugs chock-full of Prozac, or other such antidepressants, placed in every newsroom?

Because it should be clear by now that something is needed, since much of journalism leans to the political left, and that many of the left are beyond fear and hysterics over Trump.

And so, here’s the Democratic game: Delegitimize Trump even before his term begins, use outrage and media anger toward Trump to shovel it out to America, and shame anyone who dares say otherwise, to save those 10 senators running in the pro-Trump states.

So what do you do if your voters are getting itchy? You bind them with fear and anger.

Ace provides another example citing Mollie Hemingway and the Generals Leading the Intelligence Community’s War on a Duly Elected President. “A plausible answer, it seems to me, is that the media is protecting the sources it knows damn well are the leakers.”

Regarding the Manning commutation, see Jazz Shaw on The aftermath of the disgraceful Chelsea Manning commutation – “What’s of greater interest to me is the proper level of outrage being expressed over this blatant insult to the military, the intelligence community and the citizens of the nation. The New York Post provided a fairly good roundup of some of the initial reactions last night. Speaker Ryan was one of the first out of the gate.” Even Allahpundit picks up on this: “Sean Davis extracts the lesson here: “Giving classified info to Wikileaks is good as long as it only endangers national security and not Democrat careers.”

This isn’t the only one and the release of Gitmo terrorists is just another part of this story of Obama’s thinking about terrorism and treason. Consider also the commuting of the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a former Chicago community organizer turned FALN terrorist. Andrew C. McCarthy explains The Damage Done to America by Manning … and Obama

Third, the degree to which Obama has wielded executive power in favor of America’s enemies and against his own political opponents and scapegoats is breathtaking.

But if you are Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative Obama critic, the Justice Department inflates an administrative violation into multiple felonies and aggressively advocates (thankfully, without success) for a stiff prison sentence. If you are a tea party group gearing up to fight Obama’s re-election, here comes the IRS. If you are “anti-Muslim video producer” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Obama needs a scapegoat for his derelictions in Benghazi, you end up in the slammer. If you are a deep-pocketed financial institution that Obama wants to make the culprit for the government-driven financial meltdown, or to raid so the radical left’s legion of “community organizers” can be funded, prepare to pony up a 9- or 10-figure “settlement.” If you are a police department, be ready to be scandalized as a practitioner of racially malicious enforcement. If you are Israel, brace for the “international outlaw” smear.

A standard defense for the current crop of Barack Obama’s pardon and commutation binge is that it is only about folks incarcerated for inoffensive drug possession or, perhaps, the awful racist U.S. injustice system. Jazz Shaw says The clemency train is ready to pull out from the station again and cites Heather Mac Donald at National Review [who] covered this [nonviolent criminal] problem last year.

For an example of the TDS vitriol, consider Rachel and her Truth in the Age of Trump – and this from a self professed ‘conservative’:

Quite apart from the security headaches, the road closures, and the not-inconsiderable prospect of violent demonstrations the day of, or the days after the event, the prospect of it filled me with disgust. I wanted to be far away from the pleasant city that is our national capital. Donald J. Trump has repeatedly revealed himself as a lying, crooked, narcissistic ignoramus, incapable of generous thoughts or deeds, indeed, incapable of seeing beyond himself at all. The idea of that man living in Lincoln’s house is nauseating.

But he is the President, so what is one to do? More particularly, what are conservative intellectuals to do?

The most important thing is to speak the truth, indeed, to become somewhat fanatical on the subject.

Perhaps a first step towards finding truth is to examine the basis of one’s own perceptions? The nausea is a clue that there is a problem in this area. You cannot speak truth until you find it. Blinded by hatred is no way to find the pathway to truth.

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1/13/2017: Greenwashing, Depths of depravity; Landmines; Bear Feed

Hank Campbell: ‘Local Control’ Is A Beard For Environmentalists Blocking Energy Progress – tactics of the left are getting better understood.

Lobbying for centralized control has clearly worked well for activists yet now those anti-science groups have taken to co-opting the local control concept too, knowing they defuse objection from a giant chunk of the public that believes in a more decentralized approach. Yet its intent is still nefarious, not beneficial, to those local citizens. Instead of wanting real local input, these groups seek to create a bureaucratic “patchwork” of local laws and incite demonstrations that will bog down any company doing business in individual communities because of cost-prohibitive customization.

That poor people invariably suffer the burden of higher costs for such ideology doesn’t factor into their equation.

These critics of energy are not really fans of local control, they are instead the opposite, they believe in absolute central control; the fewer politicians they have to lobby, the better. The last thing they want is the public thinking for themselves. And so local control is just a beard for their real agenda, which is raising money by scaring people – and denying the poor an affordable basic need so that they need to ask big centralized groups for help.

Landmines and Feeding the Russians: they go together. First up is an observation about landmines:

Krauthammer said, “I don’t want to impute a general conspiracy here, but it looks as if the Democrats, on their way out the door, are trying to leave behind as many landmines as they can to at least cast doubts on the legitimacy of the Trump victory. All of a sudden, as we have seen, they’ve gotten interested in Russian cyberwarfare, which the administration appeared to be extremely nonchalant about until they lost the November election. And now we’re going to have new investigations, meaning days and days of headlines about the other thing that Democrats attribute their loss to, meaning Comey’s action with 11 days to go, in which he reopened, as he said, the investigation. Many Democrats think that’s why they lost. Now, that would have faded into history. This is a way to say that it’s not going to, and it will remain there. I’m not sure this is the best way to ensure a good transition, one where you transfer not just the authority of office, but the legitimacy. But that seems to be what the Democrats want to do as they get out of power.”

Then there’s an observation.

During his confirmation hearing, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said he would observe the proper laws forbidding enhanced interrogation of terror suspects and affirmed that he believes Russia is a threat to the United States. He also noted, however, that attempts to undermine President-elect Donald Trump plays right into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But, of course, everybody does it – think the other side is delusional, that is. NYT: Allowing Guns for Self-Defense in Unsecured Airport Areas Is ‘Delusional’ – they use a “debunked Harvard researcher David Hemenway” but Fake News™ goes along with manufactured research.

On January 12, nearly one week after a suspect gunned down unarmed, defenseless travelers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the New York Times argues that allowing law-abiding citizens to be armed for self-defense in unsecured areas of airports is “delusional.”

In other words, the contention that concealed carry permit holders would shoot back and stop the attack rather than collapse in fear and cry like children is crazy.

For a contrast to the view of the NYT, consider AWR Hawkins report: Armed Citizen Intervenes, Kills Suspect Beating AZ State Trooper on Roadside – “On January 12, an armed citizen stopped and killed a man who was beating an Arizona State Trooper on the side of I-10.”

Californicated Nevada is chipping in on the police pigs painting brouhaha. Andrew Craft: Dem reps want senator statue removed from Capitol over ‘xenophobia’ claims – This is rather ‘special’ as the statue was a project of Harry Reid. But who cares? That was then but now there’s a war on – for Democrats, at least. What they tear down is of little concern no matter what it is as long as it’s fodder for the current campaign against the evil opposition. Depths of depravity, anyone?

Nevada Reps. Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen and Jacky Rosen raised their objections in a letter to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. The request amounts to the latest battle over artwork on Capitol grounds, amid an ongoing and separate dispute over a student painting that portrays police officers as pigs.

McCarran served as a Democratic senator from 1933–1954 and was influential in promoting the advancement of aviation. Las Vegas’s international airport is named after him. He also was an ardent anti-communist and sponsored legislation enacting a quota on immigrants and was one of a few Democrats to oppose FDR’s New Deal program.

On the pauper president front is the report Chaffetz calls on ethics head to testify day after chief criticized Trump – ““I want to talk about the whole department,” Chaffetz said in an interview. “Mr. Shaub has taken a very aggressive stance on issues he’s never looked at. He’s raised a bunch of eyebrows.” Republican eyebrows, maybe, but that’s because a supposedly non-partisan bureaucrat is pushing a party line without any rationale or even any inspection of the issues. In this particular case we also have the usual behaviors:  “the congressman said Shaub refused to meet”; the ‘never enough from a Republican; silence on blatant issues of a Democrat; blaming revenge and evil Republicans (“political retaliation”).

Valerie Richardson picks up on what can be expected based on what has been put on the stage so far: Democrats hunker down for ‘permanent opposition’ to Donald Trump presidency – “For those stunned to see Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearing disrupted by shouts, chants and protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members: Get used to it.”

“You’re going to have a permanent opposition, sort of a combination of the news media and the Elizabeth Warren hard left, and they’re going to attack every single day and they’re going to find something to attack all the time,” Mr. Gingrich said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Nobody expects the losing party to celebrate after a presidential race, but political analysts say the postelection frenzy of fundraising, war rooms, protests and social media hysteria represents an alarming departure from the traditional stoic acceptance of years past.

“A democracy only works if the factions, the divisions are done peacefully and resolved peacefully, and compromises are made,” Mr. Horowitz said. “There’s a honeymoon after the election in which the losing party defends the legitimacy of the election result. That’s why we’ve had peace since the Civil War in this country.”

“The longer they go without coming to grips about what has happened over the last eight years with respect to the dissolution of the Democrat Party as a national party,” Mr. McKenna said, “that’s not good for anyone.”

Fixating on Mr. Trump also prevents Democrats from promoting a positive message for voters, especially if he winds up scoring policy victories early on in his administration.

“His job is to produce for the American people,” Mr. Gingrich said, “and frankly, to the degree that the Democrats decay into just being the anti-Trump party, they will keep themselves in the minority a long time.”

On that ‘civil war’ meme, read Thomas Lifson on Why the left hates Trump so intensely.

The intensity of the hatred for a newly elected president faced by Donald Trump is equaled only by the reaction of the Confederacy to the election of Abraham Lincoln. That ended up in civil war, a precedent that one hopes will not be equaled. But there has been a remarkable fury at people who do not shun Trump:

A useful perspective is to regard this as a religious conflict. Cults behave exactly the way the left is behaving when a member leaves the fold.

The real racists are showing that bending over backwards to accommodate them is fruitless. Seth McLaughlin: Congressional Black Caucus prepares for new role as ultimate Capitol Hill outsider – it’s called self segregation by irrational ideology that defies reality. It is condemned in that it is such a homogeneous racial group that 90% vote the same way. Going after Sessions with false allegations and stunning breaches of custom does not help their cause. Neither does insistence on choosing the police as antagonists despite the witness of reality.

Founded in 1971 by 13 members of the House, the caucus now has 49 members, including two in the Senate: Mr. Booker and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California.

The organization is perhaps the most powerful force within House Democrats, with its members holding an outsized share of ranking posts on committees.

That is partly because of seniority. The districts of many black lawmakers are protected under civil rights laws.

It is a protected and coddled minority. Just watch TV advertisements. You’d think more than half the country was a part of this racial group and they were all solid middle class families. That’s propaganda as well as coddling. Or consider this: Lady Liberty Portrayed as Woman of Color for 1st Time on US Currency. ‘Never far enough’ is typical for the Left.

As for the Senate Cabinet Nomination hearings, There is Corey Booker busting Senate custom with inane and racist bias, Kamala Harris working on climate and LGBT issues as priorities for the CIA, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s obsessing about anything HUD could do that might possibly benefit anything tainted by Trump in any way. By comparison with these senators, the nominees are looking like adults in a room full of children.

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1/4/2017: Media noose, Trump tactics, Democrat behavior, Techie moral preening, and Adieu to academia

Ken Blackwell: A media noose for Jeff Sessions – “He’s a white son of the South and that’s enough to justify a lynching.”

There’s only one reason why large news organizations invest so much time, energy and money — they sent reporters to Alabama, each of whom spent a week there — to do these biased stories, and it’s time someone said what it is. The reason is because someone, somewhere, deep down doesn’t believe a white man from Alabama should be the attorney general of the United States.

That’s every bit as racist as saying a black man from Chicago shouldn’t be president of the United States.

The anti-white, anti-southern racist obsession with which media organizations have pursued Mr. Sessions is a sign they have learned nothing from the presidential campaign, where we all witnessed their all-out opposition to Donald Trump.

Ace has more on this citing several other columns: This Is How the Media Dies: Not With a Bang But a Whine.

And he’s of course definitely right. The media are acting viciously and defensively precisely because they are defending the territory they’ve claimed for themselves by pissing all over the outskirts of it. They will not abide a challenge nor a chastening; they intend to “win” the argument they’ve been having for 40 years with 300 million Americans.

They won’t, but no one accepts a downward change in status gracefully and without embarrassing spectacle.

Thomas Lifson: House GOP capitulation to Trump ethics tweet is a really big deal – the key here is how direct outreach created influence that could not be ignored.

A Trump tweet was sufficient to generate thousands off outraged calls to members’ offices, an avalanche so potent that no politician would dare ignore it. In short order, like burglars caught in a powerful searchlight, they scuttled the plan and hoped that the whole thing would go away.

This is a reality that makes a good comparison and contrast with Jason Willick at A Leftist Who Gets It – (beware that American Interest is greedy and disrespectful of readers). This might also be considered projection in light of the manner of operation of the Obama administration.

The sophisticated case for optimism about a Trump presidency is that his unconventional political style and force of personality can break the cycle of stagnation and decay. But there is also a real danger that Trump’s hard-to-deny authoritarian impulses, operating against an exhausted political establishment and decaying political institutions, could pave the way for something much worse: A more personalistic style of politics, in which elites negotiate with one another for power and wealth unconstrained by the rule of law. This type of competitive authoritarianism seems to be on the rise all over the world.

Kurt Schlichter: For Democrats, 2017 Will Be The Year of Living Stupidly – predicting the future is usually an indicator of someone gone off the edge. That is when the prediction is based on questionable perception rather than a short extrapolation of current reality. Schlichter’s prediction shows both. It takes the current ‘off the edge’ predictions of the left and makes its own predictions extrapolating from there.

As 2016 ends, progressives enter the new year terrified that Donald Trump will continue to run circles around them, and their epic meltdown is only going to get more epically meltdownier. They’ve been shrill, stupid, and annoying for the last two months, but brace yourself for the next 12. Fear is going to make them go nuts – not the fear that Trump will be a failure, but the gut-wrenching, mind-numbing fear that Donald Trump will be a success.

The left is going to keep freaking out, and it may take well beyond the next 12 months for these losers to realize that it’s just not working, that they have hit bottom yet continued to dig.

We can expect more nonsense along these lines. Everything Trump does will draw howls of anguish. Courageous hashtags like #TheResistance will spread across Twitter. The traditional media will whine all the way down as it falls towards irrelevance. And Trump will march on, heedless of his critics. 2017 has the potential to be awesome.

Gerald K. McOscar: Let Democrats be Democrats – “The two camps are divided as much by opposing worldviews as by opposing political views.”

It is liberals, Ivy League-credentialed, sophisticated, tolerant, open-minded stewards of received wisdom and “settled” science, who are most impervious to facts and resistant to change. Ironically, these putative descendants of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason function in a world distorted, like a funhouse mirror, by emotion at the expense of reason.

With these respective worlds, so far apart, there is little room for critical thought or intelligent discourse. Mr. Trump will never reach détente with his critics. Thus, he has nothing to lose by doing precisely what he promised if elected.

Cooler heads in the liberal camp have suggested that Democrats stop pointing fingers. They have suggested several ways for their allies to tack closer to reality: stop being insufferable know-it-alls, venture beyond the east coast-west coast liberal echo chambers and extend a hand to folks in flyover country, attempt to give opponents the benefit of the doubt.

Napoleon said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

Republicans should pray without ceasing that Democrats continue to be Democrats.

More on this line by Ed Morrissey: Schumer: Trump better pick a mainstream Supreme Court nominee, or else. As Morrissey notes, the Democrats have made their bed with the Biden principles of 1992 and the Reid assaults on minority protections. They are now facing having to lie in the bed they made.

Then there’s Tyler O’Neil on 7 Desperate Liberal Lies About Trump’s Education Pick Betsy DeVos – the Senate Majority Leader is pointing out the contrast to how Republicans treated Obama’s nominees, too. And that doesn’t even get into the ‘dead wrong’ which so often typifies the Democrat’s attacks (Think Reid on the Senate Floor and his comments about Romney).

Every time President-elect Donald Trump names a cabinet pick, liberals have a field day— how can they paint a Trump pick as racist, elitist, extremist, and all-around evil? These attacks reached a fever pitch against Trump’s selection for secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. … Here are seven attacks liberals launched against her, and explanations of why they are dead wrong.

How about Fake News™ with motive? From an IBT editorial: The Russian Election Hacking Case Is Getting Murkier.

Jeffrey Carr, writing for the liberal site The Intercept, also blasted the DHS/FBI report, saying that it “adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC.”

He goes on to say that “this entire assignment of blame against the Russian government is looking more and more like a domestic political operation run by the White House that relied heavily on questionable intelligence generated by a for-profit cybersecurity firm with a vested interest.”

Added to these concerns is the fact that the mainstream press has been incredibly irresponsible in reporting on Russian actions during the election campaign.

All we do know is that Democrats — from President Obama on down — have an obvious vested interest in blaming Russia, even if there’s little actual evidence to support those accusations.

Jazz Shaw: Facebook’s fight against court issued warrants – he picks up on the moral preening absurdities in the techie community.

What Facebook is doing here is not protecting the privacy of their customers. It’s obstruction of justice. And their insistence on telling the suspects that the government was interested in their postings goes a step further since it could easily be considered aiding and abetting them in escaping prosecution if they immediately went back and deleted any old posts which might have related to Social Security fraud.

Between this and the fight with Apple over phone encryption, the modern tech sector has gotten completely out of hand. Simply owning control of the access to user data doesn’t make one exempt from the law and the government should be asking questions about Facebook at this point, not just the alleged criminals they may be providing cover for.

Steven Hayward: Judith Curry Bids Adieu To Academia – Why? She says: “The deeper reasons have to do with my growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists.” It’s time for another venue, one that isn’t so hidebound, bigoted, and leftist.

Betsy McCaughey: Why Medicare isn’t actually going bankrupt – some interesting factoids with implications on future planning.

Medicare spending on end-of-life care is dropping rapidly, down from 19 percent to 13 percent of the Medicare budget since 2000. … in truth, disability and chronic illness are declining among the elderly. … Scientists call this overall improvement in aging “compression of morbidity.” The elderly live longer, stay healthier and have shorter illnesses at the end of life.

The US Preventive Services Task Force … guidelines alarmingly resemble those of Britain, where patients over 75 are routinely denied knee replacements, mastectomies and other surgeries. It’s a slippery slope.

Medicaid spending now is nearing $8,000 per recipient. That’s thousands more than is spent on people in private plans. And for all that money, studies show Medicaid isn’t improving patients’ health.

By contrast, Medicare is a success story. It has transformed aging, enabling older Americans to lead longer, more independent lives than our grandparents did. The average man turning 65 today will live five years longer than in 1970. Not just more years. Quality years. What a gift.

And reports are that Obama has started putting troops in position facing Russia – yet it is Trump they worry about? It is going to be an interesting year.

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PotPourri Thursday 29 December 2016

Too many air passengers fly with phony support pets, critics say  by Jennifer Dixon , Detroit Free Press

How do airlines know whether these pets are true service animals and not impostors wearing an official-looking vest bought online for $39.99? The answer is, they don’t. Critics say many travelers claim their pets are service or emotional support animals because they don’t want to pay for them to travel.

“The law is so ambiguous the airlines don’t know what side to come down on. Everyone is afraid of the ramifications of not allowing someone equal access,” Haneline said.

He said blind people fought hard to get public access for their dogs, and that right is “diluted” by a proliferation of questionable service and support pets.

“It’s the Wild West,” Haneline said. “Animals are much more connected to our daily lives, and the last thing people want to do is put their dog into a pet carrier and put them in the hold of an airplane. This is kind of an easy way to (avoid that) without paying.”

13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

”Somebody once told me the definition of hell: “On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” — Anonymous

“Sometimes, to become successful, and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things, we need to give up on some of them.

“There are certain things that are universal, which, if you give up on them, you will be successful, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success.”

The photograph at the top of the essay looks like it might have come out of SierraNevadaAirstreams.org

Fact Checking John Kerry, the Man who Knows Everything but Understands Nothing by David Israel

“There’s something almost religious in Kerry’s repetition of the 2-state mantra, in the face of so much failure. It reminds one of the devout Communists of years past, who rejected the examples of Communism’s path of repression, violence and economic failure, arguing that in a place like the Soviet Union it wasn’t done right. If only its principles were applied the way Marx and Engels had intended them to be, you’d see…

“There are, in fact, many competing ideas, with their strengths and weaknesses, which claim to achieve the goal of resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict in an equitable manner – ideas John Kerry rejected out of hand Wednesday night, like a true believer.”

You can apply this observation to a whole raft of issues such as climate alarmism, too.

Fury as Charlie Sheen says Trump should be the next celebrity to die prompting backlash from web users calling him a ‘scumbag’ and a ‘useless cockroach’

It appears that a lot of folks are taking note of hypocritical depravity. The DailyMail.co.uk also has a list of celebrity deaths in 2016, almost fifty of them.

Ace notes another Obama goodbye: On Way Out the Door, Obama Administration Changes Rule So That Now Those Who Receive SSI Payments Will be Categorized Officially as “Mental Defectives” and Thus Flagged on Gun-Purchase Background Checks as Ineligible to Buy Guns – need to check into that to make sure it’s not Fake News™ but it does fit patterns. Jazz Shaw also notes Another 1.5M acre federal land grab: “These eleventh hour moves are becoming tedious and repetitive at this point … There was a time when we didn’t need to worry about “undoing” these sorts of actions. That’s because previous presidents acted on the honor system, exercising restraint and not attempting to bend the rules in order to advance their own agenda. Sadly, those days are gone.” Allahpundit adds a few more: “Obama has tried to “permanently” ban offshore drilling in certain parts of the Arctic and Atlantic and he ordered the dismantling of the NSEERS registry for visitors from terror countries, which Trump has talked of reviving. The biggest box-in, of course, is the review Obama has commissioned of Russian hacking operations during the election and the reprisals he’s planning (or has already ordered), both of which will make it harder for Trump politically to make nice with Putin next year. For all the nice-nice talk between the outgoing administration and the incoming one, Team O is doing what it can to screw Team Trump.” And, of course, Allahpundit has to show his TDS with an everyone does it logical fallacy: “But it goes both ways, too.”

John Sexton takes on a new idea for what Obama is leaving behind and notes the denial and tactics of the Democrats in Hey, maybe Obama should use recess appointments to pack the courts before leaving office

“What’s interesting about this article is that it seems to perfectly encapsulate a common line of thinking on the left these days. It goes like this: Republicans have violated all the norms and Democrats have held back and played by the rules. And this, some add, is why Democrats always lose.

“Needless to say, this is not quite how things have gone. The passage of Obamacare via reconciliation, the decision to use the nuclear option, the Senate Majority leaders lies about Mitt Romney’s taxes, the aforementioned “recess appointments” to the Labor Relations Board, the President’s unprecedented expansion of prosecutorial discretion under DACA, his kill list and use of drones against U.S. citizens, the payment of subsidies to insurers despite a requirement to make payments to the Treasury. Not to mention the Democrat-led attempts to request a blanket pardon for “dreamers,” to rally faithless electors to attempt to change the outcome of the election and to demand a special classified briefing for electors—all of which took place in the last month. Granted those last three didn’t work out but not for lack of trying.”

Roger Kimball takes a look at The Wages of Trump Derangement Syndrome:

“By now we have a bulging dossier of absurdity, a folder that would put a frown on the face of any mental-health professional. The incontinent displays of anger, anguish, and apocalyptic melodrama are evidence of a serious derangement. And the fact that the entire performance takes place in an unctuous jelly of narcissistic self-absorption makes one fear for the sanity of a large swathe of the privileged class.

“More and more, we doubt not just the explanations and rationalizations and imprecations and animadversions directed at the phenomenon of Donald Trump’s election. The scales have fallen from our eyes and we find that we don’t care about almost anything they have to say about any subject. That subtle unspoken contract of implicit trust — between news providers and news consumers, between pedagogues and students, between experts and the rest of us — that bond has been broken, that trust shattered.”

At Climate Depot is How To Tell Who’s Lying To You in Climate Debate: ‘Same method used by judges & juries’:

“If you are a reasonably intelligent person, and you are willing to spend a few hours on an issue, there is a very workable method to discern which side of a debate is not playing straight with you. This method is the same method generally used by judges and juries in deciding which side is going to win a trial. The method is this: look to which side has and provides the best answers to the hard questions posed by the other side. If one side refuses to answer hard questions, or is evasive, or refuses to provide the underlying methodology by which it came up with its answers, then that side has a problem. And rightfully so.

“I’ll give just a few examples of this phenomenon relevant to the climate change issue.”

“Real, honest scientists would gladly provide the full, unedited computer code that made the adjustments, and would answer any questions that would help an independent researcher to replicate the results.”

Victor Davis Hanson describes Fifteen Easy Ways to Ruin the Middle East :

President Obama had lots of choices in Middle East. Unfortunately he made all the wrong ones, guided by pop ideology rather than unwelcome facts on the ground. The result is chaos at best and millions dead or displaced at worst. It didn’t have to be this way. Here are 15 turning points since 2009. There is one common theme: bombastic self-serving declarations coupled with weak or nonexistent concrete follow-ups — all in a weird landscape of punishing friends and empowering enemies.

We do live in interesting times!

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Climate Conspiracy: bonkers? or may you’re not paranoid if they are really after you

This is a guest essay by Leo Goldstein at WWUT: The Command & Control Center of Climate Alarmism.

As one environmental activist explained it to me, “climate change isn’t just an issue anymore, it’s the issue, a meta-issue for everything we work on” (Interview, Danish 92 Group, 2009).

Starting in 1989, these organizations came together to form a coalition: the Climate Action Network (CAN). CAN was founded as a vehicle for transnational coordination among sixty-three organizations. … Much of CAN’s efforts promoted the work of the IPCC and helped establish its centrality in the international climate regime. … In fact, CAN consolidated its coalition structure during this period [1990’s] by creating a high-level political group to facilitate policy and strategic coordination among member groups.

Central to CAN’s advocacy has been the idea that member organizations must “speak with one voice” to influence the international negotiations.

… the members are organized in a top-down fashion, like military units, not volunteer organizations.

America is specifically targeted, and the new enemy perceives our Constitutional political system with its “separation of powers and weak political parties” as a weakness to be exploited, apparently repeating mistakes of America’s past enemies.

… explains its ability to forcibly spread a perfectly synchronized message, despite its internal inconsistencies, disagreements with high school science, and frequent flip-flops in response to shifting international alliances and focus group research results.

… The presence of front groups, which often pop up from nowhere and catapult to the focus of media attention, is another telltale sign.

… CAN was founded in 1989, but it took about a decade and a half for climate alarmism to become the main ideological glue for multiple transnational and international groups. Accordingly, the consolidation of power into the hands of a few has been happening gradually.

… Centralized financing of climate alarmism goes hand-in-hand with centralized command & control. Today, most climate alarmism money comes from the public sectors of the US and EU. In the past, the EGA was a large factor. Money from the primary sources is laundered and transferred between climate alarmism units in various ways. The following tables are from an official legal complaint in 5:16-cv-211-C, verified under penalty of perjury.

Interesting that after reading a WW II battle story centered on the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop, I see a similar analysis about climate alarmism. Goldsteing offers Observation in response to a propaganda campaign. He is up against ‘the incredible claim needs incredible evidence’ axiom. That particular axiom tends to be used as a weapong by the propagandists and alarmists yet Goldstein appears to be up to the challenge no matter how ridiculous it gets.

This should also be considered in light of the Steyn v Mann free speech court case and how that is being twisted. One of the factors in that case was the email message leak that did show collusion if not outright conspiracy.

The facts about the Emporer’s New Clothes are becoming known. That may produce results.

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The Apollo Astronauts on Christmas

It’s Instapundit as the source is behind a Wall Street Journal obnoxious wall.

It happened on Christmas Eve, 48 years ago. Three men took turns reading from the first 10 verses of the Book of Genesis. They were nearly 250,000 miles away from Bethlehem, but since it was the night before Christmas, and there was no chimney from which to hang their stockings, the three astronauts inside the Apollo 8 capsule orbiting the moon thought it would be appropriate. So as Jim Lovell,Frank Borman and Bill Anders looked at the faraway Earth through the small window of the spacecraft, they read the verses: “In the beginning, God made the heavens and the Earth.”

Their distant-sounding voices from far beyond our atmosphere were broadcast live to the whole planet that night over radio and television. It was one of those moments that brought the world together, that helped us to see our common humanity as children of God whom he loves equally, and whom he placed on the beautiful planet that he made.

Seven months after this extraordinary event, in July 1969, another NASA spacecraft, Apollo 11, carried two astronauts to the surface of the moon itself. One of them, Commander Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, thought he might do something similar to mark what was certainly an epochal moment in the history of our race.

After the Eagle had landed and he and Neil Armstrong sat in the Lunar Module, Mr. Aldrin said this over the radio:

“This is the LM pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, read a Bible verse, and took communion. For reasons he explains in his own account, none of this was made public until Mr. Aldrin wrote about it in Guideposts magazine the following year:

“In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.”

Then Mr. Aldrin read Jesus’ words from the Gospel of John: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.” He explained that he had wanted to read this over the radio back to Earth, but at the last minute NASA asked him not to because the agency was in a legal battle with the outspoken atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. As it happened, she was suing over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis on Christmas Eve. And that of course is why so few people have heard of this amazing story.

I sometimes wonder what’s more amazing, this story—or the fact that so few people know about it.

Even back then, the effort was to quash Christians and everything they stand for. This year, there is a bit of pushback. Merry Christmas is back in vogue and those who want to silence such words and what they represent are getting heat. A stolen Nativity scene was replace by people placing empty cribs in its place.  The spirit and message of Christ is still in hearts and minds and expression.

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Free Speech vs Climate Alarmists

Jonathan H. Adler provides a good overview of the situation as Making Defamation Law Great Again: Michael Mann’s suit may continue.

While a direct accusation of scientific fraud may be actionable — particularly when made against a non-public figure — challenges to scientific conclusions and interpretations of scientific studies are clearly protected by the First Amendment. So are erroneous interpretations of scientific conclusions and — particularly relevant here — criticisms of the conclusions of investigatory bodies.

In refusing to dismiss claims against Steyn and Simberg, the D.C. Court of Appeals placed tremendous weight on the fact that Penn State and other institutions investigated Mann and did not find evidence of academic misconduct. Yet it is the alleged inadequacy of Penn State’s investigation that was the focus of the very posts at issue.

It cannot be that once some official body has conducted an investigation of an individual’s conduct, that further criticism of that individual, including criticism that expressly questions the thoroughness or accuracy of the investigatory body, is off limits. … The court’s approach is particularly problematic here because both Simberg and Steyn offered reasoned (if also intemperate) explanations for why they did not credit the investigations and why they believed that these investigations failed to uncover the misconduct they believe occurred. Yet according to the court, the existence of these investigations could be sufficient for a jury to find, by “clear and convincing evidence,” that they acted with actual malice.

Mark Steyn calls it a Walking in a Legal Wonderland.

Santa has come early and left a lump of coal in my stocking

I was not a party to the appeal, mainly because I’d concluded – after spending the autumn of 2013 listening to two trial judges issuing competing rulings on the same case – that the DC courts were a proceduralist swamp and we might as well move straight to trial. That view of DC’s dysfunction was subsequently confirmed by the lethargy of the Court of Appeals. A month before the appeal’s third anniversary, the court has now issued a very belated ruling as a Christmas Eve news dump. You can read the full order here.

The takeaway is that Mann’s suit against National Review editor (and my old boss) Rich Lowry has been dismissed, but those against me and Rand Simberg will proceed

You won’t be surprised to hear that I disagree with their ladyships. The “sufficient evidence” Dr Mann has supplied are a series of mendacious claims to have been “investigated” and “exonerated” by multiple Anglo-American bodies that did, in fact, do neither.

So I was right not to bother with this proceduralist bollocks

The purpose of the whole sclerotic racket of American jurisprudence is to obstruct up-and-down trials with a nice clean guilty/not-guilty final score, and instead bury the thing in proceduralist flimflammery only the experts can follow.

Then there’s this in another Mark Stetn post

Spot on. It reminds me of the old joke about the procedure for separating the sane from the insane, back when there were “mental asylums” and society tried to keep crazy people inside them instead of running the country.

The intake assessment involved giving each patient a mop and bucket, then locking them in a room and slowly flooding it with water.

As the water level rose, the insane went to work with the mop and bucket.

The sane located the valve and turned off the water.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Rick Darby

Then there’s Greg Laden: Michael Mann Wins Court Decision (Updated with statement by Mann)

The brief version is this: Mann sued the National Review and others over defamation. That’s a good suit and he’ll probably eventually win it. Climate science deniers have been trying to paint that as a frivolous suit for years, but it isn’t.

This is the sixth out of six decisions that have come down in favor of science

What gets interesting in that is the idea that using the logical fallacies of appeal to authority and ‘vox populi’ (many voices) are good science. The authority is the one that was subject to questioning by Steyn that prompted the lawsuit and the many voices is the “decisions” referenced.

This history condemns both the judicial system and the science establishment by illustrating how a lawsuit can be used to bully opposition and how reason and intellectual integrity can be tossed aside for political ideology.

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Understanding idolatry in science

Thomas P. Sheahen picks up on Idolatry in Science. He starts with a previous Pope (the current one is not helpful in these matters).

One of the enduring controversies over the years has been the purported conflict between science and religion. An alternate view is that religion and science are complimentary paths to knowledge, not opponents at all.

Pope John Paul II, circa 1987: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.”

there is a remarkably concise definition of idolatry: “confusing your own concept (or model or image) with the actual reality.”

Whether in Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism or any other religion, that’s a pretty clear warning not to think that your own understanding of God is fully accurate.

The factor that saved physics is the predominance of observational data over theory. Richard Feynman’s famous quote is taught to every grad student: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

Sheahen gets stuck on “A large majority are convinced that this model represents nature perfectly” when talking about scientists and accepted theories. He brings in physicists on classical mechanics and biologists as evolution as his foil. In doing this, he weakens his argument. He would do better to after the quacks who don’t understand quantum mechanics and the creationists who don’t understand evolution. Both of these theories do adhere to “actual reality” within a scope that a proper scientist understands and the engineer or technician that creates innovations based on these theories accommodates. 

The key here is idolatry and climate alarmism is one effort to rationalize an idol with a science brand. It is too bad that the author weakens his argument by trying to impugn actual science with religious dissonance. John Paul II describes how science and religion can hold each other to account and that is a fundamental reason why Western Cultures were able to build on both. The message goes both ways: if you disdain science because of religion or disdain religion because of science, you also disdain the accountability needed for human intellectual growth.

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Tactics

Exposure and analysis is a good way to learn. That is why it is good to see tactics, especially dishonest tactics, being discussed. Francis Menton provides an example in The Impending Collapse Of The Global Warming Scare.

If you want fundraising in the billions rather than the thousands, you need a good end-of-days, sin-and-redemption scare. Human-caused global warming is your answer!

Even as this scare has advanced, a few lonely voices have warned that the radical environmentalists were taking the movement out onto a precarious limb.

Now, enter President-elect Trump. During the campaign, as with many issues, it was hard to know definitively where Trump stood.

So, was he proposing business-as-usual with a few tweaks, or would we see a thorough-going reversal of Obama’s extreme efforts to control the climate by fossil fuel restrictions?

With the recently announced appointments, this is starting to come very much into focus.

So what can we predict about where the climate scare is going? Among members of the environmental movement, when their heads stop exploding, there are plenty of predictions that this will be terrible for the United States: … I see it differently. I predict a high likelihood of substantial collapse of the global warming movement, both domestically and internationally, over the course of the next couple of years.

EPA is supposedly where that science is vetted and approved on behalf of the public before being turned into policy. In fact, under Obama, EPA’s principal role on the “science” has been to prevent and stifle any debate or challenge to global warming orthodoxy.

essentially all prominent global warming alarmists refuse to debate anyone who challenges any aspect of their orthodoxy. Well, that has worked as long as they and their allies have controlled all of the agencies and all of the money. Now, it will suddenly be put up or shut up.

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years.

If the multi-tens-of-billions per year funding gusher for global warming alarmism quickly dries up, the large majority of the people living on these handouts will have no choice but to go and find something productive to do.

Avoidance of debate is a tactic. Failing to show cause when called upon to do so by proper authority is a tactic. Calling those who disagree with you names is a tactic. 

It appears that these tactics are being exposed and the parties involved are being called to account. Let the debate, the actual debate, begin!

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A proper defense is being requested

There were two items in the blogs this morning regarding the inspection of methods and practice in governmental science. One was about a legal aid society formed to assist climatologists with harrassment, especially in regards to FOIA requests. That was worded in a neutral way but it was clear that the focus was on establishment, government funded, scientists being harrassed by idiots. It did provide good advice about keeping records, separating personal and public records properly, and following laws regarding disclosure and transparency.

The second item illustrates the fact gathering approach of the Trump transition team. Kate cites The Trump transition team has issued a list of 74 questions for the Energy Department

The questionnaire requests a list of those individuals who have taken part in international climate talks over the past five years and “which programs within DOE are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.”

[…] The document spanned a broad area of Energy Department activities, including its loan program, its technology research program, responses to Congress, estimates of offshore wind and cleanup of uranium at a site once used by the military for weapons research.

One question zeroed in on the issue of the “social cost of carbon,” a way of calculating the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions. The transition team asked for a list of department employees or contractors who attended interagency meetings, the dates of the meetings, and e-mails and other materials associated with them.

Another question appeared to delve deeply into the mechanisms behind scientific tools called “integrated assessment models,” which scientists use to forecast future changes to the climate and energy system. It also asked what the Energy Department considers to be “the proper equilibrium climate sensitivity,” which is a way researchers calculate how much the planet will eventually warm, depending upon the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

“My guess is that they’re trying to undermine the credibility of the science that DOE has produced, particularly in the field of climate science,” said Rob Jackson, a Stanford climate and energy researcher.

“With physics.”

A fundamental responsibility of a scientist is to teach. That is different from preach. A good teacher explains why something is the way it is, how the understanding developed, what assumptions are involved, the accuracy and precision of the measures and their influence on conclusions, and the logic and reasoning chains behind conclusions. This is what science is all about: learning through rigorous means that can be passed on to others who will test its credibility and strength by building on that learning.

Both of these items are asking for proper teaching. Both illustrate that there has been a lot of resistance to this scientific responsibility. A change is in the wind and a proper defense of ideas is being requested. It is time for establishment, government funded, scientists to step up to their responsibilities.

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Creating reality by innuendo and allegation: Russian Spies!

More on the Fake News(tm) in efforts to build a reality to rationalize, excuse, and explain: Glenn Greenwald describes that the Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence.

(1) Nobody has ever opposed investigations to determine if Russia hacked these emails, nor has anyone ever denied the possibility that Russia did that. The source of contention has been quite simple: No accusations should be accepted until there is actual convincing evidence to substantiate those accusations.

There is still no such evidence for any of these claims. What we have instead are assertions, disseminated by anonymous people, completely unaccompanied by any evidence, let alone proof. As a result, none of the purported evidence — still — can be publicly seen, reviewed, or discussed. Anonymous claims leaked to newspapers about what the CIA believes do not constitute proof, and certainly do not constitute reliable evidence that substitutes for actual evidence that can be reviewed. Have we really not learned this lesson yet?

(2) The reasons no rational person should blindly believe anonymous claims of this sort — even if it is pleasing to believe such claims — should be obvious by now.

Many of those incidents demonstrate, as hurtful as it is to accept, that these agencies even lie when there’s a Democrat overseeing the executive branch. Even in those cases when they are not deliberately lying, they are often gravely mistaken. Intelligence is not a science, and attributing hacks to specific sources is a particularly difficult task, almost impossible to carry out with precision and certainty.

Beyond that, what makes claims from anonymous sources so especially dubious is that their motives cannot be assessed.

Most important of all, the more serious the claim is — and accusing a nuclear-armed power of directly and deliberately interfering in the U.S. election in order to help the winning candidate is about as serious as a claim can get — the more important it is to demand evidence before believing it.

This last is fundamental: The more significant the finding the stronger its support needs to be. Whether it is Reid’s claims about Romney’s taxes or the claims of climate alarmists or even the “irredeemable basket of deplorables” or the idea that money alone will buy an election or a politician, the support needs to match the claim. That is why “no rational person” should buy into claims such as ‘the Russians did it.’

Did the Russians hack into Democrats computer systems to feed Wikileaks? Did the Russians hack into voting machines to tilt the election? Did either of these phenomena change the outcome? We know that Podesta was ‘hacked’ by a common social engineering trick. We know that Clinton bypassed established security protocols in communications. We know that there are many thousands of voting machines of many different types that are not susceptible to a common point of attack and also that the voting results do not show any anomalies to support distortions in the vote. 

But it is easy to borrow from the Cold War fears and say “The Russians Did It!” and feel comfortable that a loss was not due to a failed candidate despite sinking massive campaign spending on trying to prove otherwise. Finding blame doesn’t solve problems and the outcome of the election appears to be, more than anything else, an expression of frustration that problems were not being solved or even properly addressed. It is rational to try something different when one approach isn’t working and that is what the electorate did, Russians or no.

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psychology of belief

The context is a Canadian Journal and LGBT activism and the topic is free speech. ‘We’re teaching university students lies’ – An interview with Dr Jordan Peterson by Jason Tucker and Jason VandenBeukel on December 1, 2016. There are many ideas and they are rather scattered as in the nature of a conversation. Another celebrity case concerning free speech in Canada is that of Mark Stein’s. While the U.S. is in the bullying stage on this, Canada appears to be one step further along. Dr. Peterson is on the receiving end, too, and here is a sampler of some of his thoughts.

My primary interest has always been the psychology of belief. … I was particularly interested in what led people to commit atrocities in service of their belief.

what I was learning in economics and political science was just not correct. There was too much emphasis placed on the idea that economic interests were the prime motivators for human beings, and that was not obvious to me at all. I was spending a lot of time thinking about the Cold War, and the Cold War was not primarily an economic issue.

One of Jung’s propositions was that whatever a person values most highly is their god. If people think they are atheistic, it means is they are unconscious of their gods.

I’ve learned that you cannot remember what you don’t understand. People don’t understand the Holocaust, and they don’t understand what happened in Russia.

Part of the reason I got embroiled in this [gender identity] controversy was because of what I know about how things went wrong in the Soviet Union. Many of the doctrines that underlie the legislation that I’ve been objecting to share structural similarities with the Marxist ideas that drove Soviet Communism.

The thing is if you replace compassion with resentment, then you understand the authoritarian left. They don’t have compassion, there is no compassion there. There’s no compassion at all. There is resentment, fundamentally.

If you stop talking to people, you either submit to them, or you go to war with them. Those are your options and those aren’t good options. It’s better to have a talk. If you put restrictions on speech, then you can’t actually talk about the difficult things that need to be talked about. I have about 20,000 hours of clinical practice and all I do for 20 hours a week is talk to people about difficult things – the worst things that are going on in their lives. These are hard conversations all the time. The conversations that are the most curative are simultaneously the ones that are most difficult and most dangerous.

There’s also this idea that you shouldn’t say things that hurt people’s feelings – that’s the philosophy of the compassionate left. It’s so childish it’s beyond comprehension. What did Nietzsche say: ‘you can judge a man’s spirit by the amount of truth he can tolerate.’

Now groups that were discriminated against. What are you going to do about it? The only societies that are not slave societies are western enlightenment democracies. That’s it. Compared to utopia, it sucks. But compared to everywhere else – people don’t emigrate to the Middle East to live there, and there’s good reason for that.

He can see what is in front of him. Much of what passes for academic pursuit now sounds like Radio Moscow back in the 70’s. That prompted his interest in what it is that drives humans to such a committed investment in false and destructive paradigms. As this sampler indicates, he is synthesizing many observations and ideas of others. There is a lot of truth to be contemplated.

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Why did he get elected? Climate alarmists show why.

There is a lot of talk that it was hubris, a contempt for fly-over country, and that “basket of deplorables” mentality had something to do with the Trump victory. Eric Worrall says the Climate Establishment Hopeful Trump will Betray the Trust of the American People and his sources illustrate the point.

The climate establishment is expressing hope that President Trump will treat the wishes of the American people, and the promises he made to the voters who supported him, with the same contempt and disregard which they themselves feel for the needs of ordinary people.

I suspect we’re seeing the beginning of a global attempt to pressure President Trump into watering down his electoral commitments, but I also think they have chosen the wrong President to try to bully – President Trump is not an unprincipled professional sellout like some of his predecessors.

A part of setting the stage was in establishing Trump as a ‘Hitler’ and this is also being discussed, both in terms of it being a tactic that is getting stale and in terms of its driving fear and anxiety in some social circles – particularly in higher education.

Worrall also provides a copy of Trump’s Contract with America to show what it is that has the left up in arms. It provides a solid refutation of the meme that nobody was working issues in the campaign – but then, if the issues are not those that fit your world view, denying they exist is one way to deal with your angst. But they continue to exist and now reality is meeting desire. What that dissonance does is to up the ante and that is why we see riots one the one end and hubris and scheming on the other.

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Quackery: QM edition and warrior despair

Luboš Motl comments on a popular YouTube video. It is just another of many that engage in quackery. Weinberg’s new calls for an overhaul of quantum mechanics.

But I have largely surrendered. It makes no sense to write new explanations why oil droplets are nothing like quantum mechanics because a few thousand people read my texts, only a fraction understands it, while millions of stupid people want to hear something else than the correct physical proofs of the truth. They want something that confirms their stupid prejudices and their fundamental misunderstandings of modern science.

And it’s not just this basket of one million of morons who have watched the aforementioned bogus video. As they are getting senile, numerous star physicists are helping to amplify this idiocy as well.

It’s always risky to evaluate any scientific theory in terms of any philosophical prejudices. But it’s even more hopeless to evaluate a 20th century physical theory in terms of 17th, 18th, or 19th century philosophical prejudices – which is exactly what Weinberg is doing. Your philosophical prejudices have nothing to do with the bulk of the 20th century. They’ve been known to be wrong since 1925. Fifty years ago, you knew that but due to some saddening process, you ceased to know that. Now you can very well watch the video saying “quantum mechanics is oil droplets” and upvote it.

Classic rant. It’s what happens when reason, reality and logic encounter the mass of stupidity and ignorance and human cognition. Motl explains the nature of QM very well for the ‘layman’ in illustrating why he feels defeated. So this rant has a bonus if you are looking for scientific literacy. 

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The nature of knowledge, the temptations of the devil.

Sarah Hoyt says the first effect of not believing in God, is to believe in anything. She refers to David French on how Our Post-Christian Culture Often Replaces Faith with Nonsense.

use extreme caution when applying even the most popular psychological concepts to your personal life, to the corporate world, and to public policy. Even the most confidently stated assumptions can be wrong.

So why tie this phenomenon back to faith? Why bring Christianity into the equation? It’s simple. For generations Americans have been taught by word and deed that there is a better way, that the lessons of the Judeo-Christian tradition should be discarded as so much oppressive hocus-pocus. Ancient moral teachings aren’t just false, they’re destructive. With my own eyes I’ve seen Christians — even pastors — refuse to make cultural and moral arguments based on scripture alone. Unless science is also on their side, they’ll keep quiet. Science, after all, is the universal language. Faith is divisive. In reality, “science” is often leading us astray — and for reasons that the biblically literate can easily predict. It turns out that human beings are self-interested, that we’re drawn to quick fixes and splashy results. It turns out that we’re mistake-prone and often make entirely arbitrary judgments. And it turns out that we really, really like to see results that confirm our own righteousness and virtue. In other words, scientists don’t offer an escape from the fallen world; they’re part of the fallen world.

A stimulus for this thinking is recent discoveries that ‘ego depletion’ experiments were not reliable and that led to realizing that many studies in psychology and sociology were also rather difficult to support with consistent experimental results. That realization has put these fields in question that ties into the suspicion and dissonance that results from investigations that disrupt fantasies. There is no discrimination between ‘soft’ results as often is the case in psychology and sociology and ‘hard’ results as is often the case in engineering and physics. This pressure is particularly evident and important in medicine where the ‘hard’ evidence encounters the softer stuff and that leaves room for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) that has no founding in reality but consumes attention and effort and funds to the detriment of healing. 

In religious terms, this is the commandment about false witness. In science, this witness is the truth of God as witnessed by observation and measurement. Critical to this witness is accepting the frailties of humans and that means understanding the limits of observation and measurement. That is why classes in science dwell on accuracy and precision in measurement and why the tools used for aggregate measures (e.g. statistics) emphasize error probabilities and why matters of bias and procedure are important. A proper scientist is one who pays attention to the temptations of false witness and is aware that Truth is only partially visible. That awareness guides the skepticism of a religious scientist.

There are many examples of people who succumb to the temptation of the devil. The creationism ‘debate’ is one example where God’s word laid down in the world around us is contested with an interpretation of human words. The anthropogenic climate alarmism is another topic where underlying fears, political power, and income streams undermine integrity. Even Heisenberg’s observations about quantum mechanics gets twisted in extrapolations to Newtonian scale mechanics. “The first effect of not believing in God, is to believe in anything” is on display. Will we learn?

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