Archive for January, 2015

FUD Football

Joseph C. Maroon and Julian E. Bailes Jr. are neurosurgeons Weighing the childhood risks of contact sports who think that “Staying on the sidelines carries far more health danger than getting into the game.”

“Fear has created a market for concussion information and products, and the media is overreacting to sensational but unsubstantiated pronouncements and factoids. The anti-football hype is so prevalent that even Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, George Will, asserted, “For all players who play five or more years, life expectancy is less than 60; for linemen it is much less,” without as much as a footnote. It’s a shocking statistic but it’s not an accurate one. Research shows that retired NFL players are living as least as long as their peers and have lower rates of cancer and heart disease.”

“Organized sports are a bulwark against the very real health risks associated with childhood obesity such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease. These benefits are critical to the health and development of our youth and they serve to show the need for a more balanced approach to how we address the safety of our kids playing contact sports. Unfortunately, participation in youth football nationally and high school football in many regions of the country have substantially fallen in recent years.”

Couple health and children and you have a ripe field for spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt to feed a “we must do something, anything” movement. Consequences and implications and even reality go to the back of the bus. The costs can be horrific.

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The Busy Body Brigade

Fingers Malloy says No, there shouldn’t be a law.

“I call them the Busybody Brigade (The BB for short). The Left’s army of activists who look for problems that don’t actually exist, and solve them with restrictions that don’t actually work.

Their motto: “There should be a law….”

They are meddlesome. They are relentless. And they are on a quest to influence almost every decision you make, from sunrise to sunset. It’s all in an attempt to “better the collective” and control your life.”

“The arbitrary outrage of the BB is a lesson in cognitive dissonance. These are the same people who insisted that Dick Cheney was violating their privacy and personally reading all of their emails, yet they are fine with someone rummaging through their garbage cans to monitor what they are throwing out.”

Yeah, he’s the Snark Factor guy but he does have a point. Doesn’t the Busy Body Brigade have something more important to do – like get an education and make a life?

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Increasing the heat

With the lack of results of various Congressional inquiries over the last few years, one could wonder if either there was no substance to investigate or if there was something else going on. It is beginning to appear to be the latter. Frontpage Mag says Gowdy Comes Out Swinging. It appears that obstructions to fruitful investigation are being called.

“Rep. Trey Gowdy came out swinging at Tuesday’s hearing of his Select Committee, laying into Democrats for playing political games and blasting the State Department for refusing to produce documents and for preventing witnesses from testifying before the committee.”

“By putting up a website called “Asked and Answered” before the Select Committee had even held its first hearing, the Democrats “instantly prejudged facts that are not yet in evidence,” Gowdy wrote.”

“Many of the so-called answers the Democrats provide to nagging questions on Benghazi answer nothing at all.”

“In a classic straw man argument, the Democrats accuse Republicans of claiming that Secretary of State Clinton personally “ordered” Defense Secretary Panetta to “stand down” an ongoing rescue attempt. That obviously didn’t happen; and no credible source has alleged that.”

There is a lot of defense going on and that means that the offense needs to use more force to clear the way. That can be painful but it must be done else: Argentina (for example). The new Congress is showing some indications that the tolerance shenanigans might be reduced.

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Propaganda machine: warmist year evva’ ??

Luboš Motl describes why NOAA, NASA: 2014 was probably not the warmest year on our recordA direct proof that the professional alarmists are intentionally lying. It’s a basic matter of the science of measurement and intentional misrepresentation.

“the two questions are: how much do the error margins of the NOAA, NASA temperature records matter? And if they change the answer to the question whether 2014 was the warmest one, did they know about this fact when they loudly announced that “2014 was the warmest year” or did they overlook that detail?

“The answer is that the answer is heavily affected by the error margins and NASA, NOAA knew that – but were careful to get the wrong answer to the media.”

“The tweet by Gavin Schmidt is a simple example of mass manipulation in action. They publish some of the correct yet inconvenient clarifications at places where almost no one reads – the press conference was attended by a small number of people, Schmidt has a few thousand Twitter followers, almost no one reads the bulk of the IPCC reports etc. – while at the places which matter because millions of people read them, they always post the distortions, oversimplifications, and downright lies.

“This combination of strategies allows them to say that they “did release the truth”. However, they are careful that they only speak the truth when almost no one listens.”

The headlines were sufficient for any but the most gullible to wonder about. Delving just a bit deeper revealed that the claim was based on just 0.02C temperature difference and that the satellite record told a different story. The history of the alarmist climate assertions should also give pause. Perhaps that is why the offense is so offensive to intellectual integrity?

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Like cats in a bag

Liz Peek says Give Boehner a break: GOP Speaker brings real leadership to 114th Congress.

“Only Republicans could celebrate one of the great moments in the party’s history by falling on each other like cats in a laundry bag. Weeks after securing one of the GOP’s most convincing electoral sweeps, Tea Partiers in the House, egged on by the likes of Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, decided to humiliate Speaker John Boehner by rallying to elect one of their own.

“They failed, but in the process they gave wounded Democrats ample fodder for ridicule. They also steered the narrative away from the popular programs mainstream Republicans hope to pursue and that Americans hunger for.

“The pundit chorus should stand down. While they were sniping over his tactics, the New York Times reports that Boehner participated in some 150 campaign events during 2014, raised $102 million — and transferred $23 million from his own political action committee to the National Republican Campaign Committee. That GOP majority that conservatives accuse Boehner of squandering — he helped build it.”

When your think your enemy is your own right foot, it shouldn’t surprise you that you can’t compete in the race.

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Nobody so blind as he who won’t see

Someone defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That seems to be a chosen mode of operation in some political corners these days. For an example, see ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’: A Q&A with Peter Wallison on the 2008 financial crisis and why it might happen again

“Legislation can only be effective if it is drawn up by a Congress that understands the nature of the problem it is supposed to solve. Dodd-Frank was based on the false idea that the 2008 financial crisis was caused by insufficient regulation of the private sector. This narrative supported what the 2010 Democratic Congress wanted to accomplish—the imposition of much greater regulation on the US financial system—but did not come close to identifying or addressing the government policies that were the actual cause of the crisis. Indeed, by absolving the government from any role in the crisis, the supporters of Dodd-Frank left the government free to do the same thing again—something that is occurring right before our eyes. The president’s proposal last week to reduce the FHA’s insurance premiums, and the FHFA’s ruling that Fannie Mae and Freddie should accept 3% down payments on mortgages, are only the most recent examples that we are on our way to repeating a very sad history.”

“The key question is whether the American people have learned that it was the government’s housing policies, and not the risk-taking and greed of the private sector, that caused the 2008 financial crisis. With that understood, we can have a genuine national debate on whether the US should continue a government role in the housing finance system. At the moment, the signs are not good.”

It does sound so nice – for everyone to be able to own their own home. The problem occurs when it is decided that the government is the agent to be used to accomplish this idea. Then, when the results of that effort hit home, the ‘sounds nice’ crowd get into rationalizations that choose an ‘evil capitalist’ to explain the failure. That continues to downward spiral of solving the wrong problem, creating more problems, and spending ever more resources on solutions to the wrong problems.

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A tremor in the force

Pope Francis raises eyebrows.

How are we to explain that at the very moment that the oldest Christian communities in the world are being violently destroyed; that while Christians are murdered, raped and tortured in Africa and the Middle East; and while horrific barbarities are committed daily in the name of God, the pope issues an encyclical and travels around the world to talk about climate change?

Senator Marco Rubio, a practicing Catholic, put it succinctly:

“I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy.”

In the long run, this will bring down the Church — just as it has mainstream Protestantism and non-Orthodox Judaism — as well as diminish decency on earth.

It is, moreover, clear that the pope has been so influenced by leftism that he appears to know only the propaganda, not the science. For example, the typhoon in the Philippines had nothing to do with global warming. The leading science journal, Nature, wrote as much:

“Did climate change cause Typhoon Haiyan? There is limited evidence that warming oceans could make superstorms more likely.”

Unfortunately, however, being a wonderful person doesn’t mean you will be a wonderful pope. Any Catholic who tweets, “Inequality is the root of social evil,” as Pope Francis did last March, should be a socialist prime minister, not a Christian leader. The moral message of every Bible-based religion is that the root of evil is caused by poor character and poor moral choices, not by economics. The pope’s tweet is from Marx, not Moses.

Dennis Prager on Pope Francis, the Climate and Leftism.

It is interesting that a Typhoon is the stimulus. A friend who owns a farm in the Phillipines one described the lack of preparedness of his neighbors for such well known hazards as the occasional typhoon. He didn’t think that the sort of preparedness typical for natural disaster typical in the U.S., would work in the Phillipines. That is because un-prepared neighbors would soon be at the door of the prepared farm demanding largess. There is moral failing there, both in terms of lack of preparedness and in respecting neighbors that is much more in line with a Pope’s purview than a fantasy about human caused typhoons. The moral lesson of the story about the three little pigs seems to have been lost with many other lessons from Western Culture.

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The year when the facts died?

First up is Lamont Colucci who describes what he calls the Red Puritans and concludes:

“The crackup is coming, and it won’t be the rapture the Red Puritans have prepared for. The new Garden of Eden, which would have a smaller human population living in harmony with an untamed wilderness, is not on the horizon. The paradox they preach by using absolute terms to worship at the altar of relativism cannot endure. The Orwellian nature of their totalitarian dream is beginning to crumble, but they won’t go without a fight. They will continue their crusade until it becomes abundantly clear how morally bankrupt they are, but the beginning of the end is looming.”

Then Maureen Dowd is used as the poster child by Tammy Bruce.

“Facts do tend to be pesky things, as Ms. Dowd and the rest of The New York Times crew found in 2014. After years of morally superior, self-righteous preening, they had a problem: Judith Miller was proven right about WMD in Iraq. Revealed in a 2010 Wikileaks document dump, The New York Times finally wrote a 10,000 word story on “abandoned chemical weapons” in Iraq as it became evident our troops continued to be injured by them and their existence could no longer be denied.”

The premise is the same, “the crackup is coming” in those “Red Puritans” as the defense crumbles and extreme tactics must be used to maintain the facade.

“The now-consumed 2014 has been perfectly described by some commentators as the year when facts died. Politicians, mobs in the streets and their willing accomplices in the media swamped us with lies, obfuscations or riots manifest because, as author Thomas Sowell has noted, “What matters today is how well you can concoct a story that fits people’s preconceptions and arouses their emotions. Politicians like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, professional demagogues like Al Sharpton and innumerable irresponsible people in the media have shown that they have great talent in promoting a lynch mob.”

For some, the facts have never lived so how can they die? How do the rest of us protect ourselves from these ‘Red Puritans’ when they do not share even a value such as a need for intellectual integrity with us?

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Who is exhibiting “rage, hysteria and denial”?

Hinderaker deconstructs a gun control rant and concludes

“The factual propositions asserted by the New Yorker are not “inarguable.” On the contrary, they are argued all the time. But to participate in the argument, you have to know some facts. And note that, despite the final reference to “legislation,” no such proposed legislation has been articulated. From context, I think we can infer that the author wants to ban semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines. But that, in essence, was the ill-fated “assault weapon” ban of the 1990s. All observers agree that the previous “assault weapon” ban had zero effect on homicide or crime rates. But that’s contemporary liberalism–all bullying, no argument. The thing you always need to keep in mind is: liberals are not as smart as you are.”

Perhaps one of the first fallacies is that the gun control ‘debate’ is partisan. That whitewashing tries to cover up the fundamental issue in many modern arguments. That issue is one of intellectual integrity. Unless and until honesty with reality and integrity in logic become fundamental, there will be no progress made in evaluating opinions and viewpoints. Hinderaker’s deconstruction is telling in that his exposition of the dishonesty is not exceptional but rather typical. You can see the same behaviors on display in many issues promulgated by the left.

Trying to create a constructive dialog with someone who doesn’t have his feet on the ground is as productive as talking sense to a confirmed alcoholic or a dedicated terrorist. Fruitless. and that is what is dangerous.

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Lust for revenge

It is a warning not to be taken lightly.

“This unvarying tendency toward atrocity suggests that all these regimes had something in common, and it’s not that they all suffered from boils. It’s the lust for vengeance — revenge for slights and crimes either real or imaginary,  that can be found in every leftist from Nechaev to Bill Ayers. No less than Barack Obama spilled that when, his back apparently against the wall in 2012, he began ranting about “voting for revenge”.

“This was displayed clearly enough this past holiday season.

J.R. Dunn calls it The Left’s Base Motive: Vengeance. “we see trivia blown up to apocalyptic proportions” whether it is accusations of racism or rape or immigration or voter fraud or whatever can be used as a tool to incite a rationalization for revenge. Honesty has no part in this effort. That is a price of revenge based politics.The cost in human life and suffering has been overwhelming but that seems to not matter in the ever continuing onslaught for yet more revenge against fantasized slights.

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