Monthly Archives: August 2015

Science Vandals

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wreckedcarWe’ve noted our dislike of conspiracy theories, arguing that like-minded people behaving in similar ways is not evidence of a gathering in some dark alley.  Thus we reject the idea of a conspiracy behind the risible consistency of all the many post-facto “adjustments” to official temperature records cooling the past and warming the present.

But that doesn’t mean we think it’s a coincidence. “Official science” finds ways to reflect what official science theorizes is supposed to happen.

It makes you wonder how impervious to reality official science must be if it expects to retain credibility while refusing to fix a defective weather sensor at Reagan Airport.

The governments refusal to correct the ridiculous errors in data from Reagan International Airport is the latest example of the federal government trying to sell regulation that has nothing to do with climate and everything to do with economic central planning.

How do we define “nothing to do with climate?”

This month the EPA published its proposed fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  Reading EPA documents is a painful exercise rewarded occasionally with a true fact the agency is compelled to disclose. Like the expected global-warming reduction from the aforesaid fuel economy standards: 65 ten-thousandths of one degree, Celsius.

Need we mention that’s below the threshold of measurement?

Meanwhile, the expected temperature reduction from carbon dioxide regulations—potentially the costliest in human history—was found to top out at a non-measurable 34 thousandths of a degree.

For this, we’re supposed to replace our entire energy sector with something more expensive and less efficient. Better hope the courts get this one right.

Job Creators, Job Destroyers

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hiringThe Great Recession ended, according to the textbook formula, six years ago in June, yet many Americans have persisted in believing the country is still in recession and nationwide polling shows only a pitifully small percentage of voters—27 percent as of a couple of weeks ago—think the nation is “on the right track.”

That statistic provides a ready answer for anyone who thinks it unfair, or ducking the issue, to say the Obama administration is principally to blame for the failure in Wisconsin to reach Governor Walker’s job creation target of a quarter-million during the first term.

Those who require further explanation need to ponder why job-creation would be a disappointment in a state that resolved a multi-billion dollar deficit, balanced its budget, and cut taxes, unless some external force was at work.

They also need to consider that despite the stiff headwind blowing out of Washington, D.C., this state has been posting some pretty good numbers. Private-sector job creation looked healthier, topping eight thousand last month, according to numbers just released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Given what they’re up against in the continually metastasizing federal regulatory apparatus, Wisconsin’s private-sector job creators are lucky to hold their own and they’re to be congratulated when they actually add new jobs.

Imagine what they’d be able to do if, just over 14 months from now, Republicans present a credible growth agenda and Americans decide it’s time to go there again.

A researcher walks into a bar…

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barUntil we heard about the University of Wisconsin’s Director of Community Relations saying Madison would be a better place if the cops would quit enforcing laws against shoplifting, a/k/a retail theft, we thought we’d discovered the dumbest thing anyone would roll out in front of a hapless public this past week.

But somebody else found the story about shoplifter advocacy, so we’ll have to settle for runner-up. Once again, the university is involved.

A team of alert researchers undertook a study of student drinking habits (that is, alcohol consumption; we’re rigorously observing scientific precision here,) on the UW-Madison campus. Published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal, the study uncovered evidence that the likelihood of college students drinking may depend to a statistically significant degree on whether they can conveniently get hold of some booze.

The researchers—it took five of them—described their objective as follows:  “To describe how proximity and density of alcohol outlets are associated with any drinking and binge drinking in students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

By way of explaining their methodology, they noted that “Geographic information systems were used to calculate proximity and enumerate alcohol outlet densities.”  Our hunch is that “geographic information systems” might be a scientific name—sorry, term—for one of those Madison street maps tourists buy as souvenirs down on State Street.

They concluded that “Drinkers lived closer to alcohol outlets and had significantly more outlets available at a distance of up to 1 mile,” a finding that argues strongly for exploring a possible link between sobriety and laziness.

Indignation is hardly misplaced. We might not have the problems this study seeks to address, if the UW’s dead, white male founders hadn’t sited their campus in the midst of all those taverns and liquor stores.

EPA = Egregious Polluters At-large

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On reading the letter-to-the-editor at an unfamiliar web site, we suspected crackpots at work.  Then at the original newspaper web site we found a prominent statement that “yes we did” publish that letter.

Only two conclusions are possible from the warnings of a retired geologist, published in the Silverton Standard:  At best, the Environmental Protection Agency engaged in stupefying recklessness when it “accidentally” released millions of gallons of toxic mine waste into a Colorado creek August 5, or at worst, agency personnel knowingly caused a horrible environmental disaster in pursuit of some agenda the disaster would serve.

Published July 30—six days before the spill turned Cement Creek and then the Animas River bright yellow in the process of delivering countless tons of toxic metals to Lake Powell and the Colorado River downstream—the letter explained with uncanny accuracy just how the catastrophe would unfold.

Repulsively conducting damage control for the EPA, the Associated Press last Friday churned out a story making it appear the spill was caused by mining (the mine closed long ago,) downplaying its impact, and giving no clue that it was triggered by direct EPA actions taken over vigorous local opposition.

If there is an upside, it’s that the misfortune is timely.  The author of this calamity, after all, is the same outfit that two days before poisoning Cement Creek told the nation we will save money on our electric bills by tearing apart our energy infrastructure and replacing it with things that don’t work as well.

Governor Walker’s idea of slicing and dicing the EPA into a sort of clearinghouse for state-based environmental protection efforts looks especially relevant just now. At minimum, Congress could rename the agency, “The Department of Making Things Worse.”

Circling the Wagons, Squared

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borax-wagonsLast week we stumbled across perhaps the most bizarre manifestation yet of the panic Scott Walker has sown among the unhinged Left.

An online edition of a British newspaper featured a joint column by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Michael Mann, Penn State meteorologist and creator of the once-iconic, now thoroughly discredited “hockey stick” graph purporting to prove late 20th-century global temperatures were alarmingly hotter than any in the preceding 2,000 years.

Their joint effort is fitting. Mann and Weingarten both specialize in bludgeoning the public with demands to modify reality in service of interest-group politics: Mann, by conflating unrelated and in some cases wholly inappropriate data into an historical temperature chart that makes the well-known Medieval Warm Period disappear; Weingarten by insisting that unionized public education is an unalloyed boon to schoolchildren.

That wasn’t precisely the point of their Guardian piece. Their point was that Governor Walker wants to gut tenure at the University of Wisconsin in order to clear his path to wage War Against Science, science being recognized as the most dreaded threat to all conservative policy ideas.

Yes, we remember the budget initiative removing tenure language from statute law made Wisconsin consistent with the 49 other states that leave tenure policies to their university systems. (Evidently every state has been hijacked by knuckle-dragging fundamentalists—Michael Mann, check your voicemail!)

Mann and Weingarten call tenure a necessity to protect those whose work constitutes “original contributions to the body of knowledge”—a worthy goal except that the person likeliest today to be denied tenure would be one venturing that carbon dioxide might not roast the Earth after all.

Read the Guardian column. Dip your toe in their alternative universe, but only for a moment: it will give you the creeps.

Ding, Dong…

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doorbellJust when the formerly inevitable Hillary Clinton looks like the dream opponent for Republicans in 2016, we must reluctantly say we think her candidacy is already done for; she won’t be available to defeat.

Last weekend, State Department sources said classified emails sent over her private server—first claimed to be none in a categorical denial, later disclosed to be four in a sample of 40—have ballooned to 15 times that number.

Discoveries of top secret intelligence casually mishandled on the hack-prone server will surely grow.

But here’s the key: free-flowing information about Hillary’s indifference toward national security isn’t a sign that suddenly the system is working. It is, as we’ve said before, the sign of an inside take-down. Clearly, the administration thinks Hillary will drag Democrats to defeat in 2016, allowing the odious Obama enterprise to be undone before its venom finishes paralyzing the nation.

The media’s energetic reporting is the definitive clue. Operating mainly as stenographers for Obama administration talking points, they won’t come to Hillary’s assistance as long as there remains any possibility of Democrats nominating someone farther left—Elizabeth Warren presumably being the ideal.  If somehow Hillary survives and wins the nomination, watch for a neck-snapping reversal of the media’s interest in this “old news.”

If we’re mistaken, if she slithers out of her current predicament and next November, still parades before the cameras with bulging eyes and reptilian grin, pointing clumsily at imaginary friends in the dwindling crowds, we will repent our premature judgment while eagerly awaiting the returns. But does anyone seriously believe her image will improve in the 11 months between now and the Democrats’ convention?

Their eventual nominee may prove a stronger competitor.  That’s not too high a price for justice.

The Carbon Con Unmasked

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shellgameNowadays, the White House issuing a “fact sheet” as it did this past weekend is the equivalent of formally announcing another load of bilge to rationalize Barack Obama’s shabby and threadbare lies.

The fact sheet—a designation that’s itself a form of lie—on the regulation finalized Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency to defeat the imaginary menace of carbon dioxide-driven global warming gives the game away.

Atmospheric warming ceased almost 20 years ago, according to both of the existing satellite data sets. Never mind. This was never about carbon dioxide or temperatures anyway.

What it is about was always obvious and now verified by the White House Fact Sheet.  It’s about a combination of three things: gaining a stranglehold on the U.S. economy, plundering same to reward crony capitalists, and redistribution of whatever wealth the cronies don’t get.

Some highlights:  the proposed carbon dioxide regulation will “drive more aggressive investment in clean energy technologies…”  “Give a head start to wind and solar deployment…” and create a “Clean Energy Incentive Program” that will “prioritize the deployment of energy efficiency improvements in low-income communities…”

What part of that doesn’t describe tax-dollar giveaways to subsidy-sucking Liberal billionaires and standard-issue spending programs without accountability?  No prize for the correct answer.

Climate alarmists assert that the 14 warmest years since the 1850s have all occurred this century, purporting to differentiate them by hundredths of a degree. As Obama announced his climate plan, three sensors within a stone’s throw of each other on the University of Wisconsin campus simultaneously reported temperatures varying over a range of 1.5 degrees, or about 75 times the difference between what’s claimed as the hottest and next-hottest year.

Wisconsin is suing to block the Obama insanity. On, Wisconsin!

The 87,840-Minute Gap

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calendarWhen it comes to being bamboozled by our government masters, the American people are—to use the least disparaging formulation—far more easygoing than we were, say, 41 years ago.

Four thousand, eight hundred and eighty times more easygoing, one is tempted to calculate, except that the disappearance of all her email traffic from May and June 2012—while trouble was brewing in Libya—has not yet disqualified Hillary Clinton from consideration as the next president of the United States, whereas setting aside all the known unsavoriness recorded on Richard Nixon’s oval office tapes, it was the notorious 18-minute gap—an erasure of unknown content  one 4,880th the length of Hillary’s—that historical memory will forever recall as having terminated his  prospects of retaining the presidency.

The possibility that Hillary Clinton could still become president is just one more piece of evidence that many of us no longer object to government-in-secret. The political police of the Internal Revenue Service are a chilling example of where that leads.

So be grateful that one man is willing to hold the secret government accountable. Judge Emmett Sullivan last week made it clear he’s had his fill of stonewalling from the IRS, Hillary, and the State Department.

In a culture childishly fixated on enforcing a concept of “fairness” that does not exist in nature, perhaps some people sense opportunity in a kind of Clintonesque transaction:  We assert a right to get away with being as corrupt as our leaders and the leaders happily agree—knowing that whatever limits may once have restrained what they can get away with, we have willingly erased as surely as Nixon’s 18 minutes.

Then along comes someone like Judge Sullivan to set things straight.

No Big Mystery

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mysteryPast hostile receptions explain why Republican presidential candidates mostly don’t appear before the National Urban League. But last week two GOP hopefuls—Jeb Bush and Ben Carson—did so in Miami. There may be no better time than now for the GOP to appeal for electoral support from Black Americans.

At the Urban League gathering, Bush suggested Black voters consider alternatives to the long-term failure of Democrats—including the first Black president—to lead them out of the substandard economic circumstances escaped so much more rapidly by other groups who struggled to overcome racial and ethnic prejudice.  Carson promoted the entrepreneurial spirit. Clinton served up the predictable Liberal government-as-savior pabulum.

It’s ironic that by almost any measure—unemployment, workforce participation rates, take-home pay—Black Americans are worse off than before Barack Obama became President of the United States, indeed, conspicuously worse off than when his Conservative White predecessors governed.  This may understandably aggravate Black frustrations. The right response for Black voters and especially for Republican candidates, is to connect the proverbial dots.

Irony, after all, mustn’t be confused with mystery, and Black economic misfortune coinciding with the Black political ascendancy was the subject of penetrating insight in a recent column by one of Black America’s most compelling voices, economist Thomas Sowell.

Rule out racism as the explanation for Black disadvantage in a nation where a Black man with a thin resume can be twice elected president. The reason for Obama’s unique failure is not that he’s been doing the bidding of Blacks, but that he’s been doing the bidding of White Liberals, applying their worst ideas with a vengeance.

Those ideas destroyed Black families and have suppressed Black social and economic progress. Black voters and Republican candidates should stop pretending not to notice.