From the journal Earth System Dynamics billed as “An Interactive Open Access Journal of the European Geosciences Union” comes this paper which suggests that the posited AGW forcing effects simply isn’t statistically significant in the observations, but other natural forcings are.
“…We show that although these anthropogenic forcings share a common stochastic trend, this trend is empirically independent of the stochastic trend in temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, greenhouse gas forcing, aerosols, solar irradiance and global temperature are not polynomially cointegrated. This implies that recent global warming is not statistically significantly related to anthropogenic forcing. On the other hand, we find that greenhouse gas forcing might have had a temporary effect on global temperature.”This is a most interesting paper, and potentially a bombshell, because they have taken virtually all of the significant observational datasets (including GISS and BEST) along with solar irradiance from Lean and Rind, and CO2, CH4, N2O, aerosols, and even water vapor data and put them all to statistical tests (including Lucia’s favorite, the unit root test) against forcing equations. Amazingly, it seems that they have almost entirely ruled out anthropogenic forcing in the observational data, but allowing for the possibility they could be wrong, say:
“…our rejection of AGW is not absolute; it might be a false positive, and we cannot rule out the possibility that recent global warming has an anthropogenic footprint. However, this possibility is very small, and is not statistically significant at conventional levels.”
January 3, 2013
April 15, 2012
— Noah Webster, History of the United States (1832)
Comment: I see this as the continuation of a theme found in George Washington's farewell address. The reason we have a government that has strayed so far from the Constitution is that the voters have not demanded constitutional fidelity.
People tend to vote their values whether they realize it or not. The kind of leaders we tolerate says as much about our values as it does those of the leaders themselves.
I will expand on this further in a future post.
March 29, 2012
NBC Bay Area, March 29 brings us another example of the tyranny of good intentions:
Signs posted at Subway sandwich shops sadly inform San Francisco patrons -- we hear Willie Brown is a big fan -- that "all SUBWAY Restaurants in SF County DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN Subway National $5.00 Promotions," according to the newspaper.
[…] Apparently, the city's new minimum wage, raised to $10.24 as of Jan. 1, make $5 footlongs an impossible business model.
Apparently the economic concept is too difficult for the compassionate left to grasp: Raising the minimum wage also raises the cost of items sold at businesses that employ minimum-wage workers. As these workers go out and spend their raise, the extra income is consumed by the price increases, and the employees are not much better off than they were before.
When employers are allowed to pay wages at a level where each employee’s labor is a net economic benefit to the business, prices remain stable (absent other upward pressures on costs, such as government regulations or taxes).
The best way for a low-wage employee to better his life is to make himself more valuable to his employer through merit, or to get some training and find a better job. When he does that, and the employer has the freedom to pay the employee what his labor is worth, everybody wins.
March 15, 2012
Anyone can be in favour of free speech for Barney the Dinosaur and the Wiggles, but if you’re not in favour of free speech you find offensive and repellent and loathsome, you’re not in favour of free speech at all. And you’re on the side of creeping totalitarianism.Ironically, a generation ago it was the left that claimed the need to remind conservatives of this truth.
February 8, 2012
Great news: 50% think it’s wrong for Obama to force religious organizations to violate their conscience
Bad news: ONLY 50% think it’s wrong for Obama to force religious organizations to violate their conscience. Rasmussen, February 8:
Half of voters do not agree with the Obama administration’s action forcing Catholic institutions to pay for birth control measures that they morally oppose. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the government should require a church or religious organization to provide contraceptives for women even if it violates their deeply held beliefs. Fifty percent (50%) disagree and oppose such a requirement that runs contrary to strong beliefs, while 10% more are undecided.
December 5, 2011
If, somehow, your wildest dreams are realized and you end up overturning the capitalist system, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONTROL WHAT TAKES ITS PLACE.
As soon as you realize you've been played by those who are even more nefarious than you are, it'll be too late -- you'll be a "stain on a tank tread".
Something tells me this is what Scott Adams had in mind with today's comic.
October 14, 2011
You will not be able to control what takes its place. Seriously.
You envision a utopian society, characterized by economic and social justice, where all is sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, where everyone happily puts the needs of the many above the needs of the few.
It will never happen, not in this life. Mankind’s fallen nature guarantees it. History proves it. If you try it again, you’ll prove it again.
October 7, 2011
A commenter on my earlier Perry/Al Gore post, instead of interacting with the actual topic of the post, took the opportunity to promote his favored candidate, Herman Cain. Fair enough.
I was planning to answer him there, but I thought it would be good to do a separate post regarding my first impressions of Cain, who is definitely a rising star in the latest polls. Cain appears to have been the chief beneficiary of Sarah Palin’s decision to bow out of the 2012 race.
Here’s the deal:
I like Cain a lot, but the fact that he allowed the media to manipulate him regarding the Perry hunting lease... that doesn't give me optimism regarding his ability to handle the media onslaught he would experience in office.
I like the fact that he has a ton of executive experience in business, but that is applicable only in the president's role as head of the Executive branch (i.e. overseeing the various cabinet departments and bureaucracies). I see little in his resume that would prepare him for the task of getting what he wants against the wishes of a hostile Congress.
Perry has a big advantage in this regard. I believe this kind of experience and skill will be indispensable for anyone who seeks not just to roll back the usurpations of the Obama administration, but also to get us on the road toward constitutional government.
Perry's gaffes regarding Gardasil and the Texas DREAM Act have annoyed a lot of conservatives, but they also give insight into an aspect of Perry's character: Once he's convinced something is the right thing to do, he won't back down, regardless of the opposition. Get him focused on the right things as president, and I believe conservatives will find that they've rarely had a better ally in the White House.
(This is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing, occasional series)
#1: However noble its origins, and however admirable its original cause, in time a political party becomes concerned with little more than accumulating and retaining political power.
The Founders of our country had leaders like George Washington in mind when they crafted the Constitution – men of virtue, uninterested in exercising power for one’s personal benefit or for the benefit of those one identified with.
When Washington left office, America was at a dangerous crossroad. What kind of men would follow him? The Founders had done what they could to disperse power as much as possible among the branches of the federal government and between the federal and state governments, but this new form of government was vulnerable to those who would abuse it.
In his Farewell Address, Washington warned the nation that our experiment with republican government wouldn’t survive long unless (1) we the people remained virtuous, and (2) we insisted that our leaders be virtuous as well.
Along with this general warning, Washington also warned specifically about the “spirit of party” – the natural tendency of the electorate to organize into political parties or movements.
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
As I acknowledged in the Observation, political parties often have noble and admirable beginnings. But just as government itself naturally draws those who seek power for the benefit of themselves and their ideologies, such also is the eventual destiny of political movements that attract enough voters to make a difference in elections.
In the one case, the politician will say or do whatever he deems necessary to retain his power and privilege. In the other case, a political party will eventually take (or promise to take) whatever stands are necessary to increase its power and influence in elected government.
All of this to say: Political parties are in many ways necessary as a means to provide a collective voice to those whose voice would otherwise not be heard. But, we must always be careful to be true to our own beliefs and values, and never invest our identity in any particular movement – because history shows that it’s just a matter of time before that movement betrays its founding ideals.
We’ve seen that with the two major parties. If the TEA party movement remains viable in the long term, I have no doubt that it will eventually do so as well. Such is the fallen nature of mankind.
August 31, 2011
[7 September UPDATE: Maybe he didn’t. See note at bottom of post.]
There are many on the right who see something sinister in the fact that 2012 presidential contender Rick Perry chaired then-Senator Al Gore’s campaign in Texas. But there is a very important truth that must be understood: the 1980s were the beginning of the end of a century-long era when Texas was essentially a one-party state.
To be elected in this state in this era, there was no question about the necessary party affiliation – you simply had to be Democrat. The state party did, however, have its liberal and conservative wings.
The Great Realignment began with the improbable election of Republican Bill Clements as governor in 1977, and gained momentum with the switch of congressman Phil Gramm to the GOP after he was punished by the Democrats for helping Ronald Reagan push conservative budgets through Congress.
Throughout the 80s, more and more conservative Democrat politicians came to the realization that the GOP represented their true values much more than the Democratic Party did. Voters were starting to come to this realization as well, and more and more Republican candidates were being elected.
Perry says that he joined Gore’s campaign because the latter was then considered to be a southern conservative. The conservative wing of the party (which still existed back then) saw Gore as their strongest candidate. Keep in mind, this is several years before Gore left those roots behind to join the Gaia cult.
Ironically, it was Perry’s experiences during that campaign that finally persuaded him that the Democratic Party was no longer his home. Disillusioned with nominee Dukakis, Perry voted for George H. Bush in November, 1988. Then, bucking family and friends, he publicly switched to the GOP in 1989 before scoring a stunning upset in the state Land Commissioner race.
Here’s how Time Magazine described Perry’s 1988 experience in a July 16 article:
A decade later, Perry said the 1988 presidential primary election helped push him to his party switch. In the fall of 1988, he voted for Bush over his party's nominee, Dukakis. "I came to my senses," he told the Austin American-Statesman in 1998. Perry's efforts for Gore left few public footprints, and contemporaries on both sides of the aisle have few memories of the alliance. A longtime Hobby staffer suggested it was likely that Perry's co-chair title in Gore's 1988 Texas campaign was little more than an honorific, not a recognition of any organizational responsibility. His role was limited to a single appearance, Perry told the San Antonio Express-News in 2001, adding that he had served at the request of Lewis. But it was a fact of his political biography that would be waved in his face in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary race by Tea Party candidate Deborah Medina and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and it likely will be raised again if he chooses to seek the GOP presidential nomination. Perry has never denied the association but has treated it as a road-to-Damascus moment. "On the surface, Al Gore appeared to be the more conservative of the candidates," Perry told the Express-News, adding, "Fortunately, we found out who the real Al Gore was, and I was long on the side of the angels by then."
The point is: joining Gore’s campaign in 1988 seemed consistent with Perry’s west Texas conservative values. Serving on the campaign opened his eyes to the reality that the Democratic Party had become. His response was the only logical one. This is a non-story.
7 September UPDATE: Politifact reports September 7 that the accepted story about Perry’s involvement in Gore’s 1988 campaign is for the most part a legend made up by his political opponents. While he was in fact a vocal supporter of Gore (who was in fact the most conservative Democrat running that year), he did not serve on the campaign in any capacity, in either a formal or an honorary role. I’m curious to know why Perry never made a serious effort to counter the false narrative.
August 30, 2011
It looks like destined-to-be-also-ran presidential candidate Mitt Romney has settled on his main line of attack against current front-runner Rick Perry. The Hill reports August 30 on a speech Romney gave to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio:
Romney also decried "career politicians," a subtle shot at Perry, who's held public office continuously since 1985.
"I am a conservative businessman. I have spent most of my life outside of politics, dealing with real problems in the real economy," Romney said. "Career politicians got us into this mess and they simply don't know how to get us out!"
This strategy is laughable, given that Romney has spent years trying to become a career politician, with a prior stint as governor of Massachusetts and failed senatorial and presidential campaigns under his belt.
August 26, 2011
“When Thomas Edison repeatedly came up short in his quest to create a working light bulb, he contended he hadn't failed but rather found 10,000 ways that didn't work. In his quest to fix the economy, Obama has found one way that doesn't work but seems determined to try it 10,000 times.”
August 23, 2011
Conventional wisdom says that if Sarah Palin doesn’t jump into the race within the next few weeks, her opportunity will be gone. But, as CBS reports today, Palin’s style is anything but conventional.
I’ve been a member of the Blogs for Palin blogroll for a very long time, and I would absolutely love it if she is the GOP nominee. The problem is, I like Texas Governor Rick Perry as well. I think either one of them would serve our country honorably and capably, with much more fealty to the Constitution than any of their recent predecessors.
At the moment, when choosing between the actual candidacy of Perry and the possible candidacy of Palin, I am leaning toward Perry. But if Palin jumps into the race, I’m not sure yet what I’ll do.
Howard Dean, darling of the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party, has nothing but praise for supposed Republican John Huntsman, reports The Daily Caller today:
Note to the uninitiated: When a Dem calls a Republican a “thinking man’s candidate”, he means the Republican’s world view agrees more with the Democratic Party than with the Republican Party. Dean eventually comes right out and says it:
“Jacob [Weisberg, of Slate] wrote this was ‘the thinking man’s candidate,’” said Dean. “There aren’t any thinking people in the Republican Party. I’m serious. Name a few thoughtful policy analysts in the Republican Party — not Rick Perry, not Michele Bachmann. Look at all these people. Huntsman is the real deal.”
“I learned that Jon Huntsman is a great candidate for president but he is in the wrong party,” Dean said. “I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear that from me.”
Maybe Huntsman would be happy to hear that. I suspect that he might take the compliment as evidence that he’s more “electable” than any of this GOP opponents.
Huntsman is polling at about 1% among likely GOP primary voters, so I wonder where he thinks his base is. The Democrats? They already have their candidate, and I doubt they’d exchange him for a candidate who seems to agree with them but doesn’t have the courage to affirm this by changing his party affiliation.
The Republicans? Huntsman used to work for Obama. That’ll whip up enthusiasm among the GOP masses in the general election.
Enjoy the spotlight while it lasts, Mr. Huntsman. When the Dems and the media are done with you, you’ll suddenly find that nobody will return your calls any more.