Monday, November 30, 2009

What is Science?

Rand Simberg has a roundoup on what the CRU scandal means, for climate science and for elite "science"-driven politics in general.

While putting a wooden stake through Copenhagen and cap’n'tax are immediate beneficial results of this, I think it may have policy implications far beyond climate change. The Emperor of “science,” whose findings have been used to justify all manner of totalitarian impulses has been shown to be naked. It’s perfectly natural, at this point, to ask “What else have they been lying to us about?”

Indeed, what else is a naked lie? What else are they saying "Shut up, trust us" on?

VDH on the fall of science, the fall of rationalism and empiricism.
There are people that want to bring us into a new dark age of superstition and obedience. That want to impoverish and control everyone. That want to rule over the common rabble like grand enlightened aristocrats.

Frank J. Tipler is Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University. Here's part of what he thinks.

The now non-secret data prove what many of us had only strongly suspected — that most of the evidence of global warming was simply made up. That is, not only are the global warming computer models unreliable, the experimental data upon which these models are built are also unreliable. As Lord Monckton has emphasized here at Pajamas Media, this deliberate destruction of data and the making up of data out of whole cloth is the real crime — the real story of Climategate.

It is an act of treason against science. It is also an act of treason against humanity, since it has been used to justify an attempt to destroy the world economy.

Funny that the very people that scream the "science is settled" are so willing to pervert it. Here's a hint, science is never settled. That's the point. Science is a process of understanding that is constantly being refined. When someone says there is no more debate and to simply shut up and trust the experts, that's not science. That's faith.

I am automatically skeptical of any claim that by its very nature cannot be replicated by other scientists. What keeps scientists honest is not that scientists are more honest than other people — we aren’t — but that we know our colleagues are looking over our shoulders. Everyone is honest when he knows he is being watched.

We must seriously question whether climate “science” is, or even can be, a true science if skeptics cannot check its experimental claims. The only way climate “science” can approach being a real science is for all of its raw data to be made available. Only then is it possible for outsiders to check, at least partially, the claims of the insiders.

It's not science if you keep your methods and data a secret.

A list of Scientific Red Flags via Goldberg

(1) Consistent use of ad hominem attacks toward those challenging their

(2) Refusal to make data public. This has been going on in this area for
some time.

(3) Refusal to engage in discussions of the actual science, on the
assumption that it is too complicated for others to understand.

(4) Challenging the credentials of those challenging the consensus position.

(5) Refusal to make computer code being used to analyze the data public.
This has been particularly egregious here, and clear statements of the
mathematics and statistics being employed would have allowed the
conclusions to be challenged at a much earlier stage.

If one believes in the science one is doing, one should be willing to go
to great lengths to engage those who challenge it or fail to understand
it, and provide various explanations at various levels of technical
detail, rather than attempt to discredit others.

Sound familiar?

Standing aside?

Sure, science is being corrupted, but not your corner of it, and climate "science" isn't really even science in the first place, and their end goals are (supposedly) laudable, so....


But now... I don't know if scientists have the choice anymore of ignoring the problem. This case is getting enough attention -- and the details are hair-raising enough for anyone who does science for the science and not just the paycheck -- that others will have to weigh in here, about whether the special papal dispensation afforded for climate secret science is legitimate... or if it is hopelessly corrupting.

Scientists will have to weigh in: Is it "science" when data and methodologies are kept secret and only the conclusions published, stripped of any backing evidence that can be criticized (or even merely examined)?

What the hell is that? If you want to keep your evidence secret, keep your conclusions secret too. You cannot offer naked conclusions -- assertions without a shred of evidence backing them -- as you conspire in secret to delete data rather than disclose it and "hide behind IPR claims." (Intellectual Property Rights, that is.)

Conclusions without evidence deserve the the precise level of seriousness their proponents invest them with: None at all. Because if they meant to be taken seriously, they'd offer their data and methodology to the world.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Con

So what exactly has the CRU done?

Well among other things there's this:

They have learned the "trick" (which I don't get myself) of adding in a specific series of data -- the real temperature record, but only through 1960 -- to a model based entirely on proxy temperature readings (tree rings and ice cores and so on) and adjusted real-world temperature readings. This data shouldn't be added in -- they've already got their adjusted (i.e., also kinda faked) temperature readings in there. They are adding this one piece of data again, this time in raw form, because it changes how the graph looks at the end, and gives them that sharply-rising flare at the chart's end.

Why not use all real temperature data, through the present day?

Because that doesn't result in the shape of the graph they want.

Why add real temperature data through 1960 in when you've already included "adjusted" versions of that data?

Because if you don't, you don't get the shape of the graph you want.

Why do they want a particular shape of graph? Because these charts aren't being used for science; they're being used for political propaganda. People understand what a sharply-rising line means.

Why are scientists choosing which data to add and not add according to what gives them the results they want?

Because they're not scientists. They are political advocates with some math and science degrees.

And these are the same people that scream "the science is seattled!"

Ahh, gotta love people that will sacrifice ethics and honesty for "the cause".

EDIT: Via VodkaPundit Here's the Climate Science Quiz: Can you figure out the right answer?

Friday, November 20, 2009


A collection of hacked files that were released seems to point to a massive conspiracy to downplay, distort, and destroy data that doesn't confirm the "global warming" consensus.

This is something to keep an eye on.

Keep scrolling to read the updates. Damning stuff if true.

Here's some more.

Steve Green has some thoughts.

Well this isn’t looking very good.

What makes me most skeptical, however, isn’t the emails — it’s the proposed solutions to the “crisis.”

Here’s what I mean.

The nature of the crisis changes as needed. It’s getting too hot, it’s getting too cold, free markets are for meanies, TV is too dirty, there are only so many radio stations, this one guy got more stuff than this other guy…

But the solution always remains the same: Give the government more power to tax and regulate and control.

Funny that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Incentive, Justice, and Farce

What gets rewarded? What gets punished?

When it comes to terrorists, you would think that an al Qaeda operative who targets an American mom sitting in her office or a child on a flight back home is many degrees worse than a Taliban soldier picked up after a firefight with U.S. Army troops.

Your instinct would be correct, because at the heart of terrorism is the monstrous idea that the former is as legitimate a target as the latter. Unfortunately, by dispatching Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda leaders to federal criminal court for trial, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will be undermining this distinction. And the perverse message that decision will send to terrorists all over this dangerous world is this: If you kill civilians on American soil you will have greater protections than if you attack our military overseas.

Behavior that you reward tends to increase, versus behavior that you punish.

There's also this.
None of this seems to bother Mr. Holder. Since he dropped his bombshell on Friday, much commentary has focused on the possibility that KSM might be found not guilty. That, however, is unlikely: Mr. Holder is not a fool, and everyone in the Obama administration appreciates the backlash that would occur if a KSM trial results in an acquittal. Thus, the men he will send for trial will be those against whom he has the most evidence.

The perversity here is that the overwhelming evidence of their war crimes gain them protections denied a soldier fighting in accord with the rules of war.

Not only does being a clearly evil monster (to the point where acquittal is near-unthinkable) reward you with greater perks, but there's also the idea of selective civilian trials. The administration wants to show that civilian courts can handle this, but they are specifically only sending the terrorists that they know won't be acquitted in. The rest will face military tribunals, or simply be held indefinitely.

Under that scenario, justice doesn't exactly seem blind.

Worst of all, he says, is turning the laws of war upside down: Why fight the Marines and risk getting killed yourself or locked up in Bagram forever when you can blow up American citizens on their own streets and gain the legal protections that give you a chance to go free? With this one step, Mr. Holder is giving al Qaeda a ghastly incentive: to focus more of their attacks on American civilians on American home soil.

"It is foolish to think that al Qaeda does not train to our system and look for our vulnerabilities," says Mr. McCarthy. "Remember what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told his captors when we got him, 'I'll see you in New York with my lawyer.' It seems he knows our weaknesses better than our government does."

Heck of a job guys. Heck of a job.

And Goldberg has more detais on the "nuance"

Sen. Jack Reed (D., R.I.) defended the administration Sunday on Fox News, echoing suggestions from the White House that even if the accused are acquitted on a technicality, they won’t be released. They would go back to the legal purgatory known as “preventive detention.” That is the right policy; these are dangerous men, after all. But it is an affront to civilian jurisprudence. Under military law, preventive detention is a well-established norm. Under civilian law, it’s an affront.

Throw into the equation that these men weren’t read their rights, were interrogated in a manner that is illegal in civilian courts, are being tried with little if any possibility of an impartial jury — and the fact that Holder all but insists they’ll be convicted — and it all adds up to a farce.

Following the law (civilian or military) is less important than looking like you're following the law.

Obama’s defenders don’t believe it. “Does anyone think,” asks Joshua Micah Marshall, a prominent liberal blogger, that the “Nuremberg trials . . . advanced (the defendants’) causes?” Obama himself invoked the Nuremberg trials during the presidential campaign. “Part of what made us different was even after these Nazis had performed atrocities,” he explained, “we still gave them a day in court, and that taught the entire world about who we are but also the basic principles of rule of law.”

Such arguments are revealing on at least two counts. First, the Nuremberg trials were military tribunals — it was understood that the Nazis were not mere criminals.
Second, they took place after we had won the war against Nazi Germany. We could afford such a spectacle because the Nazi cause was dead.

Wow... You'd think if you bother citing Nuremberg, that one would know the kind of trials those were.

And if that's not enough...

In a meeting with the press in China, President Obama said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be "convicted" and had "the death penalty applied to him" ... and then said he wasn't "pre-judging" the case. He made the second statement after it was pointed out to him — by NBC's Chuck Todd — that the first statement would be taken as the President's interfering in the trial process. Obama said that wasn't his intention. I'm sure it wasn't — he's trying to contain the political damage caused by his decision — but that won't matter. He has given the defense its first motion that the executive branch, indeed the President himself, is tainting the jury pool. Nice work.

And this is a man that bragged about how he was a Constitutional Law Prof, and the President of Harvard Law review. He's really showing off that firm legal mind ain't he?

And more reactions to the "fair trial"

Where in the Hell do we live again? Is this Putin talking? I will not have the slightest difficulty sleeping after KSA assumes room temperature, but that doesn't mean I want to start emulating the Soviet Union FFS? or Iran? I especially like the idea that even if the are acquitted we will keep them locked up. I mean that is a quintessentially American twist on totalitarian show trialing. We can't even guarantee the outcome.

Holder and Obama have stepped in it and while we will all pay in some ways, they have exposed themselves as clueless political hacks on a vital issue of national security. Bring 2010 on and let's carve away at the clowns in Congress who enable these two to play payback politics.

And going forward, it just gets worse.
The next question is if the Obama administration has intentionally setup a show trial for one man with a predetermined outcome and penalty, they've just proven they're OK with the notion of rigging civilian trials.

That is a pretty chilling revelation.

Well, that's a comfort. And these are the folks that constantly bleated about how Bush was undermining the rule of law and the justice system.

If Healthcare is a right....

If Healthcare is a right, and thus requires goverment to make sure everyone buys it and pays for those that can't afford it...

Why doesn't this logic apply to other rights?

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Food for thought.

Think about this.

The left says: You are crazy to claim your so-called freedoms are being taken away, and you are a lunatic to scream about an overly powerful state which will use violent coercion (no one goes to jail without the threat of violence if he doesn't, after all) to enforce its notions of the "economic good."

And with the next breath the left says: By the way, you shall either buy health care insurance or we will throw you in prison for two or three years.

Change eh?

Used to be in this county when we proposed making an entire category of human behavior a crime, that was cause for debate. Civil libertarians on the left would join those on the right in wondering what has so changed in the past several years to require an entire new category of criminality, an entire sphere of human activity now removed from the column of "freedom" and moved to the column of "forbiddance."

But not this time. Fascism, as they say, tends to come with a smiling face, and there's hardly a face more surgically stretched into smiles than Nancy Pelosi's, quite chipper and blithe as she proposes that she will begin filling America's prisons with a whole new category of criminal, the economic saboteur.

And there is no argument about it, and no debate. We are creating an entirely new type of "crime" that could end up imprisoning millions (or -- very nearly as bad -- compelling behavior and restricting freedom due to threat of incarceration) and the entire left and the entire media (but I repeat myself) blows it off as no big deal.
It's just What Must Be Done. Omlette, eggs, some breaking required.

But I'm a paranoid and extremist to take notice of the fact that what was once my freedom in 2009 shall become a cause for imprisonment in 2010."

Nice to see that "liberals" are hell-bent on making more and more things illegal.

And here's more good news!

Friday, November 13, 2009


What is short for Confidence?

Obama held himself out to be one thing during the election (a bipartisan moderate), and on taking office became quite the opposite. Cons, like Obama, are ordinarily out to deceive people as to their true purposes. But it’s an error to think they come across as sleazy. The most effective ones are unusually likeable and charming, even as they pull off their scams. This likeability is not a tangential characteristic of con artists, either; it is a central one.

“Con,” after all, is short for “confidence.” The con artist works by gaining the victim’s confidence and trust. The successful con artist is so very likeable, in fact, that he seems especially credible, and people who might otherwise be wary and cynical drop their guard around him. They don’t examine him too closely, so great is their desire to believe.

Contradictions are waved away. Acts that would arouse suspicion if they were committed by someone else are excused. Important omissions go unnoticed. Inconsistencies are rationalized. Shady company is defended or ignored. Sound familiar?

Yes yes it does.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Something lighter.

Via Goldberg

Dogs Welcoming Home Soldiers

And then Bill Whittle A Message For All of America's Veterans

Sad. Expensive. And frightening.

How are things going in the United Kingdom?

Well... Roger Kimball has the story:

Every phone call. Every email. Every text message. Every web site visited. I land at Heathrow and discover that Big Brother in England will be recording it all: the entire electronic career of every private citizen will salted away for a year in a gigantic database and “available for monitoring by government bodies.” Six-hundred and fifty-three government bodies, to be precise, including the police and local council authorities. They will not need a warrant from a judge but only the authorisation of a “senior” police officer or equivalent of a deputy head of department at a local authority to rifle through who you’ve talked to when about what. This is more or less the equivalent of a hall pass in your local high school. Adding insult to injury, the British taxpayers are going to be forced to fork over some £2 billion to spy on themselves.

29 percent of the British people are in favor of this preposterous scheme. But the Home Office insists that it will push it through anyway. In this post-democratic era, what does the will of the people mean when put up against the inclinations of political bureaucrats?

Despite how much it's revilved, expect it to pass. After all, what would the public do? Protest, refuse to comply? Vote the bums out?

I have been quoting this observation of David Hume frequently of late: seldom is freedom lost all at once. Here in England we have another example of how it oozes away. Sad. Expensive. And frightening.

And that's why, their liberty has been nibbled away bit by bit. So what's another bit?

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's come to this

Roger L. Simon talked about how Political Correctness kills.

Tip of the iceberg.

Why did the Feds drop their investigation of Hassan?

He wasn't "likely to be violent."

Wonderful. That worked out so well.

Though even if he wasn't voilent, that doesn't excuse him contacting the enemy.

Ace shows just how clueless some people are

Chris Matthews: "It's not a crime to call Al Qaeda, is it? I mean, where do you stop the guy?" Matthews spins on behalf of his wannabe-boyfriend Obama and the incompetents in the federal government.

Funny, seems to me that after 9/11, National Security Concern Trolls like Chris Matthews were pretty sure we should have rolled up the Mohammad Atta cell based upon pilot-training inquiries.

But now we have a guy in the army calling Al Qaeda on the phone and Chris Matthews is generally perplexed as to what we could have possibly have done to stop this.

Um, in any security position, having or attempting to have communications with the enemy is a crime, or at least a cashiering-level offense, if it's not reported immediately.

Meanwhile how does our president respond?

Well on Saturday he said this:

“Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care? All it will do is confuse and dispirit” Democratic voters “and it will encourage the extremists.”

Lovely. He tells us not to "jump to conclusions" about Hassan but those that disagree with his political plans...

Glen Reynolds has more.

Best of hands.

And what made Hassan's count so high? “Packed into cubicles with 5-foot-high dividers, the 300 unarmed soldiers were sitting ducks.”

Because "An Army base is no place for weapons.”