Thursday, February 25, 2010
The NEA Can Kiss My ...
How sincere are the NEA's calls to "set aside politic?" Not much, I'm sure, unless you're a Republican and then you should act as if you were a Democrat. It's the one-way bipartisanship everyone loves. 93% of NEA political donations to a political party go to the Democrats. 82.8% go to Democratic candidates. Looking at the list of candidates for Federal office receiving donations from the NEA, you'll find 337 Democrats and 37 Republicans. Hardly a non-partisan organization.
Maybe it's because the NEA really just want a pass on taxes on the Cadillac health insurance plan NEA members enjoy at taxpayer expense, at least many of the other unions asking for special treatment denied other citizens aren't paid by us.
The NEA is working in conjunction with other unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), to discredit and fight against the Tea Party movement by using a "seemingly grassroots organization that's mounted an online campaign."
The most recent backers of the Patriot Majority and Patriot Majority West, which helped fund the APPC and thus the Tea Party site, form a veritable Who's Who of the country's top labor unions: the Service Employees International Union, Change to Win, the Communications Workers of America, the National Education Association, the Teamsters Union, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union and others besides.Why is it that public employees, teachers and otherwise, feel need to fight against the Tea Party movement? Could it be that they want to protect their cozy, easy, well paying jobs where they're protected by civil service rules from the consequences of poor performance or committing malfeasance. Why is it that public employees have such a problem with the citizens they are supposed to serve exercising their Constitutional rights? Anyone who has interacted with the petty tyrants who to frequently work in government knows the answer to these questions.
But by far the largest donations have come from a collection of unionized government workers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) -- which in 2008 alone donated $5.8 million to Patriot Majority and another $4.1 million to Patriot Majority Midwest.
The real laugher for me is the "Great public schools are a basic right for every student" bit. Despite having decades of time and plenty of money, our educational system performs poorly. The NEA's reaction is almost always to call for more money despite the fact that money isn't the answer.
"It's not necessarily so that states with higher spending have higher test scores," said Tom Loveless, an education policy expert at the Brookings Institution think tank.Generally, teachers and school administrators were mediocre college students who are too busy arresting kids for texting, charging 10 year old with felonies because she brought a knife to school to cut her sandwich, accusing 6 year old boys of sexual harassment for kissing a girl on the cheek (see kiss number 8), handcuffing 12 year old girls and hauling them to the police station for doodling on their desks, or using laptops to spy on you and your family in your own home to actually teach or work on making our schools worthy of our investment.
He said Washington, D.C., has among the highest spending in the country but its students have among the lowest scores on standardized tests, while some states like Montana with relatively low spending have fairly high performance on tests.
If the NEA really cared about better schools they'd whole heartily support school choice programs where parents could choose the school they want their children to attend, private or public. This would force schools to perform or die. Ineffective, unresponsive schools would whither on the vine while schools that produce well educated students, treat them and their parents well and are responsive to their needs would thrive. Instead we have teachers to lazy to work a few extra hours with second rate schools being the "better" schools.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
How Does Thomas Friedman Fight Global Warming
Read more here.
If only we all could fight global warming like this.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Foolish Use of Anecdotes
Friedman is quite absurd. He begins his column by mocking people who are saying "because Washington is having a particularly snowy winter it proves that climate change is a hoax and, therefore, we need not bother with all this girly-man stuff like renewable energy, solar panels and carbon taxes."Yep. Friedman makes fun of using anecdotes and then uses anecdotes. But, they're the good anecdotes I suppose.
But then he turns around and says "The fact that it has snowed like crazy in Washington — while it has rained at the Winter Olympics in Canada, while Australia is having a record 13-year drought — is right in line with what every major study on climate change predicts: The weather will get weird; some areas will get more precipitation than ever; others will become drier than ever."
So weather is not climate — which, duh — but he still wants to use weather as climate. And he even gets to say that cold is evidence of heat, because we shouldn't be saying heat anymore, we should be talking about weirdness.
Now, think about the analogy. Think about how people support the policies that are supposed to deal with global warming — renewable energy, solar panels, carbon taxes, etc. — and what other reasons they have for wanting those policies. Think about why they would decide to rely on the global warming prediction rather than those other reasons, and how they will need to scramble if the global warming theory proves untrue or is no longer believed.The global warming scare serves a purpose and, for its proponents, its truth is of little relevance. It's the right thing to do for the right reasons.
If global warming were the only reason for doing the things that are needed to deal with global warming, then no scrambling is required. We can simply be happy about it. But the scrambling... that's what shows that people wanted the policies anyway. And maybe they are right! Maybe going to war in Iraq was right even without WMD.
So why not stress the other arguments for renewable energy, solar panels, carbon taxes, etc.? Because it's not scary enough! Running low on traditional fossil fuel — the old energy crisis — just isn't crazy-making enough to get the public to accept great sacrifice and pain.
Interesting tidbit: one commenter linked to this physics paper on how global warming theory didn't adhere to the principles of thermo-dymanics. One of several conclusions:
There are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass housesOne of the ironies of the anecdote argument is that all the data, correct or not, on the greenhouse effect causing global warming is a collection of anecdotal evidence. Statistically at some point the anecdotes begin to show a trend. But, like many other trends, the trend can change suddenly but statistics may not pick it up immediately, especially if you choose which anecdotal evidence to factor in and which to ignore.
and the ctitious atmospheric greenhouse e etc, which explains the relevant physical
phenomena. The terms \greenhouse e etc" and \greenhouse gases" are deliberate misnomers.
It's like when my doctor told me I couldn't be having a side effect from my medicine, although it was listed as a potential side effect, because statistically the possibility wasn't clinically relevant. He'll never see a patient suffering from the side effect because he's ruled it out as impossible. And, I'm changing doctors.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We Need to Warm This Damn Planet Up!!
Yesterday I hadn't believed the predicted snow would be a bad as predicted, so I parked my car down the driveway by the house as usual. I was correct, the snow wasn't as bad as predicted. It was worse. I spent nearly 2 hours digging and spreading ice melt to get my car out of the driveway. Good exercise.
Below the table shows the snowfall for this season. We're more than 20 inches above normal snowfall with more to come. I would say it's not cause for concern or panic, but IT IS!! Consider the food supply. Colder weather means a shorter, less robust growing season. Shortages of corn, wheat, vegetables will abound. Less corn means more expensive beef, chicken, pork, and weasel (the other yellow meat).
|MONTH TO DATE||23.1||3.4||19.7||5.5|
|SINCE DEC 1||35.4||14.9||20.5||21.5|
|SINCE JUL 1||35.4||16.6||18.8||21.5|
Previously, I also mentioned Professor Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute at Germany's Kiel University prediction that a mini-ice age is coming. (If you disagree with his prediction, it's because you're a racist reacting to his odd sounding name. He is German born. Then again, maybe you hate Germans. Not me, I love Germans. My grandmother was German. Although she was actually born in the U.S., but both her parents were German immigrants that spoke to her in German and sent her to a German speaking school. But, I digress.)
Now the "data" of the global warming alarmists is falling apart amid scandals of misconduct. Phil Jones, of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA), said this:
There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. … Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today … then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented.Joseph D'Alea, Executive Director of http://icecap.us, a former professor of meteorology and climatology, the First Director of Meteorology at the Weather Channel, and a fellow of the American Meteorology Society, says this:
The Idsos at CO2 Science have done a very thorough job documenting, using the peer review literature, the existence of a global MWP. They have found data published by 804 individual scientists from 476 separate research institutions in 43 different countries supporting the global Medieval Warm Period.I find this particularly interesting because I've mentioned this period of warming before. (Which is why the Vikings were able to settle in Greenland and later forced to abandon the settlements.)
Russian scientist, Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin also believes the world is cooling.
arth is now at the peak of one of its passing warm spells. It started in the 17th century when there was no industrial influence on the climate to speak of and no such thing as the hothouse effect. The current warming is evidently a natural process and utterly independent of hothouse gases.I'm not much on astrophysics. All I know is that we need to warm this place up. Maybe, we need more moose and deer, earth worms, and rice paddies. But, whatever the case, somebody turn up the heat.
The real reasons for climate changes are uneven solar radiation, terrestrial precession (that is, axis gyration), instability of oceanic currents, regular salinity fluctuations of the Arctic Ocean surface waters, etc. There is another, principal reason—solar activity and luminosity. The greater they are the warmer is our climate.
Astrophysics knows two solar activity cycles, of 11 and 200 years. Both are caused by changes in the radius and area of the irradiating solar surface. The latest data, obtained by Habibullah Abdusamatov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory space research laboratory, say that Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period, and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012. Real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Birds in the Snow
Friday, February 05, 2010
Taking the Moral High Ground Part Deux
In the meantime, the U.S. has been pounding it with missiles. A pair of missiles hit a house in the Mishta area of South Waziristan on Friday, the 10th such attack in roughly two weeks in Pakistan's tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. Two intelligence officials told The Associated Press that the two people killed were suspected militants. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not have the authority to make such disclosures to the press."Suspected terrorsts" in a country where we supposedly have no combat troops. Twelve people killed in a strike that missed its target? Who did we kill? What kind of trial did they get?
Four of the drone-fired missiles landed Friday in the Zarniri area of North Waziristan, killing three people. The area is near where a strike Thursday killed 12 people but is thought to have missed its apparent target, Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.
Moral high ground indeed.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Gaining The Moral High Ground Against Terrorist
"By closing Guantanamo we can regain the moral high ground in our battle against these terrorist organizations. There's been no bigger propaganda weapon for many of these extremists than pointing to Guantanamo and saying that we don't live up to our own ideals and that's something I strongly believe we have to resist, even if it has some costs to it and even if it's not always the most politically popular thing to do," he said.My emphasis.
Does anyone really believe this preposterous claim that "There's been no bigger propaganda weapon for many of these extremists than pointing to Guantanamo and saying that we don't live up to our own ideals..."? I can't imagine a terrorist recruiter passionately lecturing a group of young Muslims that America doesn't live up to its own ideals because it detains terrorists at Guantanamo and doesn't try terrorist in civilian courts. Oh, the horror!!
Our support of Israel since its founding, our world wide commercial and military dominance, our socially liberal society means nothing. BUT, not living up to our own ideals provokes murderous rage amongst Muslim youths and makes them willing to carry out suicidal missions to kill evil Americans. Could there be a more ridiculous argument for trying terrorists in civilian courts? Only if you start saying the Easter Bunny told you to.
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