Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 10-4-11


The goal of the green movement is get out the "truth" no matter how many lies they have to tell.  As a result, lies are not falsehoods, they are tools.

“De Omnibus Dubitandum”


Science, Lies, and Videotape

It is the elite perception that conservatives are beetle-browed, anti-science nutters wedded to faith-based, unverifiable beliefs eschewed by the more sophisticated, scientific-thinking left........Blogger Judith Curry is the inspiration for my decision to strike at the "conservatives are anti-science" meme. She pulled together posts where writers and readers debated the issue.

Among the positions progressives have taken which are false and unsupported by science are the following examples I culled there from posts by Mike Hanson of Purdue University and Ken Green. Collectively these men observe these fallacies supported by those who call themselves progressives:
• DDT causes cancer;
• Alar causes cancer;
• Polar bears are drowning as the icebergs melt;
• Video displays or cell phones cause cancer;
• There are grave risks to hydraulic fracturing;
• Misuse of toxology -- hexavalent chromium contamination in Hinkley, California; amaranth, saccharin;
• Nuclear winter;
• Claims that there's a giant plastic cocoon in the middle of the ocean;
• BPA and Phthalates are carcinogens and endocrine disruptors;
• Claims that organic food is safer and healthier than conventionally grown foods;
• Claims that eating locally grown foods is better for the environment than foods grown further away;
• Cloth grocery bags are better for the environment than paper or plastic ones;
• Claims of species' endangerment based on faked or flawed evidence;
• Claims that climate models have predictive power and that individual weather events represent climate change;
• Claims that frogs died because of climate change;
• Claims that there were alligator penis malformations from endocrine disruptors;
• Claims that bees were dying as a result of climate change;
• Claims that butterflies were dying from Bt crops;
• Unsubstantiated claims about low dose radiation hazards.
I'm sure you could add to their list. Generally, the "dangers" the left invents or exaggerates involve modern technology, existing energy sources, and large-scale production. They represent a strange amalgam of Rousseau and Luddite notions and hark back to an ideal, never-existing "state of nature.".......Then there's Congressman Henry Waxman justifying the waste of a half billion dollars on the Solyndra solar panel factory scam: "Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., railed at Friday's hearing, "We need to face reality and stop denying science.".......Much of the folderol of calling witchcraft science takes place behind the scenes -- as in the EPA endangerment finding -- but sometimes the fraud takes place before our very eyes. In his latest big presentation to the world on global warming, "The Climate Reality Project" -- i.e., the latest iteration of the hoax that made him a billionaire -- Al Gore presented a falsified experiment by Bill Nye ("the science guy"), which Gore called "high school physics," to make his point.

Not many Republicans in Congress can say that liberal comedian Jon Stewart has complimented them on The Daily Show. Rep. Brian Bilbray (R., Calif.) is one of the few. The seven-term congressman was praised on the show for his well-informed grilling of a Department of Energy executive at last week’s House committee hearing into the Solyndra loan fiasco. “I have no idea what….that congressman from California was talking about,” Stewart said. “But here’s the thing — he does.” Indeed, Bilbray served up some of the most compelling lines of questioning to Jonathan Silver, executive director of the DOE loans program office. To start, why did the government choose to invest in Solyndra’s “thin-film” solar-panel technology in the first place, when it has historically proven to be one of the most complex, and therefore riskiest, forms of solar technology? Silver, as he did throughout the hearing, ducked and dodged, saying, “I’m not a solar technical analyst.” Neither is Bilbray, but when it comes to solar panels, he knows what he’s talking about.

My Take – We are all shocked! Well….actually I’m not shocked at all. Stupid is stupid; and incompetent is the Sancho Panza of stupid. For those who don’t know, Sancho Panza was an illiterate peasant who left his family to follow Don Quixote, a crazy man. Oh sure, even a broken watch is right twice a day, but eventually that watch will be thrown out because it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. Now…there is a thought!

The last thing you want in a federal courtroom – any courtroom – is a testy judge. But that is precisely what federal scientists confronted in the latest legal fight over the tiny Delta smelt, which needs fresh water to thrive in its increasingly saline marshy habitat. “Testy” may be too kind a description. Fresno U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger, who steps down this month after more than two decades on the bench, excoriated the scientists – one from the Bureau of Reclamation, the other from the Fish and Wildlife Service – for what he characterized as deliberately deceiving the court with inconsistent testimony. The FWS scientist, he said was a “zealot;” the other was ”untrustworthy as a witness.”

“I have spent my life in courtrooms. This is my life. I have never seen anything like this,” he thundered last week, according to a transcript of the proceedings…… The FWS’ Jennifer Norris, he said, “has not been honest in this court. I find her to be incredible as a witness. I find her testimony to be that of a zealot. And I’m not overstating the case. I’m not being histrionic. I’m not being dramatic. I’ve never seen anything like it. And I’ve seen a few witnesses testify.” Norris, he added, “Never varies from her answer, because she is a true believer. And she never – there is nothing that will shake her belief. There is nothing that will move her to an answer except that justifies the result and the end that is achieved.” As for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Frederick Feyrer, he showed “absolute incredibility” and “absolute unreliability,” and “finally, the most significant finding, the court finds him to be untrustworthy as a witness,” Wanger stated.

My Take -The fact of the matter is that these activists all lie. Virtually everything they say ends up being either speculation, misinterpretation of the facts, or outright lies. So why should we expect these fifth columnists within government to be any different? We shouldn’t! We do really need to get that! What is really unfortunate is that the one judge that does get it is retiring.

On September 30, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana ordered the U.S. to pay $1.7 million to a WLF (Washington Legal Foundation) client, Hubert Vidrine, based on findings that it maliciously prosecuted Vidrine for alleged environmental crimes. In its 142-page ruling, the court held that the federal government never even had probable cause to believe that Vidrine committed a crime, and that the prosecution was pursued because of malice against Vidrine on the part of Keith Phillips, the EPA agent who headed up the governments case. The decision is a complete victory for WLF, which has been assisting Vidrine with his claim for five years. Although the damages were awarded solely against the U.S. (under the Federal Tort Claims Act), EPA agent Phillips has not emerged unscathed from this affair. He was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with his testimony in the tort suit. Press reports indicate that on October 3, 2011, he pleaded guilty to those charges.   My Thanks to J. Johnson of the UK for sending this to me.  RK

People who are not farmers, or who don’t know any farmers, probably know very little about the U.S. Department of Agriculture. What most of us do know about USDA, other than the stamp it places on meat packages, is that it takes billions of dollars from taxpayers to pay farmers not to grow things. Basically it’s a large federal bureaucracy that pays productive people not to be productive. Not only is this a tremendous waste of money, it is extraordinarily absurd! It does nothing but stifle initiative and destroy the entrepreneurial spirit that made America great. It is bureaucratic madness to take money from productive people and use it to pay other people to do nothing………. The USDA’s 2011 budget of $152 billion equates to $1,200 seized from every U.S. household. And you may be surprised to learn that two-thirds of that taxpayer-money will actually be doled out in food subsides, not farm subsidies. By far the largest part of the USDA’s budget is money given away to “poor” people through food stamps, the school breakfast and lunch programs, and the women, infants, and children (WIC) program. These are just three of the 26 food and nutrition programs run by six different federal agencies…….. In reality, the Department of Agriculture is one monumental giveaway scheme, a labyrinth of policies and plans designed to take money from productive people and give it to individuals who either cannot or will not produce. The USDA could very well be the poster child for all that is wrong with government intervention in the free market. Just about everything the department does exemplifies the many ways supposedly well-intentioned government programs not only have the opposite effect of their intent, but actually do more harm than good.

Signs Both Encouraging and Discouraging in Agencies’ Letter on “Voluntary” Food Drink Ad Guidelines - Much to the chagrin of nanny-state activists, federal regulators are starting to acknowledge how extreme and unworkable their “Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts” on food and beverage advertising directed at “children.”.....The 22 Members signing the letter joined WLF and countless other interested parties by urging the IWG to “withdraw the current proposal and start afresh.” The Agriculture Department, HHS, and FTC embrace the nanny-state activists’ belief that American consumers need protection from themselves, and that government, as Secretary Vilsack himself recently said, must create “an appropriate transition” for what Americans eat. So it’s full speed ahead on the IWG’s “voluntary” nutrition and marketing guidelines.

My Take - Thomas Sowell wrote once that it was impossible for a handful of "the elite" to make all the decisions for everyone else and be successful because they can't possibly know as much as the rest of humanity combined.  Why can't we get that?

Furthermore I keep wondering how they got the idea that we were all so stupid that only they could make the right decisions for all the rest of us. If we are all dumb....where did they come from if not from us. So how did they get so much smarter and wiser? Oh....wait.....I know.... I know.....they're aliens.

Some years ago when Dennis Kucinich was running for president Steven Koff wrote an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer called "A Don Quixote campaign". A woman named Astrid Watanabe from Haiku Hawaii wrote in defending Dennis saying;
"Keep tilting 'Dennis Quixote'the article] almost made me cry, but it made me love Dennis Kucinich even more. I don't know where he gets the energy to go through all this for us undeserving people.  He seems a stranger to his world, and at the same time he is so much one of us. There is a light that shines in the darkness. He is a lamb among the wolves, and at the same time he has an indomitable strength. Armed with the truth he demolishes lies like a house of cards and still has compassion for the liars. He is the man of the future. Wait and see."
It has been said that Dennis talks to extraterrestrials and ......well gee.....maybe there really are extraterrestrial aliens.  And maybe they're living in Hawaii. Then again.....maybe Dennis is one of them.  Ann Coulter did call him a "strange little man"....of course ......she is a bet unique too. Now here's a thought. Two of them are from competing planets. Wow.....that must explain it all. Wadda ya think?

Stuff You Probably Didn’t See on the News

CA: Gov. Brown signs bill that allows for bans on circumcision: "California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday a bill that prevents local governments from banning the practice of male circumcision. The legislation comes in response to an effort this summer by a San Francisco Bay Area advocacy group opposed to the practice to get a measure proposing a citywide ban added to the November 8 city ballot."

The ACLU – A Change of Heart or Cowardice?
The ANC [American News Commentary] reported in its September 21, 2011 issue that the ACLU is defending the right of Muslims to exercise prayer in public schools in San Diego… Really?

Trial Over Earthquake in Italy Puts Focus on Probability and Panic
The manslaughter trial of six seismologists and a government official in the central Italian city of L’Aquila, stemming from what the authorities say was a failure to warn the population before a deadly 2009 earthquake, has outraged many scientists. Thousands have signed petitions protesting the prosecution as anti-science.

My Take - I find this amazing.  Scientists are being charged for disasters they cannot possibly be responsible for and other scientists who have deliberately distorted, twisted and lied about their research causing untold economic hardship and promoted green policies that has caused dystopia around the world are given a pass.  Go figure!  It is really true.  You just can't fix stupid!

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax -
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings."


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