People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, November 30, 2009

To Think ...

... they still consider themselves to be holier than thou.  And still above reproach:
Objective Journalism: Michael Gerson Defends a Profession That No Longer Exists
By John Nolte

Once again, from that familiar MSM perch where one can look down their nose at the great unwashed who just don’t understand the magnificent tradition of journalism they’re about to lose, Gerson blames We the People for no longer wanting to pay for our news and choosing partisan sources “that reinforce and exaggerate … political predispositions.”

How absurd.

A non-partisan, unbiased news media simply doesn’t exist anymore. All that remains of this once somewhat respectable profession are two kinds of media: those who lie about their agenda and those who don’t – and Mr. Gerson’s employer is one of the liars. Whether it’s Glenn Beck, Arianna Huffington, National Review or MSNBC, tell me your biases upfront and we can at least start a dialogue from an honest foundation. On the other hand, the Washington Post, New York Times, Newsweek, Time, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and the like, have spent years making jerks out of us – lying to our faces. We knew this, there just wasn’t any alternative. But now that there is, their time is just about up.

Gerson doesn’t seem to want to face this truth – I don’t mean the truth that Big Media’s dying, that’s undeniable — but the truth that the death of this profession was a suicide. [link]
The "Gerson" to whom Nolte refers is Michael Gerson of the Washington Post. His whine can be found here.

The Seeds Of Their Own Destruction

Why leftists and the press will fight mightily to ignore the news - the facts - about Climategate,

The Anchoress:
In a nutshell, Climategate is a destroyer of world-views. As someone who has always maintained that the AGW [anthropogenic global warming] hype was a matter of politicians and grifters seizing an opportunity to use unsettled science as a means of getting filthy rich while imposing harsh measures against human freedom, I am very familiar with the world-view of the alarmists.

That’s basically it. The AGW/Climate Change question became a rigorous boondoggle that got out of control not because the scientist who first suggested a connection between human carbon emission and a change in climate were bad people, or that the question was not worth asking, but because bad people then took the uncertain hypothesis, put it on media-fueled steroids, demonized anyone who disagreed with them, made it political -so much so that even the scientists got caught up in the good/bad, smart/stupid, Gore/Bush, Left/Right identifiers- and found real power there; they allowed the AGW movement to become the dubious centering pole upholding the giant circus tent of their worldviews.

As such, it is not permitted to be shaken. Shake the centering pole, and everything could come tumbling down: Oh. My. Gawd! If the Gore-doubters were right about this, what else might they be right about? And if they’re all stupid, and I’m smart, but they’re right and I’m wrong . . .

Implosion. [link]
I remember being called neanderthal for doubting the global warming business.  They were smart, I was stupid, they were right, I was wrong ...

A Shot Across The Bow

Words have meaning.  And with the words "Commander in Chief" come a great deal of weighty responsibilities.  Obama's now finding that out.

But is he up to the task?
Will He Prove Them Wrong?
By Jennifer Rubin, Commentary magazine

The Washington Post’s editors are nervous about the president’s upcoming speech on Afghanistan ...

Here Obama has made his own job worse. By empowering the likes of Joe Biden and his domestic policy advisers to second-guess the recommendation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and to warn openly of the domestic consequences of embracing the only viable plan for victory, the president has signaled that he’s looking over his shoulder. The sole target of his concern has not been the enemy and the horrendous potential consequences of a halfhearted effort. Instead he’s been fixated on his left-wing base. He’s obsessed over an exit strategy, forgetting that his predecessor won a war without one and that George W. Bush’s wartime troubles stemmed not from failing to  promise an end date but from letting a losing strategy persist too long. Obama’s also muddied the waters on the identity of the enemy and whether we can achieve “victory,” a word never uttered but essential to leading a war effort.

Now, as the editors note, “Both Americans and Afghans wonder whether the president believes in the war and has the will to win it.” [link]
His enemies know full well that he has no interest in winning this war.  Even his friends will acknowledge that it's little more than a tedious campaign pledge that requires his occasional attention and propels his actions.  In either case, lives are going to be lost in Afghanistan for the worst of reasons.  We're there and we'll continue to be there.  Oh, well.

Our brave men and women who volunteered to go into harm's way deserved better.

It's Amazing ...

... how earth-shaking something seemingly as innocuous as a HARRY_READ_ME.txt file can be.

Earth-shaking in that the liberal movement to push the planet into one-world governance is in the process of crumbling to rubble.

I wonder if the man or woman who released that file to the world will be handed Al Gore's Nobel Prize some day.

Stop Them Before They Act

World leaders are meeting in Copenhagen next month to hammer out a plan to stop CO2 emissions from further warming the globe.  But it has become obvious to anyone who isn't eager to tax and regulate humans like never before that the reason for their meeting has been proven to be a complete fraud.  Yet they'll meet anyway.  And tax / regulate if they can get away with it.

What's wrong with this picture:
Global warming consensus: garbage in, garbage out
By Michael Barone, Washington Examiner

The Copenhagen climate summit was convened to get the leaders of nations to commit to sharp reductions in carbon dioxide emissions -- and thus sharp reductions in almost all energy usage, at huge economic cost -- in order to prevent disasters that supposedly were predicted with absolute certainty by a scientific consensus.

But that consensus was based in large part on CRU data that was, to take the charitable explanation, "complete rubbish" or, to take the more dire view, the product of deliberate fraud.

Australian geologist Ian Plimer, a global warming skeptic, is ... blunt. The e-mails "show that data was massaged, numbers were fudged, diagrams were biased, there was destruction of data after freedom of information requests, and there was refusal to submit taxpayer-funded date for independent examination."

For those of us who have long suspected that constructing scientific models of climate and weather is an enormously complex undertaking quite possibly beyond the capacity of current computer technology, the CRU e-mails are not so surprising.

Do we really suppose that anyone can construct a database of weather observations for the entire planet and its atmosphere adequate to make confident predictions of weather and climate 60 years from now? Predictions in which we have enough confidence to impose enormous costs on the American and world economies? [link]
Al Gore will tell you yes.  But Al Gore has demonstrated over the years that he's not very bright and is prone to delusion.

So we're going to alter our way of life for this?

I don't think so.

Tragedy In Lakewood, WA

Michelle Malkin has some valuable background information on that asshole who murdered four police officers out in Lakewood, Washington.  As is often the case, it's a matter of an extremely violent animal being given leniency over and over and over again by a disinterested government.  And now four of America's finest are dead.

My God.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gov't In Action

I wonder if the kids over at the Roanoke Times - the ones who are really big on the government takeover (and assured destruction) of what most Americans consider to be the finest health care delivery system the world has ever devised - think about their position when they read the column penned by one of their own - Luanne Traud - that has to do with her attempting, on three different occasions, to go down to the government-run DMV and obtain a simple driver's license.

Yeah, I wonder.

Uh, never mind.  Actually I don't.

Tom Perriello a One-Termer?

If the reaction of the people of Virginia's 5th District continues to grow ever more negative towards ObamaCare, it certainly is a possibility.  For the anger toward Obama's abominable government takeover of the health care system continues to rise.  And heads (including Tom's) will surely roll:
Growing public backlash over Obamacare
Washington Examiner editorial

Two-dozen Democrats from Republican-leaning districts, who voted for the House version of President Obama's increasingly unpopular health care reform, are beginning to feel a growing public backlash.

They're not the only ones. Twenty-nine other House Democrats who voted for the bill come from districts that John McCain carried, making them particularly vulnerable to an angry electorate that never bought into the "hope and change" hype in the first place.

As support erodes for Obamacare's massive tax increases and deep Medicare cuts, they must also consider the personal political cost. Only 38 percent of the public supports their health care plan, the lowest level of public support in more than two years. As more details of the 2,074-page behemoth -- which most members of Congress concede they have not read -- continue to trickle out, the more the poll numbers drop.

It's not hard to figure out why. Obamacare was supposed to lower costs, extend coverage and improve Americans' health care options. It does none of those things.

Despite accounting gimmicks, Obamacare will cost $4.9 trillion over the next 20 years. This enormous sum will suck the wind out of an already struggling economy. The plan includes higher premiums for younger workers, fines for those who refuse to purchase coverage, lower Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals, and job-killing taxes on employers.

Obamacare will also force an estimated five million workers to lose their employer-provided coverage.

Federal taxpayers will be forced to pay for elective abortions even though only 13 percent favor such coverage.

As far as improving health care options is concerned, the administration wants to cut down on mammograms and slash Medicare Advantage for seniors to save money. After all this spending and upheaval, 24 million Americans will remain uninsured in 2019. Every Democrat who ignores the public will and votes for this higher-cost, lower-care monstrosity will be held accountable. Voters back home won't let them forget it. [link]
Remember, not long ago, how "fixing the health care system" involved reducing the average family's cost (Obama pledged to reduce annual premiums by $2500 to get elected)?  That was then.  It ain't no mo'.  Now it's all about extending benefits to the uninsured.  In other words, it's become nothing more than another entitlement.  Another welfare program.

And a very costly welfare program at that.

One that will cost the American people dearly to implement.  As much as $6,250,000,000,000. Tens of thousands per household.

We went, somehow, from being promised a cost savings to having delivered to us a back-breaking cost increase.

The American people are rightly outraged.  And that outrage builds.


Be Careful What You Wish For

We all hate the rich.  Right?  We want them punished.  We want them to bleed.  To squeal like pigs.  That's why, when we hear talk of capping their salaries and taxing the living hell out of them, we all smile.  They deserve it.

If only it worked out that way:
Leaving Corporate America
By John Dietrich, American Thinker

David Farr, the CEO of Emerson Electric Co., asserted, "I'm not going to hire anybody in the U.S. I'm moving. They (Washington) are doing everything possible to destroy jobs."

Farr is not alone in his determination to abandon the anti-business climate of the United States. Eleven major companies have relocated or are in the process of relocating overseas: Tyco International Ltd., Foster Wheeler AG, Weatherford International Ltd., Nabors Industries Ltd., Noble Corp., TransOcean International Group, United America Indemnity Ltd., Cooper Industries, Covidien, Ingersoll-Rand PLC, and Accenture Ltd. The U.S. has the world's highest corporate tax rate after Japan, but we have been promised that free health insurance will make American companies competitive.

In addition to increased taxes, there are other incentives to relocate outside of the United States. The federal government now sees the need to regulate executive compensation. This is a very popular idea, and politicians like popular ideas. Paying executives tens of millions of dollars a year does not seem reasonable. And the majority of Americans agree: high salaries for American CEOs must be regulated.

The market proves otherwise. If the market offers executives significantly larger incomes to relocate, many will relocate. Josef Ackerman of Deutsche Bank reportedly stated, "We can't wait to get our hands on all that top talent." A reasonable person might say, "The market be damned." The market can at times be very unreasonable. As an illustration, suppose the owner of an NBA team were to conclude that bouncing a ball was worth only $100,000 a year. Where would his team be in the standings? What would the team's attendance figures be? As a result of this change, how many hot dog vendors would be laid off?

As corporations relocate overseas, we will become a progressive utopia of teachers teaching social workers and social workers ministering to the needs of teachers. Somehow I do not think this will work. [link]
None of this makes any difference.  We hate the rich and that's that.  If they leave this country, well, good riddance.  The consequences will deal with themselves.

I've mentioned before an odd - yet telling - circumstance that occurred a few years ago.  Of all the opinion pieces I wrote for my weekly column in the Roanoke Times the one about which I received the most negative responses was entitled, "Eat the Rich" (the Times changed it to "Rising Tide"; a copy editor obviously hated me).  (You'd think it would have been the one about homosexuals, but no).  Responses that could be uniformly encapsulated in the phrase, "The rich have what we don't; we hate them; we don't care if the government singles them out for retribution."

Is it any wonder that the job creators are starting to pack their bags and leave?

But with them goes their dollars.  Dollars that would have been spent here in our stores.  Dollars that would have gone to the government in the way of (punitively progressive) taxes.  A government that is seeing its revenue plummet and its debt skyrocket.

But we don't care.  We hate them.

I have little doubt that we'll still be saying that when they're all gone and half of us are unemployed.

I sometimes think we deserve that which we are about to get.

For The Love Of God

Climategate: University of East Anglia U-turn in climate change row

Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data - dubbed Climategate - have agreed to publish their figures in full.

There is a growing chorus of calls from within the scientific community for the researchers at the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia to "open-source" its data so that others can test the methodologies and calculations that the global warming zealots at the CRU used to complete their many reports showing that the planet is warming.  So this is excellent news.

But wait.

Unfortunately that cannot now happen.  Ever.  Not because the "scientists" there continue to stonewall. But because they threw away the data:
Climate change data dumped
By Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor, Times of London

Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building. [link]
A law enforcement investigation will ultimately reveal whether the trashing of data was as innocent as reported here or, as is likely, the global warmists trashed it so as to avoid complete embarrassment (and possible prison time).

But the important point is: The information critical to now determining if, in fact, the planet has warmed at all over the last hundred years is lost forever.

Accident, blunder, short-sightedness, or criminal conspiracy, the loss is immeasurable.

There's some kind of punishment due.  We don't yet know what it should be.  But punishment for certain.

Another Reason The Global Warmists Lost

They are hilariously ridiculous in their efforts to make their case.

From the "You can't make this stuff up" page (sometimes referred to as the op/ed page) of the New York Times:
Before the Climate Conference, a Weather Report

President Obama and other world leaders will gather in Copenhagen next week to discuss climate change. Though this is a global issue, it’s also a profoundly local one. For this reason, the Op-Ed editors asked writers from four different continents to report on the climate changes they’ve experienced close to home. Here are their dispatches.

In Copenhagen, the once moderate-to-fresh winds are now more often storms.

In Cape Town, a rise in unpredictable and more ferocious fires are destroying the ecosystem.

The Penquins of Brazil
In Rio de Janeiro, shifiting ocean currents and water temperatures have changed bird migration patterns.

In Japan, Concerns Blossom
In Tokyo, it no longer snows in winter.
Keep in mind the fact that, if the experts' measurements are to be believed (a highly dubious assumption these days), the earth's temperature has risen 0.2° C. in recent decades.

0.2 degrees.

Despite the fact that that increase is nearly undetectable, winds have become storms, fires have begun to rage, bird migration patterns have been altered, and it no longer snows in parts of Japan.

0.2 degrees.

Can these people be any more goofy?

I think maybe someone's been staying up late and watching too many comedies on TV:

Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

"Weather!"  Too funny.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh, No. Not Again.

When Christians think small:
Mass. woman sees image of Jesus on her iron
Associated Press

Metheun, Mass. -- A Massachusetts woman who recently separated from her husband and had her hours cut at work says an image of Jesus Christ she sees on her iron has reassured her that "life is going to be good."

Mary Jo Coady first noticed the image Sunday when she walked into her daughter's room.

The brownish residue on the bottom of the iron looks like the face of a man with long hair.

The 44-year-old Coady was raised Catholic. She and her two college-age daughters agree that the image looks like Jesus and is proof that "he's listening." [link]
First of all, the image is of Janis Joplin, not Jesus.

Second, when the Lord God Almighty reveals himself once again to us the unworthy here on earth, it ain't going to be on the underside of an iron.  It will be like this:

So clean the iron and put it away.  You embarrass us.

Coming To a Hospital Near You

Welcome to ObamaCare:
Hundreds of patients died needlessly at NHS hospital due to appalling care
By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor, London Telegraph

Poor nursing care, filthy wards and lack of leadership at Basildon and Thurrock University NHS Hospitals FoundationTrust led to the deaths of up to 400 patients a year.

Figures compiled by a health watchdog showed death rates at the Essex trust were a third higher than they should have been.

Among the worst failings discovered by the Care Quality Commission were a lack of basic nursing skills, curtains spattered with blood on wards, mold in vital equipment and patients being left in A&E [Accident and Emergency] for up to ten hours.

Concerns about death rates at the foundation hospital trust were first raised a year ago, but an internal investigation failed to find anything wrong and managers dismissed the concerns. [link] [emphasis mine]
Ya gotta love those last two paragraphs.  Curtains spattered with blood on wards, mold in vital equipment, and patients being left waiting in the emergency room for up to ten hours?  Nope.  Nothing unusual there.

It's government health care as the British have come to know it.

Obama is taking us down the same path.  Why?

The Global Warmists May Try To Dismiss This ...

... but it's not going away.

The efforts to distort data and crush dissenting points of view in what is now being called Climategate are, to one scientist, acts of treason against science:
Climategate: The Skeptical Scientist’s View
By Frank J. Tipler, Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University

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.

I’ve doubted the reliability of the global warming data for some time now, so I personally am not surprised by the contents of the emails. What the released data provide is additional proof that the temperature data can’t be trusted and that climate scientists are engaged in a worldwide conspiracy. And like all conspiracies, it was finally exposed. In this case, it was most likely exposed by an honest man inside CRU who believed that the FOIA law should be obeyed. [link]
This kicks the discussion up a notch.  To call it a worldwide conspiracy broadens the debate.  Will the scientific community decide to get its house in order?  Or will it circle the wagons around the accused  hucksters and try to continue to dismiss the sordid saga as something unworthy of further discussion?

You Be The Judge

Peggy Noonan on the amateurs who are in charge of our country:
The Obama bowing pictures are becoming iconic not for those reasons, however, but because they express a growing political perception, and that is that there is something amateurish about this presidency, something too ad hoc and highly personalized about it, something . . . incompetent, at least in its first year.

It is hard to be president, and White Houses under pressure take refuge in thoughts that become mantras. When the previous White House came under mounting criticism from 2005 through '08, they comforted themselves by thinking, They criticized Lincoln, too. You could see their minds whirring: Lincoln was criticized, Lincoln was great, ergo we are great. But of course just because they say you're stupid doesn't mean you're Lincoln.

One senses the Obama people are doing the Lincoln too, and adding to it the consoling thought that this is only the first year, we've got three years to go, we can change perceptions, don't worry.

But they should worry. You can get tagged, typed and pegged your first year. Gerald Ford did, and Ronald Reagan too, more happily. The first year is when indelible impressions are made and iconic photos emerge.
In a different America, one less concerned about offending sensibilities, the photo above would be the stuff of late-night TV comedy routines.  It's that funny.

And yet it isn't.  This is the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, prostrating himself before a foreign monarch.

Our ancestors would cringe at the sight.

The Travesty That Is Climategate

In a nutshell.  In the form of cautionary advice.  From Johna Till Johnson:
Don't make stuff up. The released document HARRY_READ_ME.txt contains examples in which the coder, supremely frustrated with the poor quality of his data, simply creates some. Even if the underlying science is sound, "created" data taints the integrity of the entire process. Don't do it, no matter how tempting.
This released document, along with thousands of others, came out of the Climate Research Unit, the primary source for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's findings that the globe is warming.  Findings, we now know, that were based on "created" data.

If this data is corrupted, all accompanying data must be deemed corrupted.  And the IPCC's assertions are therefore meaningless.

Suppose they realize what they've done to themselves and their movement?

Put Up Or Shut Up

There's only one solution to be secured in the developing Climategate scandal.  Release the data!

Eric S. Raymond:
Open-Sourcing the Global Warming Debate

The email and documents recently netjacked from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia raise serious questions about the quality of the research being used to underpin major public-policy decisions.

In the open-source software community, we understand about human error and sloppiness and the tendency to get too caught up in a pet theory. We know that the most effective way way to combat these tendencies is transparency of process — letting the code speak for itself, and opening the sources to skeptical peer review by anyone.

There is only one way to cut through all of the conflicting claims and agendas about the CRU’s research: open-source it all. Publish the primary data sets, publish the programs used to interpret them and create graphs like the well-known global-temperature “hockey stick”, publish everything. Let the code and the data speak for itself; let the facts trump speculation and interpretation. [link]
To this point in time, those driving the global warming stampede have guarded zealously the foundational data that gives rise to their apocalyptic theories of doom.  At every turn, they've refused to release that data in part or in whole.  To this very day, much of it remains a secret.

Oddly, the scientific community has been accepting of this unusual circumstance.

Well now, with the release of the emails that have launched Climategate, the integrity of the climate alarmists - and their data - are called into serious question.

The only way to overcome this loss of moral high ground is to be completely open with the data and methodologies.

The forthrightness of those at the center of the firestorm will also be an indicator as to just how aboveboard they really are.

I have my doubts, of course ...

- - -

Mohammad al-Sabban: "“No one has been as badly let down by the revelations in these emails as those of us who have championed the science.  We should be the first to demand that it is [sic] unimpeachable, not the last.”

Friday, November 27, 2009

What Is It About Staunton and the Mentally Insane?

Did you know that the city of Staunton once hosted the site of the commonwealth's largest lunatic asylum?

Did you know that it will again soon?

Of course we don't refer to the mentally handicapped ... er, mentally deficient ... er, those with intellectual capacity challenges as being lunatics anymore.  We refer to them as ... well, God only knows what the politically correct term for those who are nuts is.

But in 1828 they were called lunatics.

And in that year the Western Lunatic Asylum opened its doors.

It soon it came to look like this:

And what a breathtakingly imposing facility it was.

Today, unfortunately, the asylum, now abandoned, looks like this:

If you've never seen this massive complex of buildings (which sits just to the west of  I-81 and east of the Wal-Mart Super Center on Richmond Avenue), you've missed something.  It was - and is - a beautiful example of American architecture at its best.

And such a waste it is.

For wasting away it is.

But wait:
Va plans new psychiatric hospital
Associated Press

Staunton, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Tim Kaine will be on hand for the groundbreaking on a new psychiatric hospital that continues a long Virginia tradition.

A new $125 million, 246-bed Western State Hospital is being built in Staunton by a Fairfax construction firm.

The new facility is slated to open in 2013. [link]
So.  We're building a new lunatic asylum.  In that same Staunton.  At a cost of $125 million.

What's wrong with the old one, one might ask?

I'll venture a guess and say it's too run-down to house guests adequately.

So we're going to spend $125 million on a brand-spanking new facility.


I think I know who the first attendees should be.  

In Denial

One of the Washington Post's less gifted columnists, Eugene Robinson, comes to the defense of those climate scientists who have been caught red-handed fudging their data and trying (successfully) to manipulate the press.  And an odd defense it is:
Tell it to the ice caps

Stop hyperventilating, all you climate-change deniers. The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week -- portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories -- does not prove that global warming is a fraud. [link]
That's true.  It doesn't prove that global warming is a fraud.  But a careful reading of the emails proves that the research coming out of the leading global warming research facility on the planet is indeed a fraud.  From start to finish.  All of it.

But here's a more exasperating part of the deniers' claim:

Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit, released a statement Wednesday saying, "My colleagues and I accept that some of the published e-mails do not read well." That would be an example of British understatement.

In one message sent to a long list of colleagues, Jones speaks of having completed a "trick" with recent temperature data to "hide the decline." The word "trick" is hardly a smoking gun -- scientists use it to refer to clever but perfectly legitimate ways of handling data. But the "hide the decline" part refers to a real issue among climate researchers called the "divergence problem."

To plot temperatures going back hundreds or thousands of years -- long before anyone was taking measurements -- you need a set of data that can serve as an accurate proxy. The width of tree rings was found to correlate well with temperature readings, and extrapolating that correlation into the past yields the familiar "hockey stick" graph -- fairly level temperatures for eons, followed by a sharp incline beginning around 1900. This is attributed to human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide.

But beginning around 1960, tree-ring data diverge from observed temperatures. Skeptics say this calls into question whether tree-ring data are valid for earlier periods on the flat portion of the hockey stick -- say, 500 or 1,000 years ago. Jones and others acknowledge they don't know what the divergence means, but they point to actual temperatures: It's warmer now than it was 100 years ago.
And how does Mr. Robinson know that it's warmer today than it was 100 years ago?  Because Phil Jones and his nest of snakes have told him so.

The global warming promoters are right because they say they're right.

For the love of God.

Wake up, Eugene.  And start thinking before you embarrass yourself further.

And Speaking of Deniers

The Roanoke Times, being heavily invested in the notion that the planet is heating up and humans are causing it to, comes out with its own pronouncement on the growing Climategate crisis.  Its take?

Ain't no thang:
The scientific theories and immense body of evidence that shows global climate change is happening and that humans contribute to it remains secure.

What the pilfered documents do show is that scientists are human beings, and sometimes not very pleasant ones.
Of course, the kids at the Times would just as soon you'd forget that the"immense body of evidence" that "secures" the theory as being legitimate has come largely from the university that is at the heart of this scandal.  And from the very "scientists" who are in real jeopardy of ending up in prison for their nefarious actions.

Poor fools.  Who would have ever thought that it would come to this?

- - -

As a side note: The Roanoke Times calls the emails "pilfered" and makes representation that they were obtained by a computer hacker. I'll wager that the news will eventually come out that the whistle blower actually resides within the university, the whistle blower being a man or woman who was close to those who routinely manufactured the data and who had had enough of the lies and deceit.

Where's The Mainstream Press?

With their heads stuck up their ... looking the other way.  As usual.
Big Media Ask: What Climate Scandal?
By L. Brent Bozell III, writing in Investor's Business Daily

Here's a dirty little secret about the New York Times: It likes to leak things. Important things. Things that change the course of the public conversation. From the Pentagon Papers to the ruined terrorist-surveillance programs of the Bush era, the Times has routinely found that secrecy is a danger and sunlight is a disinfectant.

Until now. A troublesome hacker recently released e-mails going to and from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain, e-mails that exposed how the "scientific experts" cited so often by the media on global warming are guilty of crude political talk, attempts at censoring opponents and twisting scientific data to support their policy agenda.

The e-mails prove just how dishonest this left-wing global warming agenda truly is.

And now suddenly, the New York Times has found religion and won't publish these private e-mails. [link]
So what bigger news graces the front page of the New York Times this morning?  News even bigger than the worst scandal to hit the scientific community in history?

At the Stroke of Midnight, the Shopping Began

I can see how that would bump Climategate. Shopping decisions.  Closeouts.  Where to go to get Zhu Zhu Pets ...

Joke Of The Day

From James Taranto:

Q: How many climate scientists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. There's a consensus that it's going to change, so they've decided to keep us in the dark.

It's come to this.

Will The Democrats Still Pursue Cap-n-Tax?

Pursue it despite the fact that the reason for its being is now in question?  That reason being the control of carbon emissions so as to mitigate the advancement and effects of "global warming"?  That globe that isn't warming?

Kimberley Strassel, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says we should never underestimate the Democrats' lack of common sense:
The more than 3,000 emails and documents from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have found their way to the Internet have blown the lid off the "science" of manmade global warming. CRU is a nerve center for many of those researchers who have authored the United Nations' global warming reports and fueled the political movement to regulate carbon.

Their correspondence show a claque of scientists massaging data to make it fit their theories, squelching scientists who disagreed, punishing academic journals that didn't toe the apocalyptic line, and hiding their work from public view. "It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow," glumly wrote George Monbiot, a U.K. writer who has been among the fiercest warming alarmists. The documents "could scarcely be more damaging." And that's from a believer.

This scandal has real implications.

Still, if this Democratic Washington has demonstrated anything, it's that ideology often trumps common sense. Egged on by the left, dug in to their position, Democrats might plow ahead. They'd be better off acknowledging that the only "consensus" right now is that the world needs to start over on climate "science."
"Ideology trumps common sense."  That pretty well sums it up.  Despite all the unanswered questions - and now the revelation that the data used to support the notion that the planet has been dramatically warming was horribly and intentionally skewed - Obama's off to Copenhagen to promise the world U.S. caps on future carbon emissions so as to ...

Why?  No one knows any more.

- - -

Perhaps Why was never an issue:
Why 'climategate' won't stop greens
By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun

If you're wondering how the robot-like march of the world's politicians towards Copenhagen can possibly continue in the face of the scientific scandal dubbed "climategate," it's because Big Government, Big Business and Big Green don't give a s*** about "the science."

They never have.

What "climategate" suggests is many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't either. Apparently they stifled their own doubts about recent global cooling not explained by their computer models, manipulated data, plotted ways to avoid releasing it under freedom of information laws and attacked fellow scientists and scientific journals for publishing even peer-reviewed literature of which they did not approve.

Now they and their media shills -- who sneered that all who questioned their phony "consensus" were despicable "deniers," the moral equivalent of those who deny the Holocaust -- are the ones in denial about the enormity of the scandal enveloping them.

So they desperately try to portray it as the routine "messy" business of science, lamely insisting, "nothing to see here folks, move along."

The problem, however, is those who hijacked science to predict a looming Armageddon unless we do exactly as they say, have already done their damage.

The moment they convinced politicians the way to avert the End of Days was to put a price on emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the unholy alliance of Big Government, Big Business and Big Green was forged.

Big Government wants more of your taxes. Big Business wants more of your income. Big Green wants you and your children to bow down to its agenda of enforced austerity.

What about saving the planet, you ask? This was never about saving the planet. This is about money and power. Your money. Their power. [link]
Frightening in its implications, isn't it?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

And To All Of You ...

... have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Indianapolis Colts Look Out

In  local news:
New public safety football team snaps to it
A newly formed minor league football team is made up of firefighters, police officers and sheriff's deputies from the Roanoke and New River valleys.
By Amanda Codispoti, Roanoke Times

Monday was the third time that the Roanoke Rampage, a newly formed, minor league football team, has practiced.

The players are all firefighters, police officers and sheriff's deputies throughout the Roanoke and New River valleys, and the team is one of 25 in the National Public Safety Football League, which was established 12 years ago.

The Rampage's season begins in April.

The team would like to play their games at Patrick Henry High School's new stadium but have yet to work out an arrangement, Stone said.

Another issue still in the works: funding. The team has raised $4,200 but is looking for more sponsors to help pay for travel expenses, equipment and other costs. And, they estimate that they'll need at least $3,000 for their two home games because the league requires the home team to provide lodging and a meal for the visiting team.

Proceeds from admission, merchandise and raffles will go to a charity of the team's choosing. Players also plan to donate their time at summer football camps organized by Roanoke's parks and recreation department.

The Rampage's 2010 schedule includes a home game against the DC Generals from Washington and away games against the Orlando Guardians in Florida and Charlotte Cobras in North Carolina.

Their first game is at home April 3 against South Carolina's Commanders. [link]
Could be a hoot.  Count me in.

Oh, by the way, that hunk who's lined up at quarterback in the photo above who bears a startling resemblance to Brett Favre is my son, Jarrod.

Don't hurt him, fellas.  He has mouths to feed.  And his momma will kick your ass if you put a scratch on him.

- - -

P.S.  Want to sponsor the team?  Email me.  fromonhigh@embarqmail.com.

Photo courtesy of Sam Dean and the Roanoke Times

Quote of the Day

John Hinderaker in the prosecution of those union thugs out in St. Louis:
It occurs to me that if these union thugs had been Navy SEALS apprehending a terrorist mass murderer of Americans, rather than agents of the Democratic Party trying to suppress expression of a political view with which the Democratic Party disagrees, they would have been treated far more harshly. Why do you think that is?
I'm reminded of a story told by the late Ron Silver.  He was standing among the masses at President Clinton's first inaugural, enjoying the moment, when suddenly a formation of Air Force jets flew over the Capitol.  His initial reaction was to curse the imperialist war machine that those evil Republicans had foisted upon an innocent world, when he abruptly had a different thought.. His Democrats had taken charge:

"Wait a minute.  Those are OUR planes now!"

Too bad Obama and his administration can't get it in their heads that the Navy is part of HIS administration now.

As for those union thugs, expect them to be made White House czars before long.

Subheader of the Day

The Devil In The Details

As experts pore over those Climategate emails, more damning proof of subterfuge comes to light.

This wasn't a matter of naïveté.  Nor of chums communicating colloquially about the data they had accumulated.

It was FRAUD.  From start to finish.
CRU's Source Code: Climategate Uncovered
By Marc Sheppard, American Thinker

As the evidence of fraud at the University of East Anglia's prestigious Climactic Research Unit (CRU) continues to mount, those who've been caught green-handed continue to parry their due opprobrium and comeuppance, thanks primarily to a dead-silent mainstream media. But should the hubris and duplicity evident in the e-mails of those whose millennial temperature charts literally fuel the warming alarmism movement somehow fail to convince the world of the scam that's been perpetrated, certainly these revelations of the fraud cooked into the computer programs that create such charts will.

Indeed, miners of the CRU folder have unearthed dozens of e-mail threads and supporting documents revealing much to loathe about this cadre of hucksters and their vile intentions. This veritable goldmine has given us tales ranging from evidence destruction to spitting on the Freedom of Information Act on both sides of the Atlantic. But the now-irrefutable evidence that alarmists have indeed been cooking the data for at least a decade may be the most important strike in human history. [link] [my emphasis]
Here's the smoking gun, as provided by Mr. Sheppard:
Skimming through the often spaghetti-like code, the number of programs which subject the data to a mixed-bag of transformative and filtering routines is simply staggering. Granted, many of these "alterations" run from benign smoothing algorithms (e.g., omitting rogue outliers) to moderate infilling mechanisms (e.g., estimating missing station data from that of those closely surrounding). But many others fall into the precarious range between highly questionable (removing MXD data which demonstrate poor correlations with local temperature) to downright fraudulent (replacing MXD data entirely with measured data to reverse a disorderly trend-line).

In fact, workarounds for the post-1960 "divergence problem," as described by both RealClimate and Climate Audit, can be found throughout the source code. So much so that perhaps the most ubiquitous programmer's comment (REM) I ran across warns that the particular module "Uses 'corrected' MXD - but shouldn't usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures." [emphasis in the original]
This is why those infernal computer models that we've heard and read so much about - and that Al Gore relies so much on to make his billions - have been so inaccurate when predicting the past. As well as the present.  The data had to be ... massaged ... adjusted ... distorted ... so much in order to achieve the desired result - global warming - that it became useless as a predictor.

So why come up with the computer models at all, you ask?  Good question.  But they ain't talkin'.  Except to their lawyers.

Smart move, if you ask me.

So where do we go from here?  Besides lock their asses up?
Gotcha. We know they've been lying all along, and now we can prove it. It's time to bring sanity back to this debate.  

Bottom line:  CRU's evidence is now irrevocably tainted. As such, all assumptions based on that evidence must now be reevaluated and readjudicated. And all policy based on those counterfeit assumptions must also be reexamined. 
Oh, it should be mentioned, Obama is off to Copenhagen to sign a U.N. treaty the foundation for which - and the impetus for which - are the "findings" gathered by this gang of lowlifes.

If he goes through with it, with what the world now knows, he's no better than Jones and Mann and Briffa and ...

Ian Plimer:
Something is seriously wrong. To argue that humans change climate requires abandoning all we know about history, archaeology, geology, astronomy, and solar physics. This is exactly what has been done.

The answer to this enigma was revealed last week. It is fraud.

Files from the UK Climatic Research Unit were hacked. They show that data was massaged, numbers were fudged, diagrams were biased, there was destruction of data after freedom of information requests, and there was refusal to submit taxpayer-funded data for independent examination.

Data were manipulated to show that the Medieval Warming didn’t occur, and that we are not in a period of cooling. Furthermore, the warming of the 20th century was artificially inflated.

This behavior is that of criminals and all the data from the UK Hadley Centre and the US GISS must now be rejected. These crooks perpetrated these crimes at the expense of the British and U.S. taxpayers.

The same crooks control the IPCC and the fraudulent data in IPCC reports. The same crooks meet in Copenhagen next week and want 0.7% of the Western world’s GDP to pass through an unelected UN government, and then on to sticky fingers in the developing world.

You should be angry. Very angry.
They must be stopped.


Along with the appropriate shock and anger that have flowed from the Climategate revelations, we now have - thanks to the wonderful nature of the internet - a heaping dose of ridicule and scorn directed at those "scientists" who have been pushing the global warming hoax.

Before viewing this hilarious video, it would do you well to know who Michael Mann is.  According to Wikipedia:

"He has attained public prominence as lead author of a number of articles on paleoclimate and as one of the originators of a graph of temperature trends dubbed the 'hockey stick graph' for the shape of the graph. The graph received both praise and criticism after its publication in an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report."

He's also the primary target of contempt in the funniest video I've seen all year:

To think: They almost got away with it.

The Corruption May Be Widespread

Anthony Watts reports that those CRU "scientists" may not have been alone in manipulating climate data in order to achieve a desired result:
Uh, oh – raw data in New Zealand tells a different story than the “official” one.

The New Zealand Government’s chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn’t there.

The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain’s CRU climate research centre.

In New Zealand’s case, the figures published on NIWA’s [the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research] website suggest a strong warming trend in New Zealand over the past century:

But analysis of the raw climate data from the same temperature stations has just turned up a very different result:

Gone is the relentless rising temperature trend, and instead there appears to have been a much smaller growth in warming, consistent with the warming up of the planet after the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850.

Why does NIWA’s graph show strong warming, but graphing their own raw data looks completely different? Their graph shows warming, but the actual temperature readings show none whatsoever!

Have the readings in the official NIWA graph been adjusted?
The short answer is YES.

But the bigger question:  Why are they doing this?

Here's Why It Matters

The New York Times this morning, front page:
Businesses in U.S. Brace for New Rules on Emissions
By Jad Mouawad

The nation’s corporations have long been bracing for the day when they would be required to carry out sharp cuts in the emissions that cause global warming. That day seemed to move a bit closer on Wednesday, when President Obama outlined a national target for such reductions.

Until now, the United States had been the only industrialized economy to shun hard targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The nation has been overtaken by China as the top emitter of carbon dioxide, but Americans are bigger carbon polluters per person than citizens of other countries.

The White House said on Wednesday that the president would present a provisional target at the Copenhagen summit meeting on climate next month to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will be “in the range” of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and 83 percent below by 2050, the White House said. [link]
Earth to Mouawad: You're getting too much of your news from newspapers, man.  The ground has shifted.  The global warming craze has ended.  Those foisting it will soon be in prison. It's one Big Lie.

To everyone else:  See how the news that those global warming studies were all faked makes a huge difference in our lives?  If the planet isn't warming, then those emissions that have "caused it" but didn't become of far lesser importance.  Which means Copenhagen becomes nothing more than a gasbag convention.  And there's no need for that one-world government that Obama and his ilk intend to jam down our throats. And there's no reason to tax-and-regulate us back into the Stone Age.  And there's no reason to stop construction of coal-fired power plants.  And there's no legitimate reason for us to have to endure those god-awful curlicue light bulbs.  And cars with a range of 40 miles.


That's why you can expect the deniers to (a) pretend that the science still favors their cause despite all the mounting evidence and (b) continue to push for taxes and regulation that will stop global warming.

Will they succeed?  Guess we'll soon find out.

Here It Comes

On the lighter side this morning, "One Single Payer System," the musical.

Turn up the volume.  Bend over:

Shouldn't we at least get a kiss first, Barry?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Worthy Cause

Elizabeth Strother, writing in the Roanoke Times:
For those who have too little

In our part of the country, the Southwestern Virginia Second Harvest Food Bank reports 20 percent to 30 percent increases over the last two years in the numbers of people getting emergency food assistance from the 360-plus partner programs it serves.

They help an average of 111,000 people every month, the regional food bank's president and CEO, Pamela Irvine, says. Just some of the 362,747 individuals -- our neighbors -- who live in poverty in Southwest Virginia.

The Southwestern Virginia Second Harvest Food Bank is in the midst of its Holidays From the Heart food drive. Other nonprofits too numerable to mention kick into high gear at this time of year to feed the poor.

They are in continual need of donations, especially in these hard times.
It's that time of year.

* I met my first (as always, cheerful) Salvation Army bell ringer at the bank the other day.  The bell pealed as the pot clinked.  A sweet sound.  A good feeling.

* Does Target still ban the bell ringers from in front of its stores?  Since I began my boycott several years ago, I've lost touch with the scrooges there.  I hope they've found it in their ice-cold hearts to reverse their decision.

* It's going to be a cold winter.  And we have a lot more people out of work now who will be needing assistance.  Second Harvest Food Bank, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross all need our help.

Have a merry holiday season, by the way.

Headline Of The Day

Isn't this how these stories always turn out?

First you get the wild-eyed wienies on the left screaming about some right-wing conspiracy and then ...

... the truth comes out:

As it turns out, the census worker murdered himself.

And speaking of goofballs, here's what Andrew Sullivan, writing in The Atlantic had to say about this incident back in September:
No Suicide

That's the one thing we know for certain now in the case of the Kentucky lynching ...

If this was a revenge murder for stumbling upon a meth lab or pot plantation, it's hard to understand why such a big deal would be made out of his census identification card. It's possible, I suppose, that anger at the feds in general could make a drug dealer murder a census worker. But the most worrying possibility - that this is Southern populist terrorism, whipped up by the GOP and its Fox and talk radio cohorts - remains real. We'll see.
Well, as it turns out, this turd was wrong on all counts.

1) The census worker was not murdered.  He committed suicide.

2) "Southern populist terrorism" "remains real" only in the warped and frenzied minds of left-wing nitwits.

3) Neither the GOP nor Fox nor talk radio ... oh, why bother.

An apology to all the above is forthcoming.  I'm sure.

Quote of the Day

Charlie Martin on those global warmists who have been caught fudging their work:

"Simply put, scientists aren’t software engineers. They don’t keep their code in nice packages and they tend to use whatever language they’re comfortable with."

While possibly true, it's not right.

If a scientist is basing his findings on computer models and not on empirical data, that scientist sure as hell had better be both a statistician and a code expert ("software engineer"). 

Otherwise, he's quickly muddled in a morass of meaningless muck.

Oh, wait.  I think we've just pegged the problem with all this global warming nonsense.  It's not necessarily a matter of villainous intentions.  It's the fact that these geniuses didn't know what they were doing.

Unqualified amateurs.  My God.

On The Science Scandal of the Millenium

Here's where those purloined emails are leading the (new media) investigation.  The scientists who gave us global warming had to seriously distort their own data in order to reach their pre-established conclusions.

Charlie Martin:
I think there’s a good reason the CRU didn’t want to give their data to people trying to replicate their work.

It’s in such a mess that they can’t replicate their own results.

This is not, sadly, all that unusual. Simply put, scientists aren’t software engineers. They don’t keep their code in nice packages and they tend to use whatever language they’re comfortable with. Even if they were taught to keep good research notes in the past, it’s not unusual for things to get sloppy later. But put this in the context of what else we know from the CRU data dump:

1. They didn’t want to release their data or code, and they particularly weren’t interested in releasing any intermediate steps that would help someone else.

2. They clearly have some history of massaging the data — hell, practically water-boarding the data — to get it to fit their other results. Results they can no longer even replicate on their own systems.

3. They had successfully managed to restrict peer review to what we might call the “RealClimate clique” — the small group of true believers they knew could be trusted to say the right things.

As a result, it looks like they found themselves trapped. They had the big research organizations, the big grants — and when they found themselves challenged, they discovered they’d built their conclusions on fine beach sand.

But the tide was coming in.
A tide that has swelled into a tsunami.

Was it money or fame that drove these "scientists" to do the dastardly things they did?  Was it an all-consuming need to "save the environment" no matter the cost?

Whatever it was, their actions will certainly reserve for them a hallowed place in the Science Hall of Shame.

Our War-Time Commander

Tick tock.  Tick tock.  Tick ...

After eight years, some of those years in which we did not have, I think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done, it is my intention to finish the job."

“And I feel very confident that when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we're doing there and how we intend to achieve our goals, they will be supportive.”

When asked at what point the American people will hear his clear rationale, Obama responded:


Give it a week.

There are more pressing things going on:

Wayne's World! Wayne's World! 
Party time! 

Meanwhile, in a land far, far away:

Party on, Wayne.

Party on, Garth.

- - -

What a difference an election makes.

Here's the BBC back when George Bush was reelected:
The lavish dinners, parties and fireworks began on Tuesday and will continue through his swearing-in on Thursday, followed by a parade and nine official inaugural balls.

Some have criticised the expense, questioning the propriety of a flashy celebration as US troops are dying in Iraq and South Asia still recovers from last month's deadly tsunami.
"Some" don't seem to be criticizing Obama for doing the same thing today that Bush did back then.

How odd.

Photos courtesy of AFP and Yahoo.

Things Are ... Heating Up

Expect to see a lot more activity like this as concerned citizens try to get a better handle on the nefarious activities of those climate alarmists who perpetrated the worst - and most damaging - hoax in the history of mankind:
Competitive Enterprise Institute Sues NASA in Wake of Climategate Scandal
by Christopher Horner, PJM

Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed three Notices of Intent to File Suit against NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), for those bodies’ refusal — for nearly three years — to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

The information sought is directly relevant to the exploding “Climategate” scandal revealing document destruction, coordinated efforts in the U.S. and UK to avoid complying with both countries’ freedom of information laws, and apparent and widespread intent to defraud at the highest levels of international climate science bodies. Numerous informed commenters had alleged such behavior for years, all of which appears to be affirmed by leaked emails, computer code, and other data from the Climatic Research Unit of the UK’s East Anglia University. [link]
For years NASA has ignored them.

My guess is, those seeking the truth won't be ignored much longer.

Try Again, With Feeling

If bowing before foreign rulers is a sign of respect ...

... why isn't anyone bowing before the Great and Powerful O?


Are they all then being disrespectful?

Looks Like I'm Not Alone

A record number of people polled by Rasmussen are now strongly disapproving of the job performance of Barack Obama.

If only they had listened when it counted.

The latest:

-15 and dropping.

I guess talk of hope and change will only wear so well.  Then people start expecting something more.

Unfortunately, as Americans are finding out, there is nothing more there. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

Ouch.  This, from Der Spiegel, has to hurt:
When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy. His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it's not working. A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.
This comes from an ally who thought - not long ago - that Bush's bluntness was a fault. That the world needed a kinder, gentler leader.

But that was then ...

A Huge Disconnect

60% of the United States Senate supports ObamaCare.

Nearly 60% of America opposes it.

What's wrong with this picture?
Support for Health Care Plan Falls to New Low
Rasmussen Reports

Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% now oppose the plan.

Prior to this, support for the plan had never fallen below 41%. Last week, support for the plan was at 47%. Two weeks ago, the effort was supported by 45% of voters.[link]
Support is falling like a rock as more people learn the particulars of the plan.

Do the Democrats really want to proceed with this circular firing squad?

It Seems So Simple

"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better."
-- Jeff Bezos

Yeah?  If only.

So I was standing in line at the bank yesterday afternoon.  A line of five people.  A line I wouldn't have been standing in at all had the bank not reduced its staff in the commercial department from two full-time people Monday through Friday to one part-timer.  A line that was moving very slowly because there were, in this particular bank, at that point in time, five teller windows with one teller working.  It should be mentioned, too, that the drive-thru lanes outside, I noticed when I drove in, were backed up as well.

Oh, something else: Yes, I was in a hurry.

And yes, I'm the impatient type.

And yes, the last thing bank people - or any service industry people - need do is give customers the time to contemplate how effectively - or ineffectively - they are dealing with the general public by making them stand in a line that is moving at a glacial pace.  Especially a guy like me who counts the wait in seconds, not minutes.

I noticed, as I was waiting in this line - ten minutes? - 600 seconds? - some fella dressed in a suit at the end of the room, looking.  Watching.  Evaluating.  A district or regional or corporate supervisor, I surmised.  There to see if this particular branch was performing up to company standards.

I noticed too, on the wall above this one and only (harried) teller one of those colorful, impactful signs that are meant to make customers feel as if they are special.  One-of-a-kind.  Precious.  Its slogan had something to do with "customer satisfaction."

I looked at the slogan, and then at the supervisor, and back at the slogan, then at the never-shortening line, then back at the supervisor who made no attempt to speed things up.  No attempt to bring about customer satisfaction. He was there, you see, to make sure that the process, as outlined by corporate directive, was being adhered to.

The whole situation struck me as being off kilter.  This bank - and that supervisor - weren't seeking - or working to achieve - any level of customer satisfaction.  Not really.  They were seeking and were prepared to accept "customer tolerance."  That supervisor was looking to see that those of us in line were tolerating the fact that there was only one teller on duty and that the line, though not satisfactory, was tolerable.

It was that.  I suppose.

All I needed at that moment was for someone to walk up and hand me one of those infernal "customer satisfaction survey" cards.  Another tool used extensively by those who seek to meet Jeff Bezos's exacting standards.

A post card.

It's easier than unfolding one's arms and pitching in to actually help provide that satisfaction.  Right?

A suggestion: Next time you're being serviced by a company that emphasizes "customer service," decide if the management there - through their actions - are actually seeking to provide customer service or rather if they are searching for that point in the provider/customer relationship beyond which the experience becomes intolerable.  A good indicator: How long are they willing to let that line grow - and how long do they expect a customer to wait - before providing that which that customer came in to accomplish.

Until that point is reached - and they'll continue to push the envelope - you can expect that supervisor to stand there with his arms folded, watching to see to it that his customers are being handled in the prescribed manner.

Customer satisfaction.  Too often a mere slogan ...

'Low Ebb,' Gutter, One in the Same

A point to be made about those who hate - or fear - Sarah Palin:
Sarah Palin and the low ebb of the cultural left
By Claude Sandroff, American Thinker

One of the great challenges when writing about Palin is to keep focus on her concrete accomplishments (the energy related legislative agenda she advanced and passed were masterful), while avoiding the traps set by the those intent on reducing her to a mere social firebrand.   It is ever the goal of the "elitist loons", a phrase used by Palin to describe John Kerry, to so stigmatize her.  Whether by printing an overtly sexist image of her on the cover of Newsweek or by David Brooks insisting that she remains a "joke," the overt goal is to ridicule her beyond redemption.

But Sarah Palin's extraordinary career trajectory, the American life that led from holding moose eyeballs for her father after a morning hunt to Vice-Presidential candidate is not so easily dismissed.

The attempt to do so is low ebb of the cultural left, and reveals only that they fear her more than they hate her. And labeling her as fundamentally divisive is downright absurd given many of her resounding political victories: winning 75% of voters in her second mayoral run and earning approval ratings of 88% as governor in a state where 70% of the electorate is registered "independent." 

Unlike many women in the liberal political and media firmament, whose success is based on the pull from powerful fathers or husbands [Hillary!], Palin's success is as self-made as any American in political history. That she could build this career in the harsh, male-dominated frontier culture of Alaska is even more astounding. [link]
She's loved in the heartland.  Despised in elitist circles.  I think she can live with that.


Here's a liberal Washington Post columnist's take on Obama's submissive bow to the emperor of Japan:

"There's been a lot of misguided criticism of President Obama's trip to Asia. You're upset that he bowed to the emperor of Japan? Get over it. Obama was being respectful -- which was in keeping with the tone of his trip."

Really?  It's a matter of respect?

I used the word "submissive" above to describe Obama's action.  A synonym for submissive is "slavish."

Is this how Obama and his sycophants want their guy remembered?

You might want to think that through, mister. This is, after all, the president of the United States we're talking about.

Illustration by Hammat Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Illustrated Edition. Original Designs by Billings; Engraved by Baker and Smith. (Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1853).

What's Al Gore Going To Do For a Living Now?

Even his close allies in the struggle to turn us back to the Stone Age are abandoning ship:
Global Warming Promoter 'Dismayed and Deeply Shaken' by ClimateGate
By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters

One of the world's leading promoters of the anthropogenic global warming myth claimed Monday he is convinced the e-mail messages involved in the growing international scandal ClimateGate "are genuine," and he's "dismayed and deeply shaken by them."

So said George Monbiot, a writer and environmental activist many consider to be Great Britain's Al Gore.

Contrary to what newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post are telling their readers, Monbiot accurately said there's "no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging."

"There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

"Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate skeptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed." [link]
Jones's is only one of many heads that should roll.

At least the left is finally - if still so slowly - coming to the conclusion that rational people came to long ago - anthropogenic global warming is a myth.  And a hoax.

- - -

The Wall Street Journal provides its analysis:
Some of those mentioned in the emails have responded to our requests for comment by saying they must first chat with their lawyers. Others have offered legal threats and personal invective. Still others have said nothing at all. Those who have responded have insisted that the emails reveal nothing more than trivial data discrepancies and procedural debates.

Yet all of these nonresponses manage to underscore what may be the most revealing truth: That these scientists feel the public doesn't have a right to know the basis for their climate-change predictions, even as their governments prepare staggeringly expensive legislation in response to them.
A painful lesson being learned about "scientists" and their causes.

- - -

Andrew Bolt:

"And on these now-admitted uncertainties we must scrap all coal-fired generators, impose massive new taxes, shut entire industries, hand billions to the UN and change the way we live?"

How's That War Planning Coming, Barry?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Trying To Provide Cover


From today's Roanoke Times, a laugher:
A real threat to Medicare

There is one real and immediate threat to Medicare patients that touches on the health care reform debate: Republicans and some fiscal hawks among Democrats are balking at a measure to avert a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors starting in January.

Such a drastic reduction in reimbursement rates could cause some doctors to quit taking Medicare patients, making it harder for seniors to see the doctor of their choice.

Last week, House Democrats voted overwhelmingly to prevent the cuts, not just next year but ... [link]
Republicans are trying to cut Medicare?


Let's look at what real newspapers are reporting around the country:

Boston Globe: Democrats seek cuts in Medicare Advantage

CBS News: Democrats Aim To Cut Medicare Costs

The Washington Examiner: "Will Obama pay the price for cutting Medicare?"

Again, the Examiner: "Democrats agree to raise taxes and cut Medicare to fund health care reform"

Town Hall: ObamaCare Will Cut Medicare

MSNBC: "Seniors uneasy over Medicare cuts in overhaul"

I wonder if the boys at the Roanoke Times get paid on the side for some of the stuff they write.