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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Charles Krauthammer is glorifying the partisan civil war on: March 24, 2017, 10:12:47 AM

He makes a number of good points.
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / American Creed, Constitutional Law , Gorsuch hearings, Dem JV team on: March 24, 2017, 10:10:59 AM
I see in my open tabs, this didn't get posted a couple of days ago when written.  I was going to point out today that Mark Steyn was making this same point on the radio yesterday:  

"Democrats face a simple choice, how would they like to lose?"

[Leftist commentator, Nina Totenburg was also making this point.]

Steyn says, they can lose fast or lose the slow way, but lose this battle is what is going to happen for them.  Schumer says they will filibuster and press for a different nominee.  Really?  Who is a better nominee for a President like Trump to pick and a Republican majority Senate to confirm?  I predict it will be Dems that fold on the filibuster.  Better yet, break the log jam via the rules and require the Senate to do it's job, advise and consent on Supreme Court nominations.
-----------------

I am embarrassed for my Senators, Democats Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.  [On the good side, they have been nationally exposed for what they are, boring, petty and disingenuous, not 2020 Presidential material as some previously thought.]

Amy [Sen. Klobuchar D-MN] tried to prove the point that originalism is bad by pointing out that the constitution includes multiple references to the President with the pronouns he or him.  But the women's right to vote IS part of the constitution, added in the 19th amendment in 1920, and Article 2 defining how we choose the President also refers to the list of possible candidates as "Persons", never using the word man or men.  What a reckless idiot.  [The next day she opened by denying she was making this false point.]   Amy was a County Attorney and should have been able to handle the job as opposition questioner.  Instead it was quite obvious that she was only reading questions handed to her by others.  One way you know that is that the series of questions doesn't correctly anticipate the nominee's answer to the previous question.  It doesn't flow and the questioner keeps getting thrown off track.  Example, the next day, after losing an exchange with the judge, she reiterated her off the mark point, didn't give the witness another chance to respond and then just said she needed to move on.

As Hennepin County Attorney (Hennepin County is bigger than 8 states), was she a prosecutor or was she a driveling politician who had prosecutors on staff?  Quite obviously the latter.

Enter Al Franken.  Besides his lack of humor, he showed his lack of legal knowledge and preparation.  First he went after one of Gorsuch's 3000 decisions, Trans Am Trucking.  Franken took his speaking time 99-1 over the witness and used his time to demonstrate that he not only didn't understand the pivotal point of the case, but he couldn't pronounce it either, "scrivener's error", and HE'S the one who chose the case to discuss!  [Or did the people who wrote his questions pick it?]  All his other points failed too, What did Reince Priebus mean by ...?  Gorsuch didn't even have to say, it's none of his business what one politician thinks of him.  

Democrats face a simple choice, how would they like to lose? They can delay - as Chuck Schumer is proposing.  They can filibuster.  They can vote no.  And they can cause the creation a new, nuclear option precedent and break the filibuster via a rules vote that would then make Trump future appointments pass too.
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, London terrorist identified on: March 23, 2017, 02:03:31 PM
London terrorist identified.  His name is Lars and he is believed to be a Lutheran extremist.


Correction, his name is Khalid and he is believed to be an Islamic extremist.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2017/mar/23/westminster-attack-parliament-resumes-tributes-keith-palmer-live
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Child Support Statistics on: March 23, 2017, 11:06:15 AM
DDF:  "I have often wondered why the courts find it necessary to grant primary custody to the women..."

Nice post DDF.  The gender inequity in custody is quite amazing.

FWIW, I was father sole custody parent of my daughter from age one on.  The facts of how that came to be are quite extreme.  My attorney tells his other father clients in custody fights about my story and that without circumstances like these they have no chance of winning.

There are different laws in different states.
http://family.findlaw.com/child-custody/child-custody-summaries-of-state-laws.html

Five states — Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Missouri — are looking at proposals that would require judges to presume that it’s best for children to split their time as evenly as possible between their two parents. Utah enacted a similar law last year.
http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/03/15/more-time-for-dads-states-weigh-changes-to-custody-laws

Data on actual outcomes like you posted tell us more how it really is than does the text of the law.

I don't know that a kid schlepped back and forth every week is a perfect solution either!

Another arrangement I have seen is where the kids stay in the house and the divorced parents take turns living with the children if they can't get along with each other.
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Next Fed Chair David Malpass?? on: March 21, 2017, 01:57:22 PM
A good article today about economist David Malpass, a friend/collaborator of our own Scott Grannis.
Another great Trump pick, the new undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury.
http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2017/03/21/the_us_treasury_and_the_exciting_arrival_of_david_malpass_102597.html

While it’s fun to imagine Malpass eventually replacing Yellen, the great news for now is that he’s been appointed undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury.  His arrival is essential.  That’s the case because the U.S. Treasury is the mouthpiece for the U.S. dollar, and Malpass knows dollar policy as few do.

What’s crucially important is that Malpass understands that money is decidedly not wealth.  If every dollar in the world were vaporized today, the U.S. would remain the world’s richest country tomorrow.  Malpass views money as Adam Smith did, as a medium of exchange that facilitates the exchange of actual wealth.  Wealth is what we humans produce, while money is but a measure that speeds our exchange of the goods and services we create.

The above matters a great deal now simply because the understanding of money within the political class is arguably at an all-time low.  More and more economists, pundits and politicians think the value of money can be tinkered with on the way to artificially grand economic outcomes.  Call it economic fabulism.  While in the real world money merely facilitates exchange and investment, to the fabulists who increasingly dot the economic landscape, money is the wealth.  And changes in its value can alter reality to our betterment.  To the fabulists, dollar devaluation is the path to prosperity.  They couldn’t be more incorrect.

What’s important is that Malpass expertly knows why the fabulists are incorrect.  He knows that the U.S. economy is but a collection of individuals, and individuals earn dollars.  By extension, he’s well aware that the American people aren’t made better off if the dollars they’re earning are being stripped of their value by monetary officials.

Taking this further, Malpass knows well that companies and jobs spring from investment.  That the latter is true explains why Malpass has written voluminous columns and reports, and has given countless speeches over the years preaching the virtue of money that is actually money.  Getting more specific, Malpass has long favored a dollar that is the same today as it is tomorrow, one year from now, and ten years from now.

When a dollar holds its value over time much as a foot will be twelve inches tomorrow and twelve years from now, those with wealth can most comfortably direct it toward future wealth creation.  They can invest.  Malpass knows that when savers put money to work as investment, they’re buying dollars in the future.  But when money is being shrunken, the cost of delaying consumption in favor of investing in future Apples, Walmarts and Microsofts becomes prohibitive.  While investment is the tautological source of new companies and jobs, why invest if any potential returns will come back in severely devalued dollars?

Malpass knows all of the above, and much, much more.  With the U.S. Treasury focused on dollar and tax policy, Malpass understands that taxes are nothing more than a price, or a penalty placed on work.  He knows that taxes raise the cost of getting up and going to work, and since he’ll be the international face of Treasury, he knows that country taxes amount to a daily competition for the investment that authors all advance.  Malpass knows that investment goes where it’s treated well; specifically investment migrates to where it’s not being devalued through currency machinations, or through nosebleed capital gains taxes that suffocate intrepid investing in the first place.

How does all this apply to the American voter? It says here that more than most in the punditry realize, voters have long been clamoring for the policies that Malpass has been preaching for decades.  Plainly stated, voters want economic growth, and to reap the benefits of growth through ever-increasing living standards.

What’s important is that all of the above can be achieved through the modest policy ideas that Malpass will bring with him to Washington.  Malpass does not come with arrogant solutions as much as he’ll bring common sense to the policy conversation.

Malpass will remind all around him that the average voter earns dollars, and as such is not made better off when those dollars buy less and less.  The average voter craves opportunity, and he’ll remind those in his orbit that dollar destruction is anti-opportunity because it’s anti-investment.

Most of all, the internationalist in Malpass will remind those in his midst that a global economy speaks to global options when it comes to investing.  Malpass will alert those around him to the simple truth that dollar devaluation and excessive taxation stateside will cause investment to exit the U.S., and with it the economic opportunity that individuals want regardless of Party affiliation.

Simply put, David Malpass understands economic growth intimately.  What a great development it is that he’ll be bringing his expertise to the U.S. Treasury.
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential, Minnesota led the nation in turnout, turned right on: March 21, 2017, 01:18:12 PM
Double checking final numbers election night.

"Conventional Wisdom" is that Democrats win when they turnout their voters and Republicans win in the off years, in bad weather and when turnout is down.

All the states that typically have the highest turnout turned distinctly rightward in 2016:
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa.
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/10/17/states-with-the-highest-voter-turnout/2/?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange_article

Minnesota led the nation in turnout, 2016
http://www.twincities.com/2016/11/29/minnesotas-no-1-in-voting-again/

Minnesota was recently considered also the 'bluest' state in the nation, home of Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Paul Wellstone, Amy Klobuchare, Al Franken, Keith Ellison, and the only state Reagan never won.

Barack Obama won MN with 54% of the vote in 2008 and won reelection there in 2012 with 53%.

Hillary Clinton won Minnesota in 2016 with 46% to Trump's 45%, a 7 point fall from Obama's worst result. 

If you combine the other right leaning candidates vote percentages of Libertarian Gary Johnson and conservative alternative candidate Evan McMullen with Trump's total, 53% chose Trump or one of these over Hillary Clinton.

Trump won 78 out of 87 counties in Minnesota.
http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/minnesota

Adding salt to local leftists wounds, MN Republicans held the state House and took the State Senate in 2016. 

Yet the remaining elected Democrats, the Governor, two US Senators and 5 out of 8 House members, carry on with their pure partisanship in denial of this recent turn of events.


107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Hey Huma, What's Up?" - Kellyanne Conway, 2:30 am election night on: March 21, 2017, 12:44:42 PM
Must post this great story before we close this thread and the Clintons disappear quietly off into the sunset.  

[Everyone was afraid that TRUMP wouldn't accept the outcome of the election.]  Clinton's campaign manager had agreed the night before through an email to Kellyanne Conway that within 15 minutes of the AP calling the race for Secretary Clinton, they would wait 15 minutes and then she would take to the podium and declare victory.  'So he was basically saying that you have 15 minutes for Mr Trump to get out there [and give a concession speech] or she's going to declare victory either way.
'And then he said in the event that Mr Trump wins, Secretary Clinton will call him within 15 minutes of the AP,' Conway said with a wink, implying that Clinton staffers were confident their boss would win.

Clinton's camp held up their end of the deal. Conway said that she looked down to see her phone was ringing.
'I look down - literally it was like a movie - my phone is ringing and it said "Huma Abedin" [Clinton's longtime aide]. And I said, "Hey, Huma. What's up?"

"And she's absolutely lovely, she really is. And she's like 'Hi Kellyanne, Secretary Clinton would like to speak to Mr. Trump..."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4325212/Kellyanne-Conway-recalls-Hillary-Clinton-s-concession-call.html#ixzz4byxc9eck


Trump went on to accept the result even though 4 of the 6 closest states were won by Clinton, New Hampshire, Maine, Nevada and Minnesota.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 21, 2017, 12:15:16 PM
"How are the various political entities supposed to wet their beaks with this? I see no opportunity for graft or rentseeking. This is madness!"


Imagine the economic energy that could be generated if the massive industry of lawyers, lobbyists and rent-seekers seeking favor with the government had to produce something of value instead of feed off of the efforts of others.  
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: A conservative jurist for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch confirmation on: March 21, 2017, 09:56:54 AM

Speaking of prescient, on the forum we had the pleasure of reading this excellent article a day before the  Neil Gorsuch appointment was known.

Today Judge Gorsuch is giving a constitutional law clinic on NPR, CSPAN? or wherever you can get coverage.

Opponents have accused Gorsuch of being an originalist.  If you are a leftist, isn't a disciplined "originalist" better than having Trump appoint like the liberals do, someone who agrees with Trump on policy and would read the constitution as a living and breathing document that can be twisted and contorted to support those policies.  Glenn Reynolds posed this question a couple of weeks ago:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/03/02/constitution-neil-gorsuch-supreme-court-originalism-glenn-reynolds-column/98537030/
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - A Health Care Reform Plan on: March 21, 2017, 09:43:02 AM
I am a humble person but I remember that after reading three thousand pages of NAFTA in 1993, I bragged that I could write an international free trade agreement on the back of a cocktail napkin.

Then came the complexities of Hillarycare (see chart):


The people rose up against that federal monstrosity but fast forward 16 years and along came Obamacare, and the people rose up against that and along came Trump or Ryan Care.

Before we criticize others for taking on the most difficult task of designing a healthcare system that meets all the requirements for all the peope, we should each answer the question of what our own proposal would look like.  With that in mind, today I release my US Government federal healthcare proposal as follows, hat tip to the authors of the 10th amendment. 


Doug's Federal Healthcare Reform Proposal, March 2017:
"Powers, such as anything to do with the people's individual and family healthcare, that are not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 17, 2017, 11:16:26 AM
Democrats, for all their flaws, are geniuses at framing the argument.  The repeal of Obamacare issue has been framed by the question of, what are you going to do with the 20 million that got their healthcare through the program?

CBO raises the number to 24 million who will lose that healthcare.  Krauthammer says it's really 10 million:

"The Congressional Budget Office projects that, under House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement bill, 24 million will lose insurance within 10 years, 14 million after the first year.
Granted, the number is highly suspect. CBO projects 18 million covered by the Obamacare exchanges in 2018. But the number today is about 10 million. That means the CBO estimate of those losing coverage is already about 8 million too high."


It's a trap.  While we fight their false numbers and they never concede, it is taken as admitting that 10 millions will be left out, still too many.

But of course it's a false argument.  Healthcare was getting unaffordable before Obamacare and last 8 years made it a national crisis.  The program IS in a death spiral.  You can't effectively compare a new proposal to something that can't be sustained anyway and we can't compare anything  accurately with static analysis.  And what about the 20 million and more that lost their plans over Obamacare?  That gets lost in the other arguments.  Liberals framed the issue.

Affordability has two components, cost and income.  Big government in general and Obamacare in particular make it impossible to grow incomes.  Look at the stagnation in median incomes or listen to a Bernie Sanders speech.  That has to end.  Incomes have to grow if we are ever going to able to afford all the treatments for all the ailments that will ail an aging population.  The first point of affordability is grow the economy.  Excess regulations look like they are getting disrupted fast, but we kicked tax reform down the road.  Bad choice, it should ALL be on the table.

On the cost side, no one seems to be able to point to the one reason why healthcare costs go up and up and up.  Maybe that's because there isn't just one reason!  Why need to go after all the causes and come up with the best solutions possible.  In a nutshell that answer is to return the free market discipline that other industries have to healthcare.  I hate to be a pessimist, but my thought at the moment is, good luck doing that.

What we have instead is Republicans fighting with Republicans over different proposals that will never pass and become law.  Our side needs to come together and put it all on the table - now - with the best, compromise solution possible.  Or be governed by their policies.  Like when Republicans continued CRAp into the financial crisis, Obamacare is still the law of the land and so is the Democrats convoluted tax plan.

This doesn't get easier later.
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs, spending, deficit, and budget, Cut 80 programs? on: March 17, 2017, 10:28:29 AM
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-budget/

Wow.  My thought during the tea party rising was that tax cutting had been a good try at cutting government, but what all smaller govt advocates should be able to agree on is CUT SPENDING FIRST.

But Republicans never can from out of power then never do when in power.

And then along comes Trump.

Is this a negotiating ploy or is it a budget.  Maybe we can pass it to find out what's in it.

They said no program has ever been cut or ended.  That was before Obama.  Now we have programs for the advancement of Muslims in NASA.  Programs HAVE to be cut.
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care, dr. Krauthammer on Healthcare replace on: March 17, 2017, 09:44:09 AM
Some interesting points in here.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-real-world-of-obamacare-repeal/2017/03/16/cba55228-0a71-11e7-b77c-0047d15a24e0_story.html?utm_term=.101fbfef8b8a

The real world of Obamacare repeal

By Charles Krauthammer. March 16

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but for governments it’s not that easy. Once something is given — say, health insurance coverage to 20 million Americans — you take it away at your peril. This is true for any government benefit, but especially for health care. There’s a reason not one Western democracy with some system of national health care has ever abolished it.

The genius of the left is to keep enlarging the entitlement state by creating new giveaways that are politically impossible to repeal. For 20 years, Republicans railed against the New Deal. Yet, when they came back into office in 1953, Eisenhower didn’t just keep Social Security, he expanded it.

People hated Obamacare for its highhandedness, incompetence and cost. At the same time, its crafters took great care to create new beneficiaries and new expectations. Which makes repeal very complicated.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that, under House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement bill, 24 million will lose insurance within 10 years, 14 million after the first year.

Granted, the number is highly suspect. CBO projects 18 million covered by the Obamacare exchanges in 2018. But the number today is about 10 million. That means the CBO estimate of those losing coverage is already about 8 million too high.

Nonetheless, there will be losers. And their stories will be plastered wall to wall across the media as sure as night follows day.

That scares GOP moderates. And yet the main resistance to Ryan comes from conservative members complaining that the bill is not ideologically pure enough. They mock it as Obamacare Lite.

For example, Ryan wants to ease the pain by phasing out Medicaid expansion through 2020. The conservative Republican Study Committee wants it done next year. This is crazy. For the sake of two years’ savings, why would you risk a political crash landing?

Moreover, the idea that you can eradicate Obamacare root and branch is fanciful. For all its catastrophic flaws, Obamacare changed expectations. Does any Republican propose returning to a time when you can be denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition?

It’s not just Donald Trump who ran on retaining this new, yes, entitlement. Everyone did. But it’s very problematic. If people know that they can sign up for insurance after they get sick, the very idea of insurance is undermined. People won’t sign up when healthy, and the insurance companies will go broke.

So what do you do? Obamacare imposed a monetary fine if you didn’t sign up, for which the Ryan bill substitutes another mechanism, less heavy-handed but still government-mandated.

The purists who insist upon entirely escaping the heavy hand of government are dreaming. The best you can hope for is to make it less intrusive and more rational, as in the Ryan plan’s block-granting Medicaid.

Or instituting a more realistic age-rating system. Older patients use six times as much health care as their younger counterparts, yet Obamacare decreed, entirely arbitrarily, that the former could be charged insurance premiums no more than three times that of the latter. The GOP bill changes the ratio from 3-to-1 to 5-to-1.

Premiums better reflecting risk constitute a major restoration of rationality. (It’s how life insurance works.) Under Obamacare, the young were unwilling to be swindled and refused to sign up. Without their support, the whole system is thus headed into a death spiral of looming insolvency.

Rationality, however, has a price. The CBO has already predicted a massive increase in premiums for 60-year-olds. That’s the headline.

There is no free lunch. GOP hard-liners must accept that Americans have become accustomed to some new health-care benefits, just as moderates have to brace themselves for stories about the inevitable losers in any reform. That’s the political price for fulfilling the seven-year promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Unless, of course, you go the full Machiavelli and throw it all back on the Democrats. How? Republicans could forget about meeting the arcane requirements of “reconciliation” legislation (which requires only 51 votes in the Senate) and send the Senate a replacement bill loaded up with everything conservative — including tort reform and insurance competition across state lines. That would require 60 Senate votes. Let the Democrats filibuster it to death — and take the blame when repeal-and-replace fails and Obamacare carries on and then collapses under its own weight.

Upside: You reap the backlash. Downside: You have to live with your conscience.
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: March 16, 2017, 09:28:21 AM
"If Russia was still the Soviet Union, the left would do nothing but sing their praises, just like they used to do."

Right.  The fascination right now with Russia is strange.  Yes, Putin is a force of evil and in their eight years they did nothing to stand up to him. We cancelled missile defense in Eastern Europe and handed him Crimea, Ukraine, and the Middle East.  Now, out of power, the Left sees him as Voldemort.

We squeezed him with oil and gas production and the lowering of energy prices, and the Left did everything they could do to oppose all that.
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 16, 2017, 09:16:44 AM
BBG's view is welcome anytime.  Personal responsibility is still a factor, not just legalization, criminalization.

Trump and the Feds need to do something about federal law not matching state laws (and state constitutions) and I doubt if sending troops into these (swing) states is the best answer.

Colorado's law partly failed and partly succeeded.  Now it's 4 or 5 states.

We don't need legal heroin or legal meth or legal cocaine or five year olds using drugs.  But we also don't need coercive paternalism to be the law of the land for all personal behavior, soda, french fries, etc.
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Good summary of Obama years on: March 16, 2017, 08:59:43 AM

"Our view has consistently been that the economic recovery from the Great Recession could have been — and should have been — very robust. And that the only reason it wasn’t is growth-choking policies imposed by Obama: Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, tax hikes, huge new regulatory burdens." - IBD

The crash and the Great Recession were also caused by Democrat policies - Democrat policies that Republicans agreed to.
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues, Rachel Maddow felony on: March 16, 2017, 08:40:46 AM
Unauthorized disclosure of a tax return is a felony.

http://thehill.com/homenews/media/322477-nyt-columnist-urges-irs-employees-to-unlawfully-leak-trumps-tax-returns
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Prof. Richard S. Lindzen: Withdraw from UNFCCC on: March 15, 2017, 02:19:20 PM
"Let me explain in somewhat greater detail why we call for withdrawal from the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change].

The UNFCCC was established twenty-five years ago, to find scientific support for dangers from increasing carbon dioxide. While this has led to generous and rapidly increased support for the field, the purported dangers remain hypothetical, model-based projections. By contrast, the benefits of increasing CO2 and modest warming are clearer than ever, and they are supported by dramatic satellite images of a greening Earth.

• The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) no longer claims a greater likelihood of significant as opposed to negligible future warming,

• It has long been acknowledged by the IPCC that climate change prior to the 1960’s could not have been due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Yet, pre-1960 instrumentally observed temperatures show many warming episodes, similar to the one since 1960, for example, from 1915 to 1950, and from 1850 to 1890. None of these could have been caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2,

• Model projections of warming during recent decades have greatly exceeded what has been observed,

• The modelling community has openly acknowledged that the ability of existing models to simulate past climates is due to numerous arbitrary tuning adjustments,

• Observations show no statistically valid trends in flooding or drought, and no meaningful acceleration whatsoever of pre-existing long term sea level rise (about 6 inches per century) worldwide,

• Current carbon dioxide levels, around 400 parts per million are still very small compared to the averages over geological history, when thousands of parts per million prevailed, and when life flourished on land and in the oceans.

Calls to limit carbon dioxide emissions are even less persuasive today than 25 years ago. Future research should focus on dispassionate, high-quality climate science, not on efforts to prop up an increasingly frayed narrative of “carbon pollution.” Until scientific research is unfettered from the constraints of the policy-driven UNFCCC, the research community will fail in its obligation to the public that pays the bills."
-------------------------------------

About the author:

Richard Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT. MIT’s web site suggests his scientific eminence:

Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability. His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity. He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, which dominates the atmospheric transport of heat and momentum from the tropics to higher latitudes, and has advanced the understanding of the role of small scale gravity waves in producing the reversal of global temperature gradients at the mesopause, and provided accepted explanations for atmospheric tides and the quasi-biennial oscillation of the tropical stratosphere. He pioneered the study of how ozone photochemistry, radiative transfer and dynamics interact with each other. He is currently studying what determines the pole to equator temperature difference, the nonlinear equilibration of baroclinic instability and the contribution of such instabilities to global heat transport. He has also been developing a new approach to air-sea interaction in the tropics, and is actively involved in parameterizing the role of cumulus convection in heating and drying the atmosphere and in generating upper level cirrus clouds. He has developed models for the Earth’s climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000 year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate.

Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the AMS’s Meisinger and Charney Awards, the AGU’s Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Huss Walin Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and has been a member of the NRC Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Council of the AMS. He has also been a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (Ph.D., ’64, S.M., ’61, A.B., ’60, Harvard University)
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The coming Middle East crisis after ISIS is gone, Ralph Peters on: March 15, 2017, 02:08:00 PM
http://nypost.com/2017/03/12/the-coming-middle-east-crisis-after-isis-is-gone/

"What should we do? Discard our preconceptions for a start. Why shouldn’t dysfunctional borders change? In fact, they’re changing themselves. How many American lives is it worth to serve the vision of dead Europeans and grisly Arab dictators? We need not act to change those borders, but we shouldn’t stand in the way."
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: CBO says Obamacare not in death spiral? on: March 15, 2017, 01:50:01 PM

That is the fake news story of the day, Obamacare isn't failing.  "Trump can fix Obamacare ... by doing nothing".  Good luck with that.  I'm not sure Vox is pulling for his success.

We just have to fund the "risk corridors".  And it's already Republicans fault:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/11/7/1592247/-How-the-GOP-Broke-Obamacare  
Republicans have been undermining it from the start!

Premiums are going up 25-70% PER YEAR, your plan is gone, your doctor is gone, your premiums and deductibles are higher than ever before, and you went from self-sufficient to becoming a ward of the state if you are a median income earner, but the program IS NOT FAILING or in a death spiral.  Good grief.

The article begins:  "Beyond its eye-popping findings on higher premiums and large-scale coverage loss..."   Sorry, but they already got me there.  What is beyond screwing up the system and the economy?  More static numbers - based on assumptions already known to be false.

What the hell was the purpose of the ACA again?  Higher premiums and large scale coverage losses??  Costs far beyond what were promised?  Competition lost and "risk corridors' created that mean insurance companies aren't insuring us at all?
http://dailysignal.com/2016/07/26/16-obamacare-co-ops-collapsed-heres-how-the-rest-are-faring/
http://hotair.com/archives/2016/09/12/coming-risk-corridors-bailout-obamacare/
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/309902-obamacares-risk-corridor-corruption-never-ends

What they miss goes back to the (lack of) dynamic scoring question.  This largest ever new entitlement is already keeping our economy from growing; it's not just a healthcare system or insurance issue.  As the economy stagnates or shrinks and fewer employers go out and hire and fewer and fewer people go out and earn their own way and more and more people become dependent on the government for their largest and fastest growing expense and vote for more and more benefits and larger and larger subsidies, the whole economy goes down, not just the healthcare system.  And then you go in needing surgery and there is a 270 day wait, you know why they called it a death spiral.

That's the kind of small thing one might miss with static analysis.  MHO.
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada on: March 15, 2017, 01:17:57 PM
“No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there. The resource will be developed."
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/oh-trudeau.php
--------------------------------
A liberal favors the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Favors exploration, drilling, extracting and transporting a CO2 producing fossil fuel.  

Previously from Trudeau:
Canada must "phase out" Alberta's oil sands and end the country's dependence on hydrocarbons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
https://phys.org/news/2017-01-trudeau-canada-oil-sands-phased.html
Oops.

Makes me wonder if man-made, catastrophic, global warming is a farce.  Isn't Canada dangerously close to the melting Arctic?  )   Actually, I can see Canada from my living room and can tell you that a warming planet might be the best thing that could ever happen to Canada!

This reminds me of President Obama continuing a campaign of drone strikes against al Qaida targets.  Imagine his opposition to that kind of warfare if he was not in power.  Every once in a while, being elevated to the highest position of power and authority causes a person to do the right thing.  

And so often it doesn't.
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / European matters, Dutch elections today on: March 15, 2017, 12:58:52 PM
The incumbent, Mark Rutte, is considered to be from the free market conservative party.  I don't think of the Netherlands as a free market country so I don't really know what that means.  "Our ability to create jobs, our future growth, is built on the free market. It's built on open borders." - Mark Rutte
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People's_Party_for_Freedom_and_Democracy

 The top challenger is Geert Wilders of the 'Freedom' party who has made a name with bold talk against Muslim immigration.  They have been coalition partners as well as rivals.  I can't comment on the Dutch immigration problem without bias; I was knifed by "immigrants" on my last Holland visit.  I came out of it better than Theo Van Gogh did: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/03/world/europe/dutch-filmmaker-an-islam-critic-is-killed.html

Regarding Wilders, it's about time someone spoke up about the problem. Whether he is the best candidate, I don't know.   Wilders has lost support in the last poll, but everyone seems to know after Brexit and Trump, polls on these matters have been amazingly unreliable.

This will be interesting to watch.

https://www.ft.com/content/6bc14dee-0909-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Modi's Chance to Reshape India's Economy on: March 15, 2017, 12:19:20 PM
This editorial from Bloomberg sums up the opportunity pretty well.  Prime Minister Narandra Modi ran on economic reform, has been working to turn the tide against corruption in government, has won a large number of seats in Parliament in recent election, is poised to win his own reelection next time around, giving him an extraordinary opportunity to implement real economic reforms.  India is the world's most populous democracy with relatively youthful demographics and need to create one million jobs per month.  This is not a table set for splitting up a fixed size pie.  Like us, they need to grow their economy, big time.  And if they do, what and important development that would be for the world economy and geo-politics and US foreign policy.  For another post, India is a natural ally of the US IMO but that relationship keeps getting distracted and deterred by other rivalries and forces.

"The only way to do so at the pace and scale required -- with nearly a million new job-seekers entering the market every month -- is to get private investment flowing again and to crack open India’s ossified land, labor and other factor markets."

Private investment is the key to widespread employment growth.  Who knew?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-13/modi-s-chance-to-reshape-india-s-economy

Modi's Chance to Reshape India's Economy,   Bloomberg editors, MARCH 13, 2017

After his party’s triumph in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest and most politically important, Prime Minister Narendra Modi now wields greater power than any Indian leader in a generation. He will need it if he wants to continue to reshape India’s economy.

True, the results don’t drastically alter the math in the upper house of Parliament in New Delhi, where previous reform efforts have stalled, and the polls themselves were hardly a referendum on market liberalization. Yet Modi’s popularity is also inseparable from the pledge that won him office in 2014: to deliver the jobs India’s burgeoning population desperately needs (and thus far, isn’t getting). The only way to do so at the pace and scale required -- with nearly a million new job-seekers entering the market every month -- is to get private investment flowing again and to crack open India’s ossified land, labor and other factor markets.

Some of this should now be more possible at the national level. Modi could, for instance, begin cleaning up and selling off inefficient state-run banks in order to unclog the investment pipeline. The opposition Congress Party could perhaps afford to be obstructionist when swathes of the electorate had real doubts about Modi’s agenda. Facing a clear consensus in favor of good governance and faster economic development, and lacking any credible leader to rival Modi, the party will have a harder time blocking reforms.

More important, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party now controls territories comprising more than 60 percent of India’s population. That grouping presents an ideal testing ground for difficult land and labor reforms. While some measures have been attempted thus far, they haven’t been as far-reaching or as coordinated as they could be. Modi can change that by pressing state leaders to combine their efforts and resources into a more ambitious liberalizing agenda.

None of this is to say that Modi’s recent focus on cleaning up politics and the economy isn’t worthwhile, or that smaller reforms -- opening up more sectors to foreign direct investment, say -- aren’t welcome. It’s critical that the rollout of an already approved nationwide goods-and-services tax proceed swiftly and smoothly. Modi will have to be careful, too, to keep a check on more extreme voices in the BJP, who may take the party’s electoral success as license to promote a more hard-line religious agenda.

But with this victory, and facing the great likelihood of a second term in 2019, Modi has a renewed chance to give India the future its young and eager population deserves. He needs to seize it.
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The math and science behind capitalism on: March 15, 2017, 11:52:01 AM
I like this article, it goes part way to explaining what capitalism is and why it works.  

'capitalism...is individual freedom expressed in an economic system'

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/03/the_science_behind_capitalism.html#ixzz4bPjQNiaa
March 14, 2017
The science behind capitalism
By John Conlin
The economic system called capitalism has been described in many ways, but at its core, it is quite simply free people freely interacting with other free people.  Capitalism has transformed the world by producing more wealth than any other economic system in the history of civilization.

But how does it produce such wealth?  Some have said freedom is the magic potion – that left to their own devices, free people will outperform any other economic system.  

That is true, but the ultimate reason is deeper and firmly based in science and fact.  In the past few decades, a great deal of research has been done on what is called swarm intelligence.  Swarm intelligence attempts to explain and understand the collective behavior of group animals.  Think of honeybees, schools of fish, herds of bison, flocks of birds, etc.

The intelligence of the swarm is a significant multiplier.  Rather than relying solely on individual intelligence, these groups create a collective intelligence that is orders of magnitudes beyond that of any individual member.

They do so without any leader, with no management of any sort, with no one "seeing the big picture."  In fact, having no one in charge is a key ingredient to swarm intelligence.  This incredible increase in intelligence is driven by countless interactions among individual members, with each following simple rules of thumb and reacting to their local environment and those members around them.  That's it.

Perhaps counterintuitively, if an individual member did attempt to become a leader, the group intelligence would drop precipitously.  And although it may be difficult to grasp, this self-organizing behavior has no cause and effect.  It simply is.

Think of the intelligence of one of the members of these swarms versus the intelligence of the group.  We are talking about not adding a few group I.Q. points, but rather increases in intelligence by orders of magnitude.

My hypothesis is this same process is the scientific basis for the success of capitalism, and in fact the success of the human race.  This swarm intelligence has always been at work, but with our highly developed communication skills and the ability to record and store knowledge our collective swarm intelligence is truly astounding.  Just like the honeybee, our swarm is orders of magnitude more intelligent than even the brightest among us.

And thus capitalism, which is just individual freedom as expressed in an economic system, is absolutely certain to "work."  It is a scientific fact just as certain as gravity.  And just like the swarm, it does so with no leader, no management, and no one seeing the big picture – no cause and effect.  It just is.  

And just like the swarm, when we attempt to place leaders in this process, the collective intelligence plummets.  This explains why governments and their activities are always going to be far stupider than free individuals going about their daily lives.  This isn't a political statement, but a factual one.

Again, we aren't talking about knocking off a couple group I.Q. points, but rather magnitudinal increases in stupidity.  This stupidity multiplier isn't restricted to governments; it applies to all organizations, the larger the worse.  Anyone who has worked in government, the military, or other large organizations has seen it every day.

Some economists have noted that during the Soviet Union's existence, the central planners had to daily determine the prices of literally hundreds of thousands of things, and thus the system was terribly inefficient, as they had no way to accurately determine this.  My hypothesis is that even if they could have accurately determined each and every one of those prices, they still would have failed.  The stupidity multiplier of their command-and-control economy ensured this.

The science on this is clear.  If we want to maximize our collective well-being and wealth, if we want to maximize our freedom, if we want to maximize our collective odds for survival, we must allow human swarm intelligence to do its magic.  And governments are not the solution, but are rather the destroyer.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He also holds a B.S. in Earth sciences and an MBA and is the founder and president of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education.

The economic system called capitalism has been described in many ways, but at its core, it is quite simply free people freely interacting with other free people.  Capitalism has transformed the world by producing more wealth than any other economic system in the history of civilization.

But how does it produce such wealth?  Some have said freedom is the magic potion – that left to their own devices, free people will outperform any other economic system.  

That is true, but the ultimate reason is deeper and firmly based in science and fact.  In the past few decades, a great deal of research has been done on what is called swarm intelligence.  Swarm intelligence attempts to explain and understand the collective behavior of group animals.  Think of honeybees, schools of fish, herds of bison, flocks of birds, etc.

The intelligence of the swarm is a significant multiplier.  Rather than relying solely on individual intelligence, these groups create a collective intelligence that is orders of magnitudes beyond that of any individual member.

They do so without any leader, with no management of any sort, with no one "seeing the big picture."  In fact, having no one in charge is a key ingredient to swarm intelligence.  This incredible increase in intelligence is driven by countless interactions among individual members, with each following simple rules of thumb and reacting to their local environment and those members around them.  That's it.

Perhaps counterintuitively, if an individual member did attempt to become a leader, the group intelligence would drop precipitously.  And although it may be difficult to grasp, this self-organizing behavior has no cause and effect.  It simply is.

Think of the intelligence of one of the members of these swarms versus the intelligence of the group.  We are talking about not adding a few group I.Q. points, but rather increases in intelligence by orders of magnitude.

My hypothesis is this same process is the scientific basis for the success of capitalism, and in fact the success of the human race.  This swarm intelligence has always been at work, but with our highly developed communication skills and the ability to record and store knowledge our collective swarm intelligence is truly astounding.  Just like the honeybee, our swarm is orders of magnitude more intelligent than even the brightest among us.

And thus capitalism, which is just individual freedom as expressed in an economic system, is absolutely certain to "work."  It is a scientific fact just as certain as gravity.  And just like the swarm, it does so with no leader, no management, and no one seeing the big picture – no cause and effect.  It just is.  

And just like the swarm, when we attempt to place leaders in this process, the collective intelligence plummets.  This explains why governments and their activities are always going to be far stupider than free individuals going about their daily lives.  This isn't a political statement, but a factual one.

Again, we aren't talking about knocking off a couple group I.Q. points, but rather magnitudinal increases in stupidity.  This stupidity multiplier isn't restricted to governments; it applies to all organizations, the larger the worse.  Anyone who has worked in government, the military, or other large organizations has seen it every day.

Some economists have noted that during the Soviet Union's existence, the central planners had to daily determine the prices of literally hundreds of thousands of things, and thus the system was terribly inefficient, as they had no way to accurately determine this.  My hypothesis is that even if they could have accurately determined each and every one of those prices, they still would have failed.  The stupidity multiplier of their command-and-control economy ensured this.

The science on this is clear.  If we want to maximize our collective well-being and wealth, if we want to maximize our freedom, if we want to maximize our collective odds for survival, we must allow human swarm intelligence to do its magic.  And governments are not the solution, but are rather the destroyer.
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, etc. on: March 14, 2017, 06:32:59 PM
DDF: The importance of Al Franken is that he won his US Senate seat by a very small margin, all on a (failed and uneven) recount, and became the 60th vote in the Senate necessary to pass Obamacare, affecting everyone.  He had previous national fame for playing a (not-funny) comedian role on Saturday Night Live on NBC-TV.  People are impressed that he now plays the role of a serious and sober liberal in Senate committees.  He asked the question that got Jeff Sessions in trouble.  He is a Harvard educated, New York liberal that moved back to Minnesota for the Senate run and then to Washington.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Al_Franken#cite_note-2
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science, more updates to measured and published data, NY Times 1989 on: March 14, 2017, 06:13:58 PM
Published before the advent of adjusted data.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/26/us/us-data-since-1895-fail-to-show-warming-trend.html
New York Times
U.S.
U.S. Data Since 1895 Fail To Show Warming Trend
By PHILIP SHABECOFF, Special to the New York Times
Published: January 26, 1989

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25— After examining climate data extending back nearly 100 years, a team of Government scientists has concluded that there has been no significant change in average temperatures or rainfall in the United States over that entire period.

While the nation's weather in individual years or even for periods of years has been hotter or cooler and drier or wetter than in other periods, the new study shows that over the last century there has been no trend in one direction or another.

The study, made by scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was published in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters. It is based on temperature and precipitation readings taken at weather stations around the country from 1895 to 1987.

Dr. Kirby Hanson, the meteorologist who led the study, said in a telephone interview that the findings concerning the United States do not necessarily ''cast doubt'' on previous findings of a worldwide trend toward warmer temperatures, nor do they have a bearing one way or another on the theory that a buildup of pollutants is acting like a greenhouse and causing global warming. He said that the United States occupies only a small percentage of Earth's surface and that the new findings may be the result of regional variations.

Readings taken by other scientists have suggested a significant warming worldwide over the last 100 years. Dr. James E. Hansen, director of National Aeronautic and Space Administration's Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, has reported that average global temperatures have risen by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit in this century and that the average temperatures in the 1980's are the highest on record.

Dr. Hansen and other scientists have said that that there is a high degree of probability that this warming trend is associated with the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other industrial gases that absorb and retain radiation.

But other scientists, while agreeing with this basic theory of a greenhouse effect, say there is no convincing evidence that a pollution-induced warming has already begun.

Dr. Michael E. Schlesinger, an atmospheric scientist at Oregon State University who studies climate models, said there is no inconsistency between the data presented by the NOAA team and the greenhouse theory. But he said he regarded the new data as inconsistent with assumptions that such an effect is already detectable. More Droughts Predicted

Many of the computer models that predict global warming also predict that certain areas, including the Midwest in the United States, would suffer more frequent droughts.

Dr. Hanson of NOAA said today that the new study does not in any way contradict the findings reported by the NASA scientists and others. He said that his study, in which he was joined by George A. Maul and Thomas A. Karl, also of NOAA, looked at only the 48 contiguous states.

Dr. Hanson said that global warming caused by the greenhouse effect might have been countered by some cooling phenomenon that has not yet been identified and that the readings in his study recorded the net effect.

''We have to be careful about interpreting things like this,'' he said. What About Urbanization? One aspect of the study that Dr. Hanson said was interesting was the finding that the urbanization of the United States has apparently not had a statistically significant effect on average temperature readings. A number of scientists have theorized that the replacement of forests and pastures by asphalt streets and concrete buildings, which retain heat, is an important cause of rising temperatures.

Dr. Hansen of NASA said today that he had ''no quarrel'' with the findings in the new study. He noted that the United States covered only 1.5 percent of Earth. ''If you have only one degree warming on a global average, how much do you get at random'' when taking measurements in such a relatively small area, he asked rhetorically.

''We are just arguing now about whether the global warming effect is large enough to see,'' he added. ''It is not suprising we are not seeing it in a region that covers only 1.5 percent of the globe.''

Dr. Hansen said there were several ways to look at the temperature readings for the United States, including as a ''statistical fluke.'' Possibililty of Countereffects

Another possibility, he said, was that there were special conditions in the United States that would tend to offset a warming trend. For example, industrial activity produces dust and other solid particles that help form liquid droplets in the atmosphere. These droplets reflect radiation away from Earth and thus have a cooling influence.

Dr. Hansen suggested that at some point there could be a jump in temperature readings in the United States if the measurements in the new study were a statistical aberration or the result of atmospheric pollutants reflecting heat away from Earth. He noted that anti-pollution efforts are reducing the amount of these particles and thus reducing the reflection of heat.

Several computer models have projected that the greenhouse effect would cause average global temperatures to rise between 3 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century. But scientists concede that reactions set off by the warming trend itself could upset these predictions and produce unanticipated changes in climate patterns. Legislative Action Sought

Coincidentally with the new report, legislation was introduced in the Senate today prescribing actions for addressing the threat of global warming. Senator Al Gore, Democrat of Tennessee, introduced a bill that calls for creating a Council on World Environmental Policy to replace the White House's Council on Environmental Quality. This change would emphasize the international aspects of environmental issues.

The bill would also require a ban on industrial chemicals that not only are depleting the atmosphere's ozone layer, which blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation, but are believed to be contributing to the warming trend. It would also require stricter fuel-economy standards for automobiles to reduce the consumption of gasoline to reduce carbon dioxide.

graphs of temperatures and rainfall from 1895 to 1987 (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science, Arctic Ocean levels on: March 14, 2017, 05:41:29 PM
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1118.msg33227#msg33227
DougMacG
Environmental issues - re: Sea Levels
« Reply #193 on: November 25, 2009, 11:34:16 PM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5076322.stm
Arctic dips as global waters rise
By Jonathan Amos
Science reporter, BBC
Arctic sea level has been falling by a little over 2mm a year - a movement that sets the region against the global trend of rising waters.

A Dutch-UK team made the discovery after analysing radar altimetry data gathered by Europe's ERS-2 satellite.

It is well known that the world's oceans do not share a uniform height; but even so, the scientists are somewhat puzzled by their results.

----------------------------------
"Indian Ocean - sea levels falling
In 2003, Nils-Axel Mörner and his colleagues (see below) pub-
lished a well-documented paper showing that sea levels in the
Maldives have fallen substantially – fallen! – in the last 30 years.
I find it curious that we haven't heard about this.

"The Maldives in the central Indian Ocean consist of some 1,200
individual islands grouped in about 20 larger atolls," says Mörner.
In-as-much as the islands rise only three to seven feet above sea
level, they have been condemned by the IPCC to flooding in the
near future.

Mörner disagrees with this scenario. "In our study of the coastal
dynamics and the geomorphology of the shores," writes Mörner,
"we were unable to detect any traces of a recent sea level rise.
On the contrary, we found quite clear morphological indications
of a recent fall in sea level."

Mörner’s group found that sea levels stood about 60 cm higher
around A.D. 1150 than today, and more recently, about 30 cm
higher than today."

  - http://www.iceagenow.com/Indian_Ocean_sea_levels_are_falling.htm

Update, now rising:  https://phys.org/news/2016-09-indian-ocean-sea.html

Once again, why aren't these clear, cause and effect measurements in a straight line with CO2?
-----
Besides drought and flood, warming and cooling, not surprisingly, the United Nations also says that climate change also causes prostitution:

"The effects of climate change have driven women in communities in coastal areas in poor countries like the Philippines into dangerous work, and sometimes even the flesh trade, a United Nations official said."
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/177346/climate-change-pushes-poor-women-to-prostitution-dangerous-work
----------
Arctic update:  Ocean rising 2.2 mm/yr +or- 1.1. 

an improved version of the Arctic Ocean sea level record for the region 66°N–82°N covering the period 1993–2015. The dataset was modified to account for an unknown error...
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2016.00076/full
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 14, 2017, 05:30:36 PM
My understanding is that as part of its "nonpolitical" mission, CBO as a matter of policy does not do dynamic scoring.

Deniers of science.  CBO will tell you they do figure in dynamic, macroeconomic effects,
https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50919
yet they understate the real effects every single time.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN, Franken recount on: March 14, 2017, 05:26:45 PM
"...it is good to have these URLs on tap."

With older links going bad, and some in a conspiratorial way, we need to be saving more than just links on the important stuff whenever possible.

With a bias detected in google, searches of information on one side of an issue are often difficult to impossible.  Try finding the Arctic Ocean levels.  And google owns youtube...

Without the conspiracy, some forum searches are failing too.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1709.msg33292#msg33292
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8569


   
How they got the 60th vote
Reply #139 on: November 29, 2009, 11:20:42 AM
Al Franken couldn't hold a 14 point Obama margin against popular centrist Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, but he did hold his election to a zero point margin, and that was enough because of the victory guarantee program his party had put in place ahead the election.

The near sweep of 2006 included replacing a competent (R) Secretary of State with one that was hand-picked by and heavily supported by the left-wing activist group moveon.org.  At the tiime no one outside of the Bush-Gore inner fight understood the significance.  Simultaneous to state change and even preceding it was the takeover of the inner city election process by ACORN.

Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP-5 just ran an extensive investigative report concluding that whether or not your questionable or clearly defective ballot was accepted or rejected depended wholly on what jurisdiction you lived in.  In the outlying areas, state law was followed.  In the liberal inner cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, ballots without signatures, witnesses or addresses were commonly accepted.

They interviewed the MN Sec. of State for 90 minutes and he refused to break out his reading glasses to look at any of the material they presented, sticking to generalities that prevailed in the court challenge to the end result.
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interesting analysis of the CBO analysis on: March 14, 2017, 05:03:42 PM

Interesting - for as far as it goes.  CBO is scoring part one of a three part plan. 

"[AHCA cuts taxes, cuts spending, cuts the deficit...] And that’s before you take into account the macroeconomic effects that those tax cuts would have on economic growth, and thereby on greater tax revenues."

It's 2017 and a multimillion dollar study cost and they can't even attempt dynamic scoring?

Score part of a plan without considering the benefits of the legislation?  Yes, that is their mission, incomplete and therefore false scoring. 

Obamacare was written to score under one trillion in cost over ten years.  Is there one honest observer who believes that was true?

Repealing 24 Obamacare taxes on the economy will grow the economy and increase employment and incomes, all not considered in the numbers.   Removing the largest shackle in the economy on employment won't increase jobs and incomes?  Increased income is not a factor in affordability?  I thought it was the denominator.  To CBO, it margin of error, or in this case, just error.

The cost to be covered will not go down when simpler, catastrophic plans are legalized?  Other reforms will also not have downward pressure on prices, such as allowing plans sold across state lines, malpractice reform, etc.?  Cost of plans is not a factor in affordability?  I thought it was the numerator.  Who that is working a good, full time job would not choose to pay a small or reasonable and affordable amount for coverage against an unaffordable health catastrophe?  The more you make, the more you save, the more you are worth, the more likely you are to insure against a severe financial setback, I would think.  Oddly, not figured in the numbers.

If you are CBO, increasing incomes, increasing the size of the workforce, increasing per capita incomes and lowering the costs of coverage, these are not factors of significance when calculating how many people will purchase healthcare policies.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Prosecuting Cases of Voter Fraud on: March 14, 2017, 04:06:04 PM
Nice work DDF.

The question to me is not the prosecuted cases, and those are low numbers, it is the unknown and unprosecuted ones.

Interesting that MN leads the list of prosecuted voter fraud cases.  With the exception of the Al Franken theft, Minnesota used to be among the leaders in perception of clean elections.  Now we are a home to Chicago gunfire, Somali terror and Keith Ellison ethics.
Still, most prosecuted cases probably means least fraud.  Inverse relationship.

Documentary on the Al Franken recount, link gone blank.  http://kstp.com/article/stories/S1222327.shtml?cat=5  
I asked the television station for help on this.

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2010/07/20/al-franken-may-have-won-his-senate-seat-through-voter-fraud
At least 341 convicted felons voted in Minneapolis's Hennepin County, the state's largest, and another 52 voted illegally in St. Paul's Ramsey County, the state's second largest. Dan McGrath, head of Minnesota Majority, says that only conclusive matches were included in the group's totals. The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeds Mr. Franken's victory margin.

MN Gov vetoes 80% voter ID bill:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/05/029110.php
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NYTimes bias on: March 14, 2017, 01:12:24 PM
In discussions with liberal friends, it came up that the NY Times has no bias.  If an admitted liberal sees no bias, maybe the paper's bias matches his or her own.

Meanwhile, conservatives say they don't need to open to the opinion page of the NY Times, the opinions are all over the front page!

One part of bias is when media select stories to support their own narrative, the narrative that supports their person or agenda.  An easier way for a liberal to see that is to turn to the Drudge Report or Brietbart and look at which stories tend to go to print, often stories that support Trump.   But Brietbart and Drudge aren't held up by anyone as  mainstream, unbiased, professional sources, the way that the NY Times, Washington Post, CBS News etc. are.

The other component of bias is to look at what doesn't get covered in 'mainstream media' such as the NY Times.  The most recent examples of the last 8 years would be almost any scandal of the Obama administration.  I am amazed by how many liberals who follow national news closely everyday have never heard of Fast and Furious or think IRS targeting didn't happen.

Fast and Furious to them, if it existed at all, was a botched law enforcement operation.  Law enforcement? Botched?  'ya think?

You won't find a report in so-called mainstream media that doesn't mention that Eric Holder was exonerated.  
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/opinion/fast-furious-and-foolish.html
Holder exonerated??  It was a major operation in his department, inexplicable, that happened under his watch, and he was 'exonerated' because he had no knowledge of it??  All while being held in Contempt of Congress for blocking inquiry.  

But who cares about Eric Holder.  The US government under President Obama sold and placed arms across national borders for no good reason with no controls on it and that killed people in Mexico and came back to kill us.  If this happened today, every story would point to Trump and the "Trump Administration", front page, and he would face impeachment and resignation pressures.  Does anyone doubt that?

Then there was Benghazi talking points and after the election we learn they deserve 'investigation'.  Investigation??  Did they look at Hillary's emails or the President's unsecured messages to her unsecured server?  No.  They had no clue and the administration had no investigation, only blocked the ones in Congress.   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/us/politics/feinstein-to-investigate-benghazi-talking-points.html
The Monday morning headline after the Sunday morning talk show episode should have read:
"Obama Administration lied to the Nation About Terror Attack That Killed Ambassador"
That is, unless the NY Times really didn't know what really happened a week after the attack. We know who put Susan Rice up to that; the President and Secretary of State made the same false insinuations.

Skip to the largest scandal of the Obama administration, IRS targeting.  Since at least 1791, equal treatment under the law has been the law of the land and that liberty may not be denied without due process. (cf. 5th amendment)  And yet it was - without consequence.  I hate Hitler and Nazi analogies but who else, maybe the communists ruling China, forcibly stops their political opponents from organizing and participating in opposition to their own reelection.   Nowhere is this allowed in the world of countries we consider to have consent of the governed, except in the US, under Obama, and under the watchful eye if our mainstream media.  Again, the head of the department and the head of the nation are exonerated for having no knowledge of what happened under their direction, and that was determined by having no investigation.  

Hundreds and hundreds of conservative groups were blocked from equal political participation by force of law while the IRS commissioner was cleared for visits to the White House 157 times, compared with his predecessor visiting twice - yet no one had any knowledge.  And no one paid a price.  Lois Lerner plead the 5th, meaning what?  The answers to the questions would all incriminate her.  And the scandal died there.

The IRS admitted it (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/irs-admits-targeting-conservatives-for-tax-scrutiny-in-2012-election/2013/05/10/3b6a0ada-b987-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html?utm_term=.9ba5c260fbbc) and the NY Times prints this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/us/politics/republicans-call-for-irs-inquiry-after-disclosure.html
"I.R.S. Focus on Conservatives gives G.O.P an Issue to Seize on"

The GOP may gain some political advantage from having been victim of the worst political crime of our republic?  That's the story?? And it's in the "politics" section of the NY Times?!  Is that what deprivation of unalienable fundamental rights is, political?

Did they then go out and interview ANYONE about what it felt like to be inside one of the 426 groups admittedly blocked?  NO.
http://thehill.com/policy/finance/282307-irs-targeted-426-groups-report

I wonder if the New York Times covered the Japanese-American internment camp chapter in our history with a headline about what political advantage these victims might gain from it?!
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 13% of illegal aliens vote? on: March 14, 2017, 11:39:28 AM
The voting age is too low considering how little these young people know about life, politics and economics beyond what their liberal teachers have taught them.  That said, 17 year olds participating in the caucuses and primaries that will be 18 by election time is not any major part of the vote fraud problem.  It is legal in 22 states:  http://occasionalplanet.org/2014/02/11/voting-news-17-year-olds-can-vote-in-primaries-and-caucuses-in-20-states/

Illegals voting activists voting multiple times and live people voting for the dead would be the problems I would like to see investigated.  Also FELON voting.  Oddly, property owners tend to Republican and burglars tend to be Democrat.  Felons vote Dem by a margin of 6 to 1.  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0002716213502931

We give driver's licenses to illegals - even though they don't need one to vote.  They can get utility bills and neighbors to vouch for them.  We let them live here and most workers in the neighborhoods where they live think they should be able to vote.  

But it's against the law and undermining our democracy in treason.IMHO.

13% of illegals admit they vote.  
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/poll-13-of-illegal-aliens-admit-they-vote-2015-report/  
http://thefederalist.com/2016/10/13/voter-fraud-real-heres-proof/
Maybe that number is high; maybe that number is low.
Where is the investigation, where are the prosecution, where are the deportations?
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: second post on: March 14, 2017, 09:06:34 AM
I submit Royal jerks is best:
http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/31649/
I nominate Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar for the title of "royal" jerks

Yes, those two are as close as we will find to genderless.

My alma mater will get no discretionary money from me, just the 250/qtr I already gave them and a billion a year in taxes.  No more.

The public university was not good enough for these elites.  Klobuchar went to Yale, Franken went to Harvard.  Neither wanted to study social justice with common folk.
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: March 10, 2017, 08:55:22 PM
"The Volcker tightening was in the context of 12% inflation."  

"Keep in mind the implications of this in the context of baseline budgeting i.e. if inflation falls quicker than anticipated (as was the case) then the spending "cuts" have a larger % of real cuts in relation to nominal cuts."   -

"Are you agreeing with the Keynesian notion that the low rates have stimulated the economy?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
QE, in my view, was like adding gas when the problem was flat tires.  I think that QE and low rates were partly stimulative (it's easier to buy a house, car or appliance when interest rates are at zero), but it was not the right solution to the right problem - and it did cause immeasurable other damage (savings rate, etc).

Low rates and QE aren't exactly the same thing.  They were injecting money in other ways too.  

Unlike Grannis and Wesbury, I think QE and low rates contributed to the run-up of the stock market during the slow growth Obama years.  The S&P 500 went up 235% over 8 years while the economy was growing at 1.9% /yr.  Was it stimulative for the market to surge?   Not noticeably.  It didn't address what was wrong (taxes and regulations).

Will a move toward tightening of money now will have some contractionary effect?  I think slightly yes, but not the main factor.  The economy could easily grow past a little tightening if we would simultaneously correct our other policy mistakes.  

My pessimism mostly comes from the tax reform that is delayed or not happening. I don't see how you bump growth from 2% to 4% without fixing the screwed up tax code.  We are expecting different results from doing the same things.  The delay in lowering rates makes people put off transactions and taxable income whenever they can.  Inaction from employers and investors is the enemy of growth.  And if/when expectations fall, the positive economic effect we see now is gone.

On the other side of it, Trump was right to go bold on removing excess regulations early.  If those were well chosen they may already be having a positive effect.
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: March 10, 2017, 02:12:36 PM
Relating to the US-mexico question, Islamophobia in America, etc, our (illegal?) immigration application should offer the choice: Want to assimilate.  Don't want to assimilate. Choose one.
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 10, 2017, 01:57:31 PM
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/323092-trump-courts-former-foe-ted-cruz
Paul Ryan got a lot of time on Tucker Carlson tonight and did a good job of explaining/defending the House's bill.

This bill is part one of a three-part plan. Only what can go through reconciliation is included.  Otherwise willl be filibustered. 

Part 2 goes through the full Senate process, includes things like selling across state lines.

Part 3 is the executive branch implementing the law.

Amazing how this issue is splitting the right.  Hard to know who to believe. One negative indicator is Paul Krugman saying positive things about it today (?). 
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US war revisited on: March 10, 2017, 01:49:09 PM
Map of how that might look here:
https://www.google.com/amp/io9.gizmodo.com/a-map-of-the-u-s-if-there-had-never-been-a-mexican-am-1613264384/amp

I wonder if they would like to restart the war or have the affected territories take a new voice of self-determination?
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: March 10, 2017, 11:45:30 AM
"...Weirdest Moment In Economic History?"

It is not political that Democrat Janet Yellen would raise interest rates up on Donald Trump's election. Near zero interest rate policy is wrong and needs correcting. What is political is that she did not do it 8 years ago!

Right now we risk a repeat of the Volcker recession of 81-82. We have the tightening of money preceding the stimulus of tax rate cut reform.

Are we really stupid or ignorant enough to repeat this catastrophic error?   Yes.  Why wouldn't we? We repeat and continue all of our other economic errors.
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues, Costs of "resettlement", (free sh*t) on: March 10, 2017, 11:36:40 AM
Some pro-immigration people accidentally publishing information about the costs. See if this link comes up.

http://m.startribune.com/what-we-know-and-what-we-don-t-about-resettlement-related-costs/415827654/
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DID THE ATTORNEY GENERAL COMMIT PERJURY? Not Jeff Sessions. Eric Holder on: March 08, 2017, 04:16:32 PM
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/did-the-attorney-general-commit-perjury.php
POSTED ON MARCH 7, 2017 BY JOHN HINDERAKER
DID THE ATTORNEY GENERAL COMMIT PERJURY?
No, not Jeff Sessions. Sessions was asked whether representatives of the Trump campaign had been in contact with Russian officials on behalf of the campaign, and Sessions said he didn’t know anything about that. He hadn’t had such contact on behalf of the campaign. His answer was completely and fully accurate. No one asked Sessions whether he had ever met a Russian.

I am talking about Eric Holder, who almost certainly did commit perjury when testifying under oath before the House Judiciary Committee. We wrote about it here.  http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/05/perjury-may-not-be-such-a-tough-rap-to-prove-in-the-eric-holders-case.php  The story is worth remembering. Holder was asked whether DOJ could prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act:

Two weeks ago, testifying under oath before the House Judiciary Committee, Holder was asked whether the Justice Department could prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917. His response (emphasis added) was:

In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.

When he gave this testimony, Holder had personally signed a request to a court to authorize a wiretap on Fox News reporter James Rosen. The request stated that Rosen may have acted as “an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” by obtaining national security materials from a government official also under investigation.

I followed up on this post, pointing out that the affidavit that Holder submitted in order to obtain a search warrant for James Rosen’s email accounts specifically said that Rosen was a potential criminal defendant:

As has been widely reported, the affidavit says repeatedly that there is probable cause to believe that Rosen is guilty of a crime, and that his email account will provide evidence of a crime, as well as “fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed.” But the affidavit goes even beyond that. It specifically says that the FBI is looking for evidence of both Kim’s and Rosen’s guilt:

Mr. Kim’s missing responses to the Reporter’s emails would materially assist the FBI’s investigation as they could be expected to establish further the fact of the disclosures, their content, and Mr. Kim’s and the Reporter’s intent in making them, and could be expected to constitute direct evidence of their guilt or innocence.

Emphasis added. But the real clincher is Paragraph 45, which states in part:

Because of the Reporter’s own potential criminal liability in this matter, we believe that requesting the voluntary production of the materials from Reporter would be futile and would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation and of the evidence we seek to obtain by warrant.

Emphasis added. Paragraph 46 sums up:

Based on the above, there is probable cause to believe that the Reporter (along with Mr. Kim) has committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793(d) either as Mr. Kim’s co-conspirator and/or aider and abettor, and that evidence of that crime is likely contained within the _______@gmail.com account.

So the issue is rather squarely posed: Holder testified that he had never “been involved in” or even “heard of” any “potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material.” And yet, he participated in “extensive deliberations,” “discussed” and approved of the filing of an application for a search warrant that specifically represented to the court that a reporter has “potential criminal liability in this matter.” It is hard to imagine a more direct contradiction.

Either Eric Holder was suffering from acute memory loss at a young age, or he committed perjury. But, because the press was slavishly devoted to Barack Obama and his minions, no matter how corrupt or dishonest they may be, hardly anyone knows about this shameful episode.
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump-Russia Accusations and the possible Silent Coup on: March 08, 2017, 12:26:11 PM
Internet tech stuff is not my forte, but as best as I can tell, with the Vault 7 Wikileaks we learn that the CIA has the hacking programs that the Russians use and can use them to imitate the Russians-- and how is it that we are told that the CIA knows it was the Russians who hacked Podesta and the DNC? By the programs that were used.
What a curious coincidence!


What we really know about all this is - nothing.  Could be the Russians.  Could be others trying to implicate the Russians.

Podesta technically was not hacked; he was tricked.  He gave up his log in information voluntary.  That could have been committed by a Russian intelligence mastermind - or a 5th grader here.

The election itself was not hacked in the sense of voting machines and tabulations.  Much of what is said and written about Russian involvement is aimed at making it sound bigger than it was.

Content learned was mostly, already under subpoena.  What was supposed to come to light, came to light.

We got a few extra tidbits from hackers, such as the 'journalists' and DNC rigging the debates in favor of Hillary.  The biggest lesson is stop cheating.  Your emails are never secure.

Wikileaks denies that leaks came from the Kremlin.  Strangely, they have more credibility than the CIA, the DNI and those leaking inside our agencies, never-Trumpers on the right and left.

The leaks on Flynn were felonies committed by dozens of high level intelligence 'professionals' who were acting illegally, also unprofessionally.  Does that weaken their credibility or reputation for accuracy or non-bias?  Yes.

Dems called the best American intelligence worthless and political when it suited their purposes to say that, cf. Iraq WMD.  If true, why is it outrageous to question anonymous assertions of the intelligence community now.

On FISA, Clapper offered us the non-denial denial.  No one at Trump Tower was the "target" of an investigation.  That tells us nothing about whether Trump's wires were tapped by the Obama administration.  

For context, former AG Eric Holder was "exonerated" for Fast and Furious because he 'credibly' had no idea what was happening in his own department.  What Clapper or Obama had no knowledge of has no positive correlation with truth.  Clapper and Obama also famously found no connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and Islam.  After Benghazi, the same administration intentionally chose the official who knew the least to tell [the opposite of] what they knew.

Add to all that, Trump has his own loose association with the truth.  He owns Trump Tower, so to him, wire tapping of his campaign or administration is a wire tap of him.  He makes some statements out of ignorance and some out of clever gamesmanship and strategery.  It is not easy (or possible) to know which is happening at any particular time.  

For my money, this is a shiny object on both sides.  Yes, Pres Obama might have committed the most cynical political crime in our nation's history with the wiretap of a political opponent.  If not in this case, he still holds that title for IRS targeting of his political opponents.  And no one cared.
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kevin Brady,, A look at the thinking behind tax reform - while we wait on: March 07, 2017, 09:43:30 AM
http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/3/14772242/republicans-tax-cuts-reform-kevin-brady-corporate-border-adjustment
144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Bush Presidency; GW Bush; the Bush Family on: March 04, 2017, 08:40:50 PM
W is in the news a lot lately ...

I have not seen him but my understanding is that he is on a book tour and trying to be responsive to the leading questions asked after a long period of silence.  Answers in the clips are very generally out of context but there is no love of Trump after what he did to his brother.

The better time to have broken his silence might have been during the last two years of his Presidency.
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, Sweden, Germany on: March 03, 2017, 05:31:25 PM
"immigrants are flowing to Sweden, in part, because the government benefits they receive there are all-encompassing — including housing, food, and education. In interviews, the immigrants say that in large part because of these benefits “life is good” for them in Sweden."

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/443073/rape-violence-sweden-immigration-refugees-ami-horowitz-video


"Sweden doesn’t allow refugees to seek work until they know the language"
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/swedens-rape-crisis-isnt-what-it-seems/article30019623/


Questions have arisen about why officials had not made those documents public, and police officials in Germany and elsewhere in Europe have been accused of trying to cover up crimes committed by refugees (authorities have denied the allegations). Criticism has also targeted media outlets, which are not allowed to specify the nationalities of criminals under Germany's press regulations.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/16/trump-says-german-crime-levels-have-risen-and-refugees-are-to-blame-not-exactly/?utm_term=.fd4ee4764252
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: An Active-Duty National Security Advisor: Myths and Concerns on: March 03, 2017, 01:02:37 PM
Nice find, BD.  This President seems to make great appointment picks.
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science, The Broken Hockey Stick, MIT Tech Review, Oct. 2004 on: March 03, 2017, 12:56:13 PM
Interesting that Michael Mann's famous hockey stick of global temperature change charts was proven false 2 years before the release of "An Inconvenient Truth".

"This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not."

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/403256/global-warming-bombshell/
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/fallupdate04/update.fall04.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tkDK2mZlOo

MIT Technology Review

Sustainable Energy

Global Warming Bombshell

A prime piece of evidence linking human activity to climate change turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics.

by Richard Muller  October 15, 2004
 
Progress in science is sometimes made by great discoveries. But science also advances when we learn that something we believed to be true isnt. When solving a jigsaw puzzle, the solution can sometimes be stymied by the fact that a wrong piece has been wedged in a key place.

In the scientific and political debate over global warming, the latest wrong piece may be the hockey stick, the famous plot (shown below), published by University of Massachusetts geoscientist Michael Mann and colleagues. This plot purports to show that we are now experiencing the warmest climate in a millennium, and that the earth, after remaining cool for centuries during the medieval era, suddenly began to heat up about 100 years ago–just at the time that the burning of coal and oil led to an increase in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

I talked about this at length in my December 2003 column. Unfortunately, discussion of this plot has been so polluted by political and activist frenzy that it is hard to dig into it to reach the science. My earlier column was largely a plea to let science proceed unmolested. Unfortunately, the very importance of the issue has made careful science difficult to pursue.

But now a shock: Canadian scientists Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have uncovered a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program that was used to produce the hockey stick. In his original publications of the stick, Mann purported to use a standard method known as principal component analysis, or PCA, to find the dominant features in a set of more than 70 different climate records.

But it wasn't so. McIntyre and McKitrick obtained part of the program that Mann used, and they found serious problems. Not only does the program not do conventional PCA, but it handles data normalization in a way that can only be described as mistaken.

Now comes the real shocker. This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. This method of generating random data is called Monte Carlo analysis, after the famous casino, and it is widely used in statistical analysis to test procedures. When McIntyre and McKitrick fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape!

That discovery hit me like a bombshell, and I suspect it is having the same effect on many others. Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics. How could it happen? What is going on? Let me digress into a short technical discussion of how this incredible error took place.

In PCA and similar techniques, each of the (in this case, typically 70) different data sets have their averages subtracted (so they have a mean of zero), and then are multiplied by a number to make their average variation around that mean to be equal to one; in technical jargon, we say that each data set is normalized to zero mean and unit variance. In standard PCA, each data set is normalized over its complete data period; for key climate data sets that Mann used to create his hockey stick graph, this was the interval 1400-1980. But the computer program Mann used did not do that. Instead, it forced each data set to have zero mean for the time period 1902-1980, and to match the historical records for this interval. This is the time when the historical temperature is well known, so this procedure does guarantee the most accurate temperature scale. But it completely screws up PCA. PCA is mostly concerned with the data sets that have high variance, and the Mann normalization procedure tends to give very high variance to any data set with a hockey stick shape. (Such data sets have zero mean only over the 1902-1980 period, not over the longer 1400-1980 period.)

The net result: the principal component will have a hockey stick shape even if most of the data do not.

McIntyre and McKitrick sent their detailed analysis to Nature magazine for publication, and it was extensively refereed. But their paper was finally rejected. In frustration, McIntyre and McKitrick put the entire record of their submission and the referee reports on a Web page for all to see. If you look, youll see that McIntyre and McKitrick have found numerous other problems with the Mann analysis. I emphasize the bug in their PCA program simply because it is so blatant and so easy to understand. Apparently, Mann and his colleagues never tested their program with the standard Monte Carlo approach, or they would have discovered the error themselves. Other and different criticisms of the hockey stick are emerging (see, for example, the paper by Hans von Storch and colleagues in the September 30 issue of Science).

Some people may complain that McIntyre and McKitrick did not publish their results in a refereed journal. That is true–but not for lack of trying. Moreover, the paper was refereed–and even better, the referee reports are there for us to read. McIntyre and McKitricks only failure was in not convincing Nature that the paper was important enough to publish.

How does this bombshell affect what we think about global warming?

It certainly does not negate the threat of a long-term global temperature increase. In fact, McIntyre and McKitrick are careful to point out that it is hard to draw conclusions from these data, even with their corrections. Did medieval global warming take place? Last month the consensus was that it did not; now the correct answer is that nobody really knows. Uncovering errors in the Mann analysis doesnt settle the debate; it just reopens it. We now know less about the history of climate, and its natural fluctuations over century-scale time frames, than we thought we knew.

If you are concerned about global warming (as I am) and think that human-created carbon dioxide may contribute (as I do), then you still should agree that we are much better off having broken the hockey stick. Misinformation can do real harm, because it distorts predictions. Suppose, for example, that future measurements in the years 2005-2015 show a clear and distinct global cooling trend. (It could happen.) If we mistakenly took the hockey stick seriously–that is, if we believed that natural fluctuations in climate are small–then we might conclude (mistakenly) that the cooling could not be just a random fluctuation on top of a long-term warming trend, since according to the hockey stick, such fluctuations are negligible. And that might lead in turn to the mistaken conclusion that global warming predictions are a lot of hooey. If, on the other hand, we reject the hockey stick, and recognize that natural fluctuations can be large, then we will not be misled by a few years of random cooling.

A phony hockey stick is more dangerous than a broken one–if we know it is broken. It is our responsibility as scientists to look at the data in an unbiased way, and draw whatever conclusions follow. When we discover a mistake, we admit it, learn from it, and perhaps discover once again the value of caution.
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: March 03, 2017, 11:33:40 AM
Looking for:

a) pregnancy rates among US women serving in "former Yugoslavia" during US intervention there in the '90s.

As of late June[1996], 62 pregnancies were reported among the 2,000 or so women serving in Bosnia. That is something else doctors say they did not expect, although the pregnancy rate does not exceed the average for women in the Army overall.
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/03/world/bosnia-s-a-safe-and-healthy-place-for-the-gi-s-anyway.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1996/07/23/pregnancy-rate-of-unit-in-bosnia-hits-army-average/018879d2-4fe8-4850-a332-de37ab2cb41c/?utm_term=.5f08c49d6c14
Whether in peace or war -- or Bosnia -- the U.S. Army is discovering that about 5 percent of its female soldiers tend to get pregnant.

Latest statistics from Tuzla, headquarters for U.S. forces in Bosnia, show 68 of the 1,500 Army women deployed in the peace enforcement operation dispatched back to bases in Germany because of pregnancies.


b) pregnancy rates on a certain US ship in the Gulf around the time of the Gulf War.
[/quote]

http://militarymedicine.amsus.org/doi/full/10.7205/MILMED.172.5.511
Looking at the Navy during the Persian Gulf War, the repair ship Arcadia had 36 of its 360 women redeployed secondary to pregnancy during the first Persian Gulf War.3 In other conflicts such as Somalia, there were 72 women that became pregnant while using prophylactic mefloquine. They suffered an unexpectedly high rate of spontaneous abortion.10 And in Bosnia, it was reported that one female was evacuated every 3 days for pregnancy.
Barry J, Thomas E: At war over women. Newsweek, May 12, 1997, p 48
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, 'The Truth About Sweden' on: March 03, 2017, 11:10:39 AM
Failure to assimilate. 
"Sweden has accepted more refugees per capita in recent years than any other country in Europe." 
"Crime in these areas is not just new in scope, but also in kind."
A ticking time bomb - in addition to the explosion of hand grenades.
Most of these facts cited are contained in a previous post.
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The Truth About Sweden
MAR 13, 2017 | By PAULINA NEUDING
 
"I often use Sweden as a deterring example.”

The words are not those of Donald Trump, but Anders Fogh Rasmussen. In an interview with Swedish public television in January, the former NATO secretary general and Danish prime minister described Sweden's immigration policy as a failure and a warning to other countries. But it was President Trump's unclear and slightly confused reference to Sweden during his February 18 rally in Florida that has turned attention to the Scandinavian country of 10 million and the details of its migrant experience. Sweden has accepted more refugees per capita in recent years than any other country in Europe. "Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible," Trump said. Since then, Swedes have seen facts about their country, and many exaggerations and misconceptions, used as arguments in an American domestic debate.


But there are, in fact, good reasons for Americans to care about Sweden's problems. First, because Sweden's failure to integrate its immigrants, in line with Rasmussen's observation, carries lessons for other countries; second, because Swedish news reporting and public discourse on immigration and integration are restricted by taboos. Swedish journalists and public figures who have been outspoken about the problems—and transgressed what the Swedes call the "opinion corridor"—have risked being labeled xenophobes or racists.

This peculiarity of Swedish public discourse has often allowed politicians and public authorities to deny the problems caused by the country's migration and integration policies, without being seriously challenged. The Swedish foreign ministry, for instance, launched a PR campaign in response to the debate following Donald Trump's remarks about the country. It tweeted last week, as part of the campaign:
"Does Sweden actually have 'No-Go Zones'? No, we don't.
You think that Swedish police have lost control? The 'no-go zones' are in fact 'go-go zones'. #FactCheck
"

But no-go zones cannot simply be dismissed as a myth. Gordon Grattidge, chairman of a Swedish ambulance trade union, explained to me that no-go zones are a reality for paramedics in Sweden. There are areas where first responders can't enter without police escort. Grattidge's assessment is that ambulances are forced to retreat from such areas on a weekly basis.

Yet the government's use of taxpayer money to deny the existence of no-go zones has not been met with protests from Swedish journalists.

How, then, should we understand the connection between crime and immigration in Sweden? Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt had the facts right when he tweeted in response to Trump: "Last year there were app 50% more murders only in Orlando/Orange in Florida, where Trump spoke the other day, than in all of Sweden. Bad." That comparison, while correct, misses the point. Of course Sweden has not turned into Orlando or, for that matter, Chicago. But in a short time—maybe as short as two decades—Sweden has gone from a nation rightly considered a model of social cohesion, equality, low crime, and political stability to a society with growing enclaves of social unrest.

In 1990, Sweden had three so-called "areas of social exclusion," characterized by socioeconomic problems—and high numbers of immigrants. According to Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji, the number of such areas had risen to 186 by 2012. Swedish police authorities have identified 53 with persistently high crime rates. Here, police officers risk assaults, while ambulance drivers and firefighters often have to wait for police escort before answering calls from people in distress. It's no surprise they're often described as no-go zones.

Crime in these areas is not just new in scope, but also in kind. Systematic attacks on paramedics and firefighters were an unknown phenomenon in Sweden only a generation ago. The same goes for extensive use of guns and hand grenades in a country where most homicides historically followed from stabbings, blunt force trauma, and unarmed violence. Today, Sweden is extreme with respect to violence from guns and explosives, compared with the country's Scandinavian neighbors: In Stockholm, the capital, 189 victims suffered gunshot injuries during the period 2010-2015. During the same period in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, only 30 people fell victim to such crimes.

Most hand grenades in Sweden come from the former Yugoslavia, where one can buy them for one or two euros or get them free when buying other weapons. They're easy to smuggle, since they're small and difficult to detect. In Sweden, they're plentiful and cheap—available for less than $150 in Malmö, according to the newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet. In the first six months of 2015 alone, 30 explosions took place in Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city. More bombings and explosions have been reported in the city than in any other in Scandinavia. Malmö links Sweden to the rest of Europe: It lies in southern Sweden, a short train or car ride across the bridge to Copenhagen. It has a high proportion of immigrants—in 2015, 43 percent of Malmö's population consisted of first- or second-generation immigrants, compared with 22 percent in Sweden overall.

An additional change in the Swedish crime landscape is the fact that gang shootings and explosions increasingly take place during the daylight, in public, as well as in residential areas. Here is a recent example: On February 27, a Malmö resident suffered injuries in the leg after a hand grenade detonated outside a house in a residential area. Earlier on the same day, a sharp hand grenade was found outside a police station in the Stockholm suburb Kista. Police investigated a connection between the grenade and the riots in neighboring Rinkeby the week before. Violence was sparked there when police arrested a 17-year-old criminal on the run from a juvenile home. Police were eventually forced to shoot and spent three hours retreating from the area after losing control over the situation. Rioters looted, torched cars, and threw rocks; a newspaper photographer was beaten by at least 15 men.

In a report to the government last week, the Swedish Police Authority stated that the use of hand grenades in Sweden is without parallel in the world among countries not at war. In 2015, the police handled 45 cases involving hand grenades. In 2016, the number grew to 52. Hand grenades, according to the report, are used in attacks against business facilities and homes "without regard for whether there are people there or not."

On several occasions, foreign journalists reporting from Swedish areas of social exclusion have been driven out by violent youths. When the Norwegian public TV network NRK tried to report from a housing project area in Stockholm, its team was forced to leave the neighborhood under duress. Australian 60 Minutes visited Rinkeby in March this year, only to have its camera crew attacked by rock throwers. "We've all been assaulted and insulted," the reporter declared on air.

Journalists have also documented how religious minorities are being persecuted in immigrant neighborhoods. When Swedish public television accompanied a Somali woman who has converted to Christianity to Rinkeby—the scene of last month's riots—she was immediately threatened because of her conversion and forced to run. A similar case occurred in Malmö, when a TV reporter entered the area of Rosengård wearing a yarmulke. Text messages circulated among residents that a Jew had entered the neighborhood, and he was forced out of Rosengård in a collective effort. Residents threw eggs at him from windows.

Social unrest has brought threats and violence close to previously peaceful public community institutions such as libraries and swim centers. A survey I conducted myself revealed that several public libraries in Sweden have had to close down temporarily, change their opening hours, engage security guards, or equip their staff with personal assault alarms, as a consequence of harassment by groups of youths.

In December, I visited two libraries in the town of Västerås. Both had been forced to change their opening hours. One librarian told me that gangs of young criminals had taken over her library, and that she was always tense and often frightened at work. The staff were equipped with assault alarms.

Many hospitals and emergency rooms have new security routines: At Sahlgrenska hospital in Gothenburg, security was tightened after gunshots were fired close to the emergency room entrance in 2012. In an interview with a manager at Sahlgrenska in 2015, I was told: "Security has been increased, both because of threats and violence against the staff, and because of the increasing amount of shootings in recent years."

Similarly, a spokesperson for the ER in Malmö explained: "Since 2013, it's mandatory for all staff at the ER to carry personal assault alarms. That year there was unrest here in town with shootings, and we had problems with large groups of relatives who caused unrest at the ER." At one time a mob of some hundred people tried to break into the ER following a shooting—a dramatically new phenomenon in Sweden.

As far as sex crime, it is obviously preposterous to call Sweden a "rape capital." Yet evidence suggests that immigration has had an impact on sexual violence in Sweden.

The latest report on crime among immigrants from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ) was published in 2005. The report, which covers the years 1997-2001, shows that immigrants from the Middle East and Africa were heavily overrepresented among suspects of violent crime, particularly for sexual offenses. Another study of gang rapes in Sweden in the 1990s indicated that a majority of group rapes in Sweden were committed by first- and second-generation immigrants.

There are, unfortunately, no more recent studies. Data are still being collected but are not compiled and made publicly available. The Swedish justice minister, Morgan Johansson, explained in an interview recently that there is no need to publish any new reports, because the facts are well-known from earlier studies.

But if the overrepresentation has not changed since the 2005 survey, the influx of the overrepresented demographic could offer an explanation for the recent rise in the proportion of women who report that they have been victims of sex crimes: Between 2012 and 2015, self-reported sex crimes doubled from 1.4 to 3 percent of the female population—an "alarming" increase, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention. Whether this is caused by increased immigration from the Middle East and Africa we don't know, since the government refuses to release the data.

At the same time, Sweden has experienced a new phenomenon with group abuse of women and children in public swimming pools and at music festivals. Police noted in a report last spring:

The suspects of crimes carried out by a large group of offenders, in public, were mostly people with foreign citizenship. Regarding crimes reported in public swimming pools, the alleged perpetrators were mainly asylum seeking boys. .  .  . In 80 percent of the complaints from swimming pools alleged perpetrators were of claimed or established foreign origin. Most of them did not have a Swedish social security number, and reports indicated that they belonged to groups of asylum seeking boys.

Finally, another radically new phenomenon in modern Swedish history is oppression of women in the general public sphere with reference to religion or "honor." As far back as 2010, a local newspaper reported that women were not visible on the main square in Rinkeby. Authorities tried to solve the problem by placing three pink benches on the square, designated for women. The benches were eventually removed, since they, too, were taken over by men. Female writers for the local newspaper tried to sit down and have coffee at a Rinkeby coffeehouse, but were verbally abused by male patrons.

The situation has not improved since then. Nalin Pekgul, a Social Democratic Swedish-Kurdish former MP and well-known feminist, explained in an interview February 27: "Everyone must understand that it is not acceptable that men and women do not sit together in cafés in 2017." She went on: "For women in Sweden to win their freedom it is crucial what politicians say and do, and what journalists cast light on. The debate must continue."

She is right. It is also the reason why international media should continue to report—and uncover the facts—from Sweden.

Paulina Neuding is a columnist with the Swedish center-right daily Svenska Dagbladet.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-truth-about-sweden/article/2007071
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration issues, 4300 (so far) came in that were banned on: March 03, 2017, 09:22:52 AM
I wonder what crimes or acts of terror will be committed by the thousands coming in to the US because of the unconstitutional block on the President's proper ban on entry from named, terrorist countries.  Blood I would not want on my hands.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/02/over-4300-refugees-have-arrived-in-the-us-since-judge-blocked-trumps-travel-ban/

Facts on the ground keep supporting this President's stand on immigration.

Regarding the wall and the border, it is strange that enforcing existing law is so controversial.
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