We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, February 16. 2013
You know you've been waiting for it: Global Alcohol Consumption Map
Two-Year Law Degree Moves Step Closer to Reality
Dr. Carson’s Prescription - The renowned doctor reacts to the furor over his National Prayer Breakfast speech.
Rand Paul Is the Republican to Watch in 2013
Steyn: Achieve Ye This Goal - Issues and issues in the State of the Union
More Than 30 States Rebuke Obamacare Exchanges
How Much Fraud Was There Among Mortgage Originators?
In California, ’Moderate Democrat’ Is an Oxymoron
Global Warming Consensus Looking More Like A Myth
Tracked: Feb 17, 09:45
Tracked: Feb 17, 11:43
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Oh such beauty--give a little time today to this:
Or, maybe just play/watch with your young student at home. Kids in India, China, Korea, Japan, and maybe even some private schools in Europe can understand this in 8 th grade--can yours?
Thanks! Interesting site. Were you referring to one particular presentation regarding the 8th graders?
"Kids in India, China, Korea, Japan, and maybe even some private schools in Europe can understand this in 8 th grade".
I'm not sure the assumption is true. In all of these countries good students are taught seperately from poorer students. In most of these countries poorer students are removed from school well before finishing 12 years and placed in the work environment. By the time you get to a higher grade in these countries the students who distract and delay education are gone and the reality is YOU will be gone too if you don't toe the line. Additionally parents in these countries not only support the authoritarian methods used by the schools but continue it at home.
We certainly have students in the U.S. who are smart and on the honor roll. India and Japan don't have the market cornered on smart kids. The big problem in the U.S. is the unions, the work rules and the inability to hire good teachers and fire bad teachers.
Thank you for the link. We went on to watch more of Vi Hart's videos. Not sure we understood all that she was saying--due to speed of the audio but it certainly held our attention.
IBD EDITORIALS: Global Warming Consensus Looking More Like A Myth... But when confining the question to geoscientists and engineers, it turns out that only 36% believe that human activities are causing Earth's climate to warm.
Engineers are not even scientists. Furthermore, of the geoscientists in the study who did reject climate science, they are more likely work to hold senior positions in the oil and gas industry. So no, this does nothing to impact a claim of a consensus within the climate science community.
Engineers are reality based--what works. Scientists are supposedly trying to figure out how and why things are as the are. So some who do not "accept climate science" (as a consensus) work for oil companies. Those who do mostly work for government and tax-supported agencies. Guess what: They have a financial interest in their side.
Engineers are just like scientists only they go to jail if they fudge the numbers in their work.
Hello, Mr. Bird Dog? Hello?
Excuse me, but did anyone here actually READ the paper touted by these right wing--as opposed to left wing--blogs? Well, I managed to slog through it. Do you want me to compare some ersatz "expose" of the "myth" of GW as opposed to what I'm reading in Science Magazine, Scientific American, National Academy of Science, NASA and the (amongst about 100+ others)? These two individuals (Lefsrud and Meyer) are well-known apologists for the Petroleum Industry in Canada and are NOT scientists. Repeat, they are NOT scientists. They are business college graduates and professors, and professional shills funded by industry. Professional witnesses in many a lawsuit to push forward the fracking of the Canadian Shield for the oil companies.
They telegraph their intent about halfway down with this paragraph:
"To address this, we reconstruct the frames of one group of experts who have not received much attention in previous research and yet play a central role in understanding industry responses – professional experts in petroleum and related industries. Not only are we interested in the positions they take towards climate change and in the recommendations for policy development and organizational decision-making that they derive from their framings, but also in how they construct and attempt to safeguard their expert status against others."
How they got this...this...thing reviewed is beyond me. Mostly semantics, it wants to give Petroleum Engineers expert status outside their field of study.
This is a fun website. I can't stand Liberals either and I agree with a lot of Mr. Bird Dog posts but dear, sweet Jesus, it...is...getting...hotter....outside. Ask your grandmother or the damned Polar Bears or something. You DO go outside don't you? And don't tell me: "maybe you should have gone outside last weekend in New England where they had one of the heaviest snowfalls ever" because we are talking about the aggregation of data not individual events.
I respect that you are a skeptic about "things the government tells us" and I fully admit there are few (!) cheats that have fudged data but don't do the baby/bathwater thing. Give this "Global Warming is a Myth" b/s a rest will you? Saying it just makes you look, well...like a dumbass.
Global warming is real it is AGW that is a myth. These are natural cyclical long term events that cause global coolings and global warmings. This particular global warming is not even warm by historical standards; the last two (the medieval and Roman warming periods) were much warmer. The global cooling of the 16th and 17th century was colder then previous cyclical cooling cycles were so it makes it appear that this our 33 naturally occurring global warming sine the last ice age is warmer. But it is not it is in fact below average. Global warming cycles are very beneficial for all the flora and fauna but global cooling cycles tend to be very harmful. Now that we are well into this current cyclical global warming (about 163 years) it is probable that we will be entering a new global cooling cycle soon. The fact that there has been zero change in the average global temperature over the last 12 years is kind of a warning of things to come. Beware the Maunder
Sam L: Engineers are reality based--what works.
Engineers apply science. They are not scientists (unless they also happen to do scientific research, of course).
Sam L: Engineers are just like scientists only they go to jail if they fudge the numbers in their work.
Engineers are just like scientists—except they don't do scientific research.
The question concerned the scientific consensus on climate change. You don't check with engineers to determine whether there is a scientific consensus on climate change.
An appeal to authority is valid when
The cited authority has sufficient expertise.
The authority is making a statement within their area of expertise.
The area of expertise is a valid field of study.
There is adequate agreement among authorities in the field.
* There is no evidence of undue bias.
The proper argument against a valid appeal to authority is to the evidence.
But you should trust the engineers to find the flaws in the data manipulation. They live or die by badly processed data.
Consensus means nothing in regard to the validity of the science. Only that those in agreement have come to the same conclusions. But there are also equal experts who have differing opinions. All that reveals is that experts in the field have differing opinions. The number in agreement in no way affirms their opinion as being correct.
Appeal to authority is something very different and actual authorities are very rare
The opinions of others may be interesting as showing the trend of public sentiment, but they add nothing to proof.
There is one kind of argument that forms an exception to this rule--the so-called argument from authority. It has very small place in ordinary discussions. The argument from authority is the use of testimony from a witness of such eminence and unquestioned impartiality that his word carries conviction to all. There are few questions commonly argued in which this kind of evidence as to matters of opinion could be needed in the proof: for the point sought to be established would usually be a point admitted in advance, and not among the issues as all. Expert testimony of the ordinary sort offered in the courts is very far from being entitled to claim such authority. For every expert witness on one side another expert can usually be found on the opposite side; and this is true not only of lawsuits and criminal trials, but also of any ordinary question involving technical matters. Expert witnesses are good witnesses so long as they confine themselves to facts--provided they can be shown to be reasonably impartial; but when they begin to state opinions, such testimony proves nothing more than that the people who know the most about the subject disagree--which fact we knew already. Little attention need be given in most arguments to testimony as to opinions without facts on which the opinions are based. the sort of cases in which such evidence is valid is, for example, the opinion of a college president as to the meaning of a college rule; the appeal to scriptures for principles of right and wrong; the constitutional decisions of Chief Justice Marshall. These are not the kind of questions that are likely to be at issue in ordinary discussion. With this one exception, all evidence directed to the establishment of facts, not to the question of opinions. For support of our opinions, we use the facts proved by evidence as interpreted by what is called reasoning.
JKB: But you should trust the engineers to find the flaws in the data manipulation.
Sorry, no. That would be statisticians.
JKB: Consensus means nothing in regard to the validity of the science.
Consensus is an argument made outside of a field.
JKB: But there are also equal experts who have differing opinions.
If there is significant controversy within a field, then there is no consensus, and the authority should state this when asked.
JKB: The opinions of others may be interesting as showing the trend of public sentiment, but they add nothing to proof.
Public sentiment has nothing to do with an appeal to authority. The laws of gravity, biological evolution or climate change are not set by the legislative process.
JKB: For every expert witness on one side another expert can usually be found on the opposite side; and this is true not only of lawsuits and criminal trials, but also of any ordinary question involving technical matters.
Sorry, but there are many strong conclusions in science. The Earth does move, after all, and atoms comprise ordinary matter. Did you independently demonstrate the existence of atoms? Or did you rely upon received wisdom? Did you independently confirm the effectiveness of the polio vaccine? Or did you rely on a doctor and the scientists who devised the vaccine?
More particularly, if someone makes an appeal to authority, you can attack any of the assessments mentioned above, or you can appeal to the evidence. But everyone relies on expert opinion. Most scientists, for instance, call a plumber when the commode backs up.
You confuse objective science with scientific opinion. The Earth moves (around the sun). atoms do comprise ordinary matter but these are based on repeatable and published facts. Climate scientists, however, have withheld their data. The controversy is not in the warming or the thermal impacts of CO2. The controversy is in the self-reinforcing feedback causing increasing global warming supposition. In that, the predictions, an important part of the scientific method, have not proven to be supported by the evidence as objectively measured. Scientific consensus is meaningless without that consensus being supported by the ever growing body of evidence. Your examples of the Earth and atoms both wiped away centuries of scientific consensus when those theories overcame the "official" bias using objective observation and fact based evidence.
JKB: You confuse objective science with scientific opinion.
Not at all. We were replying to your suggestion that expert opinion had no value, when, in fact, people often rely appropriately on expert opinion.
JKB: The controversy is not in the warming or the thermal impacts of CO2. The controversy is in the self-reinforcing feedback causing increasing global warming supposition.
Well, the political and cultural controversy is all over the place, as is usual with so-called skeptical movements. There is little doubt that there are positive feedbacks, the scientific question being how strong are the feedbacks.
JKB: In that, the predictions, an important part of the scientific method, have not proven to be supported by the evidence as objectively measured.
There are a variety of tests for climate sensitivity, including volcanic forcing and study of past climate change. Most such tests have found climate sensitivity to be between 2-5°C with 3°C most likely. Here's a review paper: Knutti & Hegerl, The equilibrium sensitivity of the Earth’s temperature to radiation changes, Nature Geoscience 2008.
JKB: Scientific consensus is meaningless without that consensus being supported by the ever growing body of evidence.
Yes. That's how a scientific consensus is formed, of course.
Knutti & Hegeri: "[T]he physics of the response and uncertainties in forcing lead to fundamental difficulties in ruling out higher values. The quest to determine climate sensitivity has now been going on for decades, with disturbingly little progress in narrowing the large uncertainty range. However, in the process, fascinating new insights into the climate system and into policy aspects regarding mitigation have been gained. The well-constrained lower limit of climate sensitivity and the transient rate of warming already provide useful information for policy makers. But the upper limit of climate sensitivity will be more difficult to quantify."
Meaning: empirical data have yielded one somewhat low number, but we never cease in our attempts to find justifications for a higher one, in the complete absence of either empirical or theoretical support, so we can support the policymakers.
At least the article admits that "climate sensitivity is the largest source of uncertainty in projections of climate change beyond a few decades." And: "Requiring that climate models reproduce the observed present-day climatology (spatial structure of the mean climate and its variability) provides some constraint on model climate sensitivity." So you can't just make up a convenient sensitivity figure, if you expect your models to make predictions that will be proven out by tomorrow's data collection. From there, the article makes clear that a doubling of CO2 may well result only in a sensitivity of 1.0 or 1.5 degree C if you consider only the empirical data of climate changes to date (larger figures are possible but impossible to prove). To get a lower "minimum" temperature increase, you have to assume that the climate will behave differently in the future from the way it ever has in the past. Well, maybe it will, and the article describes every trick in the book for hypothesizing atmospheric mechanisms that would yield that result, but there is no empirical data for such a conclusion yet. It is the sheerest speculation. It is a model that has never been tested. Which was JKB's excellent point.
To get a higher minimum temperature increase, I meant to say.
Texan99: Meaning: empirical data have yielded one somewhat low number, but we never cease in our attempts to find justifications for a higher one, in the complete absence of either empirical or theoretical support, so we can support the policymakers.
It means the lower bound is very likely at least 2°C, the most likely value is near 3°C, while the upper bound is still uncertain, but likely 4.5°C.
Texan99: To get a lower "minimum" temperature increase, you have to assume that the climate will behave differently in the future from the way it ever has in the past.
That is incorrect. Based on the past, climate sensitivity is very likely at least 2°C, probably somewhat more.
Texan99: the article describes every trick in the book for hypothesizing atmospheric mechanisms that would yield that result, but there is no empirical data for such a conclusion yet.
"Every trick in the" review article is empirical data, including instrumental data, paleoclimatic evidence, and volcanic forcing.
Daniel Hannan: So total is the Left's cultural ascendancy that no one likes to mention the socialist roots of fascism
While the fascists included many elements from the political left, and the roots of many of their leaders in the political left are part of history, the common revisionist ploy is to then assert that fascists were leftists, which is contrary to their political philosophy. Regardless of their origins, they turned sharply to the extreme right, and were supported by elements of the political right, and diametrically opposed to leftists, in their assent to power.
Leftism is defined as an advocacy of equality. In the extreme form, this means absolute equality, such as under communism. The fascists advocated extreme racial, cultural, and national inequality.
"Leftism is defined as an advocacy of equality." Sounds like what the Declaration of Independence says. ("We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.") Me, I don't believe your definition. And you denied fascist roots in socialism.
Sam L: Sounds like what the Declaration of Independence says.
The American Revolutionaries were certainly to the political left of King George III.
Sam L: Me, I don't believe your definition.
The distinction between political left and right was coined during the French revolutionary period. Those who supported the Ancien Régime sat to the right in the Estates General, while those who supported greater equality sat to the left. They each have moderate and extreme versions.
Socialism begins with the use of the powers of the State, and proceeds and operates through them alone. It is by the force of law that the Socialist purposes to whip up the laggards and the delinquents in the social and industrial order. It is by the public treasurer, armed with powers of assessment and sale, that he plans to gather the means for carrying on enterprises to which individual resources would be inadequate. It is through penalties that he would check wasteful or mischievous expenditures.
The fascism is a flavor of socialism. Just as is the particularly vicious form of socialism that got labeled Communism in the Soviet block and China. Whatever the scheme used to sell it, they all boil down to the use of the state to assume functions heretofore left to the individual and to use the state's monopoly on violence to impose upon and oppress those who don't drink the kool-aid. They are also philosophies of materialism. It is funny how the redistribution of wealth leads not to equality of wealth but to the coffers of those in power. It is funny how they all seek to demonize those who achieve success through individual initiative and seek to take from them their earnings. It is odd how they all oppose the free exchange between individuals for the individual benefit of both.
Benito Mussolini: If it is admitted that the nineteenth century has been the century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy, it does not follow that the twentieth must also be the century of Liberalism, Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the "Right," a Fascist century.
There is more to Ms. Vi Hart--here is her explanation of space/time
But, you may search Google and find that her father is George Hart--mathematical sculptor. It seems that sometimes the apple does not fall far from the tree. Which leads me to ask: today is Saturday--what are you doing today to improve mental skills of the children in your family? Are you sitting on your backsides expecting the school system to improve? Then you are truly raising fools.
Mussolini, the creator of facism was an Italian socialist and communist. He decieded that Russian Marxism or communism was not valid for Italy so he created an Italian version of Marxism that he called fascism. Fascism is just communism lite.
Ray: He decieded that Russian Marxism or communism was not valid for Italy so he created an Italian version of Marxism that he called fascism.
Except that Mussolini himself says otherwise. People of the time, and generations of scholars have placed fascism on the political right. Perhaps you are confusing leftism with statism.
The political left is defined as advocacy of equality. Fascists rejected equality on both racial and nationalist grounds.
The political left is defined as advocacy of equality. Fascists rejected equality on both racial and nationalist grounds.
#7.1 Zachriel on 2013-02-16 16:55
Defined by whom?
Many on the left seem blatant racists. Self loathing whites..you know..racists, and their bigotry shows in their blind rejection of all values traditional and all things conservative.
For the most part, leftists and liberals are some of the most narrow minded and willfully blind people one will ever meet.
They seem to live in an almost perpetual state of anger and intolerance to anything they themselves don't approve of.
Its a very odd personality disorder imo.
Dale: Defined by whom?
By the word's origin, and by its usage. The late redefinition is confined to the right wing echochamber.
Dale: Many on the left seem blatant racists.
We're sure there are. The American Revolutionaries held slaves, but were to the left of King George on most issues.
Dale: Self loathing whites..you know..racists, and their bigotry shows in their blind rejection of all values traditional and all things conservative.
The rest of your comment just seems to be an exaggeration of normal tendencies in people. Most people on the political left don't reject "all values traditional and all things conservative", but believe that some traditional institutions need to change. This is the trend of history, of course, as religious reformation and political revolution have remade the world.
Obamunist America Is No Sanctuary for Homeschoolers
another clueless blahgger. little barry doesn't care about homeschoolers, the government doesn't want to open up asylum and refugee immigration by expanding the concepts of either. in brief, you get to stay or come of you have a legitimate fear of persecution, in more particular, this typically means something along the lines of, you're a christian in an islam country and they've threatened your family or burned down your house and the police have been asking about you; or you've spent 10 years doing hard labor in a reeducation camp and managed to get out, weren't completely reeducated and the police have been asking about you.
and I'm surprised MF, as anti-immigrant as it is, doesn't see this. if you buy that germany is "persecuting" home schoolers then you have to accept the claim of every third worlder who actually has a legitimate fear of returning to the land of El Supremo but who can't currently make out a legitimate fear of persecution.
seriously, think this through before you buy idiotic asylum claims like this.
Whoa, wirraway. As someone who respects your posts, I am puzzled by this last one.
I don't think that most of the MF community is anti-immigration. However, following the law is critical to maintaining that fine line between individual rights vs. rule of the majority. Defining asylum has always been a political problem; I don't know that the freedom to teach your children your values is less a problem than those seeking freedom to earn a living. Yes? No? We have to define this.
Homeschoolers HAVE been under some duress, probably by unions of various sorts. I don't know except for spot-by-spot experiences of my children's' generation who, quite diverse, have encountered such problems across the country.
I believe, and correct me if I wrong, this article addressed the problem of one culture/country vs. another as we encounter those who support a "one world" governance.
I look forward to your response.
thank you for the kind words, jma, perhaps I was over generalizing based on a few demands for mass arrests and "deportations".
here are the facts presented:
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are looking to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to give them permanent refugee status. But Attorney General Eric Holder is disputing their case, arguing Germany’s ban on homeschooling fails to violate the family’s fundamental rights.
The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 after authorities fined them thousands in euros and forcibly took their children because they homeschool.
to get asylum you need to show a well-founded fear of persecution or severe past persecution based on at least one of five grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
casual research also shows the UN has condemned this rule against home schooling; on the other hand, the german supreme court has approved the no-homeschool rule. I'm guessing that one possible reason, among many, is that germany doesn't want the ever present extremists on the left or right to inculcate new wannabes nazis or communists. but that's just a guess. regardless, I think germany has a right to preserve its own cultural traditions.
there are some technical arguments about the law of asylum the government is making 1/, because germany bans all homeschooling, the rights of the Romeike family weren't violated, as in they weren't being singled out.
the second argument is that both secular and all religious forms of homeschooling are banned.
the third argument apparently addresses the Romeike's claims that they are christian or part of a social group that's being persecuted. the government points out that christians aren't being prevented from practicing and the social group definition doesn't fit, as the phrase generally means political dissidents, former regime members targeted for harassment, gays, and what's done to persecute includes beatings, arrests, harassment by nongovernmental groups the police won't prevent, etc.
I think a big problem is that the pro-immigrants here want the US courts to pass judgment on a german law, already approved by the highest german court.
that's the problem, you look at this as a slap against US homeschoolers, this is really about the parameters of asylum law.
1/ the government's district court brief is available through the court, I haven't read it (but it could be retrieved); the governments appellate brief will be more informative, and we could revisit this when this has been filed. not surprisingly the descriptions of the government's position are from pro-homeschool sources, so they are presumably slanted.