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
Monday, January 23. 2017
Z-man: Essential knowledge includes knowledge about the history of Christianity
Impossible to understand Western civilization without that
Pilot Salaries in 2017: Which Airline Will Have the Highest Pay?
Obama administration spent billions to fix failing schools, and it didn’t work
$ has little to do with it
Why do we care what celebs think?
There is no point - it is indeed just a hootenanny
Althouse on the Pussy Marches:
Obamacare Replacement Plan to be Unveiled
Kimball on inauguration: A tale of two speeches
Turkey’s currency begins to contract as tyranny takes hold
Ataturk is weeping
Bonus data below the fold: Clinton Foundation tax data from 2014 -
These figures are from an official copy of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation for the tax year 2014.
The copy of the tax return is from the National Center for Charitable Statistics website! You can get the latest tax return on any charitable organization!
Total revenue (line 12) ...................$177,8 04,612.00
Total grants to charity (line 13) ...........$5,160,385.00 (that's less than 3%)
Total expenses of............................ .. $91,281,145.00
expenses include: salaries (line 15)....$34,838,106.00
fund raising fees (line 16a) ..........$850,803.00
other expenses (line 17) .....$50,431,851.00
They list 486 employees (line 5)!
It took 486 people who are paid $34.8 million and $91.3 million in fees and expenses, to give away $5.1MILLION WHICH IS LESS THAN 3% OF TOTAL REVENUES!
Line 22 shows ending year net assets/fund balances of $332,471,349.00 which is up $85,171,891 from last year’s tax return!
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Waiting on the mainstream media to report the numbers on the Clinton Foundation?!?!?
I'm not holding my breath.
The Clinton Foundation is not primarily a pass-through organization, but typically hires its own professionals. So if the Clinton Foundation hires a health care expert to advise the South African government on the issue of HIV, this won't show as a charitable contribution, but as a program expense.
Charitable spending, including charitable activities, accounts for about 88% of Clinton Foundation spending.
you clearly don't understand how criminal RICO enterprises work. you are such a tool.
Clinton Foundation's shutting down.
It's served it's purpose - as a way to launder 'donations' into the Clinton fortune. Oh, no, people and businesses and countries were donating out of the goodness of their hearts, not because they expected to get anything for it. (Yeah, right...)
But it's a funny thing - after she lost, donations dropped WAY off. Why, it was almost like people who were looking to buy influence realized that there wasn't any influence to be bought any more.
So like any good grifters, they're shutting it down before the cops take too close a look at it.
JLawson: Clinton Foundation's shutting down.
No. Just the Clinton Global Initiative is shutting down. It was always meant to be a limited effort.
JLawson: But it's a funny thing - after she lost, donations dropped WAY off.
No. Donations dropped when she began her presidential campaign, as she moved to what everyone expected to be closer to the center of political power.
Williamson: In 1958, who could compete with the USA? The USA's infrastructure wasn't razed to the ground like Europe's and some of Japan's; there were new industries and a huge backlog of demand following the war, along with an exploding population.
During the course of the campaign HRC allegedly asked why am I not 50 points ahead? Indeed she should have wiped the floor with DJT, especially given her advantages. It can't be said often enough, we have Trump because the others weren't willing to address the financial malaise of Middle America's working people, except with cargo cult solutions.
I can only speak for myself. What they consider priorities, I don't. Their issues just strike me as First World Problems of well off women
My interest is in real, long term jobs for the Middle instead of sneers. Fix this and a lot of other problems go away or become manageable.
I remember reading zach defend fake news by declaring some fake news wasn't fake news. Seems she gets her talking points from the same source as WaPo.
As for fake news, this CS Lewis quote (c 1955) seems relevant (emphasis mine)
Even in peacetime I think those are very wrong who say that schoolboys should be encouraged to read the newspapers. Nearly all that a boy reads there in his teens will be seen before he is twenty to have been false in emphasis and interpretation, if not in fact as well, and most of it will have lost all importance. Most of what he remembers he will therefore have to unlearn; and he will probably have acquired an incurable taste for vulgarity and sensationalism and the fatal habit of fluttering from paragraph to paragraph to learn how an actress has been divorced in California, a train derailed in France, and quadruplets born in New Zealand.
DrTorch: I remember reading zach defend fake news by declaring some fake news wasn't fake news.
No. We said that poor or inaccurate reporting is not necessarily fake news. Fake news is deliberately published hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation.
I understand your distinction, but would you consider publishing the fake dossier on Trump (while admitting it may be false since it was unsourced) fake news? How about a report that is intentionally poorly sourced or researched. Throwing innuendo, supposition, and half truths out so it gets into an echo chamber (of any type, right or left) and then retracting it later after it gets out (retractions rarely get the coverage the original story gets) is just as much fake news as anything. What about "accurate" stories like CBS radio's story about the special needs white boy tortured by the blacks in Chicago? Everything it said was true but the clear inference was 180 degrees from the truth.
mudbug: I understand your distinction, but would you consider publishing the fake dossier on Trump (while admitting it may be false since it was unsourced) fake news?
Close. Even with a disclaimer about it being unverified, it isn't much better than question-mark journalism; "Is Obama's birth certificate a fraud?" However, as it was included in an intelligence briefing for Trump, it became news. CNN found the right middle ground. They did not report on the contents of the dossier, but reported the existence of an unverified dossier (which had been circulating for months) in the intelligence briefing.
mudbug: How about a report that is intentionally poorly sourced or researched.
"An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud."
mudbug: What about "accurate" stories like CBS radio's story about the special needs white boy tortured by the blacks in Chicago?
Anyway, you might want to compare the actual result, not just the reporting, with this story: White Teen Avoids Prison Time For Brutal Coat Hanger Rape Of Disabled Black Student. The black perpetrators in Chicago are looking at decades in jail. The white perpetrators in Idaho avoided jail entirely. That doesn't relate directly to fake news, but does show the influence of race and media on outcomes.
The subject was the definition of "fake news" not purported examples of it.
Your definition is in incomplete.
mudbug: The subject was the definition of "fake news"...
Fake news is deliberately published hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation.
mudbug: not purported examples of it.
Um, we were responding to your example. Examples help delineate the category, especially at the edges. In case you didn't notice, we were agreeing with you, at least in part.
The examples were to illustrate that your definition is insufficient (though I'll admit the CBS Radio report is disinformation). A report can be poorly sourced on purpose. It can be everything the reporter knows about the subject at the time but by "sloppy" reporting, malicious "news" (fake news) is disseminated.
mudbug: A report can be poorly sourced on purpose.
If it is deliberately misleading, then it can reasonably be considered fake news. The key is that it must be deliberate and an attempt to disseminate a false narrative, not merely sloppy. As noted, the publication by Buzzfeed of the unsubstantiated dossier was unwarranted. Even with the disclaimers, many people will take it as fact. On the other hand, CNN's report that such a dossier was provided as part of Trump's intelligence briefing was valid reporting, though Trump still called it fake news. This latter is to undermine the very notion that some news really is fake.
Then there's gaslighting.
as all high school debaters learn, examples are like gerrymandering. you control the definition by carving in or carving out examples and so define "fake news" in any convenient way.
intellectually dishonest, but that's to be expects from someone who routinely cites outdated and outright incorrect information.
there's no legal definition of "fake news", only the one you want to impose.
a mature definition looks at specifics and draws generalities, a concept both alien and threatening to you people.
you're such a fraud.
why are you allowing her to define a term that has no formal definition? you're falling for a cheap debate trick.
And you cited examples, go ahead and repeat all of what you wrote, not just snippets. It will only serve to prove I was right.
Z-man: Essential knowledge includes knowledge about the history of Christianity
Absolutely. Understanding the history of the West means understanding Christianity and its influence on society. Of understanding world history means understanding Islam and other religions. All students should have a grounding in religious doctrines.
Part of the problem is that many Christians want to use the public schools to proselytize, making any historical discussion of Christianity difficult.
the islams would impose sharia law, but that's apparently ok with you people.
Specifically Protestantism. (Unless you're like some people who don't believe Catholics are actually Christians and therefore "Christianity" is definitionally Protestantism.) For centuries, the Word of God came down from on high and the average person had no business questioning what God's Appointed told them the Word of God was and what it meant. Especially not the part where God said God's Appointed had the right to tell the peasantry what the Word of God was and the peasantry had no business questioning it. Until Gutenberg invented the printing press, Martin Luther decided to question the Pope's supremacy, and the earliest stirrings of capitalism had produced a class of people with both the leisure time and the means to buy books and learn how to read them, it wasn't that difficult for the few people with any money and any scholarship to convince the illiterate peasants that they ruled by Divine Right. Once people started thinking for themselves, they started thinking they had the right to think for themselves. Next thing you know, you've got people espousing revolutionary ideas like all men are created equal and they're endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness rather than that some men are born superior to others, their rights are privileges granted by their rulers, and everything they have - including their life - is rightfully the property of the King.
Too bad some people's thinking hasn't caught up to the 16th century.
You mean proselytizing about LGBQT or AGW or Socialism, or social justice, etc.?
Donald Trump talks to a Jersey guy about a long-overdue debate on climate change ...
"Yields in agriculture have gone up and probably 15 percent of that is due to increased CO-2," Happer has told me. "If we go back to pre-industrial levels, the world would have 15 percent less food."
Do you disagree? Then you'd better have a working knowledge of things like Happer's work with "magnetic resonance imaging with laser polarized nuclei" and its relation to the role of cloud cover in radiative forcing.
That's funny. Does the writer not realize that "magnetic resonance imaging with laser polarized nuclei" has virtually nothing to do with food production and atmospheric CO2? However, we'd be happy to look at any research Happer has published in a scientific journal on the subject.
A Skeptic's View on Climate Models ...That is not to say that climate change isn't real. It absolutely is. A basic education in Earth's carbon cycle is more than sufficient to convince any ardent skeptic of that irrefutable fact. The planet is warming and humans are the primary drivers.
That's what the evidence strongly indicates.
"We will have very few humans on the planet because of lack of habitat."
That's very likely not true. Humans are intelligent and are quite capable of adaptation. If they can resolve their political problems (including those associated with climate change), then they will certainly persevere. However, the costs of mitigation are higher, and the permanent damage to the ecosystem more extensive, the longer humans wait before taking action.
"I hesitate to call the Global Warming debate a fraud; certainly many of its adherents are sincere, but in my judgment mistaken, particularly on how accurately we can measure temperatures now, and how much error was in prior measurements, from a few decades to centuries ago." - Jerry Pournelle
Jerry has some interesting thoughts on methodology based on his own experiences in measuring temperatures. (Scroll down the page for the pertinent section on temperature measurement and the inherent difficulties.)
tnxplant: Jerry has some interesting thoughts on methodology based on his own experiences in measuring temperatures.
That the interesting thing about measurement. Multiple measurements can have greater precision than any single measurement. The relationship is per the inverse of the square root of the number of measurements. If we use differing methodologies then our accuracy can increase as well. For instance, the global mean temperature trend since 1977 based on surface and satellite measurements:
NOAA surface: 0.162 ±0.033 °C/decade
UAHv5.6 lower troposphere: 0.154 ±0.063 °C/decade
I could list some more problems; but my point is that the “consensus” of the scientists includes people who never think about measurements and how they are obtained.
That's simply not the case. Virtually every research paper involves understanding the limitations of their measurements, and entire research projects have involved the study of the measurement problem in climate science.
The figures you quote on increased precision with multiple measurements assume that there is a single and definable "Platonic" value of the quantity being measured. If you have a stick of some length N, the average of ten independent measurements of the stick will likely be closer to the Platonic "true" value for N. Similarly, if you want to find the average the length of a population of sticks, the average value of the measured lengths of a sample of 10 is likely to be closer to the true population mean.
Unfortunately, climatological temperatures don't behave like either of those scenarios. There is no Platonic temperature value "T" that is constant in time and space you can repeatedly sample to increase your precision. The average of the 11:00 am, 12:00 noon, and 1:00 pm is not going to provide a more accurate or precise reading to that Platonic T value for 12:00 noon than the value actually recorded at the time. This is also true spatially: as an extreme case, averaging the temperatures in Boston, Miami, San Diego, and Seattle tells you far less about the actual temperature in St. Louis than a thermometer actually located there.
Another guy named Dan: There is no Platonic temperature value "T" that is constant in time and space you can repeatedly sample to increase your precision.
It's reasonable to say that there is, in fact, an average mean global temperature, or more specifically, a measurable trend in temperature anomaly.
Another guy named Dan: This is also true spatially: as an extreme case, averaging the temperatures in Boston, Miami, San Diego, and Seattle tells you far less about the actual temperature in St. Louis than a thermometer actually located there.
That is correct, however, the trend in temperature anomaly can be determined from such measurements. And we can test whether the observed trend is real or an artifact of statistical fluctuations with techniques, such as Monte Carlo methods. While there are significant error bars, the evidence indicates a very real trend.
NOAA surface: 0.162 ±0.033 °C/decade
What you call an anomaly is that change in the Platonic ideal. You state that there is something called the average temperature of the planet. Taking ad argumento that this is somehow a meaningful concept, the above argument still applies. The spatial resolution of the recording stations means that something in excess of 70% of the earth's surface is more than 100 miles from a recording station. So to provide infill, they use statistical projections from the data they have. Again, this can be no more precise, and probably less accurate, than the 0.1C resolution of an individual thermometer.
I grew up in the Milwaukee area. The annual summer music festival, Summer fest, took as its marketing slogan "It's Cooler Near the Lake", as a pun based on the sentence that ended every local weather forecast. Based on wind direction and heat island factors, there could easily be a 10F temperature gradient over a 10 mile stretch.
Another guy named Dan: What you call an anomaly is that change in the Platonic ideal.
Every measurement can be said to be an approximation of the "real" value. That's not an argument.
Another guy named Dan: The spatial resolution of the recording stations means that something in excess of 70% of the earth's surface is more than 100 miles from a recording station.
That's a valid argument, at least in the abstract. However, it turns out that we can make and test predictions about those measurements.
In any case, climate scientists are interested in the temperature anomaly. If we measure temperature at ten places, and at nine of those places, the temperature is increasing, then we can determine through statistics whether the trend is likely due to random fluctuations in measurements or represents a real trend. So this is what we observe:
NOAA surface: 0.162 ±0.033 °C/decade
So you wave your hands, and say there must be some unknown bias in the measurements. So scientists launch satellites and observe radiation in the lower troposphere. Satellites essentially measure every point in the lower troposphere, except the polar regions. And this is what they observe:
UAHv5.6 lower troposphere: 0.154 ±0.063 °C/decade
This not only gives us confidence that we have observed an actual trend, but also indicates you were wrong when you claimed we couldn't reliably determine a trend from the surface data.
So much has become protest for the sake of protest. I think the great philosopher Billy Joel nailed it years ago in "Prelude/An Angry Young Man":
I believe I've passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage
I found that just surviving was a noble fight
I once believed in causes too
I had my pointless point of view
And life went on no matter who was wrong or right
And there's always a place for the angry young man
With his fist in the air and his head in the sand
And he's never been able to learn from mistakes
So he can't understand why his heart always breaks
But his honor is pure and his courage as well
And he's fair and he's true and he's boring as hell
And he'll go to the grave as an angry old man
"The planet is warming and humans are the primary drivers."
About 97% of the CO2 comes from natural sources, not humans. How does that make humans the primary drivers?
Ray: About 97% of the CO2 comes from natural sources, not humans.
Nearly all of the excess CO2, CO2 that results in increased levels of atmospheric CO2, comes from humans. Indeed, humans emit more CO2 than is necessary to explain the increase in atmospheric CO2. About 46% of anthropogenic CO2 is found in the atmosphere, 26% is absorbed by the oceans, and 28% by the ecosystem (primarily plants).
"Excess CO2" is an absurd term which introduces a preconceived opinion, not one that is open to scientific scrutiny.
Furthermore, your claim is nonsense since repeated scientific studies over the past decade have shown several, various natural CO2 sources to be higher than anticipated. This includes forests, plants, and fungi to name just a few.
You obviously have no knowledge of this subject and simply repeat boilerplate fake news.
DrTorch: "Excess CO2" is an absurd term which introduces a preconceived opinion, not one that is open to scientific scrutiny.
The atmospheric concentration of CO2 has risen rapidly over the last half century.
DrTorch: Furthermore, your claim is nonsense since repeated scientific studies over the past decade have shown several, various natural CO2 sources to be higher than anticipated. This includes forests, plants, and fungi to name just a few.
Atmospheric CO2 has been stable for thousands of years, meaning that the natural sinks and sources of CO2 have been in balance.
Furthermore, ratio of isotopes of carbon released from fossil fuels are distinctive. The decrease in the atmospheric ratio of C13 to C12 is due to the admixture from the burning of fossil fuels, called the Suess Effect.
DrTorch: repeat boilerplate fake news.
Feel free to dispute any of the facts presented, or their relevance to the carbon cycle.
Zach has a new Shakedown Street to hang out on...
8 ways Trump can rebuild America....this is primarily a dream to fund blue state/blue city wants. In that environment there is likely no way these projects would not turn into just another Boston big dig corruption scandal with mediocre outcomes. The blue city water projects are being begged for as the residents are incapable of maintaining a civilization. If this infrastructure is to begin let it start with the WALL.
"Why do we care what celebs think? "
More specifically, why do we care what celebs whose entire professional skill set is memorizing and repeating what is written by others, in a dramatic or comedic fashion, while moving as instructed?
George Carlin was a celebrity, but at least he wrote his own material.
I bet Zachriel is a lawyer...
The worlds smartest person...
nothing left for us to do...but bow down and worship...
"The worlds smartest person..." ...a woman no less, that has PMS and ESP.
That frockin' biotech knows everything.
Let me help all you "deniers" understand AGW.
It's settled science all the scientists who disagreed have been fired and/or cowed into silence. So it's settled, get over it.
The only fix for it is higher taxes. In fact if we can tax you'll enough we think we can do away with the need for air conditioning altogether.
Oh and did I mention that you are going to have to give up your good life and freedoms. 97% of scientists believe we cannot stop AGW without giving massive power to the elite.
There is good news though. We are pretty sure once this is all done the elite are gonna live damned good with all you money and assets.
IdahoBob: It's settled science all the scientists who disagreed have been fired and/or cowed into silence.
There is nothing preventing scientists from speaking out in most countries, including the United States. The problem is that they don't have the research to back up their claims.
IdahoBob: The only fix for it is higher taxes.
Other solutions have been proposed. Pretending the problem doesn't exist, though, is not tenable based on the evidence.
IdahoBob: In fact if we can tax you'll enough we think we can do away with the need for air conditioning altogether.
In fact, the problem is the need for air conditioning and other benefits of economic development for billions of people, while safeguarding the climate and natural environment.
This link about Trump and a Jersey Guy provides a link to this extremely interesting 7-minute YouTube by
Dr. William Happer who discusses climate change Hysteria.
Well worth a watch of 7 minutes.
I have always noticed that when you see the feedback of Climatologists, Physicists and Meteorologists, they do not endorse Man-made climate change. Only politicians and celebrities
Click here to watch it you'll be glad you did.
William Happer: observations suggest that water vapor and clouds actually diminish the already small global warming expected from co2
The effect is called climate sensitivity, and the vast majority of studies, from the study of volcanoes, ice ages, and Earth's energy budget, indicate a climate sensitivity of 2-4°C per doubling of CO2. We'd be happy to look at Happer's published scientific research that suggests otherwise.
On a road trip several years ago decided to stop in and visit the Clinton Foundation. What a nice building--too bad there was hardly anyone there. Big building--one receptionist! Place was empty! oh there were plenty of offices, but no one home. Didn't look they ever were home either. It was a sham even in 2007 ! Question: why did it take so long for someone to notice?