Monday, November 28, 2011

Scientists Behaving Badly - Jim Lacey

> Unfortunately, from the very beginning, the core group at the heart of Climategate had no interest in “scientific truth.” As one states: “The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what’s included and what is left out.” In other words, let’s decide on a conclusion and then use only evidence that proves that point, discarding everything else. One scientist who seems to have been slightly troubled by these methods wrote: “I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it, which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.” In another note to Phil Jones, this same scientist complained: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.”
>> Of course, nothing of the sort was done. As one e-mail states: “The figure you sent is very deceptive . . . there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change].” Too bad these so-called scientists felt they could tell the truth only to one another and not the public at large. Some of the other truths they shared only with one another are astounding. For instance, one writes: “I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here!” So, despite having no confidence in any of the models the IPCC was using in its reports, this scientist was ready to support the IPCC findings to the hilt. And why didn’t he believe the models? Easy: They were designed to tell the big lie. For example, when confronted with the problem that if all the data were included, the warming disappeared, Phil Jones turned to a novel method: He used only “[time] periods that showed warming.”
>> At one point, Jones admits that the “basic problem is that all of the models are wrong.” Of course, there is a simple reason for this. When the models do not show what the warmists want them to show, they simply apply “some tuning.” One scientist was worried enough about this “tuning” to write that he “doubt[ed] the modeling world will be able to get away with this much longer.” In this case, “tuning” means changing the model until it tells you what you want it to. When it became impossible to torture the models any further without making their uselessness apparent to all, the warmists resorted to changing the data.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Pepper-Spraying Taxpayers by Heather Mac Donald

If the OWS campus campers really wanted to understand California’s growing tuition costs, they might also check out the University of California, San Francisco, which created a Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Outreach earlier this year at the height of the state’s budget crisis. Naturally, this new sinecure was redundant with UCSF’s existing Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the Diversity Learning Center (where you can learn how to “Become A Diversity Change Agent”), the Center for LGBT Health & Equity, the Office of Sexual Harassment Prevention & Resolution, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women.

The OWS-ers should also look into UC San Diego, which announced the creation of a Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in May 2011, even as the campus was losing three prestigious cancer researchers to Rice University and was cutting academic programs. Needless to say, UCSD’s Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion replicated an equally fearsome mountain of diversity functions.

Do not think that the exploding diversity bureaucracy is confined to public universities. In 2005, Harvard created a new Senior Vice Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development, responsible for $50 million in diversity funding, and six new diversity deanships. Whereas Harvard’s previous diversity bureaucrats collected mere diversity data about faculty hiring and promotions, the new SVP for D and FD would be collecting “diversity metrics.” Yale already has 14 Title IX coordinators (not enough to stave off a specious Title IX investigation by the Office of Civil Rights in the federal Education Department), but it nevertheless recently put a Deputy Provost in charge of assessing the “campus climate” with respect to gender and overseeing the 14 Title IX coordinators. All these new bureaucrats in campuses across the country — nearly 72,000 non-teaching positions added from 2006 to 2009 — cost $3.6 billion, estimated Harvey Silverglate in Minding the Campus earlier this year.

Just where do the OWS-ish student protesters think that their tuition money is going? In the vast majority of colleges and universities, there are no greedy shareholders sucking their profits from the livelihoods of workers or other “community stakeholders.” Rather, rising tuitions funnel straight into the preposterously unnecessary diversity bureaucracy and the rest of the burgeoning student-services infrastructure, as well as into the salaries of professors who teach one course a semester, the arms race of ever more sybaritic dorms and social centers, and the absolute monarchies of the football and basketball programs.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Monday, November 21, 2011

James Hansen and the Corruption of Science | Power Line

It recently came out that James Hansen, one of the two or three most prominent global warming alarmists on whose work the IPCC reports rest, “forgot” to report $1.6 million in outside income, as required by his government contracts. Is that significant? Well, yes: A handful of scientists, including Hansen, have gotten wealthy on climate alarmism. They have an enormous financial interest in the faux science they have done so much to perpetrate.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Friday, November 18, 2011

Taxpayer Losses On GM Bailout Are Going to be Massive

If it saved one job...

The Treasury Department yesterday revised its loss estimate for the Government Motors bailout from $14.33 billion to $23.6 billion, thanks to the company’s sinking stock price. GM’s Sept. 30 closing price, on which the new estimate is based, was $20.18, about $13 less than its December IPO price and $35 less than what is needed for taxpayers to break even.

The $23.6 billion represents a 25 percent loss on the feds $60 billion direct “investment” in GM. But that’s not all that taxpayers are on the hook for. As I explained previously, Uncle Sam’s special GM bankruptcy package allowed the company to write off $45 billion in previous losses going forward. This could work out to as much as $15 billion in tax savings that GM wouldn’t have had had it gone through a normal bankruptcy. Why? Because after bankruptcy, the tax liabilities of companies increase since they have no more losses to write off.

This means that the total hit to taxpayers, who still own about a quarter of the company, could add up to $38.6 billion. That’s even more that the $34 billion on the outside I had predicted in May.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Pelosi Leads List Of Conflict Of Interest Dems

The Democrats have a lot of Wall Street connections that they don't want to talk about...

As Democrats demonize Wall Street CEOs as the "greedy" fiends of the financial crisis, they've lined their own pockets — both before and after the crisis. Nancy Pelosi's just the latest example.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Epstein: Three Cheers for Income Inequality

> A mistake, therefore, in setting tax rate increases could easily wreck the entire system. Indeed, the worst possible outcome would be for high taxation to lower top incomes drastically. Right now, for better or worse, the entire transfer system of the United States is dependent on the continued success of high-income earners whom the egalitarians would like to punish.
>> Put otherwise, if a person at the middle of the income distribution loses a dollar in income, the federal government loses nothing in income tax revenues. Let a rich person suffer that decline and the revenue loss at the federal level is close to 40 percent, with more losses at the state level. The slow growth policies of the last three years have cost far more in revenue from the top one percent than any increase in progressive taxation could possibly hope to achieve. The more we move toward an equal income policy, the more we shall need tax increases on the middle class to offset the huge revenue losses at the top. Our current political economy makes the bottom 99 percent hostage to the continued success of the rich.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

The pushback against Sharon Bialek begins

Friday, November 04, 2011

Instapundit: French Magazine Publishes Cartoon Of Mohammed, Gets Firebombed

ISLAMISTS: French Magazine Publishes Cartoon Of Mohammed, Gets Firebombed.

Here’s the cartoon. It’s important that such actions lead to the “offending” speech being seen by more people, rather than fewer. Incentives matter.


Posted via email from The Blue Pelican