A Superhero Dies.

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It was rumored a month or so ago that one of the Fantastic Four would be shedding his or her mortal coil. Now it’s confirmed. They are extinguishing the Human Torch.


Yawn…. Though his death does look painful. When I heard the news, I was thinking it would be him… I mean, come on… “Flame On!!!”… That’s sooooo gay. He simply had to go. I’ll miss Chris Evans though.

evans torch

But what’s this… He’s moved on to play Captain America????

chris cap

What, are they going to have Tobey Maquire come back and play Shazam or something??? Jeez! Talk about recycling!

Stupid Headline Of The Day – ‘Godzilla-like creature’ nabbed in Calif. town

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Let’s see:

Is it 100 feet tall (or of variable height as in the inept Mathew Broderick version)????


Does it have radioactive breath???


Does it walk around a scale model Tokyo and smash the living bejesus out of everything????

Not that we can tell.

Come on guys…. It’s a monitor lizard – an escaped pet.


Watching History Unfold – Now Egypt.

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I have no idea just what is going to become of Tunisia and Egypt. Hopefully it will be better than what they had before. The Old World is crumbling at our feet, and, unlike our fathers before,  our generation gets to watch it happen in real-time.

New Links

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First, a new law blog….  OK. It’s not new, but I just discovered it, so it’s new to me.

Summary Judgments

And also a new Climate Science link.

Climate Etc.

Well, I Bombed This Test!

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You Are 40% Politically Radical

You’ve got a few unusual political ideas, but overall you’re a pretty mainstream person. Chances are that you’re turned off by both the radical right and looney left.

Good Writing Advice.

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On a friends Facebook page, we were reflecting on the poor performance of main stream media concerning most things politics. Sometimes it seems they just don’t try any more. It seems they’re so busy cozying up to the powers that be in order to use them as sources of info, they’re gun shy about asking tough questions, as that may lead to the loss of that source. The press is too afraid to piss anyone off, which is why it ended up being the National Enquirer that had the balls to pursue the John Edwards cheating story, something so obvious from the get-go, when no one else would. They also are prone to pick favorites. Which is why the press was so cozy with John McCain in 2000 when they should have really examined him more thoroughly.

Though journalism wasn’t my official major in college, my major Telecommunications included a great deal of journalism studies. We spent a lot of time on the dangers of the news business becoming a “for profit” industry. I scoffed at some of the negative criticisms at the time, but i later realized most of it was accurate. It hasn’t been a good thing.

This post reminds me of something. The best piece of advice I got from a professor was that, from our life experiences, we are all biased. You can’t escape them, it’s what makes each person’s viewpoint unique. And they are not a bad thing. But, when reporting and writing objectively, you must be aware of those biases and try, as best you can to check them at the door.

Keep in mind, there is a difference between object journalism, and advocating a position. Many bloggers, myself included, write post because something catches our fancy. Andrew Sullivan and Megan McCardle at The Atlantic do it, Dan and Bruce at Gay Patriot do it, Glenn Greenwald does it, and I do too. We reflect on things that hold our interest or stirs our ire. It’s what makes blogging fun.

An “I Told You So” Moment: Climategate Investigations Were A Whitewash.

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The skeptics have been pointing this out for a while, but it’s nice to see a somewhat neutral government body acknowledge the, how shall we say, short-comings of two of the investigations. Here is a list of some of the shortcomings noted by Science and Technology Committee:

  • UEA Vice-Chancellor Professor Acton misled the House of Commons Committee over the nature of the Science Appraisal Panel (paragraph 23).
  • As Graham Stringer MP, a member of the Committee, has pointed out: “The Oxburgh panel did not do as our predecessor committee had been promised, investigate the science, but only looked at the integrity of the researchers… This leaves a question mark against whether CRU science is reliable.”
  • Lord Oxburgh’s Science Appraisal Panel may have not been wholly independent (paragraph 32).
  • The review by Lord Oxburgh lacked rigour and diligence (paragraphs 33; 61).
  • The Inquiries failed to investigate the serious allegation relating to the deletion of e-mails in response to an FOI request (89).
  • None of the inquiries have determined if CRU staff actually contacted the journals they discussed threatening. The alleged threatening of the highly respected journal Geophysical Research Letters, arguably the most important incident in this area, has yet to be examined at all. The committee’s finding in this area is shameful. [I document another threat here]

Let me put it to you this way. What if, in the investigations of the British Petroleum Deep Horizon fiasco, the investigative committees

  • were stacked with personnel who had various ties to BP and Haliburton and other oil industry firms, and had made pro-drilling statements in the past,
  • did not ask whether anyone had followed through with the demands to destroyed company e-mails (very illegal),
  • did not interview a single one of the whistle blowers who were trying to warn of the lax safety procedures on the oil rig,
  • one of the main participants under investigation was able to approve which pieces of evidence were able to be investigated, and those pieces of evidence that were submitted were from oil rigs where there were no problems, where safety protocols were being followed, documents that both sides already agreed did not and would not reveal any issues relating to the oil rig disaster…..

I’m thinking the same groups that are trying to tell us to “move on” would be quite animated that these investigations stunk!

And yet, despite the certainty that ignoring these deficiencies will only leave a cloud over this whole affair and will only continue to hurt the field of climate science as a whole,  there was still enough political pressure from the corrupt green influence in the ranks of the MP’s writing this report to block any further inquiries, mute the language of the conclusions, and effectively “move on”.


Note: Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has documented the shameful misdirections and evasions of the investigations in real time, which are featured in the post above.  Here is the entire catalog. Just so you don’t think this is a bunch for evil oil-funded / mining industry toadie deniers making the claims concerning the weaknesses in the investigations,  remember too that Climatologist Judith Curry also didn’t have good things to say about the Oxburgh Reports upon its release. Quote:

Criticisms of the Oxburgh report that have been made include:  bias of some of the members including the Chair, not examining the papers that are at the heart of the controversies, lack of consideration of the actual criticisms made by Steve McIntyre and others, and a short report with few specifics that implies a superficial investigation. When I first read the report, I thought I was reading the executive summary and proceeded to look for the details;  well, there weren’t any. And I was concerned that the report explicitly did not address the key issues that had been raised by the skeptics…..

…I recall reading this statement from one of the blogs, which seems especially apt: the fire department receives report of a fire in the kitchen; upon investigating the living room, they declare that there is no fire in the house.

Here’s the response from the website that is supposed to represent the highest integrity of the Climate Science community, Real Climate:

The Oxburgh report on the science done at the CRU has now been published and….. as in the first inquiry, they find no scientific misconduct, no impropriety and no tailoring of the results to a preconceived agenda, though they do suggest more statisticians should have been involved. They have also some choice words to describe the critics.

Carry on…

I can very easily imagine that BP would have issued a similar statement if they received the same kid glove treatment given to the climate science establishment, if they were the beneficiaries of the same whitewash. Very pithy, and unlike McIntyre’s coverage of the Oxburgh fiasco, there are no actual analysis of the details covered in the report (well, with only 5 pages, I guess there aren’t any). Their butts are covered, and that’s the most important thing, isn’t it?

Birth Certificate Stupidity – Sully, Rush, And World Net Daily.

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A post I had been meaning to tackle, but didn’t have the time or motivation…. Until now.

Today, Andrew Sullivan notes Rush Limbaugh has dipped his toe into the “birther” pool. From a recent show:

The story originated at World Net Daily in this country earlier, and of course if it originates anywhere outside the mainstream press, the mainstream press will not acknowledge it. “Pressure was mounting on Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie today amid increasing confusion over whether President Obama was born there.” This is the UK Daily Mail. “Abercrombie said on Tuesday that an investigation had unearthed papers proving Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. He told Honolulu’s Star-Advertiser: ‘It actually exists in the archives, written down,’ he said. But it became apparent that what had been discovered was an unspecified listing or notation of Obama’s birth that someone had made in the state archives and not a birth certificate. And in the same interview Abercrombie suggested that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health. He said efforts were still being made to track down definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii.”

BUT, there is something Sullivan ignored:

This is just toying. He knows that the birthers are a bunch of Looney Tune kook right-wingers, and he wants them illustrated as such. So he’ll toy with them, sort of like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the football. And the media went along with that, “Oh, that’s Obama. He’s really politically smart, really crafty here. He’s got these birthers looking like the Birchers that they are. He’s got ’em looking like the biggest kooks on the face of the earth,” and it went on and on and on that way. We have had several people of decent reputations file lawsuits in various states and they were thrown out. So the popular opinion has been, the consensus has been, “Yeah, he was born in Hawaii, isn’t any big deal.” They still can’t prove it. This is stunning to me. Still can’t prove it.

Now, it’s still entirely possible all this is a giant head fake. For me, ladies and gentlemen, the sophisticated political figure that I am, it’s really hard for me to believe that Neil Abercrombie just one day woke up on his own and without consultation said, “This birth thing bugs me. I’m gonna call a press conference, and I’m gonna tell people I was there when he was born, and I knew his mom and dad, and he was born here and I’m gonna prove it.” I said earlier, Abercrombie’s no fool. Many Hawaiians would disagree with me on that, many have. But if this guy is acting on his own as I have just described, that’s unbelievable. The alternative is he’s not acting on his own, this is all part of a continuing head fake and that at some point after a lot of people have gotten revved up cause now, the UK Daily Mail Online is more mainstream than anywhere else in America this has. Okay, so it ratchets up and ratchets up and then a couple years down the road, year and a half down the road, guess what, the thing’s found, and, oh, can you imagine the air that will be let out of people’s sails then?…

This guy is every bit as far left as anybody in the House is today and he’s running around saying he can’t find the birth certificate and he’s the governor. Yet the Department of Health director issued a statement on Halloween (I’m sure that’s a coincidence) of 2008. He’s seen it. “I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

“No state official, including [former Hawaii] Governor Linda Lingle [a Republican], has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawaii.” So the director of health for Hawaii says he personally saw it. I’ve got the PDF file of his statement. I could link to it. We could post it at RushLimbaugh.com. Now, out of the blue here comes the new governor, Abercrombie, saying he can’t find it. Now (sigh), folks, I’m just warning you: Be very, very careful on this.

It seems that Sully hasn’t done his research, and also that Rush is toying with the caller, just as he suggests the Obama folks are toying with the birther crowd.

Now, on to the source for the “Abercrombie can’t find the birth certificate” claim. Here’s the original misinformation at WND, and here is the relevant part:

The governor only suggested his investigations to date had identified an unspecified listing or notation of Obama’s birth that someone had made in the state archives.
“It was actually written, I am told, this is what our investigation is showing, it actually exists in the archives, written down,” Abercrombie said.

Not that WND would care to clarify, but I will. The governor is looking for documentation other than the long form to confirm the Hawaiian birth. From the same article:

Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star Advertiser he was searching within the Hawaii Department of Health to find definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii, because the continuing eligibility controversy could hurt the president’s chances of re-election in 2012.

They are looking for other records! Not the long form. AS was the case yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, last year…. Hawaii by law CAN”T release the long form without Obama’s permission. For this one instance, Rush IS right. Obama is making many people look like fools.

Of course, when Obama does release the long form next year during the re-election campaign, the true believers will claim it’s a fake anyway.

From The “I Know It Won’t Happen, But” Dept.

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Though it would probably be a sign of the apocalypse, wouldn’t be fun to have Olbermann end up getting a show on FOX? Do you know how many partisan heads would explode?

And no Cliff, this is not what I mean!!!

PS. It appears Olberman’s exit was not quite as sudden as it appeared.

Where U Been????

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Just got back from the San Diego gig with RrareForm! I’m tanned, happy, and ready to party…. No, I’m tired as crap and ready to go to bed!!! 🙂

Will post pics tomorrow.