Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where's the Heat?

Insanity has, I think, been best defined as doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. Who gets the credit for being the first to say it is, I suppose, a debate for a different day, but I think it bears repeating here. The debate may be over as the global warming community loves to say, but the data stubbornly refuses to live up to the hype:

· Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.

In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans.

"There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. "Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming."

It seems the harder scientists try to prove that global warming is an undebatable scientific fact, the more reality rears it's ugly head and renders the "facts" inconclusive. The article concludes:

Trenberth and Willis agree that a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming. But they say there are still things to learn about how our planet copes with the heat.

I find it more than a little odd that Trenbeth and Willis are in agreement that " a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming". If that's the case, would it not also stand to reason that a few warmer than normal years do little to prove the earth is even warming at all. Maybe chasing windmills pays better than using common sense

Update: AJ Strata's takedown is here. He also makes the case that the data shows were are heading into a cooling, not a warming period due to lower than normal solar/sunspot activity.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Glenn Greenwald's Crazy Logic

Glenn Greenwald chimes in today regarding the Eliot Spitzer prostituion scandal:

Regarding all of the breathless moralizing from all sides over the "reprehensible," outrageous crimes of Eliot Spitzer:
are there actually many people left who care if an adult who isn't
their spouse hires prostitutes? Are there really people left who think
that doing so should be a crime, that adults who hire other consenting
adults for sex should be convicted and go to prison?
Just as was true for moral crusaders David Vitter and Larry Craig,
there is unquestionably a healthy chunk of hypocrisy in Spitzer's case,
given that, as Attorney General, he previously prosecuted -- quite aggressively and publicly
-- several citizens for the "crime" of operating an adult prostitution
business. That hypocrisy precludes me from having any real personal
sympathy for Spitzer, and no reasonable person could defend him from
charges of rank hypocrisy. And he should be treated no differently --
no better and no worse -- than the average citizen whom law enforcement
catches hiring prostitutes.

But how can his alleged behavior -- paying another adult roughly $1,000
per hour to travel from New York to Washington to meet him for sex --
possibly justify resignation, let alone criminal prosecution,
conviction and imprisonment? Independent of the issue of his hypocrisy
-- which is an issue meriting attention and political criticism but not
criminal prosecution -- what possible business is it of anyone's, let
alone the state's, what he or anyone else does in their private lives
with other consenting adults?
Well Glenn, it becomes everyone's business and most certainly not a private matter when the subject in question is the Governor of the State of New York and the activity in question is illegal. Three clicks after typing in the search term "ny law" in Google brings this interesting tidbit:

§ 230.00 Prostitution.
A person is guilty of prostitution when such person engages or agrees
or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.
Prostitution is a class B Misdemeanor.

That's New York Penal Code, Part 3, Title M, Article 230 if I'm reading that correctly. I suppose Glenn can make the argument that prostitution should not be illegal and if Gov. Spitzer is found guilty of such, that it doesn't warrant his removal from office if the point of his rant is to ignore the facts.

Given Gov. Spitzer's history of prosecuting the same types of crimes against the citizens of New York while Attorney General, I agree the hypocrisy stinks to high heaven, but if that's all he sees as a problem in this case, then a reality check is definitely in order.

While it may not matter to Greenwald that the Governor of New York has been tied to a prostitution ring, I suspect many of the citizens who elected him would beg to differ and would choose to hold him to a slightly higher standard.

Update: Dan Riehl is a bit more, shall we say, blunt. Heh.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Math Problem?

Jonathan Alter in Newsweek today (via Memeorandum):

Hillary Clinton won big victories Tuesday night in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. But she's now even further behind in the race for the Democratic nomination. How could that be? Math. It's relentless.

To beat Barack Obama among pledged delegates, Clinton now needs even bigger margins in the 12 remaining primaries than she needed when I ran the numbers on Monday—an average of 23 points, which is more than double what she received in Ohio.

Superdelegates won't help Clinton if she cannot erase Obama's lead among pledged delegates, which now stands at roughly 134. Caucus results from Texas aren't complete, but Clinton will probably net about 10 delegates out of March 4. That's 10 down, 134 to go. Good luck.

Luck has nothing to do with it. Sure, the math might be a problem for a typical, garden variety candidate, but this is the Clinton machine were talking about, is it not? This thing is going to the convention for a floor fight. Between now and then,  the "machine" will make plenty of offers that can't be refused.  Look for a lot of arm breaking twisting between now and the convention.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

No Regrets

It's been a little over a year since I last posted, so I'm not real sure what to say or where to start. I'm sure most of the visitors I had have long since given up coming by here, and I don't blame them- There hasn't been a whole lot to see.  If no one reads this now, that's ok too. This one's for Dad.

Not long after my last post, on April 30, 2007, my father passed away. The neck and back surgeries that were supposed to repair the damage he suffered in a fall one afternoon in his backyard, actually caused additional damage from which he was never able to recover. When he died, a big part of me died as well.

He used to love reading Palmetto Pundit.  Maybe it's because I was his son and that's what he was supposed to do, or maybe there were other reasons. I'm not sure exactly why, but he really liked it and seemed to get a real kick out of it. To me, it was just a way to express my opinion without getting my teeth kicked in--keyboard therapy, if you will. To him, reading what I had written was something he loved to do. 

I could look at my site meter each day and see that he'd been traipsing around. I could always count on having at least one visitor each day and his was always the one that meant the most. Sometimes he was afraid I 'd gone a bit too far, and upon reflection, I suspect he may have been right. He never failed to tell me he had read my latest post and really enjoyed it and that meant more to me than he would ever know.

In the months before he died, he was highly medicated in an attempt to alleviate pain and much of what he said was hard to understand, but one thing I specifically remember is him asking me to print out my blog posts and bring them to him to read. I never did because I thought he was in too much pain to read them. I now realize that I entirely missed the point. He didn't want to read them, he wanted me to read them to him. I never told him that I had stopped blogging when he went into the hospital, but looking back I really wish I would have printed a bunch of old posts and taken them to him.

He died and I quit. It's as simple as that. My dad's motto was "Never, Never, Never Give Up!", but I did just that- I gave up. I never changed my political views or my opinions, I just stopped caring and stopped blogging. That's the last thing my father would have wanted or expected from me.

As my father lay dying, I held his hand, leaned over and whispered in his ear three words--No Regrets, Dad. And just then he was gone, and I've not been the same since. I'm working through it, but it's still very much a work in progress.

I started thinking about what I said to him a few days ago, and asked myself honestly if I had any regrets, and I did. Chief among those regrets was my decision to stop writing and stop blogging. It's not because I feel I have anything earth shattering to say or any particular talent in this area, but because my father would have wanted me to continue. I think as much as he enjoyed reading my posts,  he also realized that no matter who else read them it was good therapy for his son. He knew that writing made me happy and in turn that made him happy. Once again, I suspect he was right.

Although I don't know exactly how much I'll be writing, I will continue writing and posting here. It may not always be political or relevant to the news of the day, (as is probably obvious from this post on Super Tuesday II) but I'll write nonetheless. Even if no one else reads it, I know I'll always have at least one visitor. No regrets.


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