I'll Sue Ya! (If You Breathe....)

It appears that if the AGW faithful can't get their way via treaties and legislation, they'll do an end around and use the courts to force the issue that even tough AGW theory appears to either seriously flawed or outright fraudulent. I have no doubt at some point they'll sue you for breathing and exhaling CO2. (Oh, okay. Laugh now. But just wait until it happens. Then we'll see who's laughing.)

Fresh from the fiasco in Copenhagen and with a failure in the U.S. Senate looming this coming year, the climate-change lobby is already shifting to Plan B, or is it already Plan D? Meet the carbon tort.

Across the country, trial lawyers and green pressure groups—if that's not redundant—are teaming up to sue electric utilities for carbon emissions under "nuisance" laws.

A group of 12 Gulf Coast residents whose homes were damaged by Katrina are suing 33 energy companies for greenhouse gas emissions that allegedly contributed to the global warming that allegedly made the hurricane worse. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and seven state AG allies plus New York City are suing American Electric Power and other utilities for a host of supposed eco-maladies. A native village in Alaska is suing Exxon and 23 oil and energy companies for coastal erosion.

Never mind that there's not one bit of verifiable proof carbon emissions have any relation to any of these things. They'll still take up the battle cry of “I'll Sue Ya!” But then, that's the way the folks like this have always worked, forcing their minority view on the rest of us by bypassing the legislative route and going right to the courts. And they'll justify it by telling us they're doing it “for our own good.” What's worse is that they actually believe it!!

The faithful figure they have non-denominational, gender-neutral, non-judgmental G*d/G*ddess on their side, which gives them leave to employ any means to achieve their ends. (Hmm. That sounds familiar. Where have we heard that before? Somewhere in the Middle East, if I'm not mistaken...)

I do have to admit to surprise when I found that an actual, non-name-calling unemotional debate actually took place in the comments, somewhat lost in the noise of the faithful constantly linking to or copy/pasting discredited “proof”, as if that's all that's needed to 'win' the debate. But all it is is repetition of talking points and nothing else.

One of the debates I mentioned started with this comment by Paul Drallos (edited to remove a few references to previous comments that were not germane to the topic, though the full unedited comment can be seen at the link):

As a physicist with more than 20 years experience of modeling hydrodynamic systems, I can tell you that there are many, many things wrong with the computer-climate models.

Where to begin? Even the AGW people don't contend that CO2 is the dominant climate forcing agent. It is well known that water vapor is much, much stronger. However, in their models, the IPCC has hard-wired into their codes that water vapor responds with a positive feedback to small temperature changes due to CO2. But this is wrong. Actual measurements show that water vapor acts with negative feedback to small temperature changes and does not amplify CO2's effects.

It is insane to say, as Buzz claims, that the pre-human record is irrelevant. By studying the pre-human or early civilization record provides a mechanism for identifying natural behaviors. This is essential for distinguishing natural from alleged non-natural behaviors.

The widespread agreement on how our temperature compares with the last few millennia is that there have been periods of much warmer and much cooler temperatures - Unless one fudges the data as the CRU has unquestionably done. (See the CRU computer codes instead of the emails for incontrovertible documentation of this.)

And Buzz, you are completely wrong about "hide the decline". It has *everything* to do about historical temperature fluctuations. The tree-ring data was used as a temperature proxy (for determining the historical temperature before thermometer data was available.) The problem with the proxy data was that it diverged from thermometer data when thermometer data was available. That means that the proxy data was *not* reliable. The act of "hiding the decline" was an unethical ruse to cover-up the obvious failure of the tree-ring data as a reliable temperature proxy.

I believe Paul has hit the highlights in regards to the theory of AGW and where it fails.

The followups between Paul and another commenter, Buzz Belleville, give a reasonable back and forth, though Buzz does tend to focus on a single dimension (carbon dioxide) as the only driver of climate change. It is in this area where I believe he falls short in his understanding of the semi-chaotic mechanism that is our global climate system.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.


Even The Media Can Learn The Truth

Even members of the MSM can learn the lessons of ClimateGate. One reporter from northern California even changed his mind about AGW after seeing the overwhelming evidence of scientific fraud committed in the name of “climate science”.

A few years ago, I accepted global warming theory with few doubts. I wrote several columns for this paper condemning what I thought were unfair attacks by skeptics and defending the climate scientists.

Boy, was I naive.

Since the Climategate emails and documents revealed active collusion to thwart skeptics and even outright fraud, I’ve been trying to correct the record of my earlier foolishness. In one of those columns, I even wrote: “And see Real Climate (www.realclimate.org) for global warming science without the political spin.”

In fact, Real Climate was and is nothing more than the house organ of global warming activists, concerned more with politics than with science.

When the self-blinded finally come to see the light, the transformation is amazing to behold. Even if this fellow at some point decides we are at fault for (the presently reversing) global warming, at least it's likely he will come to this conclusion based upon real science and not the political pandering that has been masquerading as science.

There is hope, as illustrated by this one reporter.


Thoughts On A Sunday

We have survived another Christmas Holiday season, making it down and back to the In-Laws without a single incident. Victuals were excellent and the gifts given and received were as well. About the only “gripe” (and I'm using the term loosely) is the use of the phrase “AS SEEN ON TV!” on a few of the gifts we received.

The gifts themselves were awesome, but I've never seen them on TV. Does that make them any less of a great product? Not as far as I can tell. But I can't see how the overused phrase on the box will induce anyone to buy them as I've seen plenty of products on TV that I would not spend a dime of your money on, let alone mine. Maybe in the earliest days of TV advertising such a claim might have swayed a purchase, but these days we're too cynical (and too connected) to buy something merely because it was 'seen on TV'.

A confession: I am using this neat gift as I write this, set up at an angle to hold the WP Laptop. (Notice the “AS SEEN ON TV” logo on the photo!) Thanks to the WP In-Laws for this gift as it makes writing a whole lot easier.


Consider this a cautionary tale should we not take back Congress from Pelosi, Reid, and the Teleologist in Chief.


Cap'n Teach points us to an inside view of how the Leftists are truly living in a dream world, showing their ignorance when it comes to health insurance and particularly when in relation to economics.


The Senate passed the Health Care Destruction bill and the price for many Senate Democrats will be paying will become evident all too soon, particularly once November 2010 rolls around. Of course the whole thing might come apart should Connecticut decide to sue over Nebraska's 'special' deal in regards to Medicare. Other suits based upon the constitutionality of a number of provisions in both the House and Senate bills are also waiting on the sidelines.

With all the deals (aka bribes) made by the Democrat leadership (meaning Reid) in order to the buy votes needed to pass this steaming pile of manure, it isn't surprising the deals may come apart as other states find themselves holding the bag in order to pay off the other states. The Dems are working overtime to make sure this so-called reform wanted by no one, needed by very few, and paid for by those unwilling to give even more of their hard-earned money to those incapable of being frugal with it, passes.

One thing going for the GOP on this is that the Democrats have to take sole ownership of this g*d-awful legislation. The Democrats cannot lay the blame on the Republicans in any way, shape, or form. Despite Democrat claims that the GOP has put forth nothing for health care reform, it is a false claim. What they won't tell you is that every GOP amendment or bill has been killed in committee or on the floor, assuming they ever saw the light day.

(H/T Viking Pundit)


The folks in Detroit understand this concept completely: Democrat power corrupts. Absolute Democrat power corrupts absolutely.


This is a Congress Al Capone would have appreciated.


Skip Murphy gets into one of my favorite topics: political correctness. It is a concept I have loathed since I first became aware of it, seeing it for what it was: fascism/marxism in disguise. (There really is little difference between the fascism and marxism. Only a few of the terms differ.) Even George Orwell was aware of the dangers of political correctness, as he showed in his dystopian novel 1984. 1984's Newspeak didn't allow any negative connotations, meaning there was no way to express dissent or dissatisfaction with the State.

Politically correct speech is no different, eliminating any negative speech and making it more difficult, if not impossible to express dissent or dissatisfaction with the State. Sound familiar?


In light of the attempted Al Qaeda bombing of Delta Flight 253 as it approached Detroit, Obama's plans to close the Gitmo detention center are in doubt.


Even though Obama has been in office for a little over 11 months, the world still doesn't love us.

Big surprise. NOT.


Are we on the verge of a second American Revolution?

Seeing the heavy move to the Left in Congress by the Democrats, Obama and Pelosi's ongoing violation of the US Constitution, their continual profligate spending of the American people's money, their ever more confiscatory tax policies, as well as the backlash seen as the TEA parties have been growing in number and size, I'd have to say it's a distinct possibility. While it may not entail armed insurrection, the battles will take place in courtrooms, legislatures, town meetings, and polling places across the nation.


The 9-5 New England Patriots played the 7-7 Jacksonville Jaguars in Foxboro this afternoon. Despite a failed first drive (a fumble at the goal line and a poor call by the officials, in my opinion) they managed to score two touchdowns in quick succession to make up for it. At the end of the first half the Pats were up 28-0.

The Patriots won, 35-7, clinching the AFC East division.


At least one town in New Hampshire is making use of 21st Century technology, adding lasers to their snowplow trucks. The new lasers aid the plow driver in spotting where the edge of their wing plow will pass, meaning it's less likely the plow will strike mailboxes, road signs, and telephone poles. (To those of you living in more temperate climes, a wing plow is mounted on the passenger side - and sometimes the driver's side - of the plow truck, allowing it plow two or even three lanes at a time.)

If I were more of a cynic I'd be looking at these lasers as part of a precision targeting system, assuring maximum mailbox damage with minimal contact with the wing plow.


The bald eagle population has rebounded here in the Lakes region of New Hampshire, with sightings becoming quite common.

I've seen more than one bald eagle in the area over the past few years, with six sightings just this past summer while I was out on Lake Winnipesaukee.

My first bald eagle sighting was about 18 years ago when I was still living just north of the capitol city, spotting a pair of eagles along the banks of the Merrimack River at a place called Sewall's Falls.

As an aside, I've seen the World Wildlife Federation's polar bear ad, with Noah Wyle explaining the plight of the polar bear and how it might “disappear in our children's lifetime.” Too bad the ad is based upon a false premise considering the population of polar bears has increased by a factor of 5 since the early 70's and is still growing.


The New Hampshire Supreme Court will be hearing a tax cap case, where the city of Manchester voters passed a tax cap article, limiting how much the city can raise taxes and limiting spending. But the article, which is slated to go into effect July 2010, is being challenged on constitutional grounds.

Of course the ones challenging the tax caps (a number of other New Hampshire municipalities also have tax caps) are the usual suspects: the tax-and-spenders. At a time when New Hampshire taxpayers are dealing with stagnant or falling incomes and higher costs and taxes, it seems counterintuitive to push for even more spending and higher taxes. But then the state legislature has been on a tax-and-spending spree over the past 4+ years, which in turn has motivated the municipal tax-and-spenders to ignore the economic conditions we are all dealing with and to push forward with budgets and taxes that are crushing far too many residents and even forcing some out of their homes.

Let us hope the New Hampshire Supreme Court makes the right decision and decides in favor of the taxpayers.


After a 'Year of Obama Love', it appears the reality the O-bots and the MSM are now faced with will be devastating. It turns out their 'god' has feet of clay, is not the Alpha and the Omega, and is seen by other leaders of the world as an out-of-touch weakling with delusions of adequacy.

Welcome to the real world.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


As if we need yet another reason to hate unions, there's this story from Michigan (where else?) telling how over 34,000 day care providers are now 'members' of a union they didn't even know existed nor that they voted to join. What's worse is that the state of Michigan was complicit in this bit of racketeering. (Yes, racketeering, for that's what it is when the state conspires with the unions to create an 'employer' that by any stretch of the imagination shouldn't be.)

How is it someone who is self-employed with their own business (day care) can also be a union member forced to pay dues to a union that is nothing more than a means to collect someone else's money for a corrupt and criminal organization? Yeah, let's heap even more insult and economic injury on small businesses in a state with high unemployment, high taxes, high spending, a hostile business environment, and a population shrinking at an ever increasing rate.

And people wonder why Michigan is such an economic basket case.

I figure Michigan will end up being just like Detroit in short order if this madness continues: no jobs, decaying towns/neighborhoods, shrinking population, increasing crime, poor or non-existent services, a failing education system, and taxes rates that make paying 'protection' to the Mob cheap by comparison. At this rate Michigan will end up resembling a large number of Third World nations suffering from the same type of political corruption.

As one of the commenters to this WSJ piece wrote, “Let the last businessperson leaving Michigan turn out the lights on [their] way to Texas.”


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has temporarily turned warmer, the woodpiles are getting smaller, and where really cold weather is on its way.


Why The American People Are Angry

It has become quite apparent that our so-called representatives in both chambers of Congress have ceased to represent us and instead have gone off in a radical direction that will, in the end, cripple America with crushing debt, destroy an imperfect but working health care system that rivals that of any place else on the planet, erode even more of our rights, and create economic roadblocks that will do nothing but further weaken our ability to compete in the world's marketplace. It is the nightmare of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged come to life. With all of this in mind, is it any surprise a large majority of Americans are so angry with Congress and their Leftist Overlord?

We're trying in every way legally and officially possible to make clear that we don't want the radical meal we're being forced to eat. We fervently do not want to "fundamentally transform" America. But there is such a huge disconnect from our world to our representatives'. It's as if we are ghosts whom they can't see or hear! When someone refuses to listen, going so far as to ignore you, don't you shout louder? Doesn't it anger you? When you're attacked and belittled because you have to shout to be heard and you're still ignored, doesn't that infuriate you? These people miss that we passionately don't want what they want. The more they refuse to hear us, the more we try to make them. We are not going away.

We're justly and increasingly angry because our reps not only refuse to hear us, but they also chastise us for wanting to be heard. How else would they expect us to react when we feel so helpless and hopeless? No matter what we want, say, or do, our government is going to force us to eat a meal we never ordered. In addition, we keep saying, "no, we don't want this," but they keep putting affirmations in our mouths and proceeding with their radical agenda anyway. We are not enjoying the governmental rape of our country. We said "no," and "no" means "no" in every language. Why doesn't this matter? Every poll reflects the president's rapidly declining approval rating -- for good reason. And still, Robert Gibbs flippantly dismisses it. How are "we the people" supposed to feel? Certainly we do not feel happy, or even just mildly upset, about being disregarded. Far-left ideologues who supposedly espouse "compassionate" causes have no compassion for how we feel, nor do they have a clue that we are an angry mob of their own creation.

I certainly feel angry, particularly with my Congressional Representative, Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH1), who has shown a penchant for dismissing any of her 'constituents' who do not ascribe to her particular political beliefs. On more than one occasion she is alleged to have referred to those of us non-Democrats living in her Congressional District as not being her constituents. That's funny as I thought everyone living in her district was her constituent, whether we agreed with her politics or not. So much for being our representative. Instead she represents only her own points of view and the hell with the rest of us. (I have a feeling Ms. Shea-Porter will have a very rude awakening come next November when she's booted, bag and baggage, from her seat.)

Obama's falling poll numbers certainly indicate a lot of our anger, particularly when his approval rating after a little over 11 months in office is worse than George W. Bush's after eight years.

Yet there's another twist that might make we angry Americans even angrier: Pelosi and Reid's move to short-circuit the normal conference process, where differences between House and Senate versions of a given bill are hammered out. Instead, reconciling the differences between the two health care reform bills will likely be done behind closed doors, out of the public eye, with little input from members of either house. In other words, the fix will be in.

When Democrats took over Congress in 2007, they increasingly did not send bills through the regular conference process. "We have to defer to the bigger picture," explained Rep. Henry Waxman of California. So the children's health insurance bill passed by the House that year was largely dumped in favor of the Senate's version. House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel and other Democrats complained the House had been "cut off at the knees" but ultimately supported the bill. Legislation on lobbying reform and the 2007 energy bill were handled the same way -- without appointing an actual conference.

Rather than appoint members to a public conference committee, those measures were "ping-ponged" -- i.e. changes to reconcile the two versions were transmitted by messenger between the two houses as the final product was crafted behind closed doors solely by the leadership. Many Democrats grumbled at the secrecy. "We need to get back to the point where we use conference committees . . . and have serious dialogue," said Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama at the time.

But serious dialogue isn't what Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are interested in right now. Look for the traditional conference committee to be replaced by a "ping-pong" game in which health care is finalized behind closed doors with little public scrutiny before the bill is rushed to the floor of each chamber for a final vote.

Is there any wonder why things like the TEA party movement have been growing? Is there any wonder why confrontations between members of Congress and the public have been becoming more heated and less polite? Why are the Democrats so surprised when far too many of them have been ignoring their constituents back home, ignoring their wishes, ignoring their phone calls, letters, and e-mails, and following the lead of Pelosi and Reid, neither of whom has the best interests of the American people at heart. Instead they have their own Leftist Utopia-driven agenda that has nothing to do with what the American people want or need.

And the anger grows.....


Detroit After 50 Years Of Leftist Rule

Do you want to see the future of the US under the policies Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are trying to impose upon us? Then check out this video, courtesy of PJTV.

After 50 years of leftist policies and politics, Detroit has gone from the peak to the valley, having shrunk in population by 50%. Is that's what in store for us under leftist leadership for the rest of the country?


Thoughts On A Sunday

The big Nor'easter hammering parts of the Atlantic seaboard and southern New England has left the Lakes Region of New Hampshire untouched. Even the southern tier of the state isn't seeing nearly as much snow as originally forecast. The Weather Guys™ have had to backpedal a bit, explaining the reason why we haven't been seeing the snow amounts expected is because the air is so dry the snow falling from the clouds evaporates before it reaches the ground.

I'm not complaining. Really. I had no desire to shovel snow or fire up the Official Weekend Pundit Snowblower to clear the driveway this weekend. I figure I'll have more than a few opportunities to do so before spring arrives.


Speaking of the Nor'easter, I had the opportunity to speak to friends living out on Martha's Vineyard Island last night. They were already set for the then approaching storm, having taken care of their shopping and making sure the snowblower was positioned in the garage in preparation for clearing their driveway once the storm passed.

Whenever I think of heavy snow out on the island all that comes to mind is the Stephen King made-for-TV movie Storm of the Century. Hopefully Mr. Linoge has not made his way out onto the island.


Is there any doubt that Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist – VT) lives in an entirely different world than the rest of us?

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


And speaking of Vermont, I'm adding Vermont Tiger to the blogroll.


For those wanting a better understanding of the TEA party movement and how it is evolving, Skip Murphy has an excellent piece explaining the hows and whys of the movement.

One thing I've noticed is that it is far more encompassing than either the Democrats or the Republicans. Members of the movement come from both parties and a wider range of political beliefs than either of the two major parties. It is a grassroots movement of pissed-off Americans trusting no one in Congress to represent us as they should have, instead taking care of all the special interests and ignoring the wishes of their constituents back home.


I guess Bogie is suffering from weekend writer's block, so she had to borrow content from one of my favorite websites.

At least of you're going to steal borrow, steal borrow from the best.


Eric the Viking has a number of links to responses and opinions about the Senate Health Care Reform scam.

The common response: Everyone hates it, even MoveOn.org!

So why does Reid keep pushing this steaming pile of legislative manure?


It seems poetic somehow the states whose residents report being the happiest tend to be Red states and the least happy tend to be Blue states.

Unfortunately my home state of New Hampshire ranks 28th on the happiness scale (in the past it was almost always in the top 10). That's not all that surprising considering we've been suffering under free-spending Democratic majorities in the New Hampshire House and Senate, a do-nothing Democrat in the Governor's Office, Democrats that never saw tax or spending bills they didn't like occupying both Congressional District seats, and one Democrat in the US Senate. State spending and taxes have skyrocketed over the past 4 years, greatly exceeding the rate of inflation (spending increased 30% in four years, while inflation during the same period totaled 14%).

Is it any wonder residents of all-too-Blue New Hampshire aren't happy?

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


The New England Patriots played the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo this afternoon.

Buffalo had first possession and it took them almost 10 minutes to make it to the other end of the field only to settle for a field goal. The Patriots' battered defense managed to keep them from scoring a touchdown, and then only because the Bills got a false start penalty on 3rd and Goal.

The Patriots didn't fare any better, their first drive ending with an interception at the Buffalo 40. But at least they were finally able to turn it around, beating Buffalo 17-10.


The Official Weekend Pundit Woodpile increased in size today, with the last two cords being delivered by BeezleBub's boss, Farmer Andy, this afternoon. One cord will make its way into the garage immediately and the second will be put under cover for use later this winter.

I'm just hoping we'll be able to keep our propane usage to a minimum as it still isn't all that cheap. The cost of the firewood we'll burn this winter will be less than that of a single tank of propane (we'd easily go through three, maybe four tanks if we heated exclusively with propane). If nothing else I can claim that we're using a renewable source of fuel rather than one of those evil fossil fuels.


Has Duke University learned its lesson in regards to the Duke Lacrosse Team debacle a couple of years ago? Apparently the answer is 'no'.

(H/T Instapundit)


Free the SEALs!


Can Dave Bing turn Detroit around? Possibly, particularly if he can get the message across to the municipal unions that the gravy train has derailed and find way to cut the lengthy and expensive processes needed to open a business in the city for starters. He also has to fix the schools, reduce crime, and see about shrinking Detroit's infrastructure footprint (it has the infrastructure to support 2 million residents, but the city's population is half that these days yet it still has to maintain it all).

Let's hope he can pull off the biggest turnaround since Rudi Giuliani revived New York City.


Daniel Botkin, professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at UCSB, teaches us a simple but no less powerful lesson about nature, adaptability, and its relation to the bugaboo of Anthropogenic Global Warming. It's a lesson many in the AGW camp should learn.


For the last entry of this week's TOAS, we return to Skip Murphy as he expands on Brent's post from earlier today, digging deeper into the incipient tyranny the Left wants to impose upon us, first by silencing any dissent.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow passed to the south of us, the woodpile has gotten bigger, and Christmas is only a few days away.


That's It??!!

I must admit this up front: words fail me.

After spending countless days and untold millions of dollars while at the same time generating an incredible amount of carbon dioxide, the only thing that came of the Copenhagen climate conference was a non-binding agreement to keep the global temperature increase to 2 degrees?

Couldn't this whole thing have been handled with a few conference calls, an on-line video conference, or even a virtual conference via Second Life? It would have taken a whole lot less time and cost very little. But then it wouldn't have given the self-important Anointed a chance to preen before the cameras and make speeches to make it seem like they were actually accomplishing something.

There were no serious discussions about ClimateGate or the related Russian claims of data they provided being manipulated in order to show warming where there was none. Dissenters were given no voice even though many of them had better credentials (and credibility) than those whose questionable work was being used as the basis for the conference.

Over all it was a waste of time, money and energy that could have been better used elsewhere.


Russia Adds To ClimateGate Debate

You know it's getting bad when even the Russians are piling on. In this case, the Institute of Economic Analysis on Moscow made accusations that the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia likely tampered with Russian-supplied data, 'conveniently' ignoring temperature data from up to 75% of Russia's reporting stations.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

Where were most of those stations located? In non-urban areas, particularly in norther regions of the nation (that means Siberia). If the data from those areas was excluded, then it would have given a false result, showing warming when none really existed. The IEA believes that of all the data were used then the so-called warming trend would disappear.

To say this allegation is throwing even more cold water on the 'theory' of Anthropogenic Global Warming would be an understatement.


100 Reasons Why

Here's a list I can really get into:

Climate Change Is Natural: 100 Reasons Why

1) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.

2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.


10) A large body of scientific research suggests that the sun is responsible for the greater share of climate change during the past hundred years.

I particularly like #'s 8, 10, 12, and 16.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing. Pay particular attention to some of the comments following the article as they are indicative of the closed-minded AGW faithful and their inability to actually debate the issue.

Cash Is Safer...Sort Of

If the following story doesn't make you think twice about swiping your debit or credit card, I don't know what will. But it certainly has made me think of using cash or one of the pre-paid debit cards instead. From an Information Week newsletter (no link available):

The enjoyment (and despair) of working with security experts like Greg Shipley is the heightened awareness I get of just how vulnerable my personal information is.

As we put the finishing touches on [Shipley's] Security Brief about how retailers can manage the risks to Point of Sale systems—the card-swipe devices used at malls, grocery stores, gas stations and more—a story broke that data thieves had stolen debit and credit card numbers from several restaurants in the South.

Breach stories are all too common, but this one comes with a twist: the restaurants have filed a class-action lawsuit against two companies that produced and maintained the restaurants' POS systems. The suit contends that Radiant Systems and Computer World are responsible for the theft because they failed to protect the POS systems in two critical ways.

First, the suit says Radiant provided the restaurants with POS devices that stored card data after the transaction was complete. That's a big no-no under PCI, the industry rules that govern card data security.

What really makes me want to cut up my cards and go back to the barter system is the second allegation: that Computer World administrators who maintained the POS devices installed PCAnywhere and then used the same login and password combination at 200 locations. According to a report in Wired, the login/password combo was "administrator" and "computer."

You can guess what happened next: an attacker gained remote access to multiple systems, and then installed malware that copied card data as it was swiped through the POS devices.

The login/password blunder frustrates me because you don't need a computer science degree to know how bad an idea that was. Even more frustrating is the entire world knows bad guys are hitting card processing systems as hard as they can. Do we really need to make it this easy for them?

Having been a victim (twice!) of computer crackers stealing debit/credit card information from a local supermarket chain, I know what a pain in the butt such problems can be. In a period of less than a month our debit card information was stolen twice. We had to replace our debit cards twice. We did end up with some suspicious charges against our debit cards after the first breach (which our bank voided). It was an inconvenience not being able to access our accounts via an ATM, meaning we had to go to our bank and cash checks to get money until we received our new cards.

As convenient as it is to have ATM/debit/check cards, the breaches of electronic transactions systems have made me rethink using them for everyday purchases. At one point I carried very little cash (between 5 and 10 dollars), using the debit card for any purchase larger than $10. Those days have ended. Instead I'll carry a bit more cash and use the ATM/debit card for very specific purchases (and never for online buys). These actions have two benefits: I'm less likely to spend frivolously because of the limited cash I carry and I'm less likely to spend more than I can really afford. One other advantage of cash purchases: anonymity. For all intents and purposes cash is untraceable (at least by computer crackers).

The same can be said about pre-paid debits cards, which are as good as cash. They're anonymous and they're covered just like debit or credit cards if they are stolen or lost.

Am I being paranoid? Maybe. But on the other hand I might pose the question “Am I being paranoid enough?”


AlGore Unwilling (Or Unable) To Debate AGW?

It seems AlGore is more than willing to 'debate' his findings about AGW with anyone, as long as that 'anyone happens to agree with him. But given the opportunity to actually debate the issue in an open forum with those who disagree with his opinion that Global-Warming-Is-All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-Humans, he'll take a pass.

Despite appearing on CNN and MSNBC Wednesday, Nobel Laureate Al Gore was apparently too busy to discuss global warming on the premiere episode of John Stossel's new Fox Business Network program.

To kick off his new show Thursday, Stossel chose the controversial subject of climate change, and invited on a number of guests to address the issue in great detail.

According to an e-mail message sent to Stossel's producers on November 23, "the growing influence of the climate crisis message and the demand on Mr. Gore's time" made it impossible for the former Vice President to attend.

He's made it clear on more than one occasion that the “debate is over and the science is settled”, meaning there's no need to debate anything because it would be pointless. But anyone knowing anything about science, and specifically the scientific method, know one thing that all real scientists know – science is never settled. New knowledge can upset the science apple cart, turning everything that we believed to be true upside down. Goodness knows it's happened more than once during the whole of human history.

As a man far smarter than AlGore could ever hope to be once said, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” AlGore's problem is that more than one 'experiment' has proven the theory of anthropogenic global warming wrong.

Climate models touted by the AGW cabal as showing the planet's doom aren't capable of predicting what climactic conditions will be like next year, let alone 100 years from now. They weren't able to predict past climatic conditions (in the 70's, 80's, or 90's) using data from 1900 on forward. Their models have failed to predict the past 10 years of cooling. Their models have failed to predict the growing ice sheet on both the North and South polar regions. Their models have failed to predict the growth of glaciers in Greenland. Their models have failed to predict the falling ocean temperatures reported by over 3000 Argus ocean buoys. Their models have failed to explain why satellite measurements of surface and lower atmosphere temperatures are steady, if not falling in some areas, rather than rising. Their models have failed to explain or predict record cold winter temperatures in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Their models have failed to predict cooler and wetter than normal summers throughout most of the US. Yet we're supposed to turn our economies upside down based upon these same models? It's obvious that they believe we're stupid enough to be scammed by the dire predictions made by their seriously flawed climate models.

I wish AlGore would explain that to those of us not buying the crap he's peddling.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Winter temperatures arrived here in the Lakes Region with a vengeance, with day-time highs in the upper 20's, wind chill factors at or below zero, and night-time temps in the lower teens and upper single digits. The Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove has been running 24/7 in an effort to keep the temperatures inside The Manse to a reasonably comfortable level.

BeezleBub spent yesterday and today working at the farm, assembling a post-and-beam frame around the farm's new outdoor coolers. As he said more than once, “It's damn cold outside, meaning we had to keep working in order to stay warm.” At least this morning he didn't have to get down there until 8, meaning I was able to get up an hour later than usual.


I haven't been as diligent about posting regularly the past couple of weeks, allowing Brent and Nathan to pick up the slack. Part of it has been lack of the usual time (though a small part). A big part has been there's been too darn much to post about. I find that sometimes it's difficult to pick a subject, meaning that lately I've chosen none.

One subject that I could post endlessly about is ClimateGate. There's just so much fodder out there despite the denials by The Anointed that it's all much ado about nothing (except for scientific fraud, science influenced by a political agenda, data 'fixing', destruction of raw data, and worthless computer code written specifically to provide a predetermined outcome). The scientific method appears to have been bypassed in the name of “saving the planet” even if the planet isn't in peril (at least not from climate change). But with so much to choose from, it's been difficult to stick with even one aspect of the scandal. So I'm only posting about it nowhere near as often as I could.


Dennis Miller has the right of it, comparing the ClimateGate perpetrators reactions to those of raccoons raiding your trash can 11:30 at night.

(H/T Instapundit)


The New England Patriots played the Carolina Panthers today in Foxboro.

It was painful to watch right from the beginning.

The usual second-half malaise was there. Unfortunately it struck during the first half. The Patriots couldn't make the first downs, couldn't complete the passes, and had two turnovers (both of them involving Randy Moss, with an interception and a fumble). The second half wasn't much better with offensive drives being short-circuited by turnovers.

Despite defeating Carolina 20-10, the Pats are starting to look all too much like the Patriots of the 70's.


It appears that both Google and Bing have decided ClimateGate is not something they want to link to or have show up on searches...unless it's something denigrating about the leaked/hacked e-mails and other files.

However Yahoo is still allowing full search results for “ClimateGate”. So which organization is living up to its “Don't be evil” mantra? Hint: It isn't Google.


This doesn't surprise me in the least: Hourly workers tend to be happier than those on salary.

I know it's true for me, having been on both sides of that equation. Hourly has always meant a bigger paycheck when all things are taken into consideration.


Forget CO2, now it's nitrogen we have to worry about in regards to climate change.

I'm betting oxygen will be next on the “We gotta DO SOMETHING about this!” hit list.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Talk about hypocrisy.

Liberals bash conservatives as greedy money-grubbers, but it turns out it's liberals that are most obsessed with more and more money and are as tight-fisted as Ebenezer Scrooge. They are also far more amoral in regards to earning money than conservatives.

Most surprising of all is reputable research showing those on the Left are more interested in money than Right-wingers.

Both the World Values Survey and the General Social Survey reveal that Left-wingers are more likely to rate 'high income' as an important factor in choosing a job, more likely to say "after good health, money is the most important thing," and more likely agree with the statement "there are no right or wrong ways to make money."

You don't need to explain that to Doug Urbanski, the former business manager for Left-wing firebrand and documentary-maker Michael Moore. "He [Moore] is more money-obsessed than anyone I have known -- and that's saying a lot," claims Urbanski.

They talk a good game, but when it comes to living up to the ideals and way of life they espouse, they want nothing to do with it. That's for the rest of us 'little people'.


As RightWingSparkle puts it:

You gotta love this. How many times in the last eight years have you, as a Republican, said to yourself, "Why don't the Republicans fight back??? Why don't they answer their critics???" It was so frustrating for so long. Now we finally have someone willing to fight back.

To whom is she referring? Sarah Palin, of course. Sarahcuda does a smackdown on AlGore's response to her WaPo piece about ClimateGate and leaves him looking like the AGW fool he's become.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter has firmly established itself, the wood pile is getting smaller, and once again Monday has arrived too soon.


Do We Miss Him Yet?

As the picture in this post says, “Do you miss me yet?”

I thought this quote was pretty good:

“I think the point of the comparison is this: Bush endured 8 years of wall-to-wall, 24/7 liberal bashing from multiple networks. Meanwhile, Obama was coronated and has enjoyed wall-to-wall adoration from the same multiple networks. If Obama’s numbers, 11 months in, already approach Bush’s after EIGHT years, then, baby, you’ve got serious problems.”

Obama's tumbling poll numbers certainly aren't helping his administration, particularly when Democrats are saying they miss Bush.

This does not bode well for the Teleprompter/Teleologist/Apologist-In-Chief.

Could the falling poll numbers be one of the reasons Pelosi and Reid are trying so hard to ram through legislation a majority of Americans don't need, don't want, and don't have the means to pay for?


What Would It Be Like....?

I pondered about what to write tonight, but there were far too many things that would be great blog fodder for the sharp wit (OK, semi-dull wit) of yours truly. Well, not really. Frankly, I got nothing that prompts me to write anything worthwhile tonight. I really didn't want to have no entry at all, so I pondered even more. Then it came to me in a flash:

What would it be like if wireless phone technology didn't exist?

A stroke of genius, I must say. There's even a video to help you imagine just such a thing! (OK, I shamelessly stole it from Texas Instruments, but it does get the point across.)

So the next time you pick up your cell phone, Blackberry, or iPod, or fire up your 52” LCD HDTV, remember to thank an engineer. We may be socially inept and not all that great with members of the opposite sex, but we actually rule the world. You just don't know it yet.


ABC News Almost Reports About ClimateGate

At first I couldn't believe it.

ABC World News was going to do a story about ClimateGate.

I thought, “Gee, at least someone other than Fox is paying attention.” But that thought faded away as I watched the report, a piece that covered the hacked files and the so-called “smoking gun”. Call it a CBS-Lite version of the scandal.

The only part of ClimateGate they covered were the incriminating e-mails, something they tried to explain away. No mention was made about the FORTRAN source code used to create results the CRU crew wanted to see, or the Read Me text file accompanying the computer code. No mention was made of destroyed data nor machinations to prevent skeptics from being able to question CRU's conclusions or publish dissenting articles. Nor did they say anything about Jones stepping down as head of CRU or of the UK government investigating the affair. There was also no mention of Penn State University investigating another member of the CRU cabal, Michael Mann, he of the discredited Mann “hockey stick” graph.

Instead they tried to make AGW skeptics seem deranged, even more than the AlGoristas have tried to do.

From comments made to the ABC News blog post about the report, it appears few are buying ABC's attempt to minimize the story.


Wishful Thinking At Its Worst

I must admit I've missed Steven Den Beste since he pulled the plug on USS Clueless a few years ago. When he resurfaces from time to time his postings are poignant and to the point, just as they have always been. His latest is no difference.

In his new screed he ties together ancient Greek philosophies, modern Western society, and our Teleologist-In-Chief.

It does not bode well for the US at all.


Will Sarbox Die A Much Needed And Overdue Death?

Is it possible that the much hated Sarbox (Sarbanes-Oxley) law will be struck down by the US Supreme Court? Let's hope so.

Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board was brought in 2006 by Brad Beckstead, whose small Nevada accounting firm endured a costly examination under Sarbox rules. At issue is whether the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, which supervises compliance with the law, violates the Constitution's separation of powers. Under the Appointments Clause, all "officers" of the United States must be appointed by the President and accountable to him—a condition PCAOB members do not meet.

(emphasis added – ed.)


The PCAOB has indeed grown as a politically unaccountable entity with vast power to regulate business. Texas Senator Phil Gramm warned at its creation that Congress was setting up a board with "massive unchecked power" to "make decisions that affect all accountants and everybody they work for, which directly or indirectly is every breathing person in the country."

Massive is the right word. The accounting board's wide-open mandate—to make whatever rules "may be necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors"—has cost the economy nearly $1 trillion, according to a study by AEI and the Brookings Institution. The benefit is supposed to be investor protection. But despite these costs, the law did nothing to warn about the meltdown of mortgage-backed securities, much less expose Bernie Madoff or other fraudsters.

A hastily put together bill created an unsupervised and unchecked regulatory organ with little or no Congressional or Executive oversight with questionable efficacy as well as problematic constitutionality pulling almost $1 trillion out of the economy and we're just supposed to take it?

I don't think so.

Hopefully the Supremes will pull the rug out from underneath Sarbox, a bill that actually did little to 'protect the investor' but added one hell of a burden on to American businesses.

It's time for Sarbox to die.

Christmas Decorations

Received via e-mail:

Well, there is good news and bad news about my Christmas decorations this year.

Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.

Great stories.

But two things made me take it down. First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by. Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard.
Kind of feel like I gave in to the man by taking him down but my neighbor did confirm to near miss accidents on the busy street next to my house. I think I made him too real this time.
So it was fun while it lasted.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The Lakes Region of New Hampshire looked like a winter wonderland this morning, with snow coating the trees and a blanket of white from horizon to horizon.

If I believe the Weather Guys™, a good portion of the snow will melt away today, leaving the roads clear and dry and most of the snow cover gone.

The snow made for an interesting trip to the farm this morning, with Deb's car (shod with snow tires) having great difficulty making it up The Manse's steep driveway.

BTW, the Great Ice Storm of 2008 hit the Northeast a year ago, leaving over a million people without power, 400,000 of them in New Hampshire alone. We were fortunate here at The Manse because we were without power for only 16 hours. Even without power we had heat, light, and hot water (think baths and showers).


I caught a portion of ABC's Good Morning America this morning during a 'report' about the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference and I was dismayed. This so-called report was nothing more than a propaganda piece pushing the AGW agenda. No mention of ClimateGate, no mention of growing dissent among knowledgeable scientists, and only a passing reference to a decline in public acceptance of AGW theories.

As I and many others have said, the fix is in.


Another indication that AGW 'heretics' are being silenced: many respected science professionals are “losing their positions” on BBC-TV.


Maggie's Farm has a round-up of ClimateGate posts and stories. Thanks to the News Junkie for doing this so I woundn't have to.


The New England Patriots played the Dolphins in Miami this afternoon, and following their usual pattern, the Patriots had problems during the second half, between missing coverage, blown plays, and penalties costing them dearly. The Patriots lost yet another one, 22-21.

As much of a Patriots fan as I am, I have to say I believe the Patriots are done for the season and tat they won't even make the playoffs even though they are leading their division of the moment. Their morale is shot and their defense has huge holes in it, some of which can be laid at the feet of Bill Belichick (trading away Mike Vrabel was a huge mistake, particularly in light of the retirement of Tedi Bruschi and Junior Seau).


Cap'n Teach informs us Sarah Palin is so popular that even the media is showing up in growing numbers for her appearances.

Maybe the media is finally catching on that's she's actually quite popular with much of Middle America.


Darleen Click illustrates the differences between the Left and the Right, specifically in regards to 'death' taxes (also know as the estate tax). Unfortunately the Left still sees only 'the rich' paying such taxes. But the definition of rich is far too broad, with the unintended consequence of far too many family owned businesses going under because the government will confiscate a good portion of those businesses in taxes. How does impoverishing families by confiscating their wealth (as small is it might actually be) help anyone?

A message to the Leftist looters: Closed businesses and their now unemployed workers don't pay taxes.

Part of the Left's problem is that it still thinks of wealth as a zero-sum game, meaning that they believe that in order for one person to become wealthy they somehow had to impoverish someone else. That may have been true back in the days when wealth was measured purely by how much gold, silver, and precious/semi-precious gems you had in your treasury. But that hasn't been the case in the West for a few hundred years now.


Here's another difference between the Left and the Right: Egocentrism versus Theocentrism.


It's official – Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs fame has gone full lefty. It appears he is also suffering from selective amnesia, forgetting things he wrote only 2 years ago.


The Official Weekend Pundit Christmas Tree is up, though not yet fully decorated. Deb and I assembled our tree (we have no need to go out and kill a tree needlessly for the holiday, so an artificial tree we can use again and again is our preference), strung the lights (including some new LED Christmas lights I picked up early this year for $2), and draped a few garlands. The rest of the decoration we'll leave in BeezleBub's hands as it's something he does so well. (He's also particular about where various ornaments go on the tree, so better that he does it rather than us so he doesn't have to undo it and then “do it right”.)

While our original plan was to spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the WP In-Laws, we've had to change it. Deb has to work both those days as she's the new person on the ward (she's just started a new job). Instead the In-Laws will be coming to The Manse.

This is the second major holiday in a row where we've not had to travel. I doubt that will happen again any time soon.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow has finally fallen, more cold weather is moving in, and where Christmas will arrive all too soon.


Burt Rutan: Anthropogenic Global Warming Is A Farce

I, as well as many others, have been beating the ClimateGate meme to death. It's about time AGW met its long overdue comeuppance. Despite claims by many of the AGW faithful that the fraud committed by the Climactic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia was not major, being that the CRU was only one of many climate research institutes, they have overlooked the fact that the CRU was a major clearinghouse for climate data used by other institutions to generate their climate models. That meant they were using the same 'corrected' data as the CRU, which in turn meant the other models were wrong, too. And one must keep in mind that the CRU data and models were used by the UN IPCC to generate their reports. The fraud committed by the CRU did not affect just the CRU, but any research team or institution using their data to create climate models and the resulting predictions.

As an aside, I came across this presentation about Anthropogenic Global Warming (available here in both PDF and PowerPoint format) given by Burt Rutan at Oshkosh this past summer. (Yes, that Burt Rutan of SpaceShip 1 fame.) For anyone not familiar with Burt Rutan, he is an aeronautical engineer extraordinaire. And as such, he has a considerable amount of experience analyzing test data and putting it in formats easily understood (and reproducible) by just about anyone wishing to spend the time to do so. With that in mind, Burt applied his considerable data analysis skills to the theory of AGW...and totally shreds it. Using readily available data from a number of sources including NOAA, NASA, as well as from global warming advocate sites and organizations, he delves into the data and its presentation to the world.

As he states more than once in a number of ways, it isn't always the amount of data you have that 'proves' a case like AGW as much as how it is presented. In this case he shows how climate data has been manipulated in ways that change the meaning as well as the context in order to sell a theory that is pretty crappy at best. Never mind the data massaging and corrective algorithms applied at the CRU to make it look like we're all doomed because of AGW. He shows how data analysis should be done to show what's really happening and why, regardless of one's personal beliefs one way or the other.

I must remind you that Burt Rutan is not a climate scientist, nor has he studied climatology or meteorology or atmospheric physics. He is an aeronautical engineer and he makes his living designing aircraft and spacecraft. Part of his engineering duties include analysis of flight test data and making sure the analysis is accurate. His job demands accuracy and an elimination of bias because if he gets it wrong people die. This isn't something abstract like AGW. If he fails in his job the aircraft or spacecraft he's designed and built will fail and those on board will die. That gives him great incentive to get it right. And so it is with his analysis of AGW.

Look at his presentation and decide for yourself whether he's on to something or not.


AGW & ClimateGate - AGW Faithful Incapable Of Debating The Facts

I find it interesting (but not surprising) the AlGoristas are not willing to discuss or debate the ClimateGate scandal, turning instead to invective, ad hominum attacks, and the old stand by – repeating the same old tired mantra “But the scientific consensus is...” over and over again as if that's all that's needed to make AGW come true.

A perfect example of all three can be found in the comments to this op-ed piece by MIT Professor of Meteorology Richard Lindzen.

The general support for warming is based not so much on the quality of the data, but rather on the fact that there was a little ice age from about the 15th to the 19th century. Thus it is not surprising that temperatures should increase as we emerged from this episode. At the same time that we were emerging from the little ice age, the industrial era began, and this was accompanied by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. CO2 is the most prominent of these, and it is again generally accepted that it has increased by about 30%.

No argument there. But then Lindzen does the unforgivable, at least in the eyes of the AlGoristas: He questions the validity of the claims that GW is real and that we, human beings, are the sole cause.

At this point there is no basis for alarm regardless of whether any relation between the observed warming and the observed increase in minor greenhouse gases can be established. Nevertheless, the most publicized claims of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deal exactly with whether any relation can be discerned. The failure of the attempts to link the two over the past 20 years bespeaks the weakness of any case for concern.

He goes on to make his case, showing the science is, at best, very weak and that the models are useless because they give too much weight to some factors and not enough (or none) to others. It is this that drove the comments of the faithful to go over the edge and cease being a debate. One comment in particular sticks out, trying to discredit Professor Lindzen despite his impeccable credentials and expertise in the science of climate.

At age 70, Professor Lindzen just isn't current on the research, it's that simple. He's done distinguished work in the past, but his current opinions [are] at best outliers. He's not involved in the current research.

His view is that the computer models are unreliable. Considering the capabilities of computer modeling at the time he received his Ph.D, which was 1964, that view is understandable. His expertise in the state of computer modeling is just outdated.

So the argument put forward is that he's too old, which means he is incapable of understanding the science (and the math) behind climate research? The commenter, one Arthur Kreitman, believes that just because Professor Lindzen is 'old' that he is out of touch, implying perhaps that he is senile. He also assumes that the professor's knowledge ossified and that he's learned nothing new since 1964! He is assuming based upon facts not in evidence. Kreitman's comments are a perfect example of an ad hominum attack. Don't argue the facts, argue instead the qualifications of the one you disagree with and make the allegation that he is incapable of understanding the science behind the fraud that is AGW.

But on the other hand, I liked this one because, if nothing else, it explains a few things I've noticed, too.

I too have a theory and a model. Through careful observation of the night sky, I have determined, within a few percentage points of perfection, the winning numbers for every lottery drawing over the last 20 years. But something always goes wrong, and the numbers drawn are not quite right. I've decided that this is clearly the work of extraterrestrials, who are screwing with the night sky to fudge my numbers and deny me my rightful winnings. I had all the data to prove this, but I threw it away when my computer's hard drive got overloaded. Nevertheless, my theory is a fact, because I say it is. And since no one has ever published data proving me wrong in a peer-reviewed journal, no one can say I'm wrong.

The exact same thing happened to me, too!