Monday, September 30, 2013

IPCC Commentary Starting To Flow

First, this ridiculous, ridiculous story that has gotten press thanks to Yahoo.

A meteorologist who has covered weather for the Wall Street Journal tweeted that he has decided not to have children in order to leave a lighter carbon footprint, and is considering having a vasectomy.
He also vowed to stop flying after the world's recent climate-change report made him cry.

Uhm, wow.

Then, another story from Fox News. I can only imagine that it is on Fox because no one else would publish it, which is a shame, because the guy is absolutely a life-long ecologist, he's just committing what has become the mortal sin of "doubting."

"I've studied climate and its effects on life—all kinds of life ---for more than four decades, starting in 1968. Along the way, among other things, I developed a computer model of forests that in the 1990s we used to forecast the effects of climate on jack pine forests in Michigan that were the only habitat of the endangered Kirtland’s warbler.  A lot of effort was going into saving the bird’s habitat, and I wondered if, with global warming, it might all be in vain.
As a result I'm one of the reviewers of sections of the latest report on climate change and its impact by the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the first part of which was released last week in the form of a general summary for policymakers.
I had some serious concerns about the sections of the much bigger report that I reviewed — which hasn't yet been released---and I have some of the same reservations about the document that was published last week.  
The report’s language appears to be sometimes coupled with a selective reading or oversimplification of the facts, so that the authors have "high confidence" in something that is not the whole story.  
My biggest concern about the climate report is that it presents a number of speculative, and sometimes incomplete, conclusions embedded in  language that gives them more scientific heft than they deserve. The report, in other words, is "scientific-sounding," rather than clearly settled and based on indisputable fact.  Established facts about the global environment exist less often in science than laymen usually think.

Having worked for decades on climate change and its possible effects on life, I come away from the just published "summary for policymakers" believing that it does not allow a scientist, let alone a policymaker, to decide that we are, or are not, creating a global warming.   
As a result, I foresee two dangers. One is that it will simply  intensify the political, ideological and, yes, moral debate that has erupted over who does and does not believe we are causing global warming, and thus move us even farther from the important scientific effort that the issue deserves.
The second danger may be even worse: it reinforces the belief that there is some kind of climate normality, usually characterized as existing earlier in the twentieth century or before the Industrial Revolution (but after the Little Ice Age, which lasted from approximately the mid-1400s to 1700) that is desirable, even necessary, for our species and for the ecology of the planet.
In fact, there has never been such a thing, which is one of the reasons that biological evolution and adaptation exist in the first place. "
Exactly the point I've been making for years.

Friday, September 27, 2013

May Your Hometown Have This

Seriously, I hope wherever you live has someone making shirts like these:

all images from

Not that all is perfect in my city, it's run by Dems, after all.

There are four new public road projects that have me convinced that they are deliberately making traffic worse, I assume to make us clamor for the Streetcar, light rail, and more public transportation (+ bikes, duh).

Down on Riverside Drive, formerly Eastern Avenue, they have celebrated the new lanes and bike lanes that have made traffic worse, created jams where none had been, and made parking more difficult and scarce with a little party. The really cute part? The brand new pavement is so wavy, it may actually be worse that the old road. Just for fun, a water leak appeared in the middle of a slight curve that went unrepaired for over a week a block away from the Waterworks pumping station. Now we have a new rectangular patch in the middle of the new road. Shovel Ready Jobs! I drive towards the city every day as far west as Collins, and I have seen maybe 1 commuter cyclist in the morning, and maybe 3 different (several more than once, though) in the afternoon drive time. Not kidding.

Linwood Avenue from Mt. Lookout Square to Grand Beech (right by Columbia Pkwy) has been re-laned, but not for bicycles. It's just stupid. Seriously. One lane where there were two, no parking where there was, new parking where you could go around those waiting to turn at Christ the King, turn lanes that start in odd spots so you can't get over soon enough to help continuing traffic stay moving. Ridiculous.

Columbia Parkway becomes Wooster Pike as it enters Fairfax, and it is a major artery for those heading to those eastern 'burbs. At this major intersection, anchored by the classic Frisch's Mainliner, I recently discovered (along with a LOT of other drivers, gauging by the backup) that the left and right lanes are now Turn Only lanes, with only the center lane continuing forward. Instant bottleneck. Awesome decision.

Lastly, there is one closer to my home, in Anderson Township (btw, officially there is no place/area/community/neighborhood called "Beechmont." That's the main Avenue that runs through Mt. Washington and Anderson, but it's not a place, as such. People say it, but it's not real) you will find a re-laned Salem Avenue. Like Linwood, it has removed parking where some was, added it in other spots, and you now weave back and forth like a slalom course to account for new turn lanes. A retired CPD friend and neighbor calls it "stupid" and "confusing" and he's younger than I am, so no "grumpy old man" comments, please.

Spring Grove Avenue has a similar tale to tell, no doubt there are others. Makes me believe the Agenda 21 alarmists may be on to something....

Monday, September 23, 2013

$5900? Each? You Can't Be Serious!

Found these at a little lot in town, no one was there, so I took some pictures and opened some doors. When I called, the lady said $5900 for either. Yellow didn't run when they got it, does now: orange is how it arrived. Neither are worth that kind of money, just the poor paint jobs (with obvious bondo work in the rear of the rockers under the rear doors.

The pictures from the site make the yellow look a lot better than it does in person! Of the two, though, I'd take the yellow for a couple of reasons, but  mostly, the rockers on the orange have been covered with something that was screwed in place, plus there was rust in the wheel wells: all very typical, but it means there are hidden woes.

It was a surprise to me, wanting one but never having sat in one, that you are stepping over the threshold to get in and sit in a way that modern cars don't really make you do. Maybe that was because the seats in the yellow one are pretty beat? 

Bro-in-law the car guy called and offered $4000. He was too drunk after a football game and a concert to say much more.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How Much We Just Don't Know

"It is far below the level the panel predicted. "Not only is this the smallest cycle we've seen in the space age, it's the smallest cycle in 100 years," according to a NASA research scientist cited in the popular blog Universe Today("Solar Cycle 24: On track to be the weakest in 100 years)."

It never ceases to amaze me how much some folks think we know, compared to how little we truly know. Making trillion dollars worth of policy on things we don't really know is stupid.

Hubris, remember?
*image from NASA: Visible in the lower left corner, the sun emitted an M6 solar flare on Nov. 12, 2012, which peaked at 9:04 p.m. EST. This image is a blend of two images captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), one showing the sun in the 304 Angstrom wavelength and one in the 193 Angstrom wavelength. Credit: NASA/SDO

Monday, September 16, 2013

Just a save for myself, really.

So some guy posted an excellent comment about the reasons of the double standard applied when men or women are slutty in the comments regarding some bad behavior in Ireland and on the internet. If you are too lazy to click the link, here's what he said:

Read more:

For fun, I added the reply from another commenter, mostly because she nailed it.

Friday, September 13, 2013

American Exceptionalism

Here's what #1 said yesterday, September 12th, 2013:

"Anyway, what American exceptionalism is not: It is not that we are better people.  It is not that we are superior people.  It is not that we are smarter people.  It is not that God loves us and hates everybody else.  It is not that God prefers us.  It is not that God doesn't prefer anybody else. 
American exceptionalism has nothing to do with anything but freedom and liberty.  Here is what American exceptionalism is.  ....
So what is it?  Well, if you know the history of the world... Read your Bible, read whatever historical account of humanity you hold dear, and what you'll read about is human tyranny.  You'll read of bondage. You'll read of slavery.  The vast majority of the people, the vast majority of the human beings who have lived and breathed and walked this planet have lived under the tyranny of despots, the vast majority. 
It isn't even close. 
The vast majority of the people of this world since the beginning of time have never known the kind of liberty and freedom that's taken for granted every day in this country.  Most people have lived in abject fear of their leaders. Most people have lived in abject fear of whoever held power over them.  Most people in the world have not had plentiful access to food and clean water.  It was a major daily undertaking for most people to come up with just those two basic things.
Just surviving was the primary occupation of most people in the world.  The history of the world is dictatorship, tyranny, subjugation, whatever you want to call it of populations -- and then along came the United States of America.  Pilgrims were the first to come here seeking freedom from all of that.  They were oppressed because of their religion.  They were told they had to believe in the king and his god, whatever it was, or they would be imprisoned.
They led an exodus from Europe to this country, people of the same mind-set.  They simply wanted to escape the tyranny of their ordinary lives.  This country was founded that way. For the first time in human history, a government and country was founded on the belief that leaders serve the population.  This country was the first in history, the EXCEPTION -- e-x-c-e-p-t, except. The exception to the rule is what American exceptionalism is.
It is because of this liberty and freedom that our country exists, because the founders recognized it comes from God. It's part of the natural yearning of the human spirit. It is not granted by a government. It's not granted by Putin. It's not granted by Obama or any other human being.  We are created with the natural yearning to be free, and it is other men and leaders throughout human history who have suppressed that and imprisoned people for seeking it. 
The US is the first time in the history of the world where a government was organized with a Constitution laying out the rules, that the individual was supreme and dominant, and that is what led to the US becoming the greatest country ever because it unleashed people to be the best they could be. Nothing like it had ever happened.  That's American exceptionalism.  Putin doesn't know what it is, Obama doesn't know what it is, and it just got trashed in the New York Times.  It's just unacceptable.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are an attempt to provide a political framework to facilitate God's will that each of us are born and remain free.  Read the Founders and you can conclude nothing other than that."

Here's what I said at the end of January of 2012. I probably had internalized his explanation, by the way.

"Our country is a unique experiment, there is only our short history to try to get some lessons about how our representative republic with it's focus on individual liberty and free(ish) markets have worked, but it's been pretty powerful, I think. The other ways, central planning, benevolent dictatorships, monarchies, tyrannical despots, are all there marching through history saying "tried it, failed." century after century. I happen to think that we are in many ways fighting against very basic human natures, conflicting ones: the scary, yet liberating desire to be free against the desire to have someone, anyone, take care of us, to push away responsibility and say "you decide, fix it for me, you take care of me" because that is so much easier than being an independent, self-actualized person. We head toward wanting more from our government to do stuff because it feeds that side of our nature, and our founders knew this as well. Similarly, I think that free markets are the most humane markets, they provide the most dignity and hope for those that need it, that capitalism has rescued more people from poverty than governments ever have, as it is what exists when there is no imposed economic system. Show me every poor country in the world and we will see closed market, meddling government (usually corrupt strong central, personality-driven Marxist-leaning), despots, many democratically elected.

Last thought, tonight, I promise: watching Diners, Dives, & Drive-ins, and thinking how I would love to eat at all of these places, and am honest enough to know that while I may think it would be cool to run one, I don't love it enough to do all the work these people do to live their dreams that provide these amazing meals. That's it, isn't it? To have the passion to do something that leads to success? I then re-read Michael's closing and thought "no. We don't need a brave leader, it's us. We the people."
That's what makes America unique in all of human history. All of human history is a long time. To want or expect or wait for our government, even though they are largely nice people that we chose, to take care of us isn't US!"

People have their own life stories that make them see the world the way they see it, and me talking isn't going to convince anyone of anything. It happens internally. Bill Clinton made me realize I wasn't a Democrat, even though I was more liberal at the time. All talk radio did was make me realize that I was conservative because it (Dr. Dean Edell, Rush, G. Gordon Liddy were the 3 I started with) articulated what I had been thinking.

The same thing goes for libs and progs, too, I think. They hear Rachel Maddow and think, "yes, exactly what I said!"  We have all heard of confirmation bias by now, right? Wiki,  Princeton, and this entertaining look explain it all for you, if you haven't.

They main difference that still presents itself in many ways is what I experienced recently yet again: Cons think libs and progs are wrong; libs and progs think cons are evil. Well, that's an oversimplification, but it's fair, I think. There are many cons who actually do think that the Pres and his minions are nefariously undermining the founding principles of our nation to remake it. I also happen to think that if you look at lib/prog/socialist/marxist policies, they are actually evil and directly responsible for a lot of death and mayhem, but mostly, they are just wrong.