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Crichton on Global Warming May 30, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Global Warming, Liberal Hypocrisy.
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Back in 2004, Michael Crichton addressed an audience at CalTech, blasting the global warming movement, essentially castigating it as either bad science, hopelessly politicized science, or not even science at all.

HOW I missed this article for the last 2 years is an illustration of embarassment. But, here is the most relevant snippet, in that he is attacking (with reason and relish) the notion of "science by consensus":

Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

What I have been suggesting to you is that nuclear winter was a meaningless formula, tricked out with bad science, for policy ends. It was political from the beginning, promoted in a well-orchestrated media campaign that had to be planned weeks or months in advance.

Further evidence of the political nature of the whole project (of the Nuclear Winter) can be found in the response to criticism. Although Richard Feynman was characteristically blunt, saying, "I really don't think these guys know what they're talking about," other prominent scientists were noticeably reticent. Freeman Dyson was quoted as saying "It's an absolutely atrocious piece of science but…who wants to be accused of being in favor of nuclear war?" And Victor Weisskopf said, "The science is terrible but—perhaps the psychology is good."

Boom. I'll say it again, BOOM!! The issue is not one of science, but one of politics bending science to its own will.

Read the whole thing. It is very illuminating.

Oh, and by the way, before anyone hauls out the old canard that Crichton has no means of arguing here: All the criticisms I have ever heard about Crichton's arguments stem from fallacious appeals to authority: They claim he has no reasonable authority to challenge the consensus, as he is a popular author and screenwriter.

While this fallacy might be addressed by reminding people that Crichton does in fact hold and MD from Harvard, that is still beside the point. He raises very valuable points here, and I have not seen them even remotely addressed by the regnant global warming constituency.

UPDATE: I now have the link for his complete article up above. Helps to insert the link tab, don't ya know.

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New Category. . . May 30, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Catholicism, Smart People.
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called Smart People.  List currently consists of:

CS Lewis

GK Chesterton

Walker Percy (whom I am currently reading.  Excerpts to follow in the near future)

RJ Neuhaus 

The Political Christ May 30, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Liberal Hypocrisy, Stupid Party vs Evil Party.
3 comments

More and more in this increasingly divided country, we are hearing rhetoric from various camps as to which "side" Jesus would be on if he were alive today.

The discussion is of such a flavor that one gets the impression that each spokesperson believes that Jesus not only would be sympathetic to their position, but that He would be physically (and perhaps using miracles as well) working overtime stuffing envelopes, answering phones and marching with placards for their particular cause.

Examples include, from the left, Street Prophets essentially assuring us that Jesus is a progressive and this truly amazing post that shows through Scripture that Jesus was a liberal and would condemn Conservatives. Jim Wallis at Sojourners gets it partly right when he states:

That’s (the Right's) big issue. Protecting God’s creation, they would say, is a moral value, too. And, for a growing number of Christians, the ethics of war—how and when we go to war, whether we tell the truth about going to war—is a religious and moral issue as well.

I think the Right has made a serious mistake in adopting a moral-values strategy, because they’re winning in the short run. [But] in the long run, they’re going to lose this debate because they won’t be able to restrict it to two issues. Once you open that door to a values conversation, it’s going to undercut a right-wing economic agenda, which values wealth over work and favors the rich over the poor, or resorts to war as the first resort and not the last. To quote the White House, when it comes to moral values in this discussion, I say, “Bring it on!” Let’s have the conversation, because the Right’s going to lose this debate in the end. But not if the Left doesn’t even get in the conversation.

Generally, this is correct, save for the fact that he is suffering from a serious contradiction in deadening the discussion on pro-life issues. He is in fact pro-abortion (based on an NPR interview he did some years back that I cannot find just now), but he soft-pedals the issue. By all means, address poverty, those that are the least among us. But you cannot have a coherent position on poverty without also addressing the unborn and the infirm, whose issues dwarf those of the poor, in that they aren't even given the chance to be poor.

Despite Wallis' claim that he believe there to be no political claim to Gospel truths, when he begins rendering the argument into moral validity of right v. left he is de facto rendering the argument into a political one. In essence, he is claiming the Gospel truths to be embodied in the current liberal (small "l") philosophy.

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However, the sin of claiming Christ as endorsing a brand of politics is in no way confined to the Left, and in fact elements of the Right tend to be even more strident in this regard. For example, the claims of the Reverend Robertson (such as here and here), or Mr. DeLay saying that:

". . .God is using (me) to promote "a biblical worldview" in American politics. . ." (LINK)

or the wretchedly behaved Fred Phelps, (interestingly, a former Democrat) who uses his position as an independent Baptist preacher to spout hate language against homosexuals. Mind you, I find the term "hate speech" is often used to codify any language that challenges homosexual behavior, and that is an error. But Mr. Phelps' actions cannot be characterized any other way.

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The fact is, both sides are equally at sea. I suspect if Christ were to come back down today and registered to vote, he would be at best an Independent. His primary question, after all, was in essence; "How well have you loved?" And I can see him asking Democrats, "How have you loved the infirm in your voting record? In your actions? Is it loving to kill a woman by dehydration? What of your willingness to allow infants to be murdered in the name of expediency? When have you loved your enemies when you revile them and call them every calumny you can dream up?" Obviously, I am suggesting that the Democrats are morally lost in their position regarding pro-life, specifically regarding abortion and euthanasia.

On the other hand, I can easily see him challenging Republicans on the following grounds: "How have you loved your enemy when you repeatedly seek his death? How have you helped those among you that have none to give? When have you fed the hungry? Clothed the naked? Nursed the sick? When have you loved your enemies when you revile them and call them every calumny you can dream up?" Obviously, I am suggesting that the Republicans are morally lost in their economic positions and how they may affect the suffering of the poor.

And then there is this suggestion Jesus made regarding the State, as in; "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's; render unto God what is God's."

I don't see Jesus coming into partisan politics at all, under any circumstances. I see Him simply asking; "How have you loved?" No one heavily involved with the heat of agitprop politics (and yes, that includes me) can realisitically invoke His name and say; "Yep. He's on MY side here."

Would we all have the guts of this man May 29, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Catholicism, Cultural Pessimism.
8 comments

St. Thomas University (of Minnesota) graduate addresses class of 2006, and preaches the Gospel to them.

For his pains, he is booed, catcalled, people walk out on his address, and the president of the (CINO) University criticizes him for daring. . .

“to use commencement to express his opinions.”

If I were ever to be in his position, would that I have the courage to do the same as him.

He may certainly take heart. A certain preacher with the apparent gift of prophecy was heaved out of his own hometown of Nazareth when he had the temerity to preach the truth to the people with whom he grew up.

LINK

HT: The Dawn Patrol

More on Global Warming skepticism May 27, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Blogging, Cultural Pessimism, Global Warming.
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I take a back seat to no one in admiration for Rick Moran over at RightWingNutHouse. He is cogent, coherent, insightful, reasonable and on-target. Except for his adoration of "24" and all sports Chicago, all of his stuff have been excellent, informative reads.

And he has another one out on the skepticism surrounding the global warming/Chicken Little pronunciamentos. You need to go read it right away.

Playing around with appearances. . . May 26, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Blogging.
8 comments

Let me know what you think of this look.

Bush Derangement Syndrome as Manifested by the Brits May 26, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Liberal Hypocrisy, Politics.
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To quote Hermione Granger:

What.

An.

Idiot.

If the fool were over here, he would undoubtedly be a KosKid working overtime on refining his own Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Street Prophets is off in lala land again May 26, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Liberal Hypocrisy.
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Read this first.

Now, anyone, anyone with a basic background in psych would be able to tell that this tragic fellow was suffering from florid symptoms of schizophrenia.  He needed a strong anti-psychotic; if none of the newer ones worked, damp him down with some Thorazine so that he can regain his keel.

The symptoms are clearly there.  Delusions.  Hallucinations.  Racing thoughts.  Medicate him so he can slow his brain down and get a grip and what he needed.  Somebody, I suspect the psychs at his hospitals, dropped the ball.

The folks at Street Prophets?  For them, everyone else is to blame. PastorDan (who else?) states: "This kid's friends failed him, his parents failed him, the medical establishment failed him, he failed himself." Well, the medical establishment sure did.  I doubt anyone else did.

And of course, the commenters.  Who do they blame?

Do I really have to paint it for you? "It's another failure (4.00 / 2) to lay at the feet of Bushco and the creepy, neocon governmental cronies.

Rick Moran over at RightWingNuthouse and others call this "Bush Derangement Syndrome." 

I couldn't put it better. 

ACLU now stifling itself May 26, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Liberal Hypocrisy.
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In a bizarre twist, the ACLU is now muzzling its own board members from discussing issues.  Nat Hentoff, truly a stud of a liberal (I've almost always agreed with him, even if he did come from Village Voice) is appalled:

Nat Hentoff, a writer and former A.C.L.U. board member, was incredulous. "You sure that didn't come out of Dick Cheney's office?" he asked.

"For the national board to consider promulgating a gag order on its members — I can't think of anything more contrary to the reason the A.C.L.U. exists," Mr. Hentoff added.

I almost titled this post LMAOROFL, given the absolutely priceless level of liberal hypocrisy shown in this.

Full story here.
HT: The Dawn Patrol 

William Jefferson makes for strange bedfellows May 26, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Politics, Stupid Party vs Evil Party.
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Jefferson of course, being the representative from Louisiana that had information from his DC offices seized by the FBI. His case has resulted in some very unusual alliances being made both across the aisle, and between the blogosphere and the White House.

The issue that I first thought would spring from this sordid little piece was the question of whether or not the KosKids and similar MoonBats would call for Jefferson’s resignation. To their credit, Kos himself called right away for Jefferson’s resignation.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the stocks and the rotten vegetable barrel: Congress began making noises that the FBI (as an arm of the executive branch) had no right to raid Jefferson’s offices. Hastert and Pelosi are both singing the same song on this one; the executive branch over-stepped its authority in this case.

Meanwhile, over in the blogosphere, we have KosKids rattling the sabers, now disgusted with both sides of the House, and of course some right wing folk saying the same thing, that Jefferson must go.

So, currently we have both sides of the aisle in Congress lining up on one side, with the executive branch on the other. Siding with the executive branch, either consciously or by de facto agreement, are normal blogospheric antagonists such as Kos on one side and Malkin on the other.

Fascinating. Go figure.