ClimateGate update: “Noble cause corruption” edition

Steven Mosher, the guy who brought the ClimateGate emails to general attention, looks back and ascribes what went wrong not to fraud but to “noble cause corruption“, the belief that cutting corners of process is permissible for the sake of achieving an outcome that serves the greater good. The commenters aren’t on board with the idea that the corruption is noble. “SPN news” in particular offers an irreverent explanation.

A PajamasMedia exclusive series on “ClimateGate 2.0” is now up to part 4. (See also Parts One, Two, and Three.)

MIT Professor Richard Lindzen published the following letter to the editor of The Boston Globe, which is short and to the point:

KERRY EMANUEL’S Feb. 15 op-ed “Climate changes are proven fact’’ is more advocacy than assessment. Vague terms such as “consistent with,’’ “probably,’’ and “potentially’’ hardly change this. Certainly climate change is real; it occurs all the time. To claim that the little we’ve seen is larger than any change we “have been able to discern’’ for a thousand years is disingenuous. Panels of the National Academy of Sciences and Congress have concluded that the methods used to claim this cannot be used for more than 400 years, if at all. Even the head of the deservedly maligned Climatic Research Unit acknowledges that the medieval period may well have been warmer than the present.

The claim that everything other than models represents “mere opinion and speculation’’ is also peculiar. Despite their faults, models show that projections of significant warming depend critically on clouds and water vapor, and the physics of these processes can be observationally tested (the normal scientific approach); at this point, the models seem to be failing.

Finally, given a generation of environmental propaganda, a presidential science adviser (John Holdren) who has promoted alarm since the 1970s, and a government that proposes funding levels for climate research about 20 times the levels in 1991, courage seems hardly the appropriate description – at least for scientists supporting such alarm.

Richard S. Lindzen
Cambridge
The writer is Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Via the comments, a few quotes that remain relevant:

Don’t you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don’t you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death?

No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no.

One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out “Don’t you believe in anything?”

“Yes”, I said. “I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.”

— Isaac Asimov

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” (Richard P. Feynman)

And all for the want of a Hallmark card

Conservative in the Closet has an amusing piece on the importance many women (excluding herself and Mrs. F2) ascribe to holiday, birthday, and anniversary cards.

It all boils down to three simple words that will ensure that you don’t sleep in the dog house after “special” days like birthdays, Valentine’s Day and your anniversary: Get the card.

It sounds so simple, but I now realize how much heartache can be saved by encouraging men to make sure that no matter what they plan for their wife/girlfriend, to take into consideration that she may be one of the 99% of women who will still say “where’s the card” – even after the most spectacular gift or festivities.

I first heard these words of wisdom on the radio from a gregarious business reporter. In his unmistakably brash, Italian American, New York accent he explained how he had planned a romantic weekend for his wife in Ottawa. He booked a suite at the Chateau Laurier hotel, he got tickets to some gallery even though he hates art. He bought chocolates and snagged a table at a trendy restaurant and even arranged for a babysitter for their one child for the entire weekend.

As they were checking out of the hotel, his wife looked at him with tears in her eyes and said: where’s the card?

As ridiculous as it sounds – her weekend was devastated by the lack of a card.

Allow me an off-the-wall analogy: he prepared the house for the Sabbath and lit candles, but forgot to say the bracha? 🙂 (After all, the Sabbath is metaphorically descibed as a bride, and a greeting card is a cartis bracha in modern Hebrew…)

Do US doctors support 0bamacare?

The claim is often made that US doctors support 0bamacare because the AMA (American Medical Association) got on board with it.

In fact, things are rather different, as this article shows (h/t: Realwest).

Attempting to enact his big-government health care scheme, President Obama and his supporters frequently claimed that a “majority” of doctors supported his health-care plans.  When the American Medical Association – which had opposed HillaryCare – signed onto Obama’s plan last year, the organization seemed to make the President’s case.  Most people assumed that the AMA represented most of the doctors in the country.  But in fact, the AMA represents less than 20 percent of all physicians in the United States. And yet as the organization’s leadership moved more to the left, it held a near monopoly on media attention on issues pertaining to public health.   No longer.

As the AMA has become increasingly politicized in recent years – issuing a statement in support of climate change, for example, in 2008 – a new group of doctors has risen to challenge them.  […]

Founded by Dr. Hal Scherz, a prominent Atlanta physician, [Docs4PatientCare] expressed concern that like so many other professional groups, the AMA’s leadership have been  thoroughly “Washingtonized” – caring more about the pleadings of other lobbyists on K Street, White House invitations and Capitol Hill committee appearances than the professions they are supposed to represent.  As doctors have taken a battering over several decades from insurance companies, HMOS, and government agencies, Scherz says the AMA was a bystander.

“As the insurance companies become more and more impossible and government intrusion keeps growing, we’ve seen our delivery of care to our patients compromised and our incomes decrease,” he said.

But it was the AMA’s support for ObamaCare that really troubled Scherz and others in his field.

Many doctors run small businesses and by nature are entrepreneurial.  Why then, he wondered, would the AMA favor ObamaCare’s regulatory and taxation burden?   Why would they want a multitude of government panels interfering with the decisions doctors usually make with their patients about care and treatment?  Recognizing that the AMA was compromised, Scherz decided to organize his own group in opposition to the Obama plan.

[…] Growing past this initial cadre of supporters proved difficult, however.  Scherz spent as much time as he could emailing and phone calling more doctors to join the effort, but the response rate was slow.  So coming home one night from the operating room, he called the Hewitt show and got in on the call-in queue.  Waiting on hold for two hours, he finally got on the air in the show’s third hour.  Delighted to have his missing-doctor question finally answered, Hewitt spoke with Scherz for a lengthy period.“Then Hewitt blogged about us and put us the website and that made all the difference,” said Scherz.[…]

With their newfound growth and publicity, Docs 4 Patient Care made getting heard in Washington their next objective.  Wearing their scrubs and white jackets, the doctors drew attention as they walked the halls of congress and spoke at rallies on Capitol Hill. Often just showing up in the offices of members of the House and Senate, they would manage to get appointments with the members themselves or key staff members.

One particular meeting that stuck out in memories was with the staff of Senator Olympia Snowe, the Maine Republican senator who was being heavily courted by Democrats in the hope of getting some bipartisan window dressing for the Democratic bill.  The meeting was a long one by Capitol Hill standards and the Snowe staff kept bringing up the arguments made by Democrats on behalf of ObamaCare.  But in the face of the doctor’s facts and experience the arguments didn’t stand up long.  Schertz believes Docs 4 Patient Care may have helped make a difference in Snowe’s ultimate, and fateful, decision not to sign on to ObamaCare.

Read the whole thing. And of course, the raaaaacist card, even here, is the last refuge of the anointed:

Another memorable incident cited by members of the group occurred when one of their members, Joyce Lovett MD, an African American female pediatrician, got the doctors into a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus.  A debate opened up over the health care plan and soon the doctors were text-messaging their colleagues visiting other offices around the capitol for reinforcements.  As the room began filling up, the doctors, doing well in the back and forth of debate, seemed to be changing some minds.  At that point, a worried Black Caucus leader and diehard partisan, John Conyers, broke up the meeting, saying the doctors were more interested in embarrassing the first black president than in achieving real reform.   Unused to this sort of political attack, the astonished doctors told other caucus members  how they felt after taking time from their practices and patients to come all the way to Washington only to hear a member of Congress insinuate they were racists.  One caucus member privately dismissed Conyers’ “old ways of thinking,” suggesting that the CBC might be ready for fresh, and more innovative, leadership.

From the comments:

I’m from Atlanta and proud that two of my own doctors are among the original founders of this group! When I go to a doctor I always try to bring up Obamacare and ask the doc what his/her opinion is of socialized medicine, and they are all opposed. When I pointed out that the AMA supported Obamacare, and asked why, one of my docs told me that the AMA is mostly academics and not practicing physicians, so they tend to be pretty liberal. He also pointed out that most docs don’t belong to the AMA. He told me that he’s always been too busy managing his practice to get involved in politics, but that this issue is too important to sit on the sidelines any longer. Fortunately my Congressman, a former doctor, is also instrumental in the efforts of this group.

UPDATE: tangentially related, from the comments:

It’s rather insidious how liberals run a lot of professional organizations. Even if the membership votes on leaders, it’s the professional staff that really runs the show. I’m a corporate librarian and it’s even overrun our organization. Oddly, they don’t know why membership drops and they just keep raising the dues.

Of course, having the podium is all that really matters because they get to speak for the organization — no matter how few members are left.

Reminds me of the Second Law of Robert Conquest. Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics are quoted here as follows (see also here or here):

  1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
  2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left wing.
  3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies [or, as argued here, of the enemies of the organization’s stated purpose]

Friday Night Beauty: Ravel, “Jeux d’Eau” (Sviatoslav Richter, piano)

Here is an amazing little gem found on YouTube: the late legendary Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter playing one of Ravel’s earliest works, a virtuoso piano piece named “Jeux d’Eau” (“fountains”).

There’s a reason why Maurice Ravel was known as “the Swiss watchmaker” among his contemporaries in the music world.

For pianists and anyone who reads music, the sheet music can be downloaded here. (The work has passed into the public domain.)

Enjoy!

Austin suicide pilot spin

Following the tragedy of Austin suicide pilot Joe Stack, who first set his house on fire, then drilled his small plane into the building that housed the IRS, leaving behind an elaborate suicide manifesto, the usual suspects cannot resist trying to spin Stack into a “Tea partier” (or “teabagger”, the bizarre sexual slur infamously popularized by the has-been media).

JammieWearingFool and Hot Air are both having a lot of “fun” with this.

I just read the manifesto, and my initial conclusions are fourfold:

  • OK, the guy is more literate than your average college kid nowadays
  • he was clearly, to use an abstruse clinical psychology term, nucking futs
  • he basically blames everything and everybody except himself for his personal woes
  • political views expressed read like far-left ones, if anything — cf. anti-Bush rhetoric and views about healthcare, plus a direct quote from the Communist Manifesto (see below)

Both JWF and HA point out egregious “selective editing” on the part of a WaPo reporter. The original manifesto ends:

Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)
02/18/2010

The revised version ends:

Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010

It’s only, like, the 5th millionth time MSM journalists have been caught twisting words. This is just a particularly blatant example.

JWF, meanwhile, has started jocularly blaming anything and everuthing, from attempts to poison food at an army base to cyber attacks on Google on “teabaggers”.

UPDATE 1: Fox News interviewed Joe Stack’s friends and acquaintances, who mostly seem quite puzzled and were unaware of his obsession with his fights with the IRS.

They knew Stack as a fellow country rocker [he played bass guitar and piano — NCT] and band mate who recorded with them in Austin’s vibrant music scene. They recalled a quiet father who visited Norway every year to visit his daughter and grandchildren. They never heard Stack talk about politics, about taxes, about the government — the sources of pain that Stack claims drove him to his death. “I read the letter that he wrote. It sounded like his voice but the things he said I had never heard him say,” said Pam Parker, an Austin attorney whose husband was one of Stack’s band mates. “He didn’t rant about anything. He wasn’t obsessed with the government or any of that. … Not a loner, not off in a corner. He had friends and conversation and ordinary stuff.”

In video linked there, it is pointed out that the Austin IRS site he crashed his plane into was not just any IRS site, but the one that handles audits for the area.

Amy Bishop/U. of Alabama shooting update: warning signs

Some more information has emerged in the strange case of Amy Bishop, the assistant professor of biology who killed 3 and wounded 3 of her colleagues after she was denied tenure at U. of Alabama, Huntsville.  [See here, herehere , and especially here for our earlier coverage.]

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a special section on the Huntsville shootings.

Some new information that has emerged:

“At one meeting I was with Amy, she was complaining to a group of us. She said she was denied tenure not because she was a lousy researcher — she’s not, quite the opposite — and not because she didn’t have good classes, she believed she did — I think some might say otherwise — but because she was accused of being arrogant, aloof and superior. And she said, ‘I am.’

  • another professor, who asked that his name not be used, expressed concern about her mental health during her tenure review.

    The professor said that during a meeting of the tenure-review committee, he expressed his opinion that Ms. Bishop was “crazy.” Word of what he said made it back to Ms. Bishop. In September, after her tenure denial, she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging gender discrimination. The professor’s remark was going to be used as possible evidence in that case.

    It was then, the professor said, that the associate provost of the university, John Severn, came to him and asked whether he truly believed what he had said about Ms. Bishop. (Reached by phone, Mr. Severn declined to comment.) The professor was given the opportunity to back off the claim, or to say it was a flippant remark. But he didn’t. “I said she was crazy multiple times and I stand by that,” the professor said. “This woman has a pattern of erratic behavior. She did things that weren’t normal.”

    No one incident stands out, the professor said, but a series of interactions caused him to think she was “out of touch with reality.” Once, he said, she “went ballistic” when a grant application being filed on her behalf was turned in late. The professor said he avoided Ms. Bishop whenever he saw her, on or off the campus. When he spotted her not long ago at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, he made sure he was out of sight until she had left the store. He even skipped a faculty retreat because he knew she would be there.

    To be clear, it wasn’t as if the professor told the university that he thought Ms. Bishop was potentially violent. And, at the time, the university was narrowly focused on the legal fallout from a possible lawsuit by Ms. Bishop, he said.

    […] When the professor found out on Friday afternoon that there had been a shooting on the campus, he didn’t immediately hear exactly where it happened, who was involved, or whether the shooter was a faculty member, student, or someone from outside the university. Even so, the professor said his first thought was: “Oh my God. I bet it was Amy Bishop.”

A roundup of coverage from academia-bloggers can be found here. I must say I am rather unenthused by some of the suggestions being made, such as that “collegiality” and “personality” should be given more weight as tenure considerations. There’s a world of difference between being a “lone wolf” (as some of the world’s best scientists are) or an egomaniac, and the behavior Amy Bishop was displaying well before the shooting.

Speculating on her often-remarked on lack of eye contact, the autism/Asperger Syndrome self-help site wrongplanet.net has a thread on whether Amy Bishop may have been an “aspie”. (As anybody who’s familiar with research academia knows, it’s one of the most congenial environments for people with Asperger’s, if not the most.) One of the denizens hits the nail on the head: “From what I have read, I believe she is a narcissist. Her lack of eye contact is more like antisocial, rather than nonsocial. There is a lack of respect, rather than not understanding it.
UPDATE 1: From Instapundit:

MORE TROUBLE FOR BILL DELAHUNT: DA Rips 1986 Bishop Report. “Three people might be alive today if Delahunt had done his job in 1986. The blood is on his hands. Instead he made a phone call and the case disappeared. Thanks to him, Amy Bishop went on to become a one-woman crime wave.”

[…] Related: The inevitable effort to link Amy Bishop to Tea Party protesters.

It would be easy to dismiss the attempt to link Bishop and the Tea Party movement given the absurdity of the connection. After all, Bishop loves Obama, so how could the “anti-Obama” nature of the Tea Party movement have caused Bishop to do anything?

It’s just that these things have a way of working their way into the mainstream media, regardless of how outlandish the supposed connection.

Keep repeating Amy Bishop and Tea Party in the headlines, and it will not be long before 35% of Democrats believe there is a connection.[…]

Who was it again who invented the “big lie” technique?

UPDATE: Donald Douglas points out that the 3 dead include 2 blacks and one Indian-American, and wonders (half sarcastically) whether there may have been a racist angle. I very much doubt this (Debra Moriarity, for instance, was saved only by the magazine having run empty), but agree that this for sure would have been imputed if the killer had been anything other than a flaming left-winger.

UPDATE 2: James Taranto has a good recap in Best of the Web, and displays his usual irreverent humor in the title: “Going Postdoctoral“.

Mardi Gras floats mocking 0bama

I guess the infatuation of Germans with Narcissus Rex is officially over now, as this report from a Mardi Gras parade in Düsseldorf (in German) shows:

The shirt says “0bama the Redeemer”. The link to the picture was found in the comments at this post on the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, which had this float:

Mardi Gras has become a celebration of vice before forty days of, well, supposed virtue. It’s one of those fun curiosities about the culturally Christian world: People eat and drink gluttonously as a sort of religious observance.

One of the ways vice is simultaneously vilified and celebrated is on the floats that parade through New Orleans, filled with masked people who throw beads and toys to the passersby. In one parade this year, spectators enjoy a hilarious twenty-float lineup of what one might call winners of the Greatest Vices of the Year: Senator Edwards, Senator Vitter, and Governor Sanford are spotlighted on a lust-themed float as “Politicians Gone Wild!”; New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Na[g]in is painted “asleep at the wheel,” accused of negligence and bad time management on a sloth-themed float; and Bernard Madoff appears on a pyramid as “Pharaoh Made-off” on a greed-themed float that describes him as “the modern-day Judas who was traitor to his own tribe for only 20 million pieces of silver.”

Among these scandalous float figures is President Barack Obama.

On a pride-themed float called “Experiment of His Own Power,” Obama is compared to “The Proud One” of Dante’s Inferno, posing with his Nobel Peace Prize medal, next to several other representations of him—along with Oscar and Heisman Trophy awards, he appears as a five-star general, president of General Motors, and as the “healthcare-expert” Surgeon General—all engulfed by the flames of hell.

[…] In related news… […] a majority of Americans believe that Barack Obama does not deserve a second term.

ClimateGate update: “climate change dance” edition

Pending further updates on the neverending ClimateGate story, today’s featured post is by my blog-ancestor Zombie: Fancy Carbon Footwork: “Climate-change dance theory”. Some teaser quotes:

My thesis is that once any movement begins to engage in hollow, ridiculous and futile gestures (such as “dancing for” anything), it’s an indicator that the movement has run out of steam and will soon go extinct. It is therefore with great interest that I’ve been noticing not just the strange new outbreak and continuous barrage of climate change dances but more significantly an upcoming lecture being given at U.C. Berkeley entitled Mitigating Global Warming Through Art — Exploring the Importance of Music for the Change of Lifestyles. The listing for the talk (given by visiting lecturer Maximilian Mayer at U.C. Berkeley’s Institute of European Studies) notes that “Music in general and art in particular seems to be a promising Archimedean point for multiple new life styles. Performing music and dancing combine the advantages of those three alternative approaches. Additionally, they may be powerful enough to substitute the culture of consumerism since they enable a creativity-based self-autonomy as well as cultural self-sufficiency.” In other words, not only have the global warming alarmists started dancing in a last-ditch attempt to save the planet, but they have now even developed an academic pseudo-scientific theory as to why dancing is a necessary and perhaps the only remaining way to prevent the climate from changing.

Zombie goes on to savagely fisk some of the lecture. Read the whole thing, as they say. And “Pi Guy” recommended this video:

UPDATE: don’t miss this essay by Doctor Zero, “Green Death” (at Hotair.com; at his own site). It discusses the anti-DDT campaign, the tens of millions of malaria deaths it caused — in the Third World — in the name of environmentalism, and the parallels between the DDT and CO2 scares. A few teaser quotes:

Published in 1962, Silent Spring used manipulated data and wildly exaggerated claims (sound familiar?) to push for a worldwide ban on the pesticide known as DDT – which is, to this day, the most effective weapon against malarial mosquitoes. The Environmental Protection Agency held extensive hearings after the uproar produced by this book… and these hearings concluded that DDT should not be banned. A few months after the hearings ended, EPA administrator William Ruckleshaus over-ruled his own agency and banned DDT anyway, in what he later admitted was a “political” decision. Threats to withhold American foreign aid swiftly spread the ban across the world.

The resulting explosion of mosquito-borne malaria in Africa has claimed over sixty million lives. This was not a gradual process – a surge of infection and death happened almost immediately. The use of DDT reduces the spread of mosquito-borne malaria by fifty to eighty percent, so its discontinuation quickly produced an explosion of crippling and fatal illness. The same environmental movement which has been falsifying data, suppressing dissent, and reading tea leaves to support the global-warming fraud has studiously ignored this blood-drenched “hockey stick” for decades.

The motivation behind Silent Spring, the suppression of nuclear power, the global-warming scam, and other outbreaks of environmentalist lunacy is the worship of centralized power and authority. The author, Rachel Carson, didn’t set out to kill sixty million people – she was a fanatical believer in the newly formed religion of radical environmentalism, whose body count comes from callousness, rather than blood thirst. The core belief of the environmental religion is the fundamental uncleanliness of human beings. All forms of human activity are bad for the environment… most especially including the activity of large private corporations. Deaths in faraway Africa barely registered on the radar screen of the growing Green movement, especially when measured against the exhilarating triumph of getting a sinful pesticide banned, at substantial cost to an evil corporation.

Those who were initiated into the higher mysteries of environmentalism saw the reduction of the human population as a benefit, although they’re generally more circumspect about saying so in public these days. As quoted by Walter Williams, the founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome, Alexander King, wrote in 1990: “My own doubts came when DDT was introduced. In Guayana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” Another charming quote comes from Dr. Charles Wurster, a leading opponent of DDT, who said of malaria deaths: “People are the cause of all the problems. We have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them, and this is as good a way as any.”

Like the high priests of global warming, Rachel Carson knew what she was doing. She claimed DDT would actually destroy all life on Earth if its use continued – the “silent spring” of the title is a literal description of the epocalypse she forecast. She misused a quote from Albert Schweitzer about atomic warfare, implying the late doctor agreed with her crusade against pesticide by dedicating her book to him… when, in fact, Schweitzer viewed DDT as a “ray of hope” against disease-carrying insects. Some of the scientists attempting to debunk her hysteria went so far as to eat chunks of DDT to prove it was harmless, but she and her allies simply ignored them, making these skeptics the forerunners of today’s “global warming deniers” – absolutely correct and utterly vilified. William Ruckleshaus disregarded nine thousand pages of testimony when he imposed the DDT ban. Then as now, the science was settled… beneath a mass of politics and ideology.

Another way Silent Spring forecast the global-warming fraud was its insistence that readers ignore the simple evidence of reality around them. One of the founding myths of modern environmentalism was Carson’s assertion that bird eggs developed abnormally thin shells due to DDT exposure, leading the chicks to be crushed before they could hatch. As detailed in thisAmerican Spectator piece from 2005, no honest experimental attempt to produce this phenomenon has ever succeeded – even when using concentrations of DDT a hundred times greater than anything that could be encountered in nature. Carson claimed thin egg shells were bringing the robin and bald eagle to the edge of extinction… even as the bald eagle population doubled, and robins filled the trees. Today, those eagles and robins shiver in a blanket of snow caused by global warming.

Go read the whole thing.

UPDATE 2: ClimateGate 2.0 — the NASA files, Part One

Amy Bishop case updates: eyewitness account by unsung hero, IHOP incident, neighbor altercations

The case of Amy Bishop, the assistant professor of biology who was denied tenure at U. of Alabama, Huntsville, and opened fire on her tenure committee, killing 3 and wounding 3, just keeps getting weirder and weirder.  [See here, here, and here for our earlier reporting.]

[Go to bottom of story for important update]

Boston.com:

In March, 2002, Bishop walked into an International House of Pancakes in Peabody with her family, asked for a booster seat for one of her children, and learned the last seat had gone to another mother.

Bishop, according to a police report, strode over to the other woman, demanded the seat and launched into a profanity-laced rant.

When the woman would not give the seat up, Bishop punched her in the head, all the while yelling “I am Dr. Amy Bishop.”

Bishop received probation and prosecutors recommended that she be sent to anger management classes, though it is unclear from court documents whether a judge ever sent her there.

And Solomonia has a web-interview with the Bishop’s next-door neigtbor in Ipswich, MA:

…She was such a trouble maker. I disengaged from them early on. I literally did not have any conversation or interaction with either her or her husband (also a nutball) for over 3 years. Nothing…

…She made a big stink about the kids playing basketball in the neighborhood. On the day they first moved into the house they drove their moving truck into the basketball post that was situated between our two driveways and under the streetlight. For years all the neighborhood kids played ball there (and so did some of the Dads). When they ran the post down we thought it was just a dumb-ass accident. We soon found out that they did it on purpose.

One of the other neighbors put up a new hoop on his property and she complained about the kids. It was a protracted fight that involved multiple calls to the police. The end result was that the kids in the neighborhood couldn’t play ball after 7pm at night. She also complained about street hockey, skate boarding, tag, etc., etc… […]

What pissed me off was the loony venom and fury that accompanied her attacks. She alleged that the basketball players were smoking pot at night and causing other trouble. Totally untrue. Look at the newspaper, the Ipswich Police were in the Globe today calling her a “regular customer”. [NCT: presumably referring to this article.] She complained about everything.

She nearly got into a fistfight one night with one of the Moms who was defending her son’s right to play.

She complained so much the ice cream truck stopped driving through our street. If the kids wanted ice cream they had to go over to the next street and stop the truck.

Just this past Sunday morning as we were watching the news my son said, “Remember how she wouldn’t let us have ice cream?” He was about 8 at the time and thought that it really sucked. All the kids knew that she was the cause. […]

The day they moved out I was getting home as their moving van pulled away and went up the street. I got out of my car and a bunch of the neighbors were outside and I yelled “Ding Dong the witch is dead!” and a cheer went up all around. Soon after the new people showed up to clean the house and move some things in and the whole street celebrated with a pizza party. We welcomed the new folks with open arms. It was like the sun finally came out again.

[Minor update:] Concerning the ice cream truck, we learn here (h/t: Kathy Shaidle) that:

Bishop once stopped a local ice cream truck from coming into their neighborhood. According to WBZ-1030 radio, she said it because her own kids were lactose intolerant, and she didn’t think it was fair that her kids couldn’t have ice cream.

The much simpler expedient of buying Lactaid™ or one of its competitors didn’t occur to a biologist?!

More updates to follow here as they come in.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: this blog (via Israel forum), has a story at the Chronicle for Higher Education (academia’s main “trade newspaper”) which relates a first-person account by the unsung hero of the day, Prof. Debra Moriarity:

Moriarity, 55, has been at UAH since 1983. She is a professor of biochemistry, and the dean of the graduate school. Her laboratory was located next to Amy Bishop’s. Here are snippets of her story:

For almost an hour, the meeting focused on departmental business. Ms. Moriarity was looking at some papers on the table when the first shot was fired, killing the chairman of the department, Gopi K. Podila.

Ms. Moriarity looked up and saw Ms. Bishop fire the second shot. Apparently, Ms. Bishop was simply going down the line, starting with the people closest to her, killing Mr. Podila, Adriel D. Johnson Sr., and Maria Ragland Davis, all professors, and severely wounding Stephanie Monticciolo, a department administrator, and Joseph G. Leahy, a professor. All were shot in the head.

Another professor, Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera, was shot in the chest.

After the second shot, Ms. Moriarity dove under the table. “I was thinking ‘Oh, my God, this has to stop,” she said.

Ms. Moriarity crawled beneath the rectangular table toward Ms. Bishop, who was blocking the doorway. She grabbed at Ms. Bishop’s legs and pushed at her, yelling, “I have helped you before, I can help you again!” Ms. Moriarity had in fact worked with Ms. Bishop, and they shared some similar research interests.

Ms. Bishop stepped away from her grasp. While still on the floor, Ms. Moriarity managed to crawl partially out into the hallway. Ms. Bishop, who continued shooting the entire time, then turned her attention to Ms. Moriarity, placing two hands on the gun and pointing it at her. Ms. Bishop’s expression was angry—”intense eyes, a set jaw,” Ms. Moriarity recalled.

With Ms. Moriarity looking up at her, Ms. Bishop pulled the trigger twice. The gun clicked, apparently out of bullets.

Ms. Moriarity scrambled back to the room. Meanwhile, Ms. Bishop, now barely in the hallway, appeared to be rummaging in her bag, perhaps attempting to reload. Ms. Moriarity took advantage of Ms. Bishop’s fumbling and closed the door. Others in the room then helped her push the table against the door, fearing that Ms. Bishop would continue her rampage.

Dr. Moriarity’s colleague, Joseph Ng, said her actions took a lot of guts, and saved lives. In the meantime, Amy Bishop Anderson is said to be on suicide watch, which may be routine for a week or two. Jail officials say she is interacting normally, “just like anyone else,” and a psychiatric nurse working with Bishop says she has not exhibited any suicidal tendencies.

The stories about Bishop are beginning to leak. According to an unnamed source who knows Bishop, she was an enigmatic egghead and talking to her was “like crawling to the bottom of a coal mine with the lights off. I don’t think [her husband] ever really understood her. I don’t think anybody did.”

For reasons that require no elaboration, the CHE is covering this story extensively. All five of the most popular articles are about the case (this one was the top article):

ClimateGate update: Instapundit edition

I can add very little to what Glenn Reynolds has to say:

SO YESTERDAY I COMPARED THE RESPONSE TO CLIMATEGATE TO THE BELLESILES SCANDAL. Now all the fraud, critical “lost” data, suppression of criticism and so on doesn’t prove that there’s no global warming — people can lie about things that, nonetheless, turn out to be true — but it has to induce a certain degree of skepticism. So what should we do?

Nothing. At least, in my opinion, we should continue to try to minimize the use of fossil fuels regardless. Burning coal and oil is filthy, and they’re more valuable as chemical feedstocks anyway. We should be building nuclear plants and pursuing efficiencies in the shorter term, while working on better solar (including orbital solar), wind, etc. power supplies for the longer term. That doesn’t mean “hairshirt” environmentalism, where the goal is for neo-puritans to denounce people for immorality and trumpet their own superiority. It just means good sense.

I actually had a long post on this here and Amory Lovins has it right: “He also says — and I agree — that it doesn’t matter whether you believe ‘peak oil’ catastrophe scenarios because you ought to be doing the same thing anyway.”

UPDATE: Rand Simberg responds: “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”

For rolling updates on ClimateGate news, check out Tom Nelson. (H/t: American Digest, in a jaw-dropping story on Andy Revkin describing how the NYT loved his climate reporting only as long as it was inconvenient for Bush and Republicans.)

Don Surber notes that Lake Erie is frozen over for the first time in 15 years, as well as that the BBC (!), tellingly, no longer refers to AGW “deniers” or even the more neutral “skeptics”, but to “doubters”.

UPDATE: James Taranto, “Consensus or con?

Amy Bishop update: U. of Alabama shooter terrorized neighbors, tried to rob car dealership

We already know (see previous roundup) that U. of Alabama “tenure denial revenge killer” Amy Bishop was a far-left extremist, obsessed with 0bama, and shot her brother to death in murky circumstances, and that the police investigation of the latter was ended following high-level intervention.

Now we learn that she harassed kids in her Ipswich, MA neighborhood; that the husband, who earlier claimed he didn’t know his wife had a gun, went to target practice with her at a shooting range; and that, while trying to escape after “accidentally” shooting her brother, she entered a Ford dealership and demanded a vehicle at gunpoint.

Here is what we do know. There was an argument only recently brought to light between Seth and his nineteen year old sister Amy that was left out of many documents in the report. Shortly after the argument, Amy fired a loaded shotgun which struck Seth at point blank range in his chest and tore the aorta of his heart, killing him.

We know that Amy then went to Dave Dinger Ford and according to Thomas Pettigrew who was working in the garage, told the Boston Herald that Bishop put a shotgun against his chest and demanded a vehicle. Pettigrew said Bishop claimed she and her husband were in a fight and he was coming after her. She was arrested in the parking lot when she exited the garage, surrounded by police with guns drawn.

She was brought to the Braintree police department where she was being booked and suddenly per direct order of Chief Polio, the booking process was ordered to stop. The Braintree Officers were inexplicably ordered to release Amy to the custody of her parents.

We know the circumstances of what happened in the kitchen show inconsistancies between Amy’s and Judith’s statements in the Massachusetts State Police REPORT

This story is getting stranger by the minute.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse has a “duh” moment: “If Amy Bishop had turned out to be right-wing or conservative [or even to watch Fox News once in a while — NCT] we’d never hear the end of it.” Love this comment:

Man in cammies with “assault rifle” goes on a rampage and the lefttards heads explode. They rage against the Second Amenment. They rage against murderous Conservatives. The want to ban guns, ban people who own guns, and ban any speech about guns. Hell, they want to ban anyone who does not agree with them.

Stereotypical frumpy looking progressive activist professor goes on a rampage and not a word about her activism, socialistic ideas, or revolutionary thought. Not a word about banning guns- except on campus. Not a word against banning progressive activists.

Bill Ayers and his wife- both professors- are forgiven their sins because they contribute to the common good. Bobby Rush and Luis Guiterrez, urban terrorists, are allowed to stay in Congress. Murderous sins forgiven. They are the heroes of the revolution. The darlings of the left.

Yeah, the left is just full of hypocrisy and full of bovine excrement.

Via the same comments section, speaking of nutjobs, Gore Vidal compares Timothy McVeigh to Paul Revere. You can’t make this stuff up.


UPDATE 2: More at Spitfire Murphy: Delahunt suddenly “remembers” the case, blames the police. And Instapundit has a Tea Party angle:

IRA STOLL: The New York Times on the Tea Party Movement. “The whole thing is sad; that the Times seems unable to give a reasonably sympathetic hearing to Americans mad at Wall Street, Washington, Republicans and Democrats but instead travels to Idaho to interview and emphasize what it depicts as a particularly strange group of them.”

It’s as if they made Amy Bishop a representative of Obama supporters. But they’d never do that, because it wouldn’t fit the narrative would be an unfair “smear.”

UPDATE: Reader Stephen Clark writes:

Tea Partiers might rejoice in the hope that this really does reflect the view of the NY Times readership. The Times coverage of this and other political developments has merely kept its readership uninformed and unprepared. Perhaps it’s best to view the Times as providing comfort similar to that provided by the ship’s orchestra for passengers on the sinking Titanic.

But less heroically . . . .

U. of Alabama “killer denied tenure”: far-left extremist with troubling history [UPDATED]

We previously reported on a woman assistant professor named Amy Bishop at U. of Alabama, Huntsville, who was denied tenure and subsequently went into a faculty meeting and opened fire, killing 3 and wounding 3 more, of which 2 critically. Since then, some rather “interesting” details have emerged:

UPDATE 1: Spitfire Murphy has their own roundup. See also here.

UPDATE 2: Wretchard on the suspect accidental death of her brother: “The Boston Globe has a link to Braintree Policy Chief Paul Frazier’s statement describing what he knew about the suspect. She had killed her brother in what was officially termed an accident, but apparently there were significant questions at the time about the resolution of the case. The relevant parts of the Chief Frazier’s statement are reproduced verbatim afther the “More”. The highlights are mine.”

“I have been in contact with the Huntsville Police Department to confirm that the suspect in their shooting had been involved in a shooting incident in Braintree 24 years ago. Their investigators will be back in touch with us within a couple of days.”

[Describing how nobody could locate the archived written report. Hmm.]

“Officer Ronald Solimini informed me that he wrote the report and said that I wouldn’t find it as it has been missing from the files for over 20 years[. He] recalled the incident as follows: He said he remembers that Ms. Bishop fired a round from a pump action shotgun into the wall of her bedroom. She had a fight with her brother and shot him, which caused his death. She fired a third round from the shotgun into the ceiling as she exited the home. She fled down the street with the shotgun in her hand. At one point she allegedly pointed the shotgun at a motor vehicle in an attempt to get the driver to stop. Officer Solimini found her behind a business on Washington Street. Officer Timothy Murphy was able to take control of the suspect at gunpoint and seized the shotgun. Ms. Bishop was subsequently handcuffed and transported to the police station under arrest.”“Officer Solimini informed me that before the booking process was completed Ms. Bishop was released from custody without being charged.”

“I (Chief Frazier) spoke with the retired Deputy Chief who was then a Lieutenant and was responsible for booking Ms. Bishop. He said he had started the process when he received a phone call he believes was from then Police Chief John Polio or possibly from a captain on Chief Polio’s behalf. He was instructed to stop the booking process. At some point Ms. Bishop was turned over to her mother and they left the building via a rear exit.”

Braintree Police Lieutenant Karen MacAleese was a high school classmate and confirmed from photographs that the suspect is the same Amy Bishop who lived in Braintree.

“I was not on duty at the time of the incident, but I recall how frustrated the members of the department were over the release of Ms. Bishop. It was a difficult time for the department as there had been three (3) shooting incidents within a short timeframe. The release of Ms. Bishop did not sit well with the police officers and I can assure you that this would not happen in this day and age.

ClimateGate update: “Phil Jones fesses up” edition

(Back from some stuff in realspace.)

Phil Jones, the head of CRU (the Climate Research Unit) at East Anglia and the nexus of ClimateGate, gave quite an interview to the BBC. Some highlights:

  • whatever “warming” has been observed 1995-present is not statistically significant. (See also here at The Times.) His claim that warming did actually take place is partly based on reasoning that, all else being equal, we should have had mild cooling due to volcanic eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991).
  • the Medieval Warm Period (which AGW alarmists like to pretend didn’t exist) may actually have been warmer than today. [Obviously we don’t have direct temperature records for the Middle Ages — only ‘proxies’ — but anecdotally we know that wine grapes were grown in England at the time (a commenter here points out that French vintners petitioned the king for a tariff on English wine) and that Greenland actually was green enough to sustain an agricultural settlement. As the climate turned colder again, this colony starved out — as is described in ‘Collapse’ by Jared Diamond.]
  • He does however claim we cannot be sure about the MWP since we have neither temperature records nor adequate proxies for the Southern hemisphere.
  • Far from being unprecedented, today’s “warming”, even if considered statistically significant, is similar to 1860-1880 and 1910-1940.
  • elsewhere, we learn that Phil Jones confesses to being disorganized (OK, many scientists are), having poor record keeping skills (this is less forgivable), and that the ‘hockey stick’ data went AWOL.

Lord Monckton, meanwhile, is taking a victory lap at Pajamas Media.

The former IPCC chairman, however, is not impressed by Pachyderm’s performance: “Professor [Robert] Watson, currently chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that if the errors had just been innocent mistakes, as has been claimed by the current chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, some would probably have understated the impact of climate change.” (H/t: Syrah)

Speaking of which, Watts Up With That (h/t JCM) has a jaw-dropping quote from an interview with Pachy in SCIENCE magazine: “Q: Has all that has happened this winter dented the credibility of IPCC? R.K.P.: I don’t think the credibility of the IPCC can be dented. If the IPCC wasn’t there, why would anyone be worried about climate change?

Precisely. That’s the whole point.

UPDATE: Tangentially related, Fenway Nation blogs about the self-contradictory narrative libs have about the ‘anti-science’ right.

UPDATE 2: Gotta love that headline: If The Tree of Global Warming Fell In The Living Rooms of The American Press And No One Reported It Would It Make A Sound?

And Ann Althouse: “To talk about “sceptics” as the ones who will “seize” upon “evidence” of flaws is unwittingly to make global warming into a matter of religion and not science. It’s not the skeptics who look bad. “Seize” sounds willful, but science should motivate us to grab at evidence. It’s the nonskeptics who look bad. It’s not science to be a true believer who wants to ignore new evidence. It’s not science to support a man who has the job of being a scientist but doesn’t adhere to the methods of science.”

UPDATE 3: Some more links:

  • Walter Russell Mead notes that, while the NYT continues to pretend not to see a story, the Washington Post is belatedly stepping up to the plate (e.g., here and here). I especially liked the bit on how climate alarmists, who’ve argued from anecdote for years, are now being hoist on their own petard.
  • Tangentially related, and always good for a bwaahaahaa, is Mark Steyn: “The new conformo-radicalism“.
  • Foreign Policy: Inside the Climate Bunker. The story has lots of links, including to a review of Rajendra Pachauri’s softcore erotica novel in the Times of India. (It prominently focuses on breasts and male self-abuse. The verbal equivalent of the latter is no stranger to either Pachy or ManBearPig…)
  • And while I dislike “Downfall” parodies for “Godwin’s Law” reasons, this one is actually pretty “ouch”. It would have been better if the dialogue had been redubbed with a translation of the subtitles into German or Chaplinesque cod-German (as on display in “The Great Dictator”).
  • More to follow, unless it’s so much that I have to break out a new post 🙂

Orson Scott Card on Scott Brown

[This was published on January 17 but somehow slipped under my radar. Much of it is still very timely. And of course, the author of “Ender’s Game” sure knows how to wield a pen.]

Suddenly a charismatic 50-year-old legislator from Massachusetts is propelled to national prominence because he wins, as a Republican, the seat long held by Ted Kennedy.

After Kennedy died, this outcome seemed about as likely as the moon suddenly turning spongy and bouncy.[…]

This is a year of anger and resentment. After Bill Clinton’s presidency, the Democrats thought that his formula of constant lying to the American people was one they could follow with impunity.

Since the media, committed to affirmative action and determined to support the election of the first black President, never held Obama to the same standard of investigation that they applied to every other candidate hitherto — let alone the savage borking that they gave to Sarah Palin — Democrats thought they were getting away with it.

But for the past year, the American people have seen a president of unbelievable arrogance and run-of-the-mill incompetence make attempt after attempt to govern from the extreme Left — after pretending to be a centrist who wanted to unite people.[…]

Even as human-caused global warming was being steadily revealed as a fraud perpetrated by politically-motivated pseudo-scientists and out-and-out politicians with an anti-American, anti-Western agenda, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is grabbing for the power to bypass Congress and destroy the American economy in the name of a phenomenon that simply is not happening, and not terribly dangerous even if it were.

More importantly, Obama obviously wanted to break his ironclad promise to win in Afghanistan — only when it became clear that even some in his own party would rebel at a premature withdrawal did he commit, halfheartedly and with his fingers crossed, to give the military the troops they needed.

And his ignorance and foolishness and arrogance in foreign relations make George W. Bush look like the clever, strong President that he actually was, once you penetrated the slanders of the Leftist media.

It comes down to the fact that every promise Obama made has been broken. His anti-recession measures have failed, as any sensible person knew they would. He is not even remotely what he pretended to be.

That matters to the voters.

Oh, not to the diehard Left. In fact, they were absolutely counting on Obama to be as big a liar as Clinton — even bigger, in fact, because after Clinton was repudiated by the election of a solidly Republican Congress in 1994 he really did move to the center.

But Obama was not elected by the extreme Left. However much the elitists of the Left (who always govern in the name of people they would be disgusted to dine with) might feel themselves entitled to rule America, they only win elections nationwide and take control of the federal government when they can fool people into thinking they are not what they are.

[…]

In many ways, [Scott Brown]’s Mitt Romney — without the crippling burden of being Mormon. [OSC is an LDS himself — F2]

[…]

Right now Republicans think that [the collapse of 0bamacare — F2] will be all to their good, but they’re wrong. Remember that the healthcare reform bill was popular at first, before anybody knew what was in it, because the American people really detest the unfairness of the present system in which money is the prime method of triage.[Don’t forget: OSC is a registered Democrat — F2]

As soon as this bill goes away — and you can be sure that the Democrats in Congress will start calling it “the Obama healthcare bill” — then the people can go back to hating the present system.

This is a dream outcome for Democrats in Congress. Democrats who seek reelection in mixed districts and states can prove they tried to enact a popular idea, but blame Obama for the fact that the bill failed. (Democrats in safe districts will, of course, claim the bill for themselves.)

If you think Democrats in Congress will be loyal to Obama, think again. They used him as their tool to coattail their way into solid control of both houses of Congress; they will happily use him as their foil to try to retain as much of that control as possible.

A humbled Obama might well be reelectable in 2012. Especially if the Republicans pull a 1964 and pick a nominee who is a “true conservative” instead of one who can be elected nationally. [F2: I agree, for some definitions of “true conservative” but not for others.]

So if Brown really is what he seems to be — if we don’t find out that he has a mistress or cheated on his taxes or took bribes (why anyone in Massachusetts would bother to bribe a Republican is beyond imagining) — and if he can actually prove himself capable, not just of putting up a solid center-right voting record in the Senate, but of working with other senators of both parties — he may very well be a shoo-in in 2016.

But don’t for a moment discount the possibility that the Republican Party might turn to him in 2012. Huckabee is unelectable — he would be a joke as a candidate; the attacks of the media on Palin have been savage, hypocritical, sexist, and unfair, but the fact remains that she is now widely perceived as an extremist.

Romney is still conceivable, but has those vulnerabilities (anti-immigrant, Mormon), but if you consider that he would almost certainly be tapped for a cabinet position, so his economic expertise would still be part of a Brown administration, it would make more sense to nominate Brown and have Romney campaign for him. (A Brown/Romney or Romney/Brown ticket would be unconstitutional — they come from the same state.)

Whatever happens, barring some disastrous revelation, Brown’s election to the U.S. Senate has changed everything in presidential politics.

Read the whole thing.

ClimateGate update: “follow the money” edition,

The latest episode in the ClimateGate soap opera:

  • ClimateGate, UK edition: “follow the money, all 4 trillion euro of it” . The figure refers to the IIGCC, which declares itself “a forum for collaboration on climate change for European investors. The group’s objective is to catalyse greater investment in a low carbon economy by bringing investors together to use their collective influence with companies, policymakers and investors. The group currently has over 50 members, including some of the largest pension funds and asset managers in Europe, and represents assets of around €4 trillion.” The Chairman of IIGCC? Peter Dunscombe, who also happens to be the BBC’s Head of Pensions Investment.
  • James Taranto: Hot enough for you?
  • Dallas, TX (!!) has all-time record snowfall of 1 foot in 24h. 200,000 people are without power. Did ManBearPig fly through DFW recently? Ironically, DFW has gone AWOL from GHCN temperature database?
  • In fact (H/t: Realwest): 49 out of 50 states report snow on the ground (the exception is of course Hawaii)
  • Earlier today we had the story that AGW skepticism has been declared “unpatriotic”. Blogging huskies surely approve.
  • Phil Jones admits climate data not well organized, says not certain medieval warm period was warmer than today. Which is progress from trying to “bury” it, I suppose…
  • Not-quite-unrelated story: Control freaks want to end blogger anonymity.
  • Henk Tennekes, former director of KNMI (the Dutch counterpart of NOAA) and member of the Royal Dutch Academy resigns in protest over ClimateGate-style monkey business. “”I don’t want to remain a member of an organization that …screws up science that badly.” Read the whole article (by Roger Pielke, Sr.) UPDATE: Tennekes’ farewell message, entitled “Hermetic Jargon”, can be read in its entirety here as well as at the Pielke link given above.
  • A history lesson: Continental drift — a cautionary tale about “scientific consensus”.
  • UPDATE: Leonard Evans, physicist and member of the National Academy of Engineering: “Has global warming got you snowed in?” Some choice quotes:

    Eventually the truth will out. When global warming finally is recognized as the world’s greatest political hoax, those discredited will not be the perpetrators.

    The perpetrators are politicians and traditional media. After the credibility bubble bursts, the same politicians and media will continue to influence what the public is told. They will effectively claim that they never misled anyone. The fall guy will be science.

    Lost in the confusion will be the distinction between science and the scientific community.

    The scientific community has largely abandoned science. It has degenerated into little more than just another lobbying group seeking advancement for its members.[…]

    The scientific community gets it right when the stakes are unimportant. It effectively opposed such anti-scientific nonsense as creationism. […] How starkly the vigorous opposition to creationism contrasts with the community’s near silence in response to the anti-scientific nonsense coming from the likes of Al Gore. Worse than silence, in all too many cases, the community has been an enthusiastic participant in an orgy of unreason. It has been an orgy lubricated by almost limitless opportunities to grab influence, physical resources and cool cash. […]

    It is easy to create the illusion of consensus when those who disagree are silenced.

    It is not known what the majority of scientists think about global warming, not that it matters all that much. Science is not about counting votes. However, I can offer an anecdotal observation.

    I am a scientist, while my wife is a professor of art history. Her colleagues generally think all scientists support Mr. Gore – after all, they have been so informed by such authoritative sources as the New York Times. My fellow doctorate-holding science colleagues generally share my conclusion: The claim that human activity has appreciably warmed our planet is the greatest political hoax ever.

    Many specific actions supported by global-warming alarmists are admirable. We ought to pollute less and transfer less wealth to Middle Eastern oil-producing tyrannies. These issues should be addressed on their merits. They have little to do with global temperature.

    To do sensible things for irrational reasons just validates irrationality. And who can tell what future horrors will be justified by irrationality?

    When the global-warming hoax eventually collapses, the victim will be science. When science suffers, we all suffer.

  • Updates to follow as they come in.

Friday night beauty: J. S. Bach, Contrapunctus XIV from The Art of Fugue, BWV1080

Below is Glenn Gould in a mesmerizing performance of the final, unfinished fugue of Bach’s The Art of Fugue. The tale, spun by his son C. P. E. Bach, that J. S. Bach died while trying to finish the fugue has been discredited by modern scholarship, but is a classic example of “se non e vero, e bene trovato” (if it ain’t true, it’s well invented).

For technical reasons, the video is split into two segments: the split is made at the point the third fugue subject (based on the letters B-A-C-H “spelled out” by the notes they stand for by their German names) is introduced.  Enjoy!

Biology prof denied tenure kills 3, wounds 3 at faculty meeting

Fox News reports:

Amy Bishop, a Harvard University-trained neuroscientist, was taken into custody, and her husband has also been detained, the newspaper reported. Neither have been charged.

Police said three people were killed and three were wounded when the shooter opened fire about 4 p.m. during a biology faculty meeting on the third floor of the Shelby Center for Science and Technology.

University spokesman Ray Garner said Friday night the three killed were Gopi K. Podila, the chairman of the Deparment of Biological Sciences, and two other faculty members, Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson.

The three injured people are being treated at Huntsville Hospital.

A hospital spokesperson confirmed that two men and one woman had been taken there for treatment, with two of those patients in critical condition.

CBS News affiliate WHNT-TV reported the suspect had been denied tenure at the university and the victims were all faculty members.

New litmus test of “patriotism”: belief in strong AGW

Remember when “dissent was the highest form of patriotism”?

As the song goes, “that was yesterday”. Today we are being told (h/t: C2) that questioning AGW (anthropogenic global warming) is “unpatriotic”.

Of course Lewis Carroll understood long ago what is really going on:

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”

Minnesotans for Global Warming, of course, are “unpatriotic”.

ClimateGate update: “Irony abounds” edition

IRONY ABOUNDS: A reader emails: “Today, Michael Mann was scheduled to give a colloquium on climate change at the University of Pennsylvania, where I am a graduate student. As you may know, Philadelphia has been hit by multiple snowstorms in the past week. Today, for what I am told is the first time since the mid-1990s, the university suspended normal operations due to snow, and his colloquium on climate change has been postponed.”

And Day By Day is, well, priceless:

UPDATE: another priceless one: BREAKING: Pennsylvania rodent does better in climate prediction than Al Gore and RFK Jr.

Pseudo-erudition and pseudo-worldliness

Yesterday’s Best of the Web has a beautiful example of the pseudo-erudition that has many of the Anointed Class feeling so smug:

Profiles Encouraged?
Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., made famous last summer by his Cambridge police kerfuffle, has a new documentary miniseries on PBS, “Faces of America.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports it’s a follow-up to an earlier series in which he traced the genealogy of prominent black Americans:

Mr. Gates expands his panel of celebrities, looking at the histories of a group of Americans with diverse backgrounds. . . .

“I call it the Noah’s Ark approach,” Dr. Gates said. . . . “So, like Noah, I wanted two Muslims, two Jews, two Asians,” he said. “Yo-Yo Ma is a friend of mine, so I thought it would be intriguing to do him. I had always admired [figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi], and I thought it would be a great way to do it, to meet her. . . . We had one person, Tony Shalhoub had said yes. He was my other Arab person, and then his shooting schedule [conflicted]. He had to cancel it. So then, I asked Mehmet Oz, and he agreed right away.”

Hold on a second! He wanted two Muslims, so he asked Tony Shalhoub? Unless we are mistaken, Shal[h]oub, who is Lebanese-American, is from a Maronite Christian family. So maybe Gates misspoke and said “two Muslims” when he meant “two Arabs”? But in that case, what’s with Mehmet Oz? His background is Muslim, but he’s Turkish-American, not Arab-American.

You’d think a scholar like Skip Gates would know that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arab.

One is tempted to quote Ronald Reagan: “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”

Oh, and BTW, “professor” is now a raaaaacist code-word. Odd. It wasn’t when 0bama’s supporters falsely claimed he was a law professor: in fact, he was just a lecturer, not a tenure-track faculty member, let alone a tenured one.