Thursday, December 29, 2005

Cry for the People

And what's left of the forests after the profits are made and gone. The taxpayers paying for the clean up not the sawmill owners who harvested and ran. My comment wasn't published by the OpinionjournalThey have one voice only like all wingnut blogs.

It's really death of a forest a priori. That's why he ran out of logs. The government's own forest ecologists don't agree with either the cause's Petersen cites , or the conclusion. Businesses operate until the base dries up. I walked these forests as a biologist for years and nowhere is more hammered than northwest Montana. The Yaak valley hillsides look like a dog with manage. In Libby the whole town is superfund site including the once fish-bearing Libby Creek. Not anymore thanks to years of creosote polution from a defunct plywood mill. The mill closed because as in Oregon, not enough trees of that girth were left. They simply no longer exist. They got all of them. Clearcutting old growth and replanting on species that are never thinned because the trees are too small to be profitable creates an overgrown condition susceptible to insect infestations and wildfires. The logging caused it and the mitigation failed.

It's a vicious cycle. These "cry me a river" ad populums may play well in Peoria, but in the mountains of Montana all that's left is the legacy of overharvesting, out-of-business industry and the devastated watersheds they created for profit. And now the taxpayer pays for their profits and the cleanup. Isn't that a familiar theme these days.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Global Warming Primer

Measurements of the amount of greenhouse gases in these bubbles show that the "pre-industrial" amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was about 280 parts per million (ppm), almost 100 ppm below todays value. The figure below show results of CO2 measurements of air trapped in ice cores taken at the Law Dome site in Antarctica, along with present day measurements at the CMDL Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. CO2 amounts have increased about 35% in the last 200 years.

Moreover, there is simply no skeptic papers that disagree with the scientific consensus as the now famous study by Naomi Orsekes illustrates.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Same Tune Different Century

"Same old season, same old crime, we haven't changed since ancient times." Iron Will Dire Straits

Blind to the End

The time-scale is our conceptual problem. Tectonic events happen on a scale of hundreds to millions of years. Most humans find it hard to think beyond the life spans of their grandchildren. There is a psychological fault line between the human and the natural calibration of the world. Incomprehension fosters a kind of rose-tinted amnesia. If anything, the comparative comfort of modern (at least Western) life makes disasters the more unthinkable. We don't want to know.

Richard Fortey ,the senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, is the author of "Earth: An Intimate History."

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Joy to the World

Well, I lost one of my eye teeth during dinner last night and this morning learned I'm not the youngest Eagle Scout ever in a critique over at Marc Cooper's blog. But neither is L. Ron Hubbard. It looks like a couple of 12-year-olds passed us at 13 in recent years, but the organization, BSA, doesn't keep track of that statistic anyway.

Ho ho ho.

Update: Fellow Eagle Scout Donald H. Rumsfeld was 17 when became an Eagle in 1949 . I beat him by four years. Take that rummy.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Actual Language

On the evening of Sept. 12, 2001, the White House proposed that Congress authorize the use of military force to "deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States." Believing the scope of this language was too broad and ill defined, Congress chose instead, on Sept. 14, to authorize "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons [the president] determines planned, authorized, committed or aided" the attacks of Sept. 11. With this language, Congress denied the president the more expansive authority he sought and insisted that his authority be used specifically against Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

Tom Daschle

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

No Clinton Didn't Do It

This wingerville myth is flat-out false. The problm with these other views from the right is they're false. So is the lifeboat of ANWR drilling which is getting perilously close to fillibusterland.

Update: ANWR fails 56-44.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Slip-sliding Away

And heading downhill fast.
The F.B.I. had previously turned over a small number of documents on antiwar groups, showing the agency's interest in investigating possible anarchist or violent links in connection with antiwar protests and demonstrations in advance of the 2004 political conventions. And earlier this month, the A.C.L.U.'s Colorado chapter released similar documents involving, among other things, people protesting logging practices at a lumber industry gathering in 2002.

From the ever-present Eric Lichtblau.

News Timing

So according to the LA Times the NY Times withheld the NSA story until after the election. Yeah that's helpful to Bush as usual. No doubt they were afraid of the timing as with Arnold's exploits. But the timing screwed them anyway since this book by Risen and Lichtblau is now cited by wingnuts as the sole reason for holding the story when in fact it is an irrelevant conclusion. Since the reporters would have scooped the paper why wait? Sure, but the real reason they waited was fear of Bush and the preception of sandbagging him. They should have reported it and let W handle it in the three debates he lost.


John Dean says it is.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Appeal to Authority

Bertrand Russell tells us via RealClimate:
There are matters about which those who have investigated them are agreed. There are other matters about which experts are not agreed. Even when experts all agree, they may well be mistaken. .... Nevertheless, the opinion of experts, when it is unanimous, must be accepted by non-experts as more likely to be right than the opposite opinion. The scepticism that I advocate amounts only to this: (1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) that when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a postive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgment.

The problem with wingers is they contrive false experts who are outside the fields they criticize from a point of ideology. And this is why conservatives hate experts and call them elite and the like. Listen to Russell on this one.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Unprecedented Power

In the hands of one of the most ill-prepared presidents ever. And the logic Bush has used runs counter to precedent: stare decisis. Hey, it's just a piece of paper. I'm a Bush! We don't need no stinkin paper.

The 4th Amendment protects Americans from "unreasonable searches and seizures" by the government, said then-Justice Lewis F. Powell, a Nixon appointee, delivering the court's ruling, and such freedoms "cannot be properly guaranteed if domestic security surveillances are conducted solely within the discretion of the executive branch."


Josh Marshall doesn't get this social security article and neither do I. Portability? SSI has it. What's the problem?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Saving Africa

Paul Theroux really lambastes Western efforts in Africa. Bono, Pitt, Jolie et al in particular. Marauding despots and corrupt bungling and theft of western aid hamper progress and environmental degradation is all that's left. Educated natives leave to work in the West. Cut them off and make them work at home sounds right to me.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

All the Spinners Spin

Carl Zimmer calls it Quote mining, and it's your typical out of context tactic wingers use as a staple for their fallacious arguments. The president used it for Iraq and now has tried belatedly to fess up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Trade Deficit

It's the highest ever according to CBS News. Make nothing, import everything cheap from China. That's the new US motto. It's a recipe for failure.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Get the Quakers

Yeah this will fix things .

Friday, December 09, 2005

Out to Lunch POTUS

FINEMAN: There are some members around him. He‘s not talking to them. He‘s not calling them. He‘s not talking to them. He doesn‘t answer any of their letters.

One of the reasons Murtha is so angry is that he wrote letters to the president saying, answer a few questions for me. Never heard back from the president. This is like the leading Democratic expert on defense policy in the House. Never heard back from him. And that‘s just a small example of the sort of attitude of contempt that the White House has had for the Hill. And that‘s going to have an effect eventually.

From Hardball. Arrogance from a president, or King, has never been in greater abundance.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Home For the Holidays

Leaving on a jet plane.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Christmas Past and Present

From the Joe Scarborough Show:

HITCHENS: I came here to talk, not to listen to you. You invited me on for my opinions, not to listen to yours.


SCARBOROUGH: OK. Well, you know what, Christopher? I will never make that mistake again.

HITCHENS: Fair enough.

The deal with Christmas is it's a melding of two cultural traditions although I'm not sure how this happened so I'll have to regroup on that one, but it still is nonetheless: A Danish folk story, and the birth of Christ, mythical king of the Jews. It's admittedly an odd combo but that's America for you. We take from everywhere.

The founders were deists save for John Adams, so the idea that the US is founded by Christians is a false proposition. They simply didn't want persecution for belief as they had seen in Europe. But as Rhode Islanders could attest, had quite a history in Massachusetts. I like to think that's why Mass is liberal today, because they were so hardline Puritan conservative back then. The arguments for religion in the public square are straw men. We have freedom to worship wherever and whatever we want which was the idea. Those religions can't co-opt the country because of this freedom.

When one sees a Christmas tree think celebration of life and gifts, of which we have many and are staples of life on Earth. That's good enough for me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Bush is the Worst

Say some fifty historians and as Richard Reeves acknowledges it takes quite a bit to beat James Buchanan. He hasn't ignored slavery but he's created an environment hostile to progress on all fronts. This, after the great shape he was left with is inexcusable.

Kill That Data

Keeping in the same vein as the lying liars and the lies they tell meme, here is Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho eliminating the fish passage center on the Columbia River. I mean data that supports the "iffy" proposal that juvenile fish need water to escape turbines has to be squelched. This is "advocacy in science" he says. Yeah and it's on his end where it always is. This sort of blatant propaganda by Republicans has to be curbed somehow. Meanwhile the public will pay for artificial fish (a whole separate issue) to be ground into a fine pink mist. Larry, go piss up a post. I call that spring rain.

Slime Machine

"What, ascertain the facts and possibly ruin a perfectly editorial? Mr. Murphy is clearly unaware of how they do things on the editorial pages of the Wall St. Journal, which won't even employ a liberal columnist for fear that he or she might gum up the works of their well-oiled slime machine."

This concerns NRO's Rich Lowry on printing lies about James Fallows Iraq piece in the AT. Naturally they don't like the negative findings. This is why right wingnuts rely on a web of lies, innuendo and rumors to spin their skeptical of the truth rosy tales of democracy. Only one problem: they're false as usual.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

All the News

That's fit to make up? Isn't that the Wingerville way?
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