Sunday, December 31, 2006

Where's the Plot?

So that was the criticism and subsequent rejection in miss snark's latest crapfest. However, I don't agree that my novel Warm Front has no plot. It clearly does and I engineered it from page one. The premise itself under assault here from an Australian techwriter:

"Given this, I have to say a story where the public suddenly 'gets' the immensity of the problem because of a series of newspaper articles is somewhat hard to believe.

Maybe you could narrow the focus the message being delivered somewhat.[sic]"

Since some of the more colorful climate sceptic shills in the book are Aussies I'm not surprised this one doesn't get it. I called them the "Kookaburra Consortium" in Warm Front.

Alas, to no avail in snarkdom, and this sort of detail can't be explained in a quick hook very well, but then I have experience with my other nonfiction science journalism with Her Snarkiness as well so I'm getting an "environment enshmironment" view from this country girl agent. She brings a local bias (I won't say where, but I've worked there) to the table against this topic. Public perception really is skewed by propaganda from all directions, but ofttimes reality is exactly as it seems: The oil company is the villain and eco-terrorists aren't manufacturing false disasters like State of Fear. Occam's Razor invoked.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Climate Sceptic is Still Wrong

From USA Today
Depending on how warm the rest of December turns out to be, 2006 could be the second-warmest year on record. So far, it is slated to go down as the third-warmest year since 1895.
So that must mean this radical physicist is incorrect. Wow a skeptic without a clue or a valid data point. Nothing new there.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The "Debate" IS Over

Polar bear submitted for threatened status under the Endangered Species Act due to rapidly declining arctic sea ice. USFWS predicts even more future decline.

Monday, December 25, 2006

If it Quacks like a Duck...

The Gore Spoof was funded and created by DCI Media Group who also operates the wingnut site Tech Station Central TSC with the "Junk Man" Steven Milloy. Smearing and propaganda is the fare. Junk science is what they promalgate. Their own.

Sea Level Rise

While Florida won't go under in the next two weeks, as some claim fallaciously Al Gore is actually inferring, some islands are. Michael Crichton made Vanuatu a key point in State of Denial his up-is-down tome.
The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Wish

I just heard the Christian guru Rick Warren claim Hitler was an atheist, and thus, an example of what the "Godless" do. As is always the case with conservatives, facts get in the way. He wasn't. Hitler was a Christian. Only the Germans were made in God's image according to that particular conservative stance. America is about liberalism. Always has been since the founding. To this day those looking for a more liberal environment to live seek passage here. May the world become more "liberal." We've seen what conservatism brings.

The real Scaremonguers

"The ice is melting and the lower laying areas of the world are about to be innundated."

This quote is often repeated in Wingerville and illustrates how political propaganda works. The key qualifier is "about to be..." Wingnuts from FOX News and the like need this in order to devert from reality e.g. global warming is indeed happening and observable on many fronts, to a "scaremonguering liberal" screed.

"Mr. Stephanopoulos pointed out that many scientists are debating some of the things Mr. Gore says are about to happen because of global warming. Then, Mr. Gore did an immediate about face and admitted that scientists "don't know... They just don't know."

"It turns out that the real experts -- folks who’ve spent their lives studying glaciers, and temperatures and storms -- are a lot less sure about what’s going to happen."

They're in fact fairly certain what will happen if nothing is done to curb CO2 emissions. And they're certain what's happening now and what and who is responsible. Crtics just don't want to believe it for self-interested reasoning and business dogmative beliefs. One doesn't need absolute certainty, which is never attained in science in any event, "to know which way the wind blows."

When you don't have the facts, well, divert attention and personal attacks are the only course left. Republicans do this well. But the days of wine and roses are over for James Imhofe and his flat earth ilk. They will have a hangover for some time to come. Reality's a bitch and Al Gore didn't invent it.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Going going...

Scientists say such repercussions would multiply across a world where human settlements have come to depend on steady runoffs from healthy glaciers -- in Peru and Bolivia, India and China. And it would extend beyond that, they say, to coastal settlements everywhere, as oceans rise from heat expansion and the melting of land ice.

The October journal report, by European and North American glaciologists, estimates that glacier melt contributed up to one-third of the 1-to-2-inch rise in global sea levels in the past decade. And that contribution is accelerating. Since 2001, they report, dying glaciers apparently have doubled their runoff into the world's rising seas.

Source: Associated Press

Friday, December 22, 2006

Global Warming for Dummies

Start here. Wingnut sites claiming local cooling anomalies cherrypicked to refute the pronounced rise in global mean temps in the last century are demonstrably false. It's not comparing Florida to Denver today that is meaningful beyond temporary comfort. It is overall rise in temps that indicate the warming world. Losing glaciers all over the world and the Arctic icepack back this up. Al Gore didn't invent this. Likewise, lack of hurricanes this year and the opposite last are equally less significant. Only those entrapped in the either/or fallacy spin bowl ride think so. Of course these people refute NASA because under Bush they're biased toward global warming belief! Like that test holds up.

And the always pertinent "Hockey Stick" now denialists claim is flawed. It isn't. It's only better.

This Seattle Times piece is particularly good.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Blog Mob

I penned this two years or so ago but it's never been more relevant. I agree with this Wall Street Journal editor in this piece.
This cross-referential and interactive arrangement, in theory, should allow for some resolution to divisive issues, with the market sorting out the vagaries of individual analysis. Not in practice. The Internet is very good at connecting and isolating people who are in agreement, not so good at engaging those who aren't. The petty interpolitical feuding mainly points out that someone is a liar or an idiot or both.
All one need do to test this assertion is show up on an opposing political blog and post a point counter to the group view. Target practice will ensue. Outsiders will be shot on sight and banned. Sure they'll call it incivility to justify it but this is a smokescreen. Once the posts are erased no will will know what was said and the corpse will continue to be burned in effigy by the partisan blog triumphalists and the arrogant blog owners. This method is as old as the Republic and then some. Only the technology has changed.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Go Ahead. Make My Day

The latest on Bush biological science obsfucator Julie Macdonald at Interior.

It's an American Genocide!

This is what folks on the deluded far-left believe was done to the American Indian. But that ignores the fact that the tribes are still here. How could that be under such an assumption?
But we need much more where this came from. [comparison to Native Americans] The lack of this is, I think, what has caused so much ill-will towards us among Iraqis. Only when they hear the United States constantly comparing them to Native Americans will they understand how truly glorious the future we have planned for them is.
From the dazed and confused files of Patrick Nielsen-Hayden. And yes the last name amalgam comes from her.

Perhaps if they'd spent less time ridiculing my ancestry they'd know about Natanis and Sabatis Reuben Colburn's Abenaki scouts fighting on the American side. Yeah that spoils the propaganda fallacy. This is exactly what Woolsey was talking about in his Vanity Fair article. Talk about dim bulbs. It was the 6th Cavalry in Arizona not the 7th but that doesn't interfere with the comparison in this case.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Differently-Abled

I'll say. I've been having a political discussion with Teresa Nielsen-Hayden of Tom Doherty & Associates publishing company, a sci-fi and "historical novels rejected by big houses" house, who is a big war critic. So am I, but that makes no difference to this partisan crowd. According to her "I'm a liar" for not wanting to string up Rumsfeld to the nearest tree. And for calling myself a Liberal Democrat. Blasphemer!Hang em high or get out of MY town pardner. Very well, but don't blame it on my perceived bad behavior for disagreeing with this hard-left stance.
You get thrown off both for the same reason: inappropriate and offensive behavior. You can take it as fact or you can ignore the fact, but it'll still be a fact all the same.
"Offensive" to extreme views is anything anti-confirmational to the group view.

This is easy for her or anyone to say once the evidence has been erased as they always do. Once that happens anyone can be accused of anything. Once accused one must be guilty of cussing or incivility for which the bar has been lowered selectively lower for those of a different opinion than the "community." My initial comment her was I thought hanging Rummy was a legal non-starter. Sci-fi lawyer on retainer Charlie Petit had explain why to the lynch mob at Making Light. They didn't buy it. Partisans never do. It's easier to lynch the messenger. Predicted. Confirmed. Scientific. The problem with forums is written posts critical to ideas bring ridicule. Arguing one's views with passion always comes off as anger, since challenge to fastheld positions must be the work of Evil, lest one actually examine then.

From my inbox which she entered first:

"Very well, then; since you have once again failed to grasp that you were thrown out for your bad manners, not for your political views, I'll oblige you: You're stupid. Fleabrained. A dullard. Devoid of wit. Thick as two short planks. Dim-witted. Not the sharpest hammer in the bag. A complete dunce." Teresa Nielen-Hayden

Yes this is very erudite. And "civil."

But it's not just me in TNH's gunsights. From the archives commenting on Lewis Perdue losing his publisher, the very same TOR. That's the sort of empathy I lack apparently. Good thing because "kick them when they're down" isn't in my ethics bag.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Colburn House State Historic Site

What the State of Maine says about our ancestral home.

Description: No, George Washington never slept here but he knew the owner. Two other people who figured prominently in the American Revolution did sleep in this house - Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr. Built in 1765, this colonial Federal-style house was home to several generations of the prominent Colburn family.

In September 1775, Colonel Benedict Arnold led an expedition of more than 1,000 colonial soldiers up the Kennebec River to attack the British stronghold of Quebec City. The men came to the Kennebec from Massachusetts on board eleven ships which
disembarked here at the home of Reuben Colburn, a member of the Maine Committee of Safety.

Colburn had help spawn the idea of attacking British Quebec by way of the Maine wilderness and had supplied critical information to General Washington. On Arnold's arrival, Colburn had 200 wooden boats called bateaux waiting and the expedition used
them to carry its provisions and military stores upstream toward Canada. This house was Arnold's headquarters and the launching point for his famous expedition against Quebec.

Colburn had also assembled a crew and built the boats within two weeks of General Washington's request to do so, but without enough seasoned lumber for the sizable task, the builders had to use green wood which was more prone to fail in the water.Twenty of these craftsmen, including Colburn himself, then accompanied the expedition to Canada, carrying supplies and repairing the boats as they traveled.

Location: Located along the Kennebec River in Pittston, Maine, just south of Gardiner on Route 27.

Operation Dates: Open weekends in July and August.

Telephone: Historic Site Specialist
Bureau of Parks and Lands
22 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0022 | Home | Department of Conservation | Site Policies
Information Resource of Maine Copyright © 2004 All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Family History

As anyone who's looked around here for more than a minute knows I'm the desendant of Major Reuben Colburn, the American patriot and shipbuilder for Benedict Arnold's march to Quebec in 1775. He's my grandfather seven generations back. I qualify this beacuse web idiots have actually written this isn't possible, so I have to spell it out for the slow learners. My previous post required a visit in the hive, where believe me there is no light so they must be behind Making it.

They want to sue Rumsfeld for Iraq which is ludicrous on its face and lawyer C.E. Petit said as much. We got into a tiff and again I was disemvoweled. I even invited it as to make the truth harder to see. Neilsen-Hayden was glad to oblige. Had I said Rumsfeld should be shot at dawn like Alexander Hamilton, from former family guest Aaron Burr, they would have fawned all over me, but I was testing the far left partisans. They pretty much mirror wingnutosphere in tactics. Stray from the script and they pounce on the intruder. Been there, done that.

Nielsen-Hayden trotted out her Mayflower roots which if true, as I said before firms up my thesis that disemvoweling is a modernized Puritan stock treatment. It is, clearly. That said, she did bit of research into the family and posted it as an ad hominem. She missed the boat of course. All she could say in clonclusion was of course the same stereotype novices have always said about Colburn:
"I don't actually think that Reuben Colburn was a would-be war profiteer who was too incompetent to collect on his defense contract; but you know, you could make a case for it. In any event, this unmistakable bit player is the great and mighty ancestor who's supposed to give Mark York more say in the argument than the rest of us. It's a risible argument no matter who you're descended from; but I sure wouldn't try it if Major Reuben Colburn were all I had to work with."
That's the case many made, unjustly so. Willard Sterne Randall for one. Both Thomas Desjardin and James L. Nelson cited my work and Desjardin claimed lack of dried lumber in September for shipbuilders was common knowledge. He got it from me, but it refutes her slam that I cited no source for it, so I'll defer to the Ph.D on this one but it's a matter of knowing the woods business and New England in general. Particularly in 1775. Lumber takes all spring and summer to dry in the sheds.
The idea that Colburn had no significant "dried stores of lumber" is something I have been aware of since childhood and not a new or original idea. The term "Colburntown" may not be common knowledge in California, but among local historians here in Maine it is quite well known.
This serves me well on this point, but I was first writer to record or fix this theory to a medium. One can't prove an idea in one's head as Desjardin tried here though.

She even tried in a feeble attempt to discredit me, claiming the house isn't even called Colburn House, but the Arnold Expedition HQ. Try to hold two thoughts at once, a tall order at Making Darkness.

They went on to run a review of anti-Bush bumper stickers. That's about their speed. Sling manure while others duck.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Wild Relativism

Imagine if the prisoners in Dachau had been able to bring a suit against Heinrich Himmler and actually bring him to court. How terrible it would have been had he been distracted from his duties.

Says sci-fi author James D. Macdonald whose views must a real showstopper in Colebrook, New Hampshire. My god what a false analogy fallacy. It's like comparing the Cub Scouts to the SS. How about those Republican Guard tactics from the first Gulf War? Those were "nice guys" in this political netherworld I suppose.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Warm Front

Monday, December 04, 2006

Supreme Heat

Chief Justice John Roberts—whose distaste for the baby penguins, the polar ice caps, and anything else sought by the state of Massachusetts today knows no bounds—characterizes the scientific reports in this case as "spinning out conjecture on conjecture" about how EPA regulations might lead to technological changes and regulations by other countries.

Milkey responds that the states have standing to sue because they are "losing 200 miles of coastline" to rising seas. There's personal injury for you. Justice Sam Alito inquires how directly the regulations sought will decrease that imminent threat. Talk about weird science. He wants to draw a straight line between regulating the Chevy Suburban* and the reclaiming of the California coastline.

And there you have it. Linear thinking Chief Justice #2 in a row. Like that was in doubt.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Downstream In Nepal

It's real.
Anecdotal observations are backed by scientists who are recording in Nepal some of the fastest long-term increases in temperatures and rainfall anywhere in the world. At least 44 of Nepal's and neighbouring Bhutan's Himalayan lakes, which collect glacier meltwater, are said by the UN to be growing so rapidly they they could burst their banks within a decade. Any climate change in Nepal is reflected throughout the region. Nearly 400 million people in northern India and Bangladesh also depend on rainfall and rivers that rise there.

Saving NH Fish & Game

Living "free or die" doesn't always pay the bills. I worked for the department in Concord back in 1987 when John Sununu tried to upset the apple cart. Since I was temporary help it had no effect on me, but it made for entertaining meetings.
What can N.H. Fish and Game do to get on firm financial footing? As a stopgap measure, we've asked Governor Lynch to put $1.6 million per year of General Fund revenue into the Fish and Game budget in FY2008 and 2009. Without these funds as a temporary fix, we will have to lay off as many as 28 full-time workers and eliminate 36 part-time positions, as well as closing hatcheries and regional offices, dramatically reducing our ability to serve New Hampshire.
They're good dedicated people, but secondary in priority just like the animals they manage. This is an example of yet another conservative approach that doesn't work. Gee, it's getting crowded in that department.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Since I have a stalker here's the deal with this sort of thing.

B. Is there a crime of stalking/cyberstalking?
California Penal Code § 646.9 - Stalking
- 8 Part Test -

As you can see below the crime of stalking requires a complex 8 part test. Notice that there MUST be a threat made for the crime of stalking to occur.

1) Is there evidence of a pattern of willful and malicious conduct on behalf of the defendant, evidencing a continuity of purpose, the intent of which was to follow, harass, seriously alarm, annoy, torment, or terrorize the plaintiff? AND

2) Is there evidence that the plaintiff was knowingly, specifically and personally chosen as the target of the defendant's malicious conduct? AND

3) Is there evidence that the defendant's actions seriously alarmed, annoyed, tormented, or terrorized the plaintiff?

4) Is there evidence that the harasser's actions were repeated? AND

5) Is there evidence that the defendant knowingly and willfully made at least one credible threat with intent to place the plaintiff in reasonable fear for their safety, and with the apparent ability to carry out the threat? AND

6) Is there evidence that the harasser's actions were such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress? AND

7) Is there evidence that the defendant's actions caused the plaintiff to actually suffer substantial emotional distress, i.e., highly unpleasant mental suffering or anguish from socially unacceptable conduct, which entailed such intense, enduring and nontrivial emotional distress that no reasonable person in a civilized society should be expected to endure it? AND

8) Is there evidence that the defendant's actions had no legitimate purpose?

It's possible. There's been repeated harassment, review at Amazon; and impersonation at other blogs. He's on his way into trouble. The last post is an implied threat.

"Step into my parlor," said the spider to the fly.
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