Liberals Blame the Victim. Again.

Already, I am hearing the expected nonsense from the pro-anthropogenic global warming believers out there. It seems that Alabama’s Governor is an outspoken critic of Obama’s reckless, self-destructive energy policy and of Cap and Trade legislation. So naturally, the first reaction from the liberal elite in the environmental movement is to look for an excuse to attack him at any cost, no matter how tasteless and vile.

Following a historic tornado outbreak that claimed more than 200 lives in Alabama alone…an event best characterized by how utterly anomalous it was (the very definition of WEATHER…not climate)…the environmental movement thinks it’s reasonable to literally blame the state’s governor. The “logic” goes: Global Warming causes more moisture and instability and leads to worse severe weather outbreaks, Global Warming is happening and that debate is over, You hicks in Alabama are in our way trying to pass draconian laws that will dominate the energy economy by government fiat in an attempt to stop Global Warming, therefore, you deserve the misery you’re getting now. It’s YOUR FAULT that 200 of your people died and damage in the tens of millions was incurred.

Firstly…people who actually understand the weather are able to recognize that anomalous individual weather events are not things whose trends can be reliably predicted with current scientific knowledge because the more anomalous an event, the fewer of them there are for us to study in the limited time of our record keeping and the more uncertain become the mechanisms that lead to them from a climate perspective. It’s unclear, for example, whether a warming planet would necessarily lead to more subtropical rainfall…many climate simulations suggest less rainfall in Alabama, not more. If there’s less rain because the storm track is further north, then there will be less severe convection as well. But even if you assume the more rain part of their theory, jsut because there is more convection, does not mean it is more likely to be severe. In fact, an actual meteorologist will tell you that seasons with copious lightning frequently are anti-correlated with tornado counts…tornado outbreaks tend to do better when the atmospheric instability can be saved for a time…bottled up and prepared for explosive release. If you release the convection more easily (more moist boundary layer, more upper level humidity, steeper lapse rates in the middle and upper atmosphere as per global warming theory)…you’ll probably get more squall lines and big clusters of thunderstorms and less individual energetic dynamic supercells…the kinds of storms that most commonly produce deadly tornadoes.

Those are just two of the many degrees of freedom in the calculation of how much tornado threat change there will be assuming a warming planet (another degree of freedom, BTW…the warming assumption)…there are many others. But even granting that they’re are 100% right on the science linking intense convection with global warming…you still cannot blame global warming for this one event…because the globe has not warmed enough yet to actually cause a big change in tornado rates and severe tornado rates. The rises in tornado reports we’ve seen have largely been linked to the heavier population of storm spotters making those reports. Even if you think this kind of thing will happen more often in the future…the future IS NOT HERE YET.

And above all else…it’s downright EVIL to look at this kind of suffering and see only hatred for the people afflicted and an opportunity to press your agenda. That’s the kind of absolutism and one-mindedness I’m dealing with in the climate science arena. But this is nothign new. Charlatans and power-hungry opportunists have, for ages, blamed the victims of weather disasters for causing them in an attempt to gain political power. THey call this sort of thing “weather cooking”…and it was responsible for witch burnings in the thousands and stories of demonic possessions galore…usually centered around class warfare conflicts or power struggles between rival political factions. Today’s demons and witches are the unbelievers in the need for vast economic reforms that produce global government under socialist (or at least very progressive) rules that favor the few over the many and claim to do the reverse.

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LOL!

The friend of mine who was side-swiped by the Birmingham tornado had this to say the moment he finally got back online:

“Up yours, tornado! [My wife] wanted a new kitchen anyway.”

I honestly expected nothing less from him. After all, he’s the guy who runs around Dragon*Con spraying people with questionable colognes and thinks the short-lived Manimal was brilliant television.

Hailpocalypse 2: Tornado Boogaloo – Final Day

It’s 1974 Redux out there, folks.

In case you happen to live under a rock and are therefore unaware, the storm system that is currently taking aim at the East Coast spawned these monsters yesterday:

If anything exciting/scary happens in my neck of the woods, this post will be updated.

ETA @ 12:30 PM:

Well, it looks like eastern Prince William County was largely spared this morning. I know I should be glad that we didn’t get any damaging winds or tornados (at least, not today), but a part of me is still grumbling, “Stupid Mt. Weather! I wanted to see a funnel cloud to make up for the ones I missed yesterday while I was in my cone of silence at work!” My brother’s a budding meteorologist, so that makes me just a tiny bit insane.

ETA @ 12:40:

Here’s a local news story on the storms that narrowly missed me last night:

UPDATED: Quantico sees tornado, another possible twister hits Bristow

ETA @ 1:10:

Oh, crap. One of my friends lives here:

Fultondale (AL) city center hard hit by storm damage, city officials report

His relatives report that his wife, his daughter, and he are all okay, however, so that’s a relief.

ETA @ 1:40:

Apparently, my friend lost his kitchen and his barn. But at least he’s alive. O_o

My Workplace Needs a Weather Radio

It’s definitely not a good thing not to know about a tornado warning until your students tell you after the fact — especially not when the storm in question actually did produce a confirmed tornado just to your south. Eeeep!

ETA @ 11:00 PM: There’s a radar-indicated tornado passing through my county right at this moment. Fortunately, it is passing to my west, but I’m close enough to see the light show:

//www.youtube.com/get_player

Cross Post: Themes of Liberty in Star Trek

Ilya Somin, an associate professor at the George Mason School of Law and a blogger at the libertarian-leaning Volokh Conspiracy, speaks on the contradiction between the political structure and the economic system of the Federation:

Themes of Liberty in Star Trek

That bit at the end in which he makes the tongue-in-cheek proposition that the humans force the other races to pay tribute to Earth in order to maintain Earth’s socialistic paradise is especially amusing. Oh, and as you might expect, DS9 is praised for being more nuanced.

Whence Comes Dignity?

The shallow thinking that dominates the left’s political discourse never ceases to annoy me.

When Michigan state senator Bruce Caswell proposed recently that the use of an annual $80 state clothing voucher be restricted to purchasing clothing in second-hand shops (a proposal he has since significantly amended), leftists on my friends list and elsewhere went absolutely ballistic. “Caswell is a Rethuglican asswipe who hates poor kids!” howled the typical response.

Perhaps. Or perhaps Caswell simply wanted to ensure that poor children in Michigan actually get the clothing they need. At the moment, the aforementioned voucher is given directly to the parents (or foster parents) in the form of cash. That means the Michigan government cannot at this time guarantee that the $80 vouchers they dispense will really be used to buy clothing. For all we know, some parents may be using the little extra money to see to their own desires.

Moreover, $80 is not a lot if you’re buying new. Even if you shop at Wal-Mart, $80 will net you roughly five pairs of pants and five tops. Forget about underwear. Forget about socks and shoes. Forget about a coat, which every child needs if he or she is going to survive the Michigan winter. If you shop second-hand, however, you’re likely to get at least a little more bang for your state-provided buck. Granted, no matter where you go, $80 is not enough to buy clothes for a whole year (fortunately, these parents get additional cash support elsewhere), but if there’s a way that this voucher can be stretched to its absolute limit, shouldn’t we encourage such stretching? Isn’t it better to provide poor kids with more clothing?

If you answered yes to both of those questions, then you have a proper understanding of government’s responsibilities in re: the disadvantaged. Most people – including most conservatives – don’t object to the idea of a basic social safety net. But BASIC is the key word. Government should ensure that poor individuals get adequate preventative health care, nutrition, shelter, and clothing — the fundamental necessities of life. It is not the business of government to see to people’s wants. It sure would be nice if every little Johnny could get a pair of cool Nike sneakers or a whole new wardrobe every year, but neither of those things qualifies as a basic need.

Has that stopped leftists from declaring that any insistence upon frugality is an attack on the dignity of the poor? No. Apparently, these lefties still live by the middle school code. Do they realize how ridiculous they sound? Dignity does not come from the clothes you wear or the things you own. It’s a spiritual quality, and as such, it is not something that can be granted by any governmental body.

Modern-Day Pharisees

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector…” – Luke 18: 9-11

Last week, CNN anchor T.J. Holmes caught the attention of the blogosphere when, in honor of Earth Day, he publicly confessed that he drives a gas-guzzling Chevy Tahoe just because he can, drinks bottled water without recycling the bottles, and uses old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs. “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!” he cried, beating his penitent chest. Okay, no — that last part didn’t actually happen. But the quasi-religious nature of Holmes’ statements prompted Ed Morrissey to snark:

Er … say five Rachel Carsons and sing three Bob Dylan songs, my fellow planetary traveler, and go thee out and sin no more.

Meanwhile, Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, is once again begging for higher taxes. He and his (also wealthy) allies, who call themselves the “Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength,” have even written up a petition asking the government to repeal the Bush tax cuts. How special.

What do these two gestures have in common? They are both textbook examples of the political theater put on by our modern-day Pharisees.

As noted in the verses from Luke that I quoted above (and as noted elsewhere in the New Testament), the Pharisees in Jesus’ day were the ultimate attention-whores. They ostentatiously displayed their righteousness by praying where everyone could see them, “sounding their trumpets” whenever they gave alms, and “disfiguring their faces” whenever they were fasting. On the other hand, Jesus counseled his followers to pray, give alms, and fast in secret so as to draw the attention of the Heavenly Father only:

“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6: 3-4

These days, I have noticed a consistent pattern among leftists: They love to talk the talk, but they frequently behave as if mere talking gives them carte blanche to be assholes. One example: A few years ago, Amy Alkon, an advice columnist who describes herself as fiscally conservative and socially libertarian, made the mistake of noting the blindingly obvious fact that single-parenthood is destroying the black community. For her Thoughtcrime, representatives of the “tolerant” and progessive left filled her blog with trollish comments claiming that Alkon was secretly a transexual.

A second example: While I was away this past week, a leftist at Wonkette decided it would be HIGH-larious to make fun of little Trig Palin on his birthday. Fortunately, enough people found this attack on a disabled toddler so disgusting that Wonkette eventually lost the backing of several of its advertisers. Score!

A third example (this time from my personal experience): Back in 2009, a meme in which the participants admitted their unconscious racism and their “privilege” spread like wildfire throughout Live Journal. Over and over again, I saw leftist individuals publicly flagellate themselves for the sin of being white. Why did this suddenly become all the rage? Simple: These Live Journalers needed a license to bully. You may think that’s harsh, but consider what happened when science fiction author and avowed Democrat Elizabeth Moon put down her customary carafe of liberal Kool-Aid and challenged the hard-left orthodoxy on immigration and Islam. Instantly, Moon – who frequently irritates me with her uncritical regurgitation of the usual leftwing talking points on a host of other issues – was mauled by the anti-ist hounds. She was disinvited from a feminist science fiction convention, and many threatened to boycott her books.

It’s not for nothing that Thomas Sowell once declared leftist politics the “politics of self-congratulation.” As many other bloggers have pointed out, Warren Buffett is certainly free to write out a check to the U.S. Treasury. Nobody’s stopping him. But Buffett is a modern-day Pharisee. He knows that making a quiet donation to the government is not going to bring him half as much attention as a dewy-eyed declaration – in front of the news cameras, of course – that he wishes to be taxed more. Leftism, you see, is all about kicking up a lot of sound and fury to demonstrate to the watching world how oh-so-compassionate you are — sound and fury that ultimately signifies nothing.

Monster Hunter International Is Going on My Wish List…

… because this post is absolutely hilarious:

Happy Tax Day!
by Larry Correia

The government almost shut down last week over cutting 38 billion dollars… That may sound like a lot, but comparatively speaking, that’s like a 600 pound man who’s heart is about to explode congratulating himself that he got a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger… for his fifty-seventh meal of the day. Republicans backed off because they didn’t think they could win the PR battle. Let’s see… the Democrats were willing to not pay soldiers, currently fighting three wars, in order to ensure funding for abortion clinics… And you didn’t think you could win that PR fight? Seriously? Have you ever thought about maybe hiring a marketing major? I know a guy…

…Every time there is a discussion about cutting some government program, people line up to whine about how that cut is going to hurt somebody. Then you get the sob stories… So we never cut anything. Guess what? They’re not called Budget Pillows or Budget Tickles. They’re Budget CUTS. Cuts are supposed to HURT.

I had a discussion the other day with some relatively intelligent folks about Social Security. The idea of cutting benefits or moving the retirement age shocks them. “How unfair! But I’ve paid into this my whole life!”

Yep. You sure did. You got lied to and screwed over by evil political opportunists. Deal with it. I’m just shy of 40. I know that I’m not ever going to see a dime of any of the money I paid into Social Security. FDR’s pet program was garbage when the average old person died a couple of years after retirement and the ratio of workers to retirees was 40 to 1. How in the hell is it supposed to work when retirees are expected to live for TWENTY YEARS and there’s only a handful of people paying in for every one getting a check?

It doesn’t work. No matter how hard you wish, no matter how hard you hope, no matter how much compassion you can fit in your stupid compassionate heart, no matter how much you happen to like some program that helps somebody do something wonderful… math never lies and interest never sleeps. Caring don’t pay the bills.

Exactly.