I recognize that this is a long piece, but I urge you to read through it in its entirety. The further down the post you go, the more terrified you’ll be for the state of climate science and public policy in general in re: publicly funded scientific research.
Not only do we need welders, but we also need plumbers, carpenters, chefs, etc. Yet we’re encouraging our kids to obtain useless degrees in sociology and womyn’s studies. How screwed up is that?
I will always love your blunt honesty, Governor Christie.
The Gospel According to Peanuts
How A Charlie Brown Christmas almost didn’t happen
by Lee Habeeb @ the National Review
As far back as 1965 — just a few years before Time magazine asked “Is God Dead?” — CBS executives thought a Bible reading might turn off a nation populated with Christians. And during a Christmas special, no less! Ah, the perils of living on an island in the northeast called Manhattan.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is equaled only perhaps by the 1966 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in its popularity among young and old alike. Thank God the Grinch-like executives at CBS chose to air the special back in 1965 despite their misgivings. If it had been left to their gut instincts, we would have had one less national treasure to cherish come Christmas time.
So A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! are the two most popular Christmas specials, eh? Gee, I wonder why that is! Could it be that we Americans still enjoy wholesome entertainment that, oh yes, reminds us of the true reason for the season?
By the way, if you happen to live in the DC area – and are one of those individuals for whom department store ditties like “Santa Baby” inspire an urge to stab the nearest person in the eye with whatever’s handy – I recommend tuning your car radio to 91.9 FM. That (Christian) station actually plays Jesus music during the holidays. You know, songs like “Silent Night,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and so on. I guarantee you’ll find the selection on that particular channel a welcome antidote to all the crap you hear while doing your Christmas shopping.
Officials said two armed suspects wearing bandannas entered and attempted to rob the store. The sole customer in the restaurant, a licensed concealed handgun carrier, observed the suspects enter, pulled out his own gun, took cover and fired at the robbers.
Officials said the suspects returned fire and fled the restaurant. The customer followed the suspects, firing as he went. The suspects jumped into a white minivan and fled the scene.
LOL! Now that’s how you deal with armed robbers!
As if the repulsive string of e-mails leaked form Hadley’s Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University in England wasn’t enough to convince us all that climate science is utterly bereft of honest scholarship and integrity and completely overrun by politics and advocacy…we are now treated to round two! Oh yes…a second Freedom of Information Act request – this time in America and directed at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (which, given its’ mandate, is completely logically pursuing climate research in…the one piece of our solar system that from our perspective cannot be labeled SPACE…*sigh*), headed by James “China is better than the US!” Hansen.
I am going to save advanced commentary on this breaking news story for now…I will however pass along a couple of links:
From Climate Depot: A Full Round-Up of the New E-Mails
From Watts Up With That: Some headlines to read…
From the news media…*crickets*
Yeah…this time they get Mann and Hansen more directly in the obvious chicanery and sloppy science.
I sincerely hope the folks who are still protesting in the now sputtering OWS movement give this a bit of thought.
Today is Thanksgiving. Whether you believe that this day commemorates the beginning of the brutal slaughter of the Native American population at the hands of evil white overlords or whether you believe it’s a moment of cooperation and friendship that was unfortunately not copied by later arrivals in what seemed to them to be an unavoidable conflict over resources, I urge you to think of this day as something positive that we made. Regardless of the truth of the first Thanksgiving (which actually likely occurred earlier in the year and involved mostly fish and veggies, not turkey…LOL), we’ve turned it into an opportunity for something wonderful. Now, it’s a day of reflection – a chance to give thanks for the good in your life.
Even the poorest among us here in the US have something to be thankful for if they look for it.
And even a graduate student who can’t be home with his family to enjoy the day can still be thankful that they supported him well enough to get him near to his Masters degree and were a great example of morality, compromise and the virtues of a healthy marriage that led him to the proper attitude toward women that makes it more likely that his relationship will succeed. Let alone that he has a relationship worth working for or that he’s doing what he loves with his career.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone…from the most petulant children to the most indulgent politician. Take a break from your troubles and be glad for what you have.
Exposing the Cost of Health Care
@ the Technology Review
Castlight aims to do as its name suggests: cast light on the actual costs of medical care, so that people can make informed decisions. The company, founded in 2008 by entrepreneurs Giovanni Colella and Todd Park, now chief innovation officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers computer-based tools that let people comparison shop for health care in much the same way they would for airline tickets on Travelocity or for cars on Cars.com.
What a genius idea! If traditional price signals were allowed to function in the health care market, genuine competition would one day force those prices to go down — and that would certainly benefit health care consumers.
I will once again be covering a primary debate – this one the National Security debate in DC to be hosted by the Heritage Foundation and CNN and moderated by Wolff Blitzer (which just may be the most awesome name in cable news). The show begins at 8 PM, and so will I. The main stories:
– Will Herman Cain avoid making a complete ass of himself for once on matters of foreign policy? He flubbed Libya, China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea…he needs to prove he’s a quick study and he needs to unveil some concrete plan for our national defense and some idea of who he might select to advise him.
– Newt Gingrich has promised that tonight, he will unveil has historically-founded and coherent international strategy for our common defense, including who will be in his defense department adviser list (and some of them are REALLY big names from the Reagan, Bush and Bush II years, FWIW), and why his plans are better than Romney’s.
– Romney will try to set records for fractional plastic content within a human hairdo. He’ll have to prove that he has as much insight as Gingrich does to keep any of his momentum going into the Iowa caucuses.
– Ron Paul will probably get booed off the stage for being a loony, anti-American anti-military buffoon.
– Huntsman will get to make a case based on his experience as a diplomat in China.
– And we’ll see if Rick Santorum, who is best known as a social conservative with little in the way of practical security experience, can show command of the issues.
The others are likely irrelevant, though when Perry talks, it’ll be like watching a NASCAR race…both the Southern drawl and the desperate hope that he screws up horribly to make it more entertaining (come on crash!!)
Check back here to this thread for updates as the event unfolds…my commentary will be extemporaneous, so forgive typos…fast-typing while trying to beat the commercials or the next big question is hard, y’know. 🙂
For those who may have missed it, Newt Gingrich was under very heavy scrutiny by social conservatives in Iowa. He has a lot of explaining to do regarding some of his ugly conduct with his first wife during their separation. If you recall, Mr. Gingrich “Pearl Harbored” his wife with divorce papers while she was undergoing chemotherapy threatments and it was subsequently discovered that he was already in another relationship at the time. With one of his staffers. In secret. Awesome, Newt. Just…awesome.
Well these days, Newt suddenly has a flush of expressions of fidelity with religious conservatives circling his campaign. He said about two months back that he would be highly uncomfortable with an atheist in the White House, suggesting that any President who wasn’t guided by a higher power scared him “unimaginably.” Of course, many of us agree with the sentiment but question whether Mr. Gingrich has the moral authority to make such statements.
He did, however, use this family and faith summit as an opportunity to speak (with what sounded to me like conviction) about his past moral troubles. He said this, for example:
“After I got married and things got more complicated – for obvious reasons…we had two kids, I was getting very busy in politics, my wife got sick…well I started to slip a bit away from my religious upbringing. I found after a time that there was something missing inside me…that I felt hollow deep down, and it was like the harder I worked, the more hollow I got. This emptiness creeps up on a man when he’s not paying attention to God…and it caused me to make mistakes…to cause my loved ones pain. And it was around this time that my friend Trent (might he be referring to Trent Lott? Not sure…) gave me a copy of the two books that form the fundamental philosophy behind Alcoholics Anonymous. I wasn’t drinking at the time, but that hole inside me had all the same symptoms and the more I thought about it…the more I read from the Big Book…and the more I realized I had to focus on my faith. Now I’m on great terms with my first wife and my two kids…we’re very close…but the main point of this…and what I would say I learned from my mistakes…is that we’re all small and weak and we all need help. There is a very real part of every soul that will always be hollow if we don’t fill it with our faith. I said a while back that I didn’t feel comfortable with an atheist in the White House and it’s because I realize how unfit for such an important task one man is without a higher authority. Any man, I think, who thinks he can be President of the United States and do all of that work without any help from God terrifies me.”
I still think Newt thinks too much of himself when it comes to his command of history and the unassailable righteousness of his beliefs (and I think he’ll be a bit of a tough sell to moderates unless he tones down the confrontational tone in debates at the National level) but I also believe in redemption and second chances and forgiveness of past wrongs when honest contrition is given first. And this seemed honest to me. He is now a regular practicing Catholic and there does seem to be a noticable drop in his roughness other than his antagonistic feelings toward the media. Maybe w shouldn’t judge him by his past actions alone…maybe he’s a better man today.