The unbearable lightness of Palin groupies

November 24, 2009

I’m not sure what to make of this.  No amount of dopeslapping or head:desk banging is going to help these people get a clue.

And while I haven’t read Sarah Palin’s book, I’ll wager they won’t get a clue there, either.  Listening to the interviews one wonders whether they would be able to read Palin’s book.  Most of the kids who work hard to fail my classes look like geniuses next to these people.

And then a horrifying thought bubbles up:  Dear God, these people might actually vote!  They probably view Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” sequences with astonished looks and great confusion.  They can’t tell what’s wrong with the answers, and they miss the humor.

I found this piece at Canadian Cynic (from whom I stole the headline) — he confessed he could only stand just under two minutes of this torture.

For Palin groupies, here are a couple of issues to consider while watching this video:

  1. While it’s done by New Left Media, it’s astonishing that anyone could find so many babbling idiots at one gathering, anywhere in America.  This was Ohio?   Yeah, Columbus; I know people in Columbus.  I fear for their lives, now.
  2. Palin has never made any particular defense of the First Amendment, nor of any of the five freedoms it enumerates.  When people say she stands for “freedom to speak,” or “freedom of religion,” they are making stuff up.
  3. “Realness” is not a policy.
  4. Tax cutting isn’t generally a great policy when people aren’t making enough to pay any taxes at all.  Tax cutting contributed to our current mess.
  5. Socialism is not “giving away money.”
  6. Obama’s two books do not portray Marxism in a good light.  They don’t mention Marxism as a potential path for any American, anywhere.
  7. “Czar” is a shorter word for a headline than “Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” or “Special Assistant to the President for Energy Policy.”  People who are called “czars” by headline writers do not have any special powers beyond being right when they speak to the president (among many other advisors).  The real power is held by agency heads, like the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Treasury.  The President’s Cabinet is not a wooden device in which he keeps his dinnerware.
  8. One may always question motives, but on the issue of Obama’s “liking” the military, consider:  He’s appointed many former military people to important positions, including U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, to get good advice from people who know the military well; Obama is the only president since Johnson, maybe since Lincoln, to go meet victims of war as their caskets come back to their families; Obama is the only sitting president ever to visit the graves of victims of a current conflict at Arlington National CemeteryThe lives and welfare of our men and women in uniform has been a singular focus of this president.
  9. Talk of martial law?  Not from Obama.  Not in the administration.  Not in any agency.  Not in Congress.  Only in wingnut dens.
  10. Illegal aliens cannot be naturalized under current law.  No illegal aliens are being naturalized.  When found, they are being deported.
  11. Obama is an American citizen; even the courts are getting testy about that, tossing the crazy lawsuits out with harsh comments for people who are so gullibly dumb.
  12. It’s 700 miles from Sarah Palin’s home to the nearest point in Russia.  “Seeing Russia from the backyard” is a figure of speech, and not accurate in any way.
  13. The Governor of Alaska is not the first defense against any attack from a foreign nation on the U.S., coming through Alaska.  The U.S. Air Force has jurisdiction, and still patrols that area, along with satellite and radar surveillance.  In an attack, the official role of the Governor of Alaska is to duck and stay out of the way.
  14. The Governor of Alaska has no special security clearance that no other governor has.  I’m not sure that any governor has a security clearance as governor.
  15. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is not a player in the protection of polar bears, nor any other animal on listed as threatened or endangered.
  16. No proposal is before Congress to change current law on “partial birth” abortion.  Since there is a law on the topic, it would take a new law, passed by Congress, to change current law.  Obama can’t touch it without Congressional action.  (This is basic civics, you know?)
  17. Are you afraid of what’s happening in America?  After you listen to these yahoos, you may have cause to fear what would happen if their views were to carry an election.

Are people still lining up for lobotomies?  Do they directly from the operating table to a Sarah Palin book signing?

We can hope New Left Media edited out all the cogent, intelligent remarks.  I have this nagging fear that they didn’t have to edit at all.

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Purloined CRU e-mails on climate science: One scientist pleads for accuracy

November 24, 2009

Here is what he said.  Edward Cook, one of the world’s foremost authorities on ancient trees and how to learn from them (Dendrochronology),  wrote to Michael Mann, both men scientists involved in making their science understandable and available to the public and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Both men thought their communication would be private, probably forever.  When no one is looking, this is what they say to one another:

From: Edward Cook <>
To: “Michael E. Mann” <>
Subject: Re: hockey stick
Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 15:25:41 -0400
Cc: tom crowley <>,, Jonathan Overpeck <>, Keith Briffa <>,,,,

Hi Mike,

No problem. I am quite happy to work this stuff through in a careful way and am happy to discuss it all with you. I certainly don’t want the work to be viewed as an attack on previous work such as yours. Unfortunately, this global change stuff is so politicized by both sides of the issue that it is difficult to do the science in a dispassionate environment. I ran into the same problem in the acid rain/forest decline debate that raged in the 1980s. At one point, I was simultaneous accused of being a raving tree hugger and in the pocket of the coal industry. I have always said that I don’t care what answer is found as long as it is the truth or at least bloody close to it.



This note appeared at the end of a rough-and-tumble debate over what data can be trusted, the motives of scientists involved, and how to make the best use of data collected, clear and unclear, in order to make an accurate portrayal of what is happening in our atmosphere.

I’ll wager no critic of these scientists bothered to quote this one today, nor will they.  In toto, the purloined e-mails show a devotion to science, and the requisite devotion to accuracy and ethical behaviors.  But in a political debate where television weathermen feel compelled to demonize scientists to promote their political beliefs, who can afford to look at the big picture?

My apologies to Dr. Cook for the purloining of the e-mail (though of course I had no role in the hacking); my appreciation to Dr. Cook for standing up for what’s right, damn the critics, when he th0ught no one was looking.

That’s the definition of character, isn’t it?

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