Monday, November 25, 2013

Dubious Global Warming Sea-Level Predictions

"Sea-level rise in this century is likely to be 70–120 centimeters by 2100 if greenhouse-gas emissions are not mitigated." Source: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
As most who know me are well aware, I'm a skeptic when it comes to claims made by global warming alarmists. In fact, I refuse to convert to calling them "climate change" alarmist because that phrase has no quantitative meaning. Climates always change and there is no single climate change theory as I've mentioned in one of my previous posts. There are at least 7 different theories on why the Earth's climate changes.

That being said, one of the predictions that have always bothered me is sea-level rise. Why? Because in order to predict sea-level rise you have to first calculate sea-level which is extraordinarily difficult. The field of study wherein sea-level is estimated is called geodesy or geodetics. There is an excellent (and very brief) YouTube video describing the immense complexities of calculating the Earth's sea-level.

As the video says, "Sea-level seems like a pretty easy concept, right? You just measure the average level of the oceans and that's that." However, there are a large number of variables to consider. I won't go into the details here. What's important is the accuracy of those estimates provided by geodetics. As the video states, "The model has allowed Geodesists themselves to correctly predict the average level of the ocean to within a meter everywhere on earth." In mathematics, this concept is called statistical significance. It means that measurements less than this statistical significance have a higher probablity of being due to just chance alone or random fluctuations in the calculation process. So, if the statistically significant sea-level measurement is approximately 1 meter, how can a climate impact study make a prediction that both varies below that measure (i.e., a variance of 50 centimeters ) and whose predicted increase is only 20 centimeters above the statistically significant measurement?

The answer is that it can't! It's like having a meter stick with no markings on it and measuring an object as being 70 centimeters. That my friends is what we call a SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess.) Factoring in this concept, let's rewrite the opening quote to adjust for mathematics and favor the alarmists.
"Sea-level rise in this century is likely to be 0-2 meters by 2100 if greenhouse-gas emissions are not mitigated."
Doesn't sound so precise or scientific anymore, does it. This implies that there could be no impact or high impact. That's the point and they are hoping no one notices!

ObamaCare, Fantasy versus Reality

"What we have in California, then, is a proof of concept. Yes, Obamacare is workable — in fact, done right, it works just fine." - Paul Krugman, New York Times, Nov. 25 2013
Krugman is of course wrong, but then again when has that ever stopped him from declaring something a success. It was recently reported that over 1 million California's received letters cancelling their health insurance. To call it a success, Mr. Krugman says that "...more than 10,000 applications are being completed per day." That's nice but those are applications, not enrollments and there is a huge difference. What matters is being enrolled. You don't get health insurance coverage just for applying!

In any case, even if we assume that everyone that had their health insurance cancelled in California was able to both apply and enroll at the rate provided by Mr. Krugman (very unlikely) it would take 100 days to replace the coverage lost because of Obamacare. Since enrollment started on October 1st and enrollment must be completed by December 23rd for January 1st coverage, that only leaves 84 days by my calculation. Some people are just going to be left without coverage. That's hardly successful in my book, but then again these are very optimistic progressive metrics, not real metrics.

Ironically, Mr. Krugman mentions among the successes in Obamacare the state of Massachusetts. I say ironically, because the official title of the legislation is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Yet health insurance is more expensive in Massachusetts than almost anywhere else in the country (except in some cases Alaska)! So much for affordable health insurance.

Tragically, the debacle that is Obamacare was predicted in excruciating detail by Professor Richard Allen Epstein in a debate with Dr. Judith M. Feder during the inaugural New York University Law Forum debate who's topic was "The Debate over Health Care Reform." As of the writing of this post there have been only 4,655 views of this debate via YouTube, which is equally tragic because Professor Epstein's detailed analysis of the Obamacare legislation is both impressive and amazingly prescience. Over the course of an hour, Professor Epstein utterly distroys almost every assumption and prediction of the Obamacare supporters with both reasoned logic and detailed critical analysis. The scary part of his analysis is not what he got right already, but the predictions about legislation that have yet to be implemented.

So, while Paul Krugman may call California a proof of concept. Proof of an unworkable concept is hardly conforting.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why Black Leadership Continues to Fail Black America

"Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. He's white and the caucus is black. It's time to move on. We have racial policies to pursue and we are pursuing them, as Mr. Cohen has learned. It's an unwritten rule. It's understood." - Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-MO)
The above quote from c.2006 is what Rep. William Clay had to say about Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennessee's 1st Jewish congressman representing a district that has a 60%+ black constituency. Rep. Cohen wanted to help the black cause. He was rejected because he's white. Blantant, overt racism. If you want to know why the current African-American experience is so horrible in America you need only look at the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to find the leading clues.

By a tragic coincidence, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by several non-colored people including Lillian Wald (German Jew) and Henry Moskowitz (Romanian Jew). The NAACP was incorporated in 1911 with the following charter:
To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.
Furthermore, for decades the organization was overwhelmingly non-black and mostly Jewish. In fact, it didn't elect its first black president until 1975! Its first president was Moorfield Storey a supporter of the National Democratic Party, which was essentially anti-Democratic Party organization (i.e., Republican by modern standards.) You'll also note that although non-blacks played a pivotal and overwhelming role in the history of the NAACP only one, Mary White Ovington, is given prominent billing on its historical web page. That is not by happenstance.

I provide this historical context to make the following statement. Both the NAACP and the CBC are governing over a failing black America because the success of black Americans is neither in their goals or their self-interests. For that matter, you can include National Action Network (Al Sharpton's group) the Rainbow PUSH Coalition (Jesse Jackson's group.)

How can I possibly say that with such confidence? Because they are organized not to achieve or strive for success for all black Americans. Rather, they are organized to achieve liberal/collectivist perceptions of what is best for a subset of black Americans. It's the only way that Tavis Smiley can respond to a question about the status of black Americans under the Obama administration with a straight face and say "...the data is going to indicate, sadly, that when the Obama administration is over black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator on that regard the president ought to be held responsible..." and can continue to say "I respect the president, I will protect the president."

Another indication is CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) saying "If Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House." He was speaking of the nearly 17% unemployment rate for blacks.

One concrete example they are ignoring the advancement of colored people is their hostility towards school vouchers. There have been numerous polls suggesting that the overwhelming majority of blacks support school vouchers. This is understandable because of tragically broken public school systems all over the nation, and especially in the South. However, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are adamantly against school vouchers. Both the NEA and AFT give almost all their political donations to either support Democrats who oppose school vouchers or oppose Republicans who support school vouchers. Studies suggest that school voucher programs help to educate blacks and move them on to higher education.

Despite this evidence that school vouchers help advance black youths (and for that matter youths of all minority groups) can you guess the stance of the organizations that purport to help blacks? The NAACP, CBC, NAN and PUSH are all opposed to school voucher programs. All of these supposedly black organizations are actually for the advancement of the Democratic Party and its associated support groups like the NEA and AFT.

And its not just education where these organization differ from the black community's desires. When California's Proposition 8 providing that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" was passed, 70% of blacks voted for it. All of the above black organizations are for gay marriage. (Full disclosure: I support gay marriage.)

In order to fix the problems in the black community from a political standpoint, the NAACP, CBC, NAN and PUSH need to take suggestions from the country's most successful civil rights lobby group. The National Rifle Association which is constantly ranked among the most powerful lobby organization in Washington D.C. each year. This organization is successful for two major reasons. Primarily, its members have what is commonly called skin in the game. They have a vested interest in making sure the 2nd Amendment - and thus citizen firearm ownership - adhere to "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Think of the fable regarding the chicken and the pig regarding breakfast.
A Pig and a Chicken are walking down the road.
The Chicken says: "Hey Pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant!"
Pig replies: "Hm, maybe, what would we call it?"
The Chicken responds: "How about 'ham-n-eggs'?"
The Pig thinks for a moment and says: "No thanks. I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved!"
The NAACP, CBC, NAN and PUSH have that in common with the NRA. What they do incorrectly is put all of their eggs into one basket, via the Democratic Party. The NRA doesn't do this. Rather, the NRA has a very effective guiding policy to "endorse any incumbent politician who supports its positions, even if the challenger supports them as well." They know Washington D.C. protects incumbents and they don't care which party an incumbent belongs to. So no matter who's in power at any give time, the NRA holds both sides accountable for implementing their policies. The NAACP, CBC, NAN and PUSH are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Democratic Party. It can be argued the Democratic Party has so much control over blacks that they can utterly ignore their desired policies, knowing that they have nowhere else to go.

This is what the presidential architect of "The Great Society" had in mind. Lyndon B. Johnson once said "I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." His plan?
"These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference." — Lyndon B. Johnson (emphasis added)
I don't have definitive proof that LBJ said this. However, what followed was:
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
The Food Stamp Act of 1964 (Welfare)
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
The Higher Education Act of 1965
The Social Security Act of 1965, Title XIX (Medicaid)
The Civil Rights Act of 1968
I'm not suggesting that all of this legislation was inherently bad. In fact, much of it was good and necessary at the time. Rather, I'm positing the proposition that the intent of much of the legislation was not to fix problems in the black community. It was to have those "niggers" voting Democratic, and it worked so well that it is now commonplace to have the Democratic Party garner 90% of the black vote in almost every modern election.

Which brings us back to Tavis Smiley's realization that "...the data is going to indicate, sadly, that when the Obama administration is over black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator on that regard the president ought to be held responsible..." (emphasis added). Unfortunately, Obama will not be held responsible by any of the organizations mentioned in this post. Maybe it's finally time for a change Tavis? However, I won't hold my breath because the current black power structure will never admit that things need to change. White guilt is too lucrative! Instead, the torch will pass from Obama to Hillary Clinton to continue to disappoint.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lying Is A Liberal Virtue

"No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what." - Barack Obama, June 2009
I honestly believe that all successful politicians lie regardless of their political ideology. They likely do this because the moment one takes an honest stance on a issue, a large portion of the electorate will not support them. Our uninformed electorate is partially responsible for this. That being said, I also believe that "progressive" politicians are not only innate liars, it is an existentially and essentially component of their political philosophy.

Uninformed progressive followers will immediately point to George W. Bush and his lies about the Iraq War. They will of course ignore the unequivocal fact that every major intelligence agency in the world thought that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that they were all wrong. Being completely wrong is not lying. Rather, saying "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky," knowing that she blew you is the essence of a lie.

Segue to president Barack Obama and his years of continuous lies from the time he entered public office until likely 30 seconds ago. Progressives knew that Barack was lying about his association with Rev. Wright and his racist and anti-American ideology. They didn't care. He supported a federal single-payer health plan, was against any restrictions on abortion and in support of laws to ban the manufacture, sale and even possession of handguns. At least that's what he said on a 12 page questionnaire. He then lied, saying a staffer filled out that questionnaire. Progressives didn't care and neither did the mainstream media (which is redundant.) There are so many lies that its hard to keep track but at least some have tried. I won't try to catalogue them all.

The point is that there's a reason for all the lying. Progressives can't be 100% honest about how they want to remake the United States of America into their collectivist utopia because they know that the overwhelming majority of American's would reject their agenda. The most effective way for them to move their agenda forward is to be dishonest about it. In fact, they are so used to lying that even in situations where its unnecessary they lie.

The most obvious example is the gay marriage issue. As a libertarian, I support gay marriage. But did anyone really believe that Obama's religious faith guided him on gay marriage? If so, then he first believed marriage was only between a man and a woman. Then his position was "evolving". Finally, he fully supported gay marriage. Last I checked, Barack Obama was a Christian. Christianity hasn't changed its position on gay marriage for centuries! What happened is that he made a political decision to be against gay marriage because he perceived that as the position to get him elected. When that political reality changed, he changed. End of story.

I point out this instance because it shows that he is devoid of any moral conviction or principled stance on anything. Yes, anything! I fully believe that there is no issue, including abortion, that he wouldn't "evolve" his position if it were politically expedient. That makes him morally bankrupt.

He can push aside all morality and decency to do this because Obama's religion is not Christianity, it is leftist ideology. The holy sacrament is Machiavellianism, where then ends justify the means. The scriptures are Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto." He is its most recent prophet and they are still awaiting the Messiah who's only virtues are dishonesty and dogmatic adherence to the ideology.