Glenn Beck’s 100-Year Plan

So we don’t have TV at home (although we did just get cool Netflix streaming movies via our PS3), so I’ve been spared the endless procession of talking heads that makes up out political commentary for most of my time.

But I do watch TV when I travel, and on one trip to the East Coast I did catch a bit of Glenn Beck. I’d turned off the volume to make a call, and left it off while I worked a bit. Beck came on with the volume still off, and I had this visceral negative reaction to him without knowing who he was or what he was talking about. I watched for a bit, saw his logo and realized who he was, and still tried to figure out my reaction.

Totally unbidden, I remembered reading Heinlein’s ‘Future History’ as a kid, and the image of America as a Christian religious dictatorship that those stories carried.

I’ve listened to Beck since then, and what he says seems to be generic Fox talking head commentary, which doesn’t usually bother me (I’m friends with some of them!). But there’s still something about the guy that seriously creeps me out. And then today reading on Memeorandum that he’s putting together a 100-year plan, the hackles did rise.

Is this anyone else’s experience? Any idea what it is?
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Wow. Just Wow.

I’ve been unhappy with the quality of data released to support AGW, and so was unwilling to jump onto the bandwagon – while supporting things like energy independence. And I’ve been worried that core data – which keeps somehow being unreproducable or unavailable – needs to be rigorously reviewed before we make critical policy decisions.

But I never expected outright fraud.

From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,mann@xxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxx.xxx
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@xxx.xx.xx,t.osborn@xxxx.xxx

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,

Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
first thing tomorrow.

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.

Thanks for the comments, Ray.

Cheers
Phil

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) xxxxx
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) xxxx
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jones@xxxx.xxx
NR4 7TJ
UK

This is mindblowing.

What we have is a body of research supported by hundred of millions in research grands based on a premise promulgated and legitimized by a guy who is well on his way to making a billion from claiming to manage it.

And I thought it was bad for hucksters to ‘create’ issues that they could then sell patent medicine to cure.

Update: There’s a great precis of the “juicy” emails over at the Bishop Hill blog. Go read it, and then decide a bit more how you feel about this…
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OK, No Matter Who You Are, This Is Just Funny…

Law professor and critical theory grad Darren Hutchinson gets his inner coprophile on and blasts the critics of Obama’s bow (my own views here).

The post is pretty standard stuff for the juicebox Jane Hamsher crowd, and in my view, pretty much unintentionally satirizes critical theorists.

So you can skip it if you like. But you’ve just got to go to the comments and watch Professor Hutchinson get taken to school.
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Raised By Wolves?

An email to my shooting list:

Went to Disney Hall downtown last night to hear Dudamel conduct and Dawn Upshaw sing …

We’re sitting in the grown-up section, where tickets are $125 each; and TG and I spent the first half of the program shutting people up.

WHAT THE F***?? Were these people raised by wolves?

So I’m wondering if a silenced Colt Woodsman, shooting subsonic ammo, aimed just above the knee would be too noisy to use in that environment…(not really, but thinking about it is making me feel better).

I can excuse the couple in back of us who had never been to a concert before (date between a 45 year old guy and a 20 year old girl…), and who clammed up immediately on my giving him a “shhh”.

But the guy who was HUMMING Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony until I jabbed him in the leg with my program?

The guy who was talking to his twenty-something son in a stage whisper for half the show until I confronted him at intermission?

Seriously, people…I may have to stop going to classical concerts and go back to hard rock…it’s bad for my stress levels.

Marc

One reply sent me a link for tranquilizer darts that can be used in blowguns…hmmmm….
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The Bow And The Mao

Count me among the exasperated at Obama’s willingness to bow before royalty – it’s funny actually, that such an avowed progressive (the group that believes in dissolving the connections of power) is so willing to reify power by being so deferential to hereditary royalty.

And no, it’s not a diplomatic custom (see this series at Hot Air Pundit), and it’s not even Japanese custom (contrary to dimwitted claims to the contrary) – you don’t shake his hand and bow, and the bow that Obama offered is certainly not the kind of Japanese bow between equals (see Wikipedia).

Obama seems to suck up to royalty that isn’t on our side (Saudi Arabia) is marginally on our side (Japan) while snubbing those who have been among our core allies (Britain). So let’s ask Obama to throw his protocol droid under the bus as well, and move along.

For those among my patriotic friends on the right who are so deeply distressed, let me offer this story – possibly the first encounter between an American citizen and foreign royalty (the contacts between Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and the French preceded the British surrender, and so one can make a claim that they were not yet truly American citizens).

John Adams was presented to King George as the first American Ambassador to the Court of St. James (from Page Smith’s delightful John Adams biography)…

The Foreign Secretary then carried Adams with him in his coach to the court and ushered him to the antechamber, “very full of ministers of state, lords, and bishops, and all sorts of courtiers.” The Dutch and Swedish ministers, perhaps noticing Adams’ agitation came up to chat and in a few minutes Carmarthen returned to escort him to the King’s closet. The door was closed after him and Adams found himself alone with the Killoro and the Foreign Secretary. He bowed the three times that etiquette required – at the door, again halfway into the room, and a third time standing directly before His Majesty. It was a strange and dramatic confrontation – two short, stout men, both rather choleric, stubborn and strong-willed, sharing a certain emotional instability and a native shrewdness and wit. They were both great talkers and both, in their hearts, farmers. They both lived in worlds where they felt frequently that every man’s hand was turned against them. One was the King of the most powerful nation in the world, the other’s permanent rank that of a provincial lawyer and farmer. It was the New England fanner who represented victory and the King who had been forced to accept defeat. The name of Adams, John or Samuel, had been a stench in the nostrils of George III for almost twenty years and now an Adams stood before him, ambassador from those colonies which not so long ago had been the King’s special treasure.

Both men were agitated and ill at ease. Adams, obviously nervous, (“I felt more,” he wrote later, “than I did or could express”) delivered his speech as best he could and the King listened “with a most apparent emotion .. . very much affected” and replied with a tremor in his voice: “Sir…the circumstances of this audience are so extraordinary, the language you have now held is so extremely proper and the feelings you have discovered so justly adapted to the occasion, that I must say that I not only receive with pleasure the assurance of the friendly dispositions of the United States, but that I am very glad the choice has fallen upon you to be their minister. . . . I will be very frank with you,” the King continued slowly, rather haltingly, searching out his words. “I was the last to consent to the separation; but the separation having been made, and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States as an independent power.” Then in a more informal spirit the King asked Adams if he had come most recently from France. “Yes, Your Majesty.” The King gave his short, barking laugh. “There is an opinion among some people that you are not the most attached of all your countrymen to the manners of France.” Adams was disconcerted at the remark, but he adopted the King’s light air and answered: “That opinion, sir, is not mistaken; I must avow to Your Majesty I have no attachment but to my own country.”

“A honest man will never have any other,” the King replied.

The King spoke a few words to Lord Carmarthen and then turned and bowed to Adams, signifying that the audience was at an end. The American retreated, walking backward with as much grace as he could affect, bowed a last time at the door, and withdrew.

So it’s quite possible to bow and speak frankly in defense of American interests.

Let’s judge Obama less on the bowing and the dressing and pay more attention to the speaking.
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I’m Not Typically Paranoid…

…about much. But this snippet over at Politico got my attention.

According to the documents, George Soros’ Open Society Policy Center pays the annual salary of the NIAC staffer who heads the Campaign for a New Policy on Iran, according to an email among NIAC officials. And the minutes of a series of meetings including NIAC and other coalition members offer a glimpse of the strategy and tactics involved in the push for a rapprochement with the Islamic Republic, from an attempt to undermine the appointment of Dennis Ross as Iran envoy to a planned “Send Hillary to Iran” campaign.

At some point it would be nice if there was a decent amount of transparency around what Soros is doing; if he genuinely believes in open societies, he ought to lead it, but since he doesn’t – perhaps a decent journalistic project would be to connect the dots and create a map of his involvement in US and foreign affairs.

My hackles go up not only because of the notion that a reclusive, ideological billionaire has decided to reshape the American polity, but because that billionaire makes his billions in part by investing based on changes in international markets – which are in turn effected by national and international politics.

To the extent that Mr. Soros’ engagement is transparent, and we can demonstrate a lack of linkage to his investment activities, good for him.

Otherwise I feel a bit like we’re in Al Gore’s world where as a political actor he drums up demand for products that he sells.
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Fearless Prediction: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s Trial Will Be A Train Wreck

I Am Not A Lawyer, but trust me, it will be a train wreck – legally because a decent defense attorney will use it as a platform to place the entire War on Terror on trial, shifting the focus from Mohammed’s acts to the government’s and to a grandiose litany of America’s wrongs in the world – and politically, because the American public is going to be really, really cranky when they see the mastermind behind 9/11 being aggressively defended in court.

Back in the dark prehistory of my blog, I pointed out that I thought the Clinton Administration had done a pretty good job of legally prosecuting terrorists, and that the terrorist movement had managed to grow rather dramatically regardless.

I hope I’m wrong on all counts. But I don’t think I am.
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I’m Sure These Two Things Are Somehow Related

But probably not in obvious ways.

I read a lot of stuff, and often get great ideas by reading things that are from sources that are pretty widely disparate.

Here’s one – a discussion of unemployment by Reuters writer James Pethokoukis:

Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg, formerly of Merrill Lynch, thinks the unemployment rate is going to at least 12 percent, maybe even 13 percent. Optimists, Rosenberg explains, underestimate the incredible damage done to the labor market during this downturn. And even before this downturn, the economy was not generating jobs in huge numbers.

Read the whole thing and be very, very depressed.

On the other hand, there’s this:

The culture of participation is forcing efficiencies that can have deflationary effects on our economy. This allows us to purchase more with less, but also gives us less to purchase with, if it is forcing upon us lower wages and fewer work hours. What it may give us is *more free time* (whether we want it to or not). So if that free time is part of what allows this culture of participation to help create these efficiencies, and the efficiencies create more free time… Then you have not just deflation, but a deflationary spiral that doesn’t end until the traditional economies (based on real scarcity) have absorbed the new efficiencies.

That’s both depressing – and interesting as the ecology is left open to smaller, faster-breeding businesses.

We’ve seen how that drama works out before…
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Veterans Day 2009

Starting in 2002, I’ve posted some comments on each Veterans’ Day.

There is a consistent theme in these posts.

A big part of it is rediscovering patriotism; learning how it’s possible to be a liberal and a patriot at the same time.

I don’t seem to have a problem with that; others do.

Today is the perfect day to think about patriotism. Why?

Because the question of the day is simple – what does it mean to be a patriot?

What it means is simple; it is to owe a patrimony to those who came before you, which you must repay to those who come after.

It is an obligation each of must take on and fulfill in our own ways; one beauty of our system is that the check for repaying the debt is a blank one that we fill in for ourselves (although yes, it’s less and less so).

Who do we owe for this debt?

We owe all kinds of people; not just soldiers, but those who risked and sacrificed to explore new lands, to build roads, dams, and cities, to study and learn and teach, to farm and mine and cook and craft.

But it is to soldiers we owe the greatest debt.

Why? Because what it means to be a soldier is to place yourself completely in jeopardy in our name. Soldiers do not only risk their physical self – firefighters and police officers do that every day – they risk their moral self. They are asked to – ordered to – do things that strain the boundaries of civilization and sometimes bleed across them.

They see things that would leave most of us mute and frozen, and act when every instinct tells them to hide.

And so something hardens around their hearts.

Yes, not all soldiers are combatants, and yes this is not true even of everyone in combat. But when my son stepped into the recruiter’s office two years ago, my fear was not for his body, but for his soul. I worry less today about the physical risks he took today over in Afghanistan, and more about what the bearing of those risks every day will mean to him as he comes back.

This isn’t an ‘oh those poor veterans and their PTSD’ discussion, although PTSD is doubtless a symptom of what I’m talking about. It’s about the burden of being a soldier and what it costs.

And knowing about that price – that price which was paid by every soldier in human history, and is first told in Odysseus’ long journey home from battle to hearth, from warrior to patriarch – we should each of us appreciate what it means to be a soldier, and what we owe them today.

I know that our military has a high ‘tail to tooth’ ratio, and I know that Catch 22 may be one of the truest novels about the military that has ever been written. Not all soldiers are heroes, or even placed where we expect heroism will be called for.

But as we learned in Iraq and Afghanistan and a recruiting station in Little Rock now at Fort Hood, there really are no more front lines, and troops who load copiers may find themselves facing enemies who have loaded guns.

And I know that we live in a world where people believe – as a fantasy – that it is possible to wage war without moral stain.

Grim once wrote something that made exactly this point, and while I read it, I truly didn’t understand it until today. It concluded:

“We can only do,” I must warn her, and you. “We can only do, and pray, that when we are done we may be forgiven.”

Today, on Veteran’s Day, we forgive them, and thank them for their sacrifices. not only the scars we see – but most of all, for the ones we don’t.

So thanks, veterans. Thanks soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen. Thanks for doing your jobs and I hope you all come home hale and whole, every one of you.

One way you can thank veterans is to donate to Project Valour-IT and assist wounded veterans…just sayin’
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