Wednesday, June 28, 2017

And Then, The Volkswagen Full Of Clowns Arrived...

And on the heels of yesterday's post comes word that Acting Chief Shitweasel McCabe is facing three separate federal investigations.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a central player in the Russia election case, is the focus of three separate federal administrative inquiries into allegations about his behavior as a senior bureau executive, according to documents and interviews.
The allegations being reviewed range from sexual discrimination to improper political activity.
As Sheriff Will Teasdale told you in First Blood, "When people go f***ing around with the law, all hell breaks loose."

Douchebag McCabe is finding that out about now.
His career half-life can be measured with a sandglass.

That, coupled with Veritas Project's expose on CNN's motivation for the stories being solely ratings and fakery, has pretty much blown the wheels the hell off of this particular wagonload of fertilizer, once and for all.

Yesterday, Communist Network News tried to downplay the producer shown as a peripheral guy, not a player.
In this video, O'Keefe caught Van Jones stepping on his journalistic weiner with cleats; CNN will have a tough sell saying Jones is an outsider unacquainted with what's what at CNN.

And once again, Trump's tweets are proven 100% accurate, and the media 100% falsified narrative.

At some point, this ceases to be hypothesis, and becomes documentary. That point is about a mile in the rear view mirror at this point.

And the White House should kick the CNN reporter out of the press pool until further notice.
Pour encourager les autres.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Smoking Gun

So it turns out that the entire impetus behind the FBI's "Russia probe" was nothing but a personal vendetta against Flynn, as payback for Flynn sticking up for a superstar female FBI agent that Deputy Director McCabe was busy harassing.


It's clear that Comey The Clown was just the tip of the assberg. What a f***ing clownshow soap opera. Time to shitcan the Bureau along with the BATFE, and fold the minions into ICE. Or maybe TSA.

Or at the very least, fire every executive in the agency that doesn't turn state's evidence and spill it all out.

Monday, June 26, 2017

SCOTUS To Ninth Circus Court - STFU, bitchez

So, it seems Pres. Trump's travel ban is constitutional after all, and SCOTUS stayed all the nonsense preventing it, pending a full hearing on the issues in October.

The case was heard before Gorsuch joined the court, so the ruling was 7-1 in President Trump's favor, and keeping the Ninth Circus' record as the most overturned federal circuit in the nation intact.

Which means all but one of the four solid Leftards piled on in smacking down judicial overreach.

The ruling is a clear sign they want this overtaken and made moot by events, hoping by the time it comes to a full hearing, the government has reviewed and fine-tuned their vetting of potential terrorists from the affected countries. But with this ruling, the multiple asstardian attempts to commit a judicial coup in federal courts have been slapped silly, and ended.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bridge Out - Last Warning

There aren't many actual conservatives (vs. RINOs) left at former nominally conservative website, (which along with horrendous amounts of ad-spam is why I rarely bother with the place) but Kurt Schlicter is one of them.

And this week's essay is out of the park:

If you want real political chaos and real political violence, then just keep going down this path. You can’t light the fuse and not get the explosion. I saw what happens when you toss away the rule of law – don’t do it.
The hatred out there is real and growing. This is not a good thing – it’s a terrible thing. People are buying my novels about the country splitting apart and the horrifying specter of actual civil warfare (Hint: it’s ugly) because that’s where the establishment’s desperate schemes to hold onto power despite the will of the people, as manifested at the ballot box, all lead.
Please,  RTWT.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Snark Easy, Mathematics Hard v2.0

You'd think someone doing a stock market blog would have some clue about, y'know, numbers, prices, costs, and such. Maybe some insight into how things relate.

You'd be wrong.
Case in point, Karl Denninger's post on Market Ticker (h/t WRSA): 

Market Ticker: A One Sentence Bill To Force The Health Care Issue

Here it is:
"Notwithstanding any other provision in state or federal law, a person who presents themselves while uninsured to any provider of a medical good or service shall not be charged a price greater than that which Medicare pays for the same drug, device, service or combination thereof."

That's it.
One sentence.

If you want to add a penalty clause with it I propose the following:
"Any bill rendered to a person in excess of said amounts shall (1) be deemed void, with all services and goods provided as a gift without charge or taxable consequence to said consumer but not deductible by said physician or facility from any income or occupational tax and (2) is immediately due to the customer in the exact amount presented as liquidated damages for the fraud so-attempted."
It ends the "Chargemaster" ripoff game.
It ends the $150,000 snake bite or the $80,000 scorpion sting.
It ends the $500,000 cancer treatment.
It ends all of that, immediately and instantly.

I remind you that Medicare is required to set pay rates by law at a level that in fact are profitable -- that is, above cost by a modest amount -- for everything it covers.  Further, those pay rates are audited regularly to prove that they in fact are above cost.
Does this solve every problem?  No, and in fact that would leave alone the existing monopolistic pricing systems that many medical providers, whether they be drug makers, device makers, service providers or otherwise have in place.  It would exactly nothing to get rid of the 10 paper pushers hired for every doctor or nurse, none of whom ever provide one second of care to an actual person through their entire time of employment.

But it would instantly end walking into an emergency room and getting hammered with a $50,000 bill for something that Medicare will pay $5,000 for.
It's hard to fisk this amount of sophistry properly without noting it's akin to spackling over the Grand Canyon using a shovel, but I wasn't doing anything better, so here goes.

TL;DR version:

Some will hail this as a simple solution.

The word you’re looking for is “simplistic”, not “simple”.

If we can agree that I may purchase your home and put you on the street by offering you 3 cents on the dollar of its value in cash, we have an accord.

It not, I’ll provide an anatomical diagram for where to shove that communist codswallop.

And If Denninger doesn’t get that, or never thought of it, he’s too simple to be burping his Good Idea Fairy B.S. on the ‘net.

Longer version:

Medicare reimburses healthcare at pennies on the dollar of actual costs.
And deadbeats, indigents, and illegals pay not one damned cent anyways.
(You out there, with IQs above room temperature, see if you can puzzle out why, therefore, your private insurance gets charged $42 for a single Tylenol. Or a $50,000 bill for something Medicare only pays $5000 for. I’ll wait.)

Then factor in EMTALA, in which the feds dictated that emergency medical providers shall treat every recklessly irresponsible shitbag without insurance, and every illegal alien baby momma about to burp out another brat to cash in on Uncle Sugar’s largess to US citizens.

And then, oopsie, "forgot" to fund that unfunded mandate, which basically bankrupted every small community hospital in existence (in case you were old enough to have wondered where they all went somewhere around thirty years ago), and forced everyone to Big Giant Expensive Healthcare Palace, where everything is more expensive.

So, tell me, how long would McDonald’s survive if the feds decreed that anyone who was hungry would receive all the Big Macs and fries they wanted, simply for walking into the establishment…?

Beuller? Beuller…? Ferris Beuller…??

You want to “solve” health care, it’s simple:
get government out of the whole business. Because everything they touch turns to shit.

Here’s your one sentence:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, all provisions thereof, and all associated legislation and administrative guidelines, are all hereby revoked in their entirety, and in perpetuity.

Pay for your fucking care your own goddamn self, and qwitcherbitchin.

When the bill’s coming out of your ass, you decide, with full responsibility for the decision, whether you want that CT scan or blood test or surgery, and if you die because you fucked up that guess, well, shit’s tough. No lawsuits, just personal fucking responsibility.

Too fucking hard, cupcake?
Contract with an insurance company to gamble on your health, and charge you appropriate premiums, and buy the coverage you want: just like you do in every single fucking facet of the rest of your life.

You want a Ferrari, you pay for it, and you pay Ferrari insurance rates, and Ferrari deductibles.

You can only afford a Chevy Caprice, or a Kia, you pay less, and you get less.
If you want the government to take pity on the poor, let anyone who doesn’t pay income taxes sign up for Medicare, or military Tri-Care.
 And force Congress on that too: put the Senate on Tri-Care, and the House on Medicare, effective immediately.

Or don’t do that.
Frankly, I don’t give a shit.
But whether I buy health insurance, and what it looks like, is my decision, and mine alone.
And who gets cared for is between hospitals, doctors, and patients.
None of that is any business whatsoever of anyone in the fucking government, at any level, except insofar as they offer insurance to cover some people.

(Ask around and see how many doctors don’t take Medicare patients, BTW. It’ll open your eyes, if your brain isn’t a shrivelled raisin. Ask yourself, if the reimbursement rates are so damned profitable, why they'd be doing that. Why is it, d'ya suppose, doctors and insurance companies have to hire shit-tons of clerks and coding specialists, to navigate the arcana of federal Medicare billing and reimbursement codes and regs, the very 10 paper-pushers that deliver no actual patient care Denninger damns so casually and thoughtlessly, if Medicare is so damned by-law profitable? {Most people, with a modicum of wit at this point in the discussion, would tenderly back their cleats out of their dicks, and STFU.} Hospitals, OTOH, don't have a choice: everyone 65 and over is on Medicare, and it's 75% of their patient-load.)

Medicare, foisted on the American public by the second-biggest communist ever to inhabit the White House, LBJ, was a tag-along Ponzi scheme like that perpetrated by the absolute biggest communist, FDR, when he passed Social Security.

In both plans, you, your kids, and your grandkids, are paying and will continue to pay for your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. In Medicare's case, by shifting the actual cost onto your private insurance. That's why grandma's appendectomy was only $5K: because your private insurance is picking up the balance. Well played, communists.

Apparently, financial genius Denninger can't figure this obvious truth out when it's smacking him in the face like a frozen mackerel.
He's probably also stumped as to why health insurance premiums have risen inexorably, as government piles more and more people and things into Medicare etc.: prescription drug programs, no children left behind, illegal aliens, the relatives of illegal aliens with 37 co-morbid chronic conditions, their kids with diseases normally only studied by med students in their tropical disease lectures, and so on. Paid for by Medicare at pennies on the dollar.

Gee, with more and more seniors, and less and less employed workers carrying private insurance, not to mention less full-time employees who even get insurance, why premiums keep going up is a real poser.

Back during WWII, US wages were frozen by law, and labor was tight, what with 1 man in 6 in uniform. So to allow companies to sweeten employment offers without causing economy- and war machine-wrecking inflation, they were allowed to offer benefits, like pensions and insurance, without them being counted (and taxed, thanks to the 16th Amendment) as wages.

LBJ et al finally got around to levying that tax in 1966, with Medicare, by jacking your premiums, so that your insurance would subsidize the costs of seniors' care.

For brevity, we'll skip over the MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, and laparoscopic and arthroscopic surgeries that are commonplace for everyone now, but used to only be covered for NFL quarterbacks.

The problem isn't insurance. Insurance has been around since at least 1686, courtesy of Lloyd's of London (another boon to mankind courtesy of Dead White Males [tm]). An insurance company spreads risk, and charges you for the coverage. These charges are called premiums. The premiums are a wager on your part that something bad will happen, backed up at odds by the insurer(s) that it won't. They know they'll lose sometimes, and they have to absorb those losses and still make a profit, just like casinos. Because random acts, bad luck, poor actuarial forecasting and people skydiving and riding motorcycles. Call it the Shit Happens Factor.

So the premium calculates normal losses, plus the SHF, plus a reasonable profit to stay in business.

And because insurers have to be able to cut huge checks, and they have a monthly float of premium checks, they have to put their money where it'll grow. They also have to lay off their bets on other bookies insurers, so that one bad payout doesn't wipe out the company. So they do that, and invest a lot of their liquid assets in things like stocks, bonds, etc.

So far, so good, right?

Then government finger-fucks things.
They force insurers to do things they - and even the insured - may not want. Like ObamaCare forcing young healthy males to be covered for childbirth - an anatomically impossible occurrence, and akin to requiring flood insurance for desert dwellers in the Sahara, seatbelts on motorcycles, and diapers on dogs. It's what government does.

Which drives up insurance costs for the services you don't want. (Exactly like your cable TV bill and the channels you don't want, but still have to pay for.)

Then, more recently, government pooch-screws banks into making loans to people that can't afford houses, which plan predictably explodes. Banks fail, the stock market crashes, and insurance companies, just like your 401K, are suddenly out metric fucktons of money. So, gentle premium-paying reader, how, praytell, do you suppose they get that money back, to keep from cratering financially...?

Could it possibly be by...raising premiums??

If you got that on your own, award yourself the No Shit, Sherlock! Prize.
Unless you blog at Market Ticker.

And why would they do that?

Because if insurers fail, everyone loses all their insurance.
So, tell me again: Who was it that made banks give out loans to people who were horrible loan risks?
Who is it, in all of Denninger's hand-waving, that "audits" Medicare to make sure it reimburses providers at a "
profitable" rate?
(Bonus points if you can see a problem with letting the fox guard the chicken coop. But hey, "by law", the NSA and CIA aren't allowed to spy on Americans either. So that must never happen either, because government is so respectful and trustworthy of its citizens' rights, and circumspect in their duties towards...sorry, I had to stop before soda cost me another keyboard.)
Who enforces the law on that in case there's a disagreement between Medicare and the payee(s)?
Who piled on all the silly shit that you don't need?
Who's been jamming more people into the shitty-paying government plan(s)?

I'll wait why you write the same answer in all five cases.

Who is it that's been trying to break insurers, while forcing them to jack up premiums, which causes companies and individuals to drop coverage, which forces more people into crappy government insurance plans?

Denninger seems to be stumped on all this. Kind of like Democrats in Congress were.
Color me shocked! Shocked, I say!

This is why simpleton solutions don't work.
If you don't know what the blistering f**k you're talking about, maybe stay in your own lane.

And instead of defaulting to some infantile mental picture of insurers, hospitals, and doctors raping privately insured patients and carting the proceeds to their private vaults,

maybe show the sense God gave a jackass, and put the blame where it belongs:

Firing the government, and laying off thousands of lawyers is always a good first instinct in any problem. And anybody, like Denninger, who reaches for government as part of any solution like a gunslinger going for a .45 Colt, should be run out of town on a rail, after a proper tar-and-feathering.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just Saying What We All Know...

h/t PawPaw

How far down on the last panel do you have to go to find a city with a Republican mayor/administration?

Fight crime: ban Democrats.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Strike A Blow For Electronic Privacy

h/t WRSA

This is somewhat troubling: Sensitive personal details relating to almost 200 million US citizens have been accidentally exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee.

But hey, seriously…
This was data mined from all sorts of sources.
You’d lie to a pollster, right? RIGHT?!?

Okay, so…
Go by the local bookstore.
Collect 50 magazine blow-in subscription cards while you browse.
From political and religiously slanted periodicals, when possible.
Sign up for the magazines using your own name.
No middle initials.
At 17 real addresses you never lived at, all around the country.
Mail them in.
Next month, do the same thing for 5 people randomly selected.
Forward all your junk mail shit to those addresses.
Ideally, by responding to it using those addresses.
(And if you can’t figure out how to pull the same thing off online using dead end g-mail and yahoo addresses, you’re not tall enough for that ride.)

Going on vacation?
Out of state?
Go to the DMVs and post offices there. Get voter reg cards.
Get the local voter reg lists.
Re-register random strangers to different political parties than what they’re signed up for.
(Wear gloves. Don’t get caught. The Democrats have been doing this for decades. Of course it's illegal. So is deleting 30,000 official e-mails, and putting beyond-Top-Secret classified material on an unsecured private server. Beiss mich.)
Likely outcome: suddenly, everyone has to show ID to register to vote, or cast a ballot. Boo frickin’ hoo.
And people are registered to all sorts of strange parties.

Go to the local college or university.
Get a graduate name roster.
Get addresses all around the country that match the names, from the White Pages online, etc.
Register them all for the Denny’s Birthday Club.
As senior citizens.

Send $5 to each of 13 religious organizations. All different than yours.
And three atheist organizations.
And the Flat Earth Society, and the Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster.
And the NRA, and the ACLU.

Get three mail drops. Prepay them for six months.
Forward just your junk mail to the first one; forward all mail from the first one to the second one; all mail from the second one to the third one, and all mail from the third one to the first one. If they’re in different, but neighboring, counties, so much the better.

Get some cheap burner phones. (Quantity optional.)
Use them, and a prepaid cash gift card from Visa or MasterCard. Give one of the new phone number(s) out, with your name, every time you’re asked for a phone number that’s nobody’s goddam business, and order different inexpensive oddball crap to yourself.
At each of the 17 addresses you don’t live at.
Bonus: Use Amazon.
Send yourself Mein Kampf at one address, Mao’s Little Red Book at another, Shrillary’s It Takes a Village at a third, and Barry Goldwater’s Conscience Of A Conservative at a fourth address, and so on. Get the cheapest crappiest used copies listed.

Send your liberal acquaintances conservative books, in their own name.
Ditto, vice versa, for a few conservative friends.
Send some gay magazines to anyone annoyingly religious, esp. Muslim.

Take those bogus yahoo and g-mail accounts, and post rants on every political website in the spectrum. Daily Kos, HuffPo,, Brietbart, and so on.
Go hog-wild.
Think any obnoxious online jackhole, but with multiple personality disorder. Argue with yourself from different accounts.
Don’t forget Facey book and Twatter accounts. Be the Randy Quaid fan from hell in Major League 2, on social media. Try to offend everyone. Hashtag and “at” sign the known universe.
Lecture mouthy celebrities etc. for not being libtard enough. Make them hate their own causes, their own side, and get them to STFU and dance.

For maybe 200 bucks, you can so f**k up data miners, you’ll be listed at a dozen or more addresses you never lived at, and half a dozen phone numbers you won’t ever use, and be registered as belonging to every political and religious group on the planet. If 100 people did it, then did it to half a dozen random strangers, data mining them would be like looking for a needle in a wrecked auto junkyard, with a metal detector. Blindfolded.

Take some of the unused minutes on the burner phones, and call the embassies of every foreign state with terrorist groups. And terrorist front groups in neutral countries. And UN charities. Link their stuff to your online alter egos.

Leave some time on the burner phones.
Then leave them in public places like courthouse payphones, subway stations, railroad stations, bus depots, downtown cab stands, and casino slot machines.
Before you drop them off, switch the activation cards around.

Now the NSA is chasing Haqqim Appu, Swedish nuns, Shaquisha’s aunt Maisey, some random homeless bum with 27 psych holds, and teenagers from a downtown high school, and trying to tie them to ISIS, Victoria’s Secret, Justin Bieber porn, UNICEF, and inmates at the county jail.

If you have to get a supermarket (or any other) loyalty card, give them a fake name, fake address, and fake phone number: from three different real people, from the local phone book. Get multiple cards from the same chain, from different stores. Use them in rotation.

Feel free to get some more of those cards in the names of your elected representatives.
Use those cards to buy your porn and booze.

Post plastic-wrapped kilo bricks of oregano and baking powder to local politicians. From their political rivals.
And to the DEA from both of them.
Return address in Mexico, Bolivia, or Columbia.
(Bonus points if they’re from the offices of flaming Lefty eco-libtard groups.)

Rent a car the same as the one the local mayor, sheriff, chief of police, or the most special pain-in-the-ass politician(s) in your area drives. Make a set of stick-on cardboard plates, balls-on-accurate, with the right letters/numbers.
Run red light cameras in neighboring cities at 3AM. Park illegally in front of whorehouses, massage parlors, porn or marijuana stores, and get parking tickets. Go for the handicapped spaces. Call yourself in to the meter maids if necessary, mid-day.
Send the parking tickets to the local TV stations and newspapers.

And in case you never read Hayduke’s Revenge books, any time someone asks for a Social Security number that’s none of their goddam business, Richard Nixon’s number is 567-68-0515.

And there’s also a list of more Social Security numbers online, for Kurt Cobain, Walt Disney, etc.
Knock yourself out.

Screw the whole idea of tracking anyone’s digital life right in the butt, until it bleeds. For less than the price of a cheap handgun.
Corrupt the source data so hard it’ll never walk straight again.
And please, stop being lazy, and pay cash for your stuff, to the maximum extent humanly possible.

Privacy invasion game over.

I worked on a movie once, where one of the behind-the-scenes workers was a total dick to everyone. Because that’s what he was.
The sound guy quietly collected subscription cards from everyone on the show, for three months. Didn’t tell them why.
When the production company put out the crew list, he started filling them all out — for Messr. Dickhead.
For every publication known to man: lesbian magazines, dog and cat magazines, the Pennysaver, and about 200 other rags.
The last day of production, he mailed them all in.
Four years later, the dickhead was still fighting the mountains of shit that landed in his mailbox every day.

Another guy signed his vicious ex up for every dopey drawing at every mall and trade show he saw. She was getting junk from the entire planet, and never figured it out.

Have fun with life, and stop taking it so seriously.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A little bit, then all at once...

It's how rich men go broke; how great ships sink; how trains go off the rails.

And how presidencies implode.

Ask Hoover.
Or the elder Bush.

President Trump (yet again, not my guy, but better than the alternative...) got elected not as a conservative (indeed, he'd be a Democrat in 47 states, at least) but as a populist.

He's spent nearly 150 days living entirely on the momentum of the power of enough people to put him there, despite the best (and mostly treasonous, for the last five months) efforts of both parties, including the one he nominally leads, to keep him from the job and prevent him from doing it.

He's had some successes.
Emphasis on some.

But his bedrock promises were simple:
Drain the swamp.
Shut down visas for terrorists.
End Obamacare.
Lock her (Shrillary) up.
Build the wall.

He is not only 0 for 5, batting .000 on any of those things, and not merely forfeiting the swing in most cases, but has now, largely because of the drumbeat of opposition from the very people he knew didn't want any of those things to come to pass, completely turned in the other direction.

His loudest cheerleader, one who was laughed at and ridiculed two years ago for predicting his win,

has finally had enough, after the administration recanted their vow to end executive amnesty for hordes of illegal immigrant brats via Obozo's Dream Act, in a series of tweets:

“This daily Trump melodrama is worth it ONLY if he’s really going to build the wall, cut off Muslim refugees and deport illegals,”
“Today’s BORDER WALL CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Miles completed yesterday–Zero; Miles completed since Inauguration–Zero,” she wrote. “Anyone in a Southwestern state who strolls to the border & drops a brick will have done more to build the wall than @RealDonaldTrump.”
 “If Pence were smart, starting making noises about how he’d LOVE to build a wall,” she wrote. “He’d be sworn in as president about 2 weeks.”
Ouch. That's going to leave a mark.

There are two Trumps: one is the BFYTW (Google it) guy everyone who voted for him was voting for. The guy who'd explain to Congress, especially Democrats, and spineless Republicans (that would be just about all of them) in Congress, "You play ball with me, or you get the bat up your @$$" in his best Queens English. (That would be the NYFC variant, not the one from London.)

Then there is the celebrity apprentice, the guy who wants to grip and grin, shrug, get along with everyone, and let his dopey NYFC socialism sensibilities let him make a deal that screws everybody but him, and call it a victory.

By best reckoning, we've had somewhere between 24 and 242 years (I lose track) of exactly that sack of horse droppings from Washington D.C., thankyouverymuch.

It's fine to ride the skittish horse of populism to the ball, but when the voters who brung you see you dancing with anyone else, expect a pair of hoofprints on your ass in short order.

Trump may see, like Obozo did, what it's like to have your supposedly same-side House and Senate yanked away from you by Year Two.

And VP Pence, at that point, will have all the political cachet of Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew, combined with the wit and wisdom of Joe Biden. Ain't nothing saves that, come the day.

We'd be looking at a sweep of everything in 3 1/2 years, because Trump is looking like he's about to plant both feet firmly on the banana peel of a one-term presidency marked by grievous missteps.

If this isn't reversed, and drastically, the electorate is going to rear up and deliver the celebrity apprentice the two words such conduct merits:
"You're FIRED!"

If you were planning on as much as 8 years' respite after HopeyDopey to secure your situation and preparations, prudence dictates you focus on a far likelier time span:
about eighteen more months.

And if Wall Street tanks, sooner than that.

Invest your time and assets wisely.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Color Me Shocked

Entitled racist bitch Democratic Chairwench of the Nebraska Black Caucus (fatass above, right) thinks it's funny Republican congressmen were shot, and shot at:

How tolerant and diverse.

Not a peep from the party of Black Criminal's Lives Matter about firing her ass or toning down the rhetoric that fueled Wednesday's baseball field shooting gallery, and in fact she's doubled down (probably taking her cue from Nancy Botox trying to blame the shooting on Trump and Republicans, instead of one of her own monkeys) so let me just cut to the chase, and add that when I heard Trayvon and a few thousand other perps of color were shot, it gave me the giggles too.

Still does.

Back at ya, lardass. Gonna be even funnier when folks in your locale put your party-size carcass on the to-do list, esp. since Kevlar vests don't come in XXXXXXXL. 

And then I find this little bit of litterbox turd-nuggetry from the Lunatard Left, noted over on Solomon's SNAFU! site.

Either the Left reins this crap in, or it's time to declare the Democrat Party a terrorist organization, and set some people to work on solving that problem kinetically.

Libtard PSA: Your circus, your monkeys*. You might want to walk run this thing back, now that the experiment's gotten out of the lab, because if it turns into a two-way range, your side is long on targets and short on marksmanship, ammo, and weapons.
cf. "ethnic cleansing", and start to ponder what making America a Leftist-Free Zone is going to mean for your side.

Hint: It's not going to go like you think.

*(Anyone even slightly racially offended by the use of the term "monkey" in describing both the geriatric white wingnut who did the shooting, and the 400 pound shitbag responsible for cheering the affair on after the fact as noted above, is gently enjoined to get a grappling hook, and yank their own head - and underpants - out of their own tailpipe. This is the part where I remind you I have zero fucks to give over your pseudo-sanctimonious virtue-signaling rage. If that wasn't clear enough, let me leave my card:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Trump Derangement Syndrome Goes To Guns

As you've doubtless heard by now, today, a deranged geriatric anti-Trump holdout (whose name and visage you'll never find in this blog, unless in celebratory glee if he swings from a gibbet) from Commie Bernie Sanders' campaign decided to travel from gun-free Illinois to Virginia, to go shoot 'im some Republicans at softball practice today.

With marksmanship worthy of the NYPD, he reportedly fired over 50 rounds, and managed to hit something like 5 or 6 people, including 3 congressman, a congressional staffer, and the two Capitol Police protection cops routinely assigned to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), which congressman was one of the victims of the shootings, and which cops, along with Alexandria VA police, managed to shoot up Wingnut and undo his clever plan to even up the House caucuses a bit.

Reportedly, all of the above, including Wingnut, will probably recover, but the two Capitol cops are in serious condition.

Apparently Screwloose Fucktard didn't get the Wikileaks memo that Trump didn't take his guy out, it was Shrillary and Debbie Wasserman Shultz conspiring to prevent democracy from breaking out in the Democratic primaries.

To date, total number of Republicans or conservatives, let alone members of the vast right wing conspiracy, to try collecting scalps against Democrats is zero, going back at least to 1950.

Hopefully Wingnut can be one of the test cases for terrorism death penalties, or maybe help federal prosecutors dust off the sedition statutes.

Word to the DNC: You'd best shut your pieholes, curb your rhetoric, and wrangle your monkeys, or payback is going to have a much higher box score than your side ever dreamed of if this starts being a bilateral team sport. And it's a lot less fun to be stoking the rhetorical fires from the well of the House when they're liable to be returned with lead.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hey, @$$hole, Your 15 Minutes Were Up...30 Minutes Ago!

So...lemme see if I got this straight...

James "Comey The Clown" Comey, the FBI director so fired his ass didn't even hit the steps between the door of the Hoover Building and the asphalt on Pennsylvania Avenue; the one whose head most Democrats were screaming for when they thought Shrillary was going to win, and he had stepped on his dick (or hers); the one who broke into government service as a long-time shill for the Clinton Machine since 2000/2001; who excused the corrupt Bill Clinton pardon of Marc Rich; then funneled Lockheed corporate payoffs to the Clinton Foundation; then moved to HSBC to cover up that scandal after they'd funneled drug and oil money to the Clinton Foundation; whose brother "audited" (for some values of the word "whitewash") the corruption of the Clinton Foundation slush fund in return for a $700K loan from FBI Director Comey; and who "couldn't see any reason to prosecute" Hillary Clinton for anything despite acknowledging publicly and in detail that she'd committed metric fucktons of federal felonies worth something upwards of 660,000 years in federal prison, and $33,000,000 in fines under the provisions of 44 USC 310118 USC 1519, and 18 USC 2071, before even addressing the hundreds of egregious and felonious failures and exposure of the most closely held classified-above-Top-Secret material the U.S. government possesses, including the Holy Grail of revealing intelligence sources and methods...
that guy has, without any corroboration whatsoever nor even possible, now suddenly remembered that President Trump improperly suggested that Comey terminate an investigation that, to date, has yet to uncover any actual suspect, of any actual crime, whatsoever, despite hundreds of FBI agents investing man-years and millions of dollars of investigatorial time looking for imaginary actions in a witch-hunt of biblical proportions designed solely to prop up the media's toothless factless narrative that Trump stole the election he won in an electoral landslide, by doing something somehow with somebody and Russians, because...reasons?

The same guy who had no curiosity whatsoever about why former President Clinton travelled all the way to Phoenix AZ in order to conveniently "bump into" AG Lynch, just before Comey cleared Shrillary of any wrongdoing in violating every precept of security and handling of classified material, such that an ordinary citizen doing same would be in a pit in SuperMax Federal Prison with air and daylight pumped in to them in some subterranean penal abyss down hundreds of feet beneath the ground?

The only thing Congress should be doing is hiring a conga line of guys to throw cream pies in Comey's face, every 5 seconds, from dawn to dusk, for a week, just to approach the level of respect his testimony on anything should be accorded.

One can only imagine the fear this pathetic wastrel must hold of the Clinton Machine that after receiving the world's record worst federal firing notice of all time
he would still rather pull his pants down and spank himself in front of the entire Congress than retire quietly to the ignominy he so richly deserves, and await that one-way Tahoe fishing trip into oblivion with one of Clinton minions driving the boat.
You'd think he'd summon a spine, and strike back at those who ruined his life, and career, and who've held his chain for going on twenty years.
But you'd be wrong. He's going to see this thing through right to the end.
Well played, sir.
You're an inspiration to thousands of people who thought this guy couldn't be topped:
Unfortunately, we already know how the story ends.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Primer On Vehicle Ramming Attacks (VRAs)

by Chris Hernandez


And one caveat to Chris' piece:

Be aware that the VRA may only be the first stage of the attack, but that shooting or stabbing bystanders afterwards may not always be the second.

If everyone starts running after and swarming vehicles, it will be a nasty surprise when the truck bomber, having a large mob surrounding and attacking his vehicle, lets go of the VBIED deadman switch; or steps out with a suicide vest on, for the same deal.

If you're already in the blast radius when the vehicle stops or slows, you have nothing to lose by responding closer.

But if it goes by you and on down the road a ways, taking cover for a bit may be a better way to deal with it than running towards Stage Two and becoming part of the crater.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Pirates Of The Caribbean V: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailer #1:
(no spoilers)

BLUF: It's about time.

After the descending spiral of craptacity of II, then the truly abysmal III, and the shamefully unfulfilled promise of IV (squandering Ian McShane as Blackbeard was a mortal sin, hear me God), Disney/Bruckheimer finally found someone who could write a screenplay worthy of the original, and POTC V: DMTNT is it.

It pays off numerous leads from the prior three mostly forgettable placeholders, forges new ground of its own, comes with any number of rousing set pieces and flashbacks, and ties the entire series thus far into a wonderfully satisfying and well-tied ribbon bow.

It's not the best movie ever made, but it's worth seeing first-run if you're a fan of the series, and seeing at all if you just like a good flick. If it fails anywhere, it's that despite its running length of 2:33:00, I would have been happier with more (any way you'd care to parse that word) of the talented and truly delightful Kaya Scodelario.

Beyond that, with a budget of $230M, and the talents of Oscar winners Geoffrey Rush and Javier Bardem, it's hard to screw up any movie so talent-heavy with a decent script.
It is, and they didn't.
If anything, they burned out a lot of fan love from the fantastic and nigh-untoppable original film with the prior three mediocre sequels, and this flick is still financially sucking wind after a pack-leading (but still disappointing) box office last weekend.

Ignore that: this one is another pirate ghost story for which it's worth shelling out your doubloons, or at least a matinee rate of a few pieces of eight.

If they can keep writing them this good going forward, and they manage to trim the budget back down a bit closer to reality, they could pull this series back from the pit, and get it back on course.

And I'd probably get to see more of Kaya Scodelario.

That'd definitely be a two-fer.

My rating: Two hooks up! Set sail on this nearly three hour tour. It's buried treasure, for the taking.

Friday, June 2, 2017

F*@#!%& Cheap Bastards - A Modest Suggestion

I buy the random electronic device.
Actually, tons of them.
Laptops, two DSLR cameras, three or four handicams, a pocket camera, a few dozen flashlights, a couple of pocket recorders, one hi-def digital sound recorder, multiple monitors, DVD/BD players, a game console, and all with any number of remote controls for same. And then the night vision goggles, laser range finders, red dot scopes, handheld GPSs, and GMRS/HT/SW/Ham radios in small armies.

And almost without exception, every single one of these marvels of 21st century technology comes equipped from the manufacturer, by malign fucktarderry, with the cheapest, shoddiest, shittiest, most-likely-to-explode-and-go-tits-up-at-a-critical-moment piece of Chinese SHIT batteries, pounded together in a yurt by Mongolian yak farmers from old wheel weights, saltpeter, and yak shit in the Chinese #37 A-1 Battery Company, Ltd.

WTBlisteringF, corporate cheapskate @$$holes?!?

It's like buying a Ferrari, and finding out they put the crappiest brand of tires from Madagascar onto $800K of sports car. Only stupider.

I've probably filled a notable portion of the local landfill with those shit-tastic pieces of Chinese Fail Fuckerry, mainly because of long experience with chipping exploded melted battery pus out of delicate and expensive devices every single time in the past beyond misty memory if I don't hurl the goddamned things as far from here as possible immediately after opening the original packaging.

JFC, you cheap bean-counting shitstains on a good company, try shipping Duracell, Energizer, or even Panasonic or Maxell/Hitachi name-brand batteries (perhaps you fuckwits have heard of them?), and tell the Who Flung Poo Asstastic Battery Company to pound their cheap worthless trash right back up the ass of the yak that shat it out before you bought them by the metric fuckton, and shipped them out in your products.

I mean, holy shit, it might add 79 cents to the cost of your $800 piece of electronic wonder, or cost you as much from the bottom line, while not making your customers want to force feed your CEO and board of directors consumer batteries using a 4-lb sledgehammer, up the tailpipe, until they come out your noses.

Just saying.

When the day comes I have terminal cancer, I'm taking a wrist rocket and a few buckets of the damned things to the local US HQs buildings of a number of, primarily Asian, electronics companies hereabouts (all well within a tank of gas) on a Sunday, and I swear to Buddha I'll be returning your batteries through all your corporate plate glass windows at about 200 FPS. Call it my version of free shipping.

I highly urge anyone in the SoCal area, even for a visit, to do the same, every time you visit.
Start a trend, maybe.

Perhaps when the cheap jackholes get the bill for American plate glass replacement, they can suddenly see their way clear through the yawning openings in their former glass palaces to buying actual functional consumer batteries for their consumer electronics.

It's certainly worth trying.

And yes, I feel better now.

Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton


A few days ago, I guest-posted another lecture, from sci-fi legend Robert Heinlein.
Events yesterday make this guest post, from the late great author, screenwriter, and film director Michael Crichton, one that needs to be shared. I've linked to it dozens of times, in posts and comments online, and its truth and applicability never goes away.

It's on a dozen internet sites already, though all rights to this devolve to the author's estate and any other legal holders of same. I reprint it in its entirety here for educational purposes; as homage to a singularly great and gifted mind, too soon departed from our midst; as further insurance against it being removed elsewhere; and for its perspicacity and aptness just now.

The great pity is that it's not on audio, DVD, BD, or even YouTube: word to his estate, I'd buy 20 copies tomorrow if it was, to give away to friends.

Please read it all, and enjoy it with my warmest benediction and compliments.


Caltech Michelin Lecture
January 17, 2003
by Michael Crichton
My topic today sounds humorous but unfortunately I am serious. I am going to argue that extraterrestrials lie behind global warming. Or to speak more precisely, I will argue that a belief in extraterrestrials has paved the way, in a progression of steps, to a belief in global warming.
Charting this progression of belief will be my task today. Let me say at once that I have no desire to discourage anyone from believing in either extraterrestrials or global warming. That would be quite impossible to do.
Rather, I want to discuss the history of several widely-publicized beliefs and to point to what I consider an emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science - namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy.

I have a special interest in this because of my own upbringing. I was born in the midst of World War II, and passed my formative years at the height of the Cold War. In school drills, I dutifully crawled under my desk in preparation for a nuclear attack.
It was a time of widespread fear and uncertainty, but even as a child I believed that science represented the best and greatest hope for mankind. Even to a child, the contrast was clear between the world of politics-a world of hate and danger, of irrational beliefs and fears, of mass manipulation and disgraceful blots on human history. In contrast, science held different values-international in scope, forging friendships and working relationships across national boundaries and political systems, encouraging a dispassionate habit of thought, and ultimately leading to fresh knowledge and technology that would benefit all mankind.

The world might not be a very good place, but science would make it better. And it did. In my lifetime, science has largely fulfilled its promise. Science has been the great intellectual adventure of our age, and a great hope for our troubled and restless world. But I did not expect science merely to extend lifespan, feed the hungry, cure disease, and shrink the world with jets and cell phones.
I also expected science to banish the evils of human thought---prejudice and superstition, irrational beliefs and false fears. I expected science to be, in Carl Sagan's memorable phrase, "a candle in a demon haunted world." And here, I am not so pleased with the impact of science. Rather than serving as a cleansing force, science has in some instances been seduced by the more ancient lure of politics and publicity.

Some of the demons that haunt our world in recent years are invented by scientists. The world has not benefited from permitting these demons to escape free. But let's look at how it came to pass.
Cast your minds back to 1960. John F. Kennedy is president, commercial jet airplanes are just appearing, the biggest university mainframes have 12K of memory. And in Green Bank, West Virginia at the new National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a young astrophysicist named Frank Drake runs a two-week project called Ozma, to search for extraterrestrial signals. A signal is received, to great excitement. It turns out to be false, but the excitement remains.
In 1960, Drake organizes the first SETI conference, and came up with the now-famous Drake equation:

N=N*fp ne fl fi fc fL

[where N is the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy; fp is the fraction with planets; ne is the number of planets per star capable of supporting life; fl is the fraction of planets where life evolves; fi is the fraction where intelligent life evolves; and fc is the fraction that communicates; and fL is the fraction of the planet's life during which the communicating civilizations live.]
This serious-looking equation gave SETI a serious footing as a legitimate intellectual inquiry. The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. And guesses-just so we're clear-are merely expressions of prejudice.
Nor can there be "informed guesses." If you need to state how many planets with life choose to communicate, there is simply no way to make an informed guess. It's simply prejudice.
As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless, and has nothing to do with science. I take the hard view that science involves the creation of testable hypotheses. The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore SETI is not science. SETI is unquestionably a religion.
Faith is defined by the firm belief in something for which there is no proof. The belief that the Koran is the word of God is a matter of faith. The belief that God created the universe in seven days is a matter of faith. The belief that there are other life forms in the universe is a matter of faith. There is not a single shred of evidence for any other life forms, and in forty years of searching none has been discovered. There is absolutely no evidentiary reason to maintain this belief. SETI is a religion.

One way to chart the cooling of enthusiasm is to review popular works on the subject. In 1964, at the height of SETI enthusiasm, Walter Sullivan of the NY Times wrote an exciting book about life in the universe entitled WE ARE NOT ALONE. By 1995, when Paul Davis wrote a book on the same subject, he titled it ARE WE ALONE? ( Since 1981, there have in fact been four books titled ARE WE ALONE.) More recently we have seen the rise of the so-called "Rare Earth" theory which suggests that we may, in fact, be all alone.
Again, there is no evidence either way.
Back in the sixties, SETI had its critics, although not among astrophysicists and astronomers. The biologists and paleontologists were harshest. George Gaylord Simpson of Harvard sneered that SETI was a "study without a subject," and it remains so to the present day. But scientists in general have been indulgent toward SETI, viewing it either with bemused tolerance, or with indifference. After all, what's the big deal? It's kind of fun. If people want to look, let them. Only a curmudgeon would speak harshly of SETI. It wasn't worth the bother.
And of course, it is true that untestable theories may have heuristic value. Of course, extraterrestrials are a good way to teach science to kids. But that does not relieve us of the obligation to see the Drake equation clearly for what it is - pure speculation in quasi-scientific trappings.
The fact that the Drake equation was not greeted with screams of outrage-similar to the screams of outrage that greet each Creationist new claim, for example - meant that now there was a crack in the door, a loosening of the definition of what constituted legitimate scientific procedure. And soon enough, pernicious garbage began to squeeze through the cracks.
Now let's jump ahead a decade to the 1970s, and Nuclear Winter. In 1975, the National Academy of Sciences reported on "Long-Term Worldwide Effects of Multiple Nuclear Weapons Detonations" but the report estimated the effect of dust from nuclear blasts to be relatively minor.
In 1979, the Office of Technology Assessment issued a report on "The Effects of Nuclear War" and stated that nuclear war could perhaps produce irreversible adverse consequences on the environment. However, because the scientific processes involved were poorly understood, the report stated it was not possible to estimate the probable magnitude of such damage.
Three years later, in 1982, the Swedish Academy of Sciences commissioned a report entitled "The Atmosphere after a Nuclear War: Twilight at Noon," which attempted to quantify the effect of smoke from burning forests and cities. The authors speculated that there would be so much smoke that a large cloud over the northern hemisphere would reduce incoming sunlight below the level required for photosynthesis, and that this would last for weeks or even longer.

The following year, five scientists including Richard Turco and Carl Sagan published a paper in Science called "Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions." This was the so-called TTAPS report, which attempted to quantify more rigorously the atmospheric effects, with the added credibility to be gained from an actual computer model of climate.
At the heart of the TTAPS undertaking was another equation, never specifically expressed, but one that could be paraphrased as follows:
Ds = Wn Ws Wh Tf Tb Pt Pr Pe etc
(The amount of tropospheric dust = # warheads x size warheads x warhead detonation height x flammability of targets x Target burn duration x Particles entering the Troposphere x Particle reflectivity x Particle endurance, and so on.)
The similarity to the Drake equation is striking. As with the Drake equation, none of the variables can be determined. None at all. The TTAPS study addressed this problem in part by mapping out different wartime scenarios and assigning numbers to some of the variables, but even so, the remaining variables were-and are-simply unknowable. Nobody knows how much smoke will be generated when cities burn, creating particles of what kind, and for how long. No one knows the effect of local weather conditions on the amount of particles that will be injected into the troposphere. No one knows how long the particles will remain in the troposphere. And so on.
And remember, this is only four years after the OTA study concluded that the underlying scientific processes were so poorly known that no estimates could be reliably made.
Nevertheless, the TTAPS study not only made those estimates, but concluded they were catastrophic. According to Sagan and his coworkers, even a limited 5,000 megaton nuclear exchange would cause a global temperature drop of more than 35 degrees Centigrade, and this change would last for three months.
The greatest volcanic eruptions that we know of changed world temperatures somewhere between 0.5 and 2 degrees Centigrade. Ice ages changed global temperatures by 10 degrees. Here we have an estimated change three times greater than any ice age.
One might expect it to be the subject of some dispute. But Sagan and his coworkers were prepared, for nuclear winter was from the outset the subject of a well-orchestrated media campaign. The first announcement of nuclear winter appeared in an article by Sagan in the Sunday supplement, Parade. The very next day, a highly-publicized, high-profile conference on the long-term consequences of nuclear war was held in Washington, chaired by Carl Sagan and Paul Ehrlich, the most famous and media-savvy scientists of their generation.
Sagan appeared on the Johnny Carson show 40 times. Ehrlich was on 25 times. Following the conference, there were press conferences, meetings with congressmen, and so on. The formal papers in Science came months later.
This is not the way science is done, it is the way products are sold. The real nature of the conference is indicated by these artists' renderings of the effect of nuclear winter.
I cannot help but quote the caption for figure 5: "Shown here is a tranquil scene in the north woods. A beaver has just completed its dam, two black bears forage for food, a swallow-tailed butterfly flutters in the foreground, a loon swims quietly by, and a kingfisher searches for a tasty fish." Hard science if ever there was.
At the conference in Washington, during the question period, Ehrlich was reminded that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, scientists were quoted as saying nothing would grow there for 75 years, but in fact melons were growing the next year. So, he was asked, how accurate were these findings now?
Ehrlich answered by saying "I think they are extremely robust. Scientists may have made statements like that, although I cannot imagine what their basis would have been, even with the state of science at that time, but scientists are always making absurd statements, individually, in various places. What we are doing here, however, is presenting a consensus of a very large group of scientists."
I want to pause here and talk about how this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.
In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There's no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.
In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let's review a few cases.
In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever.
In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no.
In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no.
In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent "skeptics" around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.
There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the "pellagra germ." The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory.
Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called "Goldberger's filth parties." Nobody contracted pellagra.
The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.
Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology-until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.
And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy. The list of consensus errors goes on and on.
Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.
Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says that the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. it would never occur to anyone to speak that way.
But back to our main subject. What I have been suggesting to you is that nuclear winter was a meaningless formula, tricked out with bad science, for policy ends. It was political from the beginning, promoted in a well-orchestrated media campaign that had to be planned weeks or months in advance.
Further evidence of the political nature of the whole project can be found in the response to criticism. Although Richard Feynman was characteristically blunt, saying, "I really don't think these guys know what they're talking about," other prominent scientists were noticeably reticent. Freeman Dyson was quoted as saying "It's an absolutely atrocious piece of science but who wants to be accused of being in favor of nuclear war?" And Victor Weisskopf said, "The science is terrible but---perhaps the psychology is good."
The nuclear winter team followed up the publication of such comments with letters to the editors denying that these statements were ever made, though the scientists since then have subsequently confirmed their views. At the time, there was a concerted desire on the part of lots of people to avoid nuclear war. If nuclear winter looked awful, why investigate too closely? Who wanted to disagree? Only people like Edward Teller, the "father of the H bomb."
Teller said, "While it is generally recognized that details are still uncertain and deserve much more study, Dr. Sagan nevertheless has taken the position that the whole scenario is so robust that there can be little doubt about its main conclusions."
Yet for most people, the fact that nuclear winter was a scenario riddled with uncertainties did not seem to be relevant. I say it is hugely relevant. Once you abandon strict adherence to what science tells us, once you start arranging the truth in a press conference, then anything is possible.
In one context, maybe you will get some mobilization against nuclear war. But in another context, you get Lysenkoism. In another, you get Nazi euthanasia. The danger is always there, if you subvert science to political ends.
That is why it is so important for the future of science that the line between what science can say with certainty, and what it cannot, be drawn clearly-and defended.
What happened to Nuclear Winter? As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive; John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring.
A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened.
What, then, can we say were the lessons of Nuclear Winter? I believe the lesson was that with a catchy name, a strong policy position and an aggressive media campaign, nobody will dare to criticize the science, and in short order, a terminally weak thesis will be established as fact.
After that, any criticism becomes beside the point. The war is already over without a shot being fired. That was the lesson, and we had a textbook application soon afterward, with second hand smoke.
In 1993, the EPA announced that second-hand smoke was "responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in nonsmoking adults," and that it " impairs the respiratory health of hundreds of thousands of people." In a 1994 pamphlet the EPA said that the eleven studies it based its decision on were not by themselves conclusive, and that they collectively assigned second-hand smoke a risk factor of 1.19. (For reference, a risk factor below 3.0 is too small for action by the EPA. or for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example.)
Furthermore, since there was no statistical association at the 95% confidence limits, the EPA lowered the limit to 90%. They then classified second-hand smoke as a Group-A Carcinogen.
This was openly fraudulent science, but it formed the basis for bans on smoking in restaurants, offices, and airports. California banned public smoking in 1995. Soon, no claim was too extreme. By 1998, the Christian Science Monitor was saying that "Second-hand smoke is the nation's third-leading preventable cause of death." The American Cancer Society announced that 53,000 people died each year of second-hand smoke. The evidence for this claim is nonexistent.
In 1998, a Federal judge held that the EPA had acted improperly, had "committed to a conclusion before research had begun", and had "disregarded information and made findings on selective information."
The reaction of Carol Browner, head of the EPA was: "We stand by our science; there's wide agreement. The American people certainly recognize that exposure to second hand smoke brings a whole host of health problems."
Again, note how the claim of consensus trumps science. In this case, it isn't even a consensus of scientists that Browner evokes! It's the consensus of the American people.
Meanwhile, ever-larger studies failed to confirm any association. A large, seven-country WHO study in 1998 found no association. Nor have well-controlled subsequent studies, to my knowledge. Yet we now read, for example, that second-hand smoke is a cause of breast cancer. At this point you can say pretty much anything you want about second-hand smoke.
As with nuclear winter, bad science is used to promote what most people would consider good policy. I certainly think it is. I don't want people smoking around me. So who will speak out against banning second-hand smoke? Nobody, and if you do, you'll be branded a shill of RJ Reynolds. A big tobacco flunky. But the truth is that we now have a social policy supported by the grossest of superstitions.
And we've given the EPA a bad lesson in how to behave in the future. We've told them that cheating is the way to succeed.
As the twentieth century drew to a close, the connection between hard scientific fact and public policy became increasingly elastic. In part this was possible because of the complacency of the scientific profession; in part because of the lack of good science education among the public; in part, because of the rise of specialized advocacy groups which have been enormously effective in getting publicity and shaping public policy; and in great part because of the decline of the media as an independent assessor of fact.

The deterioration of the American media is dire loss for our country. When distinguished institutions like the New York Times can no longer differentiate between factual content and editorial opinion, but rather mix both freely on their front page, then who will hold anyone to a higher standard?
And so, in this elastic anything-goes world where science-or non-science-is the hand maiden of questionable public policy, we arrive at last at global warming. It is not my purpose here to rehash the details of this most magnificent of the demons haunting the world. I would just remind you of the now-familiar pattern by which these things are established.
Evidentiary uncertainties are glossed over in the unseemly rush for an overarching policy, and for grants to support the policy by delivering findings that are desired by the patron.
Next, the isolation of those scientists who won't get with the program, and the characterization of those scientists as outsiders and "skeptics" in quotation marks - suspect individuals with suspect motives, industry flunkies, reactionaries, or simply anti-environmental nutcases.
In short order, debate ends, even though prominent scientists are uncomfortable about how things are being done. When did "skeptic" become a dirty word in science? When did a skeptic require quotation marks around it?

To an outsider, the most significant innovation in the global warming controversy is the overt reliance that is being placed on models. Back in the days of nuclear winter, computer models were invoked to add weight to a conclusion: "These results are derived with the help of a computer model."
But now, large-scale computer models are seen as generating data in themselves. No longer are models judged by how well they reproduce data from the real world-increasingly, models provide the data.
As if they were themselves a reality. And indeed they are, when we are projecting forward. There can be no observational data about the year 2100. There are only model runs. This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well.
Richard Feynman called it a disease. I fear he is right. Because only if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen can you arrive at the complex point where the global warming debate now stands. Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we're asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future?
And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?
Stepping back, I have to say the arrogance of the model-makers is breathtaking. There have been, in every century, scientists who say they know it all. Since climate may be a chaotic system-no one is sure-these predictions are inherently doubtful, to be polite. But more to the point, even if the models get the science spot-on, they can never get the sociology. To predict anything about the world a hundred years from now is simply absurd.
Look: If I was selling stock in a company that I told you would be profitable in 2100, would you buy it? Or would you think the idea was so crazy that it must be a scam?
Let's think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horseshit?
Horse pollution was bad in 1900, think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people riding horses? But of course, within a few years, nobody rode horses except for sport.
And in 2000, France was getting 80% its power from an energy source that was unknown in 1900. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan were getting more than 30% from this source, unknown in 1900. Remember, people in 1900 didn't know what an atom was.
They didn't know its structure. They also didn't know what a radio was, or an airport, or a movie, or a television, or a computer, or a cell phone, or a jet, an antibiotic, a rocket, a satellite, an MRI, ICU, IUD, IBM, IRA, ERA, EEG, EPA, IRS, DOD, PCP, HTML, internet. interferon, instant replay, remote sensing, remote control, speed dialing, gene therapy, gene splicing, genes, spot welding, heat-seeking, bipolar, prozac, leotards, lap dancing, email, tape recorder, CDs, airbags, plastic explosive, plastic, robots, cars, liposuction, transduction, superconduction, dish antennas, step aerobics, smoothies, twelve-step, ultrasound, nylon, rayon, teflon, fiber optics, carpal tunnel, laser surgery, laparoscopy, corneal transplant, kidney transplant, AIDS. None of this would have meant anything to a person in the year 1900. They wouldn't know what you are talking about.
Now. You tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it's even worth thinking about. Our models just carry the present into the future. They're bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives a moment's thought knows it.
I remind you that in the lifetime of most scientists now living, we have already had an example of dire predictions set aside by new technology. I refer to the green revolution. In 1960, Paul Ehrlich said, "The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines-hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death."
Ten years later, he predicted four billion people would die during the 1980s, including 65 million Americans. The mass starvation that was predicted never occurred, and it now seems it isn't ever going to happen. Nor is the population explosion going to reach the numbers predicted even ten years ago.
In 1990, climate modelers anticipated a world population of 11 billion by 2100. Today, some people think the correct number will be 7 billion and falling. But nobody knows for sure. But it is impossible to ignore how closely the history of global warming fits on the previous template for nuclear winter.
Just as the earliest studies of nuclear winter stated that the uncertainties were so great that probabilities could never be known, so, too the first pronouncements on global warming argued strong limits on what could be determined with certainty about climate change.
The 1995 IPCC draft report said, "Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced." It also said, "No study to date has positively attributed all or part of observed climate changes to anthropogenic causes."
Those statements were removed, and in their place appeared: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on climate." What is clear, however, is that on this issue, science and policy have become inextricably mixed to the point where it will be difficult, if not impossible, to separate them out. It is possible for an outside observer to ask serious questions about the conduct of investigations into global warming, such as whether we are taking appropriate steps to improve the quality of our observational data records, whether we are systematically obtaining the information that will clarify existing uncertainties, whether we have any organized disinterested mechanism to direct research in this contentious area.
The answer to all these questions is no. We don't. In trying to think about how these questions can be resolved, it occurs to me that in the progression from SETI to nuclear winter to second-hand smoke to global warming, we have one clear message, and that is that we can expect more and more problems of public policy dealing with technical issues in the future-problems of ever greater seriousness, where people care passionately on all sides.
And at the moment we have no mechanism to get good answers. So I will propose one. Just as we have established a tradition of double-blinded research to determine drug efficacy, we must institute double-blinded research in other policy areas as well. Certainly the increased use of computer models, such as GCMs, cries out for the separation of those who make the models from those who verify them.
The fact is that the present structure of science is entrepreneurial, with individual investigative teams vying for funding from organizations that all too often have a clear stake in the outcome of the research-or appear to, which may be just as bad. This is not healthy for science.
Sooner or later, we must form an independent research institute in this country. It must be funded by industry, by government, and by private philanthropy, both individuals and trusts. The money must be pooled, so that investigators do not know who is paying them. The institute must fund more than one team to do research in a particular area, and the verification of results will be a foregone requirement: teams will know their results will be checked by other groups.
In many cases, those who decide how to gather the data will not gather it, and those who gather the data will not analyze it. If we were to address the land temperature records with such rigor, we would be well on our way to an understanding of exactly how much faith we can place in global warming, and therefore with what seriousness we must address this.
I believe that as we come to the end of this litany, some of you may be saying, well what is the big deal, really. So we made a few mistakes. So a few scientists have overstated their cases and have egg on their faces. So what?
Well, I'll tell you.
In recent years, much has been said about the post-modernist claims about science to the effect that science is just another form of raw power, tricked out in special claims for truth-seeking and objectivity that really have no basis in fact. Science, we are told, is no better than any other undertaking. These ideas may anger scientists, and they anger me. But recent events have made me wonder if they are correct. 
We can take as an example the scientific reception accorded a Danish statistician, Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist.
The scientific community responded in a way that can only be described as disgraceful. In professional literature, it was complained he had no standing because he was not an earth scientist. His publisher, Cambridge University Press, was attacked with cries that the editor should be fired, and that all right-thinking scientists should shun the press. The past president of the AAAS wondered aloud how Cambridge could have ever "published a book that so clearly could never have passed peer review." (But of course, the manuscript did pass peer review by three earth scientists on both sides of the Atlantic, and all recommended publication.)
But what are scientists doing attacking a press? Is this the new McCarthyism-coming from scientists? Worst of all was the behavior of the Scientific American, which seemed intent on proving the post-modernist point that it was all about power, not facts.
The Scientific American attacked Lomborg for eleven pages, yet only came up with nine factual errors despite their assertion that the book was "rife with careless mistakes."
It was a poor display, featuring vicious ad hominem attacks, including comparing him to a Holocaust denier. The issue was captioned: "Science defends itself against the Skeptical Environmentalist."
Really. Science has to defend itself? Is this what we have come to? When Lomborg asked for space to rebut his critics, he was given only a page and a half. When he said it wasn't enough, he put the critics' essays on his web page and answered them in detail.
Scientific American threatened copyright infringement and made him take the pages down. Further attacks since, have made it clear what is going on. Lomborg is charged with heresy. That's why none of his critics needs to substantiate their attacks in any detail. That's why the facts don't matter.
That's why they can attack him in the most vicious personal terms. He's a heretic. Of course, any scientist can be charged as Galileo was charged. I'd just never thought I'd see the Scientific American in the role of Mother Church. 
Is this what science has become? I hope not. But it is what it will become, unless there is a concerted effort by leading scientists to aggressively separate science from policy.
The late Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, said that "Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference-- science and the nation will suffer."
Personally, I don't worry about the nation. But I do worry about science.

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 For a taste of what it would have sounded like live, a speech of his that is on YouTube: