Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today's Links of Interest

Lawrence Solomon on how science works and the new CERN data:

The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.

The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from ├╝ber-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories.

...

The hypothesis that cosmic rays and the sun hold the key to the global warming debate has been Enemy No. 1 to the global warming establishment ever since it was first proposed by two scientists from the Danish Space Research Institute, at a 1996 scientific conference in the U.K. Within one day, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Bert Bolin, denounced the theory, saying, “I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naive and irresponsible.” He then set about discrediting the theory, any journalist that gave the theory cre dence, and most of all the Danes presenting the theory — they soon found themselves vilified, marginalized and starved of funding, despite their impeccable scientific credentials.

True? Beats me. I do look forward to reading the Nature article, however.

An Entrepreneurial Fix for the US Economy

Jim Geraghty: Taking the Alter Challenge on Obama

Left Turn: A Book with an Interesting Theory on Political and Media Bias

Crime Declining Even in Economic Hard Times

The Other McCain: The Politics of Fear:

Unjustified fear of “right-wing extremism” is fomented simply as a way of demonizing Republicans who, the liberals would have us believe, are on the one hand beholden to dangerous crackpots while, on the other hand, are also tacitly encouraging violent extremists. So if some nut commits a heinous crime and is then alleged to have been a Rush Limbaugh listener — vote Democrat! 

Because if you don’t vote Democrat, the Republicans will take charge and then the brownshirts will be goose-stepping down Main Street next week.

...



Beyond such transparent guilt-by-association smears, however, we see that the fearmongers benefit from the nebulousness of the threats with which they excite the phobias of their audience. They rely on the “ghosts of fascists past” that haunt the liberal imagination, so that a rally of people waving Gadsden flags and grumbling about taxes can easily be made to conjure up nightmares of Nuremberg in 1934.

It does little good, in protesting against such distortions, to point out the blindingly obvious fact: The dreams of the Tea Partiers — fiscal responsibility, limited government, the rule of law — are the antithesis of Nazi dreams of an all-powerful totalitarian super-state. Nor does it do much good to point out what Jonah Goldberg has explained at length, that modern liberalism owes a tremendous debt of fascism.
And two three more links just because these sites should be linked:

Open Secrets - Keeping track of money in politics.

View from the Porch, an interesting blog I came across in my web wanderings.

The BioLogos Forum - A website devoted to dialog between science and faith.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Learn Liberty

I just found out about Learn Liberty from the following video posted at Gregory Mankiw's blog. It claims to be "a resource for learning about the ideas of a free society." Looks like there are a lot of interesting videos there. Here's one:

Top 3 Common Myths of Capitalism


Here's the website for Learn Liberty and their sponsoring organization, the Institute for Humane Studies.

Today's Links of Interest

Foreign Policy: Life After Debt

LeafSnap - an app for those with an interest in trees

UK Riots: The end of the liberals' great moral delusion

Top 3 Common Myths of Capitalism, by Harvard economist Jeff Miron

CERN: 'climate models will need to be substantially revised'

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today's Links of Interest

Foreign Policy, Life After Debt

DSLR Film Noob, another interesting blog I recently ran across.

Junk Science and Watt's Up With That fight the AGW consensus (for better or worse, I don't know)

Aquinas' Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Gotta follow that up by a link to the man himself: Summa Theologica

Then Aesthetic Judgment at the SEP along with the website for the American Society of Aesthetics

And what goes better with philosophy than beer? Here's a guide to some of the healthier beers!


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Bowles-Simpson Report

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was an interesting project. According to Wikipedia, the report required a super-majority of 14 (out of 18) votes to be formally endorsed by the commission. It failed, 11-7. Nevertheless, the report was endorsed by 10 ex-chairs of the president's council of economic advisers from both Democratic and Republican administrations. It offered a way out, but Obama and the Democrats ignored it and the Republicans followed their lead.

Bowles-Simpson was probably the last chance for a true bipartisan solution to the deficit battle. Failure to take it seriously lead to the brink. Once there, both the establishment politicians and the Tea Party dug in. For their actions on the brink, both sides are equally culpable, but it was the establishment politicians who drove us to the brink, and for that, they should be pilloried in every public forum. Instead, the Tea Party is demonized, and all those with a stake in business as usual, all those who will deny Americans any genuine chance of hope, any real change, are piling on.

Terrorism. Tea Party. Hobbits. Sorted Out by Sgt. Mom.

Sgt. Mom has a good post clarifying some of the key differences between terrorism, the Tea Parties, and hobbits.

Some of her commenters object, claiming the Tea Partiers are economic terrorists. My reply is still that, if any political group in America can be defined as economic terrorists, all those who put us in this economic situation, from 1937 to today, most qualify.

One bizarre commenter even called the Tea Partiers "definitely the nearest thing this country has yet produced to true fascism." Weird kind of fascists that call for a weaker, more decentralized government; less government control over the economy; and less government-corporate cronyism.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Give the Democrats the Higher Taxes They Want

In the spirit of Glenn Reynolds, I have a suggestion for a way through our current impasse on higher taxes. Democrats say we need them; Republicans have vowed to stop them. I believe both sides can get what they want, if only they are willing to compromise just a bit.

My proposal is to raise taxes on Democrats. All registered Democrats would pay an extra 5% in income tax. Now, this would violate the Republican promise to not raise taxes, but they might be persuaded to make this one exception and take a compromise. Democrats, on the other hand, would object that they only want to raise taxes on the rich, but really, aren't all Americans rich compared to, say, the average Indian or Somalian? Here, too, Democrats will have to compromise just a bit to get what they want.

NB: As to who is rich, clearly, any party that can go from crying at the tops of their lungs that Bush is Hitler and that dissent is the highest form of patriotism to calling the Tea Party terrorists -- well that's just rich, you know?

Friday, August 05, 2011

Civility in Politics

James Taranto's column, "Civility: The Denouement":

Hey, what ever happened to civility?

That's not a rhetorical question. Back in January, after a madman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a crowd of her constituents, gravely wounding her and killing six, the liberal elite briefly developed an obsession with the supposed dangers of uncivil political rhetoric.

Before a suspect had even been identified, as we noted Jan. 10, Fitzsimmons, the Tucson cartoonist, was on CNN blaming "the right in Arizona" for "stoking the fire of heated anger and rage" and making the attack "inevitable." Fitzsimmons later apologized, but former Enron adviser Paul Krugman did not. Sources inside Krugman's head told him that the Tea Party dunnit ...

There were many other examples, including Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker, who complained of "shocking vituperation and hatred, virtually all of it coming from people who call themselves conservatives." When his fellow liberals falsely accused conservatives of mass murder, Hertzberg was unshocked. ...


Then it was February, and the liberal elite lost all interest in policing "the boundaries of public discourse." The faux goo-goo group Common Cause held a rally where participants urged the lynching of Supreme Court justices. Liberals--including at least one Democratic congressman--employed actual violent rhetoric against Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker, whose state budget reforms stripped government employee unions of many of their expensive privileges.

And now, of course, all of liberaldom is likening the Tea Party to terrorists. But really, that message is entirely consistent with the one in January, and indeed with the message the liberal elite has been propagating since the early days of the Obama administration: that the Tea Party is illegitimate.

I would add that the actual reasons given are irrelevant; they will say anything at all to delegitimize the Tea Party regardless of any truth, surely, but also regardless of whether they contradict themselves.

Taranto's whole piece is well worth reading, as usual.

Finally, a good word for the LA Times, whose Andrew Malcolm condemns the vice-presidents eliminationist rhetoric.

Related:Anti-Tea Party Vitriol