September 2015 Archives
This is the kind of story that makes me skeptical about the risk of anthropogenic global warming. I'm sure there are a lot of explanations for why such adjustments are "necessary", but I wasn't born last night.
The US accounts for 6.62% of the land area on Earth, but accounts for 39% of the data in the GHCN network. Overall, from 1880 to the present, approximately 99% of the temperature data in the USHCN homogenized output has been estimated (differs from the original raw data). Approximately 92% of the temperature data in the USHCN TOB output has been estimated. The GHCN adjustment models estimate approximately 92% of the US temperatures, but those estimates do not match either the USHCN TOB or homogenized estimates. ...
It should also be noted, that the U.S. Climate Reference Network, designed from the start to be free of the need for ANY adjustment of data, does not show any trend, as I highlighted in June 2015 in this article: Despite attempts to erase it globally, "the pause" still exists in pristine US surface temperature data
(HT: Power Line.)
waste invest a whole day studying this interactive map of Tolkein's Middle Earth.
Scott Walker was my first choice for President out of the available candidates, so I'm sorry to read that he's withdrawn from the race. I agree with Byron York's assessment however -- Walker just didn't seem ready for the national stage. He's young, only 47, and I hope he regains his footing and has another opportunity to run for the presidency.
Walker was not a candidate prepared to deal with national policy in the context of a presidential campaign. In an interview, I asked him whether things had moved too quickly, whether the ground had shifted under his feet after the Iowa speech. His answer was instant: "Totally."
"We thought all along if we got in, it would be kind of this slow and steady, don't worry about the other guys, just keep focused on moving forward, and as candidates chose not to get in or fell off, we'd be in a position to make a compelling case to them," Walker explained. "We had no idea that after that Iowa summit there would be that kind of acceleration to the race. But we're here, and we're not going to complain about it."
Still, many Walker supporters thought the problems were fixable. So did Walker. He could get those experts together, dive into the briefing books, and find his footing.
It didn't work. As the campaign went on, Walker made error after error, all based in the fact that he wasn't well versed in national issues.
I've been pretty engaged with the events in Afghanistan since America invaded after 9/11, but the extent of the child sexual abuse described in this article is shocking to me. How could American soldiers be expected to tolerate this evil?
Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally "boy play," and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene -- in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.
The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages -- and doing little when they began abusing children. ...
The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.
The kid who was arrested for bringing a clock to school and his father -- are they hoaxing us?
Ahmed is a lovable kid who was victimized. Or was he? His father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, has a lengthy history as a troll and publicity hound. But that's too negative. He is also a sophisticated and intelligent man.
Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed is a self-made multi-millionaire. He started from the bottom and worked his way up to the top, ultimately selling his taxi cab company for millions of dollars. His success will somehow be used to show how unwelcoming America is to Muslim immigrants.
Yet that's not all Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed has done. Mr. Elhassan Mohamed is a political activist who also trolls for attention. He has made two unsuccessful runs for the president of the Sudan.
Also, Ahmed didn't build a clock -- he just took one apart and put the components in a box.
So I turned to eBay, searching for vintage alarm clocks. It only took a minute to locate Ahmed's clock. See this eBay listing, up at the time of this writing. Amhed's clock was invented, and built, by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidary. Catalog number 63 765.
The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board - a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels. A second board inside would have contained the actual "brains" of the unit. The clock features a 9v battery back-up, and a switch on the rear allows the owner to choose between 12 and 24 hour time. (Features like a battery back-up, and a 24 hour time selection seems awful superfluous for a hobby project, don't you think?) Oh, and about that "M" logo on the circuit board mentioned above? Micronta.
The Daily Beast reports some details on the investigation into dumbed-down intelligence reports on ISIS. The story accurately but incompletely attributes the alterations to the U.S. military. The "officials" mentioned are military officers, and high-ranking officers are not merely "military", they are also political. If, as alleged, senior military officials doctored intelligence reports to fit President Obama's desired message then the decision was a political one -- and the senior officers believed the alterations would aid their careers more than the truth would.
Senior intelligence officials at the U.S. military's Central Command demanded significant alterations to analysts' reports that questioned whether airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State widely known as ISIS were damaging the group's finances and its ability to launch attacks. But reports that showed the group being weakened by the U.S.-led air campaign received comparatively little scrutiny, The Daily Beast has learned.
Senior CENTCOM intelligence officials who reviewed the critical reports sent them back to the analysts and ordered them to write new versions that included more footnotes and details to support their assessments, according to two officials familiar with a complaint levied by more than 50 analysts about intelligence manipulation by CENTCOM higher-ups.
Russia proposed an opportunity for Syria's dictator to step down in 2012 and President Obama refused.
Ahtisaari held talks with envoys from the five permanent members of the UN security council in February 2012. He said that during those discussions, the Russian ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, laid out a three-point plan, which included a proposal for Assad to cede power at some point after peace talks had started between the regime and the opposition.
But he said that the US, Britain and France were so convinced that the Syrian dictator was about to fall, they ignored the proposal.
The American Interest puts the blame on Obama.
f true, this was a staggering missed opportunity. The President's string of misjudgments on the Middle East--on the peace process, Erdogan, withdrawal from Iraq, Libya, ISIS as the "J.V. team", and Syria--is one of the most striking examples of serial failure in the annals of American foreign policy.
Generally speaking, what the President seems worst at is estimating the direction in which events are flowing. He thought Erdogan was taking Turkey in one direction; Erdogan was going somewhere else. He thought there was a transition to democracy in Egypt; there never was a prospect of that. He has repeatedly been caught flatfooted by events in Syria. And Putin keeps running rings around him.
Worst President Ever.
It seems that topless feminists usually disrupt Christian events, but these two are a lot braver than most and storm the stage at a Muslim conference. The video shows the women being thrown to the ground on-stage and kicked brutally.
Two topless feminists have stormed the stage at a Muslim conference in France. The activists, from hard-line feminist outfit Femen jumped on stage, with "Nobody makes me submit" scrawled across their bare chests. The most prominent protester shouted, "Nobody makes me submit, me nobody owns me, I'm my own prophet!" before being dragged and kicked off the stage by angered Muslims.
Reason captures a collection of reactions in the Arab press to the ongoing wave of migration into Europe from the Middle East. There's no doubt that the migration will forever change the host countries, but perhaps the countries-of-origin will change also?
Adnan Hussein, writing in Iraq's Al-Mada, condemned the Middle East by praising the West's values (choosing to overlook, for example, the anti-refugee rhetoric and actions in Hungary, to say nothing of the ethnic- and religion-based Balkan conflicts of a generation ago, much less Europe's appalling 20th century). "The lofty [value of] human sentiment is rooted in cultured societies from Japan to the US," he wrote on September 4. "In Europe and other civilized countries a sharp sense of humanity is inculcated from early childhood...
"We too could be like them and our countries could be like their countries, which do not persecute the citizens and do open their arms to the victims of natural and political disasters. Yes, we could be like them if we thoroughly examined our barbaric political regime, our backwards social order, our obsolete curricula, our media that operates without professional norms, and our religious establishment that interprets the texts in a barbaric fashion, inciting to hatred and to abuse of the other, even members of the Islamic faith! This situation clearly mandates a velvet revolution that the educated [sector] must launch."
More reactions collected and translated by MEMRI.
Saudi journalist 'Ali Sa'd Al-Moussa in his column for the government Saudi daily Al-Watan leveled scathing criticism at the Arab and Muslim nation: "Let us analyze things as clearly and transparently as possible. After the criminal terror attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, on the train [system] in Madrid, and on the London Underground, it took a long time for some [Muslim] religious institutions to issue confused and sheepish condemnations of these crimes. [And] let me state clearly and honestly: were it not for the pressure exerted by the political [echelon], the religious [establishment] would not have issued [even] these condemnations. Conversely, [only] hours after the tragic incident in Hungary in which 70 immigrants were killed in a truck, the Pope appeared and said: 'This is a crime against morality that contravenes the human values of compassion, tolerance and coexistence, and Europe must apologize and feel shame over this disaster...'
"Without a moment of hesitation, let me say... that we are a primitive nation that has lost its sense of humanity. Consider the following image: Syrian immigrants flee their land in order to save the lives of their children from the mass killings perpetrated by ISIS, [Jabhat] Al-Nusra, Liwa Al-Tawhid, Jabhat Al-Sham, and Hizbullah. We are a nauseating nation that kills people for their opinions or affiliation. Compare [this] to the parallel image: in the central train station in Munich, dozens of German citizens gather to welcome the first train arriving from Budapest carrying hundreds of immigrants...
In what should be no surprise to anyone, Hillary Clinton wrote and sent sent classified information through her private email server. This information was always classified, and if it wasn't properly marked by the originator (i.e., Hillary) then that isn't a defense, it's another misdeed.
While she was secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote and sent at least six e-mails using her private server that contained what government officials now say is classified information, according to thousands of e-mails released by the State Department.
Although government officials deemed the e-mails classified after Clinton left office, they could complicate her efforts to move beyond the political fallout from the controversy. They suggest that her role in distributing sensitive material via her private e-mail system went beyond receiving notes written by others, and appears to contradict earlier public statements in which she denied sending or receiving e-mails containing classified information.
Ron Radosh has a few campaign predictions that I find eminently plausible. Read the whole thing; I'm going to excerpt the predictions.
No candidate for president can win without Ohio. Florida is crucial as well, and if Marco Rubio ran as Kasich's vice president, the Republicans likely would have a successful ticket.
Kasich/Rubio would be a very electable and respectable ticket. Kasich doesn't seem likely to win the nomination right now.
I believe Trump's support will erode and the people will choose a conservative candidate with actual political experience. [...] I pick Walker as the eventual winner because of his record and his proven ability to win elections in the blue state of Wisconsin.
Walker is still my top candidate, and I'm rooting for him to pull things together. I don't think Trump will end up with the nomination, but I do worry about him running as an independent.
I believe Hillary Clinton will be forced to pull out of the campaign -- for personal health reasons, of course -- and the Democratic field will be wide open.
I agree that Hillary is doomed, even if the axe hasn't fallen yet.
If Joe Biden enters, he will pass Clinton quickly in the polls even if she does not drop out.
A Joe Biden / Elizabeth Warner ticket seems very plausible.
I don't have to make a prediction, but I will anyway: Walker/Rubio vs. Biden/Warner in 2016.