Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bribery at NASA?

Has James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, been taking bribes from George Soros and others? I'm not an attorney so I don't know if Hansen has actually done anything illegal. However, as a political scientist the situation definitely has an odor to it.

There is no legitimate reason for any private body to spend $750,000 to "package" a government official the way George Soros allegedly did for James Hansen. There is no legitimate reason for a government official to receive a grant from a private research organization for supporting one of its causes as James Hansen allegedly received from the foundation directed by Sen. John Kerry's wife. Hansen subsequently endorsed Kerry for President, possibly in violation of federal law.

Bribery primarily involves someone providing something of value to a government official to take an action favored by the person providing the inducement. The term can also apply to an attempt to get someone to act contrary to the desires of an employer. Hansen's recent claim that energy company payments to non-government scientists to support some theory is a bribe is nonsense. Payments to private individuals, including university professors, represents an employer employee relationship.

Hansen may be committed to the global warming nonsense, but if he is receiving anything of value from the private sector his continued commitment could be for personal financial gain. I'm particularly concerned about Hansen misusing his position to present false data and suppress information that challenges his theories. These actions could be a response to a bribe. Those offering him inducements may want more than just his verbal support.

Hansen suppressed a discovery by NASA scientist Ferenc Miskolczi that the equations used to calculate catastrophic warming contained a major flaw. The equation falsely assumed an atmosphere of infinite thickness.

Steve McEntire discovered in that NASA's portrayal of 1998 as being the warmest year in the U.S. was wrong and that 1934 was actually warmer. The official explanation is that the original claim was a "mistake", but the federal government has a history of producing false data to support federal policies. For that matter scientists have a long history of altering data to validate their theories. Is NASA playing Enron type accounting games with data?

If someone at NASA was accepting a bribe, he might alter data with a plan to claim an honest mistake if someone discovered the error. The official NASA response to discovery of the error is that the error is small, but the change in temperature during the 20th Century was only 0.17% which is of questionable significance. Lying about 1998 being warmer than 1934 made the claim of global warming seem more valid. 1934 being warmer than years late in the century provides a strong argument against the whole claim of global warming.

NASA's claim of 2007 being the second warmest is highly questionable and inconsistent with the data. NASA claims continued warming while other organizations disagree.

NASA has been circumventing federal regulations requiring review of federally funded research before it is distributed by having employee Gavin Schmidt operate a privately funded website RealClimate to publish information. Websites that question NASA's beliefs request visitors to donate money to fund the site. RealClimate doesn't have to because it is subsidized by the same George Soros who has been aiding James Hansen. What would be the response if the Department of Defense used this approach to influence public opinion?

Recently NASA has been shifting research funds to scientifically worthless projects, such as computer studies about how global warming might affect tornadoes. The studies ignore the fact that the only difference in temperatures comparing the future and now would come on the hottest days of summer when tornadoes are less frequent. Temperatures would still pass through the normal seasonal changes from winter to summer.

I don't know if James Hansen is guilty if is guilt of taking bribes under the legal definition of the term. However, he and his supporters routinely accuse those who disagree with them of doing so because they are being "bribed". Thus, Hansen by supporting the claims of those who pay him from the private sector is guilty of taking bribes under his definition of the term.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Babies Aren't TV Props

Babies shouldn't be used as props on any kind of television show. Babies are human beings, not objects to be used for a television network's profit. If the purpose of the NBC series "The Baby Borrowers," was to give young teen couples an idea of what dealing with a baby would be like, the network didn't need to use real babies.

Professional educators have been teaching teens about being a parent without using real babies. North Carolina Cooperative Extension centers in Cumberland, Richmond and Scotland counties won an award for its “Baby, Think It Over” program in which over 500 high school students experienced parenting using dolls programmed to function like a baby on a normal 24 hour schedule.

The Mexican state of Chihuahua as well as various areas in the U.S. and Britain have used more advanced dolls made by RealCare for similar programs.

Hollywood has some very capable technical people who could have worked with RealCare to make the dolls even more effective. However, that wouldn't have had the entertainment value of showing real babies and might have cost more. NBC obviously didn't produce this program to help teenagers. It produced the program to make money.

If NBC wants a program to educate teen viewers about the realities of taking care of babies, it can do so using professional actors with child psychologists helping to write the scripts and show the actors how to deal with different situations. Programs could have the characters make mistakes and show the consequences of those mistakes.

NBC could accomplish a similar goal in a reality show context by using real young couples who are first time parents. Child psychologists could monitor their activities and help them correct mistakes. These psychologists could explain to viewers what the couples were doing right or wrong.

Protesting NBC Child Abuse

In previous posts I discussed the abuse of babies for profit by NBC on its reality show "The Baby Borrowers,"

If you agree that this series should be ended you can protest in various ways. You can tell NBC what you think on the NBC FORUM

You can protest to your local NBC affiliate about the program. You could also file a protest with the FCC, although the situation would not seem to fit into a specific category of protest topics on their website.

You can link to Dr. Jan Hunt's letter criticizing the show on your blog, post it on sites that reprint articles from other sites or write a letter to your local newspaper.

You can contact your Senators and Representative in Congress to request a congressional investigation of the program with the possibility of prohibiting television from using children, especially babies, in reality shows. Congress should at the very least require NBC and its advertisers for the program to establish a trust fund to cover any subsequent mental health problems the children might experience because of the program. Currently only California has legislation protecting child actors from exploitation by the entertainment industry and "stage mothers".

Many child actors have experienced serious psychological problems as adults. Paul Peterson who played Jeff Stone, the son on "The Donna Reed" show, has spoken out for years on the problems of child actors.

You can contact the companies that advertised on the program and request that they not advertise on any future programs in the series. A partial list of advertisers includes: Verizon Wireless, Tylenol, Subway, Mentos gum, Hot Pockets, Klondike Bar, All Bran, Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, T_Mobile, Wanted, (Pizza Hut) CoffeeMate, Samsung, Listerine, Vagisil, All State.

NBC Abuses Children part 2

Director of the Natural Child Project child psychologist Dr. Jan Hunt, who is the director of the is very concerned about the potential negative impact of the treatment of the babies on the NBC reality series "Baby Borrowers".

Hunt is concerned that the separation from parents could increase production of the stress hormone cortisol in the babies: "When cortisol is produced due to emotional stress, the next stressful experience creates an even larger surge of cortisol. By the time a stressed child reaches adulthood, he is likely to overreact to all stressful situations, making it harder to cope with life's challenges. For all these reasons, babies and young children should be kept as stress-free as possible, to protect their future psychological and physical health."

I have a long standing interest in how the brain develops and functions. At one time I was considering going into the field of what is called "artificial intelligence" which involves simulating human intelligence on a computer, but decided I was more interested in dealing with the actual ideas rather than the detailed process the brain uses to form them.

Much of the baby's brain development involves developing brain cells to control the muscles for movement of various parts of the body, eventually including the complex process of speaking. The baby also develops neurons to store information about the baby's environment. Baby's normally don't form specific memories about individual events in their lives, but they use those events to learn how to react to their environment in the future.

Babies don't remember what actually happened on early birthdays and Christmases, but they may remember these events as happy events to look forward to.

Babies may remember what they consider traumatic events in a general fashion. For example, adults' fear of receiving shots may result from a memory of vaccinations received as infants. Claustrophobia and other fears sometimes are the result of very unpleasant childhood experiences. The sexual abuse scandals of the Catholic Church have publicized the fact that children may suppress memories of sexual abuse for long periods of time, but suffer from psychological problems during that period. For a baby a traumatic experience doesn't necessarily involve anything wrong or illegal. For a baby a doctor's exam can be a very unpleasant experience.

Babies may not remember how they have been "mistreated", but they may associate similar situations or people with a similar appearance to that mistreatment. A baby who was particularly upset by an exam by a doctor with a mustache might in the future have a negative reaction to men with mustaches.

Babies respond differently to the same situations depending upon their genetics and experiences and possibly the way their brains have developed prior to the event. Not all babies react the same way to being separated from the parents and put in the care of individuals with no child care experience. The babies in this experiment may suffer psychological problems sometime in the future. that may be triggered by persons or situations that remind the baby, child or even adult of something "bad" that happened during the experiment.

NBC Abuses Children part 1

NBC is abusing small children by using them for a "social experiment" and profit on a show airing on Wednesday's at 9 EDT/ 8 CDT beginning June 25 called "The Baby Borrowers" . On the program teenagers pretend to be the parents of babies by substituting for the babies' real parents.

Dr. Jan Hunt director of the Natural Child Project says: "As a parent, child psychologist and family counselor, I am deeply concerned about the premise of your new show "The Baby Borrowers," and for the present and future emotional health of the babies and young children whose lives will be so strongly affected."

Scientists have only limited knowledge of how the brain develops in young children. Babies cannot say how they feel. The information the baby receives and its feelings about the information influences how the neurons in the brain develop. Scientists know that events in a baby's life can positively or negatively affect brain development.

According to the news story about the show on the network's Wichita, Ks., affiliate KSNW, the people appearing on the show are volunteers who are not compensated. How does a baby volunteer to be on a television show? Using children as performers on a commercial television show without payment should be illegal if it isn't already.
If adults are stupid enough to appear on a commercial television show without compensation they should be allowed to do so. But children should not be exploited for profit by heartless television networks. How can the network know the reasons why these parents allowed NBC to exploit their babies

Small children should not be used for experiments with the only possible exception being controlled experiments conducted by professional scientists that pose zero threat to the physical or mental health of the children.

The program claims to show teens how to be parents by taking care of the children for an extended period. Does that mean the babies are working longer than babies would be allowed to work if they were paid television actors? Hollywood typically has used twins for very small children on television shows to avoid overworking the children.

The program claims to be a "reality show", but the situation is not realistic. The teen guinea pig parents cannot relate to their pretend babies in the same way a real parent would. The babies will not relate to total strangers the way they would to their parents.

I have heard enough about the psychological problems many former child actors had to believe that children should only be used in television programs if absolutely necessary. This program is not necessary.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Change We Can Believe In" Is Gibberish

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign slogan "Change We Can Believe In" is a nonsense phrase. It has no real meaning.

Am I the only one who thinks that it doesn't make any sense to believe in "change"? I can see believing in religion or love or maybe even music, but believing in "change" makes no sense. It might make sense to believe in Sen. John McCain's ability to handle the presidency, but believing in some vaguely defined change is ridiculous.

Bill Clinton suggested "It's time to change America" when he ran in 1992. I don't recall him changing much of anything, although two years later voters changed Congress by replacing many Democrats with Republicans.

The slogan "Change We Can Believe In" sounds like something a child might consider impressive, but it has no real meaing. Not surprisingly, Obama has more appeal to inexperienced young voters than to wiser older voters who have seen a lot of fast talking phony politicians.

Obama a few months ago commented about the psychological state of small town people who believed in religion, etc. What is the psychological state of people who believe in some vaguely defined "change"?

Obama's supporters must have very empty lives to believe that some vague "change" is going to make their lives better. Do they expect the president to provide them some type of psychological satisfaction?

The term sounds like it might be some type of code word that Obama and his supporters understand, but whose meaning is supposed to be unknown to others.

As an historian I am inherently suspicious of politicians who rely on oratorical ability to reach people on an emotional level. Southern populists like Huey Long and George Wallace used such emotional oratory to succeed. Adolph Hitler was a master of the technique.

I am also suspicious of politicians who use vague code words. Politicians sometimes use code words and phrases to cover up what they are doing. For example, white southern politicians used the phrase "states' rights" to convince people outside the south that southern whites should be allowed to mistreat black American citizens. Southerns whites argued they were attempting to "preserve their way of life" without mentioning that their way of life involved rape and murder of black residents.

How can we be sure the that Barack Obama is not talking about a "change" designed to reduce the level of democracy in the United States? What guarantee do his supporters have that "change" is just a con to get them to vote for a candidates who doesn't have the necessary management experience to run one of Donald Trump's small companies?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Smiley Faced Killings - Is FBI Incompetent?

You've seen the following plot dozens of times on television. The police decide a death is an accident or suicide and someone like Jim Rockford, Harry Orwell or maybe Jessica Fletcher has to convince the police the death was a murder.

Today two real live Harry Orwells, retired NYPD detectives Kevin Gannon and Anthony Duarte, are attempting to convince law enforcement officers in many jurisdictions that a series of drownings are murders rather than accidents or suicides. Like the cops on PI shows the police in most of these cases have taken the easy way out and written the cases off so they don't have to risk investigating crimes that might be very difficult to solve. The Federal Bureau Investigation isn't interested if local police don't think there is a problem.

The investigation began with the death of college student Patrick McNeill, who drowned in New York City in 1997. Gannon made a promise to McNeill's parents that he would never give up on his case. They have already convinced Minnesota authorities that the death of University of Missesota student Christopher Jenkins was a homicide instead of an accident.

They believe 40 or more college men have been murdered many by drowning them in rivers, even in winter. In the best tradition of "CSI" they have examined data on river currents to determine where each body likely entered the water. Subsequent examinations of the area around the points of entry has revealed various different smiley faced graffiti.

I saw an 60's or 70's era movie about urban terrorism years ago. The only thing I remember about the movie is the quote: "Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is enemy action."

The number of drowning deaths of men with similar characteristics with the associated smiley face indicates the work of a serial killer or killers. The fact that nine were students at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse is particularly suspicious.

The idea of murdering people by drowning them isn't new. Characters in old gangster movies often talked about this method of eliminating someone, although the victim was often first fitted with "cement overshoes" so the body wouldn't be found. In murder mysteries victims might be drowned in bathtubs, swimming pools, rivers or the ocean.

Drowning provides certain advantages to murderers. There is no murder weapon for the police to find and link the murderer to the crime. The water may wash off any DNA or fiber evidence.

Getting the victim into the water can present a problem when the victim isn't cooperative, especially if the victim starts yelling. The possibility of being seen also increases the risk of being caught. The first problem can be reduced if the victim is drunk which is one of the similarities of the victims in the smiley face murders. Putting the victim in the water at night, expecially during cold weather would also reduce risk. Night fishing isn't as common in cold weather as it is in warm weather so there would be less chance of someone seeing the crime.

The fact that people sometimes drown accidentally or commit suicide by drowning benefits murderers, particularly if law enforcement officers don't want to bother with cases that are difficult to solve. A drowning death might reasonably be classified as an accident if the person was known to be swimming at the time, was at a party along a river bank or perhaps drowned near his or her residence particularly if impaired by alcohol or medication.

However, a drowning should be considered suspicious if the police cannot place the person in the vicinity of the place where he or she entered the water or there is anything suspicious about the condition of the body, such as the placement of the arms in some cases studied by Gannon and Duarte. If the person had been drinking before the death, the police need to determine if the person was physically able to get to the point where the body entered the water particularly if the drowning didn't occur near the route the person would take to get home.

If the victims were predominately black instead of predominately white, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson would be screaming for an investigation. If the victims were female, the news media would be speculating about another Ted Bundy.

So, why is the FBI refusing to investigate the case? Don't the feds think white males can be the victims of crimes?

What if the 40 deaths had involved some symptoms that might indicate a disease? For example, what if all of those who had died had reported muscle aches followed by a rash and then an extremely high fever. The Center of Disease Control and the World Health Organization would both be investigating to determine if there was a common cause for the deaths. The CDC would want to know if those who died had had physical contact or perhaps contact with the same individual or individuals. Perhaps they all could have consumed the same food product before becoming sick. Health officials would rather investigate something that doesn't turn out to be a crisis than risk having an epidemic develop because they didn't take the situation seriously enough. AIDS was discovered because doctors became suspicious after noticing the increasing appearance of previously rare disorders.

Shouldn't the FBI be just as diligent in investigating a possible criminal epidemic? The FBI is supposed to be the nation's premier law enforcement agency. Local law enforcement agencies are often underfunded and understaffed. They may not have the type of facilities and personnel seen on CSI. They may be prone to concentrate on obvious crimes instead of attempting to deal with situations that might or might not involve crimes. Local departments are unlikely to recognize serial crimes that occur in many different jurisdictions.

Gannon and Duarte believe more than one killer might be involved because in some cases deaths occurred in more than one state on the same day. Who could be the killer or killers? The fact the victims were men could indicate female killers, perhaps women wanting to emulate Aileen Wuornos who admitted to killing 7 men. A woman could lure a man by promising sex or pretending to need help with her car. A satanic cult is an obvious possibility. The fact the victims tended to be successful in sports, academics and/or popular could indicate the killers are young males with similar attitudes of the Columbine High School killers. Members of an informal group might link to each other on the Internet and help each other plan the attacks.

Perhaps I'm expecting too much from the FBI. After all today's FBI isn't the FBI of Ephrem Zimbalist's Inspector Lewis Erskine.

Today's FBI is the organization whose leaders didn't think the number of Saudis learning to fly airliners in 2001 was worth investigating. Today's FBI couldn't figure out that a man who wanted to learn how to fly airliners, but not land them, might be planning to hijack an airliner and crash it into something. The FBI initially believed the DC sniper was a lone white male instead of the two black males they eventually caught.

If the FBI refuses to investigate and the Smiley Face deaths turn out to be murders rather than a bizarre coincidence, Congress needs to consider replacing the FBI with a real law enforcement agency that is capable of protecting us from criminals and terrorists.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Open Letter to Sen. John McCain on Global Warming

Unless some other candidate enters the race I will be voting for you in November. However, that is only because neither of the likely Democratic candidates has the experience to be the nation's Chief Executive Officer. Your acceptance of the nonsense about purported "global warming", which Meteorologist John Coleman calls "the greatest scam in history", indicates a level of gullibility that is undesirable in presidents.

I can understand how American leaders would believe that Saddam Hussein still had significant amounts of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Hussein had used such weapons in the past and there was no evidence he had destroyed them. U.N. inspectors discovered unloaded nerve gas shells shortly before the U.S. invaded Iraq.

However, there is no evidence for "global warming". There is no evidence of any significant temperature change other than the normal rise and fall of temperatures over time. The earth has warm years and cool years, warm decades and cool decades. The process that is supposed to produce global warming is physically impossible.

Those who claim the existence of global warming admit that temperatures only changed by 1 F or 0.17% during the entire 20th Century. A one degree variation is insignificant considering that daily temperatures fluctuate by 20 - 30 F and by over 100 F from winter to summer in temperate areas during the year. The passage of a strong cold front can drop temperatures by 30 F in a matter of hours.

A one degree change over a century could easily be explained by differences in equipment or changes in the locations where the equipment is located. Today's equipment is of questionable reliability. Many sites have characteristics that artificially produce higher temperatures.

Temperature varies by more than one degree in different parts of my yard. Temperatures went up and down during the 20th Century and have declined since 1998. The concept of a global average temperature itself is of questionable value.

Jean Baptiste Fourier first suggested that infrared radiation (IR) from the surface heated the atmosphere, but Fourier also believed that star light could heat the earth. He believed that gas molecules converted the radiation into heat. Niels Bohr demonstrated in his Nobel Prize winning research that absorption of specific wavelengths of light by gas molecules changed the energy state of their electrons rather than causing them to become hotter.

Land and water heat the air by conduction rather than radiation. 70% of the earth's surface is water which is a very poor radiator anyway. Supporters of global warming have failed to provide any evidence that the low energy radiation produced by earth's surface can heat anything.

Those who believe in global warming claim that it is caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) trapping a small range of IR. However, physicist R.W. Wood, who invented IR photography, demonstrated in 1909 that the process of trapping IR didn't cause greenhouses to stay warm. Instead they stayed warm because they trapped heated air which doesn't readily lose heat energy by converting it into radiation. His experiment used solid barriers to trap IR. CO2 is less than 400 parts per million in the atmosphere and is hardly capable of trapping IR the way the solid barriers Wood used could.

Ferenc Miskolczi resigned in protest from NASA after it suppressed a study indicating that the equations used to show CO2 would cause substantial global warming contained a serious flaw that rendered the equations invalid. His corrected equations show no warming.

Dr. Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner in their essay "Falsification of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effects Within the Framework of Physics" argue that the process global warming believers talk about would be a perpetual motion machine that physicists claim would violate the laws of physics.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Editor Wants Rev. Wright to Shut Up

The editor of the Hutchinson (Kansas) News says "Rev. Jeremiah Wright needs to shut up" in an April 30 editorial.

Barack Obama's supporters in the media are piling on Rev. Wright for having the audacity to speak his mind and possibly harm their candidate's chances of being elected president.

Forgive my cynicism, but they are ignoring the fact that Obama made Wright a public figure by using Wright's church to try to convince black voters to vote for him. Politicians have been using church membership to win votes for generations.

I can understand criticizing Wright for his statements about government being responsible for the HIV virus, but why do some like the New York Times( April 30) criticize him for his statement that the 9/11 attack was punishment for various American actions abroad which killed innocent civilians. Religious leaders have been blaming calamities on "sin" since biblical times.

I have read the sermon in question and see nothing wrong with it. As a social scientist I look at human actions in terms of direct cause and effect actions.

I would explain 9/11 in terms of the reaction of al Qaeda to having our troops stationed in their Holy Land and the failure of the FBI and CIA to do their jobs and prevent the attack. The FBI had a man in custody who wanted to learn how to fly planes but not how to land them, but no one at the FBI could foresee the obvious possibility that someone was planning to hijack a plane or planes and deliberately crash them. To me the 9/11 attack occurred because of incompetence at the FBI and CIA.

Preachers look at events from the view point of moral issues of right and wrong. Positive consequences are rewards for doing right. Negative consequences are the punishment for doing wrong. Like the prophets of biblical times Rev. Wright looked at the wrongs he felt America had done and suggested punishment was understandable.

Those who condemn Rev. Wright for his statement about 9/11 reveal themselves as anti religious bigots. They are the ones who should shut up.

Friday, May 2, 2008

In Defense of Mr. Wright

I disagree with Rev. Jeremiah Wright on many things, but as an American I believe that he has the right to believe whatever he wants to believe and express those beliefs.

My father believed the rights of freedom of belief and freedom of expression were important enough to risk his life in Europe in World War II. I believe those rights were important enough to risk my life in Vietnam.

I disagree with Rev. Wright that the U.S. government is responsible for the HIV virus, but as an historian I know that some of our ancestors gave small pox infected blankets to the Indians.

America has a long tradition of belief in conspiracies. Many believe there was some type of government involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the fall of the World Trade Towers. I disagree with those theories but see nothing wrong with people wanting to have such beliefs.

Wright's statements about 9/11 being punishment are consistent with a long religious tradition dating from biblical times. Religious leaders have often explained calamities as punishment for sins. I disagreed with Rev. Martin Luther King's statements about the Vietnam War, but I recognized that he had a duty to speak out against what he believed to be wrong.

One of the functions of religious leaders is to condemn what they believe people or nations are doing wrong. If we want to truly guarantee religious freedom, we must allow them to continue to do so even if we disagree with them.

If anyone is to blame in the controversy, it is Senator Barack Obama not Rev. Jeremiah Wright. No one held a gun to Obama's head and forced him to attend Rev. Wright's church for 20 years. If Obama had serious disagreements with Rev. Wright, Obama should have left the church instead of belatedly condemning Rev. Wright for holding various beliefs.

Obama's behavior is scary in someone who wants to be president. Presidents can become intoxicated with the powers of the presidency. A candidate who makes a practice of condemning those he disagrees with as a candidate might attempt to punish those who disagree with him if he's elected.

Rev. Wright's statements about HIV might not make sense to most of us, but many of those who are condemning him believe ideas that make even less sense.

For example, many of them believe that carbon dioxide which is less than 0.04% of the atmosphere has some type of magical power to control the temperature of the atmosphere. They believe this even though the process they talk about is inconsistent with the laws of physics and with scientific experiments. They claim the earth is getting significantly warmer, even though they admit that the average temperature they use changed by only 1F during the entire 20th Century and such change represents only a 0.17% increase in temperature. Such a small change could indicate nothing more than differences in equipment or differences in the characteristics of the sites containing the equipment.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Suppressed Study Contradicts Bush

President George W. Bush has once again claimed the existence of a threatened calamity that is contradicted by a government study.

Does the claim involve WMD in Iraq? No, if it did the Main Stream Media would have put the story on page one and it would have led the evening network news programs.

Those people who believe in the threat claim that it could involve mass destruction, but it doesn't involve a military weapon.

Several years ago NASA whistleblower Ferenc Miskolczi discovered a major flaw in the equations that have been used to predict catastrophic global warming. When Arthur Milne developed the equations 80 years ago he mistakenly assumed an infinitely thick atmosphere as a boundary condition. Assuming boundary conditions is a common practice when solving differential equations, but boundary conditions involving any amount in any way related to infinitely makes no sense for any situations other than black holes.

In fairness to Milne his field was stellar atmospheres rather than planetary atmospheres.

Miskolczi eventually resigned from NASA because the agency chose to suppress the study that discussed the error. Miskolczi has revised the equations and they no longer indicate the type of catastrophe suggested by NASA bureaucrats.

Prior to reading about Miskolczi's work I had thought those who talked about the idea of a very minor atmospheric gas controlling atmospheric temperature were liars or intellectually challenged. Now that I know they were using an equation containing [from my perspective] such a blatant flaw, I can understand how they would make such a mistake. However I cannot understand how real scientists could continue to make that mistake. Of course government bureaucrats masquerading as scientists don't care about scientific accuracy.

There is more evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction than there is for catastrophic "global warming". Hussein had previously used WMD against his enemies and still possessed plans for a nuclear program and unloaded nerve gas shells when the U.S. invaded. C02 levels went up throughout the 20th Century but the temperature went up and down which indicates there is no connection.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Food Crops Not Good Source for Biofuels

Those who are criticizing conversion of corn and soybeans to fuel have a good point. Diverting food crops to fuel doesn't do much to increase energy resources, even though it reduces food supplies.

Corn and soybeans have been bred for eating to provide energy for animals. Corn and soybeans cannot be efficiently converted to fuel. Too small a portion of the plants can actually be used to produce ethanol. Using wind energy for ethanol plant operation provides a greater net energy yield, but not enough to really increase energy resources.

Technology to convert corn stalks and soybean leaves to ethanol would improve the yield, but such technology would eliminate the need to use corn and soybeans. Waste paper and tree trimmings could be used without diverting food crops to fuel.

Currently algae provide a much more productive source of biofuels. Glen Kertz president and CEO of Valcent Products says that algae can produce 100,000 gallons of oil per acre compared to 30 gallons of oil from corn and 50 gallons per acre from soybeans.

Unfortunately, ignorant politicians think that the carbon dioxide that "fertilizes" algae is a pollutant that should be prohibited. Algae production facilities connected to coal fired power plants can increase the amount of energy produced from the same amount of coal without reducing food supplies.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sequestering CO2 Would Be Insane

he people who want to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) don't understand the biosphere. Carbon and oxygen are two of the most important elements for biological life. 65% of the human body is oxygen and 18.5% is carbon. Plants are carbon structures with the percentage of carbon varying according to the type of plant.

The CO2 oxygen cycle is critical to the functioning of the biosphere. Animals exhale CO2 which plants then use to produce the molecules such as sugars and starches that animals use for food. Plants release oxygen into the air which animals inhale and combine with the carbon compounds to grow or perform various body functions.

CO2 is a major source of that carbon that provides the structure for plants. Absorbing CO2 through the leaves allows plants to use their roots for water and minor nutrients, particularly during the initial growth when they don't have extensive root systems. Some plants grow better as the amount of CO2 in the air increases. Some greenhouses use CO2 enrichment equipment to add CO2 to improve plant growth.

Humans are already removing large amounts of carbon from the environment through such actions as construction of wooden buildings and making paper. Much paper and plant wastes are buried in landfills making the carbon unavailable to become part of plants.

The combustion of fossil carbon fuels offsets the removal of carbon from the environment and increases the planet's ability to grow more plants. Adding carbon to the ground to replace carbon in harvested plants isn't as practical as adding carbon to the air in the form of CO2.

Plants are normally thought of in terms of their biological function, but they have an inportant physics function. Plants are the original solar energy storage devices. Globally plants convert huge amounts of solar radiation into the chemical bonds of complex carbon molecules. This process reduces the amount of solar energy converted to heat energy.

The molecules plants produce can be extremely long lived. If fossil fuels are ancient plant wastes as is commonly believed, the combustion of fossil fuels releases solar energy stored millions of years ago.

Each CO2 molecule contains 2 oxygen atoms which are essential to animal life because animals breathe oxygen. Burying oxygen would reduce the amount available for humans to breathe and adversely affect human health.

A better way to "get rid" of CO2 would be to encourage plant growth to return the oxygen to the air humans breathe. For example, power plants that produce CO2 could have attached greenhouses to recycle the CO2 into oxygen for humans to breathe and plants to convert to food or fuel.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kansas The Gilligan State

Kansas Governor Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius has something more in common with the title character of "Gilligan's Island" than just her maiden name.

The Professor on "Gilligan's Island" used his intelligence and knowledge to find ways to get the castaways off the island. Then, Gilligan would inevitably and inadvertantly sabotage the Professor's plan.

Isaac Berzin may not be employed as a professor but he does have the academic qualification of a Ph. D. Dr. Berzin has developed a technology that allows coal powered electric plants to not only produce electricity but produce additional fuel. Incidentally,.Bob Metcalfe the codeveloper of the Ethernet is the interim CEO of the the company Berzin founded.

For someone like Gilligan carbon dioxide might be a pollutant. Berzin recognizes that CO2 is one of the raw materials used by the original solar energy devices such as algae to convert solar energy into the chemical bonds that bind carbon atoms to other atoms.

According to Glen Kertz of Valcent Products algae can produce 100,000 galloms of oil per acre compared to 30 gallons of oil from corn and 50 gallons from soybeans.

Sunflower Electric's proposed power plant would use coal to provide electricity while producing the raw material that Dr. Berzin's technology would use to convert the abundant sunshine of the state "where the skies are not cloudy all day" into usable energy. The sun is our primary source of energy. Algae are very efficient solar energy storage devices.

In nuclear energy a facility which produces nuclear fuel in addition to using it is called a breeder reactor. The Sunflower facility is the carbon fuel equivalent of a breeder reactor.

Governor Sebelius claims to support the concept of renewable energy. So why does she oppose the renewable energy facilities Sunflower wants to construct? Could it be that she and the legislators who agree with her are no smarter than Gilligan?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

EPA Should Regulate DHMO Emissions

The U.S.Environmental Protection Agency needs to adopt regulations for human emissions of dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO). Last year the Supreme Court ruled last year that carbon dioxide (CO2) qualifies as a pollutant subject to government regulation under existing pollution control laws. The gaseous form of DHMO can produce more adverse effects than CO2. Some people refer to DHMO as dihydrogen oxide.

Humans add DHMO to the air through various activities including combustion of hydrogen containing fuels such as natural gas and petroleum based fuels.

The only alleged adverse affect of CO2 is that it supposedly causes increased atmospheric temperatures through a process that some physicists say doesn't exist. Some climatologists claim that CO2 causes adverse warming by trapping infrared radiation even though physicist R.W. Wood demonstrated in 1909 that trapping IR doesn't cause greenhouses to be warmer.

DHMO is said to be more effective at trapping IR under the process that greenhouse gas believers claim is causing global warming which means it should qualify as a pollutant under the same criteria as CO2. DNMO comprises 2-4% of the atmosphere, but CO2 is less than 0.04% DHMO can cause climate changes even if the greenhouse gas warming process doesn't exist.

One gram of the gaseous form of DHMO can melt almost 7 grams of ice which means adding DHMO to the air can increase the melting of glaciers and the polar ice caps. The same thermal characteristics that allow DHMO to melt ice allow it to prevent temperatures from dropping below a threshold. Scientists have long known that increasing the amount of DHMO in the atmosphere can keep the low temperature above freezing which can increase the melting of ice and prevent it from refreezing.

The severity of flooding and hurricanes depends upon the amount of DHMO in the atmosphere. Severity of both increases with increases in the amount of atmospheric DHMO. Obviously, human DHMO emissions can increase the severity of floods and hurricanes and the EPA should regulate such emissions.

DHMO can corrode metal and damage wood products among other adverse environmental effects. DHMO can adversely affect human health.

Some people might argue that DHMO cannot be a pollutant because it occurs naturally in the atmosphere. The Supreme Court didn't find that claim important regarding CO2. Various natural processes put CO2 into the atmosphere including venting from the oceans and volcanoes. According to the Court's ruling in Massachusetts et. al. v. Environmental Protection Agency the law is so broad that it allows regulation of any chemical released into the atmosphere. DHMO qualifies as a chemical for the same reasons CO2 does.

Plants need DHMO, but they also need CO2. Some greenhouses deliberately increase the amount of CO2 in the air to increase plant growth. The Supreme Court didn't consider the need plants have for CO2 to justify exempting it from government efforts to force the atmosphere to adhere to human law precisely regulating its content.

For a further discussion of DHMO and its affect on temperature see my previous post on the subject.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Is Earth Doomed?

Are we all doomed? Is earth about to be absorbed in a manmade black hole? Will a strangelet turn the earth into "strange matter"?

Walter Wagner and Luis Sancho are convinced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will produce a minature black hole that will suck up the rest of the planet and are attempting to use the American court system to shut down the project. They have filed a lawsuit against the European Centre for Nuclear Research, or Cern, along with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the National Science Foundation.

Although the U.S. courts have no jurisdiction over Cern, action prohibiting U.S. agencies from participating could stop the project.

The concerns of Wagner and Sancho aren't new. Alarmists expressed similar concerns about the Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) on Long Island, N.Y., in 1999. That facility began operation in 2000 and we're still here and, if theories about black holes are correct, we are not inside a black hole.

The LHC is no more likely to destroy the planet than the RHIC. The ability of humans to destroy life as we know it other than perhaps with an all out nuclear war, is greatly exaggerated. We are more likely to wake up Mothra or Godzilla than we are to turn the earth into a black hole.

We live in a age in which the movie industry likes to scare people with disaster movies. Unfortunately, people like Wagner and Sancho as well as Al Gore cannot separate the real world from the make believe world of the movies in which humans have the ability to create major disasters through very minor activities.

The suit against LHC should be thrown out of court, but the lawsuit could succeed because American judges sometimes suffer from the delusion that they can decide scientific theories by listening to lawyers argue in court. Five scientifically ignorant U.S. Supreme Court Justices ruled in Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al . that the carbon dioxide humans and other animals regularly exhale through their normal breathing process is a air pollutant. This same carbon dioxide is essential for plant growth which in turn provides the food animals need to live.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Has Obama Broken the Law?

I'm not an expert on Senate rules regulating campaign activities. I would like to know if it is legal for a Senator to use his Senate website to further his presidential campaign. Barack Obama has decided to use his Senate website to help his presidential campaign by posting information about the earmarks he has requested as a Senator.

If tax money is used to fund Senate website activities than Obama's action is unethical because it forces taxpayers to subsidize his presidential campaign. The appropriate place to post the list would have been Obama's presidential website.

His disclosure indicates further unethical activity by requesting money for the Chicago Medical Center which increased his wife's salary by nearly $200,000 after he was elected to the Senate . Is this earmark request a payback for a bribe? His supporters have also potentially benefited from his earmark requests.

The Senate, or a federal grand jury, needs to investigate this possibility. This question needs to be resolved before Democrats decide whether to nominate Obama as their presidential candidate. If they cannot resolve the legal issues first they may once again have a candidate running for office with a special prosecutor breathing down his neck.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Global Warming and Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Joseph D'Aleo has applied the cognitive dissonance theory of Leon Festinger to global warming fanatics.

"When discomfirmatory (contrary) evidence is presented, Festinger found one condition that often determined whether the belief is discarded or maintained with new fervor by belief with a strongloy held belief. That was whether or not the individual believer has social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand strong discomfirming evidence. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, you might expect the belief to be maintained and the believers to attempt to proselytice or persuade non-members that the belief is correct even in the face of data suggesting otherwise."

The large number of people who have a vested interest in global warming provide support for those who are merely believers in the concept.

The report by the recent conference by climate skeptics is available online.

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology states that the English floods of last spring were the result of natural factors rather than global warming.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Michael Bloomberg Doesn't Get It

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t understand the problem with the two major parties. After announcing he wouldn’t seek the presidency as a third party candidate, he suggested he would support a major party candidate who leveled with the American people about the issues facing the country. Unfortunately, major party candidates are prisoners of their own parties.

Those running on a major party ticket need the support of party activists who often have an unrealistic oversimplified view of issues. These activists want candidates who will at least give lip service to their views. Many of these activists are what longshoreman Eric Hofer once described as “True Believers” who believe they are right and anyone who disagrees is wrong.

Democrats, for example, want a candidate who will end U.S. involvement in Iraq regardless of the consequences. They don’t care what happens afterwards because they cannot comprehend any negative consequences such as al Qaeda taking control of Iraq or the substantial number of American casualties that might result from a precipitous retreat from a combat zone.

Many Republicans want all illegal immigrants removed from the country regardless of the economic consequences. They would prefer to endure a severe recession or depression than have to share the country with “illegals”. The anti-immigrant group doesn’t understand that we have a shortage of younger workers and will need even more workers as the baby boomer generation retires.

Bloomberg has no national constituency that he could encourage to support either major party candidate so his offer of support to one of them is meaningless. Bloomberg can change the situation only if he runs for president himself. As a third party candidate he would be free to take any position on the issues he felt was appropriate.

Only by running for president Bloomberg could demonstrate that Americans want a candidate who levels with them. Of course maybe Bloomberg is wrong. Maybe Americans prefer a president who lies to them. Maybe they want a president who tells them what they want to hear instead of what they need to know.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Greenhouse Gas Equation Wrong

Hungarian scientist Ferenc Miskolczi has discovered the greenhouse gas equation Arthur Milne developed in 1922 contains a serious flaw. Milne mistakenly solved the differential equation involved by assuming an infinitely thick atmosphere. Miskolczi was working for NASA at the time and NASA suppressed his report which contradicted NASA's claims.

Miskolczi resigned in protest, stating in his resignation letter, "Unfortunately my working relationship with my NASA supervisors eroded to a level that I am not able to tolerate. My idea of the freedom of science cannot coexist with the recent NASA practice of handling new climate change related scientific results."

Miskolczi rewrote the equations and the modified equations don't indicate a runaway greenhouse effect. His equations indicate a limit to any greenhouse effect. Thus even if there is a greenhouse effect it cannot do what the Rev. Al Gore claims it will do.

Research by Stephen Schwartz also challenges claims of a runaway greenhouse effect.

I haven't studied differential equations for a few decades, but I do remember that guessing at values for variables is sometimes used to solve differential equations because of their complexity. However, there are two values that should never be used, infinity and zero. These two numbers have special mathematical properties that make them unsuitable for this purpose. For example, you may remember learning that division by zero is impossible. However, there is one special case in which division by zero is possible, zero divided by zero. The test to determine if division is correct is multiplication. Zero multiplied by any other number is zero so zero divided by zero can be any number.

In the real world it might be possible to a zero amount of any commodity, but not an infinite amount. An infinitely thick atmosphere would also be infinitely massive, i.e. a super black hole. In an infinitely thick atmosphere it wouldn't make any difference what the gases were because the gravitational attraction would be so high that radiation could not escape.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Peer Review Stifles Science

Dr. Donald W. Miller, Jr., who teaches cardiac surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine argues that the peer review process is stifling scientific research in his essay "The Trouble With Government Grants". Miller says that those in charge of approving government grants "abuse the trust and power of government, which does not know science, to advance their own careers and, in some cases, protect their investments in companies that profit from the reigning paradigm."

He states "When the [federal government] peer review grant system was established in 1946 people assumed that scientific progress occurs in an evolutionary incremental and cumulative fashion." Both the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation continue to use this process. This process discourages funding of those who disagree with the ideas held by those who approve grants such as global warming, according to Miller.

Miller favors switching to the approach used by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which was established after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1958.

. "Eighty project managers, who each handles $10-50 million, are given free reign to foster advanced technologies and systems that create "revolutionary" advantages for the U.S. military. Managers, not subject to peer review or top-down management, provide grants to investigators who they think can challenge existing approaches to fighting wars."

Bell Labs was using a similar approach to research at the time.

It shouldn't be surprising that those in the field of biology would believe that scientific theories developed gradually, because biology made the same assumption about the development of biological life. Those familiar with the history of physics theories realize that science sometimes precedes abruptly with revolutionary changes in ideas. In the 19th century physicists believed that atoms were the smallest particles of matter and couldn't be further subdivided. In 1897 J.J. Thomson forced complete replacement of that theory be demonstrating that atoms were actually composed of smaller charged particles. He proved the existence of electrons and correctly theorized that atoms also had protons and neutrons. During the next 20 years physicists like Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr produced more revolutionary theories

Monday, March 3, 2008

What If the Wind Stops?

Some people suggest wind energy as an alternative to fossil fuels to produce electricity. Texans recently learned that wind energy has a major defect. It is undependable. Reuters reports that electricity was cut off to interruptable customers on Feb. 26, after wind power output dropped from 1,700 megawatts to 300 mw as demand was increasing due in part to a cold front moving into the area. The grid operator for Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) was responsible for cutting the power .

Wind generators need a certain minimum amount of wind to operate, but if wind speed is too high the equipment can be damaged and needs to shut down until wind speed drops.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

La Nina May Overstay Her Welcome

The current la Nina which has produced record snow and cold in some areas may be around for some time.

Joseph D’Aleo, CCM has looked at the subservice water temperatures and concluded that only the suface in the south eastern Pacific is warming. The water at 50-100 meters below the surface is 4 C colder than normal. As this water begins upwelling from a return of the easterly winds the surface will cool to below normal again.

The article has some interesting charts.

Fascism Isn't on the Right

he idea that fascism is "on the right" is a common myth spread by those who haven't taken the time to study it. Adolf Hitler was an avowed socialist who headed the National Socialist Workers Party. He did not establish his administration to benefit business. He merely recognized that he needed German industrialists to produce his war machine and thus allowed them to keep their businesses so long as they weren't Jewish and didn't question him.

He co-opted non-Jewish business owners by telling them if they didn't support him the communists would take over instead. He treated Jewish business owners the same way the communists treated all business owners. he convinced ordinary Germans that Jewish business owners including small business owners as well as bankers were the cause of German economic problems.

The non-Jewish business owners who supported Hitler lost their political rights just like other Germans.

The myth of fascism is that it is the opposite of communism. The fact is that fascism is just a less extreme version of totalitarianism than is communism.

Democrats like to call Republicans "fascists" but if fascism is likely to come to America it is more likely to be brought in by the Democrats than the Republicans. Democrats are more prone to the charismatic leaders who could provide a fascist leader.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Reporters and Prostitutes

Reporting on the issue of "global warming" demonstrates that often the only difference between reporters and prostitutes is that prostitutes understand what type business they are in. Many reporters are allowing themselves to be used by politicians and others to con the viewers and readers the reporters are supposed to be serving.

30 years ago as a graduate student I took some journalism courses. At that time reporters were encouraged to get more than one opinion on issues and to avoid taking sides by reporting allegations as facts. A phrase like "according to" some source should precede or follow whatever claim the source is making.

Many reporters willingly repeat the allegation that "greenhouse gases are causing global warming" as if it were an accepted fact instead of a subject of controversy. News stories will state that "CO2 causes global warming" without presenting any evidence to support the allegation. Those who support this hypothesis cannot provide evidence because the process doesn't exist.

The situation is occurring in spite of the fact that it is easier for reporters to find alternate opinions than it was 30 years ago. In the 70's reporters had to contact other news sources and ask for other opinions. Today reporters can use internet search engines to find quotes from other sources, including experts who aren't well known, with just a few mouse clicks.

Good reporters should be skeptical of their sources and recognize that people who willingly talk to reporters are usually attempting to gain acceptance for their points of view. Such sources may get away with misrepresenting the facts when reporters don't bother to check the validity of statements. Reporters who don't understand the issues they are reporting on are particularly vulnerable.

Why should reporters who don't understand science be skeptical of the claims about "greenhouse gases causing global warming"?

First, those making the claim admit that average temperatures only increased by 1 F (0.5C) during the entire 20th Century. Average temperatures can vary by more than that from one day to the next or from a shady area to a sunny area only a few feet apart.

In an era when even priests and preachers can be crooks, there is no reason to assume scientists will tell the truth.

Those scientists who believe in global warming sometimes claim that those who disagree are being paid to do so by oil companies, etc. If these scientists don't believe scientists as a group can be trusted to tell the truth why should reporters? Have reporters checked to see how many of those scientists who support global warming claims are being paid to do so.

The scientist as con artist is an old movie plot that is based on fact. There have been recent cases of scientists being caught presenting false data to support their claims in addition to those who claim they can provide miracle cures for diseases.

The claim that a minor atmospheric gas (0.036% of the atmosphere) can determine air temperatures sounds too much like magic to be taken at face value.

Statements by global warming claimants about punishing those who disagree with them should raise a red flag with any real journalist who supports freedom of speech. Such statements made by individuals in authority positions can indicate fear that someone will find out they are wrong. Scientists who believe they are correct welcome challenges.

If the idea of "global warming" is valid why do those who support it feel they have to exaggerate everything. Many of their claims sound too much like the traditional Hollywood disaster movie plot to be believable, particularly the claims of the great exaggerator, Al Gore.

Journalists have criticized the U.S. military for "planting" stories about the Iraq conflict. NASA's Gavin Schmidt has been running an ostensibly private website supporting NASA's claims about global warming for some time. If the claim about global warming is valid, why does the government need to set up a propaganda site to plant information supporting the claim?

S.. Fred Singer who was the first director of the National Weather Satellite Service has questioned claims about global warming for years. John Coleman who founded the Weather Channel recently called the global warming claim the greatest scam in history, but reporters ignore him because they have already made up their minds and aren't interested in facts. How many of those who call themselves journalists have bothered to check with these well known experts?

Real journalists report both sides of controversial issues. Propagandists only present one side.

Perhaps it is unfair to compare reporters to prostitutes. Prostitutes are professionals who are paid by those who utilize their services. Reporters who present only one side of an issue don't get paid by those who use them.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson

Sen. Hillary Clinton recently got into trouble with Democrats because she correctly pointed out that President Lyndon Johnson, rather than Dr. Martin Luther King, was responsible for passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Her opponents Barack Obama and John Edwards ignorantly criticized her for pointing out the obvious facts.


According to Josh Marshall the quote in question is:
"I would point to the fact that that Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when he was able to get through Congress something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do, the President before [Dwight Eisenhower] had not even tried, but it took a president to get it done. That dream became a reality, the power of that dream became a real in peoples lives because we had a president who said we are going to do it, and actually got it accomplished."



The interview is available at

Dr. King was a dreamer. President Lyndon Johnson was a doer. King inspired people to act. Johnson was a skilled political operator who knew how to get legislation through Congress. Johnson combined the skills he had developed as Senate Majority Leader with the power of the presidency to push civil rights legislation through Congress. As Majority Leader Johnson had previously gotten weak civil rights legislation passed in 1957 and 1960 without the help of then President Dwight Eisenhower.

Johnson has gotten a bad rap from Democrats because they blame him for the Vietnam War rather than President John Kennedy. Johnson inherited Vietnam from Kennedy, along with Kennedy's advisers, and didn't know how to handle it.

Many people don't understand Dr. King's role in the civil rights movement and the passage of civil rights legislation. The image many people have today is that Dr. King was a Moses who led his people out of bondage. The fact is that King did not start the civil rights movement. It had been building for decades through lawsuits and protests by people who were often lynched for the their trouble. The integration of the military by President Harry Truman and of major league baseball directed by Branch Rickey had built up hopes that racial segregation might be on the way out.

The south in the 50s was ready to explode because of pent up resentment by its black population. All that was needed was a spark. The arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her bus seat in December, 1955, could have provided that spark. It did provoke a mass meeting of Montgomery, Al., residents who were looking for something to do to support her. Dr. King took control of the situation and gave them something they could do - engage in a non-violent action by boycotting the bus line.

Fortunately for the nation, King's efforts to encourage non-violent actions including non-violent civil disobedience kept the resentment of those who had been mistreated for generations from turning to violence and a racial war. King did not start the civil rights movement. He kept it under control so that those who participated were a well disciplined army rather than an angry mob.

King's approach exposed racist southern government officials as monsters and made it possible for northern politicians to support civil rights legislation. If southern blacks had reacted violently to their mistreatment, northern politicians might have had trouble justifying their support for legislation that their constituents thought of as applying only to the south. King's approach also encouraged the next generation of southern leaders like Jimmy Carter to abandon racism.

King and Johnson were both essential to the civil rights movement. King kept the movement focused on demonstrating the need for legislation. Johnson provided the power to get that legislation passed. King had hoped to get southern politicians to voluntarily change their ways. Johnson recognized that force was needed in the form of laws that would allow prosecution of those who violated people's rights.

Most people think of Dr. King's contributions as only involving racial equality. He did much more than that. By working to eliminate the south's emphasis on racism, he caused southern leaders to shift their focus to economic matters. Prior to King southern politicians had been elected to keep black residents "in their place" regardless of the economic situation. After King, southern politicians had to do something about the economy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ignorance of the Presidency

Many Americans seem ignorant about what the job of President of the United States involves. The debate over who to nominate largely ignores the fact that the President is the nation's Chief Executive Officer.

Democrats are preoccupied with the color or sex of their candidates. Many Republicans are preoccupied with which candidate is "conservative" enough.

Too little attention has been paid to who has the most relevant experience to be an executive. Democrats had the candidate with the best resume, Gov. Bill Richardson, but they have rejected him in favor of media stars Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who have never run any large organization. We can evaluate Richardson on the basis of how he ran the Department or Energy or how effective he has been as a governor.

Republicans at least considered experienced executives, even if they devoted more attention to their ideological views. We can evaluate John McCain on how he ran the Navy fighter wing he was in charge of. Governors Mitt Rommey and Mike Huckabee could be evaluated on how they handled their governorships.

Ignorant voters blindly assume that a candidate who agrees with them will be able to implement policies they support. The reality is that even the most well meaning candidate cannot automatically gain support for his or her proposals. Gaining approval for an agenda requires experience.

Missing in America Project

A couple of navy veterans have discovered that the cremated remains of thousands of military veterans are sitting unclaimed in hospitals and mortuaries. They have set up the Missing in America Project to identify these veterans and provide a proper burial.

The plan to

"The initial focus of the MIA Project will be a massive, nation-wide effort to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed remains of forgotten veterans. This task will be executed through the combined, cooperative efforts of members of the American Legion, other volunteer service and veteran organizations, local Funeral Homes, State Funeral Commissions, State and National Veterans Administration Agencies, and the State and National Veterans Cemetery Administrations. Local, state and national laws must be followed in the identification, claiming process and proper interment of the unclaimed remains of forgotten veterans.

This will be a lengthy project and will require many man-hours to ensure that we have done our utmost to discover every forgotten veteran and procure each a dignified resting place. This will also be a labor of love, a task of redemption, for a debt of service that can never be repaid.

The second phase of the MIA Project will be the creation of a network of individuals working with local Funeral Homes, State, and National Agencies to ensure that, from now on, the cremated remains of any unclaimed veteran will be identified, claimed and interred in a timely manner. This will be an ongoing project and will most likely be a cooperative effort between many voluntary service organizations.

The MIA Project will be a long-term project, but not a time sensitive project.


Ignorance Of Climate

Weather Channel founder John Coleman calls global warming the biggest scam in history. Unfortunately many politicians and journalists are gullible enough to fall for the false theory that carbon dioxide is causing what Coleman calls “the illusion of rapid global warming”.

The claim that carbon dioxide is a “greenhouse gas” with the power to control air temperature sounds like magic. Someone offering a product capable of doing what CO2 can supposedly do in the atmosphere would likely be arrested by the police for fraud. The evidence for “global warming” is of little value.

Those who talk about global warming claim a 1 F (0.5 C) increase in what they call the global average temperature over the last century indicates the earth is getting warmer. You don’t have to be a mathematician or physicist to recognize that one temperature cannot represent every place on earth from frigid polar regions to blazing deserts. Nor can a single temperature represent year round conditions in temperate regions where temperatures can range from 0 F (-18 C) in the winter to 100 F (35 C ) in the summer.

“It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth,” according to thermodynamics expert Professor Bjarne Andresen, of the Niels Bohr Institute, University of
Copenhagen. “A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, etc. which make up the climate.”

The claim that a 1 F (0.5 C) increase is significant ignores the fact that the number represents only a 0.17% change over a century. (Note: Per cent changes in temperature must be calculated using the Kelvin
scale because of the arbitrary zero points of the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales.) Scientists might be able to obtain an accuracy within 0.17% in laboratory conditions, but not in the real world. Inadequate maintenance of equipment can reduce accuracy. Changes in the area near the site of the reading can affect temperatures.

Anthony Watts, Chief Meteorologist for KPAY-AM radio, has established a site that tracks poorly located weather stations. He has found temperature stations with sensors on the roofs of buildings; near air-conditioning exhaust vents; in parking lots; near hot automobiles, barbecues, chimneys and on pavement and concrete surfaces - all of which would lead to higher temperature recordings than properly located equipment. .

Ross McKitrick and Pat Michaels in an article published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres (December 2007) charge that temperature data have been processed in ways that allow inaccuracies to remain. Some temperature data are known to be subject to local environmental factors that may make the temperatures unrepresentative, but current procedures are inadequate to correct errors that can inflate temperature data and create the false impression of “global warming”

Dr. Nils-Axel Mrner is the former head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. He claims that the IPCC has falsified data indicating a sea level rise. According to Morner sea levels rose from 1850 through 1940 but there is no recent trend of sea levels rising. In one case the IPCC used a tide gauge in an area of Hong Kong that is sinking because of the compaction of sediment to indicate that sea levels were rising even though other tide gauges in Hong Kong indicated no rise.

CO2 constitutes less than 0.04% of the atmosphere. How can anyone believe that an increase from 0.036% to 0.037%, for example, could possibly increase air temperature? CO2 is supposed to heat the ground by
re-emitting radiation it has absorbed. The idea that individual CO2 molecules can actually radiate enough energy to heat anything sounds so ridiculous that it’s hard to understand how any logical person could
believe it.

Greenhouse gas advocates claim the process involves trapping radiation produced by the ground, but physicist R. W. Wood, the inventor of both infrared and ultraviolet photography, proved in 1909 that greenhouses did not raise temperatures by trapping radiation.

One of the oldest scams in physics involves the perpetual motion machine. Such machines supposedly operate with little or no energy. The inventor may claim that his machine may produce nearly as much, if not as much, energy as it consumes. Claims about greenhouse gases imply they cause the atmosphere to function as a perpetual motion machine according to Dr. Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner of the Institute for Mathematical Physics at the Carolo-Wilhelmina Technical University, Germany, in their essay “Falsification of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effects Within the Framework of Physics”.

The only gas humans put into the atmosphere that might affect temperature is water vapor, but the effect doesn't involve radiation. Water vapor carries what physicists call latent heat which is the heat energy required to turn ice and liquid water into water vapor.

The fact that some scientists support the idea of greenhouses gases doesn’t make it valid. There are other scientists who say it is nonsense. Scientists are just as capable of being con artists as anyone else. Scientists once defrauded European nobles by claiming the ability to turn lead into gold. Modern scientist con artists seek funding for research to develop miracle cures or perpetual motion machines.

Police will tell you that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scam artists tend to oversell whatever they are peddling.

Business oriented scam artists overstate the benefits of what they are selling. Politically oriented scam artists like Al Gore and the IPCC overstate the dangers of whatever they are warning about. The people who warn of global warming are overselling claims about climate change and gullible politicians and journalists are buying what they are selling.


24 years ago I started a "temporary" job as a janitor to provide an income for living expenses and to pay off a student loan until I could find a way to make a living as a writer. Last summer I retired from that job for health reasons still looking for a way to make a living as a writer. I have over 100 hours of graduate study beyond an M.A. in U.S. history and a variety of other fields.

As a naive undergraduate in the 60's I switched from a math and physics program to one involving the study of human behavior because I thought the reason politicians had trouble dealing with social problems was that they didn't know how to discover solutions to social problems. I no longer feel that politicians really care about solving social problems.

My decision to become a generalist rather than a specialist helped me to understand behavior better, but most jobs are designed for specialists. I thought about becoming a political consultant, but I'm a political maverick and most politicians favor simplistic ideologies.

We have one of the best educated populations in history, but we are increasingly dominated by ignorance.

I'm a Vietnam vet who served as a postal clerk with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the Central highlands of Vietnam from May, 1969 thorugh April, 1970 -- roughly between Hamburger Hill and Cambodia.

I use the pen name "Reason McLucus" because my real name is the same as a former member of Congress and an NFL player. I chose the name in the early 80's because I wanted to market a share ware variation of what was called the "Startrek" game for the Osborne 1 computer. My great grandfather had the first name Reason and his family was from Ireland so I just modified the family name.