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.