April 12, 2006

80's Crush Tournament UPDATE

Well, despite trailing since Monday afternoon, Morgan Fairchild's vote count experienced a Derek Jeter-like last minute surge to overtake Courtney Thorne-Smith in the semi-final round match-up. Morgan advances to the Final Four.

The new match-up pits "Wonder Woman" Lynda Carter against Kim Basinger. Voting remains open until approximately 12 noon on Friday.

View updated Tournament brackett HERE.

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80's Crush Tournament Housekeeping

Just a note on the rules for this semi-final round. In the event of a tie, the winner will be the higher-ranked seed. As of 9:30am, the current "battle of the blondes" death struggle between Courtney Thorne-Smith and Morgan Fairchild is dead even.

Voting is open until noon. If at that time they are still tied, the higher-ranking seed - Morgan Fairchild - will advance to the Final Four.

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Climate Studies: A Lucrative Line Of Work

Snake-oil comes in many forms but the people who peddle it are all after the same thing: a sucker's money. Take the current alarmist trend in climate studies, particularly the focus on "global warming" and its alleged relationship to the increase of man-made greenhouse gases. One of the major reasons it gets so much attention is the funding that it brings those who scream that the sky is falling.

In today's OpinionJournal.com, Richard Lindzen, an Alfred P. Sloan Professor at MIT, explains why this has become such a big deal:

"The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science--whether for AIDS, or space, or climate--where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions."
What's even more troubling, however, is the way those scientists who have the nerve to question all the current conventional wisdom suffer because of it. Sloan continues:
"But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis."
The Professor goes on to cite specific examples of this kind of thing. When you get this confluence of radical environmental groups, Left-wing politicians and academic advocates (with the MSM doing their marketing campaigns for them), you get a perfect storm that results in junk science becoming the generally accepted standard. And the biggest monetary prizes go to the ones who can sell the biggest panic to the policymakers and the taxpayers. As P.T. Barnum used to say, "there's a sucker born every minute".

***************

footnote: Thanks to the anonymous commentor below for the clarification about the column's author.

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April 11, 2006

To Hell In A Handbasket

What do you get when you take one of the biggest bastions of small-government Yankee Conservatism and add an influx of aging ex-hippie, tofu-eating, dope-smoking, Chomsky-reading moonbats who elect an avowed Socialist as their only Congressman and a certifiable lunatic as their former Governor?

The highest per capita taxes in the entire nation. Calvin Coolidge must be rolling in his grave. Dang Flatlanders!

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April 10, 2006

"24" Is Kicking Me In The Balls

Damn, this show doesn't let up. Three hours into Season Two and we've already got major bloodshed and explosions. Who knew plutonium acts so fast when inhaled? Jeez.

UPDATE: 4/11/06 10:00AM
Kiefer Sutherland has just signed a deal with FOX TV for seasons 6-8!!! So Jack will definitely be back. Any other member of the cast, however, better look over their shoulders because as we all know nothing is guaranteed for them.

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He Will If It Comes Down To It

Since Sen. Joe Lieberman is getting a challenge - albeit a weak one - from within the party, he hasn't ruled out running as an Independent.

“I have not foreclosed the option,” Lieberman said at a news conference at the Capitol. “If I wanted to run as an independent, I would. I’m running as a Democrat. I’ve been a Democrat all my life.”
If it came down to this - if Democrats forced him out - Lieberman would win in a walk. With a popularity rating over 60% among CT voters of all stripes, Democrats would soon realize that Joe gets reelected every six years because he's a mensch, not because he has a (D) after his name.

Go ahead, guys. Push out everyone that isn't a die-hard Bush-hating moonbat. It won't be long before the party that was once the "big tent" will be able to fit into a pup tent.

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"Global Warming" Stopped Eight Years Ago

Funny how you don't here facts like this one amid all the hysteria about this "phenomenon": Average surface tempuratures of the earth did NOT rise between the years 1998-2005.

What? Yeah, that's right. Professor Bob Carter, a geologist at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia sifts through the fiction to bring you the facts in this piece he wrote for the UK Telegraph. Based on data collected by Climate Research Institute at the University of East Anglia, surface tempuratures have not risen higher than those recorded in 1998. Carter writes:

"In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.

Does something not strike you as odd here? That industrial carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of earth's recent decadal-scale temperature changes doesn't seem at all odd to many thousands of independent scientists. They have long appreciated - ever since the early 1990s, when the global warming bandwagon first started to roll behind the gravy train of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - that such short-term climate fluctuations are chiefly of natural origin. Yet the public appears to be largely convinced otherwise. How is this possible?

Since the early 1990s, the columns of many leading newspapers and magazines, worldwide, have carried an increasing stream of alarmist letters and articles on hypothetical, human-caused climate change. Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as 'if', 'might', 'could', 'probably', 'perhaps', 'expected', 'projected' or 'modelled' - and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense."

The issue is not whether or not surface tempuratures rise and fall in a cyclical pattern. They do. But the evidence that human activity in any way affects this has never really surfaced. It's only ever been "suggested". And if you suggest something enough times, people are going to accept it as a given. That's what we have here. The general acceptance that a theory is actually reality. Actually, the patterns described above fly in the face of the idea that industrialization correlates in any way with global warming or global cooling. Carter provides some perspective for those Chicken Littles who are unable to comprehend a world that existed before they were even born:
"Two simple graphs provide needed context, and exemplify the dynamic, fluctuating nature of climate change. The first is a temperature curve for the last six million years, which shows a three-million year period when it was several degrees warmer than today, followed by a three-million year cooling trend which was accompanied by an increase in the magnitude of the pervasive, higher frequency, cold and warm climate cycles. During the last three such warm (interglacial) periods, temperatures at high latitudes were as much as 5 degrees warmer than today's. The second graph shows the average global temperature over the last eight years, which has proved to be a period of stasis.

The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90 per cent of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder, than today. The reality of the climate record is that a sudden natural cooling is far more to be feared, and will do infinitely more social and economic damage, than the late 20th century phase of gentle warming."

There are two powerful forces that push this junk science: the MSM and the Socialist-leaning Left. Neither wants to admit that nations like the United States that have a high industrial output created in a free-market economy results in the kind of high standard of living for its citizens that is the envy of the world. So any way they can try to reign in that kind of economic strength and drag it down to the mundane, mediocre, overtaxed and overregulated level of the rest of the "enlightened" nations of the planet, they'll do it.

And all the idealists around the world - and in this country - buy into the hype hook, line and sinker. And no matter what the data says, they can never be wrong. Because radical environmentalism is their religion. The opiate of the Liberal masses. If you are a non-believer, than you are a heretic and you must repent of your selfish, greedy, profligate and lazy ways. Next thing you know, they'll be handling snakes. Green ones.

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80's Crush Tournament Enters Semi-Finals Round

With the first round of the tournament now complete, four gals have advanced: Courtney Thorne-Smith, Kim Basinger, Lea Thompson & Erin Gray.

The first semi-final match-up will now be between Courtney Thorne-Smith and...uh, my wife, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that's the ticket. Which one will advance to the Final Four? You decide.

View updated Tournament brackett HERE Voting is open until noon Wednesday.

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"Monster" Bunny Update

Last week, I posted about a story of a giant "were-rabbit" gorging itself on people's gardens in rural England.

Well, they caught the bugger. And here he is:

big bunny.jpg

Now I got you! You wascally wabbit!

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Army Retention is Low...No, Wait. It's High.

From the NY Times: Young Officers Leaving Army At A High Rate.

"It was the second year in a row of worsening retention numbers, apparently marking the end of a burst of patriotic fervor during which junior officers chose continued military service at unusually high rates."
But on the other hand, USAToday reports: Army Surpassing Year's Retention Goal By 15%.
"The Army has met or exceeded its goals for retention for the past five years, records show. It was 8% over its goal for 2005, and 7% ahead of its targets for 2004. The number of re-enlistments has exceeded the Army's goal by a larger margin each year since 2001.

Soldiers like the Army, 'and the war is not causing people to leave,' says Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman. Through March, 2,325 U.S. troops had been killed in Iraq; 1,593 were Army soldiers.

The Pentagon announced in March that each of the armed forces was on track to meet its retention goal for the year.

All things being equal, I'm inclined to be a little more skeptical of (cough...Jayson Blair) the NY Times.

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RINO Sightings Are Up!

This week's edition is hosted by Kevin the Louisiana Libertarian. Go see what all the RINOs are raging about.

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April 09, 2006

"24": Season Two

Here we go. Damn, Jack looks like shit. Understandble though.

But then, why does George Mason look like shit? Cuz he's still Director CTU - LA? He looks like he just scraped himself off a barroom floor. And what's with Roseanne Barr's problem child working at CTU?

Kim still looks awesome. Hmmm...Kim. Tough break getting the au pair job for the psycho.

The next two weeks will be all-"24". Sorry if posting is light. Need to feed this addiction.

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If You're Gonna Piss 'Em Off...

...Do it in spades.

Ann Coulter the high-priestess of the Right is releasing her new book, "Godless: The Church Of Liberalism" on 6/6/06.

godless.jpg

With a first printing of 500,000, Ann is on record as receiving one of the largest advances ever paid to a conservative author. I'll bet no fewer than 1/4 of the copies sold will go to people who despise her just to see what she's written...so they can burn it.

I've had my differences on occasion with Ann Coulter but I have to admit she's as close to a rock star as the Right has. She pulls no punches and seems to seek out controversy. Should be interesting.

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April 08, 2006

I Got Nuthin'

Busy day preparing for a birthday party at the house. Maybe I'll check out "Ice Age 2" this afternoon with the kids. Will have to arm wrestle the wife to see who gets to go.

April showers are getting on my nerves. Mets are off to a hot start!

Reminder, voting on the 80's Crush poll should now unlock IP addresses after 12 hours if you want to vote again.

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April 07, 2006

80's Crush Tournament Update

The winner of the "Friends" Division match-up is Lea Thompson with 56.0% of the vote. In the Semi-Final round, Lea will go up against Jaclyn Smith.

The new poll is up for the Pacific Division. I designated this as the Pacific Division because Molly Ringwald is from California and Erin Gray is from Hawaii.

View the updated 80's Crush Bracket Here. Voting is open until approximately noon Monday.

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Curse Of The Real-Life "Were-Rabbit"?

A monster bunny rabbit is gorging itself on vegetables in Britain!

Jeff Smith, 63, was first to spot the black and brown creature at the Mouldshaugh Lane allotments in Felton, Northumberland, two months ago.

According to The Sun he said: "It was massive. I thought, 'What the hell is that?' It's no ordinary rabbit - we're dealing with a monster.

"Its prints are huge, bigger than a hare - about the size of a deer's. One ear's bigger than the other. It's a brute.

"The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was a film . . . this is the real thing."

Plot holder George Brown, 76, vowed: "We will nail it."

Marksman Brian Cadman, an assistant gamekeeper on patrol, added: "We've been told to shoot on sight."

Is this possible? You betcha. Just get a load of the size of one below the fold!

Click "more" more...

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April 06, 2006

Who's Sorry Now?

Slap-happy GA Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is all humble and apologetic now for hitting that Capitol police officer. It seems her race card has an expiration date, as fellow Democrats have been avoiding her like the plague.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., expressed "sincere regret" Thursday for her altercation with a Capitol police officer, and offered an apology to the House.

"There should not have been any physical contact in this incident," McKinney said in brief remarks on the House floor. "I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all and I regret its escalation and I apologize."

Quite a turnaround from her earlier position when she accused the cop of "racial profiling", huh? Don't supposed it would have anything to do with this turn of events would it?

Heh.

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Update Those Links And Bookmarks

Long time blog bud, New England Republican, has made the jump off of Blogsnot (gee, I wonder why? maybe Betsy Newmark and Viking Pundit have an opinion about this) and set up his own domain on Wordpress.

He and his merry band of pundits can now be found at http://www.nerepublican.com. Go check out the new site and update your links.

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April 05, 2006

Most Viewers "Oppose" Couric Move

Good God. Is the MSM so obsessed with polls that they feel they have to call people and ask them if they approve of Her Perkiness taking a new job?

The headline for this A/P story: "Poll Shows Viewers Oppose Couric Move".

"Asked if they prefer to see Couric in her longtime role as anchor of "Today" or on the evening news, 49 percent chose mornings and 29 percent said evening news, an AP-TV Guide poll found."
Now, personally, I don't think this is necessarily a good move for Katie Couric but what the hell do I know? Apparently, most of the "615 adults" asked over the last couple of days don't either. And what kind of sampling is that? Do these "adults" even watch the Today show or the evening news on a regular basis? This is how you qualify "most viewers"?

But don't you just love how the A/P frames this? Viewers "oppose" her move to CBS. What? Are you kidding me? It's her career and she can do whatever she pleases. The fact that the MSM thinks this dumb poll is newsworthy says a lot. Oh gee, do you think Katie is going have second thoughts now?

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80's Crush Tournament Update

The winner of the Vicki Vale Division match-up is Kim Basinger with 56.0% of the vote. In the Semi-Final round, Kim will go up against Lynda Carter.

The new poll is up for the "Friends" Division. This division was so-named because both Lea Thompson and Kathleen Turner had guest spots on the TV show "Friends".

View the updated 80's Crush Bracket HERE. Voting is open until approximately noon Friday.

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