Showing posts from September, 2004

Forged Documents Obfuscate Real Story

"If my forgeries looked as bad as the CBS documents, it would have been "Catch Me In Two Days". Frank Abagnale, http:// The Ranting Raven The DNC seems undeterred from pursuing the subject of Bush's Texas Air National Guard service. The liberal press keeps repeating that there are "unanswered" questions, ignoring the answers. This is a non-issue as explained clearly by Byron York, "Bush’s National Guard years Before you fall for Dems’ spin, here are the facts," The Hill I was commissioned in 1973 as an Infantry 2Lt and was also told to go home and wait in the Inactive Reserve. In that period, there were more regular Army officers than slots and the Reserve types like the President and I (and John Kerry) were ordered inactive because there were no slots for us. I am at a loss to see how Bush's asking to go to Alabama to work on a campaign and be excused from flying is any more news than Kerry's request to get out early t

Existential Politics: Modern Liberalism

I call modern liberalism "existential politics." It relies entirely on the intent of the person: "I am against poverty," or "I am in favor of a clean environment" - therefore I am okay. There is virtually no concern for the consequences of the policies, only that their intent reflects well on the "wisher." A modern example is the Clean Skies proposal. Existing fossil-fueled power plants only had to meet tougher air pollution numbers if they substantially modified their operations. In that case, they would have to meet the same numbers as new plants. Dozens have not modernized to avoid the tougher standards. Bush's EPA proposed to allow a more lenient standard for modernized existing plants, not new plants. This was decried as "allowing more pollution" – never mind that the existing plants would not be modernized and would still be emitting more since their modernization pulled the new source trigger. Protectionism is another g

Rather Gate: National Guard Records

A lot of commentators are characterizing CBS as careless or engaged in wishful thinking for its acceptance of the forged Texas Air National Guard documents. I think that they were so partisan that they had reason to know the documents were bogus, but figured it would pass muster if they kept their heads up and had a plausible story. For one, the interview with General Bobby Hodges done over the telephone apparently misled him into thinking that they were reading from a hand-written document. Why would they do that? Next, their "expert," Marcel Matley, was only an expert on hand-writing and he was shown photo-copies (not originals) which could easily have included real, but pasted in signatures. Matley himself wrote in an article before this incident that authentication of signatures on photocopies in problematic. Are we to believe that CBS did not know this when he was shown the document? Third, the Robert Strong "witness" statement added nothing, but allowed th

Hurricanes and Global Warming

There is alot of talk about the new season of big hurricanes as somehow evidence of global warming. Everything that I have seen contradicts this assumption. Free et al (2004) tried this hypothesis, expecting to find a correlation. This effort, however, yielded "no significant trend in potential intensity from 1980 to 1995 and no consistent trend from 1975 to 1995." What is more, they report that between 1975 and 1980, "while SSTs [sea surface temperatures] rose, PI [hurricane potential intensity] decreased, illustrating the hazards of predicting changes in hurricane intensity from projected SST changes alone." Balling and Cerveny (2003)could find no associations between timing and duration of the hurricane season and geographic position of storms and either local, hemispheric or global temperature using a database of all tropical storms that occurred within the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the western North Atlantic Ocean over the period 1950-2002. Landsea