Thursday, March 29, 2007

Good luck, Tony and Coach Smith

Two wonderful people with ties to Davidson have gotten some bad news lately in the cancer department. Tony Snow, Davidson '77, has been in the news after it was announced that his cancer has come back and spread. Our prayers are with Tony and his family.

Homer Smith, one of the great offensive minds in the history of college football, went off to Houston today for stem cell treatment for the cancer that was discovered in December. Our prayers are with Homer and his family, as well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Paul Campos -- fish in a barrel

I've noted before that Campos is a dishonest lefty. Here is takedown of another of his dishonest arguments.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Beldar weighs in on Megan

Beldar addresses Megan:
If you genuinely have a thorough-going education in the science relevant to issues regarding claims of dangerous man-made global warming (a phrase I'm using without at all accepting its premise, mind you), then why does your being convinced depend on proponents of the theory convincing someone else, be that Mr. Bailey or anyone else? Isn't that another way of saying that you don't have the thorough-going education in the relevant science? (In Ms. McArdle's case, I reject the alternative explanation, which is laziness.)

I don't have to be a climatologist, for example, to understand this two-part argument made by some well-credentialed climatologists: First, current science is still a long way from having any thorough-going understanding of the mechanisms of long-term climate change or short-term weather, and such understanding as we do have can lead to calculations that tie up the most powerful supercomputers for weeks on end. Second, the margin of error for the extrapolations being made from the very limited amount of genuinely reliable historical data on weather and climate which we do have substantially exceeds the degree of climate change being postulated as attributable to man-made causes (as opposed to climate cycles that have occurred before man could even arguably have much affected them).

Friday, March 16, 2007

What's wrong with Megan McArdle?

Writing over at Instapundit, Megan McArdle writes something truly mind-boggling:
ON GLOBAL WARMING Let me clarify a little my position. I think there are a lot of questions about global warming: how much, and what, should be done. However, I regard two questions as basically no longer worth debating, at least by people with my level of science education:

1) Is AGW happening?
2) Should we do something about it?

The first is a technical question that seems to be largely settled

My understanding is that Megan doesn't have much science education. Why that removes the subject from debate is completely beyond me.

Richard Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT. He says global warming is a politically motivated fraud. See e.g.
this column in the Wall Street Journal:
how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

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.

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.

To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let's start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.

Why Megan seems unable or unwilling to understand what Professor Lindzen writes is beyond me. And why his position isn't appropriate to add to the debate is even farther beyond me reach.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

NCAA screws the Cats

Davidson got a 13 seed in the dance. Just about every bracketologist had the Wildcats at a 12. Looking over the seedings, Long Beach St got a 12 despite a substantially weaker resume. Davidson's RPI was 47th, LB St was 80th. Davidson was 26th in the last coaches poll with 49 votes. LB got zero votes.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The liberal myths about Vietnam

Jonah Goldberg points out the shocking ignorance by Democrats of the reality of the horrors that befell SE Asia after we pulled out:
Massachusetts' Sen. Edward Kennedy ridicules the notion that a withdrawal from Iraq would have grave humanitarian costs.

"I heard the same kinds of suggestions at the time of the end of the Vietnam War," Kennedy told NBC's Tim Russert, mocking the notion that we'd have a "great bloodbath" with more than 100,000 dead. "And for those of us that were strongly opposed to the war, (we) heard those same kinds of arguments."

Yes, but those arguments were right. Our withdrawal from Vietnam did contribute to a great bloodbath. More than a half-million Vietnamese died at sea fleeing the grand peace Kennedy and his colleagues orchestrated. And more than 1.2 million Cambodians died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, thanks to the power vacuum created by our "humanitarian" withdrawal. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., a presidential candidate, insists that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq can't make things any worse. In 1975 he took a similar line: "The greatest gift our country can give to the Cambodian people is peace, not guns. And the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now." Someone rent Dodd a DVD of The Killing Fields.

This willful ignorance by liberals of the horrific cost of their actions is not unusual. With regard to the aftermath of Vietnam, it has been pointed out before most often by David Horowitz.

I want to focus on two other huge liberal myths about Vietnam that haven't gotten as much attention. The first myth, championed by fools like David Halberstam, is the one which says that the war was simply the Vietnamese people rising up in revolution against the colonial power that the US had become in replacing the French. We can understand why Halberstam believed this during the early 60s. He was getting all his information from a North Vietnamese agent who served him as an undercover guide during his time in Saigon. What is not understandable is why Halberstam continues to believe this nonsense long after it became obviously false. The communists from the North based their Tet offensive on this falsehood. They thought that the populace in the South would rise up and join them. When it didn't happen, the Viet Cong was wiped out and the NV suffered horrible losses.

Which leads us to the second myth, one that I have rarely ever seen mentioned. That myth contends that Tet showed us that the war was lost. Since it couldn't be won, we had no choice but to leave. Note, I'm not focusing here on the bogus claims of the liberal MSM that Tet was a great loss for the US. I'm concerned with what happened after 1968. Liberals claimed we had to get out because it couldn't be won. Yet, somehow, even after we withdrew the vast majority of our forces, Saigon didn't fall. Why is it that the South didn't fall until April 30, 1975? In fact, it didn't fall until the Democrats reneged on our promises of military aid and left the South without the arms needed to defend themselves.

Most of our casualties died while while Johnson was president. After Nixon took office, the numbers began a dramatic decline as we withdrew more and more of our troops. Yet, the South held. The military dropped the insane policies developed by McNamara's Defense Department and adopted smarter ones. The US Army did much less fighting and effectively trained and armed the South to defend itself. It was working.

The biggest of all the myths that the liberals cling to is the one that Vietnam was doomed, that the war couldn't be one.

Why did the Democrats renege on our promises? Some, as committed left-wingers, probably wanted the communists to win. But what of the rest? If the GOP president showed that the South could be defended without the horrible loss of US troops that fell under Johnson, what would that mean? Better to make sure it failed so that the myth could survive. See, the war was just not winnable from the very beginning.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Comparing memories -- Libby vs. Clinton

Scooter Libby was found guilty for having a different memory than some other people. And those people had all kinds of memories that differed from each other. Compare how Scooter's memory lapse compared to Clinton's:
In the portions of President Clinton's Jan. 17 deposition that have been made public in the Paula Jones case, his memory failed him 267 times. This is a list of his answers and how many times he gave each one.

I don't remember - 71
I don't know - 62
I'm not sure - 17
I have no idea - 10
I don't believe so - 9
I don't recall - 8
I don't think so - 8
I don't have any specific recollection - 6
I have no recollection - 4
Not to my knowledge - 4
I just don't remember - 4
I don't believe - 4
I have no specific recollection - 3
I might have - 3
I don't have any recollection of that - 2 I don't have a specific memory - 2
I don't have any memory of that - 2
I just can't say - 2
I have no direct knowledge of that - 2
I don't have any idea - 2
Not that I recall - 2
I don't believe I did - 2
I can't remember - 2
I can't say - 2
I do not remember doing so - 2
Not that I remember - 2
I'm not aware - 1
I honestly don't know - 1
I don't believe that I did - 1
I'm fairly sure - 1
I have no other recollection - 1
I'm not positive - 1
I certainly don't think so - 1
I don't really remember - 1
I would have no way of remembering that - 1
That's what I believe happened - 1
To my knowledge, no - 1
To the best of my knowledge - 1
To the best of my memory - 1
I honestly don't recall - 1
I honestly don't remember - 1
That's all I know - 1
I don't have an independent recollection of that - 1
I don't actually have an independent memory of that - 1
As far as I know - 1
I don't believe I ever did that - 1
That's all I know about that - 1
I'm just not sure - 1
Nothing that I remember - 1
I simply don't know - 1
I would have no idea - 1
I don't know anything about that - 1
I don't have any direct knowledge of that - 1
I just don't know - 1
I really don't know - 1
I can't deny that, I just -- I have no memory of that at all - 1

Sometimes it's hard to remember. If a lib can't recall, it's no big deal. A conservative isn't granted the same leeway.

Where does Libby go for justice?

Clarice Feldman lays out the case. Included is the highly unethical closing argument of the prosecutor:
blame the judge who let the prosecution get away with introducing into evidence prejudicial news accounts of limited relevance or probative value while denying the defense an opportunity to fully make its case? Who permitted the prosecutor to make scandalous charges on his rebuttal -- for which he had not offered a shred of evidence and which went beyond the defendant's closing statement -- the last thing the jury would be allowed to hear.

Lying about lying

Big Lizards has a great piece laying out how often and how badly the Wash Post lies in the story about the Libby trial. Of course, why should the Post be any different than the rest of the MSM on this entire story?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's all about the money

Liberal editor of the New Republic, Martin Peretz, explains Bill and Hillary:
The fact is that the Clintons are all about money. There's a truly shocking story in this morning's Washington Post about how Bill earned $40 million in the last four years just in speaking fees. A lot of this was Arab money, which doesn't mean he doesn't love his rich Jews (he must) ... or Israel, for that matter. It tells you just how easy it is for him to fake his affections. Or to carry two loves in his breast at the same time.

All about money. Imagine if you are a friend of the Clintons. First of all you are rich, very rich. Simply because they don't have friends other than ones with spare and bigger than big amounts of cash. Here are the purposes for which you have been asked contributions: twice for Bill Clinton for President (and all of the skeletal extensions of the local and national Democratic Party), the 727s, the White House refurbishing fund, the Clinton Defense Fund, the Clinton Library, twice for Hillary for Senate, annual contributions to the Clinton Global Initiative, each of his and her birthdays. Was there a Chappaqua remodeling project? If you have a private jet you'd have been expected to hand it over for a day, a weekend. If you have a house in Martha's Vineyard or in East Hampton or in Aspen or in Palm Springs, why don't you visit your in-laws? And it isn't as if the Clintons are asking you directly. Some underling is doing it, and you're afraid to say "no." Or even "boo." $1 million here, $1 million there. Pretty soon, it's a heck of a lot of money. You could have named a building at your alma mater after yourself with that money.

Improper closing argument pays dividends

Fitzgerald, the unethical slimeball responsible for the persecution of Scooter Libby, made a number of improper references in his closing argument asking the jury to convict on the basis of other supposed "crimes" by the adminstration. This quote by one of the jurors shows that Fitz scored:
"There was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby on the jury. It was said a number of times, 'What are we doing with this guy here? Where's Rove? Where are these other guys?'" Collins said. "I'm not saying we didn't think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of. It seemed like he was, as Mr. Wells put it, he was the fall guy."

Story here.

Barone on Rudy vs. Hillary

Interesting. Very.

The moral morass of the Left

This book review is a pretty good look at the failure of morality of the Left. The reviewer is evidently an Australian liberal.

One point that I find ridiculous -- the reference to "atrocities" here:
The Left, it seems, is happy to criticise US atrocities in Abu Ghraib but not to raise its voice in support of those on the Iraqi secular Left attempting to build a workable democracy in the face of a depraved campaign of violence and intimidation.

If rogue US soldiers who put underwear on prisoners' heads and took pictures are guilty of atrocities, what adjective describes hacking someone's head off with a dull saw? Or using suicide bombers in crowds of civilians? Or the unspeakable tortures by Fidel Castro?

MSM -- working for the enemy

Every day in every way. A little analysis here. Some day in the future, people will study the role of journalism in our country today and wonder why MSM editors weren't lynched.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Could anyone have less class than John Kerry?

This is just pathetic.

And you have to love the AP lying for Kerry.