Getting Skeptical About The Claims Made by SkepticalScience About Skeptics

So, it turns out there’s an obscure anti-skeptic website out there with the amusingly misleading name of Skeptical Science.  Unlike its more mainstream skeptical counterparts, this site has a permanent format that lends itself to citing, perhaps better than more popular news-driven global warming websites.

While the information on the site is at best tendentious, some readers seem to view it as a legitimate research resource, so it stands to reason that other permanent pages should exist to rebut such resources where they are inaccurate.  So (with a nod to the yeoman’s work done by Poptech, yes this is a bit of an homage!) here is a first tentative start at establishing my own humble permanent resources.

And boy, are there some inaccuracies on there.  Let’s start with this one, and we can add more later.

Hansen 1988

The FactsJames Hansen came before Congress in 1988 and presented three scenarios.   These scenarios were explicitly related to emissions:  Scenario A was termed “business as usual” and assumed exponential increases in emissions and predicted rising temperatures as a result.  Pat Michaels at CATO has a fairly exhaustive look at how badly the predictions failed, and why.  Others have also measured prediction against results.

The SkepticalScience Dodge: The site claims that Hansen only predicted temperature based on “forcings,” not emissions.   This is a version of the shell game which is common in climate advocacy: a claim is made, the claim turns out to be false, and when the claim is challenged a different claim is defended.  This is a typical tactic in pseudoscience.

The Rebuttal:  Any reasonable person reading Hansen’s testimony would understand him to be speaking about emissions, which the EPA says have grown exponentially in line with Scenario A.  While it is true that the models themselves had greenhouse gas concentrations as inputs, Hansen’s testimony makes it clear those concentrations were chosen to represent emissions scenarios, and Hansen’s failure to predict how concentrations would respond to emissions caused his temperature predictions to fail as well.

Line graph of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels for 1900 through 2008. The line graph shows a slow increase from about 2,500 teragrams of carbon dioxide emissions in 1900 to about 5,000 teragrams of carbon dioxide emissions in 1950. After 1950, the increase in carbon dioxide emissions is more rapid, reaching approximately 32,000 teragrams of carbon dioxide in 2008.

Indeed it would be very strange if Hansen, a strong advocate for emissions controls legislation before that day and since (even to the point of hijinks such as being arrested at coal-fired power plants) had not made his argument to Congress hinge on emissions.   And to now claim that Scenario C temperatures were always the expected response to Scenario A emissions is simply mendacity.

The scientific method arrives at truth by testing theories by their predictions, and Hansen’s prediction was clearly wrong.


Updates to the above may be made as deemed appropriate.  Responses from all welcome, please try to avoid ad hominems.  The goal of this post and any others that follow it is to arrive at truth.


Something Is Out There

Suggested by williatw.


The Republicans Are Attempting Suicide

A little while ago Eric did a post Just say NO to another Bush!, discussing how Jeb Bush is a total Drug Warrior. I commented

It is worse than that Eric. The Republicans are not even installed in Congress and they are starting already: The Republicans Are Attempting Suicide

The new Congress isn’t even installed and already the Republicans are contemplating ramping up the War On Some Men aka the War On Some Drugs.

Wallach said the most ready tool at Congress’ disposal in persuading states to keep marijuana illegal would be to withhold money for certain programs if state marijuana initiatives conflict with federal law. That’s something Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., chairman of a House panel on the Constitution and civil justice, says he’s prepared to support.

Let us look at the numbers: Medical Cannabis gets from 60% to 80% support in every State of the Union. Four States have legalized. And legalization runs about 54% nationally with the numbers still rising at a rate of about 1 to 2% a year. That means that by 2016 support will be about 56% to 58%. And the Republicans want to run against that? My expectation is that the Republicans could very well lose the House in 2016 over this issue and possibly even the Senate. And if Republicans run a Prohibitionist for President the Dems will get at least another 4 years.

It also confirms the suspicions the public has about the socon right as exemplified by the comments to Merry Fn Christmas Prohibitionists.



Just say NO to another Bush!

Speaking of Prohibitionists, I see that Jeb Bush is bound and determined to run for President.

                    Jeb Bush will “actively explore the possibility of running for president” in 2016, according to an announcement the former Florida governor posted to his Facebook page Tuesday morning.

Mr. Bush, whose father and brother served as president, is the first Republican to formally explore a 2016 candidacy. More than a dozen others are publicly weighing whether to seek the White House.

Mr. Bush wrote that he discussed running with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday and will launch a political-action committee in January to promote his political ideals. The announcement doesn’t say that he has formed an exploratory committee to raise money to back a presidential campaign.

A two-term governor, Mr. Bush is considered a social and fiscal conservative, though he has broken with party orthodoxy on immigration and education policy—two issues that figure to be central to the GOP’s 2016 primary campaign.

He also seems to be a fan of higher taxes:

Mr. Bush has also had a low-grade feud with antitax activist Grover Norquist, whose no-tax pledge is central to party orthodoxy. Mr. Bush has refused to sign Mr. Norquist’s pledge. Mr. Norquist this month called Mr. Bush “washed up.”

Great. And as if that weren’t bad enough, Jeb Bush is a hard core drug warrior, of the sort who supports mandatory minimum prison terms for possession, more federal funding for the War on Drugs, and who (naturally) opposes even medical marijuana.

If the Rs are dumb enough to get behind this guy, they deserve to lose. The problem is, the rest of us don’t deserve Hillary.



The Evolutionary Foundation Of Politics

Some of you may remember my post A thermodynamic explanation of politics. In it I looked at why we have two competing political strategies and how they are complimentary. They are for different ecological niches.

I just came across an article that looks at the same question from an evolutionary perspective. r/K Selection Theory.

Biologists have long noted that species will tend to evolve behaviors which best aid them to effectively exploit their environment. Among these behavioral life history traits are reproductive strategies. Reproductive strategies are, as the name implies, the strategies individuals will use to reproduce. Here we will focus upon the two strategies demonstrated in r/K Selection Theory in Evolutionary Biology.

The science behind r/K Selection theory was hashed out decades ago. It emerged as biologists pondered why some species reproduced slowly using monogamy and high-investment parenting, while other species reproduced explosively, using promiscuity and single parenting. At the time this science was developed, the researchers were wholly unaware of its relevance to our modern ideological battles in the world of politics. The terms r and K came from variables in equations which described how populations would change over time. r represented the maximal reproductive rate of an individual, while K represented the carrying capacity of an environment.

You should read the whole thing.

My take away from that?

The two political philosophies do not understand that they need each other. They are suited to different ecological niches. Each “side” thinks they have all the answers and should dominate. It is not only wrong. It is stupid. National and even State politics needs to be cut way back. The best politics IMO is local. For a LOT of reasons.

Our #1 problem is that we were taught the wrong stuff in school. The r/K article (and others like it) needs to be taught. The thermodynamics of politics needs to be taught. Instead we get Capitalism vs Socialism. Adequate for 20th Century politics. Useless in the 21st Century.

As per usual I think libertarian politics is the best. It allows people to come to terms with their particular environment without a lot of conflicting rules gumming up the works. Smaller government. Much smaller government.


What Drudge links is vital to the country, right?

Yeah yeah yeah…

HACK: Chilling Longterm Effect…
Clooney ‘loses sleep’ over critics…
Studio Hires David Boies to Threaten Media…
Demands News Organizations Delete ‘Stolen’ Data…
NEWSROOM: Sorkin Says ‘Morally Treasonous’ For Publishing…

Obviously, I’m not keeping up with the times as I perhaps should. But can anyone tell me why I am supposed to get exercised about the Sony hacks?

Should I care if the conglomerate bites the dust and has to be reorganized?

What am I missing? Is the country in danger or something?



Feminism And Cultural Marxism

I was having a discussion over at The Rational Male and a commenter there asked me to do a piece on Cultural Marxism. I’m going to make this easy on myself by mainly posting links to other places that have articles of interest, and repeating some of my comments from the Rational Male.

But first a link to a post I did a while back (2007). Cultural Marxism. And then a video. Feminism gets mentioned about 7 minutes and 15 seconds in.

Herbert Marcuse

You can find a series of interviews with Herbert Marcuse at the bottom of this page: The Cultural Marxist Origins of Modern Progressivism.

Marcuse’s mission was to dismantle American society by using diversity and ‘multiculturalism’ as crowbars with which to pry the structure apart, piece by piece. He wanted to set blacks in opposition to whites, set all ‘victim groups’ in opposition to the society at large. Marcuse’s theory of victim groups as the new proletariat, combined with Horkheimer’s critical theory, found an outlet in academia, where it became the basis for the post-structural movement–Gender Studies, LGBT/’Queer’ Studies, African-American Studies, Chicano Studies, etc. All of these ‘Blank Studies’ brazenly describe their mission as tearing down traditional Judeo-Christian values and the accepted traditions of Western culture, and placing in their stead a moral relativism that equates all cultures and all philosophies–except for Western civilization, culture, and philosophy, which are ‘exploitative’ and ‘bad.

The problem the opposition to these Cultural Marxists has is that through government policies many of these groups have been oppressed. The answer that opposes the Marxist view is smaller more limited government. What the Marxists want is more government to oppose government. A bigger dose of the poison.

Where they are screwing up is in opposing Prohibition. Anti-Prohibition is inherently a smaller government movement.

Heresy alert: The Culture Warriors on the Right are inherently in league with the Cultural Marxists. Both believe in government’s role in culture. Which is the inherent problem. They may consider themselves in opposition but in fact they give the Cultural Marxists power by insisting on government’s role in culture.

Cultural Marxism And Feminism

Cultural Marxism Produces Matriarchy

Here is an explanation from 2009 about how we got “Rape Culture” that produced the Rolling Stone article of recent fame. The Menace of Cultural Marxism.

Essentially, it was necessary to rewrite history from the perspective of viewing almost everyone as having been ruthlessly oppressed by straight, white men for all of history, and reduce our understanding both of all of the past and the present structures in society to a vision which views the entire narrative as one extended campaign of white male rape and domination of everyone and everything else.

For those of you who haven’t been following the Rolling Stone story here is some background: The full demise of Rolling Stone’s rape story.

Well that ought to be enough to start a discussion.


Merry Fn Christmas Prohibitionists

In New York State where medical cannabis is nominally legal, eight year old Donella Nocera of Niagra Falls died while awaiting access to medical cannabis.

Statement by Nate Nocera, father of Donella: “More than five months after Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law that was meant to bring vital treatment to our family, my daughter Donella is dead. Governor Cuomo, I know you cannot turn back time to get us the medical marijuana that could have slowed the aggressive growth of the tumor in her brain. I know you cannot give us back the days, turned into weeks, turned into months that we lost Donella to a narcotic-induced sleep. But you have the power to end the needless suffering of so many New York families, and I urge you to use it. In the name of my little girl and at least two other children who have died waiting for medical marijuana, I urge you to take action. When you gather with your loved ones this holiday season, I ask that you keep my family in your heart as we suffer the loss of our dearest Donnie.”

My recent article on cannabis and brain cancer: Cannabis And Cancer Of The Brain.

Cannabis Oil Cures 8 Month Old Infant of Brain Cancer, Dissolving Large Inoperable Tumor In 8 Months

This one has links to the medical literature: Cannabis Oil Dissolves Large Inoperable Cancerous Tumor In 8 Month Old Baby.

Boy, two, with brain cancer is cured after secretly being fed medical marijuana by his father

Curing Brain Cancer with Cannabis Oil

Christians Oppose Healing The Sick On Moral Grounds

Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

Please pass this on to your Prohibitionist “friends”.



Cannabis may not be a schedule one drug (no medical use) much longer. There is a hearing going on in California to decide if the Schedule Cannabis is in is Constitutional.

The text of Schedule I – which is, after all, what this hearing is all about – lays out a 3-part test; a drug is properly classified in Schedule I only if the drug:

“Has a high potential for abuse; and
Has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.”

Nowadays, anyone with at least a 4th-grade education could confidently say that cannabis does not belong here!

I have been following the case and it is my opinion that the Feds threw it.

Which may explain the recent Justice Dept. move to legalize tribal production of cannabis. It is my understanding that the tribes are not subject to US taxes.

So why would the Feds be doing that? My guess is they want in on the taxes produced by sales. And they can’t do that if cannabis is Federally a schedule one drug.

My further guess is that they will set taxes high enough so they can continue busting people and support the Black Market. For a while. My position on cannabis taxes?

Until we treat cannabis like tomatoes people will still get killed over it. Eric Garner.


Whose burden?

Yesterday I saw something which startled and puzzled me. A boy (anywhere between 9 and 13) was walking with a woman who appeared to be his mother, and the two of them were having a loud argument which escalated as they walked. The mother was trying to control him and warning him that she wouldn’t tolerate what he was doing, and he retorted with foul language and threats of violence, saying he would beat her ass — all the while swinging his fists and doing threatening karate type kicks in the air. It became clear to me that not only was she unable to control him, but that he was the one in control. I saw a look of fear and despair on her face, as if she was worried that the problem was going to get worse (which I am sure it will).

Not being a social worker, I don’t know how common that sort of thing is. Plenty of social agencies deal with parental abuse of children, but what slowly crept up on me was the distinct feeling that the mother here was the victim — of her own child.

How common is this problem? I searched mostly in vain, for almost all discussions of violence in families involve either spousal domestic violence or else violence directed at a child.

I did find this, though:

Violence toward a parent is an attempt to control or bully them. It is when their young person frightens, threatens or physically hurts them. It can involve using abusive language, pushing, shoving, kicking, throwing things, or threatening with knives or other weapons.

Violence towards parents or other family members by young people is more common than many people think.

It’s not often talked about because parents can feel embarrassed, scared or alone. They can feel as if they have lost control in their own home.

It is important not to ignore the violence or other types of abuse, and to keep yourself safe. It can help to take action early to prevent or avoid violence.

It’s normal for parents and young people to disagree and have conflict or arguments at times.

However, if a young person is abusive or violent, it is more than conflict. It is an attempt to control and have power over you or others in the home. It can happen in families of any culture, religion or situation in life.

A young person may frighten, threaten or hurt you by swearing, calling you names, yelling, pushing, hitting, spitting or kicking. They might throw or break things, or punch holes in walls. Sometimes they steal money, run up debts or demand things you can’t afford. They may hurt pets or damage property.

They can threaten to run away or harm themselves if you don’t give in to them. They might threaten you with knives or other weapons.


Young people can use abuse or violence for a number of reasons. It’s more common for adolescent boys to be violent toward their mother, especially if they are the sole parent, but this isn’t always the case. If a young person has seen violence between parents, or a parent has been violent toward them, they may believe it is normal.

That’s from an Australian web site. Whether American social workers are concerned about this, I do not know. I did find a Wiki entry on the subject, and it seems to be a relatively newly discovered phenomenon:

Parental abuse is a relatively new term. In 1979, Harbin and Madden[7] released a study using the term “parent battery” but juvenile delinquency, which is a major factor, has been studied since the late 1800s.[6] Even though some studies have been done in the United States, Australia, Canada, and other countries, the lack of reporting of adolescent abuse toward parents makes it difficult to accurately determine the extent of it. Many studies have to rely on self-reporting by adolescents.[8][9] In 2004, Robinson,[6] of Brigham Young University, published: Parent Abuse on the Rise: A Historical Review in the American Association of Behavioral Social Science Online Journal, reporting results of the 1988 study performed by Evans and Warren-Sohlberg.[10] The results reported that 57% of parental abuse was physical; using a weapon at 17%; throwing items at 5% and verbal abuse reported at 22%. With 82% of the abuse being against mothers (5 times greater than against fathers) and 11% of the abusers were under the age of 10 years old. The highest rate of abuse happens within families with a single mother.

Well, that is certainly consistent with what I witnessed. I very much doubt there is any father involved in the upbringing of that monster kid, and if he was willing to be that violent toward his mother on a public street, I can only imagine what happens at home.

It would be unreasonable to expect her to call the cops on her son, of course, as that would be an admission of her own failure, the ultimate consequence of which might well be social workers taking him away.

It was just a sad little slice of life, and there wasn’t much I could do about it at the time but wonder. As they were walking towards a public housing project, it occurred to me that they might be recipients of government money (meaning money taken from taxpayers like myself), which would mean the government would have some responsibility. But to do what? And how?


And Now a Message From Our Sponsors

From: Cosmic Drunk
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Re: Sort your Shit.


Thank you for listening. This broadcast potentially could have been a message from our sponsors. Had this really been a message, it’w'd’ve conjoined with some other nonsense somewhere in the CableNews–Zombie section of the brain (a surprisingly compact continuum). Thank you for y’r att’n. At ease soldier.


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Natural crime?

Do animals self medicate?

It’s not just humans that seek out drugs to relieve a stomach ache, get rid of a headache or treat skin conditions – animals do it too.

The theory of self-medicating animals, known as zoopharmacognosy, has been spotted in macaws in Brazil, elephants in Kenya and even dogs and cats in the UK and US.

There is even a four-step process to help researchers determine whether an animal is self-medicating, or simply hungry.

So why aren’t these animals being arrested — or at least “treated”?



Adjusting Those 2-AG Levels

Yeah. The title of this post is kinda cryptic. So what is 2-AG? It is an endocannabinoid found in the human body (redundant – but not everyone knows “endo”). There is a recent paper that says increasing the amount of 2-AG in the body is likely to reduce cannabis addiction. I’m not going to annoy you with the whole paper. You have the link. What I want to give you is the money quote.

It is very possible that a subset of heavy marijuana users are actually self-medicating symptoms of anxiety or mood disorders.

And we are making war on these people? Why?


73 years

It’s hard to believe it’s been 73 years since Pearl Harbor, but it has, and the number of survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona has dwindled into the single digits.

More than a dozen Pearl Harbor survivors, each more than 90 years old, gathered in Hawaii this week to share stories as they marked the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed 2,400 sailors, Marines and soldiers.

The gathering has been called the last meeting for the USS Arizona Reunion Association – comprised of the remaining nine survivors of the USS Arizona, a battleship that sank in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack.

But Louis Conter isn’t ready to talk about the end.

“I don’t think this is going to be our last. … We’ve still got time to go,” said Conter, 93, of Grass Valley, Calif. “We’ll be back out here no matter whether the rest of the crowd can make it or not.”

I have a friend whose father survived the attack and lived into his 90s, but very few live past that.

I’m sorry to see them go, but I hope they — along with today’s date — will never be forgotten.


We Are Exemt From Your Morality

From We Are Exemt From Your Morality.

Knock, knock, knock on your front door (should we decide to give you the courtesy of a knock), then we break down the door and come in like a sudden flood, using lethal force on anyone who resists, often killing the family pet should he dare to bark at us. Using physical force and the threat of violence we quickly subdue the occupants of the house and take them off to jail.

Ordinary citizens are not permitted by law or the culture to resort to violence in response to a non violent act, but you have no problem with us doing so. We have slowly increased this practice over the decades, effectively conditioning you to reject the idea that our thuggish behavior is thuggish. We have your respect and gratitude as we drag a person suspected of placing a substance in his body that we do not approve of off to jail.

You recently elected a man who helped create a law that now forces every American resident to become a customer of the Medical Insurance industry, or carry a government health insurance plan. This law is such that you must choose between being a customer of one of the governments chosen business, or paying heavy fines and potentially going to prison. Judging by the lack of resistance from you, you have no problem with us fining and imprisoning you for not purchasing services as we direct.

No Party stands against this because to do so risks their favorite employment of force to make people live according to their views.

We couldn’t have become a police state without the complicity of both Parties.

“We can force you” is the theme.

And to think that Liberty was once our highest value. Long gone.

BTW the opening scene – Knock, knock, knock on your front door (should we decide to give you the courtesy of a knock) – was once the theme of the anti-Nazi movies during and post WW2. I grew up on that. And now we have a police state and one half of the country or the other cheers.

And how does it continue? “Their idea of a police state is bad. My idea of a police state is good.” No one questions the police state. Just the particular implementation. Clever boys.

I found the link from this comment.

You might also find this of interest: Eric Garner could spark American Spring.


Another German Classic

With subtitles.

Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

Pass it on.

Also see Not Bad In The Original German Either.


Not Bad In The Original German Either

Watch it with subtitles here.

Suggested by EuropePlaysCatchUp


Fear And Hate

Fear is often touted as the ultimate political tool. “Fear will keep the star systems in line.” Yes it will. Up to a point. But control through fear brings resistance. And it is expensive. You need armies of enforcers.

What works better is hate. That gains enthusiastic cooperation. Much cheaper. Who IS Emmanuel Goldstein?

Ever notice how the political parties are defined more by what they hate than anything else?

I endeavor to avoid hate and fear. I have no party.


A nation of rapists!

When I was younger, it was very clear what rape was. Sexual intercourse accomplished by the use of force against a non-consenting victim. Things were pretty clear then.

Now some people want to make it “rape” if a person lies in order to get laid.

A New Jersey lawmaker has a plan that would make it a crime to lie in order to sleep with someone.

As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Mount Laurel) calls it “rape by fraud.”

Women and even men have been lured into relationships with people who aren’t who they say they are.

“You probably would not consent to someone who purported to be a million different things other than they are,” Singleton said.

The assemblyman has introduced a bill that would make lying to get someone to have sex equal to rape.

“We think it is important to folks to be protected and this is just another way to provide that protection,” he said.

One of the bill’s supporters expounds on why the law is needed:

“He lied about his marital status, he lied about his education. He said he had a bachelor’s in accounting from NYU and was, in fact, a high school dropout,” Short said.

At least five states already make it a crime to have sex by fraud, but some make it a lesser offense than rape.

But some say it should be a matter of personal responsibility, not a case for the prosecutor.

Personal responsibility? Are you kidding?

“He lied about his marital status,”

So… I guess a man who takes off his wedding ring to pick up a woman in a single’s bar becomes a rapist.

A woman who falsely says she isn’t married, or is divorced?

Or how about a man saying he voted for Obama in order to score with a liberal woman?

I’m reminded of a recent post discussing an impostor who pretended to be film director Stanley Kubrick in order to pick up young men he fancied. Obviously, the guy was a sleazebag, but for the life of me, I am having trouble seeing his sex partners as rape victims. Because if they are, then you have to posit that they really didn’t want to have sex with him at all, but only did so in the hope of career advancement. Which would mean that had the man actually been Kubrick, the same apparently voluntary — yet not genuinely wanted — sex acts would not have constituted rape. What would they have been, then? Prostitution? If so, would that make a man who hires a call girl for sex but his credit card bounces a rapist? I’m willing to allow that this is theft of sexual services, but I just can’t see it as rape, for the simple reason that consent to sex was given.

Otherwise, anyone could later decide that he or she just wasn’t comfortable with the overall outcome, and claim rape.

If you think that’s bad, read the post M. Simon linked not long ago, which posits that all PIV sex (and presumably all sex involving penetration) is rape. (An old issue, which can be debated from a PostModernist standpoint.)


St. Reagan – The Devil In Disguise

In Another Black Market In Medicine commenter Randy and I were discussing the evil the American Government has perpetrated on the world in order to accomplish Drug Prohibition. I got some things wrong in my comment so I thought I’d set the record straight.

What I got wrong was who tried to destroy the records pertaining to cannabis research in America.

In 1983 the Reagan/Bush Administration tried to persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966-76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer, who states, “We know that large amounts of information have since disappeared.

And part of the record that was covered up or disappeared was that cannabis has anti-tumor effects. You can read more about the cover up at the link.

So what do we know today? Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder. St. Reagan. A mass murderer. You can find out more about current knowledge at Cannabis And Cancer.

Side note: Jack Herer’s wife wants to start a museum. She needs a little help: Contribute To The Jack And Jeannie Herer Cannabis And Hemp Museum.