Sunday, 8 May 2011

Take no sides..

  A number of imbeciles , determined to display their liberalness, and at the same time stick another fork into the countries and societies that raised them have begun to wail about poor Osama Bin Laden' lost rights. Apparently, this guy deserved a trial, ostensibly under some international jurisdiction (which doesn't exist). Yeah sure. Before i even listen to such folks i would have to ask who they think this guy actually was. Was he a soldier? If so, of what country? Was he a criminal? In which case could he have simply fled to any country which had no extradition treaty and thus escaped justice? Either way, there is a logical base for their musings but not a moral or ethical one. It is not moral high ground to make it virtually impossible for terrorists to meet justice, it contrarianism. It is not ethical to obstruct justice. While Plato's Republic may have laid justice at the feet of the victor, it is the system of ethics we live by in our daily lives. It has to apply to the big things as well.
   For the record, there was no need for a trial in order to mete justice. Osama represents no nation or army. Osama admitted to his leadership role in 9-11. He repeatedly stated his intention to do as much future harm as he deemed necessary. He posed a continued threat to our safety and society. There isn't any wriggle room here. He killed, maimed and threatened people of the United States. He thus deserved to be killed. There would never be any rehabilitation because rehab is impossible if the subject truly believes he is in the right.
    At the same time, a good many Christians and others are being killed on the basis of religion. More specifically Christians and certain Muslim sects are being persecuted to the point of murder. For some reason, this does not elicit any response from the low lifes (chomsky, moore, siddiqui, mulcair) other than a watery: I find ANY religious persecution to be unacceptable (hey, i could write for trudeau). Did you get that? Just like Obama hinted, 'any' persecution, including all that nasty islamophobic stuff that isn't happening. This lack of outrage regarding the murder of Christians and others by muslim idiots is easy to explain: It doesn't fit the narrative.
  The story is that Muslims are peaceful and just like us. The extremists that kill innocent children were driven to this by their political/economic/historical circumstances, which are so severe that acting out with the occasional intricately planned mass murder of innocent people (especially children) is not only understandable, but maybe even justified. Besides, there are so few extremist Muslims that it shouldn't even be pointed out that they all follow the same faith, and that their faith told them to kill some kids. Given that narrative, there isn't much interest in reporting or commenting on widespread religious persecution in places like Nigeria, never mind the hopey changey capital of the world: Egypt.
   The Arab spring is a beacon of hope for all the hopey changey genius' because they want the whole middle east problem to go away. They also don't want to be proven wrong over and over again regarding the whole cultural equivalence thing. Honestly, unless you are george galloway you have to admit that most Muslim countries are places you would not want to emigrate to (especially if you have daughters). Moreover, the reason for this decision are usually based on facets of islamic law esconced in the countries culture/criminal code.   So what to do? You can't blame the Jews for everything. Well, if the various rotten states of the Middle East were to turn into functioning western style democracies, that would end the argument once and for all. They would be just like us right?  Wrong. A cursory look at incidents in the area will show you that average folks in places like Egypt are much more excitable than you or I.  Churches burning, people killed in sectarian violence....all that kind of thing. But the churches burned are Coptic (Christian) churches and the people killed are Coptic people. They are killed by large numbers of Muslims. The average folk of Egypt rose up and overthrew the government, then the average Muslim folk in Egypt decided to start killing Christians. Kind of hard to make the 'they are just like us' argument there, no?
    The perpetrators will not meet justice, as no investigations are truly being made. And none of the aforementioned wags, so upset by the death during capture of the mass murderer Osama, are making any noise about justice and process of law. Instead they are muttering about 'sectarian' violence, and reminding us that Zionists, poverty, and American imperialism have left these people with no other choice than to kill people of other religions than their own.  In the end, there will be no mortal justice for the victims of Islamic murder and oppression, at least not if we rely on the liberal left to make the case.

Friday, 6 May 2011

An Idiots Guide to Global Warming.

  So, to be fair, i checked out a global warming site and read through an article on 'one line responses to denier arguments'. It wasn't even interesting. To me, most if not all of the suggestions involved saying : no it isn't!   For example, if you said : there isn't a consensus, they suggest saying: yes there is, 95 percent of climate scientists agree.... Or if you said: there is an urban heat effect, they suggest responding with: that doesn't matter, it's warming up in rural areas just as much. The problem, as i see it is that this isn't an argument at all. The rebuttals are just repetitions of dogma. Both of the rebuttals suggested above have been disproved by other parties, but it isn't likely that either party in the argument is aware of this.
   The amount of research and knowledge required to actually argue the merits or global warming theory is huge. The ability of most people to access actual data and unbiased facts is severely limited. Fortunately one doesn't need to be an expert to form an opinion.
   It seems to me that since the AGW debate ought to follow the same rules we use for other debates involving issues of such importance.
  For one, is the information we are receiving reliable? Without a background in statistics, access to the original data and the ability to repeat the experiment there is no possibility of assessing reliability. This leads to some of the problems with AGW in that the main studies have been notoriously resistant to freedom of information requests. Scientists have resisted the release of their data, their protocols and have even 'misplaced' original data, leaving only the modified set. This stinks, and any unbiased observer with half a brain would smell it. In order to remove the bias in ones brain, imagine if the RCMP refused to release tapes of a crime scene, or a politician declared that sensitive original documents had been lost, leaving only edited ones for the public to see.  Would people smell a rat?
    The issue of trust is also an important one. Without a doubt, scientists have enjoyed a high degree of public regard. We think of them as honest, ethical folks, driven by a desire for the truth and dedicated to following the principals of the scientific method.  This naive notion has not been applied to any other field for quite some time, with the possible exception of fire fighters. Obviously scientist are human and should be treated as such. Any doubt that this is true was removed by the Climategate emails, and by the behaviour of the scientists themselves. Of course, actual evidence should not have been required. The number of scientists who are in the pay of industry or are members of activist groups (all the way to the executive level) should  give a reasonable person cause to suspect some degree of bias. Is David Suzuki an impartial scientist? Is any member of an advocacy group such as Greenpeace likely to be an objective observer? If you answered 'yes' two either of those questions then A: give your head a good shake and B: Try finding a single paper by Mr Suzuki or any other sell sword which does not agree with the narrative of their cause. Suspicious, no?
    The fact is that there is no room for activism in science. You can do one or the other. They are mutually exclusive. So is there any reason to be a little sceptical when the IPCC, the driving force behind the whole global warming movement has senior executives from Greenpeace, the world wildlife fund and other eco advocacy groups employed as senior editors and reviewers for their report on global warming? Only if you were born some time prior to yesterday afternoon. We scream about the RCMP judging the merits of complaints against the police, but we figure it is OK if greenpeace advocates assess the role of man in global warming? I am pretty sure that I can predict the outcome of the next IPCC report with far more accuracy that the climate models have been able to predict the last few years climate.
   That brings us to models. All hard science aside. all of the predictions of future warming and the effect of human produced CO2 emissions are based on a number of models. In order to create these models scientists take all the relevant variables (that they are aware of) that have been measured in the past and try to create a series of mathematical equations that can explain the variations in climate that have been observed. There are a lot of problems associated with this of course, like which variables are at play, how they interact, how well they were measured in the past, whether we even know what the temperature used to be, etc. etc. These problems are up to the scientists to work on. As long as the process is open to scrutiny, it's all good.
   Fortunately for us common folk, assessment of the quality of a model isn't all that hard. While it is possible to create a model to predict events that happened in the past with complete certainty, the real test of a model is how well it predicts the future. Anyone can assess this, with or without a science degree. How well are the models doing in this regard?  Well ask the scientists who made them. The line from the climategate emails that i remember best was that the models 'can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't '. So the model didn't predict the present accurately but it is still being used to predict the future. Would you invest all your savings with a broker who had a bad record of predicting market trends?  So why are we still taking the conclusions of the climate models as gospel? By the way, the aforementioned web site suggested i be rebutted with a line on how models HAD predicted SOME things accurately (emphasis mine). Don't ask me what exactly they predicted. Apparently it wasn't global warming.
    All of this has arisen in my mind as a consequence of a single assertion. When i first heard the term: "the science is settled" I bridled. I am a scientist, if only a little one. However, any scientist, no matter how small, knows that the science is never settled. Thus any scientist who signs onto such a statement is no scientist at all. Are you listening David?  Of course, this settled science argument was based on the equally unscientific principle of 'science by consensus'. There is no such thing. Letting consensus determine the truth is anti science. True science seeks the truth, not consensus. It is open to debate and examination, rather than seeking to close debate and punish argument with a nearly religious zeal. It isn't really science anymore when the scientist involved spend most of their time trying to get governments to act on their theories.
   Theory. That's a word we don't hear much in this debate. the fact is that the the whole global warming idea is a scientific theory. If you think otherwise, you are not a scientist (signed documents and funny hat notwithstanding). To put things into perspective, it is still the theory of evolution and the theory of relativity.
     It seems to me that most of the science involved with AGW involves just too much politics. This isn't esoteric, theoretical stuff. This is applied science which is being used to drive a major effort to change the world. All such efforts have winners, losers, and ulterior motives. Anyone who isn't at least skeptical in such times is a zealot or a fool.

Monday, 2 May 2011

A Good Day For Canada!

  Anyway I look at it, today was a good day. Harper's big win is definitely the highlight. If there is a sour note it is the rather shameless bias of the CBC and some others. Lets get this straight: Harper won because Canadians voted for him. We voted for him because he did a good job. He deserves the credit. If you are too petty to give him any credit then shut up and we will see you in 4 more years. If there is an embarrassment here it is the number of people who voted for the NDP based on 'the need for change'. Like the richest, fairest and best nation on earth needs change so bad we will take it without even knowing what is involved.  For those of you who voted that way: grow up! Like the man said: you gotta be rich in the first place to think like that.
   By the way, vancouver center: I hate you! Surely even heroin addicts, pimps, hoes and drug dealers can tell that Hedi Frye is the worst MP in the history of the parliamentary system. If you dont believe me, i have a load of barely burned crosses top sell you.

Osama Bin Ladin : Rest in Pieces!

I don't care if it is likely to weaken his terrorist network or not, I am glad he is dead. I don't think he should have received a decent burial though. Hopefully the words spoken over him were more of a curse than a blessing.