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Scientists uncover Earth's largest volcanic region two kilometres below Antarctic ice sheet

Well, well, well!  For some years now Warmists have been agonizing about bits of melting in West Antarctica.  And equally routinely, I have pointed out that there is evidence of vulcanism in West Antarctica so the melting was most probably the work of volcanoes rather than of Anthropogenic global warming.  So I now stand amply vindicated.  There are not only some volcanoes underneath the ice there, there are BIG ones there.  It is actually Earth's largest volcanic region

Their explanation for the vulcanism is rather pathetic, though.  They appear not to know that the earth is not spherical.  It is flattened at the poles.  So the earth's molten core is closest to the surface at the  poles.  So magma is more apt to break through there.  Which is why there is also huge subsurface volcanic activity in the region of the North pole -- particularly along the Gakkel ridge


A team of scientists unearthed a volcanic region previously hidden under ice sheets, with the geologist who led the team warning of destabilising consequences.

Edinburgh University researchers uncovered almost 100 volcanoes – with the highest almost as tall as Switzerland's 3,970-metre Eiger.

Geologists think the region, which sits two kilometres below ice in west Antarctica, will dwarf east Africa’s volcanic ridge, which is rated as the world's densest concentration of volcanoes.

Glacier expert Robert Bingham, who helped author the paper, warned The Guardian the range could have worrying consequences. 'If one of these volcanoes were to erupt it could further destabilise west Antarctica’s ice sheets. 'Anything that causes the melting of ice – which an eruption certainly would – is likely to speed up the flow of ice into the sea.

'The big question is: how active are these volcanoes? That is something we need to determine as quickly as possible.'

The Edinburgh volcano survey, featured in the Geological Society’s special publications series, examined the underside of the ice sheet for hidden peaks of basalt rock similar to those produced by the region’s other volcanoes.

Over the past century, explorers have reported sightings of their tips, which reach above the ice.

The survey team's youngest member, Max Van Wyk de Vries, is a volcano fanatic who wouldn't stop wondering how many tips lie below the ice.

An undergraduate at the university's school of geosciences, he set up the project with Dr Bingham.

They used ice-penetrating radar carried by planes and land vehicles to analyse measurements made by previous surveys and survey strips of west Antarctic ice.

Dr Bingham explained the results were compared with satellite and database records and geological information from aerial surveys.

'Essentially, we were looking for evidence of volcanic cones sticking up into the ice.'

After collating the results, the team reported 91 previously unknown volcanoes, adding to 47 others discovered over the previous century by explorers.

These newly discovered volcanoes range from 100 to 3,850 metres high. All are covered in ice, sometimes in layers that are more than 4km thick.

Dr Bingham was shocked to find the active peaks concentrated in the west Antarctic rift system, which stretches 3,500km from Antarctica’s Ross ice shelf to the Antarctic peninsula.

'We were amazed. We had not expected to find anything like that number. 'We have almost trebled the number of volcanoes known to exist in west Antarctica.

'We also suspect there are even more on the bed of the sea that lies under the Ross ice shelf, so that I think it is very likely this region will turn out to be the densest region of volcanoes in the world, greater even than east Africa, where mounts Nyiragongo, Kilimanjaro, Longonot and all the other active volcanoes are concentrated.'

The volcanic activity could have crucial implications for Earth. If one erupts, it could further destabilise ice sheets in the region, where global warming has already had an impact.

Dr Bingham's fear is that the Antarctic ocean's meltwater outflows will cause sea levels to rise.

'We just don’t know about how active these volcanoes have been in the past.

'The most volcanism that is going in the world at present is in regions that have only recently lost their glacier covering – after the end of the last ice age. These places include Iceland and Alaska.

'Theory suggests that this is occurring because, without ice sheets on top of them, there is a release of pressure on the regions’ volcanoes and they become more active.'

Significant warming caused by climate change in west Antarctica has already affected its ice sheets.

If they reduce significantly, this could release pressure on volcanoes lying below.

This would lead to eruptions that could further destabilise ice sheets and enhance sea level rises, something Dr Bingham is keen to monitor. 'It is something we will have to watch closely.'

SOURCE


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What does Richard Muller think of the US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement?

Muller is an unusual character.  He was initially a critic of global warming and set up his own climate record to check whether there had in fact been any warming over the last century or so.  He found that there had been both some long term warming and some long term CO2 rise and concluded that that was enough for him to endorse the anthropogenic global warming theory. As he says below: "That is a scientific judgement that I will stand behind"

It is also an illogical judgment.  There are plenty of instances of correlations that do not indicate causation.  It is in fact a first principle of statistics that correlation is not causation. 

 Furthermore the observed correlation is not as it should be if the theory were correct.  Theoretically, the effect of added CO2 in the atmosphere should be instant.  It allegedly works by bouncing electromagnetic radiation around and electromagnetic radiation moves at the speed of light.  But there has been no instant effect.  There have been long periods (e.g. 1945 to 1975, referred to by some as "the long hiatus") when the temperature did not rise at all, even though CO2 rose markedly over that period.  

So there is only a broad long-term sense in which you can say that both CO2 and temperature rose. And that rough similarity is a long way away from what the theory demands.

So it is clearly to keep his peace with the orthodoxy that he has gone over to the dark side.  He seems to be a good and kindly man so he probably just did not have the stomach for a fight.  You can't blame him for wanting a quiet life.

Anyway, there is still a bit of the skeptic in him, as you will read below


When Trump announced our withdrawal from the Paris Accords, I felt that he had done the right thing.

Global warming is real, about 1.5 C in the last 250 years, and it is caused by human emission of greenhouse gases. That is a scientific judgement that I will stand behind, based on my own work and on that of my colleagues in the non-profit BerkeleyEarth.org.

But the Paris accords did almost nothing to stop the increase. Alas, most of that increase will come from China, India, and the developing world, not from the US or Western Europe. To be effective, anything we rich nations do must set an example that the developing world can follow. That means it must not be expensive; if it isn’t profitable, it isn’t sustainable.

There are three things we need to do to slow and stop global warming:

More extensive energy conservation.

Encourage nuclear power. (For the last decade we are effectively telling the world that nuclear power is unsafe and has no reasonable way to dispose of waste.)

Shale gas as an alternative to coal. A gas plant emits ½ to ⅓ the CO2 of coal.

Everything else is just frosting. We tend to do fashionable things without caring if it makes sense for the developing world. For example, electric cars, if used in China, would increase their CO2 pollution (since 70% of their electricity derives from coal). And they can’t afford lithium ion autos; the $7500 subsidy for electric cars is for show only; it does not address global warming.

The problem with the Paris treaty is that it was a political show with no teeth. Countries set their own limits; there is no outside verification. The developing world was enthusiastic in large part because the US had pledged to put $3 billion dollars per year in the sustainable development fund. (China had already indicated that it wanted some of this money to build coal power plants. Their argument was that with the funds they would build more efficient coal plants than they would otherwise build.)

My fundamental argument against the Paris treaty is that it gave the illusion of progress, and such an illusion can be detrimental to real progress. Others say it was a small step in the right direction, but it was generally not portrayed that way. And the step was (in my opinion) exceedingly small, too small.

The US needs to have truly workable programs to help the developing world take advantage of concepts in energy efficiency, and to make progress on shale gas and nuclear. On shale gas, at least we are setting a good example, but we need to help China develop its own resources (which are greater than those in the US). We need to set the right example in nuclear by showing that we consider it to be a clean and safe technology. Among other things, we need to make it possible to license 4th generation nuclear plants in the US; they cannot be currently licensed! And we need to make it known to the outside world that disposal of nuclear waste is not a challenge, but is a solved problem.





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Anti-immigration protesters attacked by hundreds of far-Leftists as they march through the streets of Barcelona just one day after deadly terror attack in the city

The anti-immigration protesters are described by the sensationalist media as members of the Falange, the Fascist organization that kept dictator Franco in power for many decades, though Franco himself was not a member of it.  The Falange does still exist in Spain -- getting about 1% of the vote in national elections -- but we have no means of knowing the party connections of the protesters.  It could all be just media beatup. There are just not many Falangists left and you would not have to be a member of the Falange to be angry about Muslim immigration to Spain after the recent terrorist attacks there.

But even if we do assume that the protesters were Falangists, that does NOT of itself  indicate that they were racists.  From the Roman empire to this day, Southern Europeans have been little concerned about race.  Italian dictator Mussolini did for quite a time have Jews prominent in the Fascist party for instance.  Mussolini eventually proclaimed some widely-ignored anti-Jewish laws only after Hitler pushed him into it. And there is great sympathy for Israel in Italy to this day.

And the Falange of Franco's day were not concerned about race either.  Their primary foci were anti-comumunism and pro-Catholicism.  So to procalim that these anti-immigration protesters were racists would be ipso facto unfounded, though the media will no doubt say otherwise

The one thing we can conclude is that, like Hitler's Brownshirts,  Leftist thugs will emerge to attack those they disagree with wherever that might be.  It is they who are the Nazis, not the critics of Islam


Far-right activists were met by a huge crowd of anti-fascist protesters as they marched in Barcelona one day after a terror attack killed 13 people in the city.

Members of the extreme Falange group congregated on Las Ramblas boulevard this afternoon before being met by hundreds of counter-demonstrators waving flags and banners.

Tensions were so high that armed riot police were called in to separate the groups as violence broke out.

Pictures show demonstrators shouting in each other's faces and fighting in the streets as tempers boiled over.

One photograph shows an anti-fascist punching a Falange supporter in the face amid a scuffle in the crowd. The punched man, who was wearing a T-Shirt emblazoned with the far-right slogan, 'Do not stop until you conquer', was later seen with a black eye.

He was later seen with a fellow protester whose face and hands were covered in blood after he had been hit in the nose.

The chaotic scenes took place near the scene where yesterday a van ploughed into pedestrians in an attack that also left more than 100 injured.

Falange took to the streets to 'protest Islam' and blame Spain's immigration policy for the attack.

A post on the group's website said: 'No one was fooled into thinking that the policies of multiculturalism and #RefugeesWelcome wouldn’t end like they did in Las Ramblas in Barcelona.'

Falange abandoned the demonstration after it was stormed by counter-demonstrators and had to be escorted away from Las Ramblas by police.

SOURCE


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Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

The article excerpted below does raise a real concern.  Children are moving even further away from the hunter-gatherer life that they are genetically programmed for. So the indications that smartphones have increased various sorts of mental illness are credible.

So the only question is what to do about it.  And the answer is fairly clear.  Parents have to step up to the plate and do active things with their children: Hiking, camping, sports etc.  Even taking them on to the rifle range would probably work well

We must however be careful about causes.  The upsurge in touchfone usage seems to have coincided roughly with an incredible upsurge of only marginally sane advice from influential Leftist sources.

For instance, we hear a lot these days about people being "cis" this or that.  To be "cis" means to be happy in your own skin but there is apparently nothing worse than a "cis" male.  That awful creature is the source of all the world's woes. And in most ways boys have to become like girls to be approved of.  And the real heroes of society are the sexual deviants.  With young people on the receiving end of messages as addled as that, is it any wonder that anxiety and depression proliferate among the young?

So simple outdoor activities may not help greatly with that. Close parental involvement with their children's education may be the only remedy. I will never understand why conservative parents pay good money to send their kids to the Leftist madrassas that the major universities have become


I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys.

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.

At first I presumed these might be blips, but the trends persisted, across several years and a series of national surveys. The changes weren’t just in degree, but in kind. The biggest difference between the Millennials and their predecessors was in how they viewed the world; teens today differ from the Millennials not just in their views but in how they spend their time. The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.

What happened in 2012 to cause such dramatic shifts in behavior? It was after the Great Recession, which officially lasted from 2007 to 2009 and had a starker effect on Millennials trying to find a place in a sputtering economy. But it was exactly the moment when the proportion of Americans who owned a smartphone surpassed 50 percent.

The more I pored over yearly surveys of teen attitudes and behaviors, and the more I talked with young people like Athena, the clearer it became that theirs is a generation shaped by the smartphone and by the concomitant rise of social media. I call them iGen. Born between 1995 and 2012, members of this generation are growing up with smartphones, have an Instagram account before they start high school, and do not remember a time before the internet. The Millennials grew up with the web as well, but it wasn’t ever-present in their lives, at hand at all times, day and night. iGen’s oldest members were early adolescents when the iPhone was introduced, in 2007, and high-school students when the iPad entered the scene, in 2010. A 2017 survey of more than 5,000 American teens found that three out of four owned an iPhone.

The advent of the smartphone and its cousin the tablet was followed quickly by hand-wringing about the deleterious effects of “screen time.” But the impact of these devices has not been fully appreciated, and goes far beyond the usual concerns about curtailed attention spans. The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household. The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns. Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone.

To those of us who fondly recall a more analog adolescence, this may seem foreign and troubling. The aim of generational study, however, is not to succumb to nostalgia for the way things used to be; it’s to understand how they are now. Some generational changes are positive, some are negative, and many are both. More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been. They’re markedly less likely to get into a car accident and, having less of a taste for alcohol than their predecessors, are less susceptible to drinking’s attendant ills.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

Even when a seismic event—a war, a technological leap, a free concert in the mud—plays an outsize role in shaping a group of young people, no single factor ever defines a generation. Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter. But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever. There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.

You might expect that teens spend so much time in these new spaces because it makes them happy, but most data suggest that it does not. The Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and designed to be nationally representative, has asked 12th-graders more than 1,000 questions every year since 1975 and queried eighth- and 10th-graders since 1991. The survey asks teens how happy they are and also how much of their leisure time they spend on various activities, including nonscreen activities such as in-person social interaction and exercise, and, in recent years, screen activities such as using social media, texting, and browsing the web. The results could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy.

There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness. Eighth-graders who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media are 56 percent more likely to say they’re unhappy than those who devote less time to social media. Admittedly, 10 hours a week is a lot. But those who spend six to nine hours a week on social media are still 47 percent more likely to say they are unhappy than those who use social media even less. The opposite is true of in-person interactions. Those who spend an above-average amount of time with their friends in person are 20 percent less likely to say they’re unhappy than those who hang out for a below-average amount of time.

SOURCE

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There are none so blind as those who will not see

A typical bit of obtuseness from the Leftist media below. They refuse to see that Trump was commenting on the diverse makeup of the Charlotteville marchers and pretend that he was calling the extremist minority "good people".  There were among the marchers a small minority who displayed swastika and KKK symbols but the great majority did not.  They were there simply to protest the escalating attack on historic statues.  Trump has consistently commented on that mix but the media simply ignore it, misleading many Republicans as a result.

But it suits the Leftist media to pretend that all the marchers were white supremacists.  Given that assumption, what they say has some force.  But it is an unproven assumption.  None of the marchers interviewed made any supremacist claims.  Instead they complained that traditional American culture was being suppressed by Leftist political correctness.  They simply wanted liberty from oppression.

So Trump was right.  There were sincere and reasonable people on both sides and he refused to tar them all with the "supremacist" brush.  It is a legitimate area of disagreement over whether symbols from an unhappy past should be preserved but that disagreement was grievously amplified by a small number of extremists on both sides


After President Trump’s defiant and roundly criticized remarks about a violent rally by white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., Americans are confronting profoundly uncomfortable questions.

Was he giving a sign that he subscribes to the ideology of white supremacy? Or was he attempting to enable the movement because it feeds his political base?

At an angry press conference Tuesday, Trump blamed “both sides’’ — white nationalists and their counterprotesters — for the violence that left one protester dead. He called those who were marching to Nazi chants “very fine people.” And he pulled a page from the white supremacist playbook when he referred to the removal of Confederate monuments as a changing of American “history” and “culture.”

Beyond the immediate shock his statements caused, an intensifying chorus of academics, politicians, and a biographer said years of accumulating evidence indicates that the Trump on display Tuesday was indeed the real Donald Trump, someone who is at the very least accepting of ethnic hatred and white bigotry.

SOURCE

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President Trump Again makes himself perfectly clear

He again defies the abusive and unproven media assertion that all the marchers were "white supremacists".  Sad that it takes the president to correct a crazed media

Ignoring the outcry over his response to the Charlottesville protests, President Trump on Thursday further waded into the controversy, calling it "foolish" to remove "our beautiful statues and monuments."

In three mid-morning tweets, the president wrote:

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....

"...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also...

"...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!"

While Trump sees them as objects of beauty and history, some other Americans view the statues as monuments to traitors and symbols of hatred, racism, etc.

The newly ignited, not-so-civil war of words has dominated the headlines since Saturday, when critics say Trump failed to properly denounce the white supremacists who rallied against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from a public park in Charlottesville.

In later comments, Trump said not everyone who rallied against the removal of the statue was "bad."

“If you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee," Trump said on Tuesday. "I'm sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people -- neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them.

"But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know -- I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit.

"So, I only tell you this, there are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country,” Trump said.

SOURCE

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Why Does Trump Still Refuse to Criticize Putin?

The article below from "The Atlantic" does establish their case that Trump goes out of his way to stay friendly with Russia but they have no answer to the "Why" in their heading.  They even acknowledge that his attitude probably does him political harm.

It seems not to have occurred to them that it is very much in America's self-interest to be on friendly terms with Russia and that Trump is in fact being statesmanlike in his attitude. Consider if there is serious trouble over North Korea. Russia could in various ways seriously hamper what Trump could do if it wanted to.  Given Trump's friendliness, however, Putin will almost certainly do nothing -- leaving all options open for Trump.

The Left, on the other hand,  seem to want a return to the Cold War, which seems to me to be borderline insane.  Didn't we have enough of that last century?

Note that I said above something that will grind a few Leftist mental gears if it ever gets into their heads:  "Trump statesmanlike"!  Heresy!  But it fits


The president not only won’t denounce Russia, but he goes out of his way to avoid it—like when he thanked the Kremlin on Thursday for expelling U.S. diplomats.

President Trump is most comfortable when he’s on the verbal offensive. He loves a good war of words, whether his target is a foreign adversary, a foreign ally, a Republican rival, or Rosie O’Donnell. According to a New York Times tally, Trump has attacked 351 separate people, places, and things on Twitter alone since July 2015.

The president has demonstrated that tendency this week, with his escalating, improvised threats against North Korea and his parallel assault on Mitch McConnell, his most important ally in Washington.

Those feuds make Trump’s refusal to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin all the more conspicuous.

On July 30, Putin announced that Russia was forcing the U.S. State Department to reduce its staff in Russia by 755 people. (For the most part, those who were laid off were Russians working for the embassy, not American diplomats.) Trump, who often can’t let a provocation on cable news go unanswered for more than a few hours, was uncharacteristically quiet.

He finally broke his silence, after a fashion, on August 3, the day he signed a bill increasing sanctions on Russia in retaliation for interfering in the 2016 election. Trump had opposed the legislation, but it passed Congress with veto-proof majorities, leaving him little choice but to sign it. There are many reasons Russo-American relations are strained: Russian anger at expansion of NATO, longstanding global rivalries, the Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine, years of Russian human-rights abuses, and Russian tampering with the election. Trump chose to place blame for the rocky state of the relationship not on any of those issues, and certainly not on Putin, but squarely on Congress. Just for good measure, he tossed in an unrelated jab at the failure of an Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan:

"Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!"

There was still not a word about Putin’s forced cuts at the U.S. embassy. Finally, on Thursday, Trump weighed in. His comments were surprising—not only did he not criticize Putin, but he thanked him:

I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There's no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.
Was Trump speaking with tongue in cheek? It’s possible, but he didn’t smile when he said it. (The president has often tried to pass off apparently serious comments as jokes after the fact, in order to defuse situations.) The remark fits with his attempt to cut costs at the State Department and his disdain for traditional diplomacy.

But even if the whole thing was a joke, it’s still astonishing that Trump’s response to Russian retaliation was to thank the retaliators. This doesn’t mean the only option is an eye for an eye; a simple public complaint is standard in cases of diplomatic retaliation like this. (Part of the problem is that Trump seems to have two modes: conciliation and escalation. The idea of criticizing without raising the stakes is foreign to him.)

The strange thing about Trump’s comments about Putin is not merely that he won’t criticize him, but that he goes out of his way to avoid it. The tweet about Russian relations and his remarks on Thursday were hardly the only times this has happened. And that’s even leaving aside Trump’s repeated praise for the Russian leader during the campaign, when he praised Putin’s leadership, suggested he’d allow the annexation of Crimea, and publicly called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Let’s draw a line between what Trump said on the campaign trail and what he’s said since the election. Although he had been briefed before November 8, it was after the election that he began getting full intelligence briefings on Russian interference. Since then, there has also been an increasing focus on interference among members of the public, press, and Congress. In other words, Trump has had many more incentives to distance himself from Russia. Instead, he’s continued to hold his fire.

On February 4, Trump told Bill O’Reilly, “I do respect [Putin]. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them.” O’Reilly pressed Trump on Putin’s murders of dissidents and journalists. Trump wouldn’t criticize Putin for those crimes, and suggested the United States was no better. “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”

He has also repeatedly declined to accept the idea that Russia meddled in the election, even though it is the conclusion of all the major intelligence agencies, and even though many of his top aides have said they blame Russia for hacking attacks. In June, he called the attacks “a big Dem HOAX.”

In early July, during a trip to Poland, he halfway accepted that Russia might have been behind them, then backed off the statement and worked to muddy the waters:

"I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people. I said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia, but I think it could well have been other countries. I won’t be specific. I think a lot of people interfere. I think it’s been happening for a long time, it’s been happening for many, many years."

Yet he added: “Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.”

Later that week, Trump had his first face-to-face meeting with Putin, at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. U.S. and Russian accounts of the meeting initially diverged, with the United States saying Trump had pressed Putin forcefully on the hacking, and Russia saying Trump had accepted Putin’s denials.

Two days later, Trump cleared things up with a pair of tweets that basically confirmed the Russian account:

Given that Trump had already said he was dubious of Russian interference, that tweet reads as an acknowledgment that he accepted their denial.

The question is why Trump has worked so hard to avoid criticizing Putin—especially when there’s a clear political downside to appearing cozy with the Russian bear.

There is little obvious foreign-policy advantage. During the campaign and early in his presidency, Trump argued that the United States ought to launch a charm offensive in order to improve relations with Russia. Whether that was right or wrong, and whether Congress or someone else is to blame, that approach is obsolete today. As Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Russia have all admitted, relations are now at a low ebb.

Even if Trump fully believes that Putin is a spotless, admirable leader falsely accused of various crimes, it would be to his benefit to create some separation, and a matter as simple as expulsion of diplomats offers a good chance for Trump to stand up for his country. Putin, like any foreign leader, understands that sometimes a head of state has to shore himself up domestically and would surely interpret a few hostile words from Trump in that light. (Alternatively, even if one believes Trump is a bought-and-paid-for puppet of the Kremlin, why wouldn’t he publicly denounce Putin to buy himself some maneuvering room?)

Given Trump’s affection for authoritarian leaders and fixation on projecting strength, the simplest explanation for Trump’s refusal to criticize Putin might be that he doesn’t want to give the impression that he has been cowed into changing his view. Perhaps he’s thinking that if he allows his critics to troll him into offering harsh words, it would show that they are stronger than him—and if he acknowledges Russian interference in the election, it undermines the legitimacy of his victory in 2016.

In fact, his actions are making him look weak, but not in the way he thinks. His refusal to criticize Putin even in the case of diplomatic retaliation gives the impression that he is intimidated by the Kremlin and doesn’t have it in him to be tough. The president has cut off his nose to spite his face, and is now willing to cut off an ear or a lip if he must.

During his only press conference between the election and inauguration, on January 11, Trump fielded questions about his affection for the Russian leader.

“If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks, that’s called an asset, not a liability,” he said. “Now, I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t. And if I don’t, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that?”

Seven months later, it seems clear that she couldn’t have been any less tough.

SOURCE

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What is a Leftist to do when his opponents are NOT white supremacists?

Easy.  Interpret what the opponent does say to mean what the Leftist wants it to mean.  See below.  His opponents all speak in code, apparently.

There may have been a few actual white supremacists at the Charlotteville rally but all the actual protests heard were about the preservation of an historic statue and the subjugation of American cultural traditions to political correctness.  The marchers were seeking only liberty, not to subjugate anybody -- but Leftists refuse to see that.

It just gives them a huge thrill to think that they are opposing white supremacists.  That would make them the good guys.  They in fact are the supremacists -- Leftist supremacists. They want to put us all into a regulatory straitjacket of their devising -- as the Obama period showed.

Note below that they do not even attempt to show that their opponents are white supremacists.  They just assert it. If there really were white supremacists at the rally, how come that they can't quote anybody there saying clearly one single white supremacist thing?


The coded language of the white supremacist playbook has been displayed in abundance since the Charlottesville, Va., rally exploded in violence Saturday, sowing confusion for the public and masking the sentiment behind some of the responses.

Trump’s initial, vague statement — and even some elements of his more specific denunciation Monday, two days after the protests horrified the nation — heartened extremist groups, who are adept at weaponizing ambiguous language and who cited Trump’s language as vindication.

A prime example of the groups’ rhetorical tactics: a “Free Speech Rally” that may take place Saturday on Boston Common with scheduled speakers who have espoused white supremacist views.

The feel-good title of the rally is intended to divert attention from its purpose of sowing racial discord, said Ian Haney Lopez, a racial justice professor at University of California Berkeley’s law school who has written a book on racial “dog whistles.”

“When you use a phrase like ‘free speech’ to mobilize those who are racially fearful, it switches the conversation. It pretends that the conversation is about the right to express unpopular views — which is a quintessential American value that is enshrined in our Constitution — when in fact, the dynamic is about the expression of ugly views of racial prejudice,’’ Lopez said.

Trump has previously been criticized for repeatedly talking about violence in “inner cities” and his multiple warnings about “thugs,” coded words often used to invoke stereotypical images of black men.

On Saturday, when he first addressed Americans in response to the Charlottesville rallies, he told the country to “cherish our history,” which some took as code that he was weighing in on the side of preserving Confederate memorials.

“That was a very interesting comment,” white nationalist Richard Spencer, a founder of the “alt-right’’ movement told the Times of Israel. “I think there is reason to believe he wants an America where we can look back upon the Civil War as a deeply tragic event, but we can honor great men, like Robert E. Lee.”

Spencer told reporters Monday, after the president’s recent round of remarks, that he did not believe Trump had repudiated white nationalists or the “alt-right’’ movement, which combines elements of nationalism, racism, and populism.

“I don’t think he condemned it, no,” Spencer said. “Did he say white nationalist? ‘Racist’ means an irrational hatred of people. I don’t think he meant any of us.”

Hate groups have long worked to mask their views behind traditionally accepted language, in an attempt to make them more palatable to the public. Instead of denouncing America’s increasing ethnic diversity, they created the phrase “reverse-racism.” The term “alt-right” was born to rebrand white supremacist ideology as Internet friendly and cutting-edge.

The use of dog whistles — a cloaked political message that can only be understood by a particular group, much as dogs can hear whistles of certain frequencies that humans cannot — has become more common.

American politicians have a bipartisan history of deploying coded words to dance around the topic of race. Lee Atwater, the Republican political consultant and former confidant to Ronald Reagan, had his infamous “Southern Strategy,” which he explicitly said was created to disenfranchise black Americans without being called racist.

Reagan, during his presidential campaign of 1976, pushed a narrative that some black women were lazy and manipulating government aid. Hillary Clinton blasted youths in gangs as “super-predators.”

Where Trump stands out, however, is the specific way he emboldens white nationalists, said specialists who study racism in America. Trump “eradicates distinctions” by being uniquely obtuse and coded about his racial messaging, said Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguistics professor at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Information.

Instead of overtly criticizing then-President Barack Obama’s race, Nunberg said, Trump peddled the myth that the first black president was born in Kenya. On Saturday, Trump embraced a false equivalence between the bigots and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, condemning violence on “many sides.”

“There’s a cultural battle that’s going on that Trump is engaged in — and part of that is a redefinition of what is factual,” said Sam Fulwood, a fellow on race at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington. “If they can redefine racism as what’s against white men . . . then they’re able to impose their will on society.”

Even in his stronger statement Monday, Trump denounced the Klu Klux Klan along with neo-Nazis and “other hate groups,” which he did not define. Combined with the fact that it took him days to address the criticism, experts said, this is the type of ambiguity that the extremist groups rely upon.

Many people posting in online forums, which often serve as testing grounds for the white nationalist ideology, said they saw hope in Trump’s statements. They pointed to his phrase “other hate groups,” which they interpreted as a nod to their main targets: civil rights organizations who advocate for nonwhites.

“He left the door open,” wrote one user on Reddit.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the civil rights organization based in Alabama that has tracked extremists groups for years through its blog “Hatewatch,” said extremists groups see Trump as a “champion.”

Part of this is the language he and his close advisers used on the campaign trail and on Twitter, including the sharing of popular white nationalist memes and using phrases such as “cuckservative,” a term combining cuckold and conservative that is used to describe Republicans seen as traitors.

In a post on its home page, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen, said Trump’s responses to Charlottesville will be interpreted by the “alt-right” as a nod of approval, a license that allows them to become more emboldened.

This also happened when Trump, during the 2016 campaign, took days to denounce the endorsements of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, and the Klan at large.

Cohen said extremist groups saw that and took heart. And he said they would be encouraged again, after the president’s response to Charlottesville.

“I’m sure white supremacists remain reassured,’’ he wrote, “that they have a friend in the White House.”

SOURCE

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Sessions: DOJ Taking ‘Vigorous Action’ to Protect Those Who ‘Protest Against Racism and Bigotry’

Because a Leftist demonstrator died at Charlotteville there has been an enormous blast of self-righteousness from the Left.  And in their self-righteousness they have arrogated to themselves the right to call the conservative demonstrators at the Charlotteville rally, "Nazis", KKK", "white supremacists" etc.

But where is the evidence for those accusations?  There were no KKK robes in sight, no swastikas and no proclamations of white supremacy.  But so loud and persistent have those accusations become, that both Trump and Sessions have now appeared to concede that such groups were present at the march.

The aim of the march was simply to defend a statue of an historic figure, Robert E. Lee. And some individual marchers claimed to be defending white culture. But culture is not race and you can defend it without calling it supreme.  The motive in fact was to prevent its subjugation, not assert its supremacy.

The violence at the rally was sparked by deliberately planned attacks by Antifa on the marchers. Antifa came equipped with bats, sticks and flamethrowers. All the marchers did was defend themselves.  The marchers did apparently foresee attacks on them -- which was a pretty obvious possibility -- but their major preparation was to hand out those death's head shields for self protection. And note that shields are a defensive device, not a weapon.  The death's heads were apparently an attempt to scare off attackers. Who the attackers were and who the defenders were is thus crystal clear.

Unfortunately, one individual was so incensed by the attacks  that he drove his car into the Antifa group.  But that was a response by one individual, not a concerted effort by any group.

So where is the condemnation of Antifa?  I have seen none.  Instead, Jeff Sessions below seems to suggest that he will protect them.  Media hysteria seems to have effectively blinded people to what actually went on.  It's a triumph of Leftist propaganda.


Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are going to discover that the Trump administration is “coming after them for any violations of the law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday.

Sessions, a recent target of Trump’s criticism, on Monday defended the president for making a “very strong statement” against the “hatred, violence, bigotry, racism, white supremacy” espoused at weekend rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Those things must be condemned in this country,” Sessions told NBC’s “Today” show. “They're totally unacceptable, and you can be sure that this Department of Justice in his (Trump’s) administration is going to take the most vigorous action to protect the right of people like Heather Heyer to protest against racism and bigotry.

“We're going to protect the right to assemble and march, and we're going to prosecute anybody to the full extent of the law that violates their ability do so, so, you can be sure of that,” Sessions added.

The white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and the KKK, had a permit to protest the removal of Confederate statues in public parks, but their protest attracted counter-protesters. One of those counter-protesters, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed when a car driven by a young white man, apparently a white supremacist, rammed a crowded intersection.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the Justice Departent has opened a civil rights investigation into the car-ramming to "make a determination about whether it's appropriate to charge this as an act of terror." Pompeo said he is confident that DOJ "will investigate that with enormous rigor and get to the right outcome."

President Trump, meanwhile, is expected to say more about the Charlottesville violence on Monday, but some critics say it’s too late – he missed an opportunity to criticize the white supremacist groups by name when he spoke on Saturday.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence -- on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama -- it’s been going on for a long, long time.”

Trump’s suggestion that “hatred, bigotry and violence” exists on “many sides” offended some Americans. On Monday, “Today” anchor Samantha Guthrie asked Sessions, “What are the other sides?”

Sessions replied, “Well, we've had violence around the country in any number of ways over decades. We've had these spasms of violence that are unacceptable in America.”

Sessions noted that Trump on Saturday said the problems have been going on for a long time: “He said what happened in Charlottesville is unacceptable. We need to find out what happened, that it's wrong, and we need to study it and see what, as a nation, we can do to be more effective against this kind of extremism -- and evil, really. I thought it was a pretty -- it was a good statement, delivered just a few hours after the event,” Sessions said.

As criticism against the president mounted, the White House on Sunday issued a statement explicitly calling out the neo-Nazis, the KKK “and all extremist groups.”

“Amazingly, Nazism remains alive after all the evil it has caused in the world, and so I think that we take this seriously,” Sessions said. “We go at it directly, morally, legally, politically, legitimately and any way possible to reject this kind of ideology that that causes division and hatred in America. It's just not part of our heritage.”

Sessions said he expects President Trump to speak about the violence later today.

“He will be speaking to the people today, I'm not sure what he'll say, that's my understanding. And he's been firm on this from the beginning. He is appalled by this.”

SOURCE

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Is Julius Goat right?

The "divine" Julius started a very popular Twitter thread in which he claimed to see an air of entitlement in the traditionalist demonstrators at Charlotte.  The torches at the peaceful demonstration the night before the big fracas seem in particular to have inflamed him. He then goes on to say that the demonstrators in fact had nothing to complain about because they had not suffered a range of problems that various minority groups had suffered.  He said that the law never:

Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed

He then goes on to list the other injustices that white, middle-class men have never suffered from the travel ban on Muslims to police violence against black people to historic efforts to prove non-white intellectual inferiority as well as church burnings and hangings.

Then he examined the “we will not be replaced” rallying cry of the white supremacist protesters. Replaced as ... what?

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions.
Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena.
Replaced as the only life that matters.

He then said he would “love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year”. That might mean a world “where you ACTUALLY can’t say Christmas”, where “the name ‘Geoff’ on a resume puts it in the trash” or where a polo shirt makes people so nervous it could get you kicked off a plane, he said.

“Put that in your torches and light it, you sorry Nazi b****es,” concluded Julius Goat.

Organisers of Saturday’s Unite the Right rally said, however, that it was staged to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate commander General Robert E Lee from a park. Individual marchers may have had larger agendas than that but to say that the whole march had a larger agenda is just an unproven assertion.

And it is certainly an absurd assertion that they were Nazis.  That Julius Goat asserts it does not make it so.  The real Brownshirts of the occasion were the Antifa demonstrators who turned up with bats, sticks and flamethrowers and proceeded to attack peaceful marchers.



It is of course true that attacks on American traditional culture have not bitten very hard so far -- except in the colleges and universities.  But the colleges and universities are a large omen of things to come.  They are an alarm beacon of what seems to be  coming.  They are a warning of what appears to lie ahead for all Americans -- a future where speech is strictly regulated, justice is denied and a tight net of Fascist regulations surrounds everything that people do.

So, yes.  The goatish one is right that white males have not suffered as much as some other groups have.  But he seems to want to deny them any interest in their future.  He somehow overlooks that white males may rightly take alarm at what they see lying  ahead of them.  And some of them want to prevent and resist what the Leftist establishment clearly have in mind for them.

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance" is a well-known maxim among conservatives and that vigilance may have to be exercised from time to time.  What is wrong with that?  If you see a juggernaut hurtling towards you, what is wrong with trying to stop or deflect it?

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Should Trump have condemned the "white supremacists" at the Charlottesville fracas?

He probably should have -- if there were any there.  The only evidence that I have seen put forward so far is that there was a peaceful torchlit procession at another time in another place. I guess we have to call that media logic. No court would convict anybody of anything on such flimsy "evidence".  And can the marchers be collectively condemned for the deeds of one man in a car? I think the difficulties in so doing are obvious.

Nonetheless the media and some RINOs are criticizing Trump's statesmanlike response of condemning all violence from all sides.

But the fact that there was a peaceful torchlit procession through the University of Virginia the night before the fracas proves only one thing and even for that we have to make an unproven assumption.  If the marchers on the two occasions were the same (an assumption), it shows that the marchers were peaceful until attacked by Antifa goons.  Antifa protesters came equipped with bats, sticks, and flame throwers. The marchers were entitled to hit back at the Antifa goons and they did.  It was not they who turned up with violent intent. 

And a parade of torches proves nothing. I have some of those torches myself, which I use to light up backyard feasts at night. In a parade, they are just an attention-getting device and have been used by many groups in many places in a perfectly peaceful and non-ideological manner.  Google "torchlit procession" if you doubt it.

And the march was organised to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. So was probably comprised overwhelmingly of Southern patriots honoring their forefathers  rather than any "racist" cause.  

History is written by the victors so most people still believe the propaganda that the North/South war was fought to free the slaves.  Yet, in his famous letter to Horace Greeley, Lincoln himself said that slavery was not the issue.  "The union" was the basic cause.  600,000 young Americans had to die to preserve Yankee dominance over the South.  So Southerners have cause to remember and honor their forebears.

In my view it is the Leftist thugs of Antifa whom Trump should have particularly condemned.  They turned a peaceful march into a violent occasion.

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Principles over Personalities

Terry Paulson puts an argument below that I mostly agree with but his comments on free trade are naive.  There are three reasons why Trump's restrictive attitudes to trade are right

1). He's got the voters behind him.  So opposing him on that would be an electoral disaster.  He largely won office on his skepticism about the "exporting" of jobs.  He has a degree in economics and he has held his view on trade from long before he ran for political office.  So his views are well-considered and of long standing.  One must consider that he is on to something.

2).  The major argument in favour of free trade is its economic efficiency:  It delivers lowest prices.  But there are also non-economic arguments to be considered. Economics is not everything.   Economists have long recognized a variety of those arguments: The infant industry argument, the national security argument and the "Australian" case.  None of those arguments are at issue in the present case but the lesson should be learned that economics-only arguments have long been recognized as too simplistic even by economists. In Trump's case, he is arguing that social stability is being risked by too-rapid industrial change and that change should therefore be reined in and partially reversed.  And if a conservative cannot oppose change and argue for stability, who can?

3). Even the economic argument is shaky and may only apply when all other things are equal.  The strongest argument there is the 19th century experience.  During the 19th century, America prospered mightily behind HIGH trade walls.  There was nothing approaching free trade then. Might not a similar prospering happen again under Trump?  Given the surge in employment that has already taken place since his election, it looks like that is in fact already happening.  How embarrassing to many it will be if Trump's "dumb" policies deliver a win-win:  Prosperity plus stability!


With Republicans in control of the executive and legislative branch, critical things can and should get done. Should Republican principles be more important than presidents in guiding our policy priorities in Washington? Certainly.

US Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona has just published a controversial new book, Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principles. Although some question Flake’s own priorities and voting record, he calls for putting principles ahead of personalities. Losers don’t legislate, but legislation must serve a purpose. He writes, “If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it. If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?”

Like many conservatives, Flake believes that Trump appointed an exceptional Supreme Court justice. His positions on cutting regulations and initiating a tax policy that lowers rates and broadens the base are easy to embrace and support. But Flake feels that Trump strays from conservative principles on curtailing free trade. Free trade serves our citizens, our businesses, and keeps important allies in our trade orbit in an expanding global economy.

Republicans have lost in elections when they stray from the principles that guide them. In 2001, President George W. Bush came into the Presidency and pushed for “No child left behind” and a prescription drug entitlement plan. He promoted his “caring conservative” version of bigger, better government, and the principle of smaller government was pushed aside. In the mid-term elections, the GOP lost the Senate.

Our Founding Fathers wisely built checks and balances into our Constitutional structure. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to assert their role and let Republican principles be their primary guide. They should support and work with Trump whenever they can. They should work with Democrats willing to build on common ground, but they should not follow Trump where he departs from what we stand for. Winners legislate; it’s time they assert their priorities.

In the coming months, I will focus on the six primary principles that California Republicans have said unites them: smaller government and less government regulations; lower taxes on small businesses and individuals; a strong military and homeland security; sustain the American Dream through personal freedom and responsibility; promote educational excellence through school choice; and support a free-enterprise, free-trade economy. It’s time Congress and President Trump get busy delivering on what matters most.

SOURCE

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2016 weather report: Extreme and anything but normal (?)

Dedicated Warmist, Seth Borenstein, has put up an extensive farrago of claims below, which are all designed to advance the global warming theory.  Most of them are easily debunked but there are so many of them that I would have to spend half a day doing that.  Instead I will concentrate on the central issue:  Temperature.  Unless there was a substantial temperature rise all the rest falls flat.

And there was indeed a temperature rise.  Both 2015 and 2016 were unusually warm years. According to NASA the J-D temperature anomalies for 2015 and 2016 were respectively .87 and .99 of a degree Celsius.  Most years before that during this century were around .65. So those two years were hotter than usual by about a quarter or a third of one degree: Extremely trivial is the only extreme thing about that.  Certainly the 2016 temperature was a lot more trivial than you would gather from the shriek below.

But if that was a continuing effect it could be important.  So was the rise a lasting effect or just an example of El Nino at work?  Does it indicate a lasting trend or not?  We don't of course have a figure for 2017 yet.  The most recent figure is for June -- and it is back in the .60s -- .69 in fact. It was .68 in June, 2005.

So it's true that 2016 was a slightly exceptional year but that has now run its course and we are back to a temperature stasis.  Goodbye 2016 and welcome to a routine 2017.

But a 1922 version of Seth Borenstein might also be of interest:



That was 95 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Putting together a collection of adverse weather events proves nothing.

Berfore I close, however, let me mention just one of the claims below about unusual weather.  They claim:  "There were 93 tropical cyclones across the globe, 13 percent more than normal."

But look at the graph below from Ryan Maue.



Ryan Maue is a research meteorologist for the private sector firm WeatherBELL Analytics and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. He has developed and maintained a popular weather maps and climate data service based on the world’s best numerical weather prediction systems.

His data show a DECLINE -- Fewer cyclones recently, with the 80s and 90s being the peak period

You shouldn't believe all you read in the papers


Last year's global weather was far more extreme or record breaking than anything approaching normal, according to a new report.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released its annual checkup of the Earth, highlighting numerous records including hottest year, highest sea level, and lowest sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica.

The 299-page report, written by scientists around the world and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, shows that 2016 was "very extreme and it is a cause for concern," said co-editor Jessica Blunden, a NOAA climate scientist.

Researchers called it a clear signal of human-caused climate change. A record large El Nino, the warming of the central Pacific that changes weather worldwide, was also a big factor in last year's wild weather.

"2016 will be forever etched in my brain as the year we crossed a new threshold of climate change — one that gave us a grim glimpse into our future," said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb, who had no role in the report.

Here's what you need to know about the government report on climate change. For starters, it's real.
Scientists examined dozens of key climate measures and found:

— At any given time, nearly one-eighth of the world's land mass was in severe drought. That's far higher than normal and "one of the worst years for drought," said report co-author Robert Dunn of the United Kingdom Met Office.

— Extreme weather was everywhere. Giant downpours were up. Heat waves struck all over the globe, including a nasty one in India. Extreme weather contributed to a gigantic wildfire in Canada.

— Global sea level rose another quarter of an inch (3.4 millimeters) for the sixth straight year of record high sea levels.

— There were 93 tropical cyclones across the globe, 13 percent more than normal. That included Hurricane Matthew that killed about 1,000 people in Haiti.

— The world's glaciers shrank — for the 37th year in a row — by an average of about 3 feet (1 meter).

— Greenland's ice sheet in 2016 lost 341 billion tons of ice (310 billion metric tons). It has lost 4400 billion tons (4000 billion metric tons of ice since 2002.

"2016 was a year in the Arctic like we've never seen before," said NOAA Arctic research chief Jeremy Mathis, who called it "a clear and more pronounced signal of warming than in any other year on record."

Many of the findings have been previously released, including that 2016 was the hottest year on record for the third consecutive year. A separate study based on modeling and weather patterns shows three hot years in a row is close to impossible to be a natural coincidence.

The odds of three years in a row setting heat records without man-made global warming is only 0.7 percent, compared to 30 to 50 percent with greenhouse gases according to a separate study published Thursday in the Geophysical Research Letters.

NOAA report co-editor Deke Arndt said the only notable normal global measure in 2016 was snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere.

SOURCE

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Google Manifesto: Does Biology Explain Gender Disparities in Tech?

An article under the above heading appeared in Live Science, in reply to the claims of James Damore of Google fame.  As one would expect from Left-dominated mainstream academe the answer given is broadly "No".

What they trot out is all old chestnut stuff that basically aims at a straw man.  What psychometricians assert is only a TENDENCY.  There is no claim that men generally are good at tech and women not.  The research finding is that there is a big overlap in male and female abilities. Abilities differ only at the margins. So the various arguments put forward about exceptional female abilities are pointless. In various times and places you can find women who do math and tech well.  And the "No" article is mainly just a trotting out of such examples.

What is of interest is the GENERAL TENDENCY in mental abilities, not a parade of anecdotes about tribes in India etc. And the way to measure a general tendency is to apply a valid and reliable test of problem-solving ability to a representative population sample. And the finding from such studies is that at the top of the IQ range in Western populations, there are always many more men than women. And if we look at mathematical ability only, the gap is even larger. You can theorize yourself blue in the face about why that is so -- "patriarchy" and all the rest -- but there remains there a clear and firm difference in ability that you have to deal with.

It is perfectly reasonable that some populations somewhere have undergone selective pressures which make females better at the top of the range but that does not alter the reality in Western society.

So on the basis of measured facts rather than a lot of speculation, Damore was perfectly right.  You will always get a substantial number of women who are good at tech and mathemstics but they will be greatly outnumbered by men.

In the circumstances, it matters little if the differences are inborn nor not but the way such differences have consistently shown up for around a  hundred years certainly suggest something inborn -- or at least something very resistant to change.   And the various genetic studies -- now including DNA findings -- do show that most of IQ and its component abilities is genetically determined.

So Google's frenetic efforts to introduce "equality" into its workforce were pushing uphill from the beginning. Such efforts were doomed to failure.  Damore's greatest offence may have been to point that failure out.

That despite great efforts Google could not equalize the number of its employees in stat/math applications would seem good confirmation of what the tests show.  Despite its great efforts to  swing the results in the way it wanted, Google ended up finding exactly what the IQ and other tests predicted.  A psychometrician would call Google's experiment good validation of the tests.  Google showed that the tests were right.


11 August, 2017

How America Lost Its Mind

There is a looong article in "The Atlantic". Under the above title.  It can however be summarized briefly.  KURT ANDERSEN argues that as many as a majority of Americans have always believed silly things.  From my knowledge of history, I am inclined to agree.  And if you don't know much history, Andersen gives you a grand tour of it.

He attributes this flexibility of belief to the general freedoms that Americans have.  The land of the free is, by extension, the land of freedom to believe anything that you want to.  Again, I think there is something in that.

But towards the end of his article Andersen comes of course to TRUMP.  And you can guess what he thinks of Trump.  Trump has no reality contact at all, according to Andersen. He is mad. Leftist thinking and assumptions and customs and procedures have become so entrenched in public discourse that to blast through it all sounds mad to Andersen -- or at least morally defective.

And from Trump's success he concludes that Americans generally have reached new heights of derangement.  But how to explain that fall? The obvious culprit is the internet, which allows all sorts of craziness to spread without check or hindrance.  And, as a secondary cause, Andersen cherry-picks a few things that some Republicans have said that seem particularly corrupting to the search for truth.  Christianity in particular seems to him a major form of brain-rot.

What he is completely blind to, however, is the total disregard for the truth on the political Left.  And that is not controversial.  The Left themselves tell us that.  They say:  "there is no such thing as right and wrong".  And they live that belief.  Almost any Leftist argument is one big exerise in cherry-picking.  What a Leftist polemicist writes normally sounds right and reasonable  -- until you hear the stuff that the Leftist has omitted from his argument.  Telling only one side of the story is the Leftist specialty.  It is so very common that I get the impression that they can do no other.

Conservative polemic, by contrast, usually START OUT with the Leftist argument and then puts forward contrary information. Conservatives keep trying to refute Leftists with facts -- a quite futile operation.  The fine-honed psychological defence mechanisms of the Left -- denial, projection, compartmentalization etc. -- are only one way that they protect themselves from acknowledging inconvenient facts.

Mostly, they do their best to ensure that they never even hear a conservative presentation in the first place.  I have seen them literally get up and run away from a conservative presentation of facts that Leftists normally omit from their consideration.  And, of course, they make huge efforts to censor or disrupt conservative speech so that they don't have to hear it in the first place.  And if a speaker of conservative arguments can be got at and punished for his speech, they will do that too -- ask James Damore of Google about that.

So the Left do their level best to ensure that the whole truth will never come out.  But that inevitably fails.  There are some channels of communication that let people know how much falsehood there is in Leftist writing. People listen to the mainstream TV channels and mainstram newpapers only to find eventually that none of it could he trusted.  Just one man -- Rupert Murdoch -- has cracked the TV and newspaper bubble.  With Fox news, The New York post and the Wall St Journal, Murdoch has made widely available information that would once not have come to the attention of the general public.  And enough people take in Murdoch's information to use it in everyday discussions.  So even people who themselves absorb no Murdoch input will often hear of it by word of mouth. And there are of course radio talkers and blogs that also evade the Leftist straitjacket on information.

So now that people have a growing awareness that they have been systematically deceived, one must expect a certain cynicism to set in.  People begin to ask the age-old question:  "What is truth?" And the answers to that will often be not very sophisticated.  People will seize on any belief that seems plausible to them. So I agree that we now live in an age of heightened irrationality.  The lying Left have propelled us into it.

And the rise of Trump is explainable in the same way.  His distancing himself from the conventional authorities and calling them a "swamp" coincides very well with how many people have been perceiving all the deception that flow from such authorities.  He offers a way out of the intellectual morass that the Left have created.

And even his manner of speech offers hope.  He speaks  in extremely simple English:  Short sentences using very common words.  He comes across even in his manner of speaking as a plain and simple man -- most unlike the smooth pieties of most media figures.  He really does seem different -- mainly because he is.  And even his famous inattention to detail corresponds with how most Americans operate:  They go for the broad outline with no time for details.

So. Yes.  We do live in times where finding the truth can be a big challenge.  But there is after all a fairly easy way to do it if you have time.  You just have to read both sides of every question.  Do that and you will soon see which side is offering a balanced account of reality.

Also: Reality is the ultimate test of whether your theories are right or wrong.  If they are wrong you will not get the results you expect.  If they are right you may make a big breakthrough, as Trump has done with a couple of hundred thousand new jobs being created every month and a big rise on the stockmarket.  The economy could do with a bit more more "madness" like that.

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How America Lost Its Mind

There is a looong article in "The Atlantic". Under the above title.  It can however be summarized briefly.  KURT ANDERSEN argues that as many as a majority of Americans have always believed silly things.  From my knowledge of history, I am inclined to agree.  And if you don't know much history, Andersen gives you a grand tour of it.

He attributes this flexibility of belief to the general freedoms that Americans have.  The land of the free is, by extension, the land of freedom to believe anything that you want to.  Again, I think there is something in that.

But towards the end of his article Andersen comes of course to TRUMP.  And you can guess what he thinks of Trump.  Trump has no reality contact at all, according to Andersen. He is mad. Leftist thinking and assumptions and customs and procedures have become so entrenched in public discourse that to blast through it all sounds mad to Andersen -- or at least morally defective.

And from Trump's success he concludes that Americans generally have reached new heights of derangement.  But how to explain that fall? The obvious culprit is the internet, which allows all sorts of craziness to spread without check or hindrance.  And, as a secondary cause, Andersen cherry-picks a few things that some Republicans have said that seem particularly corrupting to the search for truth.  Christianity in particular seems to him a major form of brain-rot.

What he is completely blind to, however, is the total disregard for the truth on the political Left.  And that is not controversial.  The Left themselves tell us that.  They say:  "there is no such thing as right and wrong".  And they live that belief.  Almost any Leftist argument is one big exerise in cherry-picking.  What a Leftist polemicist writes normally sounds right and reasonable  -- until you hear the stuff that the Leftist has omitted from his argument.  Telling only one side of the story is the Leftist specialty.  It is so very common that I get the impression that they can do no other.

Conservative polemic, by contrast, usually START OUT with the Leftist argument and then puts forward contrary information. Conservatives keep trying to refute Leftists with facts -- a quite futile operation.  The fine-honed psychological defence mechanisms of the Left -- denial, projection, compartmentalization etc. -- are only one way that they protect themselves from acknowledging inconvenient facts.

Mostly, they do their best to ensure that they never even hear a conservative presentation in the first place.  I have seen them literally get up and run away from a conservative presentation of facts that Leftists normally omit from their consideration.  And, of course, they make huge efforts to censor or disrupt conservative speech so that they don't have to hear it in the first place.  And if a speaker of conservative arguments can be got at and punished for his speech, they will do that too -- ask James Damore of Google about that.

So the Left do their level best to ensure that the whole truth will never come out.  But that inevitably fails.  There are some channels of communication that let people know how much falsehood there is in Leftist writing. People listen to the mainstream TV channels and mainstram newpapers only to find eventually that none of it could he trusted.  Just one man -- Rupert Murdoch -- has cracked the TV and newspaper bubble.  With Fox news, The New York post and the Wall St Journal, Murdoch has made widely available information that would once not have come to the attention of the general public.  And enough people take in Murdoch's information to use it in everyday discussions.  So even people who themselves absorb no Murdoch input will often hear of it by word of mouth. And there are of course radio talkers and blogs that also evade the Leftist straitjacket on information.

So now that people have a growing awareness that they have been systematically deceived, one must expect a certain cynicism to set in.  People begin to ask the age-old question:  "What is truth?" And the answers to that will often be not very sophisticated.  People will seize on any belief that seems plausible to them. So I agree that we now live in an age of heightened irrationality.  The lying Left have propelled us into it.

And the rise of Trump is explainable in the same way.  His distancing himself from the conventional authorities and calling them a "swamp" coincides very well with how many people have been perceiving all the deception that flow from such authorities.  He offers a way out of the intellectual morass that the Left have created.

And even his manner of speech offers hope.  He speaks  in extremely simple English:  Short sentences using very common words.  He comes across even in his manner of speaking as a plain and simple man -- most unlike the smooth pieties of most media figures.  He really does seem different -- mainly because he is.  And even his famous inattention to detail corresponds with how most Americans operate:  They go for the broad outline with no time for details.

So. Yes.  We do live in times where finding the truth can be a big challenge.  But there is after all a fairly easy way to do it if you have time.  You just have to read both sides of every question.  Do that and you will soon see which side is offering a balanced account of reality.

Also: Reality is the ultimate test of whether your theories are right or wrong.  If they are wrong you will not get the results you expect.  If they are right you may make a big breakthrough, as Trump has done with a couple of hundred thousand new jobs being created every month and a big rise on the stockmarket.  The economy could do with a bit more more "madness" like that.

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Where have all the good men gone? These sassy, sophisticated, solvent women say they are struggling to find other halves that can measure up

This is an old, old cry from women who have missed the boat in their 20s. They were too fussy for the available men then and somehow think that among the men they rejected in their 20s a Mr Right will be found.  The good catches all got snapped up years ago by realistic women while the fussy ladies were preening themselves -- so good catches are now simply unavailable to them among their own age cohort.  All that is left to them are older and younger men and that is no good either.

The phenomenon starts among women in their 30s so even older women have left it even longer for the good men of their age to be snapped up.  Mostly what is left to them is other women's rejects, which is not a good start.  And being "Sassy" is not a good start, either.  How about being soft and feminine?  That would work a lot better.  As usual, the Bible has advice that works:  "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth". Or their children will, anyhow.

I know of a case where a tall, well-built and friendly young Australian man didn't have to look far for girlfiends.  Young Chinese women knew quality when they saw it and threw themselves at him, saying things like: "I will do anything for you".  Caucasian women were much outmanouvered.  There is a lot of that in Australia.  The Australian population is about 5% Han Chinese: smart people.

One day, however, aged about 27, the man was walking along in the grounds of his elite university and saw a pretty little blue-eyed woman coming towards him.  He stopped and said to her: "Hello.  What's your name?" Not very ceremonious but the woman took one look at him, gulped and said brightly: "I'm Kay". The man then asked her would she like a coffee?  She said Yes and she has got him to this day, some years later.  She was about 21 at the time and clearly knew how to grab her opportunities.  I am pretty sure the ladies below have had opportunities like that but have been too snooty to grab them

Another anecdote: I was at a singles party over 20 years ago and got talking to a woman I knew there.  She said: "Where are all the men?".  I pointed out that there were actually more men than women at the party.  She replied:  "Not THOSE men"! Once again she was too snooty for what was actually available

The problem is an old one but it has been exacerbated by feminism.  Feminists tell the women that they can "have it all".  Very few can, however. There has always been a tendency for a lot of women to overvalue themselves so that was the last advice women needed.

Another foolish thing that older women often do is to judge men by female criteria -- and that comes out below.  Women of all ages pay great attention to their appearance.  And that is wise.  Men do judge women by appearance, despite all that feminists say.  But men are not nearly as appearance-conscious themselves.  Even in their youth they tend to dress for comfort.  If you come across a nattily-dressed Englishman in his mid-30s and mid-40s, he is probably a con-man, a queer or short.  And some of the silly ladies below take all that amiss.  They seek a man who is as appearance-conscious as they are.  They are mostly fishing in an empty pool at that rate.  Wise women accept poorly dressed men and buy them better stuff in the hope that the man will wear it on important occasions


At 48, Jane Townsend is beautiful, independent — and single. She keeps fit, takes great care of her appearance and is looking for a man who is active, in good shape, articulate and emotionally open.

Given her good looks and vivacious nature, eligible suitors must surely be beating a path to her door.

Yet as Jane, from Sheffield, explains, it has been a struggle: ‘The men out there are delusional. I went out with a guy who lied about his age, saying he was 47 when he was 50, who then had the gall to tell me he wanted a younger woman so he, as he put it, “could breed”.

'After my divorce, I gave up my prime dating years to raise my two girls, expecting that when they left home, I’d have time left. But there has been a shift and now the men aren’t there. Where I live it’s hard to find someone cultured unless they’re eating yoghurt, and the men my age all seem to be — well — more than a little overweight.’

Having been matchmaking single men and women for Femail’s Blind Date column for the past six months, I’d like to say Jane’s experiences are the exception, — but what has struck me is just how many attractive women apply who seem to have so much going for them.

They are in great physical shape, living full and interesting lives. Yet finding suitable men for them to date seems to be a heroic challenge.

This has left me wondering why a generation of single, sexy, solvent women just can’t find love. What immediately strikes female mid‑life daters — of whom I am one — returning to the dating scene in later life after a marriage or long-term relationship, is the lack of single men.

According to Jo Hemmings, a behavioural psychologist and dating coach, there are an estimated seven new women for every man on the dating scene in the 40-55 age group, so availability is clearly a big issue.

‘I’ve had clients coming to me wondering: “Am I asking too much to find an attractive, independent, solvent guy of my age?” ’ she says.

As she explains, part of the issue is that when divorce strikes, men and women react in different ways. Men’s relationships frequently overlap; they won’t leave one partner until they find another, so they are never really single.

By contrast, women take longer to recover from a break-up. They often step out of the dating ring completely, sometimes for many years, to rebuild their lives or to focus on bringing up children.

‘When they return to dating, it’s really hard for them,’ says Jo. ‘There aren’t as many men because they have a wider pool. Men realise quite quickly that there are far fewer of them than there are women of a similar age. They then date much younger women, creating a huge void in the market.

‘Traditionally women go for men who are their age or slightly older, so they are left wondering where all the men have gone.’

When Jo coaches women on dating, she tells them to accept the reality. ‘It’s just a fact that there is a lack of available decent men,’ she says. ‘It’s tough when you’re looking for love. You have to realise that it’s not about you, it’s just a numbers game.’

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Men, indoctrinated over generations to pursue younger women, are instinctively reluctant to consider those of a similar age to their own, even ones who look youthful and attractive.

It is something I regularly notice when I set up dates. Men need to open their eyes to the amazing women in their own age bracket.

With the statistics against them, women are motivated to want to look after themselves and make the best of what they have, while there is no incentive for the men to do the same.

Jo says: ‘This generation of men don’t bother to make the effort to represent themselves in an attractive way, even online. Or they just list what they don’t want in a woman and say nothing about themselves — because they can.’

And those men who do make an effort are in a position to be very choosy.

Online dating coach Suzie Parkus, of meetyourmatch.club, observes: ‘A man who has aged well, has a good outlook on life, a joie de vivre about him and who has seemingly done well for himself is very attractive to his peers. However, for the most part he is drawn to younger, sexier, more vibrant models.

‘It has a lot to do with his self-perception in terms of being able to choose who and what he wants in a partner because he has the right to, given that he is in high demand.’

A woman who looks great, feels good about herself and is solvent and independent-minded won’t be drawn to a man who has let himself go, or who may be interested in her but is far too old. So these magnificent midlife daters fall into a void.

And it’s not just about looks — there is a difference in mindset between the sexes too.

As Jane will attest, middle-aged and 50-plus men tend to be set in their ways, less adventurous and less youthful in outlook. They want someone to look after them, while their female counterparts are looking for someone to explore the world and have fun with.

Jane was told by one relationship coach that women her age should go for men 15 years older, making her current dating goal a man aged 63. This is even less appealing, as it is effectively a different generation — and one with very different aspirations. ‘I’ve cared for children and my parents, and I don’t want to care for a man again,’ says Jane, summing up the attitude of many in her situation.

‘Older men are so set in their ways, you almost feel more like a carer than a girlfriend.’

Lucy Verner, 46, is another frustrated midlife dater who has been single since splitting from her husband seven years ago.

‘I found internet dating absolutely awful,’ she says. ‘I live in East Kent and it’s such a small pool. There are exceptions, but on the whole I found the men who made contact were older — and certainly looked older — than me.

‘Men of my age target younger women and I don’t fancy the older men, so it’s a real problem. I’ve stopped looking. Having to get back in the dating market, I focused on getting myself fit again. But many men don’t seem to make the same effort.

‘Online you see selfie pictures they have taken of themselves half-naked in bathrooms or slouching on sofas. Where is the effort in that?

‘Very few men are happy to be by themselves, too. They lurch from one relationship to another, whereas middle-aged women are a lot stronger and more self-assured than they were in the last generation.

‘I have two children and a career to manage and I’m forthright. I think men find women like me intimidating. ‘I want a strong, independent man. Why is that so hard?’

Julia Van Der Wens is 54. She was just 19 years old when she got married, and was with her husband for more than 30 years before he left her 18 months ago.

‘I was devastated, of course, but I made the decision to keep on living my life. I lost weight, started getting into sport and now I look and feel the best I’ve ever been.

‘The problem isn’t the men not liking me, but me not fancying them. I want someone athletic, not pot-bellied. Most of the men I meet seem really unfit.

‘I tried dating websites but two of the men I met were at least ten years older than their photo. Sometimes I think I’m never going to meet anyone.’

Lesley Roberts, 52, was married in her 20s and divorced in her 30s. She did meet someone new, but they split up after a couple of years and she has now been single for two years.

‘Men my age are all up for a pipe and slippers life, and I’m not,’ she says. ‘When I got married my husband was six years older than me, but I wouldn’t take that age gap now because men aged 52 to 60 are boring. They just don’t have any oomph in them.

‘Once they get past 48 they seem to turn into Victor Meldrew, yet women are making an effort and looking great. I just decided that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. I was going grey, so I went blonde.

‘At this stage of my life I need someone who is independent. I’ve set the bar now and I don’t want someone who needs looking after —unless he shows he can look after me first.’

Should middle-aged women just forget men of their own age and date younger ones? Some argue that this is the way forward.

‘Younger men are drawn to older women as much as older men are drawn to younger women. And this is not a new phenomenon,’ says Suzie Parkus. ‘They are drawn to the confidence and life experience of older women, especially those who don’t look their age.

‘This is something I have experienced at first hand, as well as being told it by younger guys when I was matchmaking.’

Laura Hall agrees. Tall, slim and gorgeous, the 42-year-old redhead has been single since her divorce in 2011.

Smart and sassy, Laura has a doctorate in physics and works as an optical engineer, yet she finds the dating sites full of men her age and older who just seem lazy.

‘I prefer younger men now because they are fun, whereas the older ones are boring,’ she says. ‘It’s not even an aesthetic thing but a character thing. I can’t stand the fact that older men really don’t know how to support themselves.

‘I think women have been raised to believe they are winning an amazing prize to get a man, who then has a sense of entitlement — so he puts in no effort whatsoever and always thinks he can get better.’

Yet for many women, dating a much younger man still comes with too much baggage — and again, the playing field is not a level one.

Jane Townsend says she is often approached by men in their 20s.  ‘The last date I went on he was 23 — and he was interesting and articulate and we had lots in common. But society says I shouldn’t be dating men like him.

‘I’m called a cougar — which makes me out to be predatory — yet it’s perfectly acceptable for men to go out with Barbies half their age.’

I know from my experience of talking to women who write in for a blind date how many want a younger man because men of their own age just don’t appeal any more.

Unless men change their attitude to dating women of a similar age to them, and make more effort with their personal care (and most women accept this is unlikely), it is hard to see how the situation can change for these gorgeous women.

But Jo Hemmings says we can still take heart. Her advice is to go online frequently, make the approach, don’t rule out meeting people in real life and be as socially active as you can.

‘Knowledge is power, so get the determination to take charge,’ she says. ‘You’ve got to make the choice to be that one woman in seven. It’s tough but possible.’

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