Bad Science Scuttles Anti-#Fracking Study

bad-science-04Well, imagine that! Do you suppose they made a mistake because obviously, they weren’t paying attention to whoever funded them and wanted the original results. Like Steve says, I don’t hate environmental scientists either, I too have some in the family. I do, however, hate fraud and deceit. Here’s Steve

In March 2015, the journal Environmental Science and Technology published findings of study linking natural gas extraction activity to high levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) in Carroll County, OH. The study’s conclusions were widely repeatedin the press and the paper was cited in at least nine other studies and peer-reviewed journals.

On June 29, 2016, the paper was quietly retracted. “Mistakes were made”, as they say.

Retraction-e1467904564341

Seth Whitehead at Energy in Depth has more:

UC’s rush to publish its air study while it dawdles for a year in publishing itsgroundwater study finding no harm from fracking is even more interesting considering the results of both studies were first announced at events hosted by Carroll County Concerned Citizens (CCCC), a well-known anti-fracking group. The same professor that presented the air quality study results to CCCC, study co-lead author Dr. Erin Hayes, has also participated in other anti-fracking events. [Emphasis added.]

The pattern:

  1. Scientists operate in cahoots with local anti-development activists.
  2. Scientists rush to publish (flawed) results that agree with their anti-development bias.
  3. Scientists sit on relevant data that fails to advance their agenda.

This is not environmental science, it is a sciency charade dressed up for propaganda purposes by agenda-driven activists.

via Bad Science Scuttles Anti-#Fracking Study | Maley’s Energy Blog

Something we’ve been talking about recently is our population’s (here and the UK both) disregard for experts. Well, this limns a good part of the reason, especially when you realize this study was used as a source in several peer-reviewed articles.

Hillary, Comey, and the Rule of Law

imagesAnd so it happened, as I said it would, Hillary Clinton will not be indicted. Well, I thought it pretty obvious that the Obama administration would not indict the Democratic nominee, pretty much no matter how strong the evidence. Here is FBI director James Comey’s statement on the matter.

I like so many others, see it as 1:) a gross miscarriage of justice, and 2:) the breakdown of the Rule of Law, specifically of equality under the law. My view of its ramifications is very well stated by Kurt Schlichter in Town Hall.

Sometimes in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. It is high time to declare our personal independence from any remnant of obligation to those who have spit upon the rule of law. We owe them nothing – not respect, not loyalty, not obedience.

Think about it. If you are out driving at 3 a.m., do you stop at a stop sign when there’s no one coming? Of course you do. You don’t need a cop to be there to make you stop. You do it voluntarily because this is America and America is a country where obeying the law is the right thing to do because the law was justly made and is justly applied. Or it used to be.

The law mattered. It applied equally to everyone. We demanded that it did, all of us – politicians, the media, and regular citizens. Oh, there were mistakes and miscarriages of justice but they weren’t common and they weren’t celebrated – they were universally reviled. And, more importantly, they weren’t part and parcel of the ideology of one particular party. There was once a time where you could imagine a Democrat scandal where the media actually called for the head of the Democrat instead of deploying to cover it up.

People assumed that the law mattered, that the same rules applied to everyone. That duly enacted laws would be enforced equally until repealed. That the Constitution set the foundation and that its guarantees would be honored even if we disliked the result in a particular case. But that’s not our country today.

The idea of the rule of law today is a lie. There is no law. There is no justice. There are only lies.

Hillary Clinton is manifestly guilty of multiple felonies. Her fans deny it half-heartedly, but mostly out of habit – in the end, it’s fine with them if she’s a felon. They don’t care. It’s just some law. What’s the big deal? It doesn’t matter that anyone else would be in jail right now for doing a fraction of what she did. But the law is not important. Justice is not important.

via: You Owe Them Nothing – Not Respect, Not Loyalty, Not Obedience

And yet, it’s true, Comey is caught in the middle between very powerful forces, including his oath. John Hinderaker makes some valid points on this on the PowerlineBlog.

I don’t disagree with those who are disappointed that FBI Director James Comey more or less re-wrote federal law to avoid criminally prosecuting a leading contender for the presidency, four months before the election. On the other hand, I can’t really say that I blame him. It seems to me that Comey left the judgment on Hillary to be rendered by the American people. And he certainly made it clear what the FBI thinks of the Democrats’ nominee.

I agree with Roger Simon, who writes: “Did Comey Actually Destroy Hillary Clinton by ‘Exonerating’ Her?”

He may have let her off the hook legally, but personally he has left the putative Democratic candidate scarred almost beyond recognition.

By getting out in front of the Justice Department, the FBI director, speaking publicly in an admittedly unusual fashion, was able to frame the case in a manner that Attorney General Loretta Lynch in all probability never would have.

I think that is correct. […]

via: Can Hillary Survive?

You know, I think there is a lot of truth in that, as well. Trying to thread the needle in a very toxic situation is not easy. We all like to think we would do the honorable thing, and if the evidence shows that a crime was committed, we would ask the government to indict. But, these waters are definitely shark infested, and I suspect we are fooling ourselves if we think we would stick our neck out that far.

Say he did ask for an indictment, and then the Department of Justice Botched it, then it’s over, forever. The way it is now, it could possibly be revisited, and he did a reasonable job of putting the facts out there, before the American people. It may not be what Washington would have done, but it’s not a completely unreasonable thing to do, whatever I (and you) may think.

Frankly, I’m very glad that I don’t have to walk a mile in his shoes. Yes, he volunteered for the job, but how many of us see clearly enough to see this sort of maelstrom on the horizon. I don’t think there are any winners in this, not Hillary, not Comey, not Lynch, not Obama, and certainly not We, the People. Sometimes, life sucks for pretty much everyone.

Jo Cox, RIP

Jo-Cox-2Yesterday, a British MP was assassinated. Yes, I know, you missed it on the news, well I hate to say it I did too. I guess it wasn’t important enough to tell Americans about, but it is. Here’s why.

First off she was a woman, her name is Jo Cox, in her early 40s, married, mother of two small children. By all a counts a very decent, charming, humanitarian, gifted woman. Our thoughts, like those of the decent Britons, are with her, and her family, we share in very small measure, their loss.

The problem is, as it is here, there wasn’t time to wash up the blood before the blaming and recriminations began, just as it was after Orlando. This unseemly finger-pointing has become the hallmark of our societies, and I think we would be well advised to simply stop it. No Nigel Farage didn’t want Jo Cox to be murdered, nor did he order it, but when rhetoric runs as hot and fast as it does lately, should we really be surprised when things like this happen. No,we should not be, nor should we be, when they happen on the other side, for that matter. If we characterize everyone who opposes us as evil, well, first we denigrate the term evil, for evil is much worse than misguided, and that’s mostly what we see in political terms. Yes, I mean that to be taken both ways. Second, our words may, in fact, call forth evil, as may have happened yesterday.

Cranmer this morning says this:

And then a brief thesis from EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos: “Jo Cox murdered for her dedication to European democracy and humanity. Extremism divides and nourishes hatred..” And with this, you begin to see how the laudable fight against hatred becomes a fight against what some people hate, and evil becomes all that is disagreeable or contentious. Brexit? Good Lord, no, not now. It is driven by the demons of prejudice, hatred and bigotry. Jo Cox was for Remain, and we must honour her memory by voting to remain. It is what she would have wanted.

And that is also what we saw at last weekend, isn’t it? The rush to man the barricades for our causes, to cast ‘the other’ into the den of iniquity, while wearing our pure white garments. Well, I call nonsense on all of us. We’re men and women, all of us, trying to do good while trying to pick our way through a minefield, while seeing through a glass darkly. Good and evil exist, and they have their place in the discussion, but they are not what motivates most people, most of the time. Give the opposition this much credit, in very few cases, if any, does anyone in either Britain or America seek to wreak actual harm on anyone. Most of the harm is unintended consequences, no less harmful, maybe, but not intentional, either.

Jess too, wrote about this today, and I think her perspective is important.

I would go further. Rhetoric is meant to have consequences – that is its purpose, that is why it is used at all. We see this same toxic rhetoric of betrayal used in the sphere of religion too – anyone who reads certain blogs where the Pope is called ‘Bergoglio’ will have some idea of the form this rhetoric takes, excusing itself by saying that what its exponents believe is true and urgent and justifies the language and tone; so say all rabble-rousers. Contemptuous rhetoric can easily lead to contempt in action.

Pope St John Paul II described ‘solidarity’ with others as not a ‘feel of vague compassion or shallow distress’, but rather a ‘firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to see to the good of each and every individual, because we are all really responsible for all’. Jo Cox showed that sort of solidarity, first at Oxfam, and then, as an MP, as a prominent campaigner for more help to be given to Syrian refugees. I have no idea whether she was a Christian, but she lived by St John Paul’s definition of solidarity. She was, by all account, an excellent constituency MP, engaging closely with the community into which she was born.

Our world is a worse place today because Jo Cox is no longer in it. She was taken from us by an evil man, likely a deranged one, we don’t know, we may never really know, why. But the incredibly bad campaign rhetoric over Brexit, while it likely wasn’t the only cause, may have a share in the blame.

We, in Britain, and in America, can and must do better than this.

Yes, I’m sure that Ms. Cox and I disagreed about many things, in life, and in politics, but she made us all better, for there is nothing worse than working without opposition, it causes so very many mistakes.

God grant you peace, my sister, Jo, and provide comfort to your family.

 

Orlando

1280x720_60612P00-ZTIPWSaturday night fifty-one Americans were killed. Not gay Americans, not gay, male Americans, not anything less than full undifferentiated Americans. That is what is wrong with almost all of the coverage. These people were Americans, and our countrymen. It’s possible that we don’t agree with their lifestyle choices, their sexual orientation, their political goals, their religion, if any, even their dress style. So what? They were Americans fully entitled to all the priveledges of being so.

They were apparently murdered by a person who disliked their lifestyle. Who died and made him God, anyway? That’s the problem with so much these days. Instead of worrying about making ourselves better, we’ve decided that we’re as perfect as can be, and so we must tell everyone else what to do. Well, that ain’t my America, nor was it what Salisbury was talking about, and why that quote is in the sidebar here. And that’s a major problem in our society these days. Our government is quickly becoming much too authoritarian. Yes, there is danger in freedom, the danger that a lone fool can do something like this, but even today, I can say that we gain enough from freedom to warrant the risk.

But there is something else here. Until Saturday, he had committed no crime sufficient to deprive him of any of his rights, but he had it seems, twice made enough comments, detailing his feelings about homosexuals, and/or America to warrant a visit from the FBI, and it seems somewhat likely that they downplayed the investigation because he is Muslim. And that too is wrong, and unAmerican, it is time and beyond time to remember that equal under the law means equal, and quit playing favorites. I suspect (in fact I know) I’m not the first to notice that the Muslim interest group trumps both women and gays (probably so-called transgendered as well) with our leftist politicians today.

He was a security guard for G4S, a British firm, most of their American operations used to be Wackenhut, which merged with G4S, it is the largest security firm in the world, with many government contracts, including with DHS. Amongst other things, that refutes the entire anti-gun argument, he was a licensed to carry arms, specifically, although there are those troubling reports that led to the FBI interest, that may indicate that he should have been terminated for his Islamic terrorist connections, or maybe not, it’s none too clear, but it is troubling.

In fact, it smacks of political correctness sweeping the issue under the rug, and that’s hardly unheard of in either the US or the UK, and is a very bad thing. Another manifestation of political correctness we saw almost instantly was a willingness to obfuscate the facts in an attempt to shift the blame, somewhere, anywhere other than Islamic extremism. Well, I’ll go this far, Islamic extremism didn’t commit this crime, a very troubled Islamic extremist did, and he too is dead. Whether he was influenced by others is a proper course of investigation, but likely a sterile one.

And there is one other thing, as always, the only thing that stopped a bad man with a gun, was a good man with a gun, in this case, a SWAT officer. Good on him, I’m not going to call him a hero, although he may be, but he is a man who did his job competently and well. But the club was a gun free zone, and as always, the perpetrator selected a gun free zone for his attack. Well, why wouldn’t he go where there will be no effective opposition? But what would have happened if 1 or 5 or 50 of those enjoying the club had been armed and trained? Would we be burying 51 Americans, and nursing another 50 or so back to health? I doubt it.

And so we come down to this: until we are willing, as a nation, to look reality in the face, indeed, to stare into the face of evil without flinching, this will happen again and again. There is only one perpetrator here, who is dead, and so will face no earthly trial, but contingent responsibility for this atrocity extends to much of the so-called leadership.

And a few words of benediction to my God for the victims,

UNTO Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother[s] departed, and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; at whose coming in glorious majesty to judge the world, the earth and the sea shall give up their dead; and the corruptible bodies of those who sleep in him shall be changed, and made like unto his own glorious body; according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. (1928 BCP)

And for the rest of us, a phrase occurs to me, coming from those who willingly give their lives over to defend us all, for truly, America, and freedom itself is under attack.

Lock and Load

I also note gratefully that Jessica has posted her feelings on “All along the Watchtower” in an excellent article. It is here

 

Why the Roman empire worked – and the EU empire doesn’t

Roman_Empire_Trajan_117ADI found this very interesting:

The principle of countries working harmoniously together is wholly admirable. Why, then, has the European Union become such a disaster area? The success of the Roman empire may offer a clue.

Romans won that empire almost entirely by military might. But they could not have maintained it that way: for some 500 years, a mere 300,000 legionaries patrolled this area of approximately two million square miles and about 60 million inhabitants. So what was their secret?

The key is pleasingly paradoxical: the Romans never consciouslyplanned an empire at all. Once they had started down that road, they saw the material advantages it could bring, but there was no blueprint for it. Success was a result of hard-won experience.

via Why the Roman empire worked – and the EU empire doesn’t

This, of course, is the period of history we were taught to call the Pax Romana. It’s essentially the longest period of peace that Europe has known. But while the Concert of Vienna held, and the British controlled the seas, there was the Pax Britannia, and after the exhaustion of the wars of the twentieth century, the Pax Americana.

And that has held from 1945 until today, and make no mistake, it was NATO, led by the US and the UK, that held the ring, allowing Europe to mostly waste its inheritance on spending the windfall of the Marshall Plan without having to worry about defending itself.

The EU for all its pretensions had very little to do with it, the ring was held by GI Joe and Tommy Atkins, and the US Dollar, as it is to this day. The EU was envisioned as a common market, to allow the Europeans to use resources where they could do the most good. In many ways, American influence spread as the Roman Empire did, we rarely interfered with anything in our client states and let them follow whatever chimeras they chose, as long as they didn’t get into a war about it. It’s worked pretty well, and if the bureaucrats in Brussels didn’t get too big for their britches, it still would be.

But they did, with the worst outcomes possible for their populations, because Brussels is all about the power of the elites, and while talking a good game, nothing about improvement for the citizenry, or should we say, peasants. See that’s one other thing, there are no successful democratic traditions in Europe, only in the Anglosphere. Europe goes through the motions, as long as we are watching, but when we get distracted, their old aristocratic habit comes back to the fore, with all its memory of divine right to tell everybody else what is best for them. In their zeal for the status quo, as opposed to the future, well, does anybody really think that if it was 1901 they wouldn’t regulate motor cars into oblivion for the benefit of hay farmers, and buggy whip manufacturers?

And so, as Europe stagnates and comes under unceasing pressure from other people migrating in to get the free stuff, it threatens to collapse, which explains the panicked efforts to keep the fifth largest economy in the world (the UK) more or less in it. It also explains why so many Britons are so anxious to unchain themselves from an anchor that will drag them underwater.

I think they should remember what happened when they unchained themselves from Europe last time. When Henry VIII, turned his back on Europe. What happened? The world as you and I know it. It all stems from that.

Will the EU likely collapse sooner if the UK leaves? I think so. Is that necessarily a bad thing? I’m not sure that it is, perhaps if they went back to their nation states, the Europeans, who don’t fit any of the conditions necessary for a cohesive national identity, only for an empire based on force, might figure out a better way. After all, they have an example to follow, they don’t have to invent it, as the British and Americans did. And always remember two things:

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

from Maggie Thatcher, and the folk wisdom of common sense,

Things that can’t continue, won’t.

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?

acb46207-5148-4082-9535-ebb6505f90d7Over the last few days, Thomas Sowell has published a two-part series on Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete. As would be expected it is very good. It starts like this.

Among the many disturbing signs of our times are conservatives and libertarians of high intelligence and high principles who are advocating government programs that relieve people of the necessity of working to provide their own livelihoods.

Generations ago, both religious people and socialists were agreed on the proposition that “he who does not work, neither shall he eat.” Both would come to the aid of those unable to work. But the idea that people who simply choose not to work should be supported by money taken from those who are working was rejected across the ideological spectrum.

How we got to the present situation is a long story, but the painful fact is that we are here now. Among the leading minds of our times, including Charles Murray today and the late and great Milton Friedman earlier, there have been proposals for ways of subsidizing the poor without the suffocating distortions of the government’s welfare state bureaucracy.

Professor Friedman’s plan for a negative income tax to help the poor has already been put into practice. But, contrary to his intention to have this replace the welfare state bureaucracy, it has been simply tacked on to all the many other government programs, instead of replacing them.

It is not inevitable that the same thing will happen to Charles Murray’s plan, but I would bet the rent money that there would be the same end result.

Just what specific problem is so dire as to cause some conservatives and libertarians to propose that the government come to the rescue by giving every adult money to live on without working?

Poverty? “Poverty” today means whatever government statisticians in Washington say it means — no more and no less. Most Americans living below the official poverty line today have central air-conditioning, cable television for multiple TV sets, own at least one motor vehicle, and have many other amenities that most of the human race never had for most of its existence.

Most Americans did not have central air-conditioning or cable television as recently as the 1980s. A scholar who spent years studying Latin America has called the poverty line in America the upper middle class in Mexico.

via Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete? – Thomas Sowell

In the second part, he uses the examples of Spain and Saudi Arabia as examples of what usually happens to societies, which in one way or another, usually windfalls, find themselves in situations in which their people no longer have to work, or produce anything. It actually pretty analogous to the winner of one of the big lottery payouts, and has similar results. It seems that societies, as well as people, need the structure of productive work (defined very broadly) to lead successful lives.

The second part is here, Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?: Part II

I think he’s right, but even if you don’t, it’s a thoughtful look at where our societies are careening to out of control.

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