The curse of the wereseal

Okay, ladies, time to fess up. Who fucked the selkie?

A new influenza strain found in New England harbor seals could potentially threaten people as well as wildlife, new research suggests.

“There is a concern that we have a new mammalian-transmissible virus to which humans haven’t been exposed yet. It’s a combination we haven’t seen in disease before,” report editor Dr. Anne Moscona, professor of pediatrics and of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said in a journal news release.

Mammalian-transmissible. But how ever could a seal virus be transmitted to humans? I fear we all know. There are stranger things, Kinsey, than have been dreamt of in your scientific research….


“A spurious doubling”

In which we learn that the global warming scammers are as statistically inept as the biologists:

Using Leroy 2010 methods, the Watts et al 2012 paper, which studies several aspects of USHCN siting issues and data adjustments, concludes that:

These factors, combined with station siting issues, have led to a spurious doubling of U.S. mean temperature trends in the 30 year data period covered by the study from 1979 – 2008.

Other findings include, but are not limited to:

· Statistically significant differences between compliant and non-compliant stations exist, as well as urban and rural stations.

· Poorly sited station trends are adjusted sharply upward, and well sited stations are adjusted upward to match the already-adjusted poor stations.

· Well sited rural stations show a warming nearly three times greater after NOAA adjustment is applied.

· Urban sites warm more rapidly than semi-urban sites, which in turn warm more rapidly than rural sites.

· The raw data Tmean trend for well sited stations is 0.15°C per decade lower than adjusted Tmean trend for poorly sited stations.

· Airport USHCN stations show a significant differences in trends than other USHCN stations, and due to equipment issues and other problems, may not be representative stations for monitoring climate.

This is the sort of scientific debacle that became inevitable once the definition of “science” is broadened to include editorial and statistical analysis. It is particularly problematic because most of the scientists who are messing around with the statistics and simulations that serve as the entire basis of their “science” have no more statistical training, and considerably less simulation design experience than I do.

I have tremendous respect for the utility of the scientific method as a knowledge tool. The problem is that much, if not most, of what presently passes for science has literally nothing to do with the scientific method. Which, of course, lends itself to the corruption, fraud, and incompetence that is so reliably demonstrated by the climate “scientists”.


Humanity is spared

Both Drudge and Fox News remained unimpressed, so it appears humanity will be spared my adventures in biology as a consequence of the recent media experiment. However, even accounting for the obvious comments made by the members of the Dread Ilk, the ratio was worse than the 7:1 ratio I anticipated when I conceived the experiment. The actual results were:

Staking the Undead Economist: 10 comments, 11 Likes
Obama is Bad: 87 comments, 61 Likes

Ye cats.

But even as I mourn the incipient intellectual heat death of humanity, I am consoled by the fact that this beautifully sets up my next column on Captain Underoos.


Road Warrior, California-style

VDH continues to chronicle the decline and fall of the Golden State:

Sometimes, and in some places, in California I think we have nearly descended into Miller’s dark vision — especially the juxtaposition of occasional high technology with premodern notions of law and security. The state deficit is at $16 billion. Stockton went bankrupt; Fresno is rumored to be next. Unemployment stays over 10% and in the Central Valley is more like 15%. Seven out of the last eleven new Californians went on Medicaid, which is about broke. A third of the nation’s welfare recipients are in California. In many areas, 40% of Central Valley high school students do not graduate — and do not work, if the latest crisis in finding $10 an hour agricultural workers is any indication. And so on.

Our culprit out here was not the Bomb (and remember, Hiroshima looks a lot better today than does Detroit, despite the inverse in 1945). The condition is instead brought on by a perfect storm of events that have shred the veneer of sophisticated civilization. Add up the causes. One was the destruction of the California rural middle class. Manufacturing jobs, small family farms, and new businesses disappeared due to globalization, high taxes, and new regulations. A pyramidal society followed of a few absentee land barons and corporate grandees, and a mass of those on entitlements or working for government or employed at low-skilled service jobs. The guy with a viable 60 acres of almonds ceased to exist.

Illegal immigration did its share. No society can successfully absorb some 6-7 million illegal aliens, in less than two decades, the vast majority without English, legality, or education from the poorer provinces of Mexico, the arrivals subsidized by state entitlements while sending billions in remittances back to Mexico — all in a politicized climate where dissent is demonized as racism. This state of affairs is especially true when the host has given up on assimilation, integration, the melting pot, and basic requirements of lawful citizenship.

I find it amazing that even still, those who are generally cognizant of the dangers of immigration still cling to the notion that there is any meaningful difference between legal and illegal immigration. I note that a simple amnesty would render all that illegal immigration legal at a single stroke; would VDH or any other legal immigration supporter genuinely imagine that legalization would make all the problems he observes go away?

To be clear, I am not intrinsically opposed to all immigration in all circumstances. But history indicates that once a single immigrant population exceeds around 1-2 percent of the total population, they begin to present a long-term societal problem.


WND column

Obama is Bad

Obama is bad. Not in the reverse meaning of the term, by which one indicates that an individual is actually cool or intimidating or otherwise superlative in some manner, but in the simple and straightforward negative sense. He is a bad president. He is a bad black man. He is a bad socialist. He is a bad peacemaker. He is a bad American. And most of all, he is bad for America and the world.


Mailvox: an alternative theory

As my prediction of Obama’s decision to refuse the Democratic nomination and retire to the global equivalent of the rubber chicken circuit looks less and less likely, a deep government insider emails me his outline of future events:

Sometime in the next four to six weeks (no less than four but no more than eight at the absolute outside):

1. VP Joe Biden announces that for health reasons, he is leaving the ticket — not leaving office immediately, but to leave office at the end of his term.

2. After a huge, agonizing, public display of, “Oh God no! What ever will we do?” milked for at least a week of prime time and front-page media coverage and a whole lot of talking head blathering about the looming “Constitutional Crisis,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reluctantly agrees to take the VP slot on the ticket.

3. Mitt Romney — ah, who gives a shit what he does? Whatever it is, it will be pathetically ineffective, irrelevant, and a day late and a dollar short.

4. On November 6, 2012, propelled by the overwhelming power of the stupid black, white bitch, dumb college kid, and pussified liberal male vote, the Obama-Clinton ticket absolutely fucking steamrolls the Republicans, and brings along with it filibuster proof Democratic majorities in the Senate, House, and most state government assemblies.

5. Sometime between November 6, 2012, and January 20, 2013, some horrible truth about Obama is revealed — pick one, it doesn’t matter — and all the built-up scandals finally come to a head and erupt in a massive public denunciation of the man. Eric Holder ends up being indicted and arrested by his own people. Team Obama goes to the mattresses in the White House but in the end, in mid-January, as Meet the Press is seriously discussing whether the Secret Service has the authority to arrest the President, the outcry becomes so massive that he must step down — and turn the office over to VP Joe Biden.

6. Biden immediately does a “Night of the Long Knives” thing, purging all those corrupt Obamunists who were the cause of everything that’s wrong with the country.

7. On January 20, 2013, with his place in history as America’s 45th President assured, Biden is downright honored to turn the office over to the new President, Hillary Clinton, and the media rejoice at this triumph of the American electoral system, that our long national nightmare is behind us, and that freedom and justice have been restored.

8. Only much later do honest historians, if any still exist, realize that this was in fact a brilliantly executed Stalinist coup of the first order.

Color me dubious. Among other things, I don’t see Democrats doing well in the state-wide elections. But if it is Biden who steps down, rather than Obama, we’ll know the theory is in play. Also, the total ineptitude of Team Clinton during the 2008 campaign makes me doubt that they can pull off anything that is even more complicated than simply knowing what the rules of the nomination are. They might have the ruthlessness, but they don’t have the necessary eye for detail.


A crisis wasted

The Obama administration needn’t have gone to all that trouble to shoot up that Denver theater:

The weeks-long conference at the United Nations to produce an Arms Trade Treaty is ending without the creation of a treaty. None of the draft treaties which have circulated in the past several days came remotely close to finding consensus support. The impossibility of achieving consensus involved a wide variety of issues and nations, far beyond the Second Amendment concerns that have been raised by many American citizens.

What an embarrassment! To go to all that trouble and get nothing out of it but a few million more concealed carry permit holders. Don’t those troublesome member states and NGOs realize that the White House can’t override the Second Amendment without a solid international treaty to use as an excuse?


Epitaph for the GOP

Pat Buchanan does the demographic and electoral math:

Republicans lose the Hispanic vote 3-to-2. In bad years, like 2008, they lose it 2-to-1. Whites are already a minority in California, and Hispanics will eventually become the majority.

Say goodbye to the Golden Land.

Asian-Americans voted 3-to-2 for Obama, black Americans 24-to-1. The Asian population in California and the nation is growing rapidly. The black population, 13 percent of the nation, is growing steadily.

Whites, already a minority in our two most populous states, will be less than half the U.S. population by 2041 and a minority in 10 states by 2020.

Consider now the Electoral College picture.

Of the seven mega-states, California, New York and Illinois appear lost to the GOP. Pennsylvania has not gone Republican since 1988. Ohio and Florida, both crucial, are now swing states. Whites have become a minority in Texas. When Texas goes, America goes.

This year could be the last hurrah.

Fortunately, Karl Rove has proved Buchanan wrong, as he has assured us that Hispanics are “natural conservatives”, as evidenced by the way they usually choose between a socialist party and a neo-communist party in their native lands. Or something.

The remarkable thing is that if you ask the average Republican, he will still insist that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a good thing and immigration is good for America. Thus proving that while Democrats are evil, Republicans are reliably stupid. If Romney 2012 is the last hurrah, then the party well merits its demise.


Building Jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land

The London Olympics site describes tonight’s opening ceremony thusly: “London 2012 gives athletes a magical welcome”. The laudable habit of the enlightened courteously telling everyone exactly what they’re doing is always educational. No doubt the generation will be inspired… by what, exactly, we shall learn tonight.


One year later: the scorecard

Well, I didn’t hit my target. One year ago today, I set myself the goal of writing a better epic than the very disappointing A Dance with Dragons – best to be reasonable, after all – and to do the first 295,000-word draft in a single year. This was inspired by Spacebunny’s cousin’s bitter complaints about the time it took George Martin to write his most recent novel, especially in light of the final product.

I didn’t quite make it, but I did get a bit more than 90 percent of the way there, as I’m presently at 267,000 and counting, which is around 650 pages in trade paperback. I expect to finish before the end of August and you can expect to be able to put it on your Christmas lists if you’re interested; I’ll provide specific information about that in October.

What I’ve learned from this is that setting realistic goals tends to be less useful than setting unrealistic and ambitious ones. Even if you don’t hit them, you’ll get considerably farther than with the more conservative ones. I tend to doubt I will keep up this pace for my next book, but I doubt it will take me four years to do a comparatively minor 100k one either.