Sunday, January 31, 2010
I slept well tonight, slung my new camera around my neck and took off for Starbucks about 9. If I can make it all work, there will be pictures later. Tabs now.
I do not understand for the life of me why the two sides in the abortion debate are so crazed that they want to shut down the speech of the other side. The Tim Tebow Superbowl ad kerfuffle being the latest example of such an attempt. Abortion is a complex moral question the answers to which are far from obvious (Routine disclosure: I support lawful abortion but not quite to the extent of Roe v. Wade). We humans, other than the hyper cerebral educated elites, pick our way through such moral minefields with the help of stories. Tim Tebow's story -- that his mother chose not to abort him when it would have been safer for her to have done so -- strikes me as highly relevant. Human mothers choose to put the interests of their children ahead of their own safety every day, and generally we applaud them for it. Why is the story of Pam Tebow's choice so offensive to the feminists? Their reaction does not reflect well on their cause, and it weakens their political position.
There's "no such thing as 'simple' health care reform": An interesting blog post from my old economics professor, Uwe Reinhardt, who in the intervening years has become perhaps the leading "progressive" academic expert on health care economics. I agree, actually, if the objective is universal coverage. But that does not mean that there are not incremental measures that could bend the cost curve. (CWCID: Ezra.)
Clark Hoyt, the NYT's "public editor," twists his hanky [link fixed now] over an allegation in Game Change, the story about Maureen Dowd submitting a column for the approval of David Geffen before publication. You know, about how terrifically hard it is to deal with these anonymous sources and uphold the standards of the Times. Problem is, Hoyt is, as usual, far more interested in defending the Grey Lady (this time by hosting Dowd's denial) than exploring an actually interesting issue raised in the same book that does not bathe the Times in such a fine light: The decision of the paper to allege that John McCain was having an affair with Vicki Iseman, and its parallel unwillingness to pursue the similar but actually true and much more tawdry story about John Edwards and Rielle Hunter.
Another climate science mini-scandal, again involving the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Turns out that another set of glacier estimates were based on a magazine article that rested on the informal observations of mountain guides. Climate science is all about cycles, and so is climate propaganda: the cycle between pop writing, "authoritative" findings by government agencies that depend on pop writing, and pop writing that reports those "authoritative" findings.
The prisoner will have a fair trial, after which he will be executed.
If you like times, including sunsets and sunrises and all that stuff, this is the site for you.
Are U.S. stocks headed for a down year?
Has demand for oil in OECD countries peaked for all time?
Oil use in rich industrialized countries will never return to 2006 and 2007 levels because of more fuel efficiency and the use of alternatives, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.
The bold prediction, while made previously by some analysts, is significant because the IEA advises 28 countries on energy policy and its oil-demand forecasts are closely watched by traders and policymakers.
"When we look at the OECD countries - the U.S., Europe and Japan - I think the level of demand that we have seen in 2006 and 2007, we will never see again," Fatih Birol saids in a telephone interview. "There may be some zigzags up and down but as a trend I think it will be a downward trend in terms of oil consumption."
That would be great news for many reasons, but I wouldn't sell your XOM just yet.
Defiant protesters = "Jews."
Tony Blair has no regrets. Good for him. All politicians say this, but then weasel their way to a qualification at crunch time (see, e.g., Hillary Clinton's self-interested husband-assisted back-pedaling during the her presidential run).
Reinhart has been hung up on "universal coverage" probably since he was in high school. One wonders why he continues to live here rather than moving to Germany, or wherever he believes the system is better.
Perhaps it is because of many other facets of the US lifestyle that offset the lack of universal health coverage.
I do think that President Obama absolutely abdicated the responsibility to explain the complexity of universal coverage to the American voters in the way that Reinhart lays out. Instead he let Reid and Pelosi cook up their scheme in the dark.
Even Reinhart doesn't address the other two legs of the three-legged healthcare stool namely cost and quality. When all a politician cares about is locking his/her constituents into a government run box which restricts their freedom and controls their lives, little things like quality tend to slip through the cracks.
I haven't read "Game Change" and doubt if I'll find the time. But tell me if I'm wrong -- unwittingly the authors have implicitly written an expose of how bad the practices of MSM have become.
Firstly, "Game Change" is a selective repetition of events, written years after the fact -- for which the authors are now getting highly paid. Much of it is hearsay -- they even have dead men talking, which was the most suspect testimony of all to the English peasants who gave us our common law on evidence. In their cutting edge reporting practices, the authors are even further out than Woodward. As you move out from the basic solid ground of journalism, at some point you escape the gravity of truth.
"Game Change" would only have been bad journalism, if printed while it was happening. It's especially pernicious when it's now presented as if part of the historical record.
Heilmann/Halperin had the access to write "Game Change" because they worked for big MSM publications during the campaign. All they're selling now is that they had the "All Stage Pass" that us ordinary folk didn't have then ... "We're Not Worthy." The National Enquirer had to pay up for its John Edwards sources at the time -- and is actually more accurate for it.
But the NYT says that they're above this, even while they serve as "Pravda for the Beltway." After the Revolution, Maureen Dowd should be forced to drag a plow ... in her Jimmy Choos.
The McCain-Iseman story showed how bad the NYT has sunk. They couldn't prove an affair -- because there was none -- but still ran a lawyer-blessed story that implied there was one. They never apologized to Iseman. They should all burn in hell for it.
The NYT needs to implode, and be rebuilt. I expect Mr Slim to be a better owner than the Sulzbergers.
MSM has been my Enemy #1 for a long time, above all others. It's not left vs. right. MSM fucked up the run-up to the Gulf War. They're worse than useless. They need to be burned to the ground -- as they're an impediment to honest reporting.
If there are any readers here in MSM, stand up now. Last chance.
I agree with TH that we shouldn't try to judge climate science by using non-peer reviewed sources. Of course the vast majority of the IPCC report doesn't do that, so we can feel a lot more assured about it.
And the vast majority of attacks on mainstream science, be it climate change or evolution, come from non-peer reviewed pseudo science.