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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12 Jan - Science, Spies, Lies, Denies

Turkish official: Top Israel diplomats behaved like 'adolescents'
A Turkish official denounced Israel's top two diplomats on Tuesday as "adolescent youths" for deliberately seating Ankara's envoy on a lower chair during than that of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon during a consultation on Monday.

Israeli officials were angered by statements made Monday by Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayip Erdogan, who accused Jerusalem of using "disproportionate power ... while refusing to abide by UN resolutions" relating to its policy toward the Palestinians.

In response, Ayalon summoned the Turkish ambassador to Israel, Ahmet Oguz Celikkol, for consultations.

During the meeting, Celikkol was seated in a low sofa, and facing him, in higher chairs, were Ayalon and two other officials - an arrangement carried out on the orders of Ayalon's superior, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

A photo-op was held at the start of the meeting, during which Ayalon told the photographers in Hebrew: "Pay attention that he is sitting in a
lower chair and we are in the higher ones, that there is only an Israeli flag on the table and that we are not smiling."

Celikkol's associates told Army Radio on Tuesday, that the meeting with Ayalon was the most shameful display he had seen in 35 years as a diplomat.

According to the associates, Celikkol had no idea what the topic of conversation was to be when first seated. When the cameras left the room, the sources said, the meeting was normal and professional.

"Had the ambassador understood Ayalon's intentions, which were only expressed in Hebrew, he would have responded in kind," the source told Army Radio.

Celikkol told Army Radio that the episode was the most shameful experience of his 35-year career.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Ayalon did not intend to humiliate Celikkol by seating him in a lower chair without flag representation during their meeting.

Celikkol was called in regarding a recent Turkish television drama depicting actors dressed as Shin Bet officers who kidnap babies.

In response to the incident, the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned Israeli Ambassador Gaby Levy for clarification.

"It would be worthwhile for Israel to know its boundaries and to not dare cross them," a Turkish official said.

He added that Ankara knows to differentiate between the various constituent elements of the Israeli government, and that it would prefer to deal only with ministers and leaders who assume a more moderate line.

19:25 Iran: Israel, U.S. killed pro-Mousavi nuclear scientist

18:50 Barak tells Hezbollah: War with Israel not worth your while

11:52 Netanyahu: Israel will never share Jerusalem with Palestinians

15:44 Hezbollah denies drug trafficking to fund Israel attacks

19:49 Israel pays tribute to Anne Frank's savior Miep Gies

16:03 WATCH: Israeli model Bar Refaeli strips for French underwear company

09:30 You decide: Who was your Person of the Decade?

23:05 TV ROUND-UP: Turkey: Israel harming world peace; settler chief quits

16:46 Top Israel basketball coach questioned in tax evasion case

15:59 Palestinians break ground on first planned city

13:37 Czech pro-Palestinian activist returns home after expelled by Israel

15:43 Time for Netanyahu to show Obama he wants peace

15:40 U.K. outlaws Islamist group already banned under alternate names

Microblogging spreads in China, even without Twitter


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Alastair Campbell faces Iraq inquiry - LIVE

Expert: CIA missed glaring red flags on double-agent bomber

Gazans Fear New Barrier; Egyptians Hope For Relief

The police have warned and even intimidated residents on the Egyptian side of Rafah, the border town, not to speak to foreigners. But NPR did manage to talk to a few.
"They're destroying the Palestinians. This way, they will die very slowly," says 30-year-old Mohammed, wearing dark glasses and a red nylon jacket. He is accustomed to the brazen openness of the large-scale smuggling operations going on just across the border, which is the first thing that leaps out at first-time visitors to the rooftop.
Map of the Egypt-Gaza Border
Another young man hands an NPR translator a cell phone and points across the border to the sea of white tents. A man is holding a phone to his ear and waving. Suddenly, the translator is having a conversation with a Palestinian smuggler, who gives his name as Abu Khaled and confirms that he is standing in front of a tunnel.
"We're going to have a humanitarian crisis over here if they build that wall," says Abu Khaled.
"Our only outlet is the tunnels, and if the border crossing is closed and the tunnels are closed, too, people will eat each other," he says. "It will be an absolute disaster."
As recently as just a few years ago, it would have been safe to assume that Abu Khaled was probably working for either Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement or for the Islamist Hamas, because there were far fewer tunnels then and all were controlled by the Palestinian factions.
But since Hamas drove Fatah from Gaza, the tunnel business has been thrown wide open, with an estimated 400 dug to date. The tunnels are important because of the strict blockade imposed by Israel, which controls all of Gaza's other borders.
On the Egyptian side of Rafah, smuggling is a booming business that has brought cars, motorcycles, fancy new homes and a wealthy and well-armed criminal class that residents say is beyond the reach of the police and is tearing apart the traditional tribal way of life in northern and central Sinai.
Some 25 miles south of the border, the port city of El-Arish no longer bears much resemblance to the sleepy seaside resort it was in the 1980s, when Egyptians would flock there for vacations. These days, the city is in the grips of what residents call an unprecedented crime wave: Women aren't out on the streets after 9 p.m.; taxi drivers won't turn off the main roads; residents carry guns as protection against armed robbers.
Mustafa Singer, an Arish native who reports for the independent Al-Shorouk newspaper, has spent years piecing together the story of how the quiet port city was transformed into a nearly lawless outpost. He says it all comes back to the tunnels, as well as the above-ground smuggling farther west that goes on between Egypt and Israeli criminal gangs.
Bedouin families from the small villages around Arish have made large fortunes as the smuggling escalated.S

ecurity officials have insinuated themselves into the process, and not just by taking bribes to permit the tunnels to operate. Among other things, they mediate family and business disputes between smugglers — for a fee.
The unintended consequence the government didn't see coming, he adds, was that the well-armed criminals wouldn't stop with smuggling, but would turn on non-Bedouin tribes such as the people of Arish, stealing and killing seemingly at will, with no fear of the law.
"The leaders of the security forces are corrupt. They are very involved in the smuggling business, so they cannot arrest them; they are partners in crime. Citizens have now been carrying weapons to protect themselves — in the absence of any protection from the state — and there's a new culture of violence," Singer says.

Court Revisits Ruling Forcing Lab Analysts To Testify

McCullough told the justices that the confrontation clause of the Constitution stems from the Colonists' fear of anonymous accusers and no-show witnesses, and that the old Virginia law doesn't permit it either.
But Scalia wasn't buying that argument, noting that under the old Virginia law, once a lab report is introduced, it may stay in evidence even if the lab analyst is a no-show later for cross-examination.
Supporting Virginia on Monday, the federal government's lawyer, Leondra Kruger, said that as long as the analyst is available, the prosecution has satisfied its burden at trial.
Scalia asked whether that would apply to other witnesses as well?
Yes, replied Kruger.
If you have an eyewitness, asked Justice John Paul Stevens, could the prosecution follow the same procedure?
Again the answer was yes, as long as the defense has the opportunity to cross-examine if it wants to.
Sotomayor for the first time appeared incredulous: "Are you saying that a trial by affidavit is OK" under the Constitution?
Essentially, yes was the answer. And it didn't seem to sit very well.

Federal Prisoners Kept Beyond Their Sentences

 84 such prisoners are indefinitely confined for treatment at a federal prison in North Carolina. Five of them are challenging the law under which they have been detained with no end in sight.
Typical is the case of Graydon Comstock, who was sentenced to three years in prison for possession of child pornography. Six days short of completing his term, he was designated as "sexually dangerous," and the federal government moved to have him civilly committed for treatment. He has been kept in the North Carolina facility for two additional years, with little prospect of release.
Congress authorized such indefinite civil commitments for the first time in 2006 for sexual offenders who have completed their prison terms.
Two lower federal courts invalidated the law as unconstitutional, concluding that it overstepped the bounds of federal power under the Constitution, usurped powers reserved for the states and denied the due process of law to the individuals who are indefinitely committed.
The federal government appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Predicting Future Dangerousness
McAllister concedes that once an offender is in a treatment program, he rarely gets out because there is no good treatment that has worked with large numbers of offenders. Underlining that, he notes, is the fact that some offenders who have been released have committed horrific crimes.
But lawyer Jeff Green, who filed a brief on the opposite side of the case, points to statistics showing a relatively low recidivism rate. The headline cases, he says, prove a different point — that there is no way to predict future dangerousness.
"These are hideous crimes," he says, "but they demonstrate that the experts, in terms of identifying which individuals are dangerous, are no better than astrologers."
( Youngsters sharing nude photos have been charged under such ridiculous harassment.
 The 'Clockwork Orange' by Stanley Kubrick is an ugly cautionary tale about 'Pre -Emptive' {In}Justice and Pseudo Science.  )

Blair adviser: Iraq intelligence was not

'sexed up'

Too Much TV May Have Deadly Toll

Each Hour of TV Daily Associated With an 18% Increased Risk of Death From Cardiovascular Disease

Microsoft falls on its face

DESPITE HAVING SAID that a recent court ruling would not disrupt its sales of Office, Microsoft pulled copies of the software from its own website yesterday.
The Vole had said it would release a version of Office that did not contain the custom XML features that a court has ruled it nicked from Canadian software house i4i and therefore would have to stop selling.
However it is clear that Microsoft didn't make the new version of Office ready in time to sell at its own store. According to Computerworld, yesterday the Vole had to pull almost every version of Office from its online store to comply with the court order.
The only edition available from the Microsoft Store was Office Ultimate 2007, a $670 "full-version" suite. Attempts to access all other Windows editions, as well as Office 2008 for Mac, were met with the message, "This product is currently unavailable while we update versions on our site. We expect it to be available soon."

Climate change info war offensive

We are at war.  We are at war with the fossil fuel lobby.  We are at war with the climate change deniers and liars who are getting paid by the fossil fuel lobby.  The existence of humanity is at stake.  We can't win a war on the defensive, which is how NGOs and scientists have tried to wage this war for the most part.  As someone trained by the US Army in psychological operations, my suggestion is that we take the battle to the deniers and liars. 

We know who the most effective, consistent, and popular deniers and liars are:  Inhofe, Patrick Michaels, George Will, etc.  My suggestion is to have all the civil society groups who attended COP15 agree on a list: 'Ten Most Wanted Climate Change Deniers and Liars for Crimes Against Humanity' (and yes, I think 'deniers and liars' should be branded to these people's names every time civil society groups refer to them).  Paul Krugman agrees in principle that climate change liars need to be called that here: Krugman: Call climate change liars what they are

  Joe Romm on actively speaking against disinformation.   Scientists passively issuing a statement is NOT going to cut it in the 24-hour news cycle driven by cable outlets and the blogosphere.  Blather, spittle, and volume rule the new media world, but they CAN be overcome by sheer numbers of emails, letters, calls, comments.  By the truth.  We need to take the initiative, just as Michael Mann and Joe Romm did with Swifthack. I'm NOT suggesting anything illegal or any violence of any kind.  Anything they've done that's legal, we can do better!  Nothing in this email is intended to promote or endorse violence or any illegal act.  The tactics described are intended to unabashedly reveal truth in a sincere and earnest way without reservation or apology and in so doing to avoid libel and slander by painstakingly documenting and vetting the factual statements made and/or actions committed by the subjects of surveillance.  Personal harassment if it occurs is intended to be a collateral result of revealing facts that are fully verified, and provide the reader with a larger background against which to evaluate the actions of the deniers/liars. 
( We are at War.There's a phrase for solemn reflection about its antecedents. Drugs.Terror.Both falsehood forerunners of loss of a civil society and respect for  persons. )

The Climate Killers

Read how Big Oil and Big Coal mounted aggressive lobbying campaigns to block progress on global warming in Jeff Goodell's "As the World Burns."
Despite being a key adviser to Obama during the financial crisis, America's best-known investor has been blasting the president's push to curb global warming — using the same lying points promoted by far-right Republicans. The climate bill passed by the House, Buffett insists, is a "huge tax — and there's no sense calling it anything else." What's more, he says, the measure would mean "very poor people are going to pay a lot more money for their electricity." Never mind that the climate bill, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would actually save Americans with the lowest incomes about $40 a year.
olivern | January 8, 2010 5:46 PM EST
This is an extremely naive and poorly researched article.  A better choice than run-of-the-mill smear tactics (essentially parroting the Center for American Progress) would have been for the author to sit down with Buffet or one of the other Climate Criminals for an hour or too and try and gain some deeper understanding. There is a reason that societies (sometimes) respect the voices of the elders! The choice to skim the surface and simply tag 17 individuals as deniers doesn't provide true insight to RS readers. The author (and perhaps others at Rolling Stone?) would be well served by reading Richard Feynmans essay 'Cargo Cult Science' as well as Bjorn Lomborg's 'The Skeptical Environmentalist'. You have been blessed with large brains - for crying out loud, make use of'em!
linaya | January 8, 2010 10:27 AM EST
Just for the record, I think magazines and other sites online should start really moderating the denier comments out of circulation. I stopped publishing them on my blog a year ago. There is no need for their BS in the world and I hope publications start ending the practice of providing them a soapbox. Yes, censor them. As soon as possible. Otherwise, articles like this just become a magnet for more denier comments which amplifies their effect online. That means articles like this could end up having the opposite intended effect. Censor the deniers. A lot of us are doing that.
The Kyoto Conspiracy (Gore, Enron, Carbon Trading, Global Warming) Amidst the talk about the benefits that Kyoto Protocol is sup-posed to promote, it is perhaps forgotten especially amongst the greenies how Kyoto was born in the corridors of very big business. The name Enron has all but faded from our news pages since the company went down in flames in 2001 amidst charges of fraud, bribery, price fixing and graft. But without Enron there would have been no Kyoto Protocol. About 20 years ago Enron was owner and operator of an interstate network of natural gas pipelines, and had transformed itself into a billion-dollar-a-day commodity trader, buying and selling contracts and their derivatives to deliver natural gas, electricity, internet bandwidth, whatever. The 1990 Clean Air Act amendments authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to put a cap on how much pollutant the operator of a fossil-fueled plant was allowed to emit. In the early 1990s Enron had helped establish the market for, and became the major trader in, EPA’s $20 billion-per-year sulphur dioxide cap-and-trade program, the forerunner of today’s proposed carbon credit trade. This commodity exchange of emission allowances caused Enron’s stock to rapidly rise. Then came the inevitable question, what next? How about a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program? The problem was that CO2 is not a pollutant, and therefore the EPA had no authority to cap its emission. Al Gore took office in 1993 and almost immediately became infatuated with the idea of an international environmental regulatory regime. He led a U.S. initiative to review new projects around the world and issue ‘credits’ of so many tons of annual CO2 emission reduction. Under law a tradeable system was required, which was exactly what Enron also wanted because they were already trading pollutant credits. Thence Enron vigorously lobbied Clinton and Congress, seeking EPA regulatory authority over CO2. From 1994 to 1996, the Enron Foundation contributed nearly $1 million dollars - $990,000 - to the Nature Conservancy, whose Climate Change Project promotes global warming theories. Enron philanthropists lavished almost $1.5 million on environmental groups that support international energy controls to “reduce” global warming. Executives at Enron worked closely with the Clinton administration to help create a scaremongering climate science environment because the company believed the treaty could provide it with a monstrous financial windfall. The plan was that once the problem was in place the solution would be trotted out. Despite all the handwringing and increasingly desperate hysteria, where global warming is concerned there has been a failure to force this paranoid religion onto the world. Since the Rio Conference in 1992, the greens have tried using the threat of global warming to induce Protestant guilt in us all, to cap growth, to change lifestyles, to attack the car, industry and the Great Satan of America. They have lost. Only schoolchildren remain rich fodder willing to believe it is up to them now to Save The World, which hasn’t needed saving one iota during the last 4,000,000,000 years or it wouldn’t still be here. Now it is surely time to face the facts: there isn’t a snowflake-in-hell’s chance of global warming altering real life. But the failure of the greens is not just with the public. While playing the climate-change card at the G8 Summit, the final Gleneagles’ declaration shows that the leaders of the developed world have no intention of sacrificing growth and economic success for an ascetic global warming religion. To quote Michael McCarthy, the environment editor of the Independent: ‘The failed agenda that Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the World Wide Fund for Nature and others were complaining of – that the US has still not agreed to cut its carbon dioxide emissions – was the green groups’ own agenda, not the British government’s. At G8 the idea of capping greenhouse gas emissions was cleverly replaced by an emphasis on technological innovation and imaginative development. The Kyoto Protocol is effectively dead. Chicago Climate Exchange
Welcome to CCX: We are a financial institution whose objectives are to apply financial innovation and incentives to advance social, environmental and economic goals through the following platforms.
Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is North America's only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide. (learn more)
Chicago Climate Futures Exchange(CCFE) is a landmark derivatives exchange that currently offers standardized and cleared futures and options contracts on emission allowances and other environmental products. CCFE is a wholly owned subsidiary of CCX. (Visit CCFE's website)
Lawrence Solomon: Enron's other secret
e all know that the financial stakes are enormous in the global warming debate — many oil, coal and power companies are at risk should carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases get regulated in a manner that harms their bottom line. The potential losses of an Exxon or a Shell are chump change, however, compared to the fortunes to be made from those very same regulations.  The climate-change industry — the scientists, lawyers, consultants, lobbyists and, most importantly, the multinationals that work behind the scenes to cash in on the riches at stake — has emerged as the world’s largest industry. Virtually every resident in the developed world feels the bite of this industry, often unknowingly, through the hidden surcharges on their food bills, their gas and electricity rates, their gasoline purchases, their automobiles, their garbage collection, their insurance, their computers purchases, their hotels, their purchases of just about every good and service, in fact, and finally, their taxes to governments at all levels.  These extractions do not happen by accident. Every penny that leaves the hands of consumers does so by design, the final step in elaborate and often brilliant orchestrations of public policy, all the more brilliant because the public, for the most part, does not know who is profiteering on climate change, or who is aiding and abetting the profiteers.  Some of the climate-change profiteers are relatively unknown corporations; others are household names with only their behind-the-scenes role in the climate-change industry unknown. Over the next few weeks, in an extended newspaper series, you will become familiar with some of the profiteers, and with their machinations. This series begins with Enron, a pioneer in the climate-change industry.  Almost two decades before President Barack Obama made “cap-and-trade” for carbon dioxide emissions a household term, an obscure company called Enron — a natural-gas pipeline company that had become a big-time trader in energy commodities — had figured out how to make millions in a cap-and-trade program for sulphur dioxide emissions, thanks to changes in the U.S. government’s Clean Air Act. To the delight of shareholders, Enron’s stock price rose rapidly as it became the major trader in the U.S. government’s $20-billion a year emissions commodity market.  Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, keen to engineer an encore, saw his opportunity when Bill Clinton and Al Gore were inaugurated as president and vice-president in 1993. To capitalize on Al Gore’s interest in global warming, Enron immediately embarked on a massive lobbying effort to develop a trading system for carbon dioxide, working both the Clinton administration and Congress. Political contributions and Enron-funded analyses flowed freely, all geared to demonstrating a looming global catastrophe if carbon dioxide emissions weren’t curbed. An Enron-funded study that dismissed the notion that calamity could come of global warming, meanwhile, was quietly buried.

List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming

Concerns about the way the page is managed

I have been going through the entire archive of this page and have come to some disturbing conclusions.
Over time as more scientists came public with skeptical views of global warming rather then starting to list the initiatives to list them the criteria to belong to this list became more stringent
Apparently based on the archive to make it to the “List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming” as the title of this page misleadingly suggests today you have to be fulfilling the following requirements.
1) Be a scientist with peer reviewed articles 2) Fit in the arbitrary category system 3) Have done a recent (after 2001) scientific publication on global warming 4) Have published in English 5) Have made a specific anti global warming quote 6) Have made a recent anti global warming quote 7) Have a recent quote that fits in the category system 8) Have a Wikipedia page dedicated to you 9) Have an English Wikipedia page dedicated to you 10) Have not died even recently
Needless to say this is activism and not encyclopedic behavior. The intent of those dominating the editing process of this page is to prove that very few scientists contest global warming. That some editors are active Anthropogenic Global Warming bloggers I can perfectly understand. However that these same people want to dominate the page of people opposing their views is less understandable. Their dedication to their beliefs is recommendable but it does not make them very suitable to edit a page on their opponents views. At this stage this page is not up to what could be reasonable encyclopedic standards. I would kindly suggest again to start listing initiatives to list scientists rather then presenting a misleading list of scientists.

The mini ice age starts here

Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in  summer by 2013.
According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.
North Pole
The scientists’ predictions also undermine the standard climate computer models, which assert that the warming of the Earth since 1900 has been driven solely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will continue as long as carbon dioxide levels rise. 
They say that their research shows that much of the warming was caused by oceanic cycles when they were in a ‘warm mode’ as opposed to the present ‘cold mode’.
This challenge to the widespread view that the planet is on the brink of an irreversible catastrophe is all the greater because the scientists could never be described as global warming ‘deniers’ or sceptics.
However, both main British political parties continue to insist that the world is facing imminent disaster without drastic cuts in CO2.

2-23 In Search Of... The Coming Ice Age (Part 1 of 3)

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