Sunday, October 27, 2013

Finance Pundits Shill For Wall Steet Bankster Plutocrats Re JPM Settlement

The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt (1/30/1882 to 4/12/1945) 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945), served for 12 years and four terms until his death in 1945, the only president ever to do so.

No prosecution of the Banksters that brought down our economy (under the bush administration) by the Obama Administration is one of the main criticisms that Liberals such as myself have regarding the current president (that, plus their abuse of the 4th amendment and the drone attacks that are creating more terrorists than they kill)... now, recently a settlement against JP Morgan Chase for 13 billion dollars was reached by the Justice Department for JPM's role in the crisis that brought our country to the brink.

The Justice Department says that JP Morgan Chase knowingly mislead investors by selling them securities that were backed by very risky mortgages, and JPM agreed to pay 13 billion in fines and compensation, even though most of these mortgages were acquired when JPM purchased Bear Stearns and WaMu (purchases coordinated by our government)... in order to save them and prevent a complete collapse of the banking system. Given that they were "helping us out", some Conservative pundits are now complaining about a "shake down" and alleging that JPM is being "robbed at gunpoint".

However, as pointed out by Jon Stewart on the 10/23/2013 airing of The Daily Show, that is the way things work in our system... if one company is purchased by another company the purchasing company assumes responsibility for any malfeasance that the company they are purchasing may have committed. In fact, Jamie Dimon (CEO of JPM) told investors that "any liability related to the assets themselves will come with us" and then he set aside 28 billion dollars for "litigation expenses".

So, what explains the Daily Show clips of various Conservative pundits mischaracterizing the settlement as follows? ... host of CNBC's The Kudlow Report Larry Kudlow called it a "shakedown" and an "arbitrary and political hosing", Andrew Napolitano of Fox Nooz said it is a "sophisticated shakedown", Fox Business Network "senior correspondent" Charlie Gasparino claimed "the Obama administration is at war with American business", "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo characterized the settlement as a "witch hunt"; and CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer speculated that "the Justice Department feels like it needs some scalps" and that "this was a jihad against JP Morgan Chase".

These pundits know better. They know the truth (that JPM is economically responsible for the malfeasance of the companies they purchased) but they LIE. This is proven with another clip Jon Stewart plays of the Mad Money's Jim Cramer describing the JPM deal to buy Bear Stearn and WaMu back when it occurred...

Jim Cramer: There is no word in the English language that captures the ruthless brilliance of Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, accomplished this weekend. Dimon masterminded a deal that is amazing for JP Morgan. It makes me want to say... BUY, BUY, BUY! Dimon totally outfoxed the FED. [snip] There is no denying it was a steal. I'd even call it theft in the best sense of the word, or maybe a shakedown, if the legal department would let me. It's practically criminal, and I mean that as a positive. (3/18/2008 broadcast of CNBC's Mad Money hosted by Jim Cramer).

Are these people nothing but shills for the plutocrats, or what? And, as Mr. Stewart points out, a portion of the settlement is tax deductible. 13 billion may seem like a lot of money, but it should be a hell of a lot more (even Dimon thought so), and some of these fraudsters should be going to jail (but absolutely nobody is)! The Obama Administration hasn't collected any scalps, and for that I say shame on them (although I'm sure a McCain or Romney administration would have done the same or less). What this proves is that when you're rich and powerful the law treats you a lot different than it would an ordinary schmo.

Also, that Jim Cramer is an idiot. Remember, that this is the guy who said Bear Stearns was "a solid stock a few days before the investment bank closed its door" and advised his viewers (if they were investors) that they should not move their money from Bear because that would be "silly". But the fact is "the collapse and takeover of Bear Stearns wiped out billions of dollars in shareholder value in a matter of days [and that] large mutual funds... saw the value of their Bear Stearns holdings plummet" (source: NPR).

See Also: Jon Stewart to financial TV reporters: f*ck all y'all by BruinKid, Daily Kos 10/24/2013.

SWTD #215

Friday, October 25, 2013

Regarding An Ignorant Righty & The Tell That If He Uses It You Know He's Lying

If a dishonest creep wants to tap dance, give them the spotlight and a mirror ~ Vanna Bonta (dob 4/3/1958) an American novelist, poet and film actress best known as the author of "Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel" (pub. 1995). The novel introduced quantum fiction as a literary genre that emerged in the 21st century.

The tell is his use of the phrase "I shit you not". If the blogger Willis Hart uses this phrase you can be absolutely certain that what he just said was 100 percent false. Not that he isn't lying when he doesn't use it... he lies a lot and only infrequently says "I shit you not"... but when he does use it you can be positive that he just lied.

For example, Willis recently posted the following commentary to his blog...

Willis Hart: On Ignorant Leftists; Tao... He apparently believes that there are more than 5 quintiles. Again, I shit you not. (10/25/2013 AT 1:42pm).

(Note: Willis was shamed into removing this commentary. The link, if clicked still goes to his blog, but displays a page that says "Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist").

This Hart lie was in response to an argument between him and Tao on the rAtional nAtion blog. Willis tried to prove his point by using data from the IRS website, which is broken down into five earnings categories (which the IRS website refers to as quintiles). Tao correctly pointed out that Willis' use of that data couldn't prove anything about the top 1 percent wage "earners" because with only 5 categories, those in the top 1 percent are lumped in with people earning a lot less.

Quintile 5 includes everyone making $178,020 and up, so CLEARLY Willis cannot prove anything about the 1 percent using these figures. Tao is correct, even though what he actually said was, "First off, your use of IRS quintiles is uninformative because the IRS only has five quintiles".

Since the word "quintile" (in statistics) means something that is divided into "five equal proportions" Tao, in saying "the IRS only has five quintiles" reveals his ignorance (according to Willis)... you can't have more than 5 of a thing which, by definition, has only 5 portions.

But everyone else who read the comment knew Tao meant that since the top income range covers everyone who makes more than $178,020... that data IS uninformative when it comes to making any point concerning the top 1 percent. So, even though Tao should have referred to income broken into categories and ditched the word "quintile"... his point is still ABSOLUTELY correct!

But instead of acknowledging his incredible wrongness the lying Hartster does a tap dance concerning Tao using the word "quintile" incorrectly to obfuscate the fact that Tao was right and Willis was wrong. And really Willis, a lame "definition flame" is all you got? IMO, you can't get much more dishonest than this... I shit you not.

#214, wDel #39.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Libertarian Dream Of Plutocrats As The New Feudal Lords & Everyone Else Their Vassals

It has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the post-war world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power ~ George Monbiot, describing the ideology of Ayn Rand's Objectivism (an ideology that Libertriansim is derived from) as quoted in his 3/5/2013 article A Manifesto for Psychopaths. George Monbiot (dob 1/27/1963) is an English writer, known for his environmental and political activism.

Who is John Galt? an unoriginal Ayn-Rand-worshipping Objectivist Libertarian-voting individual whose blog I was recently banned from asks in one of his latest posts. John Galt was a poor oppressed rich person from whom the government wanted to steal an invention from that could benefit mankind greatly.

This invention of Mr. Galt's produced virtually unlimited amounts of free electricity. Although this Galt fellow was already a wealthy man he wanted to use his invention to grow even wealthier. The oppressive socialist government simply wanted to seize it (or that is my understanding, as I have never read Atlas Shrugged).

Mr. Galt could not believe it that the government wanted his invention to use to the benefit of all mankind. He didn't care if the poor of the world struggled and died if the wealthy elites sucked up all the wealth. Rational self-interest told him he should have it all... or at least as much as he could get, the rabble be damned.

So Galt suggested to all the other rich people that they go on strike. Now, in reality, if this actually did happen... perhaps there would be some pain initially as the world adjusted, but eventually others (non rich people) would step forward and fill the gap (the gap created by the wealthy withdrawing their money from the economy).

Worker cooperatives formed by laid-off workers (the socialist government would take the idle factories and give them to the workers instead of allowing society to collapse). The workers would do the work (as they had done before) but now they would reap the benefits of their labor. Instead of the wealthy elites siphoning off a majority of the money that came from the fruits of their labor, the workers would distribute it among themselves and spend it into the economy. Soon everyone in the lower economic classes (the middle, working and poor) would all be much richer.

Everyone would be grateful the wealthy elites went "on strike" and tell them to get lost. Seeing as they no longer wanted to be a part of America (and refused to pay their taxes, I'm guessing)... perhaps they could be deported. That would be my happy ending to Atlas Shrugged, in any case. Instead, as depicted in Ayn Rand's fantasy novel, everyone else finds they are hopelessly lost without the "productive people" and they beg John Galt and the wealthy a-holes who joined him to end their strike.

Thus the evil Socialist government is toppled. Although the tome doesn't mention who cooks and cleans for the rich "makers" while they are on strike. Apparently they find some traitors among the "takers" to sell to them (food and other essential supplies)... but how the hell does food (or other essential goods) get processed or manufactured if the rich shut down their factories because they are on "strike" and everyone is helpless without them?

The book does not say (apparently). How they can cut off their noses to spite their faces and not suffer any consequences is not addressed by Rand (as far as I know). This is why many who become interested in Rand and Objectivism as young adults most often abandon it as adults.

They wake up to the fact that the ideology is filled with huge logical holes (just like Rand's novel). One such individual is Progressive Talker Thom Hartmann. I have heard him mention a number of times on his program that he was a Conservative (due to the influence of his father) when he was very young; moved on to Libertarianism, and now calls himself a Democratic Socialist... although he says his program represents the "radical middle".

According to Mr. Hartmann Libertarianism represents a new feudalism... and regarding this perspective I am in agreement with him. Thom laid out his argument in a rant from the June 24th airing of his program... an argument I have transcribed below (with minor edits made for reasons of brevity and clarity)...

Thom Hartmann: [Caller] you have an antidote for the Ayn Rand thought virus?

Caller: I think it would be good to ask these people who have been infected and they don't realize it. Do we the people have the ethical authority to regulate our economy, to determine how our natural resources are used, and to set a fair tax rate?

Thom Hartmann: Not according to Libertarians. We do not have that authority. That should be in the hands of the free market. They define "liberty" as economic liberty, exclusively. You don't have the freedom to not be hungry. You're not free to not freeze to death in the winter. You shouldn't be free from the worry about going out into the workplace without a decent education. There are a whole host of freedoms that I would submit that Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson worked very hard to give us. Those are freedoms that are not recognized by Libertarians.

Unless you were born wealthy like the heroes of Atlas Shrugged... your daddy having built a railroad or having been given it by Abraham Lincoln. The Commons is the place where these guys always fall apart in any kind of rational argument, although they don't realize that they're falling apart. What they argue that the Commons would be best served if it was all privatized and we tried that. It was called feudalism.

The feudal lords were not the kings, they were not the political actors of their day, they were the owners. The feudal lords owned everything. They owned the roads, they owned the forests, they hired private sheriffs to make sure that anyone who shot anything in the forest had to pay a tax on it or give a piece of it to the local lord. Feudalism was all about property rights and placing them above human rights.

(Excerpt from the 6/24/2013 broadcast of the Thom Hartmann Program, 11:32 to 14:00 of hour 3).

Let me add that it isn't just Libertarians that have this "entitlement mentality"; in that they feel they are entitled to the labor of the workers at as low a price as they are able to "negotiate" (i.e. force workers to accept)... Conservatives very much share this same entitlement mentality and both greed-based ideologies desire to impoverish the workers so that money can be transferred to the phony "job creators".

The difference between Libertarians and Conservatives is that Libertarians believe government should get out of the way and allow the plutocrats to rule, while Conservatives believe governmental politicos should help the plutocrats (while enriching themselves, of course). Both ideologies call for the further screwing of the workers and are attempting to achieve that goal by demonizing workers as lazy and jealous.

And both ideologies idealize and raise up for worship the wealthy leaches who profit from the labor of the workers by re-labeling them as "job creators" (when it is actually demand that comes from the consumption of the workers that creates jobs).

Both Libertarianism and Conservatism are poisonous ideologies that seek to destroy the liberty and wealth of the workers to the benefit of the plutocrats. It is time to stop blaming workers for their inability to stop the wealthy elites from taking advantage of them. What we need to do is empower workers via increased unionization (make unionization easier via legislation like card check), make the formation of worker owned cooperatives easier and by decreasing the unfair advantage gained by offshorers by increasing tariffs.

Raising taxes on the wealthy (the wealthy who have benefited greatly by underpaying the workers who created and continue to create their wealth), and redistribute that wealth. This, contrary to Conservative and Libertarian claims, would put money back in the hands of the workers who earned it (but from who it was taken), not to give "unearned handouts" to those who don't deserve them. Until we take these steps we will continue on down the road toward neofeudalism.

And we won't take these steps so long as the gullible masses buy into the propaganda and spin coming from the plutocratic class and their stooges... true believers and deluded fools (like the followers of Ayn Rand who are still repeating the question "who is John Galt"). The bottom line is that Americans need to wake up and start supporting and electing progressives and populists (one in the same, IMO) and stop buying into the self-serving wealthy-worshiping Conservative fairy tale nonsense that relies on victim-blaming and lies about the "evils" of socialism and who REALLY creates the wealth of a country (the workers). If not we will surely end up as vassals of the wealthy feudal lords (even more so than we are now).

Further Reading: Atlas Shrugged - Left Behind for Libertarians by Grey Fedora, Daily Kos 10/7/2013.

SWTD #213, lDel #10.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lies And The Lying Lester Trolls Who Tell Them

Again, I think there are individuals who I'd like to meet in a dark alley somewhere and have some fun with them only because they are liars and cowards ~ Vince McMahon (dob 8/24/1945) the CEO and Chairman of the professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Nine days ago I authored a fictional story in which the blogger Lester Nation figured prominently. Or a fictionalized version of him. Apparently this post made Lester quite angry. Previously when I presumed he had banned me he said I was lying... lying because the game-player would publish some comments while rejecting others. He has now declared that NO comments submitted by me to his blog shall be published henceforth.

This happened immediately after I published the fictional story. And he hates being called "Lester" very much too, as he is now heavily playing up the nickname he created for me, "Canardo Sanders". So my use of that name probably contributed to the banning... but it was certainly the story that pushed him over the edge.

Now Lester is so angry that he trumpets my banning with slanderings of me on his blog, in an attempt to turn other bloggers (including Progressives) against me. After approving an obvious spoof comment (someone spoofing Shaw Kenawe), Lester said...

rAtional nAtion: Yes Shaw I certainly recognize the imposter for the infestation he or perhaps she is. Hopefully the fake will get the rather direct hint and slither away. If not it will go the same way as Canardo Sanders, Steve, Radical Redneck, the infamous Jew Baby Hater Anon, and others. To Spam or simply get deleted. (10/12/2013 AT 11:13am).

Lester (with this comment) puts me in the same category as the other trolls he names. Although I still believe that these individuals might actually be Lester trying to elicit sympathy from Progressives (which he has), or simply attempting to dupe them. But I am NOT a troll; certainly I do not fall under the definition as given by Wikipedia, which says a troll is "a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, or off-topic messages".

I have never done any of these things. I only seek honest discussion. Steve, a mentally disturbed individual that originally commented on Lester's blog but is currently focusing his attentions on me, is a clear example of a troll. And Lester himself has exhibited behavior on my blog that is incredibly trollish in nature. For example, Lying Lester said (in a previous comment on this blog) that him commenting on Sleeping with The Devil is "is a mere amusement for me, an oppurtunity to laugh and then infuriate you".

Prior to this comment Lester admitted that "I've had fun playing games with your delusional ass". This was back when I allowed anonymous commenting and Lying Lester submitted a lot of anonymous comments... and was convinced he was fooling me into thinking all his comments were a bunch of other people hating on my blog.

Now he describes me and the comments submitted to his blog as an "infestation". But Lester ADMITS to trolling on my blog (as evidenced by the comments I quote above)! Was Lester not behaving as a troll and "infesting" my blog when he submitted the above comments (as well as many other similar comments)? And let us not forget Lying Lester's use of a sock puppet he called The Sword of Truth (TSOT), an alternate identity he hide behind and used to comment on the blog of his supposed friend Shaw Kenawe.

At the time I originally called out Lester as TSOT the "evidence" I presented was my noticing that Lester misspelled "guilty" as "quilty". I gave multiple examples of the misspelling from Lying Lester and just one from TSOT. So the case could be considered circumstantial... but now (whilst looking over an old comment thread on this blog) I have found an additional clue that I think is definitive - and proves beyond any doubt that TSOT was indeed a sock puppet of Lying Lester. This clue is contained in the following comment..

The Sword of Truth: How trite your comment Anon. It does serve to keep the crap fest alive though. (8/06/2013 AT 9:01am).

I have NEVER seen anyone else BUT Lester use the term "crap fest". This is not a coincidence (as the "quilty" observation COULD have been). It has now been proven definitively that "The Sword of Truth" was a sock puppet of Lester... My deducing was accurate. But Lester made fun of my sleuthing, using the sign-off "Sir Baron von Quilty, At Your Sevice" on the blog of Shaw Kenawe, and in response Shaw said "Now THAT'S funny!". Finding out a commenter on your blog misrepresented himself and posted under an alias is funny?

Clearly if one wishes to be friends with Lester one must ignore it when he lies to you (making fun of me exposing him as TSOT was a denial and that denial was a LIE). Me, there is no f*cking way I'd be willing to ignore the lies of Lester in order to be his "friend". Seriously, I doubt Lester considers any Progressive to be his friend. I strongly suspect it gives Lester great pleasure that there are Progressives he has duped into thinking he is genuinely friendly toward them. No offense to those Progressives who think Lester is their friend... but you are being lied to. Lying Lester is laughing at you behind your back.

OK, so none of these Progressives who are being duped by Lester will read this, or will likely disbelieve me if they do. Does that mean Lester "wins"? I say no. Lester is a loser because his lies are pointless. What does he think he is accomplishing with these lies? Beats me. In any case I'm not going to "get the rather direct hint and slither away". So long as Lester continues to slander me (and attempt to sow discord) I shall continue to defend myself, especially when hypocrites like Lester print comments such as the following on their blogs...

rAtional nAtion: Examples of such infestations would be the attempt by individuals such as Canardo Sanders of Sleeping with The Devil infamy and yourself [the fake Shaw Kenawe] to divert discussions of substance and relevance towards a cesspool of BS. (10/12/2013 AT 9:41am).

This comment would be quite accurate if Lester were talking about himself, as this was a goal he tried very hard to accomplish when he came to my blog to defend himself against the accusations of Steve. These were accusations that had validity, so Lester was not able to do a good job defending himself, and ended up resorting to name-calling (as he actually made the inflammatory comments for which his detractors were criticizing him).

And, because I listened to Steve, Lester held me accountable... even though the entire situation arose because Lester made comments that certainly could be interpreted as Anti-Semitic. Now it just so happens that Steve turned out to be a raving maniac, but that does not change the fact that it was Lester who made his own bed (something the hypocrite accused me of when he banned me). And I blame him for bringing the troll Steve to my blog (I have sent approximately 80 Steve comments to the Spam folder since I banned him).

Given these facts (Lester trolling my blog and inciting the hate-filled homophobe Steve), I find the fact that Lester is now slandering me on his blog a situation that DEMANDS a response from me. I simply cannot allow the liar's slanderous misrepresentations to go unchallenged (hence this commentary).

Also, an FYI in regards to the story I mentioned at the top of my post... in it I accuse Lester of being Steve. The reason for the accusation is that 1 Lester said "Anon is Steve and perhaps wd/DS". So Lester accused me of being Steve first, and me accusing him of being Steve (when we already know he used at least two sock puppets, TSOT and Lodoc) is certainly plausible. And, 2 Steve saying (to me) "I will just call you RN from now on. Your character traits... are identical".

Yes, I'm sure that many people have made the same observation; that Lester and I are identical... not. In any case, I can now chalk up another banning... this time officially. The question now is... where can I go to get banned next? Some Conservative blog where they hate Liberals would be too easy.

SWTD #212, lDel #9.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Jig Is Up For A Global Climate Change Denier On Steroids

[George] Oh, I'm telling you, the jig is up. [Jerry] It was a bad jig to begin with. We never should've started this jig. [George] It was a good jig. [Jerry] It was a bad jig, a terrible, terrible jig ~ Conversation between George and Jerry from the 19th episode of the third season of the American sitcom Seinfeld titled The Limo (original air date: 2/26/1992).

Libertarians (as far as my observations go) are heavily into Global Climate denialism. Most likely because acknowledging the reality of global climate change would mean we have to do something about it. Libertarians strongly believe that the wealthy "job creators" should be able to do whatever the hell they want with minimal government interference. But the fact is that nothing will ever be done regarding global climate change UNLESS government takes the lead.

The reason for this is because it's easier making money using old technologies instead of innovating new ones. Yes, companies will plan for the future and spend some money innovating, but not at the expense of dropping old technologies or energy sources. There is still plenty of oil in the ground and the "free market" will never leave it there voluntarily. The Libertarian, ever a believer in the free market fantasy, clearly can not acknowledge the facts concerning global climate change, as that would require an acknowledgement by them that the free market can't solve this problem.

And it would also require that they support the government take the lead (via regulations and subsidies) to push the "free market" to develop the energy technologies of the future. A Libertarian wouldn't be a Libertarian if he (or she) did that. Thus the Big Oil funded global climate change industry, an industry that a Libertarian-leaning blogger that I've refuted here before subscribes to strongly.

This is an individual who has dedicated his blog (in large part) to "refuting" the claims 97.5 percent of climate scientists say their research supports (or points to as being very likely). But this fellow to whom I refer says it's the "skeptics" who have it right. In fact he goes as far as to say that the 97.5 percent of climate scientists who disagree with his point of view are anti-science. This "anti science" claim is one he made in a recent post...

Willis Hart: The most reliable measurement of ocean temperature that we have is the ARGO system and according to that there has been ZERO ocean warming since 2003. That, and for the CO2 theory to be the correct one, the tropsosphere temperatures would have to increasing at a faster rate than the surface site temperatures AND THEY ARE NOT. The jig is up, Jerry. (10/15/2013 at 1:49pm).

(Argo is a network of over 3000 floats scattered across the globe that measure temperature and salinity of the upper ocean. Argo data indicates a cooling trend from 2003 to 2008).

Despite Mr. Hart having his facts correct regarding Argo data, his conclusion is way wrong. Regarding the slight ocean cooling over a period of five years, Skeptical Science says...

Skeptical Science: Claims that the ocean has been cooling are correct. Claims that global warming has stopped are not. It is an illogical position: the climate is subject to a lot of natural variability, so the premise that changes should be monotonic – temperatures rising in straight lines – ignores the fact that nature doesn't work like that. This is why scientists normally discuss trends – 30 years or more – so that short-term fluctuations can be seen as part of a greater pattern. (Skeptic claim addressed: Does ocean cooling prove global warming has ended?).

A graph (included with the Skeptical Science article referenced above) that charts ocean temperature since 1955 shows the oceans are CLEARLY warming. So, pointing to five years of a little cooling and saying that disproves AGW is dumb. In any case, the Argo data only measures ocean temperature down to 2000 meters... or the surface of the ocean. In regards to that, a commentator to Will's post pointed out that Argo (and the ocean's surface) is not the whole enchilada...

Jerry Critter: Perhaps you should tell the oceans [that the warming stopped in 1998]. They do not seem to have got the message.... the whole ocean, not just the surface. (10/15/2013 at 11:00pm).

What Jerry is talking about (I presume) when he says "the whole ocean, not just the surface", is the research that finds the "Deep Oceans Warming at Alarming Rate" (the deep ocean is water from below 3000 feet and is 90 percent of ocean's volume). Concerning the deep ocean, a 7/11/2013 article from Discovery News (A website run by the Discovery channel) reveals the following...

Larry O'Hanlond writing for Discovery News: Despite mixed signals from warming ocean surface waters, a new re-analysis of data from the depths suggests dramatic warming of the deep sea is underway because of anthropogenic climate change. The scientists report that the deep seas are taking in more heat than expected, which is taking some of the warming off the Earth's surface, but it will not do so forever. (7/11/2013, Discovery News).

The source of the information cited in the article from Discovery is a research paper from the National Center for Atmospheric Research published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters (The National Center for Atmospheric Research is managed by the nonprofit University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Geophysical Research Letters is a biweekly peer-reviewed scientific journal of geoscience published by the American Geophysical Union that was established in 1974).

According to the paper's co-author, the "heat of global warming is going to different places... [and what this research shows is that] global warming is continuing even though it's not always manifested as a strong surface temperature increase. It's... manifesting itself in different ways".

As for Hart's second claim, this is from the skeptics (or "luminaries", as he calls them) John Christy and Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama. These two individuals "published a series of papers starting about 1990 that implied the troposphere was warming at a much slower rate than the surface temperature...".

Skeptical Science notes that "from 1978, a series of satellites have measured atmospheric temperature in the troposphere and stratosphere" and that the conclusions reached by Christy and Spencer were wrong because they made an "algebraic error" and because they failed to account for diurnal drift. Diurnal drift, as explained by Skeptical Science is...

Skeptical Science: The satellites orbit the earth from pole to pole. The satellites possess no propulsion so slowly over time, the local equator crossing time (LECT) changes. This is exacerbated by decay of the satellites orbital height, dragged down by the thin atmosphere. As a satellite's LECT changes, it takes readings at changing local times, allowing local diurnal cycle variations to appear as spurious trends... the word trend designates a change, generally monotonic in time, in the value of a variable. (Skeptic claim addressed: Satellite measurements of warming in the troposphere).

According to Christy HIMSELF, the "discrepancies [between surface and atmospheric temperatures in the troposphere] no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected". So he acknowledges the errors in his original calculations (but remains a skeptic for other reasons). Someone alert Willis that the "luminary" he cites does not stand by his original assertions. Assertions the Hartster cites (I'm guessing, as he just throws the assertion out there as if it were fact, but does not cite Christy as the source of the discredited assertion).

So, when Willis says "the tropsosphere temperatures would have to increasing at a faster rate than the surface site temperatures AND THEY ARE NOT" he is WRONG. Skeptical Science says that the satellite data (the data Christy and Spencer used to conclude that there was a "warming trend of only 0.09°C per decade, well below the surface temperature trend of 0.17°C per decade"), when corrected (via removal of Christy and Spencer's algebraic error and correcting for diurnal drift) "are in good agreement with models". That would be the models that show global climate change to be REAL and OCCURRING. The denialism jig is up, in other words.

I'm not going to say that the luminaries Mr. Hart admires (or even Willis himself) are anti-science as Willis does in his post (a post in which he claims that Barack Obama is anti-science), but I do think Christy and Spencer are wrong. And, if Barack Obama were to disregard the fact that "97.5% of climatologists who actively publish research on climate change [say] human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures" and suggest we do nothing to combat this very real threat (because there are those who are skeptical)? THAT would be anti-science, as well as anti-logic.

(The 97.5 percent figure comes from "a survey of 3146 earth scientists [who were] asked the question Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?". Skeptical Science says that "more than 90% of participants had PhDs, and 7% had master's degrees. Overall, 82% of the scientists answered yes.

However, what are most interesting are responses compared to the level of expertise in climate science. Of scientists who were non-climatologists and didn't publish research, 77% answered yes. In contrast, 97.5% of climatologists who actively publish research on climate change responded yes".... so we're talking about 2579 people who agreed with the consensus position, not 75 people... as Willis claims).

Update 6/9/2015: Willis Hart does not read this blog and is therefore unaware that Christy and Spencer's research has been discredited. Although he could have found that information elsewhere... but he also does not read ANY website where such information might be found (ANY website where info rebutting change denialism might be found). I did attempt to bring this up on the blog of rAtional nAtion, due to him posting on the topic, but my comment so frightened Willis that he pretended not to see what I wrote. I am sure he decided it a better course of action to keep his head buried in the sand. In any case, the details regarding this matter (my revealing this info on the blog of Mr. nAtion and Willis Hart ignoring it) can be found via my commentary on the incident, SWTD #288.

SWTD #211, wDel #38.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Laffering At Historically Inaccurate Suggestion That Raising Taxes Caused The Great Depression

Art Laffer's claim that low state tax rates are the key to economic growth. What should you think about that claim? That's easy: it's junk economics ~ Paul Krugman (dob 2/28/1953) an American economist, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

What caused the Great Depression? Recently I read an historically inaccurate assertion that it was a tax increase under President Hoover that is to blame; argument as follows...

Libertarian Blogger: The Keynes Curve? ...taxation may be so high as to defeat it's object, and that, given the sufficient time to gather the fruits, a reduction of taxation will run a better chance than an increase of balancing the budget [Quote from] John Maynard Keynes. Gee, I wonder if he said this before or after Hoover raised taxes 152% and plunged a recovering U.S. economy into a depression. (10/12/2013 AT 9:41am).

Uh, no. The Libertarian blogger I quote above is referring to something that didn't happen. The tax increase under Hoover happened (although I'm not sure where this 152% comes from), but this increase was NOT what caused the Great Depression. The Great Depression was caused by a previous lowering of taxes. Apparently Mr. LB has never heard of the roaring twenties? That was the bubble created by taxes that were too low. It was the bursting of that bubble that caused the great depression, NOT any tax raising by Hoover, as pointed out by the nation's top Progressive Talker...

Thom Hartmann: ...the massive Republican tax cuts of the 1920s (from 73 to 25 percent) led directly to the Roaring Twenties' real estate and stock market bubbles, a temporary boom, and then the crash and Republican Great Depression that started in 1929. (Excerpt from the book Rebooting the American Dream, pub. 2011).

According to Mr. Hartmann the way to prevent bubbles and busts is to keep the top marginal tax rate at 50 percent or higher. History shows us that when Republican administrations (or Dems acting like Republicans) come in with an agenda of cutting taxes, those tax cuts invariably lead to bubbles, like when the bush administration rammed through a tax cut that favored the wealthy via reconciliation in 2003. Regarding that tax cut, Harlan Green of Popular Economics says...

Harlan Green: The Bush tax cuts are the most current example; in fact they helped to cause the Great Recession. For much of the excess profits were spent on market speculation - especially in subprime loans and payday lending to the poorest among us - that caused the housing bubble. (Article: What Happened to the Bush Tax Cuts? Huff Post Business, 06/04/2012).

(Note: Harlan Green has a degree in Economics from UC Berkeley and is the editor and publisher of

As for Mr. LB's quote from Keynes and his suggestion that he would agree with the Laffer Curve... [1] I'm sure there would be a disagreement between the two regarding what constituted how high taxes would have to be to qualify as "so high", and [2] Laffer and Keynes were both wrong. The Laffer Curve has been debunked.

The Middle Class Economist says "Laffer got it exactly backward, with tax revenue initially falling as tax rates increase, then rising after a further increase in rates". The quoted blog post further notes that Sweden in the 1970s had a top marginal rate of over 100 percent, and their tax revenues went up, not down.

The lesson to be learned from this is that it is tax cuts that lead to bubbles that causes recessions, NOT tax increases. In fact it is a marginal tax rate over 50 percent that stabilizes the economy and prevents bubbles and busts from occurring (or causes them to be less severe if they do occur). That there are some who still argue otherwise makes it clear that no matter how many times we bubble and bust we may never learn. Why? Because the wealthy and their stooges will continually argue the exact opposite of the truth.

The reason being that the wealthy always make out like bandits while the rest of us suffer. A 9/11/2013 LA Times article notes...

Connie Stewart of the LA Times: The Great Recession hit the top 1% harder than other income groups, but the wealthy recovered quicker too. From 2009 to 2012, as the U.S. economy improved, incomes of the top 1% grew more than 31%, while the incomes of the 99% grew 0.4% - less than half a percentage point. (9/11/2013).

Time to adopt the budget of the Progressive caucus that eliminates the deficit and Raises a $31 billion surplus in ten years. Enough of this failed trickle down economic BS (of which the Laffer Curve nonsense is a component).

SWTD #210, wDel #37.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Decidedly Non Auspicious Adventure (Part 6)

How many evils have flowed from religion ~ Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 99 BC to c. 55 BC) a Roman poet and philosopher.

Using her mage's staff as a crutch and with one arm across the shoulders of Joshua, Suri was able to slowly make her way over the rocky terrain. William would have helped, but his pack laden down with a significant amount of treasure was hard enough for him to manage. They had not gone very far and already he was sweating and moaning about how heavy his burden was.

The companions had traveled in silence for a few minutes when the light from Suri's light-spell powered stone secured to the tip of her staff revealed glowing eyes in the darkness. It was Joshua who noticed the multiple illuminated orbs starring at them a short distance away. "Look over there, William" Joshua whispered. "I believe it is a cave spider". William turned his head and, after staring into the blackness for a while, noticed the eyes about three feet off the ground. "Yes, he said, I think you could be right. It looks like a average sized specimen".

"Let's get to the exit ASAP" Joshua replied. "No, I need to fill my canteen first" William reminded the half elf. "Could be more of those" Joshua answered, referring to the supposed cave spider. "Damn you, Joshua" William muttered stepping forward - in the direction of the earlier spotted double doors. Just then William felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck. A spider had dropped down behind him, it's silken filament extending up into the darkness. Quickly Joshua withdrew his dagger and skewered the spider through the abdomen. The arachnid chittered and died.

"Ahh!" William cried, grasping at his neck. Blood gushed from a nasty looking wound. Suri, whom Joshua had left standing on her own, sank to her knees, still too weak to stand on her own. The other spider (the one Joshua had initially spotted), rushed forward to attack the vulnerable mage. Suri failed to see the advancing arachnid, which was almost upon her when Joshua swatted it aside with a swing of his mace.

"I think I've been poisoned" William cried, suddenly feeling faint. "Relax, William" Joshua said, examining the wound. "Cave spiders aren't poisonous. And it looks like I killed it before it had a chance to bite down fully". Joshua applied some salve to prevent infection and bandaged William's injury. "You'll be fine" he said. The three adventurers moved on with greater haste, in case there were any more spiders lurking nearby.

William glanced upward. "AHH! my neck" he whined. They trudged on, and approximately a quarter hour later Joshua spotted the double doors William had described seeing earlier. Two soaring black marble slabs on gigantic hinges were set into the wall on the far end of the enormous cavern. Intricate carvings were chiseled into each of the 30 foot doors. Joshua wasn't able to read whatever language it was, but he did recognize a few symbols. Clearly they represented an evil god worshiped by many of the races of the Underdark, Dagon of the Deep Ones.

A raised area that could be close to 40 by 50 feet rose 4 to 5 feet into the air to the left of the doors. Steps carved into the stone allowed easy access to an altar stained with brown blood was situated roughly in the middle of the raised area. The altar was also adorned with the same symbols as the door. This, in Joshua's estimation was were the Caecilanoids slaughtered their foes in tribute to Dagon.

"There are more Caecilanoids behind those doors, I believe" Joshua concluded. "We have, most likely, stumbled upon one of their underground settlements" he added, looking quite worried. "Quickly, behind that stalagmite" Joshua said, indicating a nearby calcium carbonate pillar large enough for the three of them to hide behind. Joshua's sixth sense saved them, as they had just concealed themselves from view when one of the large double doors swung open.

In marched a half dozen of the frog men, each one adorned in animal skins and headdresses of bone. Joshua guessed they were clerics of Dagon and their acolytes. Another dozen or so of their compatriots brought up the rear, for a total of almost twenty of the foes they had previously encountered. A human captive, hands bound, was among them. The man marched forward at the insistence of prodding spear tips. Several of the Caecilanoids carried torches to illuminate the way.

"Cover the light" Joshua hissed, indicating the stone on top of Suri's mage's staff. Suri removed the stone and placed it in her pocket. Peering out from behind the stalagmite William saw several of the Croaker warriors chain the struggling man to the stone altar. A frog man priest removed a ceremonial dagger from a leather sheath, apparently in preparation for a ritual sacrifice.

The mass of Caecilanoids surrounded the mound where the altar was located in a ring and began to chant and croak. After a few minutes of this the Caecilanite cleric, grasping the knife with both webbed hands, raised the stabbing implement over his head, preparing to plunge it into the writhing body of his victim.

Suri gasped at the moment it appeared as though the cleric was about to thrust the knife into the screaming man. Or Suri attempted to gasp but found she could not. Suddenly the chanting stopped and the three colleagues heard the croaking of a frog man from behind. William attempted to turn and face the adversary he presumed was there, but found he was unable to move. Joshua did the same and found he also could not move. Obviously the three had been targeted with immobilization magics.

Each of the three adventurers found themselves grabbed roughly by a number of slimy webbed hands, and within a few minutes they were dragged before the head Caecilanite priest (who had descended from the mound where the altar was located). After disarming them of their weapons and possessions (including William's rucksack full of gems), one of the warriors spoke to the head cleric in the frog man's guttural tongue, pointing a finger at the three upon the completion of his statement. Neither Suri nor Joshua was able to understand what was said, but it was clearly an accusation of some sort.

The cleric moved his bug eyes from one companion to the other, finally resting his eyes on William. Then he spoke to the warrior and the frog man moved to bind the hands and feet of William (with rope that looked as if it was woven of seaweed). When he was securely bound the cleric spoke words that Suri (as a mage) recognized as magical in nature. The stiff-as-a-board posture disappeared as William was released from the Hold spell.

William nodded in affirmation when the cleric spoke again. Suri guessed that the cleric was asking him if he could understand what he was saying (which William could, due to his earwig of understanding, an enchanted item William possessed that allowed him to understand any spoken language). After another utterance from the Caecilanite priest Suri noticed (out of the corner of her eye) that William was pointing at Joshua. He tried to hide his action by holding his hand in front of his chest, but it certainly appeared that William was indicating Joshua was guilty of something.

Following William's gesture the cleric spoke the magic words again and Joshua was released from the holding magic. Several Caecilanite fighters grabbed Joshua and drug him up to the altar. Joshua cried out in protest, frantically struggling as he realized he was now the one who was to be sacrificed. Suri cried internally as the previous victim was released and Joshua chained down in his place. The Caecilanite cleric ascended the stairs and again took up his ceremonial dagger.

After the man who was to be sacrificed was hustled down the staircase the Caecilanoids reorganized themselves into a ring around the mound and again began to chant. The Caecilanite cleric raised his knife and prepared to plunge it into Joshua; a look of abject terror on the screaming half-elf's face. The frog men completed their chanting and Suri cried out (internally) as the cleric plunged the knife into Joshua's belly, slicing him open horizontally. Dropping the dagger, the priest forced his hands into Joshua's midsection and yanked out the half-elf's guts.

Hand over hand the cleric continued to haul out the entire length of Joshua's intestine, which he threw over the front of the altar where the guts accumulated in a growing pile. The half-elf continued to scream in agony as his executioner finished disemboweling him. Joshua's blood ran freely and soon a red waterfall surged down a channel cut into the rock and over the side of the mound. Witnessing the death of the man she loved, Suri fainted, or she lost consciousness, as she was still under the effects of the hold spell and her hardened limbs remained immalleable.

SWTD #209, WTM #10.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The Unfortunate Tale Of A Mind That Raced To Idiocy

What makes stupidity really insufferable is that it is forever in action - idiocy knows no rest ~ Source of quote unknown.

Turning onto a dirt footpath, Doctor Edwin Meyers decided to cut through the park. He had just gotten a call from the secretary at his psychiatric practice (located on the premises of a local hospital), that his attentions were needed there as soon as possible. He had been on his lunch break at a nearby cafe, but that now had to be cut short. He finished his arugula-topped tofu burger just as he crossed the square in the middle of the park where a bubbling fountain spurted water several feet into the air before splashing back to earth in a tiled reflecting pool.

Another footpath and the good doctor would be just across the street from where he worked. He was about halfway there when a trench-coat-wearing baldheaded man sporting a ponytail stepped out from behind a large bush. "Care to take a look" the man said, opening his coat to reveal his naked body. The doctor stopped short, not wanting to run into a nude man. "If you like what you see I would appreciate it if you could LIKE me on Facebook" the man said. "My name is Dennis Marks, by the way".

Edwin could not help but stare directly at the man's crotch, given the fact that what he saw there was a sight to behold. Or the lack of a sight to behold, as the case most certainly was. "I'd be willing to recommend a doctor that could help you with your condition" the doctor remarked, taking pity on the man. "Huh?" Dennis asked, oblivious to what condition the man he had just flashed might be referring. "What are you talking about? Are you not impressed by the sight of my huge wang?" he asked, pointing to his nether region.

"Hmmm... delusional too. Here, take my card and call me if you decide (as you should) that you need help" Doctor Myers counseled, handing Dennis his credentials printed on a small rectangular piece of card stock. Then, when the man simply stood there with a stupid look on his face, Doctor Meyers pushed past him and continued down the path. Soon he was back at the hospital. Crossing the street Meyers descended a staircase to his basement office. Entering the reception area Edwin's secretary immediately noticed him. "Lester Nation the 4th is waiting for you" she said, pointing toward the waiting area to the right.

Edwin turned and saw a young dark-haired man with a closely cropped beard. He was wearing a leather biker's jacket. The man, who had previously been sitting on the couch in the waiting area, stood and extended his hand. Shaking the hand of the junior Lester, Edwin greeted him. "Hello, Mr. Nation. I am the doctor you spoke with earlier this morning on the phone... in regards to your father".

"Yes, my father" the fourth Lester replied. "I don't understand how he ended up in the psychiatric ward". The younger Nation looked quite confused. "I will explain everything" the doctor assured him. "First, I see you have completed the insurance forms?". Edwin was referring to a stack of papers clipped to the clipboard Lester was holding. "Yes" Lester confirmed, handing the stack of papers to the doctor. "Good, good" Edwin replied, accepting the forms. "Now, will you not join me in my office where we can discuss this in private?". "Certainly" the still-confused 4th Lester Nation agreed.

In the office the doctor sat behind his desk and his guest Lester Nation the 4th seated himself in a chair facing Edwin. "I must regretfully inform you that your father has had a complete break with reality" Edwin somberly informed the junior Nation. "Surely you were aware of his split personality disorder?" "Yes" Lester4 admitted, "but dad was on medication for his condition, and doing quite well I might add". Edwin took in what the son of the man he was treating had said. "Hmmm. I don't know the reason, but your father has retreated completely into his alternate personality. Ever since the police delivered him to the hospital several days ago he has been insisting that his name isn't Lester Nation the 3rd, but an individual named Steve".

"It actually took us some time to locate you, as your father came to us without any identification on him. And, of course he kept saying his name was Steve. As for a last name, he added that other than Steve, he wanted to remain anonymous. Also, he kept talking about how proud he was about being a complete shithead on the blog of someone named Joe Kelly. That is how we finally discovered who your father actually is. One of the nurses hit upon the idea of searching on the name Joe Kelly, and some obscure blog called Truth 101 came up. I won't bore you with the details, but, suffice to say it was through that blog that we were able to discern your father's actual identity".

"This Steve seems to be quite a violent individual, so at this time I am not going to recommend releasing your father into your custody. He's back on his medications, but they don't seem to be having an effect" the doctor sadly informed Lester3's son. "Can I see him please?" Lester4 asked. "Of course. In fact, seeing his son might jolt him back into reality". Edwin stood and said, "I'll show you the way".

Edwin guided Lester4 to a padded room a short distance from his office. "Be aware that he may not recognize you" Edwin cautioned, opening the door. In front of them a wild-eyed gray-haired man was strapped to a gurney. "I must have access to the internet" the slobbering spittle-flecked man shouted when he saw the doctor. "It's my duty to call out the Anti-Semites and hate bloggers that have infested cyberspace" he added, this time whimpering.

Then, seeing Lester4 his eyes lit up. "Help me, please" the drooling maniac pleaded. "This crazy doctor thinks I'm some shithead named Lester Nation the 3rd. I know that guy and I can assure you that I am not him. Lester Nation is one of the anti-Semite hate bloggers it is my sworn duty to call out". Kneeling down next to the gurney, a concerned Lester Nation the 4th attempted to reach his demented father. "It's your son, dad. Your name is Lester Nation the 3rd".

"Aaaahhhh!!!" the restrained bug-eyed Lester/Steve screamed, spraying his son's face with salvia. "F*ck you, son of Lester!" he screeched, suddenly lunging toward his progeny. Opening his mouth wide Lester/Steve bit down hard on his son's neck, tearing out a huge chunk of flesh. Blood gushed freely from Lester4's shredded jugular. Seconds later Lester4 passed out due to blood loss. Edwin Meyers hit the panic button located on the wall near the door and a nurse responded.

Several minutes later an unconscious Lester4 was loaded onto a hospital gurney for transport to the hospital upstairs. "He's stable and should survive, but he'll need a transfusion" a nurse from the medical hospital above observed as they rolled the gurney down the hall to the elevator. The elevator doors shut and Edwin returned to the padded room where he found Lester/Steve still laughing manically. "Sedate the patient" an angry and annoyed Edwin instructed his assistant.

SWTD #208, PIF #22.