January 24, 2014

Comments January 2014

• On Geithner and the S&P prosecution (gs Jan 23, 2014 @ 13:49:27):
Moody’s, which like S&P was up to its nose in the mortgage disaster, is not getting sued by the government. Maybe it’s coincidental that Moody’s has not downgraded the USA’s AAA credit rating. Maybe it’s a coincidence that Obama ally Warren Buffett is a major Moody’s shareholder.

Looking for crony capitalism? Move along, nothing to see here…
To be fair, Moody's just downgraded health insurers' outlook, citing Obamacare.

• On Wendy Davis:
2. Afaic Davis’s character should disqualify her from responsible office. Nevertheless, turning the campaign into a messaging contest about character may benefit her. It distracts from the fact that Republican policies have succeeded in TX whereas Democrat policies have failed in other big states.

Democrats don’t like to compare records with Republicans. Their strategy is to make Republicans run against utopia.

3. Ever since Betty Warren claimed she’s not running for POTUS, the people who bankrolled her are looking for someone to run against Hillary from the left. IMO Wendy Davis is running for governor with the intention of running for President in 2016.

• On climate:
... 2. The polar vortex, taken in isolation, seems plausible enough. However, I don’t recall seeing the shiver-inducing Polar Vortex of Dread being predicted before the current outbreak of cold. (Speaking of currents, there indeed have been warnings that the Gulf Stream might get impaired. However, the Gulf Stream is water. The Polar Vortex is air.)

My prejudice remains that the plethora of parameters and processes in the big climate models is so complex that almost anything can be rendered plausible by cherry picking. That’s not a reason for What me worry?; it’s a reason for more research by smarter, better, more objective researchers.

3. Professor Curry writes:

Is global warming causing the polar vortex?
Posted on January 7, 2014 | 311 Comments

by Judith Curry

In a word, no.

And now for the 2nd question: Does the massive cold air outbreak blanketing much of the U.S. disprove global warming?

Same word: no.

The media are mostly in stupid mode over this one.

I think I’m in love, but the lass is out of my league…
Afterthought here.

• On cheating, in college and later:
In one way it’s worse today, since the powers that be are so deeply dishonest.

I doubt that the cheating problems at our power elite’s prestigious almae matres began with the current generation of students. I doubt that the members of our power elite who cheated in college abandoned that mindset once they graduated.

• On online mobbing:
From one of our host’s links:
Slick and omnipresent television ads from the group’s early years, produced by the same agency that made the Geico Auto Insurance gecko famous, have been replaced by smaller web-based programs. One ongoing effort, “Reality Drop,” helps activists post boilerplate comments to blog entries written by climate change skeptics.

Outside the trainings, the Gore group focuses on the digital world, trying to tell the story of climate change and shame skeptics online. The “Reality Drop” program, still in beta phase, allows users to post prewritten comments on articles the group says distort the facts about climate change.
Worth keeping in mind, IMHO.

• On the creative impulse (gs January 9, 2014 at 8:33 am):
1. I suspect that the Muse is largely indifferent to me as an individual. She views me as an instrument for her purposes. Heaven and earth are not humane, Lao Tzu cautioned.

2. Is the Muse sometimes a Siren? We don’t hear much from people whose alluring creative vision turned out to be a life-blighting illusion, but I suspect they’re out there. While some of them were defeated by Resistance, I’m pretty sure that some of them should have taken the road more traveled by. (Yes, in part I am expressing my own self-doubt, and, yes, I remember that Steven has written that self-doubt is a good sign.)

• On Rich Lowry (okay, this one was posted December 31st):
In 2012 Rich Lowry canned John Derbyshire for writing PC-unpalatable things about race relations. Afaic this decision severely damages Lowry’s standing as a cultural dissenter.

Standing athwart history, pleading Not so fast.
Worthwhile writers remain at National Review, but afaic Lowry has done a terrible job overall.

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