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REBLOG: Michael Mann says climate models cannot explain the Medieval Warming Period – I say they can’t even explain the present

New climate change article from WUWT.

Watts Up With That?

Ice core data shows CO2 levels changed less than 10 parts per million from 1600-1800 during the MWP.

From the Hockey Schtick:  A new paper from Schurer et al (with Mann as co-author) finds that climate “models cannot explain the warm conditions around 1000 [years before the present, during the Medieval Warming Period] seen in some [temperature] reconstructions.”

According to Schurer et al, “We find variations in solar output and explosive volcanism to be the main drivers of climate change from 1400-1900.” They also claim, “but for the first time we are also able to detect a significant contribution from greenhouse gas variations to the cold conditions during 1600-1800.” This claim is highly unlikely given that ice cores show CO2 levels only changed by less than 10 ppm from 1600-1800, and the effect of 10 ppm CO2 on the climate today remains undetectable even with modern instrumentation.

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Minimum Wage and Rent in the US

Slate had an article today:  The Rent Is Too Damn High for Minimum-Wage Workers which featured this nifty graphic:

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The one that is least likely to get me labeled as a Social Darwinist, which not incoincidentally, is the one that also seems to bolster the argument that this graphic would seem to make (That is, that minimum wages are too low.) is that housing, ideally should not exceed 1/3 of income.  A full time worker (40 hours/week), assuming a 4 week month as standard, has 160 hours in a month.  So a minimum wage worker should not be paying more than 53 hours worth of wages for housing.  North Dakota’s is the lowest at 67 hours.  But, here’s where I get my Social Darwinist badge, this also assumes that the minimum wage worker is the primary and sole bread winner–not an intended proposition.  Also, “full-time” and “minimum-wage” are two compounds that almost never compound.

The scenario that generated the graphic plays into that as well.  The cost calculated against is for a two-bedroom apartment, implying single-mothers, families of three or more, and a host of other conditions that the minimum-wage job is not sufficient to, and was never intended for.

But here’s the real story, under the story.  The problem isn’t the low wages, or the high rent.  The problem is the factor that drives the rent.  The largest single cost that a landlord faces aside from the purchase of the property is the property taxes.  If we were to make a new map showing property tax rates, how well do you think this would correlate?  It won’t be perfect, Florida and Texas, for example, make up for not having state income taxes by higher property taxes.  But this is, once a gain, a problem of taxing too much.

Tasty Seasoning Mix

Had some tasty bread, described as “Everything French Bread.”

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So I determined that “everything” means poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower kernels, caraway seeds, and french fried onion.

  • 1 bottle (1.8 oz) caraway seeds
  • 1 bottle (2.4 oz) poppy seeds
  • 1 bottle (2 oz) sesame seeds
  • 1/2 package (3.75 oz) sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup of ground French fried onion

Got a bottle each of the seeds, mixed in a half bag of sunflower kernels, and about 3/4 cup (after passing through the blender) of French fried onion.

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Spread it out on a cookie sheet and toasted it in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Filled one of the seed bottles after it cooled and put the rest in a sealed container in the freezer.  If you wonder why the freezer, it seemed to me that the consistency of the mix is about like that of fresh ground coffee, mildly oily, and this is the right way to store that.

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I had used the leavings from the loaf that were still in the bad on some chicken thighs to great effect, so now I have a bottle of this stuff with a shaker top.  Gonna have some leftover tuna kebab tonight with a few dashes….

What is Meant by “Middle-Class”?

“Middle-class” seems to me to be a meaningless phrase.

It seems especially so when it is repeated so often in the political speech of the day.

What people think that they mean is some stratification of society based on some combination of income and property, that is wealth.  They believe that there is a meaningful distinction because the more wealth one has, they can obtain better services; legal defense, health care, education….  Indeed, in the US that can certainly give the appearance of a class system.  That is, leveraging wealth can circumvent our foundational principle of equal protection under the law, that all individuals are the same once they come into contact with the government in its regulatory, enforcement, and police capacities.

But a true class system has some other features.  Foremost, in such a system, such a circumvention would be seen as the due of the members of the classes that can pull it off and not as in injustice.  No effort would be made to root out such activity, much less to punish it.  Another important distinction is that in a class system, members of a class would find it exceptionally difficult to move from one class to another and such efforts would be discouraged.  That is not the case in our system, and moving, especially moving up, is, or has been, the expectation and encouraged.

Classical class systems were based on heredity and the rise of commerce, the rise of wealth, started to change that.  Wealth could elevate a person from a feudal underclass and even challenge the authority of the aristocratic over class.  The origin of the modern notion of class based on wealth, however, has its origin in Marxist philosophy.

Especially within the sphere of US politics, where we are guaranteed equal protection (or are supposed to be), there is only one class.  Protections offered to, or penalties imposed upon, one group or another, within our system, regardless of how one draws those lines, is a direct violation of equal protection. Real classes, if we had them, could probably be best illustrated  by the French “estates.”  We have no aristocracy.  The clergy are removed from politics.  Attempts to impose class, are attempts to subdivide the Third Estate along arbitrary lines.

Reference to a “middle class” implies the existence of both an over and under class.  If we accept this stratification on the lines of income and/or property, we tacitly buy into Marxist theory, not least because labor is deliberately discounted in order to portray anyone whose assets fall primarily into that sphere as a victim, which has the perverse result of empowering that group over the others, which is the basis of the rise in victim mentality.

In contrast, Max Weber’s thinking is more in line with how the US system is supposed to work, and his model admits to the kind of stratification that we perceive and experience in the inequality of outcomes, but he defined class on the basis of skills and education with stratification being minimized by equal opportunity and free markets.  So we are still fighting the old Cold War model of Capitalist vs. Communist, but we are doing so in the context of the Marxist terminology–we argue with our tongues tied behind our backs to even accept the terminology offered in the debate.

Indeed, even if the politicians who so love the term are not deliberately referring to old Karl, they are deliberately being cagey.  Half of Americans self-identify as being middle-class, however they may understand that undefined term.  That of course, is the attraction of the authoritative use of the undefined term–like pornography, you may not be able to define class, but you know it when you see it?

So it comes down to the langauge and how we allow it to be (mis)used.  When we accept Marxist definitions, knowingly or not, we must not be surprised by Marxist outcomes.  We must also be more demanding of our politicians in how they use the language, requiring deeper explanations.

Sequestration Fabrication

Capture1A lot of words have been wasted about what the consequences of Sequestration will be.  Especially on the Defense half.  I’ve got 6 headlines presented here.  Only this first one is probably true.  The rest are fever dreams; the result of natural (natural in the sense of how our budget process has been designed to work, not in the sense of healthy and good) tendencies of agencies to maximize resources, avoid shortages, and, well, generally NOT be good stewards at any point in the process.

Capture2This one has a kernel of truth.  Just as with the private sector, some stablity is necessary in order to plan and until they know what the future acually holds (or at least is likely to hold) they can’t plan effectively.  Sort of.  Because in this case, they’ve muddied the waters themsleves with all the dire “sky is falling” predictions, further down the list.  How knows how much of this stuff they beleive themselves?

 

Capture4This one is interesting, if only because Military.com, the source of this screencap, has another story, here, that says that the force structure changes are going to go ahead despite sequestration.  Keep going down this page for more inconsistency.

 

 

 

Capture3Helicopters will fall out of the skies.  Aviation accidnets are tied to parts and maintenace budgets, but allow me to poitn out that this is an area that leadership has control over.  They can scale back demand, or provide the money for supply, either way, to prevent this happening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capture5

Gotta love this one.  800,000 DoD Civilians will be furloghed if Sequestration goes through.  First, its calculated to make it look as bad as possible–furloughs in this case are a reduction from 5 to 4 days a week, and yes that’s a big impact on all those people, it’s a lot different than 800,000 lay offs, which is the mental assocation that they want the general public to make.

 

 

Capture6This claim is one of the most spurious of the bunch.  Threatning to cut the Army by 200,000 troops (while adding 48 battalions and 48 new Engineer companies?  really?) in the three components, if nothing else is a failure of imagination.  Because of the difference in the cost of maintaining a Reserve Component soldier, compared one from the Active Component, force structure could be moved from AC to RC to save money.  In fact, the force could be grown doing this for the same or less money.  I understand the arguments against it.  But the point is that we are deliberately being shown the darkest view of the situation.

 

 

I haven’t seen them yet, but I expect the next wave of stories will be about how Sequestration could impact the VA and military health care.

Strangely, the best information in the reality of Sequestration comes from Lawrence Kolb at the Center for American Progress, through the Huffington Post.  The money part:

Sequestration would mean that the Pentagon would have to absorb $600 billion in reductions over the FY 2013-2021 period compared to projected levels. Adding in the $400 billion in reductions it is already planning to make would bring the total to about $1 trillion over the next decade.

But the letter does not mention that the baseline defense budget was projected to grow by 26 percent from $554 billion in FY 2012 to $696 billion in FY 2021, and that total (non-war) spending would be $6.2 trillion over this period. A $1-trillion reduction would mean spending “only” $5.2 trillion but would still result in a defense budget increase of almost 20 percent.  In other words, there are no reductions.  Defense would still grow, but not as fast. Moreover, sequestration will return defense spending in real terms to its FY 2007 level, the next to last year of the Bush administration, when no one was complaining about devastating levels of spending.

Nor does the letter contain any acknowledgement that over the past decade, the baseline budget has more than doubled and that total defense spending, even in the real terms, is higher than at any time since World War II.

There’s more.  That’s why I provided the link.

Name a US Naval Vessel in Honor of US Navy Seal Chris Kyle. USS Chris Kyle.

Name a US Naval Vessel in Honor of US Navy Seal Chris Kyle. USS Chris Kyle.

Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who wrote the best-selling book American Sniper about his service in Iraq, was shot and killed at a gun range in Texas

In honor of his service. We should honor him by naming a US Naval Vessel After Him.

USS Chris Kyle.

Created: Feb 05, 2013

Issues: Defense, Homeland Security and Disaster Relief, Veterans and Military Families

It’s up to you to build support for petitions you care about and gather more signatures. A petition must get 150 signatures in order to be publicly searchable on WhiteHouse.gov.

Over time, we may need to adjust the petition signature thresholds, but we’ll always let you know what the thresholds are.

Signatures needed by March 07, 2013 to reach goal of 100,000

95,881

Total signatures on this petition

4,119

Name a US Naval Vessel in Honor of US Navy Seal Chris Kyle. USS Chris Kyle. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

Darwin: Why is this the truth in all areas but society?

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m all about consistencey. Not texture–that’s not what I mean. Consistencey as in being consistent. My goal is to develop a life philosophy that is completely internaly consistent. It’s—really hard.

And I guess that’s why the American left has such a hard time with being consistent on science. On Darwin in particular.

“Survival of the fittest” is a fine observation on the workings of our planet. Until it comes to human beings, for some reason. Natural selection, it seems, is only for the “lower orders,” and not for us. The idea that promoting the weakest, least adaptable, and most incapable of survival outside a Nany State coccoon is a mark, somehow, of compassion and judgement? It will not lead to the weakening of the species or prevent the adaptations that will get us past the next hurdle Nature throws at us?

Despite being a Conservative American variety of the human species (Homo Sapiens Jingoae), I believe that Darwin pretty well nailed it on his observations aboard the HMS Beagle. The Liberal American variation (Homo Sapiens Hippii) don’t have a corner on that market, no matter how loudly that they proclaim that they do. As such, I keep tryojng to figure out how it is that they embrace that truth with regard to moths, dinosaurs, lemurs, orangutans, stink bugs, and every preceeding subspecies of man up to the arrival of Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

What makes us the exception?

Of Course, There’s No Way They Can Mess This Up……

The VA Sends:

VA SWITCHING TO ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS

If you are receiving your Federal benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by paper check, you will need to switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013. You can receive your benefits electronically in one of two ways: (1) by direct deposit or (2) by prepaid debit card where the U.S. Treasury deposits your benefits directly to a debit card. This is an option if you do not have a bank account and do not want to open one. You can request a debit card by calling (800) 333-1795 (Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm ET). If you have questions, call the Go Direct Helpline at (800) 333-1795.

White House Petition: Lower the Precedence of the new Distingusihed Warfare Medal

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we petition the obama administration to:

Lower the precedence of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal

The Pentagon is introducing a new medal to recognized the service of pilots of unmanned drones during combat operations. This medal will be placed in precedence order just below the Distinguished Flying Cross and just above a Bronze Star Medal. Bronze Stars are commonly awarded with a Valor device in recognition of a soldier’s service in the heat of combat while on the ground in the theater of operation. Under no circumstance should a medal that is designed to honor a pilot, that is controlling a drone via remote control, thousands of miles away from the theater of operation, rank above a medal that involves a soldier being in the line of fire on the ground. This is an injustice to those who have served and risked their lives and this should not be allowed to move forward as planned.

Created: Feb 14, 2013
Learn about Petition Thresholds

It’s up to you to build support for petitions you care about and gather more signatures. A petition must get 150 signatures in order to be publicly searchable on WhiteHouse.gov.

Over time, we may need to adjust the petition signature thresholds, but we’ll always let you know what the thresholds are.

Signatures needed by March 16, 2013 to reach goal of 100,000

94,432

Total signatures on this petition

5,568