Patterico's Pontifications

5/16/2014

The Most Awesome GOP Governors Debate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:16 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I had no idea the Republicans in Idaho could be so entertaining! And they say Republicans are boring stuffed shirts. Not so!

In one of the funniest political debates I’ve ever seen (more like the only funny one I’ve seen), four Republicans running for governor, squared off. The debate included references to a “turd in a punch bowl,” “bondage-type people” who are “picking up strangers at night,” John Wayne, the “evil spirits that are behind the feds,” and dire predictions of coming earthquakes.

One of the characters, er, candidates, a biker named Harley Brown, summed it up,

“You have your choice folks, a cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker, or a normal guy,” Brown said. “Take your pick.”

Highlights below.

–Dana

Not Feeling Too Confident In Today’s Young Voters

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:43 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As if the narrow-minded bigotry evidenced recently at institutions of higher learning wasn’t enough, now we see that college kids are also some of the most uninformed people around.

When you have a student at George Washington University writing his senior thesis on Hillary Clinton and believing her greatest accomplishment was her ‘remarkable adeptness at handling international affairs’ – like Benghazi – you know you’re in trouble. Not even the cute athletic guys could save this.

–Dana

Is Study of So-Called Climate Change Even “Science”?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am

Burn the heretic:

In early May, Lennart Bengtsson, a Swedish climate scientist and meteorologist, joined the advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a group that questions the reliability of climate change and the costs of policies taken to address it. While Bengtsson maintains he’d always been a skeptic as any scientist ought to be, the foundation and climate-change skeptics proudly announced it as a defection from the scientific consensus.

Just a week later, he says he’s been forced to resign from the group. The abuse he’s received from the climate-science community has made it impossible to carry on his academic work and made him fear for his own safety. A once-peaceful community, he says in his resignation letter, now reminds him of McCarthyism.

“I had not expect[ed] such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life,” he wrote in his resignation. “Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship.”

When scientists cannot abide people questioning their hypotheses, something besides “science” is going on.

But there is an even deeper and more fundamental problem here. Is study of climate change even “science” to begin with?

In a court of law, jurors are told to take the opinions of experts into account — but not to blindly accept them. And indeed, it would be difficult to blindly accept all expert opinion in an adversarial setting, where you often find “experts” on opposing sides, saying completely different things that cannot be reconciled.

But in the field of “science” we are told to trust the “experts.” To do anything else is to reject “science” and that is ignorant and wrong.

That may be, in fields that actually deserve the name “science.” I’m just not sure that study of so-called “climate change” merits that label.

“Science” is based on the scientific method: scientists propose a hypothesis, and then test it through experimentation. When a result can be reliably replicated, the hypothesis gains credibility. When it cannot, it is discarded.

Under this definition, I’m not sure that study of so-called climate quite deserves to be called “science.” The public has been shown no track record of hypotheses that are reliably confirmed by experimentation. Instead, we are told that over 95% of climate scientists agree on . . . something. (Then we find out that the number is phony, because it proposes a test for determining who supports the “humans cause global warming” theory that includes most skeptics among the supposed supporters.)

You want to know what else more than 95% “climate change” scientists agreed on? That their models predicted high temperatures in 2013 — higher, in fact, than the temperatures turned out to be. Climate change models are routinely wrong, and scientists are being forced to admit it. It’s the biggest issue facing those who study the climate.

Scientists are dealing with a system that is so complex, it’s difficult to make pronouncements. In this respect, it reminds me of economics. There is a priesthood of Keynesians who assure you that, for example, the Obama stimulus will “work” as defined by some set of benchmarks — and then, when those benchmarks are not met, we are told things would have been worse. And we are supposed to believe that because the guy telling us is Paul Krugman, and he has a Nobel Prize and you don’t, so how dare you question him?

That being said, I don’t agree with the idea that economists — or the climate scientists — are the priesthood, and we need only have faith in their pronouncements, no matter how often they’re shown to be wrong.

I don’t think that makes me “anti-science.” I think it makes me pro-science.

Amy Carter for Judge

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:00 am

Every Los Angeles County resident reading this blog should vote for Amy Carter for judge on June 3. I have never been this pleased to be able to endorse a judicial candidate.

I have known Amy for over fifteen years. Aside from the wonderful Mrs. P., Amy is my favorite person in the District Attorney’s office. Mrs. P. and I are personal friends of Amy and her husband Rick. We always see eye to eye on everything, and Amy never fails to make me laugh.

I do not endorse Amy Carter because she is one of my best friends — although she is. I do not endorse her because she is a hardworking and capable Deputy District Attorney — although she is. I endorse Amy Carter because she has the perfect combination of traits that I think are important for a judge to have. It’s not just her legal knowledge, or her strong work ethic, or her even, sunny temperament that make Amy special. She is also completely down to earth — a very funny, self-deprecating person who will not let it go to her head when she puts on one of those black robes. Amy is brilliant and wonderful in every way. She will be a credit to the bench.

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Amy Carter for judge

As I did with my post on Teresa Magno, I want to say a few words about Amy’s opponent. That opponent, Pamela Matsumoto, received a “well qualified” rating from the L.A. County Bar, while Amy received a “qualified” rating. As the insightful Met News says: “In our view, the County Bar has it backwards.” Indeed. So, too, do the morons at the Los Angeles Times, who endorse Amy’s opponent. (Have they ever gotten anything right?) As the Met News observes:

THERE APPEARS TO BE no inclination on the part of LACBA or the Times to hold Matsumoto to task for having forced a writ proceeding by virtue of the invalid ballot designation she claimed of “Administrative Law Judge.”

That’s something she had been, but wasn’t.

Matsomoto has been an insurance defense lawyer for months, and held that position when she chose “Administrative Law Judge” — her former position — as her ballot designation. As the Met News explains, this was a misleading designation because you’re not supposed to list a former job as your designation if you’re currently doing something else. Matsumoto had this pointed out to her, by Amy’s lawyer — yet Matsumoto refused to change the designation. Amy had to hire a lawyer and file a writ to force Matsumoto to remove the misleading designation. (In a bizarre irony, Matsumoto’s lawyer was a friend of mine at the University of Texas at Austin Law School. Sorry, Stuart, but this was a loser of an argument!)

I think it reflects poorly on Matsumoto that she tried to pretend she was something she is not. What’s more, as the Met News notes, Matsumoto’s vaunted so-called judicial experience is not all it’s cracked up to be:

As to Matsumoto’s “time on the bench,” from 2006-2012, she heard matters in the Informal Juvenile and Traffic Court, disbanded in 2012 due to deficiencies in court funding. Youngsters and their parents, often with the complaining police officer present, met with her in a small room. There was no prosecutor, no bailiff, no court reporter, no clerk, no jury, and only rarely a defense attorney. Penalties were of such nature as being required to write an essay or doing community service. Matsumoto functioned more like an assistant vice principal than a judge.

She was not an “an on-call bench officer doing much of the work of a full-time judge.” There are “as-needed referees” who do fill-in for judges, when summoned. Matsumoto was not one of them; rather, she was a fulltime IJTC referee who did a type of work that judges did not do.

While Carter was in a courtroom prosecuting perpetrators of murders and rapes, Matsumoto was sitting behind a desk counseling kids who had been caught littering, loitering, or jaywalking.

The Met News nails it, while the eternally clueless L.A. Times continues to embarrass itself.

Amy’s Web site is here. I have contributed to her campaign and encourage you to do the same. You’ll never see a more deserving candidate. Amy has my full support and confidence.


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