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Show your love for the Twelfth Amendment! There’s a whole lot in the Ricochet Store to help you win the popular vote this Christmas. And if there’s something you need that you don’t see just let me know. There’s a full 24 shopping days left! And remember, if you want to really give a friend […]

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Ed: Everyone, I have deleted the video link wherever it was found, and deleted the original video.  I need to re-do it so I can get the audio.  Sorry for the confusion, but it’s not my day job! I really can’t add much to @larrykoler’s narrative. Herewith, some still pictures, and a link to the […]

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What temperature should the planet be?

 

Reading Richard Fulmer’s excellent post about Exxon being accused of holding illegal opinions on global warming reminded me of my response to my incredulous friends who just can’t believe that I don’t believe in science.  My skepticism of the global warming issue produces such a strong response that I have developed a simple, reasonable set of questions to pose to my friends, which express my uncertainty:

  • What do you think the correct temperature of the world is?
    1. Should that temperature always be the same, or is some variation acceptable (or even healthy)?
    2. Who gets to pick that temperature? Mosquitoes?  Polar bears?  Camels?  Plankton?  What’s best for one may not be ideal for another.
    3. Note that right now, we believe that it is cooler than it has been for 90% of the time since the last Ice Age. So it is likely to be getting warmer over the next few hundred years, if everything evens out statistically.  This, of course, is presuming that we are not entering another Ice Age now, or if something else happens – hard to say.  Would it be better if it got warmer, or if it got cooler?  Are you sure?
    4. Also note that we have only been collecting satellite data on planet temperatures for the past couple decades. Our satellite data continues to improve, we think – it was of dubious accuracy in the beginning of the space age.  Before that, we looked at a bunch of thermometers of varying accuracy in various locations and averaged them together somehow.  So we’re judging climate trends which occur over the course of hundreds of millions of years based on 10-20 years’ worth of “data” which we think might be close to accurate.  Until we improve it next year.  The difference between that and pure guessing is not much.
  • Do you think it’s likely that our understanding of climate science 100 years from now will be the same as it is now? Are we sure about all this?  Remember that just 20-30 years ago we were certain that the next Ice Age was imminent.  Perhaps we were right then.  Perhaps we’re right now.  Perhaps there’s some other possibility we haven’t thought of yet.  All we know is that our 5-10 year models that we’ve done over the past several decades have all been no better than pure guessing – usually wrong.  In my job as a doctor, I would not make a decision on patient care based on such inconsistent data.  That’s not called settled science.  That’s called malpractice.
  • The primary source of energy on this planet is the Sun. Previous variations in temperatures have been mostly linked to changes in solar output.  Will the output of the sun increase in the next 10 years?  100 years?  1,000 years?  Or will it decrease?  Are you sure?
  • Are there any major volcanic eruptions scheduled in the next couple hundred years? If so, what impact will that have on the weather?  Are you sure?
  • The most potent greenhouse gas is not CO2 – not even close. We believe that the most potent greenhouse gas is, by far, water vapor.  What factors control the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere?  We have no idea.
  • So, suppose we figured out how to install a thermostat on the planet. And we could make it cooler if we decided it was too warm.  Or warmer if we decided it was too cold.  Should we do that?  If so, who’s in charge of the thermostat?  Are you sure?  We’ve spent enormous amounts of time & energy “improving” our environment via importing Japanese Beetles, or moving snakes to change squirrel populations, or protecting forests by putting out small fires, etc – our record is dismal.  There are always unforeseen variables.  As it turns out, the complexity of our environment is close to infinite, like the arrogance of those who claim to understand it all.
  • Should people, who currently can’t figure out which bathroom to use, be in control of the entire planet? Are you sure?

Once my friends understand my concerns, they generally will at least cut me a little slack.  And if I persist in looking at the problem logically, my friends will generally change the subject.  Which is fine with me.  Because when it comes to climate science (ie, understanding the whole world), I don’t know what I’m talking about.  And neither do they.  That is one thing I am absolutely sure of.

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I guess Soledad O’Brien doesn’t understand brainwashing or oppression while trying to explain the “complicated emotions” the Cuban people have about Castro. That it really depends on “where you stand”.  Thank God Humberto took her to task about it, cause my jaw hit the floor listening to her. Then she tried to play the race […]

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BuzzFeed Targets HGTV Hosts for Attending Christian Church

 
Joanna and Chip Gaines

Joanna and Chip Gaines, hosts of “Fixer Upper” on HGTV.

So Buzzfeed reporter Kate Aurthur wrote a post about popular HGTV hosts Chip and Joanne Gaines which informed the world that the Gaineses’ have a pastor who is opposed to same-sex marriage. This post had one purpose and one purpose alone: to harm the couple. The post served no news purpose—even Aurthur concedes she never learned the Gaines’ view of same-sex marriage. The post cannot be termed “activism” since it fails at every level to persuade readers of the rightness of the same-sex marriage cause. Even the most generous alternate topic of Aurthur’s post, “Texas pastor opposes same-sex marriage,” is as dog-bites-chew-toy as a news item can be. The only conceivable purpose of targeting the popular television couple in this manner was to cost them viewers and, perhaps, their jobs.

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Call it President Obama’s “nuclear option.” What are the odds that President Obama will pardon 11 million illegal immigrants before he leaves office? I began pondering this today, and came the the conclusion that the odds are pretty good. For Liberals, there are plenty of reasons to not do this. At the very least, doing […]

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Next week I will be joining the brain trust at the Weekly Standard cruise where we will have a series of video interviews and articles featuring Bill Kristol, Steven Hayes, Fred Barnes, Michael Ramirez, Molly Hemingway, Erik Erikson and others, many of whom are the original Never Trumpers. I would like to ask some questions […]

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Advent Gratitude: The Liturgical Year Begins as Darkness Grows

 

shutterstock_251257738“the glory is fallen out of / the sky the last immortal / leaf / is // dead and the gold / year / a formal spasm / in the // dust / this is the passing of all shining things” … into the night so dark no night could be darker than, the cold so cold, no cold could be colder than; the journey through “The mile still left when all have reached / Their tether’s end: that mile / Where the Child lies hid.”

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overmaster it. But neither has light overmastered the darkness: lights do not shine in darkness unless darkness predominates; when there’s mostly light, we see the darkness as residual shadows, not as the ambient state.

Darkness is in one sense the enemy of God, of Christ who is Light, whose dawn at Easter irreparably shatters the dark of death and hell, the light of the eighth, eternal day, shining for all days before and after:

Congratulations to Reluctant Trump, You Won the Election

 

Ever since Donald Trump’s surprising (at least to me) victory on November 8, many have wondered exactly what happened and why the pre-election polls were so very wrong. We may finally have an answer. Last week Edison Research released its breakdown of exit polls and their conclusion is both heartening to me and good news for conservatives.

Edison identified a “hidden group” of voters that made all the difference in swinging the election to Trump. This group who they identify as the “Neithers” is what is affectionately known around these parts as ReluctantTrump. While Hillary maintained a decided favorability lead over Trump, it turns out that 18 percent of the electorate found neither candidate acceptable. The surprising finding is that this 18 percent broke for Trump in a major way:

Donald and Duality

 

two-sides-of-trumpOver a year ago, I predicted that other Republican candidates would steal Trump’s issues and that he would flame out. Oops.

But over the last year, I’ve been trying to study Trump. He’s a shrewder operator than I realized, but he’s also more in line with his recent predecessors than we may have expected.

The last 24 years have given us presidents with two sides — light and dark, good and bad — to how they govern.

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Of course, I doubt the author of this piece ever thought of warning people that they might receive text messages from President Obama or a President Hillary, but it’s still pretty funny/alarming: In 2006, Congress passed the Warning, Alert, And Response Network Act, which put Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) into place. WEAs are 90-character targeted […]

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It’s difficult to predict just how the Trump tax proposals will change things. Certainly, it seems to significantly simplify the individual reporting process, eliminating (except EITC) all those income based credits, brackets and tedious early deduction phase-outs. The tax software developers should be happy. The interest and depreciation vs full capital expenditure corporate election is […]

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A Gratitude Bouquet for my Husband

 

kissShort and sweet, dear Ricochet friends.

Having read your essays this past month as they revealed lives of courage, hardship, mind-boggling talent, empathy, humor and love – well – I’m grateful – and humbled.

So let me be brief. My husband saved my life. My gratitude for his love and support has bloomed beyond my imaginings as the years have passed. We were young and from very different family cultures. As the second of seven children beneath a very brilliant and driven older sister — I was rather lost, directionless and drifting, I shared an apartment with her and my kid brother during my second year of college. On a Saturday afternoon my big sister took me on a tour of the med school anatomy lab. My future husband and I met over a cadaver. Love at first sight.

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Apologizing seems to be on my radar screen these days. The media (or Trump’s people) are demanding that Mitt Romney must apologize before Trump should consider making Romney Secretary of State. Here on Ricochet, many people have stated that they must receive apologies from others before they can move on following the election. So I […]

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Do We Really Need More Fiscal Stimulus?

 

11292016stimulus-e1480451866640

Revised third-quarter GDP came in a bit hotter than expected at 3.2%, beating expectations. Now that’s hardly hypergrowth, but it’s also only the eighth time the US economy has hit 3% or higher since the Great Recession as I eyeball it. So it’s a notable achievement.

So given that pace of growth plus the jobless rate, does the US economy really need a big dose of fiscal stimulus right now? It’s not an unreasonable pro-case given continued low inflation and subdued labor force participation rates. Plus we probably shouldn’t get used to the 3-handle. As JPMorgan notes, “despite the upside surprises in the 3Q data, we are keeping our 4Q GDP forecast at 2.0% for the time being—the 3Q numbers were not very far from expectations and the limited inventory data we have so far for the fourth quarter looks very weak.”

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Ida Auken is a Danish Member of Parliament and former Environment Minister. Her aspiration and vision for the future would have her (and everyone else) living a monastic and child-like existence; with no possessions, no personal privacy, and no responsibilities. Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city – or should I say, “our […]

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