It reads as follows... (interspersed with my comments) Friend -- (He likes me. He really likes me...) Because of you, I'll be taking the oath of office again on January 21st. (Well, I, um, didn't exactly vote for... well, OK. You're welcome.) I'd like you to be part of this historic moment -- whether that's in Washington, D.C., or wherever you call home. (Ooooh, the 21st? I kind of have other plans. I've scheduled my cat for a bath that day.) As we make plans, we want to make sure the people who made this inauguration possible are the first to know what's happening. (Sure, OK. But, you really are giving me too much credit.) Add your name here to take part in inaugural activities
(Sorry, you know, unless your inaugural activities include cat bathing.) I'm honored each and every day to be your president, and I will never forget how I got here. (Neither will I: Pandering, class warfare, character assassination, exploiting victim group grievances... etc.) I'm so grateful for everything you've done. (Shucks. I just call 'em like I see 'em) Let's also remember why we're here: we've got more work to do. And we're going to begin this next chapter in the American story together. (Start the story without me. Shooty Spencer just killed another bird and has blood all over him.) Thanks, (But no thanks) Barack (P.S. Is there anyway I can get off your email list?)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Efforts to save the nation from going over a year-end "fiscal cliff" were in disarray as lawmakers fled the Capitol for their Christmas break. "God only knows" how a deal can be reached now, House Speaker John Boehner declared.
President Barack Obama, on his way out of town himself, insisted a bargain could still be struck before Dec. 31. "Call me a hopeless optimist," he said.
"Lousy leader" and "arrogant demagogue" would be more like it.
A real-world look at where killers and other career criminals get guns emerged in October when the New York Police Department put on display 154 guns—most of them bizarre-looking handguns—that it obtained in a high-risk sting operation in Brooklyn. Incidentally, these police antigun efforts are about the only program that research has identified as effective.
Buying or possessing a gun legally in New York City is so difficult that it is a non-subject for most New Yorkers. So where did the NYPD get these guns? A Mr. Kerwin "Trini" Gobin allegedly sold undercover cops 87 of the weapons, including a Sten machine gun able to fire 550 rounds per minute. Machine guns have been illegal since the 1930s. But not in Trini Gobin's world. The illicit firearms market is global. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are all wrestling with how to control black-market gun traffic after recent outbreaks of firearm violence, much of it gang-related.
One question: How did Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence get from the Llanerch Diner to the front of the Bryn Mawr Theater so quickly? And what was a Ridley Park cop doing there in his official capacity?
OK, that's two questions. And you'll have to see the movie to even get what I'm talking about.
Recently Britisher Piers Morgan said this to gun rights advocate Larry Pratt:
"You are an unbelievably stupid man" and "You shame your country."
Being lectured on patriotism by Piers Morgan is like being lectured on child abuse by Jerry Sandusky.
Morgan, after all, shamed his own country (and himself) when he published fake photos of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. That cost him his job at the Daily Mirror but not his career as a over-paid talking head.
NRA prez Wayne LaPierre had a pretty good and on the money rant going until he demanded that America put armed guards in every school to prevent massacres like Newtown.
He is playing to and ramping up the hysteria after a lone gunman went on a rampage and killed 27 people.
To the extent that any school district is concerned that such an event is likely in one of their schools, school boards are empowered to hire all the guards they want. Generally speaking though, they don't because they just don't see the need. The risk of such a thing happening is so tiny that it is judged not worth the cost.
Those who think the risk is great enough to justify such a measure would be better off allowing gun-owning teachers and administrators to volunteer to carry firearms to protect their students. Putting a uniform on a guard and giving him a gun is not the answer. It would just make them the first target of a determined madman.
Having a few secretly armed teachers instead of self-pronounced "gun-free zones," it seems to me would be slightly more of a deterrent than not having them. And if the worst case happens, a number of people would be inside the school with the means (i.e. a gun) to actually stop the shooter.
Delco Intermediate Unit head Larry O'Shea thinks this is a crazy idea. He says teachers aren't and shouldn't have to be law enforcement officers. But no ones asking them to be "law enforcement" officers. We're asking them to be able to protect the children we entrust to them daily.
It would be interesting to know what percentage of teachers own guns in Delaware County and would be willing to take on the responsibility of bringing one to school on a daily basis. With the proper training and routine precautions this could be done. In fact, it is already being done in a number of school districts nationwide.
The only thing that would prevent it from being done here is either perceived lack of need or the fearful reaction of other teachers and administrators who are frightened by the idea of any of their colleagues being armed.
O'Shea was completely dismissive of the idea when I raised it with him the other night. He asked me if I would feel comfortable sending my daughter to a school where the teachers were required to have guns.
I said sure. Because, first of all, they all would be required to have guns, only those few who volunteered to take on the responsibility. And I mentioned Dan Dudrick, who teaches elementary school in my school district. I wrote about him a few years ago when he joined the Marine Reserves and was sent Iraq for a tour. Would I feel comfortable having a guy like Dudrick armed at his school? Sure. I think a lot of parents would. And you don't have to be a Marine to learn how to safely handle and carry a gun. Probably beats having a rent-a-cop on school property. Teachers or other staff could be paid a little more to accept this responsibility, take all the necessary training courses, etc.
Is any of this really necessary? I don't think so. But if other people really think the risk of another one of these massacres is high enough that seems to me to be the reasonable way to go. Certainly, it would do more to protect school children than outlawing a particular firearm because some people find it so scary.
Matt Ridley reports that new scientific data (from the real world as opposed to computer models) suggests that global warming is not as severe as the alarmists have predicted.
The general public is not privy to the IPCC debate. But I have been speaking to somebody who understands the issues: Nic Lewis. A semiretired successful financier from Bath, England, with a strong mathematics and physics background, Mr. Lewis has made significant contributions to the subject of climate change.
He first collaborated with others to expose major statistical errors in a 2009 study of Antarctic temperatures. In 2011 he discovered that the IPCC had, by an unjustified statistical manipulation, altered the results of a key 2006 paper by Piers Forster of Reading University and Jonathan Gregory of the Met Office (the United Kingdom's national weather service), to vastly increase the small risk that the paper showed of climate sensitivity being high. Mr. Lewis also found that the IPCC had misreported the results of another study, leading to the IPCC issuing an Erratum in 2011.
Mr. Lewis tells me that the latest observational estimates of the effect of aerosols (such as sulfurous particles from coal smoke) find that they have much less cooling effect than thought when the last IPCC report was written. The rate at which the ocean is absorbing greenhouse-gas-induced warming is also now known to be fairly modest. In other words, the two excuses used to explain away the slow, mild warming we have actually experienced—culminating in a standstill in which global temperatures are no higher than they were 16 years ago—no longer work.
And he concludes:
The scientists at the IPCC next year have to choose whether they will admit—contrary to what complex, unverifiable computer models indicate—that the observational evidence now points toward lukewarm temperature change with no net harm. On behalf of all those poor people whose lives are being ruined by high food and energy prices caused by the diversion of corn to biofuel and the subsidizing of renewable energy driven by carboncrats and their crony-capitalist friends, one can only hope the scientists will do so.
My personal prediction based on the likes of PSU's Michael Mann is they won't.
Concerned Scientists Unconcerned About Freedom of Expression
Someone named Aaron Huertas, a flak for a group that calls itself the "Union of Concerned Scientists" penned a Letter to the Editor the other day accusing me of "misrepresenting" the work of Dr. Michael Mann, the PSU climatologist.
Just how I misrepresented Dr. Mann's work, he didn't say. Because he couldn't. Because I didn't.
Mr. Huertas wrote:
In the late 1990s, Mann and his colleagues wrote a scientific paper that demonstrated the Earth’s temperature is higher today than it’s been in thousands of years. It was innovative research and it got a lot of attention. Unfortunately, political opponents of addressing climate change didn’t like it. So they attacked the messengers.
But Professor Mann's work wasn't "attacked" by "political opponents," it was reviewed by a Canadian mathematician and a Canadian economics professor - and found wanting, in so far as it exaggerated the level of warming claimed in his graph.
Groups funded by the fossil fuel industry pounced on the paper. And bloggers tried to pick the paper apart. At first, Mann and his colleagues responded to them in good faith. But they found that the bloggers, front groups and congressmen didn’t care about the science. They just wanted to smear Mann and his research.
And so on. Huertas is happy to defend Mann against alleged "smears" from others, but he ignores evidence that Mann, himself, sought to smear the reputation of the man, Stephen McIntyre, who first questioned his work. In an email, he believed would stay private (but didn't) Mann expressed his intention of finding a friendly journalist who would "investigate" McIntyre and find a way to tie him to fossil fuel industry.
Some of Mann's own research numbers were later described in a "Climategate" email by a friendly colleague as "deceptive."
Mann has also claimed to be a Nobel Prize winner. He isn't. And the Nobel committee has made that quite clear.
What does Mr. Huertas have to say about any of that? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. He ignores it and falsely accuses me of misrepresenting Mann's work.
He calls the comparing of Mann to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky "disgusting." That's his opinion. Of course, I didn't comprare Mann to Sandusky. I compared him to another Jerry - Falwell, the famous evangelical reverend who sued Larry Flynt and famously lost.
Mann has filed a lawsuit against the writer who made the Sandusky comparison. It was for this, I criticized Mann for being thin-skinned and arrogant. That, and his falsely claiming to be a Nobel Prize winner.
What is the position of the Union of Concerned Scientists on members who claim to have won Nobel Prizes when they haven't? Huertas doesn't say.
What is their position on the First Amendment? Huertas doesn't say. Mann is a public figure and that is where these sort of battles should fought - in the public square - not in court. But that's just my opinion.
As for that of the Union of Concerned Scientists and this sort legal bullying to chill freedom of expression, Huertas and his paymasters seem wholly unconcerned.
In the face of horrors like the massacre in Connecticut, some people comfort themselves with bad arguments for more restrictions on gun ownership. Charles Cooke knows better.
The mind of a man so ill or depraved that he is capable of an atrocity such as we saw at Newtown is not one that can be constrained by law. Nobody refrains from shooting up a school because it is illegal.
Given the reported facts of this case, it is hard to imagine any new gun law that would have actually prevented Adam Lanza from committing this crime. He stole guns that were legally obtained and owned by his mother. He killed her and then he went on to kill 26 others. Any law that would have prevented this particular crime would have to make the private ownership of handguns completely illegal. If such a law were passed it would turn immediately turn millions of law-abiding gun owners into criminals. It would unconstitutionally impinge on every individual's right to protect himself and his family. It would leave guns only in the hands of criminals and the state. Such a law is a non-starter politically and constitutionality. This argument for outlawing handguns has been made and it has been lost. And it will lose again.
An Upper Darby tattoo artist gets three years probation for trading a tattoo for oral sex from a 15-year-old girl.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, the victim wanted a tattoo on her chest. Hampton made sexual advances toward the girl, then took her into the bathroom and allegedly forced her to perform a sexual act, the affidavit said.
Afterward, the girl got a tattoo on her chest, requiring her to expose her breast.
Under the negotiated plea worked out by Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Boogay and defense counsel Paul DiMaio, the corruption of minors charge was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Forced? If I have this straight, the girl wanted a tattoo. Hampton offered to oblige in exchange for a sexual favor. He got the favor and she got the tattoo. If she hadn't been 15, nobody would've said boo.
I'm guessing, a parent saw the tattoo and freaked out, demanding to know who did it and how much the girl had to pay for it. That's when the ink hit the fan.
Penn State climatologist Michael "The Litigant" Mann is suing a couple of writers and their publications because they hurt his feelings by laughing at his work and comparing him to Jerry Sandusky. My print column is up.
UPDATE: Defendant Mark Steyn isn't exactly quaking in his Timberlands, as th post to a colleague reveals...
Jay, one final thing re stickmeister Michael Mann’s claim to be have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. You write:
It is stunning that Mann calls himself, or allows himself to be called, in his press releases and so on, a Nobel peace laureate. It almostmakes me feel sorry for him. (Maybe I should emphasize “almost” again.) I am no shrink, but — holy Moses, what a claim.
Over the years, I’ve been sued and threatened with suits in various countries around the world but I’ve never before seen a plaintiff make such a transparently false assertion right up front in the biographical resumé. If I claim to be the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, can I sue Dr Mann for not calling me Your Highness? As you say, we’re not shrinks but…
UPDATE: On the one hand, Michael Mann’s own web page: He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC authors in 2007. On the other, the Nobel committee: Only persons named explicitly in the citation may claim to share a Nobel Prize. So we’re being sued for loss of reputation by a fake Nobel laureate. Hilarious.
Steyn and NR are having a blast thanks to Mann's lawsuit.
The law is a blunt instrument; fixing the health care system by government fiat is like neurosurgery with a hammer. It’s going to hurt more than you think, and will harm more than it helps. Let’s hope politicians figure that out before too much damage is done.
Consider voting. "You can count voters and votes," Mr. Mansfield says. "And political science does that a lot, and that's very useful because votes are in fact countable. One counts for one. But if we get serious about what it means to vote, we immediately go to the notion of an informed voter. And if you get serious about that, you go all the way to voting as a wise choice. That would be a true voter. The others are all lesser voters, or even not voting at all. They're just indicating a belief, or a whim, but not making a wise choice. That's probably because they're not wise."
So Harvey is an elitist. He's also right. Read it all.