The scientific method

 

Thee’s a lot of name-calling about people who are skeptical of anthropogenic global warming, with claims that they are immoral, the equivalent of holocaust deniers, ignorant, and should be silenced by force and  imprisoned for their skepticism.  But, of course, there is no such thing as “settled science”– the very concept is anti-scientific.  However, there is one important thing about the scientific method.  Scientific theories, according to the scientific method are not judged by their explanatory power, but by their ability to make “risky predictions” (using the terminology of Popper).  A “good” scientific theory is able to make strong, concrete predictions that can be tested and either falsified (which is evidence against the theory) or confirmed (which is evidence for the theory).  Trivial predictions don’t count.  For instance, saying “the earth will continue to warm” is not a “risky” prediction because it does not address the counter-theory that warming is due to other factors.  So, here are some examples of “risky” predictions made by advocates of anthropogenic global warming — plenty of examples for applications of the scientific method to the theory.

I deleted my Facebook account today

I’m getting pretty tired of social media censoring conservative thought. The most recent censoring of pro-Israeli posts (see here ,here or here). This is particularly a problem when you consider Facebook’s sabotage of conservative web-pages. As you can see, it helps if you can publish what happened to you in a newspaper. Most conservatives cannot. When you add that to Facebook’s approach to surveillance and data harvesting, it’s just too much. The bottom line is that Facebook doesn’t have a problem with a site called “Kill Sarah Palin,” but don’t dare criticize Obama or support Israel. If Facebook despises conservatives so much — people like me — then there’s no good reason to put myself under their surveillance.

I’m not the first, of course, to see this and respond appropriately. In fact, there is a whole alternative community to move to.

Remember that deleting your Facebook account is different than deactivating the account.

Obama spits on those defending America

What a guy.  It’s not enough to spit on the First Amendment.  It’s not enough to kill law enforcement officers as a political trick to attack the Second Amendment.  Now he has decided to attack those who are in combat zones defending America.

 

What a disaster.!

 

This is a particularly bad decision since most of the casualties in war nowadays are not due to enemy fire.  A combat zone is an inherently dangerous place to be.  Over 70% of helicopter  deaths are due to accidents, not enemy fire, because helicopter pilots fly fast, close to the ground , and at night.   According to Obama, being on the flight line on a combat aircraft carrier — a place with a higher casualty rate than an FOB — doesn’t count.

It just goes to show what Obama’s unique combination of  fanaticism, hubris, narcissism, and ignorance can bring us.

Senator Kay Hagan has come out in support of Chinese-style internet censorship for the US

People in NC should be aware that Democrat Senator Kay Hagan has come out as a co-sponsor of the internet censorship bill “Protect IP Act” or PIPA, the Senate version of the infamous SOPA bill in the House.  Both of these attempt to institute Chinese-type controls on internet speech in the US at the behest of Hollywood and the recording industry.  I guess basic liberty is worth less to her than $171,900.   To  see one discussion of its implications, see here.  To see how rules like this are used for control of political speech (even though politicians say they would *never* do something like this) see here.

 

If you live in NC, send Sen Hagan a note and let her know that a free people deserve free speech.

 

So far it’s not clear where Republican Senator Richard Burr of NC stands.  However, it would not be a bad idea to let him know one’s opinion about this, either.

 

My Congressman, Republican Walter Jones, responded to email regarding SOPA that did not condemn the legislation.  Instead it said that he was not a fan of bigger government, nor of government intervention in the internet, but wanted to see the bill that came out of Committee before planting a flag.

The NRA did *exactly* the right thing.

A number of conservative bloggers, from BlackFive to RedState to The American Thinker have been dumping on the NRA because it dropped its opposition to the DISCLOSE act after a special carve-out was added to exempt them from its limits on free speech.  They say that it is a betrayal of the NRAs libertarian conservative principles to fail to oppose the act on the basis of the act’s effects on free speech.  After all, they say, the First and Second Amendments are inextricably linked — each supports the other.

That attitude displays a fundamental misunderstanding of what a lobbying organization is.  For people like me, “supporting” or “opposing” a bill means complaining about it during lunch, or maybe writing about it in my blog. Maybe I’ll write a letter to my Congrescritter.  Usually, a position on one single bill will not change my vote — it’s one straw added or removed from the back of the camel.  For a lobbying organization, “opposition” isn’t just expressing a preference.  It means that it will *do* something substantive.  It will decline to contribute to a campaign, or contribute to an opponent.  It will do opposition research.  It will make TV and newspaper ads.  It’s not  just waving  its hand; it’s swinging a knife.

The NRA is an effective lobbying group because it is so single-minded.  A politician can be a baby-eating, spouse-cheating, jerk who double-dips the salsa and chips at the dinner table, but if he or she supports gun-rights, the NRA is his or her friend.  That’s a rock-solid guarantee that allows that NRA to get support of gun rights from people all over the political spectrum from the secular progressive left to the conservative religious right.

Now, pundits want the NRA to throw that all away because they don’t like the way the legislature is acting regarding corporate speech.  They want the NRA to put itself in the position of saying “Hey look, you know how we said that if you were a friend of gun rights, we are a friend of yours?  Well, er, that’s not really the case any more. ”  They want the NRA to be in the position of campaigning against a gun rights proponent in order to support an enemy of gun rights because of a vote on a completely different issue.  That’s crazy.

The NRA opposed the DISCLOSE act because it impeded its ability to support Second Amendment rights.  When that impediment was removed, even though by a carve out, that removed the objection.  That’s entirely appropriate.  The NRA doesn’t have a dog in the free-speech fight.  It has a dog in the gun rights fight.  And it is no more appropriate to demand that the NRA dilute its voice in protecting Second Amendment issues than it would be to say we should stop supporting the EFF because it doesn’t take a position on concealed carry.

The NRA, by being focused on its single issue, has been a profoundly effective force in securing Second Amendment liberties.  That’s why I support it.  And I don’t want it to shoot itself in the foot by diluting that focus on other issues.  Just like I support the EFF.  And I don’t want it to shoot itself in the foot by diluting that focus on other issues, either.