November 13th, 2007

#706: Impeach Darth Cheney!

So saith Dennis Kucinich, D-Moonbat.

This is a perfect trifecta for the Democrat party. This idea would:

a) do something unlikely to succeed
b) against someone who has little Constitutional power
c) for imagined or manufactured reasons.

I guess this means Kucinich is from the "Bushitler is a moron and it's Darth-Cheney-the-puppet-master who is in control" branch of the Demokrat party. Why else would he think impeaching the vice-president is a good idea?

I'll give him this: it certainly is unique in US history. I don't recall any other time a sitting VP was impeached. (Or any VP for that matter.)

Oh, this is good: "Kucinich's argument for targeting the vice president and not President Bush is that Cheney should be removed first to prevent him from becoming president after Bush's term expires."

Cheney has said repeatedly that he's not going to run for President, that he's going to retire after January 20, 2009. That's why we've got Huckabee and Paul and Thompson and Guiliani and McCain running around.

And as I recall, even if you impeach a politician and remove him from office, there is nothing preventing him from running for office again and serving in that office should he be elected. It says here, "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." What it does not say is that they can't try again at the next election.

...so we have a congressional representative who doesn't even understand how our Constitution works? I think it's the only possible explanation.

#707: Global warming is unequivocal!

BBC News has answers for the claims of skeptics.

Claim: "Instruments show there has been some warming of the Earth's surface since 1979, but the actual value is subject to large errors...."

Answer: "Warming is unequivocal." Translation: Shut up you jerk.

Claim: "Since 1998 - almost a decade - the record, as determined by observations from satellites and balloon radiosondes, shows no warming."

Answer: 1998 was particularly warm and it's not fair of you to cherry-pick data. (But it's all right for us to do that.)

Claim: "The beginning of the last Millennium saw a "Mediaeval Warm Period" when temperatures, certainly in Europe, were higher than they are now."

Answer: "There have been many periods in Earth history that were warmer than today.... Whether those variations were caused by solar forcing, the Earth's orbital wobbles or continental configurations, none of those causes apply today. Evidence for a Mediaeval Warm Period outside Europe is patchy at best...."

Where else were people keeping written records of things, outside of Europe? Africa? The Americas? We know that China was. Who else? There's no "evidence" because there aren't written records from most parts of the world from that era. This is a disingenuous argument at best.

What I really like about this is that "...none of those causes apply today." That's right. All the warm periods of the past were caused by natural forcings, but those immediately stopped when we started using fossil fuels. (WTF, why don't you just say "when Reagan was elected" and get it over with?)

Claim: "Computer models are the main way of forecasting future climate change. But despite decades of development they are unable to model all the processes involved,..."

Answer: "Models are simply ways to quantify understanding of climate."

This is a bald-faced lie. We have been told many times that the computer models prove global warming is taking place. They are frequently held out as "proof".

"All of the robust results from modelling have both theoretical and observational support." Except that if you feed the models historic data they never even approximate historic conditions. Given a starting point somewhere prior to the Medieval Warm Period, for example, no model will show anything like it, nor will the models show the Little Ice Age which followed it.

And the models don't model forcings caused by water vapor. They only approximate them.

Claim: "5. THE ATMOSPHERE IS NOT BEHAVING AS MODELS WOULD PREDICT" (all-caps theirs)

Answer: "Within the uncertainties of the data, there is no discrepancy that needs to be dealt with."

Translation: There is warming, so shut up you oil company stooge.

Claim: "6. CLIMATE IS MAINLY INFLUENCED BY THE SUN" (all-caps theirs)

Answer: "As there has been no positive trend in any solar index since the 1960s (and possibly a small negative trend), solar forcing cannot be responsible for the recent temperature trends."

Except for the inconvenient fact that it can. Temps trended downward in the 1970s, for one thing. Most of the warming from the 20th century--0.5°C--occurred before 1940.

Claim: "7. A CARBON DIOXIDE RISE HAS ALWAYS COME AFTER A TEMPERATURE INCREASE NOT BEFORE" (all-caps--well, you know.)

Answer--emphasis mine: "This is largely true, but largely irrelevant."

Wait, wait, wait! How can that be "irrelevant"? If carbon dioxide rises after a temperature increase how the hell is it causing global warming?

This answer of theirs as much as says that climate change in the past was caused by "wobbles" in the Earth's orbit. Now, however, it's because of man-made carbon dioxide?

And, by the way, the "wobbles" theory is a good one but not proven, and we still don't know why the Earth's climate went through such dramatic changes in the past.

Claim: "8. LONG-TERM DATA ON HURRICANES AND ARCTIC ICE IS TOO POOR TO ASSESS TRENDS"

Answer: ...

I don't know of anyone who is making this argument. In fact, "global warming skeptics" such as myself cite a few facts from the historical record, such as a) the fact that the high part of the hurricane activity cycle is just ending; and b) there are historical records of people sailing ships across the Arctic Circle, indicating that "arctic ice" has not always covered the entire stinkin' pole.

Claim: "9. WATER VAPOUR IS THE MAJOR GREENHOUSE GAS; CO2 IS RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT"

Answer: "The statement that water vapour is "98% of the greenhouse effect" is simply false. In fact, it does about 50% of the work; clouds add another 25%, with CO2 and the other greenhouse gases contributing the remaining quarter."

Okay, let's look at the proportions:

Water vapor: 2-5% of the atmosphere
Carbon dioxide: 0.78% of the atmosphere

So: 0.78% of the atmosphere is responsible for 25% of the warming of the atmosphere? This is the figure for present-day? (I lumped "water vapor" and "clouds" together because...well...what are clouds made of?)

Wait, "clouds" are 25% of the greenhouse effect? I thought clouds--which are white on top--reflected a lot of sunlight. I thought that if there was more crap in the atmosphere it would get colder--remember "nuclear winter"? More clouds means a higher reflectivity means less sunlight gets to the surface, and that generally means cooling. But the contribution of clouds to global temperature are poorly understood at best.

This answer also makes another bald-faced lie when it claims that the "The fact that water vapour is a feedback... is included in all climate models."

The fact is that carbon dioxide is the weakest greenhouse gas in our atmosphere and it comprises only 0.78% of the atmosphere to boot.

...

Their final claim is--I don't know what the hell that's about. Who is trying to deflect global warming BS with more BS about AIDS and poverty? I certainly am not.

They lumped a lot of stuff into claim #10, including stuff about the Kyoto Protocol not working. Their answer? "Arguments over the Kyoto Protocol are outside the realms of science...."

That's awful convenient.

* * *

And all of this sidesteps the main point of the entire issue.

There is no argument from anyone (with any sense) that the climate is changing. It has always changed, and it always will change.

"Global warming skeptics" such as myself contend that we don't know what is going on. The people who wrote that article, the people who agree with Al Gore, they insist that we do know with absolute certainty that man-made carbon dioxide is causing an apocalyptic rise in global temperatures--when there isn't even any "unequivocal" proof that carbon dioxide effects global temperatures much at all.

We know that the Earth has been both warmer and cooler in the past than it is now. We don't know why.

We know that the Earth warmed 0.5°C in the 20th century, with most of that warming taking place before 1940. We don't know why.

"Global warming skeptics" such as myself think that it's potentially disastrous, economically, to make policy based on what we do currently know about the Earth's climate, and how it changes over time.

We know that our atmosphere currently contains 378 ppm of carbon dioxide, and that the rise correlates to the beginning of the industrial age. But we can't look at a sample of air in a microscope and count the tags on the molecules: "See, a third of these are from man-made sources!" We don't know (we only think) that the rise in carbon dioxide is from man-made sources; and even assuming it is, it's a 33% rise in 0.78% of the atmosphere.

All sources annually dump 206 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Of that, six billion tons come from man-made sources. That's about three percent.

And so what is 3% of 0.78%? It's 0.0234%.

The temperature forcing from 0.0234% of the atmosphere is causing catastrophic climate change and we're all doomed.

Yeah. Sure.

UPDATE:



Found that while looking at Boortz today. Heh.

#708: Hmm, even so....

Here in #705 I said:
Let's add up all the coal mining fatalities since we started using it to generate electricity, and stack that against all the nuclear power plant fatalities ever. Then let's figure out how many tons of crap coal plants have dumped into the atmosphere, and compare that figure to how many tons of nuclear waste we've generated. Then tell me which method of generating power is cleaner and safer.

I issue this challenge because I'm confident that I already know the answer without even looking at any figures.
Then I said that including Hiroshima and Nagasaki casualties would earn a failing grade and a kick to the head.

But thinking about it, I realized that even if you did include the Hiroshima and Nagasaki casualties, nuclear power still would probably enjoy a better safety record than coal power!

We've been mining coal for a long time and any kind of mining is unsafe. And the occupational health hazards of coal mining include several fatal conditions.

Hey, look at this: "In every year from 1900 to 1945 more than 1,000 coal miners were killed in mining accidents. In many years there were more than 2,000 deaths, and, as noted above, in just the month of December, 1907, there were more than 3,000 coal-mining deaths." Right there, that's at least 47,000 deaths in America alone.

This is also interesting read, and says that coal mining deaths in the 1950s totaled about 70,000 world-wide. (And they cite 40,000 for the 1980s, and 10,000 for the 1990s, which is a total of 150,000--so now we're at 197,000 and climbing.)

That latter link also lists fatalities for other non-nuclear incidents--and it is important to remember that we don't just use coal; we use oil and natural gas, too, and those have their own hazards.

One link said Chinese coal mining fatalities alone number 250,000 since 1949. Hiroshima and Nagasaki? 140,000 and 80,000, respectively, totaling 220,000.

But, what the heck, I know I'm shouting at the wind, here.

#709: I don't feel bad, yet I do--slightly

Apparently there's a new version of Flash Gordon on SciFi. Because I didn't see the first episode I'm not likely to try it. I dislike coming in in the middle. Unless I happen to catch the first ep when it enters re-runs, that is.

I never got into Stargate SG-1 because I sampled from the middle of the first season, and didn't like what I saw. That might have been different if I'd seen it from the beginning, but it's too late now.

Babylon 5 was on my crap list for most of the first season's first run because I saw some things I didn't like. OMG. But fortunately I figured out what was actually going on.

I happened to watch the pilot of Smallville and was hooked.

Battlestar Galactica is going to run a short miniseries, starting 11/24, to set up the 4th season, which (as I recall) begins in January. If I was in a hurry I'd just go find a torrent somewhere, but I'm not.

I watched an episode of House, MD tonight, the first new ep I've seen since this past spring.

I'm just not into TV all that much any more. I think I got my fill of TV when I was a kid, to be honest, because these days I watch virtually nothing. I just don't care about the hit TV shows because most of them are recycled crap which has the entertainment value of a piece of wet yarn. The shows which actually do new things rely on shock and "pushing the envelope" rather than telling stories differently.

99.997% of all sitcoms are not funny and use the same basic plots that Jackie Gleason et al used in the 1950s on The Honeymooners. The ones that didn't come from there came from I Love Lucy.

I feel slightly bad about not being interested in Flash Gordon, like I might be missing something worthwhile, but the odds are I'm not. Even SciFi's track record is like that. (I mean, come on: this is the network that gave us Mansquito. WTFF!)

Not watching TV greatly simplifies my life, because I have two or three shows I have to worry about instead of--like some people--desperately needing to know who got voted off the island or WTF-ever this week.

Three shows: Smallville, House, MD, and Battlestar Galactica (when it's back). I haven't even started worrying about the third season of Doctor Who and part of me just wants to go buy it on DVD and to hell with watching it on TV.

Torchwood lost me when I heard about the sexual shenanigans going on in that show. I don't watch SF to see "sexy". Doctor Who was never "sexy" and it was never supposed to be.

Come to think of it, I seem to recall someone in my blogroll having watched some of Flash Gordon and concluding that the series is a waste of time and effort. But I don't remember who said it or when, so I can't find anything to link. (If it's YOU, please comment and leave the link?)

* * *

I burned out on TV after my pubescent years. I watched Three's Company, M*A*S*H*, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard, BJ and the Bear, and about 50,000 other incredibly lousy TV shows, and I watched them all the time, even when they were in reruns.

Well, it was before AlGore invented the internet, after all.

What else could I do? I didn't start writing until I was in junior high. I could read or I could watch TV. That was about it in those days; I didn't have anything else to occupy me on a continuous basis.

Because I watched so much TV in the heyday of network TV--back when CBS NBC ABC PBS were it--I really got sick and tired of seeing the same old crap over and over again. These days it's the same old crap with slick packaging and better sets.

Of course, the entire reason I could stand to watch those shows was that I was basically their target audience. All that crap was aimed at 11-year-olds, or at least at people with the intellect and emotional maturity of 11-year-olds. And it's not much better these days.

Oh well.

#710: Anime roundup again. (And my own "doujin work".)

Doujin Work is worth looking at. As of episode 9 (with only a few left) I find myself wanting to see a lot more of it. That's not going to happen, of course.

Pretty Cure surprised me. They killed off the last thug and got all 7 Prism Stones, and there are 22 episodes left in the series! Now they're preparing to fight the Dark King, the big bad guy--and I'm thinking, WTF, this is the kind of fight which goes at the end of the series, not in the middle.

Of course Cardcaptor Sakura "finished" the story with about 20-odd episodes left in the series, and there turned out to be a perfectly viable story after the first conflict was resolved. There are plenty of things that Nagisa and Honoka could have to do in order to finish what they started.

And I'm down to the last two episodes of Seto no Hanayome, damn it!

I'm going to be giving Kaze no Stigma a try. Besides that, I've got the second season of Amanaideyo!, El Cazador de la Bruja, and 32 episodes of Hayate no Gotoku! So I've got plenty to keep me occupied until the current season has run its course and I can watch Blue Drop, Mokke, Bamboo Blade, ef-a tale of memories, Goshuushou-san Ninomiya-kun, Kimikiss Pure Rouge, Minami-ke, Ren----LOOK IT'S A LOT, OKAY?? OKAY?????

I don't want to be sitting there and hanging on each new release like I was for Lovely Complex and School Days. That latter case sucked when I had to wait an extra two weeks (or however long it was) to see WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!! I can be plenty patient but I don't deal well with sudden changes to the scheduling. If you say, "Tune in next week for the shocking conclusion!" you had better fricking run the damn thing "next week". Otherwise I start thinking about ways to pound you so hard it causes global cooling.

* * *

All through the last 5 episodes of Tokimeki Memorial I kept finding myself resorting to this joke: "Now cry."

Oh, Sayuri hasn't given her chocolate to Aoba! Oh, he's moving away! Sayuri is unhappy! Now cry.

heh.

* * *

I really hope I get some drawing time in this year at the warehouse. Doujin Work has, for some reason, really given me the itch to draw something.

Comic Party didn't do that. Of course there was the several-episode hunk of poo right in the middle of the series where I just wanted to beat the everloving piss out of what's-his-face because he was such an effing moron. *sigh*

To make matters even more entertaining, I finally found the original layouts for Magical Angel Selene. (MAS) This is astounding. It's a little steno pad from 2001 which contains the character designs and some other important stuff. There's also this little bit of script in the back:

Christie: I thought you said I'd have help!
Margoth: (her guardian angel) Actually, what I said was that you wouldn't be alone.
Christie: What? Chuck? [Chuck's the main character] Chuck is useless!
Meanwhile, in another room Chuck sneezes and someone asks him if he's getting a cold...

I laughed out loud at this. I had completely forgotten about that exchange.

The layouts contain some really nice work, and I'm eager to either get my scanner working or to get a new scanner, so I can pull them onto the computer and do things like enlarge, clean up, etc, etc.

Looking at the art--which is six years old!--I realize that my current level of artwork isn't all that much better than it was. I mean, there are some basic mistakes in the artwork for MAS, but most of them are correctable.

Of course, in 2001 I was spending a lot more time drawing than I am these days. I did a lot of work in the studio (spare bedroom) I haven't had since April of 2002; I drew when I was playing D&D and waiting for my turn "on deck". I drew a lot, a lot more than I draw now.

The fact that I can get back to where I was in 2001 pretty easily, with a couple hours' worth of practice, is encouraging to me. If I would just take this shit seriously--at least, more seriously than I do now--I could be a force to be reckoned with. At least I could be drawing some rather nice manga, damn it.

I will never be a professional-quality artist, but as long as I can get the art to look good enough not to set off my "crap detector" it will do. (Just so I don't put my art next to someone who's actually good and get depressed....)

Of late I've given serious thought to having the girls from SubaruCo show up in Megumi's Diary instead of making a seperate series about them--but that's not really all that great an idea, because I know those girls: they'll take over. Sayoko was in the process of taking over American Dawn before I got stuck, and there's fricking seven girls like her in SubaruCo. They'd own Megumi's Diary inside of three chapters, for crying out loud.

Also, now that I think of it, I think Megumi's bra is a G cup, not an E. "E", in Japan, is the same as the American "C" cup now. So I'm trying to decide whether to use a Japanese cup size ("G") or American ("DD"). Either way, Megumi is extra-fluffy. (Now cry.)

And "104G" just has a ring to it.... (For the record, that would translate to 41DD. Yow. That may be a bit too big. Dolly Parton was 44DD for years and we saw what she looked like. Not that it was bad, but for a 17-year-old Japanese girl maybe 97G would be better; that would still be 38DD in America....)

(But Yukari Ootani in Momoiro Sisters has a 103G bust size, and it was nice. Heh.)

When I went to the Philippines, on the flight from Chicago to LA, I got to draw a few pages of Megumi's Diary, and I was pretty pleased with how they came out. But that was all the drawing I did on that entire trip, and I haven't done any since.

There's a scene in Doujin Work where a character's art is criticized: she's drawn every face exactly the same way. As a sign of how insecure I am, I couldn't resist digging out Megumi's Diary to confirm that I didn't draw like that. (I don't.)

Geeze, I'm a weenie.