NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

More scary opinion with no back up facts

Karl Meyers is misinformed in writing about "America's WMD," June 30, 2005
During the current Iraq War, the U.S. use of radioactive Depleted Uranium (DU) weapons increased from 375 tons used in 1991 to 2,200 tons. Geiger counter readings at sites in downtown Baghdad record radiation levels 1,000 to 2,000 times higher than background radiation. The Pentagon has bombed, occupied, tortured and contaminated Iraq. Millions of Iraqis are affected along with over 1 million U.S. soldiers. Half of the 697,000 U.S. Gulf War troops from the 1991 war have reported serious medical problems and a significant increase in birth defects among their newborn children.
There is little evidence and lots of opinion in this letter. According to the World Health Organization, DU radiation is very weak, 60% of naturally occurring uranium. You can find the details on DUs impact on the human body at the WHO web site. Click (here) for details.

Facts folks, get the facts before you write these crazy letters. Like who made the Baghdad measurements? Where can we find the information? Who published the birth defects information on 1991 Gulf War vets? Where can we find the information? Half of 1991 vets have "serious medical problems," really? Some facts please?

UPDATE: A reader pointed me to VA web site with detailed information on support for war vets. The total is 419K for Gulf War Vets, 228K with less than 30% disability, and 191K with greater than 30% disability. Since I was rated with 20% disability due to a slight hearing loss and and slight loss in peak lung flow. I do not think people with less than 30% disability fit in the category of "serious medical problems" So, it is closer to one quarter with "serious medical problems." These medical problems range from combat wounds, accidents, to more complex stress related problems.

I cannot find any birth defect information yet.

MORE UPDATE: WHO lists no known reproductive damage.

Click here for an e-mail comment.

No Online Union

Sorry, no online articles or letters to comment on this morning. Maybe latter today, or after Hoover and I collect the dead tree version from the paper box on Banner.

UPDATE: Online version available about 11:30.

Click here for an e-mail comment.

What is Gov. Schwarzenegger’s global warming strategy?

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday named Cindy Tuck, a personable energy industry lobbyist, to head California's powerful air quality agency." Tuck, a top attorney for the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance is the governor's choice to become chair of the California Air Resources Board.

I hope Tuck truly understands global warming science issues and can bring some sanity to the CARB. We will have to see if she is a true leader.

Click here for an e-mail comment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Comments turned on

After much nashing and bashing on the blogger template, I have finally turned on the Comments. You can still make a private comment, or a long comment by e-mail. I enjoyed all the e-mailed comments, even those challenging my position. Especially those that contributed to the discussion of an issue. Please use the public comments to add to the discussion, personal attacks only reveal an authors inability to communicate intelligently.

Click here for an e-mail comment.

President Bush on global warming?

I was in the Flour Garden in Glenbrook this afternoon and came upon a customer ranting about the lack of action on global warming by President Bush. The customer, to the tall lanky kid behind the counter, “Bush does’nt even realize global warming exists.” Ignoring the angry customer, I handed the kid my card, with this blog address on the back. “You can find the truth on global warming here,” I said. Taking my coffee I sat down, ignoring the grumbling Bush basher.

Just for the record, from a London Times interview with President Bush today:
THE TIMES: On the other main G8 topic, climate change, do you believe the Earth is in fact getting warmer and, if so, do you believe that it is man who is making it warmer?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I believe that greenhouse gases are creating a problem, a long-term problem that we got to deal with. And step one of dealing with it is to fully understand the nature of the problem so that the solutions that follow make sense.

There’s an interesting confluence now between dependency upon fossil fuels from a national economic security perspective, as well as the consequences of burning fossil fuels for greenhouse gases. And that’s why it’s important for our country to do two things.

One is to diversify away from fossil fuels, which we’re trying to do. I think we’re spending more money than any collection of nations when it comes to not only research and development of new technologies, but of the science of global warming. You know, laid out an initiative for hydrogen fuel cells. We’re doing a lot of work on carbon sequestration. We hope to have zero emissions coal-fired electricity plants available for the United States as well as neighbors and friends and developing nations.

I’m a big believer that the newest generation of nuclear power ought to be a source of energy and we ought to be sharing these technologies with developing countries.
I agree we should not take action until we fully understand the science of global warming, and the best solution. A hydrodgen economy requires cheap nuclear energy for it be come a reality. It appears the President understands the problem.

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Home business resources

According to one estimate, over 50% of the homes in Nevada County have some home based business activity. Much of this business is done by remote access to the home office. Here is a new resource for home based commuters.
Future Tense explores how the modern work “place” is evolving and adapting to new trends, technologies, and economic factors.
If you have a comment click here.

We are victims of political posturing

Robert J. Samuelson writes about "Greenhouse Hypocrisy," Washington Post, June 29, 2005.

Samelson gets it right:
What we have now is a respectable charade. Politicians and advocates make speeches, convene conferences and formulate plans. They pose as warriors against global warming. The media participate in the resulting deception by treating their gestures seriously. One danger is that some of these measures will harm the economy without producing significant environmental benefits. Policies motivated by political gain will inflict public pain. Why should anyone applaud?
Our public pain is on the way, with mandated CO2 reductions that will cost car buyers in 2009-2016 between $1,000 to $3,000, with no measurable change in global warming. The PUC is considering a “carbon tax” which will be added to electric bills for power generated by oil, coal, or natural gas. No proven benefit. .

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Rehab does not work on meth users

Rick Gurtner thinks "Meth is self-inflicted," June 29, 2005
It's time we locked up these losers for a long time; rehab does not work.
Agree!


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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Grounded in cyberspace

Read George Boardman's Grounded in cyberspace in the dead tree version of The Union. I can not get a link to work for the Union on line. It is in the Business Section. Wireless broadband every where in the County will promote business growth, trust me on this. George provides us a good example to follow. The ERC website maintains a list of local WiFi hotspots. You can even plot them on a Google map.

UPDATE: Union link is now up ( here).

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Is this the development Supreme's had in mind?

Heard about this new Hotel development on Rush this morning. Thanks to Polipundit for the link.

If you have a comment click here.

Sups vote to delay pay raise

Good move in tight financial times, but we need a fair way to adjust the pay of our County Leaders. There will always be complainers, regardless of the selected method. It is just the nature of the political beast.

If you have a comment click here.

Missing information

Brittany Retherford writes about the "Supervisors to vote on pay raise today," June 28, 2005

This is an interesting subject for discussion, but the salary information in the article is incomplete and misleading. We do not know what we are comparing.
Currently, a board member makes $37,186, with the board chair bringing in $39,046

Nevada County's supervisor salary is low when you compare it with the state average of $51,628, according to a 2001 salary survey done by California Institute for County Government. It is also low when compared to the county's median household income, which is $45,864, according to the U.S. Census reports.

It is high, however, when you put the wage next to the average salary made by other rural supervisors - $29,288. The average urban county supervisor made $88,916 in 2001, according to the survey.
OK, we know that our BOS are part time positions. What about the Urban BOS? Are these higher paying jobs full or part time? This missing fact distorts the average, which becomes a meaningless number. What about the other rural BOS, full or part time? Why not just compare part time position salaries, giving the reader the full range and the median? Reporters need to give us the tools to evaluate the information in their articles.

All our local reporters could benefited by attending a citizen numeracy class the next time the Library and the Nevada City Rotary Club presents: Chance, Uncertainty, and Risk in Everyday Life. Details (here) and (here). All the papers reader would benefit, by being given number that mean something. This article does not tell us much.

If you have a comment click here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Call Tony Blair, G8 Member is off Global Warming message

Climate change: not a global threat
MOSCOW. (Yury Izrael, Director, Global Climate and Ecology Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences and IPCC Vice President, for RIA Novosti). One issue on the table at the G8 summit at Gleneagles in early July is global climate change.

As I see it, this problem is overshadowed by many fallacies and misconceptions that often form the basis for important political decisions. G8 leaders should pay attention to them.

There is no proven link between human activity and global warming.
Full story (here).

Better, yet call Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger, and let him know, his global warming foolishness is going to cost us all money we can use elsewhere.

If you have a comment click here.

Canadian Scientists Dismiss Threat of Climate Change

Video at 11:00
(CNSNews.com) - Some Canadian scientists have rejected the so-called "global warming" threat, insisting that climate change is normal and isn't even caused by humans.
Full story (here).

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It's all about accountability

Debra Martin writes "It's the parents' job," June 27, 2005
The bottom line is the focus of this debate - who is accountable? Last I knew, parents are responsible for their children until age 18 - is that still the law? If so, let parents parent, teachers teach and District Board members listen and act even if it's not the easiest path of least resistance. Do we really need the media and school boards to be the avenues for teaching family values - should we not put the accountability back where it belongs, with the parents?
Right!

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Time to pick Pentagon's boogie man

Several readers have send me e-mail about China over the weekend. I tend to agree with Thomas P.M. Barnett’s views on the Pentagon these days, it is still stuck in a Cold War mind set. The Pentagon needs a big enemy to justify a big budget , and China has been picked by the military brass as that target. Tom is the author of the Pentagon’s New Map

Tom on Gertz:
I had a China handler in the Office of Secretary of Defense's public affairs office email me last week that I shouldn't believe any of the war talk about China supposedly emanating from the Pentagon, as portrayed in the press.

ooo

No, no, nothing to worry about when senior Pentagon people start comparing your state to Nazi Germany. So many similarities, where to begin?

The crazy talk will only get worse as the money gets put on the table in the Quadrennial Defense Review: $1.4 trillion spread over several dozen programs.
Do you think the defense-industrial complex is going to take it lying down? Just giving it all up to the Army and Marines to fight puny wars the Gap over?

No way, Jose. Lotsa money on the line. Need a big demon real bad. Just keep calling them fascist as if the word has meaning in the free-wheeling and incredibly rapacious capitalism that is China.

More by Tom (here) and (here).

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Sincere beyond reason

Laura Monroe is worried about Insincere politicians, June 24, 2005
Did he [Nate Beason] and the others run for office because they needed a job or because they wanted to make a difference?
I can assure Ms. Monroe, that Nate Beason, and all the other Supervisors, ran to make a difference. All were successful in other professions, and maintain their day jobs, and still do a fine job as part time Supervisors. We could never pay them enough for all they have to put up with on the dais, over the telephone day and night, the serial e-mails, and just chance encounters on the street.
One can only assume they knew what they were getting into when they ran for office.
Yes, they knew, and would have served without a pay raise. But they would be spending less time working on County issues, and more time working on their day job. Perhaps Ms. Monroe, failed to notice that you cannot buy a home in Nevada County on a Supervisors pay. Supervisors need a day job to live in Nevada County. . .

One final comment. If Ms. Monroe wants the job, she needs to raise the money and run for office. It is harder than the thinks, to be a full time Supervisors on what we pay them.

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Friday, June 24, 2005

Light posting

We are spending some quality time our our grandkids this weekend, so posting will be light. I will catch up latter in the week.

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The Politics of Kyoto reviewed

Kyoto and the Art of Political Backtracking, by Hans Labohm , 06/24/2005

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Sadico Junction on the ID discussion in Union Letters

Long discussion (here).

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"Peak Oil Facts" link

The Peak Oil Facts letter, published in the Union today, was submitted last May.
Before this "Peak Oil" scare gets out of hand, let's review some facts.

According to Department of Energy Reports, Global oil shale resources are estimated to be 2.6 trillion barrels, with 2.0 trillion barrels located in the United States. About 1.5 trillion barrels are located in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, which is more than a 500-plus year supply.

While Hubbert's Peak Oil analysis may apply to well explored countries, it does not apply to other oil producing regions. "It largely misses a fundamental fact about global oil markets: they are not run by multinational corporations, but far more by national oil companies, or NOCs. NOCs control 60 percent of production but control close to 90 percent of reserves," writes Dr. Thomas Barnett. Mexico, Venezuela, Russia and some Middle East counties have not made the investment necessary to determine their reserves. So, how can Hubbert determine the global oil supply will peak, when so much of the world is yet unexplored and unproven?

This Letter to the Editor was submitted the 30th of May, 2005. The link to the Department of Energy report mentioned in the above letter can be found (here). Sorry, I have lost the Barnett link for now. I will post an update when I find the link.

UPDATE: Barnett link is (here).

If you have a comment click here.

Scary growth numbers frisked by a reader

A reader comments on the Sierra Nevada Alliance report designed to scare citizens about growth in Nevada County. (See post below) Some very insightful comments:
The fundamental flaw in the latest scare is the assumption that an additional 40k peeps will have a place to live w/in the next 15 years. The average household in NC is @ 2.2 (actually 2.17). Now unless you assume a phenomenal increase in births over deaths, the pop. growth is the result of new arrivals.

To accommodate 40k, we will have to provide 18k homes in the next 15 years, or @ 1,200 per year. Now assuming that Grass Valley goes completely insane and the SDAs all develop to the limits the developers would like (fat chance of that), that will add somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,600 homes w/in the next 20 years (130 per year), or @1,900 by 2020. That means that we have to find places to build the remaining 16,100. Even Truckee and all its expansion and the county can't accommodate that in the next 30 years, let alone 15.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Global Warming Update: Wise move by Senate

Senate Defeats Move to Cap Climate Gases
By H. JOSEF HEBERT
The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 22, 2005; 9:33 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Senate soundly defeated a proposal Wednesday for mandatory reductions in heat-trapping pollution that may be warming the Earth. Supporters managed to get five fewer votes than they did two years ago.
The proposal to cap greenhouse gases at 2000 levels, within five years, lost by a 60-38 vote. It was a victory for President Bush's policies that focus on voluntary actions by industry to address the problem.
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I took the MIT Weblog Survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

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Peak Oil Update:

Our local Townhall Institute was in the news recently, promoting the idea we are running out of oil. According to a just released report by Cambridge Energy Research Agency, a highly respected research firm, supply sill soon out strip demand.
Oil & Liquids Capacity to Outstrip Demand Until At Least 2010 Despite current fears that oil will soon "run out," global oil production capacity is actually set to increase dramatically over the rest of this decade, according to a new report. As a result, supply could exceed demand by as much as 6 to 7.5 million barrels per day (mbd) later in the decade, a marked contrast to the razor-sharp balance between strong demand growth and tight supply that is currently reflected in high oil prices hovering around $60 a barrel.
Press Release (here).

From the Christian Science Monitor:
Over the next five years, there will be 10 million barrels per day of new light or medium crude and 3 million barrels per day of new heavy crude. Altogether, supply will exceed demand by 6 million to 7.5 million barrels per day later in the decade, according to CERA.
Full story (here).

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Population numbers are environmental hogwash

From the Union Front Page, via AP:
The counties most affected are Placer, El Dorado and Nevada, all within commuting distance of Sacramento. Placer County's population is expected to grow by 84 percent, El Dorado's by 42 percent and Nevada County's by 38 percent by 2020.
Before you get too scared about growth in Nevada County let’s look at the 38 percent number. Using the numbers provided in the SNA study, the average population increase from 1990 to 2000 was 13,520. About 1,350 new residents a year. To reach 38 percent growth by 2020, the yearly population increase would have to be 1,743, about 400 more than the 1990 to 2000 average. Now lets look at the population increase over the last 4 years, which averages 1,266 (2001-1796, 2002-1264, 2003-1006, 2004-1000).

Note the declining trend. The SNA does not give us a reason for adding 500 to 700 additional new residence a year from 2005 to 2020, when the trend is clearly in the opposite direction. What would drive this increase? I have agree with Supervisor Horne, the numbers in the SNA report are designed to scare the reader. If the Nevada County number are scary bunkum, what about the other counties numbers, are their numbers inflated also?

If you have a comment click here.

Global warming consensus questioned

Numerious Union letter writers have claimed there is scientific consensus on global warming. Dennis Bray, GKSS Forschungszentrum, Geesthacht, Germany has some doubts, based on detailed surveys.
One of the most heavily and most publicly contested scientific consensus in the last decade has been in the debate concerning climate change, namely if it is the result of natural causes or of anthropogenic activity. Using evidence from survey questionnaires distributed among climate scientists, the following suggests that consensus among climate scientists might not be as clear as sometimes depicted.
Bray’s analysis can be found in “The Not So Clear Consensus on Climate Change.” (Download .pdf here.)

If you have a comment click here.

Economy through the eyes of a Bush hater

Syd M. Hall is worried about "Our floundering economy," June 21, 2005
Bush and company have sent most of these jobs offshore to China and elsewhere (Japan, South America, etc.).
If jobs were sent offshore, it was not the government, it was the stockholders of public companies, demanding a better return on their investment. Note we do not hear much about out sourcing in the national news any more, as an audit found more jobs were created in the US when companies from Germany and Japan opened auto manufacturing plants in the US.
(J)ust wait 'til oil producers recognize how inflated our paper is, and how much better the Chinese equivalent is and gas goes up to $5 per gallon, where it belongs.
Tell me again why China is investing in US Bonds, if their currency is so strong.
And there goes our economy, and our military will be grounded, too, because it is powered by that black stuff that comes out of the ground.
Well, we are not running out of oil, nor will we for another 500 years. In 20 years China will be importing US oil. According to Department of Energy Reports, Global oil shale resources are estimated to be 2.6 trillion barrels, with 2.0 trillion barrels located in the United States. About 1.5 trillion barrels are located in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. More than a 500+ year supply.
Prime Minister Putin recently acknowledged that Russia made a mistake.
And just what mistake was it that Putin acknowledged, he has made so many?

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Misinformation campaign

Mark Selverston complains about the "Costly, unnecessary election," June 21, 2005
In Nevada County alone, it is expected to take $210,000 from other services.
Wrong, the State will be paying for the election, according to an e-mail sent to our Clerk-Recorder by the Governor. This letter is just part of a misinformation campaign by the special interest unions.

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Real cost of Special Election

Bruce Benner writes the GOP should pay up for the Special Election, June 21, 2005
Tony Gilchrease, chairman of the Nevada County Republican Party, has said that spending $80 million on a special election is well worth the cost. An estimated $210,000 of this will be needed in Nevada County alone and will have to come either from reallocation of our tax funds within the county or statewide.
This election is going to cost more than the $44.7 Million estimated by the Sec. of State who oversees elections. While this about half of the $80 Million estimated by opposition, the real cost is a lot higher, yet we will hear few complaints about these increased costs.

Has anyone noticed the Teachers Union is increasing their dues to raise $50 Million to defeat the election. Prison Guards are raising $18 Million and the Democratic Party $15 Million. That is $83 million, about twice what the election will cost. I do not hear the Democrats complaining about these election costs. I wonder why?

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Editor explains The Union cyber problems

Union editor, Pat Butler, makes first post in weeks (here).

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Playing with the grandkids

The Union is back on line, but spent my day playing with the grandkids. Maybe some late night posts, or maybe not. Kids have priority at our house.

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Union Problems

No local news, not even old local news, on The Union web site this morning. No Opinions to comment on. Will check in latter

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Grass Valley Bluegrass and XM-Satellite Radio

My Father's Day was spent listening to some fine bluegrass music at the Fair Grounds. It was the 3oth Annual Bluegrass Festival, and was broadcast on XM-Satellite Radio, Channel 14, the Bluegrass Channel. It was not advertized, but I saw the XM- radio booth, as I was returning from a trip to the ice cream vendor. As we were leaving, I turned on XM in the pickup, and there was the group we were listening to on the grass a few minutes earlier. Nice that Grass Valley can get such national attention.

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Global Warming Update: Some bad facts

Chip Ward writes about "Sudden climate change is not just about Eskimos in bikinis." in the Sunday Chronicle, June 19, 2005

Sometimes environmentalist cannot get the facts right when talking about climate change.
In recent years, conservationists report, marmots are emerging from their holes a month sooner than expected. But if the ground warms before deep snowpack melts, which is now often the case, emerging marmots cannot get to food and they starve.
Now tell me how it is that the ground warms under deep snowpack? If the deepsnow has not melted, the sun can not reach the ground, thus it does not get warm. If you have an explanation of how the global warming warms the ground under deep snow, please let me know.

Changes in snow patterns also present wolves with an unusual challenge. The reintroduced wolf, that symbol of our determination to restore the health of ecosystems that long suffered their loss, uses snow as an ally in chasing down and eating elk. The elk are weakened by starvation in winter and cannot as easily escape the nimble wolves through dense snowpack or across slippery ice.

In Yellowstone this past winter, snow and ice were sparse and the elk generally got away from the wolves. It wasn't just wolves that went hungry. Other animals and birds, including endangered grizzly bears, depend on sharing carcasses the wolves leave behind to make it through the winter, so they also fared poorly.
If I recall correctly, bears hibernate in the winter. They are not out scarfing up left over dead elk. It is only recently that the wolfs were introduced. If the bears leave the cave for a mid winter snack of dead elk, what did they do before the wolf was reintroduced to kill elk for them? Go hungry, or just stay in the cave until spring?

According to the US Fish and Wildlife:
The grizzly bear, like its cousin the black bear, is omnivorous, meaning it will eat plants, as well as insects and other animals. Scavengers by nature, grizzlies spend most of their waking hours searching for food. Forbs, roots, tubers, grasses, berries and other vegetation, and insects comprise most of the bear’s diet.

Food sources vary in availability from year to year, and from season to season. Grizzlies move throughout their habitat looking for foods available at that time of year. The availability of many foods is known to the bears by season, and the bears move to these areas based on their experience. In this way, the general seasonal distribution and movements of bears are predictable. Ingestion of large amounts of food in a short time period is critical to grizzly survival, since they are only active and feeding for 6-8 months of every year.
Given, these startling revelations: bear do not hibernate and feed in winter, and the earth warms under deep snow, should we believe the rest of this article?

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Global Warming Update: Is history wrong?

The Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period shows up in the Sargasso Sea climate history, but not the Mann Hockey Stick. The graphic which is driving all that junkscience legislation that will soon be steal money from your wallet. The Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming Period was also found in China and Tibet climate records, yet it does not show up in Mann's Hockey Stick.

Steve Malory, the Junk Man, provides the following analysis:

This leads to a number of possibilities: the simplest, Mann disagrees with a multitude of studies and recorded history - Mann's graph is broken or; Mann is right - history and a wealth of other researchers are wrong or; Mann's method of dealing with proxies is correct - continuation of the proxies show that the "instrument record" is purely an artefact of UHIE. Since options 1 and 3 suggest nothing abnormal and so no problem and option 2 suggests there's only a problem if history is wrong, all we need to do is decide whether Mann is wrong, or history is. Full details (here).

Steve McIntyre, a climate change skeptic, suggests we need a process for auditing climate change studies (here). Until we have an audit process, our legislators should refrain from using junk science to steal our money.

If you have a comment click here.

Downing Street Memos are fake?

Pat Butler, Editor at the Union, refused to get tangled in Downing Street Memos. It looking like with some good insight. These memos may be as fake as the Rathergate memos. ( I cannot link to Pat's blog, The Union Server is down)
The AP reports that the Sunday Times reporter, Michael Smith, now admits he typed the memos himself and burned the originals in order to protect the identity of the source. Yeah, right.
Details (here). You can decide for yourself. Why retype the memos on an old fashion type writer? This story is beginging to unravel. First Smith claimed he returned the orginals after copying them, then in another interview he claimed to have destroyed the orginals after copying them. His final act was to have the copies transscribed on a typewriter. Why?

Great "piffle" comment (here) by Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds.

UPDATE: John at Power Line thinks the documents are real (here).

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Know the enemy among us

Victor Davis Hanson writes in "The Sorry Bunch" that we must listen and learn from our enemies.
Our own fundamentalist Left is in lockstep with Wahhabist reductionism — in its similar instinctive distrust of Western culture. Both blame the United States and excuse culpability on the part of Islamists. The more left-wing the Westerner, the more tolerant he is of right-wing Islamic extremism; the more liberal the Arab, the more likely he is to agree with conservative Westerners about the real source of Middle Eastern pathology.

The constant? A global distrust of Western-style liberalism and preference for deductive absolutism. So burn down a mosque in Zimbabwe, murder innocent Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2002, arrest Christians in Saudi Arabia, or slaughter Africans in Dafur, and both the Western Left and the Middle East's hard Right won't say a word. No such violence resonates with America's diverse critics as much as a false story of a flushed Koran — precisely because the gripe is not about the lives of real people, but the psychological hurts, angst, and warped ideology of those who in their various ways don't like the United States.
Full article (here). Do you think our local lefties are weakening our resolve. What should we do?

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The WiMax Battle

My Capitol Journal article is up at StateNet. Click on the Top Story, it is the feature article for this week (here).

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Old Man in a Hurry

Want to know what is happening at the Pentagon these days. Check out Thomas P.M. Barnett’s interview of Sec Def. Donald Rumsfeld in the July issue of Esquire.

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Just finished reading Freakonomics

Hard to explain these numbers until you read Freakonomics
The number of murders fell last year for the first time since 1999, part of a nationwide decline in all types of violent crime, according to FBI data released June 6th, 2005.

Cities with more than 1 million people had the greatest decrease in violent crime, 5.4 percent, while cities under 10,000 saw the greatest decrease in murder, 12.2 percent.
Award-winning economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner join forces in Freakonomics to strip a few layers from the surface of society to see what is happening underneath our cultural facade. They looked in detail at the hidden side of issues and the incentives which drive modern life. They examined the data society collects, and found conventional wisdom is often wrong. Employing the best economic analytical tools as they followed some freakish curiosities -- hence the title Freakonomics. They evaluate intriguing questions such as "What do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?" "How is the Ku Klux Klan like a Group of Real Estate Agents?" "Where Have all the Criminals Gone?" and "What Makes a Perfect Parent?"

The one I found most intriguing was the relationship between the legalization of abortion and the swift drop in the above crime rate. Using the theory that unwanted children, born into poor single parent homes, unprepared to be parents, produces a higher precentage of criminal thugs. With abortion legalized in the 1970s, there are now fewer unwanted children, thus fewer thugs and less crime.

What do you think, did legal abortion lower the current crime rate? If you disagree, can you please share your data source?

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Problems at The Union

It is not a good morning at The Union. Logged in to find some pictures, no Letters, no Editorial, no News. Now my e-mail alert arrived, just let me know the pictures are up but no news, no letters, no editorial. Hummm....

Nothing to comment on. It is doing to be a hard day with only the paper version.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Digging for details in "not much new"

Becky Trout writes, "Budgets set for county and cities," Not much new, but entities able to hold their own, June 17, 2005

Well, I have to disagree about “Not much new.” It is just that Becky did not dig for the details. Note the county is in good financial condition relative to other Counties, due to “strong property tax revenue.” Would the County have that tax revenue if we did not have a strong construction segment in our economy, if we did not have a strong demand for houses, that resulted in brisk home sales with property taxes increasing every time a home is sold? Think about it, where would the County be if our economy was slumping, home sales were slow, few new home were being built. If the construction segment of the economy was in the tank, the County budget would be also. An indicator, we should not over regulate our construction industry and put it in the tank.

Again digging for details, we find that Nevada City increased Economic Resource Council funding by 33 percent, Grass Valley by 39 percent, and the County by 35 percent. Yes, local governments increased ERC funding by a third over past years, sounds like news to me.

While these were just one year increases, it clearly demonstrates that local government leaders understand the need to invest in economic development when the economy is growing, thus ensuring tax revenues continue to grow.

As I pointed out above, it was a growing economy that “provided strong property tax revenue.” It was the combined effort of the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Association and the ERC, that helped Grass Valley to produce enough sales taxes revenues to provide a comfortable increase in economic development funding. If sales tax revenues were down, would the City Council have provided the extra funding? Not likely.

Yep, “not much new” on the surface, but it gets more interesting when you look at the details.

Perhaps the most important over looked detail was the strong leadership shown by the City Councils and the Board of Supervisors in supporting economic development. Good job team!

If you have a comment click here.

UPDATE: Typing errors fixed at 12:30pm, thanks Julie.

UPDATE: Becky Trout: "everything you noted in your blog I wrote about"

One reason for joining Kyoto

The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, The Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy By Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills.

The authors reveal that the US emits about 1.6 billion metric tons per year of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air -- and absorbs 1.7 billion! West-to-east prevailing winds should make CO2 concentrations in the North Atlantic 300 parts per billion higher in the North Atlantic than in the North Pacific, but "they're about 300 parts per billion lower." This information was published in October, 1998 Science.

So, the US is not contributing to global CO2 concentrations. Humm. If we joined Kyoto we could get a refund.

More on Huber and Mills book (here).

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

A few qustions and suggestions for Mr Roy

Joe Roy III over looks some facts in "No longer silent about Iraq War," June 16, 2005
Arguably, the thinnest of threads in this web of war logic was the insistence that Saddam was somehow capable of projecting these alleged weapons into the United States, thereby posing an imminent threat.
Could Saddam give them to terrorist who could ship them to the US in a freight container, or in a tramp freighter? Could Saddam have used his missiles to reach Israel?
So great and immediate was this threat that the United States could not afford to postpone the war long enough for weapons inspectors to determine if, indeed, Saddam was illegally armed or not.
How many years, should we wait for the inspectors? Was twelve years enough?
Finding no such compelling evidence to warrant a rush to military action, I was unable to embrace a call to arms or to fall in step to the persistent drums of war.
And what would compelling evidence would that be?
I felt out of sync with my country and to my discredit, I fell silent. In this silence, I became complicit. I followed the news closely, and with each passing day, I became more convinced that the impending war was less urgent than elective, having little or nothing to do with the attacks in New York or terrorism in general. I watched in dismay as our post-9/11 sense of vulnerability was exploited by those among us who sought war in the Middle East for reasons other than those being stated.
Monday morning the ball game always looks different than during the game. Monday morning quarterbacks, always do a better job than the real quarter back, once the game has been played. And what were these unstated reasons? Have you read the full declaration submitted and approved by Congress?
The war began and before long was being touted as a resounding success as Saddam's government was toppled. America basked in the brief afterglow with a palpable "might makes right" exuberance. We'd slain the dragon. Nonetheless, any illusions we had of triumph over evil, mission accomplished, or even a job well done quickly unraveled as resistance took hold.
The President said, it was not going to be easy, that the war on terror would continue until it was won. When might that be? Are you a quitter or a winner?
The astounding magnitude of the financial burden heaped upon the backs of American families pales in comparison to the damage in human suffering and lives lost on both sides.
And the cost of a nulcear or bioweapon going off in downtown New York, or San Francisco? And, how many mass graves have the troops found? How may bodies in those graves, 300,000, or 400,000. How many Kurds, were gassed, 5,000?
The tortures of Abu Ghraib came and went, or so we are led to believe, by a White House that eschews the Geneva Convention while insulating itself from possible prosecution of war crimes. Upon learning of such atrocities being conducted in my name, I was repulsed, but endured my shame and disgust in silence.
The Abu Ghraib prisoners were harassed by a single unit, on one shift, in one wing to the prison. It was not common practice, among all shifts, units or wings. All the participants were punished. Geneva Convention requires uniform combatants. What uniforms are the insurgents using?
Shortly after the elections in Iraq, there was almost a collective sigh of relief amongst hopeful Americans, coupled with sentiment that somehow the ends justify the means. As time marches on, it becomes increasingly clear that we are in a position of diminishing returns, even in the most optimistic views.
And the evidence is? New York Times? Washington Post? LA Times? Try some of the troop blogs for a much different perspective (here). Or an independent view (here).
It is becoming equally clear that our "stay the course" strategy is not having an overall positive affect and that Iraq is, in fact, progressively deteriorating. Unfortunately, the reactions of our elected officials have become predictably myopic and ineffectual, with no clear vision and no end in sight. The news regarding construction of large-scale, permanent U. S. military bases inside Iraq does not bode well for a timely exit.
And which permanent base its that? More than one? And your source of information?
Perhaps it's time that we, as a nation, take pause to re-evaluate our current situation in Iraq, drawing upon our past experiences and shared wisdom in order to craft a viable solution.
Your solution is? A Viet Nam solution?

UPDATE: A reader reminded me that it took over two years to stop "insurgents" in Germany after WWII.The difference between 1945 and Iraq today is that Germany was not being supplied with manpower and weapons from outside their country in any significant numbers, and Germany was a real mess after the allies bombed it into an 'unfunctional' country. He also asks, is our military being too nice, or does the Middle East just need it's Total War to "get it"? What do you think?

If you have a comment click here.

The Union Blogs?

What is going on with The Union Blogs? The Blog Button on the Front page is gone. No posts for a week? I hope they have not bailed out. It takes a while for the blogs to generate a following, it does not happen over night. Please let them know we miss the The Union blogs.

E-mail Editor Pat Butler by clicking here.

UPDATE: Sadie reports, "I can see the "Union's Blog" button." It must be back up.

If you have a comment click here.

Commenting on Union articles and letters

In case you have not noticed, The Union now lets online readers comment directly on letters, or articles. This is now a little used feature, but will grow over time.

Note below the five comments following Rick Keene's Other Voices, "Protecting children starts with parents," June 15, 2005
Comments (5), Print, E-mail
Click on "Comments" and you can comment on the Other Voices, read the comments, or if you can comment on the comments. Lots of fun to follow the comment thread. Note the comment content, then who signs their comments, and who hides behind Anonymous postings.

If you have a comment click here.

Iraq news you never see on MSM

Christopher Hitchens talking to Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge. People of Iraq celebrate presence of British and American troops, eyewitness report (here).

(Thanks to Normblog)

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Global Warming Update: More study needed

Analysis By JON COHEN and GARY LANGER at ABC News
Nearly six in 10 Americans think global warming likely is under way and as many accept that human activities play a significant role. But — like the Bush administration — most part company with scientists' calls for prompt government action.

That lack of urgency stems from perceptions of the hazard: While a vast majority, nearly eight in 10, believe global warming will pose a serious threat to future generations, far fewer — just one-third — think it will affect their own lives. The majority who see the risk as a distant one overwhelmingly prefer more study to immediate action.
Full story (here).

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Is it true, the ballot initiative is just a nuisance?

A regular reader of this blog, called just flabbergasted that Kathleen Smith, Nevada County Clerk-Recorder had declared Gov. Schwarzenegger’s ballot initiatives an “a nuisance, “ in an interview on the KNCO, during the noon report. I missed the report and listened at 5:00, but did not hear a replay . Can any blog readers confirm this report? Since I did not hear it, I would like to have a least some additional confirmation before making any additional remarks. Can you confirm or deny this report?

If you have a comment click here.

Increased funding for economic development

The Grass Valley City Council passed the 2005-2006 Budget last night, with a $23,000 surplus. Taking the long view, the Council used this surplus to increase funding for economic development. The Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Association and the Economic Resource Council will each receive a one time increase of $7,500 plus some change. While I might quibble with how they distributed the surplus, the Council was wise to fund economic development now, rather than wait for economic tough times. Good job Council!

If you have a comment click here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Justice for Bloggers

EFF Announces its New Legal Guide for Bloggers
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to release a document that informs bloggers of their legal rights. EFF's "Legal Guide for Bloggers" is a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs) designed to educate bloggers about their legal rights in a number of areas, including libel law, copyright law, and political advocacy.
If you have a comment click here.

Something to wonder about.

KNCO's Taco Bells ads promote a Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Burrito. However, the local Taco Bell no longer serves a Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Burrito and has not for months according to the assistant manager. Why spend money to advertise a non existent product?

If you have a comment click here.

Reliance on just one model no better than flipping a coin!

Global Ecology and Biogeography a group of Oxford Scientists have tested the ability of environmental science to predict the future… by going back to the past.

They found 16 climate models were not much better than guessing. Combined results produced better results, but still could not reproduce reality.
To avoid further accusations of crystal ball gazing, environmentalists and scientists now need to find further ways of improving the accuracy of models to provide more meaningful inputs into environmental policy making. "If we don't improve our forecasting soon then not only will the climate skeptics find it easy to criticize climate change research, but we will be left making decisions about the future of the planet based on guesswork" says Dr Ladle.
Full report (here).

Remember these are the models that our goverment leaders are using to justify carbon taxes and CO2 emission controls on new cars. They are using junk science to steal money from your wallet. Wake up folks.

If you have a comment click here.

Scary headline is wrong

George Boardman writes "Election to cost county $210,000," Clerk-recorder to seek additional cash from supervisors, June 14, 2005
The special statewide election called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will cost Nevada County about $210,000, county Clerk-Recorder Kathleen Smith said Monday.

Smith based her estimate on the cost of the special election to recall Gov. Gray Davis, and said the county will have to bear the entire local cost unless the governor includes a reimbursement provision in the resolution calling for the election,
According to the Channel 10 News, the County Clerk's all received e-mails from the Governor, right after the announcement the special election was going forward, that the State would be picking up the cost of the election. Humm...

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Parental concent questions

David Mirhadi writes about "Parental consent issue reviewed," Board president says legality unclear on policy changes, June 14, 2005

Does anyone find a problem with this statement by Dan Miller?
"Anything that asks a student to give up their rights would appear to be a violation of the law," he said.
What about those unannounced locker and backpack searches? Are these an invasion of student privacy? Are these also illegal under the Dan Miller statement?

No where in this discussion has anyone answered my question. Who is liable if the high school sends a child to the doctor, without the parents permission, and the students long term health is damaged? Who pays the bills, the parents, the school, the doctor?

Has anyone followed the money? Does this decision impact someones wallet? Who?

Just wondering

If you have a comment click here.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Global Warming Update: Australian view

Philip Hopkins writes in the Australian AGE, Global warming cyclical, says climate expert, June 13, 2005
Professor Carter, a marine geologist, is research professor in the university's Marine Geophysical Laboratory. He said the Kyoto Protocol would cost billions, even trillions, of dollars and would have a devastating effect on the economies of countries that signed it.

"It will deliver no significant cooling - less than 0.02 degrees Celsius by 2050," he said.
"The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been the main scaremonger for the global warming lobby . . .

Fatally, the IPCC is a political, not a scientific body."
Read full article (here) .

Remember, our Governor is committing us to Kyoto CO2 emission reductions that according to Professor Carter will “deliver no significant cooling.” It is your dollars folks, it is your businesses that will foot the big bill for this foolishness.

If you have a comment click here.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Anna’s outing by The Union

The Union’s blog coverage by David Mirhadi resulted in "Anna" at NCFocus finding her full name appearing in the article. Her comments (here) and (here).

The only anonymous blogs I visit on a regular basis are the local blogs. Just because they are local, no other reason. I checked my most visited blog list, and found the blogs I read the most are those willing to stand behind their postings, such as Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, Roger L.Simon, Lorie Byrd at Polipundit, John, Scott and Paul at Powerline, Jay Rosen at Press Think, and Dan Gillmore at Bayosphere. Oh! I visit other blogs, but find those with a name behind them are more useful than those shouting from behind an electronic fence. With a signature your can check out the blogger on Google, or on an other search engine. I could not do that when NCFocus was just “Anna.”

People who critique people, organizations and issues, should be willing to put their name on the document or blog. You write a letter to the editor, the newpapers expects a name. So should you!

UPDATE: The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a legal FAQ guide for bloggers (here).
Do I have a right to blog anonymously?

Yes. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the First Amendment right to speak anonymously: "author is generally free to decide whether or not to disclose his or her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one's privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be...the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author's decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment." (McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm)

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Better way to fight terror?

Please read this article in the Sunday Parade. More mercy ships will win far more hearts and minds than bombs and guns. Should we be building more ships like this one?
parade.jpg

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

GLOBAL WARMING UPDATE: Kyoto not working

National Review Online has an interesting editorial (here) on Governor Schwarzenegger’s executive order committing California to the world’s most ambitious program for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. It is more political window dressing than action, the global case according to the editorial.
In the case of global warming, the emptiness of political gestures is already on display. According to a recent report from the European Environmental Agency, the signatories to the Kyoto Protocol are already blowing past their commitments with wild abandon. The EU, under its current policies, is on track for a 7-percent shortfall in its emission targets by 2010; France is set to have a 9-percent shortfall; in Belgium the shortfall will be 14 percent; and in Demanrk it will pass 36 percent.
Look to me like Kyoto is not working as planned.

If you have a comment click here.

Late to the discussion, with just smoke

Ron Lowe, one of the usual suspects, writes "Downing St. memo the smoking gun?", June 11, 2005
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice: "This war came to us, not the other way around." That's not the way it was. Showing up the lies, a Downing Street memo points out that intelligence and facts were fixed and spun to warrant military action in Iraq. The President and America are now reaping the results of this deceit, with U.S. soldiers and Iraqis paying the ultimate price.
Mr. Lowe is a little late to the discussion. See the Union Blog, where Anna has posted a link to the memo. See post number 4 (here). While you are there click on the other links. My favorite is the National Review Online discussion (here).

Remember, the Brits and US remained engaged in Iraq since the first Gulf War, enforcing the no fly zones. Read the Memo.

Yes, the leftie blogs are trying to turn this memo in to a smoking gun. But , it just a memo by an aide of what he thought other players said. At best it is an imaginary gun and some smoke.

If you have a comment click here.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hate for GOP is blinding

Patricia Black gets it all wrong in "GOP betrays veterans," June 10, 2005
I, too, noted the items in The Union on May 30 on the cuts to staff in veterans hospitals, and Rep. John Doolittle's betrayal of veterans in his vote against HR 2528, which would have increased funding for their medical care.
Well, Ms Black is wrong. The final vote in the House on HR-2528 was 425 to 1. All GOP, included Rep. Doolittle vote Yea, the only Nay was cast Rep. Stark, a Democrat.

Check it out (here). Why do letter writers make such dumb statements, when it is so easy to check out on the Internet.

If you have a comment click here.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Another view of outsourcing impacts

I have written about the impact outsourcing could have on local manufacturing and sales tax revenue. C.K. PRAHALAD, a hero from my aerospace conceptual design days, writing in the Wall Street Journal thinks that outsourcing produces jobs in The Art of Outsourcing, June 8, 2005; Page A14
“The current outsourcing phenomenon is the start of a new pattern of innovation in the way we manage. The ability to fragment complex management processes and reintegrate them into the whole is a new capability. It allows us, in the short term, to take advantage of the talent outside the U.S. In the longer term, it allows us to cope creatively with the emerging labor shortage caused by an aging population in developed markets. The time to learn to manage with a global system of knowledge, products, services and component vendors is now. We should celebrate the process that imports competitiveness and creates new jobs.”
To take advantage of this creativity requires, highly reliable telecommunications resources. Telecommunications resources not available in many parts of Nevada County. We all need to think about how local companies are going to compete in this new global competition for talent, if we do not have the required telecommunications infrastructure.

Full article is online (here).

If you have a comment click here.

Africa needs clean water, energy and free trade

EnviroSpin Watch is a weblog by Professor Emeritus Philip Stott, which monitors coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. Phillip comments on UK press coverage of the Bush/Blair G-8 discussions to help Africa and reduce global warming.
“And if the nonsense over climate change damages the economies of the rich countries, we will never be able to help Africa out of its terrible plight. Clean water, energy, and free trade remain the key priorities for the developing world.”
More (here).

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National Academy warming claim not supported

You will soon see a letters to The Editor in The Union, claiming human caused global warming is real, now that the National Academies of 11 nations have spoken. "It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities." Really, only “likely”? How likely? Where is the solid proof? Like some solid data, not just some computer models with questionable assumptions, and tweeked output.

From the National Academy Statement:
Climate change is real
There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001)
[See Footnote 2.] This warming has already led to changes in the Earth's climate.

Footnote 2 in the statement:
Third Assessment Report, we recognize the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Yet, the IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report, has been called into question in multiple peer-reviewed science reports, (here) and (here).

And in Senate Testimony by Dr. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT (here).

Look at the NASA/GISS data sets (here) and you decide for yourself if the worlds if warming. Most ground based temperature data sets are contaminated by urban heat islands, weather stations that started in rural areas now surrounded by concrete buildings and parking lots. Look at the ocean, balloon and satellite data sets, which are not impacted by urban heat islands. What do you think?

UPDATE: Igor Kopylov, a professor with the Moscow Energy Institute and a State Prize winner, wrote in June 2005, in the scientific supplement to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily, “the global energy change is due to the growing solar activity, the Earth's deceleration due to the transient phenomenon and the shift of its warm and cold zones. Another transient cycle in our galaxy began in the early 20th century and has been underway for a century.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Maine wants to know the cost of Kyoto like rules

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order June 1st, 2005 to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California over the next 45 years. His executive order called for a slowdown of emissions by 2010, returning the state to 2000 emission levels. By 2020, his order calls for the state to return to 1990 levels. By 2050, the Gov. expects the state to reduce emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels.

In 2003, Maine passed legislation implementing the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan, a regional version of the Kyoto Protocol, committed New England and Eastern Canada to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, 10% below that by 2020, and eventually by 70-80% or more.

Looks a lot like Gov. Schwarzenegger’s plan. But the story does not stop there.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection decided not to discuss either the costs or the averted global warming benefits explicitly, but rather to focus on other environmental benefits, and to ignore the likely impact on energy bills. The plan was not to be submitted for an up or down vote, but implemented piecemeal by executive order and rule-making.

Representative Henry Joy was having none of this peace meal strangulation of Maine’s economy, and submitted an Act to Promote Sound Science in Climate Change Policy. It required that "when the Department of Environmental Protection adopts rules designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the department must issue an estimate of the amount of global warming that will be prevented and the costs that will result from the rules requiring reduction in greenhouse gas emissions." Wow , clear straight forward accountability. The Governor signed this landmark legislation.

My question is, when will California tax payers wise up and make the California Air Resources Board accountable for the environmental rules they levy on us tax payers. By their own admission, their new auto emission standards, will not reduce global warming, or if you prefer the new term global climate change, yet cost all new car buyer from $1,000 to $3,000 more per vehicle, starting in 2009. Where is the accountability? Maine gets it, when will California?

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Transition from manufacturing to service economy

As more companies in Western Nevada County transition from manufacturing to services, our leaders need to be aware of the impact this transition could have on the local economy. Services do not generate the level of tax revenues that products do.

Research and development services are an expense, but a necessary part of the business cycle. R&D must create new products to replace the mature products which can become low revenue commodities, often with stiff competition from knock off foreign competitors. That means companies must innovate. They must leverage the services they provide. The global economy is driven by connectivity, providing an opportunity to create levels of service that cannot be matched by competitors.

Tomorrow’s Grass Valley Group, Litton and Telestream are working in their second bedroom, garage and back forty barns to create must have devices and services. However, many lack the broadband connectivity needed to grow in the globally connected economy. Grass Valley, Nevada City and the County must pay more attention to our telecommunication infrastructure weaknesses.

A priority for the ERC, since 2000 when Larry Burkhardt formed the Telecommunications Infrastructure Resource Team, has been to expand broadband connectivity. The ERC has had some success in getting SBC to turn on more DSL remote terminals. In other cases, the ERC encouraged entrepreneurs to development wireless alternatives to DSL which prodded SBC to be come competitive and turn on additional remote terminals. Yet, many home based business still do not have the connectivity need to succeed. The home-based businesses need help from local political leaders. Roseville community leaders worked with Surewest, then Roseville Telephone, to insure that all new business parks had vital fiber optics infrastructure. Surewest is now bringing fiber optics to the home in many neighborhoods. Our city and county leaders shouldd be encouraging SBC and the Comcast to expand broadband services.

Local telecommunication issues that need immediate leadership attention:
New buildings in Whispering Pines Business Park cannot get SBC telephone voice and data circuits. Planners lacked insight into future telecommunications needs. I have no idea what leverage the City can apply, but local developers cannot rent these new buildings without telephone and data services. Empty buildings do not generate much tax revenue.

The Nevada City Central Office (CO) is so stuffed with equipment, there is no room to put the fiber optic distribution systems need to activate DSL remote terminal in the rural neighborhoods. The CO must be expanded or moved to a new location. Expansion in the historical district will be difficult without the cooperation of City Council and the local NIMBY organizations. Moving will require extensive trenching, and the disruption of local businesses. It will also impact city tax revenue, if the new CO is moved outside the city limits. Yet, insuring emerging home based businesses have DSL, or cable broadband, connections are vital to growing a connected service economy. Nevada City leaders should work to eliminate the CO bottleneck as soon as possible.

More details on ERCactivitiess, including a map of current broadband coverage( here).

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Tony Blair and Global Warming

We are going to hear a lot about global warming as Tony Blair trys to convince President Bush it is a real threat to life on earth. The folks at Junkscience take a look at global warming, or the lack of it, in Blair's backyard (here). Be sure to check out the solar energy charts and the other historical climate charts on the page.

If you have a comment click here.

Compassionate views on Lake Wildwood drowning

Sadie Hartman at Sadico Junction has some insight in to the Lake Wildwood drowning, and how it was reported in The Union.

If you have a comment click here.

Lost in quest to find blood for oil

Donna Cobb should have checked her atlas before writing about blood for oil in
“Downing Street memo,” June 7, 2005
Just today, an 1,100-mile pipeline that will carry millions of gallons of crude from the Caspian Sea was opened. A major player happens to be Unocal. Coincidentally, the person Bush placed in the highest position in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, was previously a top adviser to Unocal. It's all about the oil ... blood for oil.
The Caspian oil pipeline starts in Azerbaijan and passes through Georgia to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The project took more than 10 years to finish unlocking one of the world's biggest energy reserves. The pipeline does not pass through Iraq or Afganistan. So, how does it become a blood for oil issue?

Just for the record, Unocal was not a minor player. The major player was BP which has a 30% stake. Other consortium members include Azerbaijan's state oil company Socar, Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillips, Eni, Inpex, Itochu, Statoil, Total, TPAO and Unocal.

Full story and a map at the BBC web site (here).

I think Ms. Cobb needs to check her Atlas and the Internt before writing anymore blood for oil letters.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Eyewitness reports on drowning

David Mirhadi and Becky Trout write about a "Girl drowns at Wildwood," 6 June 2005
An 8-year-old Lake Wildwood girl drowned Saturday after apparently slipping on
rocks jutting out into the lake, the Nevada County Sheriff's Office reported.
Sadie was as eyewitness to this drowning and has some comments at Sadio Junction, and her observations do not match up with The Union's account.

If you have a comment click here.

Checking for local global warming

NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies has been monitoring the earths surface temperature from space. To calibrate the spacecraft tempertures profles, GISS has compliled surface temperture from weather stations, including Colfax CA. Chart below. This is the nearest station to Grass Valley. To me it looks like Colfax is not expereincing any global warming.

colfaxstation.gif

You can go to the GISS station locator, and check your favorite global warming location (here).

If you have a comment click here.

More taxing junk science in your name

On April 8, 2005, the D.C. circuit court of appeals heard oral arguments in Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Petitioners include the attorneys general of 12 states, including California’ s AG are suing the EPA for rejecting an October 1999 petition by the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) and others, asking the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles. In effect California’s AG is asking the EPA to impose the Kyoto Protocol—a non-ratified treaty—on U.S. automakers. In reality, on you the car buyer, who must pay for our AG's hair brained pursuit of junk science regulations.
Marlo Lewis writes about this lawsuit in a Heartland Institute OP-ED:

Court Skeptical of Warming Theory
During oral arguments extending well beyond the scheduled 40 minutes, the D.C. circuit court expressed significant doubt about the rationale of the lawsuit. Judge Raymond Randolph criticized alarmist global warming theory and suggested EPA may be justified in deciding the current emission of greenhouse gases is not a serious threat to public safety.

“You claim injury but then you have to show causation,” Randolph said. “You would have to prove that automobile emissions caused the harm you alleged.”
Randolph specifically cited a National Academy of Sciences global warming report that cited a lack of evidence linking automobile emissions to global warming. “That doesn’t sound like it’s been proven,” he said.

Randolph also called into question computer models cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “We can’t even tell what the weather is going to be two weeks from now,” said Randolph.

Randolph noted global temperatures actually declined from 1940 through the 1970s, even though atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose substantially during that time-period.
Full Op-Ed (here).

If you have a comment click here.

You are paying for California's junk science addiction

Richard W. Walker at the National Center for Policy Analysis:
"Gov. Schwarzenegger, in particular, and California, in general, like to tout themselves as being ahead of the curve in politics and policy, but they are now not only ahead of the science, they have put California taxpayers behind the 8-ball of the economic impact of this policy," said NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett. "More and more frequently peer-reviewed research is increasingly linking the current warming cycle to natural variations, rather than to humans."

Declaring the debate about climate change and global warming to be over, Gov. Schwarzenegger said the time for action is now because, in his words, "We know the science. We see the threat." Yet many scientists, especially those writing for peer-reviewed journals rather than the popular press, are finding that climate change is better explained by natural climate cycles and other cosmic events and may not be due to human activity at all.

Keep scrolling down and you will find multiple Global Warming Updates, that support the NCPA position.

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Grass Valley's head in the sand economics

At the June Economic Resource Council Board meeting, and on Larry Burkhardt Radio Show May 31st, Dennis Manning described the challenges of growing a business in Nevada County. Bub Enterprises manufactures after market motorcycle exhaust systems, a growing business according to Manning. Unable to find an expansion building, and unwilling to wait two plus years to build one, he bought a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin, where the cost of doing business is much lower, specifically worksmans compensation costs, better work ethic, and large skilled work force. Manning is building a new 60,000 sq. foot facility in the Loma Rica Industrial Park, but the role of this new facility will be to design and test new products, not manufacture them. All manufacturing will be done in Bub’s Wisconsin facility.

A number of local business have converted their Nevada County facilities to just design centers, moving manufacturing to lower cost states, or out sourcing manufacturing to overseas companies. While the parent company stays in Nevada County, the local tax revenues generated by the sale of manufacture goods declines, or are reduce to zero. Research and Development is an expense, not a revenue generator. Given global manufacturing trends, out sourcing and seeking lower cost labor will continue, impacting our local economy as more local companies switch from manufacturing to design and testing. The real danger is the failure of our local government to recognize this growing trend.

Placer County and Rosville’s economy is booming, Yet, they have kicked off and funded an aggressive program to expand existing business and lure-more high paying companies to town. While business is booming they are looking a head from a position of strength. This week Roseville broke ground on its own power plant, to insure its businesses do not fall victim to state wide power shortages. This is in contrast to Grass Valley, which is reluctant to even increase funding for local economic development. Grass Valley claims to be the commerce center of Western Nevada County, with half of all the sales taxes generated in Western Nevada County flowing to city coffers. Grass Valley will be impacted more than Nevada City, or the County, as manufacturing moves to other states or overseas, yet they are not looking a ahead as this trend plays over the next five to ten years. Roseville gets it, and Grass Valley does not.

Grass Valley has demonstrated a clear lack of interest in economic development. They do not attend ERC events recognizing local business success. They are clearly not increasing ERC funding to bolster local economic development, while Nevada City and the County are increasing their support for the ERC. Grass Valley funding has remained static since 1999, [See correction below] yet the ERC has established a clear record of retaining tax revenue generating business in Grass Valley. Wake up Grass Valley City Council, you have your heads in the sand. You must recognize long-term trends in the global economy, and take action now to survive in the future.

UPDATE: For more information on the ERC Mission and current economic development activites, click (here).

UPDATE CORRECTION: Grass Valley, increased their ERC contribution by $3,250 last year, the only increase since 1999.

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

T-Ball in Roseville

We are up with the dawn for a quick trip to Roseville to watch our grandson's last T-Ball game of the season. More posting this evening.

UPDATE: Some of our Children followed us home from Rosville. We did a good deed and then went for Pizza at Franks. We discussed the global economy well in to the evening. No time for posting.

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Friday, June 03, 2005

More great insight from VDH

Victor Davis Hanson on "Our Strange War, Looking ahead, our options"
National Review Magazine, June 3, 2005
The three-year-plus war that began on September 11 is the strangest conflict in our history. It is not just that the first day saw the worst attack on American soil since our creation, or that we are publicly pledged to fighting a method — “terror” — rather than the concrete enemy of Islamic fascism that employs it.

Our dilemma is that we have not sought to defeat and humiliate the enemy as much as wean a people from the thrall of Islamic autocracy. That is our challenge, and explains our exasperating strategy of half-measures and apologies — and the inability to articulate exactly whom we are fighting and why.
Hanson posed three solution to our dilemma that are worth your time to read. (here).

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Social Security to Own, Inherit and Choose

Mary J. Jorgensen is concerned about "Social Security's future," June 3, 2005
Who benefits if we privatize Social Security? Somebody besides us. It is estimated to cost $3 to $8 trillion over the years to privatize it. Put that money in the system.
The people who will benefit are those that volunteer to participate in the program. The advantage of the currently proposed reforms are Ownership, Inheritability and Choice. The money invested in private accounts gives you control over the money, you can choose how to invest, CDs, bonds or mutual funds. When you die your nest egg is transfered to your family, adding to their wealth. And finally, you have a choice to participate, or stay with the existing program. Bottom line: We all benefit with Ownership, Inheritability and Choice!

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Blogging Uganda

Britt Retherford, Union Reporter, is blogging from Uganda at The Union Blog (here). Her first post is enroute from London.

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Gov sets emission goals, the Dem legislate

Not to be out done by a Republican Governor, the Democratic Legislature moves to create a costly carbon tax.

From the LA Times:
Democratic lawmakers moved a rival proposal that set stronger early targets through an Assembly policy committee Tuesday, and Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), the author of a landmark state law to curtail greenhouse gases from cars and trucks, announced another bill to reduce the emissions from factories, power plants and other stationary sources.
This carbon tax will increase the cost of doing business in California. Some smarter folks in Maine.

From the Maine New Standard:
The governor of Maine last week signed into law a measure requiring the state’s environmental agency to weigh the economic impact of regulations when instituting and enforcing them, reversing two-year-old legislation that made the state the first in the nation to embrace climate change emissions standards.
The folks in Maine now realize that restrictive regulations have economic impacts. Something our legislators, with all their good intentions have yet to recognize. As business move to Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona, California’s economic growth suffers. See growth forecast (here).

When conducting a survey of Loma Rica Business Park, Larry Burkhardt found one business of 150 employees considering a move to Nevada, another that was moving, and one that had already left. Actions in Sacramento have impacted our local economy. BuB industries is growing, locally, but has moved manufacturing to Wisconsin, with significantly lower workmans compensation costs.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Playing to the global warming crowd by our Hollywood Governor

The governor signs an order seeking to slash greenhouse gas emissions through 2050.
By Andy Furillo -- Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 2:15 am PDT Thursday, June 2, 2005


SAN FRANCISCO - Burnishing his environmental credentials on a world stage, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order on Wednesday that seeks to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California over the next 45 years.

Schwarzenegger put his name on the document in front of a cheering crowd of more than 200 dignitaries and other delegates to the United Nations World Environment Day in San Francisco's City Hall.

I have been supporting and will probably continue to support Governor Schwarzenegger, however not in this case. There is no scientific proof, only imperfect computer models, that indicate human generated CO2 is the source of global warming. The facts show some warming, but nothing near the computer prediction of 5 to 9 degrees C used to scare people.

The California Air Resources Board has put in place regulations requiring extensive modifications, starting in 2009, to reduce greenhouse gas emisions. These modifications will cost you between $1,000 and $3,000 dollars per vehicl. At the same time your new vehicle will be thousands of pounds lighter than other vehicles on the road, and may have slower acceleration. In other words you will be driving a less safe vehicle that costs you thousands more.

And in CARB’s own words will not reduce global warming.
CARB Fact Sheet published 12/10/2005, admits that “gas emissions from CALIFORNIA light duty vehicles are a small fraction of the global total . . . and will not solve the global climate change problem.”
You, the tax payer are paying for a solution that will have no impact. Now that the Gov has set more goals, you can expect more expensive solutions to an unproven problem. A carbon tax from the Public Utilities Commission for example. If your electric energy come from a fossel fuel, coal or gas, you will pay an extra tax. This tax will drive more business to Nevada where they will not be taxed to solve a non-problem. Wake up folks, the water is getting hot, we will soon be boiled alive in a stew of junkscience.

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