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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dr. Christy is an outlier on what the vast majority of his colleagues consider to be a matter of consensus: that global warming is both settled science and a dire threat. He regards it as neither.

But in speeches, congressional testimony and peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, he argues that predictions of future warming have been greatly overstated and that humans have weathered warmer stretches without perishing. Dr. Christy's willingness to publicize his views, often strongly, has also hurt his standing among scientists who tend to be suspicious of those with high profiles.

"I detest words like ‘contrarian' and ‘denier,' " he said. "I'm a data-driven climate scientist. Every time I hear that phrase, ‘The science is settled,' I say I can easily demonstrate that that is false, because this is the climate -- right here. The science is not settled."

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Not long, as these things go, before his departure was announced Krugman thoroughly was indicted and publicly eviscerated for intellectual dishonesty by Harvard's Niall Ferguson in a hard-hitting three-part series in the Huffington Post, beginning here, and with a coda in Project Syndicate, all summarized at Forbes.com.

Ferguson: Where I come from … we do not fear bullies. We despise them. And we do so because we understand that what motivates their bullying is a deep sense of insecurity. Unfortunately for Krugtron the Invincible, his ultimate nightmare has just become a reality. By applying the methods of the historian – by quoting and contextualizing his own published words – I believe I have now made him what he richly deserves to be: a figure of fun, whose predictions (and proscriptions) no one should ever again take seriously.

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Friday, July 04, 2014

I just wanted to take the time to reach out to the folks who don't celebrate America on this Independence weekend. It's got to be tough with all the Pro America celebrations going on. The flash of fireworks recalling our victory over the British for our freedom. Families getting together to celebrating with the waving of flags and parades of folks celebrating patriotism and American Exceptionalism. It easy to understand your depression on this most patriotic of weekends. As Dinesh D'Souza's "America" movie hits the box office there is little talk of wars on women, economic justice, global warming, illegal immigration or any of your other typical liberal tirades.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, said he was denied access Tuesday to the Fort Sill facility housing unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed the U.S. border. Bridenstine made an impromptu visit to the Health and Human Services Department facility at the U.S. Army post in southwestern Oklahoma and was told he couldn't enter and should email an HHS official to make an appointment. He was told July 21 would be the earliest date he could visit. Gov. Mary Fallin and Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, visited the facility on June 20. Bridenstine said, "There is no excuse for denying a federal representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held. Any member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks."

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Reverend Steve Fielder, a pastor at the First Union Missionary Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, has accused Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran's campaign of engaging in an illegal and criminal campaign scheme to purchase the votes of black community members.

To back up his claim, Fielder provided four text messages purporting to be sent to him by Saleem Baird, a staffer for the Cochran campaign -- messages that would, indeed, appear to indicate that Baird was using Fielder as a conduit to pay black voters for casting their ballot for Cochran.

Many attribute this win to the willingness of the black community in Mississippi (many of whom are assumed to be Democrats) to come out and cast their vote for Cochran -- votes perfectly permissible given the State's open primary rules so long as the voter has not already voted in a Democratic primary.


Absolute Truth, Dogmatism Antithetical to Science

Marc Carlin bemoans the prevalence of what he calls "moral relativism" among the students here at MIT. He argues that a group of students so familiar with the natural sciences should instead embrace a doctrine which he attributes to these disciplines: that absolute, timeless truths exist, and that human reason, properly applied, can discover and apply these lofty principles.

I think Carlin misunderstands the character of science, and of morality. Unlike him, I am pleased to find that MIT students shy away from the notion that Absolute Truths exist and can be discovered. To me, this indicates that science is being taught and done well, and that students here are not indoctrinated with the misconceptions about science and moral judgment which Carlin exhibits.

Carlin claims that Absolute Truth "is essential" to science. It is not. In fact, the best science recognizes the basic uncertainty of human knowledge, and by this recognition frees itself from the dogmatic belief that once a problem appears to be solved, it is solved for good.

The scientific method insists upon questioning not only the objects and events that we find in the world, but also our basic beliefs and assumptions about the way the world is, and the way we come to know things about it. Science works because no fact or belief is ever taken as being final; all knowledge is provisional, and postulates, methods, and conclusions are at all times open to the critical scrutiny not only of the researchers conducting the work, but also of the scientific community at large.


Krugtron the Invincible, Part 1

As a Princeton professor and Nobel Prize winner, Krugman is indeed widely believed to be intellectually invincible. He himself acknowledges having made only two mistakes,

"Let those who are without error cast the first stone," Krugman wrote back in 2010. Unfortunately, this is not an injunction he himself has heeded. Repeatedly, over the last five years, he has heaped opprobrium on others.

To be precise, I would like to see him admit that he got the biggest call of the last several years dead wrong, again and again and again. Not only should he admit his mistake, but he should also apologize to the millions of people who have suffered as a result of it. Or does he believe that his numerous, widely read predictions of imminent currency break-up had no impact whatever on the expectations of European investors and consumers?


Krugtron the Invincible, Part 2
If Krugman was wrong about the origins of the crisis, and wrong about the fate of the euro - wrong, in short about the two biggest crises of our time - what exactly was he right about?

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 3
For too long, Paul Krugman has exploited his authority as an award-winning economist and his power as a New York Times columnist to heap opprobrium on anyone who ventures to disagree with him.


Krugman, wrong on Europe
Krugman, wrong on the euro
Krugman, wrong on Greece
Krugman, wrong on bond yields
Krugman, wrong on the subprime mortgage market

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