December 31, 2009

A McIlheran hypothesis

Maybe the Journal-Sentinel has said that the more you make your readers "roll on the floor laughing" with posts rife of "lunacy," the more hits you will generate, which means an increase in your pay based on "performance."
h/t Brew City Brawler, who posits his own worthy suggestion: The dedicated Patty-Mac newspaper ombudsman.

December 30, 2009

Good God, not these clowns again

Pete Hoekstra, R-MI, and Peter King, R-NY.

Money: "Neither congressman concedes applying a double standard to Obama." No guff. Their whole schtick is double standards.
Hoekstra [is] the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.
Either meritocracy is turned on its head, or else they named that committee wrong. The Framers knew these characters, and limited them to two-year terms, and they were the only elected federal officials. The Framers held a dim view of democracy, and these two jokesters are a big part of the reason why.

And: Why the hell doesn't Dick Cheney, who released Guantanamo detainees back into Yemen, just go away and stay gone away.

Major league asshole, indeed.

Contra (jam) band

In the [arresting] officer's training and experience, the presence of "Grateful Dead" stickers on the vehicle suggested involvement in "the drug world" ... [The defendant argued] that "Grateful Dead" bumper stickers do not create reasonable suspicion to convert a traffic stop into a dog sniff stop. The State disagreed.
h/t Tyroler.

What's even worse than being a public defender

Getting involved with the ACLU.

Do Republicans ever argue, or do they just lie and smear, and then hide behind "freedom of speech" (which is one of the CLs in ACLU).

If Obama buckles under to these frauds, he's not worthy of respect.

No, the Wisconsin Supreme Court didn't

[The Wisconsin Supreme Court] adopted, 4-3, a rule that says campaign contributions and money given to independent campaigns on the justices' behalf do not require the jurists to recuse themselves from cases in which these contributors are a party.
The four voted to adopt the rules in October. In November, the language that they voted on changed considerably (when the authors of the rules — as opposed to the four justices who voted to approve them, which should be cause for concern — noticed that the rules, when read in conjunction, didn't make any sense) and new, allegedly improved language was submitted. In December, faced with the resubmitted language, Justice David Prosser rescinded his October vote favoring adoption. It remains to be seen what Justice Prosser's disposition will be in January, when the court revisits the issue.

At the moment, there is no "adopted" rule. Did nobody on the Journal-Sentinel's editorial board watch the court's December 7 conference?* It was only the public television event of the year.**

* The newspaper's "right-wing guy" Patrick McIlheran is excused, as he sleeps through his own conferences, therefore he can't reasonably be expected to remain conscious during somebody else's.

** Next to Mike Gableman's classic Tail Gunner Joe routine.

December 29, 2009

Is P-MAC ghostwriting his own L-TTE?

[The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is] printing letters from people who base those opinions on outright falsehoods, whose conclusions are supported by fictional evidence. ... It would be nice if the editors of the State's largest daily newspaper would at least refuse to print such untruths in their letters sections, or if they must, run notes that offer the truth to offset the fiction.
The resemblance is uncanny.

Earlier: Neil Peart, all is forgiven

[A pre-Dagny Taggart Rush]

Blessed sanctity of Republican marriage update

Blossom the Turd goes on market for Wife the Third

(No word yet on buying the Corvette [or the hairpiece].)

Wisconsin's award-winning justice

Albeit not a particularly coveted award:
Lying Hypocrite of the Year: Michael Gableman
The most recent inductee into Wisconsin's once-honorable Supreme Court isn't a great legal mind or even especially qualified. But he got elected in 2008 with big-time help from big business and a campaign ad falsely suggesting his opponent found a loophole to let a child molester re-offend. Faced with a Judicial Commission complaint, he argued that the deliberately misleading ad couldn't be punished because its component parts were true. In other words, noted one judge who recommended tossing the charges, he found a loophole! Here's a 100% true statement: Justice Gableman is a disgrace.
Bill Lueders, making me feel chaste and demure by comparison.
Jim Bopp [Gableman's defense lawyer*]: It is a loophole, that had nothing to do with [Mitchell's] guilt or innocence.

Judge Snyder: "Loophole" has kind of an emotional ring to it. It wasn't so much a loophole as it just was a properly argued application of the rape shield law, was it not?

Bopp: Well, uh, it turned out to be, yes.
That little exchange is always good for a mordant chuckle. Atty. Bopp is no dummy; he knows what total bullshit it is he's defending.

* Who hails not from Wisconsin but from Terre Haute (which — irony of all ironies — translates roughly as "higher ground"), Indiana.

It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it. And it's funny, because Reuben Lee Mitchell had a constitutional right to Louis Butler's representation, whereas Gableman has none to Jim Bopp's, his current and ongoing predicament being a civil controversy (although there's nothing at all civil about the cheap sleaze at the heart of it).

Picked a fine time to moderate comments, Lucille

Rick Esenberg, who has never moderated comments on his blog, suddenly decided to yesterday, so my calling last night's Bears overtime win over the Vikings remains in some Googlean limbo.

The larger point being, this Sunday's match-up between the Packers and the Cardinals is not as meaningless as the good professor avers, since the Cardinals are playing for a first-round playoff bye (pending yet another Vikings loss* and a Cowboys win against the Eagles).

* They've dropped three of their last four after going 10-1.

eta: The professor has more recently published a compendium of desperate mathematical rationalizations (I kid) here.

Truth be told, I was never much of a Green Bay Packers fan, although I will root for them nowadays since being welcomed here by the fine citizens of this great State.

Fuller truth be told, I don't pay as much attention to the sport as I used to, being something of an obsessive fanatic in earlier times.

Back then, the Vikings were my team and I had the great pleasure of meeting Ahmad Rashad a couple of years ago in Kohler (by chance; had I known ahead of time, I would have worn my #28 Vikings jersey, which I used to put on every Sunday [Ahmad Rashad said he was glad I wasn't wearing it, preferring not to cause a local disturbance]).

One of the ESPN commentators last night mentioned Don Coryell, former coach of the San Diego Chargers, which reminded me of possibly the greatest NFL game ever played, that between the Chargers and the Dolphins, January 2, 1982, "The Epic in Miami."

Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow (père), and a bottle of oxygen: Those were the days, younguns.

December 28, 2009

Patrick "Li'l Milton" McIlheran

Speaking of Journal Communications, Inc., how pleasant it must be to write a guest op-ed for the local paper only to have it savaged within hours by a member of that same paper's editorial board as "a morbidly wretched example of willful, stone-blind irrationality."

Unfortunately the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Patrick McIlheran's right-wing guy-savagery is widely misplaced, as he doesn't seem to have understood what the object of his Randian derision was talking about (no surprises there).
In fact, that's the weird part about Patterson's essay: He hooks up "feudal" and "capitalism" in the apparent hope of discrediting the noun with the adjective. But it's like saying "Christian Islam" or "dry water"* — the phrases work only if you wildly distort what you're meaning [sound effect of exploding irony meter goes here].
If Milton McIlheran has never come across the descriptive term feudal capitalism, then he can't be much of an expert in economics, which is supposedly his strong suit. (Or, at least, it's the most common product of his daily rummaging around right-wing blog-sites, regardless of their comically dubious provenance. See, e.g., Dad29.)

One needn't expect McIlheran to endorse Marxist political theory, obviously, any more than one would expect a socialist to approve the Chicago Boys' hopping into the sack with Augusto Pinochet.**

But at least the latter can be reasonably well-informed about it. Unlike the former, who appears to have forged a career out of embarrassing himself in print (admittedly, much to our delight).

McIlheran says the emergence of his dearly beloved capitalism is what ended feudalism. Well, no. Feudalism never went away, is the point. And elements of feudalism survive in the present system as evidenced by the situations described (accurately) by John Patterson.

Patterson's observations seemed straightforward enough to me, and hardly irrational, whether you agree with his prescriptions or not.

But we know by now that McIlheran is a ridiculous calumnist who will stop at nothing — including lying — in his failed attempts to discredit his perceived political opponents.

Or, in this case, discredit an author who'd dare to suggest that the species of capitalism practiced in the U.S. is less than ideal. So McIlheran had to mark his spot, as they say in the animal kingdom.

What's morbidly wretched is that the perceptive John Patterson (or the like) isn't featured more often and the hackish McIlheran, less.

Meet your Journal Communications supastars: "P-Dendro" McIlheran, Charlie "Gone Galt" Sykes, and James T. "Hip Musings" Harris.

* McIlheran came from Minnesota, yet he's unfamiliar with ice.

** Disciples of "Brongblart's" reportedly sustained a series of mini-aneurysms upon learning Obama Hussein's Malcolm X-Mas tree had no decorative Carlos Castillo balls on it.

Local nut-right radio host suckered by photo fake

Guess who: James T. "Hip Musings" Harris, who not coincidentally also believes there are Citgo franchises on the moons of Saturn.* "Let's win Obamacare for Ted," goes this particular hip musing. Except Ted Kennedy wasn't even married in 1956. So who cares.

The rich are different, don't you know? We proles musn't resent their alleged naked frolickings at anchor upon the Mediterranean.

Which doesn't much matter anyway, because the photo is fake.
Outstanding work by the top Charlie Sykes protégé. Bravissimo.

Harris's hip musings are reportedly entrusted access to the public airwaves by virtue of the Journal Broadcast Group's FCC licensing arrangements. If there's a more compelling argument for some reiteration of the Fairness Doctrine, it escapes me at the moment.

* Appearing at some point during the universe's 6,000-year history.

That GOPer is a gay homosexual

"You've got Mark Kirk, who's been so strong on his homosexuals* so long that the solid rumor is that he himself is a homosexual," Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser said on a radio program, adding, "Who, in Christ's name, needs to get themselves identified as a freak in the sexual department?"

* Apparently they vote.

Justice au jus

¶31 Motions to disqualify a justice of this court from participation in pending cases have become motions de jour.
It's du jour. Toujours.

December 27, 2009

Sheriff's tips for travelers

Before passing through airport security, always be sure to check your carry-on luggage for any loaded, .40 caliber handguns. Because you never know when you might have forgotten one.*

* Practitioner's Tip: Cite to Bice, Daniel, 12/27/09 ¶¶ 27-34 the next time opposing counsel or presiding judge scoffs at your client's story.

Local paper misses tort reform angle

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board member Ernst-Ulrich Franzen published a silly comment on this fake story a week after it was debunked but whiffed an opportunity to cry out for tort reform:
"They can't mess with our religion," the boy's father told the Boston Globe. "They owe us a small lump sum for this."
Recreational litigation threatened in crucifixion uproar

Leah Vukmir, dope genius

"Shrill, uncompromising, ideological, and personally unpleasant."

Wisconsin lawmaker Leah Vukmir (R-Gilles Custard Stand), who is by her own admission smarter than U.S. Supreme Court Justices David Souter and Sonia Sotomayor combined, opposes efforts to make cannabis available to terminal cancer patients because it's "a ruse":
I think what I resent most is this facade that you are putting forth, using people who are dying of cancer or who have other illnesses as your shield. I think it's nothing more than a ruse for you to move towards full legalization of marihuana.
The bill, said the legislator, "is part of a secret plot to legalize recreational marihuana." Which she personally resents. The most.

Of course this is exactly the sort of nonsense one expects from conservative Republicans, but Vukmir is also a registered nurse.

In a letter to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Commander of the Waukesha County Metropolitan Drug Unit agreed with Rep. Vukmir, and claimed the devil weed "is a marginal painkiller at best."

Remove all the unsubstantiated qualifiers and you're left with "painkiller," which is what Nurse Vukmir prefers to deny terminal cancer patients, based on her own personal resentments.

'Sanction not this palliative, on account of these idiosyncratic political phantasies that I harbor,' Vukmir is in essence saying.

Last night I happened across a teevee commercial for Cymbalta, a drug for clinical depression, which is debilitating for many people, but is not quite terminal cancer.
Severe liver problems, sometimes fatal, have been reported.
So there is one legal pharmaceutical that can kill you — even in prescribed doses — whereas the main side effect of marijuana is said to be a heightened awareness of the Ren & Stimpy soundtrack.

And now the paranoiac ravings of Leah Vukmir, who has scheduled no hearings on the hepatic mortifications of Cymbalta nor any other considerably more dangerous yet currently legally available drugs.

On the other hand, Rep. Vukmir believes terminal cancer patients have a constitutional right to keep and bear submachine guns and surface-to-air missiles up and down the Avenues of Manhattan.

But they must not be allowed to smoke a joint to help alleviate their suffering. Who said compassionate conservatism went out with Bush.

Or that elected Republicans are devoted to liberty.

December 26, 2009


We believe closets were invented to keep our money where we can see it — Valentina*
Or perhaps to keep somebody else's money where they can't see it:
Many of the clothes Sujata Sachdeva purchased apparently went unused, with some stored in a 1,000-square-foot room in a Third Ward building.
Koss embezzlement may exceed $20 million**

Sounds like a case of assisted kleptomania.

* Being the stylish Mequon emporium at which Sachdeva is alleged by federal authorities to have disbursed $1.3 million over two years.

** That's more than the whole company made during the same period.

December 24, 2009

On the True Meaning of Christmas

"We prayed real hard. How hard did you pray?"

Teabag group asks Jesus to please kill U.S. Senator

Whereupon there was [unintelligible] weeping.

Conservatives forced to admit being conservatives

Or: You cannot require me to say that thing that I was going to say anyway all on my own without anybody even asking me to say it.

In the federal case of Koschnick v. Doyle, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick formally complains about 2009 Wisconsin Act 89 Sec. 11.522(2), which requires judicial candidates who do not participate in the public financing scheme to emboss the following legend on their election literature:
This communication is paid for with money raised from private sources. This candidate has not agreed to abide by campaign contribution and spending limits.
It reminds me of the Queen albums proudly declaring, "No Synths!" or a tin of Oklahoma gumbo: "This product made from only humanely electrocuted possums."

Of course those examples are voluntary but there's nothing unconstitutional either about required product labeling; look at your box of Count Chocula or your pack of Marlboro Lights. And politicians aren't much different nowadays from consumer products.

The politicians made it that way themselves and Wisconsin's regime of electing judges not only allows it but encourages it, to the detriment of any serious or meaningful discussion about the role of judges and the significance of past decisions of the courts.

(And the press, by and large, plays the willing accomplice.)

Koschnick knows this better than most, as he marketed himself using every right-wing cliché in the book and then focused his imaginary product on the classic bugaboos: God, gays, guns, and baby rapers.

Koschnick's complaint further alleges that "consistent with his past practice, [he] does not intend to rely on public campaign financing and does expect to expend funds raised from committees."

So, there. He's already in substantial compliance with Sec. 11.522(2) and he's not even running for anything yet (officially).

Nevertheless, Judge Koschnick believes — somewhat hyperbolically and to an extent disingenuously — that the Act "requires [non-participating candidates] to use language that is inappropriate and aggressive and intentionally a statement of a position, contrary to the First Amendment and is ultimately false speech."

That is, Koschnick doesn't want to be required to claim that, for example, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson "equated [her colleagues on the court] with violent sexual criminals," he just wants to remain free to make up nonsense like that on his own (which he did).

That's protected speech, as we recently learned that candidates for the Supreme Court have a constitutional right to lie and even when they exercise it and are caught lying, they cannot be disciplined.

And these findings are supposed to be encouraging for democracy. The conclusion is inescapable: Wisconsin voters clearly preferred the candidate who boldly lied to sit on their highest court of appeals.

In the present case it's false speech in the sense, Koschnick argues, that the "statement suggest[s] non-compliance with the law" (despite his asserting elsewhere in his complaint that the referenced campaign contribution and spending limits are unlawful).

The right honorable jurisprude from Jefferson is probably correct that the government can't force non-participating candidates to carry statements indicating such. In effect, that statement is saying, "This candidate has chosen to live outside the law" (which is where you must be the most honest, just like the song says).

But should you ask me, I don't think the Act goes far enough. There ought to be a whole series of required disclaimers: "'Judicial activism' is right-wing mumbo-jumbo for stuff I don't like but can't explain why to any acceptable degree of logical consistency" and "Surgeon General's Warning: Strict constructionism leads to absurd results."

If we're going to elect Supreme Court justices, then let's call a spade a spade and identify the farcical politicking at the front end.

December 23, 2009

Koschnick v. Prosser?

For now, it's just Koschnick v. Doyle:
[2009 Wisconsin Act 89] was signed into law on December 1, 2009 and will become fully effective December 1, 2010 prior to the filing dates for the next election for the Office of Justice.
Federal complaint (.pdf; 11 pgs.).

(The Western District is where Louis Butler is headed.)

Gableman recusal motions keep piling up

This one comes from prominent defense attorney Dean A. Strang.

We have not seen this latest motion, which was filed Monday, but Prof. Richard Esenberg of Marquette Law School assures us their "rationale" is "primarily (though not quite entirely) based on the now infamous Reuben Mitchell ad and certain statements made by Gableman's lawyer, Jim Bopp, in the course of defending Justice Gableman on ethics charges stemming from the ad."

Those two things. "Not quite entirely" = certain understatement.
Bopp: It is a loophole, that had nothing to do with [Mitchell's] guilt or innocence.

Judge Snyder: "Loophole" has kind of an emotional ring to it. It wasn't so much a loophole as it just was a properly argued application of the rape shield law, was it not?

Bopp: Well, uh, it turned out to be, yes.
Yes, somehow the argument was magically transformed from "a loophole" to "not a loophole." Please. Either it was or it wasn't.

The law didn't change. Nay, not one jot nor tittle, as they say.

And we have yet to hear Mr. Bopp explain how the admission or non-admission of evidence* — upon which juries base their findings of guilt or innocence — has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.

Apparently had a jury found Mitchell not guilty, Mr. Bopp would have nevertheless found him guilty and yet accused others of a "willingness to subvert our system." In the course of defending Mike Gableman.

Of course Bopp has a First Amendment right to mouth absurdities.

Coincidentally, a notorious and "shadowy" third-party Mike Gableman fan club, the Coalition For America's Families, brazenly courted a defamation suit for pulling a similar stunt, pronouncing guilty a defendant whose conviction had been reversed. With friends like these, etc.

This is how these people think, and every indication is that Mike Gableman thinks this way too. And that is what these motions for recusal are primarily based upon, not simply two discrete events.

* In this case, evidence that is barred by the Wisconsin legislature, a fact both acknowledged and affirmed by a unanimous Supreme Court.

December 22, 2009

Awry in a manger

Free shipping for WorldNutDaily platinum members
A paradigm shift — a new way of seeing America, which is really an old way: It's the way our Founders viewed America, and it incorporates a good ol'-fashioned Christmas proclamation of Christ's birth. That America is the one I outline in the new (January 2010) paperback expansion of my New York Times best-seller "Black Belt Patriotism" ...
I was convinced long ago that the irreligious have more respect for religion and its various trappings than do the religious. Somebody has to sin, I suppose, so it might just as well be Chuck Norris.

December 21, 2009

See, this is why I swear by T.J. Maxx

Authorities say Sujata Sachdeva's bills paid with allegedly embezzled Koss funds included $1.3 million in clothing from a single store in Mequon.
And that never could have happened at the Boston Store 80%-off rack either. The hell, I doubt I could pull that off at Barney's New York.

How is it even possible to spend $1.3 million on clothes in two years? I mean, without being Liberace, Imelda Marcos, or the Pope.

Anyway, no more Boris and Doris for Sujata, from the looks of it.

Michael Horne, on the other hand, will likely have an absolute field day with those invoices.

Jerk in the box

Cong. Sensenbrenner (R-Cabela's) "probably not a crook": Paper


Did you know? Wisconsin

On August 15, 1914, one of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright's recently hired domestic workers, Julian Carlton, murdered Wright's mistress Mamah Borthwick, her two children, three of Wright's associates, and a son of one of the associates. Carlton set fire to one wing of Taliesin, Wright's house at Spring Green, Wisconsin, and then he hacked the seven people with an ax while it burned. At the time, Frank Lloyd Wright was in Chicago overseeing a construction project.
I did not know that.

P-Dendro McIlheran is deeply in love

With the "oil-soaked" Patrick J. Michaels. Swooon!

Needless to say, Patrick J. Michaels is full of it. Which is probably why he's so very much beloved by Patrick "P-Dendro" McIlheran.

And, lest anybody forgets, it took P-Dendro two weeks to determine, after careful and close review of the relevant peer-reviewed literature Wall Street Journal op-ed page, that "the decline" was not in reference to a decline in measured surface temperatures.

(Because, for one thing, those are rising.)

Two. Weeks. Following which he casually dismissed the question of whether temperatures were rising or falling as "a subtlety" he'd somehow overlooked. So, many thanks, then, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel,* for your continuing dedication to quality journalism.**

* P-Dendro McIlheran is actually a member of its editorial board. A local blogger recently alleged that the Journal-Sentinel has been a knowing party to the systematic destruction of proxy evidence for global warming by purchasing newsprint made from tree rings on which to publish ... Mr. Patrick McIlheran's "right-wing guy" views.

** They do a lot of good stuff too, but it's not anywhere near as much fun to talk about.

Stay classy, Doctor Coburn

Bah, humbug: To hell with all that 'goodwill toward men' crap

American people ought to pray for Robert Byrd to kick the bucket

He'll be just fine, him and his "Cadillac plan" insurance coverage.

That's right down there with Pat Robertson's prayers for the death of Justice Stevens. Although the undeniable fact that Pat Robertson is Chiroptera-guano crazy was something of a mitigating consideration.

Sen. Coburn's excuse? None. He's just a creep from way back.

Correlative statistics

About 58 percent of Republicans now put little or no faith in scientists on the subject [of the environment], double the number saying so in April 2007.
Washington Post.
Only 30% of Republicans believe* in "evolution;" 68% do not.
2007: Gallup poll.

* A silly word to use in context of the scientific enterprise, but offset by the WaPo's discussion of "faith." Moreover, the Post doesn't appear to have adjusted its own data for the fact of the press's sensationally superficial coverage of "Climategate," in which deniers picking away at a handful of spruce trees in Alaska are conferred the same degree of legitimacy as the scientific community at large.

And it was the Washington Post, after all, which saw fit to publish top Republican Sarah Palin's painfully idiotic op-ed of December 9.

The press's largely uncritical presentation of "both sides" is surely a contributing factor to the public's response, not to mention the sort of especially buffoonish coverage that Republicans tend to prefer.

Confirmation bias, as the psychologists say.

I remember many years ago reading in the Columbia Journalism Review an assessment of the political biases among the (at the time) three network evening news programs that ABC was the "most conservative." From that point on I undertook to watch it rather than the other two, so as to deliberately avoid confirmation bias.

More recently when presented a selection between two general histories of the United States, one by Howard Zinn and the other by Paul Johnson, I with similar deliberation chose the latter, with the same purpose of confirmation bias avoidance.

(Not only was that purpose served, but I also learned from Mr. Johnson that present day America is the grand product of a combination of unregulated capitalism and continuous divine intervention, although I must say that my own reading of the New Testament doesn't support that particular statistical correlation, which is yet another conservative Republican fabrication).

Confirmation bias is real but there are means that one may consciously employ in order to sidestep its pernicious influence.

December 20, 2009

Gableman admits to conflict

Casts deciding vote in defamation case against Milwaukee Magazine

The result is that the lower court's decision, ordering the dismissal of Bradley DeBraska's complaint against the publication, stands.

Gableman is very familiar with the expression, "deciding vote."

December 18, 2009

Quote of the day

Who else [but Warren Buffett] could credibly pit all future problems against all future opportunities and declare that the opportunities would (narrowly, perpetually) come out ahead? And since when did this belief in endless, felicitous growth, once an unspoken axiom of American capitalism, require public recitation? It was as though the pope had emerged on his balcony to announce that despite recent data to the contrary, the Gospel still held true. . . .

Berkshire Hathaway shares, after all, are more than pieces of a corporation. They are pieces of the man himself—divided ever smaller, as he grows older, so that more can partake of him. The new B shares, these tiny wafers of Buffett, will be passed into the outstretched hands of the faithful, to be transubstantiated in their eTrade accounts and 401(k)s.
— from Mattathias Schwartz's mordantly funny "The church of Warren Buffett," in the January Harper's.

Rhetorical satire

It's a Solarist conspiracy.

December 17, 2009

Farthest-right nuts oppose Butler nomination

Get a load of this tripe in the American Expectorator.*

Brent Bozell? Mat Staver? Alfred Regnery?!? Is this a parody? I'm hard pressed to think of a more compelling endorsement for Louis Butler.

Conservatives must be proud: they smeared him out of State office and now they're smearing him again, to prevent a smart, reasonable judge from taking a perfectly constitutional federal appointment.

Disgusting. And they wonder why we're "intemperate."

h/t Diana Marrero.

* Proud Nasty, Brutish, and Short Home of The Clenis.

Court catching political hell, says former justice

Local blogger lobbies for paralegals to decide appellate cases

Good, comprehensive piece in the Madison Capital Times this morning. The Wisconsin Supreme Court's December 7 public conference truly is a wonder to behold, and what Steven Elbow describes as "rancor among the justices" is accurate.

Understatement, really.
"I don't want to study this so that people out there can kind of lob hand grenades over and over and over at certain members of the court," Justice Prosser said.
Well, I think we know who they might be:
Conservatives on the court are enjoying their 4-3 majority thanks in part to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which spent about $4 million on television ads to get Justice Annette Ziegler and Gableman elected in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The big-business lobbying group wrote one of the rules that the court adopted on a 4-3 vote.
More intriguing was Prosser's dig at Justice Crooks (by extension a dig at Chief Justice Abrahamson and Justice Bradley as well):
"It seems to me, Justice Crooks, that four members of the court can do that. You've been a member of the four people on the court who have rammed things through before, and you just don't happen to be part of the four now." He went on to tell Crooks that "it's ridiculous for you to make this argument."
Yet it's three of those "four now" (Prosser, Roggensack, and our old buddy Mike Gableman) who are responsible for the rancor and sarcasm on display at the public conference. It ain't exactly a gracious majority (Justice Ziegler doesn't say too much).

Justice Crooks's argument isn't particularly ridiculous, but it depends on how substantial are the changes to the proposed ethics rules, which is something Justice Prosser refused to elaborate on throughout the two-hour conference despite repeated requests.

It's fair to say they're well beyond being scrivener's errors.

Justice Prosser needs to win an election on April 5, 2011,* if he wants to remain a member of that gracious majority. Sources say Democrats are casting about for an appropriately 110% pro-criminal candidate to challenge him (I'll consider it; Judy Faulkner: call me).

Meanwhile, public cynicism regarding the court is off the charts:
Early last year, a poll of 600 likely Wisconsin voters commissioned by Justice at Stake, a national nonpartisan watchdog group, found that only 5 percent of respondents believe that campaign contributions have no influence on judges' decisions.
Six hundred is a small sample, but still: 95 percent think the State Supreme Court makes decisions based on who and what contributed to their political campaigns. Lovely.

Yet most folks still believe it's a great idea to elect them? That tells you that Wisconsinites are content having a court that places a higher value on cash money than legal principle. This can't be, can it?

As in, "The West Virginia of the North" (now there's a Wall Street Journal editorial you'll never see).

The poll result might reach 100 percent if people thought about why the four conservatives were so eager to adopt the language of proposals that turns out to be so internally contradictory that one of them actually had to rescind his vote in favor of adopting them.

And it wasn't even those justices who noticed: it had to be pointed out to them in a November letter from the two well-connected business consortiums that submitted the proposals in the first place.

Former justice William Bablitch, incidentally, made probably the most impassioned and impressive presentation on the deleterious effects of money-influence to the court in October.

Some may recall the statements Bablitch delivered to former Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Steven Walters about Chief Justice Abrahamson that were enthusiastically seized upon by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick during the latter's unsuccessful bid to unseat the CJ earlier this year.

Koschnick was profoundly troubled** that Abrahamson had voted to declare unconstitutional Wisconsin's Chapter 980, which enables the State to commit convicted sex offenders to continued confinement even beyond the length of their original sentences.

Bablitch criticized Abrahamson for that vote ("well out of the mainstream," whatever that means — in 1997, a similar question arising out of Kansas was decided 5-4 by the U.S. Supreme Court***) and Koschnick placed Bablitch's criticism at the top of his campaign website, but neither of them (nor Mr. Walters the reporter, for that matter) bothered to inform anybody that then-Justice Bablitch had also voted to find Chapter 980 unconstitutional.

Pretty slick. But hey, they are lawyers, after all. Perhaps the most effective solution would be to ban them from sitting on the bench.

I am a former employee of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. I worked for the Court as a law clerk for one of the justices. I USED to be proud of that fact and was never hesitant to mention it at appropriate times. Not true now. I find it appalling that the current Court is bought and paid for by lobby groups and they even have no hesitancy in acknowledging it. For years the Wisconsin Supreme Court enjoyed the highest reputation for its integrity and the quality of its decisions. Now, it is rarely cited by other jurisdictions and is generally considered to be a second rate court. The most recent Justices to be elected are not of sufficient quality to do anything other than write or vote for the legal positions supported by those organizations that paid to put them in office. The only salvation for the Wisconsin Supreme Court is for the U.S. Supreme Court to limit the corruption of the four Justices who currently enjoy a majority on the court.
— "Cynical," an aptly-monikered CapTimes commenter.

* The last two Supreme Court elections were each attended by around 20% of registered Wisconsin voters.

** He was also "troubled" that Abrahamson couldn't meet him for a candidate's debate because she was busy hearing oral arguments.

*** That Court will be entertaining arguments on federal civil commitments for sex offenders next month, but the questions presented there are much different.

December 15, 2009

Fair and balanced

You love me, you really, really love me!

From a writer at the Mail On Sunday, a London tabloid, who authored a glowing tribute to top climate denier Steve McIntyre, in a comment deposited at McIntyre's blog, Climate Audit:
I am honoured by the kind comments on my article. For the record: without Steve's brilliant work and this magnificent website, it could not have been written. May I also pay tribute to Ross McKitrick, who gave me several hours of his time on Thursday and helped clarify the issues in my mind.
Godspeed, you magnificent bastards!
I am not a scientist, but an open minded investigative journalist. I have not written on climate before.
Well, that's encouraging. It's a simple enough subject, and one that only interrelates about 57 separate scientific disciplines.

Steve McIntyre's followers had predictably gone head over heels swooning for the Mail On Sunday piece, which is comprised almost entirely of McIntyre and his colleague McKitrick's prejudices.

Several years ago, famed right-wing harridan Ann Coulter wrote a book called Godless, which contained a number of chapters on evolution. Her source for that information was William A. Dembski, one of the leading lights of "intelligent design" creationism.

Plus ça change, eh? As I mentioned some time ago, I have been pretty closely following the evolution vs. creationism "controversy" for more than ten years now. And for those of us that do, none of this current "Climategate" nonsense is in the least bit surprising.

It's the same old, same old quote-mining rubbish.

Earlier: McIntyre debunked.

I refute it thus

iT has overly, perhaps dangerously, generous views of post-1973 albums by Lou Reed. — Brew City Brawler
Okay, Growing Up In Public and The Bells are practically unlistenable. However I refuse to rescind my view that Street Hassle* and Take No Prisoners* are masterpieces (the latter if only as stand-up comedy).

And Lou's cred was undiminished when he took his GPZ out for a ride.


Alleged Woods mistress ordered not to beat child

Dressed in a demure black suit and wearing four-inch heels, the leggy blonde sat quietly as the judge laid down the law.

"No corporal punishment of any kind."
This information is essential to our daily lives.

Reprise: Take Your Name. Off Your Phone.

December 14, 2009

The New Adventures of Monckton of Brenchley

Monckton of Brenchley perambulated through the gentle snow, whistling three parts of the Messiah simultaneously while thinking through the mathematics of radiation transfer in the atmosphere. His eyes were fixed on the horizon, so he failed to see the snow-encrusted gin trap McShane had set for the rabbits that were plaguing the Tannochbrae lawns. His scream brought foxes out of their dens, and a golden eagle looked down from its lonely patrol and began a slow, circling descent.
The case of the missing curry.

"The researchers were frauds, writes Lord [sic] Monckton, the dogged critic of global-warming hype. . . . This means they were not only frauds but dangerous ones."
Patrick "P-Dendro" McIlheran

Rick's nature trick: Hide the denial

So Professor Esenberg doesn't care for certain descriptive English words, as he indicates in his latest missive on what he's christened "Climatequiddick," which is apparently a light-hearted and cute allusion to the tragic drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969.

The careful reader will note that what has got Prof. Esenberg's dander up was this post, highlighting his false claim that compilers of a chart on the cover of a 1999 report of the World Meteorological Organization "combin[ed] two different measurements and pretend[ed] they are the same thing and mischaracteriz[ed] what data show."

This is the claim of Prof. Esenberg's with which I took issue. Except he avoids this and instead inventories a collection of vocabulary employed from time to time at this blog (which is part of the internets and tends occasionally to adopt its vernacular, although I don't believe I have ever used Ms. Kopechne as a figure of fun):
"Teabagger", "wingnut", "not very smart", "moron", "calumnist" "ignorant," "fraud," "dishonest," "lying," etc. You'd think that arrogance, if it must be expressed, should be earned, but I guess that "denializer" is not so bad.
This is supposed to be an argument, I guess, so please feel free to use the search function at the upper left corner to determine whatever context they were used in and if it was even me that was using them and not as part of a quotation from somebody else.

For example, "teabag," the verb, was coined by a Fox News reporter.

"Morons," as Prof. Esenberg conveniently overlooks, is what his friend Charlie Sykes called some Milwaukeeans who held a vigil at North Ave. and Oakland on Friday night to commemorate the conference on climate change currently underway in Copenhagen.

It's my understanding that Charlie Sykes is not exactly a shrinking violet himself when it comes to colorful language describing his perceived political adversaries (in this case, the youthful idealists that Sykes so abhors and mocks at every available opportunity).

So how come Prof. Esenberg doesn't similarly take Sykes to the woodshed, if it's so terribly not nice to call people morons? Evidently it's acceptable as long as you're Charlie Sykes, whose obsequious consideration of Prof. Esenberg is as a "renaissance man."

(Perhaps he'd settle for just "medieval warming period man.")

"Calumnist" is a term coined by yours truly (I think [eta: not]) to characterize the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's self-described "right-wing guy" Patrick McIlheran, because that's exactly what he is.

"Calumny," in fact, is a relatively mild description for McIlheran's fatuous rhetorical efforts, e.g., to falsely tie one of Obama's advisers in the Department of Education to the notorious North American Man-Boy Love Association, which is what McIlheran did.

As a matter of fact, it was McIlheran's series of gross distortions, risible misunderstandings, and deployment of so-called "experts" like the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley that inspired a number of posts here on the topic of "Climategate."

I personally find it more than a little appalling that the biggest daily newspaper in the State of Wisconsin would see fit to publish such pure nonsense, but that's just me. It's a crazy expectation, I know.

Call me a youthful idealist (and see you at Pizza Man).

As for frauds, "dangerous frauds" is how McIlheran described scientists whose private correspondence was unlawfully uploaded to a computer server in Russia last month.

And "dangerous frauds" is how McIlheran has described those scientists despite being comically unaware* that the much-celebrated "decline" referenced in one of those e-mails was not a decline in measured temperatures but rather a decline in sensitivity to changes in temperature observed within a particular collection of a particular species of tree in a particular location in the Northern Hemisphere.

Except I have never seen Prof. Esenberg condemning Mr. McIlheran for his hysterically reactionary "opinions," which are themselves in turn grounded on his not even knowing what the hell he's talking about. No, instead Prof. Esenberg rambles away about Al Gore, who has nothing to do with any of this, as far as I'm concerned.

Ironically, it was none other than Prof. Esenberg who wrote:
On the left, bloggers like Illusory Tenant are redefining the term "denialist." There is, they say, nothing to see here and "wing nuts" who say other things are so stupid — not at all like us smart people.
Now suddenly he affects to be troubled because I placed him in the denialist camp (for good, empirical reason, as opposed to faux-trage at choice of the same nouns and adjectives his local right-wing colleagues use), an awfully slippery double standard on his part.

While I never said there is nothing to see here, I did predict very early on that the political right would attempt to construct fallacious bales of straw from what seemed to me little more than scientists "sharing around some catty messages with each other."

Which is precisely what has happened. And, despite Prof. Esenberg's continuing use of his own coined expression "Climatequiddick," he's yet to address the question I'd put to him more than once: "So I'll ask again: Is this really all you guys have? 'Hide the decline'?"

Still waiting.

* For two weeks, after which he dismissed as a "subtlety" the somewhat fundamental question of whether temperatures were rising or declining. I'm not kidding. "Renaissance man" notwithstanding, it hardly comes as a surprise that Mr. McIlheran looks up to Prof. Esenberg as he "whom I want to be as smart as someday."

To be sure, Prof. Esenberg is in fact very smart indeed, which makes some of the positions he stakes out that much more questionable.

Like this one, for example:
The rationale behind the recusal motions filed against Michael Gableman are [sic] primarily (although not quite entirely) based on the now infamous Reuben Mitchell ad and certain statements made by Gableman’s lawyer, Jim Bopp, in the course of defending Justice Gableman on ethics charges stemming from the ad.
While Attorney Rob Henak is a talented advocate, I don't believe he's quite mastered time travel, as his original motions were filed in April, and Jim Bopp didn't deliver his statements until September.

December 13, 2009

It's not just the New York Times

Even the simplest of things are beyond them. In their coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter, they report that Justice Sotomayor's first opinion drew a "testy concurrence" from Justice Thomas despite "methodical reasoning and a formal writing style."

Had the author, Adam Liptak, actually read the concurrence, he'd have seen that Justice Thomas was actually criticizing the majority opinion from a case decided 60 years ago, Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541 (1949).
That's a good one, though.

David Ziemer, Federalist 86.

Cockroach had office in courthouse

Says the DA.

Earlier: Scott Walker's campaign pledge to you

I am Cornholio!

December 12, 2009

Monckton of Brenchley goes Gamma 9 Godwin

Meet your Premier League denialists: Monckton of Brenchley

Infamous climate denializer Christopher the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, one of the battiest swimmers in a batty gene pool (the English aristocracy), has gone fully 'round the twist in Copenhagen, chasing some American students through the United Nations convention halls and berating them as "Hitler Youth" and "Nazis."

That's the spirit, old chum. Pip pip.

Locally, Monckton is a favorite peer-reviewed* scientific source of Patrick McIlheran, the brilliant calumnist and resident dendroclimatologist at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Wisconsin's largest daily newspaper. McIlheran's esteem is so great, in fact, that the journalist insists on the highest honorific, "Lord Monckton."

A professional courtesy, I guess.

Anyway, thoroughly sordid details here.

Americans For Prosperity which, it may be recalled, is the Republican "astroturf" organization that engineered countless rude and dyspeptic invasions of town hall meetings last summer, evidently has itself a harsh inflammation of the vapors after some student activists crashed one of their Danish jamborees with a banner and a chant.

Fortunately there's no sympathy for shameless, pandering hypocrites.

Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, who the conservative weekly Spectator called a "swivel-eyed maniac," accosted a Jewish student and accused him of being responsible for more murders than Hitler.

And, yes, they refer to their detractors as "alarmists."

* Geddit?

Moronic moron award

Goes to Charlie Sykes:

Ho ho. Except weather is not climate.*
"What we really ought to do is drive down there — all in separate cars — and park nearby with our cars running (engines idling) all the while we’re watching them and laughing."
Glenn D. Frankovis
Tee hee! Then we'll knock on some doors and go hide in the bushes! Would you believe that guy was almost Milwaukee chief of police.

* And it's 36°F at KMKE right now.

Tiger's philandering bad for Wisconsin economy

Or will the sport's biggest draw get his act together by August.

Octomom, Duggars primary cause of AGW: Report

Official figures show the country's birth rate went down from more than 1.8 percent in 1978 to around 1.2 percent in 2007, resulting in 400 million fewer births cumulatively.

"Such a decline in population growth leads to a reduction of 1.83 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions in China per annum at present," Zhao said.
Window of China

Tea Party embraces French Elvis

Gallic rockabilly superstar Johnny Hallyday's producer Jean-Claude Camus claimed on French radio that American doctors had told him they "repaired things" that had allegedly gone wrong with the original surgery, performed in Paris.
You know where this is going.

Scott Walker's campaign pledge to you

He'll keep the governor's office well supplied with personal bum wad:
Friday afternoon, 12 News checked out the county executives' rest room and found it fully stocked.
Everybody else brings their own, and the DA burns incense to camouflage the ungodly reek wafting from the men's toilets.
County Executive Scott Walker blames the cleanliness crisis on the county housekeepers who stopped coming to work.
Those would be the ones he fired.

December 11, 2009

Behind the ellipses

Here's an interesting little exercise in forensics showing how far climate denializers — in this case, one of the fearless leaders, Steve McIntyre — will go to confirm their biases: selectively edit out correspondence to make it look as though the correspondents are talking about one thing, when replacing the excised portions make it clear they're talking about something completely different.

McIntyre provides fodder for skeptics

(Not overly technical, but assumes some familiarity with the nuts and bolts and nut and bolt proxies of the so-called "Climategate" "scandal." Even so, it's well worth a look if only to take the poll.)
I did notice that McIntyre mentioned the decline in tree-ring widths on CNN. But he never corrects all the others who blather about "hiding the decline" in temperature.
Apparently, this is about all they have left. Which is not to say that they had anything to begin with. Yet only recently, they'd unearthed "massive fraud," and the pants-wetting histrionics (a necessary feature of the scientific method) were virtually imperturbable.

Still waiting for the leading local denializers Patrick McIlheran and Richard Esenberg to register their righteous offense at these obvious examples of intellectual dishonesty. It took Patrick McIlheran two whole weeks to figure out that "hide the decline" was not a reference to a decline in measured temperatures, so it could be a while.

As in, never.

See also: Hackers aimed to maximize harm to Copenhagen summit


Scores of presumed readers

This is how creationists do science.
On the other hand, please vote in favor of my review: "Sterling example of mendacious intellectual pornography from Stephen Meyer."
The comments are hilarious. It's been how many years since the "Wedge Document," yet they're still stuck in Phase II, "Do publicity" (without ever once having satisfied Phase I, "Do science").

Baroness Thatcher is a conservative heroine, no?

To be sure, no denializer, she.

h/t lord_sidcup.

Dispiriting but not surprising

Greg Sargent is disappointed at how popular was Sarah Palin's "Climategate" WaPo op-ed, which was filled with idiotic lies.

Such is life, Greg. Think of it this way: The composer of the piano quartets K.478 and K.493 was tossed in an unmarked, pauper's grave, while the guy who plays the bass guitar in U2 lives in a fucking castle.

Plus, I'm sure a lot of those hits were for laughs, which is why we watch Sean Hannity. And train wrecks.

More troubles for Galileo

Hey, remember Patrick J. Michaels, the "climate skeptic" who compares favorably with Galileo? Here's a compendium of interesting (albeit a bit technical) reading from a couple years back.

Pat Michaels: "Fraud, pure and simple"

I'm sure our local denializers Patrick McIlheran and Richard Esenberg will be falling over themselves to register their profound concerns.

Any minute now ...

December 10, 2009

So let me get this straight

A famous and apparently widely admired person, the "Purpose Driven Pastor" Rick Warren, who claims to follow and represent The Lord and Saviour on Earth, has to be "pressured" by the media to condemn Uganda's official plans to execute homosexuals.

Because when they asked Pastor Rick Warren about it before, he said oh no, it's simply not appropriate to comment on some other country's internal affairs.

Is that about the size of it?

What's especially ghastly is how much he looks like Jerry Falwell.

Butler, J., dissents (opinion filed)

Bill Lueders — Justice for Forest Shomberg

Remember him? Because I do.
The defense in this matter was that someone other than the defendant committed these offenses, and that Shomberg was mistakenly identified as the perpetrator. Relying on established scientific research, the expert testimony that he sought to introduce would have addressed factors that have a significant bearing on a witness's ability to identify a stranger, as well as explained how these factors impact the accuracy of a witness's recollection. Notwithstanding the cross-examination of the eyewitnesses and jury instructions, expert testimony would still have assisted the trier of fact. This testimony would certainly have had a tendency to make the existence of each witness's identification of Shomberg as the perpetrator less probable than it would have been without it, and therefore relevant to his innocence.
State v. Forest Shomberg, 2006 WI 9, 72 (Butler, J., dissenting).

"The people of Wisconsin deserve better." — F. James Sensenbrenner

Ol' F. James is not right about much, now is he.

Decisions, decisions

Denializer must choose between ignorance and dishonesty

Apparently Willis Eschenbach's chicanery really spooked Megan McArdle and some duffer at the Volokh Conspiracy. Golly gee.

And: Death threats. What is it they say ... "stay classy."

Prof. Esenberg remains in climate denial denial

Combining two different measurements and pretending they are the same thing and mischaracterizing what data show has not been limited to tree ring data. — Prof. Richard Esenberg
Sure sounds like a pretty devastating indictment, don't it.

Only problem is, that is not at all what was done.

Page 2 of 12:

"Front cover: Northern Hemisphere temperatures were reconstructed for the past 1000 years (up to 1999) using palaeoclimatic records (tree rings, corals, ice cores, lake sediments, etc.), along with historical and long instrumental records. The data are shown as 50-year smoothed differences from the 1961–1990 normal. Uncertainties are greater in the early part of the millennium (see page 4 for further information). For more details, readers are referred to the PAGES newsletter (Vol. 7, No. 1: March 1999, also available at and the National Geophysical Data Center ("

Page 4 of 12:

"Our knowledge of pre-20th century temperature variations in the Northern Hemisphere has increased dramatically in recent years. The availability of natural archives of past temperature such as tree rings, banded corals, ice cores and lake sediments, in addition to historical and long instrumental records, has enabled [Northern Hemisphere] temperature variations to be reconstructed for the last 1000 years at an annual resolution. It is not yet possible to do the same for the Southern Hemisphere due to the lack of adequate palaeoclimatic records. Despite their different emphases on annual or extended summer seasonal temperatures and their different geographical biases, all the reconstructions (shown on the front cover as 50-year smoothed differences from the 1961–1990 normal) indicate that against the background of the millenium as a whole, the 20th century was unusually warm."

Emphases added.

The only person pretending and mischaracterizing here is Prof. Esenberg. Why he chooses these hills to die on is anybody's guess.

Jim Sensenbrenner funnies

I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climatic cycles than anything that human beings do and our lunar, our rovers on Mars have indicated that there has been a slight warming in the atmosphere of Mars and that certainly was not caused by the internal combustion engine.
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Concours Motors)
There have been claims that warming on Mars and Pluto are proof that the recent warming on Earth is caused by an increase in solar activity, and not by greenhouse gases. But we can say with certainty that, even if Mars, Pluto or any other planets have warmed in recent years, it is not due to changes in solar activity.

The Sun's energy output has not increased since direct measurements began in 1978.
New Scientist

Never mind that. What counts is Sensenbrenner's "personal belief."

Congressprimate Sensenbrenner (R-Cabela's) is correct, however, that the Mars Rover has no small-block V8 under the hood.
And now we’re going to see a metaphorical shootout, on the high ground of twenty-first-century atmospheric physics, between the likes of Inhofe-Barton-Boehner-Sensenbrenner & Co. and Hansen-Schmidt-Lacis-Chu-Holdren-Karl etc. on the issue of the radiative forcing due to greenhouse gases?
There are some highly amusing clips of a news conference featuring Sensenbrenner and Joe Barton, Republican of Texas, at the link.

McIlheran funnies

Reliable sources:
Dad29 notes what a little extra carbon will do for crops ...
P. McIlheran, 12/07/09

None of the original data exists anymore ...
Dad29, 11/29/09

Yes the data exists.
Dad29, 12/07/09
Seriously. "Dad29" is apparently some guy with a modem* in a basement in Brookfield. Patrick McIlheran is a member of the editorial board at the biggest daily newspaper in Wisconsin.

He tells us he's a journalist.

* The anti-science contingent finds atomic theory convenient enough, despite never having observed an electron or a muon neutrino.

December 9, 2009

Palin, victim of e-mail hack, lauds e-mail hack

But doesn't understand them either.

I don't think conservatives realize how much they're damaging their credibility* — such as it is — through their efforts in this "climategate" affair. They depend on ignorance and lies to gain political power.

It's grotesque.

* At the same time, they've managed to lower the bar of credibility itself, to where all it means is, "an attribute of not lying."

Fox News hides the decline


Kent Hovind's doctoral dissertation

The legendary tractatus at long last emerges:*
I think it is not a coincidence that people who are atheists or evolutionists frequently have a wicked lifestyle or at least a lifestyle against the plain teachings of the Bible. Therefore, evolution is an easy way for them to justify their lifestyle. The problem is one of philosophy, not one of science. They don't want there to be a God because of their wicked lifestyle. That is their real problem.
Follow the logic.

One hundred and two pages of similarly vacuous effluvia (.pdf).

I think they still show Hovind's "creation science" videos to this day on WVCY, a Milwaukee teevee station.

* Hovind himself doesn't emerge until 2015.

When will Patrick McIlheran stop lying?

Ever? I see McIlheran made "Jerk of the Week" in the Shepherd Express today. Indubitably, there was none more deserving.

Rep. Sensenbrenner is every bit the embarrassment.
Richard Lindzen, for his part, charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services; his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels, and a speech he wrote, entitled "Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus," was underwritten by OPEC.

More comic BS from McIlheran

Patrick McIlheran, the only fully credentialed dendroclimatologist on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's editorial board, his "climategate" "journalism" since revealed as an embarrassing bust, retreats to more comfortable, familiar territory today, comparing science to a totalitarian regime and portraying scientists as totalitarian actors.

Well, in the sense that physical laws and observations impel the science, science is a totalitarian regime. Where totalitarianism is defined as "subordination of the individual to the state," so is science "subordination of the theory to the fact."

It must be noted here that in that latter sense, Patrick McIlheran's own failures are frequently spectacular. (And, wouldn't you just know it, yet another follows presently.)

But of course that is not the impression McIlheran, who doesn't know the difference between an instrument and a proxy temperature measurement, is hoping to convey. Rather, it's McIlheran's literary equivalent of daubing a portrait of Obama with a Hitler moustache.

Indeed, the WSJ op-ed that is the object of McIlheran's ardor is decorated with a photo of V.I. Lenin and invokes "Stalinism."

And, typically, McIlheran's most compelling sources of "journalism" contain laughable errors of fact. This one jumps out:
Never mind that none of these scenarios has any basis in some kind of observable reality (sea levels around the Maldives have been stable for decades) ...
The latter claim originates with the peculiar ravings of one Nils Axel-Morner, a retired Swedish seismologist better known for advertising the effectiveness of — get ready for this — dowsing.

And if you go here, then you can read all about Nils Axel-Morner's fraud and incompetence along with the debunking of the WSJ author's clueless pronouncement, upon which his "argument" is premised.

As is clearly demonstrated, it's not for no good reasons that serious people dismiss crackpots for what they are: crackpots.

Wouldn't a "journalist" want to know that? Yes, I think so.

Remarkably, this is the garbage an actual member of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's editorial board is feeding its readers. Why?

About those "declining" temperatures

You know, the "hidden" ones:
The Met Office also confirmed today that the first decade of this century has been by far the warmest decade on record. New figures released in Copenhagen show that — while 1998 was the warmest individual year — the last ten years have been the warmest period in the 160-year-old record of global surface temperatures.

The Met Office said that the figures show that the world continues to see global temperatures rise and demonstrates that the argument that global warming has stopped is flawed.

In a separate announcement, the World Meteorological Organization said that 2009 is expected to become the fifth warmest year on record.
So, why are leading conservative Republican figureheads lying?

This has been a public service from the U.S. Department of Rhetorical Questions

Guess the speaker

"The leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests [FALSE],* manipulated data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures [COMICALLY FALSE], and conspired to silence the critics of man-made global warming [FALSE]."
Tough one, I know. Could be almost any Republican.

* Here is Keith Briffa, who compiled probably the most contentious data implicated in the entire "Climategate" "scandal," sharing his tree ring series around with people he doesn't know from Adam.

In Copenhagen, curiously well-informed

Sounds almost like a ... conspiracy
The other thing that continues to muddy the picture is the unabated journalistic interest in the email story, and the apparent acceptance that its outbreak, mere weeks before the climate conference, was somehow a coincidence. When the story broke and people like Marc Morano* from the denial site and Myron Ebell** from the Competitive Enterprise Institute offered themselves out for instant interviews, no one asked how these curiously well-informed commentators came to know so much about the stolen emails — or whether they knew anything about how they came to be public. No one seems to have asked the Cato Institute's oil-soaked Pat Michaels*** how he was ready with his money quote ("This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.") when the New York Times' Andrew Revkin called for a reaction.
Richard Littlemore.

* A Milwaukee Tea Party academic fellow of distinction. Another Milwaukee tea festival ceremonialist was Willie Soon.

** "His main job is to provide material to the media in the form of quotes to newspaper reporters and participation in live interviews on the subject of climate change. He also digs out countervailing facts from the scientific literature that can be used by other pundits."

In other words, the quote-miner in chief.

*** The Galileo of Our Times.

December 7, 2009

Not so fast, McIlheran

I've just completed P-Mac's fact-trick to hide the plurality.

On a theory of reality being subordinate to a good polemic, the journalist and dendroclimatologist Patrick McIlheran informs us:
The state supremes recently ruled that justices can't be bounced off cases solely because of legal campaign contributions or ads made on a justice's behalf by outside groups.
How do you say, "Dead in the water at the moment." At least, that's how Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson (who is truly in the proverbial understanding reminiscent of Job) put it this afternoon.

In fact the authors of the proposed rules of judicial conduct, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Wisconsin Realtors Association, brought inconsistencies of language to the justices' attention last month, and Justice Prosser today rescinded his vote to approve the originally submitted rule provisions "verbatim."

Tough to "rule" with fewer than four justices. So for the time being the due process rights of litigating parties before the courts have yet to be displaced by the First Amendment rights of judges to solicit and receive political campaign contributions. Which is as it should be.

Alternatively, Mr. McIlheran could try reading his own paper.

Also today, Justice Roggensack helped give some indication that a completed per curiam opinion and possibly more may be imminent in at least one of several motions currently before the court, requesting the recusal of Michael Gableman in criminal appeals.

What's certain: There are some frayed nerves and thus some snarky attitudes on that court. It's fascinating to observe but disturbing too.

eta: McIlheran's latest routine.

Saudis join ranks of Inhofe, Palin

"It appears from the details of the [e-mail] scandal that there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change," said the kingdom's lead climate negotiator.
:facepalm:, :headdesk:, and so forth.

h/t Climate Progress.

This week's Con Law puzzler

Comes from Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack:
[W]hen a citizen votes in a judicial election, he or she exercises a right guaranteed under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Q: Exercises which First Amendment right? Successful responses may assume either that the year is 1791, 1870, Dec. 12, 2000, or 2009.

Weak positive responders still react as expected*

There is, say [bloggers like illusory tenant], nothing to see here and "wing nuts" who say other things are so stupid — not at all like us smart people.
Obviously I have never made either of those claims. Of course there are always plenty of things to see, everywhere, all the time.

And, in reality, what I have strongly suggested is that if even people as stupid as me can read and understand the relevant scientific literature, then there's no excuse for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to publish "wing nut" propaganda. Which is what it has been doing.

* D'Arrigo et al, 2008.

Musicians demand retraction of positive review

From Glenn Beck.

That's got to be a first.

Minority type thing was not glamorous

Then as now, in pursuit of serious academics
"Hawaii was a little too perfect," Palin [better known as Lynn Vincent] writes. "Perpetual sunshine isn’t necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaska girls." Perhaps not. But Palin’s father, Chuck Heath, gave a different account to Conroy and Walshe. According to him, the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable: "They were a minority type thing and it wasn’t glamorous, so she came home."
The New Yorker

December 6, 2009

McIlheran proves warming seems to have halted

I've just completed P-Mac's journalism trick to ignore all of reality.

Having reviewed the scientific literature, ace reporter and right-wing climatologist guy Patrick McIlheran summarizes his findings:
[The Hadley Centre e-mails reveal] experts who wrote the doom narrative, discussing among themselves how to manipulate data to make observations fit their predictions. One telling message from the unit's head is about how to "hide the decline" in observed temperatures, as global warming seems to have halted about a decade ago, something their models are unable to explain.
Have any of these tedious wing-nuts bothered to find out what was meant by "hide the decline"? It was not a decline in "observed" temperature (temperature is measured, not observed).

Measured temperatures rose.*

The best:
Just a few weeks ago, Britain's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill.
Yes, the same Hadley Centre Patrick McIlheran just got done accusing of "hiding the decline in observed temperatures."

And yes, that is from McIlheran's own link to Der Spiegel. What's not so well hidden is the decline in the right-wing guy's credibility, which is less easy to measure,** but a constant amusement to observe.

 * Remarkably, McIlheran has since adopted the position that the question of whether temperatures are rising or not rising is simply "a subtlety" that he somehow overlooked. If you can believe that.

** Plus or minus 1.5 micrometers from zero.