Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Random Observations

1. Ethanol pollutes in Minnesota
I heard in passing yesterday while getting ready for work that something like 5 ethanol plants in Minnesota are being cited and fined for violations to the clean air and clean water laws. The irony is almost too much. I don't have anything against ethanol per se (other than the little issue of state government subsidizing rich farmers and corporations) but wasn't ethanol not only supposed to lessen our dependence on foreign oil but also save the Earth? Hmmm.

2. Gay, Gay, Gay
Is it just me or are you also getting sick and tired of gay issues permeating every single aspect of American life. For God's Sake you'd think 50% of the people in this country are gay! It seems every movie and most the TV shows have to have the obligatory adorable gay character who is above reproach. (I'm pretty sure that was in the new contract after the last Hollywood writers strike) These cuddly gay characters are always far wiser and more pure than the hapless heterosexuals they support.

You can't make any statement critical of any aspect of the gay lifestyle, just ask Carl Paladino. After last week I would vote for candidate Paladino for governor of NY if I lived there! It's a new week and the new topic is "bullying". There will be new laws passed because this such a pressing national concern. I'll give you one guess which special interest group is behind this garbage.

3. Isn't it ironic
By the mid term elections of 1982 in the midst of a recession a popular President had signed significant and popular legislation, but still saw his party lose ground. In the 2010 mid terms we seem to be staring at a repeat... But wait!

An unpopular President signs the Affordable Care Act (unpopular and frankly mysterious), the Recovery Act (wildly unpopular and ineffective), Wall Street reform (confusing and not likely to prevent future financial catastrophes), student loan reform (done by decree with no debate whatsoever), new regulation of the credit card industry (20%+ interests rates and rising, helpful, no?), the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (aka thought crimes). Sorry, but these are not popular or even helpful during an anemic, jobless recovery.

I don't see this as an equivalent situation.

4. Foreclose This!
Does the fact that foreclosure paperwork may have errors, typo's or the wrong signature excuse the "homeowner" for not making the payments he or she agreed upon? The bottom line is this: if you don't pay the bank back they get to take the house. A mortgage is a contract signed by both parties. When it is breached the aggrieved party has recourse. This is contract law which is the basis for our civil society and now we have lawmakers threatening banks with punative legislation if they don't act against their own interests. Yes, it's sad that so many people will lose their houses, but the law is the law and reality is reality. Yes shit happens, jobs are lost, but this is not the bank's fault.

If you find yourself unable to make the payments, call the bank and see if you can't work something out. Simply not paying your monthly bill is a violation of the contract YOU signed.

5. Take this climate change and shove it
Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, reigns from the American Physical Society after 60+ years. What follows is the key paragraph from his resignation letter to Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society:

For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

The problem is that folks like Curtis G. Callan hold the the key to kingdom of grant money that pays the salaries career physicists. The only ones courageous to speak out against this farce are the old men, the ones with nothing to lose. What happens when they are all gone?