Rewarding failure: GSA awards big contract to designer of #Obamacare web site

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**Posted by Phineas

Obama foreign policy advisers

GSA contracts oversight team

Because they did such a great job with the federal Obamacare web site, why shouldn’t they be given the chance to compete for billions more of our tax dollars?

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, Jul 08, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — CGI Federal Inc. (CGI) GIB -1.59% CA:GIB.A -1.49% announced today that the General Services Administration (GSA) has chosen the company as a prime contractor under a new contract vehicle known as One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS). The multi-award contract has an unlimited ceiling, allowing CGI to compete for billions of dollars in complex professional services task orders across all agencies in the U.S. federal government.

GSA oversees the business of the federal government, among other things supplying federal purchasers with cost-effective, high-quality products and services from commercial vendors. CGI is one of 74 awardees under OASIS, an “indefinite delivery indefinite quantity” (IDIQ) contract that will allow awardees to compete on a range of program management, management consulting, logistics, engineering, scientific and financial management services. Awardees will also be able to offer technology solutions as an ancillary service. For the first time, agencies will be able to purchase high-value professional services along with supporting IT solutions through a single contract, saving customers time and money.

The Obamacare site rollout was such a fiasco that the Federal government refused to renew its contract with CGI when it expired last February. And this isn’t the only time they’ve been told to go away: the government of the Canadian province of Ontario fired CGI for missed deadlines and a failure to deliver a functional product, an online medical registry.

So, naturally the GSA decides that CGI warrants even more chances to deliver “quality IT solutions.” This being the same GSA that’s managed our dollars so well in the past.

What could go wrong?

via Iowahawk

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Intellectual fascism: respected scientist hounded for daring to doubt the “climate consensus”

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**Posted by Phineas

"The new liberal tolerance"

“”Confess, Dr. Bengtsson! Recant your heresy!!””

Well, so much for freedom of thought and open debate in the sciences. Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, a Swedish meteorologist with an accomplished professional record, just a couple of weeks ago joined the advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a British organization skeptical of the theory of catastrophic man-caused warming and headed by noted skeptic Lord Lawson. It was quite a coup for the GWPF, since Bengtsson was highly regarded in the Warmist camp and is a specialist in numerical modeling, which is critical to Warmist arguments. (1) But, Bengtsson had become highly critical both of the pressure for consensus in climate science, seeing it as anti-scientific, and of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN-sponsored global scientific organization that regular issues reports of “climate doom.” Via Judith Curry, here’s an excerpt from an interview Dr. Bengtsson gave with the Dutch web site State of the Climate, in which he shares his opinion on “scientific consensus:”

Interviewer: Is there according to you a “climate consensus” in the community of climate scientists and if so what is it?

Bengtsson: I believe the whole climate consensus debate is silly. There is not a single well educated scientist that question that greenhouse gases do affect climate. However, this is not the issue but rather how much and how fast. Here there is no consensus as you can see from the IPCC report where climate sensitivity varies with a factor of three! Based on observational data climate sensitivity is clearly rather small and much smaller that the majority of models. Here I intend to stick to Karl Popper in highlighting the need for proper validation.

If you read the whole interview, you see that Lennart Bengtsson is an “old school” scientist, one who respects the scientific method and knows that theories (which is what a model is!) must always be tested by observation. I doubt this man would ever say “The science is settled, so shut up.” Thus he joined the GWPF in the spirit of open investigation and good science.

That was his big mistake.

Just a week later, Dr. Bengtsson was forced to resign from the GWPF’s board of advisers, hounded by his former colleagues and even in fear of physical violence. From his resignation letter:

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen.

It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years. Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.

Emphases added. This isn’t “science.” This is a mob of fanatics, a primitive tribe turning on one of their own who’s dared to point out their idol is just a piece of wood. It’s naked Lysenkoism; all that’s needed is a show-trial. They should be praising Professor Bengtsson for being willing to work with reasonable skeptics, but, instead, they set on him like a rabid pack of hounds. Convinced of their righteousness, they’re willing to frighten an old man for the cause. (2)

Science, and with it civilization itself, does not advance when scientific questions are put off-limits as untouchable dogma. Down that path lies a new bonfire of the vanities.

RELATED: Science as McCarthyism.

Footnote:
(1) Especially since the Earth keeps refusing to cooperate.
(2) He’s nearly 80, for Pete’s sake!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

On climate change, Tony Abbott tells Europe to stuff it

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**Posted by Phineas

Has no time for nonsense

Has no time for nonsense

Australia is scheduled to host the annual G20 heads-of-state meeting this year. The G20 is an informal grouping dedicated promoting international financial stability, and the host country gets to set the agenda. For some strange reason Tony Abbott, Australia’s Liberal prime minister, has decided that the G20 should stick to its brief and said that global warming/climate change/ritual denunciations of the Demon CO2 will not be on he agenda.

This has made Europe unhappy.

European Union officials say Australia has become completely “disengaged” on climate change since Tony Abbott was elected in September last year.

They are disappointed with the Prime Minister’s approach, saying Australia was considered an important climate change player under Labor.

One well-placed EU official has likened the change to “losing an ally”.

The EU has a long-running emissions trading scheme which was going to be linked to Australia’s market.

But Mr Abbott has pledged to scrap the carbon price in favour of his direct action policy.

Europe is sceptical of Mr Abbott’s replacement plan.

I can hear the Eurocrats’ tongues clucking and their tut-tutting even now. How are they going to live their taxpayer-funded lifestyles and carry out their dreams of “global eco-social justice,” if more nations follow Australia’s lead? They must be so disappointed in Mr. Abbott. I’m sure he’s losing sleep over it. Perhaps from laughing.

The kicker line is this:

Mr Abbott has said he doesn’t want the G20 agenda “cluttered” by topics that would take the focus from his top priority of economic growth.

Imagine that. A national leader actually concerned about his people’s prosperity and not only unwilling to sacrifice it at the altar of eco-statist group-think, but quite willing to openly “call BS” on the whole farcical charade. I’m sure that John “Climate change is a WMD” Kerry is unhappy. You can guess how that prospect makes me feel.

It’s nice to know that, somewhere in the Anglosphere, there are still nations lead by leaders who don’t have their head stuck firmly up their progressive backsides and who know that their first job is protecting their nation’s interests, not winning a popularity contest in Brussels or Turtle Bay. Canada is another.

I can only look on with envy and hope that, someday, we rejoin them.

via JoNova

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Demon-fearing Los Angeles city council blames fracking for earthquake

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**Posted by Phineas

Drill, baby, drill!

Drill, baby, drill!

Remember, kiddies, liberals are the party of science!

Los Angeles City Council members have discovered how to cause earthquakes. Three councilmen think fracking may be the cause of Monday’s earthquake in the Santa Monica Mountains, and they want the city, state, and feds to do an in-depth review.

Councilmen Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin, and Bernard Parks Tuesday introduced a motion calling for the city, the U.S. Geological Survey, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to report on whether hydraulic fracturing caused the moderate 4.4-magnitude earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It is crucial to the health and safety of the City’s residents to understand the seismic impacts of oil and gas extraction activities in the City,” the motion says. “All high-pressure fracking and injection creates ‘seismic events.’ . . .  Active oil extraction activities are reportedly taking place on the Veteran’s Administration grounds in West Los Angeles, nearby the epicenter of the March 17, 2014, 4.4 earthquake.”

Parks, who seconded the motion, tells National Review Online that while fracking is “reportedly” happening near the epicenter, those who signed the motion weren’t completely sure. However, he adds that “earthquakes are happening in areas that are not historically earthquake prone, but they are in places where fracking is going on.”

I’m sorry to say Mike Bonin is my city councilman.

Let’s be honest, here. If Koretz, Parks, and Bonin genuinely think fracking caused an earthquake, they know nothing about earthquakes and are just fearing demons in the night. Earthquakes happen when adjoining tectonic plates, which are constantly in motion against each other, suddenly break and move with a jolt. Sometimes a little bit, as in Monday’s quake, sometimes a lot, as in the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan. In seismically active areas, such as the western coast of North America, small quakes occur every day and have since long before anyone thought of the words “hydraulic fracturing.”

Here’s the technical information for Monday’s shaker. Note the depth: six miles. This is what a USGS geologist had to say when asked about fracking causing that quake:

However, opponents of the moratorium argue that fracking has not been proven to cause any health risks and that claims that it caused this earthquake are not realistic.

“My first impression is that sounds implausible,” seismologist Lucy Jones said. “The earthquake was so deep. Induced earthquakes are almost always shallower than this.”

In other words, yes you might get hit by a bolt from the blue, but that’s no reason to ban walking outdoors.

This call for a study (borrowing from the neverending studies tactic of NY Governor Cuomo) is just another delaying tactic in furtherance of their earlier motion to ban fracking within city limits.  Hydraulic fracturing opponents are using what’s called the “preventative principle” (1) to stop a promising technology that could do wonders for the economy, because the idea of oil and gas exploration goes against their hardcore environmentalist agenda. And then they find lackwit politicians who know nothing about the subject matter, but who are ever so happy to take activists’ donations and campaign help, and get them to pass laws serving that agenda — to the public’s detriment. Their hope is that through delay after delay and more and more burdensome regulations, they can kill what they oppose altogether.

No matter how discredited their propaganda, no matter how safe fracking is shown to be, no matter that even the Energy Secretary of the most left-leaning administration in US history declares it safe, no matter how much this city, this state, and this nation need the economic boost intelligent exploitation of our vast oil and gas resources would provide, fracking opponents continue to throw anything against the wall in the hopes of finding something that will convince people to support a ban.

And sometimes they find the fools they need.

RELATED: Ten myths about natural gas drilling. The UK government thinks fracking is safe. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter even thinks the evil magic of fracking can cause earthquakes far out at sea.

Footnote:
(1) Watch for words like “may,” “might,” “possible,” “could” and other weak words that don’t require any evidence to back them up, just the doubt and fear they create in the (they hope) credulous listener.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Forget space exploration; colonizing Mars is un-Islamic

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**Posted by Phineas

Haram.

Haram.

The fatwa is out, and so is colonizing Mars:

The fatwa – or ruling – was issued by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) in the UAE after the Mars One organisation announced that it would try and establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.

The committee argued that an attempt to dwell on the planet would be so hazardous as to be suicidal and killing oneself is not permitted by Islam.

According to Khaleejtimes.com it said: ‘Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam. There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death.’

The astronauts, the committee said, would end up dying for no ‘righteous reason’ and would face the same punishment in the afterlife as someone who’d committed suicide.

The committee, led by Professor Dr Farooq Hamada, said: ‘Protecting life against all possible dangers and keeping it safe is an issue agreed upon by all religions and is clearly stipulated in verse 4/29 of the Holy Quran: Do
not kill yourselves or one another. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.’

The GAIAE has issued around two million Fatwas through its Official Fawa Centre since its inception in 2008.

Funny. We were able to get men to the Moon, let them hang out there a few days, and then bring them back. Several times. We’ve also done pretty well with extended stays at the International Space Station. With technological advances, especially the advent of 3D printing, a permanent base on the Red Planet doesn’t seem to be much of a problem at all. In fact, the Mars One foundation already has plans well underway.

Maybe the GAIAE needs a refresher course in real science. Things have changed a bit since the seventh century.

via Gateway Pundit

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Sorry John Kerry, I know the world is round and that global warming is a fraud

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**Posted by Phineas

"Careful! Don't fall over the edge!!"

“Careful! Don’t fall over the edge!!”

So, having spewed thousands of pounds of harmful greenhouse gasses (1) to fly to Indonesia to warn against the evils of Man-caused climate change, Secretary of State Kerry had this to say:

Kerry, who has framed global warming as a centerpiece of his diplomatic agenda, kicked off a tour in Jakarta, Indonesia devoted to climate change.

“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts,” Kerry told students at the U.S. Embassy-run American Center. “Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”

“The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,” he added. “We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”

I hate to break it to you, Mr. Secretary, but I don’t belong to the Flat Earth Society. Nor do I believe in the Hollow Earth. I haven’t much truck with reading tea leaves or the entrails of animals, either, though I suspect both might have as good or better a track record at prediction than the computer models Warmists use in their forecasts of climate doom.

What I do believe in is empirical science: hypotheses tested against accurately observed evidence with replicable results until they are either falsified or show they can withstand challenge. And empirical science increasingly says the theory of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming is nothing but a bunch of hot air. Have you forgotten the debunking of Mann’s “hockey stick,” which was shown to be garbage? Or the corruption of the scientific method and peer-review process revealed in the Climategate emails? How about the fact that warming appears to have stopped over 15 years ago? In fact, we may now be on the down-slope of a 60 year cycle.

Is it probable, or even possible, that Man has had some effect on the Earth’s climate? Sure, but the signal is so small as to be unmeasurable compared to the overwhelming influence of the sun and the seas.

The only people with their heads buried in the sand, Mr. Secretary, are you and the other fools who ignore the ample and very clear science that at a minimum casts strong doubts over your precious Green ideology.

Your membership packet in the Flat Earth Society, including a secret decoder ring, is on the way.

PS: A very good book every clear-thinking AGW skeptic should have. And here’s another.

UPDATE: From Jim Geraghty, here’s what our Green Secretary of State will spew into the atmosphere on his week-long trip:

This is part of a six-day Kerry trip through Seoul, South Korea; Beijing, China; Jakarta; Indonesia; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, then back to Washington.

In case you’re wondering, flying first class from Washington to Seoul to Beijing to Jakarta to Abu Dhabi and then back to Washington runs up roughly 12.16 metric tons of carbon dioxideaccording to CarbonFootprint.com, which uses data from the EPA and Department of Energy.

The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide in a year.

If he’s so worried about CO2 (aka “plant food”), shouldn’t he have done all this by teleconference?

Footnote:
(1) At least in the Cult of Gaia, where it’s known as the Dread Demon Carbon Dioxide.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Good News: parts of healthcare.gov designed by Putin allies

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**Posted by Phineas

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko

Security holes? What are those? And did you hear about Chris Christie closing a bridge in New Jersey??

U.S. intelligence agencies last week urged the Obama administration to check its new healthcare network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarus government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans will be compromised.

The intelligence agencies notified the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency in charge of the Healthcare.gov network, about their concerns last week. Specifically, officials warned that programmers in Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, were suspected of inserting malicious code that could be used for cyber attacks, according to U.S. officials familiar with the concerns.

The software links the millions of Americans who signed up for Obamacare to the federal government and more than 300 medical institutions and healthcare providers.

“The U.S. Affordable Care Act software was written in part in Belarus by software developers under state control, and that makes the software a potential target for cyber attacks,” one official said.

Belarus has been described as Europe’s last Stalinist country, and apparently they work very hard to prove themselves worthy allies of Moscow. According to Gertz’s article, in addition portions of healthcare.gov’s software being designed by an entity controlled by the Belarussian government, last year that same government successfully hijacked massive amounts of US Internet traffic for nearly a month:

According to the New Hampshire-based security firm Renesys, which discovered the data diversion, throughout February 2013, Internet traffic from the United States was sent to Belarus. The purpose likely was to allow hackers or government agencies to sift for data for financial, economic, or government intelligence.

The data also may have been modified for other purposes before being returned to the original U.S. and other foreign destinations.

The bulk diversion technique is called border gateway protocol hijacking. It involves using a series of network addresses to mask the data diversion through numerous Internet hubs around the world.

Renesys traced the data diversion from Washington to New York and Moscow and finally to Minsk, the Belarusian capital. It was returned to the United States via connections in Moscow, Frankfurt, and New York.

Combine the two and you have a very, very big potential problem. Administration officials of course claimed the site was secure and pooh-pooed the idea that nation-states would want to steal personal information, but that’s disingenuous at best.

First, foreign intelligence agencies would very much like to get their hands on conveniently collected personal information, since it would make the creation of solid cover identities for agents much easier. Second, as the article mentions, both the use of a foreign contractor and the internet hijacking make it very easy to implant altered data and even  malicious code to do… lots of stuff. Remember Stuxnet?

The elephant in the room that the administration isn’t talking about is the real danger in this: the PPACA created a wealth of interconnected networks with the Federal Data Services Hub at the center of the spider’s web. This hub is connected to agencies such as the IRS and Homeland Security. Even if Lukashenko isn’t interested in chatting with Putin about Joe Six-Pack’s cholesterol, you can darn well bet they’re both very interested in any security holes that allow their spies access to these other networks and to others connected to them.

And with the ability to divert traffic and implant clandestine code… Critics are right: the whole site needs to be shut down and vetted from top to bottom. Even if Obamacare is eventually repealed and the system dismantled, it’s a huge risk while it’s still operational.

As Instapundit likes to say, we’re in the best of hands.

Moscow’s.

PS: By the way, the now-fired healthcare.gov site builder, CGI Federal, assured the US government that only US contractors were used. Where was the HHS oversight of this?

PPS: Read the whole thing.

RELATED: Between this and Edward Snowden’s invaluable service to Russian intelligence, do we have any secrets from our enemies at all? Also, on a lighter note, Belarus’ Lukashenko is totally not a paranoid nut. Earlier articles about healthcare.gov security vulnerabilities.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

UN climate chief sees her job as “sacred.”

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**Posted by Phineas

"Our mission is sacred; let none deny it."

“Our mission is sacred; let none deny it.”

Courtesy of the dread William Teach of Pirate’s Cove, the United Nation’s “Executive Secretary for Climate,” Cristina Figueres, sounds like she’d be more at home in a temple to Gaea than in a position supposedly dealing with empirical science. Her job, you see, is sacred:

The top climate official at the United Nations has described her role in pushing nations to contain the Earth’s climate as a “sacred” job.

“We are truly defining the quality of life for our children,” Christina Figueres, the U.N.’s executive secretary for climate, told USA TODAY on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“We have to do everything we can because there is no plan B because there is no planet B,” she said.

“I fully intend my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to live on this planet. This job is a sacred responsibility,” Figueres said.

She also notes that the world has spent a trillion dollars so far to fight climate change and that we need to spends trillions and trillions more. Every year. And all controlled by the UN, I’m sure.

Okay, we’ve all heard people at times sacralize their job, usually to show their dedication to a task that involves significant risk or hardship. Military and police come to mind. And, sure, politicians often prattle on about the sacred trust they’ve been given by their constituents, but most of us recognize that as a rhetorical device. Perhaps that’s the case for Ms. Figueres, too.

But I don’t think so.

Instead, it has the ring of sanctimony that brooks no debate or challenge. Indeed, if you question man-caused global warming or what, if anything, needs to be done to fight it, you’re putting her descendants at risk. It moves from being a matter of empirical, testable science, on which there can be reasonable disagreement, to a tenet of faith and morality, something holy. Disagree with her “sacred mission,” and you become a “denier,” one who has denied the faith. It’s a short step from there to being designated a “traitor to planet” and perforce evil.

It would be funny, if only these people weren’t in positions of influence and power, with the ability to implement their programs to our great harm, if we don’t keep a close eye on them.

That’s our “sacred responsibility.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Scientific journal shut down for questioning man-caused global warming. Updated

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**Posted by Phineas

"In the name of Gaea, burn, heretics!"

“In the name of Gaea, burn, heretics!”

This isn’t science; this is the return of Lysenkoism, where all research must conform to the Party line.

Background: The journal Pattern Recognition in Physics was founded ten months ago to research patterns discovered throughout the physical sciences. In a special issue published in 2013, the editors, many of them noted climate change skeptics, opined that the data published in the issue cast doubt on the claims of accelerated anthropogenic global warming put forward by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the “Vatican” of the climate alarmist movement.

And for this heresy, the journal was shut down:

Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics. However, the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.

Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”. Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).

Copernicus Publications published the work and other special issue papers to provide the spectrum of the related papers to the scientists for their individual judgment. Following best practice in scholarly publishing, published articles cannot be removed afterwards.

In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our  publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.

Therefore, we at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal as well as the malpractice regarding the review process, and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP. Of course, scientific dispute is controversial and should allow contradictory opinions which can then be discussed within the scientific community. However, the recent developments including the expressed implications (see above) have led us to this drastic decision.

Interested scientists can reach the online library at: www.pattern-recogn-phys.net

Martin Rasmussen
January 2014

The bolded portion shows the editors’ real crime, whatever else Mr. Rasmussen claims (1): they had the temerity to question the dogma of the IPCC.

I don’t hold a PhD, or any advanced degree in the sciences, but I know enough to know this is not the scientific method, which does not just encourage skepticism and probing questions, but positively demands it. To say now that the IPCC’s hypothesis cannot be tested, that the “science is settled” and that if you dare question the Holy Writ, you will be silenced, is an absolute disgrace. The only question in my mind is whether the publisher, the ironically named “Copernicus Publications” was guilty of “noble cause corruption,” or was simply afraid of the wrath of the Warmists.

Regardless, this inability to accept disagreement as legitimate is a common feature of the progressive mind (2). Having discerned The Truth, all questioning must be stopped. If you doubt the The Truth, you are stupid at best or evil at worst, but you cannot be intellectually honest and have honorable motives. Think about it: do you criticize abortion on demand? Then you must want to enslave women and be some sort of religious fascist. Do you express doubt about the welfare state? You must hate poor people. Do you worry about the integrity of our elections and think requiring identification to vote would be a good idea? RACIST!!!

Express even the mildest doubts about the IPCC’s claims, and you will be silenced.

Whatever this is, it ain’t science.

But MiniTrue would approve.

via Jo Nova

Footnotes:
(1) In her post, Jo notes that the paragraph on “nepotistic bias” seems to have been added after the notice’s initial publication. It’s a darkly funny accusation, given the widespread corruption of the peer-review process, particularly within climate science.
(2) Happens too often on the Right, too, but, in that case, it’s a bug. For progressives, I contend, it’s a feature.

UPDATE 1/20/14: At Watt’s Up With That, perhaps the best known of the AGW-skeptic sites, Anthony Watt’s looks at PRiP‘s shutdown and finds blame on both sides and some validity to the “nepotistic bias” or “pal-review” accusation.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Go ahead, increase the minimum wage. Then, kiss those jobs goodbye.

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**Posted by Phineas

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

“But at least we won our minimum wage increase!”

I’ve said time and again that because wages are a cost for businesses, they have to find a way to control them so they can earn a profit that makes it worthwhile to stay in business. Mandate wages that are too high, and companies will find creative ways to trim those costs back down.

Such as replacing the workers with machines:

Fast food doesn’t have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.

Our alpha machine frees up all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant.

It does everything employees can do except better:

It slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.

Our next revision will offer custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.

Also, our next revision will use gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant, giving the patty the perfect char but keeping in all the juices.

It’s more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.

The labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better.

That’s from the web site of Momentum Machines in San Francisco. You can bet all those progressive Bay Area burger-flippers and baristas demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage will be screaming “unfair!” when they find themselves replaced.

Not that I’m some sort of anti-technological Luddite; far from it. But these idio… er, “people” demanding a huge increase in the minimum wage need to recognize that their bosses have choices to make, and one of those choices may well be a very rational decision to cut back hours or eliminate jobs altogether. Is it worth winning a $15 per hour rate, when you wind up collecting nothing?

Keep it up, burger flippers, and you may well pave the way for the return of the automat.

"Forward into the past?"

Forward into the past?

via Melissa Clouthier

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)