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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Climate ChangeGate!!

Regular musings readers have long known that I am a global warming skeptic. That is,
I question whether the climate simulation models used by scientists to finger man - made activities as the cause of global warming prove anything about the real world. In fact, I question whether the data even show anything unusual about the alleged warming trend and whether it is anything that couldn't be explained by random variation, or if it is simply within the limits of the various natural heating and cooling trends the earth has been subjected to throughout recorded and pre-recorded history. I also question whether carbon dioxide, a naturally occurring gas, should have ever been implicated as a greenhouse gas. Not being a scientist, my skepticism is based only on what I read and what logic tells me about the theories suggested and the proof offered.

With the perspective of a comparative instant in time (by geological standards), we naturally believe that the conditions we have known are ideal and best for our evolving planet. But why is that so? It is natural for us to feel that the receding glaciers of the arctic constitute some cataclysm, but is it the case? If we were born during the ice age, when it was natural for a glacier to extend across the North Shore of what is now Long Island, and we got to the end of that Ice Age, wouldn't we have been similarly concerned to see that glacier recede? For that matter, what will man think if(s)he is still around when the next ice age gets going?

I have previously pointed out the political aspect of this debate, and especially the proclivity by the climate change community to heap scorn on the skeptics and make overt use of political propaganda to do so (as with the Al Gore documentary). I find that in polite conversation with people who fancy themselves fans of the environment, skepticism is typically met with derision.

But now we have proof, not of global warming, but of a concerted, purposeful effort by the climate change science lobby to blackball the skeptics, bury data that doesn't conform to their own predisposed theories, and shut off debate. The hacking of e-mail systems used by the global warming crowd has led us to e-mails in which these activities are laid bare for all to see. So now it is incontrovertible that complaints by climate skeptics that they were being politically subverted weren't merely paranoia. In my opinion, this returns the controversy to square one. Let's review the whole science of climate change before taking action on cap and trade or any other anti - carbon, anti industrial hooey. And let's do it out in the open, away from the UN and other politically dominated sponsors, and use real data instead of models.

And if we find that man is warming the earth, let's work with it. Surely, we can find positives and negatives in climate change. After all, why are man's activities any less "natural" than any other earth creature. When the orangutan threw a banana peel at Cosmo Kramer, setting off a brouhaha, the zoo keeper demanded that Kramer apologize to the "innocent primate." But that's what I am too was the essence of the Kramer response, and it's true.


Well, as usual and as predicted here, the Blue Dog Democrats all caved allowing the health care reform bill (i.e. the "Break the Bank Once and For All Act") to go to the Senate floor on a strict party line vote. Don't worry though, say Senators Nelson, Lincoln, Landrieux, Lieberman, et al, we might still ultimately vote against ending the debate we allowed to start. Well, maybe Senator Lieberman will do the right thing, but I don't hold out much hope for the rest. If he does come through, that should end the Connecticut Independent's ties to the party that once nominated him for VP and we will see him run as a Republican if he does try to get re-elected.

Meanwhile, Dems are lining up in circular firing squad formation over the abortion and public option questions, so it is high time for the GOP to formalize its more reasonable proposals to fix our current system into an alternate bill. This would include real tort reform, opportunity to purchase out-of-state and national plans, incentives for HSA and other consumer driven approaches, concerted efforts to sign up the uninsured for Medicaid where they qualify and low cost, high deductible insurance where they don't. Also, make insurance plans guaranteed renewable and require non-profit blues to cover pre-existing conditions, in effect making them analogous to the assigned risk pools common in auto insurance. Why is this so difficult?


When I saw Nicholas Payton last summer at Dizzy's, where he cameo'd as one of Marion McPartland's "friends," I was so impressed by his confident, assured playing that I promised myself to see him the next time he headlined in New York. That time was last week at Birdland, where I visited on Friday night to hear the Nicholas Payton Sextet, scene of a completely sold out house I might add. At $40 a head music charge, that crowd still got a bargain. Playing with an outstanding rhythm section that featured both a drummer and an exceptional percussionist, as well as a singer (Payton sang as well), Payton played with the confidence and maturity he seems to have gained after touring as part of the Blue Note All Stars last winter and spring. At times playing with a cool sound reminiscent of Miles Davis, at other times firing red hot but all the while maintaining a perfect tone, Payton has the speed and power you don't hear from too many trumpets these days. His confidence was further evidenced by the challenging, yet satisfying selection of tunes and his willingness to leave the spotlight to the rhythm section as appropriate.

So it appears the heir to Pops, Dizzy, Little Jazz, Brownie, and Miles has at last arrived and taken his rightful position at the center of the bandstand. We'll let musings readers know when and where Payton's next NY gig will be so you can join the fun.


It's not good when a jet is in free fall, but we have a whole team of them swooning in the Meadowlands these days and the picture is not pretty. I will get a chance to watch the piper cubs in person this Sunday, my first visit to Giants Stadium coming just in time before it faces the wrecking ball. The wreck of a team I will be watching is the story though. I have only one suggestion for our young but rapidly aging and emotional head coach and that is when you have a rookie quarterback, however talented, who is this lost, it would be well to let him watch for a while from the sideline and let the number two guy play a game. Sometimes, that's all a young QB needs to see the big picture a little better and slow the game down some. Then when he gets back out there, I guarantee he will do better and stop throwing so much TO THE OTHER DAMN TEAM! Of course, I would prefer Sanchez not sit out THIS week.


And it looks like some lucky reader will soon be our 3000th visitor, perhaps a dubious honor, but a distinction nonetheless. For that, the fortunate number 3000 will receive our sincere thanks and hearty congrats.

As promised last time, the purchase information on our GIFI sale was that we bought it 11/17/2004 for 19.30, giving us a hard won profit of a couple hundred bananas or so. We'll take it, after all we've been through. On Thursday, we bought 100 shares of FLIR for 29.7593, a "zero buy" of course. Yesterday, we bought 25 shares of Consolidated Edison preferred (ED.PR.A), also for the IRA, at 89.00. Dig, we must, to find these preferred issues and diversify away from financials.

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