Thursday, February 09, 2017

Cruising the Web

The Federalist links to some of the most "unhinged reactions" to Betsy DeVos's confirmation. Apparently, DeVos as Secretary of Education will actually kill children and lead to children committing suicide. They can't stand that she's wealthy and has donated a lot of money to trying to help poor families have more choice for where to send their children. If having DeVos heading the Education Department is such a disaster and that she will have such nefarious powers to totally destroy public education in the United States, perhaps these unhinged leftists and the Democrats who fed their paranoia might suddenly support closing the Department of Education. After all, from Bill Bennett to Betsy DeVos, the left has been hysterical about what those Education chiefs could do to the country. If we limited the federal government's role in education, they can untie the knots that their panties are in.

Max Eden did a deep dive
into how the New York Times has willfully twisted studies of Detroit's charter schools in order to attack Betsy DeVos and denigrate the performance of those schools compared to the ordinary public schools.
Whatever your take on DeVos or the media, everyone loses when the line between fact and falsehood is blurred beyond distinction. At a time when the president’s advisers proudly tout “alternative facts,” critical, fact-based reporting is more necessary than ever, especially from outlets with the weight and influence of The New York Times. Their readers, and America’s schoolchildren, deserve better. Correcting the record would be a good start.

David French ridicules the Democrats' criticism of Betsy DeVos having given political contributions to Republicans.
I had to laugh at the Democratic memes on Twitter implying that DeVos bought her confirmation votes with campaign contributions. But DeVos’s contributions are a drop in the ocean compared to the financial impact of the teacher’s unions in American politics. In 2016 alone, teachers’ unions gave $33.2 million in political contributions, 93 percent to Democrats. DeVos’s contributions — even if you include contributions from her entire family — are inconsequential by comparison. Who’s buying whom?
All over the country teachers' unions have donated to Democrats who then get into office and channel the taxpayers' money back to the teachers in generous benefits and pensions. It's been very cozy. That's why they were so outraged by Scott Walker's reforms that limited collective bargaining for teachers back in 2011. They were unhinged then too in their protests in the state capitol. Well, now that we've had five years to judge the impact of those reforms.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s collective-bargaining reforms have saved taxpayers money, and now a study finds that by rewarding the best teachers they are also improving student learning.

The 2011 Wisconsin law, known as Act 10, limited collective bargaining to base wages while letting school districts negotiate pay with individual teachers based on criteria other than years on the job and education level. Some districts like Green Bay have used the law to reward teacher performance while others such as Racine have adhered to seniority-based salary schedules.

Prior research on Washington, D.C.’s teacher-tenure reforms and merit pay has found that financial incentives improved the performance of highly rated teachers while dismissal threats led to attrition among ineffective ones. Student achievement has risen as a result. Act 10 provides an opportunity to evaluate how changes in contract negotiations affect teaching quality.

As Stanford University economic researcher Barbara Biasi explains in a new study (which is awaiting peer review), Act 10 created a marketplace for teachers in which public-school districts can compete for better employees. For instance, a district can pay more to recruit and retain “high-value added” teachers—that is, those who most improve student learning. Districts can also cap salaries of low-performing teachers, which might encourage them to quit or leave for other districts....

The lesson is that incentives matter in education as in the rest of American life. Giving schools the ability to reward the best teachers produces better results for students. The evidence grows that Act 10 may be the most successful public-policy achievement since welfare reform.
No wonder teachers' unions are fighting so strongly any move to dilute their power.

Ross Douthat is also rather astounded at the vitriol and passion the Democrats aimed at DeVos.
A visitor from Saturn might be puzzled by this particular crusade, since none of the things that liberals profess to fear the most about a Trump era revolve around education policy. If Trump is planning to surrender Eastern Europe to the Russians or start a world war with the Chinese, perhaps his secretary of state nominee deserved an all-night talkathon of opposition. If he’s bent on domestic authoritarianism with a racist tinge, then it’s Jeff Sessions, his attorney general, who presents the natural target for Democratic protest. If the biggest problem is that Trump will nominate allies who are unqualified for their responsibilities, then the choice of Ben Carson to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development seems like an obvious place to draw a line.

But somehow it was DeVos who became, in the parlance of cable-news crawls, Trump’s “most controversial nominee.” Never mind that Trump’s logorrheic nationalism barely has time for education. Never mind that local control of schools makes the Education Department a pretty weak player. Never mind that Republican views on education policy are much closer to the expert consensus than they are on, say, climate change. Never mind that the bulk of DeVos’s school-choice work places her only somewhat to the right of the Obama administration’s pro-charter-school positioning, close to centrist Democrats like Senator Cory Booker. None of that mattered: Against her and (so far) only her, Democrats went to the barricades, and even dragged a couple of wavering Republicans along with them....

So why did the Democrats fight so hard? Because in this particular case, the rules of normal pre-Trump politics still apply.

First, when interest groups talk, politicians listen — and the teachers’ unions are simply more powerful in Democratic circles, with more money and leverage and clout, than most of the groups leading the charge against other Trump policies or nominees. It’s not that liberals aren’t genuinely worried about everything that makes Trumpism potentially abnormal and un-republican and authoritarian. But a more normal threat to a deep-pocketed interest group’s preferences still turned out to be a more natural rallying point than the specter of creeping Putinism.

Second, even in the age of surging blue-collar populism, upper-middle-class suburbanites haven’t lost their influence, and they generally like their public schools and regard school choice as a threat rather than a promise. Charters and vouchers are most appealing to the poor, the religious and the eccentric — to low-income families locked into failing schools and religious conservatives and bohemians with ideological doubts about the content of the public-school curriculum. That’s a motley, divided constituency, whereas well-off suburbanites are easier to activate and rally. It’s the same dynamic that made it easy to defeat a modest expansion of charter schools in Massachusetts last November: Not only teachers-union-loving Democrats but also lots of Republican-leaning suburbanites, having bought (literally) into the existing system, tend to sympathize with liberal warnings that too much choice could leave their own kids worse off.

Daniel Henninger also writes about how the teachers' unions are losing the battle against charters and now they're making their last stands as bloody as possible.
The issue presumably at the center of this nomination fight is the future of the education of black children who live in urban neighborhoods.

During a strike in the 1930s, a miner’s wife wrote a song that became a Democratic anthem, “Which Side Are You On?” The question remains: Which side are you on?

A standard answer is that the interests of the Democrats and the teachers unions are conjoined. Still, many of us have wondered at the party’s massive resistance to public-school alternatives and most reforms.

Beneath that resistance sits a grim reality: Many urban school systems are slowly dying. As with the decline of the industrial unions, the Democrats’ urban base of teachers is disappearing by attrition. The party is desperate to hold on to what’s left, and increasingly that includes its bedrock —black parents.

Enrollment in many urban schools has been declining for years. It’s down significantly in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City and elsewhere. Falling alongside have been membership rolls in urban teachers unions, notably in Michigan and Wisconsin, two Trump pickups this election.

Families who could afford it have moved away. Many adult blacks stayed behind and, inexorably, the education of their children fell behind, a fact documented annually year after year. By the way, good public teachers got trapped, too. Some of the best lost heart and left, replaced by less able teachers, some grossly so.
Henninger details the history of school-choice movement.
For parents of children in the nation’s suburban public schools, none of this mattered much, so sustained political support for reform of city schools was never very deep. But in the cities, dissent rose.

The charter-school movement emerged first in Minnesota in 1991. Wisconsin passed the first school-choice legislation in 1989, authored by a Democratic black activist named Polly Williams. Some of us thought then that Polly Williams was the start of a new, bipartisan civil-rights movement. How naive we were.

The movement persisted. According to a 2016 study by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, using state databases, these are the percentages of students now enrolled in public charters only:

In now-famous Flint, Mich.: 53%. Kansas City: 40%; Philadelphia: 32%; the District of Columbia: 45%; Detroit: 53%.

In Louisiana, which essentially abandoned its failed central-administration model after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans charters are at 92%.

The steady migration of poor families to these alternatives is a historic saga of social transformation. It happened for two reasons: to escape public-school disorder and to give their kids a shot at learning.

This is one of greatest civil-rights stories since the mid-1960s. And the Democratic Party’s role in it? About zero. Other than, as in the past two weeks, resistance.

In 2002, the Supreme Court, with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s deciding vote, ruled that Cleveland’s (still successful) school voucher program was constitutional.

In 2013, the Obama Justice Department sought an injunction against Louisiana’s voucher system, arguing the alternative schools were . . . too black. By this logic, children are wards of the state first and the free sons and daughters of their parents second.

Let’s be clear. We are talking about the professional Democratic Party and their full-time adjuncts. Many Democrats, some as “wealthy” as Betsy DeVos, abandoned the party’s hard-line resistance and supported charters and choice.

America’s inner cities are the foundation of the Democratic Party. Now, its urban political arm, the teachers unions, is shrinking. And its moral foundation of black parents is drifting away. Hillary Clinton explicitly promised more of the status quo. They didn’t turn out for her.

This relentless erosion of an unreformable party explains the rage over one woman, Betsy DeVos.

Some of the least attractive elements of this opposition reemerged, notably anti-Catholicism and anti-Christian bigotry. Stories cited as reason for opposition to Mrs. DeVos her support for “Christian schools.” It’s true. Those Christian and Catholic schools, supported by vouchers, have sent thousands of black and Hispanic kids on to college, the first in their families to make it that far.
Oh, horrors! Such antipathy to school choices extends back to the 19th century when states inserted Blaine amendments into their constitutions to prevent state money going to Catholic schools. States that oppose vouchers proposals which would allow students to use the vouchers at religious schools have relied on the Blaine amendments still in their constitutions to block such proposals. So there is an ugly history behind those elements of the anti-voucher fights.

Ironically, Elizabeth Warren hasn't always opposed school choice. Here is an excerpt from a book she published with Amelia Warren Tyagi in 2003, The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are (Still) Going Broke.
We recognize that the term “voucher” has become a dirty word in many educational circles. The reason is straightforward: The current debate over vouchers is framed as a public-versus-private rift, with vouchers denounced for draining off much-needed funds from public schools. The fear is that partial-subsidy vouchers provide a boost so that better-off parents can opt out of a failing public school system, while the other children are left behind.

But the public-versus-private competition misses the central point. The problem is not vouchers; the problem is parental choice. Under current voucher schemes, children who do not use the vouchers are still assigned to public schools based on their zip codes. This means that in the overwhelming majority of cases, a bureaucrat picks the child’s school, not a parent. The only way for parents to exercise any choice is to buy a different home—which is exactly how the bidding wars started.

Short of buying a new home, parents currently have only one way to escape a failing public school: Send the kids to private school. But there is another alternative, one that would keep much-needed tax dollars inside the public school system while still reaping the advantages offered by a voucher program. Local governments could enact meaningful reform by enabling parents to choose from among all the public schools in a locale, with no presumptive assignment based on neighborhood. Under a public school voucher program, parents, not bureaucrats, would have the power to pick schools for their children—and to choose which schools would get their children’s vouchers.
The only difference to her proposal and what so many conservatives are supporting is the ability of teachers, parents, and supporters to come together to create charter schools that don't have to follow all the requirements that public schools do. The main difference is that teachers don't have tenure and don't all have to have been certified. Charters still have to follow the state's curricular and testing requirements. Decisions are made close to the school.

I remember when I was at a regular public middle school (where I taught for 12 years) and the principal asked me to teach Russian. I had to write a proposal including my curriculum and planned assessments. It was about 50 pages when I was done and took about a year to be approved. I taught that for several years and added in a Russian II and Russian III classes all of which required similar course proposals. Then suddenly I got a letter from the school district saying that they were cancelling my classes because they didn't want students to graduate middle school and then wanted to continue studying Russian in high school which the district didn't want to fund. Now compare that to my experience at my present charter high school. I wanted to teach an elective about the American Revolution and Civil War. I asked my principal and he said yes. And that was it. He trusted me to devise a good curriculum and assessments and that was all he needed. The contrast in how decisions are made at regular public schools and charter schools. I could give dozens of stories of how quickly the necessary decisions can be made in charter schools or how teachers are consulted and involved in major decisions. It's all part of the many reasons why I have found teaching at a charter school, despite all the extra work it sometimes involves, to be such a delight compared to the regular public schools.

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Elizabeth Warren is now trying to portray herself as a Joan of Arc-type of feminist martyr because the Republicans wouldn't let her speak on the Senate floor for 24 hours for calling Jeff Sessions a racist. This is such a nothing of a dust-up. As the WSJ writes,
Social media are overflowing with memes featuring the likes of Rosa Parks,Harriet Tubman and various suffragettes along with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comment about the Senate sanction: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Likening one of the most powerful people in the world to an underground-railroad conductor may be a tad histrionic, but you be the judge.

HRH Warren isn’t a victim, even if she enjoys feeling she is, and Republicans aren’t trying to get her to “shut up,” as if that’s possible. She knowingly broke protocol and said Mr. Sessions was “racist” and prosecuting “a campaign of bigotry,” among other gross, false and personal insults that Democrats now feel entitled to hurl. Our guess is that Ms. Warren wanted to be punished so she could play out this political theater.
I am not convinced that McConnell was correct to use her reading of Coretta Scott King's letter from over 30 years ago was worth this fuss. The result is that Warren got even more publicity and people who might not have been paying attention now have heard this story. The imagery of Republicans drawing the line at hearing the words of Coretta Scott King is not optimal. If the Republicans had ignored her, the Democrats' protests would have continued as their protests against Betsy DeVos did and then the result would have been the same with Sessions approved as attorney general. Now this story will continue another few days and the Democrats will have more of a platform to air their deceptive claims that Sessions was a racist back in the 1980s. He is apparently such a racist that the Alabama NAACP gave him an award for excellence back in 2009.

But the WSJ is also correct that the Democrats have now set a precedent for the next Democratic president (and there will be one) and his or her nominations.
Democrats are within their rights, but at some point they might consider the precedents they’re setting. The Senate is an institution that used to run on civility and comity. Republicans as recently as 2009 confirmed 11 of President Obama’s 15 cabinet nominees by the end of January—even Tim Geithner as the Treasury Secretary who would run the IRS though he hadn’t paid all of his taxes.

Harry Reid’s unilateral destruction of the filibuster for nominees has made it impossible for Democrats to defeat a nominee without GOP help, and the next Democratic President’s cabinet is likely to receive the Trump treatment. If Democrats keep up their misbehavior, Mr. McConnell has plenty of tools he can use to pass legislation they won’t like. If Democrats want to turn the Senate into the House, with its majority rule and restricted debate, they may get their wish.

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When I first read that Trump had attacked Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka's apparel lines, my thoughts were, "Oh, geez! Come on, you're the president of the United States. Don't you have something better to do than to tweet about Nordstrom? And why are you using a the White House Twitter account for attacking a private company in order to defend your daughter?"

But then I remembered another president who went on the attack when his daughter was criticized. When a Washington Post music critic had some harsh words for the critic and wrote a letter on White House stationary to that critic.
Dec. 6, 1950

Mr. Hume:

I've just read your lousy review of Margaret's concert. I've come to the conclusion that you are an "eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay."

It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you're off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.

Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!

Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you'll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.

That letter has become a famous moment of Truman lore recounted with admiration by historians today as a sign of Truman's feistiness and protectiveness toward his daughter. While people at the time might have found a president's threat of violence against a music critic including threatening his family jewels. The letter went for $51,400 in an auction in 2002. And Bill Clinton had a copy of the letter hanging in his office. I've always liked that story about Truman defending his daughter. So maybe I should cut Trump a little slack for this one tweet. Fathers can be excused for defending their daughters.

Matt Lewis does some comfort trolling in advising the left to abandon their efforts to try to replicate the tactics of the Tea Party and Donald Trump in order to return to power.
It would be easy to suggest that what I’m about to say is concern trolling. But what follows is sincere advice.
Before attempting to replicate what conservatives did, it’s worth asking if it is replicable. There are reasons to believe the techniques and strategies are not transferable....

[P]olitics is about choices, and copying Trump’s tactics would deprive Democrats of a favorable contrast. Keep in mind, the fundamental choice may not always be left vs. right. Donald Trump has tried to make the choice about insiders vs. outsiders, and (to a certain extent) this strategy has worked. However, that was the last war—a war he defined. Maybe the next election will focus on chaos vs. normalcy or incompetence vs. competence.

If that happens, Democrats would be foolish to abandon this unique selling proposition. Politics is about addition, and there could be demand for a rational and thoughtful party in 2020. Democrats would essentially abandon this emerging coalition by seeking to ape Trump.
It’s hard to see how a race to the bottom—that serves to further weaken faith in institutions and government—helps the brand of big government. Instead, Democrats need to offer an alternative vision of how sensible, thoughtful, nuanced governance is the preferred alternative to Trumpism....

It’s one thing for Democrats to unite in opposition to Trump’s cabinet picks; that’s easy. What happens when the budget comes this spring? What if it defunds Planned Parenthood? Do Democrats force a government shutdown over that, or do they merely vote against it? There is extensive range between these two strategic decisions. The base will surely be clamoring for a shutdown, but—again—this is an “off brand” move for the Party of Government that might want to come to the rescue if Trump’s chaos finally backfires. Warren Harding’s “return to normalcy” offers us a model for winning after a period of turmoil.

Now, I have no illusions that liberals will heed my warnings any more than conservatives did. Just as Republicans were effectively leaderless for nearly a decade (between George W. Bush and Donald Trump), Democrats now find themselves without a de facto (or de jure) leader. Therefore, the initial instinct is to fight. The heart wants what the heart wants.

The first and most basic form of resistance is to take to the streets (just as the Tea Party did). Marches can be good for morale, but (with a few obvious exceptions) they are overrated in terms of change. The big Women’s March was probably more about resolving “intersectional” racial tensions within the left (emphasizing its nonwhite leadership) than it was about winning the future.

Democrats have the chance to emerge as a serious and competent opposition party. However, scorched-earth tactics are not going to accomplish that goal. An economic populism that brings together working-class whites and African-Americans and Hispanics is within their reach―but the party’s internal interest groups and actors each have a perverse incentive to stoke anger. Republicans spent a decade dealing with the “tragedy of the commons” problem. Now, it is the Democrats who are up at bat.

Roll Call reports
that the NRCC is taking a page out of Donald Trump's campaign book and are targeting blue-collar districts held by Democrats where Trump defeated Clinton. And the Democrats are trying to mirror Hillary Clinton's performance in more upscale suburban districts held by Republicans and where Trump lost to Clinton.

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Well, this is no surprise. The media refer to to Republican nominees for the Supreme Court as "conservative" many more times than they call Democratic nominees "liberal." Rich Noyes analyzes the ideological labels the media uses for nominees of Republican presidents.
Could anyone deny that Sotomayor and Kagan were liberal nominees? Not anyone who knew anything about their records. This is a typical way that the media insert their bias into coverage of any political story.


tfhr said...

As per the WSJ, "HRH Warren isn’t a victim, even if she enjoys feeling she is,...." and I quite agree with much of their comment because she is about as much a victim as she is a Cherokee, a Sergeant-Major in the Indian Army's Sikh Regiment, or Ward Churchill. Well, OK, she does have a lot in common with that last example.

But claiming victimhood is nearly as good as the real thing because for whiney, sniveling leftists there is no higher credential, honor, status or goal. Reading from a letter that was influenced by mendacious accusations made by Thomas Figures and J. Gerald Hebert, Fauxchahantas attacked Sessions while using the memory and reputation of Martin Luther King's wife as a human shield.

Mrs. King publicly thanked Sessions years later for his part in commemorating her husband's life and achievements. The NAACP presented Sessions with an award as well. These simple facts stand in the way of the left's narrative and must be ignored.

Warren exploits Mrs. King just as she exploits American Indians and all for the sake of politics and personal gain. That makes her a hero of the left and a Democrat in good standing with her party. But what is amazing, even if it was over a point of order rather than a determination to end the unanswered slander from the left, Mitch McConnell found a spine. Probably borrowed but nevertheless a welcome new turn from Republican leadership and there was no damage done with this effort to take a stand - the left would have found one thing or another to hyperventilate about - it's just remarkable that Republican leadership has found the time and place to start pushing back. Now do it every single time.

mardony said...

Today's Say What? from our leader*:

"I was a good student. I understand things. I comprehend very well, better than I think almost anybody." Trump

Roy Lofquist said...

Dear Ms. Newmark,

You began this post with:

"The Federalist links to some of the most "unhinged reactions" to Betsy DeVos's confirmation. Apparently, DeVos as Secretary of Education will actually kill children and lead to children committing suicide. They can't stand that she's wealthy and has donated a lot of money to trying to help poor families have more choice for where to send their children."

You apparently realize that these are not people of good will, not really interested in any sort of conversation, but rather rabid attack dogs spewing bile. And yet I observe that you frequently repeat accusations from these very same people in order to question the character and morality of President Trump. Are you really so sure, as you seem to be, that the calumny heaped upon him is God's Honest Truth?

tfhr said...


I'd rate that tweet as almost on par with "We are the ones we've been waiting for!" and this accidental truth:

"Harry Truman was right about the buck stopping at the desk. And I've never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never once doubted, on these life and death decisions, I never once doubted that your judgement was flawed. Not once. Not once." ~ Joe Biden to Barrack Obama

That classic was delivered at the time Biden was receiving a medal from Obama.

mardony said...

Say What? quote from our nation's wise and thoughtful new Attorney General:

“Carbon pollution is CO2, and that’s really not a pollutant; that’s a plant food, and it doesn’t harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases.”

Sessions in a 2015 Senate hearing questioning Environmental Protection Agency's Gina McCarthy

trigger warning said...

And your problem with Sessions' statement is...?

Roy Lofquist said...


"Carbon dioxide emissions from industrial society have driven a huge growth in trees and other plants.
A new study says that if the extra green leaves prompted by rising CO2 levels were laid in a carpet, it would cover twice the continental USA.
Climate sceptics argue the findings show that the extra CO2 is actually benefiting the planet.
But the researchers say the fertilisation effect diminishes over time.
They warn the positives of CO2 are likely to be outweighed by the negatives."

BBC - 25 April 2016

mardony said...

Those skeptical about the dangers of rising CO2 atmospheric levels may wish to read this from NIH:

"Childhood asthma and anthropogenic CO2 emissions"

trigger warning said...

There is no doubt whatsoever that CO2 stimulates plant growth. In fact, plants require it.

mardony said...

Roy Lofquist -
Your quote from your link was incomplete. You left this part out.

"But the researchers say the fertilisation effect diminishes over time.
They warn the positives of CO2 are likely to be outweighed by the negatives.
The lead author, Prof Ranga Myneni from Boston University, told BBC News the extra tree growth would not compensate for global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, ocean acidification, the loss of Arctic sea ice, and the prediction of more severe tropical storms."

Not to mention the world-wide exascerbating effects on health conditions such as asthma and COPD, and other lung-related illnesses.

trigger warning said...

That's an interesting article, but it doesn't address my question: your problem with Sessions' statement is...?

tfhr said...

Mardony believes the most untrustworthy of humans - politicians - can control the weather, even the oceans themselves and if that wasn't enough, he also believes they can and should be entrusted with that awesome, if fictional, power.

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow. Period. And you can keep your doctor."

Then there is the Presidential wannabee that has enriched himself selling carbon credits while predicting the end of the world.

“Many scientists are now warning that we are moving closer to several tipping points that could — within as little as 10 years — make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet’s habitability for human civilization.”, said Gore at a NYU Law School speech in 2006.

It wasn't enough to frighten law students for carbon credit sales, Al Gore travelled the world by private jet to alert a German audience in 2008 that “the entire North polarized cap will disappear in five years.” Then he got back on that private jet and returned to his oceanside mansion to monitor the rise of said ocean, the same one Obama had just said he'd just slowed.

mardony said...

Trigger warning ~
my prinlem: " it doesn't harm anybody"!?!
And your problem with my problem is?

Roy Lofquist said...


I excerpted the portion of the BBC piece that is factual. Real physical measurements.

The part that you added is sheer speculation as we have yet to observe any statistically significant evidence that any of the predicted effects are occurring.

trigger warning said...

Mardony, unfortunately, the article is really nothing more than speculations based on correlations of unstated magnitude (and the magnitude makes a considerable difference). The US rate of suicide by deluberately crashing one's car is correlated with the number of Japanese auto imports sold. Surely you wouldn't suggest, using the word from the article, a "link" between Toyota sales and depression? Would you?

tfhr said...


Totally with you on the Toyota question but DON'T even ask that question about mini-vans (all makes). I can't test it myself but empirically, most seem to be driven by suicidal maniacs.

trigger warning said...

tfhr: I think the causal relationship goes the other way, personally. I'd have to be very depressed to buy a minivan. The best antidote for lunatic minivan drivers is a rusted out '64 Buick Electra with 1/4" sheet steel welded to the body. King of the Road.

mardony said...

Felow chums of Betsy''s Page ~

Increases in earth, ocean, and atmospheric temperatures; rises in sea levels; the melting glaciers including the Greenland Ice Sheet;; increases in ocean acidification; losses of Arctic sea ice; the Antarctic ice shrinkage and rift et al. These measurements are not statistically significant? They are speculations? Say what? Did the Bowling Green Massacre happen?

tfhr said...


A Buick fueled by regular gas for extra global warming impact! While there's more steel (US forged, no less) in the front end of that Buick than 4 or 5 mini-vans, I'll bet there's less environmental damage impact to make that Buick AND the mini-vans than the damage done to scrape enough heavy metals together to make a Chevy Volt, it's batteries, and one set of replacement batteries. We don't even need to add up the coal burned to recharge the Vole everyday.

In other words, you are a mini-van killing eco-warrior in your Buick. Drive on!

tfhr said...


The Bowling Green Massacre DID happen in one of the 57 states!

tfhr said...


The climate is changing on Mars too - and I blame you, so send me some carbon credits.

mardony said...

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Upon hearing of her extremely narrow Senate confirmation, newly confirmed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued an order that all globes being used in any American school are to be “flattened like God made it just 6,000 years ago.”

DeVos said in an email to the DOE staffers directing the globe flattening edict, “but elections have consequences. Apparently so does giving hundreds of millions of dollars to campaigns.”

Previewing some other plans she has for the Department of Education, Ms. DeVos told reporters she was “extremely pleased” that the millions of dollars given to Republican candidates over the years was “money well spent."

“I’m going to make sure I leverage this opportunity the right way," DeVos’ email says, “and that means I’ll be putting the pro back in quid pro quo, that’s for darn sure.”

tfhr said...


While you're searching for some more inanities to copy and paste, let me know what the ideal temperature is for the Earth. You seem to think there is one and that mankind has the key to the thermostat. What's the ideal pH for the oceans? Do they all have to be the same?
Should the Arctic Ice Cap extend only as far as land, to the Arctic Circle, or Detroit and Moscow? Granted, Detroit would be a friendlier place to live under those circumstances than it is now but the Russians would be terribly upset and they’d probably hack your email again just to piss you off.

And what about Greenland? Since you brought it up – it used to be green and had a lot of Vikings living there but then it iced over because…the Vikings weren’t burning enough baby seals? The climate changes – we can agree on that – but it’s a huge leap from logic to think there is anything of a consensus as to why.

This debate, and it is a debate no matter how much you want to kick and scream that it is “settled”, should be tempered by healthy skepticism when it is so easy to see that the topic is interwoven with political agendas that include redistribution of wealth, crony favoritism, and government research grants. There is no such thing as pure science in a laboratory with that much distortion built into the mix. You ought to be confident enough with yourself to see the pitfalls that exist here and NOT accept claims based on faith.

But back to your concerns about “shrinkage”. I know guys like you are quick to blame the weather when they have a shrinkage problem but really, Mardony, it’s a small detail. Maybe you can see someone about tht but it's probably just a confidence thing.

And don’t worry about the Antarctic, the ice there is actually growing according to NASA.

tfhr said...


This is for your 3:00 post:

You don't have to put a dateline on your stuff to make us think it's fake news. That's a given!

You must be a leftist - they're the only ones today that could not see the irony in your attempt at a "flat Earth" joke. You spastically attack “climate deniers” as “flat Earthers” while completely missing the fact that Galileo was placed under house arrest for challenging the scientific consensus of his day, an orthodoxy shared and enforced by the Catholic Church.

Again, you need to stay away from faith based science like that practiced by the Evangelical Church of Global Warming. Plus, I hear they have some really harsh dietary restrictions – you can only be fed BS. And no bacon. Absolutely no bacon. Gaiea commands you.

mardony said...

itharg ~
If you don't stop plagiarizing from Alex Jones' Infowars, the President* will offer you a job to write speeches for Kellyanne Conway -- an offer you best not refuse.

tfhr said...


"itharg"? Are you choking on your tongue? I'm surprised because I thought you always left it in Bernie's hands, so to speak.

Present evidence of plagiarism - I can show you what it looks like with Joe Biden's redistribution of Neil Kinnock's socialist blather.

Look! Here's a link:

Ha! Did you have any idea that there is something called Plagiarism Today? I mean besides the WaPo. I understand that Biden has been on the cover more than a few times. Read the article!

mardony said...

ithrrggg ~

So sad the extreme right-wing bubble you dwell 24/7 in has no sunshine, just total darkness. But way too much CO2 and no O2. Hence your fact-free, sensory-deprived little world. On Antarctic ice loss and the growing ice crack there, I'm here to help you get your education level up so Betsy DeVos can claim credit for vouchering you successfully.

tfhr said...

Poor Mardony,

No wonder you struggle with science. I'll take the linked NASA article I provided - I like NASA better for scientific studies than the NYT, although I understand Krugman wears a lab coat on casual Fridays.

I do realize you are both lazy and intellectually dishonest, you'd have to be in order to maintain the ludicrous positions you have on so many things, but even if you don't want to read the report and learn from it, you can still see within the link, the words, nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses/ and that should at least make you stop to think. Now read and learn.

mardony said...

tfhrrrggg ~

The trap for deniers was set, and in your life of eternal midnight, you couldn't see it and ate the cheese. Whap!

Your test: Please focus your room temp IQ on these, one by one please, and no omissions.

Increases in earth, ocean, and atmospheric temperatures
Rises in sea levels
The melting glaciers worldwide
The thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Increases in ocean acidification
Losses of Arctic sea ice
Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are increasing.
Worldwide humidity is increasing
Snow is decreasing in North Am.
The Antarctic ice crack is growing and ice is decreasing.

If you flunk, Betsy DeVos will stand you in the corner in Pee Wee's Playhouse and make you stare at a flattened globe.

mardony said...

ithrrrggg ~

Your subterfuge not withstanding, the article on Antarctic thinning ice is from the BBC, not the NYT. Nice try. You've got bupkis.

tfhr said...


Your abnormal interest in the shrinkage of nether regions is a product of politics far more than science. You can call it political science if you like but I don't see anything about NASA walking back the findings of their report which clearly states that Antarctica is adding ice.

That you had to go to a left wing site like Media Matters to build your ineffective argument - when the mere act of going to a site bought and paid for by the Clintons and their supporters - should be enough to tell you that you are reaching toward politics (media) instead of science (NASA). The "lead" author of the report does not refute the findings at all; he only says that it gives support to counter arguments made by hysterial people like you. I've taken five paragraphs from the excerpt used by Media Matters and placed them below.

A new study by NASA published on October 30 in the Journal of Glaciology found that the Antarctic ice sheet has been increasing in recent years due to a 10,000 year trend of increased snow accumulation in East Antarctica. The study stated that ice losses in West Antarctica have been outweighed by East Antarctica's ice increases, but that this trend may reverse itself in only a few decades.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

"At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet," Zwally said.

The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica ... corresponds to a very large gain of ice - enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise. [, 10/30/15]

Lead Author Jay Zwally: "I Know Some Of The Climate Deniers Will Jump On This," But "It Should Not Take Away From The Concern About Climate Warming." In an interview with Nature, the study's lead author, glaciologist Jay Zwally, warned that "climate deniers" would wrongly tout the study as proof that "we don't have to worry [about global warming] as some people have been making out"

The addition of ice, according to the report has been going on for 10,000 years and it attributes that to global warming - beginning over 10,000 years ago. That's science. When idiot left wing nut jobs then make the leap that this can only be caused by man, I ask, "Who was driving SUVs 10,000 years ago?". Clearly there is more at work here than what man is capable of on his own. Science cannot quantify man's contributions to warming the planet any more than it can quantify what man has done to cool the planet. Remember the Little Ice Age? There was a lot of ice added back then. I'm still looking for that longboat my relative left tied off in a creek in Greenland.

tfhr said...

You said the Antarctic was shrinking and NASA says it isn't. The "lead" author of the report says the Antarctic is not shrinking. The report does not conclude that climate change is caused by man.

From all of this, your side of the issue concludes that redistribution of wealth, "carbon credits", windmill cars, and less frequent bathing will save the planet. I say, "No".

The weather changes every day. You don't trust a weather report any more than I do when we're talking about whether or not it will be 5 or 10 degrees cooler or warmer next Thursday than what it was like last night. You would probably not stake your paycheck, let alone your retirement savings to whether or not the average precipitation over the Atacama Desert will increase or decrease by .0003 ml 50 years from now compared to what it may have been shortly after the last Ice Age.

Politics, science, political science, and science fiction all come together in a very suspicious package euphemistically called "Global Warming" by some old timers, "Climate Change" for politicians that still have cable, and for the avant garde, there is "Anthropogenic Climate Change". For some the package contains great wealth for others it appears to contain great power. Then there are those that see this confluence of politics, power and greed and we remain skeptical.

If you had a strand, a germ of objectivity left in you, the sound of cries for the incarceration of "climate deniers" would tell you that science is not what drives the dispute. Ask Galileo if you don't believe me.

mardony said...

tfhrrrggg ~

Ho hum. When are you going to do the test? Teacher says knock off the b.s. and get to work.

Here it is again. Your vast intellect should handle it with ease. One by one please to provide evidence that' it's only weather, no omissions, and no more Kellyanne Conway style pivots to Galileo.

Increases in earth, ocean, and atmospheric temperatures
Rises in sea levels
The melting glaciers worldwide
The thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Increases in ocean acidification
Losses of Arctic sea ice
Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are increasing.
Worldwide humidity is increasing
Snow is decreasing in North Am.
The Antarctic ice crack is growing and ice is decreasing.

If you flunk, Betsy DeVos will use a #2 pencil to make you beg for mercy.

tfhr said...


I'll answer your questions when you answer mine. It's going to be a two way street on this topic - I don't care if you fancy yourself an altar boy in the Church of Global Anthropogenic Climate Warming - you can start by informing us all on the ideal temperature for planet Earth and what the pH should be for each of the oceans.

For extra credit, what was the atmospheric concentration of CO2 before the Little Ice Age and afterwards? (Go with 1200 and 1900)
Would you account for the difference based solar radiation decline or increase or is man made or is it volcanic? Would a decline in solar radiation adversely effect plant life and then impact the absorption of CO2? Would that increase (or decrese) cause warming or cooling?

Your reading assignment for tonight is the NASA report I generously linked for your intellectually lazy and dishonest ass. I know the NYT still has cartoons but take a look at the NASA report and read that it says the Antarctic is not shrinking, little man.

Have fun!

mardony said...

tfhrrrggg ~
The clock is ticking. No more stalling, take your test (and take your medicine). That #2 pencil from DeVos has your name on it. Because you're a NASA believer, here's a science-based document from NASA to give you the answers, because you need help. Have someone read it to you.

tfhr said...


That ticking in your head that you keep hearing is the clock running down on Hillary. She won't be President and now with Sessions confirmed, she'll that much closer to her day in court.

Back to your regularly scheduled religious delusion: The NASA report says that the Antarctic is adding ice. I don't care if you want to admit it or not, but the report is clear. The report even says that the Antarctic is adding ice because warmer air is moving moisture to the Antarctic increasing snowfall which ultimately adds ice. You could allow yourself to accept this NASA derived fact but your mindless left wing orthodoxy cannot allow any deviance from the accepted dogma. It would be sin.

Instead of allowing that the NASA report shows ice increasing you are too fearful of being challenged - and unable to defend your article of faith - about the cause of conditions that result in these findings.

It must be painful to live a life constrained by a small mind and subjected to endless efforts to manipulate it with fear mongering, but that's the choice you've made.

tfhr said...

“I don’t know why climate change got to be a religion instead of a simple, fact-based science exercise.” ~ Former EPA head Gina McCarthy

Mardony, she's an Obama girl.