Archive for November, 2009

Sunday Readings: John Updike — WOMAN AT CENTER OF TIGER WOODS CHEATING SCANDAL EXPOSED!! — Princess prizes herself free of wedlock — Twilight 2 Trailer Video — Robert Pattinson: Confesses To Having Long Teeth — A cut too far: the rise in cosmetic surgery on female genitalia — ‘Bright Star’ Trailer Video — Bright Star: at last a good film about poetry — Placido Domingo as baritone sings “Il Trovatore” Video — Placido Domingo greets his fans in a post-performance marathon — Blog Post Photos from UK Telegraph’s editor’s choice shortlist for 2009 Digital Camera Photographer of the Year (Black and White)

Chance Meeting – Simon Parfrement, UK

Sunday Readings: John Updike

“The Persistence of Desire”

Author and poet John Updike reads excerpts from his short story “The Persistence of Desire.” Updike’s characters tend to be superficially ordinary suburbanites with complex interior lives. By providing minutely detailed descriptions of common objects and actions in a style rich with metaphors, Updike adds significance to their actions and personalities.

In this story, a man visits an eye doctor and meets an old flame. This recording was made in 1969. The story is in two parts, and has been edited for length.  Copyrighted however you can listen by clicking below.

Part 1 .au format (5 Mb), .gsm format (0.6 Mb), .ra format (0.4 Mb).

Part 2 .au format (5 Mb), .gsm format (0.6 Mb), .ra format (0.4 Mb).


Author John Updike reads from his book “Couples.” In these sections, Piet attempts to manage two relationships — one with his wife and the other with his pregnant mistress. Both excerpts demonstrate Updike’s ability to focus on sensual details. Updike started his career as a cartoonist for the Harvard Lampoon. He studied drawing in England and was on the staff of the New Yorker until 1957. “Couples” was published in 1968, the year before this recording was made.

.au format (4 Mb), .gsm format (0.9 Mb), .ra format (0.5 Mb).


National Enquirer – Tiger Woods‘ shocking car crash has put the world’s spotlight on Rachel Uchitel — the New York City party girl who has been caught up in a cheating scandal with the multimillionaire golf superstar, in a story reported exclusively by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER in its new issue.

The ENQUIRER’s blockbuster cover story was verified with polygraphs, multiple sources and an on-the-record exclusive interview with one of Rachel’s friends.

And now The ENQUIRER has caught Rachel in a slew of contradictions during the past 24 hours as she’s been questioned by other media about her relationship with Tiger.

The ENQUIRER is reporting exclusively in its print edition that  the 34-year-old brunette, who has a reputation for dating married celebrities, has been telling friends about a jet-set liaison with 33-year-old Tiger  that began in June.

Multiple sources, who passed polygraph tests, say Rachel told them that she and Tiger also stay in touch during his frequent travels through phone calls and “sexting,” sending each other racy text messages on their cell phones.

One close friend of Rachel’s — Ashley Samson — told The ENQUIRER: “Rachel told me, ‘I’m having an affair with Tiger Woods. We’re in love!'”

And while Rachel emphatically says she’s no home wrecker, she recently had a disastrous affair with David Boreanaz, the star of Bones. The affair even continued while his wife was pregnant and was reported exclusively by Star magazine.

So despite Rachel’s protestations, the ENQUIRER amassed plenty of evidence for its story and is now releasing part of it.

Rachel, an events planner and former director of VIP operations at the NYC nightclub Grffin, has attempted to distance herself from the growing scandal in several comments made to media in the last 24 hours, including to the Associated Press, New York Post and New York Daily News.

But The ENQUIRER can show how Rachel’s denials are full of contradictions!

Rachel, who denies an affair with Tiger, told one media outlet that she hardly knows Ashley, who is quoted on-the-record in our story. Rachel said she wasn’t even sure of the woman’s last name.

However, we can reveal that Rachel is such a close friend of Ashley’s that she recently invited Ashley to join her and some other pals on a trip to Spain.

AND in an ENQUIRER web exclusive, we’re publishing a photo showing Rachel partying with her friend Ashley on that recent trip to Spain. (SEE ABOVE: Ashley is the blonde, Rachel is the brunette)

Rachel, who confesses that she does know Tiger, also outrageously says she’s never even texted Tiger.

But Ashley told The ENQUIRER: “Rachel said she first met Tiger in May at a New York club where she was working, and gave him her number. In June she told me, ‘Tiger Woods is blowing up my cell phone with messages!’

And another source — who passed a polygraph test — told The ENQUIRER: “They were constantly ‘sexting.’ Tiger was asking things like, ‘What are you wearing? What do you want to do to me? What do you want me to do to you?’

“I said, ‘Rachel, he’s married,’ and she said, ‘Big (bleeping) deal! It’s Tiger Woods! I don’t care about his wife! We’re in love.’

“Her nickname for Tiger is ‘Bear.’ She lists his cell phone number under ‘Bear’ in her contacts.'”

Rachel has even been caught in outright lies in specific comment responses to The ENQUIRER.

Rachel traveled to Australia to meet with Tiger while he played earlier this month in the Australian Masters, both sources said.   BUT Rachel initially told us she traveled there with a boyfriend…]

Related Tigergate Links:

WFTV: EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Tiger Woods Accident Scene

NY Daily News: Tiger Woods said Elin Nordegren, not car crash, scratched face & chased him with golf club: report

Fox News: Tiger Woods Cancels Meeting With Florida Police; 911 Calls Released

Radar Online: EXCLUSIVE: Tiger Woods Cheating Scandal Grows, Other Woman Coming Forward With Voicemails

NY Post: Florida police to file charges against Tiger Woods: report

Sun (UK): Waitress claims Woods affair

Yahoo (AP): Police: Woods at fault in crash, will get citation

Sun (UK): Tiger: I let down my family

Mail Online:  Tiger Woods, the $8-an-hour diner waitress and the deal that kept their affair out of the news

Here I Stand Alone – Aditya Pudjo, Indonesia

Princess prizes herself free of wedlock

El Pais – MÁBEL GALAZ / J. B.

On Wednesday, the two-year drama that has been Princess Elena’s separation from her husband of 14 years, Jaime de Marichalar, came to an end when the couple announced their immediate divorce “by mutual and common accord.” The eldest daughter of King Carlos and Queen Sofía and the Navarran aristocrat have been living separately since 2007, in what the royal house had called “a temporary pause in cohabitation.”

When the duke and duchess of Lugo — the honorary titles bestowed on the couple by the king after their 1995 wedding — officially part ways, it will be the first divorce to take place within the Spanish royal family, although Princess Letizia had already been married before her 2004 wedding to Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne. Under Spanish law, even though Elena is the oldest child of the king and queen, the oldest son is first in line to inherit the crown — a law that was being reconsidered after Felipe and Letizia had a first-born daughter although their second child also being a girl seems to have dampened such talk.

When Princess Elena told her parents she wanted a divorce in 2007, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía advised her to take time to consider any such decision. Her mother took a firm position on the matter, reminding Elena of her responsibilities as a member of the royal family. Queen Sofía did not hide her affection for De Marichalar, and her wish for the couple to be reconciled.

But even before their separation, there had been signs of marital strife, notably after successive strokes in 2001 and 2002 nearly killed De Marichalar, and led the reportedly hard-living duke to need prolonged medical attention in New York. Princess Elena traveled with her husband, who suffered temporary paralysis on his left side, but friends of the aristocrat said that she became noticeably saddened by her long separation from her two children, Felipe and Vitoria, following her husband’s illness.

In the two years following their separation, the couple has been seen together just once at Victoria’s first communion last spring. The tension between the two was evident. Now, sources say that the princess is happy and living with their two children and working on projects for Mapfre’s social works foundation between official functions.

The couple has not released the terms of their divorce, “in order to protect their children,” and sources close to De Marichalar have denied that in the months leading up to the announcement, he has fought to retain his honorary title.

Sources close to the royal house say that the princess may have already begun the process to have her marriage annulled by the Church, which is her wish “as a Catholic and member of the royal family.” As the daughter of the king of Spain, this would have to be done by the Vatican directly. When Caroline of Monaco asked the pope to annul her marriage to the playboy Philippe Junot, the pontiff took 14 years to grant her request.

Quiet Mind, Clear Thoughts – Joe Rainbow, UK

My Own Private Hollywood – Tony Wilkinson, UK

Robert Pattinson: Confesses To Having Long Teeth

British actor Robert Pattinson poses as he promotes his film "The Twilight Saga: New Moon", in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Le Figaro Interview by Emmanuele Frois (English Translation)

In life, the English actor of 23 years Robert Pattinson is Edward Cullen so pale, the vampire hero, romantic he embodies for the second time on screen in “Twilight, Chapter 2: New Moon” by Chris Weitz . Interview 15 minutes flat at the Hotel Crillon, with a very shy boy.

LE FIGARO . – How do you view the incredible phenomenon of Twilight?

ROBERT PATTINSON : – (nervous laugh) I’m not really aware because I’m in the eye of the storm! I saw the other day a video on all the paparazzi following us when we were at the airport. When I am in front of them, I can only see their flashes. From another angle, as in that revealed by the video, I saw forty photographers jostling to take our picture. I feel a little far from the “phenomenon”. Also I have worked all year. And I thought that job!

A film worth he so mad?

When I first started Twilight, I thought it would be a small independent film. Kristen Stewart had already to his credit and the director, Catherine Hardwicke also. I assumed it would be a strange and interesting story of vampire love. I did not know at the time, which in turn one after, then another …

Does the idea of impossible love that is the key to the success of the Trilogy by Stephenie Meyer?

Edward loves Bella with absolute devotion and the fact that he is a vampire there is always a danger in their relationship. And people want a relationship exciting and dangerous.

You wanted to become an actor early on. What attracted you?

I was not so young as that! I registered at the Barnes Theater Company, a theater group at age 15. I found it funny but I had not the vocation.

In fact it was like the actors often say to dredge the girls?

Yes (laughs) all the pretty girls are drama and play acting. Before being on stage, I was busy lighting. Once on stage, everything happened very quickly. One day, an officer who was in the audience asked me if I wanted to be an actor. My first audition for Tess of the D’Urbervilles on TV worked.

Now it’s a passion?

Yes. I am a proud and arrogant. I want people appreciate me for my work. I really do not want to be famous for no reason.

You think with Twilight you’re famous for no reason?

No! First there is the books that girls love. And then the film adaptations that do not resemble the typical teen-movies. The film Twilight is more complicated, darker than the usual romance.

There are hundreds of little girls waiting for you in the street at the foot of the Crillon. What do you care?

This gives me a very strange feeling. We always imagine a crowd of hysterical fans. But these teens are not raging mad. They are intelligent and cultivated. They just want to see us. I feel like I get a lot from them and give nothing in return. This is a position for me, unacceptable.

You are also a musician, you had written two songs, “Never Think” and “Let Me Sign” for Twilight Chapter 1. Why was nothing written for Chapter 2?

It takes me much time to write songs. They are all very personal. I think I would not have written these songs if I had known that the film would have such success and such would be folly! I do not reoffend. However, I want to compose film music for orchestra next year.

Have not you afraid of getting stuck in the image of the vampire Edward?

No. I think very differently from Edward. I always felt at the end of the catch, once after removing my makeup and my lenses, I let the character very far behind me

You see how in ten years?

I do not know. I still hope to do interesting work, having a production house that will allow artists to live from their art.

Want to go on stage?

I’d love to. I had great emotions, younger, playing Shakespeare. But for now, the scene seems a little scary because I’m lying in wait. And then it would be foolish not to use my fame in film. While waiting for the theater!

Related Twilight Links:

The Twilight Saga: New Moon – why resistance is futile

Don’t Give Up! – Shui Kee Janet Yim, Hong Kong

A cut too far: the rise in cosmetic surgery on female genitalia

Labiaplasties can be risky, yet the number carried out on the NHS rose by 70% last year

More and more women are opting for cosmetic surgery on external genetalia (collectively called the vulva). Photograph: David Joel/Getty Images

Guardian – Viv Groskop

Before she had even turned 10, Anna had started worrying that there was something physically wrong with her. “I would look at other girls in the shower, and think, ‘They don’t have what I have,'” she says, and wearing a pair of jeans became uncomfortable. The issue was her inner labia. Anna felt that they were too large, and as an adult she grew increasingly self- conscious. “During intercourse they would get caught up and go back into my body,” she says. “I had one sexual partner who mentioned it [negatively]. He was an idiot, but I knew that it was not the norm. I just wanted to be able to have intimacy without worrying about it.”

Now in her mid-30s, Anna [not her real name], from London, recently had a procedure known as labiaplasty, which involves cutting back the inner labia. It costs around £3,000. She says that she is pleased with the results. “It’s a weight off my mind. I’m so glad I had it done.”

Anna’s operation was performed privately and, although there are no industry-wide figures, there are clear signs that labiaplasties in the private sector are increasing. Last year, a representative for the medical group Surgicare said that the company had seen a threefold increase in the procedure in 2007/2008, and that enquiries had risen sevenfold in three years. Perhaps more surprisingly, rates are also rising in the public sector. A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology last week revealed that, over the last year, there has been an increase of almost 70% in the number of women having labiaplasty on the NHS. There were 1,118 in 2008, compared with 669 in 2007 and 404 in 2006.

One of the authors of the study, Dr Sarah Creighton, works as a consultant gynaecologist at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health in London. She says that “on the NHS we are noticing more and more women coming to have their labia removed. It’s the tip of the iceberg because there will be more women seeing cosmetic surgeons privately.”

When I began looking into the reasons for this enormous rise in surgery, my initial assumption was that women must be having it because they had suffered some sort of unusual physical damage, possibly in childbirth. It turns out that this was naive; in the vast majority of cases, labiaplasty is simply a response to the physical appearance of the labia, a desire for more “attractive” external genitalia (known collectively as the vulva).

There can be medical reasons for this surgery, Creighton says, but only in extremely rare cases. “There are unusual hormonal conditions that make the clitoris or the labia abnormal. Occasionally, women can be born with labia that have not developed properly. Some people can be excessively large. But almost all of the women seeking surgery do not have a medical under-lying condition. When you examine them, they are completely normal.”

Despite this, she suggests that it is very difficult for doctors to refuse requests for labiaplasty if the patient argues that her insecurities are psychologically damaging. “They just need to get a referral from their GP to a gynaecologist.” As to how the surgeon decides whether an operation is necessary, she says: “There are no clear guidelines.” She believes, however, that counselling would be a better alternative for many of these women and that there is a danger that medically unnecessary surgery is taking place.

Those asking for this surgery on the NHS, Creighton says, “can be very young – sometimes as young as 10 or 11. Mostly they’re in their late teens or early 20s. There are two pairs of labia: the fat pads on each side and the thinner, slightly more frilly skin on the inside. The ideal these women want is not to be able to see their labia minora at all. That is the image from porno-graphy and magazines. Because of shaving and fashions in underwear, this part of the body is more visible now. And everyone is more exposed to these images of a ‘perfect’ body, so people feel pressured to look a certain way.” She argues that women are aiming for “a certain genital appearance that used to be an obligation only for some glamour models”. The report warns of a culture where a “homogenised, pre-pubescent genital appearance” is therefore being perceived as the norm.

Angelica Kavouni is a leader in the field of labiaplasty – in her private practice, she performs between two and four of these operations a week, for women aged between 18 and 60. She says that her patients are not willing to accept that the physical appearance of their vulva is perfectly ordinary and healthy. “It’s not pathological for the inner labia to be elongated,” she says, “but it does pose an issue for a number of women. They want them to be level or inside the outer labia so that when they are standing up there is no tissue protruding or hanging down. The desirable width of the inner labia [for these patients] is about half a centimetre. With some women, it can naturally be as much as three centimetres.”

As with any surgery, labiaplasty is potentially risky. Creighton says that there have been no studies into the after-effects or possible complications of labiaplasty, nor has there been any research into the impact on childbirth: she suggests that women who opt for this procedure might experience the same problems while giving birth as women who have undergone ritualistic female genital mutilations. Allison Henry, a US woman who had her labia reduced after a vaginal prolapse, recently wrote that the operation “was brutal. All [the] patients who say it doesn’t hurt are lying. I’d rather get my teeth pulled out than do that again.” In Anna’s case, she was unable to walk for two days after the operation, and was in recovery for six weeks.

Many cosmetic surgeons are nonetheless relaxed about the procedure. Douglas McGeorge, a past president of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons, said last week that, “This is just about removing a bit of loose flesh, leaving behind an elegant-looking labia with minimum scarring.” And Kavouni says that, while there are risks of infection or bleeding and “the sutures can rupture and have to be redone . . . if the procedure is done properly, it will heal very well.”

One of Kavouni’s patients, a 47-year-old interior designer from London, says that having the operation was “exhilarating”. “I first went to see a doctor when I was 15, without my mum knowing, because I thought I was growing a willy. They just said, ‘You’re completely normal, go away.’ No one explained to me that women can look different. That’s why I didn’t experiment with many partners. I thought, ‘He’s seen it. I’d better stick with him.'”…]

Face Off – Anna Bodnar, Poland

Perpetual Change II – Alper Cukur, Turkey

Bright Star: at last a good film about poetry

The great poets’ lives are infinitely colourful, so why are films about them so dull? Jane Campion’s film about Keats is poetic justice

Guardian – John Patterson

Jane Campion’s sublime Bright Star, about the love life of John Keats, is the exception that proves the rule, and the rule is this: movies about poets are boring! Even movies about poets who themselves were not in any way boring tend to be boring – deeply, harrowingly boring. You’d think, for example, that no one could possibly make a DOA biopic of Arthur Rimbaud, who packed more debauchery, drug addiction, omnisexual sport-shagging and absinthe abuse into his intensely lived 37 years than any real hookers and drug-addicts could manage if they lived to be 100. Oh, and he revolutionised modern poetry while he was about it. And yet Agnieszka Holland’s Total Eclipse, detailing Rimbaud’s tempestuous relationship with Paul Verlaine, is a snooze. Total Eclipse Of His Art is a better title.

Same goes for The Libertine, in which the lascivious life of John Wilmot, the bawdy Restoration poet who pioneered the strategic deployment of the C-word in poesy, is laid before us like the corpse on an anatomist’s table. He shags for England, he cheats, he conspires, he boffs the bosomy women of Charles II’s court, and treats them like dirt. Can’t fail to entertain, right? Wrong! The movie is so lifeless, I actually fell asleep while interviewing John Malkovich about it (although, in my defence, he should never have given me that third Scotch).

Elsewhere, there’s Sylvia, in which Gwyneth Paltrow, the Norma Shearer of our time (that’s NOT a compliment), essays the suicidal first Mrs Ted Hughes. But since his subsequent partner also did herself in, perhaps the one they should be making movies about is Hughes himself – especially since they had a future James Bond (Daniel Craig) on hand to play him.

Given the high failure rate in these biopics, perhaps film-makers should cast their nets a little wider, since there’s no shortage of nutters and perverts at large in the poetic realm. Good lord, any week in the life of Robert Lowell would have to include several alcoholic blackouts, pendulous bipolar mood-swings and several bracing doses of electro-convulsive therapy. An enterprising writer-director might even take it upon themself to film the Yeats-fixated John Berryman’s confession letter to Alcoholics Anonymous, in which he itemised all his drunken depravity (shat himself in public, made passes at men or women, vomited on countless objects and individuals … ). I also like the idea of a Coleridge biopic, especially one covering his years of opium addiction (“Oi, De Quincey! Quit bogarting my laudanum!”).

But until this happens, the greatest moment of poetry on screen in recent years will always be Kal Penn’s sublime and heartbreaking recitation at the end of Harold And Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, a scene capable of raising more tears in just 90 seconds than any of the movies I’ve mentioned above can manage in 90 minutes.

While I Was Asleep – Anna Erlingsdottir, Iceland

Claro de Luna – Fernando Javier, Argentina

Placido Domingo greets his fans in a post-performance marathon

Domingo with fan Gizem Evcin at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Credit: Steve Cohn

Los Angles Times – David Ng

Plácido Domingo has seen all kinds of fan adoration in his 40-plus years in the opera business. But he apparently had not seen anything quite like the crowd waiting to greet him late Wednesday night in downtown Los Angeles.

“Oh my God!” exclaimed the 68-year-old Spanish tenor as he emerged from a stage door and took a glance at the queue that had formed in the lobby of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The line of fans stretched the equivalent distance from the lobby on Grand Avenue to the Music Center fountain.

The famously tireless Domingo had just finished a 3 1/2-hour performance of Handel’s “Tamerlano” and showed no signs of fatigue as he began signing copies of the new DVD release “My Greatest Roles,” which features his performances in Puccini’s “Tosca,” “Manon Lescaut” and “La Fanciulla del West.” (The first volume of the multi-disc set is on sale now, as is a DVD documentary featuring new interviews with the tenor.)

When asked whether he’s watched the DVDs, Domingo admitted, “No, I haven’t yet.”

Domingo began autographing at 11:40 p.m. and did not finish until about 1:30 a.m. Some fans came bearing gifts. One person gave him a small chocolate turkey. Alison Kaufman, a music student from Palos Verdes who is studying in Boston, gave him a CD of her vocal performances.

A Los Angeles Opera official said all packages that Domingo received will be checked for security purposes.

Gizem Evcin, an opera fan and film student from Istanbul, asked Domingo to sign an LP cover dating from 1968. When handed the album, Domingo smiled and said, “This was my first recording. I recorded it in 1967 and it came out in 1968.” The album features Domingo performing selections from various operas.

(Evcin later said that she purchased the LP two weeks ago at a Goodwill store in West L.A. for $1.25.)

Domingo worship was palpable throughout the crowd. “He’s adorable!” said Annalisa Gerl, a teacher of German at Santa Monica College. She had asked Domingo to sign a backstage photograph taken of her and the tenor 20 years ago.

To make the line move faster, L.A. Opera handed out Post-it notes to fans so that they could write down to whom they wanted Domingo to dedicate his inscriptions.

A little after 1 a.m., Domingo’s wife, Marta, emerged from a stage door, took a look at the line of fans and humorously asked, “OK, how many more?” She embraced her husband and then worked the crowd. At one point, she was heard shouting “Next!”

When the last autograph had been signed, Domingo — still looking energetic — posed for a few photographs with fans. A Diet Coke provided to him earlier in the evening remained unopen on a table. He shook hands and said good night to L.A. Opera staff before disappearing backstage.

Sherdley Park – Krzysztof Nowakowski, UK

Updated Related Tigergate Links & Accident Video – end


BMW’s Diesel Plug-In Hybrid: 63 mpg, Faster Than an M3 — Say cheese, Monsieur Sarkozy! You’re on The Simpsons — ‘Savannah Holly Days’ starts Friday — ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ household edition — Success of White House party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi is disgrace for Secret Service — FAA Releases Transcripts of Northwest Flight That Overflew Minneapolis — Dubai Crisis May End in ‘Major’ Default, BofA Says — Ugly Bat Boy Video — The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody Music Video — Federal Reserve tries theater ads to burnish its image


BMW’s Diesel Plug-In Hybrid: 63 mpg, Faster Than an M3

Gearlog – Posted By: Bill Howard

BMW’s EfficientDynamics Vision concept car combines the best of all worlds with incredible fuel efficiency, breaktaking performance, and sensational looks. It’s powered by a three-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, lithium polymer batteries, and electric motors front and rear. The BMW Vision gets a U.S. unveiling next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Dec. 4-13. The only bad news: The BMW Vision is more vision than production-ready concept car. What you’d most likely see on sale would be the key components such as the drivetrain and battery technology transplanted to a more mainstream body.

On a stopover from Europe en route to L.A., BMW held a series of press briefings at its Chestnut Ridge, N.J., U.S. headquarters. According to BMW, the goal was to create a car that would be as quick as BMW’s V8 M3, yet tread lightly in terms of environmental impact. Here’s how the BMW Vision has the potential to win the hearts and minds of hot-rodders, environmentalists, and techies alike:

Total output from the engine and electric motors is 356hp, and peak torque is 590 foot-pounds (a lot). Acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) takes just 4.8 seconds and speed tops out at 155 mph. Average fuel consumption is 62.6 mpg or 3.76 liters/100 km in European figures. The fuel economy translates to CO2 emissions of 99 grams per kilometer; getting below 100 is the holy grail by EU standards.

The Vision has a range of 431 miles, BMW says: 31 miles in all-electric mode, about the same as the Chevrolet Volt, plus 400 miles from the 6.6 gallon fuel tank. BMW hasn’t yet tried to play the U.S.-automaker mpg numbers game, saying that since most trips are less than 30 miles, and since big powerplant generation is more efficient than using a combustion engine, the effective mileage is up around 200 mpg. What is clear is that electric motors are extremely efficient, as are big power plants, so the effective cost of energy is less than half that of diesel or gasoline fuel.

The three-cylinder, 1.5-liter engine alone produces 163 hp. BMW says the output of 109 hp per liter is the most power produced by a diesel engine. It’s small enough to fit ahead of the rear axle for better weigh distribution. Power travels to the rear wheels via a six-speed double-clutch transmission.

One electric motor, in back, sits between the diesel engine and transmission and produces 33 hp (51 hp peak). It can run on its own, without the combustion engine, making the Vision what’s considered an active hybrid, as opposed to a mild hybrid where the combustion engine always powers the car. The second motor powers the front axle; it produces 80 hp (continuous), 112 hp (30-second bursts), or 139 hp (10-second bursts). The two motors also act as brakes and regenerate power into the lithium polymer battery pack that runs in a tunnel along the floor of the car. Fuel for the diesel engine is in the rear of the tunnel (separate compartment; it doesn’t just slosh around the batteries).

The battery pack has enough juice to bring anyone back from cardiac arrest (or cause it): 98 lithium-polymer cells deliver 30 amp/hours at 3.7 volts, or 111 watt-hours. So each cell is about equal to two laptop batteries. For periods of up to 30 seconds, each cell develops 1,200 amps. Plug the Vision into a standard (in Europe) 220-volt, 16-amp circuit, and the car fully recharges in 2.5 hours. Uses 380 volts and 32 amps and you’re back on the road in 44 minutes. Conversely, you’d be looking at overnight plugged into 120 volt U.S. power…]


The space shuttle Atlantis is seen on launch pad 39a of the NASA Kennedy Space Center shortly after the rotating service structure was rolled back, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, Cape Canaveral, FL.  Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 2:28p.m. EST, Monday, Nov. 16, 2009. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) (h/t


Say cheese, Monsieur Sarkozy! You’re on The Simpsons

President Sarkozy and Carla Bruni appear in unauthorised episode of US show that coined ‘surrender monkey’ phrase

Guardian – Kim Willsher

First it coined the insult “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” to describe the French. Now America’s cult television series The Simpsons has taken a satirical shot at France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his wife, the supermodel turned singer Carla Bruni.

An unauthorised cartoon parody of the couple, screened in the US more than a week ago, has become a surprise hit as tens of thousands of French web users viewed pirated clips of the episode.

The caricature contains the usual cliches Americans – and Britons – attribute to the French, portraying Bruni as a beautiful, cigarette-puffing, man-eating woman who quaffs red wine and has a husband who loves smelly cheese.

In the show, called The Devil Wears Nada, the bungling Homer Simpson and his superviser and friend, Carl Carlson, visit Paris. At a high-society reception they bump into Carla Bruni, caricatured as a femme fatale who speaks English with a heavy French accent.

After a brief exchange of flirtatious pleasantries in which Bruni asks Carl what he likes most about Paris (“The Louvre, everything about it is so, so closed on Mondays”) and whether they can have lunch, she remarks that he is clearly a man of the world and throws herself into his arms declaring: “I want to make love. Now.”

Later in the programme Carl threatens to have Homer sacked. In reply he threatens to call President Sarkozy.

“You know that woman you’ve been playing hide-the-baguette with? She’s the first lady of France, Carla Bruni,” says Homer.

“If you fire me I’ll call President Sarkozy and he’ll be all over you like Truffaut on Hitchcock,” he warns, a reference to Françcois Truffaut’s respectful book of interviews with the British-American director. This is seen as a dig at French cinema greats copying their American counterparts.

When Carl doubts his threat, Homer calls Sarkozy’s office. Viewers see the French president answering the phone at his desk in the Elysée Palace. In front of him is a plate of Camembert cheese and Carla is standing beside him swigging a glass of wine.

“Allo. You are getting cosy with Sarkozy,” says the French leader.

Although the episode was screened on 15 November, it has only just come to the attention of the French. Agence France Press reported more than 117,000 fans had linked to the Paris-based site DailyMotion on Friday alone to watch the clip.

Other world figures, including the former prime minister of Britain Tony Blair and the media magnate Rupert Murdoch, have been lampooned in the Simpsons, but recorded their own voices and escaped lightly with a gentle ribbing. Other famous figures to get The Simpsons treatment include Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, the Rolling Stones and the late Michael Jackson.

However, the Sarkozy episode was apparently made without the couple’s consent. The Elysée has made no comment on the programme.

French internet users responded to the caricature with mixed feelings.

The satirical site commented that President Sarkozy’s advisers must have been working all night to draw up a law for “right not to be caricatured” to defend the honour of the presidential family.

“If appearing in an American cartoon is a sign of being recognised, we’ve fallen a long way,” wrote JeMeMarre on the DailyMotion site.

He added: “Is it really good for the image of France to see the president appear in this rubbish called the Simpsons? At the same time, we cannot expect an American series to be intelligent and have good taste – that would be too much.”


Early Afternoon Liftoff of Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) From Launch Pad 39A, November 16, 2009 NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center, State of Florida, USA (h/t


SVB determines no Christmas in Savannah…

‘Savannah Holly Days’ starts Friday

Event brings the holiday feeling to Broughton

Children await to play with the snow on Reynolds Square during last year's Savannah Holly Days. (Courtesy of Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Savannah Morning News, By Kenda Williams

Downtown Savannah and Broughton Street will transform into a winter wonderland Friday, complete with holiday movies, cookies and milk with Santa Claus, a skating rink and snow.

Savannah Holly Days is a two-day event that offers both visitors and locals a chance to enjoy the city and all of its beauty and offerings during the holidays.

“When you think about what makes a great city, it’s when the locals and visitors can come together and enjoy the same thing,” said Joseph Marinelli, president of the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The event is based on the most important fundamentals,” Marinelli said. “When you think about the holidays, you want decorations, Santa Claus, carolers and your favorite holiday movies. We’ve taken what we think are the fundamentals and have the potential of creating a special holiday celebration.”

Friday will be filled with holiday shopping opportunities at merchants on and around Broughton Street, as well as a wine tasting event, a classic movie outside Il Pasticcio and outdoor skating.

This year, the outdoor skating rink has doubled in size. Event coordinators encourage participants to bring their own skates with them, if available.

On Saturday, children can have milk and cookies with Santa, and activities will start at 10 a.m. with a grand opening at Santa Stage.

Downtown will come alive with a snow area in Reynolds Square, the outdoor skating rink, a holiday marketplace and shopping on Broughton Street. Holiday movies will be shown at The Lucas Theatre, and Broughton Street will feature live entertainment, including music and dance performances.

“The snow area was the most popular part of last year,” Marinelli said. “It is wonderful seeing children in Savannah make snow angels.”

The name “Savannah Holly Days” is new and something the CVB hopes will become an umbrella for capturing “all of the terrific events going on throughout the holiday season in Savannah,” Marinelli said.

The event is a collaboration between the CVB, the Downtown Business Association, the city of Savannah and the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority.


International Space Station Orbiting High Above the Blue Sea and White Clouds, November 25, 2009 As Seen From Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) (h/t


‘Cash for Clunkers,’ household edition

Program expected to boost appliance sales as economy drags

The proposed program would encourage consumers to buy energy-efficient household appliances. (Jim R. Bounds/bloomberg News)

Washington Post – By Peter Whoriskey

In U.S. history, there may have been no better time to own a junk car, a rattling old fridge and a leaking dishwasher.

On the heels of its ballyhooed “Cash for Clunkers” program for cars, the federal government is expected to finalize details in the coming weeks of another tax-supported shopping extravaganza, known as “Cash for Appliances.”

Supported by $300 million from the economic stimulus, the program will offer rebates to consumers who buy energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners and other appliances to replace their older models.

And like the $3 billion cars program that gave consumers money for swapping their clunkers for more fuel-efficient rides, the appliance initiative seems destined to inspire shoppers, drive up sales for a while and profoundly divide economists over how much lasting good this chunk of government spending will do for the economy.

“The premise seems to be that for Americans to be richer, they need to throw out their old appliances faster — I don’t see it that way,” said James D. Hamilton, an economics professor at the University of California at San Diego, who has blogged about the clunkers rebates. “I don’t like the idea of just spending money for its own sake.”

While many economists believe that government incentives to lift consumer spending can boost the economy during a recession, they differ over whether the sales spikes that accompany the rebates are meaningful or merely concentrate sales that would have occurred before and after the rebate period anyway.

The Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers has indicated that the clunkers program provided a worthwhile boost even though many of the 690,000 clunkers sales would have happened anyway. In their baseline assessment, the program increased car sales in 2009 by 330,000.

Clunkers “is one of several stimulus programs whose purpose is to shift expenditures by households, businesses, and governments from the future to the present,” the council wrote in a September report. “Such time-shifting is valuable in a recession, when the economy has an abundance of unemployed resources that can be put to work at low net economic cost.”

The appliances program may be destined to continue the debate. For when it comes to stimulus, timing can be critical, and the implementation of the effort has dragged on, possibly diminishing its usefulness.

Although the $787 billion stimulus program was signed by Obama in February of 2009, much of the cash-for-appliances money won’t hit the streets until next February, March or April. The rebate program is being run by state governments, which must define and enact their rebate plans with federal government funding and approval. A survey of some of the largest states shows that California is planning to begin its program in March, New York in February, Pennsylvania in the spring, Illinois in January and April.

Under the program, Virginia is expected to receive $7.5 million, Maryland $5.4 million and the District $568,000, but the requirements and rebates have not yet been disclosed.

Now the home appliance manufacturers who celebrated the passage of the program worry that the delay in its implementation might actually depress sales at first, with consumers putting off purchases until the rebates begin.

“Our desire would be to see these programs rolled out as soon as funding is available,” said Jill Notini, a spokeswoman for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. “Unfortunately, you may have people saying, ‘It’s kind of on the blink, but we’ll wait.’ We wish that the states would follow the intent, which is to stimulate the economy now.”

The number of shipments of home appliances in the United States, which is closely linked to new home construction, is down 12 percent from last year, Notini said, and this comes after three years of decline…]


The International Space Station Backdropped By Cloudy Earth, November 25, 2009 As Seen From Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) (h/t



Success of White House party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi is disgrace for Secret Service

NY Daily News – BY Ronald Kessler

A pair of aspiring reality TV stars have become the first people ever to successfully crash a White House state dinner. Credits: Ngan/Getty

The fact that Michaele and Tareq Salahi were allowed into the White House in this dangerous age is a disgrace and symptomatic of lax standards at the Secret Service ever since it was absorbed by the Homeland Security Department in 2003.

Because of a lack of adequate funding, a management culture that considers itself invincible, as well as spinelessness when it comes to standing up to demands by those under protection – including the White House – the Secret Service takes chances that would have been unthinkable years ago.

That includes not putting people through magnetometers at all or shutting them down early when an event is about to start, and staffs apply pressure because attendees are waiting outside.

Last April, despite the fact that Vice President Biden‘s presence was announced beforehand, the Secret Service did no magnetometer screening whatsoever when Biden threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Orioles game in Baltimore.

When Mary Cheney, Dick Cheney‘s daughter, insisted that the Secret Service take her friends to restaurants and the detail refused, the Secret Service acceded to her request to have her detail leader removed.

My assumption is that the same kind of spinelessness motivated the Secret Service Uniformed Division officer at the White House to allow the couple through so as not to inconvenience them by requiring that they wait for the results of a background check before gaining admittance.

To its credit, the Secret Service made it clear that the agency simply ignored the fact that the couple were not on the guest list. Thus, the White House’s social secretary’s office did not vouch for the couple. Even if it had, they should have gone through a background check before being admitted.

The corner-cutting goes on despite the fact that threats against President Obama have been up 400% at times compared with when George W. Bush was in office.

While Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, and will take a bullet for the President, Secret Service management has betrayed its trust to a shocking degree. Assassinations occur because of the kind of lapses we saw at the White House on Wednesday evening.

What is needed is a shakeup of Secret Service management, including replacement of Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan with a director from the outside who will change the management culture. In addition, given the demands on it, the Secret Service’s $1.4 billion annual budget is pathetically small. It should be doubled or tripled.

What could be more important than protecting the President?


A Stylish State Dinner, With Typos


The White House pulled out all the stops in preparation for President Obama’s first state dinner on Tuesday night, hiring a new florist, selecting a renowned guest chef and even inviting a number of high-profile musicians to perform.

But one person the White House apparently neglected to hire was a spell checker.

The special dinner menu — a lavish mélange of Indian and American favorites as well as several excellent wines — was rife with typos.

The second course of the evening was paired, for example, with a delicious 2006 Brooks Riesling, which, the menu noted, was bottled in “Wilamette Valley, Oregon.”

A diligent copy editor would have changed that to the proper spelling, “Willamette Valley.”

For their third course, the 320 guests were offered a dish that, according to the menu, included potato dumplings with tomato chutney and “chick peas,” which should in fact have been “chickpeas.” That course, the menu noted, was paired with an excellent red wine, a “2007 Granache” from Beckmen Vineyards. The correct spelling of the popular varietal, one of the most widely planted types of red grape in the world, is actually “Grenache” with only one “a,” not two.

The last bottle of the night was equally impressive, a sparkling chardonnay from Virginia. It was listed as a “Thibaut Janisson Brut,” missing a hyphen between the first two words. And last but not least, the dessert may have been free of error in taste, but not so in spelling. It included, according to the menu, passion fruit and vanilla “Gelees,” the French word for “gelled,” which, when written correctly, includes an acute accent on the second “e.”

Related NYT Links


A Golden Sunset and Earth’s Thin, Blue Atmosphere, November 23, 2009 As Seen From the International Space Station (Expedition 21) (h/t


FAA Releases Transcripts of Northwest Flight That Overflew Minneapolis

New transcripts from the Northwest Airlines flight that overflew Minneapolis show air traffic controllers asking the crew about what happened, and whether they had enough fuel.

Air traffic controllers asked the Northwest Airlines pilots who overflew Minneapolis repeatedly about what had happened on the plane before the pilots responded, according to transcripts released Friday by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Oct. 21 flight, which took off from San Diego and overshot its Minneapolis destination by 150 miles, had been out of contact for 77 minutes before controllers re-established contact, leaving air traffic controllers scratching their heads.

The pilots, Timothy Cheney of Washington state and Richard Cole of Oregon, told them that they had been distracted, but didn’t elaborate.

The flight has become an embarrassment for the FAA. The agency suspended both pilots last month, saying they violated numerous federal safety regulations, including failing to comply with air traffic control instructions and clearances and operating carelessly and recklessly.

The pilots are appealing the decision.

The transcripts reveal the confusion of the flight, but fail to answer what may have distracted the pilots.

After regaining contact, the pilots and controllers spoke almost 90 seconds about the route they should take to Minneapolis before one of the controllers said, “I just have to verify that the cockpit is secure.”

“It is secure, we got distracted,” one of the pilots responded. The transcript says the pilot then said that they never heard a call from the ground.

A different controller took over and, after five more minutes of directions about routes and altitudes, asked, “Do you have time to give a brief explanation on what happened?”

“Cockpit distractions that’s all I can say,” was the response from Northwest Flight 188.

About 12 minutes after contact had been re-established, the same controller asked, “Is there any way you can elaborate on the distraction?”

The pilot said that they were dealing with some company issues, and “that’s all all I can tell you right now at this time,” according to the transcript.

Air traffic controllers ultimately had the pilots perform several turns to verify that they were in control of the plane. It landed safely in Minneapolis, and was met at the gate by police.

The transcripts also show controllers checking that the flight had enough fuel. The pilot responded that they had about two hours’ worth of fuel on board and that it wasn’t a concern.

The pilots have told the National Transportation Safety Board that they were discussing their company’s complicated new crew-scheduling program over their laptop computers as their plane flew past Minneapolis by 150 miles. Northwest was bought by Delta Air Lines Inc. last year, and the company has been working to integrate its computer systems.

Northwest Airlines Flight 188 (FAA October 23, 2009)


With Beautiful Blue-and-White Earth Below, Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) Approaches the International Space Station, November 18, 2009 As Seen From the International Space Station (Expedition 21) (h/t


Dubai Crisis May End in ‘Major’ Default, BofA Says

Bloomberg – By Tal Barak Harif

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) — Dubai’s debt woes may worsen to become a “major sovereign default” that roils developing nations and cuts off capital flows to emerging markets, Bank of America Corp. said.

“One cannot rule out — as a tail risk — a case where this would escalate into a major sovereign default problem, which would then resonate across global emerging markets in the same way that Argentina did in the early 2000s or Russia in the late 1990s,” Bank of America strategists Benoit Anne and Daniel Tenengauzer wrote in a report.

A default would lead to a “sudden stop of capital flows into emerging markets” and be a “major step back” in the recovery from the global financial crisis, they wrote.

Emerging-market stocks around the world have slumped for two days on concern a debt restructuring by Dubai World, with $59 billion of liabilities, will add to the $1.72 trillion of losses and writedowns from the global credit freeze. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 1.9 percent to 940.30 as of 1:55 p.m. in New York, extending this week’s decline to 2.6 percent.

Dubai, which borrowed $80 billion in a four-year construction boom to transform its economy into a tourism and financial hub, suffered the world’s steepest property slump in the recession. Home prices fell 50 percent from their 2008 peak, according to Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank AG.

‘Best-Case Scenario’

“In a best-case scenario, this will remain limited to a Dubai corporate sector problem, with either some bailout from UAE authorities or a market-friendly debt restructuring,” they wrote.

Bank of America estimates that Dubai’s debt totals $88 billion, and that its external debt equals 103 percent of gross domestic product, according to a separate report.

South Korea’s won lost 1.7 percent, the biggest slump among 25 emerging-market currencies, followed by the Philippine peso.

The extra yield investors demand to own developing nations’ bonds instead of U.S. Treasuries swelled 14 basis points, the most in a month, to 3.24 percentage points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI+ Index.

Dubai’s state-owned companies’ credits were downgraded by Fitch Ratings today, and by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s earlier this week, on concern the government’s ability to support lenders will be constrained after Dubai’s attempt to delay debt repayments…]

Related Dubai Links:

Dubai: Gauging the Impact

Is Dubai’s Default a Black Swan Event?

Dubai in deep water as ripples from debt crisis spread


High Above Earth’s Rugged Terrain, Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) Departs From the International Space Station, November 25, 2009 As Seen From the International Space Station (Expedition 21) (h/t



Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) High Above the Mediterranean Sea, Near the Coast of Algeria, November 25, 2009 As Seen From the International Space Station (Expedition 21) (h/t



The International Space Station Orbits Over A Blue-and-White Earth, Backdropped By the Blackness of Space, November 25, 2009 As Seen From Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) (h/t


Federal Reserve tries theater ads to burnish its image

Spots urging shoppers to use their credit cards wisely will be shown on big screens in 12 U.S. cities. The central bank has long been accused of neglecting its consumer protection duties.

LA Times By Jim Puzzanghera

The Federal Reserve isn’t too popular these days, what with its failure to predict or prevent the financial crisis and recession, not to mention its involvement in last year’s bailouts. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has a bestselling book out called “End the Fed,” and some lawmakers are looking to cut back the central bank’s power.

It sounds like a perfect time for an ad campaign.

The Fed has made a 45-second public service announcement to help consumers use their credit cards wisely. The spot will run before movie previews at theaters in 12 U.S. cities, including Long Beach, from Friday through Dec. 3.

Over jazzy music, the announcer asks: “Want to use your credit card wisely? Here are some tips you can trust from the Federal Reserve.” With the Fed logo featured prominently, the ad offers suggestions such as paying your bill on time and watching for changes in the terms of the account.

The Fed has been under fire for neglecting its consumer protection authority for years — particularly for taking 14 years to enact rules protecting consumers from unscrupulous mortgage lending.

In April and September, the Fed ran public-service ads in cinemas in California, Florida and other states devastated by the housing crash advising viewers how to avoid foreclosure scams.

The latest ad, which comes as people are expected to flock to holiday movies, could help improve the Fed’s battered image as Congress weighs an overhaul of financial regulations. Plus, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will be on Capitol Hill on Dec. 3 for a hearing on his renomination for a second four-year term.

With sentiment against the Fed running high, that event promises to be a Washington blockbuster.





Marines’ Thanksgiving dinner in Helmand nearly flames out


McClatchy Newspapers

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HASSANABAD, Afghanistan — Just getting the ingredients for Golf Company’s one-day-early Thanksgiving dinner was a military operation.

First, the Marines consulted their translators. Then the translators persuaded the Afghan border police to go to a market in what may be the most dangerous part of Helmand province.

Buying the $68 worth of chicken and hot peppers and potatoes and rice and flat bread turned out to be the easy part, however. It was the cooking Wednesday night that nearly caused a squad of casualties.

“Hey, you can’t put out a grease fire like that!” someone yelled as one of the self-appointed chefs, Cpl. Cody Baird, 21, of Thurmont, Md., yanked a woklike pan full of flaming grease off the fire, which was fueled by broken up shipping pallets.

He swung the pan around, his mitt already on fire, and he had to set the pan on the ground before the rest of him went up in flames.

That was, by a conservative count, grease fire No. 8, including a crowd-pleaser with flames that reached almost as high as the walls of the camp.

And the actual cooking hadn’t begun.

Baird and Lance Cpl. Colin Cummings, 21, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., were still dicing peppers and potatoes and trying to figure out how to adjust the fire to a reasonable temperature so it wouldn’t light the oil in the pans.

Not that fire was the only potential danger. Sanitation was also called into question.

“Hey, isn’t that the knife you use to kill all those mice?” asked a Marine onlooker.

“It’s OK, I used hand sanitizer on it,” said Cummings, brandishing the wicked, curved blade.

“Dude!” said Baird, sounding as if he didn’t seriously object to a little mouse hair.

Then he turned to dump some scorched oil and refill the pan for the third time.

Finally Navy medic HM3 Robert Oldfield walked up.

Cummings started singing tunelessly: “Oldfield, he’s married, so he knows about coook-iing.”

So he did. Oldfield, 24, of New Matamoros, Ohio, started shaking Old Bay seasoning that someone had sent in a care package onto the chicken quarters and dropping them into the hot oil, which had briefly stopped exploding into flames.

Baird spooned grease into the pot of potatoes, onions and peppers; set it, too, over the flames; and began stirring.

Suddenly things seemed to be under control. Good smells spread around the tiny camp, and more Marines gathered.

Baird said that the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based troops were conducting so many patrols that it seemed like a good idea to do something special for Thanksgiving while many Marines were in camp.

“We weren’t sure if all the guys would be inside the wire tomorrow, so we wanted to make sure we cooked something,” he said.

Otherwise, it would have been MREs or big trays of precooked rations.

Finally, after a couple of hours of firefighting and cooking, the potatoes and chicken were done.

For the Golf Company chefs, that meant it was time to put on the rice.

Never mind the additional hour or so of cooking time.

The huge rice pot caused the section of fence the Marines were using as a grill to sag, threatening to dump its contents into the fire.

“That’s so unsafe, but I like it,” Baird said.

The rice was still cooking – and still hard – but it soon became clear that it would be smart to go ahead and eat.

Some Marines filled their plates and stood near the fire for warmth. Others, including Baird, Oldfield and Lance Cpl. Jeffrey De Young, 19, of Holland, Mich., sat down at a long outdoor table under a small fluorescent light and tucked in.

“This is pretty good for eating,” De Young said. “It’s like KFC, and we don’t get good meals like this often, and if Cummings hadn’t thought this up, we’d be eating that stuff in the trays again.”

(Price reports for the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C.)



Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.A Proclamation.The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Dividing bar

Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day

The following document has often been confused with Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation. Lincoln believed that the civil war was God’s judgment on the nation for it’s sinfulness. And in an omimous echo of the words of the King of Nineveh in Jonah 3:7-8, Lincoln made this proclamation of a national day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer.

Washington, D.C.
March 30, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.A Proclamation.Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Army Spc. Christopher Bailey, his wife, Amanda, and children are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving together during Bailey’s rest and relaxation leave from his deployment in Iraq. Ardmore, Ala., November 2009.

Face of Defense: Guard Wife Spreads Thanksgiving Spirit

American Forces Press Service – By Donna Miles

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2009 – Amanda Bailey has a lot to thankful for this Thanksgiving, with her husband, Army Spc. Christopher Bailey home from Iraq for rest and relaxation leave. And as head of his National Guard unit’s family readiness group, she’s helped to galvanize a communitywide show of appreciation for families of its deployed troops.

Bailey, a military policeman with the Alabama Army National Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 203rd Military Police Battalion, returned home to Ardmore, Ala., earlier this week for 15 days of R&R.

“It’s fantastic,” Amanda said of the timing, five months into her husband’s first deployment since joining the Guard six years ago. The Baileys and their three children will enjoy two Thanksgiving feasts this year: one today with Specialist Bailey’s family, and another on Thanksgiving Day with Amanda’s family.

Meanwhile, the detachment’s family readiness group has been hard at work, ensuring every unit family whose loved one is deployed has a memorable Thanksgiving, as well.

With its families spread throughout Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, getting together to celebrate as a group wasn’t a viable option, Amanda said. So the family readiness group initiated the next best thing, sponsoring fundraising events and gathering donations from the local community and corporations.

As a result, 53 Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment families received gift certificates for a Thanksgiving turkey or ham. Already looking ahead to Christmas, Amanda said she expects an even bigger outpouring of support for the families of all 85 deployed soldiers.

“The response from the community has been really amazing,” she said. “People out there all want to help and show their support.” One donor made a $500 contribution and wants to begin offering monthly assistance to some of the needier families, she said.

Bailey, still fighting jet lag from his flight home from Iraq, said he’s passed word of the family readiness group’s activities to his unit members. “It’s a great feeling to know that people are doing these little extra things,” he said. “It means a lot.”

In addition to gift certificates, Amanda signed each of the 85 families up to receive free copies of a children’s Thanksgiving activity book through Operation Thanksgiving Eagle.

The program, sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army and underwritten by BAE Systems and Raytheon, provided 500 copies of “It’s a Family Thanksgiving! A Celebration of an American Tradition for Children and Their Families” to military children stateside and overseas.

The book, written by Deborah Fink, introduces young readers and their families to the history, foods and traditions associated with Thanksgiving, while recognizing families separated during the holiday because of deployments.

“We at AUSA believe that projects such as this are important ways to draw Army families together and celebrate our history,” said John Grady, AUSA’s public affairs director.


Climategate: White House Involvement in Scandal Will Make It Harder for MSM to Ignore — Inhofe Launches “Climategate” Investigation — Hide The Decline Video — CRU’s Source Code: Climategate Uncovered — Rush: 3 Trees Said to Prove Warming! — Polar Bear Commercial (Video) — Note:  All Charts Below From IPCC WG1 AR4 Report (See Summary For Policymakers – PDF)



Climategate: White House Involvement in Scandal Will Make It Harder for MSM to Ignore

News Busters – By P.J. Gladnick

Yesterday Brian Williams delivered an NBC Nightly News report about President Obama attending the Copenhagen global warming summit. Guess what hot topic was left untouched? If you had guessed Climategate you would have been correct. Not only Williams but also the other TV networks, with the exception of FOX News, have completely ignored what is considered to be the biggest scientific scandal in history. However, new Climategate revelations made by the Canada Free Press about a White House connection to the scandal will soon make it much more difficult (and ridiculous) for the networks to ignore.

Canada Free Press editor Judi McLeod and Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball reveal the involvement of White House Science Czar John Holdren (photo) in the Climategate Scandal. The picture presented of Holdren is not a pretty one:

Lift up a rock and another snake comes slithering out from the ongoing University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) scandal, now riding as   “Climategate”.

Obama Science Czar John Holdren is directly involved in CRU’s unfolding Climategate scandal.  In fact, according to files released by a CEU hacker or whistleblower, Holdren is involved in what Canada Free Press (CFP) columnist Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball terms “a truculent and nasty manner that provides a brief demonstration of his lack of understanding, commitment on faith and willingness to ridicule and bully people”.

An example of Holdren’s nastiness from the CRU files involves the ridicule solar physicists Sally Baliunas and Willie Soon. Here is Dr. Ball’s description of what happened:

I’ve known solar physicists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon for a long time. I’ve published articles with Willie and enjoyed extensive communication. I was on advisory committees with them when Sallie suddenly and politely withdrew from the fray. I don’t know if the following events were contributing factors but it is likely.

Baliunas and Soon were authors of excellent work confirming the existence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) from a multitude of sources. Their work challenged attempts to get rid of the MWP because it contradicted the claim by the proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Several scientists challenged the claim that the latter part of the 20th century was the warmest ever. They knew the claim was false, many warmer periods occurred in the past. Michael Mann ‘got rid’ of the MWP with his production of the hockey stick, but Soon and Baliunas were problematic. What better than have a powerful academic destroy their credibility for you? Sadly, there are always people who will do the dirty work.

Such as a certain person destined to become a White House Science Czar? Dr. Ball elaborates:

Indeed, Holdren’s emails show how sincere scientists would be made into raw “entertainment”.

On 16th October 2003 Michael Mann, infamous for his lead in the ‘hockey stick’ that dominated the 2001 IPCC Report, sent an email to people involved in the CRU scandal:

Dear All,

Thought you would be interested in this exchange, which John Holdren of Harvard has been kind enough to pass along…

At the time Holdren was Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy & Director, Program in Science, Technology, & Public Policy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In an email on October16, 2003 from John Holdren to Michael Mann and Tom Wigley we are told:

I’m forwarding for your entertainment an exchange that followed from my being quoted in the Harvard Crimson to the effect that you and your colleagues are right and my “Harvard” colleagues Soon and Baliunas are wrong about what the evidence shows concerning surface temperatures over the past millennium. The cover note to faculty and postdocs in a regular Wednesday breakfast discussion group on environmental science and public policy in Harvard’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is more or less self-explanatory.

This is what Holdren sent to the Wednesday Breakfast group:

I append here an e-mail correspondence I have engaged in over the past few days trying to educate a Soon/Baliunas supporter who originally wrote to me asking how I could think that Soon and Baliunas are wrong and Mann et al. are right (a view attributed to me, correctly, in the Harvard Crimson). This individual apparently runs a web site on which he had been touting the Soon/Baliunas position.

The exchange Holdren refers to is a challenge by Nick Schulz editor of Tech Central Station (TCS). On August 9, 2003 Schulz wrote:

In a recent Crimson story on the work of Soon and Baliunas, who have written for my website [1, you are quoted as saying: My impression is that the critics are right. It s unfortunate that so much attention is paid to a flawed analysis, but that’s what happens when something happens to support the political climate in Washington. Do you feel the same way about the work of Mann et. al.? If not why not?

Holdren provides lengthy responses on October 13, 14, and 16 but comments fail to answer Schulz’s questions. After the first response Schulz replies:

I guess my problem concerns what lawyers call the burden of proof. The burden weighs heavily, much more heavily, given the claims on Mann than it does on Soon/Baliunas. Would you agree?

Of course, Holdren doesn’t agree. He replies:

But, in practice, burden of proof is an evolving thing-it evolves as the amount of evidence relevant to a particular proposition grows.

Dr. Ball elaborates on this “evolving burden of proof” argument by Holdren:

No it doesn’t evolve; it is either on one side or the other. This argument is in line with what has happened with AGW. He then demonstrates his lack of understanding of science and climate science by opting for Mann and his hockey stick over Soon and Baliunas. His entire defense and position devolves to a political position. His attempt to belittle Soon and Baliunas in front of colleagues is a measure of the man’s blindness and political opportunism that pervades everything he says or does.

Schulz provides a solid summary when he writes:

I’ll close by saying I’m willing to admit that, as someone lacking a PhD, I could be punching above my weight. But I will ask you a different but related question. How much hope is there for reaching reasonable public policy decisions that affect the lives of millions if the science upon which those decisions must be made is said to be by definition beyond the reach of those people?

Dr. Ball concludes with this devastating appraisal of John Holdren:

We now know it was deliberately placed beyond the reach of the people by the group that he used to ridicule Soon and Baliunas. Holdren was blinded by his political views, which as his record shows are frightening. One web site synthesizes his position on over-population as follows, “Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A “Planetary Regime” with the power of life and death over American citizens.

Holdren has a long history of seeking total government control. He was involved in the Club of Rome providing Paul Ehrlich with the scientific data in his bet with Julian Simon. Ehrlich lost the bet. Holdren’s behavior in this sorry episode with Soon and Baliunas is too true to form and shows the leopard never changes his spots.

Keep in mind that Holdren as the White House Science Czar has direct input to President Obama on the subject of global warming. Perhaps he will even accompany Obama to the Copenhagen summit. Will anybody in the MSM dare to ask Obama about the Climategate  revelations of data manipulations and suppression of contrary views as well as the involvement of his own Science Czar in this scandal?

A cookie! An oatmeal cookie to the first reporter to dare ask Obama a question about Climategate!

And for Brian Williams, a Five Guys burger (with fries) for asking the same question.

Inhofe Launches “Climategate” Investigation

Warns Participants to Retain Documents

Washington, D.C. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today sent letters to several scientists, some of whom allegedly manipulated data to prove the scientific “consensus” of global warming, as well as to the inspectors general of several federal agencies, notifying them to retain documents related to the release of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit in England.

“The stakes in this controversy are significant, as it appears that the basis of federal programs, pending EPA rulemakings, and cap-and-trade legislation was contrived and fabricated,” Sen. Inhofe said. “Moreover, it appears that, in an attempt to conceal the manipulation of climate data, information disclosure laws may have been violated.

“I certainly don’t condone the manner in which these emails were released; however, now that they are in the public domain, lawmakers have an obligation to determine the extent to which the so-called ‘consensus’ of global warming, formed with billions of taxpayer dollars, was contrived in the biased minds of the world’s leading climate scientists.”

The letters are the first step in the investigation of the climate scandal. Last week, emails released by a computer hacker revealed that several leading climate scientists allegedly manipulated climate data and research used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These scientists also appear to have refused outside access to their raw data, obstructed freedom of information requests, and plotted ways to prevent the publication of papers in peer-reviewed journals by scientists who question global warming alarmism…

The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Climate Science Report

It is more than three years since the drafting of text was completed for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). In the meantime, many hundreds of papers have been published on a suite of topics related to human-induced climate change.

The purpose of this report is to synthesize the most policy-relevant climate science published since the close-off of material for the last IPCC report. The rationale is two-fold.

First, this report serves as an interim evaluation of the evolving science midway through an IPCC cycle – IPCC AR5 is not due for completion until 2013.

Second, and most important, the report serves as a handbook of science updates that supplements the IPCC AR4 in time for Copenhagen in December 2009, and any national or international climate change policy negotiations that follow.

This report covers the range of topics evaluated by Working Group I of the IPCC, namely the Physical Science Basis. This includes:

  • an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and their atmospheric concentrations, as well as the global carbon cycle;
  • coverage of the atmosphere, the land-surface, the oceans, and all of the major components of the cryosphere (land-ice, glaciers, ice shelves, sea-ice and permafrost);
  • paleoclimate, extreme events, sea level, future projections, abrupt change and tipping points;
  • separate boxes devoted to explaining some of the common misconceptions surrounding climate change science.

The report has been purposefully written with a target readership of policy-makers, stakeholders, the media and the broader public. Each section begins with a set of key points that summarises the main findings. The science contained in the report is based on the most credible and significant peer-reviewed literature available at the time of publication. The authors primarily comprise previous IPCC lead authors familiar with the rigor and completeness required for a scientific assessment of this nature.

The most significant recent climate change findings are:

Surging greenhouse gas emissions: Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels in 2008 were nearly 40% higher than those in 1990. Even if global emission rates are stabilized at present –day levels, just 20 more years of emissions would give a 25% probability that warming exceeds 2oC. Even with zero emissions after 2030. Every year of delayed action increase the chances of exceeding 2oC warming.

Recent global temperatures demonstrate human-based warming: Over the past 25 years temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.190C per decade, in every good agreement with predictions based on greenhouse gas increases. Even over the past ten years, despite a decrease in solar forcing, the trend continues to be one of warming. Natural, short- term fluctuations are occurring as usual but there have been no significant changes in the underlying warming trend.

Acceleration of melting of ice-sheets, glaciers and ice-caps: A wide array of satellite and ice measurements now demonstrate beyond doubt that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass at an increasing rate. Melting of glaciers and ice-caps in other parts of the world has also accelerated since 1990.

Rapid Arctic sea-ice decline: Summer-time melting of Arctic sea-ice has accelerated far beyond the expectations of climate models. This area of sea-ice melt during 2007-2009 was about 40% greater than the average prediction from IPCC AR4 climate models.

Current sea-level rise underestimates: Satellites show great global average sea-level rise (3.4 mm/yr over the past 15 years) to be 80% above past IPCC predictions. This acceleration in sea-level rise is consistent with a doubling in contribution from melting of glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland and West-Antarctic ice-sheets.

Sea-level prediction revised: By 2100, global sea-level is likely to rise at least twice as much as projected by Working Group 1 of the IPCC AR4, for unmitigated emissions it may well exceed 1 meter. The upper limit has been estimated as – 2 meters sea-level rise by 2100. Sea-level will continue to rise for centuries after global temperature have been stabilized and several meters of sea level rise must be expected over the next few centuries.

Delay in action risks irreversible damage: Several vulnerable elements in the climate system (e.g. continental ice-sheets. Amazon rainforest, West African monsoon and others) could be pushed towards abrupt or irreversible change if warming continues in a business-as-usual way throughout this century. The risk of transgressing critical thresholds (“tipping points”) increase strongly with ongoing climate change. Thus waiting for higher levels of scientific certainty could mean that some tipping points will be crossed before they are recognized.

The turning point must come soon: If global warming is to be limited to a maximum of 2oC above pre-industrial values, global emissions need to peak between 2015 and 2020 and then decline rapidly. To stabilize climate, a decarbonized global society – with near-zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases – need to be reached well within this century. More specifically, the average annual per-capita emissions will have to shrink to well under 1 metric ton CO2 by 2050. This is 80-90% below the per-capita emissions in developed nations in 2000.

Executive Summary – English: PDF (166 KB)

Full report: High resolution PDF (23.3 MB)

Full report: Low resolution PDF (3.3 MB)

Figures: PDF (4.4 MB)PPT (17.2 MB)

Read report online: Flip book

CRU’s Source Code: Climategate Uncovered

American Thinker – By Marc Sheppard

As the evidence of fraud at the University of East Anglia’s prestigious Climactic Research Unit (CRU) continues to mount, those who’ve been caught green-handed continue to parry their due opprobrium and comeuppance, thanks primarily to a dead-silent mainstream media. But should the hubris and duplicity evident in the e-mails of those whose millennial temperature charts literally fuel the warming alarmism movement somehow fail to convince the world of the scam that’s been perpetrated, certainly these revelations of the fraud cooked into the computer programs that create such charts will.
First, let’s briefly review a few pertinent details.

We reported on Saturday that among the most revealing of the “hacked” e-mails released last week was one dated November 1999, in which CRU chief P.D. Jones wrote these words to Hockey-Stick-Team leaders Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd (sic) from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Predictably, the suggestion of a climate-related data-adjusting “trick” being employed by such alarmist bellwethers ten years ago instantly raised more than a few eyebrows. And with similar alacrity, the Big Green Scare Machine shifted into CYA gear.
Almost immediately after the news hit on Friday, Jones told Investigative Magazine’s TGIF Edition [PDF] that he “had no idea” what he might have meant by the words “hide the decline” a decade prior:

They’re talking about the instrumental data which is unaltered – but they’re talking about proxy data going further back in time, a thousand years, and it’s just about how you add on the last few years, because when you get proxy data you sample things like tree rings and ice cores, and they don’t always have the last few years. So one way is to add on the instrumental data for the last few years.


Mere hours later, Jones’s warmist soulmates at RealClimate offered an entirely different explanation:

The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the “trick” is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the “decline”, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while “hiding” is probably a poor choice of words (since it is “hidden” in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

And later that day, Jean S. at Climate Audit explained the reality of the quandary. In order to smooth a timed series, it’s necessary to pad it beyond the end-time. But it seems that however hard they tried, when MBH plotted instrumental data against their tree ring reconstructions, no smoothing method would ever undo the fact that after 1960, the tree ring series pointed downward while the instrumental series pointed upward — hence the divergence:

So Mann’s solution [Mike’s Nature Trick] was to use the instrumental record for padding [both], which changes the smoothed series to point upwards.

So the author of the email claimed the “trick” was to add instrumental measurements for years beyond available proxy data, his co-conspirators at Real Climate admitted it was actually a replacement of proxy data due to a known yet inexplicable post-1960 “divergence” anomaly, and CA called it what it was — a cheat.
The next day, the UEA spoke out for the first time on the subject when its first related press-release was posted to its homepage. And Jones demonstrated to the world the benefits a good night’s sleep imparts to one’s memory, though not one’s integrity:

The word “trick” was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.


Of course, RealClimate also avowed there was “no evidence of the falsifying of data” in the emails. But as Jones chose not to walk back his statement that the “tricks” were rarely exercised, and even assured us that he was “refer[ring] to one diagram — not a scientific paper,” his explanation remained at odds with that of his virtual confederates at RC.
And as Jones must have known at the time, such would prove to be the very least of CRU’s problems.

Getting with the Green Program(s)

One can only imagine the angst suffered daily by the co-conspirators, who knew full well that the “Documents” sub-folder of the CRU FOI2009 file contained more than enough probative program source code to unmask CRU’s phantom methodology.
In fact, there are hundreds of IDL and FORTRAN source files buried in dozens of subordinate sub-folders. And many do properly analyze and chart maximum latewood density (MXD), the growth parameter commonly utilized by CRU scientists as a temperature proxy, from raw or legitimately normalized data. Ah, but many do so much more.
Skimming through the often spaghetti-like code, the number of programs which subject the data to a mixed-bag of transformative and filtering routines is simply staggering. Granted, many of these “alterations” run from benign smoothing algorithms (e.g., omitting rogue outliers) to moderate infilling mechanisms (e.g., estimating missing station data from that of those closely surrounding). But many others fall into the precarious range between highly questionable (removing MXD data which demonstrate poor correlations with local temperature) to downright fraudulent (replacing MXD data entirely with measured data to reverse a disorderly trend-line).
In fact, workarounds for the post-1960 “divergence problem,” as described by both RealClimate and Climate Audit, can be found throughout the source code. So much so that perhaps the most ubiquitous programmer’s comment (REM) I ran across warns that the particular module “Uses ‘corrected’ MXD – but shouldn’t usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures.

What exactly is meant by “corrected” MXD,” you ask? Outstanding question — and the answer appears amorphous from program to program. Indeed, while some employ one or two of the aforementioned “corrections,” others throw everything but the kitchen sink at the raw data prior to output.

For instance, in the subfolder “osborn-tree6mannoldprog,” there’s a program ( that calibrates the MXD data against available local instrumental summer (growing season) temperatures between 1911-1990, then merges that data into a new file. That file is then digested and further modified by another program (, which creates calibration statistics for the MXD against the stored temperature and “estimates” (infills) figures where such temperature readings were not available. The file created by that program is modified once again by, which “corrects it” – as described by the author — by “identifying” and “artificially” removing “the decline.”

But oddly enough, the series doesn’t begin its “decline adjustment” in 1960 — the supposed year of the enigmatic “divergence.” In fact, all data between 1930 and 1994 are subject to “correction.”

And such games are by no means unique to the folder attributed to Michael Mann.

A Clear and Present Rearranger

In two other programs, and, the “correction” is bolder by far. The programmer (Keith Briffa?) entitled the “adjustment” routine “Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!” And he or she wasn’t kidding. Now IDL is not a native language of mine, but its syntax is similar enough to others I’m familiar with, so please bear with me while I get a tad techie on you.

Here’s the “fudge factor” (notice the brash SOB actually called it that in his REM statement):

valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75         ; fudge factor

These two lines of code establish a twenty-element array (yrloc) comprising the year 1400 (base year, but not sure why needed here) and nineteen years between 1904 and 1994 in half-decade increments. Then the corresponding “fudge factor” (from the valadj matrix) is applied to each interval. As you can see, not only are temperatures biased to the upside later in the century (though certainly prior to 1960), but a few mid-century intervals are being biased slightly lower. That, coupled with the post-1930 restatement we encountered earlier, would imply that in addition to an embarrassing false decline experienced with their MXD after 1960 (or earlier), CRU’s “divergence problem” also includes a minor false incline after 1930.
And the former apparently wasn’t a particularly well-guarded secret, although the actual adjustment period remained buried beneath the surface.

Plotting programs such as print this reminder to the user prior to rendering the chart:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The data after 1960 should not be used. The tree-ring density records tend to show a decline after 1960 relative to the summer temperature in many high-latitude locations. In this data set this “decline” has been artificially removed in an ad-hoc way, and this means that data after 1960 no longer represent tree-ring density variations, but have been modified to look more like the observed temperatures.

Others, such as, issue this warning:

NOTE: recent decline in tree-ring density has been ARTIFICIALLY REMOVED to facilitate calibration. THEREFORE, post-1960 values will be much closer to observed temperatures then (sic) they should be which will incorrectly imply the reconstruction is more skilful than it actually is. See Osborn et al. (2004).

Care to offer another explanation, Dr. Jones?


Clamoring alarmists can and will spin this until they’re dizzy. The ever-clueless mainstream media can and will ignore this until it’s forced upon them as front-page news, and then most will join the alarmists on the denial merry-go-round.
But here’s what’s undeniable: If a divergence exists between measured temperatures and those derived from dendrochronological data after (circa) 1960, then discarding only the post-1960 figures is disingenuous, to say the least. The very existence of a divergence betrays a potential serious flaw in the process by which temperatures are reconstructed from tree-ring density. If it’s bogus beyond a set threshold, then any honest man of science would instinctively question its integrity prior to that boundary. And only the lowliest would apply a hack in order to produce a desired result.

And to do so without declaring as such in a footnote on every chart in every report in every study in every book in every classroom on every website that such a corrupt process is relied upon is not just a crime against science, it’s a crime against mankind.
Indeed, miners of the CRU folder have unearthed dozens of e-mail threads and supporting documents revealing much to loathe about this cadre of hucksters and their vile intentions.  This veritable goldmine has given us tales ranging from evidence destruction to spitting on the Freedom of Information Act on both sides of the Atlantic. But the now-irrefutable evidence that alarmists have indeed been cooking the data for at least a decade may be the most important strike in human history.

Advocates of the global governance/financial redistribution sought by the United Nations at Copenhagen in two weeks, and also those of the expanded domestic governance/financial redistribution sought by Liberal politicians, both substantiate their drastic proposals with the pending climate emergency predicted in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Kyoto, Waxman-Markey, Kerry-Boxer, EPA regulation of the very substances of life — all bad policy concepts enabled solely by IPCC reports.  And the IPCC in turn bases those reports largely on the data and charts provided by the research scientists at CRU — largely from tree ring data — who just happen to be editors and lead authors of that same U.N. panel.

Bottom line:  CRU’s evidence is now irrevocably tainted. As such, all assumptions based on that evidence must now be reevaluated and readjudicated. And all policy based on those counterfeit assumptions must also be reexamined.

Gotcha. We know they’ve been lying all along, and now we can prove it. It’s time to bring sanity back to this debate.

It’s time for the First IPCC Reassessment Report.

3 Trees Said to Prove Warming!


RUSH: This is posted in Environment, September 29th of this year: “A scientific scandal is casting a shadow over a number of recent peer-reviewed climate papers. At least eight papers purporting to reconstruct the historical temperature record times may need to be revisited, with significant implications for contemporary climate studies, the basis of the [UN’s climate panel] assessments. A number of these involve senior climatologists at the British Climate Research Centre, CRU, at the University of East Anglia. In every case, peer review failed to pick up the errors.

“At issue is the use of tree rings as a temperature proxy… Using statistical techniques, researchers take the ring data to create a ‘reconstruction’ of historical temperature anomalies. But trees are a highly controversial indicator of temperature, since the ridges principally record CO2, and also record humidity, rainfall, nutrient intake, and other local factors… In particular, since 2000, a large number of peer-reviewed climate papers have incorporated data from trees at the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. This data set gained favor, curiously superseding a new and larger data set from nearby. The older Yamal trees indicated pronounced and dramatic uptick in temperatures.

“How can it be? Scientists have ensured much of the measurement data used in the reconstructions remains a….”

Anyway, they used all of this tree ring data to show that cold medieval times were actually sizzling hot — or maybe the opposite; sizzling hot it was actually very cold, I forget. They used the tree ring data to alter the historical record about temperatures during the Medieval Times to advance their whole notion of man-made global warming. That’s one of the primary focuses. There’s a guy in Canada, and I just mentioned his name. His name is McIntyre. He has been trying for eight years to get this information to find out how they have been jury-rigging and doctoring the data, and he’s been unable to get it. Much of the Yamal tree data was cherry-picked. The implication is clear. So they’re doing everything they can to try to get these documents to find out how these guys at Hadley are coming to their conclusions — and the guys at Hadley, these e-mails back and forth, write, “How can we hide the data? If we have to, we’ll destroy it. A lot of people don’t know there’s a Freedom of Information Act law in Great Britain, and so we don’t want anybody to find that out, so don’t talk about that.” I mean, these guys are clearly — the “scientists” are clearly — conspiring to see to it that their doctored, fraudulent, lying-ass data is not uncovered. Pardon my French, folks. This just burns me. I cannot tell you.


RUSH: Let me make this very simple and understandable about these tree rings. The trees, the Yamal trees in Siberia that formed the basis for revising the 2,000-year-old temperature record, the number of trees used were three. The global warming scientists used the rings of THREE trees, and they cherry-picked those three trees to prove what they wanted to be able to prove, and they ignored other trees which did not establish what they were trying to prove. They took three trees. That’s all they could find. Three trees perpetrated a global warming hoax at every university in this country.


RUSH: Three trees among a forest at the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia! Three trees and their rings were found by these fraud scientists at Hadley, the CRU at East Anglia University to prove the case that they wanted to make. They were manipulating science. They were making it up. They were not reflecting science. They had a political agenda and they faked, doctored, and created — “scientific,” quote, unquote — scientific data to make their case. Meanwhile, all of this garbage science has been accepted as fact by the United Nations climate gurus, this IPCC bunch, the people hosting the Copenhagen deal next month. And the UN’s climate change gurus will not even listen to other scientists who can show how flawed the data is. They will not listen to it.

Here from the final pages of an article in the UK Register: “When the IPCC was alerted to peer-reviewed research that refuted the idea, it declined to include it. This leads to the more general, and more serious issue: what happens when peer-review fails — as it did here? The peer review failed to find that only three trees were cherry-picked and used to prevent lying, false data about warming thousands of years ago on the planet earth. The scandal has only come to light because of the dogged persistence of a Canadian mathematician who attempted to reproduce the results. Steve McIntyre has written dozens of letters requesting the data and methodology, and over 7,000 blog posts. Yet Yamal has remained elusive for almost a decade.” They will not reveal the data that they used to come to their conclusion about ancient medieval temperature changes. This one guy just wants to apply the data they have to the theory so he can see if he can confirm it himself.

They will not allow that to happen, and a lot of these e-mails are about this guy, McIntyre — and a buddy of his named McKitrick — about keeping this information from everybody even if they have to delete it. Meanwhile, the Kyoto protocol and the upcoming meeting in Copenhagen is about carbon trade emissions, cap and tax, get-rid-of-your-SUV, everything! Incandescent lightbulbs being replaced by compact fluorescent! Everything about the environment has been a total fraud and a fake. You do not need to give up your SUV. You do not need to start running around getting washing machines that front load that stink up your house. You don’t have to get rid of your incandescent lightbulbs. You do not have to run around and drive a hybrid to save the earth because there’s nothing you can do to save it if it’s in trouble, which it’s not. We had a call and the guy may be right: This may be as big as proving that the earth was round when the “consensus” of scientists said it was flat. Hell, there still is a Flat Earth Society out there.

I’m sorry to be a one-trick pony today, but this has been — if I can be honest with you, for two decades and even before that… I can remember talking about it when I was in Sacramento in 1984. I remember the show I saw this guy Oppenheimer on, and I said, “We are being scammed.” It was This Week with David Brinkley, “We got 20 years to save the planet! We are warming at an unprecedented rate,” and I remembered just five years earlier the TIME and Newsweek covers were all about global cooling and now all of a sudden we’re warming and we’re heating up. “We’re going to destroy the planet! We only got 20 years,” and Mr. Oppenheimer on that show, on that date in 1984 said, “We can’t prove it yet, but we don’t have time to wait for proof. In case we’re right, we’ve got to start acting now,” and I said, “Whoa! You are a scientist and you can’t prove it?” and he talked about all the things we had to do.

Paul Ehrlich. I was in Pittsburgh for The Population Bomb, and Julian Simon made Ehrlich a bet that everything he predicted about the cost of metals and other commodities would go down as the population grew. And market forces led to demand which brought prices down. Ehrlich lost the bet and he’s still a guru. Julian Simon has since passed away. We’ve posted this on my website over the years. This issue, global warming, has been one of the foundational building blocks for a future world global government. It has been a way for displaced communists to get their hands on the interworkings of the freedom of the United States of America. They have been toying with, polluting, and destroying people’s outlook and minds. They’ve been lying to them and they’ve created and scared to death a bunch of kids over another fraud that the polar bears are dying. There are more polar bears than ever! In fact, little kids have to shoot ’em up there to save themselves. A little 17-year-old shot one the other day. They’re not dying. Nothing about this is true.

It is insidious, and it has been for the express purpose of destroying the free markets of the United States of America and along with it the freedom of the people here, by creating such guilt that people would willingly go along with raising their taxes and having their choice restricted in practically everything involving energy — all to establish dictatorial powers in governments around the world over their people, including in this country. I’m telling you, folks, it has been one of the things that I have been most concerned about. There are many things that irritate me, such as arrogance and conceit in a person’s personality. I can’t stand braggarts; I can’t stand arrogance; I can’t stand conceit, liars, and all that. But the one thing in addition to that that really bugs me is when people in power knowingly lie and manipulate the emotions of good, decent people for the express purpose of negatively altering those people’s lives — and I’m talking about you and your kids and your grandkids — and I’ll be damned if that’s not exactly what’s happening with health care legislation. It’s what’s happening with the stimulus bill.

RUSH: The same people who gave us the global warming hoax are the same kind of people that are now running the United States of America. They’re up on Capitol Hill; they are in the White House. They have polluted the entire bureaucracy and their mission is exactly the same mission as these global warming hoaxers: To lie to you, to make you feel responsible for something that is not happening, to make your kids scared to death. These people should be more than ashamed. They need to be held up to public ridicule. It is simply unconscionable. Look at the audio from the video we had last week of the kids from people who work at the World Wildlife Fund, using their own kids: “Please, Mr. Obama, please go to Copenhagen! The polar bears are dying. The hurricanes are getting more frequent.” Remember that? The hurricanes after Katrina, every year we’re going to have 25 or 26 of them. Ocean temperatures are rising because of global warming! It’s going to be a disaster.

The media camped out on Florida beaches on June 1st when the hurricane season opens looking for the next destructive hurricane. How many did we have this year? Zero! How many did we have last year? Less than five! And I don’t know that all of them made land contact with the United States. How come that’s not critically examined? Gore is Photoshopping pictures of the planet to show four hurricanes at one time — one of them at the equator, which is not meteorologically possible. You cannot have a hurricane at the equator. They have one hurricane spinning in the other direction. In his Photoshop picture in his new book Cuba doesn’t exist; it’s underwater. Florida barely exists. A six thousand-foot sea level rise would be required to submerge Cuba — and if it did, there wouldn’t be a Denver. But Denver is still there. All of this is just flat-out, in-your-face lies — and look who’s getting rich off of it selling the scam of “carbon credits.” Oh, yeah, you’re flying too much on airplanes. So you gotta go out and buy some trees or invest in a company to go plant trees to soak up all the excess carbon that you sinners are polluting the planet with, when in fact you exhale it! It is not deadly!

Finally, the people who have been preaching to us about global warming have been doing so, as the left usually does, from the crisis mode standpoint. “We’ve got 20 years! We got ten years.” Remember Ted Danson in 1988? “Ten years to save the oceans!” Ten years to this; 20 years for that. “We’re killing ourselves. We’re killing the polar bears!” Except it hasn’t warmed in ten years, and now we’ve got the hoax fully exposed. Wouldn’t you think that people genuinely believing in man-made global warming and its destructive results would be happy that it isn’t happening? They’re not. They are distressed and they’re trying to cover up the hoax and they’re going to try to weather the storm — ’cause it isn’t about global warming like health care is not about health care, like cap and tax is not about cap and tax, like Obama is not who he is. They’re all frauds. They are all liars. They are skunks and they ought to be held up for public ridicule.

Obama said he wants to “restore science” to its rightful whatever? Then he ought to be leading the way to find out who these people are, what they’ve done, who they’ve infected, who went along with them — calling them out by name — making sure that every scientist at every university in this country that’s been involved in this is named and fired, drawn and quartered or whatever it is. Because this is a worldwide hoax and its primary target was you, the people of the United States of America. Your freedom and your money. They knew and know the United States is full of decent people. The United States solves the problems of the world. We are not the world’s problem. We solve the problems of the world. Whenever there’s a natural disaster, it’s we who show up. It’s our military. Wherever the world is in trouble it’s the United States that shows up. The world knows that we are a good and decent people — and, in their perverted view, that means that we can be duped with the right appeal. We’re destroying the planet, our progress is. That’s another thing, folks. People said, “I don’t get why you believe in God, Rush. Your belief in God, how does that tell you that global warming is a hoax?”

Well, belief in God is a very personal thing, but I happen to believe in a loving God of creation — and I just intellectually cannot accept the fact that a loving God which has created all this beauty and has blessed this country — I cannot believe that a God like that — would punish the human being he created for progress, for improving the quality of his life. No longer do we have to follow plow mules in the fields. No longer do we have to have kids out milking cows. We have enhanced human life, the life experience, the quality of life, the standard of living. I refuse to believe that a God who created the universe would create creatures who, by virtue of improving their lives and making progress, would destroy another part of His creation.

It just doesn’t compute in a logical sense. If you don’t believe in God, then you probably are a global warmist or a liberal. If you don’t believe in the God of Christianity or the God of Judaism or any other god you have to make some god. There has to be something bigger than you, and so it’s the global warming movement now or it’s health care or it’s Obama or it’s some earthly object that you apply godlike status to. Even atheists believe in something beyond themselves. But the point is they have used and targeted children, scaring them to death with lies. Ted Turner’s been doing it with Captain Planet cartoons, getting kids to hate big business.

The left, my friends, is a truly evil bunch. They know no bounds. They have no compassion. They hide behind illusions that they are the ones who have all the tolerance, yet they are the ones who created political correctness to censor people they didn’t want to have to talk to or hear from or hear about. Political correctness is a hideous way for a population to shut itself up so that there can be no objection to what the left is doing — and the objection is therefore racist, sexist, bigot, homophobic, extremist, or what have you. People don’t want to be called those names, average people going through their lives just trying to get by, especially in an economy like this.

Why run around and create controversy for yourself? So you shut up, and you might whisper to your wife or your husband in the bathroom what you really think is going on but you’re afraid to say it where somebody might hear you because they might report you just like people in a grocery store might report the way you’re not treating your kid right when you’re pushing the cart through the aisles picking up the latest Pop-Tarts. The politically correct spies are everywhere. The left has people out there waiting to get you in line and your mind right, and the people that don’t play along with it are the targets of the left today — and you know the names. Sarah Palin, anybody in talk radio, Fox News. The Universe of Lies understands that the Universe of Truth where we all live.

The Universe of Reality, we are their biggest threat. People who have the truth on their side need to be discredited so the truth is not believed when it’s uttered, and that is what is happening. But, folks, speaking of God: Thanksgiving week. Thanksgiving, the real story, is about thanking God for the bounty and the decision making the first Pilgrims made in organizing themselves after attempts at socialism failed. The true story of Thanksgiving is not the Indians saved ’em. It was about sharing their bounty. Anyway, speaking of God, this just may be a gift from God: This hacker, whoever, however this happened, this whistle-blower illustrating now the total nature of the hoax and the fraud. There is no way in the real world cap and trade has a prayer. Because it, too, is based on this hoax and this lie.

Related Previous Posts:

ClimateGate: The Crooked “Hockey Stick”

The Circus Moves To Pittsburgh (G-20 Meeting)

Climate Change: Don’t Worry–Obama And His Liberal Friends Will Save The World

The One World Currency Has Comith?

CBO: The Distributional Consequences of a Cap-and-Trade Program for CO2 Emissions

Cap n Trade Bill: Same Old European Socialist Tax Scheme

Cap n Trade Bill: Where Will You Be When The Lights Go Out?

Related Links:

Musings from the Chiefio:  CRUt – fromexcel.f90 program listing

University of East Anglia:  Climatic Research Unit update – November 24, 3.30pm

Climate Audit – Mirror Site: Denying Email Deletion

WEBCommentary:  James E. Hansen: The “Bernie Madoff” of Climate Science?

Atlas Shrugs: Global Climate Change Hoax: The Greatest Fraud in Human History

The Strata-Sphere: Where Does Global Warming Actually Come From?

PJM: Climategate: Alarmism Is Underpinned by Fraud

Le Monde: Obama Copenhagen enthusiasm measured in the foreign press (English Translation)

Gateway Pundit: Breaking: Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren Involved in Climategate Scandal

Zomblog: John Holdren in 1971: “New ice age” likely

Examiner: ‘Science Czar’ John P. Holdren’s disturbing beliefs about America, capitalism and humanity

Harvard Collection Library (w/Archives): Papers of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Updated Related Links and Added IPCC WG1 AR4 Report Link – end


Climategate: how the MSM reported the greatest scandal in modern science

Telegraph (UK), By James Delingpole

Here’s what the Times has had to say on the subject:

E-mails allegedly written by some of the world’s leading climate scientists have been stolen by hackers and published on websites run by climate change sceptics.The sceptics claim that the e-mails are evidence that scientists manipulated data in order to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming.(Yep – definitely an improvement on their earlier, non-existent coverage; but not exactly pointing up the scandalousness of this scandal).

And the Independent:

(Yep. Nada).

And here’s how The New York Times (aka Pravda) reported it:

Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change.

(Yep. That’s right. It has only apparently caused a stir among ’skeptics’. Everyone else can rest easy. Nothing to see here.)

And here’s how the Guardian has reported it:

Hundreds of private emails and documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world’s leading climate scientists during the past 13 years have been stolen by hackers and leaked online, it emerged today.

The computer files were apparently accessed earlier this week from servers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, a world-renowned centre focused on the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change.

(Oh. I get it. It’s just a routine data-theft story, not a scandal. And a chance to remind us of the CRU’s integrity and respectability. And – see below – to get in a snarky, ‘let’s have a dig at the deniers’ quote from Greenpeace).

A spokesman for Greenpeace said: “If you looked through any organisation’s emails from the last 10 years you’d find something that would raise a few eyebrows. Contrary to what the sceptics claim, the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, Nasa and the world’s leading atmospheric scientists are not the agents of a clandestine global movement against the truth. This stuff might drive some web traffic, but so does David Icke.”

Here’s the Washington Post:

Hackers broke into the electronic files of one of the world’s foremost climate research centers this week and posted an array of e-mails in which prominent scientists engaged in a blunt discussion of global warming research and disparaged climate-change skeptics.

The skeptics have seized upon e-mails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Britain as evidence that scientific data have been rigged to make it appear as if humans are causing global warming. The researchers, however, say the e-mails have been taken out of context and merely reflect an honest exchange of ideas.

(Ah, so what the story is really about is ’skeptics’ causing trouble. Note how as high as the second par the researchers are allowed by the reporter to get in their insta-rebuttal, lest we get the impression that the scandal in any way reflects badly on them).

Here is the BBC:

E-mails reportedly from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), including personal exchanges, appeared on the internet on Thursday.

A university spokesman confirmed the email system had been hacked and that information was taken and published without permission.

An investigation was underway and the police had been informed, he added.

(Ah yes, another routine data-theft story so dully reported – “the police had been informed, he added” – that you can’t even be bothered to reach the end to find out what information was stolen).

Meanwhile, the Climategate scandal (and I do apologise for calling it that, but that’s how the internet works: you need obvious, instantly memorable, event-specific search terms) continues to set the Blogosphere ablaze.

For links to all the latest updates on this, I recommend Marc Morano’s invaluable Climate Depot site.

And if you want to read those potentially incriminating emails in full, go to An Elegant Chaos org where they have all been posted in searchable form.

Like the Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses scandal, this is the gift that goes on giving. It won’t, unfortunately, derail Copenhagen (too many vested interests involved) or cause any of our many political parties to start talking sense on “Climate change”. But what it does demonstrate is the growing level of public scepticism towards Al Gore’s Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. That’s why, for example, this story is the single most read item on today’s Telegraph website.

What it also demonstrates – as my dear chum Dan Hannan so frequently and rightly argues – is the growing power of the Blogosphere and the decreasing relevance of the Mainstream Media (MSM).

This is not altogether the MSM’s fault. Partly it is just the way of things that more and more readers prefer their news and opinion served up in snappier, less reverent, more digestible and instant for.

But in the case of “Climate Change”, the MSM has been caught with its trousers down. The reason it has been so ill-equipped to report on this scandal is because almost all of its Environmental Correspondents and Environmental Editors are parti pris members of the Climate-Fear Promotion lobby. Most of their contacts (and information sources) work for biased lobby groups like Greenpeace and the WWF, or conspicuously pro-AGW government departments and Quangos such as the Carbon Trust. How can they bring themselves to report on skullduggery at Hadley Centre when the scientists involved are the very ones whose work they have done most to champion and whose pro-AGW views they share?

As Upton Sinclair once said:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”

So don’t expect this scandal to be written up in the MSM any time soon. But why would you want to anyway? It’s all here, where the free spirits and independent thinkers are, on the Blogosphere.

UPDATE: I particularly recommend Bishop Hill’s superb summary of some of the key points of the CRU correspondence.

Also, Andrew Bolt’s summary of the correspondence likely to be most damaging to the reputation – and career, we can but pray – of Professor Phil Jones, the head of the CRU.

And do check out Watts Up With That, whose traffic went through the roof yesterday, enabling to demonstrate scientifically that Hockey Stick is after all a genuine phenomenon – and not merely a figment of Michael Mann’s overactive imagination.


Related Links:

Sceptics publish climate e-mails ‘stolen from East Anglia University’

Watts Up With That: CRU Emails “may” be open to interpretation, but commented code by the programmer tells the real story

Strata Sphere:  The Great Global Warming Con – Part II

Hot Air: Interview: Sen. James Inhofe will call for hearings into IPCC, UN, East Anglia CRU e-mails