Saturday, November 28, 2009

Climategate: The video and some thoughts

With the revelations of massive scientific fraud within the global warming community, dubbed "climategate," I have moved from the column of "Global warming believer" to "undecided." I do not make this move lightly. I am not uninformed. I have read extensively on the topic. I was not always a believer; I was once a sceptic. I did not let my political views guide my decision on whether or not to believe the theory of Global Warming. I tried to honestly evaluate the available information and be guided by the facts. Over a period of time, I gradually moved from sceptic to believer and I have been in the "believer" column for at least the last five or six years. I have been convinced that the preponderance of the evidence indicates that global warming is a fact. (See, My Conversion on Global Warming.) Now, I am not so sure.

I am not in the "sceptic" column, yet. There is still a massive body of scholarship that supports the theory. However, this revelation of widespread scientific fraud makes me call into question the whole body of science on this subject. The revelations in the released data puts the burden of proof on those who advocate the theory. The whole topic is again an open question as far as I am concerned.

The main stream media has failed to cover this story and has downplayed it when they have reported it. This can not be allowed to be swept under the rug. This is a smoking gun. Those who believe global warming is a reality need to address this scandal and remake their case for the science supporting the theory.

Below is some of what is revealed from the hacked documents from Britain’s Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia:

The participants in the climategate scandal were a who’s who of climate scientist.

They reveal the destroying of evidence of fraud.

They show the using of “tricks” to modify data that shows the earth is cooling.

They reveal the corrupting of the peer review process.

They reveal the withholding of data.

They reveal the conspiring to pressure and punish skeptical scientist.

They acknowledge the urban effect.

This is serious stuff.

I was with some relatives over the holidays who are true believers who have never doubted global warming. They had not heard of the climategate scandal and were not interested in leaning anything about it. Just as the scientist involved in this scandal had a conclusion and then developed their data to support their conclusion, many people, both sceptics and believers, are locked into a position and don't want any new facts that may make them question their assumptions. To get to the the truth, one needs to be open to considering new data.

I am not asking anyone to accept my opinion of the importance of the climategate scandal, but please be open to evaluating this new revelation and learning more about it and demand answers.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Shaking hands with the enemy

Ron Paul and Bill Mahar Libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul (right) shakes hands with left-wing comedian Bill Mahar (left).

Matt Collins on Refusing to shake Zack Wamp's hand:
"Representative Wamp extended his hand to me to shake it and I absolutely refused; I am not interested in being friendly towards those who violate the Constitution. To be fair he said that he was very supportive of HR1207 and that "we ought to do more than just audit the's the cause of a lot of our problems". While I agree with the Congressman on that specific issue I honestly wanted to vocalize that the other cause of our problems were big-government Republicans acting like big-government Democrats such as himself. However in the spirit of, at minimum, being cordial, I held my tongue. But prior to walking away I did thank him for and told him I appreciated his support on HR1207. I still did not shake his hand." (link)


President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev

President Nixon and Chairman Mao

President Richard M Nixon shakes hand with Chairman Mao Zedong

Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant

General Robert E. Lee shakes hands with General Ulysses S. Grant

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

George Washington Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
George Washington signature

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The Party and Matt on the ousting of Matt Collins

Comments from Chairman Starnes:

The removal of Matt Collins from his position as First Vice Chair and as a member of the Davidson County Republican Party’s Executive Committee on November 24th, 2009 was not easy, nor one we took lightly.

However, DCRP Board members must be able to function as a team and not place a personal agenda above the Party’s agenda. When that happens, coupled with behavior and words that are disrespectful to Republican candidates or elected officials, the focus becomes on a person rather than the important issues at hand.

The vote of 14 members to five for the removal of Mr. Collins affirmed an earlier vote establishing a motion for removal and also demonstrated the Board’s commitment to maintain a standard of professionalism and civility among its leadership.

Kathleen Starnes
DCRP Chairman

Comments from Matt Collins:

As reported in the Nashville Post, immediately following the executive session hearing Collins made the following statement:

It is unfortunate the DCRP has chosen this destructive and divisive path booting members for standing up for principle and the Constitution.

It should be noted that I have broken no bylaws (even Chairman Starnes has admitted this) and this was a personal vindictive move by some in the DCRP and the TNGOP to remove me because they did not want their fellow Republicans such as Rep Zigzag Zach Wamp, Mayor “Ban’em” Bill Haslam, Senator “Large Government” Lamar Alexander, and Senator “Bailout Bob” Corker held accountable.

Every effort was made by myself to reach a mutual understanding, however Chairman Starnes refused to work with me in the closed door session. This Soviet style purge will result in the further alienation of the grassroots activists not only in Nashville but across the country as it is becoming more and more apparent that the GOP is a Party of exclusion.

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On the ousting of Matt Collins

Last night the Executive Committee of the Davidson County Republican Party voted to remove Matt Collins from the Committee. I attended the meeting not knowing the Committee would go into executive session and require everyone except voting members to leave the room. In addition to my wife and I there were about a dozen other people who were also removed from the room, most of them were obviously supporters of Matt. Initially I was annoyed that we were forced to vacate the room, but can see the wisdom of conducting the hearing in closed-door session.

Those who were in the hall after being evicted from the room assumed we who lined the hall were all supporters of Matt. I was not. I was on the fence. If I had been a voting member of the board, I still do not know how I would have voted. I would have had to hear the arguments on both sides in order to make a decision. I assumed I would have voted with the majority but it would have been with reluctance. If Matt had have been halfway contrite however, and pledged to behave differently in the future I would have voted to let him keep his seat. I assume there were other members on the board who think the same way I think, so I assume Matt was belligerent up until the vote. This is only an assumption however, I don’t know. Not knowing what went on behind closed doors, I can’t say for certain how I would have voted.

Matt is a libertarian Republican of the Ron Paul persuasion. I am not. I am what the Ron Paul Republicans often refer to as a RINO. I don’t see myself in that light, but RINO (Republican in Name Only) is the term used to denigrate anyone who does not see eye to eye with them on the issues. I was a supporter of the Party’s candidate John McCain in the last election. After our own favorite son Fred Thompson dropped out of the race, I was never tempted to support anyone other than McCain. I agree with McCain’s pragmatism and realism which some fellow Republicans find offensive. I was not a reluctant supporter of the Party’s candidate but an enthusiastic supporter. That makes me a RINO in the view of the more dogmatic Republicans of the Ron Paul persuasion.

This McCain Republican however does not want to purge the Party of Ron Paul Republican. The Party should be a big tent party with room for Ron Paul and John McCain supporters. If we agree on opposition to Obamacare, to higher taxes, to the explosion in the national debt then we should be in the same camp. We do not have to see eye to eye on all issues. If there is more that unites us than divides us we should be united in trying to defeat Democrats.

Matt has a lot of vocal people who are supporting him and are going to be angry that he was ousted. Matt was not ousted because he is the only Republican who supports the constitution. Matt was not ousted because he is a Ron Paul supporter. Matt was ousted because he acted like a jerk. In my view, one of Matts worse offences was his refusal to shake hands with Republican Gubernatorial candidate Congressman Zack Wamp and then bragging about it. I don’t personally know Ron Paul, but I would bet that if at a social function, Ron Paul himself would shake the hand of Zack Wamp. Refusing to shake someone’s hand and then bragging about it does not make you a principled person; it makes you a jerk.

To all the libertarian minded Republicans and Ron Paul supporters who are hurt or offended that Matt was ousted from the Executive Committee: Matt was not removed because of his libertarian leaning or his support for Ron Paul; he was removed because he acted like a jerk. Don’t give up on the Party. Don’t walk away. Stay involved. I believe that most Republicans welcome the energy and growth that the libertarian leaning Republicans are bringing to the Party. I believe most Republicans are not interested in shrinking the Party and purging people but in enlarging the party and welcoming people. Matt was not ousted because he was the lone voice standing up for principles and the constitution; he was ousted because of his behavior. A Libertarian leaning Republican with normal social skills would be welcome in the party.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another cancer drug too dear for Britain: Bowel cancer victims denied life-prolonging care.

By Jenny Hope, Daily Mail U.K., Mail Online, updated at 9:13 AM on 24th November 2009

Bowel cancer sufferers are to be denied a life-prolonging drug on the NHS which is available to patients across Europe and beyond.

Trials show Avastin can extend life by almost two years.

But the Government's rationing body, Nice, says it is not cost-effective. (link)


Is this the kind of health care we want in America? As explained in this article, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence follows a complex formula that evaluates quality of life and cost effectiveness to determine what medical treatments and procedures will be paid for by the government. This treatment was deemed too expensive. About 35,000 Britons develop bowel cancer each year, of which 4,000-5,000 with advanced cancer could benefit from this drug. This life-saving drug is too expensive for the British health care system. The UK has not raised the cost cap on individual care in ten years despite lifesaving advances in medicine and new but more costly treatment options.

It is true that the US spends more of our GNP on health care than most other advanced countries. If health care becomes a government service then we can hold down the cost. The cost will be held down by rationing, as is the case in the UK. Proponents of radically transforming our health care system deny that care will be rationed but every government service is rationed from police protection to education. Health care will consume less of the GNP under a nationalized health care system because the government will determine the amount spend on health care. Health care will be a budget item in competition with the Defence Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Agriculture Department and every other department of government.

I know that there are many Americans ready to accept having health care decision dictated by a government bureaucracy. There are many Americans who don't care if treatment is denied, as long as it is denied to everyone equally. If a particular drug was never approved by the government in the first place then they won't mind if they don't get it. They look at government decisions much the way a child looks at decisions handed down by a parent; the government is wise and knows best. They want someone else making decisions for them. Freedom is messy and stressful. They want someone to take care of them. They long to be subjects at the mercy of government dictates. They are also more concerned with everyone being treated the same and never think about what it takes to advance the human condition. They look around them and see the current deficiencies in the current system and never think of advances in health care that will not occur under a government bureaucracy. I am not one of them.

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Presidents and Kings

Obama bows to Kings

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is Global Warming a Hoax?

Wow! This is hard to believe.

Is it possible that the scientific consensus about global warming may actually be a conspiracy? Is the science of global warming all a hoax? If it is, it is one of the world’s biggest hoaxes. If global warming is a hoax, I am going to start questioning the moon landing. Those who have never accepted the theory of global warming must be feeling vindicated.

One of the worlds leading climate research centers has been hacked into and a large volume (62 megabytes) of internal documents was released that clearly indicate that scientific data was manipulated to make global warming appear much more of a certainty than the data would indicate. One of the released emails has a scientist discussing a “trick” to “hide the decline” of global temperatures in the data. Another email has a scientist talking about ways to stack the peer review process to keep qualified skeptical scientist from having their research papers considered.

That sure sounds like a conspiracy and a hoax to me. Doctored studies. Manipulated data. Shutting out contrary views. Is this the scientific method? This story can't be just shrugged off and dismissed as the rantings of the flat-earth, tin-foil-hat crowd. Of course there is the possibility that the released documents are fakes. We don't know enough about this story to jump to conclusions. Even if the documents prove genuine that does not negate the physical evidence of the receding glaciers and shrinking ice caps, but it does call into question the reliability of the science.

This story was published by the Australian magazine Investigate (link). The world deserves answers. What is the real evidence of global warming? How influential was this research center. Who were those skeptical scientists who were denied the right to have their research considered? Was those contrary voices ever heard from? I am not ready to jump ship and join the skeptics, but I am a lot less certain of my acceptance of the science of global warming today than I was yesterday. I am waiting for answers. Some one tell me why I should still believe in global warming.

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GOP Donelson/Hermitage “Bacon and Eggs” summit huge success

On Saturday, the Davidson County Republican Party had its first meeting of the Davidson County GOP Donelson/Hermitage Group. About thirty people attended the breakfast at the Donelson Pike Shoney’s. The purpose of the meeting was for local conservative-minded residents of the Donelson and Hermitage areas to meet one another and to discuss strategies for electing candidates in the future.

Jane Farrel of the TN Energy Forum spoke on energy policy and the pending cap and trade bill before Congress. Metro Councilman Randy Foster spoke on the roll of the Metro Council and issues pending before the Metro Council, including the proposal to build a new convention center. I addressed the group and spoke on the roll of volunteers and how people can organize to win elections. Barry Donegan, Regional Vice Chair who represents this region on the Party Executive Committee conducted the meeting. There was a lot of lively discussion and enthusiasm.

Davidson County has always been a one-party county with a weak Republican Party that has kept a low profile. The current leadership of the Davidson County party is determined to change that. In April of this year, the Party had the largest number of delegates to the County Convention they have ever had. The County GOP is energized. The tea party rallies and opposition to Obamacare and concern over run away reckless spending have motivated people to get involved. Victories in taking the State House and Senate this year and prospects for winning the Governorship next year have further breathed new life into the local Party.

Plans are to establish at least seven regional Republican groups in Davidson County. These groups will hold monthly meetings and organize the party down to the precinct level. The Donelson/Hermitage meeting was the first effort in this campaign. The group will not meet in December but will resume monthly meetings starting in January. If you missed this meeting on Saturday and want to be notified of future meetings contact the party at or contact me at and I will pass on your contact information.

In addition to plans for the second meeting of the Donelson/Hermitage Group in January, plans are being made for the initial meeting of another group in the South Central region of the county. Volunteers are needed to help organize the Regions. Let us know if you want to be involved.

If you want to attend meetings just to stay informed and socilize with fellow like-minded people you are encougaged to attened. If you want to get really involved in building a viable Republican Party in Davidson County, there is plenty to do. Anyone is welcome to attend any of the meetings. You do not have to wait until your region is organized. Get on the list. Get involved!

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Senate health bill includes budget tricks

November 21, 2009, Gannett News Service: Analysis, By BILL THEOBALD

WASHINGTON -You could hear the sighs of relief last week from Senate Democratic leaders when the Congressional Budget Office reported that their health care bill wouldn't increase the federal deficit.

The nonpartisan CBO said the legislation would reduce the deficit by $130 billion from 2010-2019, a finding that will be key to selling the idea to the public and to complying with a no-red-ink mandate from President Barack Obama.

But peel back the numbers in the CBO report, and you find the sort of bookkeeping shenanigans that wouldn't pass muster around most kitchen tables in Tennessee.

The first gimmick has to do with something commonly referred to as the "doctor fix." Back in 1997, Congress set up a system to automatically cut Medicare reimbursements to doctors if program costs rose too quickly.

Every year since then, costs have indeed risen. But just as the reimbursement cuts are about to kick in, Congress always steps in and "fixes" (i.e., nullifies) them. Some call this kowtowing to doctors, but policymakers fear that cutting reimbursement rates would cause many doctors to drop their Medicare patients.

The Senate health care proposal assumes Congress would approve its standard doctor fix only in the first year the reforms take effect. The amount paid to doctors serving Medicare patients would be cut sharply after that.

Total savings: about $200 billion.

So does that mean doctors' Medicare reimbursement rates would really be cut? Nope. On Thursday, the House voted to perform the same doctor fix it always has, but in a measure separate from the health care reform bill.

The next bit of financial sleight of hand relates to a proposed long-term care insurance program called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act.

CBO officials looked at how much the program would cost only during the health care bill's 2010-2019 budget window. Over that period, the program would be taking in lots of premiums but would be spending very little on health services because most people enrolled in it would be too young to need those services.

The result: $72 billion in savings.

A final bit of fiscal finagling comes from delaying by one year the date when people would start getting federal subsidies to buy health insurance. Earlier proposals called for the subsidies to begin in 2013. The current Senate bill specifies 2014.

Total savings: about $15 billion.

Eliminate all these dubious accounting tricks from the health care bill, and you end up not with a deficit reduction, but with a deficit increase of more than $150 billion over the decade.

"It shows the tremendous lack of respect Congress has in dealing with the American people," Republican Sen. Bob Corker said. "It's almost beyond belief."

Bill Theobald covers Tennessee issues at Gannett News Service's Washington bureau. E-mail him at Copyright ©2009

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