Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Craig's Tryst

Jay Reding, once again, parrots Hugh Hewwit:

Undoubtedly had Craig been a Democrat, this story would be largely over, those criticizing the Senator would be labeled homophobes, and Craig would be already planning his memoirs — see disgraced New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey or Barney Frank — both of whom put their trysting partners on the government payroll.

Except that gay Democrats, being largely well-adjusted individuals at peace with their homosexuality, rarely have a need to troll men's rooms for sex.

The reason that such behavior is indemic to Republicans is because the cognitive dissonance of being gay, yet hating yourself and everyone who you would want to have sex with, drives one to seek these anonymous trysts in bathrooms. Honestly I think that's much worse than putting one's mister or mistress on the payroll, which people have been doing since they invented secretaries.

Anyway it's not exactly clear why tapping one's foot in a bathroom is a fundamentally worse infraction than David Vitter actually breaking the law by paying for sex with prostitutes. Obviously, the more of your guys who step down this way, the better for America; nonetheless, it's obvious that there's a homophobic double standard at work here among conservatives. Vitter received a standing ovation for his behavior; but of course the long knives come out for Craig.

Jim McGreevy resigned, incidentally, and Golan Cipel actually did work for his campaign and in his office; there's also some confusion as to whether or not the relationship was consensual or not. I'm not sure he's a very good example of a double standard that Democrats find beneficial.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lawyers don't know Science

Jay Reding is is retarded:

Global warming studies should be conducted under rigorous scientific conditions using the same double-blind methods commonly used to eliminate bias in drug tests.

...WTF? Double-blind methods are only used in drug studies because drug studies are the only studies where you have to worry about placebo effect, which is the only thing double-blinding eliminates.

In a sense, climate measurement is already double-blind - the Earth is blind, and the thermometers are blind. Double-blinding is appropriate where the focus of study is a population of human individuals, because people in drug studies have to subjectively rate their experiences and the degree to which they're feeling better. And people will claim to be feeling better if they perceive they're expected to feel better.

But the Earth won't warm just because you expect it to. The problem here is that Jay doesn't understand what double-blinding actually means, or how it would be relevant to climatology - and he doesn't care to, of course. He doesn't suggest it in good faith. It's a cypher, a shibboleth, an impossible bar that climatology by definition can never meet, all to prevent Jay from having to deal with the inconvenient reality of anthropogenic climate change.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Why Jay Can't Argue

There's a reason why it's so ridiculously easy to argue with Jay Reding, and it's because he doesn't pay any attention to what you say. For instance, this exchange with him I had this morning, on the subject of the non-science of economics:

Jay: So, an economy is too complex to apply any known model to, but scientists can predict exactly how much the temperature will rise based on nothing but climate modeling… apparently since the science of economics doesn’t agree with your political viewpoints, the science must be wrong.

Me: Economists can’t even agree on whether or not economies are driven by supply or demand - the most basic factual question possible.

That would be like scientists not being able to agree on whether or not electrons moved towards or away from the anode.

It has nothing to do with my political viewpoints - since the “science” of economics doesn’t agree with reality, it’s basically nonsense. I’ve certainly never met a real scientist who takes it at all seriously. It’s just made-up, like philosophy and theology. It’s as relevant to understanding the world as the stats on the front of a Pokemon card. It’s not any kind of science - it’s just a social club for people who couldn’t master rigorous data collection methods to pretend like they’re studying something.

Jay: So apparently since most economists don’t agree with your political viewpoint, then the whole science of economics is obviously wrong.

Is there an echo in here? No, it's just business as usual for the Single Malted Pundit - make assertions, don't listen to rebuttals, cast aspersions, (work yourself up into a) lather, rinse repeat.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jay Reding - Wrong on the Science Yet Again

From Jayreding.com:

Computer modeling is based on our assumptions about the Earth’s climate, which may or may not be accurate.

The accuracy of those assumptions can, and has been, verified by comparisons with past data. Same as with any other computational model. They hold up.

We’re in a period of increased solar warming which can have effects on global temperatures.

No, we're not. Solar output hasn't increased significantly since 1940, and indeed, has been falling slightly in the past ten years. Solar output is not responsible for global warming.

We don’t fully understand how the planet’s magnetic field effects temperature.

The planet's magnetic field doesn't fluctuate that much over these timescales. No serious scientist thinks there's a magnetic field connection.

There are a whole host of unanswered questions which defy the easy answers given to us by global warming advocates.

None of those questions justify a wholesale rejection on the vast scientific consensus of anthropogenic global warming. Global warming deniers, of course, have a vast amount of unanswered questions of their own - for instance, where does all the anthropogenic CO2 being emitted at the rate of 2-3 Pinatubo-sized eruptions every year go, if not into the atmosphere? What does it do there, if not the same thing all CO2 does - trap heat that would otherwise radiate into space? There are severe physical problems with climate change models that purport to reject anthropogenic climate change, and for all that deniers claim to be "asking questions", they've never had substantial answers to the questions put to them.

You're way out in the cold on this one, Jay (if you'll pardon the pun), and you have been from the start.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jay on "Free Speech"

Don Imus’ idiotic comments were just that — idiotic. However, what he’s exposed is how a cadre of race-baiting hucksters are working to undermine free speech in this country. If Don Imus were a rapper, he could talk about “nappy-headed hos” all the way to Grammy and never be given a dirty look by anyone. Yet because Imus is white, the racial sensitivity police feel the need to go on the offensive and ensure that such terrible words are never uttered on the public airwaves again — unless of course, they’re spoken by a rapper.

Imus’ comment was a contemptible act, but it was hardly worth the public lynching he’s now receiving — especially not at the hands of a racist like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. If it’s wrong to use such terms to describe black women, then the Reverends would be far better off attacking the “ghetto” culture that treats black women as sex objects, refers to them frequently as “bitches” and “hos” and glorifies violence, drugs, and mindless rebellion.

Setting aside the fact that the rampant sexism and drug culture in rap music has been the target of criticism from both within and without the black community for years (including by both Sharpton and Jackson), isn't it weird that Jay Reding only stands up for free speech when that speech is racism directed at black people?

I mean, if we were talking about someone who had criticized the war in Iraq, or the Bush Administration, we'd be hearing from Jay (and the rest of the right-wing) how that speech "undermined our troops", how it was "treason", and how the speakers should be "executed for treason."

Jay's acting like he's the first person in the world to discover that there's sexism and racism in rap lyrics, and that the reason it's there is because black people are all racists and sexists who couldn't be bothered to object to it.

But that doesn't make any sense. It's white kids who love hip-hop, too; and it's white people who largely own the record companies. To a large extent, it's a white industry generating music for white consumption. So who, exactly, is the community that should be standing up to demand a higher standard in their music?

And it's not like racism and sexism is limited to hip-hop. Country music doesn't exactly represent a universal paradise of equality and respect of women (as I learned over two summers of working with country music fans in Missouri cornfields), and good luck trying to blame that on black people. I can't remember any time that I flipped past CMT and saw a black face. Are there even any black country music stars? But I notice nobody's having a conversation about sexism and racism in country music. I guess if you're a southern hayseed, you get a pass for not knowing any better.

Plus - you shouldn't have to tell a college-educated person this, but a discussion about white-on-black racism is definitely not the place where you want to refer to the white guy as undergoing a "public lynching." I mean, how stupid can you be?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Deconstructing a Defense, Part II

Shorter Jay Reding:

"Separation of powers means the Executive Branch can do whatever the hell it wants, including lying to Congress, suborning perjury, interfering with corruption investigations of Bush Administration allies, inserting language in legislation without Congress's knowledge to expand executive power, and using anti-terror provisions to spy on Americans for reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Deconstructing a Defense

Shorter Jay Reding:

"Clinton did something like it, so it can't be bad; people I parrot tell me it's no big deal; just because there's questions doesn't mean there's a scandal; anyway, George Bush can do whatever the hell he wants."

This is basically Jay's litany any time there's emerging evidence of Bush administration wrongdoing, which, let's face it, is just about all the time. The simple truth is that Alberto Gonzales lied under oath to Congress, and that prosecutors were fired because they refused to manipulate the 2006 elections to the benefit of the GOP. Only someone drinking deeply from the Bush Cult of Personality kool-aid could come to the conclusion that this is "no big deal."