Friday, February 12, 2010

LGF: The Canker Sore You Just Keep on Licking

I've been posting a lot lately about what a 'tard Charles at LGF can be. Today is no exception. We have the LGF headline: Man charged with stockpiling weapons: Tea Partier and Palin Fan. This eye-roll inducing headline is typical of Charles' take on us knuckle draggers. Let's have a closer look. Charles sums up the situation:
A Massachusetts man arrested Tuesday and charged with possessing explosives and a stockpile of weapons was a tea partier and a fan of Sarah Palin.
Massachusetts. Great place to start for those of us who know the secret gun-nut handshake. They have a law in MA against possessing "a stockpile of weapons"? News to me, but I'm not surprised. I'm also not convinced that it's even true. On the LGF webpage, Charles quotes from an article on the subject:
As we reported yesterday, Gregory Girard, a Manchester technology consultant, was found with a stash of military grade weapons, explosive devices including tear gas and pepper ball canisters, camouflage clothing, knives, handcuffs, bulletproof vests and helmets, and night vision goggles, say police.
Oh. Brother. He had a "stash of military grade weapons"? I have that, I think... I'm not entirely sure what constitutes a stash. He had camo clothing? OMG?!??!!! Oh, wait, I have that too. Turns out to be handy for turkey hunting. Night vision goggles??!? OMG!!?? Call SWAT!!!

Then we find that he's a "Tea Partier and Palin Fan." Big freaking whoop. Out of the 10 bazillion "Tea Partiers and Palin Fans" we find a lone nutter. You can find nutters everywhere if you look hard enough. But let's get back to the weapons angle. The second linked, but unquoted, article is a little more specific:
Girard, who lived at 23B Bridge St., with his wife and 16-year-old son, was charged with four counts of possession of grenade type explosive devices — including tear gas and explosive pepper ball canisters — and four counts of possession of dangerous weapons which include two police fixed batons and two police expandable batons.
Ah, so there's the problem, the "grenade type explosives." Not really sure what those are. And batons. Seriously? The guy did own some guns so the news outfit obviously is going to show a pic of the "stockpile":

So that's a stockpile, eh? He's got a bunch of bolt action hunting rifles, some with wood stocks, and some with synthetic stocks, all very common to deer hunting. He's got what looks like a flare gun and maybe a couple pistols. And he's got a single "sporter" version of an AK type weapon (note the lack of the evil pistol grip). Talk about lame, the dude's got no tactical cred at all. Stockpile my ass.

What we do have is a guy with emotional problems, obviously getting a little too paranoid, and he's got a bunch of rifles, none of them very interesting. Any particular reason why the number of rifles is important? Can a lone nutter shoot with more than one bolt action rifle at a time? The guy only has two hands. Come on people, lame lame lame.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Charles Non-science on Climate Change Again

My new buddy Charles at LGF has posted again on climate change. Once again, he takes sides without considering why his side might be dumb. In this instance, he links to a Times article about the latest snow storms back east. Charles writes in this regard:
One of the most ignorant (and often intentionally deceptive) “common sense” talking points promoted by the climate denial industry is that cold weather proves global warming theories are a hoax. Every time there’s a blizzard, this hoary old chestnut is taken out of the freezer, thawed out, and hyped by all the usual suspects, including the Republican Party. And every time they defrost it, it smells worse.
Charles has apparently not noticed how the opposite "common sense" talking points have been dragged out for years by the media every time there's a heat wave somewhere. Now, anecdotal evidence pro or con AGW is not science and the number of scare stories, heat waves, snow storms, etc doesn't affect my opinion on the subject of AGW.

Then Charles trots out the Times story. Here we find:
Brace yourselves now — this may be a case of politicians twisting the facts. There is some evidence that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm. As the meteorologist Jeff Masters points out in his excellent blog at Weather Underground, the two major storms that hit Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this winter — in December and during the first weekend of February — are already among the 10 heaviest snowfalls those cities have ever recorded. The chance of that happening in the same winter is incredibly unlikely.
Hey Charles, brace your own self now — but that's the same stupid argument that you always rally against in regards to intelligent design / creationism: "Hey, whoa, the odds of that happening are really small, hence..." It's dumb in creation / ID, and it's dumb here.

And if you really want to talk about probability, the probability of any particular thing happening at some time or other that is not the expected outcome in a system with randomly varying aspects is small. But big-whoop, the probability of the exact expected outcome occurring is also quite small. The likelihood of the occurance of an event is pretty weak evidence. So quit being dumb.

UPDATE: I should have thought of this sooner. If one checks the weather forecast at for yesterday in DC, we find that the blizzard conditions are accompanied by daily temperatures ranging from a high of 36 deg F to a low of 21 deg F. The seasonal average temperature this time of year in DC ranges from a high of 45 deg F to a low of 29 deg F. So I'm to understand that global warming caused the below-average temperatures in DC as well as the accompanying snowstorm? I thought the Times article said that colder air was drier air. And we're supposed to believe that the 1.4 deg F change in temperatures in the last 150 years lead to the snowstorm back east, eh?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Charles Brings the Apple Dumb

We all know that Charles of LGF fame is an Apple fanboy. I personally hate the company, and I also hate my iPhone, which I also like, but hate. But I really do hate Apple, especially for their evil involvement in the bogus anti-trust actions taken against Microsoft back in the day.

Anyway, Charles linked to another dumb piece. This one about "The significance of the A4," which is the new processor used in the iPad. The reason this piece is dumb is that it makes an apples to oranges comparison between two chips:
It [PA Semi's chip] ran at 2.0 GHz with an average of 13 watts of power consumption and a peak of 25 watts. Meanwhile, Intel's more traditionally-designed Merom Core 2 Duo LV L7700—the closest competition at the time—could only run at 1.8 GHz with a max of 17 watts.
The reason this is apples to oranges is that chip clock speed is a poor measure of computing speed. My 1.6 GHz Intel Core CPU can do mathematical computations more than twice as quickly as my old Pentium 4 at 3 GHz.

Without some real measure of performance, the comparison above is useless. But like all things, Charles heaps praise on things he likes (Obama, Apple, big government, liberal stuff, eco-babble, etc.) and scorn for things he doesn't like (normal right of center Americans who want the government to mostly leave them alone and not spend their money for them, all things Christian, etc.).

Another Reason to Dislike Charles at LGF

Apparently Charles at LGF has jumped on the Tea Bag wagon. What an A-hole. All these pathetic lefty losers are referring to the Tea Party movement as such. Yes, Charles has a valid point that some folks who show up to these events are mean idiots, but a lot more of them are good, decent, normal folks who don't like Big Government, and don't need four million and one government programs to make their lives better. That's the point of the movement. Why focus on the crazy? In any big movement like this you will inevitably bring out the crazy, but I choose to ignore them.

And about the Birther thing. I'm not a birther. I'm sure enough that Obama was born in the US and has a birth certificate to prove it, and I honestly don't care if he doesn't. What I am curious about is the fact that he won't let the public see the thing. What's he got to hide? Sorta strange, that's all. This doesn't keep me up at night, but it is interesting that Obama goes out of his way to hide his birth certificate and his college grades. Seems there's something in them that he doesn't want folks to see. If his college grades were great or outstanding, you know we'd have seen them.

More Eco-Lame from LGF

Charles of LGF fame has posted another eco-idiotic link to a Peter Sinclair video that apparently babbles on about plug-in hybrid cars as a "renewable energy solution of the month." Now, I have nothing against hybrid cars, nor plug in cars, nor hybrid plug-in cars, nor cars in general, but "renewable energy" they ain't. It apparently hasn't occurred to Charles that plug-in cars are coal powered, because that's where the majority of the electricity at the plug-in point comes from in this country.

Update: I was just about to watch the video, and it's been pulled by the user. I wonder if they just got the clue. Note to Charles: get the clue.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Why I Parted Ways With Little Green Footballs

As a long time reader of LGF, I've finally given up on Charles Johnson. While he was a great help in crushing Dan Rather in Memogate, and for his honesty about the rising threat of Islamism, he's also a left-leaning statist with nary a libertarian bone in his body. Among my gripes with Charles (I had these problems with him long before his "why I left the right" post, btw):

1. Frequent and incorrect accusations of "racism." FYI charles, Kenyan isn't a race. "Racist" has little meaning anymore, since leftists throw it around at the drop of a hat, and scientists can't even define race.

2. Banning me from comments when my comments included the crimes of:
  • writing that other commenters were being jerks to me, when they were being obvious jerks to me in comments.
  • asking if Charles was a prodigal son of the left.
That's it, that's all, and I got banned. Thanks Charles, really nice treatment there.

3. He's a complete ignoramus on the second amendment issue, parroting MSM scare articles without a clue.

4. Choosing sides in the AGW debate when he has a poor grasp of the science.

Regarding #4, case in point #1: Charles' link to The Climate Killers article in which we are invited to meet "the 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming." The problem with this idiotic link is that the authors omit MIT Professor Richard Lindzen, who is the top denier in the world, and who doesn't fit their bullshit.

Case in point #2: Charles' post New Study: US Weather Stations Not Biased Toward Warming.

If Charles had a critical eye, he would be a little skeptical of the results given by this "new study," which considered the effects of the situation of weather stations in the United States on the measured increase in temperature in the U.S. over the past century. As most of you hopefully already know, there have been complaints that some of these weather stations are poorly sited near building exhaust ports, on asphalt surfaces, etc., so that the temperatures measured at these sites will be warmer than if the weather stations had been sited better. Along comes Dr. Matthew Menne and his co-authors at NOAA NCDC with a study that looks at this problem. Their study is a good one, and shows that if these problematic stations are removed from the data set, voila! the temperature increase measured in the CONUS over the last century is actually a little higher than without the poorly sited station data.

This result, that omission of data from the poorly sited weather stations gives a greater increase in average temperatures in the CONUS, may indeed be correct. But the conclusion that "the badly situated stations tend to have a bias toward cooler temperatures" is problematic. It seems they are saying that the situation of these weather stations near probable sources of extra heat lead to cooler measurements. This is an odd result, which may turn out to be true, but it certainly warrants skepticism. Charles apparently isn't capable of such.

Here's what the researchers stated about the results:
While the poor sites had a slightly warmer average minimum temperature than the good sites (by 0.03°C), the average maximum temperature measured at the poor sites was significantly cooler (by 0.14°C) than the good sites. As a result, overall average temperatures measured at the poor sites were cooler than the good sites.
Here's the problem. The researchers don't know what the measured temperature at the poorly situated sites would have been had the sites been better situated. They only know that the poorly situated sites show overall average temperatures that are lower than those measured at the better situated sites.

There were 525 weather stations considered in the study. Of them, 71 were rated good (as in well-situated) and 454 were rated bad. The authors claim that
...the sites with good exposure, though small in number, are reasonably well distributed across the country and, as shown by Vose and Menne [2004], are of sufficient density to obtain a robust estimate of the CONUS average.
I don't have access to the Vose and Menne [2004] study mentioned, so I can't comment on the result as well as I'd like. We're supposed to just accept their result, that the 2004 study gave a "robust estimate." Robust can mean a lot of things, but in a scientific context it most often means strong. What it does not mean is accurate, otherwise they might have said that their estimate was not only robust but accurate. They didn't tell us how accurate their estimate was, nor did they compare the robustness or accuracy of their estimate to what we'd have had if all the temperature stations were well situated and used in the estimate.

Comparisons, people, I want them. And until I get them, I remain skeptical of these results.

Now here's the rub. Consider the following possibility that Charles and the study authors did not. Suppose the temperature stations were biased upward due to being poorly sited. The results of the study show that the overall average temperature in the CONUS is lower with data from these sites. If both these conjectures are true, then we have the overall result that the average temperature is actually cooler still than what is given with data from all 525 sites.

The reason this bothers me so much is that the authors seem to go out of their way to show the exact opposite result. On an anecdotal level, this seems to happen an awful lot, that errors in the research always show an increase in regional or global temperatures when corrected. Always. Sort of like how election recounts always favor Democrats. The probability of this always being the case is quite low, and so this warrants skepticism.

Anyway, the long and short of this mess is that Charles is off my reading list. He used to be on the side of the skeptics, so he claims, until he read all the stuff that he isn't capable of properly understanding, and was finally convinced. This is the problem with most people on both sides of the political spectrum taking sides in the AGW debate. Most of them aren't capable of understanding the science, and they really ought to stay out of believing one side or the other.

The big sis says I need another paragraph in here somewhere to wrap this up, but I'm out of gas, as usual. So long Charles, thanks for the links to Andy McKee.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Revenge is a dish best served...

We all went to a "white elephant" Christmas party this year, never been to one before. The kids were supposed to have their own, but in the end, due to limited time, the kids were included with the grownups. The story I have is long, so I'll shorten it: my 9 year old son ended up winning a five piece completer set. Needless to say, this was a bit of a bummer. At the same time, the idiots in our legislature here in Washington State are proposing a new Assault Weapons Ban.

So to get two birds with one stone, my son and I built his first AR. Now, while I specialize in 6.8, I thought it'd be fun to put together a .223 to have around, and it's better for the kid as the recoil is quite mild. Here's the result:

And now everyone is happy. The upper is built with a 16" YHM (read E.R. Shaw) barrel, Troy TRXE 9" forearm, CAA collapsible buttstock, and Young Manufacturing chrome bolt and carrier. The Noveske Flaming Pig flash hider the kid wants on there weighs a ton, so we take it off for shooting off hand for now.

Revenge is a dish best served... on a five piece completer set.