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Home | 2017 | June

Scrapbook for June 2017

29.06.2017 – Progress Illinois Style

Illinois, 'The Land of Lincoln', the state where Barack Obama did his community organizing, leads the way.

  • Illinois has been without a budget for two years and its bonds, already the lowest in the nation, face a downgrade to junk.
  • On June 15, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner called a special 10-Day legislative session to finalize a budget.
  • We are now in the eighth day of the special session.
  • The special sessions cost Illinois taxpayers $50,000 a Day.
  • The special sessions have lasted from 10 to 23 minutes at the longest.
  • Progress was announced yesterday: My sources tell me that by an 84-0 vote, part of I-55 will be renamed the Obama Expressway.

Mike Shedlock via ZeroHedge.com

All very amusing… …unless you are a pensioner resident there.

25.06.2017 – Arnie's smallest audience

Arnie and Pope

'I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle'.
H/t: about 20 other blogs.

22.06.2017 – Dim and dimmer

In purely eugenics terms, nothing good was ever going to come out of the pairing of Dim Charles and Dim Diana. The latter died whilst racing around Paris escorted by a dim Egyptian playboy and driven by a dim drunk. The former is a gullible idiot.

In the run up to the twentieth anniversary of that tragic accident the dim twosome that resulted from that pairing have been giving interviews to whoever will listen implicitly blaming their dim father for all their dim mother's woes. Dim William is only just now getting over it all. Dim Harry tells us that he was forced to walk behind his mother's coffin, which is apparently something no child should be asked to do. He adds gratuitously that neither he nor anyone else in the family wants to succeed to the throne.

Thank you, Sir! The best news we republicans have had since your dim dad produced his Ladybird book. Off you go – Meghan is waiting.

22.06.2017 – Pulling teeth

The admission, when at last, after much tugging, twisting, squealing and weeping, we are finally holding it in the jaws of our dental pliers, comes out twisted and almost incomprehensible, so painful the extraction has been:

Over most of the early twenty-first century, however, model tropospheric warming is substantially larger than observed;

From the abstract of 'Causes of differences in model and satellite tropospheric warming rates' by Ben Santer et al. (Yes, that Ben Santer). H/t Powerline.

Read it again. The tropospheric warming of models? 'Observed' what? No better? Let's see what happens when we run it through our destrangulator, perhaps that might help:

For at least the last 16 years, the warming of the troposphere predicted by models has been substantially larger than the observed warming.

Hmm, better, but not quite there yet. What 'observed warming'? – there hasn't been any. Let's shove it through again:

For at least the last 16 years, the change in the temperature anomaly of the troposphere predicted by models has been substantially larger than the observed temperature anomalies.

Almost there, but there is still something wrong. Send it through again (Monte Carlo procedure or what?):

For at least the last 16 years the predictions of climate models for the temperature anomaly of the troposphere have been completely wrong.

That's better. That, Professors Santer et al., is the little rotten stump you can see in the dish. That must have been hurting you a lot for some time now. Better out than in. Rinse!

Now, who's going to tell all the politicians, bureaucrats, planners and 'climate scientists' whose advocacy and actions are based on the predictions of these models about this rotten stump in our dish?

20.06.2017 – Summer solstice

Tomorrow is the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere, the traditional first day of summer. We in Europe have a large high pressure area parked above us, so it is hot and still. There's a painting for that:

Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923), 'Corriendo por la playa' (detail), 1908.

Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923), Corriendo por la playa, 'Running on the beach' (detail), 1908. Image: Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Oviedo, Colección Pedro Masaveu, ©Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias.

20.06.2017 – Trump: the first five months

Writing on Powerline David Horowitz looks at the reality of the first five months of Donald Trump's presidency and finds a president more sinned against than sinning. Well argued and worth a read.

15.06.2017 – North update: no hope

A quick peek through the peephole of Richard North's padded cell at eureferendum.com. The previous case notes documenting the patient's decline are available here: 2016/04, 2016/08, 2016/11, 2017/02, 2017/02.

Condition worsening. The guards tell us that he has been crashing around the walls quite a lot recently. It's hard work trying to follow his ravings, but it appears that, as usual, his rage is directed at all the bovine politicians and mentally defective media commentators who have no idea what they are talking about and who are ignoring his Flexcit and his 450 monologues monographs about Brexit.

Every day the patient exhibits at least one long, violent rant about the ignorant fools who are sleepwalking to their doom: as soon as Brexit occurs in 2019 all trade between the EU and the UK will come to a halt, food will be rotting in trucks having to wait weeks for clearance at understaffed Customs posts etc. – if only the fools would listen to him!

Yesterday the patient got to see articles by some commentators who seemed to be recommending some of his nostrums without mentioning him or crediting his monologues monographs. The incomprehensible lack of acknowledgment of his ideas by people whom he has grossly insulted for a decade has now tipped him over the edge into wailing self-pity.

It is clear that allowing his son Pete 'how to be a complete bastard' North to occupy an adjacent cell has not helped. They just egg each other on.

Recommendations: 1—Don't remind the patient that the chief plagiarist is also a believer in green energy. 2—Continue confinement until after Brexit. 3—Stop visits by this man, who seems to be making matters worse:

Sir Detail explains. Image: eureferendum

13.06.2017 – Steady as she goes

'Strong and stable' Theresa May became UK Prime Minister on 13 July 2016. She waited for more than eight months before finally triggering the Brexit process by invoking Article 50 on 28 March 2017. At that moment the 24-month clock started ticking down. Three weeks later on 18 April, she announced her intention to hold a surprise election on 8 June 2017. Let's not rush things, though: for some reason the traditional four-week election campaign would be an eight-week campaign in this case. In normal life, this would be the equivalent of the builders arriving to start on the new house, putting a few pegs in the ground, then going off for a two-month holiday. She spent the last three weeks of her campaign in hiding and ended up with a minority government. The Tory party has now closed ranks around this damaged idiot. Now she has shuffled her cabinet around there are barely 21 months left on the clock.

13.06.2017 – Jack of all trades, master of none

Political reshuffles in the UK never fail to deliver evidence of the detachment of politics from the realities by which the rest of us have to live.

They seem to be based on the absurd principle that any politician is capable of doing anything. As a result, it is hardly ever possible to see a reason why a particular politician is given a particular post. The main qualification seems to be ignorance.

Then, after a few months, when a minister is just starting to get to grips with the brief (or not, as the case may be), the music begins again and all the chairs change occupants.

The latest example of this is the appointment of Michael Gove as Environment Secretary. Mr Gove had a few years at the Department of Education, allegedly made some progress, then was whisked off to do some whipping, then became Secretary of State for Justice. Now, after his fall from grace, he returns as Environment Secretary. It is difficult to see what the three posts have in common that one individual is suitable to fill each one.

He puts his ignorance of the subject on view straight away:

Quizzed on Good Morning Britain about whether President Trump was wrong to withdraw from the accord, Mr Gove said: “Yes, I think he is wrong. I think that we need international co-operation in order to deal with climate change.

“And I think the Paris Accord which my friend Amber Rudd had a huge role in helping to shape is a significant step forward.

“The only way in which you can deal with this challenge, the only way in which we can enhance the environment to pass on to our children in a better state is by working across borders.”

Admittedly, this is a piece purveyed by the mad, green, trumpophobe marxists at the Press Association, but even so. We have to presume that these words have been correctly reported. As far as the Paris Agreement is concerned, you don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows: whilst other countries are revising their positions in the light of the US withdrawal from Paris, the new idiot at the UK Department of the Environment wants to carry on regardless with this lunacy.

11.06.2017 – The art of political survival

John Redwood, a senior Conservative MP, has written an account of his election campaign. It is an interesting read, all of it, of a politician trying hard not to be disloyal to his idiot leadership whilst at the same time trying to save his own political skin. A particularly telling paragraph (our emphasis):

When I saw the campaign theme and materials based around strong and stable leadership I felt the need to say something more to my electors, and to remind them that the local election was still about judging a local candidate to be MP, as well as choosing a national party to govern. That meant not using the template second leaflet of the Conservative party which left far too little space to set out what an individual candidate wants to do and how they see things, but creating one of our own. I wrote about the economy, taxes, planning, transport, schools and the other leading matters that constituents had told me in emails, letters, and conversations mattered to them. I explained briefly what I was doing, what I wanted to do next and where I was seeking change.

The strategy worked: He was returned with a comfortable majority of 18,798 and lost only 1.1% of the vote share. Even so, Labour increased its vote share by 10.6%.

Election results, GE 2017, Wokingham. Image: ©BBC

10.06.2017 – No wheels on her waggon

Theresa May's statement to a grateful nation from Downing Street yesterday only confirms her deluded dimness. The icononography of this moment is telling: her husband, who has no official position at all, is standing close by, otherwise she is alone; a doughnut of senior cabinet minsters behind her would have been more appropriate and reassuring.

She believes that she will go on for another five years with her laundry-list government. Only 24 hours later every media outlet is already speculating about who will replace her. Westminster echoes with the cluck of vengeful chickens coming home to roost – the traditional political metaphor of back-stabbing is rather tasteless these days.

She went to the nation to gain an increased majority to strengthen her position in the Brexit negotiations and ended up with no majority at all. From the podium in Downing Street it appears now that this majority wasn't really important – she can rule perfectly well with a minority government.

We on this blog have known for a long time that she was dim: almost everything she has ever said has been vapidly platitudinous or self-contradictory. She has achieved the remarkable feat of making even Boris Johnson sound profound.

The most worrying manifestation of this dimness has been her approach to the Brexit negotiations: that she must not show her hand, she must keep her cards close to her chest, everything will be clear in due course.

This is just a cover for the deepest intellectual ignorance and timidity. The Brexit negotiations are not a card game. Does anyone but her really think that, a year from now, the UK negotiators will slip a document out of a folder and place it on the table: 'Monsieur Barnier, you seem to have overlooked something'? The EU has already laid out a long list of areas to be covered from their point of view. The UK, on the back foot, can now only react to this. The sooner this thicko is gone, the better.

10.06.2017 – Tesla – makes your hair stand on end

A interesting insight into the financial oddity that is Tesla from the US financial and political website ZeroHedge.

In terms of market capitalisation, Tesla has just become the fourth largest car maker in the world, after Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagen. The company now has a capitalisation of over 61 billion USD It is now ahead of GM, Ford and BMW:

Tesla Markt-Cap 1, zerohedge.com

'Well done that man Musk!', you are saying, capitalism's finest. Well, not quite, since Tesla only sold just over 76 thousand cars last year, compared with over 10 million for GM worldwide, 6.65 million for Ford, and 2.36 million for BMW. The following chart of market capitalisation per car sold in 2017 is an odd viewpoint, but oddities like Tesla require odd viewpoints:

Tesla Markt-Cap 2, zerohedge.com

The market capitalisation is real money, of course, but in Tesla's case has little relation to value. Tesla is not primarily a producer of cars, but of capital.

If the USA and other governments around the world pulled their subsidies for Tesla and its vehicles then the value of the company would suddenly be the value of its scrap metal. Subtracting debts and obligations would then take the Wunderkind into that deep red zone, a.k.a.'reality'. The real value of Tesla is a long way below the bottom of the first chart.

Update 11.06.2017
Note for Tesla shareholders: This is what happens when the public subsidies stop flowing – a 60% drop in sales. Note for Tesla owners: When the supply of spare parts dries up, the service network collapses and the Tesla-specific charging outlets fail to materialise, your amortisation will be 100%.

09.06.2017 – Hung parliament, unfortunately not properly

The phrase 'hung parliament' always suggests a wonderful result; a result that sadly never transpires. Ah well, one day, perhaps.

There is still a lot of pleasure to be taken away from the result of the General Election in the UK. Theresa May, that high-profile embodiment of the 'Peter Principle' – that people are ultimately always promoted into their zone of incompetence – will now spiral to earth. In her case the autopsy will reveal there were no wings to burn, since in her dismal political career so far she has been simply been 'wafted by a favouring gale', like the Lord High Executioner in the Mikado, through successive zones of incompetence 'To a height that few can scale, Save by long and weary dances'. She had been close to getting the sack even in Cameron's dismal government. From this low point she was wafted up by the buffeting breezes of a bruising leadership election to the top job. No wings needed to be fluttered in this process.

So she has to go – and good riddance to this bossy, dim harridan. Were it not for a handful of bemused voters in Amber Rudd's constituency we might have also got rid of that other dimwit at the same time.

But what now? No idea. In each of the 650 constituencies there is an n-dimensional scatterplot of reasons why its voters voted the way they did. Nationwide there is a scatterplot of scatterplots. The pundits will gaze on these Rorschach splats and project their own opinions into them. Who knows?

Perhaps the shocked Tories will metamorphose into the truly conservative party so desired by Peter Hitchins. Perhaps they will go the opposite way and try and regain the limp-wristed, socially liberal 'centre ground'. Perhaps UKIP, realising that everything it worked for and gained now seems to be at risk of ending in complete failure, will dump the repellent Scouser and pull itself together. And pigs might fly, of course, with or without wafting from favouring gales.

It seems unlikely that there will be improvements to the desperately vulnerable security situation, even if someone competent takes it over, because there is no majority and no will for the necessary measures.

07.06.2017 – Swedish National Day

The Swedish royal family exposes itself in traditional Swedish folk costumes for the Swedish National Day, 6 June.

Some members of the Swedish royal family, National Day 2017

Or rather, the WAGs do this. We were going to make a joke or two about this chauvinism in such a socially progressive country – until we looked up the folk costumes for Swedish men: bright yellow knee-breeches and a bright blue waistcoat. The conservative suits were a wise decision, boys.

Remark Charles the Unbathed third from left, looking grumpy, as usual.

06.06.2017 – One proxy reconstruction doth not a denial make. Fifty-eight: probably.

CAGW believers start hyperventilating about the coming doom whenever one paper is published which seems to support their mindset. And of course, let us not forget that 97% of climate scientists agree with them.

On 29 May 2017 in the excellent climate blog NoTricksZone Kenneth Richard reproduced 80 graphs from 58 scientific papers published so far in 2017. Here's just the first one:

From Büntgen et al., 2017

Kenneth Richard concludes:

Just within the last 5 months, 58 more papers and 80 new graphs have been published that continue to undermine the popularized conception of a slowly cooling Earth temperature history followed by a dramatic hockey-stick-shaped uptick, or an especially unusual global-scale warming during modern times.

Yes, some regions of the Earth have been warming in recent decades or at some point in the last 100 years. Some regions have been cooling for decades at a time. And many regions have shown no significant net changes or trends in either direction relative to the last few hundred to thousands of years.

Succinctly, then, scientists publishing in peer-reviewed journals have increasingly affirmed that there is nothing historically unprecedented or remarkable about today’s climate when viewed in the context of long-term natural variability.

Kenneth Richard should be congratulated for the effort he has put into this contribution.

The position of this blog is that, although historical temperature constructions are not uninteresting, as long as the newest and best estimates of the sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide continue to hover around the 1°C mark there are really no grounds to even discuss the impacts of CAGW – because there aren't any.

05.06.2017 – Smile, you're on Candid Camera

Almost everyone in the world is carrying around a video recording device these days.

How CNN thought they could get away with setting up a completely fake pro-Muslim demonstration at a crime scene in the middle of London involving 15-20 demonstrators is a mystery. They are not only biased and fake, they are also dim.

CNN Stages Anti-ISIS Protest In London. John Hinderaker, 4 June 2017

Powerline commented:

Mark Antro observed CNN staging a protest by Muslims against ISIS and terrorism, and filmed it. As you watch the video, you can see that this is not a bona fide demonstration that CNN observed and reported on. Rather, the entire event–one could say, the pitifully small event–is being stage-directed by CNN for its cameras, to advance CNN’s narrative. In this case, the story CNN wants to promote is that most Muslims reject extremism. That might be true, but if so, it would be nice to see more than 15 or 20 people participating in a faked event.

Once CNN was done shooting, the 'protesters' dispersed.

[…]

This is a good example of fake news of an unusually important kind. One of the great issues of our time is whether 'normal' Muslims are willing to take decisive action against Islamic terrorism. The evidence so far is not encouraging; if it were, CNN and the AP wouldn’t need to stage photo-ops.

Quite.

05.06.2017 – Lucky Lukens

Apart from considerations of etiquette there are good reasons not to eat your breakfast whilst surfing the net. You might come across the photo of the US Chargé d’Affaires ad interim in London, Lewis Lukens:

Lewis Lukens, Charge d'affaires ad interim in London. Image ©U.S. Department of State

Lukens has hit the news today for contradicting President Trump's opinion of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as a useless Pangloss who minimizes the dangers of terrorism in London. Lukens praised Kahn for his 'strong leadership'.

Our reader(s) will remember Lukens as the Hillary Clinton courtier who administered the setting up of her illegal email server. Instead of warning her of the grave security risks she was running and the patent illegality of such a system, he just did what his mistress required without question.

Now we find him in London, keeping the ambassador's chair warm for Trump's man Robert Wood Johnson, who is still waiting to be nominated and confirmed, six months after the Trump presidency began. Trump's swamp-draining pumps are obviously clogged. Lukens knows his days are numbered, so he will make his Clinton masters happy just as long as he can. Deep state, anyone?

Now finish wiping the remnants of your hearty breakfast off that monitor – champagne is bad for the screen.

04.06.2017 – Enough is enough

Mrs Theresa 'Nasty Party' May was the United Kingdom's Home Secretary for over six years (2010-2016) and thus ultimately responsible for policing, justice, security and immigration in the United Kingdom. Her tenure was marked by one administrative and political disaster after another.

She has been Prime Minister since 2016. After denying categorically on several occasions that she would call an election, she called an election on an electorate wearied by voting.

Her campaign made little or no mention of her party, but was based on a Stalinist-Maoist personality cult. Her bossy speeches since becoming Prime Minister have all had an autocratic, mercantilist flavour to them. Her election manifesto, which really is 'her' manifesto, since she appears to have consulted no one else in her party during its writing, is a laundry list of things to be fixed by government intervention.

At the start of her campaign the polls were forecasting a large Conservative majority – the only doubt being whether the majority would be merely large or immense. Currently the polls are showing the Conservatives and Labour just about tied. Her current talent on display is that of brazenly avoiding answering questions.

After the Westminster Bridge atrocity last month the motto was a loud 'carry on'. After the recent Manchester atrocity the people were given a slightly more subdued 'carry on'. Today, after the London Bridge atrocity, we are told that 'It is time to say enough is enough'.

Why it wasn't time to say that after any of the other events in the baleful series of terror attack is a puzzle – the slaughtered and maimed on Westminster Bridge, ditto at the Manchester teeny concert, weren't they 'enough'? Mrs May had six years as Home Secretary and a year as Prime Minister to say that, but she didn't.

You don't think it's really the fault of the people, do you? 'There is, to be frank, too much tolerance of extremism in the country', she tells us. What can we do? 'Everybody must go about their lives as they normally would'. Carry on, again? Yes, but now you 'must' do it.

Her solution? Some bottom-spanking: 'And if we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terror-related offences, even for apparently less serious offences, that is what we will do'. That will really give the suicide attackers and their supporters pause for thought. Oh, silly me! I overlooked the word 'if'.

03.06.2017 – Breakfast like an emperor

An anecdote from a recent article by Ronald D. Gerste in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on the life-affirming properties of a good breakfast:

Otto von Bismarck, according to the shocked observation of his doctor, ate up to sixteen eggs every morning for breakfast. He washed these down with coffee and champagne. The 'Iron Chancellor' justified what we moderns would regard as his excessive breakfast by noting that quite a bit was demanded of his body and mind during the course of the day: 'I can conclude no reasonable peace, if I'm not given enough to eat and drink.'

From Ronald D. Gerste, 'Frühstücken wie ein Kaiser', Neue Zürcher Zeitung 01.05.2017. Bismarck lived to be 83.

Otto von Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), ND (printed 1900), Image: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz.