Saturday Open Thread: Margin Call Reviews

Has anyone seen "Margin Call"? Even though it just opened in theaters, it's also available on On Demand. I watched it last night. It was good but I wouldn't call it a "thriller" or "harrowing" like some. No one commits a crime, no one dies, no one is a hero. It's just about executives from a single company who, upon learning their numbers don't hold up, rationalize their decision to dump their over-leveraged real estate mortgages on other companies and create economic chaos. The only suspense, and it's mild, is whether the other top brass will go along.

It's getting great reviews. The New Yorker says it "is one of the strongest American films of the year and easily the best Wall Street movie ever made."

Some say it's Kevin Spacey's best work. I'd hardly call it that. Also, there was way too little background provided on the major characters, e.g., Demi Moore. It almost felt like walking into a movie in the middle. [More...]

Another criticism: the scheme wasn't described enough (other than in mathematical jibberish) to enable us to agree it would have caused national economic doom. We're just supposed to accept that because the firm's execs, who also don't understand it and say so, conclude that it will be the disaster of all time from one look at some bottom line numbers.

There were scenes where I expected something big would happen -- I won't give them away but they involve a bathroom and a rooftop and an executive dining room -- but it doesn't.

To say it's low-key is an understatement. But the film is worth seeing -- especially for the scene at the beginning with the human resources team coming in and meeting with employees during a major lay-off. That's about the only scene I'd call "chilling" and it wasn't because it was terrifying or scary, just icy.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    So sorry Donald (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by smott on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:35:18 PM EST

    I hope all will be well with your cousin...

    If it's any consolation, I had a cousin diagnosed w leukemia also...he was quite ill and needed bone marrow transplant, and his sister turned out to be a perfect match. As luck would have it, another cousin was disgnosed w lymphoma at the same time, and I was diagnosed also with breast cancer....which led to the rather astonishing spectable of all 3 of us in chemo simultaneously!....

    Anyway - that was 12 years ago and all of us are doing fine.

    Best wishes to you and your cousin, and keep us posted,


    Sorry; these are hard times (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Towanda on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 04:38:40 PM EST
    as we also are coping with serious cancers in the clan -- stage four for my spouse's closest siblings, for my children's dad (aka the ex), etc.  Hope rises, reality hits, hope rises, reality hits; it's a daily roller-coaster.

    And we just buried a beloved friend last week.

    But:  In all cases, they did out last or are outlasting the prognoses by far, for years beyond the stats so often quoted.  And those stats often now state that they are based on data through at best five years ago.  Modern medicine is a marvel.

    And so is human nature, capable of riding the roller-coaster of life with cancer -- repeat, life -- as long as there are others along for the ride to provide emotional support . . . and the other sorts of support that, yes, do mean being there.  We all are pitching in every which way to help with driving, shopping, etc., so that those with cancer can conserve energies to direct them at the d*mned cells, the enemies within. . . .

    And we all are pitching in to just listen at times -- and to just be quietly there at times.  You will bring comfort.  That's immeasurable.

    So sorry, Towanda (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 04:41:18 PM EST
    And you're absolutely correct about the importance of, not just helping, but being there to comfort.

    Thanks; my spouse and children (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Towanda on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 06:27:56 PM EST
    are hit hardest by all this, but the thoughts are helpful, thanks, in helping me to help them.

    I have many siblings and am so fortunate, I realize, to still have them all.  Then again, many are coming here for Thanksgiving, so ask me the day afterward.  We are an argumentative sort.

    Oh, wait; actually, my siblings are argumentative sorts while, of course, I am not, because I am simply, always right. :-)


    Of course you are, girl! (none / 0) (#28)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:07:00 PM EST

    So many people suffering right now (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:00:09 PM EST
    Donald and Towanda, I'm sorry for all you are both going through.

    So sorry about all the (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:19:42 PM EST
    illness in your clan. Your family members are lucky to have the emotional and physical support that you and the other members of your family are providing during these troubling times.

    I hope that you, the caregivers, all receive comfort and support as well as providing it to others.      


    Previously sceptical scientist digs deeper (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:22:14 PM EST
    and admits he was wrong. Uh-oh. What will the global warming deniers do now???

    Hate to pop your bubble (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:41:22 PM EST
    but this has been known and discounted for years.

    So back to the old hoaxing board for the True Believers!

    In the meantime:

    CERN has a repeatable experiment that shows how the sun cause climate change.

    And "repeatable" is a big word in proving theories.


    well duh, jim, of course it does, (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by cpinva on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 06:02:21 PM EST
    over 1'000's of years. unfortunately, our climate is changing over the course of a couple of hundred years. notice the difference there?

    It's been cooling since about 1998 (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:49:39 PM EST
    Does that count??

    It's been warming ... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:19:02 AM EST
    ... since about 1900, as was recently confirmed in the latest study  (funded in part by the Tea Party Koch brothers!).  That silly claim from Superfreakonomics has been debunked a ridiculous number of times - including by the temperature data published by all the climate agencies.  Although 10 years is too short a period to establish a trend for global warming (or fantasy cooling),

    In fact, 2009 was the hottest year on record, and the decade of 2000s was the hottest decade on record:



    U.K. MET Office


    Sorry, Jim - science and facts beat winger fairy tales every time.


    um, no, not really, (none / 0) (#40)
    by cpinva on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:36:58 PM EST
    since that has zero affect on the amount of co2 we're pumping into the atmosphere, creating the "greenhouse" effect, the cause of global warming.

    jim, i have to ask, do you own stock in any oil or natural gas companies? that would explain your irrational investment in the pseudo-scientific realm of man-made global warming denierhood.


    I have to ask (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 10:07:37 PM EST
    did you read the link regarding CERN's experiment.

    If not, you need to.

    Repeatable experiment's are the basis for theories being proven as scientific fact. But you know that.

    BTW - Some studies have shown that CO2 increases lag temperature increases. That means that CO2 is not the cause, but the effect.

    You also need to remember this:

    Among the messages that Sensenbrenner read was one from Jones, the East Anglia scientist, in which he wrote about a "trick of adding in the real temps" in an exchange about long-term climate trends. Holdren responded that the word "trick" did not mean manipulation of data, but about a "clever way" to tackle a problem. Another Jones' e-mail read, "I would like to see the climate change happen so the science could be proved right."

    A link you will not like but it is accurate.

    Looks like even the "scientists" don't believe.


    Hate to pop yours (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:13:17 PM EST
    No, they don't.  Maybe you should have someone besides the Lawrence Solomon and the Financial Times do your scientific study interpretations.  Why not ask the lead scientist of the CERN study himself?:

    At the moment, it actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate, but it's a very important first step."


    "It's part of the jigsaw puzzle, and you could say it adds to the understanding of the big picture," he said. "But it in no way disproves the other pieces."


    Our work leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could influence the climate. However, at this stage, there is absolutely no way we can say that they do," said Kirkby.

    Other evidence shows that even if cosmic rays do affect the climate, the effect must be small. Changes in the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere due to changes in solar activity cannot explain global warming, as average cosmic ray intensities have been increasing since 1985 even as the world has warmed - the opposite of what should happen if cosmic rays produce climate-cooling clouds.


    There's a lot more debunking of the winger's mutilation of the CERN study, but you get the point.

    Try again, Jim!


    Link to third Kirby statement (none / 0) (#38)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:14:42 PM EST
    Don't need to (none / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 10:28:17 PM EST
    The experiment is repeatable.

    Show me one from the hoaxers.

    And then there is this.

    I DEVOTED six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.


    1. The greenhouse signature is missing. We have been looking and measuring for years, and cannot find it.

    Each possible cause of global warming has a different pattern of where in the planet the warming occurs first and the most. The signature of an increased greenhouse effect is a hot spot about 10km up in the atmosphere over the tropics. We have been measuring the atmosphere for decades using radiosondes: weather balloons with thermometers that radio back the temperature as the balloon ascends through the atmosphere. They show no hot spot. Whatsoever.

    If there is no hot spot then an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause of global warming.


    If there really was any evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming, don't you think we would have heard all about it ad nauseam by now?

    The world has spent $50 billion on global warming since 1990, and we have not found any actual evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming. Evidence consists of observations made by someone at some time that supports the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. Computer models and theoretical calculations are not evidence, they are just theory.

    Dr David Evans was a consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005.


    Dr..as in, (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by jondee on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 12:17:08 AM EST
    a PHD in electrical engineering, with two peer-reviewed articles written in his entire career.

    Quick, someone call the Nobel Committee! How'd anyone ever pass this guy over?

    Next time Jim, why not quit beating around the bush and just link us directly to Sen Inhofe's latest scientific-world-rocking, groundbreaking, study, or maybe to some secret Breibart footage of tenured-radical climate scientists conspiring together in one of ACORN's offices?    


    Jondee stop the insults (none / 0) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 01:22:26 AM EST
    to Jim and Jim stop the insults to Jondee or both your comments in this thread will be deleted.

    DavidnEvans (none / 0) (#54)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:41:19 AM EST
    Stanford - Ph.d Electrical Engineering

    Stanford - M.S. Electrical Engineering

    University of Sidney - M.S. Statistics

    University of Sidney - B.E. Electrical Engineering (First Class Honors)

    University of Sidney - M.A. Applied Mathematics

    University of Sidney - B.Sc Applied Mathematics and Physics

    Patents - 2

    Of course I'm sure he isn't as smart as Algore...




    That's a lot of degrees ... (none / 0) (#55)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 09:09:55 AM EST
    ... in electrical engineering and math.

    Anything in climatology?  Any published research in climatology/global warming?

    Any at all?



    And what is a degree in (none / 0) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 09:30:52 AM EST

    Here you have a man with extensive training in science, math, and electrical engineering who first thought CO2 caused MMGW.... but when the facts didn't add up changed his mind.

    And the government of Australia thought he was smart enough... if they count.


    Most of the so called proof for MMGW is "studies" with the results being placed into computer models. That's statistical modeling and Evans' education more than qualifies him.

    In the meantime, Phil Jones of EAU asks us to believe his studies based on raw data has been "lost."  Yeah. Sure.


    A "degree in climatology" is ... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 12:53:21 PM EST
    ... just what it sounds like - a degree in Climatology.  About as straightforward as you can get, Jim.  There are many types of related sciences (paleoclimatology, atmospheric physics, atmospheric chemstry, atmospheric dynamics, etc.) with experts who have devoted their careers to the the study of climate science and climate change, and I'll give their conclusions much more weight than some guy with no background in climatology who hasn't published a single study.

    BTW - Evan's was a consultant hired by the Australian government to develop a land-use carbon accounting system - it has nothing to do with proving or disproving climate change.  Evans himself, while claiming he knows " a heck of a lot about modeling and computers," states clearly that he is "not a climate modeler".  Sort of like the guy who designs a hospitals database systems suddenly claiming he knows more about medicine than the actual doctors.

    But I'll tell ya what - for every peer-reviewed study* you can cite which purports to deny man-made climate change, I'll give you twenty that support man-made climate change.  Should be an easy one ...

    ... if you have the scientific data to back it up.

    *Real, peer-reviewed studies, not some guy with a math degree blogging on climatedepot.com.


    Evans has about 6 degrees (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 01:02:02 PM EST
    Sorry if you think a Phd from Stanford is passed out to dummies...

    But if a degree in climatology is what you must have to discuss climate change then I guess Al Gore can pack up his hoaxer material and go back to his green 20000 sq foot home and massive boat...

    That's sarcasm.

    The truth is simple. There is no proof that MMGW exist.

    There is proof that changes in the sun's magnetic sphere produce more or less cloud cover. And that is climate change.

    You can't match or refute that.


    Sure I can - I already did (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 01:36:21 PM EST
    More importantly, so did Kirby, the lead scientist of the very study you're citing.

    Sorry if you think a Phd from Stanford is passed out to dummies...

    No one made that claim.  In logic terms, that's called a "red herring" or "straw argument".  They are easier to knock down though, huh Jim?  Evans may be a very smart electrical engineer or mathematician, but his opinions are that of a layman when it comes to climate science.  As he himself has carefully pointed out, he's no climate scientist.

    But if a degree in climatology is what you must have to discuss climate change then I guess Al Gore can pack up his hoaxer material and go back to his green 20000 sq foot home and massive boat

    You can discuss it all you want, but Evans (like Gore) is a layman, not an expert.  Gore, however, cites actual, scientific data and peer-reviewed studies when making his arguments in his books.  Evans, like you, does not - other than trying to twist the single CERN study into a conclusion that its own author denies.


    A brilliant classmate working at Goddard (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 12:04:08 PM EST
    says it's all physics.  Of course he is a physicist.  

    Maybe - but if someone has an aneurism ... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 12:27:34 PM EST
    ... I'd suggest they see a neurosurgeon, rather than a pediatrist.

    it is all physics (5.00 / 4) (#73)
    by jondee on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 02:30:43 PM EST
    on one level..

    On no conceivable level, now or ever, is it all electrical engineering.

    Not even at Bob Jones or Liberty U.


    It may be "repeatable" (none / 0) (#53)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:13:35 AM EST
    It just doesn't even attempt to establish that the sun causes global warming, or disprove man-made global warming.  Those quotes above are from the lead scientist of the CERN study himself, who had to make the statements after conservative "news" outlets grossly distorted and exaggerated the conclusions of the study.

    BTW - Evans is not a climatologist and his claims have been debunked numerous times by those with expertise in climatology, as opposed to electrical engineering or math (Evans).  He also, as Jondee pointed out, hasn't published a single peer-reviewed study to back his climate claims - which is probably a good thing, given his lack of expertise on the subject.

    There's two, main reasons Evans published his claims as opinion pieces in newspapers, rather than scientific journals: 1) There's no data to support his claims, and 2) his claims are so easily debunked:

    To sum up, once you weed through the considerable empty and inflammatory rhetoric in Evans' opinion article, the meat consists of a number of long-debunked myths and gross misunderstandings of basic climate science.  Evans' article is the "skeptic" equivalent of eating red hot candies: not much substance, empty calories, but it gets the blood boiling!

    Of course Evans writes in the newspapers (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 09:21:33 AM EST
    The so-called establishment quivers and quakes when someone disagrees. They are desperate to keep the government money coming. Some are true believers. Some are just addicted to cash and power.

    And yes, the experiment does establish that the sun does cause climate change.

    Read the emails from EAU if you want to understand the censorship being imposed.

    In the meantime, try and be open minded enough to understand this.

    The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world's largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories. CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth's atmosphere.

    In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done -- - demonstrate that cosmic rays can seed clouds, and that the more that cosmic rays reach Earth's atmosphere, the cloudier it will be. Because the sun's magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth's atmosphere (the stronger the sun's magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.


    Weeks ago, CERN formerly decided to muzzle Mr. Kirby and other members of his team to avoid "the highly political arena of the climate change debate," telling them "to present the results clearly but not interpret them" and to downplay the results by "mak[ing] clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters." The CERN study and press release is written in bureaucratese and the version of Mr. Kirkby's study that appears in the print edition of Nature censored the most eye-popping graph -- only those who know where to look in an online supplement will see the striking potency of cosmic rays in creating the conditions for seeding clouds.

    CERN, and the Danes, have in all likelihood found the path to the Holy Grail of climate science. But the religion of climate science won't yet permit a celebration of the find


    You know, I don't understand the bias many on the Left have towards believing in MMGW. I would think they would be biased towards not believing, thus freeing up all the money spent on "research" for research on AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other killers of mankind.

    Yet they don't. Read what Evans wrote:

    When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects.

    The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly? Soon government and the scientific community were working together and lots of science research jobs were created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.

    But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"



    Two wholely unsupported OPINION pieces ... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 12:57:44 PM EST
    ... is the best you can do, both of which have been debunked a few dozen times (Solomon's by the scientists of the CERN study themselves)?


    Sorry.  I'll stick with people who actually back up their claims with data peer-reviewed studies.


    Let's see some of these (none / 0) (#67)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 01:17:24 PM EST
    And the result of the CERN experiment is not

    You first, Jim (none / 0) (#69)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 01:46:46 PM EST
    I'd be happy to, but I'm still waiting on yours.

    BTW - You're right about the CERN study - it's not an opinion.  Problem is, much as the deniers love to try to twist the CERN study, it's author and lead scientist denies that it disproves MMGW or that it suggests that it's caused by the sun:

    At the moment, it actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate
    - Jasper Kirkby

    It's part of the jigsaw puzzle, and you could say it adds to the understanding of the big picture," he said. "But it in no way disproves the other pieces."

    Our work leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could influence the climate. However, at this stage, there is absolutely no way we can say that they do," said Kirkby.

    The CERN study merely indicates that there is a possibility that cosmic rays can have some degree of influence on climate.  While not yet established (according to Kirkby himself), in no way does it disprove MMGW.


    Obviously the sun is a major factor (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 02:24:47 PM EST
    in any chemical reaction that occurs on earth and in the earth's atmosphere..

    To say that the sun is the sole and only cause, if that's whats being said, leaves out a very big (800 lb gorilla in the room size) with what? as in, what elements go into making up the chemical reactions in our atmosphere, that solar radiation is interacting with?

    And yes, once again, what major university research center anywhere in the world seeks out electrical engineers to do in-depth atmospheric science research?  


    Absolutely - to all three (none / 0) (#74)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 02:39:19 PM EST
    Seems like it's stating the obvious, but what I don't get how the deniers try to cite the CERN study as though: 1) it establishes that solar radiation, per se, cause global warming, and 2) that it somehow disproves MMGW.  The scientists conducting the CERN study have themselves (repeatedly) refutes these conclusions, yet they still distort the findings.

    SOP, I guess.


    I have provided articles and links (none / 0) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 05:34:00 PM EST
    If you cannot then I am happy to understand that you cannot.

    You provided one link ... (none / 0) (#84)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:36:49 PM EST
    ... to one study, whose own author refutes the conclusions you claim it reached - plus one opinion piece.

    It's not a question of making me "happy".  It's a question of ignoring the actual data and peer-reviewed studies and trying to counter it with the opinion of a non-expert.  It's like going to have a heart problem diagnosed and ignoring the opinion of 99 cardiologists (supported by data/studies) and going with the opinion of a proctologist (supported by no studies) because you like his opinion.  But hey ... they're both 'doctors", right?


    Hey, you're more than welcome to do it, ...

    ... just don't expect anyone else to take your unsupported opinions seriously.


    Occam's razor (none / 0) (#76)
    by jondee on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 04:29:16 PM EST
    doesn't have to be Occam's primitive stone axe..

    As above so below. The sun isn't the SOLE cause of atmospheric warming and cooling anymore than Barney Frank single-handly caused the financial crisis.

    And the sole requirement of a viable scientific theory shouldn't be that it fits on a bumpersticker and comes with a free (made in China) Limbaugh coffee mug.


    Neither of you have read the details that were in (none / 0) (#80)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 05:31:36 PM EST
    the link as well as in my comments.

    In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done -- - demonstrate that cosmic rays can seed clouds, and that the more that cosmic rays reach Earth's atmosphere, the cloudier it will be. Because the sun's magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth's atmosphere (the stronger the sun's magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.

    Or else you have and just want to deny.


    I read them. it's just that ... (none / 0) (#85)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:56:19 PM EST
    ... the opinion piece you linked to draws these conclusions from interpreting the results of the CERN study.  The lead scientist (Kirkby) of the CERN study has specifically rejected these conclusions and says the study doesn't support them.  I'll go with the conclusions of the experts, rather than the opinion of the layman.

    Any other studies/scientific articles to support these claims, or just more unsupported opinion pieces?


    The problem is (none / 0) (#83)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 05:47:28 PM EST
    However, the main error Evans makes here is to claim that climate sensitivity is simply a number churned out by climate models.  In reality, climate scientists have used many different lines of evidence to create numerous independent estimates of the planet's climate sensitivity.  These include not just climate models, but also empirical observational data (Figure 1 and Figure 2).

    The hoaxers keep missing their claims. First it was that and then this and now it could be.

    I mean, the first was the hockey stick which has been proven wrong.

    Evans and thousands of other scientists point out that the hoaxers have no clothes.


    Not a problem (none / 0) (#87)
    by Yman on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 08:46:18 AM EST
    The "hoaxers" do keep missing their claims - it's just that they're all on your side - and there's not that many of them.

    The "thousands" of "scientists" who are deniers?  Heh - that's been debunked so many times it's ridiculous.  Presumably, you're talking about the Fred Seitz (tobacco company scientist) petition from OISM - an online petition signed by "thousands" of people - some of whom have general educations in science - but only 0.1% have a background in the relevant subject - climatology (that's 39 people).  A general background in science hardly makes someone an expert in climatology, but it is nice that they're able to convince some lay people with no expertise in global warming to be skeptics.  Unless, of course, anyone can just make up a name or credentials and put it on the petition:

    When questioned in 1998, ... Robinson admitted that only 2,100 signers of the Oregon Petition had identified themselves as physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, or meteorologists, 'and of those the greatest number are physicists.' " The AP article reported the total number of signatures on the petition as of April, 1998 to be approximately 15,000. The AP reported that Robinson "acknowledged that little attempt was done to verify credentials of those who responded" to the petition, and though the names of the signatories are listed on the OISM website, many of the entries lack academic credentials, none lists a city of residence, and none lists an academic institution with which the signer is affiliated ...

    ... he also admitted that "questionable names were added to the petition by pranksters...

    ... "Perry S. Mason" (the fictitious lawyer?), "Michael J. Fox" (the actor?), "Robert C. Byrd" (the senator?), "John C. Grisham" (the lawyer-author?). And then there's the Spice Girl, a.k.a. Geraldine Halliwell: The petition listed "Dr. Geri Halliwell" and "Dr. Halliwell."

    Asked about the pop singer, Robinson said he was duped. The returned petition, one of thousands of mailings he sent out, identified her as having a degree in microbiology and living in Boston. "It's fake," he said...

    "When we're getting thousands of signatures there's no way of filtering out a fake," Robinson, 56, said in a telephone interview from Oregon.

    ...A May 1, 1998, AP article reported that the petition also bore the signatures of "Drs. '[Maj.] Frank Burns' '[Capt. B.J.] Honeycutt*' and '[Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye"]Pierce'" -- three characters from the hit sitcom M*A*S*H.

    Darn.  I really wanted to know Col. Henry Blake's feelings on the issue, too.



    Oh, my goodness (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 03:30:54 PM EST
    The Drudge/Breitbard/WorldNetDaily etc. interpretation of this study was thoroughly debunked within days.  Even a couple of the scientists involved in the study expressed astonishment that it could be interpreted that way.

    Try to keep up, Jim.


    Keep up yourself (none / 0) (#82)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 05:36:38 PM EST
    The mobilization to rally the press against the Danes worked brilliantly, with one notable exception. Nigel Calder, a former editor of The New Scientist who attended that 1996 conference, would not be cowed. Himself a physicist, Mr. Calder became convinced of the merits of the argument and a year later, following a lecture he gave at a CERN conference, so too did Jasper Kirkby, a CERN scientist in attendance. Mr. Kirkby then convinced the CERN bureaucracy of the theory's importance and developed a plan to create a cloud chamber -- he called it CLOUD, for "Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets."

    I'll ask again (none / 0) (#86)
    by jondee on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:36:58 PM EST
    is there such a thing as a man-made greenhouse gas?

    It's a simple, not-politically-loaded question (to the average person), but I'm guessing that you'll refuse to give a straight yes or no answer.

    Because man-made greenhouse gasses are another "hoax", or some such thing..


    why is it that (none / 0) (#22)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:28:41 PM EST
    a good two thirds of the people who like to caterwaul about global warming "True Believers" are the same scientific prodigies who have no problem with children being taught that the universe was created in exactly six (not five, not seven) days and that Jesus was a supporter of gun rights?

    Nice try at refocusing (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:43:27 PM EST
    Jondee.... Can you show me some proof of you statement?

    No? Well, you can't show any proof of MMGW either.


    Jim, in the past you've (none / 0) (#44)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 10:56:32 PM EST
    refused to even acknowledge that there's a such a thing as a man-made greenhouse gas. It's hard to know where to begin with someone so resolutely attached to their benightedness..

    Maybe on your next expedition to Mt Ararat to look for pieces of Noah's Ark and final proof of intelligent design, before you get to the edge of the world where all the sea monsters are, you should take some time to study up on the greenhouse effect.  


    jeralyn, if you want to see a movie based (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by cpinva on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 06:04:34 PM EST
    on finances, you must really get a copy of "Other People's Money", starring danny devito. it came out in the late 80's i believe. devito's character nails these guys, before they were these guys.

    I went (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by CST on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:37:19 PM EST
    shopping today for my sister's baby shower.  All the big ticket items are coming from friends of my parents who use to have kids, so what she needed/wanted from me was books.

    My other, non pregnant sister practically had to drag me out of there by my hair.  This is going to be so much fun.  I can't wait until this kid is old enough to not choke on legos.  Some people hit parenthood and think "I was born to do this".  That's how I feel about aunthood.  I don't really want to be responsible for another human's life 24-7.  But I can pick out books and toys all day.

    I almost bought him a giant stuffed animal because when I was a kid I wanted a giant stuffed animal so bad and my parents didn't get me one.  My (clearly more responsible) non-pregnant sister convinced me to at least wait until the kid was big enough to play with it and pointed out that a newborn probably would have no use for it.

    She better have another kid soon before I spoil this one rotten.

    Aunthood is the best! (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Towanda on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:09:00 PM EST
    I have so much fun -- not only with nieces and nephews but also with my siblings, as it's payback time.  I tell sibs that my mission is to undermine their parental authority.  I'm only half-kidding, as aunthood is amazingly free of ponderous parental responsibility.  

    Yes, I love picking out books for them, a way to convey all sorts of subtle messages for how life can be lived away from the burbs that close down at 6 p.m.; I'm the urban aunt.  We go to my nearby bookstore at night, sometimes, and stay for hours past alleged bedtimes.  Then we go next-door to an ice-cream store that also has late hours.  They become instant converts to urban life, with extra fudge and a cherry on top.

    I recommend rereading the book and/or renting the movie about my role model:  Auntie Mame. :-)


    Aunthood is the best. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by caseyOR on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:49:31 PM EST
    And running a very close second, almost too close to call, is godmotherhood. I am quite suited for both, and have thoroughly enjoyed that status for decades now.

    I truly believe that every kid needs an adult in their life who, once the safety issues are covered, lets that kid do anything they want. And that person simply cannot be one of the parents. That is where aunts and uncles and godparents (if you have them) come in.

    So, ice cream at breakfast? Sure. Spend the night and stay up past your bedtime watching movies? Okay.

    And, of course, the books, the toys, the cute little clothes (I have a weakness for tiny little baby/toddler sneakers), what's an aunt to do but give?


    Hope all goes well with your cousin (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:09:09 PM EST
    Glad that it was caught early and that it is curable.

    I know that your presence and moral support will be much appreciated at a time like this.

    The Cardinals really, really did win (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 09:46:38 AM EST
    this time, I promise. ;o) Final score - 3rd Game WS

    Cardinals 16
    Rangers    7

    Real benefits from Cardinals being in WS.

    St. Louis employees will not have to take mandatory furloughs this year after all, thanks to the Cardinals' trip to the World Series.

    KMOX Radio reports that the additional revenue for the city generated by the postseason run has prompted Mayor Francis Slay to cancel furloughs. link

    I have no idea (none / 0) (#59)
    by CoralGables on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 10:45:36 AM EST
    how the game would have proceeded, but can't help but think a badly blown call with the score 1-0 in the 4th changed the entire course of events last night.

    You can see it HERE


    Ron Washington walks low key. (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 12:02:29 PM EST
    Local newspaper headline: (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 12:11:41 PM EST
    Scintillating show from St. Louis' surly slugger

    Yes, they certainly did (none / 0) (#77)
    by Zorba on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 04:32:14 PM EST
    Bad call by the ump or not, a 16-7 score would have been almost impossible for the Rangers to overcome.  Go Cards!

    San Diego Reader review of Margin Call: (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:06:19 PM EST

    [B]ut this slick story feels like necro-nostalgia for the masters whose feet of clay led up to computerized hearts. Millions (people, not dollars) still suffer, so must we feel for Spacey because his dog is dying?

    The new Almodovar is chilling!

    Just saw the trailer for Almodovar's (none / 0) (#3)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:29:00 PM EST
    It's definitely on my must-see list.

    For some reason, "Margin Call" just doesn't interest me. Even though Demi Moore is in it, it looks like another boy's club movie. (I've already sworn off seeing anymore of Oliver Stone's or David Mamet's nonsense dramas.) And, unfortunatley, I've grown weary of Kevin Spacey's scene-chewing too.


    I am seeing Spacey in "Richard III" (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:34:22 PM EST
    next weekend.  Anticipate much scene-chewing.  Only reason I might see "Margin Call" is unalloyed admiration for Jeremy Irons.

    Love, love, love Jeremy Irons (none / 0) (#88)
    by sj on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 10:41:12 AM EST
    He's great (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jondee on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 11:35:48 AM EST
    with that wonderful voice and presence that only actors trained on the English stage seem to have.

    He'd be a fantastic choice to do one of those great poems books-on-tape, with that incantatory voice.



    I wonder if the OWSers actually (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:36:51 PM EST
    recognized Pete:  Pete Seeger

    "Little boxes, on the hillside, (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 11:25:06 PM EST
    little boxes made of ticky-tacky..."

    I didn't even know he was still alive.


    Linking to my piece in the SF/Bay Guardian (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:45:46 PM EST
    Once more, no great shakes, just a little personal experience.  Whey OccupySF Occupied My Car (LINK).

    About to head into the city for the Saturday march.  Peace, y'all.

    And speaking of linking to myself (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:47:23 PM EST
    I think I coined a term yesterday.  Brassturbation: the act of tooting one's own horn.

    I think I'm going blind.  ;-)


    Couldn't get your link up, Dadler (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 04:38:28 PM EST
    But have a productive march.  "Brassturbation"- LOL!  Don't worry about going blind.  (But you might want to check to see if your palms are getting hairy.......)

    something wrong with SFBG server (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:55:20 PM EST
    I'll post it again in the next open thread.

    Oop, horn time.  Ahem.


    Been doing any (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:37:17 PM EST
    live tournament practice??

    Probably next week (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:56:09 PM EST
    Too much other stuff going on, but I have to start soon.  I'll keep you apprised.  You hear anything from Jeff lately?  

    I'm sorry, Donald (none / 0) (#9)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 04:13:22 PM EST
    Sending good thoughts and positive energy your cousin's way!  And I'm glad that you'll be there to support her.

    Tea Party makes it official: (none / 0) (#14)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 04:57:56 PM EST
    Those dirty f'ing hippies are not like us!

    And, of course, they're right. OWS and the Tea Party DO NOT have the same issues, goals, or tactics -- despite so many politicians (like Obama) and media mavens pushing that canard.

    The article is pretty good at exposing the Tea Partiers as the nutty, right-wing racists they are though, and it succeeds at this by allowing the tea partiers to hang themselves with their own words.

    "dirty hippies" (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 11:29:07 PM EST
    I am amazed, really, to see today's protest movements met with exactly the same jeers and denigrations that were used against protesters when I was a little kid (Vietnam era).

    Koch bros. help prove global warming (none / 0) (#32)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:36:11 PM EST
    Accidentally, of course.

    It's bat night in Arlington (none / 0) (#39)
    by Rojas on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:18:27 PM EST

    And did the Rangers fans (none / 0) (#70)
    by Zorba on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 01:54:12 PM EST
    use those bats to hit themselves over the head after they lost?  Or they might have been tempted to use them on the ump who made such a bad call....
    and even though I'm a Cards fan, I will admit, it was a terrible call.

    It was a metaphor (none / 0) (#78)
    by Rojas on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 05:19:07 PM EST
    Perhaps the bats are out would have been a better one.

    Hahahaha! (none / 0) (#79)
    by Zorba on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 05:29:55 PM EST
    Okay.  The bats are always out, Rojas.  ;-)

    Classic Bill Maher (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:54:43 PM EST
    Boy I'll tell ya, for a liberal crowd, you get all fired up when we kill an Arab!

    I tell ya, our bad a$$ ninja black president did it again! Don't phuck with this guy!

    I mean, so far this year he's killed Somali pirates, he killed Bin Laden, he killed al-Awlaki, now he's killed Gadaffi.

    The only threat to our way of life now is from Bank of America.
    Today Obama was seen leaving the White House in a nurses uniform, on a flight to Cuba to smother Castro with a pillow!

    -- video at RawStory

    Rambobama also killed al-Awlaki's 16 year old kid (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 11:34:48 PM EST
    That's how foreign policy greatness is established: by how many heads the Emperor can display on a pike. The President is not just entitled to kill anyone he wants in multiple countries around the world -- with no oversight, transparency or accountability, no evidence presented, no obligation to capture or try them, no need to even explain the principles that guide these killings -- but is to be celebated for doing so. And the piles of corpses of innocent people produced by this onslaught -- of teenagers, infants, innocent women and men -- are simply to be ignored.
    - Glenn Greenwald

    killed al-Awlaki's 16 year old kid? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:29:20 AM EST
    Now there's a pre-emptive strike for you.

    Bush was an amateur compared to Obama.


    Saw an announcement that (none / 0) (#50)
    by Amiss on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 03:46:43 AM EST
    Wal-Mart's insurance will no longer cover spouses. It can and will cover children, but not a spouse.

    Just thinking.....

    Interesting article on current politics (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 01:57:26 PM EST
    in Egypt:  Carnegie Endowment

    Am reading al Awany's most recent book, non-fiction:  "On the State of Egypt," which I thought would be his observations from Tahrir Square.  But the book is a compilation of his newspaper columns leading up to Feb. 2011.