Monday, June 30, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Right after the year 2000, NASA and NOAA dramatically altered US climate history, making the past much colder and the present much warmer. The animation below shows how NASA cooled 1934 and warmed 1998, to make 1998 the hottest year in US history instead of 1934. This alteration turned a long term cooling trend since 1930 into a warming trend.
...er-r-r-r-r, just "adjusting" for inconsistencies in thermometer locations...
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." - George Orwell, "1984"
And Now, the President of IngSoc...
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Harry Zone!"
George Soros isn't a Democrat supporting billionaire?
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
Intrinsic Goodness and Moral Worth
Kant begins the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals by claiming that "nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good without qualification, except a good will" (Bailey 647). He also says that "a good will is good not because of what it accomplishes or effects, not by its aptness for the attainment of some proposed end, but simply by virtue of the volition -- that is, it is good in itself" (Bailey 648).
Although Kant is writing before Bentham or Mill, this is a clear statement of a fundamental disagreement with utilitarian accounts of ethics. Mill thinks that the only thing that is intrinsically good is happiness or pleasure; Kant thinks that the only thing that is intrinsically good is a good will. And Kant makes it clear that what makes a will good has nothing to do with "what it accomplishes or effects," thus distinguishing his view sharply from consequentialist views of any type, including utilitarianism.
Classification of Imperatives
The table below summarizes Kant's discussion at Bailey, pp. 658-660.
The Formula of the Universal Law
First, there is the formulation Kant regards as most basic (Bailey 662): "act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it become a universal law." The test for the morality of an action that Kant expresses here is something like the following. Suppose that I am trying to decide whether or not to perform a particular action, say A. Then I must go through the following steps:
1. Formulate the maxim of the action. That is, figure out what general principle you would be acting on if you were to perform the action. The maxim will have something like this form: "when I am in a situation of sort S, I will do A." (For example: "in situations in which I am thirsty and there is water available, I will drink it," or "in situations in which I need money and know I can't pay it back, I will falsely promise to pay it back.")
2. Universalize the maxim. That is, formulate it not as a personal policy but as a principle for everyone. A universalized maxim will look something like this: "when anyone is in a situation of sort S, they will do A." (For example: "in situations in which anyone is thirsty and water is available, that person will drink it," or "in situations in which anyone needs money and knows he or she cannot pay it back, he or she will falsely promise to pay it back."
3. Determine whether the universalized maxim could be a universal law, that is, whether it is possible for everyone to act as the universalized maxim requires. (Our first example seems harmless, but Kant argues that the second maxim could not be a universal law: if everyone started making false promises, the institution of promising would disappear, so no one would be able to make a false promises, since there would be no such thing as a promise to falsely make. See example 2 at Bailey 663.) If the universalized maxim could not be a universal law, you have a perfect obligation not to perform the action.
4. But perhaps the maxim could be a universal law. Then we need to ask a further question: could we will that the maxim be a universal law? (For example, Kant thinks that it could be the case that everyone refused to ever help others in distress, but that we could not will that this be the case because that would mean no one would help us when we were in distress. See his fourth example.) If the maxim could be a universal law, but you could not will that it be a universal law, you have an imperfect duty not to perform the action.
The Formula of the End in Itself
The second formulation that is important for us is the formula of the end in itself: roughly, "act so as to treat people always as ends in themselves, never as mere means" (see Bailey, p. 666). The idea here is that everyone, insofar as he or she is a rational being, is intrinsically valuable; we ought therefore to treat people as having a value all their own rather than merely as useful tools or devices by means of which we can satisfy our own goals or purposes. Other people are valuable not merely insofar as they can serve our purposes; they are also valuable in themselves.
Note that the formula does not rule out all cases of using someone else to satisfy my own desires or projects. That would seem to eliminate a very large number of human interactions!
Treating others as mere means, treating them only as devices we can use to help us satisfy our desires, seems a clear enough notion; certain kinds of corporate and sexual relationships seem like clear examples of it. But what would it be to treat someone as an end in him or herself? Kant's idea seems to be that we treat someone as an end only insofar as we act toward him or her in a way that he or she can understand as appropriate or justified: we should be able to explain our reasons in such a way that the person will see the reasonableness of acting in the way we propose. Thus, for example, Kant writes: "he who is thinking of making a lying promise to others will see at once that he would be using another human being merely as a means, without the latter at the same time containing in himself the end. For he whom I propose by such a promise to use for my own purposes cannot possibly assent to my mode of acting toward him, and therefore cannot himself contain the end of this action" (Bailey 666-667).
What is ruled out by this formulation, therefore, appears to be actions which treat others in such a way that they do not have the opportunity to consent to what we are doing. So we treat others as mere means when we force them to do something, or when we obtain their consent through coercion or dishonesty.
Now go forth and trash "Christian" values and now admit that, "like" a Moslem, you only value people as "means" to serve your "Allah's" desired "ends" and that "Love thy neighbor" only applies to those who are more "like" you than "different".
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Tannerite is the brand name of a binary explosive marketed primarily for making exploding targets for firearms practice. It is a patented combination of ammonium nitrate (an oxidizer) and aluminum powder (a fuel) that is supplied as two separate powders which are mixed and shaken to produce the explosive. The combined explosive is relatively stable when subjected to less severe forces than a high-velocity bullet impact, such as a hammer blow, being dropped, or impact from a low-velocity bullet or shotgun blast. It is also not flammable – an explosion cannot be created by a burning fuse or electricity. Because it is sold as two separate powders rather than as the combined mixture, it is even more stable when sold, and can be transported and sold in many places without the legal restrictions that would otherwise apply to explosives. Tannerite is the most well-known brand of such a product – to the degree that sometimes such combination explosives are generically referred to as Tannerite, although other brands exist on the market
Smooth bore 37mm projectile launcher - not a DD. Not even a title 1 firearm. This item falls under the "not a weapon" (signaling device) exception. Generally a large bore device for which no anti-personnel ammo has ever been made will NOT be a DD. This used to be true of the 37mm guns. However, according to ATF, some folks have started making anti-personnel rounds for these guns, and ATF has ruled that possession of a 37mm launcher and a bean bag or rubber shot or similar round is possession of a DD, and at that point the launcher needs to be registered. Put another way, before you make or buy anti-personnel rounds for your 37mm launcher, register it as a DD. The rounds themselves, not being explosive, incendiary or poison gas, are not regulated in themselves either. It is just the two together. See ATF Ruling 95-3.
Flame Thrower - not a DD, nor even a firearm. Unregulated as to possession, under federal law. Great way to clear snow off the driveway.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Monday, June 9, 2014
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new standards on Monday, calling for a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030.It's a risk to our economy and way of life, alright! Goodbye, America! You've "changed".
The regulations are the first of their kind for the fleet of existing power plants, which currently produce 39 percent of U.S. emissions. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy described the rules in further detail at a press conference Monday morning.
McCarthy emphasized the problems stemming from carbon pollution, which "supercharges risks not just to our health -- but to our communities, our economy, and our way of life."
Sunday, June 1, 2014
The greatest scientific fraud in history is slowly but surely unraveling, and the breadth of the corruption revealed is stunning. As any good con man knows, and emotional appeal is necessary, and the warmists found their cuddly-looking icon of endangerment in the polar bear, an animal frequently chosen as stuffed toys for children to hug. Pictures of polar bears on ice floes, presumably doomed to death by drowning as the Arctic ice disappeared, were used to tug on the heartstrings of adults and children alike, in order to scare them into willingly handing over power over their economic destiny to global mandarins who would reduce their standard of living.
But it was necessary to come up with “scientific” estimates of polar bear populations that showed them in danger. With all the billions of dollars available for global warming-related research, and the elevel of peer pressure that money generates, it wasn’t that difficult.
As Matt Barber of Barbwire notes:
Polar bear populations became the centerpiece of the effort to fight global warming due to claims that melting polar ice caps would cause the bears to become endangered in the near future. Years ago some scientists predicted the Arctic would be virtually ice free by now.
Polar bears became the first species listed under the Endangered Species Act because they could potentially be harmed by global warming. But some recent studies have found that some polar bear subpopulations have actually flourished in recent years.
As with the hockey stick graph and many other elements of the concocted story, honest scientists working in the finest tradition of skeptical scientific inquiry, started to unravel fuzzy numbers and lies. One such hero is polar bear scientist Dr. Susan Crockford, who publishes the website Polar Bear Science. In it she documents how a scientist responsible for an alarmist lowball estimate of polar bear population is backing away from numbers that she has been questioning:
Last week (May 22), I received an unsolicited email from Dr. Dag Vongraven, the current chairman of the IUCN [International Union for the Conservation of Nature – TL] Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG).
The email from Vongraven began this way:
Below you’ll find a footnote that will accompany a total polar bear population size range in the circumpolar polar bear action plan that we are currently drafting together with the Parties to the 1973 Agreement. This might keep you blogging for a day or two.” [my bold]
It appears the PBSG have come to the realization that public outrage (or just confusion) is brewing over their global population estimates and some damage control is perhaps called for. Their solution — bury a statement of clarification within their next official missive (which I have commented upon here).
Instead of issuing a press release to clarify matters to the public immediately, Vongraven decided he would let me take care of informing the public that this global estimate may not be what it seems.
Wow! Burying the news in a footnote and letting a critic know instead of issuing a press release. That is certainly a signal. Here’s the news:
Here is the statement that the PBSG proposes to insert as a footnote in their forthcoming Circumpolar Polar Bear Action Plan draft:“As part of past status reports, the PBSG has traditionally estimated a range for the total number of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic. Since 2005, this range has been 20-25,000. It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand. It is also important to note that even though we have scientifically valid estimates for a majority of the subpopulations, some are dated. Furthermore, there are no abundance estimates for the Arctic Basin, East Greenland, and the Russian subpopulations.Consequently, there is either no, or only rudimentary, knowledge to support guesses about the possible abundance of polar bears in approximately half the areas they occupy. Thus, the range given for total global population should be viewed with great caution as it cannot be used to assess population trend over the long term.”“A guess to satisfy public demand” but wrapped in the prestige of settled science.
And on this basis, small children have gone to bed weeping, hugging their stuffed teddy bears, worried sick about the doom facing these cuddly animals.
There is so much fraud in the warmist movement that a reckoning must be had, or else we will lose scientific progress, the very engine that has brought us our standard of living. Corruption left untouched multiplies.