Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

Knave Ewen Canterwall was pulling the afternoon shift at the castle gate when he saw three horsemen ride up.

“Identify yourselves, sires,” he cried out to them.

One responded, “It is I, Lord Chesterfield, and with me the Earl of Kent and the Duke of Marlboro.”

“What do you want,” Canterwall demanded.

“We’d like a light,” the lord responded.

The National Divide

Number 10 of a possibly infinite series

This is a tale of two political systems, illustrating vividly the hard line that separates divergent segments of this nation. People need to decide which side of the line they want to come down on. The choices are clear.

I will spell it out. At the top Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is questioning former Donal Trump lawyer Michael Cohen:

Did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?

In the second we see Representative Jim Jordan threatening the same witness:

Tread very f…ing lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be very f…ing disgusting.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 156

Having a handgun to ensure the safety of your family seems like a pretty good idea. Let’s check that out with Meleanie Hain:

Meleanie Hain shooting was witnessed on Web cam, police say

Meleanie Hain, the pistol-carrying Lebanon mom who received national attention
for taking a loaded gun to her daughter’s soccer game, was talking to a friend via a Web camera when her husband, Scott, shot her to death before killing himself, Lebanon police said today.

All right. That did not work out as expected. Maybe next time. Only, for Meleanie there will not be a next time.

Abusing Science

Number 16 of a series

Last week I posted Dan Kuttner’s 11 points titled “Some questions on the science behind Global Warming.” The idea being these 11 points seriously bring into question the validity of the science behind anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Dan is of a conservative bent, and a theme running through American conservative politics is that AGW is hoax science. I will not rehash any motivations conservatives may have for leaning in that direction; that is for another day. I will address Dan’s point number 1:

How does CO2, which is 1.4x heavier than air at sea level, get above the troposphere to cause a greenhouse effect?

I am one of those who contend there is no such thing as a stupid question. There are exceptions. This question is worded in the worst possible way. First off, whoever composed it confuses “heavier” and “denser.” Carbon dioxide does, itself, not have a weight, but it is denser than air. If air has a density of 1.00 on some scale, then carbon dioxide has a density of 1.53 (my first-order calculation). So even if point 1 meant to say “denser” it would have still been wrong. This is an example of the logical fallacy called “begging the question.” A question is posed with a premise pre-loaded.

And while I am being pedantic, 1.4 times heavier is not the same as 1.4 times as heavy as. 1.4 times heavier is 2.4 times as heavy as. It’s the English language, folks.

Now for the second part. Granted that carbon dioxide is denser than air, how does it get above the troposphere? Dan is a qualified airplane pilot, and one the things taught in pilot training is atmospheric science. From that he should have learned that gases in the troposphere are fairly well-mixed by atmospheric turbulence. The concentration remains abut 400 parts per billion by volume throughout. In truth, I found no figures for carbon dioxide in the stratosphere, but there is no reason to believe the gas does not propagate to that region.

But here is the sticker. Dan’s question is again loaded. The premise is that carbon dioxide needs to get into the stratosphere to have an effect on global warming. The fact is that the vast bulk of the atmosphere is in the troposphere, and also it matters little at what altitude carbon dioxide is encountered. It absorbs infra red radiation at any altitude, and it is particularly effective in the lower regions, close to the ground. Energy absorption by carbon dioxide warms the atmosphere close to the ground, keeping the surface warm and causing the surface to absorb the trapped energy. The oceans particularly become warmer by this process.

And that should answer Dan’s spurious question regarding carbon dioxide in the troposphere and the stratosphere. The next post in this series will address Dan’s point number 2. Keep reading.

This is your president speaking.

Number 203 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!

The full context of the above meme is:

“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell … I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise,” he said on Feb. 1, 2016.

It’s good to know we have a steady hand at the helm of government in these turbulent times.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

My friend Mike was telling me about a bar that had opened on 7th Street. “Happy hour Tuesday, nothing can beat it. Half price on well drinks. Draft refill is free.”

“Sounds like the place to go,” I told him.

“And the spread. You should see the spread. Fried cheese sticks and shrimp. Nothing to beat it. What’s more is for $2 you can go in the back and get laid.”

I was impressed. “But you haven’t been there, yourself.”

“No, but my sister has.”

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 155

The National Rifle Association is not about only rifles. They work tirelessly to ensure that Americans have access to all manner of firearms, including handguns. No organization works more diligently than the NRA to see that guns are used properly (see above). We should all be safer now. let’s see how that’s working out:

Suspect in deadly Clermont County standoff ‘struggled with mental health’

Wade Edward Winn is accused of killing a Clermont County Sheriff’s Deputy and injuring another during a standoff at a Clermont County apartment complex that stretched from Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Winn’s lawyer, Jay Clark, told The Enquirer Monday that his client has “struggled with mental health issues for several years.”

Fortunately, the right of private citizens to own handguns continues to be preserved.

This is your president speaking.

Number 202 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Stephen Colbert had a nice presentation on the president’s words Tuesday night. It included the following.

We will protect Medicare.

I don’t know about you, but I am glad the president is going to protect Medicare.

And that is all I’m going to say about that.

This is your president speaking.

Number 202 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace: “The whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science. There is no climate crisis, there’s weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life.” Wow!

The president is quoting Patrick Moore.

Patrick Albert Moore (born 1947) is a former environmentalist and member of Greenpeace.

After leaving Greenpeace and becoming a paid advocate for the oil & gas industry, Moore has criticized the environmental movement for what he calls scare tactics and disinformation, saying that the environmental movement “abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism”.

Moore apparently was being featured on Fox & Friends when he made the remarks. President Trump, delighted to find a claimed environmentalist chiming agreement with one of his pet narratives, happily repeated the good news on Twitter.

Take note: despite claims to the contrary, Moore was not the founder of Greenpeace. Read the entry from Wikipedia linked above.

Our president continues to demonstrate what a “very intelligent person” he is. Take joy.

People Unclear

This is number 74 of a series

Some people have accused me of picking on Republicans. Let’s say it more plainly: some people accuse me of picking on conservatives. That’s like saying I am being unfair. Like I never pick on liberals—Democrats. Not true. It’s simply not true. When Democrats get out of line I am quick to pounce. And that’s what I’m doing today.

The current object of my ridicule is Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. See the image above. I was looking around for a file image of Speaker Pelosi, and this is what came up. It appears the National Rifle Association considers her worthy of target practice, but that’s a matter for another day. Here is what our dear (House) leader had to say recently:

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” Pelosi said in a Washington Post interview published Monday. “And he’s just not worth it.”

Wait! What was that last part? “He’s just not worth it.” Really? Mrs. Pelosi, how much money are we taxpayers shelling out for your salary? And this is what we get? You make me spend two seconds of the time remaining in my life to hear that Donald Trump is not worth it?  Come on! Right now there is a squirrel in my back yard, hunting for acorns, who probably could have told me that. And we pay you how much to waste our time telling us stuff that must by now be chiseled into stone somewhere? Republicans, if ever there was a time to rejoice and to make fun of Democrats, this is it. Enjoy your moment. Speaker Pelosi is terminally unclear.

Abusing Science

Number 15 of a series

 

The title of this series comes from a book of that name by Philip Kitcher. Abuse comes in numerous manifestations, some appearing to spring from deep-seated ignorance of basic science. That’s what’s going on here.

Dan Kuttner is a person I knew when I lived in Austin 50 years ago. After serving in the military and working in communications, he now hosts the Radio Free Mind site, giving him the opportunity to express his varied views. I highly recommend you visit the site and tune into his thought processes. Let me know what you think. It is definitely something.

That aside, Dan also posts on Facebook, and he agreed to allow me to repost from his feed. It is a repeat (and he emphasizes that) of something he posted before. When this was originally posted I had a go at it, and there are a number of Skeptical Analysis posts that draw from Dan’s, what I call, “11 points.” Here they are, copied and pasted from Dan’s timeline:

Some questions on the science behind Global Warming:

Radio Free Mind

Questions:

  1. How does CO2, which is 1.4x heavier than air at sea level, get above the troposphere to cause a greenhouse effect?

  2. Since Mercury, Venus and Mars’ temperatures have been rising, how does the CO2 count on Earth affect those planets?

  3. How have other climate variables, such as the sunspot cycle and naturally produced gases including, but not limited to, CO2 been subtracted from the IECC climate model?

  4. If global warming is happening, why did they change the name of the crisis to “Climate Change?”

  5. Since “Climate Change” is the new mantra, how and where is the climate changing?

  6. Since [fill in name of crisis] is bad, what is the “proper” temperature of the world without the influence of man-made CO2?

  7. How has the correlation of an alleged increase in man-made CO2 and global temperatures been used to prove >> causation << by man?

  8. How will paying a tax to a mandated monopoly headed by Al Gore’s British company fix the world’s emission of greenhouse gases?

  9. Since so far none of the climate-alarmists’ predictions have come true, why should we believe them today?

  10. Since the claimed increase in temperatures and rise in sea levels are less than the statistical margin of error for even an excellent sample, how can any claim of an increase be made?

  11. If Global Warming is real, why have the main proponents of it been caught at least THREE times faking, fudging or redefining the figures to make it come out that way?(e.g. East Anglia’s “climate-gate” emails)

Full disclosure: before I determined to react publicly, I communicated with him, and he convinced me the 11 points are not meant to be a joke, and, yes, I could attribute these to him. These are his 11 points.

In another world there should be no need for me to comment further, as the above language speaks for itself. However, this blog site is all about commentary, so I will spend the following 11 posts of this series addressing each of the 11 points in turn. Keep reading. It is an interesting world out there.

This is your president speaking.

Number 201 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

At a recent round table meeting of business executives, & long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words. The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!

Well said, Mr. President. Well said. Also the following:

 

Keep talking. We’re not finished laughing.

Quiz Question

Number 194 of a series

Above you see the well-known Tower of Hanoi puzzle. I have depicted it here as eight disks, of ascending size, stacked on an upright pole set into a game board. The object is to transfer all the disks from where they are to one of the other poles. You can move one disk at a time, and you must place it on one of the poles, on the bare board or else on a larger disk already there.

  1. How do you do it? What sequence of moves accomplishes the objective?
  2. How many moves are required?
  3. This shows eight disks. How long would it take, moving one disk a second, if there were 64 disks?

Post your answer in the comments section below.

Breathtaking Inanity

Number 11 of a continuing series

I have since learned the term “breathtaking” falls short of adequate. These screen shots from Chris Hayes Hayes on MSNBC Friday serve to illustrate the point. The above requires no elaboration. “We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.”

Chris goes on to remark how President Trump reminds us of stuff he knows, but we do not. An example would be human trafficking. It’s been around a million years, but “Nobody knew too much about it until recently.” Except that the Bible and other ancient texts talk about slavery and bondage.

For those who skipped American History in high school, “People don’t realize, if you go back to the Civil War, it was the Republicans that really did the thing.” Really?

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” And by that he means nobody.

Until we heard him speak, there were matters about American politics that completely escaped the population at large. “People don’t realize, we are an unbelievably divided country.” Dude, how do you think you became president?

“People don’t realize this about Iraq, but they have among the largest oil reserves in the world.” Actually, people who have had their TVs turned off for the past 50 years and have never picked up a newspaper may not realize this.

I am impressed he can say the word. “Denuclearization is a very important word … and a lot of people don’t know what it means.” I think we do now.

Something those without access to Google Maps may not know: “People don’t realize what a big country Mexico is.”

Again, for those who slept through history class: “A lot of people don’t realize that Abraham Lincoln … was a Republican.” Actually, he may have been the first Republican president, but I will need to check Wikipedia on that.

In case you did not realize what a powerful brain our government gained with the election of Donald Trump: “People don’t understand, I went to an Ivy League College.” “I was a nice student. I did very well.” “I’m a very intelligent person.”

OKAY! That’s enough of that for today.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

You think you had a bad day.

Lord Ankleford, Second Earl of Alleybury, returned to his country estate after a business trip. His loyal butler, Anderson, met him at the gate. “M’lord,” he intoned dryly,” I have some bad news. Your dog Buster has died.”

The earl was shocked. “That’s so sudden. Buster was not an old dog. What was the cause.”

“Hard to tell, m’lord. It could have been due to eating the burnt horse flesh.”

“And what burnt horse flesh might that be, Anderson?”

“Your horses, m’lord. You see, the stables burned down.”

“My word, Anderson. How did the stables catch fire?”

“M’lord, it was likely the sparks from the house.”

“My house?”

“Yes, m’lord. The candles caught the curtains on fire.”

“What? What candles?”

“Those would be the candles on the coffin, m’lord.”

“Coffin?”

“Yes, m’lord. Your father has passed away.”

“Anderson, that was so sudden. What was the cause.”

“It was a heart attack, m’lord. Due to the shock.”

“What shock, Anderson?”

“You see, m’lord, your wife ran off with the chauffeur.”

This is your president speaking.

Number 200 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Hans Von Spakovsky, “I haven’t seen any evidence of actual violations of the law, which is usually a basis before you start an investigation. Adam Schiff seems to be copying Joseph McCarthy in wanting to open up investigations when they don’t have any evidence of wrongdoing.”

Of course these are not President Trump’s words. He is quoting a source, but in posting the quote he is making these his words. All of which brings us to an enormous hilarity:

Yeah, I’m beating a dead horse here. We really do need to wait until there is evidence of wrongdoing.