This is your President speaking.

Number 191 in a series

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

“It turns out to be true now, that the Department of Justice and the FBI, under President Obama, rigged the investigation for Hillary and really turned the screws on Trump, and now it looks like in a corrupt & illegal way. The facts are out now. Whole Hoax exposed.

This is comforting news. It’s good to get this whole business behind us.

Yes, tell us more about the rigged investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Bad Movie of the Week

Number 252 of a series

It’s getting to where I have to hunt these down on Amazon Prime Video. My only comfort is in knowing that back during my youth there was a machine somewhere in Hollywood cranking these out several a day. From 1958 this is The Hideous Sun Demon, and the title just about tells the whole plot. Details are from Wikipedia.

The opening shot shows an alarm going off at an atomic research center, and we see two emergency medical workers carrying off the victim of an accident.

The victim is Dr. Gilbert McKenna (Robert Clarke), and he has been exposed to an unknown form of radiation. His colleagues, Ann Russell (Patricia Manning) and Dr. Frederick Buckell (Patrick Whyte), confer with Dr. Stern (Robert Garry). The doctor tells them he will keep McKenna in the hospital for several days for observation. The effects of this new form of radiation are unknown, and they will need to see what develops.

McKenna takes on some sun on the roof, and the effect is to transform him into a hideous creature. When they take him back inside, out of the sun, he returns to normal. Sun exposure is the key, so they drive him to a remote cabin near Los Angeles, where he can safely recuperate while his condition is studied. He must stay out of the sun. Each exposure to the sun becomes more critical than the previous, and recovery will take longer.

Alone in the cabin, McKenna gets restless. He takes his car, an open-air Austin Healey, for a drive at night. Stopping into a bar to purchase some cigarettes, he spies an interesting cabaret singer, Trudy Osborne (Nan Peterson), and buys her a drink. Her gangster boyfriend intrudes, and McKenna beats him up.  The two leave in McKenna’s car.

They spend a romantic night on the beach while her clothes dry from a dip in the surf. Come morning, and McKenna wakes up on the sand with the sun shining. He abandons Trudy and races back to the cabin, in the open car.

It’s too late. Before he can recover the shelter of the cabin he turns into the hideous sun demon. Ann arrives to find him cowering in a closet. He is strongly advised to stay out of the sun.

Does he head that advice? Of course not, else this would be a very uninteresting movie. He gets lonely that night and drives back to the bar to find Trudy. She is there, and so is her hoodlum boyfriend and one of the boyfriend’s chums. They are hot over the idea the McKenna left Trudy stranded on the beach. The two hoods beat McKenna up, and Trudy takes him away, ostensibly to a hospital. Actually, she takes him back to her place to recover, where the boyfriend finds them the next day. The boyfriend is not amused, and he pulls a gun.

The confrontation moves outside, where McKenna reverts to the son demon and kills the boyfriend.

Quickly the entire countryside is searching for McKenna. The plot has devolved to Hunt the Man Down. McKenna takes refuge in a shed in an oil field. A young girl befriends him and attempts to bring him cookies from home.

That ends up with the girl’s mother figuring out McKenna is hiding in the oil field, and she phones the police. Emerging from the shed, McKenna reverts for the final time to the sun demon and gives battle with the police.

The end comes climatically at the top of a storage tank.

A decidedly low-budget production, with actors facing each other on the screen and speaking their lines. It is obvious from the sound track that filming took place in a low-rent setting. Voices have the sound of being spoken in somebody’s living room. From Wikipedia, “The film’s crew consisted of students from the University of Southern California.”

Budget for the production was $50,000, and it was a financial success (???). This was a follow-on from  The Astounding She-Monster, which also features Clarke. A review is promised if I can get a copy. From Wikipedia:

Clarke initially had no distribution deals set up for the film. Clarke’s brother – a sales manager at an Amarillo, Texas, television station – put him into contact with the owner of several local drive-in theaters. Clarke agreed to premiere his film in Amarillo, and it played on a double bill with the Roger Corman film Attack of the Crab Monsters, under the alternate title The Sun Demon, on August 29, 1958.[14] Peterson and Clarke appeared at the premiere, and, after the film, performed an interview together. While the audience was distracted, Clarke changed into his costume and made an appearance as the Sun Demon.[14] After this success, Clarke declined a distribution deal with American International Pictures and instead chose a competitor, Miller-Consolidated Pictures, who distributed it across the US and UK in December 1959. Clarke made additional personal appearances as the Sun Demon. However, 18 months after the company started distributing the film, it went bankrupt. Because of this, Clarke never saw any income from the deal.[1][27] Clarke later sold off the films rights to various distributors.[1] In the United Kingdom, the film was distributed by D.U.K. and released with the title Blood on His Lips.[28][29] The film was released to US television in the early 1960s.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

Henry was minding the store he had on the main street in town when the phone rang.

“Mr. Jackson?”

“Yes, this is Henry Jackson speaking.”

“Do you know a Mr. Edward Kittridge?”

“Known him since he was a boy.”

“Well, this is Fred Harris here at the bank, and Mr Kittridge has applied for a loan. He said you could vouch for him.”

“You must have the wrong Eddie Kittridge, because the Eddie Kittridge I know is dead.”

“Dead? How do you know he’s dead?”

Because he told me on Monday that unless he was dead he would be in on Tuesday to pay me the $50 he owed me.”

“Thank you Mr. Jackson.”

People Unclear

This is number 67 of a series

Apologies all around. Something from another conservative source. Reading this stuff will give the impression that some people were on a smoke break when a sense of irony was handed out. For example:

Breitbart News <newsletters@mail.breitbart.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com
Dec 27 at 7:45 AM

Friend,

The liberal media doesn’t care about giving you the truth.

They only care about attacking President Trump and the hardworking Americans who courageously support him.

ENOUGH!

It’s time the mainstream media heard the TRUTH from real Americans like you and me.

Passing by for the moment that “media” is a plural noun: “The liberal media doesn’t care about giving you the truth.”

That’s going to do it for liberal media and the truth for now. The next item is, “They only care about attacking President Trump and the hardworking Americans who courageously support him.” Here are some of those Americans who support this president.

(Photo by Jonathan Ernst, Reuters News Service)

Yeah, let’s not have any more of liberal media disparaging the president and the good people who support him.

Lock Her Up!

Number 6 in a series

Happening this week. Some bad news for somebody.

The Trump Foundation is closing down. From The New York Times

The Donald J. Trump Foundation, once billed as the charitable arm of the president’s financial empire, agreed to dissolve on Tuesday and give away all its remaining assets under court supervision as part of an ongoing investigation and lawsuit by the New York attorney general.

The foundation was accused by the attorney general, Barbara Underwood, of “functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests,” and of engaging in “a shocking pattern of illegality” that included unlawfully coordinating with Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

This is something novel to American society. A presidential family caught engaging in a criminal enterprise. It’s time again for that heart-rending chant:

Yeah, baby. Lock her up!

This is your President speaking.

Number 190 in a series

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

Speaking to troops at Al Asad Air Base during his surprise visit to Iraq, Trump told troops: “You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, ’cause you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received. … You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.”

It’s called “electioneering,” and it works best when the audience works for you.

A few facts:

In fact, military pay has increased every year for more than three decades. It was raised 2.4% in 2018 and then 2.6% in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. The 2.6% pay raise is the largest in the past 9 years.

People Unclear

This is number 66 of a series

Right!

I subscribe to a number of conservative sources. Where else can I go to get such exciting stuff? Take this from a recent email:

Petition (via NRCC HQ) <info@nrccvictory.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com
Dec 26 at 11:25 AM

Trump’s agenda has been incredible:

1. Our GDP grew at an astonishing 4.2%.
2. 4 million jobs have been added since Trump took office.
3. Efforts have begun to fund a wall on our southern border.

BUT — Nancy Pelosi wants to stop all of Trump’s great success.

Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you want, but I consider that to be a resounding set of accomplishments. I mean, I’m beginning to wonder why I didn’t vote for this Trump character two years ago. President Obama must be squirming right now. Let’s look at the comparisons:

Yes, that’s GDP growth per year for Obama years (blue) and Trump years (red). Trump’s first two years nearly equaled a couple of years during Obama’s last term. That’s impressive.

And some more:

  • Employment rose by 1.213 million during Obama’s first term (4 years). That’s piss poor.
  • Employment rose by 10.288 million during Obama’s second term (4 years). That’s only 25% better than Trumps first two years (not quite finished). Obama is surely distressed over this.

It is apparent to all who will see that President Trump is on track to almost equal President Obama’s best term. Well done. I doubt I could have done as well had I been elected, which I was not.

And finally, President Trump is making excellent progress toward building a wall along our border with Mexico. And Mexico is paying for it. Or else somebody is unclear on a few matters.

This is your President speaking.

Number 189 in a series

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

I hope everyone, even the Fake News Media, is having a great Christmas! Our Country is doing very well. We are securing our Borders, making great new Trade Deals, and bringing our Troops Back Home. We are finally putting America First. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Mr. President, thanks for making America great again.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 144

We note that during this period in our history, a gun of some sort appears to be the solution to many of life’s issues. For example:

Man charged with felony for pulling gun on Somali teens

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors on Monday charged a Minneapolis area man with a felony for allegedly pulling a gun on a group of young Somalis inside a McDonald’s last month.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s charged Lloyd Edward Johnson, 55, of Eden Prairie with felony terroristic threats and carrying a pistol without a permit, a gross misdemeanor.

In a statement, County Attorney Mike Freeman said Johnson “did everything he could to provoke this incident.” Freeman called Johnson’s alleged actions “outrageous behavior” and said, “it is only through sheer luck that no one was injured.”

Advocates for gun rights are going to point out that what Johnson did was illegal at multiple levels. What has made this an unforgettable moment in Mr. Johnson’s life is the availability of a handgun at some point. They really are nice to have around, don’t you think?

The Government You Paid For

Number 51 of a Series

This series is aimed not at the people who are playing dick-dick with the law and with the national economy. It’s aimed at the people who bought into their shit, voted for them, and still carry water for them. This is the government you paid for, and it’s the thing that separates you from decent people in this country. I am not going to belabor a swarm of well-know facts. I will, instead, post a few screen shots form ABC news yesterday and let readers come to their own conclusions:

The president you voted for had the expected reaction.

Treasury Steve Mnuchin, picked by President Trump over a host of more qualified choices, reacted in a manner that continues to puzzle. He phoned up six major banks and inquired whether they had enough liquidity to stand them through.

That was, of course, precisely what the markets wanted to hear, and they reacted as would be expected. By the end of the day before Christmas the situation was clear. For every $1000 I had in my retirement portfolio in January, I now have $800.

Mr. President. Thank you very very very much. I now have the government I paid for.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

Full disclosure: I post this Wednesday series as a way to keep ahead of the volume of movies to be reviewed. Generally the Wednesday posts are not bad movies, not really bad. But I manage to find flaw with every movie I watch. This one is It’s a Wonderful Life, from 1946. That makes it about 72 years old and also the first time I have seen it streaming on Amazon Prime Video, where I obtained the screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia.

I watched it through on my computer, finding it irresistible to pass up so many shots that I wound up with 110 by the time I was finished. I will recap the plot, which everybody should know by now, and I will provide some background.

This film belongs to the late actor James “Jimmy” Stewart. It’s his film more than it belongs to costar Donna Reed or director Frank Capra. Prior to World War Two Jimmy Stewart was a top Hollywood star, headlining famous works, living the life of a film colony playboy, and bedding down with some of the choicest babes on the screen at the time. When the war came he chucked it all, paid for his own flying lessons, and went down to the local recruiting office, where he signed up as a private in the Army. From there he worked his was up to flight leader and led deadly combat missions in B-24 bombers over Europe. He saw many of his command die in those days, but when it was all over he came home and attempted to restart his career. This is his first film after the war.

All right, everybody is aware this is a fairy tail about good over evil, and it’s pure corn. It’s centered in the mythical town of Bedford Falls, which appears to be somewhere in New York. It’s winter, and it’s Christmas Eve. This is a Christmas story.

We see small town Bedford Falls as small towns existed in those days.

But in the distant heavens there is trouble. We see stars wink as angels converse. There is trouble in Bedford Falls, and two angels summon Angel 2nd Class Clarence (Henry Travers), who has yet to earn his wings. Did I mention corn? Clarence must do a good deed to get his wings, and the trouble in Bedford Falls is just the package.

But first the background must be explained to Clarence, and also the the viewers. We start back when George Bailey (Stewart) was 12 years old. It’s winter again, and the gang is having winter fun. Here George prepares to shoot down a snowy slope riding a coal scoop onto a frozen pond.

George’s brother Harry (Todd Karns) goes next, and he outdoes them all, sliding out onto the pond where the ice is deadly thin. He breaks through, and George saves his life. But a result is George loses hearing in one ear, dooming him to a lifetime of partial deafness.

Of course the movie needs to have an odious character, and this has one in the form of Henry F. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), who makes up for having too much money by having absolutely no morals. He’s riding in a horse-drawn carriage, because this is 1919, when the story begins.

We see more of George’s early life in Bedford Falls. That’s young George (Bobby Anderson) working as a soda jerk at Gower’s drug store. Who remembers what a soda jerk was? The blond is Violet Bick (Jeanine Ann Roose), who’s pretty, and she knows it. She is going to grow up to be Gloria Grahame. The girl on the right is Mary Hatch (Jean Gale), who’s going to grow up to be Donna Reed. both girls are trying to charm young George.

Then drama! One of George’s tasks at Gower’s drug store is to deliver prescriptions. But on this day George discovers a telegram relating the death of Mr. Gower’s (H. B. Warner) son. He sees that Mr. Gower is drinking liquor from a bottle. He also notices a bottle containing a poisonous substance, and he becomes disturbed.

George tries to warn Mr. Gower, but Gower tells him to deliver the prescription and to not bother him. George attempts to speak to his father (Samuel S. Hinds), but his uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) tells George that his father is busy with a problem at the Building and Loan that he runs.

The Building and Loan is in financial straits, and they need financial support from Potter. Potter is gleeful at their problems, because he would like the company to go away. Potter wants to lend money at exorbitant rates.

George returns to the drug store without delivering the tainted prescription, and Gower boxes his ear (the bad one) before George is able to explain. When Gower realizes George has saved him from committing negligent homicide, he becomes a George Bailey supporter for life. This is key to the plot.

The two angels bring Clarence forward to 1928, and George Baily has grown up. He’s preparing to leave Bedford Falls, to see the world. He is in a store to purchase a valise, and he shows the clerk just how big. At this point the director freezes the frame so Clarence can get a good look at the subject of his target subject. Here is the frozen frame.

At this point viewers should take a look. Two years before this was taken, Jimmy Stewart was deep into the horrors of war, in combat that took the lives of 50,000 American air crew. What is remarkable is how little time he had to put all that behind him and stand before the cameras for this photo.

The clerk pulls out a large case, and George determines it is just the right size. The clerk tells George the price is right, as well, because Mr. Gower is picking up the tab.

George prepares to leave Bedford Falls and to see the world.

He spies Violet, who really has grown up.

At the Bailey dinner table the talk turns to the need for George to stay on and take over running the Building and Loan. Standard for movies of this era is Lillian Randolph as Annie, a black maid. Yeah, black people still occupied the lower rung, and movies of the time keep us reminded.

George persists in his plan to leave Bedford, and he gives his mother (Beulah Bondi) a playful whirl.

Pa Bailey is disheartened at George’s decision.

Annie butts in.

But George is off to the school reunion dance.

Violet is there, and she still has the hots for George. Truth is, she has the hots for lots of guys.

Old school chums say goodbye to George.

Mary is there, and has she ever grown up. George is captivated to the core.

They dance, and love blossoms.

They participate in the Charleston contest.

George has captured Mary’s heart, and a jealous rival gets exacts some payback. He and a friend activate a switch, which rolls back the dance floor. There is a swimming pool below. George and Mary are the first to splash. The rest, sensing great fun, join in.

George and Mary walk home, singing “Buffalo Gals,” a tune that was popular when I was young.

They pause by the abandoned house to toss rocks at the windows.

Devastation. Word comes that Pa Bailey has died of a stroke. George must stay and take over the Building and Loan.

Harry returns from college with a new bride and a job offer from his father-in-law. George is stuck running the Building and Loan.

George mulls at the cruel blows that have befallen him. In those days everybody smoked in the movies.

But Mary has waited for him. They are deeply in love, and they marry.

And they are off on their honeymoon.

But not so fast. It’s the Great Depression, and there is a run on the local bank.

Trouble stalks the Building and Loan, as well, as depositors line up to withdraw their savings. The B&L cannot repay all depositors’ savings, because the money is lent out.

Potter puts through a phone call to the B&L warning George that if the B&L closes before the scheduled hour it will not be able to open the next day.

Mary shows up with the money they had saved for the honeymoon, and that saves the day as the B&L ends the day with $2 remaining.

Mary leaves George a note to meet her at a certain address. It’s the abandoned house. They are moving in there.

They raise a family, George runs the Building and Loan, and he develops a low-cost housing development called “Bailey Park” for the town’s working class.

George introduces new homeowners to their prospective homes.

Potter finds the B&L a thorn in his side, offering low-cost loans and undercutting his loan shark rates.

Potter calls George in and offers him a job. But George sees through Potter’s scheme and turns down the offer.

At first George shakes Potter’s hand.

Then he realizes that some of that stuff may have rubbed off.

He attempts to remove the stain.

Back home he starts up the stairs, grabbing the wooden knob at the bottom of the banister. It comes off in his hand. This business with the knob is never fixed, and it becomes a link that ties segments of the plot together for the remainder of the movie.

War, and George takes over draft registration for the town. Harry goes off to war.

Other of Georges school chums go off to war, one taking part in seizing the Bridge at Remagen.

Harry becomes a combat pilot, taking part in the war in the Pacific.

George runs commodities rationing for the government.

The war ends.

Harry comes home a hero.

It’s the day before Christmas. Recall, this is a Christmas story. Billy is jubilant. He takes $8000 from the B&L to deposit at the bank and shows the news headlines to Potter.

But Billy has tucked the money inside the newspaper he gave to Potter, and Potter keeps the money. Billy cannot recall what he did with the money.

It’s devastating to the B&L. They are responsible for the loss, and they cannot personally cover it. An audit is scheduled. The B&L will be ruined. The Bailey’s will be prosecuted for theft.

At home George is mean-spirited to his family. They do not know why.

The knob again.

George’s young daughter Zuzu (Karolyn Grimes) is sick.

George goes to Potter for financial help. Potter greets him with threats.

George gets drunk at a bar.

He smashes his car into a tree.

He goes to a bridge that crosses the river. Suicide is tempting.

Clarence is watching. He jumps in first.

George jumps in to save Clarence.

Maybe this is a drawbridge, because there seems to be a bridge keeper’s shack. George and Clarence dry off in the shack.

Clarence explains his heavenly mission. George and the bridge keeper are dubious, to say the least.

George tells Clarence he wishes he had never been born.

Clarence grant’s George’s wish. George was never born.

Clarence is going to take George to see how the would would be if he had never been born.

They tour the town.

People on the street do not recognize George. He was never born.

He goes back to the familiar bar. It’s no longer friendly. It’s a real dive.

Mr. Gower shows up. He is the town drunk, just out of prison for manslaughter. George was not there to prevent the tragic poisoning.

The town George sees is low-class.

It is named after Potter, who has taken control.

He runs into Mary. She is a lonely old maid. She has never married. George frightens her.

George gets into a fight with a cop he knew in his life. The cop draws his pistol as George makes a getaway.

George regrets his wish that he was never born.

Clarence undoes the curse, and George is returned to his present life. The cop asks George if he needs help. The episode with the fight never happened.

George is gleeful to be alive.

When he gets home to face his family, the bank examiners are there. There will be a reckoning.

But George does not care. He’s alive.

The knob.

George embraces his children.

George, Mary, the children, embrace.

Townspeople have learned of George’s predicament. They show up en masse, and they bring money. They are bailing out the B&L.

Annie pitches in.

The family is joyful again.

Harry arrives. He has commandeered a plane and flown to Bedford Falls to be with his brother.

Under the Christmas tree are presents. One is a copy of “Tom Sawyer,” a book that Clarence showed to George. Clarence was real.

Zuzu reminds us that when you hear a bell ring, that means an angel has gotten his wings.

Forget about Tiny Tim. God bless us, everyone.

Before I ever saw this movie I was familiar with the plot. In those days before my family had television, there was radio. And there was this program that featured audio enactments of movies, and when I saw the movie I recognized pieces of the plot. Some things were different.

In the radio program we hear George recount how he is alone in the darkened town, in the cold and the snow. He comes upon a friendly dog. When he reaches to pet the dog, the dog bites him.

Of course the part about seeing how the world would be is central to the plot, and that was the part most familiar from the radio program. The movie is based on The Greatest Gift, a 1943 short story by Philip Van Doren Stern. Of course, the revision carries the time frame forward to after the war to get Harry’s heroics in.

I most recall the part about the deadly prescription. That haunted me long after I listened to the program.

Of course there is stuff in this movie that does not ring true. For one, the plot ignores what we now call the “butterfly effect.” The universe is a complex system that responds non-linearly to the smallest input. The absence of a single character in the town would have produced a highly-divergent line of development. What the movie shows is rigid universe with one component unplugged.

The case that struck me most watching the movie is George’s wife Mary. Without George, she never marries, and grows old alone. This is absurd beyond all reason. She is Donna freaking Reed. A babe of this caliber would have been snapped up by any of several hundred eager suiters. Actually, in Stern’s book, George finds that Mary has married another man.

Donna Reed went on to further greatness. She won an Oscar for her portrayal of a Honolulu prostitute in From Here to Eternity. Her TV show The Donna Reed Show ran from 1958 to 1966.

Stewart’s career soared in the 1950s, where he appeared in a number of Alfred Hitchcock movies.

Abusing Science

Number 4 of a series

I’m sure the source of the above cartoon will not mind my re-using it without permission. I am guessing Glenn McCoy came up with this to demonstrate to all who will pay attention that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a hoax. And that is what this post is all about. It’s about people who abuse science to make that claim.

For a major part of the 20th century the principal abusers of science were the creationists, some of whom sported phony college degrees and asserted that creationism is a fact and that evolution is an evil scheme to undermine religious faith. By the end of the century it became apparent that others were denying basic science for political and personal reasons. First came those who denied the problem with stratospheric ozone depletion, but that notion was dispelled decisively when the people who did the scientific studies came away with Nobel Prizes. Now denial of AGW has taken its place alongside creationism as a motivation for abuse of science.

If you have the idea that creationism and denial of AGW fit comfortably within political conservatism, you will be on solid ground. It you think conservatives have a lock on anti-science, then you are on quicksand. But more on that in future posts.

A powerful force against creationism has been Australian geologist Ian Plimer.

Plimer is an outspoken critic of creationism and is famous for a 1988 debate with creationist Duane Gish in which he asked his opponent to hold live electrical cables to prove that electromagnetism was ‘only a theory’. Gish accused him of being theatrical, abusive and slanderous.

In 1990 Plimer’s anti-creationist behaviour were criticised in Creation/Evolution journal, in an article titled “How Not to Argue with Creationists” by skeptic and anti-creationist Jim Lippard for (among other things) including false claims and errors, and “behaving poorly” in the 1988 Gish debate.

Once again, you should not conclude that supporters of science are of one mind. Plimer is noted for his rejection of AGW, to a degree. His objections to the scientific consensus incorporate a belief that the drive to obtain funding motivates researchers to cough up the preferred conclusions.

The theory of human-induced global warming is not science because research is based on a pre-ordained conclusion, huge bodies of evidence are ignored, and the analytical procedures are treated as evidence. Furthermore, climate ‘science’ is sustained by government research grants. Funds are not available to investigate theories that are not in accord with government ideology.

Abbot, Dr John. Climate Change: The Facts . Stockade Books. Kindle Edition.

It is rational to question scientific conclusions when a motive for bias is apparent, but the possibility of bias is not sufficient. It is also necessary for the conclusions to be incorrect, and it is here Plimer’s arguments edge into abuse of science.

ii. The increased carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, will lead to ever increasing global warming

Point (ii) has shown to be invalid on all time scales. There is no doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. However, the main greenhouse gas is water vapour. The first 100 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 have a significant effect on atmospheric temperature, whereas any increase from the current 400 ppm will have an insignificant effect. Furthermore, because CO2 has a short residence time in the atmosphere, it is naturally sequestered into the oceans, life, or rocks in less than a decade. In fact, only one molecule of every 85,000 in the atmosphere is CO2 of human origin, and yet we are asked to believe that this one molecule drives hugely complex climate change systems. We are also asked to believe that the 32 molecules of CO2 of natural origin in every 85,000 molecules play no part in driving climate change.

Abbot, Dr John. Climate Change: The Facts . Stockade Books. Kindle Edition.

At this point Plimer ignores the evidence, and he also dabbles in abuse of science. First of all the abuse. He states correctly that the prime greenhouse gas is water. To be sure, without water vapor in the air our planet would chill out quickly. But he follows this accurate statement with one that has no basis in fact. The additional 120+ ppm added by the use of fossil fuels contributes an addition to the existing greenhouse effect, and it is that addition that is causing the observed global warming.

Next, examine the statement, “In fact, only one molecule of every 85,000 in the atmosphere is CO2 of human origin,…” Some math: At 400 ppm, one molecule of CO2 is in every 2500 molecules of the atmosphere. Human activity is credited with adding about 1/3 of that 400 ppm. That is one molecule of anthropogenic CO2 for every 8300 molecule of air, not one for every 85,000. Since Plimer is a serious scientist, I am guessing this is an error in math and not deliberate on his part.

Next: “Furthermore, because CO2 has a short residence time in the atmosphere,…” Actually, it takes 200 years for an influx of CO2 to exit the atmosphere. Plimer may be thinking of the persistence of methane, which has a life in the order of 15 years. Readers need to keep in mind that CO2 introduced into the atmosphere never completely vanishes. The effects of an influx diminish with time, and eventually the effect is subsumed by other factors. I will contend that CO2 exits the atmosphere at an exponential rate. The rate of decrease is proportional to the concentration.

Now for Plimer’s disregard for the evidence, particularly:

The above is from Temperature Change and Carbon Dioxide Change on the NOAA site.

Temperature change (light blue) and carbon dioxide change (dark blue) measured from the EPICA Dome C ice core in Antarctica (Jouzel et al. 2007Lüthi et al. 2008).

I have no explanation why they did not use contrasting colors.

A final point on Plimer before I close. A major concern with AGW is the resulting rise is sea levels. As land ice melts and flows into the oceans, the sea level will rise. There is also a rise associated with warming and expansion of ocean water. The consequence is flooding of coastal areas. Plimer has this to say:

Land level changes

There can be no understanding of sea level rise and fall without an understanding of local land level rises and falls. Scandinavia, Scotland and Canada are rising because, during the last glaciation, ice sheets covered these areas and pushed down the land. Now that the ice has melted, there is rebound and the land is rising. If land rises, other areas of land may sink, such as Holland. Land rises in mountains as a result of compression (e.g. Himalayas) whereas, when there is extension or pulling apart, land sinks (e.g. Lake Eyre). The world’s oceans formed by extension and, because the oceans are still growing at the mid-ocean ridges, the land masses at the edges of oceans are uplifted into hills or mountain chains (e.g. Great Dividing Range).

Abbot, Dr John. Climate Change: The Facts . Stockade Books. Kindle Edition.

He is obfuscating the fact of sea level rise with this discussion of the rise and fall of land masses. While this process is real and observed, it does not change that coastal regions not affected by the sinking of land are now experiencing increased flooding due to sea level rise, and this sea level rise is due to global warming.

There is a lot more of abuse of science related to global warming, and future posts will touch on these cases.

People Unclear

This is number 65 of a series

Full disclosure: I subscribe to a number of conservative sources. That way I don’t have to make this stuff up. From a recent email:

Donald J. Trump <contact@victory.donaldtrump.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com
Dec 23 at 10:56 AM

John,

Over the past week, 1,241,340 American patriots, like you, have signed petitions DEMANDING Democrats put America first and BUILD THE WALL.

We FLOODED their offices with your petitions, but Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi continue to do the only thing they know…OBSTRUCT!

Chuck and Nancy are SOLELY responsible for this shutdown because using the safety and security of American citizens as a bargaining tool to play political games is just plain WRONG.

And there is more, but that is all I am going to share. Does anybody beside me think there are still some people unclear out there?

This is your President speaking.

Number 187 in a series

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

The only way to stop drugs, gangs, human trafficking, criminal elements and much else from coming into our Country is with a Wall or Barrier. Drones and all of the rest are wonderful and lots of fun, but it is only a good old fashioned Wall that works!

Wait! I have a better idea. How about we quit electing criminal elements as President of the United States?

Bad Movie of the Week

Number 251 of a series

Where else? This is from Amazon Prime Video, now streaming it’s Attack of the Crab Monsters from 1957, and you know it’s going to be bad. I’m sure I never saw this one before and will never have to see it again. Here’s the story. Details are from Wikipedia.

A contingent of scientists and Navy people land on a South Pacific island. There they are coming ashore from the seaplane that brought them. The island is near where hydrogen tests were previously conducted, and strange things have been happening. A previous expedition was never heard from after a storm came through. This group is not going to have much better luck.

Things get off to a bad start. A sailor falls out of a landing boat, and when his buddies retrieve his body it has no head.

So, the team members pack their gear up to a house that was used by the previous party, and they go to watch the seaplane take off. After getting airborne, the plane is destroyed by a massive explosion.

Here are:

  • Richard Garland as Dale Drewer
  • Pamela Duncan as Martha Hunter
  • Russell Johnson as Hank Chapman
  • Leslie Bradley as Dr. Karl Weigand
  • Mel Welles as Jules Deveroux
  • Richard H. Cutting as Dr. James Carson
  • Beach Dickerson as Seaman Ron Fellows
  • Tony Miller as Seaman Jack Sommers
  • Charles B. Griffith as Seaman Tate (uncredited)
  • Maitland Stuart as Seaman Mac (uncredited)

Dr. Martha Hunter goes exploring under water, giving viewers opportunity to appreciate her assets.

The usual plot for these movies unfolds on schedule, as daily members of the expedition vanish without a trace. Here Carson descends by rope into a pit. The line goes slack, and they never find his body.

Two sailors, stationed in a tent on the beach play cards, using sticks of dynamite for stakes. They hear a noise outside the tent. They look out. It’s the end of them

Members of the expedition continue to disappear, but by now everybody knows there are giant crags menacing the expedition. Additionally, the island is daily wracked by earthquakes accompanied by the sounds of explosions. And the island is growing smaller. In the end it has been reduced to a spit of land supporting the radio antenna.

By this time three survivors remain:

  • Drewer
  • Hunter
  • Chapman

Chapman, who has grown sweet on Hunter. takes on the remaining crab.

Drewer and Hunter watch the spectacle in horror.

Chapman collapses the radio tower onto the crab and dies along with the crab.

The final scene in the movie.

Besides the obvious hokeyness of the plot, there are a number minor issues.

We see Drewer and Hunter emerge from the sea after their underwater exploration. Other from atop the cliff call to them, and they abandon their SCUBA gear and go with the others. Who does this?

Nobody seems to be in charge of the expedition. People go their separate ways, looking for the caus of the mysterious happenings and getting picked off one by one. Nobody fields an expeditin of this sort without a chain of command of some sort.

The seaplane takes off and then explodes. Why? No reason is given, nor can one be surmised.

You can catch this on Amazon Prime Video for the time being, but a copy appears to be posted on YouTube.

 

 

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

Wynton Marsalis had finished a live performance at the Lincoln Center in New York when a woman approached him back stage. “Mr. Marsalis, you were magnificent,” she exclaimed. And she continued. “But I must tell you about my son Nevile.”Marsalis had prior experience with stage mothers, so he knew what was coming.

“Nevile plays the trumpet, also, and you really must hear him play. He plays just like Roger Voisin.”

“I’m sure he plays quite well, madame,” Marsalis reassured her. “Roger Voisin was in his time the greatest all around. But you need to have him audition at a music school. That’s the best route to success.”

“No,” the woman persisted. “I can’t get them to give him an audition. But I’m sure that if you hear him play you would want to help him. I have a recording right here. Let me play it for you.”

With that the woman punched a button on her iPod and the mellow sound of a trumpet filled the air. Marsalis was taken aback. The sound of the trumpet was as professional as he had ever heard. “That’s your son playing?” he asked.

“No,” the woman replied. “That’s Roger Voisin. But Nevile plays just like that.”