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MASS EXTINCTION ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE!

In "Apocalypse NOT" forum on May 31, 2018 at 10:39 pm


In which WOOF’s editor in chief, Old Bugler, expresses his up-to-the-minute-if-frustratingly-excursive views on nothing but 100% guaranteed genuine news, mostly in the annoyingly officious third-person, as befits his station!   

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Fellow earthlings—that sounds inclusive enough, doesn’t it? —your humble editor begs your indulgence as he departs the political realm in this column to address a topic about which he knows absolutely nothing. This is merely to say that your editor is not a meteorologist, has never studied meteorology, and, like most Americans, relies on those trained in that expertise for guidance. This is especially the case when such guidance appears undersigned by 15,000 recognized experts whose uniform opinion is that we—meaning all of us, including, presumably, each of Facebook’s 71 gender options—are blindly marching toward planetary disaster. Given the gravity of the situation, surely our readers will acknowledge the importance of turning–for at least this crucial moment–from our typical fare to a far less subjective discipline–one amounting to settled science.

Can 15,000 scientists be wrong?

Old Bugler felt compelled to undertake this discussion despite his confessed unfamiliarity with the field, owing to his shock and alarm upon learning that “Humans are sleepwalking into a mass extinction of species not seen since the demise of the dinosaurs.” That headline, emblazoned above an article in the U.K. Independent, derived in turn from the authoritative Journal of Communications Biology, certainly commanded attention. Moreover, the discovery that “British scientists” were the principal issuers of the warning served to instill the matter with an unsettling momentousness, because–as most Americans intuitively grasp–British scientists, being British, are prohibited by their inherent Brythonic natures from issuing frivolous or irresponsible pronouncements—a characteristic that imbues their findings with  near-lapideous credibility.

From Old Bulgler’s “Great Moments in British Science” archive, the Dr. Quatermass section.

On this basis alone, it seemed imperative to absorb the entire report, described by the authors as a “new letter to humanity” (presumably because nobody would bother to reread an old one) signed by the above-mentioned 15,000 scientists joined in tendering a “catastrophic warning about the fate of the world.” Readers will readily apprehend the mounting trepidation with which your editor read further, anxious as he was to descry by what means our mass extinction was to ensue. Were these learned scientists privy to the emerging truth about UFOs— had the Zeta Reticulans communicated their intent to eradicate earth’s dominant species? Or was an enormous asteroid hurtling toward us via some unanticipated orbit leaving only weeks—perhaps days—before its globe-shattering impact vaporized the lot of us? Or was the long overdue yet widely anticipated Planet Nibiru finally entering that aspect of its oft-described elliptical orbit so proximal to our world as to occasion our moon’s ejection from orbit, followed swiftly by a stupendous collision with Earth as a grand finale? Or perhaps the Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists accidentally moved their doomsday clock’s hand all the way to midnight, thus ensuring thermonuclear war.

“Careful, you fool! Another inch and you’ll blast the planet to smithereens!”

Old Bugler’s mind raced as he probed for details, and while he was instantly uncomfortable with the article’s content, his initial objections pertained more to the designated cause of mankind’s demise than any doubts about substance. True, a less dull-witted reader might have inferred at first glance that our impending mass extinction was, like so much else nowadays, a ramification of climate change–and certainly mass extinction is no less frightful whether provoked by aliens, asteroids, or global warming. That said, your humble editor is so peculiarly constituted that faced with inevasible doom, he would prefer something more original. But this admittedly irrational reaction was quickly superseded by an encroaching awareness of something more authentically anticlimactic. The report’s language took what seemed a curious turn, and precisely at that point typically devoted to substantiating the authors’ findings.  Instead, the prose seemed almost to downshift–to reflect a more nuanced tone, even while maintaining that “man-made global change is threatening the diversity of different creatures that have taken millennia to evolve.”

Poised to extirpate….

All right, any sentence containing a reference to man-made global change (by which was clearly intended global climatic change) is far from sanguine, and readers may be forgiven for deeming it premature, even reckless, to characterize evidence of an event poised to extirpate “different creatures that have taken millennia to evolve” as “downshifting,” or anticlimactic. Your editor felt a flash of shame at his rising incredulity. He reminded himself that any species said to have evolved has, in fact, “taken millennia to evolve,” including our own. That’s what we call settled science.  Thus, humans might well be among those “different creatures” to which the report alluded. But even as this logic compelled his further investigation, Old Bugler felt the tingle of an almost preconscious wariness–a sensation akin to that creeping blush of mortification that accompanies the realization that one has been cozened. Yes, cozened— a polite, nearly archaic term, less violent and roughshod than swindled, or flimflammed, meaning congenially and artfully deceived.

As history bears witness, global warming experts sometimes indulge in outright fakery, as in the NOAA scandal exposed by Dr. John Bates in 2017; but your editor suspects no such overt manipulation of data in this instance–British humor is subtler.

Science has long predicted extreme weather events even more disturbing than depicted here! 

At first, your humble editor’s aforementioned faith in the integrity of modern science, and modern British science in particular, forestalled any suspicion greater than a reflexive distrust of his own perceptions. Surely, an epistolary decree to the world undersigned by a veritable pantheon of distinguished scientists (not a few of whom actually study climate) surely exemplified a level of scholarship so elevated as to exclude any hint of…well…syntactic chicanery? And yet—reading on—one learns that “global warming and rising sea levels threaten to wipe out many species that cannot adapt to change quickly enough.” Worrisome, to say the least, but hardly, on the surface of it, indicative of the epic debacle implied by the title. What revelations lurked in the full report?  Was humankind among those species teetering on the brink of destruction? Does a subset of humanity reside nearer “the brink” being situated nearer beaches and ports? Is this subset liable to wholesale slaughter because rising sea levels will ultimately consume our coastal cities (despite several postponements and hasty reschedulings) whereupon the tides are expected to surge so violently that these hapless souls will be “wiped out” because they “cannot adapt to change quickly enough?” And even if such a catastrophe drowned multitudes of injudiciously situated victims, could we objectively call it “mass extinction?” No, something was definitely amiss.

Save the undocumented species!

Extinction is real,. The “Aye Aye” of Madigascar, for example,, is reportedly nearing extinction. Nature can certainly be cruel.

An impression began to solidify in Old Bugler’s consciousness:. Humans weren’t “sleepwalking into mass extinction” after all. Rather, it appeared that various species quite apart from our own were facing extinction, or might be, which datum formed the gravamen of what came advertised as a “catastrophic warning about the fate of the world.” In fairness, your editor reasoned, the deceptively crafted headline was probably the handiwork of some junior editor at the Independent assigned the task of slyly sensationalizing relatively mundane science stories—the better to encourage “clicks.”

But no, as a careful rereading served to verify, the language derived verbatim from the report itself, in which no less a luminary than Professor of Evolutionary Paleobiology Matthew Wills at the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath (which is in England) specifically stated, “We are sleepwalking into a mass extinction of a magnitude unparalleled since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.” The miscommunication seemed to stem from Professor Wills’s liberal application of the pronoun ‘we,’ by which he seems to refer to sentient lifeforms quite apart from ourselves, only certain subspecies of which are threatened with possible extinction, and none of which, so far as Old Bugler is aware, has been observed to sleepwalk.  In fact, the majority of lifeforms identified by the “New Letter to Humanity” as likely candidates for extinction appears to be shrimp.  Adding to these concerns, Wills makes so bold as to declare: “We are already losing diversity that has never even been documented” –an illation of virtually supermundane percipience, considering the difficulties inherent in verifying the loss of species that have “never even been documented.”

Knowing the fate of the dinosaurs should serve as ample warning of what occurs when climatologists are ignored. Or gigantic meteors, anyway.

Dr. Katie Davis enjoys a large order of french fries, demonstrating, perhaps, that concerns about cholesterol become academic on the presipice of mass extinction.

Next, Research Fellow Dr Katie Davis, an evolutionary palaeobiologist at the University of York, (England), explained that “Understanding the processes that shaped the strikingly irregular distribution of species richness across the Tree of Life is a major research agenda,” which one can readily believe without seeing any obvious way in which such a quest, no matter what its priority, bears on humankind’s blind march toward “extinction of a magnitude unparalleled since …the dinosaurs.” In fact, even an exact appraisal of the threat eludes us, as Davis acknowledges there are “depending upon estimates, between two and fifty million extant species of animals (Metazoa), all derived from a single common ancestral species that lived some 650 million years ago.” So if there are either 50 million or 2 million of them, or any number in between, surely predicting what number of them will or will not become extinct is somewhat arbitrary? And besides, Davis reveals,“net rates of speciation…exceed rates of extinction,” even though “the balance of these processes varies greatly, both between clades and throughout geological time.”

Like Darwin’s finches…

Dr. de Grave is head of research at the prestigious Oxford University Museum, yet so unaffected, you can call him “Sammy.”

Clades and geological time aside, the data, viewed objectively, show that more species are tabulated extant than extinct by a sizeable margin. Even more reassuring is the discovery that “shrimp have independently transitioned from marine to freshwater habitats repeatedly, creating much richer pockets of biodiversity.” Surely this suggests a level of adaptability that belies the premise of the report? Indeed, it transpires that “the relative isolation of lakes and rivers appear [sic] to increase the diversity of species in a similar way to Darwin’s finches on island chains.” And diversity, as every educated person is aware by now, is wonderful. So, given these uplifting discoveries, what is the problem? In a game attempt to resuscitate the study’s apocalyptic tenor, co-author Sammy de Grave, head of research at the Oxford University Museum, adds: “But rising sea levels caused by climate change could put these pockets at risk, disrupting these freshwater distributions and leading to extinctions as a result.”

Could?  Really? So because 15,000 scientists saw fit to misrepresent a conglomeration of learned speculation and unbridled conjecture as proof of Armageddon, Old Bugler suffered a hair-raising endocrine event culminating in rampant adrenal surges, autonomic nervous conniptions, waves of quasi-suicidal angst and a pounding pulse rate? Good heavens, people, get a grip on yourselves! Why restyle what amounts to a preponderantly uplifting review of the miracle of expanding biodiversity and the amazing versatility of living organisms, as a “catastrophic warning about the fate of the world” when in reality, the worst extractable inference is that, in the event of certain mootable hypotheses coming to fruition given certain circumstances that might or might not develop, it could be the case that certain levels of destruction might or might not be visited upon certain unknowable varieties of species whose current numbers cannot be accurately estimated, and who are, in any case, largely “carideans,” which, beloved readers, means shrimp.  By what evaluative standard is the loss, however regrettable, of a few million carideans, (give or take a few million), a blow to humankind equatable with mass extinction on a par with the dinosaurs?  And come to think of it, when was the last time you seriously needed a dinosaur?

The aftermath…

Old Burglar is happy to report that his parasympathetic nervous system has restored him to psychobiological homeostasis in the wake of what initially seemed an inescapable cataclysm.  He is once again seated calmly before his Alger Hiss autograph-series Woodstock Model 5 typewriter, sipping a sudsy Yuengling, and sorting through the day’s dispatches. Outside the WOOF cave, seabirds–at least the surviving species of them–are cawing and cavorting blithesomely. Before him, your editor cannot help noticing among the daily flurry of news items, lies an “updated” bulletin from the Union of Concerned Scientists. A glance suffices to establish that “Unless we take immediate action to reduce global warming emissions, these impacts will continue to intensify, grow ever more costly and damaging, and increasingly affect the entire planet — including you, your community, and your family.” Be that as it may, Old Bugler will resist, for now, examining precisely what “these impacts” entail. One Götterdämmerung a week is enough for any senior editor–and meantime, this one is content to leave planetary salvation in the capable hands of concerned scientists, wherever located.

Wait a minute–those aren’t seabirds!

Second thoughts…

Although on second thought, it seems churlish to eschew all responsibility for the fate of the planet—especially in view of the tireless efforts at outreach emanating from so many informed professionals enjoining us to “take immediate action.” With this in mind, your editor scribbled a hasty memo to WOOF’s art department requesting the “immediate” designing and limited issuance of bumper stickers exhorting our fellow citizens to “SAVE THE SHRIMP!”

Further, your editor pledges to affix one to his 1964 Corvair’s rear bumper, right next to the sticker bearing the faded legend: “AuH2O,” and beyond this, he pledges to forward an additional bumper sticker absolutely free to anyone requesting it, while supplies last.  One must, after all, do one’s part.

Free while supplies last!

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“THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE—Oh, wait–the RUSSIANS ARE GOING!” (or) WOOF Chronicles the outbreak, the feverish climax, and the sweaty aftermath of the Media’s year-long bout with Russian Flu.

In "Apocalypse NOT" forum on October 28, 2017 at 6:24 pm

The unluckiest moment of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign may well have been his decision to crack wise about Hillary Clinton’s emails during a March rally. He had already joked during a televised debate that Mrs. Clinton’s preternaturally irretrievable emails might be locatable by Russia—a fairly amusing quip since the press was even then full of Russian hacking stories, none of which, at the time, involved Trump.  At a campaign rally, Trump iterated: “I will tell you this, Russia, if you’re listening; I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

“Maybe Russia can find them!”

It is unfair, we think, to say as many do that Leftists have no sense of humor. It is less unfair to observe that the liberal establishment is jocundly challenged, its mainstay attribute—sanctimony –having withered its less officious instincts. For this reason, the pontificators of the mainstream media routinely ignore or misinterpret irony, which explains, among other things, how Trump’s topical jape was deprived of context by Democrat politicians and newscasters.

So competent, I keep Putin up at night!

Initially, the chief utility of misreporting Trump’s laugh line as a serious remark derived from the tactical desirability of portraying Trump as a rapacious, sell-seeking power broker brazenly maneuvering to enlist foreign dictators in his effort to win office by defaming Hillary Clinton. The Russians, pundits claimed, might well collude with Trump in order to prevent a presidency helmed by the former Secretary of State whose brilliance, exhaustive geopolitical knowledge, sophisticated grasp of diplomatic nuances, and steely nerves would make her exactly the kind of chief executive Putin feared. The tone of analysis, in other words, was already psychotic.

We now know from Shattered, Jonathon Allen’s and Amie Parnes’s inside account of Hillary Clinton’s disastrous presidential campaign, that “Within 24 hours of Clinton’s concession speech, top officials gathered ‘to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up.… Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.’” But while the Clintonistas initially saw this fiction as little more than a face-saving device, the idea caught fire with media savants, Hollywood polemicists, disgruntled liberal voters, and a wide array of mentally unbalanced politicos who speak on their behalves.

In support of the hacked-election construct, the NSA seems to have leaked its own top-secret report to the effect that Russia attempted to manipulate certain regional elections by spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials. By all accounts, these efforts fizzled, yet appear to constitute the entirety of arguable Russian meddling in the 2016 election. More recent accounts suggest the Russians had nothing to do with the scheme. Even The Nation, that redoubtable house organ of American liberalism, admitted last August that “Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.”  Nevertheless, the impression was widely given by mainstream media that besides enlisting Putin to leak damaging information on Hillary, Trump had somehow persuaded the Russians to “hack the election” in some terrifyingly sophisticated manner that actually altered the vote count. Oddly, the Ruskies seemed to limit the application of this fiendish technology to the electoral count, perhaps leery of rigging the popular vote too, lest they overplay their hand.

“Mustn’t overdo! Hee, hee!”

At long last, hate!

The Dadaistic oddness of liberalism’s volte face on the subject of Russia inspires a mixture of bemusement and awe. Suffice it that nobody to the left of, say, Charlie Rose, would have dreamt of speaking ill of the former Soviet Union, its leadership, or its concerted efforts to manipulate our sociopolitical culture over the past eight decades, even while immiserating half the planet into the bargain. Russia’s immunity from liberal displeasure would be intact even today, were it not for the utility of Russo-phobia as a means of undermining the presidency of Donald Trump.

“Sunday” with Chuck and Alger….

At the height of their newly adopted Russo-phobia it seems reasonable to surmise that most Democrats would have enthusiastically impanelled a modern iteration of the House Un-American Activities Committee were its first function to investigate Russia’s clandestine abetment of the Trump administration. Notably, this signals the Democrat Party’s recent divorcement from longstanding philosophical premises (however irrational in the first place) and its newfound enthusiasm for whatever dogma seems momentarily opportune. The media, following like a leash-broken Maltese, shed its own longstanding Russophilia—a tradition that as recently as the late ‘80s saw Charles Kuralt narrating a segment of CBS’s Sunday Morning devoted to extolling Alger Hiss’s patriotism while rebuking his accuser, “the homosexual Whittaker Chambers.”

Haberman: “Never hit seventeen….”

Times change. The Great Liberal Russian Scare so fixated every establishment media outlet that remaining current on the topic proved almost impossible. Every day, newspapers rushed to print with fresh accusations attributed to unnamed sources quoted in articles that—read to their conclusions—ended with disclaimers acknowledging the absence of any substantiating evidence. For example, the New York Times initiated a particularly robust mythology when reporter Maggie Haberman mocked Trump’s refusal “to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.” In fact, America has exactly 17 intelligence agencies, but to believe the Times, one would have to believe that Russia was cited as tampering with the presidential election by every one of them, including such disparate organizations as the 25th Air Force, United States Coast Guard Intelligence, and the TSA.  Indeed, after publishing several additional yarns featuring Haberman’s “basic fact,” the Times quietly retracted the story, burying their apology in the Gray Lady’s bowels, but Haberman’s “17 intelligence agencies” lived on, thunderously declaimed by congressmen and media babblers bent on revealing Vladimir Putin’s role in helping Donald Trump steal the presidency.

Rumors of Russian computer hacking predated Trump’s victory, of course.  Going into the election year, the FBI warned both the RNC and the DNC that efforts to ransack their cyber files might be afoot. The RNC responded by taking the recommended precautions. The DNC did not respond at all, presumably because their efforts to sideline Bernie Sanders, as well as a plethora of additional, equally sleazy shenanigans, were not items they cared to share with the Bureau. Consequently, the DNC was hacked to a fare thee well, allegedly by the Russians, although no evidence of Russian involvement ever surfaced. The resulting embarrassment led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not because she dumbly permitted her data to be filched, but because the hacked material exposed her lies, schemes, and often shockingly illiberal opinions. Obviously, there is some good in everything.

The theft of John Podesta’s computer files occurred when Podesta, then chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, fell for a primitive phishing scam. No sooner had Podesta clicked the poison link, then tens of thousands of his messages were pilfered by nefarious powers, again widely reported to be Russian, although—as seems normative in these matters–no proof of Russian culpability materialized.

“Oops!”

Julian Assange, from liberal icon to doggie doo, in just one, short election!

Also during this period, Julian Assange was busily leaking information damaging to the Clinton campaign, widely reported as the fruits of Russian espionage, although Assange repeatedly denied receiving any material from the Russians, maintaining throughout that his sources were closer to the candidate–whose own computer scandals were now of a magnitude that demanded reporting, even by a media proclived to spike any news unflattering to her. Yes, this is the part where silly Hillary misplaced over thirty thousand emails formerly available on her private server–which she maintained in contravention of federal law–in order to (shall we speak bluntly?) trade confidential, often classified information for favors and money.  Worse, Hillary’s oft-cited ignorance of computers accounted not only for the accidental purging of her emails, but also for her equally accidental purchase and application of a pricey software product called BleachBit, designed to cleanse hard drives completely, ensuring that all accidentally deleted items were accidentally unrecoverable.

“Oops!”

Loretta and Bill

In this regard, it will also be recalled that while appearing before congress, FBI Director James Comey detailed numerous crimes and malfeasances attributable to Mrs. Clinton, mainly related to her emails, her false statements, and her bizarre indifference to matters of national security, following which, Mr. Comey announced his unilateral decision to waive prosecution in each of the cases cited, mainly, he explained, because Mrs. Clinton didn’t know what she was doing.  Comey’s tortured rationale aside, it remained mysterious which federal codicil absolved criminals of legal responsibility on the grounds of not knowing what they were doing. Moreover, FBI Directors do not determine whether charges are preferred, they report to the Justice Department, where such determinations are made.

Fairly Odd Grandparents

We know now, however, that Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, instructed Comey to excuse Mrs. Clinton’s offenses, and, that done, hastened to assure reporters that she would abide by whatever decision Comey rendered.  Lynch’s surreptitious stand-down order came in the immediate wake of her controversial private meeting with Bill Clinton, (whose wife was currently under investigation by her department). Bill Clinton afterwards promised a preternaturally credulous news media that nothing political was discussed during his huddle with Lynch. Rather, Clinton contended, his conversation with the Attorney General focused entirely on such casual topics as the pair’s grandchildren—a version of events only slightly complicated by the fact that Lynch doesn’t have any.

The golden shower dossier….

The charges against Trump enjoyed a major revivification with the introduction of what might be called the blackmail hypothesis. By incorporating a simple, easily comprehended plot device, this approach finessed the objection that Putin had no discernible motive for promoting a Trump presidency.  Trump, in this variation on the theme, received Russian support because Putin held Trump in thrall. Details varied version to version, but the theme common to all blackmail scenarios, many of which are still recited at Georgetown cocktail events, was that Russia possessed information so damaging to Trump that policies dictated by the Kremlin would be slavishly implemented a Trump White House, lest the appalling details come to light. The apex of this narrative came and went with the discovery of the “golden shower” dossier—trumpeted in Vanity Fair (for example) as an “explosive revelation.”

“Steele…Christopher Steele!”

The secret details were provided by one Christopher Steele, whom Vanity Fair described as an “ex-Cambridge Union president, ex-M.I.6 Moscow field agent, ex-head of M.I.6’s Russia desk, ex-adviser to British Special Forces on capture-or-kill ops in Afghanistan, and a 52-year-old father with four children, a new wife, three cats, and a sprawling brick-and-wood suburban palace in Surrey.” Eat your heart out, James Bond.

In one of the most inadvertently hilarious contributions to the Russia-gate narrative, Vanity Fair breathily detailed the urgency with which Senator John McCain dispatched representatives to London to take physical possession of Christopher Steele’s Trump dossier, which must have been deemed too sensitive to be scanned and emailed—or perhaps it remains the case that Senator McCain cannot use email. At any rate, what emerged was the now-infamous yarn of Trump hiring Russian prostitutes during a visit to Moscow to urinate on a hotel bed formerly slept in by Barack Obama. This news burst upon the scene unvetted, as seems characteristic of all negative reports on Donald Trump, and dwindled slowly over the following weeks as its absurdity waxed increasingly manifest.

Director Comey–looking riveted.

FBI Director Comey initially found Steele’s “bombshell” riveting, having received his copy courtesy of John McCain’s office. Prior to its exposure as palpable nonsense, the pee scandal appears to have seized Comey’s imagination with a peculiar fixedness. That Comey, at that juncture, realized that the dossier was concocted at the behest of the DNC seems improbable, given that WOOF knows Comey initially planned to pay Steele to “continue his research.” How much Agent Steele was in fact paid by John McCain, Vanity Fair, various TV networks or any similarly dedicated guardians of the commonweal may never be known, but we hope it was a lot. We do know the DNC ponied up $6 million, although nobody at the DNC can itemize the amount, recalls paying that amount, or recalls having anything to do with the project.  It now appears, in fact, that as Obama’s outgoing functionaries took pains to ruminate publicly over Trump’s Russian involvement, each offering up vague accusations dissembled as vital gleanings fresh from the files of the FBI, the CIA, or whichever agency was up to bat, no one really had anything more substantive in hand than the Mr. Steele’s bogus pee story. The stark absence of any symmetrical concerns regarding the Clinton campaign is telling, Hillary’s transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium storage to Vladimir Putin through Russian corporate fronts in exchange for millions laundered through the Clinton Foundation, and $500 thousand handed to husband Bill as “speakers fees,” seemed to fly entirely under the CIA’s radar. Of course, they can’t be everywhere at once.

John Brennan: Third tier Democrat political hack, anti-Trump propagandist, Obama flak, and first Muslim CIA Director–for which, admirably, he never seeks any credit.

Marc E. Elias, liar, lawyer, Clintonista, and newly accused colluder with Russia.

Without contributing a single fact to the discussion, the “golden shower dossier” did more than any other news item to cement the public’s perception of Trump as somehow beholden to Putin,and therefore compromised in matters presidential. The dossier currently stands as one of the greatest examples of fake news yet ascribable to the remnants of American journalism, and as further evidence of GOP complicity in efforts to undermine Trump’s presidency. It further appears the FBI and CIA used it to secure FISA warrants to surveil the Trump campaign, which makes Watergate look like Romper Room.  In the wake of the dossier’s exposure as fraudulent, certain die-hard never-Trumpers in the Senate grumbled for a few days about requiring Secret Agent Steele to testify before a committee or two, but this idea was short lived, first owing to the fact that British Subjects are not required to respond to summonses from American Senators—even John McCain–and second, of course, because the realization struck home that offering Steele a platform could embarrass all the wrong people, including those DNC staffers who even the Washington Post now admits bankrolled the effort, not to mention Hillary’s lawyer, Marc E. Elias, who hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 to contribute dirt to the dossier, and who steadfastly lied about his involvement from that point forward.

Maxine Waters stood by the Golden Shower report in a speech to “homeless LGBTQ youth” in New York during which she vowed to “take Trump out.”

Undaunted, various Democrat senators and House members (and not a few GOP establishmentarians) appeared on the usual assortment of DNC-controlled news programs, ranting that Trump was under investigation for involvement with Russia. It has since emerged that congressional leaders who described Trump in this fashion were simply lying, having already been briefed by Comey to the contrary—although efforts by Comey to make that fact public were conspicuous in their absence.  By April 1st, Comey had in fact told the president three times that he was not under investigation. He also told the leadership of both the House and Senate that Trump was not under investigation, and assured the president that he’d told the House and Senate leadership.  But telling the media was another matter. At every opportunity, Comey demurred, affecting something akin to casuistic torment as if the truths that burdened him would prove unendurable to lesser men. Trump’s frustration with an FBI Director given to fits of coyness whenever offered an opportunity to clear his president’s name, and whose complicity with the Clintons became daily more apparent,  began to mount.

“Keep the cameras rolling, ladies and gentlemen, we’re not done lying yet!”

Floppy Hacks

Jill Stein– on the trail of guys with  floppy disks!

Evidence aside, the certainty that Russia somehow altered the election result was achieved by making “hacked election” a phrase on the lips of every TV “journalist.” It was catchy, and defensibly metaphoric, but low information viewers took the phrase literally even as experts of every stripe dismissed the idea as cyberspacially impossible.  No less a player than Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein attributed her poor showing at the polls to Russian interference. When Fox’s Neil Cavuto confronted her with the argument that voting machines are inaccessible by Internet and therefore immune to electronic tinkering, Miss Stein schooled him properly, rejoining “No… no! Because people walk around and they reprogram these machines and use, like, a floppy disk.”  Oddly, Miss Stein’s revelation failed to catch fire at CNN or MSNBC. Perhaps they missed the show. Meanwhile, sensing the impracticality of the hacking angle, the media lurched inelegantly into the revisionist argument that Trump sought Russian assistance by conspiring with Putin to assist in other unspecified ways—meaning that suddenly any association with anyone Russian by anyone in any respect affiliated with Trump’s campaign, was evidence of conspiracy.

“…with the Russians, too!”

Almost entirely forgotten these days is the explosive coverage that accompanied the “intelligence leak” from a December meeting including Trump, his national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Russia’s (seemingly omnipresent) Ambassador Kislyak. During the meeting, Trump apparently disclosed that ISIS was developing computer bombs to explode on airliners, and attributed the information to Israeli sources. The conversation promptly leaked and the media went berserk. To hear the prime-time potentates tell it, Trump had—in one fell swoop–betrayed Israel, let slip classified information, and connived with the Russians, all in less than an hour. Bonanza! Except that the splay of accusations, each feeble, worked in combination to further enhance the sense of mindless diffusion.

Sergei Kislyak–just a big fuzz ball of ambassadorial conviviality.

In a way, the case perfectly encapsulated the entire “Russia-gate” delusion—so multifaceted that no single enormity seized the imagination. The story died before defenders had time to explain that Trump could declassify any information he felt like declassifying and on the spur of the moment if it pleased him, that Russia would not be much abetted in spreading evil across the globe by learning that ISIS is inventive, or that Israel (normally vilified by the American press but cast as the pitiable victim of Trump’s neo-Nazi predilections for the remainder of the news cycle) would survive despite the President’s revelation that they spied on ISIS. Only one item of any substance emerged from the episode, namely the discovery that Michael Flynn was, to quote Warren Zevon in a different context, “with the Russians too!”

Out like Flynn

Flynn’s sins are significant only insofar as they further stoked the post-election hysteria that Moscow was somehow in command of the Oval Office, even though Flynn was long gone from the premises by the time the story caught fire. In the process, one of the most widely respected and accomplished military-intelligence specialists in the United States had his career and reputation reduced to rubble. Flynn spent better than three decades in the Army and at top intelligence posts where he was widely acknowledged as the driving force in transforming America’s special operations command from an unruly jumble of competing services and disparate tactical philosophies into a sleekly efficient instrument of death. Imagine, then, our surprise at discovering he was–the whole while–a mere tool of the Kremlin!

Barack Obama in his boundless perspicacity must have sensed Flynn’s perfidy. Flynn was contriving numerous highly creative and unconventional strategies for the advancement of American interests at the Defense Intelligence Agency when Obama ousted him (along with a virtual daisy chain of equally aggressive, patriotic war fighters and military hardliners who threatened the president’s plans for neutering America). At the time, Obama was far too busy colluding with Vladimir Putin in an effort to disarm the United States (witness his live-mic remarks to Russian President Medvedev) to notice Flynn’s peripheral contacts with Russia, but Flynn’s combative spirit and pro-American agenda were clearly unacceptable to the man who championed uni-sex lavatories, open borders, and transsexual Marines.

Contrast this with Flynn’s sins as re-imagined by the Leftist media and Obama’s comical assertion that he warned Trump about Flynn because of Flynn’s associations with the Kremlin. Flynn lasted only 24 days as Trump’s National Security Adviser before resigning, bombarded by enough superficial evidence and florid accusations to defy quantification. But WOOF here must applaud the diligent researchers of Politifact, who managed such a compilation anyway. Aggressively truncated for readability, here is an overview of Politifact’s indictments:

“So, Robot X-10, good job sticking floppy discs in all the Amerikanski voting machines!”

June 2013: Flynn visits the headquarters of Russia’s military intelligence directorate, the GRU, while serving the Obama administration. Politifact views this visit with intense suspicion, perhaps because Moscow may have begun its subornation of Flynn well in advance, knowing their secret vote-manipulating technology would eventually hand Trump the presidency, at which point Flynn could insert himself as Trump’s handler.  In August of 2015, Politifact noted, Flynn “met with and briefed Trump ahead of the Republican primary debate.” Assuming Flynn was by this time a Russian operative, his recruitment of Trump may have begun at this juncture. Still more incriminatory, in December of 2015 Flynn gave a speech about U.S. foreign policy at a conference in Moscow. Worse still, he sat beside Vladimir Putin afterwards, at dinner, perhaps receiving further orders under the cover of diplomatic decorum. Politifact next raises the concern that in July of 2015, “Flynn signals support for an attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Erdogan.” Perhaps Flynn feigned support for the overthrow of Erdogan, an Islamic extremist cozy with Putin, hoping to appear anti-Putin while in fact being pro-Putin. Politifact doesn’t say, but that’s all we can think of.  In August of 2016: Flynn’s Intel Group caught Politfact’s eye when it was hired by the Netherlands-based company Inovo, which sounds kind of Russian, even though it is really owned by a Turkish businessman who also chairs the Turkey-U.S. Business Council, which is bad, because it has connections with the Turkish government, which is bad, even though Flynn tried to overthrow it, which is somehow also bad.

Aug. 17, 2016 finds Flynn attending U.S. intelligence briefings—which is exactly what a Russian spy would do, and on November 18, Trump taps Flynn as national security adviser.  Flynn now seems unstoppable as Putin’s sleeper agent in the Oval Office.

We ask you: Is this the face of a Kremlin tool?

“I feel one of my inaccessible illations coming on!”

December 2016: Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, meet with Russian Ambassador Kislyak at Trump Tower, which is bad–but it turns out that on January 12, 2017, Flynn met with Russian Ambassador Kislyak at least twice while part of the Obama’s administration, which was not bad, unless it was secretly bad because Flynn was actually a double agent already working for Donald Trump, while actually working for Putin–making him a triple agent—which is three times worse than previously suspected. Why Obama blithely allowed Flynn to meet with the Russian Ambassador (that being bad) without immediately arresting him for treason remains moot, but Obama’s subtle illations being famously inaccessible, we suppose some greater purpose was served.

“I’m giving you just enough rope to hang yourself, Commie!” “That’s funny, sir, I was about to say exactly the same thing to you!”

Jan. 22, 2017: Flynn is sworn in as the nation’s 25th national security adviser, raising the obvious question: Is he serving the Kremlin as an independent operative, or is Trump already part of the conspiracy? Next, reporters learned Trump spoke for an hour over the phone with Vladimir Putin, who besides being indisputably Russian is also authentically sinister– and among those present in the Oval Office during the call?  General Flynn! Such recklessness surely betokened a new level of conspiratorial hubris.

Feb. 9, 2017: Poltifact reports that “U.S. intelligence officials [read: Comey and Brennan] reveal Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite his earlier denials,” which they report under the rubric, “Flynn walks back denial,” which was probably his only viable option, given that “I misspoke,” “I conflated different memories” and “I was taken out of context,” only work for Democrats.

Flynn vs. the Founders?

Feb. 13, 2017: Constitutional scholars at the New York Times discover the Emoluments Clause. They rush to agreement with Congressman John Conyers (Communist-MI), that Flynn’s acceptance of fees for his 2015 Moscow speech are unconstitutional because he failed to seek congressional approval. WOOF applauds the Times newfound enthusiasm for our founding document, but any assertion that Flynn accepted a “present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State” omits the fact that “RT,” (the Russian media corporation soliciting Flynn as a speaker), dealt exclusively with the speakers bureau representing Flynn, not Flynn.  Liberals argued that any corporate entity receiving government funds (as does RT) is itself a foreign state, although consistency would then dictate that PBS and NPR are also independent states. For that matter, any American official paid anything for any purpose by some such “foreign state” as the BBC, EuroRail, Volvo, Honda, or Air Canada, would be culpable of failing to notify congress. Moreover, Flynn’s speakers bureau actually charged RT $45,386 for arranging Flynn’s talk, deducted their handlers’ fee, and issued Flynn a check for $33, 750, meaning he was paid specifically by them, not RT.  Consider also that emails between the speakers bureau and the Russian corporation show that RT refused to meet the Bureau’s original price, insisting on a considerably lower amount—which certainly constitutes a novel approach to bribery.

Because that worked out so well!

Feb. 10, 2017: Flynn apologizes to vice-president Pence for misleading him in the matter of sanctions. The Washington Post, which apparently bugged Pence’s office, reports that Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, [during his discussions with the Russian ambassador] he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.” Three days later, Flynn resigns under withering media fire, ending the shortest term for any national security adviser in history—which is to say, since Richard Nixon invented the position in 1968 at the behest of Henry Kissinger, who proceeded to occupy it.

Liberal conspiracy theorists were again rendered apoplectic when, on March 30th,  General Flynn offered to testify before the Senate and House intelligence committees on condition of immunity. The offer was not accepted, (which is the clearest imaginable indication that nobody honestly thought Flynn had anything to say that might incriminate Trump) but the media framed it as proof that Flynn was prepared to spill the beans about Russia’s involvement in whatever they currently suspected Russia was involved in. Less benighted analysts saw the offer as a sign that Flynn, rather sensibly, had obtained a lawyer.  His pertinence to the entire Russia kerfuffle seemed to evanesce thereafter.

James Comey ascendant, descendant, repeat and fade….

In one of those rare instances of objective journalism still glimpsed occasionally amid the diatribes and dis-informational blustering that typify mainstream news in the 21st Century, CNN reported the FBI’s conclusion that Flynn did not intentionally mislead them regarding his meetings with Kislyak, but this bijou was swept from notice by panicked reports (leaked by James Comey), that Trump himself had attempted to subvert the FBI. Indeed, Comey recalled that Trump, during a conversation with him in the Oval Office, had insisted that Flynn was “a good guy,” and told Comey he “hoped” the director could “let this go,” meaning the Flynn investigation. Upon learning of this, the New York Times raved, “President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February,” adding that “Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.”

Comey, clearly contemplating making a break for the drapes.

Comey kicked off the New Year by informing the New York Times that during a private dinner, Trump also asked Comey “to pledge his loyalty,” which struck editors at the Times as nothing less than Hitlerian. Aside from the obvious fact that Trump’s request that Comey pledge loyalty to his boss signaled a Constitutional crisis—or rather, another in a series of such crises inasmuch as two or three were declared each week by liberal commentators during the height of the Russian panic—Trump’s request was also viewed as further evidence of his obeisance to Moscow—why else would he attempt to undermine the Bureau?

On second thought, Comey decides he was witness to yet another constitutional crisis.

Comey next appeared before the Senate Investigations Committee where he resurrected his Oval Office exchange with the president during which Trump expressed hope that Comey would be able to clear Flynn. But whereas he had formerly assessed Trump’s remark as a mere expression of legitimate concern, Comey (who must read the Times)  informed the committee he had reflected further and now recalled feeling intimidated and pressured to drop the investigation altogether. In fact, Comey now recalled being set entirely on tenterhooks by the president; so much so, he testified, that he considered hiding in the White House drapes to avoid further obtrusions upon his rectitude. WOOF is not making this up. Comey received fulsome bipartisan praise and applause for his resoluteness in this matter. Clearly, he was once again ascendant, despite being relegated to infamy on several previous occasions when Democrats found his performances unhelpful.

“Frankly, Senator, I’ve had my ups and downs!”

To review, Comey entered the nascent Russian Scare with his findings in the matter of Hillary’s email scandal and was lionized by liberals when, after detailing an impressive number of criminal offenses committed by Mrs. Clinton–he good-naturedly and unilaterally declined to pursue them. In fact, subsequent revelations make plain that Director Comey, in a flash of forensic prescience beggaring the work of Peter Hurkos or Jeanne Dixon, composed his absolution of Mrs. Clinton over a month before the FBI’s investigation concluded. But no sooner had the establishment registered its full-throated appreciation of the Director’s comportment in the matter, than he suddenly announced that Hillary was once again under investigation owing to the discovery of new evidence, whereupon the left wing establishment (demonstrating its uncanny agility in such matters), switched overnight to the view that no public official in American history rivaled the detestable Comey in matters of incompetence and deceitfulness. Orotund demands for Comey’s firing issued from such keepers of the liberal flame as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, John Podesta, Harry Reid, Bernie Sanders, the DNC, the Congressional Black Caucus, and, of course, Keith Olbermann, as the Beaver.

Deplorable again!

Sensible that his star was in free fall, Comey announced his new investigation had failed even more resoundingly than his initial investigation to produce any details inculpatory of Mrs. Clinton, at which point he was once again the toast of the town, lauded for his gutsiness and unshakable integrity by the same politicians and journalists who had only days before demanded his unceremonious ousting.

Then came the election, and Hillary, confronting the incomprehensible phenomenon of a Trump victory on November 8, sought—as did most liberals—to assign blame. Calling the American voter stupid is not a politically utile strategy, so Hillary denounced Director Comey for torpedoing her candidacy in the final hours of the campaign. Although Comey had regained his standing with liberals by waiving this evidence, like all the previous evidence against Secretary Clinton, word now went around that Comey was obviously in league with Trump the whole time—rendering him once again–well–deplorable.

You’re fired!

But the Director’s final rehabilitation occurred so suddenly that the rank and file lost track of the narrative—as best demonstrated by the fact that Stephen Colbert’s audience burst into raucous cheers when their host announced Comey’s firing by Trump. This annoying failure to keep step with the Party line obliged Colbert to intercede sternly, chastising his audience for its reaction and explaining, in so many words, that whereas Comey had been good before being bad, before being good and again becoming bad, he was once again good, and so firing him was bad. The audience, to its credit, did its best to adjust.

So…when the phone doesn’t ring, that must be the mainstream media?

Comey’s firing by Donald Trump may fairly be regarded as the apex of the Russian Scare—especially since it offered progressive opinionists everywhere an opportunity to summon the holy ghost of Watergate.  President Nixon’s firing of Archibald Cox was roundly held identical to Trump’s dismissal of Comey, notwithstanding the episode’s almost total dissimilarity and the fact that Trump had every legal right to can the FBI Director for any reason he liked, as liberal constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz continued to explain to anchors on CNN and MSNBC until he found himself persona non- gratis.

James Comey, Spy Smasher

“Duty to correct–? Never heard of it!”

His removal made Comey a media god, and he felt his position deeply. He now regaled the Senate Committee with remembrances of Trump’s gaucheries, sometimes even waxing self-enamored to the point of self-incrimination. Yes, he admitted thrice assuring Trump  he was not a target of the FBI’s investigation, but he now characterized his bizarre refusal to say so publicly as an ethical necessity. Publicly confirming that Trump was not a target, Comey explained, might have placed him, Comey, afoul of “the duty to correct, should that change.” While Democrats and Rhinos nodded approvingly, as though the “duty to correct” were some inviolable cannon of due process familiar to anyone who was not a total dunderhead, Americans wondered why no such “duty” restrained Comey from unilaterally clearing Hillary Clinton of all charges—even the ones he acknowledged she was guilty of–not once, but twice.

Maine’s Senator Susan Collins, always happy to chat with a fellow idealist.

Meanwhile, Comey confided, he grew so persuaded personally that the whole Trump/Russia connection required additional probing, he took it upon himself to leak his notes to the New York Times. Comey achieved this by recruiting his friend, Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia law professor, as his designated leaker—a service for which Comey repaid Richman by cheerfully throwing him under the proverbial bus—openly naming him during the hearings.  Comey told Susan Collins (R-Me) he leaked the material “because I thought that might prompt the appointment of the special counsel.” He justified the leak as the best way to “get the truth out” in the wake of Trump’s tweeted hint that tapes existed of their Oval Office conversations. But Comey’s testimony didn’t wash in several respects. First, of course, it is an unauthorized and consequently unlawful misuse of FBI information to leak it to the press on a personal whim. Second, if Comey thought tapes existed, why not let the tapes become public? Assuming he truthfully recounted the conversation, wouldn’t tapes provide verification? Third, it is in no respect the prerogative of an FBI Director to decide when a special prosecutor should be appointed, and finally–as a matter of strict chronology–Trump’s tweets rejoined Comey’s leaked information, not the other way around. Perhaps his psychic gifts distract Mr. Comey, at least occasionally, from linear exactitude.

From Russia with Lies?     

Natalia Veselnitskaya, getting her fifteen minutes…well, actually, twenty!

Americans next awoke to discover that back in June, during the campaign, Donald Trump, Jr., met with people known to be Russian, including the suddenly infamous Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary, but didn’t–shortening the meeting to a scant 20 minutes. Nevertheless, the fact that Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort all met with Russians at the same time in the same room, during the campaign, made the media orgasmic. Talking heads set about jubilantly enumerating the dozens upon dozens of ways in which this latest revelation irrefutably proved treason. Caught up in the emotional surge, even Glenn Beck opined that Donald Jr., at least, was “going to prison”—an assertion readily acceptable to millions of listeners who were by then sufficiently overdosed on Russo-phobia to suppose talking with any Russian anywhere at any time a treasonable offense, punishable by God or Beck knew what.

On September 7, the Senate set aside such seemingly unattainable objectives as repealing Obamacare, lowering taxes, accepting responsibility for deporting illegal DACA residents, helping hurricane victims without substantially hiking the debt ceiling, or building a border wall, and turned its attention to hauling Donald Jr. before the Senate Investigations Committee in a laughable pretense of searching out further evidence of Russia’s complicity in robbing Hillary of the presidency…and all in just 20 minutes! Notably, all such sessions to date have convened behind closed doors. When Joe McCarthy’s Senate Subcommittee on Investigations interviewed witnesses, the proceedings were public—but not nowadays. One could be forgiven for supposing the absurdity inherent in a chamber of highly-salaried adults affecting to ferret out evidence everyone knows doesn’t exist of crimes nobody can precisely describe, might otherwise embarrass the participants.

“WTF?”

It’s Mueller time!

So eager were the power brokers inside the beltway to “get to the bottom” of the issue,  that they took the unprecedented step of establishing Robert Mueller’s office of special counsel without bothering to say what, exactly, he was expected to investigate. Thus, Mueller became the first special counsel in the history of that office appointed to investigate a crime nobody had specified, that might or might not have been committed by Donald Trump, or by any of dozens of individuals currently serving his administration or by any of dozens of others who previously served it, or who served Trump prior to his election, or who knew Trump well enough that it might be regarded as suspicious if they were also be shown to know anybody Russian.  To make matters even murkier, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein proceeded to authorize Mueller (whom WOOF KNOWS was recommended to Rosenstein by James Comey) to investigate all of the above matters, plus “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”  The mandate is absurdly carte blanche–authorizing Mueller to proceed in any direction and on any premise Mueller prefers; to engage, in other words, in exactly the kind of free-ranging snipe hunt that occurs when a prosecutor is hired before a crime is discovered.

Stop the presses!

Further evidence of the special council’s desperation, not to mention the media’s, is descriable in stories such as a recent piece in the New York Times, revealing that “Mr. Mueller is investigating whether Mr. Trump committed obstruction of justice in pressing for an end to the Flynn inquiry.” So, if the Times is to be believed, the best case for obstruction Mueller can thus far assemble, depends on a back-formulated memo-to-self scribbled by Mueller’s longtime friend Comey, which even if exactly accurate documents nothing more than a presidential velliety. It is at times like these that special counsels worthy of their hire (and unfettered by anything resembling a coherent mandate) proceed to plan B. This is when the hunt begins for anything of a criminal or embarrassing nature regarding anyone in their target’s broader span of acquaintances. Once unearthed, such details are shown to whichever party they serve to intimidate. The intimidated party is then assured that none of his sordid involvements or potentially criminal entanglements need be revealed if said party will supply testimony sufficiently damaging to the investigation’s real targets.

A Manafort in Full

The wonderful fact about Paul Manafort from Mueller’s perspective is that he conspicuously has Russian connections, if largely unrelated to Trump’s presidency. His (known and legal) ties to a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine seven years ago ostensibly drew Comey’s attention at the time, prompting the erstwhile Director’s revelation to congress that Manafort was caught up in the bureau’s investigation of corruption charges involving ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. It is a matter of record that Manafort advised Yanukovych on political matters in 2010, back when Donald Trump was still liberal and the Russians were of no concern whatever. Comey never paused to explain the FBI’s previously unknown interest in former Ukrainian presidents—nor did he adduce a shred of evidence that Manafort’s duties for the Yanukovych campaign (where he served as a professional lobbyist and political adviser, as is his wont), led somehow to his subornment by Russian intelligence. Surely, if the CIA had obtained incriminating evidence of Manafort’s involvement with Moscow, Director Brennan would have passed it to Comey and Manafort would, by now, be steam-pressing laundry at Leavenworth.

Mueller, evidently, felt differently. The day after Manafort voluntarily testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, (July 25) the FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid on his home, following which all manner of records, computers, files, and miscellaneous additional materials were carted off in boxes, making for some terrific optics, and complicating Manafort’s good-faith effort to produce records requested by the Senate Committee. Obviously, the items seized could as easily be subpoenaed as pounced upon, making the raid’s true object—the imposition of dramatic levels of pressure on Manafort—crystalline.

Honey–are we moving? Oh, wait–it’s the FBI!

Manafort’s future darkened further when NBC News scooped its competitors with news that his subpoenaed notes contained the word “donations” juxtaposed to the words “Republican National Committee,” and this in conjunction with his already-malodorous Russian dealings. To emphasize what level of perfidy this implied, NBC explained, “It is illegal for foreigners to donate to American elections. The meeting happened just as Trump had secured the Republican nomination for president, and…Manafort was the campaign chairman at the time.” Those parts of the story were factual. Fortunately for NBC, hurricane Irma diverted national attention from the abjectness of their retraction. In fact, the network sullenly acknowledged, “the notes did not include the word ‘donation.’” Apparently, even when armed with two anonymous sources, NBC can still get it wrong.

Did the Russians get Rachel?

When MSNBC’s ratings leader, Rachel Maddow, vanished from her program for two weeks, rumors spread on Twitter that Putin had silenced her in retribution for her dogged reporting about Russia’s election tampering. Maddow soon disappointed her fans by returning, however, polonium free. But Maddow had not been idle. Her latest scoop laid bare the Russian in filtration of Facebook during the primaries, when, Maddow explained, Moscow had infested that social medium with “malicious [i.e., anti-Clinton] ads, emanating from “fake accounts” spreading disinformation detrimental to Clinton’s image during the campaign. Frantic to corroborate these details, CNN went to the unusual length of consulting the source, petitioning Facebook for the lurid details. A Facebook spokesman replied on July 2017, declaring, “we have seen no evidence that Russian actors bought ads on Facebook in connection with the election.” A more recently issued report corroborates the absence of Russian involvement. Adding that “of the 201 websites subsequently banned from Facebook in the months following the election for spreading fake news, not a single one originates from a Russian IP.”  Even The Nation—liberalism’s surviving house organ, sighed that “from accusations of Trump campaign collusion to Russian Facebook ad buys, the media has substituted hype for evidence.”

A bonfire of the inanities…

Yale’s Rangappa–not just another pretty face. Are those bull horns?

As of now, it appears that every reported instance of Russian wrongdoing, from the earliest notions of hacking (with or without the nefarious intercalation of floppy discs) through to the alleged subornment of current or former functionaries of the administration, is unmitigated flapdoodle. The stories, no matter how solemnly recounted or widely circulated when fresh, faded into inanity as emerging details proved them banal.

As editorial desperation set in, even clashes between neo-Nazi dullards and Antifa thugs in Charlottesville prompted novel interpretations. Yale’s Asha Rangappa appeared on CNN insisting the violence “highlighted again the problem of Russia.” In an apparent acknowledgment of her own psychosis, Rangappa readily admitted finding “no evidence to date that Russia is directly supporting extreme right groups in the United States,” while insisting that Charlottesville, “viewed through the lens of Trump’s response…suggests an opening for Russian intelligence to use domestic hate groups as a vehicle for escalating their active measures inside the United States.” But Rangappa’s inspired amphigories aside, Russia-gate’s ramshackle scaffolding was collapsing beneath the weight of a thousand diaphanous canards disguised too thinly as – “the news!”

Good thing we don’t have to worry about any Russian connection with ANTIFA; nope–not a trace!

“Why no Russian meddling?”

New York Times headlines complaining that “Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known, Draw Little Scrutiny,” finally drew sufficient scrutiny to dispel the idea that Russian hackers caused any voting irregularities whatsoever in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, or Arizona, despite original claims. Election monitor Susan Greenhalgh, who initially told reporters the incidents “felt like tampering, or some kind of cyber attack,” admitted on further reflection that, “There are plenty of other reasons for such breakdowns–local officials and human error and software malfunctions–and no clear-cut evidence of digital sabotage has emerged, much less any Russian role in it.” For that matter, reports that France’s elections fell prey to Russian hackers gave way to admissions that “no trace” of evidence existed. Similar stories that Germany’s elections had been manipulated by Putin’s cybernauts also proved groundless. Loath to abandon the matter, the New York Times waxed rhetorical, running the spectacularly amusing headline: “German Election Mystery: Why No Russian Meddling?”

Susan Greenhalgh,: “Oops! Never mind!”

The Washington Post’s nationally incendiary story about Russians hacking and shutting down Vermont’s power grid also turned out to be bull dejecta. Investigators discovered the incident resulted from malware contained on one power-company employee’s laptop. Reviewing a January collection of intelligence agency reports alleging Russian encroachments on the American electoral process, The Atlantic lamented “it does not or cannot provide evidence for its assertions.” Suddenly umbrageous, the New York Times saw fit to remark the “absence of any proof” or “hard evidence to back up the…claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack,” and complained that the intelligence community had replaced solid details with anecdotage, offered on terms that “essentially amount to ‘trust us.’” A cynic might be forgiven for noting similarities to the editorial policies at the Times.  

Meanwhile, back at the Swamp….

Mueller’s team, meanwhile, is completing “interviews” with the annoyingly-mercurial Reince Priebus, not to mention such relative bystanders as Sean Spicer, Hope Hicks, and the president’s chief counsel, Don McGahn.  Surely, Steve Bannon will follow shortly—if Mueller’s assemblage of post-Obaman apparatchiks can muster the nerve. Mueller was recently reported combing yet again through the fine points of the infamous golden-shower dossier, the ridiculosity of which is so concretely established that desperation must be inferred.  All of this must now be seen in light of the fact that America’s silly season of paranoiac Russo-lunacy is ending. The fever gripping what tatters remain of a once-proud televised journalistic profession is breaking, leaving a bewildered group of news readers mopping their brows in embarrassment. The entire matter–seen in perspective–appears utterly absurd.  If Mueller remains in business, he must confront the dawning realization that Hillary, Bill, the DNC, and the media were the real Russians all along–and very naughty Russians, to boot. So the special counsel’s options are four. He can fold his tent and steal away, declaring an absence of findings; he can charge some second-stringer with something-or-other —a la Scooter Libby–and save a small amount of face;  or he can begin to investigate Democrats, conceivably including himself.  His fourth and worst option is to shrug off reality and plow gamely ahead for the team.

Hell to pay?

If Mueller intends to retain his status as an establishment darling by challenging Trump’s presidency on such thin premises as seem available to him, he will shortly learn what the NFL, the Boy Scouts, Flake, Corker, and “Jeb” discovered to their regret– namely that a nation of vocal and resolute American patriots exists between the parentheses that are the Left and East Coasts—and they don’t care what the buzz is in Georgetown or Balboa Terrace.  It won’t matter much if Mueller’s posse railroads the likes of Manafort or Flynn—Trump will pardon the victims.  But if Mueller proceeds against Trump himself, there will be—as Hillary Clinton once said in dramatically distinct circumstances, Hell to pay.  That kind of thunder, once called down, will not easily be re-bottled.

 

Extreme Climate Change is Real! Help WOOF fight Global Cooling!

In "Apocalypse NOT" forum on December 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm

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Global warming is not much discussed nowadays by the Scientific Left, as you have probably noticed—it is a term used mainly (and derisively) by reactionary troglodytes like your lovable gang of cyber-activists here in the WOOF cave, and by slower-witted liberals who have not kept abreast of trends. The scientific elite, and all the pop-cultural and pop-political entities that feed upon and echo its pronouncements, no longer refer to global warming. They refer instead to “climate change,” which concept incorporates the duo advantages of meaninglessness (because the climate is always changing, obviously) and indefeasibility (because you can’t disprove climate change—it’s everywhere we look)!  But lest we be misunderstood, we should not be construed to be arguing that global warming has faded from the liberal consciousness. Make no mistake about it, “climate change” is roughly synonymous with global warming, except that it cannot be disproved.

Does that seem weird? Well, it probably should. But the Left didn’t simply rebrand global warming as climate change because it seems more marketable. It did so mainly to avoid the burden of proving anything. Proving that the planet “has a fever,” for example, as the execrable Albert Gore likes to rave, became increasingly difficult over the past 15 years of planetary cooling. There are really only two ways to proceed in the absence of evidence; namely, to claim that there actually is evidence, or to rationalize the fact that there isn’t. We all know that the global-warming scientists tried the first idea first.

220px-The_Day_the_Earth_Caught_Fire_(movie_poster)Actually, to be fair, their first efforts seemed  based on a profound conviction that the planet was hurdling toward a fiery fate. Unless one is planning on folding one’s tent and getting out of town, one does not typically make vehement predictions that will ultimately be observed to be incorrect; yet top scientists everywhere confidently forecast extremes of rainfall and drought worldwide, as well as hurricane seasons of unprecedented violence and duration. Except for events attributable to El Nino and La Nina, however, no such trends materialized, with this summer’s hurricane season the tamest since the early nineteenth century. Winters, of course, were predicted to become less wintry—with snow just a romantic memory. Back in the year 2000, Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, announced that snowfall was soon to become “a very rare and exciting event,” adding, “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is!”  Strangely, however, the last 15 years have shown a lowering of winter temperatures all over the world, with many winter seasons setting all-time records or proving the coldest and lengthiest in decades.

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Professor Wieslaw Maslowski–“Already too conservative…?”

And of course, while photographers hastened to shoot snaps of any surviving snow clumps in hopes of preserving a pictorial history of this rapidly waning phenomenon, the global ice caps were supposed to melt. As recently as 2007 a consortium of experts on global warming announced that their computer models showed the arctic would be ice free by 2013.  But Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California disagreed, sniffing, “You can argue that maybe our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.”  In other words, the poles were melting a lot faster than even Maslowski’s colleagues had asserted. And Maslowski wasn’t finished. “This is not a cycle,” he thundered, “Not a fluctuation! In the end it will all just melt away!”

Oddly, however, a quick check of the Arctic Sea (now that it is in fact 2013 and has been all year) shows a 60% increase in the Arctic ice pack just since 2012. In fact, ice now covers one million square miles of the Arctic Ocean. Likewise, Antarctic ice has steadily trended upward since 1980. That said, WOOF as always strives to be fair, and Albert Gore told the 2009 Copenhagen climate change summit (once it got underway despite almost prohibitive blizzard conditions) that his latest research showed the Arctic would be completely ice-free in five years—and that means all the ice may vanish next year, so there’s that.

How hot is Sarah?

imagesCAIEF5S1Alaska was said to be warming and losing its glaciers, and it is fair to say that Alaska’s warming was reported with especial alacrity by many climatologists who saw this somehow as a slap at Sarah Palin and all that she represented. (Let’s see Todd go snowmobiling when there’s nothing left but mud!)  But as early as 2002 the University of Colorado’s renowned glacier expert, Professor Mark Meir, predicted the disappearance of glaciers in the Alps, southern Alaska and the Patagonian mountain range in South America. “In 20 years, you’ll be able to visit ‘Non-Glacier National Park’” quipped Meir, “and If you want to see the snows on Kilimanjaro, you’d better go soon.” But it’s been 12 years since Meir’s warning and Alaska has logged in with two of its bitterest winters on record, namely the winters of 2007-8 and 2011-12, while glaciers advanced more than at any time since the Ice Age…and the snows of Kilimanjaro remain obdurately intact, too.

Surf’s (not) up?

imagesCAQTFKQXOceans were supposed to get warmer, of course, and the sea level was slated to rise, soon to engulf New York City and large portions of California, per Al Gore, but these phenomena have also stalled. According to disappointed spokespeople at NOAA, no statistically significant warming has been measured in the uppermost 300 meters in the tropical Pacific, for instance, since the 1950s. And are the seas rising? We are all aware, (yes, even those of us who live in a cave), that trillions of dollars must be poured into combating global warming by supporting “green” initiatives–because such initiatives may be the world’s only hope of halting the disastrous rise in sea levels that will otherwise topple the statue of liberty, sweep traffic from the Golden Gate Bridge and leave ocean liners stranded in the wheat fields of Topeka. So how goes the struggle? Actually, really well!

imagesCA422WJ7 Despite the fact that Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth predicted a 20 foot rise in the sea level, (there was a nice shot of San Francisco underwater that accompanied this prediction) it seems that the sea level has remained fairly static. Perhaps sobered by Mr. Gore’s failure to summon the consuming tides, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared, rather more conservatively, that our seas would rise by a comparatively modest 17 inches, but the oceans of the world remain unresponsive. As many of you know, WOOF’s cave is on the Atlantic coastline, enabling us to take daily calibrations–and so far there’s nothing exciting to report; it’s just about the same everyday with allowances made for tides and weather conditions. The same boresomely anticlimactic stasis is reported by our Left Coast affiliates who dutifully check ocean levels at Long Beach a few times each month—same deal!  Florida—same deal! Shanghai was also slated by Gore for inundation , but so far Shanghai too remains above water with no perceptible increase in the thalassic surround. How did we get so lucky?

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Three oft-told tales:

It will not astonish you, gentle readers, to learn that opinions differ—but three possible explanations present themselves most forcefully. First, the advocates of man-made global warming insist that the sea levels will rise at any moment, and that it will be even worse than predicted… so says the notoriously leftist British newspaper The Guardian.  And they figured it out scientifically. They decided to ask 360 scientists who support global-warming theory. These scientists responded to a questionnaire—and they all said the seas would rise and that by 2100 (or some said 2300) it would be really, really, really bad. And that’s survey sampling, gentle readers, and it comes with pie charts, so it’s science, got that?

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The more rational explanation, of course, is that President Obama by his very presence halted all pelagic encroachments worldwide. In fact, he wasn’t even president yet–it was upon securing the Democrat nomination that senator Obama informed an adulatory group of supporters in St. Paul, Minnesota that, “This is the moment when the rise of oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal!” The nominee never made it clear, really, why nominating him for the presidency had exerted so immediate and salubrious an effect world wide, but whether it is a mere post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc coincidence, as some extreme skeptics have suggested, or whether it was the raw force of some supernal power vested in the First Marxist, the fact remains: The man said the seas would stay put, and they did! (He seems, for that matter, to have put the kibosh on hurricane seasons, too, with fewer such storms recorded during his administration than during any other president’s!)

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But we said three explanations, and here’s the third: The most widely acknowledged and respected expert on ocean levels and the science that affects them is arguably the Swedish geologist and physicist Doctor Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the prestigious International Commission on Sea Level Change. If he were a tenured American professor he would have been unceremoniously stripped of his academic position by now, denounced by his peers, and cast penniless into the nearest available trailer park as retribution for his betrayal of liberal scientific orthodoxy. Fortunately for Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, he is Swedish, and being Swedish ranks among the coolest thing you can possibly be when you address the American Left, so his pronouncements on this subject have been respectfully ignored, rather than universally condemned.

Doctor Morner: Too cool to castigate, too right to mention!

Doctor Morner: Too cool to castigate, too right to mention!

Dr. Mörner, who spent the last 40 years of his life using nearly every known means of scientific inquiry to assess, investigate, and predict sea levels, offers a rather concise explanation for oceanic intransigence: “The sea is not rising,” he says. (Say, could that be it?)  “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.”  Even more discouragingly, Morner adds that fundamental laws of physics pertaining to the amount of latent heat required to melt ice guarantee that nothing resembling the apocalyptic visions of Al Gore can manifest during this century. The best evidence of Dr. Morner’s accuracy is that nobody in media or in academe is ever heard or seen referring to his conclusions.

The double crosser

untitledstateBefore the growing number of reputable scientists who are calling shenanigans on man-made global warming dared to speak out, there was a shocking defection from the arts—that cultural enclave so reliably liberal that any heterodox utterance is automatically regarded as deplorable—almost inconceivable. You take a guy like Michael Crichton, the hugely successful novelist whose books always get made into movies—you know, like The Andromeda Strain, and Jurassic Park, and Congo and The Terminal Man—all of them except State of Fear. In 2004 Crichton wandered onto the TODAY show and sat down for a cozy chat with an unsuspecting Katie Couric who purred that his latest book was about global warming and asked him, with obvious anticipation, to elaborate. “It’s a hoax,” Crichton told her, at which point Couric’s face froze in dumbstruck horror. After all, Hollywood liked Crichton—they optioned all his novels–how could he have changed into a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal just in time for her interview? It was a classic moment in TV entertainment—and needless to say Crichton was dutifully savaged by every right-minded (which is to say left-of-center) reviewer, concerned scientist, and editorial writer available to join the onslaught. Even upon his death the man was roundly decried as a dangerous apostate by scientists who pretended to be writing his obituary.

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Katie Couric welcomes Michael Crichton to TODAY

The consensus mob

Crichton had slammed point blank into the monolith of science as practiced by the new rules of political correctitude. He had caused a disturbance in the force–affronted the man-made global-warming uni-mind. Nobody paused to congratulate him on taking a controversial and unpopular view in the interest of broadening the scientific discourse—no, they just wanted him gone. They let him know in no uncertain terms that he had no business flying in the face of scientific “consensus,” to use one of Albert Gore’s favorite words—and that he must, consequently, be shunned and excoriated. But before he turned his attentions elsewhere, Crichton mocked the entire “warmist” ethos by giving a lecture at Caltech satirically entitled “Aliens cause global warming.” What he had to say in that lecture bears another hearing:

imagesCAT73REE“Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

The sore losers

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This angry polar bear came to the Copenhagen Global Warming Summit in 2009, demanding to get his paws on Phil Jones–but Jones never appeared and only FOX News interviewed the bear.

Meanwhile, the consensus was developing some problems of its own—the kind that screaming at Michael Crichton could not resolve. A series of leaked and hacked emails revealed that skulduggery was afoot at the Hadley Climate Research Unit, followed by similar revelations involving New Zealand’s NWIA, Australia’s climate center, and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Professor Phil Jones at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, became the symbol of psuedo-scientifc dastardliness inasmuch as his every leaked memo seemed redolent of conspiracy and deception. In a thoroughly ironic sense, Jones was the embodiment of candor, since he was always quite straightforward about the need to hide the evidence of global cooling, ignore colleagues who were not “helping the cause,” and most of all to continue receiving grant monies even when it meant hiding any data that that might jeopardize the funding.  “Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden,” Jones wrote of some contradictory findings he wanted flushed. WOOF considers it hugely telling that he added, ““I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.” In other words, the U.S. Department of Energy was in on the cover up. (Shocking!)

imagesWhen the “Climate Audit” website detected problems with some of the warming evidence, Phil Jones did not hesitate to communicate his concern to fellow climate alarmist Michael Mann at Penn State, casually asking him, “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4 [UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment]? Keith will do likewise. … We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. I see that CA [the Climate Audit Web site] claim they discovered the…problem in the Nature paper!!”

In other words, the main idea among all these men of science was to keep the grant money flowing by shaping (or deleting) their findings to whatever degree necessary in order to uphold the global-warming sham. As Jonathon Overpeck (man of science in charge of reporting the IPCC’s climate assessments) made plain: “The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what’s included and what is left out.”  This is the antithesis of science. Rather than gathering evidence and basing a conclusion on it, the gang at IPCC was already agreed upon the necessary conclusion, and throwing out all the evidence that challeneged it.

And here's Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, explaining that his predictions that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 were based on nothing in particular. He won the Nobel Prize, by the way.

And here’s Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, explaining that his predictions that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 were based on nothing in particular. He won the Nobel Prize, by the way.

Needless to say the scientific community has churned out volumes of carefully rationalized twaddle in an attempt to dissuade the laity from supposing anything untoward might be afoot in the pure realm of climate science—and interested parties can Google these entertaining efforts at their leisure. In the wake of “Climategate,” however, the image of the dedicated environmentalist in a white lab coat, fighting to save Mother Gaia from the smelting furnace of eternity, has been forever tarnished.

Hope and change– and the current ambivalence

But a larger problem beset the noble climate warriors—larger even than the seemingly endless examples of duplicitous emails and underhanded memos that gushed from their files. An even bigger problem, given the pitiless march of time, was the simple lack of “face validity” inherent in their hypotheses. In other words, freezing winters, breezy summers, lackluster hurricane seasons and oceans that just sat there being oceans, began to fetch skepticism from the public. Meanwhile, wintry extremes continued to obtrude themselves upon the public psyche. An example of this, in concentrated form, is “the Gore Effect.” This is the hypothesized tendency of unseasonably cold temperatures, punishing hail, and/or record-breaking accumulations of snow to manifest whenever Al Gore visits an area to lecture on global warming! As an hypothesis, it must be remarked, it is better substantiated by objective data than man-made global warming has ever been or is ever likely to be!  But that is no longer quite the concern it was, because as we said at the outset, global warming is no longer much discussed or written of—it having undergone a mysterious metamorphosis and transformed itself into “climate change.”

Al in a blizzard: The lyin' in winter?

Al in a blizzard: The lyin’ in winter?

If you doubt that climate science is a product of the landscape painters who by manipulation of our media set the scene for our societal concerns and anxieties, consider how the one problem became the other with barely a whisper of protest from any quarter, Indeed, the paltry evidence for warming was simply discarded, finally, as too inconsequential to support the continuing snow job, (besides, those leaked emails looked really bad) and in its place we are offered “climate change,” for which we have ample evidence at hand at any given moment. The climate, after all, changes continuously. And because the mere idea of climate changing from day to day is admittedly too bland and to scare or inspire people, a number of suitably dramatic adjectives are vying for routinization in tandem with the new phrase, given us with barely a glimmer of explanation. Why explain it, after all, when within 6 months you can have every citizen alert to the phrase by virtue of its constant reiteration within the medias’ echo chamber while every “responsible” scientist in need of tenure, some TV time, a grant, or simple fraternal acceptance, will announce that he is devoted to fixing it—whatever it is.

Remember the Ice Age?

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But there is something innately unscientific about adjectives—they are so often subjective. Shall we settle on “extreme climate change” or “global climate change” or maybe just “man-made climate change?” And what is the Left sacrificing in the way of tactical leverage as it repairs to this second redoubt within the walls?  What we mean is, they are now retreating to approximately where they were to begin with in the nineteen seventies when all the leading climate scientists were telling us that a new ice age was fast approaching.

It is difficult to recall now that only thirty years ago the top international climate scientists (including many who are now determined to advocate for global warming) were solemnly enjoining us to prepare to be frozen to death as the planet plunged into the cosmic deep freeze. The theory gained tremendous interest and generated considerable concern, but fell victim ultimately to the same face-validity problem that currently besets the warming argument—it just didn’t seem to be happening.  But the whole idea of global freezing came with one additional drawback—it didn’t seem particularly ascribable. The era of the scientist/moralist was not yet in full swing, although it was getting under way where pollution was concerned—because pollution was going to kill us all for a while back then—and over-population, which was also scheduled to kill us all for about a decade).

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Schizoid TIME covers–but what if they were right the first time?

The Left, freshly deprived of Vietnam and Richard Nixon, was not particularly interested in the return of the ice age, because it gave Leftists nothing to despise, rant against, and feel morally superior about. It was, in other words, no fun at all. So as we entered the Reagan ‘80s, the warming theory took over. We were supposed to have exhausted earth’s oil supplies by the 1980s. Scientists used computer models to show us that the age of fossil fuels was at an end. But Ronald Reagan (that idiot!) told us we were “literally floating on a sea of oil” and we careened into Reagan’s supply-side driven economic revival with our cars and trucks roaring.  The Left coalesced around the certitude that even if we still had oil, it must be killing us, and it was, we were told, killing us by destroying the ozone layer (early global-warming ‘languaging’) and if we didn’t stop driving cars and trucks, we’d all die. It was not long before the Left realized that not only cars and trucks might kill us, but also factories! Suddenly the invidious association between death by ozone depletion and Reagan’s hateful brand of runaway capitalism became clear! Even if Reagan didn’t start a nuclear war and destroy as all that way, he’d kill us off by letting the economy rip while placing no constraints on the mechanisms of wealth and industry…the horror; the horror.

The planet has been about to run out of oil since at least 1948--

The planet has been about to run out of oil since at least 1948!

And so we emerged as a popular culture from the impending ice age, (somewhat prematurely, as we’ll argue shortly) and marched numbly into the crucible of man-made global warming…a concept beloved of the Left because it villainized success, big business, industry, manufacturing, and jet travel. (Thus the never-ending procession of cartoons and films featuring cute animated animals battling these evil entities to save the planet.) The problem was, in abandoning the ice-age concept for the more politically useful notion of man-made warming, the Leftist Establishment moved our culture away from scientific plausibility and nearer to absurdity. But nobody noticed for quite some time.

Climate change: immune to rebuttal!

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The climate-salvation lobby is experiencing some difficulties as we head into 2014 (with all that darned ice and snow all over the place) deciding whether to fight for the preservation of the global warming mythos, or elide into the more facile realm of “climate change,” which seems so conveniently defensible by comparison. As this screed is committed to cyberspace, the factions in favor of “climate change” are on the indisputable ascent.  The quickest way to satisfy yourself in this regard is to pick up a newspaper or turn on a TV newscast, or punch up your favorite online news page. Unless you are cheating by restricting your sources to the far right, you will note that climate change is almost exclusively in use, while the choice of adjectival intensifiers is not yet entirely settled.

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Of course the fact that it cannot be effectively rebutted is the chief allure of the term—it being patently impossible to prove that climate change doesn’t happen. If it rained yesterday but snowed today, that’s climate change, right? And any time these changes seem even mootably anomalous, why, you have extreme climate change!  There is no doubt that the scientific climate salvagers can labor beneath such a rubric without fear of repudiation. But another problem attaches itself to this otherwise convenient term—and that problem is scientific. (“Isn’t that ironic—don’t you think?”)

Who is Karl Popper?

imagespoppSir Karl Raimund Popper was an Austrian, transplanted to England, who is widely esteemed the greatest scientific philosopher of the 20th century. One of Popper’s greatest achievements ramified from his stand against classical induction in scientific inquiry. Without getting detailed (and because we assume most of our beloved readers know this already), let it simply be stated that induction is an inherently inefficient means of reaching conclusions. The Scottish philosopher David Hume dismissed it as impossible to justify except inductively, which reasoning he denounced as (rather obviously) circular. But this is precisely the kind of “logic” that must be applied in any defense of “climate change,” and any such defense is therefore unscientific. Here’s why.

Popper offered the scientific method of empirical falsification as a preferable substitute for inductive reasoning. An hypothesis is deemed falsifiable if it is possible to conceive of observable events that would prove the hypothesis to be false. Example: If you hypothesize that all cows have spots, it qualifies as a scientific hypothesis (more or less) precisely because it can be falsified. All anybody has to do, obviously, is locate a cow that has no spots, and your hypothesis is disproved…it is falsified.  Plainly, not every falsifiable hypotheses can be proved false, thus the hypotheses that resist falsification may be considered solid science. (If nobody, ever, anywhere, were able to find a non-spotted cow, your theory that all cows are spotted would begin to look viable.)  It is almost universally held in the wake of Popper’s contribution that true science must be falsifiable.

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Single stupidest consciousness-raising attempt in graphic history?

Okay, so you know where this ends up, don’t you! There is absolutely no way to “falsify” a theory that claims any climactic shift or variation from the norm to be “Global Warming,” and this becomes doubly obvious when one substitutes the absurd term, “climate change,” which could only be falsified if there weren’t any. And the warm lobby has routinely committed the cardinal scientific sin of rationalizing its way around evident falsification by inventing ad hoc methods of evading the verdict. That’s why we now have extreme climate change (the concept, that is, not the actual weather). It’s the only reason for the shift.

Global winter? 

Do you realize that the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth was just registered? Yup—it was 135.8 degrees (Fahrenheit) below zero, and this is the least warm our planet has ever been anywhere in meteorological history. The record was established in Antarctica, even as the Left continues to warn us of polar melting. In reality, it seems fairly obvious that the planet is getting colder—at least that’s what the amalgam of empirical evidence suggests.  And some scientists are actually beginning to risk professional life and limb by taking note of this evidence.

German scientists are predicting global cooling lasting throughout this century. Horst-Joachim Luedecke and Carl-Otto Weiss of the European Institute for Climate and Energy insist that, “Due to the de Vries cycle, the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the ‘little ice age’ of 1870.” (The de Vries cycle, just in case you’re not up on this, is a 200 year solar cycle.)  The scientists also studied the 65-year Atlantic and Pacific Ocean oscillation cycle and concluded that global warming since 1870 has been mainly the result of the interaction of these factors, just as global cooling is, currently.

Easterbrook--not just your average denier!

Easterbrook–not just your average denier!

Or as Donald J. Easterbrook, the courageous (or simply reckless?) Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western University Bellingham prefers to put it, “Global warming is over. The minute increase of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere (0.008%) was not the cause of the warming—it was a continuation of natural cycles that occurred over the past 500 years.”

Professor Lockwood--another pest!

Professor Lockwood–another pest!

Professor Mike Lockwood, a leading British scientist at Reading University warns that the current rate of decline in solar activity may usher in a second “little ice age.” Professor Lockwood believes solar activity is now falling more precipitately than at any time in the last 10,000 years after a period of unusually intense activity. He believes, in other words, that global heating or cooling has a lot to do with how hot the sun is—now there’s a weird theory!

And of course it goes without saying that the UN (in the form of the IPCC) and the self-appointed (although government funded) climate saviors in many major universities around the world are busily disseminating their learned insights as to how unprecedented global cooling, in actuality, represents further proof of unprecedented global warming. These arguments, you may safely suppose, will become the flapdoodle of preference among liberals of refinement, so studying them in advance may prepare you for what the college professors, attorneys, therapists, or cellar-dwelling pothead college drop-outs in your family will be expounding over Christmas dinner. On the other hand, the lower-brow among your liberal associates are likely to prefer the climate-change option. It is a matter of some passing interest (to us here in the WOOF cave anyway) that this bifurcation highlights a peculiarity of the liberal class system. Why is it that the more intellectually inclined liberals will, almost without exception, prefer the dumber of two dopey options?  But we digress. Those of us who recognize the actual environmental threat to this planet, namely the icy, bone-chilling onset of an unyielding, devastating, global winter, must do all we can to stave off this potentially catastrophic event.

How you can help save the planet:

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WOOF believes that it is increasingly apparent, given the high quality of evidence presented by a growing number of internationally respected scientists, that the earth is entering another ice age. If you have reviewed the evidence presented above, or if you have personally checked into the available evidence and come to the obvious conclusions, you are probably asking yourself about now, “Gosh, what can I do to help prevent another ice age?” Fortunately, liberals have spent decades amassing detailed compendia of the most efficient means of stopping the next ice age in its tracks! Indeed, the solutions to global cooling are available online from numerous left-wing sources. Do you doubt us?

We suggest you double check our list by going to the website for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) because it offers a crisp, clear-cut list of all the possible solutions to our climate problem. So, in fairness, do most other leftist websites on this topic. Of course, the items listed are offered as monumental no-no’s—a rogues’ gallery of human-controlled phenomena that ostensibly cause global warming—but if there is any truth to these assertions, then the more enlightened view is clearly the contrary one:  These formerly vilified activities are in fact the very keys to our salvation! So, taking them one by one, here is what you can do to combat the coming Big Freeze:

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  • Carbon dioxide emissions from burning gasoline—an easy way to battle global cooling! If you own an SUV, budget a bit more for gasoline and leave it running in your driveway. If you are not fortunate enough to own an SUV, any automotive vehicle—even a motor scooter—will emit carbon dioxide. If every American ran a gas-powered motor for only two extra hours every day, global cooling could be delayed by at least a decade!
  • Emissions from fossil fuel burning factories and power plants—a tremendous source of planetary protection! Of course, few of us are so fortunate as to own our own factory, but you can let your congressperson and senators know that it’s time to remove all those counterproductive emissions controls with which our industries are saddled. And a great way to involve your kids could be having them stand outside coal burning power plants waving signs that say cute, amusing things, like “Thanks for smoking!”
  • Methane emissions from animals: Let’s face it, everybody loves animals! And while we can’t humanely undertake methods of getting them to defecate more prolifically, we can certainly help them to multiply and remain well fed! If zoning permits, consider buying your own cow.
  •  Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs):  These emissions are often called by their copyrighted DuPont name: Freon. And the wonderful thing about them is, they are readily available, often quite inexpensively, to the eviro-warrior on a budget. It doesn’t cost much to spray paint your fence, or turn your refrigerator and freezer to lower temperature settings! Why not stick an air conditioning unit in that unused room and crank it up, even though it’s winter! Remember, it’s going to get a whole lot colder if we don’t act now! Sadly, many of these CFCs, so vital to our planet’s survival, are being phased out of product lines that previously incorporated them. Luckily, according to the IPCC/TEAP Special Report on Ozone and Climate, there remain an estimated 5,791 kilotons of CFCs in existing products such as refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosol cans, and so on…so check labels carefully and make sure you are arranging to emit genuine chlorofluorocarbons!

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    With enough effort, global cooling can be halted!

And this concludes our discussion, Woofketeers—we here in the cave hope that we have provided a service, and if any should think otherwise, we will be happy to hear about it, as always. And in closing, please allow us to remind you that time, in our considered opinion, is running out for civilization unless we take prompt and powerful action to put the brakes on our planetary plunge into sub-zero temperatures! So help us strike back at global cooling, won’t you? And to stress the importance of taking action, let us leave you with these words from President Obama’s “Organizing for Action” website:

“Climate change is real—the stakes are too high for climate denial!”

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DOOMSDAY POSTPONED! ARMAGEDDON CANCELLED FOR TODAY–WOOF URGES CITIZENS OF EARTH TO RESUME THEIR NORMAL ROUTINES!

In "Apocalypse NOT" forum on December 21, 2012 at 7:16 am

the end is at hand

With a deeply-felt awareness of our announcement’s likely effect on the lives, plans, and beliefs of peoples the world over, WOOF, after much soul searching, has decided to cancel the end of the world formerly scheduled for today, December 21st. We apologize for the short notice. See, to be perfectly honest we knew it wasn’t going to happen in the first place. We know you probably think we cheated and asked our colleague in Zug, Switzerland, Dr. Gootensteiner Johannes Walter (world famous futurologist, reader of the Akashic record, and former life coach to renowned monoloquist Theodore Gottleib) to check the future for us using one of his well-tested remote viewing techniques, but no, not this time, we did it ourselves! And it is, we are pleased to tell you, entirely impossible that the world can end today. How do we know? It’s simple arithmetic, really. If you understand probability theory and in particular the analysis of random phenomena held as non-deterministic quark-related systemic complexes describable by statistical mechanics when the probabilistic nature of phenomena is configured in accordance with the (second-order) law of total probability thus ensuring that marginal probabilities and conditional probabilities are not conflated, you can see how we did it. Besides, the end of the world has been predicted about a bazillion times and nobody’s been right so far, so what are the chances? Like zip, that’s what! Consider this brief and highly truncated history of the ends of the world:

Hilary of Poitiers signalling two more days, but his countdown proved delusional.

Hilary of Poitiers signalling two more days, but his countdown proved delusional.

Back in the 2nd century, AD, two doomsday predictors named Maximilla and Priscilla and a prophet named Montanus predicted that Jesus would restore Jerusalem in Phrygia around 160 AD—which he didn’t—but the cult persisted for about four centuries, and came to include Tertullian, who was a big shot theologian in those days.  In 365 AD Hilary of Poitiers predicted the world would end in 365, leaving little margin for error. Hilary, a bishop of the church whose name meant ‘happy’ was pretty unhappy about the impending apocalypse, but presumably he cheered up when the year elapsed with no doom in sight. But by 380AD, the Donatists of North Africa (another Christian sect) predicted the end of the world that very same year. But the world didn’t end—in fact, it outlasted the Donatists.

Roman theologian Sextus Julius Africanus (60-240AD) revealed the End would come 6000 years after the Creation. He did the math and somehow concluded there were 5,531 years between the Creation and the Resurrection, and confidently predicted the end would arrive as scheduled in 500 AD. A nice round number, but no apocalypse. But then came the Spanish monk Beatus of Liébana Elipandus, bishop of Toledo, who foresaw and helped precipitate an end-time panic, We were supposed to be toast on

Thiota discovered folks were really upset about missing doomsday!

Thiota discovered folks were really upset about missing doomsday!

Easter Eve, 793, but lasted through the year. Beatus, ever the optimist, rescheduled for 800 AD, but his followers were again disappointed. In heavy competition with Beatus was Bishop Gregory of Tours who proved mathematically that the world would end in 799, and then when that didn’t happen he proved it would end in 806, but his figures, like Beatus’s, proved incorrect. Then came 848AD and the prophetess Thiota, who got a lot of people excited just by being gorgeous and mystical and stuff,  but proved a bit of a poser when her predicted doomsday fizzled and she admitted inventing her prophecy for laughs. As a remonstrance, she was publicly flogged.  Bernard of Thuringia calculated that the earth would check out in 992, and of course the year 1000 invited a lot of apocalyptic certitude, sending much of Europe (yet again) into what might be considered a kind of Y1-K panic—but the millennial transition occurred (in 1001, actually, yes we know) and the world was still turning on its axis and no computers are reported to have crashed anywhere.

Are you beginning to get the picture here, fellow earthlings? Since the year 1000AD, just to name a few, we’ve had:John of Toledo who saw the alignment of planets dooming us on September 23, 1186; Joachim of Fiore, who liked 1200 and then 1260; Pope Innocent who struck out in 1284, Gerard of Poehlde who blew it in 1306, and look, you get the basic overview, right? So let’s skip to after America was discovered and stuff began to matter.

Cotton Mather looks puzzled as his preferred date for Armageddon comes up snake eyes!

Cotton Mather looks puzzled as his preferred date for Armageddon comes up snake eyes!

Cotton Mather predicted a fiery judgment in 1716, having initially predicted 1697. The Shaker sect took a crack at 1792, then tried for 1794. John Wesley took a stab at 1836. William Miller told his loyal Millerites that proceedings would wrap up on March 21, 1844. He then realized an imperfection in his exegetics and explained that the correct date was really October 22nd, which also failed to pan out. The Seventh Day Adventists were founded in the belief that 1874 marked the end, but obviously they overcame their disappointment and soldiered on. Unrivaled for his dogged tenacity, Herbert W. Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God chose the year 1936, followed by the year 1943, followed by 1972, followed by 1975. None were winners. Meanwhile, the Jehovah’s Witnesses took another shot with 1941, piggy-backed with Mr. Armstrong in 1975 and then set their sights on October 2, 1984, a couple of years after the end of the world per Pat Robertson, who predicted November of 1982.  Back in 1967, Jim Jones (who later gave us the phrase “kool-aid drinkers” ) said the time was at hand, but the only pestilence that hit us in 1967 was the hippies. And remember Hal Lindsey? He wrote that the 1980s were the end (but he said probably so we really shouldn’t count him). Louis Farrakhan was much more definite about Gulf War One, declaring it the final war before Armageddon. And of course, we all remember self-taught exegete Harold Camping who had half the world in conniptions with his prediction of May 21, 2011—generously held over until October of the same year, but to no good end, as it were.

So why is the earth supposed to be ending today, December 21, 2012?  Well, it’s mainly the fault of the Mayans, who are extinct as a culture and cannot explain why their calendar seems to end today, let alone their weird preoccupation with tearing beating-hearts out of victim’s

Mayans intentionally raised their children to have crossed eyes--so how could they see the future?

Mayans intentionally raised their children to have crossed eyes–so how could they see the future?

chests. But say, if calendars ending perfunctorily predict doomsday what about the Seiko prediction? We have a Seiko phone on which the calendar ends on December 31, 2099—and if you think that’s weird, we have a colleague with Samsung cell phone and it ends on the same day! And you know what happens if you try to take it further into the future? Are you sitting down? It flashes a message that reads, “Invalid date.” So here at WOOF we’re pretty much going with December 31, 2099.  Hold us to it, gentle readers! True, the Hopi Mesoamerican Long Count calendar supposedly also ends today, 2012, but those Hopi look like they’re just along for the ride on this one—besides, they take a lot of peyote, don’t they? And their shamans’ names are hokey, like Prancing Coyote and stuff—who can take that seriously? And experts in Mayan culture – which is traceable to 250 AD in Central America and faded into the jungle by 900AD, insist that the 2012 prediction is a gross misrepresentation of the Mayan’s long-count calendar and is not reiterated in any surviving Mayan texts. Besides, why should anybody take a culture seriously that based all its most important calculations on the life cycle of maize?

And then there’s the idea that some planet named Nibiru is going to do us in because that nice lady who is in psychic contact with the UFO aliens says they warned her it’s swooping in on its vast elliptical orbit and smashing into us today. Well, we don’t doubt the lady’s sincerity but—if she would just read John A Keel or Jacques Vallee instead of listening to a bunch of stupid aliens, or, geez, just read “When Prophecy Fails,” huh lady? –she would know that the aliens are just a bunch of liars—and besides, the whole theory of  “Nibiru” is derived from the works of the late writer Zecharia Sitchin and his semi-famous interpretations of Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, and the problem with believing this is that a) it was mythology—hello? And b) Sitchin himself denied any connection between his work and various claims of an impending apocalypse, and c) he, Sitchin, never accepted the obvious reality of the earth’s being hollow, so he can’t be all that reliable to begin with!

Planet Nibiru scheduled to hit earth today! (Not!)

Planet Nibiru scheduled to hit earth today! (Not!)

SO: Is there any reliable evidence that earth will end on this day? The only really troubling indications that we may actually be doomed are found in the disquieting fact that both NASA and the Obama administration have taken pains to assure us there is nothing to worry about—that none of the doomsday prophecies associated with this date are in any respect valid. But even in the face of these admittedly consternating pronouncements, WOOF confidently declares the earth’s destruction to be cancelled for today, and postponed until at least 2099. Doubt us today, fellow earthlings, if you so choose—but you’ll be thanking us tomorrow! See you then! Don’t sell short! We’re here for you! ________________________________________________________

Come on now–a world with PETA in it is better than no world at all!

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