Sep 28, 2016

Trump Flees to White Homeland in Wisconsin

Donald Trump is a long-time, devout racist.

Following his shockingly poor performance in Monday's presidential debate, Trump is taking refuge tonight in the white homeland known as Waukesha, Wisconsin.

As the racist Alt-Right becomes even more immersed in the Trump campaign, finding solace among white Wisconisn racists may be just what Trump needs.

The greater-Milwaukee region comprises the most segregated urban unit in the Untied States and is known for toxic, racial politics that has propelled Wisconsin Republicans to statewide elected office.

As noted in these pages, the segregated urban area in the country is infested with racist Republicans armed with, and forever deploying their racial taunts.

Wisconsin Republicans are white and proud of it.

Republicans want violence in the black areas of Milwaukee and the current titular governor of Wisconsin has made his political career on specific appeals to racism and fear.

No Republican is going to give up what works, and demonizing and preventing the lives of black folks is good politics.

Trump, the Alt-Right's Pepe and Scott Walker are three of a kind.

Sep 27, 2016

Climate Change - The Better Graph on the Wall

Global Surface Temperature since 1880, and temperature
anomalies - Figure One above , A Better Graph
Slow-motion catastrophe in a graph

Empirical scientists are not bottom-line people. They compile data, access, and then offer conclusions supported, conclusions provisional in nature and ever-changing as more data come to light.

Drs. James Hansen and Makiko Sato are investigating the composition and dynamics of Earth's atmosphere using data pointing to climate change. This work comes as Republicans in America take refuge in denial, and a collective burying of heads in the sand.

It happens the phenomenon Hansen, Sato and colleagues are looking at bears on the fate of life on Earth. They probe the causes and dynamics of global warming, climatic forcings, and in a separate realm quantify global temperatures.

Hansen and Sato offer humanity a new graph accessible to the most foolish, coming six weeks after Hansen called for nuclear power with its attendant hazards and anomalous release of radiation, to replace the energy-production disaster Homo Sapiens imposed on the planet. (This critical nuclear power piece was widely ignored but suggests how dire conditions are in Earth's atmosphere.)

I wrote Dr. Hansen asking for a definitive public conclusion that catastrophic climate change is irreversible, and we as a planet are beyond the point of no return from major life-altering qualities of Earth.

Scientists have little use for making such statements, it's outside the scope of their enterprise, and Hansen and Sato are as likely as not buried in writing their next paper.

Below is a graph including a best estimate showing the projected change in global surface temperatures that is alarming and devoid of adjectives.

That we are beyond the point of no return appears a conclusion supported by the evidence, and mitigation through coordinated geo-engineering is the needed project universal-in-scale, hence a mere conceit.

Hansen and Sato publish this graph showing annual global surface temperatures relative to 1880-1920, illustrating the anomaly, (change and deviation from 'normal', expected values), in global surface temperature the last several decades.

We live in anomalous times.

As carbon and methane emissions are the primary cause for the increase in temperature change and no change in emissions are expected, we can predict values represented in the graph will move upwards and not down.

Here's the new graph, followed by Hansen and Sato's explanation why this graph is instructive to the matters at hand, (a simple 'we're fucked' would have been revealing too as the rate of temperature change looks to be increasing with higher annual temperatures):

Global Surface Temperature since 1880, and temperature anomalies
Figure One, A Better Graph

Fig. 1. Global surface temperature relative to 1880-1920 based on GISTEMP analysis (mostly NOAA data sources, as described by Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo, 2010: Global surface temperature change. Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4004. We suggest in an upcoming paper that the temperature in 1940-45 is exaggerated because of data inhomogeneity in WW II. Linear-fit to temperature since 1970 yields present temperature of 1.06°C, which is perhaps our best estimate of warming since the preindustrial period.

A Better Graph

by Web Team | September 26, 2016
Category: Blog

A Better Graph

26 September 2016

James Hansen and Makiko Sato

Sorry to have temporarily stopped writing Communications – was working on a paper that we hope to soon make available. But here is something useful: a better graph.

For decades we have reported/updated the global temperature record, showing the calendar-year annual-mean temperature, usually with the 5-year running-mean included. I submit that the graph below is not only more beautiful, but more informative and it can be usefully updated every month rather than once a year.  The 12-month running-mean takes out the seasonal cycle just as well as the calendar-year mean and includes the calendar-year mean (black squares).  The 11-year running mean does a pretty good job of taking out solar cycle variability and shorter-term variability such as the Southern Oscillation.

Note that the calendar-year means tend to fall a bit below a preceding maximum in the 12-month running mean, so the 2016 mean will probably fall a bit below the current +1.3°C warming relative to 1880-1920. That small drop is usually related to the phasing of the El Nino cycle relative to the calendar year.

BTW, this graph also switches to 1880-1920 as a base period, because of the widespread interest in the magnitude of warming relative to pre-industrial time. Alternatively, one might argue for an earlier base period, say 1700-1800, but the data are much poorer then and the difference in global mean is only about +0.1°C ± 0.1°C (1880-1920 slightly warmer than 1700-1800), so it is of no practical importance.

Sep 26, 2016

Trump Will Hit Hillary on Nicaraguan Contras, Human Rights Violations, and Wars

Political curve balls will be flying off the lectern at the great debate as the blank slate to many that is Donald Trump offers a human rights-based critique of Hillary Clinton, (Mal Contends).

That Trump is a fascist is not of the moment in the theater.

The political world won't know what to make of human rights from Trump, nor for that matter will the American people.

Human rights are no concern to Trump of course. Nor are American minorities.

Trump will assure us dangers lurk, and he is the guy who will protect our families at home and abroad from the dark-skinned dragons.

Still, Trump will strike out tonight and Hillary will be acclaimed the victor.

No politician ever went broke by overestimating the militaristic fervor of the American people, and militarism has never cost Hillary Clinton and this won't change for the foreseeable future.

Sep 22, 2016

UW-Madison Looking Good as New Grants and Innovation Soar

The war on public education by Wisconsin Republicans has run into reality.

The University of Wisconsin System remains the standard for public higher education systems. No matter how zealously Republicans oppose critical thinking, institutional analyses and empirical investigation, much of America hails these values.

Surf through UW dept. websites and the news is good.

From the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP):

The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the nation's longest standing center for poverty research, has been awarded a five-year, $9.5 million cooperative agreement to serve as the national Poverty Research Center. The award from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the principal advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on development of policy and legislation, strategic planning, policy research and evaluation, and economic analysis, comes as IRP marks its 50th year of examining the causes of poverty and inequality in the United States and approaches to reduce them. The award establishes IRP as the nation's sole federally funded Poverty Research Center, an honor that IRP has shared with the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, Davis, and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality for the past five years.

Noted in a brief history of the Institute is the commitment to intellectual honesty and implicit moral principles set forth in 1964, (Evanson, Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, on behalf of the Institute for Research on Poverty).

In the politics of 2016, a muttered talking point passes for argument on poverty-related issues, not so at the IRP:

The Institute was created in March 1966, when the University of Wisconsin-Madison reached agreement with the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity to establish a national center for study of 'the nature, causes, and cures of poverty.' A national center, located in Madison, was a logical response to the issues and the times.

When the federal government undertook new efforts to aid the poor in the 1960s, it also determined that social programs would be studied and evaluated to determine their effectiveness. In 1965 a presidential executive order directed all federal agencies to incorporate measures of cost effectiveness and program evaluation into their decisions. The guiding concept was that the policies and programs then being developed should be shaped by sound logic, firm data, and systematic thinking rather than by good intentions alone.

Charged with implementing the War on Poverty that President Johnson had declared in 1964, the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) sought to establish a center where experts would perform basic research, provide counsel, and serve as a ready information source.

To distance it from the arena of day-to-day issues and problem-solving, the center should be located outside of Washington.

The University of Wisconsin was a likely site in view of its long tradition of applied social policy research and because several of its faculty members had served on the staff of the president's Council of Economic Advisers when the antipoverty strategy was being formulated. ...

Sociologists and political scientists analyzed the interconnections of race, segregation, discrimination, and political power. 18

18 In the list of IRP books, see those by Peter Eisinger; see also Karl Taeuber, Franklin Wilson, David James, and Alma Taeuber, "A Demographic Perspective on School Desegregation in the United States," IRP Discussion Paper no. 617-80, and Franklin Wilson and Karl Taeuber, "Residential and School Segregation: Some Tests of Their Association," IRP Reprint no. 333, 1979.

UW-Madison is looking good, as American politics appears on the brink and a new chapter in race-baiting and demonetization has taken hold of the political culture.

Sep 21, 2016

Wisc Republicans Confuse Voter ID Path the Week Before Voting

As soon as ya free em, they'll start wanting free stuff
Voting rights activists should alert U.S. District Judge James Peterson fast about a new development in One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen.

If you're black or brown and don't have an ID, leave. That's the message the Scott Walker adminstration is delivering to minorities with help from local and state bureaucrats.

After being forced to provide a path, (under challenge in federal court), for citizens to obtain free IDs for voting, the Walker adminstration is trying to stop any side benefits of using the ID for identification purposes, (Marley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

The new move, proposed by the Republican-led DMV, is intended to demean, frustrate and delegitimize minorities, the elderly, the disabled, and college-age adults.

'I just won't vote, too much hassle,' is the sentiment Republicans wish to induce in enough people to swing close elections. It's a tactical voter suppression scheme of a larger social engineering project.

The newly proposed Republican games come as U.S. District Judge James Peterson is hearing a major voting rights case and deciding whether this Republican-led state is sufficiently publicizing the path to obtaining new IDs and for those citizens rejected by the DMV, the ID Petition Process, (IDPP).

The case is One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen, (U.S. District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin (Case 15-cv-324)).

Wrote Judge Peterson: "IT IS ORDERED that, by September 22, 2016, defendants shall provide a thorough report to the court of the State’s efforts to inform the general public that receipts valid for voting are available to those who enter the IDPP, [ID Petition Process]."

Confusing Wisconsin citizens by publicizing a newly proposed scheme that would confuse the means to obtain IDs and limit the uses of IDs the week before voting begins surly is not what Peterson had in mind in his order mandating the state of Wisconsin inform the general public about the IDPP so no citizen is disenfranchised.

Voting rights activists should alert U.S. District Judge James Peterson fast about this new development in One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen.