Phew!

Global Warming is Natural!

Glad to hear that whole bothersome “global warming” eco-nonsense is all over and done with. Thanks for letting us know, Mr. Gunter!

Of course, this is actually nothing new for Gunter, he’s been shouting this in one form or another from the battlements of the Edmonton Journal for the better part of a decade now, starting in 2002 when he proclaimed: “The Earth isn’t warming.” Although he hedged his bets a bit at the time by saying that “If the Earth is warming, it is not necessarily a bad thing” and went on to postulate that “Even if warming is real, there’s a good chance humans are not the cause.”

Last year, he seemed to have a minor crisis of faith, admitting that “For the past century and a half, Earth has been warming,” but compensated by more confidently asserting that mankind has absolutely nothing to do with it (which he knew because of supposed warming on the moons of Jupiter and beyond — a region from which many of his opinions seem to originate, apparently).

Well, Mr. Gunter, if indeed you are absolutely correct that “Global warming’s no longer happening,” then you’d better get on the horn to the “eco types” in the Conservative caucus at the first available opportunity, because they seem to be moving ahead (however lethargically) with a regulatory agenda premised on the notion that you’re full of shit.

p.s. It snowed here in Victoria today.

Rummy Redux: “Stuff Happens”

During an interview with Dick Cheney this morning, CNN’s John King asked the former vice president why “we should listen to you” for economic advice. Responding to a litany of failure expressed in statistical changes that occurred under the Bush/Cheney administration, Cheney responded that there’s “all kinds of arguments that could be made,” but he emphasized that there is “something more important than” the specific numbers King cited; namely, 9/11.

Cheney argued the Bush administration had to spend (without paying for it) because it went into “wartime mode.” Cheney also referenced the need to spend money after the Katrina disaster: “All of these things required us to spend money that we had not originally planned to spend or weren’t originally part of the budget. Stuff happens. And the administration has to be able to respond to that, and we did.”

Well, at least he didn’t contemptuously respond with “So what?” this time, but the effect isn’t all that much better.

Living in the Past

printing-press

Rarely have more catastrophically bad ideas and mistaken assumptions been compressed into one column than has been the case of Randall Denley in today’s Ottawa Citizen. Decrying the “fool’s paradise of free content” that’s supposedly to blame for crippling publishers and broadcasters in the wake of declining ad revenues, Denley’s solution is simply to raise the cost of newspapers and levy surcharges on cable service. Ta da! Problem solved. Gee, I wonder how many seconds of deeply probing thought were concentrated in Denley’s mind to arrive at that forlorn cul-de-sac?

It doesn’t seem to have entirely escaped Denley’s attention that we’re in the midst of a recession — indeed, he makes passing mention of it having diminished advertising budgets — but he seems quite oblivious to the fact that in this economic climate, most people aren’t going to take kindly to paying $2 for a newspaper (a hefty $60 a month, or maybe a tad less for a subscription) or having their already egregiously overpriced cable bills jacked by another $10 or so for the “privilege” of watching broadcast TV networks.

Like practically everybody else, I haven’t the slightest idea what the solution for the financial plight of newspapers and broadcasters is, but I’m fairly confident in saying that this sure as heck isn’t it. All Denley appears to be doing is seeking ways to perpetuate an old business model that’s most likely irredeemably broken with expedient, impractical fixes.

For a vastly more thought-provoking analysis the challenge faced by the newspaper publishing industry (and though not directly addressed by it, presumably shared to some degree by broadcasters), allow me to recommend an insightful and beautifully articulated essay called “Thinking the Unthinkable” by Clay Shirky, NYU adjunct professor and author of the book Here Comes Everybody. It’s a long read, but well worth it.

Jeebus on a Spoon, etc.

There’s no escape from Him. He’s so high you can’t get over Him. He’s so low you can’t get under Him. He’s so wide you can’t get around Him. If you make your bed in Heaven He’s there. If you make your bed in Hell He’s there. He’s everywhere. Woo!

There’s a word for this phenomenon: Pareidolia.

Business as Usual?

The Madness of Jim Cramer Continues…

The day after his evisceration by a “comedian” on The Daily Show, the peripatetic host of Mad Money was right back to his usual clowning around (although now derisively bad-mouthing hedge fund managers for shorting the market, calling them “the bad guys”).

For its part, CNBC was unrepentant. “CNBC produces more than 150 hours of live television a week that includes more than 850 interviews in the service of exposing all sides of every critical financial and economic issue,” said CNBC spokesperson Brian Steel in statement Friday. “We are proud of our record and remain committed to delivering coverage in real-time during this extraordinary story and beyond.” Clips of the interview weren’t played on CNBC and producers on sister venues of the NBC network were asked to leave it out of their shows. In Soviet fashion, it was simply “disappeared” from existence.

And perhaps it was just a coincidence, but Thomas Clarke, longtime chief executive of the Street.com, Cramer’s financial news website, abruptly quit Friday, “effective immediately.”

A little more of the media fall-out from this morning’s Reliable Sources. Aren’t you just a little curious to see what Tucker Carlson had to say?

By the way, if you haven’t read The Story of Deep Capture, it’s now available in PDF format.