The 1830 Problem

Global warming is real. It’s easy to measure it in terms of sea levels over time; when the Earth warms, more ice melts and the seas rise. When the Earth cools, water gets bound up as ice and the sea levels drop. The seas have been rising lately. OK, easy enough.

So, then the question is what is the human impact on global warming? Reinhard Flick has measured the sea levels through geological records off the California coast. He’s found something really interesting – around 1830 the seas started to rise at an increased rate that continues through today. Here’s a barely readable screengrab of one of his slides from a video of a talk he gave called Sea Level Rise and Its Impact on Southern California Beaches:

So, the problem is that current models of the human influence on global warming don’t expect for this sudden increase at that time. Hence we have ‘The 1830 Problem’. Theories are good, but when the data contradicts the theory, it’s time to get a new theory.

Democratic Party Disenfranchisement

Howard Dean reminded his superdelegates that the could vote for whomever they wanted, regardless of the outcome of the popular vote:

Citing Democratic rules, national committee Chairman Howard Dean on Tuesday said the superdelegates who are poised to select the party’s presidential nominee are free to back whomever they wish at the end of the primaries, regardless of who leads in the popular vote or pledged delegates.

Then the next day he said:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Wednesday the party would “absolutely seat” a Florida delegation when it meets in August in Colorado for the national convention.

and, from other reports, it’s so that that Florida and Michigan voters aren’t disenfranchised.

Yet the superdelegates are free to invalidate any of the voters’ votes if they feel like it, so in reality seating Florida and Michigan or not is completely irrelevant, and the Democratic primary will be decided by superdelegates, and not regular voters.

That’s pretty much textbook disenfranchisement, which was the intent after the 1968 McGovern disaster (for the Democrats). Contrast with the Republican primary where there are no superdelegates to alter the outcome. Consider the next time you hear somebody complaining about disenfranchisement.

Generic Customer Responses

I wrote to Autozone to let them know they missed our van (2005 Pontiac Montana SV6) on their parts website and let them know of the other GM equivalents. They responded more than a week later:

We apologize if you experienced difficulties while using AutoZone.com. We appreciate you taking the time to send us your feedback. We have

forwarded your comments to the Webmaster for further consideration.

Wow, I’m so impressed. “Thanks for the catch, we’ll make sure it gets added” would have been so bad for customer relations, right?

US Marshals’ Office Has Credibility Problem

Last June when the US Marshal’s office raided Ed and Elaine Brown’s property they said they weren’t trying to make an arrest, that it was just surveillance, and no shots were fired.

Yesterday it was revealed that was this wasn’t true at all. It was an arrest attempt and shots were fired. The Marshal described his deception as being part of not giving away his advantage.

While that may be true, a “we don’t comment on ongoing operations” would have been sufficient to achieve the same goal. Deceiving the citizenry with misinformation is not part of a well-regulated government’s job.

In the future, we have no reason to believe any statements made by the US Marshal’s Office as we can assume that at least some of the time they won’t be telling the truth. That is to say we’re more likely now to believe others who are reporting on operations as they’ve proven to be accurate (at least in this case), even though we initially dismissed them. It does the Marshals no good for the citizenry to believe those who the Marshals are trying to apprehend over the Marshals themselves.

To regain our confidence they need to apologize for this incident, disclose other violations of the public’s trust, and demonstrate that they’ve put in place policies that will prevent this from happening again.