Saturday, 02 January 2010

A TASTE OF OBAMACARE

Ken Berwitz

Identical quality at lower prices.  That's what they're telling us.

Here, however, is what the Mayo Clinic is telling us, via www.bloomberg.com:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients

By David Olmos

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the governments largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, wont affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Obama in June cited the nonprofit Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for offering the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm. Mayos move to drop Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program, said Lori Heim, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, in a telephone interview yesterday.

Many physicians have said, I simply cannot afford to keep taking care of Medicare patients, said Heim, a family doctor who practices in Laurinburg, North Carolina. If you truly know your business costs and you are losing money, it doesnt make sense to do more of it.

Medicare Loss

The Mayo organization had 3,700 staff physicians and scientists and treated 526,000 patients in 2008. It lost $840 million last year on Medicare, the governments health program for the disabled and those 65 and older, Mayo spokeswoman Lynn Closway said.

Mayos hospital and four clinics in Arizona, including the Glendale facility, lost $120 million on Medicare patients last year, Yardley said. The programs payments cover about 50 percent of the cost of treating elderly primary-care patients at the Glendale clinic, he said.

We firmly believe that Medicare needs to be reformed, Yardley said in a Dec. 23 e-mail. It has been true for many years that Medicare payments no longer reflect the increasing cost of providing services for patients.

Mayo will assess the financial effect of the decision in Glendale to drop Medicare patients to see if it could have implications beyond Arizona, he said.

Nationwide, doctors made about 20 percent less for treating Medicare patients than they did caring for privately insured patients in 2007, a payment gap that has remained stable during the last decade, according to a March report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a panel that advises Congress on Medicare issues. Congress last week postponed for two months a 21.5 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements for doctors.

National Participation

Medicare covered an estimated 45 million Americans at the end of 2008, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the agency in charge of the programs. While 92 percent of U.S. family doctors participate in Medicare, only 73 percent of those are accepting new patients under the program, said Heim of the national physicians group, citing surveys by the Leawood, Kansas-based organization.

Greater access to primary care is a goal of the broad overhaul supported by Obama that would provide health insurance to about 31 million more Americans. More family doctors are needed to help reduce medical costs by encouraging prevention and early treatment, Obama said in a June 15 speech to the American Medical Association meeting in Chicago.

Reid Cherlin, a White House spokesman for health care, declined comment on Mayos decision to drop Medicare primary care patients at its Glendale clinic.

Medicare Costs

Mayos Medicare losses in Arizona may be worse than typical for doctors across the U.S., Heim said. Physician costs vary depending on business expenses such as office rent and payroll. It is very common that we hear that Medicare is below costs or barely covering costs, Heim said.

Mayo will continue to accept Medicare as payment for laboratory services and specialist care such as cardiology and neurology, Yardley said.

Robert Berenson, a fellow at the Urban Institutes Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C., said physicians claims of inadequate reimbursement are overstated. Rather, the program faces a lack of medical providers because not enough new doctors are becoming family doctors, internists and pediatricians who oversee patients primary care.

Some primary care doctors dont have to see Medicare patients because there is an unlimited demand for their services, Berenson said. When patients with private insurance can be treated at 50 percent to 100 percent higher fees, then Medicare does indeed look like a poor payer, he said.

Annual Costs

A Medicare patient who chooses to stay at Mayos Glendale clinic will pay about $1,500 a year for an annual physical and three other doctor visits, according to an October letter from the facility. Each patient also will be assessed a $250 annual administrative fee, according to the letter. Medicare patients at the Glendale clinic wont be allowed to switch to a primary care doctor at another Mayo facility.

A few hundred of the clinics Medicare patients have decided to pay cash to continue seeing their primary care doctors, Yardley said. Mayo is helping other patients find new physicians who will accept Medicare.

Weve had many patients call us and express their unhappiness, he said. Its not been a pleasant experience.

Mayos decision may herald similar moves by other Phoenix- area doctors who cite inadequate Medicare fees as a reason to curtail treatment of the elderly, said John Rivers, chief executive of the Phoenix-based Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

Weve got doctors who are saying we are not going to deal with Medicare patients in the hospital because they consider the fees too low, Rivers said. Or they are saying we are not going to take new ones in our practice.

Would you be troubled if you lived in Arizona?  Well, get ready to be troubled no matter where you live.  Because government-run health care is a catastrophic disaster in the making.

Think of this as the tip of the iceberg.  Or just title it "Are you on Medicare?  Then hold the Mayo".


HECKUVA JOB, JANEY

Ken Berwitz

How far would you go to justify, or rationalize, the actions of someone else? 

Well, if it was just someone on the street, the answer would probably be not very far at all.  But what if it were someone you liked very much?  Then you might go the extra distance and then some.

That is the only explanation I can fathom for David Broder's latest column, in which he justifies er, rationalizes, er talks dispassionately about Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Here are the key excerpts, with my thoughts in blue:

Napolitano's 'no drama' competence shows her potential

By David S. Broder

Friday, January 1, 2010

 

Most Americans got their first prolonged look at Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, last weekend. After a passenger on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam ignited a concealed fuse as the plane approached Detroit for a landing, apparently intending to blow it up and kill all aboard, it fell to Napolitano to take charge of the federal response.   And what a look it was.  She looked us all in the eye and told us how safe we were and that the system worked after a terrorist succeeded in bringing a deadly explosive on the plane and detonating it (the only thing that saved those passengers was a combination of bravery displayed by several passengers and dumb luck - i.e. the explosives being defective in some way).  But, then again, Ms. Napolitano doesnt call people like this terrorists, does she?  What they do are man-caused disasters.  She and her boss think they can sanitize the word terror and solve the problem, which is why they, and therefore we, are now international laughingstocks who are perceived to be easy targets for the "man-caused disaster" crowd. 

 

It came as no surprise to anyone who knows her that Napolitano handled the incident and its aftermath with aplomb. In the years I have known her, she has managed every challenge that has come her way with the same calm command that she showed in this instance. If there is anyone in the administration who embodies President Obama's preference for quiet competence with "no drama," it is Janet Napolitano.  Yep.  She handled it beautifully.  She calmly lied about the system working.  And then, when even the Democratic side of the aisle had an excrement hemorrhage over it, she changed her story and said the exact opposite a day later.  The word aplomb means self-assurance.  The only aplomb she showed was aplomb at lying to our faces.   

 

I watched as she made the rounds of the morning interview programs on Sunday, laying out what she knew about the would-be terrorist and carefully refusing to speculate about the many matters that were still being investigated. She is being criticized for saying "the system worked," but her part of the response system did work.  Oh, brother.  Yeah, something, somewhere within the system, probably worked.  But what didnt work was preventing a terrorist from getting an explosive device on board and detonating it.  This leads to the fascinating question of what, exactly, Mr. Broder means by her part of the system did work.  If her part of the system is wordsmithing terrorism and then lying about how her department handled the bombing of the plane, hes got a point.  If her part of the system is preventing this from happening and/or talking honestly about it afterwards instead of lamely trying to cover her ass, he doesnt.  Which is more important to you?

 

 We quickly found ourselves talking as if we had known each other for years, and her comments were as candid as they were shrewd.

 

She soon became one of my favorite pols in either party. I saw her mainly at the semiannual meetings of the National Governors Association, where she won a warm welcome on both sides, and occasionally on reporting trips to Arizona.  Ok, now were getting down to it.  David Broder LIKES Janet Napolitano.  So hes figuring out a way to justify and rationalize her utter incompetence.  This, in other words, is the Broder version of Heckuva job, Janey.

 

The Obama Cabinet is filled with talents, but many of the stars are of an age or temperament unlikely to turn them into successor candidates. Napolitano will face many substantive tests -- not just in dealing with terrorism but in playing an important role in immigration reform -- before she is a candidate for anything. But her potential is almost unlimited.  Give me strength!  Broder thinks she is PRESIDENTIAL material?  Based on what?  Her performance this past week?  Someone either get this man into therapy, detox him or sober him up.

free` I have a problem with your title, Michael Brown was used by the media to try and discredit Bush. Anyone who watched the congressional hearings on Katrina knows that Browne not only knew his job inside and out but did everything he was supposed to do. (01/02/10)


MARK STEYN DISCUSSES OUR NON-WAR ON TERROR

Ken Berwitz

Nothing I have written so far has encapsulated and explained the problem with this administration's non-war on terror than Mark Steyn's latest column.

Here it is, in its entirety.  And no parts in bold print either, because every word is 100% worthwhile:

The Jokes on Us
The Pantybomber wasnt the big joke. We are.

By Mark Steyn

On Christmas Day, a gentleman from Nigeria succeeded (effortlessly) in boarding a flight to Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. Pretty funny, huh?

But the Pantybomber wasnt the big joke. The real laugh was the United States government. The global hyperpower spent the next week making itself a laughingstock to the entire planet. First, the bureaucrats at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) swung into action with a whole new range of restrictions.

Against radical Yemen-trained Muslims wearing weaponized briefs? Of course not. That would be too obvious. So instead they imposed a slew of constraints against you. At Heathrow last week, they were permitting only one item of carry-on on U.S. flights. In Toronto, no large purses.

Um, the Pantybomber didnt have a purse. He brought the bomb on board under his private parts, and his private parts werent part of his carry-on (although, if reports of injuries sustained in his failed mission are correct, they may well have been part of his carry-off). But no matter. If in doubt, blame the victim. The TSA announced that for the last hour of the flight no passenger can use the toilets or have anything on his lap not a laptop, not a blanket, not a stewardess, not even a paperback book. I cant wait for the first lawsuit after an infidel flight attendant confiscates a litigious imams Koran as theyre coming into LAX.

Youre still free to read a paperback if youre flying from Paris to Sydney, or Stockholm to Beijing, or Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow. But not to LAX or JFK. The TSA were responding as bonehead bureaucracies do: Dont just stand there, do something. And every time the TSA does something, youll have to stand there, longer and longer, suffering ever more pointless indignities. Last week, guest-hosting The Rush Limbaugh Show, I took a call from a lady who said that, if it helps keep her safe, shes happy to get to the airport four, five, whatever hours before the flight. Try to put a figure on whatever and youll get a sense of where Americas transportation system is headed. Ten years ago, you got to the airport 45 minutes, an hour before the flight. Now, thanks to the ever more demanding choreographers of the homeland-security kabuki, its two, three, four, whatever. Look at OHare and imagine the size of airport well need. And by then the Pantybomber wont even need to get on the plane; he can kill more people blowing up the check-in line.

And remember, this was a bombing mission that failed. With failures like this, who needs victories?

Joke, joke, joke. The only good news was that the derision was so universal that the TSA promptly reined in some of their wackier impositions a couple of days later. But by then Janet Incompetano, the homeland-security secretary, had gone on TV and declared to the world that there was nothing to worry about: The system worked.

Indeed, it worked smoothly. The al-Qaeda trainee on a terrorist watch list, a man banned from the United Kingdom and reported to the CIA by his own father, got on board the plane, assembled the bomb, and attempted to detonate it. But dont worry bout a thing; the system worked.

Twenty-four hours later, Secretary Incompetano was back on TV to protest that her words had been taken out of context. No doubt, the al-Qaeda-trained CIA-reported cash-paying crotch-stuffed watch-list members smooth progress through check-in was also taken out of context.


But by then the president of the United States had also taken to the airwaves. For three days, he had remained silent which I believe is a world record for the 44th president. Since Jan. 20, 2009, its been difficult to switch on the TV and not find him yakking accepting an award in Oslo for not being George W. Bush, doing Special Olympics gags with Jay Leno, apologizing for America to some dictator or other . . .  But across the electric wires an eerie still had descended. And when the president finally spoke, even making allowances for his usual detached cool, he sounded less like a commander-in-chief addressing the nation after an attempted attack than an assistant DA at a Cook County press conference announcing a drug bust: Heres what we know so far. . . . As the plane made its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device. . . . The suspect was immediately subdued. . . . The suspect is now in custody and has been charged. Etc, etc, piling up one desiccated legalism on another: Allegedly . . .  suspect . . .  charged . . .  The president cant tell an allegedly alleged suspect (which is what he is in Obama fantasy-land) from an enemy combatant (which is what he is in cold hard reality). But worse than the complacent cop-show jargonizing was a phrase its hard to read as anything other than a deliberate attempt to mislead the public: The president referred to the Knickerbomber as an isolated extremist. By this time, it was already clear that young Umar had been radicalized by jihadist networks in London and fast-tracked to training in Yemen by terror operatives who understood the potentially high value of a Westernized Muslim with excellent English from a respectable family. Yet President Obama tried to pass him off as some sort of lone misfit who wakes up one morning and goes bananas. Could happen to anyone.

But, if it takes the White House three days to react to an attack on the United States, their rapid-response unit can fire back in nothing flat when Dick Cheney speaks. It is telling, huffed the presidents communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the administration than condemning the attackers.

Condemning the attackers? What happened to all the allegedly alleged stuff? Shouldnt that be condemning the alleged isolated attacker? The communications director seems to be wandering a bit off-message here, whatever the message is: The system worked, so were inconveniencing you even more. The system failed, but the alleged suspect is an isolated extremist, so why wont that cowardly squish Cheney have the guts to condemn the attacker and his vast network of associates?

The real message was conveyed by Fouad Ajami, discussing the new administrations foreign policy in the Wall Street Journal: No despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue. True. Another Iranian deadline passed on New Years Eve, but the United States will set a new one for Groundhog Day or whenever.

And, just as the thug states understand they now have the run of the planet, so do the terror cells. A thwarted terror attack at Christmas is bad enough. Spending the following week making yourself a global joke is worse. Every A-list despot and dimestore jihadist got that message loud and clear and so did American allies already feeling semi-abandoned by this most parochial of presidents. Expect a bumpy twelve months ahead. Happy New Year.

The 2012 election cannot come fast enough. 


DUKE LACROSSE: MORE FALLOUT

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I talked about the Duke lacrosse scandal.  I talked about the 88 Duke University academics who condemned White lacrosse players for "raping" a Black stripper before knowing any of the facts - facts which showed her to be a liar - and how, despite their racism, some were reaping major benefits.  At that time I showed excerpts from Stuart Taylor, Jr's latest article at National Journal

Well, there's more.

Here are the particulars, again from Mr. Taylor:


You might think that a university whose students were victims of the most notorious fraudulent rape claim in recent history, and whose professors -- 88 of them -- signed an ad implicitly presuming guilt, and whose president came close to doing the same would have learned some lessons.

 

The facts are otherwise. They also suggest that Duke University's ugly abuse in 2006 and 2007 of its now-exonerated lacrosse players -- white males accused by a black stripper and hounded by a mob hewing to political correctness -- reflects a disregard of due process and a bias against white males that infect much of academia.

In September, far from taking pains to protect its students from false rape charges, Duke adopted a revised "sexual misconduct" policy that makes a mockery of due process and may well foster more false rape charges by rigging the disciplinary rules against the accused.

 

The two stated reasons for the revised sexual-misconduct rules, as reported in the student newspaper, The Chronicle, almost advertise that they were driven by politically correct ideology more than by any surge in sexual assaults.

 

"The first was... fear of litigation, as expressed by Duke General Counsel Pamela Bernard," as Johnson wrote in his blog, Durham-in-Wonderland. "Yet the policy Duke has developed seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen. The second factor was a development that those in the reality-based community might consider to be a good thing: Over a three-year period, reported cases of sexual misconduct on college campuses as a whole and at Duke specifically (slightly) declined."

 

But for many in academia, Johnson explains, "these figures must mean something else -- that a plethora of rapes are going unreported." Indeed, Sheila Broderick, a Duke Women's Center staff member, told The Chronicle without evidence that Duke had a "rape culture." And Ada Gregory, director of the Duke Women's Center, said that "higher IQ" males, such as those at Duke, could be "highly manipulative and coercive."

 

The revised policy requires involving the Women's Center in the disciplinary process for all known allegations of sexual misconduct and empowers the Office of Student Conduct to investigate even if the accuser does not want to proceed.

 

Duke's rules define sexual misconduct so broadly and vaguely as to include any sexual activity without explicit "verbal or nonverbal" consent, which must be so "clear" as to dispel "real or perceived power differentials between individuals [that] may create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion" (emphasis added).

 

The disciplinary rules deny the accused any right to have an attorney at the hearing panel or to confront his accuser. The rules also give her -- but not him -- the right to be treated with "sensitivity"; to make opening and closing statements; and to receive copies of investigative documents.

 

The revised policy, among other things, shows that Duke is still in the grip of the same biases, indifference to evidence, and de facto presumption of guilt that led so many professors and administrators to smear innocent lacrosse players as rapists (and as racists) for many months in 2006 and 2007. And just this month, the university's in-house organ, Duke Today, heaped special attention and praise on Holloway and McClain and featured their photos in a gushing five-part series titled "Diversity & Excellence," focusing on Duke's efforts to hire more black faculty members.

 

None of the five articles mentioned the roles of Holloway, McClain, and most of the African and African-American studies faculty (the vast majority of whom signed both the ad and the subsequent letter) in smearing innocent Duke students -- not only the lacrosse players but also the many others whom the letter fatuously accused of fostering an "atmosphere that allows sexism, racism, and sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus."

The three Group of 88 signers hired away by other leading universities are Houston Baker, Grant Farred, and Charles Payne.

 

Vanderbilt was so proud to have signed up Baker, a professor of English and African and African-American studies at Duke, in April 2006 that it prominently featured a photo of him on its website for months. This was shortly after Baker had issued a March 29, 2006, public letter pressuring the Duke administration to dismiss the lacrosse players -- whom he deprecated 10 times as "white" -- and all but pronouncing the entire team guilty of "abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white, male privilege" against a "black woman who their violence and raucous witness injured for life."

 

For such conduct, the official Vanderbilt Register admiringly characterized Baker as Duke's "leading dissident voice" about the administration's handling of the rape allegations.

 

In June 2006, Baker falsely suggested that Duke lacrosse players had raped other women. In a pervasively ugly response to a polite e-mail from the mother of a Duke lacrosse player, he called the team "a scummy bunch of white males" and the woman the "mother of a 'farm animal.' "

 

In 2007, Cornell proudly lured another of the 88, Grant Farred, with a joint appointment in African studies and English.

 

This, after the following events: In September 2006 and before, Farred produced such faux scholarship as a nonsensical monograph portraying Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets' Chinese center, as representing "the most profound threat to American empire." In October 2006, Farred accused hundreds of Duke students of "secret racism" for registering to vote against Nifong, who was subsequently disbarred for railroading the indicted lacrosse players. In April 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper declared the players innocent. Then Farred smeared them again, as racists and perjurers.

 

Cornell elevated Farred this year to director of graduate studies in the African-American studies department.

Also in 2007, Chicago gave an endowed chair to Charles Payne, who as Duke's chairman of African and African-American studies had inappropriately authorized use of university funds to pay for the Group of 88 ad.

 

The fact that these five people of questionable judgment have subsequently won glorification by Duke or advancement to other prestigious positions may reflect the interaction of academia's demand for more "diversity" with the small supply of aspiring black professors who are well credentialed in traditional disciplines. These factors, amplified by politically correct ideology, have advanced many academics who -- unlike most African-Americans -- are obsessed with grievances rooted more in our history of slavery and racial oppression than in contemporary reality.

 

Try imagining a white male professor who had smeared innocent black students enjoying a similar path of advancement in academia today.

Unbelievable.  Duke is saying, pretty much in so many words, that if you are a White male student, you are guilty.  And you have virtually no legal recourse to challenge your guilt.  So shut up and pray that we don't kick you off campus and tar you with terms like "racist" and "rapist", thus ruining your life.

This is what the academic experience at Duke (and, sadly, more than a few other universities) has descended to.

And that last sentence is haunting:  "Try imagining a White male professor who had smeared innocent Black students enjoying a similar path of advancement in academia today".   I dare you.

Where are all the academics who clamor for racial justice on that one?  Why not ask a few of the Duke 88 and get their answers?

Zeke ... .... The ISSUE is never "the issue" ... ... .... The ISSUE is POWER ! (01/02/10)


THE GLOBAL WARMING FRAUD (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Just how long has the global warming fraud been fraudulent?  I hope you don't think it is a recent phenomenon.

John Hinderaker, at www.powerlineblog.com, shows us that it has been a lot longer than that:

It Didn't Start With Climategate

 

January 1, 2010 Posted by John at 7:34 PM

 

The whistleblower at the University of East Anglia who leaked emails and other documents that reveal the fraud that is being perpetrated by the world's leading global warming alarmists did us all a great service. But it is important to realize that the deception didn't just begin: rather, the global warming hysteria movement has been shot through with fraud from the start.

 

The most important document in the history of the anthropogenic global warming movement was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Second Assessment Report, which was published under the auspices of the United Nations in 1996. This report was the principal basis for the Kyoto Accord which was signed in 1997, and for the nonsense that has been inflicted on the world's elementary school students ever since.

 

But the Second Assessment Report was hijacked by an AGW activist who re-wrote key conclusions and injected a level of alarmism that had not been present in the consensus document. You can get the whole story here, along with a great deal more information about the global warming controversy. The Science and Environmental Project summarized what happened as follows:

 

IPCC assessment reports, and particularly their Summaries for Policymakers (SPM), are noted for their selective use of information and their bias to support the political goal of control of fossil fuels in order to fight an alleged anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

 

Perhaps the most blatant example is IPCC's Second Assessment Report (SAR), completed in 1995 and published in 1996. Its SPM contains the memorable phrase "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." You may recall that this 1996 IPCC report played a key role in the political deliberations that led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

 

This ambiguous phrase suggests a group of climate scientists, examining both human and natural influences on climate change, looking at published scientific research, and carefully weighing their decision. Nothing of the sort has ever happened. The IPCC has consistently ignored the major natural influences on climate change and has focused almost entirely on human causes, especially on GH gases and more especially on carbon dioxide, which is linked to industrial activities and therefore 'bad' almost by definition.

 

How then did the IPCC-SAR arrive at "balance of evidence"? It was the work of a then-relatively-junior scientist, Dr Benjamin D. Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), who has recently re-emerged as a major actor in ClimateGate. As a Convening Lead Author of a crucial IPCC chapter, Santer carefully removed any verbiage denying that human influences might be the major or almost exclusive cause of warming and substituted new language.

 

There is no evidence that he ever consulted any of his fellow IPCC authors, nor do we know who instructed him to make these changes and later approved the text deletions and insertions that fundamentally transformed IPCC-SAR.

The event is described by Nature [381(1006):539] and in a 1996 WSJ article by the late Professor Frederick Seitz (See also my Science Editorial #2-09). Seitz compared the draft of IPCC Chapter 8 (Detection and Attribution) and the final printed text. He noted that, before printing, key phrases had been deleted from the draft that had earlier been approved by its several scientist-authors.

 

This is from Professor Seitz's 1996 Wall Street Journal article:

 

This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be--it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.

 

A comparison between the report approved by the contributing scientists and the published version reveals that key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version. The scientists were assuming that the IPCC would obey the IPCC Rules--a body of regulations that is supposed to govern the panel's actions. Nothing in the IPCC Rules permits anyone to change a scientific report after it has been accepted by the panel of scientific contributors and the full IPCC.

 

The participating scientists accepted "The Science of Climate Change" in Madrid last November; the full IPCC accepted it the following month in Rome. But more than 15 sections in Chapter 8 of the report--the key chapter setting out the scientific evidence for and against a human influence over climate--were changed or deleted after the scientists charged with examining this question had accepted the supposedly final text.


Few of these changes were merely cosmetic; nearly all worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general and on global warming in particular.

 

The following passages are examples of those included in the approved report but deleted from the supposedly peer-reviewed published version:

 

"None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases." "No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes." "Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced."

 

The reviewing scientists used this original language to keep themselves and the IPCC honest. I am in no position to know who made the major changes in Chapter 8; but the report's lead author, Benjamin D. Santer, must presumably take the major responsibility.


IPCC reports are often called the "consensus" view. If they lead to carbon taxes and restraints on economic growth, they will have a major and almost certainly destructive impact on the economies of the world. Whatever the intent was of those who made these significant changes, their effect is to deceive policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming.

 

Fred Singer, in the SEPP editorial quoted above, continues:

 

[I]n addition to these text changes there are also two key graphs that were doctored in order to convey the impression that anthropogenic influences are dominant. Again, my Hoover essay gives the details.

 

1. According to all climate models, [greenhouse] warming shows a characteristic 'fingerprint': a 'hot spot' in temperature trend values in the tropical upper troposphere. Michaels and Knappenberger [Nature 384 (1996):522-523] discovered that the IPCC's claimed agreement with observations was spurious and obtained by selecting a convenient segment of the radiosonde temperature data and ignoring the rest.

 

2. Santer also claimed that the modeled and observed patterns of geographic surface temperatures were correlated, with the correlation coefficient increasing over time (suggesting to the reader that a growing human component gradually emerged from background noise). I found, however, that Santer had obtained this result by simply deleting from a published graph all the trend lines that disagreed with his desired outcome [Eos 80 (1999):372]. In fact, the original paper had Santer himself as lead author and did not appear in print until after the IPCC report was completed - in contravention of IPCC rules.

 

It is interesting that these several documented falsifications went largely unreported and had little impact on scientists and politicians, who went on to support the passage of the Kyoto Protocol -- in spite of the absence of any scientific support.

 

So the Kyoto protocol was based on fictitious science, exaggerated or fabricated outright for political purposes. The same Professor Santer who hijacked the Second Assessment Report figures prominently in Climategate. Many of his emails were disclosed by the East Anglia whistleblower; among other things, they show Santer resisting all efforts by independent scientists to obtain information, through Freedom of Information Act requests, about the statistical manipulations that Santer applies to raw climate data to "prove" the existence of anthropogenic global warming.

 

Fraud: it is the one constant in the history of the global warming hysteria movement.

This, folks, is what we are pouring untold billions of dollars into, and why we are destroying our industrial base (what's left of it) in the bargain.  For a fraudulent fairy tale, brought to us by the people who stand to get a ton of that money.

Are we out of our minds?

And one other thing:  if John Hinderaker can find this material, wouldn't you think our wonderful "neutral" media could too?  So where are they, besides in the hip pockets of the enviro-frauds?


LONDON'S IVY LEAGUE OF TERRORISM

Ken Berwitz

My sister put me onto this article, which is posted at www.the dailybeast.com

Read it and see how significant London's schools have become as a training ground for terrorism:

The man who tried to blow up Flight 253 on Christmas allegedly turned toward al Qaeda at London University. Alum Venetia Thompson on going to school at terrorism's Ivy League.

 

When former University College London mechanical engineering student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a plane on Christmas Day, he became the fourth president of a student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years. Waheed Zaman, former president of the Islam Society at London Metropolitan University, is facing a retrial on charges that he was involved in the 2006 liquid-bomb plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners, and two others have been convicted of terrorist offenses since 2007. The government-funded Islam and Citizenship Education Project, which aims to encourage British citizenship to be taught in madrassahs, and even supplies teaching materials, clearly has a lot of work to do, as do British universities.

 

Everyone knows London universities are full of would-be nutters honing their engineering skills whilst simultaneously becoming increasingly religious. Its one hell of a dangerous combo when you think about it.

When I was in my final year at UCL, the Christmas undie bomber would have been in his first year, a fresher. We may even have crossed paths in the library or Students Union. Like all freshers, he would have attended the annual Freshers Fair and signed up to various clubs and societies, probably ignoring the Ultimate Frisbee Society and the Wilderness Medicine Society and making a bee-line for the Islamic Society, which he would then go on to lead. Whilst I was getting drunk and becoming increasingly convinced I was going to fail my finals, somewhere nearby he was beginning to be radicalized. 

 

I had various encounters with the UCL Islamic Society, from the relatively innocent (constantly trying to get me to sign their anti-Israel or anti-Iraq war petitions, to wear one of their Free Palestine T-shirts, or to take one of their seemingly endless supply of leaflets promoting protests, sit-ins, and lectures by extremists) to the slightly more sinister (the friends I made in first year whom I gradually saw less and less of, and who even began dressing more conservatively as they became more involved with the society, or the girl I knew who told me she was warned against adopting theiras in our Westernculture by an older student shed met during Freshers Week).

 

One former UCL student even says he was told whilst enjoying a pint in the union that it was his duty as a Muslim to attend society meetings and that he was frequently invited to Islamic study groups. He jokes that he was probably seen as a sitting duckI was even studying bomb-making, as we affectionately referred to the Department of Chemical Engineering.

 

He goes on to say: Everyone knows London universities are full of would-be nutters honing their engineering skills whilst simultaneously becoming increasingly religious. Its one hell of a dangerous combo when you think about it. We all used to joke about it back then, but its not quite so funny anymore.

 

Sadly, the average 18-year-old arriving in London, having spent the last eight years locked up in a boarding school in the middle of nowhere, or worse, getting beaten up at the local state-run comprehensive, is going to be looking for more than the Ultimate Frisbee Society when they finally arrive at university. They want guidance, identity, friends, and protectionto feel that they belong. Therefore they are perfect fodder for religious fanatics lurking behind the scenes.

 

Of course most societies that scoop up lost freshers dont encourage known extremists to come and give lectures to their impressionable members. Incidentally, no former presidents of other societies have graduated and gone on to try and blow themselves up or plot terrorist atrocities. It could be argued that this seems to be a problem specific to university Islamic societies and the people who are allowed access, or invited to speak at, study groups, and events that appear to be totally unregulated.

 

Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion, an independent U.K. think tank specializing in the study of radicalization and extremism in the U.K., tells The Daily Telegraph, UCL has not just failed to prevent students being radicalized, they have been complicit. Referring to Abu Usama, an extremist due to speak at UCL last month and known for preaching that homosexuals and apostates should be killed, Murray says: If any other society at UCL invited someone to speak who encouraged killing homosexuals, that society would be banned immediately, but academics are afraid of taking action when it involves Islamic societies in case they are accused of Islamophobia.

 

It is perhaps, therefore, unsurprising that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, during his time as president of the UCL Islamic Society, was able to launch what can only be described as an anti-Western propagandist YouTube video advertising the societys War on Terror Week without any intervention from the university.

 

It isnt just UCL in the hot seat. A student at the prestigious London School of Economicsincidentally, where Omar Sheikh, who helped in the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl back in 2002, studiedrecalls the friends made in first year who during the course of their degrees took a mysterious turn to the conservative, stopped coming out and drinking. Then there are the Death to Israel T-shirts a Jewish LSE student tells me he has seen around the LSE campus, where, he says, anti-Semitism is rife. There have been plenty of clashes between the Islamic Soc and the Israel Soc here. Its only going to get worse.

 

Kings College London, another top university, was where Asif Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif studied. They carried out a suicide bomb attack on a bar in Tel Aviv in 2003. Then there is City University, where Abdullah Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of the 2006 liquid-bomb plot, graduated from. It seems to be a struggle to find a London university without terrorist alumni.

 

A YouGov poll conducted in 2008, the only documented extensive study of British Muslim students to be published, found that 32 percent of the 632 students who took part believed killing in the name of religion to be justifiable in order to preserve and promote that religion or if that religion is under attack.

 

UCL has issued a typically frothy statement claiming that during his time on the course Mr. Abdulmutallab never gave his tutors any cause for concern, and was a well-mannered, quietly spoken, polite and able young man. The UCL president and provost, Professor Malcolm Grant is deeply saddened by these events. It is surely about time that he, and other university heads, stop their clichd but he was such a nice young man denial and fulfill their duty of care by monitoring their students, university societies, and who is being invited to speak on their campuses more closely. They cannot rely on there always being a heroic Dutchman around to bring down the next bomb-making graduate who decides to blow himself up.

Training grounds for terrorism.  That's what they are.  And the schools are either too scared of them, or too much in sympathy with them, to do a thing about it.

If we aren't closely monitoring the radical islamics at these schools we damn well better start.  And if we are, we damn well better do a more effective job of it.


GLOBAL WARMING UPDATE:

Ken Berwitz

From www.bloomberg.com:

U.S. East Coast Faces Deep Freeze; Florida Oranges Threatened

By Dan Hart

Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. East Coast faces the coldest night of the season as frigid air spills south and threatens agriculture in Georgia, Alabama and the orange crop in Florida.

Freeze warnings were posted by the National Weather Service as far south as the Orlando area, which may be as many as 20 degrees below normal tonight, the National Weather Service said. The advisory alerts growers that subfreezing temperatures are imminent and may kill crops or other sensitive vegetation.

Tampa and others cities in the central part of the state are under a freeze warning from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. local time tomorrow. Temperatures may fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (zero Celsius) for more than three consecutive hours, the National Weather Service in Tampa said on its Web site.

This is a pretty significant cold snap, Matt Keefe, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.com Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview. This could really put a hurting on the citrus crop. He said the jet stream, which normally keeps the coldest air north of the Hudson Bay in Canada, is centered over parts of Alabama and Mississippi. The cold temperatures could last for a good part of the week, he said.

Jacksonville, Florida, may see a record low tonight, Keefe said. The Miami area will see temperatures 12 degrees to 13 degrees below normal for this time of year, Keefe said.

Tonight will be the coldest and offer the greatest danger of crop damage, Keefe said. The next chance for freezing will come next week.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month estimated Floridas orange crop will be 0.7 percent smaller than earlier forecast because adverse weather reduced fruit size.

In New York, overnight lows may be 22 degrees, with wind chills dropping the experience to single digits. Philadelphia may see a low of 20 degrees, Keefe said. Washington may slip to 19 degrees, he said.

Lucky we've got global warming.  Or it could have been real cold about now.....

Zeke ... ... No, no, NO ! ! Global Warming means that temperatures can be record lows. ... ... Besides, do you have a PhD ? Otherwise, you are not qualified to comment on the weather --- you only can pay Greenhouse Taxes, so the Gub'mint can hire more deserving Bureaucrats. ... ... ... ... Kindly do not confuse the public with FACTS ! ... ... ... ... ... ... The bright side of all this is that Albert Gore was nearly, almost, but not quite, the nation's President. (01/03/10)


HATEFUL COMMENTERS: A TWO-WAY STREET

Ken Berwitz

This one is for Charles Johnson at www.littlegreenfootballs.com, who, in recent months, has simultaneously lurched far leftward, and "discovered" that hateful material is posted by commenters at some right wing web sites.

The following links come to us from Brian Maloney of www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com.  They show how left wing commenters feel regarding Rush Limbaugh's recent illness.  Click on any or all of them (especially you, Charles) and see the kind of vile, despicable filth that has been posted:

*** SOME OF THE MEANEST COMMENTS FOUND AT WAPO ***

*** TIMING IS EVERYTHING: TINA BROWN RIPS LIMBAUGH ON TODAY SHOW ***

*** ORBUSMAX: SEATTLE TIMES FORCED TO REMOVE NEARLY 50% OF RUSH-RELATED COMMENTS ***

*** LIBERAL COLUMNIST IMPLORES LEFT TO '
STOP WISHING LIMBAUGH DEAD' ***


***
MORE TWITTER HATE ***

The bottom line?  Neither side has any monopoly on hate. 

End of story.


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