Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Economy is So Bad That...

Via reader Jim M.:
The economy is so bad that:

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

I ordered a burger at McDonald's and the kid behind the counter asked,  "Can you afford fries with that?"

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

If the bank returns your check marked  "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico .

Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

The Mafia is laying off judges.

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal. Oh Great!!   The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!

And, finally...

I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc.,  I called the Suicide Lifeline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.

ClimateGate: That Didn't Take Long...

The Department of Energy (DOE) sent a notice that starts as below to 8,000 or so employees of its Savanah River Site in South Carolina:
December 14, 2009

DOE Litigation Hold Notice

DOE-SR has received a “Litigation Hold Notice” from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Council and the DOE Office of Inspector General regarding the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. Accordingly, they are requesting that SRNS, SRR and other Site contractors locate and preserve all documents, records, data, correspondence, notes, and other materials, whether official or unofficial, original or duplicative, drafts or final versions, partial or complete that may relate to the global warming, including, but not limited to, the contract files, any related correspondence files, and any records, including emails or other correspondence, notes, documents, or other material related to this contract, regardless of its location or medium on which it is stored. In other words, please preserve any and all documents relevant to “global warming, the Climate Research Unit at he University of East Anglia In England, and/or climate change science.”

Read the whole thing here.

Sounds like litigation.  I wonder who is suing who, and on what theory?

ClimateGate: IPCC Head Isn't Quite as Independent as You'd Think...

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri is the head of the IPCC, and much in the news recently as he defends the CRU and its work from the ClimateGate revelations.  I got curious about just who this guy was, as I'd never heard of him before.  Turns out several other people were curious, too – see here and here

The gist of it is that Dr. Pachauri is one extremely well-connected man – well-connected with dozens of energy-related businesses, that is.  As James Delingpole puts it:
Nevertheless, with the best will in the world, does the good Dr Pachauri not feel there might be certain potential conflict-of-interest issues between his role as head of the IPCC and his sundry business interests?
To which I say...“Hmmmm...”

ClimateGate: Mainstream at Last...

Clive Crook in the Financial Times:
Yet how did the establishment respond? It said that this is how science is done in the real world. Initially, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change defended the scientists and played down the significance of their correspondence. Al Gore said he had not read the e-mails (they were stolen, for heaven’s sake) and that they were reassuring.

When, inexplicably, that did not quell the scandal, the climate-science establishment argued that even if CRU’s work was excluded from consideration, plenty of other evidence supported its findings. Maybe so, thinks the fair-minded voter. But the independence of other big research groups is not entirely clear. In any case, many scientists had just called the e-mailers exemplars of best practice. Why should one expect other researchers’ standards to be any different?

Which leaves smearing the doubters as opponents of science itself. They are either stupid or evil; “flat-earthers” or “deniers” (akin, that is, to Holocaust deniers). Supporters of the consensus no doubt lap this up. The voters who need to be convinced are less likely to. On the whole, people object to being called ignorant or evil. That is not how you bring them round.

When you've lost the FT, what's left?  Your dog?