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Willfully Ignorant F*cksticks: The Levels of Deception on Climate Change

It was July 31st of 2014 when I had the sheets pulled from my eyes and had the "acceptable level of deception" made clear to me. Until then I had in my head that there was a limit. In fact I believed that my normal, tedious practice of checking sources, was close to paranoia. With my history, however I accepted this aspect of myself -- acceptance being less expensive that therapy.  As is pointed out in my discussion of the "Big Lie" most people, simply don't believe that someone, anyone, will be -- as Bill Weir so aptly described -- a willfully Ignorant Fuckstick -- but more than that, and this is where it gets into the mind bending realizations -- be not ignorant. To know the truth and still push the agenda of denial. Pushing it so strongly you wonder, "where does opinion stop, and national treason begin?"

This particular article is regarding the Climate Change issue. No, it is not a debate. You don't have debates about things that are fact. Ok? 

As expressed so artfully by Jon Oliver, you do not have debates about facts. You might as well have a debate over which is larger, 5 or 15. Or if owls exist, or if there are hats. Your opinion is irrelevant. So, we don't need nor even want is an opinion poll on how many Americans believe the Climate Change problem exists. That poll is not pertinent to the problem, 

However it does give valuable insight into the importance of a good, and effective educational system.

So I read that article, and then dropped down into the comment section to discover that Yes, there are people who are willing to publicly embarrass themselves, and put in writing that they believe the Climate problem is a myth. I point out to one person that yes, in fact there is a predictive method that has been accurate over 12 years down to within a  single degree of accuracy for each of those years, and that the method has been tested, retested and peer reviewed several time, and found to be accurate, demonstrable and reproducible. That last one is really the most important of the set. If others can't reproduce your results, then it doesn't matter really what you come up with -- even if you come up with it every time.

After I point this out, another person tells me to read an article on Breitbart News...which that site and another like them Breitbart Texas and others are the worst "news" sites out there -- I wouldn't' believe it if they told me it was raining while standing out in the rain. But the commenter is telling me to look at a link offered in that comment section. So... I check it out. I go to the page, ignore the article and search for DiogenesDespairs. Finding him I check the page that he links to and check it out. 

After working as a researcher for for a little more than three  years, I developed a sense of authenticity which could be recognized simply by the presentation of the website itself. This is not a value that can be relied on of course, but nothing about this website set off any alarms. The coloring, tone, layout and font setting all had "academic" quality to them. First I read the page, which was slow going because this was real, academic writing in a field I don't get exposed to very often. But, after a time I realize that this is making a solid and possible argument which could explain and negate the Climate Change problem as we understood it.

So, putting on my research hat, I checked to see who this person was and began a background check for credibility. Dr. Michael Pidwirny turned out not only to be credible, but one of the masters of his field. He not only publishes but his articles are listed in Physical Geography (index rating of 12) and does studies for the National Council for Science and the Environment -- which despite its name, is not in fact a propaganda machine run by the Koch brothers but an actual foundation committed to the best use of science based knowledge -- and does not take positions at all on Environmental issues.

To sum up, the author, in ability, professional recognition, and publication is NOT the person you want to be challenged by -- because he is probably right. I decide that I need to learn more about his point of view because the first page I landed on is -- dense, and I admit to myself that my level of understanding could be off. After finding some other related papers of his I get some coffee and settle in for a few hours of reading.

It takes about fifteen minutes before I realize that something is amiss. Both of the new papers are highly supportive of Climate Change existing and being a direct affect caused by human activity. The dates are within the last two years. So I go back to see what the dates were on the web site. The date is 2006, older than the two papers but wildly different from them as well. Then, on another page, I read this small paragraph.
In the last few centuries, the activities of humans have directly or indirectly caused the concentration of the major greenhouse gases to increase. Scientists predict that this increase may enhance the greenhouse effect making the planet warmer. Some experts estimate that the Earth's average global temperature has already increased by 0.3 to 0.6° Celsius, since the beginning of this century, because of this enhancement.
WFT? -- Having an odd, probably wrong, "couldn't be true, could it?" idea... I look for this information published some place else and I find the book on his personal area at his college -- and the page is different.

Fast checks and verification take me back to the comment area under the article I started with -- with these words in my head:

Wow.. that's interesting.. the website he uses to point at :http://www.physicalgeography.n... is like -- a real web site... and the guy who it says wrote it... is like a real scientist with published papers in well known journals : Dr. Michael Pidwirny a Canadian even. Except, what he is saying on the Physical Geography web site... isn't what his papers say anywhere else in the world... For example, he says this :
"Without the greenhouse effect the Earth's average global temperature would be -18° Celsius, rather than the present 15° Celsius. In the last few centuries, the activities of humans have directly or indirectly caused the concentration of the major greenhouse gases to increase. Scientists predict that this increase may enhance the greenhouse effect making the planet warmer. Some experts estimate that the Earth's average global temperature has already increased by 0.3 to 0.6° Celsius, since the beginning of this century, because of this enhancement. Predictions of future climates indicate that by the middle of the next century the Earth's global temperature may be 1 to 3° Celsius higher than today."

at this publication:
So... like ... why is it that Deniers will go to such great lengths, far enough to forge a whole fricken website to lie about this? I mean, seriously. This is real, dangerous, earth killing stuff and Deniers are playing with it like it is a firecracker or something, like if they are wrong it will only hurt a little, and we'll figure something out. -- not going to happen like that people. This makes ISIS look like some kids on the corner kicking a can, alright?

So, yes.. they actually forged a website for this man, and altered the text of his book which they copied from his college website. 

Two sentence horror stories

I have fallen in lust with "Two Sentence Horror Stories" The idea was started on a forum I tripped into. The thread began with a request for horror stories in two sentences. I loved the idea and really liked some of the stories which were posted.

Not even my eyes move when the scalpel cuts into my chest beginning the autopsy and sending brutal slices of pain through me.
I look to heaven, searching for God, and say, “You hit like a girl.”

Black Dog

The Black Dog: If you had to risk your life, twice, in order to save one person ... a child ... from a horrible and painful death -- and there would always be injury to you, and pain... would you do it? ... 

I think that there are many people who would do this... if there was no doubt in your mind that the child would die if you did not respond. We are not talking about running into suicide. The first battle you have to get through is with a large black dog. If you win that fight, the dog will show you where a serial killer has the child, just before the killer has done any serious damage to the child. Then you have to get the child away from him. That might be easier than the dog… might be harder, but That is the deal. Are you still game?

What about the next time? How about the next? What about the fourth time? Remember that you could die, the chance is there twice You are fighting for your life, as well as another's each time ... so there will always be pain each time... what about the fifth time?... could you look at the Black Dog across the street, ready to lead you to another killer who has another victim, and walk the other way? That is the question for my next novel... The Black Dog

Howling Darkness Complete

I finished the novel, Howling Darkness this week. It is a young reader's novel, similar in taste to the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. I wrote this book for my grandson, Stephen, and I plan on writing another for his sister Christina.

Writing this type of novel is challenging and fun. It certainly isn't easy and after looking at R.L.Stine's biography and list of works on wikipedia, I have a lot of respect for the man. I am also toying with the idea of making my own series of books, the collection being called Dark Watch.  Stine publishes through the Scholastic Corporation. I'm not sure that this is the way to go with the Dark Watch series, though I doubt there is any reason not to.

Currently, the book idea I have for Christina's novel is not really a Dark Watch type novel. For one, I think it might be a trilogy. And two, it might be a little more young adult reading, rather than young readers. The title is HEX and I've completed the first chapter. It promises to be a fast thriller, full of vampires and scary monsters.

Dad Talk: ADHD -- Starting Out

When I was growing up (the 1965-1975 era) ADHD and ADD were called Hyperactivity Disorder. Schools and neighbors treated this diagnosis as one-step-up from taking the short bus to school. It was a Learning Disorder, a Behavioral Disorder, but most of all it was a Psychological Disorder.

I don’t know how many hours I spent talking to psychologists as a child, but it was quite a few. I don’t blame them for anything. In that period of history, we simply didn’t know any better. Ritalin was prescribed by doctors without the clarity of why it made a difference in the behavior of hyperactive children. It was also common to hear from a doctor that the child would ‘grow out’ of her hyperactivity after puberty. Some doctors today still believe this fallacy.

The 1980’s brought little change in this area of treatment, except for some brave souls who changed the name from Hyperactivity Syndrome to Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD). There were a few good insights, but not much research going on.

The 1990’s were brilliant with research. A whole new perspective on ADD, and ADHD was being described by researchers and the results of their tests. More attention to the Physiological aspects of the condition (rather than the perceived Psychological aspects conjured up in the 60’s and 70’s), was focused on.

Being a dad, growing up with this condition, as well as facing treatment for a son with the same condition, I have had to learn quite a bit about treatments, and parenting. I was required to Un-Learn even more. I started with all of the anger and frustration that came from the treatments of Ritalin and the 70’s (if the child is a little too active, dope him up). I also had clear memories of the ostracizing treatment a child feels from teachers and other parents when he has a Hyperactive diagnosis. I didn’t want my son going through the same experiences, and for a long time I refused to have my son on any treatment for his ADHD.

It was only through the work of a very patient doctor and a great deal of research on my part, that I changed my fears into experience and knowledge. I hope that this book, in which I expand on some of those experiences, helps you to make clearer decisions with your children.

Let’s start out with…I’m not a doctor. I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or even a witch-doctor. I don’t even have a snake oil cart. All I am is a Dad, who has done a great deal of reading on this subject, raised children with this condition, and still deal with the condition as an adult. I rely strongly in this book on the research done. and continuing to be performed, by some very intelligent people, all of whom I truly hope I give proper credit to with citations.

·  Kelly, Kate; Peggy Ramundo (2006). You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! The Classic Self-Help Book For Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. New York, NY: Scribner. pp. 11–12. ISBN 0-7432-6448-7.

·  Lane, B. (2004). The differential neuropsychological/cognitive profiles of ADHD subtypes: A meta-analysis. Dissertation Abstracts International, 64, Retrieved from PsycINFO database.

·  Barkley, Russell A. (2001). "The Inattentive Type of ADHD As a Distinct Disorder: What Remains To Be Done". Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 8 (4): 489–501. doi:10.1093/clipsy/8.4.489.

·  Milich, Richard; Balentine, Amy C., Lynam, Donald R.. "ADHD Combined Type and ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type Are Distinct and Unrelated Disorders". Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 8 (4): 463–488. doi:10.1093/clipsy/8.4.463.

·  Murphy, K., Barkley, R., & Bush, T. (2002). Young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: subtype differences in comorbidity, educational, and clinical history. The Journal Of Nervous And Mental Disease, 190(3), 147-157. Retrieved from MEDLINE database.

·  Bauermeister, J., Matos, M., Reina, G., Salas, C., Martínez, J., Cumba, E., et al. (2005). Comparison of the DSM-IV combined and inattentive types of ADHD in a school-based sample of Latino/Hispanic children. Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry, And Allied Disciplines, 46(2), 166-179. Retrieved from MEDLINE database. 

Excuses Maintain Victim Mentality

When we allow our excuses to succeed, we allow our futures to be limited. Too often we believe that an excuse is temporary -- that it excuses a current outcome, or temporary setback by illustrating a temporary limitation. Leadership Expert Christopher Avery, PhD, and Leaders such as Former Quarterback Steve Young, strongly disagree with this thought process.

The single most important quality for success in any venture is opportunity. When we successfully use excuses for our current setbacks and failures we nurture a Victim Mentality, which sets up limitations against opportunities in the future. We literally set up road blocks against our own success by using excuses.
Stanford University, with Steve Young offer a brilliant lecture series which describes this problem, as well as offering my solutions in the areas of performance, and negotiation.

Christopher Avery offers an amazing live lecture, which focuses on Leadership, and how to step away from the Victim Mentality, which strangles our futures. 

GTP and ME and Chess

You: Give me an annotation of the following game, noting and highlighting tactics, positioning, shifts in momentum and their causes, as we...