Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him

“The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.” (New York Times)

Rewriting history under the dome

“Online ‘encyclopedia’ allows anyone to edit entries, and congressional staffers do just that to bosses’ bios: The staff of U.S. Rep Marty Meehan wiped out references to his broken term-limits pledge as well as information about his huge campaign war chest in an independent biography of the Lowell Democrat on a Web site that bills itself as the “world’s largest encyclopedia,” The Sun has learned.

The Meehan alterations on Wikipedia.com represent just two of more than 1,000 changes made by congressional staffers at the U.S. House of Representatives in the past six month. Wikipedia is a global reference that relies on its Internet users to add credible information to entries on millions of topics.” (Lowell Sun)

Benford’s Law

“Dr. Theodore P. Hill asks his mathematics students at the Georgia Institute of Technology to go home and either flip a coin 200 times and record the results, or merely pretend to flip a coin and fake 200 results. The following day he runs his eye over the homework data, and to the students’ amazement, he easily fingers nearly all those who faked their tosses.

“The truth is,” he said in an interview, “most people don’t know the real odds of such an exercise, so they can’t fake data convincingly.”

There is more to this than a classroom trick.

Dr. Hill is one of a growing number of statisticians, accountants and mathematicians who are convinced that an astonishing mathematical theorem known as Benford’s Law is a powerful and relatively simple tool for pointing suspicion at frauds, embezzlers, tax evaders, sloppy accountants and even computer bugs.” (rexswain.com)

A Defeat for Anti-Americanism

Washington Post editorial: “Mr. Martin becomes the second G-8 leader in four months to exit from office after discovering that anti-U.S. demagoguery is no longer enough to win an election. Gerhard Schroeder, the former German chancellor, also tried to rescue his political career last fall by parading his differences with Mr. Bush; the result was the victory of Angela Merkel, who has moved swiftly to repair relations with Washington. Interestingly, both Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Martin won previous campaigns by playing anti-American cards, in 2002 and 2004 respectively. While it’s not clear that the level of ill feeling toward the United States or its president has changed much in Germany or Canada, it’s obviously not the foremost concern of voters fed up with domestic mismanagement — or, perhaps, political venality.

Emphasis added; it is disingenuous to bill this trend as a defeat for anti-Americanism, as the italicized sentence concedes. Anti-Americanism is alive and well, in Canada, Germany and the rest of the world, with few exceptions. The proximal cause of contemporary anti-Americanism is the Bush regime, after the preceding decade of benevolence and goodwill the U.S. and the rest of the world enjoyed. The real defeat of anti-Americanism will be to turn the Republicans out of office in the U.S.

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Rewriting history under the dome

“Online ‘encyclopedia’ allows anyone to edit entries, and congressional staffers do just that to bosses’ bios: The staff of U.S. Rep Marty Meehan wiped out references to his broken term-limits pledge as well as information about his huge campaign war chest in an independent biography of the Lowell Democrat on a Web site that bills itself as the “world’s largest encyclopedia,” The Sun has learned.

The Meehan alterations on Wikipedia.com represent just two of more than 1,000 changes made by congressional staffers at the U.S. House of Representatives in the past six month. Wikipedia is a global reference that relies on its Internet users to add credible information to entries on millions of topics.” (Lowell Sun)