A true skeptic

Camille Paglia shows her fellow atheists how it’s done:

I have been highly skeptical about the claims for global warming because of their overreliance on speculative computer modeling and because of the woeful patchiness of records for world temperatures before the 20th century. In the 1980s, I was similarly skeptical about media-trumpeted predictions about a world epidemic of heterosexual AIDS.

Not just skeptical, “highly skeptical”. I do so love that woman! The amusing thing is that just yesterday, the New York Times was trumpeting a pro-vaccine book… by a man who has made millions of dollars from his vaccine royalties. Imagine that! As a general rule, it’s always best to be extremely skeptical of the “science” or the “truth” pushed by those who have a tremendous personal incentive to convince you of it.

It’s completely fair for disbelievers to question the motivations of members of the priestly caste in all its modern forms. More believers should, in fact, I believe a statistically significant percentage of televangelists are little more than money-grubbing hucksters. I also suspect a fair number of pastors are more inspired by their desire to be on stage and perform than they are by their purported faith or love of God. The thing is, I’m confident that similarly base motivations apply just as often to politicians, lawyers, journalists, and yes, scientists too.

UPDATE – Speaking of skepticism, I note that the overheated ravages of AGW continue apace:

The cold wave that stunned the nation’s midsection expanded into the Northeast on Wednesday with subzero temperatures and biting wind that kept even some winter sports fans at home. The wind chill hit 33 below zero during the night at Massena, N.Y., and the National Weather Service predicted actual temperatures nearly that low in parts of the region by Thursday night.

The real Nazis

All the horror stories of abused children notwithstanding, I have far more faith in the basic human decency of crackhead mothers and violent, alcoholic fathers than I do in the various state child abuse agencies:

Police say three New Jersey siblings whose names have Nazi connotations have been placed in the custody of the state. Holland Township Police Sgt. John Harris says workers from the state Division of Youth and Family Services on Tuesday removed 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell and his younger sisters, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell from their home Tuesday. Harris says family services did not tell police the reason the children were removed.

It is, of course, REMOTELY possible that the Harris family were abusing their children. But given the fact that it follows a big news story, it’s a hell of a lot more likely that some would-be Nazi at the agency took ironic offense at the children’s names and decided to kidnap them for their own good. One of these days, some angry father is going to blow away a large number of these latter-day fascists and the media will be shocked to discover how much public sympathy there will be for him.

There’s absolutely no question that the Harris parents decided to their children some stupid names. But if giving children stupid names was legitimate grounds for removing them from their parents, CPS would have raised about two-thirds of the National Football League.

A race to the bottom

Who will collapse first?

Mexico is one of two countries that “bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse,” according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.

All it would take is one narcopoly to assassinate Calderon and the whole structure will likely fall apart. Fortunately, the Great Southern Wall will prevent the chaos from spreading across the border and having a hugely negative affect on Americans… wait a minute….

Historians are going to look back at America’s post-1980 immigration policies and laugh. And, it must be said, Ronald Reagan’s legacy will be likely be severely tarnished by the role he played in helping exacerbate the problem.

All-too-typical shenanigans

I have long been irritated that Maddens doesn’t include the retired players on their rosters of classic teams. And, as is so often the case with unions, it turns out that the reason is due to union leadership failing to dutifully represent the interests it is charged with representing.

Basically, Judge Alsup found that the plaintiffs introduced sufficient evidence to support a finding by the jury that the NFLPA acquired a “fiduciary” duty to take steps to market the likenesses and names, and that the NFLPA (for whatever reason) failed to do it.

Most importantly (and most troubling), the evidence supported in Judge Alsup’s view a finding that the NFLPA gobbled up the retired players’ marketing rights so that the NFLPA wouldn’t have to compete with the retired players’ likenesses and names while trying to get top dollar for the active players. In other words, the jury found that the NFLPA acquired the rights of these potential competitors to likenesses and names of the active players, only to bury the rights to the likenesses and names of the retired players in the back yard.

If true (and the jury found that it is), it’s shameful, and despicable. The jury essentially found that, under the guise of helping retired players, the NFLPA screwed them, making no effort to market the rights to their likenesses and names in order to preserve the millions and millions that were being generated by the marketing of the rights to the likenesses and names of active players.

While the NFLPA has served the NFL players very well in many regards and wisely views itself as a partner of the league owners rather than an adversary, the two areas it has really fallen down is representing the interests of past players in general and the interests of veteran players relative to agents of rookie players. It is insane that a few elite agents are able to hold the interests of the owners, the veteran players, and the competitive quality of the league itself hostage. And while Mike Florio is rivalled only by Joe Buck in his eagerness to strike an outraged moral pose about almost anything, the NFLPA’s callous treatment of retired players is, for once, every bit as awful as he paints it.