A midweek miscellany:
Last night, writing about the "climate of fear" Michael E Mann and the other global warm-mongers have succeeded in imposing on their field, I noted that the distinguished 77-year old scientist Lennart Bengtsson had become the latest to climb off the hockey stick and cross over to the skeptic side of the street.
But punishment was swift and merciless. Professor Bengtsson:
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.
I'll have more about this development, and the ugly thuggery of the Big Climate enforcers, later today. In the meantime, I'm profoundly grateful for your continued support for this campaign.
~Further to our ongoing back and forth about America's policing culture, the good news is that the Portland Police Department in Oregon is still capable of taking down a nine-year-old girl without pumping 50 rounds into her:
Two uniformed Portland police officers showed up at the home of a 9-year-old girl last May, questioned her on the front porch about a fight at a youth club six days earlier, then handcuffed her as she stood in a blue-and-white bathing suit.
They drove her to police headquarters in downtown Portland, where she had her fingerprints and mugshot taken.
If only the First Lady had been around to Tweet #BringBackOurGirl.
But don't worry: They did everything by the book (Portland Police Bureau directive 640.70). "Standard procedure," as our mailbox correspondent John Thomas likes to assure us. As Laura Rosen Cohen says:
I love you, America, but your police are out of control.
Maybe they're too controlled: What kind of man cuffs a nine-year-old girl in a bathing suit? What kind of man stands by and watches his partner do such a thing and then helps shovel her into the back of the cruiser? Their names are David McCarthy and Matthew Huspek.
"The book" is the problem. "The book" is why America is abandoning First World policing. If you're doing it by the book, you're doing it wrong.
~MSNBC's Ed Schultz isn't someone I listen to or watch, so I only really know him from his misogynist remarks about conservative women. But I see he's diversifying. Yesterday, he Tweeted:
Gay people were really the ones being persecuted in Hitler's Germany.
Kathy Shaidle had the best response to this. Schultz has since disappeared his Tweet, but I wonder if he's not on to something. Everything's gay now: The Eurovision Song Contest is gay, and the NFL is gay, and nobody pays any attention when Vladimir Putin annexes the Crimea but they go bananas when he threatens to close a gay disco before the Olympics, and John Kerry has dispatched legions of credentialed gay experts to Kampala to help Uganda's Yoweri Museveni come to terms with his homophobia. In such a world, MSNBC viewers will entirely lose interest in the Second World War unless they can figure out a way to play up the LGBTQ angle. Was Churchill gay? He had a slight lisp, although possibly not the kind Slate's "Ask A Homo" correspondent has in mind.
~Although I've worked on radio stations that carried his show, I have been in a room with Casey Kasem, longtime host of the American Top 40, just once. And, now I think of it, it wasn't a room but a stark plaza - somewhere in Los Angeles near the Staples Center during the 2000 Democratic Convention. I mentioned it in a dispatch for The National Post and various other papers, in the course of a doomed attempt to get lucky with some anarchist chick:
LOS ANGELES - Over the weekend, Al Gore was in Springdale, Pa., the hometown of Rachel Carson, whose book Silent Spring did much to spur the environmental movement. Here at the Los Angeles Staples Center, there's been plenty of environmental movement -- the environment has been moved to the town dump. The swaying palm trees around the Center have been chopped down in order, the Secret Service guy explained to me, that they'd have clearer sightlines the better to protect Mr Gore. Otherwise, the poor stiff could be in real danger: You know how it is when you can't see the wood for the trees.
Just who are these people Al Gore needs to be protected from? Well, as always there's the "Free Mumia" crowd. Mumia Abu-Jamal is a convicted cop-killer on death row in Philadelphia, but the Mumia demos went so well in Philly they decided to take 'em on the road. "Hey, you were in Philly," said a familiar face from the anti-police brutality set. "The guy from the corporate media, right?"
"Since we last met," I said, "half of me has been sold from one corporate master to another."
This was a reference to Conrad Black's announcement that month that he would be selling a 50 per cent share in the Post to Izzy Asper. Here comes the Casey Kasem bit:
"Like you care," she sneered, her nostril flaring so contemptuously that the metal stud briefly rose from her nose and hovered in the California haze like the spaceship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. God, these anarchist babes look hot when they're putting you down. Alas, in L.A., the chicks can always trade up. "Hey," she said excitedly, "that's Casey Kasem over there." I turned around, and there was the famous leathery, orange, somewhat strained face of the host of America's Top 40, as syndicated to a gazillion radio stations.
"So I'm corporate media, but Casey Kasem's not?"
"He's supporting our cause, you're not," she said, giving me the corporate bum's rush. I wondered idly where Casey would put Mumia on the Top 40 of hot causes: 24 with a bullet? Or is that the guy's victim?
I still don't know why Casey Kasem was on board with the cop-killer crowd - perhaps it's the side of him that voiced Shaggy on "Scooby-Doo" - but he certainly seemed enthused about it that day. If you're wondering whether my anarchist acquaintance and I shared a smoke and halluncinated the whole thing, well, no: He was there for Mumia.
But nobody knows where Casey is right now. He's suffering from Lewy Body Disease and the subject of a dispute between his children and his fearsomely Amazonian second wife (see picture above). One daughter has been appointed his conservator, but a few days ago the missus sprung him from his nursing home and they went on the lam. She's rumored to have taken him to hole up either on an Indian Reservation (Number One in 1971 for the Raiders, which oddly enough I heard him play on Seventies on 7 a couple of months back), or across the border in Canada, where they don't even have the right Top 40. It would be a strange way for Casey Kasem to drop off the charts, and I hope his kids get him back soon - from "Free Mumia" to "Free Casey", or, as we say these days, #BringBackOurDad.