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Archive for November 19th, 2009

Professors Paid to Plagiarize – UPDATE: Global warming scientists hacked emails show manipulation of data, hiding of other data and conspiring to attack/smear global warming skeptics!

Posted by iusbvision on November 19, 2009

UPDATE II – More on climategate HERE. New Zealand Climate Center caught fudging the data too LINK.

Professors Paid to Plagiarize

Before we dive into the meat of this important story let me state that we are woefully behind in our academics coverage. The editor has about 30 articles and posts in his head that he is ready to write if he can just find enough hours in the day. Constant news from the banking sector, government etc has been sucking the oxygen out of the air when it comes to news as well. We do hope to catch up soon. There is much news from our friends at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (www.thefire.org) so all readers are encouraged to read that site every day.

This news is so big that it cannot wait.

We hear it all the time, don’t plagiarise, never present an idea or thought that isn’t yours without crediting it.

But guess what….

If you are a professor and you are paid to put your name on an article written by another person, or a company or a research group to put your name on it to give it “added prestige” they no longer call it plagiarism, they call it “ghost writing” and that of course is peeeeeeerfectly ok …..

New York Times:

Senator Charles E. Grassley wrote to 10 top medical schools Tuesday to ask what they are doing about professors who put their names on ghostwritten articles in medical journals — and why that practice was any different from plagiarism by students.

Mr. Grassley, of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, sent the letters as part of his continuing investigation of so-called medical ghostwriting. The term refers to publication of medical journal articles in which an outside writer — sometimes paid by a drug or medical devices company whose product is being studied — has done extensive work on the article without being named on the publication. Instead, one or more academic researchers may receive author credit.

Mr. Grassley said ghostwriting had hurt patients and raised costs for taxpayers because it used prestigious academic names to promote medical products and treatments that might be expensive or less effective than viable alternatives.

“Any attempt to manipulate the scientific literature, which can in turn mislead doctors to prescribe treatments that may be ineffective and/or cause harm to their patients, is very troubling,” the senator wrote.

Some journals, medical associations, writers’ and editors’ groups and pharmaceutical companies themselves have called for crackdowns on ghostwriting. But some universities that employ the professors who put their names on the articles have been slow to respond. Merck, Wyeth (now part of Pfizer), GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca are among the companies accused by lawyers and investigators of providing ghostwriters for research papers.

Mr. Grassley asked the universities to describe their policies on both ghostwriting and plagiarism and to enumerate complaints and describe investigations into both practices since 2004.

Dr. Ross McKinney Jr., director of the Trent Center for Bioethics at Duke University, said faculty who took credit for a ghostwritten paper should suffer the same penalties as students who plagiarized.

“But it is a very, very difficult thing to prove, just as it turns out that plagiarism is hard to prove,” he said in an interview.

Some say “wow” after reading that, but this writer who has been researching for a new book on academia and its shortcomings, is not surprised one bit and you deserve to know why.

In academics it is no secret that money, prestige and ideological conformity (in that order) are the bread and butter for most academics and most universities. Most academic writings are designed to serve two purposes, to generate grant money and to win the praises of academic and journalistic peers. Generating true scientific discovery and debate is a distant third.

The current state of “global warming” academic writing is a real world example. Most of the grant money put up for such “research” are handed out by those who expect who to see papers that promote the idea that central control of our economy and lifestyles is the best way to combat “global warming”, which is now called “climate change” because of a minor 10 year cooling trend in global temperatures (even the EPA admits this in a report that they tried to suppress but was forced out by FOIA).

In short, if you publish studies and research that says that man-made global warming is such a tiny drop in the bucket that it is next to irrelevant you are likely to find much of your grant money drying up.

This results in a great deal of bought and paid for junk science. Most of the “science” that “proved” man-made global warming were computer models that are so flawed that if you put in yesterdays data it could not show today’s climate. After a long enough perioud of time, others will publish studies without funding to get their name out there and to be considered “in”.

Dr. Richard Lindzen from MIT says the same thing although he is careful to be much nicer about it than we have to be, but his meaning is just the same. The prestige of his position protects him to be as honest as he likes and freely admits this and says that other less prestigious professors have no such protection.

I will put it in a way that is less nice but likely as accurate. If I had a couple of billion dollars to spend and I started handing out fat grants to research the possible evolutionary existence and eventual extinction of unicorns and after a time I lowered and stopped grants to those who dismissed the idea and increased the grants to those who wrote of its possibility, soon I would see papers that  “presented evidence” of their previous existence. After a number of years I would have peer-reviewed published evidence of the previous existence of unicorns.

UPDATE – How right I was proven above in such a short amount of time.

UK Telegrapgh:

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?

By James Delingpole

If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)

When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be “the greatest in modern science”. These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

One of the alleged emails has a gentle gloat over the death in 2004 of John L Daly (one of the first climate change sceptics, founder of the Still Waiting For Greenhouse site), commenting:

“In an odd way this is cheering news.”

But perhaps the most damaging revelations  – the scientific equivalent of the Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses scandal – are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause.

Here are a few tasters. (So far, we can only refer to them as alleged emails because – though Hadley CRU’s director Phil Jones has confirmed the break-in to Ian Wishart at the Briefing Room – he has yet to fess up to any specific contents.) But if genuine, they suggest dubious practices such as:

Manipulation of evidence:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

Suppression of evidence:

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

Fantasies of violence against prominent Climate Sceptic scientists:

Next
time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat
the crap out of him. Very tempted.

Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP):

……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back….

And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority.

“This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

Hadley CRU has form in this regard. In September – I wrote the story up here as “How the global warming industry is based on a massive lie” – Hadley CRU’s researchers were exposed as having “cherry-picked” data in order to support their untrue claim that global temperatures had risen higher at the end of the 20th century than at any time in the last millenium. Hadley CRU was also the organisation which – in contravention of all acceptable behaviour in the international scientific community – spent years withholding data from researchers it deemed unhelpful to its cause. This matters because Hadley CRU, established in 1990 by the Met Office, is a government-funded body which is supposed to be a model of rectitude. Its HadCrut record is one of the four official sources of global temperature data used by the IPCC.

I asked in my title whether this will be the final nail in the coffin of Anthropenic Global Warming. This was wishful thinking, of course. In the run up to Copenhagen, we will see more and more hysterical (and grotesquely exaggerated) stories such as this in the Mainstream Media. And we will see ever-more-virulent campaigns conducted by eco-fascist activists, such as this risible new advertising campaign by Plane Stupid showing CGI polar bears falling from the sky and exploding because kind of, like, man, that’s sort of what happens whenever you take another trip on an aeroplane.

The world is currently cooling; electorates are increasingly reluctant to support eco-policies leading to more oppressive regulation, higher taxes and higher utility bills; the tide is turning against Al Gore’s Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. The so-called “sceptical” view is now also the majority view.

Unfortunately, we’ve a long, long way to go before the public mood (and scientific truth) is reflected by our policy makers. There are too many vested interests in AGW, with far too much to lose either in terms of reputation or money, for this to end without a bitter fight.

Senator Inhoffe Responds:

UPDATE – Mark Steyn:

The more frantically they talked up “peer review” as the only legitimate basis for criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into what James Lewis calls the Chicago machine politics of international science. The headline in the Wall Street Journal Europe is unimproveable: “How To Forge A Consensus.” Pressuring publishers, firing editors, blacklisting scientists: That’s “peer review,” climate-style.

Posted in Alarmism, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 3 Comments »

Poetic Injustice: Pfizer Abandons New London Connecticut

Posted by iusbvision on November 19, 2009

It is the government’s mandate to protect private property and the fruits of ones labor. Excessive taxation and abuse of property rights were some of the main reasons that Americans participated in the revolution.

It is well known among historians that the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson and edited largely by Ben Franklin was a near plagiarism of the writings of philosopher John Lock who expressed that “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries, which was a popular reading at the time, has a similar message.

The first article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights written by George Mason and adopted unanimously by the Virginia Convention in 1776:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

This is why Kelo v. New London,  the worst Supreme Court decision since Korematsu, has been condemned by states, scholars and citizens alike. In Kelo the Supreme Court redefined the “public use” clause in the Constitution to “government benefit”.

When we were all in grade school we were taught that the government could take your property only with just compensation and only for projects like military bases and roads that must be built. In Kelo the court ruled that the government can take your home and give it to another private citizen or private company that is willing to pay more property taxes to use the property. In short the court said that you are one bribe away from having the government confiscate yours or anyone else’s property.  Almost immediately most states passed laws banning just such a practice.

The City of New London spent $60 million taking their homes so that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was interested in building on the site. Now Pfizer has abandoned the whole idea of building anything in the state leaving the city with the bill. It served them right. So much for the brilliance of central control over freedom and people’s basic rights.

Here is the site.

Kelo v. New London site. Click to enlarge.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild | Leave a Comment »

Dollar Tanking Against Gold & Foreign Currency

Posted by iusbvision on November 19, 2009

And government policy as well as Federal Reserve Policy is encouraging it.

The world is screaming at us to stop the furious pace of printing and burrowing, foreign banks want out of the dollar, the oil producing nations are soon to abandon the dollar for oil swaps. They are behaving as if they believe that we are trying to exercise political control over our banks and blow up our own currency to either pay off the debt by monetizing it and/or blow up the US Dollar for the purpose of establishing a new currency in its place. Either way this will have the effect of great damage to our economy, wiping out the value of peoples savings and creating yet another ecop0nopmic crisis that the government can use as an excuse to take more control.

Bloomberg News:

Gold Futures Rise to Record on Speculation Dollar Will Decline

By Pham-Duy Nguyen and Nicholas Larkin

Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) — Gold surged to a record $1,119.10 an ounce in New York on speculation a decline in the dollar will spark demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset.

The metal climbed for the eighth straight session, the longest rally since January 2006. Before rebounding today, the dollar extended a slump to a 15-month low against a basket of currencies. India’s central bank bought gold last month to diversify reserves.

“The interest that central banks have shown for gold has really lit a fire under the market,” said Matt Zeman, a metals trader at LaSalle Futures Group Inc. in Chicago. “People are questioning the value of not only the U.S. currency, but all paper currencies. Investors are more comfortable holding gold.”

Gold futures for December delivery climbed $12.10, or 1.1 percent, to $1,114.60 on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division. The price has jumped 7.1 percent this month, while the dollar dropped 1.5 percent against the currency basket. The metal is headed for a ninth straight annual gain.

Gold for immediate delivery jumped to a record $1,118.88.

The dollar has declined more than 7 percent since December, when the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark lending rate close to zero percent to pull the U.S. economy out of recession.

Dollar Outlook

“The dollar is not going to get any firm footing with rates at zero,” Zeman said. “The dollar is going to continue to be the victim of the carry trade. People are selling dollars and putting it in higher-yielding assets. All commodities are going higher.”

 

With the benchmark lending rate at zero (The rate at which the fed and some other top banks lend money to its most credit worthy customers) those customers are burrowing dollars now to buy gold, silver, Chinese investments, or Euro’s witch are going up. Since the value of the dollar is falling the dollars they are peying back are worth less than the dollars they borrowed. The affect is that they are creating a bubble of such assets and inflating their value while pushing the value of the dollar down and making servicing our foreign debt less attractive.

Question – what if that asset bubble bursts like the mortgage bubble did?

Bloomburg News:

U.S. stocks extended a global advance, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a 13-month high, as China’s industrial production surged and Federal Reserve policy makers signaled interest rates will remain at a record low. Gold climbed to an all-time high.

AP:

A weaker dollar may boost the nation’s economy by increasing exports and narrowing the trade gap — but that won’t happen anytime soon.

Instead, the nation’s trade deficit rose in September by the largest percentage in a decade as U.S. exports grew for the fifth straight month, but imports rose faster, a government report showed Friday. That trend is likely to continue until the middle of next year, economists said.

UK Telegraph:

Barrick shuts hedge book as world gold supply runs out.

Global gold production is in terminal decline despite record prices and Herculean efforts by mining companies to discover fresh sources of ore in remote spots, according to the world’s top producer Barrick Gold.

Aaron Regent, president of the Canadian gold giant, said that global output has been falling by roughly 1m ounces a year since the start of the decade. Total mine supply has dropped by 10pc as ore quality erodes, implying that the roaring bull market of the last eight years may have further to run.

“There is a strong case to be made that we are already at ‘peak gold’,” he told The Daily Telegraph at the RBC’s annual gold conference in London.

AFP/Yahoo:

Dollar falls, sending gold to record high.

LONDON (AFP) – The dollar fell on Monday as China accused the United States of increasing protectionism and following unexpectedly strong Japanese economic growth figures, pushing gold prices to a record high point.

US President Barack Obama is in China for a three-day mission aimed at convincing Beijing that Washington is its partner, not its rival.

As the dollar dropped against the euro and yen, gold struck an all-time peak of 1,133.20 dollars an ounce.

In late morning trading here, the euro climbed to 1.4969 dollars from 1.4918 dollars late in New York on Friday.

Against the Japanese currency, the dollar fell to 89.42 yen from 89.66 yen late on Friday.

“Far better than expected Japanese third-quarter GDP data…spurred risk appetite,” said Jane Foley, an analyst for online trading firm Forex.com.

“This pushed the euro close to 1.50 dollars in early European hours.”

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Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Government Gone Wild, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 5 Comments »

How Did the Government Go From “Your Life is in danger at 40 if you don’t get your regular mammograms” to “Don’t do self exams and don’t get a mammogram till age 50” in six months?

Posted by iusbvision on November 19, 2009

The health recommendations board that was passed as part of the stimulus, that will likely become mandatory if Pelosi/ObamaCare passes. Guess how many oncologists are on that board; if you guessed a big fat goose egg congratulations.

Government insurance only pays for a test if it is rated an A or a B test. Well mammograms for women under 50 and over age 75 got moved by this board to a C.

The rationing has already begun and you women who voted for Obama in such overwhelming numbers are the first target. He knows that single women under 30 will likely vote for him anyways.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »