Snow Daze

‘Snow Daze’ was featured in Sunday’s Crooks and Liars blog roundup.

(Begun on Tuesday, December 16)

This was what confronted me at the front door this morning (12-16).


As of tonight, it’s still there: no more, no less.

This is only the third snowfall we’ve had during the Bush Administration. (Although, according to Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs, the Columbia River froze solid when he was posted at Fort Vancouver — now Vancouver, Washington — and they walked across the river to Portland, Oregon, so one presumes the Willamette Valley climate was colder in the 1850s).

Now, if you’ve lived anywhere where snowfall is infrequent but not unknown, you will appreciate that the snow isn’t nearly as dangerous as all those people who think they can DRIVE in the snow, and the city’s ability to clear the roads is, shall we say, less than optimal.

They closed the schools. And, following that good notion, I stayed home, watching MSNBC (and others), rather than brave the idiocy on the streets.

Maybe that was a bad idea.

December 20: The same sort of thing confronted me again this morning (Dec. 19). Rain finally melted the snow away on Thursday, and then it snowed again Thursday night, presenting this scene:

I had told my wife on Tuesday night: You just watch. Sure as hell some moron is going to see it’s snowing in Las Vegas and put two and two together and come up with five, “WHADDA THEY MEAN GLOBAL WARMING? HAH!”

Well, while morons are predictable, it was the big fish snared in the idiot trap that surprised me.

First: Weather is what you see when you look out your window. Climate is the AVERAGE, over years, of what you saw when you looked out of your window. The great unspoken problem of global warming is this: weather becomes more and more extreme.

Tonight on the Weather Channel, they counted down to the top weather story of 2008 (Hurricane Ike). But, there had been 2 GINORMOUS hurricanes (Hurricane Gustav visited New Orleans during the Republican National Convention, remember?)

There were THREE mass tornado days: Super Tuesday, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.

And the one that surprised me was the flooding in the Midwest. I knew about the enormous floods (“five hundred year floods” they called ’em) but I hadn’t realized that there had been TWO.

Global warming takes the relatively moderate climate of the past few hundred years and turns it increasingly savage: heat waves in the Summer, yes, but horrific winter storms as well.


But, because three inches of snow came down in Las Vegas, Nevada, some arrogant idiots decided, using their “scientific” brains, that global warming automatically means that it can NEVER snow in Las Vegas or Malibu.

And I was instantly reminded of Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, who wrote in 1930, at the beginning of the last Great Depression:

Under Fascism there appears for the first time in Europe a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions. This is the new thing: the right not to be reasonable, the “reason of unreason.” Here I see the most palpable manifestation of the new mentality of the masses, due to their having decided to rule society without the capacity for doing so. In their political conduct the structure of the new mentality is revealed in the rawest, most convincing manner. The average man finds himself with “ideas” in his head, but he lacks the faculty of ideation. He has no conception even of the rare atmosphere in which ideals live. He wishes to have opinions, but is unwilling to accept the conditions and presuppositions that underlie all opinion. Hence his ideas are in effect nothing more than appetites in words.

To have an idea means believing one is in possession of the reasons for having it, and consequently means believing that there is such a thing as reason, a world of intelligible truths. To have ideas, to form opinions, is identical with appealing to such an authority, submitting oneself to it, accepting its code and its decisions, and therefore believing that the highest form of intercommunication is the dialogue in which the reasons for our ideas are discussed. But the mass-man would feel himself lost if he accepted discussion, and instinctively repudiates the obligation of accepting that supreme authority lying outside himself. Hence the “new thing” in Europe is “to have done with discussions,” and detestation is expressed for all forms of intercommunication, which imply acceptance of objective standards, ranging from conversation to Parliament, and taking in science.… [emphasis added]

Which is such a dead-on description of Dittohead Nation that it must givest pause.

And WHO was the World-Class Imbecile Scientificatin’ on the Myth of Global Warming?

Well, just viddy this, o my brothers, and see if you can guess:

Brrr… it’s cold outside here in LA – currently 34 degrees f. Every year around this time we all look at each other and say, “I can’t remember it ever being this cold.” But it has been, of course. I don’t even think today is a record of any sort. Meanwhile, there’s snow on the ground in Vegas. What does this mean? Not a helluva lot, unless you’re trying to ski down the ramp from the Wynn into the luxe shopping mall on the way to the Venetian, which might not be a bad idea at the moment, considering there should be a lot of sales on items like high-priced Siberian furs from down on their luck Russian mafiosi.

Still the global warming dispute goes on. If there’s ever been an argument with (excuse the metaphor) more heat than light, this is it. Sometimes the whole thing reminds me of Galileo’s travails insisting the Earth revolved around the Sun, which I admit I largely know about from Brecht’s play, not a particularly accurate source, I know. But what we often seem to have here is the AWG skeptics ironically in the role of Galileo with the liberal intelligentsia playing an ultra-conservative clergy led by Al Gore. Nevertheless, as I have said what feels like a zillion times, just because Al thinks something is so, doesn’t mean it isn’t. It’s just another irrelevant blowhard statement. So nobody really knows, though many say they do. [emphasis added]

Ortega y Gasset sort of deadly-nailed the disease there. Epic mental fail:

a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions. This is the new thing: the right not to be reasonable, the “reason of unreason.”

And who is our Man of Unreason?


Roger L. Simon, founder of Pajamas Media, that’s who. When he says “So nobody really knows, though many say they do,” his actual meaning is hubristically clear: I don’t know, therefore NO ONE ELSE can know.

Seems kind of sacrilegious to invoke Galileo in the same paragraph, doesn’t it? His sense of intellectual entitlement and superiority extends to a gratuitous fallacy, and the correction of that fallacy, only to fully embrace it as regards Al Gore.

You see, a Nobel Prize, a Harvard Education and a National Merit Scholarship do not impress our “Man of Unreason.” No: sneering at a scientific consensus merely because one person whom one doesn’t like agrees with that consensus is the lowest form of Dittoheadism: and while Ortega y Gasset didn’t realize it at the time (he was writing in 1930, the first year of the global Great Depression), that “Man of Unreason” and his brethren would throw twelve million human beings into ovens in the years to come, six million of them Jews.

Does this mean that Roger L. Simon is headed down the same path? I couldn’t say. But I can state with certainty that it is that Dittohead “Man of Unreason” road that LED to those ovens.

How far he chooses to travel is HIS business. But here, listen to Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center (which includes Newsbusters, et al) spewing the same “scientific” observation:

CNN Meteorologist: Manmade Global Warming Theory ‘Arrogant’
Network’s second meteorologist to challenge notion man can alter climate.

By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
12/18/2008 11:02:44 PM

Unprecedented snow in Las Vegas has some scratching their heads – how can there be global warming with this unusual cold and snowy weather?

CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers had never bought into the notion that man can alter the climate and the Vegas snowstorm didn’t impact his opinion. Myers, an American Meteorological Society certified meteorologist, explained on CNN’s Dec. 18 “Lou Dobbs Tonight” that the whole idea is arrogant and mankind was in danger of dying from other natural events more so than global warming.

“You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant,” Myers said. “Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big – I think we’re going to die from a lack of fresh water or we’re going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure.”

Myers is the second CNN meteorologist to challenge the global warming conventions common in the media. He also said trying to determine patterns occurring in the climate would be difficult based on such a short span….

Again, this whole notion of “arrogance” and “reasonableness” is turned on its head. The reasoning is very much along the lines of this: “My sperm are weak and lack motility. Therefore, I couldn’t possibly have gotten you pregnant.”

Or, “We HUMANS are weak and impotent in the face of an All Powerful Six Day Creatin’ God, and, THEREFORE, we could not possibly have any impact on the planet as a whole.”


In both cases, the argument is a slick sophistry which functions as an excuse for NOT taking responsibility. (Republicans are great ones for personal responsibility, unless it was them who embezzled the funds, stole the resources, looted the treasury, or scammed widows and orphans out of their life savings.)

And that hasn’t changed much from the prior Great Depression, either. The Bushies are trying to sell the notion that the current economic meltdown is somehow the Clinton Administration’s fault.

It is the topsy-turvydom of the dumb scurvy-GOPsies, as Ortega y Gasset described:

But the mass-man would feel himself lost if he accepted discussion, and instinctively repudiates the obligation of accepting that supreme authority lying outside himself. Hence the “new thing” in Europe is “to have done with discussions,” and detestation is expressed for all forms of intercommunication, which imply acceptance of objective standards, ranging from conversation to Parliament, and taking in science.

Kind of unoriginal when a dead Spaniard can describe your “new” con far more accurately than any of your contemporary critics can.

The Media Research Center story concludes with this “Man of Unreason” frippery:

Another CNN meteorologist attacked the concept that man is somehow responsible for changes in climate last year. Rob Marciano charged Al Gore’s 2006 movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” had some inaccuracies.

“There are definitely some inaccuracies,” Marciano said during the Oct. 4, 2007 broadcast of CNN’s “American Morning.” “The biggest thing I have a problem with is this implication that Katrina was caused by global warming.”

Marciano also said that, “global warming does not conclusively cause stronger hurricanes like we’ve seen,” pointing out that “by the end of this century we might get about a 5 percent increase.”

His comments drew a strong response and he recanted the next day saying “the globe is getting warmer and humans are the likely the main cause of it.”

“Recanted”? Maybe someone pointed out to him that ideology does NOT trump meteorology. I’m not going to debate the science here,* because these Men of Unreason have stacked the rhetorical deck in such a way that science is NOT included in the debate, unless it’s one of the “skeptic” global warming deniers who have made their living for a decade and more in the pay of corporations that loathe the implications of the science. (Exxon/Mobil and Shell come to mind.)

3 days later

3 days later

[* But if you need some refreshing, see Ron Beasley’s piece in Newshoggers last week, “Cold Weather and Global Warming” 12 Dec 08, or my 24 Jan 08 piece, “On Behalf of Al Gore: Screw You, Bozo“]

Not only is the Media Research Center story absurd on rational terms, but consider the fundamental illiteracy of a link below the story:

BMI’s Special Report “Fire & Ice: Journalists have warned of climate change for 100 years, but can’t decide weather [sic] we face an ice or warming [sic]

These ‘global warming debunkers’ can’t even tell the difference between “whether” and “weather.” (I wouldn’t even want to know how they treat “lose” and “loose” — the former meaning defeat or loss, the latter meaning the opposite of a snug fit.)


But that is not important to our scientific ‘experts.’

When there are no “facts” admitted into evidence, the Men of Unreason carry the day, and everyone votes the right way, and you stifle all debate on the airwaves that ISN’T Men of Unreason debate, and get the vapors whenever anyone suggests reanimating “the Fairness Doctrine.”

What’s wrong with “Fairness”?

Well, to the bloviating class who don’t like reasons, and despise science, EVERYTHING. Because, in a fair debate, in a reasoned discussion, they LOSE.

As scary as Simon is in his post, his commenters are even scarier, although he’s still the boob in chief. Look at this exchange:

3. David Thomson: [trying to debate reasonably]

“So nobody really knows, though many say they do.”

This is, however well meaning, factually inaccurate. The evidence against the global warming myth is substantial and convincing. Employing the concept that “nobody really knows” in this particular situation is inappropriate. It is a postmodernist attempt to avoid making a decision. Also, to even begin to adhere to the mandates of the climate extremists will bankrupt the country. Those who push this madness, it must be added, ultimately hide behind a false understanding of the precautionary principle. This is similar to my putting on body armor and driving a tank to the corner food store because of the outside chance of a devastating traffic accident. There is simply, alas, not enough money in my personal bank account to pay for these items.

Dec 19, 2008 – 12:05 pm

4. Roger L Simon:

Not exactly, David. If you browse through the now copious literature of AWG skeptics, you find that some do believe in some degree of anthropogenic influence. It’s not simple and may never be solved until centuries from now when our race may well be inhabiting the stars.

Seriously: “inhabiting the stars”? All right. Here’s some more from the Men of Unreason commenting on Roger Simon’s Pajamas Media blog.*

[* and in case you were wondering, here’s the “house ad” for Pajamas Media sites, just to let you know what they think about “fact based” reporting:


Yeah. That’s “reasonableness” you can take to the bank.]

Some of THOSE Comments:

Much like the religion analogy–lots of people belive in god, lots don’t. The people who believe are satisfied with faith in lieu of proof, or take indirect proofs as sufficient (nature, for example). The people who don’t believe cannot let go of the fact that there is no direct proof. But as they say, the absence of proof is not proof of absence. Maybe god does exist, maybe he doesn’t.

As Roger says, we don’t know. I advocate doing absolutley nothing for the simple reason that since we don’t know what, if any, effect we are having, we cannot gauge a proper response.

Er, if that were the case — without certitude take no action — no construction jobs would ever be bid, no exploration would ever be undertaken, no … science would ever be done. Another Man of Unreason:

8. messida:

For a more complete description of what happened with Galileo and the Church, see D’nesh Disouza’s “What’s So Great About Christianity.” It seems the common understanding of the whole affair is based on description provided by one who was no friend of the Church and that is not all that tied to the known facts.

Dec 19, 2008 – 3:34 pm

Er, huh?

9. ricpic:

The idea that puny man has any effect whatsoever on global climate is laughable.

Dec 19, 2008 – 3:54 pm

And, the maraschino cherries on this sundae of clueless mendacity:

10. Lightnin’ Hopkins:

I’m with ricpic. It’s called the sun, look into it. Well, not directly into it, but you get the idea.

If people want to research the theory of AGW, by all means, have at it. Don’t let little ol’ me stop you. Just don’t dictate what I can drive, how I heat my home, or how many squares I’m supposed to use on each trip to the bathroom (with the pointless low-flow toilet that you have to flush twice, thereby wasting more water anyway; thanks do-gooders!). Just like the more psychotic animal rights people took sensible anti-cruelty measures way too far and now want to make animals equal to humans, the sensible anti-pollution movement has morphed into the ridiculous ‘green’ circus we have now. Hey, let’s cripple the economy and endlessly flog ourselves over unproven junk science! Great plan. If these people are so concerned and upset they should stop flying in airplanes, unless it’s to travel to China or India and browbeat them for a change, seeing as they are the worst ‘offenders’ as it is.

Saint Al would be pleased to know I shoveled the entire property by hand today after it snowed like hell here in Michigan – no deadly emissions (except for all the exhaling – I’ll have to work on that).

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go throw a few more of Paul Ehrlich’s books on the fire – it gets cold here in flyover country.

Dec 19, 2008 – 4:52 pm

11. Barry Dauphin:

The climate is always changing; that’s what it does. Humanity’s influence on the climate is likely to be rather small, although not nonexistent. People have to adjust and adapt to climate change. Large metropolitan areas in California will be affected by earthquakes. That is far more certain than AGW and the thinly veiled collectivist “solutions” to it. New Orleans was built below sea level; we know this too. Whatever happens with the climate, there will be damage and a need to re-think. Humanity insists on living where it isn’t safe.

In the near future, the sluggish economy will result in fewer carbon emissions (right now people are driving fewer miles, aren’t buying cars, and are spending less money). We also do not have the economic wherewithal to embark on some expensive lark based upon Algore’s pontifications/fantasies. The debate will chill for a bit, because of the economy. In the meantime some of the “facts” might begin to sort themselves out.

Dec 19, 2008 – 6:23 pm

Book burnings and not cleaning up poisons because it would cost … MONEY? (What dead human was going to spend it? one wonders.)

Which leads to actions like this:

Washington Post: EPA Eases Emissions Regulations for New Power Plants — The Environmental Protection Agency ruled yesterday that new power plants are not required to install technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, rejecting an argument from environmental groups…


Remember, kiddies, these are the ELITE of the Freeper Class, those for whom the CAPS LOCK is not permanently engaged; those “men of unreason” that Ortega y Gasset warns us about. “This is the new thing: the right not to be reasonable.”

Why the sneers and the slurs and the sleazy sophistry? Because, in a fair debate, in a reasoned discussion, they LOSE.

And then they can’t presume a self-anointed “expertise” that their arguments depend on: remember, these are Men of Unreason who proudly proclaim “Because Liberalism is a persistent vegetative state,”* (*Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee, who posts on BOTH Pajamas Media‘s site AND the Newsbusters site, in addition to his own ‘Man of Unreason’ blog) and, as I noted* [* “Unreasonable Men,” 1993] that Rush Limbaugh ‘said’ — ghost-written by Joe Farah of WorldNetDaily — in “Limbaugh’s” book entitled (dripping-with-mature-sophistication) See, I Told You So:

“Modern-day liberalism is like a disease or an addiction that literally has the power to destroy the character of the person who falls under its spell.”*

[* Interesting that Limbaugh was making the same sneer Simon sneers today back in 1993, too. Limbaugh has a chapter entitled: “Algore: The Technology Czar” (sic). Don’t these Men of Unreason ever bother getting NEW arguments? Are they REALLY that intellectually threadbare?]

This is no more a rational or democratic argument (small ‘d’) than Simon’s argument that snow in Las Vegas proves there’s no global warming (ditto’ed by Bozell’s Media Research Center, to which Simon LINKS) is a SCIENTIFIC argument — they are neither scientific NOR rational.

Just as Ortega y Gasset accurately described them: “a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions. This is the new thing: the right not to be reasonable, the ‘reason of unreason’.”


Just because Democrats control the Congress and the White House doesn’t mean that we are out of the woods yet. The Men of Unreason have crippled any meaningful debate (and, therefore, action) on global warming for a decade and more. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg (no ironic pun intended).

The Men of Unreason have got to have their white-knuckled fingers pried from the throat of the Republic. And they must learn to share the airwaves. The danger to our republic remains as clear and present as it has ever been.


Friday morning 19 December

And I promise to get to it, just as soon as we’re no longer snowed in.

Doggoned global warming, anywho.

I leave you with Ortega y Gasset’s words from 1930:

This is what in my first chapter I laid down as the characteristic of our time; not that the vulgar believes itself super-excellent and not vulgar, but that the vulgar proclaims and imposes the rights of vulgarity, or vulgarity as a right.

The type of man dominant today is a primitive one… he does not see the civilization of the world around him, but he uses it as if it were a natural force. The new man wants his motor-car, and enjoys it, but he believes that it is the spontaneous fruit of an Edenic tree. In the depths of his soul he is unaware of the artificial, almost incredible, character of civilization, and does not extend his enthusiasm for the instruments to the principles which make them possible.



cross posted from his vorpal sword

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.

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