Framing the Dialogue

Predisposition (pree-dis-puh-zish-uhn)

The dictionary defines predispositions as:

  1. the fact or condition of being predisposed: a predisposition to think optimistically.
  2. Medicine/Medical . tendency to a condition or quality, usually based on the combined effects of genetic and environmental factors.

Synonyms: tendency, inclination, predilection, BIAS [emphasis added]

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

John Adams

Use of the term “conducting an internal investigation” should give us a predisposition that the results may be inclined toward finding that they “have done nothing wrong.” That is not to say that all internal investigations are flawed, but that the findings need to be scrutinized…

Example 1: The Climategate scandal broke a year or so ago to very little fanfare in the main-stream media even though it exposed some serious issues about the man-made global warming cause. One of the most heinous practitioners, perhaps, of bad science was Penn State University’s Michael Mann and his model that predicts the rapid increase in global temperatures or the famed “hockey stick.” Climategate whistle blowers leaked documents that pointed to Mann’s “trick” where he hid a decline in temperatures to get the results in which he was seeking (bias).  I saw a suggestion that it be called “Mann-made Global Warming.”

The University stepped in and conducted an internal investigation of Mr. Mann and surprise, surprise found that Mann did nothing wrong. Up until the point where Penn State ignored the smoking gun e-mails and the flawed science I felt that they were mostly in the clear. Their pronouncement should have been an embarrassment to such a top university. Perhaps they just wished that the controversy would go away. They were wrong as others are weighing in and showing a different side that the “internal investigation” either discounted or ignored. In an earlier post I included this quote about Penn State’s investigation,

“A federal government inspector general has revealed prima facie proof that the so-called independent inquiries widely if implausibly described as clearing the ClimateGate principals of wrongdoing were, in fact, whitewashes. This has been confirmed to Senate offices. It will not be released to the public for some time because the investigation is ongoing.”

The headline of the news article perhaps says it all when they used the word “whitewash.”

Example 2: Obama’s Justice Department came under fire when a former attorney accused Eric Holder of dropping a case against The New Black Panther Party. You have had have seen the pictures of the thugs outside of a Philadelphia voting place in what was a clear attempt at voter intimidation. The allegation was that Holder ordered that the case be dropped because the defendants were black. That is my simplification as I don’t think there is a memo or anything in writing, but as the Attorney General he is responsible and was certainly aware of the issue. As I understood from the statements of the former officials, the case was essentially won as the accused did not show up for their hearings and by default lost their case. As I understood from the statements of the former officials, the case was essentially won as the accused did not show up for their hearings and by default lost their case. That’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Have no fear as the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has conducted an internal investigation and found that “the government’s lawyers’ work on the lawsuit in 2009 was based on a good-faith assessment of the law and the facts and had a reasonable basis.” Another big shock after an internal investigation.

Example 3: This last example has nothing to do with internal investigations, but mirrors the results from that type of investigation. The Heinz (John Kerry’s wife’s organization) funded a study that was to look at air pollution issues in the greater Pittsburgh area. Pittsburgh can never get away from the “Smokey City” label even though the steel mills are mostly gone and our air quality is tremendously better. A basic tenant of environmentalism is that when a milestone is achieved another, more stringent milestone is set as is the case for Pittsburgh’s air quality.  The diminishing returns and exponential costs are not a factor; it is never politically expedient to argue for less strict environmental standards and most officials would rather take on Social Security before than environmentalists.

Without getting into the gritty details of air regulations there was a standard for air emissions based on the particle size of the emission (PM10 – where the 10 refers to the size). New rules were passed (PM2.5) regulating at a much smaller particle size. The change is to protect the most vulnerable citizens who probably already have breathing disorders; however, the cost to achieve this level of removal is staggering. I should mention that environmentalists have been pushing this rule for decades.  The recomendations for the vulnerable is to simply stay in their homes on the bad or “ozone action days.” 

The Heinz Endowments unveiled their study results and perhaps predictably it alleged very poor air quality conditions. Their report detailed air quality readings from monitoring locations throughout the region to prove their case. One would, perhaps, expect that this type of study would be scientific, but a recent article in our local paper points out the bad science contained in the report. The article’s author points out the flaws and it worth reading.  It is hard to explain how they came to their conclusions in the study unless there was a bias toward the result sought by Heinz. I am not suggesting that Heinz directly sought skewed results, but it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out where the funder falls on the left/right scale and who is paying the bills.

It’s not infrequent that we hear the left complain about studies funded by Big Pharma or Big Oil, but here is one funded by Big Enviro. The only real difference is that Big Enviro gets a pass on scrutiny. When you are looking for problems it is easy to find them or use “tricks” to hide declines or air quality data that doesn’t fit their narrative. That is predisposition; that is bias; that is wrong!

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