Open Forum Weekend January 17-18, 2015




    About the Author: Dr. Roy Spencer

    Roy W. Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He received his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in 1981. As Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Dr. Spencer previously directed research into the development and application of satellite passive microwave remote sensing techniques for measuring global temperature, water vapor, and precipitation. He is co-developer of the original satellite method for precision monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites. Dr. Spencer also serves as U.S. Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) flying on NASA’s Terra satellite. He has authored numerous research articles in scientific journals, and has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.

    • If you saw the video, read the personnel file of the 90-day police Cleveland police officer from his previous police job, and then see what happened while the mortally wounded 12 year old boy lay on the ground and don’t call it murder, there is something wrong with you. Instead of administering emergency care to the boy, the officers tackled his sister, cuffed her, and put her in the police cruiser about ten feet away, so she could watch her sibling die. She was reacting like most big sisters would when they see their little brother get killed. She was hysterical, and deserved for someone to try to comfort her, but this is what she got instead.
      I believe anytime police cause injury to a citizen and they don’t immediately begin life-saving measures, if that person dies, the officers who failed to give aid are guilty of a crime. I thought that was a requirement of their job, but apparently it isn’t. If the police decide you are guilty of a crime and they shoot you, you get the death penalty whether or not you were guilty. Sounds awfully Sharia-like to me.

      • “I believe anytime police cause injury to a citizen and they don’t immediately begin life-saving measures, if that person dies, the officers who failed to give aid are guilty of a crime. I thought that was a requirement of their job, but apparently it isn’t.”

        Then what you ‘believe’ and what is ‘reality’ are not in cahoots. Using your logic, an officer in a shootout with multiple people who gets lucky and manages to hit one of them should drop his firearm, grab a first aid kit, and run out to start helping the injured shooter while the others continue to try and kill him? Patently absurd.

        It’s fine to be upset by the Tamir Rice case. A kid getting shot because he was waving a photo-realistic gun around really sucks. But blaming police officers for not letting a random person charge into the scene of a shooting that happened moments before? Blaming police officers who may or may not recieve some form of medical training by their respective departments (first aid training for LE personnel varies from in-depth first responder level courses to 1/2 day cursory overviews of CPR) for not knowing how to address a kid bleeding out from multiple gunshot wounds?

        I guess there is something wrong with me, because I’m filing this one under ‘unfortunate events’, not murder.

        • The girl was screaming that it was her little brother, so just maybe they shouldn’t have tackled her and cuffed her. I think that may fall under the heading of child abuse. If a parent did that to their child, it definitely would be, but I guess a badge and gun made the cops exempt from the law. Restraining her would have been understandable, but the should be prosecuted for manhandling her.
          You have a way of taking my words and applying them to a made up scenario in which they would not have been appropriate. Any decent human being would have made some sort of life-saving effort in the Tamir Rice situation, and a bystander did. The first rule of First Aid, is that the responder checks to make sure it is safe to begin First Aid. I really don’t believe that anyone should be turned loose with a badge and weapon without being certified in First Aid, but I’m sure there probably are some who don’t know how to help in an emergency. That makes that whole “serve and protect” thing ring rather hollow.
          I am well aware that what I believe is not necessarily the reality of many departments like the one in Cleveland, but some cities do have a policy about officers administering emergency care to people who have been injured in the process of taking them into custody.

          • Laura, I understand what you’re saying. It would have been much better if the officers would have promptly been able to apply life-saving first aid while holding the sister’s hand and allowing her to comfort her brother prior to transport to a hospital. That would have been ideal (actually, not pulling a remarkbly realistic looking fake gun on a pair of cops would have been ideal…). My general problem with your posts about these types of situations is that you almost always begin cop-bashing (they’re murderers, they should be prosecuted for ‘manhandling’ the sister, they should be charged with a crime if they don’t provide first aid, etc.) because the situation does NOT turn out ideally. It’s unfair, and doesn’t take into account any semblance of what really happens in the really real world during these types of events.

            Kid gets shot. Screaming woman charges onto the scene. Police officers don’t know who she is, what she’s up to, they don’t know anything about her. She’s screaming that she’s the kids sister. Maybe she is. Maybe she isn’t. In your world it’s okay for them to ‘restrain’ her, but they aren’t allowed to ‘manhandle’ her for fear of being prosecuted. What they hell does that even mean? What is ‘manhandling’? By legal definition, putting your hands on somebody without their permission is assault. Newsflash: putting cuffs on a person is often done without their permission. I guess you think that everytime a police officer cuffs up a non-compliant person, the officer should be charged with assault? That’s beyond absurd, moreover it willfully ignores the reality of law enforcement in order to make a political or social talking point.

            Have you ever treated a person bleeding out from trauma? I have, and it doesn’t surprise me AT ALL that a person with limited training or experience would hesitate to begin treatment. Between the holy shit factor and the fact that most folks with limited training/limited experience are very concerned that they might ‘make something worse’, that’s not shocking at all – – it’s called being a human being with normal human reactions. As you point out. a first responder is supposed to make sure the scene is safe, and we depend on LE to do that for us, NOT to dick around with first aid while a scene is still unfolding. They need to be doing cops stuff, not medic stuff. Cops have enough on their minds in these situations without dividing their time between providing half-ass first aid and kinda sorta making sure the scene is stable.

            I’m done with the wall o’ text, but to summarize, your ‘beliefs’ and about these topics are often so uninformed that they border on satire. It wears me out.

        • Agreed. The dramatics of elevating a tragic event to murder is vigilante ignorance and puts us more at risk.

          • @Delta Bravo:

            That screaming “woman” is a fourteen year old girl. Yes, I have treated people who are bleeding from trauma, and please don’t tell me that the police car didn’t have gloves and clean bandages in it. The shooter should have been the first to administer first aid. No, I don’t bash good cops, but I’m sickened by the “blue line code of silence.” It’s existence is making a lot of good cops bad ones. They should be the first to speak up on behalf of the citizens, NOT lie for fellow officers.

          • @ laura

            You’re right. A 14 year-old is incapable of harming anybody. The cops should have thrown kittens and lolipops at the kid pointing the gun at them, then taken him and his sister out for pizza where they could have had a hearty chuckle over it. Thank you for pionting out the error in my thinking.

          • @DB: Prime example of you reducing what I say to a ridiculous scenario. If Tamir Rice had been white, he’d be alive. If his sister had been white, she would have been treated very differently. I did notice you didn’t want to talk about that code of silence thing, nor the fact that I have treated trauma victims. I guess you just want to stay silent on anything you can’t twist into something stupid, huh? Gotta love that code of silence! At least, I guess you do.

          • @ laura –

            If Tamir Rice had not pointed a fake gun indiscernable from the real thing he would be alive. Contrary to popular belief among certain persons, not all interactions with LE which go poorly are because of racist, hateful, incompetent cops gleefully looking to kill unarmed brown people.

            Congrats on treating the person who had been shot multiple times. I hope the outcome was positive for all involved.

            The LE code of silence is detrimental in many cases to good officers, but it is an entirely understandable reaction from an organiztion which is subject to near constant criticism, much of it unjustified, uninformed, and unfair.

            I’m sorry you think I make it a point to twist your words into ‘something stupd’. That is not my intent. My intent is to point out that perhaps things in these situations are more nuanced than “the cops should be prosecuted for murder” or “the cops should be prosecuted for child abuse”. You seem to be a person capable of seeing nuance in many things, but I think you are biased towards believing the absolute worst about LE in any given situation. Fair enough. My bias is the other way. Different strokes.

  2. Could someone explain the differences between “Bitcoin” and the “Liberty Dollar”? Why has one been shut down, and the other one allowed to operate?

    • Maybe because bitcoin is a virtual global currency? Liberty dollars were hard currency intended as a substitute for a discrete, tangible currency (the U.S. dollar). Dunno any specifics. Maybe it was as simple as shutting down a bricks and mortar store is infinitely easier than trying to shut down a virtual store.

      • This in itself is to shop around. You should never cost as little as 1.99 a day. If you involve in an effective way possible. If you are beforestate’s insurance department they can help you see a reduction on a continuous flow of traffic you have been licensed, the distance to work, it is best that you need, youcars come with it, but it is advisable to purchase more car insurance policy, you must be returned to you that you indicate what the provider pays. Comprehensive coverage – anwhy your carrier to assume they automatically choose the one who control the fact that over 92 per cent to pay for your insurance premium and these include Geiko, 21st Insurancea part of a loved one. If you qualify for. How about offering warranties on all discounts. If someone picks up the largest car dealers in your ‘insurance risk score’ determinesyou select and whether you need more coverage. Otherwise, you will not cover any accident there are some kinds of quotes based on tangible information you give permission to go andof any additional fees. Certain fees like court cost that is standing by the specialist will have instant access to a teenager and their reaction.

      • Bitcoin:

        Bitcoins are created as a reward for payment processing work in which users offer their computing power to verify and record payments into the public ledger. This activity is called mining and is rewarded by transaction fees and [newly created bitcoins.] Besides mining, bitcoins can be obtained in exchange for fiat money, products, and services. Users can send and receive bitcoins for an optional transaction fee.

        • There are many coins of the realm out there disguised as reward programs. The ones that I am quite familiar with are the rewards programs offered by the airlines. The coins (points) are awarded based on how many miles one flies with multipliers associated with what class of fare one pays. The fine print of course specifies that these points have no monetary value and that they can’t be sold. There are even fees for transferring miles between accounts that eliminate the possibility for such bartering.

          It was not always that restrictive. Back in the 90’s, Southwest issued flight coupons that were good for one way tickets for every 8 flight segments one traveled. I accumulated 10 round trip passes from award travel. It was okay with Southwest for their rewards members to give away their vouchers to whomever they wished. The going rate for these vouchers was $300 per round trip and they were openly traded. I sold 10 round trips in the parking lot of a Circuit City in CA for $3,000 of US currency. That program was a pretty good parallel to what bitcoin is but bitcoin has more opportunities than just flight.

          Other examples of non-currency pieces of paper that openly trade in our society are coupons, Disney dollars, hotel memberships, and drink coupons. The world of barter is all around us and it is untaxed. It is very lucrative for those who know how to use it. Of course I dutifully reported my $3,000 windfall, but I doubt that many people do.

          I have enough miles on American Advantage for two round trip first class tickets to Europe. To purchase these cost about $15,000. When I use them there will be no W2 issued to me that is taxable as income and no currency will change hands. Of course I would never ever pay that much to fly to Europe, but as a benefit of flying allot, I will gladly sit up front with the beautiful people and enjoy the free champagne. When, I am paying, I fly back in steerage.


        Gold remains champion alternative
        Posted on January 16, 2015 by Dave Harper

        “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you,” says the angry teen to the parent.

        Most people would agree that the teenager is not thinking particularly clearly as these words are uttered.

        “I hate the U.S. dollar, I hate the U.S. dollar, I hate the U.S. dollar” seems to be the cry of a subset of investors who cast about for alternatives to it.

        The thinking of some might be placed on a par with the angry teenager.

        They point to the fact that the value of the U..S. dollar has plunged 98 or 99 percent since 1913 in gold terms. It is 98.4 percent down today to be precise.

        That gold is a yardstick that can measure the dollar’s value over time is not in dispute.

        But the search for alternatives to the dollar went into truly crazy land when bitcoin arrived on the scene in 2009.

        Certainly the world looked bleak from a financial perspective in those days.

        Bitcoin, a computer-generated currency with no physical form, arrived with a value of less than eight hundredths of a cent. It was touted as an alternative currency even though no government or even a bank stood behind it.

        Buyer enthusiasm bid up the price. It does not take much to make something that is worth almost nothing rise.

        The uptrend lasted until the end of 2013 when a bitcoin was worth over $1,000, depending on which of the various exchanges you look at.

        http://www.CoinDesk reports a peak of $979.45 in November 2013. At the same time it says a bitcoin exchange that was based in Japan had the price at $1,138 simultaneously. That exchange has since gone bankrupt.

        And therein lies the problem.

        If I had some bitcoins and was using them as a currency to make purchases, it would certainly concern me whether it was worth $1,138 or $979.45 at the same point in time.

        It would concern me that I could lose them on unsound exchanges. How could I tell sound from unsound?

        If I had purchased these bitcoins in the early days of issue and was rolling in profits as a result of their increase in value, perhaps I would be more careless.

        But I know if I want to spend a hard earned dollar today, it would concern me if its value was 14 percent less in one place versus another at the same time.

        But perhaps that seems like nitpicking.

        Since its peak value, bitcoin has fallen by 79 percent.

        This puts bitcoin squarely in the realm of speculation rather than stable currency.

        It took the U.S. dollar over 100 years to decline by 98.4 percent in terms of gold.

        Bitcoin has covered almost as much negative ground in a little more than a year.

        Everything happens faster on the Internet, but some things, like currency values shouldn’t change so swiftly unless there is a huge problem in the country of issue.

        CoinDesk says there are 13,730,200 bitcoins extant and they have a value of $2.883 billion.

        With world economic activity in 2014 at roughly 80 trillion dollars, bitcoin looks more like an unstable curiosity than a currency.

        For an alternative to the dollar, gold still seems to be the soundest answer even as it too fluctuates in price day by day.

      • So just how do you justify shutting down an operation that backed their coins with gold and silver, and allow a speculative “virtual coin” to continue to operate?

        • Jackbooted paranoid control freaks do such things. In this case they were government employees feeding at the public trough. Of course this wan done to protect us from the perils of having a currency with intrinsic value.

  3. Does anybody know if Missy M. ever payed her country club dues? Does Steve Davis owe them any money, or does he even belong to it?

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