Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Crucifying Al Franken - NPR - Moral equivalence between rape and an unwelcome kiss?

Driving to work NPR’s Morning Edition featured an interview of Senator Abby Honold who asked Senator Franken to remove his name from the Sexual Assault Bill that he was instrumental in drafting, by NPR’s Rachel Martin who seemed more into angling for Al Franken's expulsion from the Senate than objectively reporting the story.

What I found most offense was how Rachel Martin and Senator Honold drew a moral equivalence between rape and boorish behavior.  Then a second time between predatory behavior against minors and adults on stage goofing around.  Since this story exemplifies an aspect of why the Democrat Party is so good at losing I decided to write it up this evening.

Here I reprint most of the transcript and share my response in red.

November 28, 2017  -  5:05 AM ET  -  NPR Morning Edition
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:Senator Al Franken made it clear yesterday - he is not going to resign after accusations of sexual harassment.
{Where?  At the office? No.  With interns? No.  From all I’ve heard they were in public, entertainers on a stage, a couple ass-grabs, a kiss, stupid horse play - as is the American style specially in those years.  Mind you, offensive behavior that Hollywood has been inculcating in us American men since forever.

Any other accusations of sexual harassment?  Any assaults? No.  Stalking minors? No.  Accosting minors? No. Rape? No.  

Distasteful, unacceptable, sure - but expulsion worthy?  Come on, get real Senator Honold, do you really want to retroactively condemn every man who’s ever made an offensive move? 

Ms. Martin, Senator Honold, what about the difference between predatory behavior and obnoxious behavior that's quelled with a rejection?

Al Franken has shown remorse, repeatedly.  He has a stellar reputation in the halls of Congress.  Removing him from office seems more like a Koch born and Murdoch driven distraction, more than anything else.  

NPR should be ashamed, but then truth be told, looks like Koch has gotten his tentacles deep into NPR.}
 That's led to an especially uncomfortable situation for one young woman.  
Her name is Abby Honold, and she had asked Senator Franken to draft legislation related to sexual assault. It would pay for training for police officers to learn how to better treat survivors of these crimes. Honold proposed this because of her own experience. When she was 19 years old, she was raped at the University of Minnesota. Hours afterwards, Honold was in a hospital bed when a detective walked in. …

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Why The Dysfunctional Climate Science Dialogue? (in 14 verses)

November 9th Dr. Trenberth visited our local Fort Lewis College for an afternoon Climate Change Symposium that included four other scientists and a talk on ‘Climate Communication and Engagement” by Heidi Steltzer, along with a panel discussion. 

The event spurred me into another exercise in trying to refine my observations on what’s closing in on a half century of active personal interest and engagement with learning about Earth Sciences and Climate Sciences along with the developing dysfunctional public conversationin a concise manner.  I hope some of it resonates with some of you and that it's of some little use.

Originally posted at my What'sUpWithThatWatts.blogspot


I began high school in 1969 where I learned the fundamentals of climate science understanding.  It was straightforward, clear cut, internally consistent and very fascinating plus a bit scary.  Much was understood, even if many details were logical rational assumptions, if based on limited observations.  Those assumptions were rooted in an exquisite understanding of Earth’s fundamentals physics, which haven’t changed.

In the half century since, climate science has blossomed. The details have been filled in by an amazing global community of scientists, technicians, students and their array of instrumentation for Earth Observations along with super computers for processing the flood of data.  

These scientists have been reporting back to We The People and our leaders with overwhelming evidence of manmade warming of our biosphere, and our changing climate with its cascading consequences that are catching those experts by surprise with their speed.  Yet, …  

Over the decades much has been learned, countless refinements, a number of unexpected discoveries and surprises.  Through it all the fundamental story remains identical, only the details got slightly rearranged into better focus.

Then, why are we collectively, as a people, and even worse, our leaders, more deluded about climate science and its implications than back in the '70s?