Monday, July 16, 2012

Bill Buckley, phone home

Oh, my. My, my, my.

Remember when the American right could draw on people of genuine intellect and wit
when it took to the lists? Let's see what the sharp knives over at the National Review are up to -- Mark Steyn, for example:

In the wake of Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State’s complicity in serial rape, Rand Simberg writes of Unhappy Valley’s other scandal:

I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since. Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.
Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does, but he has a point.

No. No, he doesn't. Certainly not in any sense of the term that reflects an intellectual or moral competence above the level of a fairly dim garden slug.

Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus. And, when the East Anglia emails came out, Penn State felt obliged to “investigate” Professor Mann. Graham Spanier, the Penn State president forced to resign over Sandusky, was the same cove who investigated Mann. And, as with Sandusky and Paterno, the college declined to find one of its star names guilty of any wrongdoing.
The thing about the Climategate "investigation" was that it was forced on the adult world by the squeals of frauds like Steyn. There was no foxing of the science. There was no baking of the data. Even the rare sort of person stupid enough to imagine a university at which quantitative research is revered at a thousandth of the level of a big-ticket revenue sport should be baffled at the comparison.

If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his “investigation” by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.

It's usually a good idea to know what terms like "statutory rape" mean before you undertake to write about them. But you have to like the overall point about academia, right? I mean, if once an institution indulges itself in demonstrating that statistical processes work the way they always do, very soon they come to think little of robbing; and from robbing they come next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking. And that can't end well.
I really would like to think Buckley would be embarrassed at the sort of hands into which the National Review has fallen. Mark Steyn may not be the Jerry Sandusky of Climategate, but he's giving quite an impression of being one of its Streichers.

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