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Smoking, Sex and Death ...

You have to love medical research …

Another study claiming smoking is bad for your health. I thought that this was accepted wisdom except in the halls of Congress where the positive benefits of smoking continue to be discussed.

  • Increased revenues from outrageous taxes on tobacco products;
  • Shorter lifespans leading to actuarially-significant reductions in payouts for Social Security and Medicare; and
  • Increased availability of jobs due to the replacement of dead or dying workers.

All goofing aside, it is worth passing along to those women who continue to smoke.

The media release …

Smoking after Menopause May Increase Sex Hormone Levels

Released:8/30/2011 1:20 PM EDT
Embargo expired: 8/31/2011 7:00 AM EDT
Source:Endocrine Society

Elevated sex hormone levels associated with chronic disease risk

Newswise — Chevy Chase, MD—A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that postmenopausal women who smoke have higher androgen and estrogen levels than non-smoking women, with sex hormone levels being highest in heavy smokers.

Previous studies have shown that high levels of estrogens and androgens are potential risk factors for breast and endometrial cancer as well as type 2 diabetes.

Cigarette smoking is a well established risk factor for chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but earlier studies examining the relationship between smoking and sex hormone levels have yielded inconsistent results.

This new cross-sectional study in a population-based sample of postmenopausal women suggests that sex hormones may provide one plausible mechanism through which cigarette smoking influences chronic disease risk.

“The observed increase in sex hormone levels with cigarette use suggests that tobacco smoke, apart from its direct toxic and carcinogenic effects, may also influence chronic disease risk through hormonal mechanisms,” said Judith Brand, MSc, of University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands and lead author of the study. “The good news is that the effect of cigarette smoking appears reversible, as an almost immediate reduction in sex hormone levels was seen in women who quit using cigarettes.”

In this study, researchers examined blood samples from 2,030 postmenopausal women aged 55-81 years. Study participants were categorized as ‘current’, ‘former’ or ‘never’ smokers based on their responses to questions regarding cigarette use. Researchers found that study participants who were ‘current’ smokers had higher circulating levels of androgens and estrogens, while ‘former’ smokers who had quit within 1-2 years had sex hormone levels the same as ‘never’ smokers.

“Obviously, quitting smoking has major health benefits such as prevention of cancer, respiratory and heart diseases,” said Brand. “Our research suggests that smoking cessation may have additional effects by modifying hormone-related disease risks, but this was not the subject of the present study and requires further investigation.”

Other researchers working on the study include Mei-Fen Chan, Robert Luben and Kay-Tee Khaw of the University of Cambridge (UK); Mitch Dowsett and Elizabeth Folkerd of Royal Marsden Hospital in London, UK; Nicholas Wareham of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK; and Yvonne van der Schouw of University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands.

The article, “Cigarette smoking and endogenous sex hormones in postmenopausal women,” appears in the October 2011 issue of JCEM.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endo-society.org.

Bottom line …

While you have the freedom to kill yourself in any manner which does not impact others, please consider saving your own life. And voting conservative to deny those bastards in Congress the satisfaction of increased tax revenues.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Obama wants to control the 9/11 message -- so we don't upset our Muslim "friends" ...

Say what you will about the inept Jimmy Carter or the crony capitalist George Bush – but you never had to wonder about their patriotism and loyalty to America.

Apparently not the case with Barack Hussein Obama, our apologist President who appears to see America as just another unexceptional country in a world of similarly unexceptional countries.

Therefore I am deeply offended to read in the left-leaning New York Times that the White House has issued “detailed guidelines" on how to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the most dastardly attack on our nation – killing more people than were killed at Pearl Harbor.

From the New York Times … 

“White House Issues Guides on Sept. 11 Observances”

“The White House has issued detailed guidelines to government officials on how to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, with instructions to honor the memory of those who died on American soil but also to recall that Al Qaeda and other extremist groups have since carried out attacks elsewhere in the world, from Mumbai to Manila.”

“The White House in recent days has quietly disseminated two sets of documents. One is framed for overseas allies and their citizens and was sent to American embassies and consulates around the globe. The other includes themes for Americans here and underscores the importance of national service and what the government has done to prevent another major attack in the United States. That single-page document was issued to all federal agencies, officials said.”

We are Americans and we speak with one voice when it comes to defending our country from our enemies, both foreign and domestic. We do not send two messages: we send one – We are America and we will destroy those who attack our nation and our citizens.

Apparently Obama wants to use this day of remembrance not to remember those who have fallen to a cowardly enemy – Islamic religious fanatics – but to ask us to think about what we can do for our malfeasant and malfunctioning government. Taking credit for keeping us safe from similar attacks – although he merely followed, and in some cases amplified, the policies of former President Bush. As if he did not have the will or the intelligence to mount a campaign against the foreign Jihadists.

Another effin “nuanced” message from the man who needs two TelePrompTers to deliver a three-paragraph speech …

After weeks of internal debate, White House officials adopted the communications documents to shape public events and official statements, and they sought to strike a delicate balance between messages designed for these two very important but very different audiences on a day when the world’s attention will be focused on President Obama, his leadership team and his nation.”

Imagine the time, effort and money wasted on a “no brainer” message when the same manpower could be concentrated on governing – solving the pressing financial and employment issues facing the nature.

There should be no “delicate” balance for different audiences. The message should be clear, unequivocal and in a shocking statement: Fuck with America at your own risk – and the shit will rain down upon you head as the night follows the day. In fact, we will turn the night into day and collateral damage be damned.

Yes, the world’s attention will be focused on Barack  Obama and his fellow travelers. And it will probably reinforce the world’s opinion that he is an ineffective, inefficient leader with no balls. A zero in an empty suit; devoid of core principles and an unwavering love of his country.

“The guidelines list what themes to underscore — and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.”

Why is Obama choosing to thank our people when the Obama Justice Department is trying to put them in jail by criminalizing their activities during wartime? And why is Obama suggesting we thank homeland security – for what; missing bombs and diseased people at airports; feeling up grandmothers and young children. Reacting to a single threat by making everyone take off their shoes. Not targeting young Muslim men while everyone else is randomly inconvenienced. Kabuki theatre at its worst.

State Department mumbo jumbo?

“A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.”

“Copies of the internal documents were provided to The New York Times by officials in several agencies involved in planning the anniversary commemorations. ‘The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9/11 — the attacks themselves and violent extremism writ large — is not ‘just about us,’ said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal White House planning.”

Excuse me! This was the day WE, America, was attacked. This IS about us. We own 9/11 and it is up to us to redress this insult to every citizen: man, woman and child.

The world is watching and listening what to what we do and say …

“Some senior Obama administration leaders had advocated a lengthy program of speeches and events to mark the anniversary, but the final decision was for lower-key appearances by Mr. Obama and other senior leaders only on the days leading up to the anniversary and on Sept. 11 itself.”

“Mr. Obama in his weekly address on Saturday said that this year’s anniversary will be one of ‘service and remembrance.’”

’We need to make sure we’re speaking to a very broad set of audiences who will be affected by the anniversary,’ Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said in a telephone interview on Friday.”

We should loudly thank our allies – the real ones and not the pretend ones like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. We tell them will stand together: the United States and those who hold our values. And if it pisses off the Muslims who hate our nation and who have sworn to kill us – eff them!

“That may be, but some American counterterrorism and intelligence officials are complaining that the White House missed out on tying together the 10th anniversary with recently announced strategies to combat terrorism and violent extremism into a more coherent, longer-term plan. ‘They don’t do that kind of long-term planning,’ said a senior counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid disciplinary measures from the White House. Mr. Rhodes rejected that criticism, saying these themes have threaded through many of Mr. Obama’s speeches in recent months.”

This is a false criticism as the “Appeaser-in-Chief” is a lazy bastard who has no clue to what needs to be done and has a record of leaving the heavy lifting to others. Others who will be thrown under the bus if their efforts fail. Only to be replaced by other fellow travelers who mouth the party line.

The wrong message …

“One significant new theme is in both sets of documents: Government officials are to warn that Americans must be prepared for another attack — and must, in response, be resilient in recovering from the loss.”

“’Resilience takes many forms, including the dedication and courage to move forward,’ according to the guidelines for foreign audiences. ‘While we must never forget those who we lost, we must do more than simply remember them —we must sustain our resilience and remain united to prevent new attacks and new victims.’”

NO! We should do more than remember our fallen citizens, we should retaliate in such a dramatic and drastic manner that these crazy Jihadist realize that they are jeopardizing more than their martyred life – they are jeopardizing their family, friends and the leaders of their movement. And if those surrounding these religious crazies do not take action to prevent a strike against the United States, they too will suffer the consequences.

Obama’s “unexceptionalist” streak leaks out …

“At the same time, Obama administration officials caution that public commemorations here should not cast the United States as the sole victim of terrorism, an argument underscored by killings and maimings from extremist attacks overseas.”

We are not commemorating the world’s victims of terror, we are commemorating the loss of American citizens and the others who happened to be on America soil.

The anti-America bastards in our government can’t help but take a political cheap shot on this hallowed day …

Some senior administration officials involved in the discussions noted that the tone set on this Sept. 11 should be shaped by a recognition that the outpouring of worldwide support for the United States in the weeks after the attacks turned to anger at some American policies adopted in the name of fighting terror — on detention, on interrogation, and the decision to invade Iraq.”

Yes, let’s praise Saudi Arabia and Pakistan …

“So the guidelines aimed at foreign audiences also call on American officials to praise overseas partners and their citizens, who have joined the worldwide effort to combat violent extremism.”

The Saudis who financed such global excursions into Whabbist extremism in return for the terrorist not overthrowing their corrupt Kingdom. And the Pakistanis who harbored bin Laden while taking billions of our dollars for their phony war on terror.

“As we commemorate the citizens of over 90 countries who perished in the 9/11 attacks, we honor all victims of terrorism, in every nation around the world,” the overseas guidelines state. “We honor and celebrate the resilience of individuals, families, and communities on every continent, whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London.”

Bullshit – on this day, we honor OUR dead and OUR people who are making personal sacrifices to keep us safe. And you notice that the there was no mention of Israel who faces terror every day in the week from the same Muslim Jihadists. Whose ass is the Administration trying to kiss at the expense of our dead?

The President’s big mouth and self-aggrandizement has already done the damage …

“The death of Osama bin Laden was viewed as reason for officials to ‘minimize references to Al Qaeda.’ While terrorists affiliated with Bin Laden’s network ‘still have the ability to inflict harm,’ the guidelines say, officials are to make the point that “Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant.”

Sad to say, it is OUR president Barack Obama who has become irrelevant. Our enemies still want to kill us and will move forward with their plans – regardless of how the messages are nuanced.

Whoops – the Appeaser-in-Chief will invade Libya, but won’t lift a finger against the mass murderer in Syria; another known center for global terror?

“The guidelines say the absence of Al Qaeda playing any significant role in the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings against longtime autocrats in the Middle East and North Africa should be cited as evidence that Bin Laden’s organization ‘represents the past,’ while peaceful street protesters in Egypt and Tunisia ‘represent the future.’ Left unsaid was that many of the deposed leaders were close American allies and partners in counterterrorism operations.”

Please unite to save my presidency …

“The domestic guidelines also ask something of Americans that has been lacking in Washington: ‘We will also draw on the spirit of unity that prevailed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.’”

I agree. We need to unify and throw the present socialist/communist leadership out of office and return America to the strong, exceptional country it is. No more cowardly presidents and congressional representatives who are more afraid of the gay movement than they are of the Jihadists willing to kill us.

Bottom line …

It’s simple. We need to take back our government by electing constitutional conservatives and purging those who hate our nation and its citizens from our government. To eliminate those who openly pander to foreign sovereign governments and illegal aliens at the expense and detriment of our own people.

-- steve

THE ANSWER IS 1911

Capture2-20-2009-8.32.54 PM

Reference Links …

White House Issues Guides on Sept. 11 Observances - NYTimes.com


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



ACSOI: IS THIS THE WARNING SIGN THAT WALL STREET WIZARDS ARE PLAYING YOU? (Updated)

UPDATE: 08-30-11 -- GROUPON EXPLAINS IT ALL IN AN EMPLOYEE MEMO

As reported in AllThingsD.com

<excerpt from a memo by Andrew Mason, Groupon Groupon CEO and co-founder>

1. GROWTH IN THE CORE BUSINESS

Thanks to a tremendous effort by our sales team, August in the U.S. is shaping up to be a pivotal month. It appears that will revenues grow by about 12% over last month (which is a lot), while we cut our marketing expenses by 20% in the same period.

Beyond their obvious goodness, these numbers are important because they answer one of the main criticisms thrown at us in the past few months, relating to a metric we put in the S-1 called ACSOI (adjusted consolidated segment operating income) to help people understand how we think about marketing expenses. The reason everyone in the world seems to hate ACSOI is that it makes us look magically profitable by subtracting a bunch of our customer acquisition marketing costs from our expenses. The reason we didn’t realize everyone in the world would hate ACSOI (no, it’s not the same reason we didn’t realize everyone in the world would hate our Superbowl ad), is that we think it actually does a pretty good job at describing our marketing expenses in a steady state –we just didn’t realize there would be so many skeptics. I think it’s worth going deep on this one more time — brace yourself.

Our internal forecast shows two different types of marketing: what I’ll call “normal marketing” — which is NOT excluded from ACSOI — and “customer acquisition marketing,” which is. The way Groupon spends on marketing is unique in three ways:

1. We are currently spending more than just about any company ever on marketing — in Q2, we spent nearly 20% of our net revenue on marketing, while a typical company spends less than 5%. Why do we spend so much? The simple answer is “because it works.” But that’s only part of what makes our situation special.

2. Our marketing — at least the customer acquisition marketing that we remove from ACSOI — is designed to add people to our own long-term marketing channel — our daily email list. Once we have a customer’s email, we can continually market to them at no additional cost. Compare this to Johnson and Johnson, McDonald’s, or most other companies. If I’m a Johnson, and I’m trying to sell you a box of Band Aids, I have to keep spending money on commercials and magazine ads and stuff to remind you about how sweet Band Aids are, even after you’ve bought your first box. With Groupon, we just spend money one time to get you on our email list, and then every day we email you a reminder of the sweetness of our metaphorical Band Aid. There is no cost of reacquisition — that’s unusual (and we created ACSOI to point that out). If Johnson wanted to follow the Groupon strategy, he would have to start a free daily newspaper about bandages and then run Band Aid ads in it every day.

3. Eventually, we’ll ramp down marketing just as fast as we ramped it up, reducing the customer acquisition part of our marketing expenses (the piece that we remove in ACSOI) to nominal levels. We are spending a ton now because we’re acquiring as many subscribers as we can as quickly as we can. We aren’t paying attention to marketing budget (just marketing ROI) in the way a normal company would, because we know that even if we wanted to continue to spend at these levels, we would eventually run out of new subscribers to acquire. So our customer acquisition spend drops severely to reflect the fact that eventually we’ll run out of people we can add to our email list. We view this internally as a very large one-time expense and then our job forever after will be to continually convert these subscribers into customers and to make sure our customers keep buying from us. Ongoing, the normal marketing dollars we spend are not something we would remove from our internal calculation of ACSOI.

I tried my best to explain this simply, but it’s not lost on me that if you actually understood this, you probably had to read it three times. It’s not easy stuff. It’s much easier to assume that we’re goons. So people can be forgiven for being suspicious. In fact, feel a little bad about how downhearted the critics will be when we don’t turn out to be a Ponzi scheme — those are good impulses for journalists to have, and I hope our non-evil ways don’t destroy their spirits.

Anyway, there’s a reason that I just went on about ACSOI. One of the questions that skeptics ask is, “when you ramp down marketing, won’t revenues stop growing as well? Aren’t you just buying growth?” Over the past several months we’ve been consistently reducing our marketing spend and yet revenues are still increasing at a significant pace. In Q1 of this year, marketing represented 32.3% of our net revenues. By the end of Q2 it had fallen to 19.4%. And it has continued to fall over the past several months all because we’ve been investing in our own long-term marketing channel — our email list. <Read the full memo in context here.>

UPDATE: 08-10-11 -- GROUPON QUITS PLAYING "GAMES" WITH 'ACSOI" ACCOUNTING

Bloomberg News is reporting ...

"Groupon Inc., the biggest provider of online coupons, backed away from a controversial accounting method in an amended initial public offering filing today and reported a second-quarter loss.  Groupon’s updated filing didn’t include figures for adjusted consolidated segment operating income, or adjusted CSOI, the financial metric it used previously. The company’s operating income accounting was being studied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as part of a routine review of its IPO registration, a person familiar with the matter said on July 27."

"Based on new accounting using CSOI, Groupon said it had a loss of $181 million last year, compared with adjusted CSOI of $60.6 million in a filing last month."

 UPDATE: 07-19-11 -- ANOTHER IPO, ANOTHER EXAMPLE?

As reported by Dealb%k ...

"Zillow priced its initial public offering on Tuesday at a higher-than-anticipated $20 a share, as the real estate Web site became the latest beneficiary of investor hunger for Internet companies."

"The company raised more than $69.2 million from the sale, valuing it at up to $550 million if its underwriters exercise an overallotment option. Zillow had previously expected to price its offering at $16 to $18 a share, having raised that range from $12 to $14 a share."

"Last year, Zillow reported $140,000 in adjusted profit atop $30.5 million in revenue. On a generally accepted accounting principles basis, the company lost nearly $6.8 million."

Just make sure you are not left holding the bag when things go south.

Original Blog Post ...

It’s all about valuation, the company’s value now and potential value some time in the future …

“Valuation: The process of determining the current worth of an asset or company. There are many techniques that can be used to determine value, some are subjective and others are objective.” <Source>

Most company valuation methods are based the valuation of its physical assets, intellectual property and  on some multiple of its income.

Problematical when you lease almost everything, have intangible intellectual property rights in complex software, key personnel who can walk out the door and have produced nothing by net losses for the company’s entire future.

How do you get to a “multi-billion dollar” valuation?

So when you can’t sell the company to the public on a solid estimate of its value, the Wall Street Wizards sell it based on a story – a legal fiction that purports to illustrate the potential value inherent in the company – even though a rational man would see nothing that can support a multi-billion dollar”valuation.

Especially when there are other, more well-established players on the Internet, that can easily adopt your business model.

Enter ACSOI …

ACSOI -- the acronym standing for Adjusted Consolidated Segment Operating Income.

In Groupon’s S-1 Security Registration Statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, we find the following statement:

We don't measure ourselves in conventional ways.

There are three main financial metrics that we track closely.

First, we track gross profit, which we believe is the best proxy for the value we're creating.

Second, we measure free cash flow—there is no better metric for long-term financial stability.

Finally, we use a third metric to measure our financial performance—Adjusted Consolidated Segment Operating Income, or Adjusted CSOI. This metric is our consolidated segment operating income before our new subscriber acquisition costs and certain non-cash charges; we think of it as our operating profitability before marketing costs incurred for long-term growth.

Between the perception …

Our Metrics

We measure our business with several financial metrics.

The key metrics are gross profit, adjusted consolidated segment operating income, or Adjusted CSOI, and free cash flow.

Adjusted CSOI and free cash flow are non-GAAP financial measures. [Generally Accepted Accounting Principles] See "—Summary Consolidated Financial and Other Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measures" for a reconciliation of these measures to the most applicable financial measures under GAAP.

We believe gross profit is an important indicator for our business because it is a reflection of the value of our service to our merchants. In 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, we generated gross profit of $280.0 million and $270.0 million, respectively.

We believe Adjusted CSOI is an important measure of the performance of our business as it excludes expenses that are non-cash or otherwise not indicative of future operating expenses. In 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, we generated Adjusted CSOI of $60.6 million and $81.6 million, respectively.

We believe free cash flow is an important indicator for our business because it measures the amount of cash we generate after spending on marketing, wages and benefits, capital expenditures and other items. Free cash flow also reflects changes in working capital. In 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, we generated free cash flow of $72.2 million and $7.0 million, respectively. <Source:SEC>

And the reality …

Our Risks

Our business is subject to a number of risks of which you should be aware before making an investment decision. These risks are discussed more fully under the caption "Risk Factors," and include but are not limited to the following:

  •  
    • we may not maintain the revenue growth that we have experienced since inception;
    • we have experienced rapid growth over a short period in a new market we have created and we do not know whether this market will continue to develop or whether it can be maintained;
    • we base our decisions regarding investments in subscriber acquisition on assumptions regarding our ability to generate future profits that may prove to be inaccurate;
    • we have incurred net losses since inception and we expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future;
    • if we fail to retain our existing subscribers or acquire new subscribers, our revenue and business will be harmed;
    • if we fail to retain existing merchants or add new merchants, our revenue and business will be harmed;
    • our business is highly competitive and competition presents an ongoing threat to the success of our business;
    • if we are unable to recover subscriber acquisition costs with revenue and gross profit generated from those subscribers, our business and operating results will be harmed;
    • if we are unable to maintain favorable terms with our merchants, our gross profit may be adversely affected; and
    • our operating cash flow and results of operations could be adversely impacted if we change our merchant payment terms or our revenue does not continue to grow. <Source:SEC>

The weasel words …

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

We use adjusted consolidated segment operating income, or Adjusted CSOI, and free cash flow as key non-GAAP financial measures. Adjusted CSOI and free cash flow are used in addition to and in conjunction with results presented in accordance with GAAP and should not be relied upon to the exclusion of GAAP financial measures.

Adjusted CSOI is operating income of our two segments, North America and International, adjusted for online marketing expense, acquisition-related costs and stock-based compensation expense. Online marketing expense primarily represents the cost to acquire new subscribers and is dictated by the amount of growth we wish to pursue. Acquisition-related costs are non-recurring non-cash items related to certain of our acquisitions. Stock-based compensation expense is a non-cash item. We consider Adjusted CSOI to be an important measure of the performance of our business as it excludes expenses that are non-cash or otherwise not indicative of future operating expenses. We believe it is important to view Adjusted CSOI as a complement to our entire consolidated statements of operations.

Our use of Adjusted CSOI has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider this measure in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:

    Adjusted CSOI does not reflect the significant cash investments that we currently are making to acquire new subscribers;
    Adjusted CSOI does not reflect the potentially dilutive impact of issuing equity-based compensation to our management team and employees or in connection with acquisitions;
    Adjusted CSOI does not reflect any interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments on any indebtedness that we may incur;
    Adjusted CSOI does not reflect any foreign exchange gains and losses;
    Adjusted CSOI does not reflect any tax payments that we might make, which would represent a reduction in cash available to us;
    Adjusted CSOI does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs; and
    other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate Adjusted CSOI differently or may use other financial measures to evaluate their profitability, which reduces the usefulness of it as a comparative measure.

Because of these limitations, Adjusted CSOI should not be considered as a measure of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. When evaluating our performance, you should consider Adjusted CSOI alongside other financial performance measures, including various cash flow metrics, net loss and our other GAAP results.

Free cash flow, which is reconciled to "Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities," is cash flow from operations reduced by "Purchases of property and equipment." We use free cash flow, and ratios based on it, to conduct and evaluate our business because, although it is similar to cash flow from operations, we believe it typically will present a more conservative measure of cash flows as purchases of fixed assets, software developed for internal use and website development costs are a necessary component of ongoing operations.

Free cash flow has limitations due to the fact that it does not represent the residual cash flow available for discretionary expenditures. For example, free cash flow does not include the cash payments for business acquisitions. In addition, free cash flow reflects the impact of the timing difference between when we are paid by customers and when we pay merchants. Therefore, we believe it is important to view free cash flow as a complement to our entire consolidated statements of cash flows.

How much would their valuation be?

If one were to believe published reports, the results of their initial public offering (IPO) would see the company valued between $2 billion and $20 billion dollars.

According to Reuters

“Groupon filed to sell shares to the public last week, saying it hoped to raise at least $750 million. The document disclosed surging sales, but also high marketing costs that have so far left the company losing money.”

“Despite being currently unprofitable, the IPO may value Groupon at $20 billion or more.”

“Forrester's Mulpuru questioned that valuation on Wednesday, arguing that Groupon may be worth closer to $2 billion.”

"’There is no rational math that could possibly get anyone to the valuation Groupon thinks it deserves,’ the analyst wrote in an open letter to potential investors. ‘This IPO game isn't about finding value, it's about finding a greater fool who actually believes the valuation is true. Trust me, you will be the fool.’"

“A Groupon spokeswoman declined to comment on Mulpuru's letter.”

Bottom line …

We are not expressing an opinion on the company, its valuation or its accounting methods, but use the above data to illustrate the diversity of thought in the accounting profession when preparing financials for companies with significant losses and that are being potentially valued in astronomical terms.

We are using this blog post to highlight the exit strategies of the major players who, having taken venture capital, are attempting to convert real dollar losses into real dollar financial gains by taking a company public using nothing more than a plausible story.

We are also asking ourselves if this type of valuation is reminiscent of the recent dot com bubble bust when any company associated with the Internet was given an astronomical valuation even though they reported nothing but losses and faced significant competition.

We should also remember that it is the accounting profession that was complicit (an unindicted co-conspirator, so to speak) in the past and current financial crises. And it was the accounting profession who unnecessarily complicates financials and who gave us “Enron-style” accounting with its off-balance-sheet Special Purpose Entities, Special Purpose Vehicles to hide the truth in the footnotes -- and then helped to accelerate the velocity of the downward market spiral with their mark-to-market procedures.

And finally, we are recommending that you take the Better Business Bureau’s long-standing mantra to heart: “Investigate BEFORE you invest.”

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Enough from those who whine about the costs of education ...

I am tired of school administrators and union representatives whining about the lack of available funds in education.

The truth is simple: It is not for the children – it is for the adults who have managed to turn their own mediocre academic performance into a lifetime job – with salaries, perks, privileges and retirement benefits far surpassing those available to mid-level workers in the private sector.

Where is the public outrage when the Los Angeles Unified School District spent …

$578 million on the nation’s most expensive high-school? 

$377 million on a school whose site was contaminated with toxic waste? 

$232 million for a high-school built as a tribute to an art-loving billionaire who apparently is able to manipulate school board politics?

How many consultants, developers and others were involved in these projects before any student was educated in a school district whose drop-out rate approaches 50%? How many additional high schools could have been built the standard cost of $120 million? Especially when enrollment is declining.

Where is the public outrage when the Los Angeles Unified School District spent …

$210 million on a payroll system which was originally costed at $95 million?  

And where is the public outrage when the Los Angeles Unified School District spent …

$231,164 to buy out the contract of the chief academic officer because they had a personality clash with the ruling powers?

“The Los Angeles Unified School District has bought out the contract of its chief academic officer, a key appointee who worked closely with former Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, but who quickly fell out of favor with his successor, John Deasy.”

Elliott will receive the salary and benefits she would have earned by completing the final year of a contract ending June 30, 2012. She’ll also be compensated for unused vacation days. The package totals $231,164. She joined the district in June 2008.”

Board member Steve Zimmer said he could tolerate the buyout only because he has learned of a reserve fund set aside for such purposes.”

"I'm surprised [the fund] exists but OK with the buyout if it doesn't cost a single job — if and only if," he said.”

Bottom Line …

It most certainly not about the children … it is about the adults who run the schools, who teach at the schools and the special interests and unions who exert a tremendous amount of leverage on the decisions of the school board.

How much of a $20 BILLION dollar bond issue made it to the classrooms – to hear teachers talk; they are still spending their own “out-of-pocket” money for classroom essentials and teaching aids.

Something is fundamentally wrong with government at the local, state and federal level when billions of dollars do not produce the results the taxpayers want and need. Where the educational system has produced a generation of functional illiterates – more interested in entertainment and celebrities than preparing themselves to meet the rigors of competition in the workplace.

How have we let this happen? How did we let the corrupt politicians, the unions and the special interests override the needs of the citizenry?

Who is minding the store – and who is watching them.

Remember this when you vote to flush more money down the toilet known as the Los Angeles Unified School District. And vote for so-called progressive politicians at the local, state and federal level.

We deserve better! Honest brokers to represent us, “We the People.”

-- steve

Reference Links …

LAUSD buys out contract of chief academic officer for $231,164 - latimes.com


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Obama Administration: Guidelines for handling dead horses ...

Many a truth is spoken in jest …

Common sense who have: “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

However, in the Obama Administration, the requirement for perpetual campaigning rather than governing mandates that you ignore the problem until the media becomes heavily involved. And then the employment of advanced political strategies such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.
7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.
10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

And, if all else fails, throwing the horse under the bus by demanding that the dead horse resign – preferably while Barack Obama is out of the country, playing golf or on vacation.

Bottom line …

This joke came from my best friend Al who regularly assures me that we are all doomed.

However, if we can remove the joker in the While House and his fellow travelers from the House and Senate – we might have a fighting chance to reverse course and restore America to her former glory.

-- steve

Capture8-30-2010-1.57.52 PM


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Times are tough for everybody -- an unusual indicator ...

I just received an e-mail that confirmed what everybody knows about the economy – times are tough for everybody and the future is uncertain.

Ferrari Introduces New Complimentary Seven-Year
Maintenance Program

Ferrari North America proudly introduces the new Complimentary Seven-Year Maintenance Program for the new 2012 Ferrari California, 458 Italia and FF models. Unprecedented in duration and scope, the Ferrari Complimentary Seven-Year Maintenance Program is designed to help owners get the most enjoyment and peace of mind from their new Ferraris, at no additional cost.

The new Ferrari Complimentary Seven-Year Maintenance program covers all
factory-scheduled maintenance procedures at standard service intervals (every 12,500
miles, or once per year, with no restriction on total mileage), including all labor and related genuine parts and approved lubricants, for the covered Ferrari models.

In addition, the Ferrari Complimentary Seven-Year Maintenance Program will help ensure that Ferrari owners have the full support of their authorized Ferrari Dealer service departments throughout the coverage period. The advantage to the owner is the assurance that the vehicle will receive regular inspections by Ferrari-trained technicians using Factory-approved dedicated diagnostic equipment.

Like I said … times are tough.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Another "Global Warming" Name Change: Climate Engineering?

It is a political truism highlighted by none other than famed author George Orwell, if you want to sell something to the public and it is soundly rejected or highly controversial – change the definitions or re-brand it with another name.

We have seen global warming morph into global climate change and when that was a little too close to the original; global climate disruption. Now we are seeing another government initiative that appears to be a game changer.

Climate Engineering!

Man has traditionally located in areas which offered some degree of natural shelter, available water, available food and other natural resources which allowed the people to thrive. Engaging in trade with others for what they did not produce themselves. Man also sought to improve his adaptive response to natural phenomena by continually improving and strengthening his shelter and wearing apparel. In some instances, providing enough adaptation to live in unbelievable temperature extremes.

Now we find that the traditionally accepted moniker “climate engineering” is being re-purposed by the government. One, to reinforce the idea that matters related to the global climate change a both somewhat well-defined with a degree of scientific precision to allow an “engineered” adaptive response.

But what is the government talking about when they speak of climate engineering?

Let’s ask the Government Accountability Office … (as always, my comments are in blue)

What GAO found …

Climate engineering technologies do not now offer a viable response to global climate change.

So why are the government and special interests ramming down legislation that allows gross polluters to pollute, picks the pockets of the American people and makes the government more invincible than others? No guesses required – money and perpetual political power.

Experts advocating research to develop and evaluate the technologies believe that research on these technologies is urgently needed or would provide an insurance policy against worst case climate scenarios — but caution that the misuse of research could bring new risks.

The Earth has been hotter and colder, with a higher and lesser degree of atmospheric carbon dioxide – all before the industrial revolution. Climate develops over thousands of years; so any sense of urgency is man-made for political reasons.

Government reports and the literature suggest that research progress will require not only technology studies but also efforts to improve climate models and data.

Translation: More money and more government intervention in the research process. The current models are deeply flawed and do not represent reality. Nor do those outlier improbable scenarios used to convince the public that their money is well-spent and they should cede more control to the government.

The technologies being proposed have been categorized as carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM).

CDR would reduce the atmospheric concentration of CO2, allowing more heat to escape and thus cooling the Earth.

For example, proposed CDR technologies include enhancing the uptake of CO2 in oceans and forests and capturing CO2 from air chemically for storage underground.

Scientists are still searching for all of the heat components for their studies. “Climate scientists have decided that as much as half of the heat energy, believed to have built up on Earth in recent years, is hiding somewhere it can not be found. By measuring the radiative energy input at the top of Earth's atmosphere, scientists have a pretty good idea of how much energy is entering the planetary environment—the problem is figuring out where it goes. The most likely place is in the deep ocean, whose waters form a huge potential storage place for heat. Because energy is exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean, this heat can resurface at a later time to affect weather and climate on a global scale. It has been suggest that last year’s rapidly occurring El Niño may be one way the “missing” solar energy has reappeared—the implication being more sudden El Niño events may be on the way.” <Source>

SRM technologies would place reflective material in space or in Earth’s atmosphere to scatter or reflect sunlight (for example, by injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere to scatter incoming solar radiation or brightening clouds) or would increase the planet’s reflectivity (for example, by painting roofs and pavements in light colors).

Injecting sulfate aerosols into the atmosphere – where they are free to combine with water vapor to produce health-threatening acid rain which, in addition, has been observed to corrode elements of our national infrastructure?

GAO found these technologies currently immature, many with potentially negative consequences.

Some studies say, for example, that stratospheric aerosols might greatly reduce summer precipitation in places such as India and northern China.

This is suggestive of the global scope of atmospheric phenomena and primarily why man cannot alter his environment on a global scale.

Many experts advocated research because of its potential benefits but also recognized its risks.

For example, a country might unilaterally deploy a technology with a transboundary effect.

Research advocates emphasized the need for risk management, envisioning a federal research effort that would (1) focus internationally on transparency and cooperation, given transboundary effects; (2) enable the public and national leaders to consider issues before they become crises; and (3) anticipate opportunities and risks.

More internationalism and ceding power over sovereign nations to corrupt international organizations like the United Nations which started the global warming brouhaha.

A small number of those we consulted opposed research; they anticipated major technology risks or limited future climate change.

Many scientists appear extremely fearful of offering opinions which might offend their institution and/or disrupt their major funding sources. Since these inquiries lack secrecy and protection against “whistle-blowers,” the public cannot be confident of the actual opinions of the scientific community.

And there is little research showing that a higher concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and slightly higher temperature would be beneficial to Earth’s inhabitants.

Based on GAO’s survey, a majority of U.S. adults are not familiar with climate engineering. When given information on the technologies, they tend to be open to research but concerned about safety.

As opposed to all of those who know about the government- and media-driven stories on “global warming.” A fresh crop of sheeple to harvest.

Why GAO did this study

Reports of rising global temperatures have raised questions about responses to climate change, including efforts to (1) reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, (2) adapt to climate change, and (3) design and develop climate engineering technologies for deliberate, large-scale intervention in Earth’s climate.

There are few that note that it is imperative to control carbon dioxide emissions because that cedes control over the entire energy-driven economy and individual energy-users to the government. A step towards totalitarian government control.

Reporting earlier that the nation lacks a coordinated climate-change strategy that includes climate engineering, GAO now assesses climate engineering technologies, focusing on their technical status, future directions for research on them, and potential responses.

You would think that this type of assessment has already been done given the certainty of the global warming advocates.

To perform this technology assessment, GAO reviewed the peer-reviewed scientific literature and government reports, consulted experts with a wide variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, and surveyed 1,006 adults across the United States.

The same old shuck-and-jive using the climate experts who have become climate activists in order to pursue additional funding – and who have demonstrably corrupted in peer-review process in global climate research as shown in the ClimateGate e-mail release.

Experts convened with the assistance of the National Academy of Sciences advised GAO, and several reviewed a draft of this report. GAO incorporated their technical and other comments in the final report as appropriate.

The National Academy of Sciences has become more a political entity than a scientific one.

“One of the participants in the national climate debate has been the National Academies of Science (NAS). Many Congressmen love associating themselves with members the NAS, with many having never taken a science course in their educational careers. But over the years a major problem has been discovered with members of the NAS and the policy statements they produce.”

“As described by Chris Horner in his book Power Grab, the membership process to the NAS was corrupted more than 20 years ago. Much of the good science has disappeared as has the sound science policy dependent upon sound science. A backdoor policy for NAS membership has opened to nearly any green leftists seeking membership. They now control future membership, as well as the style and content of NAS reports. Instead we are getting documents from the NAS which are nearly void of hard-nosed scientific evidence and written in the vague meaningless terms of politic correctness.” <Source>

Bottom line …

We are witnessing another Orwellian perversion of the language – for political effect. “Climate engineering” is analogous to “financial engineering” which provided the corporate structures and the derivatives which resulted in a catastrophic near-collapse of our economy and social order.

There is no reason to believe that man can control the awesome forces nature at this point in time – and more than the government can rise above corruption and petty party politics.

There are few open-minded advocates of the people in Congress and certainly not in the White House. I lament the loss of integrity in science – and in the media which tends to spin scientific stories for political advantage.

As for climate-related research, much more work is necessary before we allow public policies to cripple our nation with environmental rules as in the case in California – where taxes, rules and regulations have driven productive individuals and corporations from the state. One can change states, but where does one go when they are forced to change nations?

Conclusion: we must revamp the House, Senate and White House along with local and State governments before it is too late and we find ourselves broke and living a third-world existence under a “people’s republic for crapistan.”

-- steve 

Reference Links …

Climate Engineering: Technical Status, Future Directions, and Potential Responses (Full Report) (Report Highlights) (Report Podcast)

Depiction of the global carbon cycle changes over time

Global average energy budget of the Earth’s atmosphere


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



You can now spot the 2012 Obama Supporters ...

Have you ever wondered who would be stupid enough to vote for bigger government, higher taxes, higher costs and fewer freedoms?

Now you need not wonder; the Obamacons will identify themselves … 

Capture8-25-2011-11.33.05 PM

Friend --

I have a special offer for you.
This week, we're sending free 2012 bumper stickers to anyone who wants one. All you have to do is tell us where to send it.

A bumper sticker may seem like a small gesture, but it sends a message that our commitment to this campaign is one that's shared by Americans all around the country -- and we want as many supporters as possible to send that same message to folks in their communities.

Sign up here to get your free 2012 bumper sticker.

Sending out these stickers won't just help us increase this campaign's visibility in all 50 states.

When you sign up to get one, you're also making sure we have your most recent contact information. We're running this campaign at the local level, and we can't keep you up to date on the best ways to get involved in your area if we've got your old address on file.
Bottom line: You'll stay looped in, and you'll get a free sticker too. Not a bad deal.

Sign up here to get your free 2012 campaign sticker today -- and be sure to pass this message on to any other supporter you think would want one: <link deleted>

Thanks,

Jeremy

Jeremy Bird
National Field Director
Obama for America

How about giving Jeremy the bird?

bs_nobama

Capture1-24-2011-2.26.22 AM

Capture2-23-2011-3.27.17 PM4-26-2011-3.17.36 PM6-15-2011-10.05.08 PM6-17-2011-4.25.49 PM

Capture8-23-2011-11.54.50 PM

Capture3-21-2010-2.24.22 PM

Bottom line …

Obama and his fellow travelers: the socialists, communists, domestic terrorists, thieves, lobbyists and special interests have significantly damaged our America and that’s no laughing matter.

Time to vote for constitutional conservatives to serve as honest brokers for “We the People.” This means the House, Senate, White House and State and local governments.

It’s your life – tell them where to step off.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Prominent climate scientist cleared of misconduct charges?

One would like to think that there is an honest broker in the scientific community that will transcend money, politics and influence to investigate and report on allegations of scientific malfeasance.

So I read with great interest the following article in the Atlantic …

“Michael Mann Cleared (Again)”

“In my article a few months ago about the importance of China-US efforts to find cleaner ways to use coal -- because both countries, like it or not, are going to keep using coal, and because if they don't find ways to reduce its carbon emissions, nothing else done about climate change will count -- I quoted the Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann.
I did so knowingly, aware that people who deny the reality of climate change had singled him out for vilification, largely because of allegations of misbehavior revealed by the ‘climate-gate’ hacked emails.”

“Two things have happened since then.
First, China has gone ahead with its cleaner-coal projects, while many on the US side have been delayed, scaled down, or zeroed-out because the federal support for the research is already being pared back. Great.
Second, Michael Mann has been cleared, of all charges of misconduct, yet again.”

Mann had previously been cleared in an investigation by Pennsylvania State, and in a related study by NOAA.”

“I go out of my way to mention this for several reasons. First, because a serious scientist has been vilified, without basis, mainly because his work bears on current politics. ‘Oh, never mind’ clearance from charges rarely gets as much publicity as the original charges themselves. The fact that every scientific body examining Mann's behavior has exonerated him deserves publicity and emphasis. For the record, I have interviewed Mann but don't have any connection to him beyond that.”

Some questions …

One, can any government body – funded by the government, headed by a political appointee and run by government personnel with a vested interest in larger government and higher taxes to support their employment and lifestyle be truly independent?

“The Office of the Director houses the Foundation's top leadership, and oversees all Foundation activities from the development of policy priorities to the establishment of administrative and management guidelines, including long-range planning. The positions of Director and Deputy Director are appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. NSF's statutory authority establishes a six-year term for the Director.”

Two, are those who purport to be “honest brokers” for “We the People” above engaging in “legal deception” by manipulating the timing of news releases, using very carefully-crafted language or choosing a timeframe which excludes critical events?

Timing: It appears that a CD exists which contains a 4.3 Megabyte file consisting of 3,827 pages of Mann’s e-mails. Since Climategate revealed that some were urging the destruction of e-mails, one wonders if this achieve is complete (unredacted) and  if the press release announcing the vindication of Michael Mann was released before the public was allowed access to these materials. It should also be noted that there was formidable opposition to the release of this information under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and that there may be redactions and other institutional anomalies in the record.

Language:  According to the NSF report: “We next considered the University's second Allegation, related to the emails. We reviewed the emails and concluded that nothing contained in them evidenced research misconduct within the definition in
the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation
. The University had been provided an extensive volume of emails from the Subject and determined that emails had not been deleted. We found no basis to conclude that the emails were evidence of research misconduct or that they pointed to such evidence. We concluded that the University adequately addressed its second Allegation.”

“Regarding the University's first Allegation (data falsification), however, we concluded that the University did not adequately review the allegation in either its inquiry or investigation processes. In particular, we
were concerned that the University did not interview any of the experts critical of the Subject's research to determine if they had any information that might support the allegation.”

“To recommend a finding of research misconduct, the preponderance of the evidence must show that with culpable intent the Subject committed an act that meets the definition of research misconduct (in this case, data fabrication or data falsification).”

The research in question was originally completed over 10 years ago. Although the Subject's data is still available and still the focus of significant critical examination, no direct evidence has been presented that indicates the Subject fabricated the raw data he used for his research or falsified his
results
. Much of the current debate focuses on the viability of the statistical procedures he employed, the statistics used to confirm the accuracy of the results, and the degree to which one specific set of data impacts the statistical results. These concerns are all appropriate for scientific debate and to
assist the research community in directing future research efforts to improve understanding in this field of research. Such scientific debate is ongoing but does not, in itself, constitute evidence of research
misconduct.”

“Lacking any direct evidence of research misconduct, as defined under the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation, we are closing this investigation with no further action.”

Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.”

Bottom line …

It is not against the law to cherry-pick your research data, statistically manipulate those results to support a conclusion and to encourage others to support your findings. It may be intellectually and scientifically dishonest, but it is apparently not against the law.

Since the NSF noted: “The subject did not directly receive NSF research funding as a Principal Investigator until late
2001 or 2002.” we wonder if some portion of his research remained un-reviewed or the scope of the investigation limited to a time after Mann’s controversial “Hockey Stick” work in 1998?

My trust is not in the governmental or institutional bodies which examined Mann’s work, but in the scientists who will attempt to reproduce, verify and/or refute his work using accepted scientific procedures. That is, of course, if they are courageous enough to speak out in a self-serving environment which puts securing additional government funding at the top of its list of priorities.

I truly hope that Michael Mann is innocent of an egregious abuse of the scientific process and that his findings will be appropriately vetted by qualified individuals.

But most of all, I would hope that politicians do not pile on to any particular scientific “theory” to push a public policy agenda that promotes larger government, higher taxes, increased energy prices, unearned profits for the special interests and a reduction of our personal freedoms.

It’s not so much about the scientists as it is the apparent corruption of the scientific process by the politicians for their own self-serving purposes. As for Michael Mann, and as with all scientists, he will have to stand before his peers and defend his work in an open forum. And we have yet to see that forum.

-- steve

Reference Links …

Michael Mann Cleared (Again) - James Fallows - Technology - The Atlantic

Inspector General’s Review of Stolen Emails Confirms No Evidence of Wrong-Doing by NOAA Climate Scientists

Examination of issues related to internet posting of emails from Climatic Research Unit


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Global Warming: Smearing Rick Perry?

As one who is a great believer in the scientific method, free from politics and corruption, I am somewhat upset at the environmental socialists/communists who are attempting to claim that Texas Governor Rick Perry’s candidacy is in trouble because he is skeptical about man-made global warming.

An example of this type of intellectually dishonest smear campaign can be easily demonstrated by the writings of Richard Cohen.

Consider the following statements with my comments in blue …

Climate Change May Be Ruin Of Perry Campaign

“Whatever global warming might or might not have done to polar bears, it has put Rick Perry's presidential candidacy at risk.”

“The Texas governor clings to an ice flow of diminishing credibility, emerging in just about a week's time as intellectually unqualified to be president. He engaged in a brief dialogue with a child about evolution and came out the loser. Perry said there are some gaps in the theory. If so, he is one.”

Perhaps intellectually dishonest – or simply unaware Richard Cohen – does not realize that the authorities are investigating the scientist who put forth the polar bear story for an unspecified issue. That the entire projection was based on 3-4 dead polar bears spotted after a major storm by an aircraft from 1,500 feet while conducting an aerial survey on bowhead whales. While the scientists were mostly up-front about their observations, a linkage was established to potential effects of global warming and the subject took off into the leftist stratosphere. Another example of a conclusion based upon nothing more concrete than speculation and a statistically irrelevant and random sample size.

”Maybe more important, Perry waxed wrongly on global warming. He rejected the notion that it is at least partially a product of industrialization, asserting that ‘a substantial number of scientists have manipulated data’ to make it appear that mankind — our cars, trains, automobiles, not to mention China's belching steel mills — is the culprit.”  

There is little or no doubt that a significant group of climate researcher/activists did manipulate both the raw climate data that was input to assumption-flawed and incomplete climate models, but they also attempted to manipulate the peer-review process used by key scientific journals. Such was the subject of the so-called “climategate” scandal.

As for the influence of man’s industrialization on the global mean temperature, there are a number of gross climate drivers that are beyond man’s control. Among them: the Sun’s energy output, our planetary position relative to the Sun, our planet’s rotational dynamics, plate tectonics and vulcanology, deep ocean currents, and the greatest greenhouse gas which dwarfs all others: water vapor. When measured against these major climate drivers, man’s contribution to global warming is lost among the variability of natural climate change and is not definitively measurable.

“He said that an increasing number of scientists have challenged this notion and that, in conclusion, he stood with them — whoever they might be. In Appleton, Wis., Sen. Joe McCarthy's skeleton rattled a bit.”

“The late and hardly lamented demagogue pioneered the political use of the concocted statistic. In his case, it was communists and they were, literally, everywhere. There were some, of course, just as there are some scientists who are global warming skeptics, but these few — about 2% of climate researchers — could hold their annual meeting in a phone booth, if there are any left. (Perhaps 2% of scientists think there are.)”

As obnoxious as Senator McCarthy may have been, he has been proven correct by history – there was a concerted effort by the communists to infiltrate government. And the sad fact is that the same thing is happening today as the socialists/communists infiltrate the environmental movement and the government to use our very own laws against us.

There are relatively few climate scientists and most of them work for government or government-controlled institutions where any noticeable dissent from the political mainstream is regarded as heresy and is punished by the loss of position, funding and project selection. Those scientists who are not directly involved with climate change do not express their opinions openly as they want to survive in the governmental ecosphere.

“Perry's quaint belief in the utter innocence of mankind when it comes to polluting our precious atmosphere might seem like a innocuous tick, a conviction without consequence.

Is this why the socialist/communist left have decided that they would permit the gross pollution of the planet if only they would purchase indulgences for the official permission to continue their polluting ways? Purchasing these permission slips in a way beneficial to funding an even larger government and the special interests (e.g. Wall Street Wizards) who fund their campaigns? 

“In the first place, global warming is a serious matter affecting not just cute polar bears, but the more homely of God's creations — namely you and me. But just as important is the reason Perry clings to his belief. It's not that he has studied the science, pored through the reports and all. It's rather that global warming is global and reversing it would take global programs.”

The Earth has been hotter and colder, with more atmospheric carbon dioxide and less atmospheric carbon dioxide – all in a time before the effects of man’s industrialization could be observed. And the Polar Bears were doing just fine, thank you. Even today, the cohort of Polar Bears seems to be growing and is far from being an endangered species.

What hubris, or sheer idiocy, to state that “global warming is global and reversing it would take global programs.” You cannot legislate the action of the Sun, the Planet’s dynamics and more than you can issue a law to stop the tides. You do what man has always done – move out of the way of a sometimes violent nature and adapt the best you can using location, shelter and protective gear.

“This means that standards and limits have to be imposed by the much-reviled federal government — and it, in turn, has to cooperate with other nations. This nationalization and internalization of a problem and solution are not, to say, the least, very Tea Partyish. They are merely realistic.”
 
The absolute truth is that you cannot control what you cannot measure – and the scientists are talking about projections in terms of tenths of a degree (Celsius) which is an impossible measure of precision to achieve in the real world and is merely the computational artifact of a best-guess computer simulation.

As for cooperation with other nations, that assumes that we are willing to surrender a portion of our sovereign independence for the purpose of achieving an impractical political goal. Something that is likely to be used by our powerful enemies (China, Russia) to our disadvantage – all the while laughing at our naiveté.

What does the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party movement have to do with science. The movement is a grass-roots response to the soft tyranny and out-of-control spending of our government. A gathering of common men and women with a united purpose: to express their dissatisfaction with the political class that is taking more and more of our labor, producing nothing by racial and class strife and lining their own pockets.

That the socialists and communists would use the word “realistic” when promoting their own unprovable, unsustainable and un-American behaviors is both ludicrous and hypocritical.

Perry has given us a glimpse of what happens when his ideology collides with reality. Ideology wins and it does so not on the up and up, but by cheating a bit — in the case of global warming with the fictitious numbers and false charges.”

I suggest that this entire “glimpse” is symptomatic of the socialist/communists and that the current Administration of President Barack Obama proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. When his ideology and demand for nationalized healthcare trumped a cratering economy. When the burdens of the Dodd-Frank (two arguably corrupt politicians) added to the nationalization of American business and a chaotic business environment. And when the current Cap and Trade proposal appears to be designed to kill our economy and make the government takeover of all means of labor and production complete.

“Old Texas hands repeatedly urge us not to liken Perry to Bush just because they both are from Texas and are religious. Granted. But the similarities are there and unavoidable — not just the accent, but in a way of thinking.”

When not blaming Bush for all that has gone wrong with the Obama Administration and the country under his malfeasant absence, they attempt to smear others by association with Bush. Truth is that they are nothing alike.

Bush was an elite Northeastern liberal (Yale and Harvard) and only moved to Texas for convenience. Perry is a real Texan and far from a Northeastern liberal. In fact, the men are said to be at odds over any number of issues.

Whatever you may say about Bush, his laissez-faire regulatory policies and crony capitalism – you must also say about Barack Obama who does not govern, he golfs and vacations. He leaves the heavy lifting to others and throws them under the bus if they stumble. You never wondered if former President Bush was a patriot or hated America – as you do with Barack Obama. And George Bush never openly and knowingly invited communists and socialists into the White House and gave them prominent positions of power.

I take Perry seriously. He is no Michele Bachmann, unaccountably elected from a single congressional district, but the three-term leader of the vast nation of Texas. The achievement warrants deep respect and, after last week, considerable worry. It's not his thinking I fear. It's the lack of any at all.”

Observe, Cohen starts with a backhanded compliment and then goes on to claim that Perry is not capable of thinking.

Perhaps what he meant is that Perry is not capable of thinking in an unpatriotic manner that contemplates the destruction of America and the rise of her enemies on the world stage? Perhaps Perry is not capable of thinking of the open lies that can be told to cover up malfeasance bordering on treason? And perhaps Perry is not capable of thinking of ways to screw his fellow Americans out of their hard-earned labor? 

Bottom line …

As we can plainly see, Richard Cohen is a leftist hack who is willing and able to cobble together political lies and half-truths to demonize the opposition. And it appears that his sole function as an editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily is to illustrate the fundamental dishonesty and absurdity that is the left today.

In other words – he is  a prime example of what is wrong with our nation today.

-- steve

Reference Links …

Climate Change May Be Ruin Of Perry Campaign - Investors.com


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell