Do you think John Lott will post this?

I’ve written about John Lott in the past. We were even Facebook buddies for a little while. At least until I embarrassed him by, ya know, doing research. It turned out he was being dishonest about something or other and he didn’t want to deal with someone pointing that out (see here). I suppose his history of apparently making up studies and impersonating women on the Internet who praise John Lott (fancy that!) would make him a little sensitive. So I suppose with that in mind, the guy isn’t likely to post anything like this:

Maybe Mary Rosh can tell us what he she thinks.

Check out Deltoid for many more wonderful John Lott stories.

Update: I don’t read Lott’s terrible blog (he mostly just reposts junk from other sites…weird that he doesn’t like original material, huh?), but I was interested to see his freaking out and whining from when Obama won the presidency. And what did I find? Why, this:

minor puzzle: Obama predicts a million plus at his “celebation” tonight but there are a lot of empty hotel rooms

That was the grammatically painful title of a post the sore loser made. Is it true? Nope.

Mayor Daley predicted Tuesday that more than a million people would descend on Grant Park for Barack Obama’s election night “celebration” and said the city has no plans to screen people entering the park.

The mayor said “everybody’s talking about” the Obama celebration.

“It’s gonna be surprising. There’s gonna be a lot of people who will want to come down and celebrate…We hope it’s a million or more. It would be wonderful.”

The full article is no longer available, but not only is the quote from Daley and not Obama, but it looks like it wasn’t even a prediction. Daley was just saying he hoped for a huge turnout. (He got it, though it was more like 125,000.) Not only was Lott wrong about who made the prediction, he was wrong about what was actually said. Yep, wrong in his wrongness. Amazing.

Supreme Court ruling on gun laws

The Supreme Court made a ruling today which orders a lower federal court to reconsider its previous ruling regarding Chicago’s ban on handguns. It’s likely that ban will fall.

I don’t so much have a problem with extending certain gun rights to more owners. My passion on the issue isn’t as strong as, say, that of kooks like John Lott, but it does bother me how the purely political right-wing justices have routinely been ruling on these issues. This is how the Second Amendment reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The spirit of the law is in the regulation of a militia, something relevant and needed in the time the amendment was written. The only way it should be applied today is insofar as there is a need for gun ownership. It can be argued that the Chicago ban on guns runs counter to a genuine need for protection, even outside the existence of a militia, but the purely political right-wing of the Supreme Court never argues that. They simply ignore the opening clause. Under their misunderstanding of both the spirit of the law and basic grammar, there should eventually be a right to keep and bear nuclear weapons for the average citizen under the constitution.

It’s often a problem that people think we ought to be beholden to the times and wishes of the framers, but in this case just the opposite is true. The purely political right-wing of the Supreme Court is ignoring the common sense of the framers while outright discarding the context of their times. The consequence of this obvious mistake may not be grave, but their argumentation is weak and embarrassing.

Quack quack quack

Two things. First, my middle names are always awesome. Second, I can’t forget to link back to ol’ Andreas.

Update: Oh, no! Andy de-fanned me and blocked me from leaving more comments! This is almost as heartbreaking as when John Lott de-friended me on Facebook.

Those silly conservatives

I’ve written about John Lott several times. He’s another crazy conservative who wants everyone to carry guns and thinks that widening the income gap between rich and poor, just as Reagan did, is a good thing. Well, he stopped approving my comments at his crappy little blog long ago. He even de-friended me on Facebook (that one cut deep). It turns out that was a good thing. I didn’t realize just how much of a fraud John Lott is.

For three years, John Lott pretended to be a young woman.

Her name was Mary Rosh.

Mary Rosh often spoke sweetly of her days as a student of John’s, she gave a glowing review of his book “More Guns, Less Crime,” she criticized anyone who questioned John’s research or his conclusions, and she attacked other researchers in her ardent defense of Lott’s idea that more guns on the streets leads to less crime.

She was also a petite defenseless creature. We know this because John, we mean, she said:

“Do you really think that most women can out run your typical criminal?…Even if I am not wearing heels, I don’t think that there are many men that I could outrun.

“As a woman, who weighs 114 lbs, what am I supposed to do if I am confronted by a 200 lbs. man?”

Then a researcher at the conservative think tank CATO Institute discovered the truth about Mary Rosh and undressed John Lott for all the world to see.

Currently, Lott is a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

Those silly conservatives

With all the patently silly conservatives running around, I may make this into a series.

Today’s silly conservative is none other than John Lott. I recently wrote about how Lott deleted my comments concerning some stupid things he said. This happened on Facebook. To reiterate, I criticized Lott for, essentially, claiming that Ashley Judd represented all Democrats (among some other dumb things he said). He promptly defriended me. Cute.

Up until now I haven’t been entirely sure what he did with my comments. I presumed he deleted them, but had no proof. Well, because of my super-slick spy skills*, I infiltrated Lott’s friends list and confirmed that, yes, he did indeed delete the comments.

Let’s just recap: I made a couple comments about an article he posted. He responded to these comments. They apparently were not offensive enough to delete. I then put the final nail in his coffin and called him out for making a clearly dumb statement. Despite what one may conclude from reading this here blog, I actually was quite appropriate with my comments. I then found myself defriended. After this, Lott went so far as to delete everything I said – that includes the comments he did not previously deem offensive enough to delete. Apparently this 50 year old man has the temperament of a child.

*I had a friend send him a friend request.

Update: This must be the fastest update ever.

I left a comment on John Lott’s blog. He made a post about plagiarism where he is essentially insinuating that PubMed is a bad source for information. I presume this is because I have cited PubMed several times on his blog, but maybe he grew to hate that particular science outlet from somewhere else. At any rate, his post was specifically about plagiarism, but it isn’t a far cry to say unethical behavior is highly related. So naturally, I pointed out to Lott that it is well documented that his behavior is unethical. What did he do? He changed my post to say “This post has been removed by a blog administrator.”

Let’s take a moment to review Lott’s behavior over the years (and to avoid any insinuation from the 50 year old child, the following comes from the previous link).

  • he almost certainly fabricated a mysterious survey and certainly behaved unethically in making claims for which he had no supporting data
  • he presented results purporting to show that “more guns” led to “less crime” when those results were the product of coding errors
  • he pretended to be a woman called “Mary Rosh” on the internet in order to praise his own research and accuse his critics of fraud.
  • he probably was the person who anonymously accused Steve Levitt of being “rabidly antigun”

    All those claims are backed up quite well, too.

    Making stuff up about global warming

    Most conservatives who have a public voice are outright liars. It’s really that simple, so let’s not parse words. It isn’t that they are fundamentally misdirected in their ideas and thus genuinely believe what they say in public. No. They are simply liars. They know better, but they say things which are untrue. George Will is just another case.

    To recap: George Will wrote a column in which he tried to downplay the evidence that global warming has already affected the Earth, and that it will have bigger impacts in the future. Various bloggers have pointed out examples where Will misrepresented scientific studies in this column. The most glaring one was this: “According to the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.”

    The Research Center put a statement on their site explaining that Will was wrong. On February 15, the day Will wrote his column, there was substantially less ice than on February 15, 1979: the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined.

    I’m waiting for John Lott to pick up on Will’s piece, citing it as good science.

    More news from John Lott

    John Lott has an article up attacking Ashley Judd. She does not favor aerial hunting of wolves and is part of an organization that is active against what they say are practice encouraged by Sarah Palin up in Alaska.

    I, frankly, don’t give a damn. It’s an uninteresting issue. John Lott, on the other hand, does care. His interests are of a lesser quality, it seems.

    Yet, sometimes the emotional response isn’t the most responsible one. In this case, hunting is done to keep animals from dying from starvation and to maintain higher quality populations. The problem is that in the wild, animal populations go through what are called “boom and crash” cycles – animal populations expand to consume the available food supplies and when those are exhausted, the animals starve and the populations crash. Starvation also makes the animals more susceptible to disease. Hunters stabilize populations, and keep those problems from recurring.

    It’s probably safe to assume Johnny is just getting his information from the official website of Alaska, which he cites in his article. Okay, dandy. Population control is done for a good reason. That isn’t Judd’s argument, but whatever. It’s a boring issue. I’m just giving you the jist of it. Next.

    As it is, since 1972, the federal government has heavily regulated aerial hunting of animals – only allowing it for predators by government employees or licensed hunters and even then, contrary to last year’s campaign ads and Judd’s latest, animals can’t be shot from the air. While the planes can be used to find and track or chase the wolves, the wolves can only be shot by hunters who are on the ground. The pictures used in the ads inaccurately depict the policies that have been in effect for the last 37 years.

    This isn’t so misleading, but it is inaccurate. It is illegal and the act does state that no person is allowed to hunt by aircraft. However, after stating that it is illegal, the act also says this:

    “This section shall not apply any person if such person is employed by, or is an authorized agent of or is operating under a license of permit of, any State or the United States to administer or protect or aid in the administration or protection of land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life, or crops, and each such person operating under a license or permit shall report to the applicable issuing authority each calendar quarter the number and type of animals so taken.”

    Clearly, the act does not only state “animals can’t be shot from the air”. Relatively minor issue, but still worth noting. Given the fact of notability, I let Johnny know this. You see, we’re dear friends on Facebook and Johnny posted the link to his article on his status. I left him a comment telling him that he should be more accurate. I also responded to this from the end of the article:

    Possibly the most telling point of Judd’s ad is that the ad first mentions Sarah Palin and not the wolves. But how often are fundraising efforts directed against the losing candidates in recent national elections? Never? The ad probably says more about Democrats still viewing Palin as a credible future opponent than it does about the Defenders of the Wildlife and Judd’s inaccurate claims about hunting.

    I informed John that Ashley Judd and her wildlife organization are not representative of Democrats. He left a response to my point about the act, telling me that it is clear in what it says. I told him I agree and posted the section concerning the exceptions to the law.

    So what was Johnny’s response?

    No, he didn’t leave three dots. And it wasn’t simply nothing. I presume he wrote something. Or maybe he deleted everything. No one likes to be embarrassed afterall. Of course, I cannot actually confirm any of this. You see, Johnny and I are no longer friends. Our promise to be BFFs has been broken. WHY, JOHNNY! WHY!

    Indeed, embarrass John Lott by simply reading a file to which he originally linked and he ain’t nobody’s BFF.

    BFFs no more

    BFFs no more

    John Lott is wrong again

    It has been well-documented that John Lott is a big, fat liar. He writes slanted pieces to pursue his own agenda, not truth. So it comes as no surprise that he would post an article on his blog which claims that an Obama advisor is “wacky” for being concerned about global warming. Okay, so no big deal. Just another ignorant mook that cites non-scientific sources in order to pursue lies. Sure, it’d be nice if he would just go and post at Conservapedia, FOX News, or WorldNetDaily, but the whole concept of free speech does allow for anyone to speak his mind, even if the thoughts within said mind are utterly ignorant. Ignorant how? As is so common (especially among conservatives – extra-especially among FOX News conservatives), John Lott is ignorant in science. In this case, it’s sun spots.

    First let’s note how Lott cites an article from Investor’s Business Daily (that highly regarded scientific organizati…business newspaper). He excludes eight grafs on his blog. Three of the grafs are either introductory or conclusion grafs. The other five are as follows.

    The Little Ice Age has been a problem for global warmers because it serves as a reminder of how the earth warms and cools naturally over time. It had to be ignored in the calculations that produced the infamous and since-discredited hockey stick graph that showed a sharp rise in warming alleged to be caused by man.

    The answer to this dilemma has supposedly been found by two Stanford researchers, Richard Nevle and Dennis Bird, who announced their “findings” at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. According to them, man not only is causing contemporary warming. He also caused the cooling that preceded it.

    According to Bird and Nevle, before Columbus ruined paradise, native Americans had deforested a significant portion of the continent and converted the land to agricultural purposes. Less CO2 was then absorbed from the atmosphere, and the earth was toasty.

    Then a bunch of nasty old white guys arrived and depopulated the native populations through war and the diseases they brought with them. This led to the large-scale abandonment of agricultural lands. The subsequent reforestation of the continent caused temperatures to drop enough to bring on the Little Ice Age.

    Implicit in this research is that the world would be fine if man wasn’t in the way. We either make the world too cold or too hot, a view held by many in high places.

    Given the derisive nature of these grafs, it may actually may have made sense for Lott to publish them, but two of them contain some contradictory science to his silly dogma. That just doesn’t fly for these global warming denialists. I’m beginning to think Lott maybe does visit Conservapedia.

    So now that we have Lott’s continued dishonesty out of the way, let’s tackle the main issue: sun spots. The unscientific, babbling article the unscientific, babbling Lott cites tries to stake a claim that all this hoo-hah about global warming is really just scientists misinterpreting data because they never considered sun spots.

    When the sun is active, it’s not uncommon to see sunspot numbers of 100 or more in a single month. Every 11 years, activity slows, and numbers briefly drop near zero. Normally sunspots return very quickly, as a new cycle begins. But this year, the start of a new cycle, the sun has been eerily quiet.

    The first seven months averaged a sunspot count of only three and in August there were no sunspots at all — zero — something that has not occurred since 1913.

    According to the publication Daily Tech, in the past 1,000 years, three previous such events — what are called the Dalton, Maunder and Sporer Minimums — have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called the Little Ice Age (1500-1750).

    (Don’t worry, Lott posted that part).

    Okay, so because there are few sun spots to be seen toward the end of this current solar cycle and global temperatures have dropped in 2008, global warming is due to that. There are so many things wrong with this it makes me mad.

    First of all, this horrific article cites the first seven months of this year. Guess what? Those months correspond to the end of the last solar cycle. It wasn’t until the past three months that the new 11-year cycle was detected (Hey, John, that’s a scientific citation; use it sometime).

    Of course, it’s possible to go so far as to use the misleading information provided by this business newspaper and still show it to be wrong. Let’s assume this solar cycle does correspond with the change in global temperature. It would necessarily follow because there was a rise in temperature in the first seven years of this century that there was also a rise in solar activity. In truth, this past 11-year solar cycle peaked in 2000 and has been decaying ever since. Wow! The wonder of slight research and knowledge! Oh, how it destroys ignorance so quickly. It’s too bad John Lott isn’t interested in doing that.

    What’s more, this article cites the Little Ice Age, as if it was entirely and decidely caused by solar activity. The issue is far more nuanced than that – and certainly too nuanced for such an unqualified business newspaper.

    Global thermometers stopped rising after 1998, and have plummeted in the last two years by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius. The 2007-2008 temperature drop was not predicted by global climate models. But it was predictable by a decline in sunspot activity since 2000.

    Wow. This is just so fucking wrong that it just made me go and fucking swear at its wrongness. Global temperatures have been rising since 1998. From 1995-2006, 11 of the 12 warmest years on record were recorded. As far as this past year goes, it was a decline over the first years of this century – of course, that doesn’t really matter when it was still the 10th warmest year on record. In fact, part of the reason it was cooler than other years was the moderation experienced from La Niña. As is well known (except by John Lott, in all likelihood), water is tremendously useful for retaining temperature. Since La Niña shrinks the warm pool of water in parts of the Pacific, it can make a noticable difference in global temperatures. Still, because of man-made pollution and deforestation, La Niña was not strong enough to prevent 2008 from being the 10th warmest year on record.

    It’s unsurprising that John Lott would make a post like this. He has a history of making posts concerning things on which he has no knowledge. Take a look at his posts on evolution. They’re disparate, sometimes contradictory, often with no commentary to give some context. Granted, he shouldn’t be giving commentary on anything, but he also shouldn’t be making posts first concerned with human evolution accelerating and then subsequent posts concerned with human evolution slowing down. Bah. I don’t know why I continue to expect more out of these far-right, a-science mooks.

    John Lott is a big fat liar

    Well, of course John Lott is a big, fat liar. He writes for FOX News. That’s the ultimate cesspool of journalism. It is where people actually go when they want to lie. It’s allowed there.

    Lott recently gave a response to all the bloggers who called him out for being a big, fat liar.

    My piece at Fox News yesterday on the inconsistent rules for counting ballots in Minnesota’s Senate race has produced a lot of reaction. Nate Silver over at fivethirtyeight claims in the title of his post that my piece “blames liberal conspiracy.” My piece didn’t mention the words “liberal” or “conspiracy” (nor did it say that Democrats or Franken were involved in some secret conspiracy or use any similar synonyms). Nor did I say that people had made mistakes intentionally (unlike Nate, I don’t claim to know what is going on in people’s minds).

    My point was simple: “The primary problem isn’t the rules. The real problem is the lack of consistency.”

    There are actually two issues here. The first, of course, is that John Lott is a big, fat liar. The second is that he must be dumb. He’s a big fat liar because his point was not that the rules are inconsistent. His point was “[w]hen the recount is in Franken’s favor [a particular method] is used. When the original machine tally works best [for Franken] that is used.” This is the true point of Lott’s conspiracy piece. It isn’t that he actually cares about the inconsistency of the recount method. It’s that he cares that the inconsistency is favoring Franken rather than Coleman. That’s the very reason FOX News published his piece. And he must be dumb because it isn’t really necessary that he spell out the words “liberal” or “conspiracy”. It’s difficult to outfox your critics if you’re blatant about your bias. It would be like someone writing a book about the government killing JFK without using the word “conspiracy” and then subsequently whining “B-b-but it isn’t a conspiracy! I didn’t use that word! See? See!?”

    Beside that, Silver was specifically referring to FOX News, not Lott’s big, fat liar piece, because this was displayed on the front page of its website:


    Instead, he focuses on the fact that the Star Tribune data base made a mistake in classifying one of the ballots and that I relied on that for one of my examples. The fact that my website had already noted this and corrected that one ballot example before his post was put up is never mentioned by Silver. He also incorrectly implied that I hadn’t double checked that ballot, but he didn’t make any telephone calls or check this point either. It is not surprising that he wouldn’t try to check these points out before making his assertions.

    This is why FOX News published Lott’s piece. He’s a liar that is incredibly ironic, but has absolutely no idea of this fact. Okay, Natey, you’re upset because Silver “incorrectly implied” something? Let’s take a look at your piece.

    Nor can Coleman even win when there is an oval filled in for Coleman and the Constitution Party candidate receives an “X.”

    And how is this not implying a bias toward Franken? Coleman can’t even win the bias is so bad! Oh, but you actually mean Coleman can’t win because the rules are so inconsistent. If the rules were simply inconsistent one would expect to see an averaging out with the inconsistency because both Coleman and Franken would experience the inconsistency. Because the results are so close, the errors would be relatively close for both sides in all likelihood or they would favor one candidate sheerly by chance. You damn well know that. You’re actually whining about a big, liberal conspiracy because you’ve discarded the notion that the rules are actually inconsistent – that’s the point of your piece. You’re saying the rules are inconsistent in favor of Franken. That means you were never actually writing about how the rules were inconsistent. You were writing about a big, liberal conspiracy. Oh, but you never used those words so nevermind, right?

    But why are you complaining that Silver implied you didn’t double-check the ballot? You didn’t until after publication. Deal with it, you big, fat liar.

    People like John Lott and FOX News are excellent examples of our failed media.

    Media failings

    The mainstream media often fails us. It isn’t because it’s THE CRAZY LEFT-WING OMG OMG OMG!!1!!. It’s because it sucks. The people running the media care about superficial things. What’s Britney doing today? Why are Angelina and Jennifer fighting? What in the fuck have we said these people’s name so much that we’re on a first-name basis?

    Well, of course, it comes as no surprise that the worst of the news outlets, FOX, is trying to blame a typo on a vast liberal conspiracy.

    Who was this ballot cast for?


    Norm Coleman, right?

    No, this is not a trick question. Unless your name is John Lott, Jr., Ph.D. and you just published an analysis at

    So where did Lott get the idea that the vote had been counted for Franken? Apparently from the Star Tribune’s website, which had it listed it that way. The Star Tribune, keeping an unofficial tally of more than 6,000 challenged ballots, apparently made a boo-boo.

    This possibility appears not to have crossed Lott’s mind. Faced with two alternatives…

    1. The Canvassing Board somehow determined that this was a Franken ballot;
    2. The Star Tribune screwed up.

    …Lott took Occam’s Razor and cut himself with it, and concluded that the former must be true, using it as his primary piece of evidence to allege the recount was slanted in Al Franken’s favor. The ballot is now featured prominently on the front page of the website:


    So, we all expect FOX News to be filled with a bunch of stupid fuck-ups. That’s their thing. But how about EVERYONE else?

    This is happening right now, here in the United States. Yesterday, a retaining wall failed, and 500 million gallons of coal ash — the vile grey slime in the video — poured down into the tributaries of the Tennessee River, the water supply for Chattannooga and environs.

    We’re looking at a major environmental catastrophe, bigger than any oil spill, and most of the news media are silent about it. I checked CNN, MS-NBC, even Fox News…not a word. The local newspapers have a few articles, and the regional blogs are trying to follow it, but otherwise, I guess we’re going to pretend it didn’t happen.

    I just did my own search through Yahoo! News and came up with an astounding 27 results. Except for Scientific American and The Huffington Post, all the results are from local sources. In fact, after the first page of 10 results, there is only one more result which has anything to actually do with this event, bringing the total to 11 sources, 9 of which are local. A search of “Britney” provided 5,190 absolutely ridiculous results. Presumably, a large portion of those go to Britney Spears (4,040 come up when I search her full name).