I can’t tell you how much I hate operating at quarter-steam like this. I have an ethics seminar to get through in two days, so I’m trying to be responsible. Luckily I have to deal with this about once every three years or so.
1. Baseball rejects consequentialism! New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom won the National League Cy Young Award after leading the majors in earned run average, meaning that he gave up fewer runs per 9 innings of any pitcher. Indeed, deGrom’s major-league-leading 1.70 ERA was two-thirds of a run lower than the next closest NL hurler, Philadelphia‘s Aaron Nola (2.37), and the second best by any starter this century. Despite his own excellence, his team, the disappointing New York Mets, lost most of his starts, and deGrom only had a 10-9 record for the season. Traditionally the Cy Young honor, meant to designate the best pitcher in each league, has gone to the pitcher who won the most games while not disgracing himself in other categories. With the advent of statistical analysis, however, it has even dawned on the most meat-headed sportswriters that all a pitcher can do is prevent the other team from scoring, and if his team can’t score behind him, it says nothing about his ability at all.
In other words, doing “good” must be judged by what an individual does, not what happens that is beyond his control as he does it or after.
2. Again, this is why climate change skeptics are right to be skeptical. In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature and garnering the usual “what’s the matter with you idiots the evidence is overwhelming we’re doomed DOOMED!” coverage by the news media, researchers claimed to have found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60% more than outlined by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, mathematician Nic Lewis posted a critique of the paper, writing that “The findings of the … paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media. Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results.”
Ooops! He was right. Co-author Ralph Keeling, climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake, which I would attribute to mass confirmation bias. Keeling said they have since redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. However, that increase in heat has a larger range of probability than initially thought — between 10 percent and 70 percent, as other studies have already found. “Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said. “We really muffed the error margins.”
It is not “climate change denial” to reject over-hyped apocalyptic predictions when the entire climate-change field continues to make predictions and projections that are constantly shown to be not reliable or accurate.
3. Serious proposal: President Trump should pardon Hillary Clinton. (This should be a full post, but I don’t have the time or the energy, and I’m falling behind as it is.)
U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to answer five questions regarding her use of a private email server to conduct official U.S. diplomatic business and gave Clinton 30 days to respond under oath. The demand comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit government watchdog Judicial Watch. The five questions are:
- Who decided to create the clintonemail.com system?
- When was it created?
- Why was it created?
- Who set it up?
- When did it become operational?
Clinton could be subject to contempt of court charges if she refuses to comply with Sullivan’s order or felony charges if she answers the questions falsely
Judge Sullivan also ordered Clinton to explain why she told the House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi on Oct. 22, 2015 that virtually all of her emails “were in the State Department’s system” and “if they want to see them, they would certainly have been able to do so.” He ordered Clinton to “identify the basis for this statement, including all facts on which you relied in support of the statement, how and when you became aware of these facts, and, if you were made aware of these facts by or through another person, identify the person who made you aware of these facts.” Everyone Clinton names as having assisted her in creating her secret email system and in responding to the committee will then be subject to further FOIA discovery by Judicial Watch. Conceivably, new revelations could prompt reopening of the FBI investigation but under a less sympathetic attorney general and FBI director.
I would not at all be surprised if Hillary broke the law, or multiple laws. No, I don’t think the high and the mighty should be punished less severely than ordinary mortals, or that they should be given special leniency because of “contributions to society,” in other words, “The King’s Pass.”
However, there is no way any prosecution of Hillary Clinton will not be seen by much of America as political use of the justice system. Prosecuting her will accomplish nothing positive, and only serve to tear the nation’s connective tissue further. Exactly as in the case of Richard Nixon, the American political figure Mrs. Clinton most resembles, it will be better for the nation to let a villain go free than to suffer the bitterness and discord that would inevitable accompany her just desserts.