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Friday, June 26, 2015

The secretive Open Atmospheric Society shows tentative signs of life @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 11:27 AM Go to the first of 45 comments. Add a comment

Unnoticed by almost everyone, Anthony Watts announced earlier this month that US taxpayers will be subsidising his secret open society, the OAS. He's managed to get 501c3 tax exempt status in the USA. I only found out because he's snuck in another tiny promo at the bottom of an article today. He has also finally provided a name associated with the OAS, announcing himself as "acting executive director" of what now appears to be a one man show, so far. Until now the society didn't have a single person associated with it in any official capacity. It's not announced any Board of Directors yet, despite its Charter mandating it be established by 1 January this year. Not publicly anyway. Maybe its board of directors is a secret.

Anthony has extended the time to be able to call yourself a "founding member" of his society. It's been extended from December last year until the end of December this year.

Does this mean the OAS is not quite brain dead and will awake from it's slumber? Time will tell. At this rate, a lot more time will probably be needed.


Moderation change - no more Smokey


In other news, I was given a tip the other day that long time sock-puppet and lapdog of Anthony Watts, dbstealey aka Smokey plus other aliases has been dropped as moderator. It happened sometime between 10 April this year and June. I didn't see any public announcement or public word of thanks for all the efforts dbstealey has made to rid WUWT of any presence of science commenters, since at least 1 November 2010. Ungrateful is what I call it :(


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45 comments :

  1. dbsquealey,

    gonna miss laughing at his (?) moderation

    hopefully we still get to laugh his crazy in the comments...

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  2. I just took it as read that Stealey modded the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change post on Wednesday because that now famously ugly comment was allowed in and remained there despite the loud protests of many WUWTers

    As Stealey is also famously ugly I assumed he was in the wheelhouse that day.

    BTW About a week ago a comment by Stealey was snipped along with all subsequent replies.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Did I just type subsequent replies? I'm loosing it.

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    2. Bert from ElthamJune 26, 2015 at 4:09 PM

      Reminds me of one of our IT blokes who asked 'all' who did not receive this email to email him to let him know. The ones who got the email would never let him forget! Bert

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  3. There's something odd here (no surprise, I guess). The effective date of the IRS status letter is July 19, 2012. It's the kind of letter that is given after an entity has operated for 2 or 3 years and has demonstrated that it actually meets the 501(c)(3) requirements. BUT the OAS was not "launched" until September, 2014, and has not AFAAnyoneCT been operating even since then. So how did it qualify for this letter? Good question,

    Further, I was not able to find The OAS registered as either a business entity or non-exempt entity in California. Now, it doesn't have to be organized in California, but it's odd that it isn't.

    Hmmm.

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    1. That is odd, isn't it. Good catch. I did find these, which do raise some questions, given the charter and the declared date of commencement of operation being 1 July 2014:

      http://www.501c3.org/irs-issues-guidance-on-501c3-status-effective-date-for-new-nonprofits/

      http://www.irs.gov/publications/p557/ch01.html#en_US_201502_publink1000199849

      The other odd thing is that the letter itself is date stamped April 2015 but it was only put up this month.

      What will probably also be odd will be the contents of the promised quarterly journals, with a "qualified" editor supposed to have been appointed by the yet to be named Board of Directors (who were meant to be appointed by 31 December last year). I wonder who and how much they'll get paid?

      https://archive.is/vzg56#selection-245.1-245.132

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    2. Well, well, well. Another day, another web search.

      "The Open Atmospheric Society filed as a Domestic Non-Profit Corporation in the State of Nevada on Thursday, July 19, 2012 and is approximately three years old, as recorded in documents filed with Nevada Secretary of State. The filing is currently active as of the last data refresh which occured on Friday, May 22, 2015. "

      http://www.corporationwiki.com/p/2btrmh/the-open-atmospheric-society

      According to the Nevada Secretary of State website, the OAS was indeed incorporated in July 2012 and then "reinstated" in July 2014 (probably it had been inactive and perhaps failed to file necessary papers in 2012 and 2013).

      So this is all messy but there's not necessarily anything wrong. What will be interesting is whether OAS will in the future manage to comply with the rather strict IRS rules for sources of income. What annoys me is that the 591(c)(3) status allows donors to OAS to receive a tax deduction for their donations as a charitable contribution.

      BTW it seems there already is a publication called The Open Atmospheric Science Journal". http://benthamopen.com/TOASCJ/contents/. Possibility for confusion, but "science" will be the distinguishing factor.

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    3. Good work! I didn't know Anthony Watts lived in Nevada three years ago :)

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    4. "This is a project that has been two years in the making and was borne out of feedback in this WUWT poll in May 2012"

      https://archive.is/x8ucB

      I do wonder just what it was that it took them 2 years to make.

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    5. Now that OAS has 501(c)(3) status, Tony will have to file publicly with the IRS to certify his charitable status. All such non-profits in the USA have to do this. I strongly suggest folks here travel over to guidestar.org -- a clearinghouse for all 501(c)(3) and look for "Open Atmospheric Society." (I think there are other websites that provide the same service, but I can't recall any of them.)

      So far I don't see anything on file, but eventually Tony will have to submit form 990 which will detail (and I do mean detail), expenses, lists of key individuals, etc. OAS may be so small that it doesn't trigger any of these reporting requirements, but eventually there will be a PDF available of Tony's 990 for OAS. -- Dennis

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    6. How does the date for setting up the OAS compare to the famous Watts paper? Perhaps this is a vanity publishing exercise.

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    7. "I think there are other websites that provide the same service"

      FoundationCenter.org does the same thing too.

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    8. "I do wonder just what it was that it took them 2 years to make."

      the name?

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    9. Catmando,

      July 29, 2012 according to the Willard Anthony Watts daft (btw, not a typo or missing letter) 'paper' and goofy 'PR' statement PDF's.

      As to the IRS status as a 509(a)(2) (see OAS IRS letter upper right corner "Public Charity Status"):

      http://www.irs.gov/irm/part7/irm_07-026-004.html
      http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Public-Charities
      http://www.nonprofitissues.com/to-the-point/whats-difference-between-501c3-and-509a1

      IANAL!

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    10. Would in that case, the 6 month period for the Board of Directors to be installed not have started in July 2012? If the OAS was in "operation" for the IRS, wouldn't if be in "operation" for its own terms of reference?

      Delete
  4. Sue,
    While going through memories, one might enquire what happened to this. It's nearly a year ago now, and if the "founder" of Greenpeace ever made it to our shores, it was done very quietly. I feel bad about it, because apparently I am responsible for people donating money.

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    1. Really Nick :)

      Patrick came and went with little fanfare, and with only $25 raised through crowd-funding, in what Graham Readfearn described as "one of the least successful web-based crowd funding campaigns in history".

      The Australian published an article - click here or Google "PATRICK Moore is not convinced that the world is warming. But he wishes it would." and then click the link. It appeared in the Higher Education Supplement of the Australia. Sheesh - even there! The ABC sunshine coast did an interview for some weird reason, though to its credit, the ABC website calls him a denialist.

      And on this page it says a "$20 donation will buy a ticket" - surely that's flouting the laws about donations!

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    2. Rats! Missed it. I don't read the right newspapers.

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    3. Excellent!

      If they don't make any money in Oz, they won't come back.

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    4. Patrick Moore? I am sure by now everyone has seen this video, but just in case you missed it

      "Lobbyist Claims Monsanto's Roundup Is Safe To Drink, Freaks Out When Offered A Glass"

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovKw6YjqSfM

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    5. MikeH, I had missed that. Most entertaining!

      If Moore is going to say ridiculous things he should expect that he's call to account. That interviewer well and truly pwned Moore in front of the camera.

      Delete
  5. Another post deleted by the gal who never deletes posts. Too funny

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    1. Huh? This comment doesn't make sense in more ways than one.

      Delete
    2. I think I've figured out this mysterious comment. Alan managed to get himself lost and couldn't find his comment, plus he neglected to read the comment policy, despite the link.

      Delete
    3. Sou,

      you have the patience of a saint :-)

      Delete
    4. I'd imagine that as poor Alan is a WUWT fan boy, he thinks he cannot possibly have made any error. It must have been the IPCC, Al Gore, or Michael Mann who has interfered with his post. Although, recently, WUWT have informed us that the FSB/KGB is upping their game too so maybe we should point the finger at Moscow.

      Delete
  6. End of an era. End of cognitive dissonance (or probably not). Maybe we'll see no more assertions that there is no trace of empirical evidence for the manmade enhanced greenhouse effect, and even if there were, its a benign thing, that sceptics have nothing to prove, there's no measurable warming, the whole planet fried simultaneously during the MWP , and here are links to a hundred unprovenanced, unlabelled charts from denier sites that prove I am right and that anyone who demurs is obviously mentally ill.

    No more characterisations of climate scientists as rabid grant-hungry hogs with their snouts in the taxpayer trough, committing scientific fraud against the taxpayer to keep the bandwagon rolling, climate science as a worldwide conspiracy extending even to the Vatican, because as we all know the Pope is a KGB puppet and every professional scientific organisation on the planet has been captured and forced to issue bogus statements endorsing the concensus, which we know to be fake because 30,000 chiropractors, vetinarians and nurses count signed a petition saying so, and so it follows that all the peer reviewed literature is just wrong and I am right.

    No more of Dave Stealey as Smokey posting his own points immediately with his left hand while Dave Stealey as 'dbs' edits, censors, deletes and delays the opposition's points with his right.

    Shame.

    If you think your opinion or idea is important, elevate your status by being open and honest. People that use their real name get more respect than phantoms with handles

    Trolls, flame-bait, personal attacks, thread-jacking, sockpuppetry, name-calling […] and other detritus that add nothing to further the discussion may get deleted;

    Guest authors and moderators are expected to adhere to this policy

    Extract from WUWT blog policy.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I once replied "you could not be more ironic if you tried" to one of his outbursts, and I don't think he got it.

      I guess he had a certain comic relief value, but I disliked his disruption of discussions he did not like.

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  7. I wonder if Anthony is intending to use the OAS as a tax efficient conduit for money he doesn't receive from the fossil fuel industry. If there's large wads being doled out to deniers to encourage their efforts during the Paris conference he might be up for a trouserful.

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    1. Wouldn't surprise me in the least. But 501(c)(3) corps are subject to fairly strict rules on sources of funding, so he'll need to be careful. Although I'm sure denier groups handing out that money will have tax advisors who will know every technique to stay on the right side of the IRS.

      Delete
    2. Well, if strict means allowing the existence of foundations specifically set up to launder donations to various RWNJ organs, then sure, strict as hell.

      Even so, there are some rules, IIRC including limits on the extent to which those laundering foundations can give money to non-501(c)(3)s, so that might explain it, plus of course being able to offer tax deductions for people wanting to donate smaller wads.

      So yeah, among other things expect a funding appeal for Watts to appear in Paris. What a scam.

      Delete
  8. Funny how things keep popping up like this. Just this past day (Wednesday actually), I was engaging with some lovely blokes at Ecowatch about various "problems" with Cook et al. (2013), or whether there was warming actually happening—you know, the usual. One guy was asked to name a single scientific organization that denies anthropogenic global warming theory, and guess which one he linked to? Everything seems to loop back around pretty quickly in the denialosphere apparently.

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    Replies
    1. OAS of Watts? Scientific organisation..? Huh.. Then again, it cannot be equally ludicrous as the "thing" Daragon Slayers created for themselves.. But who knows..

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  9. "Does this mean the OAS is not quite brain dead and will awake from it's slumber?"

    I don't understand why you're tying the two together? The answer to the first part is obviously no, the OAS is quite brain dead. The answer to the second part is that it may wake from its slumber.

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  10. Smokey's demotion seems timed shortly after Stoat's complaint of comment fakery:
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2015/05/29/comment-fakery-at-wuwt/

    I wonder what went down there. Oh well; he was merely the most putrescent of a rotten bunch. I'm still never going back to comment on WUWT.

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  11. Remember, Smokey passed away? For six months or so almost everyone thought Smokey was dead, and DBS did absolutely nothing to ease the concerns and sense of loss people felt. D Boehm thought it was funny, I guess... It was painful for some, I remember asking about it on a later thread. Comments on Smokey passing away from heat stroke

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    1. Heh. Did he really think that nobody had cottoned on that smokey/dbstealey/D Boehm were one and the same?

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    2. Yeah, at the time of that episode (December 2012), it was already known around the traps that Smokey was a sockpuppet for the mod dbs. I think Rob Dekker was the first to talk about Smokey giving himself away, over on Tamino's blog in August 2012.

      What's interesting in that thread is that he just changed socks - from Smokey to D Böehm, pretending to miss Smokey (that is, himself, or David Böehm Stealey or the mod, dbs). I liked this comment from Brendan H:

      But D Boehm, you don’t need to worry your head about this stuff, since it was before your time. To my knowledge, you never crossed words with Smokey. In fact, your appearance on the boards seemed to almost coincide with his departure. If you had arrived just a few minutes earlier, you might have had the pleasure of an introduction.

      Delete
  12. I caught dbstealey editing his posts after I and several others had replied to them. He got upset at being exposed, made up some cock and bull about me breaking site policy and deleted all my replies and since then my posts are moderated. I'm not surprised that his behaviour was too much even for WUWT.

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  13. I don't see Smokey/DBoehm/Stealey walking away from WUWT without making a considerable amount of noise. My guess is that he has changed his identity one more time, as the standing of the dbstealey identity has been worn down to the same low level that Smokey acheived.

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    1. Indubitably. Watch for the voice coming from a new sock puppet.

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    2. Stealey seems to have been rather superannuated, so something related to that may be the explanation.

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  14. I've been away from the scene for a while, due to circumstances, and had a good laugh about this. His departure seems to have come around the time he and i were actively sparing on wuwt. i sent a bunch of emails to watts about "putting a muzzle on" dbstealy, everytime he would blatantly violate site policy, or was just arguing with himself and deleting my posts. i will have to make time to get over there and see how the atmosphere has changed lol

    ReplyDelete

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