A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Red Horse

There is an article by Olivier Guitta in the American Thinker today which echoes much of what I have said in recent posts about the situation in Iran. Read it here.

Iran has gone from crisis to emergency, and we still have no coherent plan in place to deal with it. It`s getting too late to implement my ``Contra Option`` and foment revolution inside of Iran, diplomacy is an abysmal failure (did we expect more?) and, as Olivier Guitta shows, our military options are limited. We may have frittered away any opportunity to deal credibly with this threat-and we will pay dearly for that! The Mullahs will not rest until either an American or Israeli city disappears in a blinding flash. We are reaching the point where a full-scale invasion may be our only option.

The problem is, of course, that our leaders are more interesting in political machinations than in protecting the United States, and they are subject to pressures put on them by the lunatic left groups (such as move-on.ogre and Nut-In-Our-Names,with the aid of the mainstream media), and who, if I dare say, would actually WELCOME a defeat of the United States. Many (the good hearted liberals) because they see U.S. policy as provocative and militaristic, thus causing the animus against us. Some of the very radical on the extreme Left would like nothing better than to dismantle the ``reactionary`` United States, and a city or two would be a small price to pay to end American bigotry worldwide and usher in the era of peace and socialism. The radical left fringe would never openly say this; in fact, many of them may not even realize that they feel this way. Nonetheless, they work feverishly against our interests and security, much like termites eating away at the framework of a house from the inside. Considering the radicalization of the Democrat Party, our political leaders fear offending these screwballs because of the financial resources involved-hence we have witnessed a paralysis within our government which may well lead to total catastrophe.

The problem actually goes much deeper than a dearth of adequate leadership; the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves. The American people generally get what they ask for, and we have lived far too long like spoiled children. Too many Americans don`t want to face the unpleasant truth. Too many people seek their own interests without concern for their neighbors. Too many Americans have been willing to support craven leaders because those particular politicians have handouts to give in return for a vote. As a result, we now have a vacuum of leadership at the top levels, which are filled with men who seek not the Nation`s welfare first, but their own wealth and aggrandizement, and who bribe the populace with their own tax dollars. Too many of our leaders care merely about power-either retaining it or reacquiring it, and few are willing to actually LEAD! According to the Bible, God gives a Nation the leaders it deserves. We have been petty, vain, greedy, and foolish in years past (can anyone argue that the `90`s was little more than an exercise in narcissism?) We should not be surprised to find our leaders are petty, vain, greedy, and foolish.

The United States (and, indeed, the World) is facing the greatest peril in it`s history; we see an alignment forming which can explode at any time. The Europeans are hiding under their beds, coming out only long enough to knife our backs, the Russians will sell out to the highest bidder and would love nothing more than to avenge themselves on the United States for the Cold War, China`s political and military leaders all say war with the United States is inevitable and they are making preparations to that end (they have heavily funded Al-Quada and other terrorist groups to act as a proxy against us), and the Islamic world isvery serious about reasserting itself and finishing the work of Muhammad. The prospect of terrorists and their state sponsors having nuclear weapons is horrifying! What will happen if a nuke takes out a city? Suppose North Korea nukes Tokyo? (They have already fired missiles over Japan on several occasions.) The Japanese may not have nuclear weapons now, but I assure you they will acquire them immediately, and take out Pyongyang. This could bring the Chinese in and we have WWIII. If Iran hits Tel-Aviv the Israelis will respond with a nuclear counterattack which will bring the Russians in, and we will have a terrible decision to make. We simply cannot allow state sponsors of terrorism to acquire atomic weapons; and the chief state sponsor in the world today is Iran!

Removing the Islamic Republic has several benefits; we assure a steady flow of oil from Iran, we end the Iraqi Jihad (which the Iranians are eagerly supporting), and we put an end to the Iranian sponsorship of terrorism. We can virtually end the War on Terrorism by taking the Ayatollahs out. They are the principle backers of terrorism worldwide! We have every reason to act, but do we have the will? Time is just about out.

The Scouts Oath

The Federalist Patriot has a good piece about the war on the Boy Scouts. As an old scout myself, I find the attacks by the ACLU reprehensible; the Boy Scouts teach young men many important values- responsibility, self-reliance, respect for others, etc. The Boy Scouts have a great reverence for nature, and Native American tradition is greatly respected. One would think that these values would be attractive to the ``cultural diversity`` and environmentalist crowd, but it seems the left can`t get over their prejudices. The only requirement the Scouts have is that a member must believe in God, so this makes the BSA anathema to the left. (That, and no open homosexuality, which one should expect from a group of pubescent boys led by male leaders; the left certainly had a field day when it came to pedophilic behavior by priests toward alter boys, yet they demand gay rights among Boy Scouts-what hypocrisy!)

At any rate, below is the text from the Federalist. Most of you probably don`t receive the Federalist because you have to subscribe (free) and you can do that online here. The Federalist comes twice a week, and is filled with fascinating information that is hard to come by elsewhere.

From The Patriot Perspective:

It is a remarkable experience for all in attendance, though it could be the last. The Boy Scouts have yet to be kicked out of Chattanooga's National Cemetery, but they have been exiled from many other public places.


Because all Scouts are bound by the following oath: "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country...." It is an oath which, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, makes the BSA a "religious organization," and, thus, in keeping with the ACLU's adulterated version of our Constitution's First Amendment, disqualifies the BSA from any public forum. Unfortunately, the ACLU and their patriarchs in Congress have planted enough judicial activists in U.S. Circuit Courts across the nation to impose, by judicial fiat, their God-forsaking agenda. (For a thorough Constitutional debunking of the ACLU's "wall of separation" claim, read "Public Prayer? Where's the outrage!" at http://FederalistPatriot.US/Alexander/)

In 1999, the ACLU sued the Department of Defense for sponsoring some 400 Boy Scout programs, including the national Boy Scouts Jamboree in Virginia. American Legion National Commander Thomas Cadmus protested last year, in a letter to SecDef Don Rumsfeld: "The idea that sponsorship of Scouting by American military units is 'unconstitutional' goes beyond the absurd, even well past the point of stupidity."

Absurd and stupid, indeed -- so who is funding all these ACLU suits? American taxpayers -- that's you and me.

Many of the ACLU's "attorney-fee awards" are paid for under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S. Code Sec. 1988, legislation intended to provide compensation to legitimate victims of civil-rights violations. The ACLU is exploiting this law using phony plaintiffs suffering de minimis claims. Additionally, they are scalping state and local taxpayers. After the ACLU got the Boy Scouts removed from Balboa Park in San Diego, they collected a cool $940,000 from the city in "compensation." The Portland Public School system recently paid the ACLU $108,000 after an atheist objected to Boy Scout recruitment on school property after school hours.

Such complaints are creeping across the nation and showing up on "ACLU-friendly" Circuit Court dockets -- all because the Boy Scouts refuse to remove the word "God" from their oath. Will the United States military be cowed as well? Or will it summon the resolve to engage this mortal enemy of our national heritage?

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense settled with the ACLU, agreeing not to sponsor any of the scouting activities monetarily, while it will still allow scouting events at military installations -- a military retreat but not complete withdrawal. However, every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine and Coastguardsman we honor this Memorial Day, and all those in service now, are bound by their oath "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.... So help me God."

So help me God.

The ACLU's Adam Schwartz noticed, protesting, "If our Constitution's promise of religious liberty is to be a reality, the government should not be administering religious oaths or discriminating based on religious beliefs." But, as noted in the essay referenced above, there is no "wall of separation" between religion and the government; there is only a prohibition on the Congress from establishing a national religion. However, the Circuit Courts are chock-full-o the ACLU's judicial activists, those who, in the words of the august Senator Sam Ervin, "interpret the Constitution to mean what it would have said if they, instead of the Founding Fathers, had written it."

The courts are stacked with such despots, as Thomas Jefferson called them, because neither they, nor the members of the Senate who seat them (you know who you are), abide by their oaths to defend our Constitution -- "So help me God" -- the same Creator to whom members of our Armed Forces appeal. The difference, of course, is that our uniformed Patriots have defended, and continue to defend, that oath with their lives, while liberal senators and judges defend it with lip service over cappuccinos and tartlets.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Memorial Prayer

Todd Lindsay over at Village Fool has a nice Memorial Day prayer. Check it out!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Rated R for Revenue

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They tax everything in Denmark!

Suicides Accepted During Business Hours Only

For those who believe that health care should be run by the government, consider this government run suicide hotline on Prince Edward Island in Canada.

The needs of the individual are subordinated to the convenience of the State whenever government holds a monopoly on services. Government control eventually leads to rationing.

Friday, May 27, 2005

No Separation of Mosque and State

(Thanks to BobG. at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia for this.)

Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) has always found new and creative ways to offend. He has outdone himself with this resolution whereby he seeks to defend the Koran.

I was under the impression that we had separation of Church and State. Wasn`t judge Roy Moore forced to remove the Ten Commandments from his courthouse down in Alabama? Aren`t Christmas manger displays anathema? For that matter, weren`t we supposed to accept with good cheer such cutting edge artistry as a crucifix in a bucket of urine, or an icon of the Blessed Virgin covered with elephant dung? Why, I believe we were even told we had to pay for the privelege with taxpayer dollars! That is the cost of freedom, or so we`ve been told.

We can`t even protect our flag, much less symbols of the Christian and Jewish faiths! Mr. Conyers has always been on the front lines in all of these fights, but now it seems Islam is deserving of special treatment.

Mr. Conyers is, of course, very partial to special treatment. Every year, he introduces a bill calling for reparations for slavery. Now, I don`t know a single slave in these United States, nor anyone who can even remember anyone who was a slave. The institution of slavery ended 140 some odd years ago. Yet that doesn`t stop old Carpet Bagger Conyers from trying to pilfer money from the pockets of whites who happen to maintain residence in this country. (There are many white people whose ancestors came to America after the Civil War, but who cares? They`re the wrong color so let`s gouge `em!) At the same time, Mr. Conyers is fighting to reinstate voting rights for criminals serving time in prison. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Conyers has two sets of rules, which he applies based on his personal preference.

The unfortunate thing is that John Conyers is no longer the radical fringe of the Democrat Party. There was a time when the Democrats would have seen him for what he is; a frothing-at-the-mouth wacko and bottom feeder. There was a time when the statesmen in the Democrat Party would have been embarrassed by him (much like the Republicans had been embarrassed by David Duke). This can no longer be said-the John Conyers types now occupy the center of the party.

If Mr. Conyers is willing to fight for the Koran, maybe I can get my Bible back?

Time Has Run Out

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Due to political considerations, President Bush has taken the U.N./Colin Powell approach to Iran. This has been a miserable strategy; the ``insurgency`` in Iraq has kept going thanks in part to Iranian support, and the Mullahs have been stalling while they pursue nuclear weapons. Now, if this story in Jihad Watch is true, our slow motion approach may have resulted in our worst fears being realized.

The fascinating part of this story is that Presiden Bush is described as surprised by this. How can President Bush be surprised? It was a logical move for North Korea to make. Now, who do you suppose our friendly neighborhood jihadists will use this on?

I Need Technical Help

I have been encountering a problem which seems to be getting worse lately; whenever I cut and paste part or all of an article onto a post it screws up my formatting. My recent posts, blogroll, and archives line up on top and you have to scroll past all of this to get to my actual articles. I contacted E-Blogger and they told me that it was a problem with the margins, but offered no assistance on how to correct this problem. Tom Willms at Twisted Steel suggested putting my posts on Microsoft Word, then transfering them here. I haven`t seemed to have any luck with this method.

This is becoming very frustrating; I have had to delete numerous posts, some of them quite long and brilliant :) and my blogging has suffered. Any help you, my wise and learned readers, can offer would be much appreciated!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I Swear I`m Not Making This Up!

I have been into Pravda today, and found some real gems! I thought this type of surrealism died with the Soviet Union. If this is true, why aren`t the Russians MOVING this radioactive material out of Ukraine and burying it in Moscow? Helps build strong bodies!

By the way, the top line is actually how the article printed when I cut and pasted:

Say what you want! PRAVDA.Ru will hear you! ==

Front page / Science and Health / Science / Discoveries
Chernobyl's radiation improves children's immune system in radiation-polluted regions of Ukraine
05/24/2005 17:48
Doctors say that a half of local schoolchildren suffer from thyroid enlargement

There is a threat of radioactive pollution in Ukraine's south, on the Crimean Peninsula. Carcasses of strategic bomber planes, which participated in A-bomb tests in Semipalatinsk, are buried on the outskirts of the city of Kerch. Ecologists say that the radiation level considerably exceeds the norm on the site of the burial.

Local authorities do not take any measures to protect the secret object. Local residents collect metal scrap there, hunt for hares and pick mushrooms. Children enjoy playing on the territory behind barbed wire. Doctors say that a half of local schoolchildren suffer from thyroid enlargement. The Emergency Ministry of Crimea addressed to the government of Ukraine with a suggestion to take the radioactive wastes away from the territory and utilize them. There has not been an adequate decision made on the matter yet.

It is worth mentioning that radiation has had a stimulating effect on a lot of children living in the areas that suffered from the Chernobyl disaster. Doctor of medical sciences, a professor of the Bryansk State University, Vladimir Mikhalev, shares such an opinion: the doctor has been studying children's development in both the Chernobyl area and in non-polluted regions for years.

According to Dr. Mikhalev, a lot of children living in Chernobyl-affected areas started growing faster in comparison with other children. They have better reactions; their brain activity is more active as well. Such children have a more powerful immune system in comparison with their equals residing in other territories. The professor also said that he could apply such a conclusion to the settlements, where increased radiation was registered and where people were consuming pesticide-free food and water.

With Friends Like These...

So President Bush thinks Putin and the Russians are his friends; he`d better think again. After all, Pravda means official truth in Russian!

Blind Justice

If this police officer were in D.C. half of the Democrat Caucus would be reaching for their wallets:

Police officer fines driver for his resemblance to a big imbecile monkey

A Romanian police officer was reduced in his rank after he stopped one of the cars and fined the driver $42. The officer fined the driver because the latter looked like a big imbecile monkey. The officer explained his decision with a wish to make a joke.

The driver apparently had a different sense of humor. He filed a complained against the police officer, Za Rulyom magazine wrote. As a result, the officer was reduced in his rank for the behavior, which did not correspond to the status of a policeman and defamed law-enforcement authorities. The officer currently works with papers in a remote Romanian village.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Peace In Our Time

I have just one thing to say about the deal in the Senate to end judicial filibusters; does anyone remember Neville Chamberlain? (How about Bill Clinton`s deal with North Korea over atomic weapons?)

Life And Death

Embryonic stem cells have not been used to treat a single disease. Science has been promising miracles from this line of research, yet has been unable to produce any real results. The mainstream media and the left have tried to blame this on President Bush`s ``ban`` on stem cell research-which we all know is nothing more than his unwillingness for the Federal Government to fund any research on new lines of embryos (remember, an embryo will become a baby if left in the proper conditions to mature; we are not talking about mere cells.)

There is a form of stem-cell research which has been paying off-and paying off bountifully. The blood in umbilical cords is reach with stem-cells, and they do not have to harvest an embryo to obtain them! The proof in the pudding is in the eating, and umbilical stem-cells have provided a fine feast indeed! Why this continued insistence on using embryos when we have a better alternative?

This issue is, essentially, about abortion. The Deathheads want to get people used to the view that human life should be treated as medical material because it fosters a more clinical view of life, which makes abortion and euthanasia more palatable. Life becomes a personal and medical decision, not a moral one. The individual attains the godhead if he or she can control life. Embryonic stem-cells, by promising a cornucopia of medical benefits, defeats one of the fundamental pro-life arguments; that abortion and euthanasia have no true social benefits but are merely for the convenience of the individual. Killing embryos to cure disease pulls the rug out from under that particular line of argument. That is why it is so important to use embryonic stem cells! Umbilical stem cell research destroys the left`s entire plan!

Anyone who has read Larry Niven`s fiction should be aware of the ``organ bank problem``. Essentially, Niven worried that increases in medical technology would allow for easy transplantation of human organs, which would then increase demand for those organs to a point where the average citizen would be willing to live in a totalitarian state so as to continue the flow of these ``medical materials``. The state started forcing condemned criminals to become involuntary organ donors, then due to the high demand for transplant material (by replacing organs as fast as they wear out you can greatly extend your life expectancy, according to Niven) more and more crimes became capital offenses-up to and including too many traffic tickets! Everyone lived in fear of the Law. What Niven was illustrating with these stories is the slippery slope our pursuit of immortality and our own benefit can tread upon. Embryonic stem cell research is a piece of this same mindset-this view of human life as so much medical material to be used as we see fit or discarded. If Niven`s nightmare vision about organ transplantation technology is correct, embryonic stem cell research is the doorway to a terrible place. (One of the benefits of stem cell research will be an easing of transplant rejections according to its promoters.)

We have two roads before us. One takes us to respect for life and a world of moral dignity, the other to a place of objectification of our Humanity and blood sacrifice on the alter of convenience. Which way shall we travel?

Friday, May 20, 2005

A Hot Time for the Change Gang

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I love this; the Climate Change Gang has set it up so that whatever happens in the environment can be used as ``proof`` of man-made global warming. They can`t lose! If ice is melting it proves their point, and if it is growing it still proves their point because their model predicted it (a model which predicts both a rise and fall is worthless). I really like this quote from some nebulous ``expert`` at the University of Missouri:

``In contrast, smaller West Antarctica showed an overall thinning of 0.9 centimetres per year. "It's amazing that they can measure such small changes," says Vaughan.

Yes, it is amazing, isn`t it! Maybe a little bit too amazing! Perhaps they are seeing what they want to see?

Is That A Fact!

These from the Federalist:

"Stevie Wonder Releases Video for Blind" --Reuters

"Being Safe Can Keep Kids From Being Run Over, Expert Says" --Internet Broadcasting Systems

"Darth Vader and Imperial Troops to Storm Paris Boulevard" --Agence France-Presse **France to surrender shortly thereafter.

"When You Were Born Influences When You Reach the Menopause" --Medical News Today

"Doctors Attribute Baby Boom to Last Year's Hurricanes" --Associated Press

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Under the Thumb of Big Peyote

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A native American man has brought suit to allow his 4 year old son to smoke peyote as part of his religious beliefs. Is this another example of Big Peyote pushing their product on a naive, helpless public?

Native Americans were also the pioneers in the use of tobacco. Would anyone have had the gall to bring suit demanding a religious right to tobacco smoking?

What`s next? The right to smoke crack?


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Aussiegirl over at Ultima Thule posted up a story about a postcard making the rounds in Poland depicting Putin as Pinoccio because of his lying-weasel statements about Russia and the Second World War. The Russkies are very upset about this piece of satire, and are warning of ``deteriorating relations``. For their part, the Poles have pointed out that Putin is the one causing the deterioration, and they demanded an apology for his infuriating statements.

The whimsical title outdid anything I could come up with, so I had to link it up here!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Global Luke-Warming

This from Tom Bethell in The American Spectator Online:

Global warming became the environmentalists' cause celebre in the late 1980s. They had turned on a dime, for only a few years earlier global cooling had been their mantra. They didn't know what had caused that earlier "cooling trend," but its effects were sure to be bad. "The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only in ten years," Newsweek reported in 1975. "The resulting famines could be catastrophic."

Now warming is the specter, with its melting glaciers, inundated cities, and the Gulf Stream reversing course. But I doubt if the enviros can keep on fomenting the scare much longer. It has been based on little more than extrapolated temperatures and spurious charts. What are the facts? Surface temperature measurements show a global warming period from about 1910 to 1940, followed by a cooling period until 1975. Since then we have experienced a slight warming trend. These three periods add up to a surface-temperature increase of perhaps one-degree Fahrenheit for the entire 20th century.

Satellite measurements of atmospheric temperatures do not agree, however. They began only in 1979, and have shown no significant increase over the last quarter century. Balloon readings did show an abrupt, one-time increase in 1976-1977. Since then, those temperatures have stabilized.

Environmentalists believe that the 20th-century warming was caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. That produces carbon dioxide -- one of several "greenhouse gases." The argument is that their release into the atmosphere wraps the Earth in an invisible shroud. This makes the escape of heat into outer space slightly more difficult than its initial absorption from sunlight. This is the Greenhouse Effect. So the Earth warms up.

But whether man-made carbon-dioxide emissions have caused measurable temperature increases over the last 30 years is debated. Carbon dioxide is itself a benign and essential substance, incidentally. Without it, plants would not grow, and without plant-life animals could not live. Any increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes plants, trees, and forests to grow more abundantly. It should be a tree-hugger's delight.

The surface data suggest that man-made carbon dioxide has not in fact increased global temperatures. From 1940 to 1975, coal-fired plants emitted fumes with great abandon and without restraint by Greens. Yet the Earth cooled slightly in that time. And if man-made global warming is real, atmospheric as well as surface temperatures should have increased steadily. But they haven't. There was merely that one-time increase, possibly caused by a solar anomaly. In addition, an "urban heat island effect" has been identified. Build a tarmac runway near a weather station, and the nearby temperature readings will go up.

GLOBAL WARMING BECAME THE FOCUS of activism at the time of the Earth Summit in Rio, in 1992. Bush the elder signed a climate-change treaty, with signatories agreeing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions below 1990 levels. The details were worked out in Kyoto, Japan. But America was the principal target, everyone knew it, and Clinton didn't submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification. The 1990 date had been carefully chosen. Emissions in Germany and the Soviet Union were still high; Germany had just absorbed East Germany, then still using inefficient coal-fired plants. After they were modernized, Germany's emissions dropped, so the demand that they be reduced below 1990 levels had already been met and became an exercise in painless moralizing.

The same was true for the Soviet Union. After its collapse, in 1991, economic activity fell by about one-third. As for France, most of its electricity comes from nuclear power, which has no global-warming effects but has been demonized for other reasons. If the enviros were serious about reducing carbon dioxide they would be urging us to build nuclear power plants, but that is not on their agenda. They want windmills (whether or not they kill golden eagles).

Under the Kyoto Protocol, U.S. emissions would have to be cut so much that economic depression would have been the only certain outcome. We were expected to reduce energy use by about 35 percent within ten years, which might have meant eliminating one-third of all cars. You can see why the enviros fell in love with the idea.

Third World countries are exempt, as are China and India. Australia, like the U.S., has refused to ratify. Thirty-five countries, mostly in Europe, have agreed to reduce emissions. But there are no enforcement mechanisms, the potential for cheating is unlimited, and the principal irritation today is that the main enemy, the United States, slipped the noose.

Any unusual event is now likely to be linked to climate change. Within 24 hours of the tsunami in December, the CBS evening news displayed a graphic that had only the words "global warming" and "tsunamis." Citing unnamed "climate experts," Dan Rather intoned:

Climate experts warned today that tsunamis could become more common around the world and more dangerous. They cite a number of factors, including a creeping rise in sea levels believed to come from global warming and growing populations along coastal areas.

The claim that the globe is warming depends on knowing earlier temperatures. Such information can only be obtained indirectly. Climate scientists depend on tree rings, bore holes, ice cores, the skeletons of marine organisms. The graph that was most effective in persuading policy-makers became known as the hockey stick. The temperature line is mostly horizontal, perhaps declining slightly for 900 years, then abruptly heading up into a warmer range over the last 100 years. The 900 years are the handle, the last hundred are the blade.

THE "HOCKEY STICK" was first published in 1998 by the climatologist Michael Mann of the University of Virginia, and co-authors. It was immediately used by the United Nations to promote the idea that we have an unprecedented crisis on our hands. But the chart also aroused suspicions, because for years there had been a broad agreement among climatologists that global temperatures had not been as unvarying as the chart implied. There had been something called the Medieval Warm Period, which persisted until the "Little Ice Age" took hold in the 14th and 15th centuries. Both periods lasted for several hundred years.

The warmer period, accompanied by a flowering of prosperity, knowledge, and art in Europe, seems to have been wholly beneficial. Agricultural yields increased, marshes and swamps -- today called wetlands -- dried up, removing the breeding grounds of malaria-spreading mosquitoes. Infant mortality fell, the population grew. Greenland was settled by the Vikings, who reached a peak of prosperity in the 12th and 13th centuries. They began declining in the late 14th century, with the colder weather. Then the settlements perished.

The warm period has been recognized in the climate textbooks for decades, and it was an obvious embarrassment to those claiming that the 20th-century warming was a true anomaly. Also, the earlier changes occurred when fossil-fuel consumption could hardly have been the culprit. They would prove that warming could occur without human intervention.

Consider, in this context, the experience of David Deming with the University of Oklahoma's College of Geosciences. In 1995, he published a paper in the journal Science, reviewing the evidence showing that bore hole data showed a warming of about one degree Celsius in North America over the last 100 to 150 years. Deming continues:

With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said, "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period."

Whether intentionally or not, that is exactly what Mann's "hockey stick" did.

Once doomsayers convince us that we are experiencing something new, they feel free to claim that we face a catastrophe. They can extrapolate from the minor and beneficial warming that we may (or may not) have experienced in the last generation and argue that temperatures will keep on rising until the ice caps melt and cities flood.

Then the hockey stick was challenged by a Toronto minerals consultant named Stephen McIntyre, who, remarkably, had no credentials as a climatologist. He spent two years and $5,000 of his own money trying to uncover Mann's methods. Mann at first did give him some information, but then cut him off saying he didn't have time to respond to "every frivolous note" from nonscientists. McIntyre was joined by another Canadian, and in 2003 they published a critical article. Mann had "used flawed methods that yield meaningless results."

In a rebuttal, Mann revealed new information that had not appeared in his original paper. It had been published in the British journal Nature, which later published a correction. McIntyre thinks there may be more errors but still doesn't know how the graph was generated. Mann has refused to release his secret formula. A Wall Street Journal reporter doggedly pursued the matter and contacted Mann. He told the reporter: "Giving them the algorithm would be giving in to the intimidation tactics that these people are engaged in."

Michael Mann now concedes it is plausible that past temperature variations may have been larger than thought. Fred Singer, a leading critic of warming scares and founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, says that "the hockey stick is dead." He was recently nominated by warmists to receive the First Annual Flat Earth Award for being "the year's most prominent global warming denier." Nominated along with him were Rush Limbaugh and Michael Crichton, the thriller writer.

IN HIS RECENT BOOK State of Fear, Crichton unexpectedly emerged as a powerful critic of modish conclusions about global warming. He studied the subject for a couple of years before writing his recent book, to which he added an appendix comparing global-warming science to eugenics. Earlier, in a speech at Caltech, he had compared it to the search for extraterrestrials (which he says is based on bogus science). There may have been some warming as a part of a natural trend, Crichton allows. But "no one knows how much of the present trend might be natural or how much man-made."

"Open and frank discussion" of global warming is being suppressed, he believes. One indication is that "so many of the outspoken critics of global warming are retired professors." They can speak freely because they are no longer seeking grants or facing colleagues "whose grant applications and career advancement may be jeopardized by their criticisms."

Environmentalists have become adept at de-legitimizing their opponents by saying they are "supported by industry," but studies funded by environmentalist organizations are "every bit as biased," Crichton added. They have become a special interest like any other, with legislative goals and millions spent on lobbying.

Myron Ebell, who works for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in Washington, D.C., one of the few groups that examines global-warming claims skeptically, says that environmentalism is now a $1.5 billion industry. In Washington, skeptics (like himself) are outnumbered by global warming advocates perhaps by a margin of 300 to one. Yet CEI, greatly underfunded by comparison with groups like the Sierra Club, tends to be characterized in the media as "industry supported." The enviros' problem is that they have "everything going for them except the facts," Ebell says.

Some environmentalists have begun to echo the complaint that they are a special interest. A few months ago, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Norhaus wrote a widely circulated 14,000-word essay called "The Death of Environmentalism." It "provoked a civil war among tree huggers," Nicholas D. Kristof wrote in the New York Times. In effect, it was a cry of anguish: Why have we been unable to win on our top issues, especially global warming? They called it "the world's most serious ecological crisis," which "may kill hundreds of millions of human beings over the next century." They looked back to their golden age in the 1970s -- the time when they began "using science to define the problem as 'environmental.'"

"Using science" is what they were doing, all right, and the rest of us were blinded by it, for about 25 years. But the problem wasn't that the use of science had led them to propose unattractive "technical fixes," when they should have been appealing to something larger in the human spirit. The problem was that their science was never very good to begin with. And as its inadequacies became more apparent, their scare tactics became more apparent, too.

To keep the money rolling in, environmentalists always need a crisis. It looks as though they will have to cook up a new one.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

P. C. in the Pentagon D.C.

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The National Review Online has an article complaining about political correctness in the military-especially in regards to the role of Women in combat. Read about it by clicking the header. (I tried to copy and paste, but it screwed up my formatting again.)

I`d like to make a couple of observations on this issue. First off, I`d like to point out that P.C. in the military is nothing new; liberals in this country have been using the military to conduct social experiment's for years. Consider that the military was racially integrated long before the nation as a whole. Consider the efforts made to accommodate and advance women in the military. Does anyone remember Captain Linda Bray? When Bush 41 ordered the invasion of Panama to arrest Manuel Noriega (enforcing an indictment in Florida of Noriega for drugs) the army reported to the press that captain Linda Bray led an attack on a Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) compound outside of Panama City. We were told that she ran a truck through the fence of the compound while under heavy fire, and almost single-handedly wiped out the Panamanian resistance. The mainstream press was joyous, along with the gang from NOW and Academia, because this PROVED that women could fight in heavy combat, and that the archaic rules banning them from combat needed to be scrapped. Slowly the truth came out; the compound was not exactly a PDF troop compound, but turned out to be a dog kennel. Capt. Bray didn`t exactly give the order to take this dog kennel; it turned out she wasn`t exactly there (she was at the command post a mile away). It seems that she simply RELAYED an order from her C.O. over the radio to the troops! The military, and the press, had tried to make her a hero for purely political reasons.

We witnessed the same spectacle with Private Jessica Lynch during Gulf War II. We were told Private Lynch`s maintenance company was ambushed, and that Jessica emptied her clip before being taken down by enemy soldiers. To her credit, Jessica refused to be party to this lie, and told the media the truth; she was knocked unconscious when her vehicle was hit, and remembers nothing until waking in an Iraqi hospital. The fact that the military tried to make a hero out of her proves ulterior motives. She was supposed to be the poster girl of Gulf War II, only she refused to cooperate with the charade (how many young soldiers would have the integrity to turn down hero status, as Private Lynch was willing to do, in the interest of integrity?)

My brother used to work as a PACE instructor on several Aircraft Carriers. (A PACE instructor is a civilian employee who teaches college courses to the seamen while they are out.) He was in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War, and was privy to much of what was happening during the War. He tells me that great effort was made to encourage and support women in the Navy. For instance, repair technicians carried a toolbox which weighed close to 100 pounds. The male techs had to lug this thing around by themselves, but the women techs were assigned a male crewman to carry the box for them. These seamen had to them stand around waiting for the female tech to complete her assignment, then carry the box to her next job. Likewise, naval airmen were graded by spotters whenever they flew. If they screwed up in any way, they were given what was called a Down. Four downs disqualified you (I`m not sure in what period-I suspect a month.) According to my brother, many of the women pilots had six or even eight downs, but were given exemptions because of the scarcity of female pilots. There was a famous case where the pilot crashed; she had 8 downs and was allowed to continue to fly. She crashed because she turned her radio off (and thus was not receiving emergency instructions) because she didn`t want flight control to hear her crying. The press reports spoke of none of this, of course.

I`m not saying that women are necessarily bad soldiers, but I am complaining that military efficiency is suffering because of politically correct efforts. The left has been using the military to conduct social experiments, then has been lying to the American people about the failures of these self-same experiments. This is wrong.

The Israeli army has probably more combat experience than any other nation, and the Israelis removed women from combat some time ago. Why are we pushing for it here?

Monday, May 16, 2005

That Oily U.N.

This from the incomparable Jed Babbin at TAS Online:

Saddam's Bought Russians
By Jed Babbin
Published 5/16/2005 12:16:42 AM

Russia's stubborn pro-Saddam stance in the UN Security Council brought Vladimir Putin's party and political machine enormous financial rewards in the form of bribe money coming from the UN Oil for Food Program, according to two detailed reports being released today by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI). Those bribes have fueled Putin's drive to restore authoritarian government in Russia. It is more than just corruption. Senate investigators say Saddam's penetration of the Russian political system was so deep that it could -- and did -- cause the passage of pro-Iraqi measures in the Russian Duma.

Senators Norm Coleman (R-WI) and Carl Levin (D-MI) sent their investigators to Iraq where they interviewed 16 former top officials of Saddam's regime. The staffers and their Senate bosses have been digging through thousands of documents in Iraq and here, including the corporate records of Texas oil trader Bayoil. And they have struck investigative gold.

From the speed with which the Senate investigators hit paydirt, it's easy to see why the Volcker team hasn't even attempted to chase the leads that were staring them in the face. If Volcker's crew had been serious, they could have pursued the big smell emanating from the Russian side of the oil transactions Saddam had been making. The Senate investigators detected the strong odor of rotting fish when they reached the obvious conclusion that Russia -- an oil exporter -- had somehow been the recipient of about 30% of the oil allocations (i.e., oil contracts awarded) under the Oil for Food scam without a drop of the OFF Program oil being delivered to Russia. The Senate investigation to date has concluded that one of the Russian government's most capable "fixers" -- one Vladimir Zhirinovsky -- was only the most visibly corrupted Russian official. Digging a bit deeper, the PSI folks found that the Russian Presidential Council, Putin's Unity Party (latterly named the "United Russia Party"), the Congress Party and Russia's minister of foreign affairs all received massive oil allocations from the UN program.

Cut back to the Iraqi side of the ledger. According to the PSI reports, the large oil transactions were doled out to those doing Saddam's bidding and those he wanted to seduce. Saddam approved many of the transactions personally, while others were approved by his chief henchmen including his veep, Taha Yasin Ramadan, and Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz. According to the PSI reports, Ramadan said that the oil allocations -- which could be sold for large commissions -- often resulted in profits for the recipients and were intended as "compensation for support" in the UN Security Council. (Tariq Aziz told the PSI that Putin's party received a large number of oil allocations because Russia was taking positions in the Security Council that favored Iraq. Those positions pressured the Security Council to end the sanctions regime without forcing the completion of the WMD inspections.)

When Saddam got a bit greedier the allocations also resulted in "surcharges" paid back to Saddam's regime. These "surcharges" (in the Bronx, we called them "kickbacks") of up to 30 cents per barrel were paid into special bank accounts that were under the control of Saddam's regime and were used to fund terrorism, weapons purchases, and pretty much everything else Saddam was forbidden under the 1991 cease-fire agreements that granted him a reprieve he didn't deserve. (PSI plans more reports on how the funds were used to pay for terrorism and arms purchases.)

TO BE FAIR TO PUTIN, it's likely that the oil allocations to ensure his loyalty to Saddam only began after he began, in the summer of 2000, to pressure the UN for an end to the sanctions against Saddam. But once Putin and his cronies began receiving this "compensation for support," they were loath to see it end. And they put their pay to good use. The Russian Presidential Council the PSI report names is, according to Senate investigators, the mechanism Putin has used to consolidate power over local governments in his drive to return Russia to autocracy. (PSI says that the RPC has been referred to by other names by other sources. It is apparently the Presidential State Council established by Putin about a year after he was elected in 1999.) Funded by Iraqi bribe money, Putin has used the Council to bring pressure on regional officials to surrender power to the Kremlin. This is part and parcel of Putin's anti-democracy campaign that saw ballot alterations and pressure on media in the 2003 Duma election, increased Putin's control of the judiciary, and may yet end the direct election of regional governments.

The RPC apparently began receiving oil allocations at the behest of Aleksandr Stalevitch Voloshin, who is credited with a large role in Putin's rise to power. Voloshin ran Putin's first presidential campaign, helped create the "Unity Party" and -- as the PSI report says -- has been described as "a guide for those who needed things 'fixed' at the Kremlin." According to one source PSI quotes, "the Putin-Voloshin link is the strongest link in the [Russian] political game." Voloshin, himself a recipient of oil allocations, sent a friend, Sergei Isaakov, to Iraq to sign many of the oil allocation contracts for the Russian Presidential Council.

According to the PSI report on the Russian Presidential Council, the RPC received oil allocations amounting to 90 million barrels. These allocations were passed through Russian government intermediaries (strawman companies appointed and apparently controlled by the RPC) and sold through the Texas oil trader Bayoil. Bayoil, in turn, paid commissions to the Russian government middlemen which amounted to millions of dollars. In just the period of August through October 2000, Bayoil paid $1.9 million to two named strawman companies, "Haverhill" and "Rusnaftaimpex" on oil allocations to the Russian Presidential Council. On one allocation contract, PSI estimates the payments to RPC -- aside from what was paid to the strawmen -- amounted to about $850,000. Multiplied over the 90 million barrels, the profits to Putin's political machine could easily amount to tens of millions of dollars.

The Senate PSI will hold hearings on these reports tomorrow, and more and more details of how Saddam's bought Russians served him in the UN will come out. PSI's investigation will continue and -- because Coleman and Levin won't let this go -- will penetrate deeper and deeper into the swamp of Oil for Food. And while they do, the UN remains adamant in its coverup of the scandal. It's still business as usual in Turtle Bay. Even on the most important issue we face today.

WHILE OIL FOR FOOD GRABS the headlines, the Iran nuclear problem festers. The EU-3 are about to be forced to admit the utter demolition of their diplomacy by the Iranian mullahs. The negotiations have come to naught, and the Iranians are threatening to resume the enrichment of uranium (which they probably never stopped) if the Eunuchs don't cave in. Thankfully, Britain is on the brink of agreeing with us to demand that Iran be brought before the UN Security Council for sanctions. British realism, albeit a little late, is welcome. But shall we trust the UN with the most urgent threat to our security, knowing the Security Council's members are for sale?

Some say Iran will be able to manufacture nuclear warheads in six months. Others say two years. In short, we have no damned idea when the mullahs will be armed with nukes, but we do know that a nuclear Iran is a risk the civilized world can't take. We know the only thing the UN will do is debate and delay. It is incapable of decision or action. There will be demands for inspections, and arguments about how they shall be done. Iran will go back and forth, cooperating and refusing, standing on its "rights" as a sovereign nation, a UN member in good standing. The debate will end when Iran announces its nuclear arsenal. Why should the UN debate further, mon ami? The game, she is over, yes?

Not So Hot After All

There are a couple of good articles over at Tech Central Station about climate change. They are both worth reading.

The first article is by Dr. Robert Davis and discusses our lack of understanding about what a ``normal`` weather pattern is and our lack of long-term knowledge about climactic cyclical patterns.

The second article by Emeritus Professor Garth Paltridge, discusses complex climate modeling, and shows why the Global Warming crowd continue to come up with the same results. (Because they keep using each-others models as jumping off points rather than working up new ones.) This article is a bit dry, but well worth reading if you want to understand what is happening.

The days of the Global Warming scare are numbered. Science is progressing, and everything the Doomsdayers have been claiming is turning out incorrect. By 2020 Global Warming will be looked at like the ice-age scare of the 1970`s; a bit of hysterical silliness. (Of course, the left will find something new to fret over and demand draconian action-perhaps they`ll claim that microwave ovens are causing mutations, turning our tapioca into biological hazards?)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Harry Reiding

I was over at Ultima Thule and was reading a post about Harry Reid when I was overcome by inspiration:

Scary Harry, quite contrary,
how does your Party grow?
With sleaze that sells, and rotten smells
and filibusters of our foe.

Friday, May 13, 2005

U.N. or You Out?

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If anyone still harbors the illusion that the United Nations is not hostile to capitalism and private ownership, read this article in the U.N. News Service. Why do we continue to support this anti-American body?

The U.N. has shown itself to be a corrupt, pro-socialist, anti-freedom body repeatedly, yet we continue to support it financially and diplomatically. John Kerry wanted our foreign policy to be based on U.N. acquiescence. The U.N. tries to push Kyoto on us, coddles tyrants and human rights abusers, rapes women in Africa, steals millions from the Iraqi people, all the while condemning the United States for ``unilateralism``. It`s time for Koffi and company to pack their bags, and sail out of New York Harbor with their ill-gotten gain. U.N.-it`s time to get out! We need John Bolton!

A Knife in the Back

The Washington Times is reporting that the Border Patrol was ordered to stop making arrests along the stretch where the Minutemen patrolled. If true, President Bush has a lot of explaining to do.

Border Patrol told to stand down in Arizona

By Jerry Seper

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.
More than a dozen agents, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at the Naco, Ariz., station made it clear that arrests were "not to go up" along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration.

"It was clear to everyone here what was being said and why," said one veteran agent. "The apprehensions were not to increase after the Minuteman volunteers left. It was as simple as that."
Another agent said the Naco supervisors "were clear in their intention" to keep new arrests to an "absolute minimum" to offset the effect of the Minuteman vigil, adding that patrols along the border have been severely limited.
Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar at the agency's Washington headquarters called the accusations "outright wrong," saying that supervisors at the Naco station had not blocked agents from making arrests and that the station's 350 agents were being "supported in carrying out" their duties.
"Border Patrol agents are the front line of defense against terrorism," Chief Aguilar said, adding that the 11,000 agents nationwide are "meeting that challenge, head-on ... as daunting a task as that may sound."
The chief -- a former head of the agency's Tucson sector, which includes the Naco station -- said that with the world watching the Arizona border because of the Minuteman Project, agents in Naco "demonstrated flexibility and resilience in carrying out their critical homeland security duties and responsibilities."
But Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, yesterday said "credible sources" within the Border Patrol also had told him of the decision by Naco supervisors to keep new arrests to a minimum, saying he was angry but not surprised.
"It's like telling a cop to stand by and watch burglars loot a store but don't arrest any of them," he said. "This is another example of decisions being made at the highest levels of the Border Patrol that are hurting morale and helping to rot the agency from within.
"I worry about our efforts in Congress to increase the number of agents," he said. "Based on these kinds of orders, we could spend the equivalent of the national debt and never have secure borders."
Mr. Tancredo, chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, blamed the Bush administration for setting an immigration enforcement tone that suggests to those enforcing the law that he is not serious about secure borders.
"We need to get the president to come to grips with the seriousness of the problem," he said. "I know he doesn't like to utter the words, 'I was wrong,' but if we have another incident like September 11 by people who came through our borders without permission, I hope he doesn't have to say 'I'm sorry.' "
During the Minuteman vigil, Border Patrol supervisors in Arizona discounted their efforts, saying a drop in apprehensions during their protest was because of the Mexican government's deployment of military and police south of the targeted area and a new federal program known as the Arizona Border Control Initiative that brought manpower increases to the state.
The Naco supervisors blamed the volunteers for unnecessarily tripping sensors, disturbing draglines and interfering with the normal operations of the agents. They said that their impact on illegals was "negligible" and that civilians should leave immigration enforcement "to the professionals."
Several field agents credited the volunteers with cutting the flow of illegal aliens in the targeted Naco area, saying the number of apprehended illegals dropped from an average of 500 a day to less than 15 a day.
More than 850 volunteers, in a protest of the lax immigration enforcement policies of the White House and Congress, sought to reduce the flow of illegal aliens along a popular immigration corridor on the Arizona-Mexico border near Naco by reporting illegals to the Border Patrol as they crossed into the United States.
Their goal was to show that increased manpower on the border would effectively deter illegal immigration. Organizers said the protest resulted in Border Patrol arrests of 349 illegal aliens.
Area residents, in a half-page ad in the Sunday edition of the Sierra Vista Herald, told the volunteers: "Thanks for doing what our government won't -- close the border to illegal aliens. It was the quietest month we've had in many years ... You made us feel safe because the border was closed.


The President is going to shatter the Republican Coalition with this issue. He is not serving our Country by ignoring a porous border, he is not serving those who elected him, he is not discharging his duties to the Constitution. If the average, illiterate Mexican migrant can figure out how to enter the United States illegally, doesn`t it occur to President Bush that Al Quada can figure this out also?

Here we have concerned citizens voluntarily patrolling on their own free time, and the Government knifes their efforts in the back! The Minutemen are there only because YOU, President Bush, have failed to discharge your duties! YOU are responsible for keeping the borders secure. You have not done so. Your policies are seriously hurting the nation, and are responsible for an acceleration of Illegals breaking the law. You are the chief law enforcement officer. Do you realize you could be impeached for this? (Not that it WOULD happen, but dereliction of duty is grounds for impeachment.) At the very least, you are going to cost your party in the next elections. Wake up!

Impeachment is something to be taken seriously; if the Democrats could retake Congress they will almost certainly consider ways to impeach the President. This issue is tailor made for Impeachment. If they can show that the President knowingly ordered a stand-down at the border, they would clearly have grounds to bring charges. It is even possible to Impeach the President after he leaves office to disgrace his Party and hold his pension. President Bush had better consider what he is doing.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Waaah! I want an A

An interesting post by Craig Willms over at Static Noise about the follies of emotion based education. Check it out.

Cover the Uninsured Week

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David Hogberg has a piece at NRO discussing ``Cover the Uninsured Week``. It puts the whole government-run health care argument in perspective. Check it out.

They call this ``Cover the Uninsured Week``. Fine. If we get the Hillary Care our dear, kindhearted liberal friends advocate, we will have many patients dying needlessly because they can`t get in for life-saving treatments in time, thanks to the inevitable rationing which will follow. Will those who hosted the ``Cover the Uninsured Week`` then host a ``Cover the Dead Week``?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Checking For A Pulse

John Derbyshire, writing in the National Review, has a depressing piece on the health of Conservativism. I may not agree entirely, but I have to admit I fear the rosy glow of health may be the mortician`s wax! (At the very least, we are not as strong as we think we are-read my American Thinker column The Hydra Lives.)

We have to understand that Liberalism takes the long view, and they are content to ride out the storms of Conservativism with patience. They have accomplished so much over the Centuries and they can afford to wait a few decades before resuming their efforts toward what they see as the inevitable. We don`t look at it that way; we see our battles in years, not decades. We plan for the next election, the next issue, the next social cause. Liberals will fight us on all of these, but they look to the horizon. We have waited too long. We are going to have to fight this war for a long time because what we must change is a fundamental worldview which is now inculcated in the minds and hearts of all the peoples of the Earth. Liberalism HAS won, in so many ways. We have to fight the whole war over again. I fear that too many on our side don`t understand this, and don`t have the patience.

Now, having ruined everybody`s day, let me state unequivocally that we CAN win, if we are prepared to keep on keeping on. If they could do it, we can also! It will, however, be a long, hard slog.

Monday, May 09, 2005


This town will probably be placing a large order for Mexican hand cream.

The Krugman Follies

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``Hell hath no fury like a scammer foiled. The card shark caught marking the deck, the auto dealer caught resetting a used car's odometer, is rarely contrite. On the contrary, they're usually angry, and they lash out at their intended marks, crying hypocrisy.``

Who said this? Tom Delay? Rush Limbaugh? Phyllis Schlafley? Was this remark about Hillary Clinton? Bill? Ted Kennedy? Maybe Al Gore?

Nope and nope. This is how that king of hypocrisy, Paul Krookman, er, Krugman begins his latest column bashing those who seek to save Social Security. To quote the Bard ``Me thinks he doth protest too much!`` I think he (and the other hacks at the New Pork Times) must be writing in a hall of mirrors.

``If the plan really would do that, it would be worth discussing. It's possible - not certain, but possible - that 40 or 50 years from now Social Security won't have enough money coming in to pay full benefits. (If the economy grows as fast over the next 50 years as it did over the past half-century, Social Security will do just fine.) So there's a case for making small sacrifices now to avoid bigger sacrifices later.

But Mr. Bush isn't calling for small sacrifices now. Instead, he's calling for zero sacrifice now, but big benefit cuts decades from now - which is exactly what he says will happen if we do nothing. Let me repeat that: to avert the danger of future cuts in benefits, Mr. Bush wants us to commit now to, um, future cuts in benefits.
This accomplishes nothing, except, possibly, to ensure that benefit cuts take place even if they aren't necessary.``

Is that so, Mr. Krugman? Douglas Holtz-Eakin, director of the CBO would disagree:

``By about 2020, Social Security will no longer be contributing any surpluses to the total budget, and after that, it will be drawing funds from the rest of the budget to make up the difference between the benefits promised and payable under current law and the system's revenues. Policymakers will have only three ways to make up for the declining Social Security surpluses and emerging Social Security deficits: reduce spending, raise taxes, or borrow more.

The Social Security actuaries project that in 2018, benefit payments will begin to exceed the combination of payroll tax revenues and the funds that Social Security receives from the taxation of a portion of the Social Security benefits received by higher-income beneficiaries. This is the least significant of the three dates because total Trust Fund income -- which also includes the interest earnings that the Social Security Trust Fund receives on the Treasury bonds it holds -- will continue to exceed benefit payments for a number of years after 2018....[the] most significant date is the year in which the Social Security Trust Fund reserves will be exhausted. After that, the only income to the Trust Fund will be payroll tax revenue and revenues from the partial taxation of Social Security benefits, and annual revenues will not be sufficient to pay full benefits. As noted, the trustees project this year to be 2042.

Social Security will soon begin to create problems for the rest of the budget. Right now, Social Security surpluses are still growing and contributing increasing amounts to the rest of the budget. But...those surpluses will begin to shrink shortly after 2008, when the baby boomers start to become eligible for early retirement benefits. As the rest of the budget receives declining amounts of funding from Social Security, the government will face a period of increasing budgetary stringency.``

Krugman harps ad-nauseum on the unfairness of the Bush plan, as he sees it. His argument is that those making $60,000/year are being cheated because the WEALTHY don`t really need the money. This borders on Marxism; from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. (Krugman`s marxist tendencies should come as no surprise to anyone.) He whines that those making under $20,000 didn`t get a sizable tax cut (he completely ignores the fact that tax cuts are for tax payers) and tries to tie these two issues together because he wants tax increases. He is afraid to come right out and say this, so he works his way in through the backdoor.

``I'm not being unfair. In fact, I've weighted the scales heavily in Mr. Bush's favor, because the tax cuts will cost much more than the benefit cuts would save.``

Here Krugman shows his complete lack of economic understanding. He considers tax cuts simply lost revenue. He doesn`t understand that Bush`s tax cut plan grows the economy (a point he shamelessly uses as an excuse not to act on Social Security reform, then discards when it suits him.) David Hogberg demolishes this particular theory in an article in the American Spectator Online.

The fact is, we will have to invest $3.7 trillion right now to make the system solvent.
In 75 years if we fail to act, the shortfall will be twenty six trillion dollars according to Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute! This is an incomprehensible number! If Krugman thinks getting rid of the Bush tax cut (and the subsequent slowing of economic growth accompanying such a tax increase) will solve the problem-he`s completely off his rocker. Oh, and Professor Krugman, did you realize that there is no social security ``trust fund``. There are a collection of I.O.U.`s which will have to be redeemed via government bonds-which will have to be paid off with interest.

``Sorry, but no. Mr. Bush likes to play dress-up, but his Robin Hood costume just doesn't fit.``

Neither does your Nero costume, Paul! Who is the scammer, and why are you so angry?

David Hogberg has written a series of definitive articles on this issue (I had hoped to see him roll up his sleeves and punch the lights of of old Kru, but since he didn`t I figured I could do it for him using his own previous works as my sources.) Go here and browse through his articles; he lays it all out brilliantly!

Syria Shows Her Cards

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This story in the Washington Times proves that Syria is trying to destabilize Iraq. We simply cannot tolerate this any longer; Syria is one of the main havens for international terrorism, and President Bush needs to deal with it now. How can Iraq become a stable Democracy while foreign terrorists filter into the country for Jihad? Consider what happened to Lebanon. Lebanon was in far better shape from an historical and social perspective than Iraq, yet it collapsed in the `80`s thanks to Syria and their terrorist-thugs, as well as the gratitude of the Palestinian refugees. How can Iraq, which has never had a western-style democratic system, succeed while being molested by the forces of Jihad?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Pirates of the Mediterranean

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There is an article in Tech Central Station giving a brief discussion to the Tripolitan War, or the War of the Barbary Pirates. This oft-forgotten first American foreign war is important to us because it shows how we dealt with an Arab threat, and shows how the Europeans dealt with (or failed to deal with) the same threat. Because of our bold and decisive action the Arab pirates never bothered us again. We should take a page from this piece of history.

Every generation thinks that their problems are new, and so we are eternally reinventing the wheel. The fact is, what we are facing in our current, misnamed War on Terror is pretty much the same thing our Forefathers fought and defeated. Arab princes were financing pirates to prey on merchant vessels, often kidnapping and enslaving crew members. Europe, in what was to prove to be their only way of dealing with Arab aggression, gave in and paid whatever protection money the princes required of them. We decided we were not going to be blackmailed, and we went to war. We knew the pirates received financing and support from Tripoli, so we launched a blockade and eventually invaded Tripoli harbor. The pirates could not flourish without State support, and the War ended in victory for the United States.

This should be our model for the Terror War. These terrorists succeed because of state sponsorship. They are powerless without money, without equipment, without places of refuge and training centers. They require a sanctuary. As long as they have this sanctuary, they will continue to regroup and counter-attack. The way to handle the terrorism problem is the way we handled Tripoli; go after them. Police actions and terrorist sweeps are fine, but the War requires destroying the sources of infection-and that means Syria and Iran. We will never be safe as long as these two terror masters continue to operate unmolested.

We have become bogged down in recent days trying to pacify Iraq. This is a serious mistake; Iran has been aiding and abetting the insurgents in Iraq, and we won`t make any headway until we deal with Iran. The Iranians know this; that is why they are desperately trying to stave off an American attack until they can produce a working atomic bomb. Once they go nuclear we will be faced with a terrible dilemma; face the world`s second atomic war or let Iran continue to peddle their death. The second option really is no option because these nuclear weapons will not stay in Iran. We will be in dire trouble if Iran goes nuclear. The time has come to take a page from history.

When we first went into Iraq we were positioned to implement the Contra Solution; we could have begun funneling the means for revolution into Iran and MADE an Orange Revolution there. Unfortunately, President Bush and his advisors thought they could deal with Iran diplomatically while trying to pacify Iraq. It was a miserable policy; Syria and Iran continued to attempt to destabilize Iraq, and thus the process of reconstruction has been much longer and harder than anyone thought. Had we taken the high ground and destabilized Iran, the insurrection would be finished by now. Instead, we are facing our worst fear-a nuclear Iran.

Stephen Decatur, where are you when we need you?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Caesar`s Bath And Laundry

``Behold, the Caesar's Bath meme! List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), "Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice."

It looks like I`ve gotten doused with Caesar`s Bathwater (courtesy of John Tabin) and am now on the hook to produce five ho-hum- I really don`t care that much- things to keep from dying at The Palace (``when you die at Caesar`s Palace you really die at Caesar`s Palace``) This must be the process Jerry Seinfeld uses to work his material up (what is it with...fill in the blank!) I might add, I could use Seinfeld as one of my five, but he`s past his peak, so...

1. Starbucks:
What is it about Starbucks? The coffee is good, but I don`t think it exceptional. I`ve certainly
had better, and most high-end coffee houses are at least as good. My wife bought me a membership in a coffee club which put Starbucks to shame! I think It is the product of Liberal hype; all of those trendy lefties in Seattle sipping their Venti Mocha Lattes while plotting their next attack on international trade conferences. For the rest of us-Yawn!

2. Survivor:
I will never understand the popularity of Survivor. You take a bunch of people, deny them basic hygene products, then shoot a television series about these dirty, sweaty people playing silly games which have nothing to do with anything. It doesn`t even have the decency to be about who survives better because you get VOTED off the show by your peers! It should be called ``sweaty, non-hygenic office politics``. That`s what it reminds me of, anyway! (I wish we could put Caesar`s tub on the island!) I`ve got nothing against the show, but I can`t see why it`s so popular (people were bidding on Ebay for the parasites dug out of that girls leg on the first show!) As I see it, Survivor is American silliness. If you really want a ``survivor`` show, the producers ought to strand them on the island (no teams) and throw a couple of cans of food out and see who ends up with the food! That would be Survivor! (As things stand, I really wish the producers would at least throw these people a couple of bars of soap, and maybe some toothpaste!)

3. Televised Poker Tournaments:
If I wanted to watch a bunch of bored, emotionless people staring at each-other, I`d turn on CNN.

4. Country Music:
Go buy a new dog, and get a girlfriend already! Stop whining!

5. The Olympics:
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! (I have to confess; my lifelong dream has been to extinguish that stupid torch en-route to the Games! Whenever it comes through Missouri I plot my attack! I know it`ll never happen but, hey, a fella can dream, can`t he?)

It`s hard to come up with five things that you don`t truly despise, just aren`t thrilled with (the Olympics was a bit of a fudge for me.) I thought about things like Light Beer (the root of all evil) or the game Washers (why must we drag that snoozer out at every barbeque and picnic?) but decided they didn`t quite make the it.

Anyway, It`s time for me to pass on the torch! I`m supposed to send this to three other honest bloggers who also don`t have time for such nonsense. I`m thinking Aussiegirl, Todd Lindsay , and Thomas Willms. (If anybody else wants me to send it to you, let me know. I see no reason why I can`t send it to more than three.)

I thought I`d end this on a philosophical note, with a deep thought from the movie:

Caesar`s aid: ``Remember thou art mortal!``
Caesar`s general: ``Oh blow it out your...!``

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Blessings On America

"Since our Nation's earliest days, prayer has given strength and comfort to Americans of all faiths. Our Founding Fathers relied on their faith to guide them as they built our democracy. Today, we continue to be inspired by God's blessings, mercy, and boundless love. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we humbly acknowledge our reliance on the Almighty, express our gratitude for His blessings, and seek His guidance in our daily lives. Throughout our history, our Nation has turned to prayer for strength and guidance in times of challenge and uncertainty. ... Across our country, Americans turn daily to God in reverence. We ask Him to care for all those who suffer or feel helpless, knowing that God sees their needs and calls on us to meet them. As our first President wrote in 1790, 'May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths.' As we face the challenges of our times, God's purpose continues to guide us, and we continue to trust in the goodness of His plans." --President George W. Bush

Isn`t it odd that people care so much for their bodies-they exercise, watch their diets, don`t smoke, etc. in an effort to live as long as possible. Yet so few concern themselves with their souls (you aren`t going to live forever in your body, but you will in your soul!) Most people worry about the physical necessities of life, as well as their comfort and entertainment, but are unwilling to devote as much as an hour a week to the Permanent Things. Most of these people believe in God, but they act as if He isn`t REALLY around. They demand that He be kicked out of schools, kicked out of Government, kicked out of any aspect of public life. Then they wonder why schools are falling apart, Government is corrupt, the public character of America is degenerate. Why is God abandoning us, they cry! It should be no mystery; why SHOULDN`T God abandon us, if we abandon Him first?

Do you want to know what made America great? It wasn`t our natural resources (Russia certainly has as much, as do many African nations and Argentina) nor our geography (Argentina has very similar geography) nor even our system of governance (many other nations tried to establish a system similar to ours, but were unable to come to a political consensus to make it work.) What made America great was faith. The original colonies were chock full of ``holy rollers`` who left England (or other parts of Europe) for the freedom to worship (not the freedom FROM worship) and they established a moral, prayerful nation. Their attitudes were shaped by the Bible, and as a result they respected their neighbors opinions, they respected their property, they respected the law and custom, they saw wealth and privilege as a means and not an end in itself. For this, God showered America with blessing; liberty, wealth, power, influence. These temporal blessings all stem from a prayerful, spiritual approach to life.

Which is what makes the secularists so dangerous. They want God out, claiming He is superstitious nonsense and that we should be free from God in our lives. Even an atheist should be able to see that a religious spirit brings forth a bounty to the Nation through natural mechanisms. An honest atheist should want to educate, but not use the force of law to eradicate. The fervor with which the anti-God forces battle speaks volumes about their ultimate origins and aims; they are not so much against the idea of God, they are against God Himself. They bear Him a grudge.

That is why the National Day of Prayer is such an important thing; we need to refresh our national Spirit and renew our vows to the Creator. Abraham Lincoln called on the Nation to repent during the Civil War, declaring a day of atonement. In this light, we have established the National Day of Prayer. This is more important than the secular holidays we celebrate; they are about the ephemeral world of the physical. This is about those things which are permanent.

God bless America!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Mexican Moisturizer

Just one more reason to support the Minutemen and demand the border be closed with Mexico. (I can`t resist; it gives a whole new perspective on the term ``minutemen``.)

Hat tip to BobG at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia for this nasty little pearl.

On the Precipice

Isn`t it about time for President Bush to act?

This from the Daily Times:

R E G I O N: Nuclear fuel deal with Russia imminent: Iran
* Tehran warns of immediate payback for any attack after blast scareTEHRAN: Russia will sign a deal with Iran next week to start nuclear fuel shipments for the Russian-built reactor there, an Iranian official said on Thursday. The United States, which accuses Iran of secretly working to develop nuclear weapons, has long called on Russia to avoid supplying the Islamic state with nuclear fuel. “A fuel deal for the Bushehr nuclear power plant will be signed on February 26,” Assadollah Sabouri, deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, told state television. The comments indicated that the two countries had settled disagreements over the terms of their accord after years of negotiations. Oil-rich Iran denies that it is developing nuclear arms and says its programme is solely for generating electricity. Israel said on Wednesday that Iran was just six months away from having the knowledge to build nuclear weapons. Sabouri said Alexander Rumyantsev, the head of Russia’s Atomic Energy Agency, would travel to Iran to sign the deal. A source at the agency said this month that the first fuel containers would be supplied about two months after the signing. The 1,000-megawatt Bushehr reactor, Iran’s only nuclear power plant, is due to start up in late 2005 and reach full capacity in 2006. Spent fuel will be sent back to Siberian storage units after about a decade of use - a condition Russia thinks should allay US concerns that Iran could use the material to make weapons. The European Union, represented by France, Britain and Germany, has been trying to persuade Iran to scrap potentially weapons-related activities in return for economic incentives. But Iran has repeatedly said it will never permanently end its disputed nuclear activities. Immediate payback: Iran warned that it would respond immediately to any military strike after a roadworks blast near a nuclear site sparked fears of an attack, the state news agency IRNA reported Thursday.“An attack, whatever it is, against any site, whether it be nuclear or not, would produce a very rapid response,” Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani said.“The Iranian nation would not yet have even been informed of an attack against a site, nuclear or not, before learning of our decisive reaction.” A big explosion near Iran’s Gulf port of Daylam on Wednesday raised speculation of military activity when local Arabic-language television said witnesses reported seeing a missile being fired from an unidentified plane.But a senior security official insisted there was no hostile strike, just major earthworks in an largely uninhabited area in the south of the country. The blast was located near Daylam, about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Bushehr, where a controversial nuclear power plant is being built with Russian help.“Nothing happened in the region” of Bushehr, insisted Shamkhani, accusing the media of exaggeration.Iranian officials have charged that the reports carried by the foreign media were part of a “psychological war being waged by the United States against Iran”.The administration of US President George W Bush has warned of possible military action over Iran’s nuclear activities, charging that its efforts to develop nuclear fuel are a cover for an atomic weapons programme. US media reports have said the United States has been flying drones over Iran since April 2004, seeking evidence of nuclear weapons work and probing for weaknesses in Iran’s air defences. agencies

Democrats Meet At MIT

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It looks like the left is still looking for someone to save their party! Maybe Al Gore will show up.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Willms on the Minutemen

Thomas Willms over at Twisted Steel has some outstanding observations about the Minuteman program. Everyone needs to check this out!

Putin Up With Him

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The Israelis had the honor of hosting our old chum Prince Putin recently, and Putin promises that the nuclear facilities the Russians are building for Iran are only for peaceful purposes. Gee, I`m glad he cleared up that little misunderstanding! Also, he tried to calm Israeli fears of the missiles he just sold to Israel`s great enemy Syria. I suppose those are for peaceful purposes too, dah comrad?

Russia is a loose cannon, and we just can`t keep Putin up with it!

Jed Babbin at the American Spectator Online has a good commentary in the American Spectator Online about this very thing. He shows Old Put for what he is, and what he`s been doing. It`s a must-read!

Nuke `Em

This essay was in the Federalist Patriot, and it makes a better case than any I`ve come across:

The Democrats are indeed full of bluster, but the current debate over their obstruction of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees is no trivial matter. This debate is not about a "looming Constitutional crisis" -- we are in the midst of perhaps the most serious Constitutional crisis since the War Between the States.
For months now, Demo-gogues Harry Reid, Teddy Kennedy, Bobby Byrd, et al., with the help of their Leftmedia minions, have railed against any potential change of Senate procedure. Specifically, they object to a Republican proposal to end judicial filibustering, which, for the first time ever, is being used by the Demos to obstruct the prescribed constitutional process for reviewing judicial nominees.
Historically, Senate rules allowed for unlimited debate (filibuster) until 1917, when the rules were changed to allow a two-thirds vote (67 senators) to close debate and call for a vote. In 1975, the rules were changed to allow 60 senators to invoke cloture. At that time, Ted Kennedy said, "Again and again in recent years, the filibuster has been the shame of the Senate and the last resort of special-interest groups. Too often, it has enabled a small minority of the Senate to prevent a strong majority from working its will and serving the public interest."
Indeed, regarding judicial nominees, "a small minority of the Senate" is preventing the "majority from working its will and serving the public interest" by preventing judicial nominees from receiving their constitutionally-mandated full Senate vote.
More recently, when Democrats still held a Senate majority, two of today's principal obstructionists spoke strongly against judicial filibusters. Said Vermont's Patrick Leahy, "I have stated over and over again on this [Senate] floor that I would...object and fight against any filibuster on a judge." Delaware's Joe Biden added, "[E]veryone who is nominated is have a hearing and to...have a vote on the floor. It is not...appropriate...not to bring them to the floor and not to allow a vote."
But that was then.
Now, Kennedy, Leahy, Biden and company are holding hostage a third of President George Bush's appellate-court nominees, preventing them from receiving an up-or-down confirmation vote in the full Senate.
The Demos assert that they are "protecting" the nation from radical judges who would do harm to our Constitution. Reid blusters, "The President is at it again with the extremist judges." Kennedy bloats, "[I will] resist any Neanderthal that is nominated by this president...for any federal court."
"My goal is to have fair up-and-down votes," responds Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "Are we going to shift from that principle? The answer to that is no. ... All judicial and Supreme Court nominees deserve a fair up-or-down vote."
So, what's really going on?
Demos insist that preservation of the Constitution is at the center of this heated debate. They are, inadvertently, correct, except -- and it's a colossal exception -- that their plan for constitutional preservation is based on seating judges who "interpret" the Constitution and legislate by judicial diktat. Or, in the words of the august Sen. Sam Ervin, judges who "interpret the Constitution to mean what it would have said if they, instead of the Founding Fathers, had written it."
Indeed, the preservation of our Constitution -- and the fate of our Republic -- hangs in the balance. The window for correcting decades of judicial mischief is closing.
Plainly, the Constitution declares (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2) that executive-branch appointments be subject to confirmation by the full Senate and that such consideration not be obstructed by a handful of ultra-partisans. However, Senate Democrats are dead-set on blocking the President's appellate-court nominations, because they know the real locus of central-government power resides on the federal bench with their cadre of judicial activists.
On the other hand, most of President Bush's nominees are constitutional constructionists -- those who issue rulings based on the letter of constitutional law as intended by our Founders, rather than interpreting it according to their constituent agenda -- and seating such nominees threatens to loosen the Democrats' stranglehold on our Constitution.
The Federalist Papers constitute the definitive explication of the Founders' "Original Intent" regarding our Constitution. In Federalist No. 32, Alexander Hamilton writes on the subject of constitutional interpretation, "[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution."
In Federalist No. 45, the author of our Constitution, James Madison, writes about the limits of constitutional authority: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State."
Hamilton and Madison clearly reveal the scope of our Constitution and its proscription on judicial interpretation. For decades, however, Democrats like Kennedy have seen to it that the federal bench is stacked with judicial activists who will "interpret" the Constitution on behalf of their constituent agendas, thus ensuring that those constituents will re-elect their political patriarchs in perpetuity.
Therein resides the greatest threat to our constitutional republic.
As Thomas Jefferson warned: "The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch. ... The Constitution on this hypothesis is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please."
The final arbiter of constitutional law is the Supreme Court, and that body of jurists is one seat away from becoming the ultimate protectorate of the "despotic branch."
The Demos, of course, know that Mr. Bush's appellate-court judges will compose the A-list from which he'll nominate one or two Supreme Court justices before the end of his term. That is especially true of the DC Circuit Court from which Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg hail, and to which California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown was recently nominated.
This is precisely why the Demos' denial of full Senate consideration to constitutional constructionists such as Judge Brown, Priscilla Owen and Miguel Estrada is so important: The Demos simply can't stomach judges who will abide by their oath to "Support and defend the Constitution of the United States" -- "Neanderthals," as Kennedy calls them.
Of the Democrats' effort to block these and other Bush nominees, Justice Antonin Scalia concludes, "As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to 'do what the people want,' instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically."
The Republican leadership has two options: Bow to the Demo filibuster and abandon these decent and well-qualified judges, or amend the rules for considering judicial nominees only and allow a simple-majority vote to enforce cloture. In the event there are not enough Republican senators with the spine to support the latter option, Majority Leader Frist may call in Vice President Cheney, in his constitutional role as presiding officer of the Senate, to rule that a constitutionally mandated process may not be obstructed by filibuster.
Mr. Cheney has pledged to cast the deciding vote if the Senate is deadlocked, noting, "On the merits, this should not be a difficult call to make. The [filibuster] tactics of the last few years, I believe, are inexcusable."
Enough already! Senator Frist, if need be, you must exercise the aforementioned Constitutional Option. The future of the Republic is in your hands. If necessary, "Nuke 'em"!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Island of Doctor Moreau

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This story in Yahoo details what has been a growing trend; the mixing of genetic material between species. In the past, we have used animals for medical purposes; pigs and sheep produce insulin, we have transplanted heart valves and other minor organs from animals into people, we have even transplanted baboon hearts into people as a stop-gap measure to keep them alive. These have been, by and large, reasonable and relatively safe endeavors. They have been strictly physical manipulations. What we are now witnessing, however, is something very different; the infusion of human genetic material into animals.

The potential medical benefits from doing this are great, but is it worth the risk? This article sights a concern by some scientists:

``Particularly worrisome to some scientists are the nightmare scenarios that could arise
from the mixing of brain cells: What if a human mind somehow got trapped inside
a sheep's head?
The "idea that human neuronal cells might participate in 'higher order' brain
functions in a nonhuman animal, however unlikely that may be, raises concerns
that need to be considered," the academies report warned.``

I find this highly improbable. The human brain is enormously complex and requires the proper conditions for it to form properly; an animal body is simply not the proper environment for the brain to develope. (Furthermore, a sheep has no soul,) I, for one, am not going to lose any sleep over this particular nightmare. I have a worse one.

Question: why do most animals reproduce through sex? Because all higher order life on Earth has been engaged in an endless battle against microorganisms. These microorganisms adapt and evolve to prey on the genetic code of larger creatures, and they quickly ``learn`` the genetic template of their prey. Larger life forms have to continually remix their genetic code to stay one step ahead of these microorganisms. By reproducing sexually, children wind up with a new molecular variation which the microorganisms then have to adapt themselves to if they are to thrive. In short, sex is healthy for your offspring.

So, where`s the problem? Every species on Earth has a plethora of microorganisms which have specialized in parasiting and infecting that particular species. There are many, many diseases which are incapable of jumping species. (How`s your case of wheat rust coming, Billy?) By mixing our genes with animal genes, we are offering these heretofore benign diseases the chance to mutate into something that can attack mankind. Since the microorganisms are being introduced to human genetic material mixed with their favorite foods, they are going to be able to acquire a taste, shall we say, for the human genome. I fear we may create the Last Plague.

This biological alchemy is the penultimate hubris; we are ignorantly opening Pandoras box, having no idea what may be inside while believing we are shielded by our divine wisdom. The problem is that the potential benefits are so great that we simply can`t help ourselves. I understand, and I sympathize. I am a great believer in science, and I believe we should explore the double helix for the betterment of ourselves and posterity. I fear, however, that we are too smart for our own good, and our sophomoric efforts could cost us dearly. We need to be very, very careful.

What we are doing is dismantling the fundamental safeguards of life, and I fear a retribution of horrific proportions. Call it Divine Judgement, Karma, or evolution in action. Few species are interfertile. Donkeys and horses can mate (producing a sterile hybrid) and there are a few other instances of animal hybridization. Mostly, we can`t blend genetic material naturally. God made our world this way (or Nature, if you are agnostic) and our meddling with these fundamentals is dangerous.

In H. G. Wells` novel The Island of Doctor Moreau, the title character engages in just this behavior, with disasterous results. These geneticists should reread their Wells.

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