A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, July 31, 2006

Spring Thaw on Pluto

As if messing up the Earth was not enough for Exxon-Mobile and Dick Cheney, their rape of Mother Nature has triggered Global Warming on Pluto! That vagabond of the inner-system/Kuiper Belt cusp seems to be, against all theory, enjoying a spring thaw without any anthropogenic CO2 emissions whatsoever.

Could it have something to do with, oh, I don`t know, the SUN?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Statistical Sampling and Climate Change

One of the tricks employed by Global Warming types (and, indeed, by lefties in general) is to take data sets and point to record-breaking numbers to ``prove`` their particular view is correct. We`ve all heard the panic-cry of the media ``hottest year on record``, ``worst storm on record``, ``record high for this day`` etc. Every time a statistical high (or low) occurs we are told it is proof-positive that Anthropogenic Global Warming is occurring, and will devour us if we don`t euthanize 75% of the population,completely dismantle the military/industrial complex, and shoot Dick Cheney. (Of course, this same reasoning can applied to numerous other causes near and dear to liberal hearts; Dioxin scares, violence against women scares, amateur abortions by teen mothers, etc. etc.)

Of course, this completely disregards the nature of statistical sampling; you are going to have more records when you continually increase your sample pool. With more teen girls getting pregnant you`ll have more back-alley abortions (despite abortion being legal), you`ll have more violence against women if there are more woman now than 50 years ago, you`ll have more cancer in a larger population which can be blamed on dioxin, or DDT, or what have you, and you`ll have more record high temperatures as you continue to add years on top of each-other.

Here is a terrific analysis of this phenomenon; the author illustrates the mechanism as it relates to Academia, and explains why GW (or Darwinism, or Keynesian economics, or what-have-you) flourishes at the University level despite any real evidence.

The irritating thing about the GW record-scares is that they often don`t even claim records, but will breathlessly inform us that this is the hottest it`s been since 1938 or some such, as though a 68 year record high is something that should frighten us! The basic assumption (or the assumption that the Global Warming Harpie wants us to have) is that the last twenty years is somehow unique, and that what occurred through the Billions of years before has no relevance. We are supposed to panic over a record for the last 60 years, and ignore the fact that 60 years ago it was actually warmer.

Were we to get an environmentalist variation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears it would go something like this: Goldy, on taking thermometer readings, would promptly declare that this temperature is too hot, this temp is too cold, and this one is just right-so it must mean Global Warming! The bears would have died, having cannibalized each-other as a result of the scarcity of food caused by Climate Change, and Goldilocks would climb aboard a Greenpeace ship to dedicate her life to fighting evil corporate polluters.

Down in the Ozark town of Glover, Missouri there is a large factory which supplies employment for the few people in the area. Someone noticed that there were higher incidents of Downs Syndrome and cancer than fit the national norm, so the factory was ordered to buy up all of the property for miles and relocate the residents. Why? Because someone misunderstood the meaning of the statistics. Nobody ever bothered to compare the incidents of DS with the rest of the general populace in that region; they simply compared them to the national average. Had anyone bothered to think about it, they would have realized that the locals were decended from a very small genetic pool, and that Downs Syndrome is common among in-bred folk. The stats suggested something was causing these illnesses when, in reality, those illnesses were the result of a genetic wading pool-it was not anthropogenic at all (except when one considers the marriage of first cousins). The statistics were misused.

Numbers Watch also has a review of the death of the Mann et. Al(gore) Hockey stick-which was the centerpiece of the IPCC report urging worldwide draconian carbon emission standards (which itself was the centerpiece of Vice President Ozone`s stupid movie), and an interesting discussion of the `70`s Global Cooling fad. Go here to read them.

Liberals will be liberals, and they will never stop trying to manipulate science to advance their agenda; don`t expect any honesty from them soon.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Final Jihad?

Is the Israeli-Lebanese war the opening salvo in a final conflict between Iranian-led Islam and the West? Aussiegirl thinks so.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Red Star Resorts

Michael Savage has described Liberalism as a mental illness. So have I, and a great many sensible people are reluctantly forced to agree. An unscientific poll of Democratic Underground suggests that the posters would agree with that sentiment, as does clinical psychologist Robert Godwin.

The Left has become a collection of vagrants and bag ladies, and they are in the process of destroying the once-respected Democrat Party. They have used that party like a homeless shelter, scaring any rational people away and condemning it to minority status. Where will they be when the Democrats are gone?

These poor souls need professional help. Perhaps we can establish a chain of resorts in Cuba and Venezuela where the deranged Lefties can get their heads together. They can shout anti-American slogans, march in protest, wear red stars, and call each-other comrads. Maybe by acting out, they will get this out of their systems?

It`s worth a try, at any rate!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

RIP Electoral College?

Our friend Mattias Caro over at Icarus Fallen has started a scrap over the virtues of the Electoral College and the importance of retaining some semblance of Republicanism in our government. Seems this irritated a number of his readers, and a spirited argument has ensued. Check it out!

What World War?

For those who deny we are in a World War, or who believe that the current troubles somehow tie in with America`s foreign policy, I direct you to this map of Islamic hotspots over at Staticnoise.

What does Sri Lanka, or Bali, or Chechnya have to do with the United States? Islam is rising wherever they are not in complete control.

Armageddon Rising

Aussiegirl links to a disturbing article in Human Events which suggest Iran may do something very bad on August 22.

Western Masochism

Vasko Kohlmayer illustrates the madness of Modernity in the West at the American Thinker.

We always speak of a ``blame America first`` crowd; the reality is that modern Liberalism hates all of Western culture, and it`s a ``blame Westernism first`` crowd that dominates in so many circles. If the choice comes down to blaming the culture which spawned and nurtured them, or blaming ferocious medieval religious zealots who hate everything they themselves stand for, they`ll blame our culture every time!

When Adolph Hitler first ascended to power, groups on both the Left and the Right supported him. They believed he and the Nazi Party were fools and could be utilized as tools to eliminate the opposition, after which he would just go away. Hitler showed them exactly who the fools were! We face a similar situation in regards to the Islamic World today; many in the Left see Jihad as a tool to eliminate the ``corrupting influences`` of the Conservative, Christian West. Once Western Civilization is broken, they believe, Islam will retreat before their superior intellect and enlightened policies. Then, with the old world gone, they can set forth for the shining collectivist utopia which only THEY can build!

More the fools-they!

Lighter Than Normal Blogging

Apologies to all for light blogging; things have been crazy around here, and my time has been (and will be for a few weeks) limited. I may not post something every day, but I`ll get something at least every other. Please be patient!

Rumors of Republican Death Greatly Exaggerated

I`ll be the first to admit that I`m not a top-flight observer of the domestic political scene like John Tabin or Steve Rankin, and I`m definitely not a Robert Novak, but I tend to do fairly well, and I just don`t buy this idea that the Democrats are going to take both houses in the November elections; they just don`t have anything to offer. According to Robert Novak:

The conventional wisdom about the 2006 elections among both Republicans and Democrats now is that the Democrats will take control of the House and could also win the Senate. One House Republican committee chairman, who publicly exudes optimism, privately predicts -- and has predicted for six months -- a loss of 30 House seats.

This defeatism stems, I think, from the same source that has lead the Republicans to betray their own base-an unnatural fear of the media and a belief that America is somehow a ``centrist`` nation. The government shutdown under Clinton boomeranged against Republicans, and they have maintained a ``duck and cover`` policy ever since. They have lead from behind, with moistened fingers in the air. The problem is, when fingers are moistened in Washington, they always dry on the left side because Washington is NOT middle America, and the winds blow contrary to those of the rest of the Republic.

Science fiction writer Larry Niven (whom I mentioned in my piece about Superman below) created an alien species who were cowards, and who would hire others (primarily humans) to do the dangerous work for them. Their leader was called Hindmost, because he lead his people from the rear; this description fits the Republicans perfectly! They so fear leading from the front that they are prepared to lose to avoid such unpleasantness.

The fact is, a smidgen of backbone on their parts would melt the Democrats like the morning dew. The Dem`s have NOTHING, but the Republicans still won`t take the initiative to put them in the grave. Consider this from Novak:

The fiercely partisan tone by Democrats was reflected this week when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attacked visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for criticizing the Israeli assault on southern Lebanon, with Pelosi calling for a boycott of his speech to Congress. So much for the notion that the reaction to the Mideast crisis would be bipartisan.

Now, the Democrats have obstructed any rational Mid-East policy, and did not offer any support of Israel in this crisis, yet they have the unmitigated gall to try to use this as a campaign issue! This could easily be blown out of the water by the Republicans, yet they remain strangely silent on this issue. The Dems continually hand them the hanging rope, and the Republicans continually hand it back to them.

The Republicans have numerous issues they could lead on-border security, abortion, stem-cell research, tax reform, oil, etc. The President (whom I rarely praise these days) vetoed the stem-cell initiative, and the Republican`s knees are knocking, because they think this will hurt them! I hate to point out to them that the President showed principle, and that is something the American people are desperate for. If they would show some principle themselves they would n`t be in this pickle.

Still, I suspect things are going to be much tighter in November, even without any intelligent action on the part of the Republicans. The Democrats have no statesmen, and I suspect America understands the need for statesmanship at this moment in time. Are they willing to turn Congress over to the cut-and-run Democrats at such a critical moment?

I have more faith in the populace than to believe that!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Elian Gonzalez Today

Steve Rankin has a post on what became of Elian Gonzalez over at Free Citizen. It looks to be a lively discussion!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The High Price of ``Peace``

"Those who keep calling for an end to the 'cycle of violence' are what make such violence more likely. 'World opinion' in general and the United Nations in particular can always be counted on to counsel 'restraint' in response to attacks and 'negotiations' in response to lethal threats... What that means is that those who start trouble will have a lower price to pay than if those they attacked were free to go all out in their counter-attack. Lowering the price to be paid by aggressors virtually guarantees more aggression."

Hoover Institute economist Thomas Sowell

(Curtesy of the Federalist)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Shot Heard Round the World and the Roaring Silence

My wife is a taper of movies; she stays awake into the wee hours so she can record some long-forgotten saga on a long-forgotten VHF channel. Most of these flicks are ones few have ever heard of, and most of them are thankfully forgotten, but once in a while she finds a gem. Such was the movie we watched last night; ``April Morning`` was not a memorable movie, per say, but had some terrific things about it and set me to thinking, as it could be applied to the current world situation.

The story is about the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and about a young man`s coming of age as a result of that, the shot heard round the world. This was a made-for-television movie from 1988 starring Robert Urich, Tommy Lee Jones,Rip Torn, and Chad Lowe as the young protagonist Adam Cooper. Young Cooper is a fifteen year old boy, disheartened by his father`s (Tommy Lee Jones) overprotectiveness and lack of affection, and yearning to do something important, something to earn his father`s pride. He overhears his parents discussing him, hears his father proclaim great love for his son to his mother while admitting that he finds it difficult to show it to the boy. Word of the coming of the British leads to a hurried town meeting in which it was decided to call up the militia (a meeting the young hero is excluded from by his father) and the town begins registering and mobilizing minutemen. Adam Cooper decides to defy his father and signs with the militia, and his father reluctantly allows his son to do so.

Before falling out, his father finally tells him how much he loves him, and how proud he is of him. He forewarns the young man that he is becoming a man and may be forced to assume head of household duties if the worst should occur. The worst occurs; one of the more rabid colonists fires on the British troops who are trying to disarm the Minutemen, and the soldiers open fire on the ragtag band of farmers, killing the elder Cooper. The boy flees into the woods (along with everyone else) and joins his girlfriend`s father (Urich) in engaging in bushwacking tactics against the Brits.

At the end, Adam Cooper takes his father`s place at the family table.

Why have I droned on about a B movie? Because what made this movie good was the slow evolution of Adam Cooper and his fellow townsmen as they performed what they saw as their duty, despite their absolute abhorrence of the killing. Cooper hates shooting people, hates what he is called upon to do. Several times the young boy asks his probable father-in-law if he can quit and go home, but Urich always says no, and explains the importance of duty and the responsibilities inherent in being free men. You see, the townspeople could have minded their own business, ignored the British and they would have been none the worse for wear. They didn`t do that; they believed they had a responsibility to their neighbors, to the other towns in their colony to engage the British. They weren`t willing to sit back and say ``this isn`t our fight``. They rightly understood that it was EVERYONE`S fight, and they couldn`t shirk their duty.

The point I am trying to make is that there are too many people in America who want to shirt their duty, who argue that what is happening in the Middle-East isn`t our fight. I would like to point out that the British never killed 3,000 noncombatants, never strapped bombs on themselves to kill Americans, never cried ``death to the great satan``, never vowed our elimination. They merely sought to enforce British law, which the colonists refused to recognize. They were, it can be argued, trying to enforce the Rule of Law, trying to maintain order in a situation of rebellion. We went to WAR against fellow countrymen! We were British at that time, and we fired on our fellow Brits! Why? Because of taxes and our dislike of troops stationed in our neighborhoods.

Now we have a large segment of the world population which vows to destroy us and force us into ``submission`` (Islam) and we have people arguing that it`s not our fight! We have an ``axis of weasel``, our European friends, who would rather submit as Dhimmis than fight for their culture and freedom, and people are claiming this isn`t our fight? It most certainly is our fight, and if we have to fight it alone, so be it! Those farmers who stood against the greatest armed force in the the world would be ashamed of us! They understood that some things simply must be done, and that it`s necessary to put aside personal desires for the greater good. Islam is determined to destroy us, and our revolutionary forefathers would never have questioned our engaging the enemy wherever they are found.

Wars are no longer fought in the manner in which they were engaged in the 18th century, and the increase in firepower has made the traditional standing army obsolete in many ways. People will argue that we have not been invaded. Oh, really? Invasions are no longer so obvious, but instead are done by stealth, and the perpetrators of 911 had already invaded the Republic. This must be understood-with airplanes and other modern means of transportation it is no longer possible to say that we are here and they are there. Anybody can be anywhere in a matter of hours these days. An invasion is no longer a matter of uniformed troops marching across boundaries; we`ve ALREADY been invaded, by the terror cells of our Jihadist enemies.

Did the fact that Benjamin Church or Benedict Arnold were not a part of an invading army make them any less enemies to the Patriots during the Revolution? They worked for a foreign enemy, which de-facto made them part of the invasion. Was not Sherman an invader of Georgia, despite the fact that Georgia was part of the United States just prior to the Civil War? To make the case that the enemy must march in from overseas to make them an enemy is just plain wrong. The military oath of office is to defend the Constituion against all threats foreign and domestic; this is a threat both foreign AND domestic, and it`s ultimate aim is to replace the Constitution with Sharia Law.

In April Morning, the young protagonist learns the price of manhood and liberty; it is time America does the same.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Gaia Throws a Gore-Like Tantrum

Last night Mother Gaia attempted to smite the purveyor of planetary plunder (little `ole me) with a fearsome display of wind and Global Warming; we had temperatures in excess of 100* fondly fahrenheit, and a hurricane-like storm rolled through the St. Louis area, knocking down trees, telephone poles, lightposts, midnight basketball goals, etc. (I feared Al Gore was in town, and he was MAD...) My wife and I tried to go out to eat (to avoid globally warming the house) but lightening hit the transformer so the restaurant had to close. The city looked like a coastal town after a hurricane; trees were down everywhere, blocking the streets or on top of cars and houses, there were poles with hot wires in the road, debris of every kind was strewn about. Clearly, it`s not nice to fool Mother Nature!

Most of the city was without power (we were lucky) and is expected to remain without it for an indeterminate amount of time. Temperatures are expected to surpass 102*, with high humidity and more storms on the way. There`ll be no air-conditioning and no refrigeration in much of the metro area. Our fearless Mayor hunkered down in an emergency bunker last night, and I expect he will ask the Governor to declare a State of Emergency.

Our rail-transit system was down and many roads were blocked last night, so the city had to charter buses to evacuate people from the Cardinals game downtown, where the poor shlubs were treated to an outdoor event they won`t soon forget. (Sadly, I missed out on that experience.)

Fortunately, temperatures are supposed to break, and they are predicting highs in the upper 80`s for the weekend; of course, they`re also predicting more storms...

At any rate, despite Mother Gaia`s best efforts, Birdblog is up and running! It`s going to take more than an Al Gore-like temper tantrum by Mother Nature to shut me up! At least, I`ll be here if the power stays on...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

19th Century Economics

One of the last bastions of Soviet Marxism in the world today is the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Ever vigilant to challenge the idea that people keeping their own money is good, the Past-Disgrace flipped their red-starred Ushankas over the news that the deficit has dropped substantially thanks to increased economic activity resulting from the tax cuts. In a July 14 editorial, Comrad Pulitzer had this to say:

Is Less Bad the Same as Good?


President George W. Bush last week celebrated the news that Uncle Sam will plunge only $296 billion deeper in debt this year, as opposed to $319 billion last year and $412 billion the year before. In other words, he'll be up to his belly in debt instead of up to his neck.

This counts as progress?

On the heels of three years of record budget surpluses, the nation plunged into a sea of red ink soon after Mr. Bush took office in 2001. And yet Mr. Bush says, "The tax cuts we passed work." Those tax cuts, which primarily benefitted the wealthy, set the economy on a roll, he claims.

But a look at the facts suggests otherwise. Mr. Bush took office during the 2001 recession and promptly cut taxes. The recession was a mild one followed by two years of a sluggish and jobless recovery. The economy finally picked up a little steam, and we're now seeing healthy growth in some sectors and low unemployment numbers overall.

So were the tax cuts responsible for the turnaround? Probably not. In 1993, Bill Clinton entered the White House and promptly raised taxes. Economic growth averaged 3.8 percent over the next five years. Since Mr. Bush cut taxes, growth has averaged 3.1 percent, according to figures from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Clearly, taxes don't determine growth.

Despite the recent positive economic numbers, the average American worker isn't feeling much like cheering. In 2004, the latest year for which Census data are available, median family income was down 3 percent from 2001. It probably hasn't improved much since then. Adjusted for inflation, average wages today are still below their levels at the end of the 2001 recession, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

So, who is getting the benefits of the economic rebound? Corporations and wealthy individuals. They're responsible for much of the deficit reduction. The IRS is collecting 11 percent more tax money than expected. About half that increase came from corporations whose profits are soaring. First quarter corporate profits were up 30 percent for the year, according to the Commerce Department, with the biggest gains realized in energy and health care.

Much of the rest came from the rich, who continue to get richer. In May, the Congressional Budget Office noted a 17 percent jump in taxes paid on "nonwithheld" income such as capital gains, dividends and interest. That sort of income goes overwhelmingly to the wealthy. And since our tax system is still progressive, what's good for the wealthy is great for the U.S. treasury. The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans pay more than half of federal taxes.

The hole we've dug ourselves is smaller than the hole we thought we'd be in. But the combination of tax cuts and increased federal spending, especially the huge sums spent on defense, is bad economic news for this generation and a terrible legacy for the next.

My brother Brian took great umbrage with this sophistry, and he responded with the following:

To The Editor,
The Post-Dispatch lead editorial of July 14th concerning the federal budget deficit is a study in misleading statistics and an example of the economic illiteracy of your newspaper's editorial staff. Your editorial claims to correct the misstatements of President Bush and claim that "...a look at the facts suggests otherwise", when the President credits his tax cuts for spurring economic growth. Your editorial then trots out some numbers and some arguments that you believe contradict Mr. Bush's claim. However, your own arguments are specious and "a look at the facts" proves this point.

Your argument that tax rates don't determine economic growth is patently ludicrous. In 1990 President George H.W. Bush blundered into supporting a tax increase that the Democrats insisted would retire the federal budget deficit. This tax increase did nothing to reduce the deficit, its only discernible effect was to choke off economic growth and push the economy into the recession of 1990-92.

Your editorial effort to credit the Clinton tax increase for the steady growth of the 1990s is also empty. The economy surged in the final two quarters of the first Bush Presidency, with economic growth rates in the 7.5-8% range. The Clinton Administration took office not with "...the worst economy in fifty years" as was often alleged, but with the economy soaring in a full fledged boom. The Clinton tax increase reduced 8% growth to 3.5% growth , essentially killing the economic boom the Administration inherited.

The purpose of this letter is not to debunk the myths propagated by the media on behalf of ex-President Clinton. The purpose is to illustrate the fallacious reasoning of the Post-Dispatch staff. If taxes have no effect on economic growth, as the Post-Dispatch insists, how does your staff explain the emergence of Ireland as an economic power? Ireland is a poor country with few natural resources but is booming today while the rest of Europe is moribund. Ireland does have a well-educated work force and, most importantly, the Celtic Tiger has low tax rates which encourage investment, entrepreneurship, and work. Likewise, Russia cut her her corporate tax rates severely in 2002 and is booming today,particularly in the all important energy sector. Low taxes explain the the success of Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand, while high tax rates explain the relative stagnation of Japan, Canada and the European Community. It may come as a surprise to the Post-Dispatch editorial staff, but tax rates clearly influence economic growth and if we reduce the tax penalty on investment the economy will grow and tax revenues will increase as well. It is high time for the Congress to make the Bush tax cuts permanent to further stimulate the already healthy American economy.

Brian E. Birdnow

It is unbelievable that we still have to fight this battle over what should now be completely obvious, yet the forces of liberalism will not surrender their beloved collectivist economic theory without a fight, and they are forced to sound like complete idiots to anyone who has any understanding of economics in their desperate effort to implant falsehoods in the minds of the ignorant. That they succeed in this at all is a testament to the power still held by their propaganda institutions-television, newspapers, public education, universities. Only an academic could possibly believe you can tax yourself to prosperity.

How many times is this fundamental economic point going to have to be illustrated before everyone comes to understand? Government does not create-it uses. The more tax money they have, the more they will spend, the less those who produce will have to produce with, and the more government will stifle initiative. It really should be obvious.

But then, when was anything ever obvious to a liberal?

Can`t Bear `Um

Our friend from The-Great-Once-White-Now-Sort-of-Fuchia-North, the Sleepy Old Bear himself, David G. Mullin, has been in a deathstruggle over comments he made in his, well, deathwatch, about some commie lesbo feminazi and her iron rule over Comfortable Bed University (er, Cape Breton U.). It seems that the genteel Miss Celeste had taken a dislike to the Old Bear for exercising his rights to free speech on his own website, and she has pursued him with all commie lesbo feminazi vigor, filing a formal complaint against the Bear and bringing all sorts of ridiculous charges. Only in Academia and Canada (or Massachussetts, or Frisco) would the basic right to freedom of speech be challenged, but unfortunately Dr. Mullin is in both Academia and Canada, so he was in deep do-do.

Comfortable Bed University has apparently decided that freedom of speech means freedom from speech, and have fined the poor professor two weeks pay. The questions must be asked; is Canada a free nation, or should it be consigned to the realm of such stalwarts of civil liberties as Byelorus, Zimbabwe, North Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Peoples Republic of China? Do Canadians have free speech, or is that limited to liberal Canadians? Does Comfortable Bed University honor academic freedom, or is that merely something which only applies to commie lesbo feminazi babes?

In short, what kind of hellhole is being created up Chonder?

(By the way, I`ve noticed that I have a hell of a time getting into conservative websites from Canada; is the Canadian government doing something to slow loading times, something like spying on those subversive righties? All the Moore-ons were vowing to immigrate to the Fuchian Republic after the last election, after all!)

We need to rally around Professor Mullin in this; he is standing for the rights of free men!


Here is a disturbing piece by Fredo Arias-King, former foreign relations aid to Vicente Fox, in which he warms the United States that our governing class is selling us out on immigration for their own empowerment. I recommend everyone read this in it`s entirety, but I have posted an excerpt below:

When I aided the foreign relations of presidential candidate and president-elect Vicente Fox back in 1999 and 2000, I met with almost 80 U.S. congressmen and senators during numerous trips and at several events. With just over 50 of them, my colleagues and I spoke about immigration in some depth, as it is one of the important bilateral topics. My findings were reported in a Backgrounder published by the Center for Immigration Studies called "Politics by Other Means."1 It is a dense and academic paper, but the basic finding was: Indeed, American politicians are overwhelmingly pro-immigration, for a variety of reasons, and they do not always admit this to their constituents. Of those 50 legislators, 45 were unambiguously pro-immigration, even asking us at times to "send more." This was true of both Democrats and Republicans.

These empirical findings seemed to confirm what some analysts without that level of access termed as a political "perfect storm" of widespread political-elite support for immigration despite its general unpopularity with the average American. The paradox is that immigration is the only issue (perhaps besides trade policy) that represents a notorious discrepancy between elite and popular opinion in the United States.2 But this contradicts the established conventional wisdom of a representative democracy such as the United States. If mass immigration from Latin America has debatable benefits for the United States as a whole, if a majority of the American people is against it, and if immigrants cannot vote until they become naturalized (which can take years after their arrival), why would nine-tenths of the legislators we spoke with be so keen on increasing

Before these encounters, I believed that it was a problem of either diffusion of responsibility, "creeping non-decision," or collective rationalization with those legislators, but that was dispelled the more of them we met. Most of them seemed to be aware of the negative or at least doubtful consequences of mass immigration from Latin America, while still advocating mass immigration.3

The familiar reasons usually discussed by the critics were there: Democrats wanted increased immigration because Latin American immigrants tend to vote Democrat once naturalized (we did not meet a single Democrat that was openly against mass immigration); and Republicans like immigration because their sponsors (businesses and churches) do. But there were other, more nuanced reasons that we came upon, usually not discussed by the critics, and probably more difficult to detect without the type of access that we, as a Mexican delegation, had.

Their "Natural Progress"
Of a handful of motivations, one of the main ones (even if unconscious) of many of these legislators can be found in what the U.S. Founding Fathers called "usurpation." Madison, Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and others devised a system and embedded the Constitution with mechanisms to thwart the "natural" tendency of the political class to usurp power—to become a permanent elite lording over pauperized subjects, as was the norm in Europe at the time. However, the Founding Fathers seem to have based the logic of their entire model on the independent character of the American folk. After reviewing the different mechanisms and how they would work in theory, they wrote in the Federalist Papers that in the end, "If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America …"4 With all his emphasis on reason and civic virtue as the basis of a functioning and decentralized democratic polity, Jefferson speculated whether Latin American societies could be governed thus.5

While Democratic legislators we spoke with welcomed the Latino vote, they seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and "dependable" in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American.

Republican lawmakers we spoke with knew that naturalized Latin American immigrants and their offspring vote mostly for the Democratic Party, but still most of them (all except five) were unambiguously in favor of amnesty and of continued mass immigration (at least from Mexico). This seemed paradoxical, and explaining their motivations was more challenging. However, while acknowledging that they may not now receive their votes, they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and "teaching," they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them. Republicans seemed to idealize the patron-client relation with Hispanics as much as their Democratic competitors did. Curiously, three out of the five lawmakers that declared their opposition to amnesty and increased immigration (all Republicans), were from border states.

Also curiously, the Republican enthusiasm for increased immigration also was not so much about voting in the end, even with "converted" Latinos. Instead, these legislators seemingly believed that they could weaken the restraining and frustrating straightjacket devised by the Founding Fathers and abetted by American norms. In that idealized "new" United States, political uncertainty, demanding constituents, difficult elections, and accountability in general would "go away" after tinkering with the People, who have given lawmakers their privileges but who, like a Sword of Damocles, can also "unfairly" take them away. Hispanics would acquiesce and assist in the "natural progress" of these legislators to remain in power and increase the scope of that power. In this sense, Republicans and Democrats were similar.

While I can recall many accolades for the Mexican immigrants and for Mexican-Americans (one white congressman even gave me a "high five" when recalling that Californian Hispanics were headed for majority status), I remember few instances when a legislator spoke well of his or her white constituents. One even called them "rednecks," and apologized to us on their behalf for their incorrect attitude on immigration. Most of them seemed to advocate changing the ethnic composition of the United States as an end in itself. Jefferson and Madison would have perhaps understood why this is so—enthusiasm for mass immigration seems to be correlated with examples of undermining the "just and constitutional laws" they devised.

One leading Republican senator over a period of months was advising us, through a mutual acquaintance, about which mechanisms to follow and which other legislators to lobby in order to ensure passage of the amnesty proposal. In the meantime, he would speak on television about the need to "militarize" the border. This senator was recently singled out by a taxpayer’s advocacy group as a leader in "pork"-related politics.

...Mexicans are kind and hardworking, with a legendary hospitality, and unlike some European nations, harbor little popular ambitions to impose models or ideologies on others. However, Mexicans are seemingly unable to produce anything but corrupt and tyrannical rulers, oftentimes even accepting them as the norm, unaffected by allegations of graft or abuse.8 Mexico, and Latin American societies in general, seem to suffer from what an observer called "moral relativism," accepting the "natural progress" of the political class rather than challenging it, and also appearing more susceptible to "miracle solutions" and demagogic political appeals. Mexican intellectuals speak of the corrosive effects of Mexican culture on the institutions needed to make democracy work, and surveys reveal that most of the population accepts and expects corruption from the political class.9 A sociological study conducted throughout the region found that Latin Americans are indeed highly susceptible to clientelismo, or partaking in patron-client relations, and that Mexico was high even by regional standards.10

In a Latin environment, there are fewer costs to behaving "like a knave," which explains the relative failure of most Spanish-speaking countries in the Hemisphere: Pauperized populations with rich and entrenched knaves. Montesquieu’s separation-of-powers model breaks down in Latin America (though essentially all constitutions are based on it) since elites do not take their responsibilities seriously and easily reach extra-legal "understandings" with their colleagues across the branches of government, oftentimes willingly making the judicial and legislative powers subservient to a generous executive, and giving the population little recourse and little choice but to challenge the system in its entirety.

In short, Arias-King argues that a latinization of the United States means a more apathetic public, one willing to allow the governing classes to stay where they are (at least as the governing classes see it.)

This brings a point to mind; America fought a revolution against her British overlords because of ``taxation without representation``-now we are trying to bring millions of ``guest workers`` into this country to live and work, and we are going to tax them without their having the right to decide their own representation. How long before someone makes that very point, and the vote is extended to the guest-workers?

A final thought; in Luke16:13 Jesus said to his disciples;

``No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.``

Guest workers are being put in the position of serving two masters. Which will they love, and which will they grow to despise?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Regime Change Syria

Ed Lasky, writing in the American Thinker, follows my lead and makes the case for regime change in Syria.

Consume Mate Hero

The people who make movies are about as intellectually creative as a sack of turnips. What have they produced in the last decade which has any originality, is well thought out, has any depth or intellectual vigor? Take the endless rehashing of stories which have been done previously; the Pink Panther, the Parent Trap, Oceans 11(and 12, and 13, and 72). Now we have the ``Return of Superman`` zooming into mediocrity faster than a speeding bullet.

I`ll admit; I haven`t seen the movie, and I`ll probably wait for it to come out on DVD. Still, I can`t imagine anyone doing Superman, when we had the original radio show, the t.v. show, the movie trilogy, television`s Lois and Clark, and Smallville. (You`d think I`d be a bigger fan, since I`ve been to Metropolis, Il., and seen Sup Steelie Dog`s statue.) Leave it to me to misunderestimate the complete lack of creative talent in Hollywood!

Much has been said about the universalization of the Man of Steel in the latest film, and about the attempt to modernize the old neo-Kryptonian. (Superman is about tradition at this point, not modernity, and trying to make him hip is like putting George Washington into a toothpaste commercial, or portraying Abe Lincoln on the big screen with George Clooney.) Apparently Kal-El (that would make a great name for a terrorist by the way; it sounds like Arabic for ``kill-all for Allah``!) has been a naughty boy, and has been experimenting in inter-species sexual relations (wouldn`t that amount to bestiality, or at least sodomy, since Kal-El isn`t human, and Loose Loins, er, Lois Lane, is?)

This from the Federalist Patriot:

"This new Superman may not be strictly American, but he's still unmistakably Western and terribly, terribly modern as he... sires a son... Before leaving Earth for five years in a mysterious exit unexplained to anyone, Superman and gal pal Lois Lane hooked up, as they say. Apparently Superman, like his dorky doppelganger, Clark Kent, is clueless when it comes to men and women, and failed to block certain speeding bullets from reaching their natural destination. Voila. When he returns to save the world, he finds that Lois has a 5-year-old son, Jason, and is living with but is not married to 'the father,' Richard White. Perky Jimmy Olsen explains that, well, you know Lois! She just can't bring herself to consider marriage. All that yucky commitment and stuff. But having a kid out of wedlock is the superwoman way in Metropolis, as most places these days. Who needs a man?... In the absence of a satisfactory moral to the story, we are left to improvise. For my ration of popcorn, one thought emerges with clarity: When it comes to fathers, it's better to have an ordinary man on the ground than have to rely on a flighty narcissist who woos girls on rooftops, and then vanishes in search of self."

Kathleen Parker

The trouble is, our creative geniuses from Hollywood (and in that town one cannot imagine that Holly wouldn`t!) haven`t thought beyond the Man of Steel going all steely for his luscious Lane, and considered the ramifications behind Kryptonian-Human mating.

The great science fiction writer Larry Niven once took a stab at the sex problems of Kal-El in a piece entitled ``Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex``:

Assume a mating between Superman and a human woman designated LL for convenience.

Either Superman has gone completely schizo and believes himself to be Clark Kent; or he knows what he's doing, but no longer gives a damn. Thirty-one years is a long time. For Superman it has been even longer. He has X-ray vision; he knows just what he's missing. (*One should not think of Superman as a Peeping Tom. A biological ability must be used. As a child Superman may never have known that things had surfaces, until he learned to suppress his X-ray vision. If millions of people tend shamelessly to wear clothing with no lead in the weave, that is hardly Superman's fault.*)

The problem is this. Electroencephalograms taken of men and women during sexual intercourse show that orgasm resembles "a kind of pleasurable epileptic attack." One loses control over one's muscles.

Superman has been known to leave his fingerprints in steel and in hardened concrete, accidentally. What would he do to the woman in his arms during what amounts to an epileptic fit?

Consider the driving urge between a man and a woman, the monomaniacal urge to achieve greater and greater penetration. Remember also that we are dealing with kryptonian muscles.

Superman would literally crush LL's body in his arms, while simultaneously ripping her open from crotch to sternum, gutting her like a trout.

Lastly, he'd blow off the top of her head.

Ejaculation of semen is entirely involuntary in the human male, and in all other forms of terrestrial life. It would be unreasonable to assume otherwise for a kryptonian. But with kryptonian muscles behind it, Kal-El's semen would emerge with the muzzle velocity of a machine gun bullet. (*One can imagine that the Kent home in Smallville was riddled with holes during Superboy's puberty. And why did Lana Lang never notice that?*)

In view of the foregoing, normal sex is impossible between LL and Superman.

Artificial insemination may give us better results...

I have a few more thoughts on this; do Kryptonians have super venereal diseases which could be passed to the human population? What horrible plagues could be unleased if one should turn up and be passed by Superman? Imagine Lex Luthor getting his hands on Supergonorrhea; it would quickly amplify, and the massive amounts of discharge could flood the Earth, infecting the entire world and dissolving the poor human victims faster than the Wicked Witch of the West. How about a flying Syphilis? It would bore straight through your body and into your central nervous system. A Kryptonian AIDS would be a species exterminating plague...

Furthermore, Lex Luthor would have an easy weapon to use against Superman himself; keep the crazed Kryptonian in a state of constant sexual arousal via taped sexual activity broadcast worldwide (with his super hearing, SM would be unable to avoid listening to it) and our alien friend may be unable to avoid doing something rash. It won`t take the shredding of many women (at least not here in America-especially on college campuses) to turn the public soundly against our hero. (Of course, Sup may be popular in Iran or some such, showing that real men can kill their women whenever they want.) Luthor could ruin Kal-El`s reputation, since tearing women to shreds during copulation is hardly a part of the American Way.

At any rate, you simply have to read the rest of Niven`s essay; it is hilariously funny and shows the sophistry of the makers of ``Superman Returns``.

Hollywood has once again proven that they can create brilliant technical effects, but haven`t got a clue about the way to make a good movie!

Monday, July 17, 2006

There is no Substitute for Victory

In a piece which dovetails nicely with my last post, the incomparable Jed Babbin resurrects his ``endgame conservative`` argument, and puts the current Islamo-Israeli crisis in perspective. My responses to his original piece can be read here and here.

Babbin puts it succintly:

The second school of thought I have labeled, "Endgame Conservatism." Those such as I say that history from Carthage to Vietnam teaches that if we fail to prosecute a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, we will lose it inevitably. We believe that terrorism cannot threaten us significantly without the support of nations, and that those nations that are preeminent in their support for terrorists -- Iran and Syria -- must be forcibly disconnected from terrorism. We believe that waiting for Islam to reform itself is tantamount to accepting defeat and that radical Islam (an ideology, not a religion) must be defeated just as Soviet Communism and German Nazism were. We believe that our military's job is not to build nations but to defeat those that threaten America. Once they have done so, their job is finished and whatever the people of a nation do thereafter is their business, not ours, unless they choose to threaten America or its allies again. We assert that requiring democracy in Iraq before defeating the Syrian and Iranian regime enables the enemy to control the pace and direction of the war. And we believe that peace isn't about "processes." It's about winners and losers. Until you have each belligerent in one category or the other, the war isn't over.

We, and the Israelis who left Lebanon before us, left without defeating the terrorist regimes that have every day since then used Lebanon as a terrorist base. In Syria, Hafez Assad has been succeeded by his son Bashar and, in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeni has been succeeded by more ayatollahs and their face man, Ahmadinejad, for whom the Apocalypse is a career objective. Syria has been on our list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979. Iran has been on it since 1984. Neither has suffered any consequence for their dedication to terrorism. Our weakness has become their strength.

WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW in Israel and Lebanon is the direct result of our failure for more than 20 years, and the Israelis' failure, to prosecute this war decisively.

He is 100% correct; we have repeatedly taken the path of least resistance, and now find our inaction has backed us into a corner. Of course, until the `90`s we had to worry about conflict with the Soviet Union, and this tempered any action we were willing to make, but still we have allowed an infected sore to fester, and now our choices are military action or disaster.

Policy can only drift rudderless for so long before events force change-and often that change is far more unpleasant than the original problem. We can stand tough now, or fight at a time and place (and by means) of the enemy`s choosing.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Decisive Moment

The situation in northern Israel/Lebanon is increasingly serious, with a real possibility that Israel might have to invade the Syrian proxy. The attacks by Hizbollah (which was supposed to disband after Israel ceded the disputed territories to extract that promise) has seen the terrorist organization firing missiles at Israel`s larger population centers (Bebe Netanyaho, speaking on the Shawn Hannity radio show, asked how America would respond if Canada began shelling Chicago). From Israel`s standpoint, there doesn`t seem to be many options left; they cannot accept another faux negotiated peace. How many times must Israel shake hands and accept pronouncements of friendship while Hizbollah and Hamas (with the full complicity of the Lebanese and Syrian governments) plot their next attacks? The time has come to end this, once and for all.

For a terrific birds-eye-view of what is going on, go to One Jerusalem.

I had hoped when the United States invaded Iraq that our troops would have invaded via the Mediterranean-straight through Syria. Syria and Iran are the big troublemakers in the region, and the ``insurgency`` in Iraq is housed, fed, and fueled by the Syrians. That is the keystone to peace-take out the Syrians, and everything falls into line.

Iran is the other source of trouble in the region, but without Syria they would have no base of operation against Israel, and there would be enormous pressure on them since Iraq will be far more stable. Furthermore, if Iran decides to act rashly we will be justified in knocking out their nuclear program before they can start rolling those shiny uranium spheres off the production line. We are going to have to act against them at some point, why not now?

This current battle is one Israel must win; and I wouldn`t shed a tear if their military rolled straight through Lebanon. Although U.S. forces are stretched pretty thin, I still believe we could muster enough troops to occupy Lebanon if we had to, and we could take over for the Israeli military-putting Syria in a pincher move. We could pull troops out of Germany, out of France, out of the Balkans (isn`t it time Europe took care of their own mess.) I don`t like it, but if we have to reinstitute the draft, let`s do it! We did it to fight Hitler, why is this any less important? I`ve got an idea; since Bush is so gung-ho on giving amnesty to illegal Mexicans, why don`t we make such an offer contingent upon military service? That way we can enculturate them, give them a stake in our society, and help in our fight for survival. The U.S. Government must have SOME contingency plan in place to fight this war. I don`t for a moment believe that we are powerless to act. This is going to have to be done at some point, so it may as well happen now. Let`s roll!

President George W. Bush declared war on terrorists with international reach and their sponsors. If he meant that, he should back Israel to the hilt at this time. We have given up the initiative in the War, and the current crisis in Israel has given us the means to retake it. I`ve always argued that sitting in Iraq and awaiting events is a sure path to defeat-victory comes to the aggressor in modern warfare. Everything is coming to a head now. Perhaps it is earlier than we would like, but we have been at war and war is not dictated by the timetable of one`s own choosing. Let`s roll!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hold The Appease, Please!

Tom Willms weighs in on appeasement at Twisted Steel.

Tom is correct in his argument that President Bush`s ineloquence has been very detrimental to the effectiveness of his Administration; we shouldn`t be having the arguments we are currently engaged in, but the President and his cabinet are atrocious at making their case. Iraq? The President yammered about Democracy, WMD`s, and doing the right thing, when he should have explained that Iraq was the most vulnerable target in the Axis of Evil politically, and that invading split the terror network in half. Doing Iraq was sound geopolitical strategy, and the Nation would have understood if he had laid the cards out. Oil? The President sounds like Jimmy Carter, speaking about the need for alternative fuels. Of course we need to look into those things, but Mr. Bush should explain how the market works to the public, and should have called the Democrats bluff when they suggested a tax holiday. North Korea? Everyone who knows that region knows the Chinese are the source of the problem, and there really is no reason to protect them in their duplicity. He has failed to fight back against the numerous accusations against his Administration-such as Plamegate, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, etc. He conceded the WMD issue to avoid embarrassing France and Russia, and cost the United States the political high ground, etc. etc.

America likes straight shooters, and the President often appears to keep secrets. Also, Mr. Bush likes to keep far too low a profile, which suggests he is not in charge of things. Furthermore, he sends Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, and he used to send Colin Powell to defend his policies, and this parliament of overdone white toast couldn`t excite a dog locked in solitary confinement. They may be intelligent and talented people, but they simply lack effective communication skills. Remember how Clinton did it; he had professionals do his talking for him-Carville, Begala, et. Al. The Clinton Administration always considered the political ramifications of things, and they always had a unified and polished message. Team Bush (with the exception of Rumsfeld) usually sounds like a high school speech team. The addition of Tony Snow has helped immensely, but it really is a case of too little too late; they needed Snow right after the Iraqi invasion.

Bush also values loyalty to a fault, and his Administration is afraid to resign, while Bush is unwilling to encourage resignations, so most of his staff are exhausted and unable to adequately deal with problems. White House jobs are brutal, and it`s necessary to have occasional turnover to keep things focused. Mr. Bush has a tired Administration, and it shows.

Lastly, I would argue that the apple doesn`t fall far from the tree, and George W. Bush has more in common with the blue-blood and RINO wings of the party than with the Reaganites; his father could certainly not be characterized as a Reagan Republican, despite serving 8 years as Veep for Mr. Reagan. Bush Sr. began a twelve year run of Bush/Clinton rather than continuing the 8 year run of Ronald Reagan. Although George W. is more conservative than his father (he`s given us pretty good judges, although we`ve had to hold his feet to the fire) he fails to see the RINO`s for what they are, and his policies have been fracturing the conservative coalition which brought him to power. Convenient.

George W. Bush was not my first choice for President, but he was for many conservatives because of his name-recognition, likability, and money-raising apparatus, and it can be argued that the conservative disappointment with him is the result of false expectations; Bush never claimed to be Ronald Reagan, and he talked big government from the beginning. (Too many were willing to believe this was for show.) If we are having buyer`s remorse, it could be argued, the fault lies with our poor choice, not the President. And this President has been outstanding in some areas; he has been steady in the War, bucked the U.N. over Iraq, cut taxes, and made some good nominations for the courts and elsewhere. He stymied his political opposition. He will go down in history, for better or worse, as one of the greats if only because he steered the Republic in a time of great crisis.

But I fear this President has an agenda which may not be to my taste; he has fractured the conservative coalition-empowering the Blue Blood wing, he is killing us on immigration, on his soft-soap foreign policies which emphasize free trade over practical considerations, with his fear of offending those who are trying to hurt him politically or otherwise. He has not, well, lead! Why are we only now talking about opening off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico? Why haven`t we taken steps to deal with Chavez in Venezuela (the military deposed him at one point, but we offered no assistance.) Why haven`t we opened ANWAR? Why does the President concede Anthropogenic Global Warming, when he has to know there is no proof of it? (Conceding this but failing to act against it is indefensible, and makes Al Gore appear to be the more statesmanlike.) Bush needs to quit trying to form a censuses and start taking the lead. He has been wildly successful when he has done so, yet he seems unwilling to step up to the plate.

If the Democrats had anything positive to say they would have been able to make George Bush as obsolete as the Edzel. The Republicans have been very fortunate.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Highway Robbery

Here is a story (via the Drudge Report) about road rage in construction sites, and about a man pulling a gun on a road crew. While I don`t condone such behavior, I certainly understand it.

The Republican Congress went on a spending spree, and spread funds throughout the country for the ostensible purpose of repairing the highways. Remember how angry we all were at the spendthrift holiday we witnessed? Our ``conservative`` friends put Tip O`Neil to shame, blowing huge amounts of cash on ``needed improvements`` to our national infrastructure-in other words, they were buying votes. What has this wrought?

The logical approach would be for the respective highway departments to start one project, and work it till completion. Of course, this is the government, and their Mafia-connected contractors, so the logical approach will be broomed under the asphalt carpet; what the beneficiaries of Uncle Sam`s largesse have done is start projects EVERYWHERE at once, projects that will take years to complete (if at all) and will require more money down the road-which is, of course, the whole point. As travel becomes increasingly more difficult, commuters become more frustrated, and the governmental response is to lower speed limits in the endlessly congested construction zones and impose draconian fines on people violating those ridiculous limits. The idea of speeding the construction projects along never occurs to the nitwits we have running this country; the only thing they understand is the imposition of law on the individual, that and the money they can make by screwing the harried commuter. It is truly revolting!

Here in St. Louis we have miles of road construction on every thoroughfare ingressing and egressing the City. Our major artery to Illinois-the Poplar Street Bridge-has been down to one lane for quite some time, and traffic waiting to get across the Mississippi River is backed up 5 miles in both directions. There is absolutely no way of planning your time (something vitally important to me, given my line of work) because you never know what spots will be open or closed. The infuriating thing is that you will see miles of orange cones with a dawdling posted speed limit, and will either see nary a soul or will see 5-10 construction workers standing around drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes while one person leisurely digs with a shovel. It is little wonder that these projects never finish. As soon as one job is done they begin another.

If they would concentrate their efforts on one project at a time, they could finish in a timely fashion and the roads would remain clear. As things stand, I believe they are engaged in something nefarious; I think they WANT the roads impassable, to encourage voters to demand more highway funds. When I think about this matter, a cold rage smolders within me.

It`s apparent I`m not alone in this, and people are becoming increasingly angered by this endless construction. The authorities bemoan construction zone accidents and road rage, and their solution is to make matters worse by punishing the innocent driver whose only desire is to make it to work on time, or be able to get to their doctor`s appointment on the scheduled day. I find that attitude doubly infuriating!

I advocate a reform whereby a time limit is set for construction on a particular patch of highway. If the limit is not met, the contractor and the highway department should have to pay a mounting fine. If they know they don`t have the luxury of piddling, they will get cracking on these jobs and see they are completed in a timely manner.

It only took one year and 45 days to complete the Empire State Building, and I`ve seen private construction firms slap skyscrapers up in a fraction of the time required by the highway department to repair a quarter-mile strip of road. There are sections of the highway which have been under construction for 4 or 5 years now, with no appreciable progress. This is absolutely unacceptable.

If you give a governmental entity all of the money it wants, you will see progress slow to a standstill. We need to make Congress revisit this issue, and funding should be tied to progress, before people start shooting at construction workers and highway patrolmen enforcing the ridiculous zone speedlimits.

Gods and Men

The family of Terri Schiavo submits the case of Terry Wallis to prove that doctors can be terribly wrong in diagnosing Persistent Vegetative States.

Clearly, had Mr. Wallis been given the Schiavo treatment by the purveyors of euthanasia, the act would have been tantamount to murder. It`s not in the Schiavo case because her husband (who wanted to remarry) could find a Deathhead, a low-level activist judge to say it was o.k.

Doctors and judges are not God, contrary to what many of them believe.

Clone College

This from the Evans-Novak Report:

Stem-Cell Vote: Next week, the Senate will take up three bills on bioethics, each requiring 60 votes to pass. The first is the Castle-DeGette bill funding embryonic stem-cell research on frozen embryos. This will pass the Senate with roughly 68 to 70 votes, unless President Bush prevails upon Republicans to take one for the team, so he can avoid making this his first veto. Given Bush's track record -- he has apparently never swayed a single member's vote -- we doubt that this will happen. Bush will be forced to veto the bill, and the House will sustain his veto.

The second bill will fund research into alternative methods of obtaining pluripotent stem-cells without killing human embryos, sponsored by Pennsylvania Senators Rick Santorum (R) and Arlen Specter (R). This will probably pass as well, but many conservatives find it problematic because it leaves the definition of "embryo" up to the language in each year's Health and Human Services appropriations bill. If Democrats retake either house of Congress this year -- still a strong possibility -- then this bill could be viewed in retrospect as a mistake. It will probably pass as well, because it will fund adult stem-cell research.

The third bill represents something not often attempted by pro-lifers -- forward thinking legislation. It would ban the farming of human fetuses for their cells and parts, and it is expected to pass overwhelmingly. At this point, the biotech industry has not reached the point where fetus-farming is possible, and so its well-moneyed lobby is unlikely to put up a fight. But in the future, fetus-farming will probably be attempted.

By banning it now, Congress can at least force proponents of an amoral view of science to pass their own repeal bill in 20 or 30 years. To put this into perspective: If Congress had banned human cloning in 1980, it would have sailed through without controversy, and it would probably still be illegal today, for lack of the 60 votes needed for repeal of the ban.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

American Appeasement

According to


1. An act of appeasing.
2. The condition of being appeased.
3. The policy of granting concessions to potential enemies to maintain peace.

What policy has the Bush Administration followed since taking office?

The President entered the White House vowing to change the tone in Washington. He ignored the damage done to White House grounds and equipment by departing Clinton staffers, going so far as to deny they did any. The President has signed every bill sent to him by Congress, even some which were blatantly unconstitutional like Campaign Finance Reform. In fact, he once bragged that he would sign any legislation they sent him.

President Bush has kept on numerous Clinton appointees, despite clear evidence that many of them have been duplicitous. He has been faced with a parade of ex-Clinotonistas like Joe Wilson and Richard Clark who have, while working in his Administration, attacked his policies and undercut his efforts. He kept Clinton`s CIA director in office, allowing that agency to remain a festering sore in his Administration. He has been trying to ``change the tone``.

President Bush campaigns for RINO Arlen Specter over conservative Pat Toomey, then is surprised when Specter repeatedly knifes him in the back. He tried to give America Harriet Myers, rather than a solid conservative, because he didn`t want to fight the Democrats. He backed the ``gang of 14`` rather than encourage Congressional Republicans to institute rule changes to stop filibustering by Democrats.

On the war in Iraq, the President conceded the argument over weapons of mass destruction, causing a major embarrassment to the credibility of the United States, and tying America`s hands in prosecuting the necessary next steps in the war. It turns out that the military has been finding these weapons all over the place.

He gazed into Vladimir Putin`s eyes, and found a kindred spirit. Of course, the Russians were selling weapons by the ton to Iraq, and have been assisting Iran and North Korea with nuclear and missile technology.

The Chinese trade heavily with the United States, so no economic pressure has been brought to bear to rein in the crazy North Koreans.

Mexico is exporting her population by the millions to the United States, but the President fears a backlash, so insists on a useless guest-worker program, rather than taking steps to secure the borders.

Now, President Bush is going to cave to the recent Supreme Court Ruling, and grant Geneva Convention rights to captured Terrorists.

The Current Administration policy is appeasement. Appeasement of foes in Congress, appeasement of pseudo-friends in the business community, Latin America, Russia, China, etc. He even has suggested deals similar to the old Clinton deal for North Korea which got us into this predicament in the first place. President Bush seems to think that a warm smile and friendly demeanor will change the aggressive nature of all but a few radical Jihadists; he even refuses to accept that most of the Islamic world hates our guts and livers, but merely links our fight with a few bad apples. He did not support the military coup which forced Hugo Chavez briefly from power.

The President rarely bucks the media.

Aussiegirl at Ultima Thule is entirely correct; our current leadership seems to be whistling past the boneyard of history. As she points out:

Let us say it -- the present policy of the United States is one of appeasement. The president has lost his nerve. He is backpedaling as fast as his little bicycle-trained legs will allow. He's making nice with Europe and the UN and saying -- "See ma -- I am a good boy after all -- see? I'm willing to talk and to do diplomacy and I'm sorry I said those nasty things about Bin Laden and talked like a cowboy, because you know, I'm not a cowboy, not really, because I was born rich and I just play at being one down there on the ranch, and really most of my best friends are oil sheiks and stuff and I understand how the world works and I'm sorry I messed things up, but golly, you know it was the Christian thing to do and I hope that Zarqawi's heart was right with God when we dispatched him and it was not a very nice thing to do but we had to do it and we will stand down when they stand up and everybody wants to live in freedom and Islam is a religion of peace and our nation is founded on immigration........."

I`m not saying President Bush has been Neville Chamberlaine, but I am saying he is far too willing to play well with others-even others who want our collective heads mounted on their trophy walls. He seems to be afraid to act as decisively as needed. This is a period like no other in history; we have never had so many forces aligned against us which had the capability to actually destroy our nation and kill millions of people. Always in the past we have been protected by distance and physical limitations. Now our enemies are scattered, they`re cooperating, and they have the capabilities. There is nuclear proliferation, missile proliferation, chemical weapons, biological weapons, etc. in the hands of numerous nations and groups, all of whom are gunning for us. We cannot afford to make the mistakes which Presidents have been prone to in the past-this is life and death. It is unfortunate, but our leaders have to handle everything correctly the first time, or we face doom. Our President`s ``new tone`` may kill us in the end.

Consider what a policy of appeasement has wrought throughout history; In 991 Athelred, King of England, paid the Danegeld-a bribe to be left alone by the Viking Danes. He paid 10,000 lbs weight in silver, then 16,000, then 24,000 etc. He eventually had to fight them.

The Russians routinely had to pay the Golden Horde not to raid their cities, as did the Ukrainians (whose cities they razed completely). Often, if payment was late, they would burn Russian cities to the ground. Moscow eventually worked up the nerve to fight them-and won.

The Roman Emperor Theodosius II paid the Huns a tribute to leave them alone; want to guess how well that worked out?

Of course, the most famous case of appeasement was Neville Chamberlain`s attempt to keep Hitler happy at the expense of Czechoslovakia. It lead to a World War.

Most of the world does not understand the Christian virues of charity and forgiveness, and our world is, as Rush Limbaugh describes it, governed by the aggressive use of force. Is it unfortunate? Most certainly. Is it just? No. Is it something that can be changed? Not until the parousia. Too many people want to be ``the bigger man`` and ignore the slights of our enemies. This is folly; anyone who has seen a child on the playground knows that a bully will knock a kid who tries this into the next decade. We simply cannot close our eyes to aggression. The stakes are just too damn high.

Does America have the will to fight this war? The Bible points out that Nations get the leadership they deserve. America has been lukewarm to the important things, and far too willing to fight viciously over the mundane; we have gotten a mundane and blind leadership. ``As ye sew, so shall ye reap``.

Considering the forces against us, and our lack of leadership and will, I fear for the future. Aussiegirl is right to be afraid.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Taepo Dong Hawaii

North Korea was targeting their missiles at Hawaii, according to BobG. at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia.

Thoughts on ``Unfought Victory``

Recently I argued at the American Thinker that the Chinese were using Kim Jong-Il and his rogue fiefdom as surrogates against the United States, and that I feared one strategy which could be employed would be an Electromagnetic Pulse attack. I received some criticizm (anytime you write ANYTHING you will) claiming that will not get an EMP from a fission bomb 2.there is unclear evidence that an EMP would have as powerful an effect as I described and 3.there are strong political forces operating against such a rash act. Let me answer these in order:

To the first point I would make the case that we have learned a great deal about a great many things of which we were unaware during the fission bomb era, and that it is allegedly possible to get an EMP without even detonating a nuclear device, so it may well be possible (especially with computer technology and foreign assistance) to vastly increase the EMP of a fission device. Also, given enough assistance, it may be possible for North Korea to obtain an old Soviet Nuke, or perhaps even develope thermonuclear capabilities of their own at some point (bear in mind that the United States detonated it`s first h-bomb in 1952-a scant 7 years after Fat Man; also, remember that the backward Chinese developed them also). Couple this with a delivery system, and you have a very dangeous surrogate, and an EMP is, from a tactical standpoint, the perfect crime.

As to point number two, the principle argument is that the experiments conducted in 1962 merely blew out some lightbulbs and caused some minor damage in Hawaii-at the very least the results were unclear. I would argue that the damage was probably greater than we have been told (the United States government suppressed the existence of EMP for a long time) and I would further point out that there is a vast difference between 1962 and today; in 1962 a computer was something which filled a room and used punch cards for memory storage (my own obsolete pc has more computing power than the entire United States had at that point), many radios and televisions still used the old vacuum tubes, we did not have digital transmissions, fiber optics, etc. Today we use computers and highly sensitive electronics for EVERYTHING, and what may have had minor consequences in 1962 could be devastating today.

The last point is the most interesting, and there are those who would argue that the Chinese and other foreign powers have no interest in promoting a North Korean attack. I offer exhibit A; China is blocking any action against North Korea in the United Nations. I further offer exhibit B (curtesy of our good friend Aussiegirl at Ultima Thule); the Russians have been duplicitous with the North Koreans. North Korea is receiving an awful lot of assistance with it`s nuclear program, it`s missiles, and (perhaps most importantly) hiding it`s illegal weapons program.

I stand by what I have written; this would still be the perfect crime.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Revenge of the CIA

The ever brilliant Clarice Feldman illustrates the likelihood of a CIA action against the Bush Administration via a letter from the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to Mr. Bush.

The President brought Porter Goss to clean up what has become an unworkable institution, and then allowed his ``janitor`` to be forced out and his reforms undone. When will Mr. Bush realize that he cannot win over those people through compromise and bonhomme? Washington is not Austin, and the career people in charge of many of these institutions think they are the ones who should be making policy. It was up to the President to correct that through his appointments. Unfortunately, he left many of the Clinton people in office (the people who politicized these institutions to begin with) and have had them working against him ever since.

He needed to take a firmer hand in 2000; his weakness in dealing with disobedient subordinates has cost him dearly over the years, and will probably cost his party in years to come.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Making of a Champion

America has triumphed over the Russkies, and I was there to cheer them on! It was a great night, a great fight, and a sweet (if nailbiting) victory for hometown boy Corey Spinks, who won the IBF Junior Middleweight title from Roman ``Made in Hell`` Karmazin in my hometown of St. Louis.

Professional boxing has been gone from St. Louis since the 1950`s, with the exception of small fight clubs where journeymen boxers pummel each-other into insensibility. Corey Spinks decided to change that when he became the undisputed Welterweight champion, and his insistence on defending his title here brought a world championship fight back to what had once been a major pugilistic city. The incomparable Light Heavyweight Archie Moore was from here, as was ``Perpetual Motion`` Henry Armstrong-the only man ever to hold the title belt on three different weightclasses simultaneously (Feather, Welter, and Light). Of course, Corey`s father is the former Heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, and his uncle is Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight champ Michael. Like all things about the Gateway City, St. Louis had once been a great boxing town but had faded into obscurity in recent decades. Corey, by virtue of his undisputed Welterweight title, was able to demand that Don King hold his title defense against Zab Judah downtown in ``The Lou``. That match-fought before a sold out crowd-shocked Don King, who had never before considered St. Louis to be a good prospect for major fights.

Spinks lost. He had some trouble making his weight (he often did) and he fought a listless and uninspired battle. In the end, Judah walked away with all three of Spinks` belts, and it looked to be the end for St. Louis as the host for a major championship match.

Somehow, Spinks was able to convince Jr. Middleweight champion Roman Karmazin to agree to fight in his hometown. Karmazin probably thought he was going to pound the daylights out of Spinks (every rise in weight class means a substantial rise in punching power, and Spinks was not known for his power) and the mad Russian probably thought he would be bringing hell with him when he came.

I took my brother to the fights as a birthday gift, and we came early to watch the undercard. Some of the fights were dreadfully dull (the crowd booed one match for three rounds) but there were a couple of good ones. Two former champions fought to get another shot at the title-one winning, the other losing. There were supposed to be two main events, but the Cruiserweight match between champ Steve Cunningham Guillermo Jones was cancelled due to Jones being ill. We did see former WBA Middleweight champ Maselino Masoe lose to up-and-coming Randy Griffin, and
former Cruiserweight champion Jean-Marc Mormet pummel an overmatched Damon Reed.

I was amazed that so few people showed up to watch the undercard; considering the mercurial price for tickets, I had expected the place to be packed and stay that way all night. I can`t imagine shelling out a hundred bucks for fight tickets, and only show up for the 48 minutes the title fight would last.

At any rate, the cancellation of the co-main event left a large time gap in the program, and tension mounted as we all awaited the main attraction. It started with a bang-literally-as explosions and fireworks announced the arrival of hometown hero Corey Spinks. Spinks came out like a rap star, with lights and a live rapper singing while he danced his way to the ring. I was appalled; he was wasting valuable energy he may need for later! Still, he did fire up the crowd and turned all of THAT energy against poor ``Made From Hell`` who entered, appropriately enough, to the AC/DC tune ``Highway to Hell``-it was to be his personal highway to hell, as he was going to walk away with his head held low.

Spinks looked good; he was quick as lightning, moving in with rapid combinations or quick jabs and jumping out of range before the ponderous Karmazin could counterpunch. After a couple of rounds I became concerned that Karmazin`s greater punching power had cowed Corey, but I was wrong and he kept the magic act going, with Karmazin fruitlessly trying to hit his ephemeral target. Karmazin had him in trouble in the second round, but Spinks weathered the storm. By the 7th round it became clear that Spinks would at least hold Karmazin to a draw.

But Karmazin showed he had the heart of a champion, and he came out firing late in the fight, winning virtually all of the last rounds. By the end of the match Karmazin`s face was swollen and badly cut, and Karmazin looked tired, but he may have done enough to win; I scored it 7 rounds for Spinks, 5 for Karmazin, and one even, but the champ usually gets the benefit of the doubt. What did the judges see?

One judge ruled 114-114 for a draw, while the other two called it 115-113 for the new Jr. Middleweight champion Corey Spinks! The ten point ``must`` system means that the winner of a round gets ten points, while the loser gets 9 or 8 if he is knocked down. Spinks won the fight by one round with two of the three judges. Had a second judge ruled it even, the match would have been a draw.

It was a wonderful experience to watch the anointing of a new King. I had never expected to see a title fight, and it was everything I had expected it to be. Hopefully we`ll have a few more come to town before everyone forgets our fair city.

All Hail the Conquering Hero!

Frauds and False Consensus

One of the tricks used by the Global Warming crowd (and, indeed, by all politically motivated junk scientists) is to claim an absolute consensus on the issue; they do this to stifle debate by claiming the matter has been settled (Sigmund Freud and proponents of Darwinism developed this tactic in the 19th and early 20th Centuries) and that anyone who still wishes to debate is an anti-intellectual bigot and flat-earther. The GW people-the Green Beings-have made this claim repeatedly, and consistently dismiss the long list of knowledgeable scientists who dispute the doomsday findings of their greener colleagues. Recently, I had a rather lengthy debate with valiantly anonymous interlocutor who demanded proof that there was NOT a scientific consensus, then tried to claim that the many petitions and lists I offered were bogus (the Oregon Petition has 20,000 signers-how can you dispute THAT?) Among my references was the Statement by Atmospheric Scientists On Greenhouse Warming from 1992, and I received an e-mail allegedly from one of the signators defending Al Gore and denying any involvement with the petition:

Dear Timothy Birdnow:

I am writing about your use of a Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming, of which I am allegedly a signatory. I am offended by your use of this supposed document in dispute of the indisputably high-quality, solidly scientifically based message that Former Vice President Al Gore has committed himself to communicating to everyone in the world who has the intelligence to listen.

The document is out-of-date, irrelevant, and at least a few of the presumed signatories are no longer alive and not able to provide current considered opinions in view of the recent, sound scientific evidence. The use of out-of-context quotes of some of the most thoughtful and respected scientists, from 30 YEARS AGO, is fallacious and offensive to scientific integrity.

I recall asking what solid scientific evidence there was in support of the (then) theory of global warming, 30 years ago. However, asking that question is in NO WAY a contradiction or dispute of the theory; but an invitation for more thorough research to substantiate it (or not). In the time since then, the research has been done and the results are conclusive. Al Gore has drawn from the work of dedicated scientists (to whom he gives the credits). He has committed himself to getting the message out to all people of our planet who have the sense to listen and the intelligence to understand that Earth is in jeopardy from our exploitation of its resources and toxic effluents.

I ask that you take that document off your web-site and recommend that you replace it with up-to-date information focused on revising our collective priorities to preserve our fragile home planet for future generations.

Very sincerely,
H. Jean Thiebaux

My antennae went up on this; why would an atmospheric physicist trouble to e-mail a guy who wrote something in an argument on the comments section of a rather low-rated blog? Why would he keep stressing this happened 30 years ago when the petition was signed 14 years ago, and that 30 years would mean he was disgussing the issue in 1976? Anyway, here was my response:

Dear Dr. Thiebaux,

The referencing you mention was in an argument in the comments section on a post about Al Gore`s possible Presidential bid; it is clear you have not read what it is you are responding to. I also mentioned the Oregon Petition, etc. to illustrate to my anonymous commenter that there are, indeed, scientists who disagree with the conventional wisdom of the day. Your name was on the petition, and has been on the SEPP website for over a decade, so I had no reason to doubt the veracity of the names listed.

I did what you should have done if you believe your name is incorrectly listed; I contacted Dr. Singer to verify the information. He said that, as far as he has ever been aware, you had signed the petition (it had to be submitted) and that you have never complained about your name being included. You have, of course, the right to change your mind, but you should admit that if indeed it is the case, or you should take the necessary actions to disassociate yourself from a fraud. I will happily post your letter on my blog, along with whatever doubts may be in my mind. If you are seriously upset with your inclusion on the ``Statement by Atmospheric Scientists`` I would suggest you contact Dr. Singer at SEPP.

I find your timeframe incredulous; 30 years ago would mean you were discussing the matter in 1976. At that time there were very few people talking about Global Warming-rather, everyone was claiming we were entering a new ice age. The Global Warming fad got going in the `80`s, although the theory had been around for a number of years. Also, I would like to point out that the ``Statement of Atmospheric Scientists`` was from 1992, not 1976.

The fact that some of the scientists who signed the document are deceased means they cannot defend themselves against YOU as well; there is no reason to believe that they did not mean what they said at that time. Your accusation is fallacious, and offensive to scientific integrity.

You state;

``Al Gore has drawn from the work of dedicated scientists (to whom he gives the credits). He has committed himself to getting the message out to all people of our planet who have the sense to listen and the intelligence to understand that Earth is in jeopardy from our exploitation of its resources and toxic effluents.``

Appealing to the intellectual authority of Al Gore is likewise an affront to the integrity of science. That last bit about the dire straits the Earth is in from our greedy exploitation of resources and toxic effluents suggests, sir, that you are more devoted to a political theory than to the pursuit of science-your bias is showing.

There is considerable evidence for the mild warming we have seen in the 20th Century resulting from entirely natural causes-particularly a warmer sun and increased atmospheric albedo. If you are who you claim to be, you should be well aware of this. There is, of course, a debate on the matter, and that is right and proper. But to claim that this matter is settled, and that Al Gore`s doomsday scenario is anything but the environmentalisequivalentnt of a hell-fire and brimstone tent revival is dishonest and performs a great disservice to science.


Timothy Birdnow

I have not received a response to my e-mail to Dr. Thiebaux, and I half suspect someone was trying to hoodwink me. Dr. Singer graciously responded to me personally (he strikes me as great guy), and he said he had no doubt that Thiebaux had signed the petition. (Dr. Singer was the one who pointed out to me that Dr. Thiebaux`s claim that many of the original signers of the petition were dead works more against his case than for it.) Were my name used fraudulently, I would most certainly demand a retraction from the source; I wouldn`t complain to a conservative blogger who was merely reprinting a signed petition. There is a bad smell to this.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Environmental Brain Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

It is unfortunate but true; many environmentalists have a god complex. They believe in the omnipotence of Man`s destructive power, and disregard the fact that Man is a part of nature, uses the materials provided by nature, and is doing nothing which nature herself has not done on a much larger scale. Certainly, a belief in a Holy God who is in control does not enter into their worldview, and as a result they roam the Earth in fear and trembling because they are burdened with the duties and responsibilities best reserved for the divine. (This was, if I am not mistaken, the original punishment for Sin; Man wanted to be as God, and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and was smitten with care as a result.) The burden imposed on environmentalists is weighty indeed; they know that the fate of All Known Life is in their palsied hands, and any misstep or slow reaction will bring doom upon us all! WE HAVE TO ACT!!! WE must save the planet, because the planet surely needs saving, and if we don`t do it who will? The concept that the planet has done fine for billions of years, and can get along fine without our intervention never seems to occur to many of them. Our brief tenancy on this old rock seems to them an abomination, and there are some who actually advocate human extinction ``for the good of the Earth``! The assumption of deity is too heavy a burden, and madness has set in.

That is what is wrong with the Global Warming hysteria; it presupposes that our every action (heck, breathing releases CO, and thus contributes to Global Warming) has disastrous consequences, and so we must be strictly controlled by the power of the State and the mental prowess of the intelligentsia. Al Gore has to scare the pants off of children and old people in order to force political action for something which has no solid evidence. We must, as Michael Crichton so eloquently termed it, live in a state of fear; if we aren`t afraid we will surely die.

To reiterate; this type of thinking leads to madness, and the Global Warming gurus are suggesting all sorts of crazy, overreactive measures-some of which could REALLY damage the environment. For example, there are several proposals for cooling the Earth involving planetary-sized parasols, seeding clouds to increase atmospheric albedo (that is, increase reflectivity), etc. Now, if they were suggesting ways to terraform Mars, say, it may be a worthwhile mental exercise, but they are talking about Geo-Engineering-about messing around with the fundamental mechanisms of climate and ecology.

Dr. S. Fred Singer President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at George Mason University, has written the following regarding the cloud seeding proposal:

S. Fred Singer
Comments on the NY Times article (27 June) "How to Cool a Planet" by Wm Broad

I was appalled to read of the proposal by Paul
Crutzen to release vast quantities of sulfur
dioxide in the stratosphere to overcome "a
potential planetary crisis." (This and other
geo-engineering proposals will be published in
the August issue of Climatic Change.) It was
even more appalling to learn about the
endorsement by the president of the US National Academy of Sciences.

I am surprised to see such ideas advanced by
environmental advocates. They should know that
stratospheric aerosols, while reflecting
some sunlight, will also provide the surface
areas for heterogeneous reactions that destroy
stratospheric ozone. A few years ago, Edward
Teller told me about similar proposals to create
stratospheric aerosols. I was much too polite to
contradict him but I remember shaking my head
sadly. It shows how even great men can get
carried away by unreasonable climate fears.

Crutzen estimates the annual cost of his sulfur
proposal at up to $50 billion a year. Bjorn
Lomborg can tell him of much better ways to spend
such large sums of money. Skeptics of
anthropogenic global warming are correct to
dismiss this kind of geo-engineering as a "costly effort to battle a mirage."

The discussion prompted me to pull some old
calculations out of my files and review the idea
of a space-based solar radiation shield, combined
with a solar power supply. Here are the numbers, which should still be valid.

Assume a world population of 10 billion around
2050, requiring 5 kilowatt of electric power
per capita. Total power demand is 50 billion kW.

With a solar constant of 1.4 kW/m2 and
photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 7%, the
required collecting area is 5x10^11 m2, or 700x700 km2.

Compared to the cross-section of Earth of
1.27x10^8 km2, the collecting area is only
0.4%. However, a 0.4% reduction of solar
irradiance could offset a substantial amount of
GH warming. And if we choose to reduce the
insolation for certain critical areas, we might even initiate another ice age.

This is illustrative, of course. There are many
practical problems that must be solved. And it is
also necessary to establish a real need for such a combination project.


The reality is that we don`t understand enough to suggest such desperate schemes-especially about the interrelationship between the Earth`s ecosystem and climate to attempt such a feat; we`re more likely to kill ourselves with such harebrained efforts than to die from Global Warming. The Earth has been far warmer in past epochs, and has had far more CO in the atmosphere than at present, and life on this old planet got along fine. The law of uninteded consequences applies, and our efforts to stabilize something not intended to be stable will probably recoil in unforseen and devastating ways. As gods, we tend to do a poor job.

Furthermore, who is to say that the emergence of Terra from the current interglacial would not be beneficial in the long run? The main arguments, as I see them, are that the coastal areas will flood, and the rapid change will destroy biodiversity. If all the GW fearmongers believe is true, the loss of the current coastline would require us to move a bit farther inland, but we will gain so much land which is currently useless; Canada and Russia-the two largest nations on Earth-could become great agricultural producers, marginally habitable areas like Greenland could be settled, as well as the great islands of the Arctic Ocean, and perhaps we could open a whole new continent. (Of course, Lex Luthor`s scheme in the Superman movie from the late `70`s could be brought to fruition by an adequately enterprising real-estate developer...) The argument about loss of biodiversity may be a decent objection, but we, of course, will save many species from extinction through our efforts, and many of the species which will become extinct may not be worth saving, anyway. Life will adapt to the changes, and that cure for cancer that so many Green Beings worry over may not exist in the Rainforest now, but could appear through mutation as a result of the changing environment.

The point is that we just don`t KNOW where things will lead. The Green Beings fear any sort of change, because they fear a future not directed by themselves. Change is an unavoidable part of life, and one does not even find stasis in death; we have to accept this truth. Those of us who believe there is a God know who is in control-and it ain`t us! I needn`t fear climate change, because it is ultimately in the hands of a higher power.

There ARE things we should fear, things borne of evil and free will; terrorism, nuclear proliferation, socialist collectivization, moral degeneracy. These are things which can kill us, or ruin our lives and the lives of our children. Civilizations are far more fragile than ecosystems, and have collapsed numerous times in the brief span of human history. We are far more likely to die from a terrorist attack than from a 1* rise in world temperatures in a century. These are real, tangible, and can be dealt with by means at our disposal. If the left and the environmentalists need something to be afraid of, well, knock yourselves out!

But these are banal things, things beneath the cares of the god-man, or the green goddess.

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