A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Political Self-Immolation; the Burning Bush

Sometimes I am astounded at President Bush; for a man who is clearly intelligent and savvy, he can do some astoundingly stupid things. Take this, for example; President Bush has not only agreed to create a new Iraq Study Group, but he has also agreed to let Chancy Nancy Pelosi (the San Francisco bleat) and Harry Quite Contrary Reid choose all of the members!

The original ``bipartisan`` ISG was an exercise in intellectual onanism, with the prime goal being comity. As a result, they came forward with the idiotic idea of bringing Iran and Syria into talks to end the Iraqi insurgency. That the insurgency is a product of Iranian and Syrian policy, that they are largely the cause-the deliberate cause-of our woes in Iraq never seemed to have occurred to these policy wonks` gigantic brains. President Bush rightly dismissed this report as a waste of good Global Warming reversal resources (trees, for you liberals), but now he is going to convene a new group to waste our time, our money, and give the Democrats and their lackeys in the media another club with which to beat him.

The only thing I can think of, the only reason the President could rationally be doing this (outside of his favorite failed policy-the new tone) is to buy time; perhaps he thinks this group will waste 6 or 8 or 12 months accomplishing nothing, but giving him the means to hold off the majority party in Congress. He has to realize that granting Pelosi and Reid the right to choose the membership guarantees a brutal final report, one that will slam him worse than a newbie at a WWF cage match (or whatever they`re called now). He HAS to realize that, doesn`t he (I tremble at the possible answer), so what does this say? Does he think the war will be won in the time he is buying, or is he not looking ahead and just hoping something will turn up down the road?

The problem is that this commission will file their report in time for the election season to get into high gear, and will be used by Democrats as a political weapon. I see no wisdom in what President Bush is doing. Could he really believe that this will turn Chancy Nancy and Harry into his allies?

I pray he knows something that we don`t.

Traitors in the Mist

(Hat tip: Mike Wolff)

One of the most despicable things I`ve encountered during the War is this; the treasonous New York Times published a video of the murder or an American soldier in Iraq in violation of their signed agreement not to do such a thing. (This is guaranteed to make Birdblog readers livid!)

The Times has gone entirely too far! We have had to endure their constant sniping at our war effort, their repeated publishing of classified information about our war plans, their refusal to publish any information about our successes. The media in general has refused to show America just what these vile people are doing over there (while being very eager to show our troops ``crimes`` such as Abu Ghraib), yet now, when they think America is fatigued and ready to pull out, they are eagerly publish videos of our soldiers being killed.

Are we, or are we not, at war? When is the Justice Department going to act against this type of treasonous behavior on the part of our own ``fair and balanced`` media? Abraham Lincoln would have had the Times closed and her editors imprisoned! I can think of no war in American history in which the press can openly, defiantly perform acts of treason and not be challenged by the Executive Branch-or the Judicial, or the Legislative. It`s time for legal action against this sedition!

They are going to lose their embedded status-oh, boo hoo! They should have lost their embedded status two years ago-or never had it to begin with! This is a case of closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out! Some of them at the Times need to lose their freedom for a while, if you ask me!

President Bush, ever the gentleman, believed that placing reporters in the ranks of the soldiers would guarantee fair and accurate reporting-no false claims of American atrocities, and our successes would be reported. WRONG!! The Mainstream Media cares nothing for fair and accurate reporting; they want to make the news, not chronicle it! We have seen treason in the press corps, and it`s about time somebody puts their foot down!

We have no chance of winning the overall War on Terror if we continue in this manner; we cannot take the most basic steps, actions which have been part of accepted military protocol for centuries without the Media accusing us of awful things and making every effort to see that our plans fail. As long as they continue to undermine our efforts we have no hope of winning. It should be pointed out that throughout our history the press has been cooperative with the government to ensure American victory, or they would have been censored and possibly closed. This is not a new thing, and I can think of no nation on Earth which allows their own press to actively oppose the national military during wartime. We cannot continue with treason in our midst.

When last I commented on the need for conservatives to buy up media, I ran into a lot of disagreement from people who do not think it necessary. Do those of you who believed that still think that is the case?

Pan Fried Earth

The Greek god Pan was often feared by his worshippers because he demanded that they surrender their minds and bodies to him. During worship services the assembled devout would often be seized by bouts of mindlessness similar to what occurs during Voodoo rituals today. Once you were there you belonged to Pan, because if you fled, if you tried to escape seized, you went into Pan-ic; a state of mindless fear. He got you either way.

That is the state of things with the Gang Green, the Climate Change crowd; every meteorological occurrence drives the believer to the conclusion that anthropogenic Global Warming is a certainty. Pan gets you either way. Too cold-GW! Too hot-GW! Just right-dare I say it? This bunch is the Goldilocks of the environment.

Of course, those three bears are now on the endangered species list without merit, and Ragnarok is around the corner. The great battle of fire and ice cometh courtesy of the United States and the internal combustion engine. This state of fear, as Michael Crichton described it, is a return of the forgotten god Pan, who demands a surrender of our minds to his wiles. The Gang Green live in a state of perpetual Panic.

And they know they are losing this fight, fear that their bubble may soon be burst. They know that this particular scenario may or may not be true, but something is going to happen someday! Man simply cannot continue to live this industrial lifestyle; our civilization has destroyed that green and pleasant paradise of yore. Global Warming gives them the tool to convince people to restore this ancient pastoral paradise-and redistribute ill-gotten wealth while they are at it! But they have been preaching GW for 25 years now, and not enough people have listened, and their doomsday predictions have failed to materialize. Time is not on their side, so they have become desperate to win; it`s the 11th round and they need a knockout to win the title. So we are being treated to terrifying doomsday prophecies to raise the old god in us.

Need proof that they are in full panic? Check this out!

Also, read this piece from Breitbart:

Global warming: rise of 4.5 C if pollution doubles, says draft report

Jan 30 9:44 AM US/Eastern

Earth's surface temperature could rise by 4.5 C (8.1 F) if carbon dioxide levels double over pre-industrial levels, but higher warming cannot be ruled out, according to a draft report under debate by the UN's top climate experts.
The draft -- being discussed line by line at the four-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- grimly states that the evidence for man-made influence on the climate system is now stronger than ever.

And carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution spewed out this century will stoke global warming and sea-level rise "for more than a millennium," given the time it takes for fossil-fuel pollution to degrade, it says.

Among other things, the document declares it "very likely" that heatwaves and pounding rain will become more frequent, snow cover is projected to contract -- and typhoons and hurricanes will become less frequent but more powerful.

Before the Industrial Revolution, levels of CO2, the principal greenhouse gas, stood at around 280 parts per million (ppm).

Today, CO2 concentrations are around 380 ppm and are rising between two and three ppm per year as big energy-gobbling countries, such as China and India, pursue their economic rise.

According to the draft, a copy of which was obtained by AFP Tuesday, the temperature has already risen by 0.74 C (1.33 F) over the last century.

It considers it "very likely" -- a probability of more than 90 percent -- that the rise since the mid-1900s was caused by man-made greenhouse gases. In its last report, in 2001, the IPCC said this probability was "likely," or 66 percent or less.

The report paints a bleak tableau of what has been happening to Earth's climate.

Since the 1970s, droughts have become intenser and longer, especially in the tropics and subtropics, while the maximum area covered by seasonally frozen ground in the northern hemisphere has retreated by seven percent since 1900.

Eleven of the last 12 years rank among the warmest years for which there are reliable records.

The average temperature of the global ocean has increased to depths of at least 3,000 metres (10,500 feet), showing that it is absorbing the heat from the atmosphere.

Warming the seas has caused them to expand, which accounts for 60-70 percent of the 1.8mm (0.07 of an inch) per year rise in global sea levels seen between 1961 and 2003. The rest of the rise is accounted for by shrinkage of the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland.

In 2001, the IPCC predicted global atmospheric temperatures would rise by between 1.4 and 5.8 C (2.52-10.4 F) by 2100 compared to 1990, depending on how much CO2 was in the air.

In this latest assessment, the draft forecasts what temperature rise can be expected according to the CO2 scenario, but without mentioning the 2100 timeframe.

With CO2 at 550ppm, average global temperatures would be between 2 and 4.5 C (3.6-8.1 F) higher than pre-industrial times, "with a best estimate of about 3 C (5.4 F)," says the report.

It warns, though, that "values substantially higher than 4.5 C (8.1 F) cannot be excluded" if CO2 concentrations also rise significantly.

These are among the forecast effects for this century:

-- snow cover will continue to shrink and the depth of thaw will accelerate over most regions with permafrost.

-- sea levels will rise by between 28 and 43 centimetres (11.2-17.2 inches), depending on the CO2 level. In the 2001 estimate, the range was 9-88 cms (3.5-35 inches).

-- sea-ice cover will shrink in both north and south poles. Some projections say summer sea ice in the Arctic "disappears almost entirely" by 2100.

-- hot extremes and heavy precipitation are very likely to become more frequent.

-- tropical cyclones will become less numerous but more intense, and storm tracks will move poleward.

-- the Gulf Stream, the warm Atlantic current which gives Western Europe its balmy climate despite its high latitude, will slow by a quarter during the 21st century, according to average projections.

But fears that Western Europe will be plunged into a regional Ice Age this century can be discounted. The Gulf Stream is "very unlikely" to undergo a brutal slowdown, and in any case, atmospheric temperatures will warm because of the greenhouse effect.

The IPCC report is the fourth assessment since the expert scientific panel was set up in 1988 to help guide policymakers. The Paris document, on the scientific basis for global warming, will be issued on Friday.

It is one of three that the IPCC will issue this year, the others being on the effects of climate change and how to cope with them.

Once again, we are treated to science at the service of ideology, and the full power of Pan. CO2 levels have been far higher in bygone days (as much as 10 times) than now, and temperatures have been cooler on occasion. Temperature spikes very often precede CO2 level increases-not the other way around, as the Gang Green would have us believe. Also, CO2 doesn`t stay in the atmosphere for a thousand years, as these hysterics would have us believe; we don`t fully understand the carbon cycle, but there is strong evidence that most of it is cycled through in just 5 years or so.

But people will not go for this international socialist scheme, this draconian reduction in our standard of living imposed by the United Nations if they can`t be driven into a panic. We simply must have apocalyptic predictions, must make people believe they and their children are in mortal peril, if the plans of the Green Lefties are to come to fruition. The average person looks at his life, his world, and sees no cause of alarm. So crunch time has come. The battle of the bulge. The last, desperate gasp (fitting phrase, that) of the Gang Green to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.

The sad thing is, there are this to be really worried about; Iranian nukes, North Korean nukes, biological weapons, worldwide terrorism. If the Pan People want something to freak over, they have real causes for concern. But this doesn`t fit their philosophical template, so they dismiss atomic weapons (one atom bomb can ruin your whole day) while worrying about cow flatulence and atmospheric gases!

Pan`s time is about finished, at least where Global Warming is concerned. I wonder what his worshippers will latch onto next?

Poor, Hard, Brutish, and Short

Yesterday in the American Thinker James Lewis discussed the Rousseauian concept of the `Noble Savage` and how modern anthropology is discovering that this idealized utopian figure never existed:

Wade presents compelling evidence that humans appear to be genetically predisposed to warfare. Among ancient hunter-gatherers, "incessant warfare" was the norm, just as it is today among the Stone Age tribes of New Guinea and South America. Humans have a long history of cannibalism, so much that we carry genes to guard against the toxic consequences of eating human flesh (similar to Mad Cow prion disease). Modern humans are less aggressive than our ancestors were. The very fact that we can live in mass societies at reasonable peace with each other is an extraordinary advance.

Anthropologists have long tried to close their minds to the plentiful evidence for murderous tribal warfare. When they encountered tribal wars, they pointed out that not many people seemed to get killed in any fight --- forgetting that raiding one's neighbors is often a weekly sporting event, like Monday Night Football. So war death rates go to thirty percent over a lifetime, not counting injuries, rapes and ethnic cleansings. And it turns out that even the "peaceful" peoples, like Bushmen, boast of their human kills. They justify killing by explaining that they just get really mad.

Anthropologists have become famous by writing that cannibalism was just a slanderous lie invented by the West. It all fit the neo-racist myth of the White Man's Guilt --- as at Duke University. Such people peddle the myths of the peaceful Hopis and Bushmen, the Gandhi-esque Hindus, Buddhists and Sufis, and all the morally superior non-White cultures. (They somehow forget that Gandhi's independence movement led straight to four million ethnic killings during the Partition of 1948).

Mr. Lewis makes the case that Mankind has become less aggressive, less violent in modern times. He`s right in so many ways.

Warfare with knives and spears and arrows is less efficient, but where is the bloodlust in killing with a rifle from a mile away? We are often told that modern weapons make us more destructive, but is that necessarily true? A gentler person can kill with a rifle (though he may not want to do so) but hand to hand combat makes for real killing, and those with a propensity for violence grow to love the murder and mayhem. Primitive peoples would, indeed, find great joy in the butchery of their enemies. The clinical necessity of modern warfare makes for a less exuberant type of fighting. Knives, spears, and arrows mean killing an enemy and watching him die as you glory over his body. Then, flush with the thrill of the hunt and the kill, the successful warrior will probably slaughter anyone else he finds-elderly, children, non-combatants, etc. He may rape the women, torture the weak, anything to keep the adrenaline high going.

I once heard it said that the word berserk comes from `without shirt` because the Vikings, upon hearing the sounds of battle, would often storm into the fight without taking the time to dress. They lived for the thrill of bloodshed. Can the same be said of the modern American soldier? I don`t doubt their commitment or passion, but I suspect that rarely do Marines get worked up into such a killing frenzy, because they don`t do things to stoke the fires of bloodlust. Modern warfare tries very hard to avoid that very thing. Guns make it harder to stoke those fires.

That`s not to say there isn`t a thrill in killing with a gun-how else can one explain hunting? Gangbangers certainly thrill to the sound of the Saturday night special. My point is, after a short battle it`s over, while the old ways meant continual adrenal fixes. Bloody violence is addictive.

That`s where Mel Gibson had it right with Apocalypto; the villagers rightly feared seeing men in the forest, because any stranger was probably an enemy. Turns out they were right...

If we are to take the advice of philosophers, we should be more willing to listen to Hobbes than to Rousseau.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Thoughtful Comment on Paradise Lost


The great economist FA Hayek was also eloquent on this point - that Leftism, far from being Progressive, was actually atavistic - a longing for an imagined, but never real, past of tribe and clan. That Leftism was a reaction to the "extended economy" of impersonal transactions that permitted (a) the division of labor and (b) the access to resources that all advanced economies were built on, be it Babylon or America. He thought Aristotle was a twit on this point since one of Aristotles "mots" was that a democracy could only be as large as the distance a man's voice could carry. Hayek said that Aristotle was making this observation while living in Athens whose wealth and power was created by a trading system that extended throughout the Mediterranean basin.

Why tribe and clan looks so good to Leftists is another mystery - who wants to be ruled by an ignorant old man?

There is a leading journal of education whose name escapes me. But several years ago, there was a preview of a course that waa to be taught at Stanford by the feminists and awaited with much anticipation - a study of the Apache. And then.......course cancelled. Why? The good professors discovered that the Apache were a male-dominatd warrior society where women kept the camp, cooked the food, had the babies and the men spent their days training and fighting!! :-) Back to the drawing board!!

Greg Richards

Childhood`s End

Mike at The Return of Scipio discusses the on-screen rape of prepubescent Dakota Fanning, and what it means from a cultural standpoint. He is, as always, spot on.

There once was an institution, a very decent, noble concept known as childhood. Childhood was not merely a stage of life, but was a cultural construct, the purpose being to shield children from the harshness of this world until they were ready to bear the burden. Helping children to retain innocence, protecting them from knowledge they really didn`t need was a great mercy, and liberated them from the weight of the world. The young could rest in safety and peace, knowing that their parents protected them and that they were free to play and live their lives without worry or fear.

This was the goal of civilization itself; protecting the children from harm. Harm is not physical alone, but spiritual and psychological, and so steps were taken to shield children from unnecessary worries and concerns. Sexual knowledge, for example, puts enormous pressure on children who are not ready to face the viccitudes of adult relationships. What value is there in a 9 year old being sexually knowledgeable? There is such a thing as too much information.

Not that the concept wasn`t misapplied; My (then 60 year old) great aunt asked went to my mother after my older brother was born to inquire as to how babies were born! Nobody ever told her, and she was too ladylike to bring up the subject of sex. Something like that should never have happened; her mother, or at least her sisters, should have explained it to her.

But shouldn`t we shield children from some things, at least? Do children really need to know the details of how the sex act is performed? Do they need to know about homosexuality, or necrophilia, or beastiality? Do they need to see a rape of someone who is chronologically their peer on the silver screen?

I remember a visit I made with my wife to Amish country; we passed a homestead where several teenaged girls were outside skipping rope! I found that to be so refreshing-these girls were innocent, and they may have found life on the farm dull, but they lived a wholesome, peaceful existence. They did not have the look of those teens we see today. The tension, the posturing, the confused, worried look that teenagers among us `English` was absent from them. I`m not saying that we should all go live without electricity or flush toilets, but I am saying that childhood had been kind to these girls. They carried the look of peace with them. Most modern children do not.

We have systematically dismantled that noble concept of childhood, and are surprised when our children fall apart. Drug abuse, sexual license, pregnancy, violence, depression, suicide-all fruits of that dismantling. Kids aren`t allowed to be kids anymore, but must start behaving as adults at an early age because nothing is withheld from them. Most of them aren`t emotionally mature enough to deal with the realities, and become ensnared in one unwholesome behavior or another.

Boundaries are a necessary part of becoming a mature person. If a child is not given boundaries he will push until he finds one, although often he finds a precipice instead. Childhood, by restricting the information (and expectations) children received, set those boundaries, and gradually expanded the child`s scope as he became better able to handle things. Modern thought teaches that no knowledge should be restricted, that boundaries should not be given. We have everything backwards.

So much of this stems from Sigmund Freud and his crackpot sexual theories. Fear of ``repression`` lead to full sexual disclosure and a life without limitations. But how can one live without limitations? We must be thankful for limitations; could we survive if our bodies had no cohesion? If our lungs were unbounded? If gravity didn`t give us a predictable condition? Imagine if gravity weren`t constant, but changed from moment to moment! Children in the modern era must feel like that. Everything changes all the time, and they have no way of judging which way it will go. There are no fixed constants for children these days, no watermarks which they can count on to remain standard. They desperately need guidance and are instead given forced to figure things out on their own in a world where the ground shakes under their feet.

That was the purpose of childhood, and children have been robbed of it. As a boy, I roamed the city freely, secure in the knowledge that I was perfectly safe. Children can`t do that today, because some pervert like Michael Devlin will snatch them for his sick pleasures. Those perverts got that way because they weren`t shielded, weren`t emotionally protected at a critical juncture in their lives. They have since had their desires stoked by the furnace of modern sexual obsession, and they have no grounding in right and wrong to make them stop. As a result, our civilization is in the unpleasant position of having to enforce the most basic human rights with the sword-and liberals, ever eager to implement another one of their crackpot theories, resist even that, believing that kind words will melt the heart of the twisted souls they themselves have manufactured. Of course, since these twisted souls have no one to stop them, they are free to prey upon children who will grow up to become twisted souls who prey upon children...

Adam and Eve did not eat of the Tree of Good and Evil, but the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They, like children of old, were innocent until they pried into things they didn`t need to know. Ditto Pandora in Greek mythology. You would think that liberals would at least listen to the Greeks, even if they don`t want to hear it from the Christians, but that have paid no attention. They have insisted that children be forced to gaze on reality in all it`s fascination and horror. They have demanded that children think about things they shouldn`t-sex education in schools to teach 10 year olds how to put condoms on bananas, moral reasoning classes where grammar school children are forced to consider dilemmas such as abortion long before they are ready, counseling sessions with doctors so 8 year olds can be informed about the human papilloma virus, etc.

And so these neurotic, jaded children enter puberty at age 11 because the stresses have pressured their bodies to respond prematurely, and they become unbalanced, exhausted, disturbed adults. Prozac becomes their daily communion, or whatever drugs they need to treat their bipolar or schizophrenia. Since they don`t know any better, they teach their own children in the same way, and their own children suffer the bitterness they themselves suffered. It is so unnecessary, yet there it is.

The rape scene with Dakota Fanning is just one more example of how out-of-kilter, how cruel our civilization has become. The moviemakers, of course, want to make money and so abuse this girl to shock audiences (and titillate some of the more twisted individuals). Shock sells, sex sells, and these filmmakers would be angry if you accused them of causing the rape of 12 year old girls by over stimulating the perverts in our midst-yet John Hinkley, the man who shot Ronald Reagan, did so because of a dark lust for Jodie Foster and sought to emulate her movie `Taxi Driver`. Advertising works on this very principle, and corporations would not spend millions of dollars promoting their products if it didn`t. Furthermore, the state of the art has improved so dramatically (what with the internet, graphic sexuality in the movies, pornography) that it has become increasingly hard for someone not grounded in reality (as, indeed, liberals claim we should not be since there is no concrete reality) to distinguish their world from the synthetic Hollywood creation. I fully expect more child rapes after this movie airs.

It`s time we took a good, hard look at the way with abuse our children these days. We need a return to Childhood

Darwinian Strongarm Tactics in Russia

Strongarm tactics, mockery, and intellectual suppression by advocates of Darwinian theory aren`t limited to the United States; here is a story from Mosnews about a Russian student being forced to leave the country because of a lawsuit filed on her behalf which seeks to end compulsory Darwinism in the schools. It seems Maria Shraiber has been under constant assault by the brave `seekers of truth`, receiving threatening letters and suffering discrimination by teachers and others in her high school.

The old Soviet Union made Darwinian theory the `official truth` and required that Darwinism, and Darwinism alone, be taught in schools. It was the official intellectual buttress of the Marxist experiment (with a brief respite for Lysenkoism) and should have fallen with the rotting corpse of Soviet oppression, but somehow managed to maintain a stranglehold in the new Russia.

The suit by Gospozha (Miss) Shraiber sought merely to overturn the ban on teaching alternatives to Darwin, not to suppress the theory, yet the slaboumni (weak minded) in her high school harassed the poor girl until she was forced out of the country.

As her father stated;

``Darwin only presented a hypothesis that has not been proved by him or anyone else``, Shraiber said. ``Therefore, we think that when schools impose that theory on children as the only scientific option, they violate the human right of free choice.``

Of course he`s right; Natural Selection failed the very tests which Charles Darwin himself suggested to falsify it. The fossil record still has yet to disgorge the bounty of transitional species which Darwin boldly predicted would be discovered. The basic premise itself cannot be laboratory tested in any meaningful way. It still requires a leap of faith.

So, why should this be force-fed to students as conclusive science? It is the accepted theory, true, but the Geo-Centric theory of the universe was once the accepted theory, too; we should be glad it was challenged. Testing is the key to science, and faith belongs in the province of religion. It strikes me that many of the more vociferous advocates of Darwin have confused the two.

I find it interesting that Russia, with her unique cultural heritage, is having the same fight over this as we here in the West are engaged in; it suggests that Darwin`s theory was at the root of something more than biological science. Furthermore, the tactics employed by Darwin`s defenders, whether here in America or in the land of Rus, share a similar belligerent streak. Intimidation, mockery, and suppression of argument have no business in science, and the fact that they have been injected into this argument speaks volumes about the nature of what is really being fought over.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Triumph of the Irrational

This dovetails with the point I made in Paradise Lost about the Nietzschean concept of emotion and irrationality governing Liberal thought:

In an era when our media and even our education system exalt emotions, while ignoring facts and logic, perhaps we should not be surprised that so many people explain economics by ‘greed.’ Today there are adults including educated adults who explain multimillion-dollar corporate executives’ salaries as being due to ‘greed.’ Think about it: I could become so greedy that I wanted a fortune twice the size of Bill Gates’s but this greed would not increase my income by one cent. If you want to explain why some people have astronomical incomes, it cannot be simply because of their own desires whether ‘greedy’ or not but because of what other people are willing to pay them. The real question, then, is: Why do other people choose to pay corporate executives so much?... Every time oil prices shoot up, there are cries of ‘greed’ and demands by politicians for an investigation of collusion by Big Oil. There have been more than a dozen investigations of oil companies over the years, and none of them has turned up the collusion that is supposed to be responsible for high gas prices. Now that oil prices have dropped big time, does that mean that oil companies have lost their ‘greed’? Or could it all be supply and demand a cause and effect explanation that seems to be harder for some people to understand than emotions like ‘greed’?

Thomas Sowell

Thanks to the Federalist Patriot

The Gore-y Details

Here are just a few of Al Gore`s many fallacious claims, courtesy of SEPP:

THE GORONS (courtesy of Lord Monckton)

Some of the errors in Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth ·

Gore, aiming to undermine the significance of
previous warm periods such as that of the Middle
Ages, promoted the 1,000-year "hockey stick"
temperature chart (debunked by McIntyre & McKitrick, 2005).
Gore showed heart-rending
pictures of the New Orleans floods and insisted
on a link between increased hurricane frequency
and global warming that is not supported by the
facts (IPCC, 2001, 2007). ·

Gore asserted that today's Arctic is experiencing unprecedented
warmth while ignoring that Arctic temperatures in
the 1930s and 1940s were as warm or warmer (Briffa et al., 2004).
Gore did not explain that Arctic
temperature changes are more closely correlated
with changes in solar activity than with changes
in atmospheric CO2 concentrations (Soon, 2005).
Gore did not explain that the Sun
has been hotter, for longer, in the past 50 years
than in any similar period in at least the past
11,400 years (Solanki et al., 2005).
Gore said the Antarctic was
warming and losing ice but failed to note, that
this is only true of a small region; the vast
bulk of the continent has been cooling and
gaining ice (Doran et al., 2004).
Gore mentioned the breakup of the
Larsen B ice shelf, but did not mention
peer-reviewed research, which suggests the ice
shelf, did not exist 1,000 years ago (Pudsey & Evans, 2001).
Gore hyped unfounded fears that
Greenland's ice is in danger of disappearing. In
fact its thickness has been growing by 2 inches
per year for a decade (Johanessen et al., 2005).
Gore falsely claimed that global
warming is melting Mt. Kilimanjaro's icecap,
actually caused by atmospheric dessication from
local deforestation, and pre-20th-century climate
shifts (Cullen et al., 2006). ·

Gore said global sea levels would swamp Manhattan,
Bangladesh, Shanghai and other coastal cities,
and would rise 20ft by 2100, but the UN estimate
is just 7in to 1ft 5in. (IPCC, 2007; Morner, 1995, 2004, Singer, 1997).
Gore implied that a Peruvian
glacier's retreat is due to global warming,
failing to state that the region has been cooling
since the 1930s and other South American glaciers
are advancing (Polissar et al., 2006).
Gore blamed global warming for
water loss in Africa's Lake Chad, though NASA
scientists had concluded that local water-use and
grazing patterns are probably to blame (Foley & Coe, 2001).
Gore inaccurately said polar
bears are drowning due to melting ice when in
fact 11 of the 13 main groups in Canada are
thriving, and polar bear populations have more
than doubled since 1940 (Taylor, 2006).
Gore said a review of 928
scientific papers had shown none against the
"consensus". In fact only 1% of the papers were
explicitly pro-"consensus"; almost 3 times as
many were explicitly against (Peiser, 2006).
Gore showed a link between
changes in temperature and in CO2 concentration
in the past 500,000 years, but did not admit that
changes in temperature preceded changes in CO2
concentration (Fischer et al., 1999).


BRIFFA, K.R., Osborn, T.J. and Schweingruber,
F.H. 2004. Large-scale temperature inferences
from tree rings: a review. Global and Planetary Change 40: 11-26.

CULLEN, N.J., Molg, T., Kaser, G., Hussein, K.,
Steffen, K. and Hardy, D.R. 2006. Kilimanjaro
glaciers: Recent areal extent from satellite data
and new interpretation of observed 20th century
retreat rates. Geophysical Research Letters 33: 10.1029/2006GL027084.

DORAN, P.T., Priscu, J.C., Lyons, W.B., Walsh,
J.E., Fountain, A.G., McKnight, D.M., Moorheat,
D.L., Virginia, R.A., Wall, D.H., Clow, G.D.,
Fritsen, C.H., McKay, C.P. and Parsons, A.N.
2002. Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial
ecosystem response. Nature 415: 517-520.

FOLEY, Jonathan A., and Coe, Michael
T. 2001. Decline of Lake Chad. Journal of
Physical Research (Biogeosciences). Web:
[reported in National Geographic News].

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Environmental Condemnation

(Thanks to The Week That Was, SEPP edition Jan 27, 2007)

Who issued the following statement?

"You have destroyed nature with your industrial
waste and gases more than any other nation in
history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the
Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit
of your greedy companies and industries,"

Choose one of the following:

1.Al Gore

2.Osama bin Laden

3.Mikhail Gorbechev

4.Kim Sung-Il

The answer-Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden wrote this in a 2002
"Letter to the American people."

Any questions?

Hemmorhagic Fever Outbreak in Russia

According to Itar-Tass, over 400 people have broken with Hemmorhagic Fever in the Voronezh and Lipetsk regions of Russia.

I assume this is Crimean-Congo Hemmorhagic Fever CCHF and not one of the more virulent types. Go here to see what this terrible virus can do.) CCHF has a mortality rate between 9 and 50% (can anyone explain why we have a mortality range?) according to the Center for Disease Control (Ebola Zaire has a kill rate over 90%.) This may not be the Last Plague, but it most certainly is an awful one.

The issue of breakout is one that epidemiologists take seriously, as evident by the near-panic over Bird Flu. I would be more concerned with a worldwide outbreak of a mutated form of CCHF; we know the vector (route of transmission) for CCHF (Democrats, er., rats), and it is a disease endemic to Russia, which suggests the possibility that the old Soviets may have tampered with it to weaponize it. If a version should appear with just a ten percent kill rate but that is easily transmitted person-to-person, you could see 30 million deaths in the United States alone. Now that would be a pandemic! What`s more, the manner of death from hemorrhagic Fever is so awful that it could incite widespread panic among the populace.

Fortunately, the HF viruses are ancient, not even having a DNA base, but rather being composed of RNA, and have a mysterious tendency to flare up for a time then vanish. Nobody understands why we have these episodic plagues, and nobody knows why they peter out the way they do, but it may be that they are only so virulent because they are rare, and the virus would not survive without going back into hiding. They are like Al-Qaida; they launch a spectacular attack then disappear. Perhaps HF will have the same fortune?

Still, the thought of a hemorrhagic Fever Flu scares the daylights out of any sensible person. Ebola Reston was such a plague; lethal in monkeys but benign in humans and transmitted through the air. Had Ebola Reston been contagious to humans, and had the USAMRID, the military version of the CDC not acted so decisively, we could have seen a major outbreak in the nation`s capital.

Genetic technology is developing at such a rapid rate, and the ability to tamper with the basic structure of diseases make it the prime danger for the 21st Century. I have no doubt that terrorists and their state sponsors are working feverishly on unleashing the Pale Horse from Revelation. When I consider illnesses such as CCHF, and what could be done with them, I shudder.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Milton Down the Left

Welcome American Thinker readers!

I perform a philosophical autopsy on the liberal love for Muhammad in a piece at the American Thinker this morning.

There was a discussion at the AT about ``Leftist Fascists``, and how those on the right should not allow liberals to use it as a slur against them. James Lewis pointed out that Left Fascists are fascists too! I disagreed with the premise; Fascism and Nazism are both intellectual products of the Left, and this can be easily proven by following the intellectual currents of the 19th Century. (Fascism and Nazism are like the filoviruses; Fascism being Marburg, and Nazism the more deadly Ebola.) While reading `a couple of Rousseaus`-to paraphrase the President-I came upon that quote at the beginning of the piece. One thing lead to another, and viola!

This is, of course, a limited dissection of a very long and complicated issue, and I have little doubt that I`m going to catch 8 shades of hell over this piece; I could have easily written a book on the subject. I tried, in the interest of brevity, to analyze just a few key philosophical points. Also, I needed a narrative hook, and Milton fit entirely too well. (That`s going to make a lot of leftists blow their tops!)

The better we understand the philosophical underpinnings of modern liberalism (which has little to do with traditional Liberalism, but instead is merely the radical Left with a shave and haircut)the easier it is to defend against their tricks. When they say they support the troops, we can be confident that a good many of them do not, and predicate our actions accordingly. If President Bush understood them, he would never have gotten himself into the political bind in which he currently resides; He would have understood the need to defeat them, rather than work with them. The `New Tone`, the `uniter not divider` business has hurt the Republicans terribly, and if the President understood who and what he was dealing with he would have known these ideas would fail.

I hope in the future he reads a few Rousseaus and Nietszches.

Friday, January 26, 2007

``Concerned Scientists`` and Big Climate Change

The Federalist Patriot shows us yet again that there is big money sponsoring the Climate Change industry:

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) bills itself as an alliance of 200,000 scientists and citizens, integrating independent scientific research with citizen action in order to bring about changes to government policy, corporate practices and consumer choices. Yet the money trail can often lend insight to what an organization’s true goals are. With the UCS, the trail leads straight to liberal activist groups with specific agendas and the need of scientific back-up for their claims. Money is often given with earmarks for certain research work. For example, in 2000 the Carnegie Corporation of New York gave a $25,000 grant for dissemination of a report on National Missile Defense. (That would be against missile defense. They advocated the nuclear freeze during the Reagan administration.) In 2002 UCS received a $1-million grant from the Pew Memorial Trust to support efforts to increase the nation’s commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy... The Energy Foundation has given several grants over the years ($500,000, $50,000, $100,000 and $600,000) for research into energy use and man-made climate change.

Considering all of these grants with strings, isn’t it a bit hypocritical that these ``Concerned Scientists`` censure free-market organizations for accepting donations from ExxonMobil? UCS alleges that such organizations aim to muddy the waters regarding global warming and have labeled dissenters climate contrarians. So much for science and public debate.

Vote Thieves Strike Again

The Democrats have hatched up yet another way to steal more than the voting public has given them.

From the Federalist Patriot:

Democrats have thought up a creative and completely unconstitutional way to increase their majority in the House further by offering delegates and non-members full voting rights. House Resolution 78 would give representatives from American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico the power to, among other things, to raise federal taxes that their territories are exempt from paying. These five representatives, four of whom are Democrats, are more than happy to cast their votes however they are directed by the House leadership, particularly when they have no vested interest in the outcome of such votes. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) notes that the plan runs roughshod over the constitutional principle of one person, one vote. The average congressional district has approximately 650,000 people, while American Samoa has 57,000, the Virgin Islands 108,000 and Guam 155,000. Under the Democrats’ plan, the 57,000 people in American Samoa would have the same voting rights on the House floor as the residents of Georgia’s 6th District. An attempt to enact this same rule change in 1992 drew scorn from all corners of the media and public, and we hope this shameless ploy goes the way of that earlier endeavor.

The Clock is Ticking

A Russian citizen was trying to sell enriched Uranium according to Reuters. It is unclear where he obtained the nuclear material.

The clock is ticking, and we continue to play petty partisan games. Will the Democrats be satisfied if Washington D.C. is destroyed by an atomic attack because it gets rid of Bush? Is that what it will take to make them care more about their country than regaining their power?

Victory and Optimism

Wil Wirtanen gives his thoughts on Senator Webb`s Democrat rebuttal to the State of the Union Speech:

I am reading Triumph Forsaken by Mark Moyar. It is the first part of a projected two volume set on the Vietnam War. It is labeled as revisionist history since he debunks some of the stereotypical thoughts on the Vietnam War. He has over 80 pages of notes at the end of the book to support his views.

Anyway I came across a passage that made me think of Sen. Webb’s fact-less rebuttal to the SOTU speech.

Gen. Eisenhower at the end of 1942 reached the conclusion, without confidence, enthusiasm, and optimism in the command, victory is scarcely obtainable Optimism and pessimism are infectious and they spread more rapidly from the head downward than in any other direction. He goes on to say, I firmly determined that my mannerisms and speech in public would always reflect the cheerful certainty of victory-that any pessimism and discouragement I might ever feel would be reserved for my pillow.

It may sound that he wants to be delusional but I believe that he was not willing to accept defeat and was willing to do his all to obtain victory. A far cry from our current political leadership.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Green Kingdom of Anti-Christ

More Green Evangelicalism chronicled at the American Spectator Online.

I ask you Green Christians once again; is God, or is God not, in control? By what arrogance do we believe we have to ``save`` His Creation? Furthermore, where are we commanded to place ``stewardship`` over the salvation of souls and feeding the poor? A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions means a reduction in industrial productivity and transportation, which means the poor get poorer. Your efforts to ``save the planet`` without God`s help will result in poverty and starvation worldwide, how will you answer Him on the Day of Judgment?

Where in Scripture is Global Warming mentioned, and where does Yahweh command us to combat it? I seem to remember that the Book of Revelation mentions a series of plagues sent BY GOD to punish the wicked for following the Beast; do you believe that environmental change comes first from God, or are you so arrogant as to believe that we can willfully thwart His will, and so must exercise governmental power to force people to conform?

It should be pointed out that government is the monster the harlot is riding in Revelation, and that the kingdom of anti-christ is oppression by governmental authority. By building a worldwide environmental enforcement mechanism, you are building the means whereby the Beast can dominate his slaves. Do Evangelicals want to be part of that oppression? Is friendship with the world so important to you that you will sell your souls to be ``relevant`` to modernity?

How will you answer for this when Christ returns?

Barbarian Mercenaries

Once again, our good friend Steve from Free Citizen has sent me a disturbing piece which comes in under the radar. An alert reader of VDARE has posted evidence that the North Carolina National Guard is recruiting illegal aliens, and another reader makes the case (click the first hyperlink) that Houston is recruiting in Mexico to fill Federal minority quotas.

The ancient Roman government did the same thing; they recruited German tribesmen from outside the Empire to guard their borders, and this resulted in the eventual demise of the glory that was Rome. It took a scant 100 years; the Visigoths were invited into the Empire by Valens in 376, and by 476 the last Western Emperor, Julius Nepos, was deposed. AFter 476 (starting with Theodoric the Great) Germans would rule, and systematically dismantle, the western portions of the Empire. Illegal immigration and an unwillingness to defend their borders were directly responsible for the fall of Rome.

If we follow in their footsteps, can we escape their fate?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The New Malaise

Last night, America pulled on her bell bottoms and platform shoes, and reminisced about the days of disco in a retro performance by President George W. Carter, er. Bush in his annual State of the Onion speech.

That`s not to say that Bush`s speech was all bad, or not forward thinking in spots; it`s just that too much of it could have been sandwiched between new episodes of `What`s Happening` and `Three`s Company` and nobody would have noticed. Everything old is new again.

We were treated to a Lollapaloooza of `70`s culture; alternative fuels, windmills, and fuel economy standards, government directed reform of the healthcare industry, and what to do about Iran. Military screwups, appeals for fiscal responsibility (with no intention of making any effort) and even some good old fashioned Women`s Lib (Madam Speaker, you can burn your bra now!) were tucked in there. Disco lives!

First let`s deal with the President`s energy proposals. He calls for a 20% gasoline reduction by 2017. That sounds sensible, but is it?

He wants to force automakers by law to increase fuel efficiency standards. The original CAFE standards were met because of the coming of microcomputer technology, which made precision timing and efficiency possible. That ship has sailed, and any new efforts in that direction have already been implemented by car manufacturers. What`s left? Barring a breakthrough of some sort, the weight of the vehicles will need to be reduced (as they were during the mid-seventies), making the vehicles less safe-at a time when trial lawyers are the bread-and-butter of the Democratic Party and liability lawsuits are running rampant.

He also wants to expand the use of ethanol derived from corn for fuel. Now, they have been trying to get the fuel ethanol industry off the ground since the `70`s and it hasn`t caught fire for a good reason-it`s too damn expensive! Look, making alcohol from corn requires the same process as making whiskey. You first start by making `liquor` which is essentially beer, then distill until you have a very high proof booze. (How will the government stop people from drinking it?) Because of the basic inefficiency of the process, it is cheap enough to make a gallon or two of moonshine, but to make enough to run a car requires gallons and gallons of alcohol. Alcohol puts out less energy than gasoline, so you will need to fill up more frequently. (That`s why it`s often added to premium gas; it slows the rate of burn so the gasoline will burn smoother i.e. it raises the octane.) It is going to take a lot of corn to make enough fuel to be viable. This will drive up the price of grain, and guess who will subsidize the price? The U.S. taxpayer, that`s who! We would be better served to import sugarcane, but the farm lobby won`t stand for that.

Also, by reducing our consumption of gasoline, we will artificially drive prices up. The Arab world will be able to make more money, since their fuel will be in higher demand (since people will drive more) and they`ll make more per barrel. Furthermore, the Chinese will have access to a larger supply then at present; do we want them to have as much gasoline as they want? Japan and Germany lost WWII in part because we had gas and they didn`t. We may rue the day we quit buying so much oil and opened the field for China.

Look, the OPEC nations can raise production as much as needed to keep oil prices where they want them, and ethanol will have to be subsidized to compete. This is a matter of basic economics; the Petroleum Sheiks can undercut the price if needed, and Americans will either have to pay more in taxes or pay more at the pump.

That`s not to say that steps shouldn`t be taken; I favor developing hydrogen cars, and producing the hydrogen with nuclear reactors. That is the cleanest, safest, and most economically viable alternative (in my humble opinion).

Wind and bio-diesel are wacko fantasies from the green `70`s, and the President should not belittle the American public with this tripe!

The President`s health care plan has a bad odor; it reeks of John Maynard Keynes. This sort of redistribution via targeting from the tax code has proven itself to be a prosperity killer in the past, and I don`t have any reason to be optimistic now. Many of the Americans the President thinks will buy health insurance will not do so, and the insurance companies will have to cover their losses at the top of their market by raising rates all around. This proposal is a loser.

Balance the budget? With all due respect, the President wouldn`t veto any spending from his own party when he had the chance. What makes us think that he will be able to accomplish this feat with the Democrats, whose political success depends solely on how many votes they can buy from the public coffers?

The President does seem to be waking up on Iraq, but I fear he has slumbered far too long. He listened to his advisors who kept whispering `democracy` in his ear, and he gave up the momentum we had in order to nation build-and that was a serious tactical error. If democracy was the end-all and be-all, most of the world would be prosperous and free, since most of the world has experimented with democracy at one time or another. What happened to Rhodesia? What happened to Lebanon? For that matter, how could the democratic Weimar Republic have put Hitler in power, if democracy is the answer?

That`s not to say we shouldn`t create democratic institutions in Iraq and elsewhere; it`s just that we shouldn`t hope that these will be easy to build and will solve all our problems. You have to win the war before you build the peace; and we paused with the war less than half over. We needed to take out Syria and Iran-they are the sources of infection.

Uh, we still need to take out Iran, and urgently. If they get atomic weapons they will use them-on us. That must be stopped. I didn`t hear any credible plan from President Carter.

I don`t mind a little political gladhanding, but the President came off as a sycophant with his effusive praise of ``Madam Speaker``; I fully expected to hear a rendition of `I am woman`!

Not that the speech was terrible, or that the President came across as defeated; quite the contrary, I thought he had the right tone and demeanor. I just wish this guy would quit trying to be `a uniter instead of a divider`-unity with the Democrats means capitulation. President Bush just doesn`t seem to understand that.

Lastly, I have to scream to the Heavens at the stupidity of Mr. Bush`s call for amnesty for illegals! How, pray tell, does he plan on balancing the budget if he is going to build an enormous bureaucracy to run the guest worker program? How will gasoline consumption decrease with millions of Mexicans roaming the countryside? He surely cannot be so naive as to believe that this will stop the flow of illegals coming across the border; the newly legalized people will move up, leaving their low paying jobs to a new crop of illegals. (Of course, the newly legalized will join labor unions and become good Democrats.) Ever throw breadcrumbs to birds? What starts as a few becomes a massive flock when the food is free! Illegal immigration is much the same; the more we regularize it, the more will come.

And we won`t just have poor Mexicans coming-Al Qaida and their friends will be there, too!

Welcome to the new Malaise!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

World at War

Across the pond the brave Lionheart gives us a detailed analysis of the worldwide Islamic threat to the West and Israel. Great piece!

The Right to Marry Down

First comes love, then gay marriage, then comes a wedding to a horse and carriage!

Imagine There`s No Moses

You know, there`s always somebody trying to tear down things which have been accepted for generations. In some instances it`s good (ending cannibalism, for example) but often it is gratuitous. The Left is particularly eager to destroy tradition, to toss the baby out with the bathwater, and their attempts to be ``realistic`` frequently lead to outrageous folly.

Recently, the Encyclopaedia Judaica issued an updated version in which they claim Moses was mere folklore. This argument has been very popular of late in (liberal) Jewish intellectual circles.

According to Rabbi S. David Sperling, Moses was the product of overactive imaginations:

"analogy would have required postulating him; and that is probably what happened" when ancients wrote the Bible.

The introduction to the Encyclopedia has this to say:

"we cannot really reconstruct a biography of Moses. We cannot even be sure that Moses was a historical character."

Here I want to comment on an interesting fact about the Bible; the Israelites do not come off all that well in their own sacred text. The Bible shows them, as someone once put it, warts and all:

Abraham cheated on his wife with a concubine, then sent the woman and his son into the desert to die. He also was prepared to let another man have sex with his wife, because he was afraid to tell the man he was married to her.

Jacob was a conniver and swindler who stole his brother`s birthright through trickery. He also played favorites with his sons, leading to a breech in the family.

Jacob`s sons became jealous of their daddy`s darling Joseph, and decided to kill him. One son talked the others out of it, and they sold him into slavery instead.

Judah visited Canaanite temple prostitutes, despite worshipping Yahweh.

Prior to Moses, the Israelites were held as slaves by the Egyptians, who were prejudiced against the ``lazy, shiftless shepherds``. Being delivered from bondage by God alone is hardly a flattering picture of them, and it is doubtful that a folk heritage would include such detail.

Furthermore, their behavior in the desert was less than exemplary; they fashioned an idol to worship while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments, and so had to be punished, they repeatedly complained and whined so much that Yahweh decided at one point to kill them off at start fresh with Moses` children (Moses pleaded with God, who relented for His servants` sake).

Moses himself was not the usual legendary hero; he had a bad temper, (probably) a speech impediment, complained frequently, and tended to disobey orders. He was kicked out of Egypt because he murdered a man, and was not allowed into the Promised Land because temper-and pride-got the better of him.

The list goes on and on. King David? The ``man after God`s own heart`` was an adulterer, a murderer of the husband of his mistress, and his children would commit such wholesome acts as incestuous rape, fratracide, and rebellion against their father/king. We have the repeated worship of false gods, the refusal to obey direct commands from Yahweh through the Prophets, etc.

Why would a people make themselves appear so poorly in the annals of history if it were not true? Why, if Moses and the rest of this were mere folklore, didn`t the Israelites clean their texts up, scrub the pimples off the historical face of the Chosen People?

Most national literature does precisely that, but the Jewish literature keeps the bad with the good. The only logical explanation is that it comes close to the mark for what actually happened. People don`t want to be thought of as weak, or whiney, or disagreeable, and will hide these unpleasant truths about themselves if possible. That is human nature, and we all do it. Yet, the Hebrew sacred texts leave it all out in the open for everyone to see.

But, of course, liberals never want to hear that. If we admit that these texts are true in any real way we admit that they may be true in all ways-and that cannot be allowed if you are an atheist. If the atheists can get us to accept the idea they may be made up stories, then it is impossible to defend their validity. That is, of course, the whole point. Rabbi Sperling and his ilk may not want to toss Judaism out, but their eagerness to be accepted into modernity will have that effect; they are ``useful idiots`` for the atheist and agnostic.

Ultimately it is up to the individual to decide what he or she believes, but there is nothing useful or truthful about this kind of iconoclastic revisionism.

On Personal Responsibility

Here is a thoughtful piece on the importance of personal responsibility. We hear this far too seldom in our modern world, and that is the cause of many societal ills.

Thanks to Wil Wirtanen for sending it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Massachusetts Loses War to Horses

I am a happy man this morning; happy because justice was served last night, and those men of Massachusetts were stomped at the last second by the horses they intended to ride!

I hate the New England Patriots. Often one doesn`t know where such hatred was born, why one hates the object of their revulsion in the exact fashion that they do. That isn`t true of me-I remember the exact moment I came to loath Belicek and his band.

It was immediately prior to the 2001 Superbowl that my hatred first took form.

I live in St. Louis, and we had suffered for decades with the Big Red-the St. Louis Cardinals football team always broke our hearts, and we had given up on the idea of ever having a football champion here. Many of us were pleased when the Big Red moved to Arizona to disappoint a whole new state full of fans! At least we didn`t have to suffer any longer. When the LA Rams decided to resettle here in the `Lou, they didn`t show much more promise than our unlamented Cardinals. The Rams organization kept building, but they couldn`t pull it together until an unknown third string quarterback named Kurt Warner was forced into action. Warner proves that talent can often go unnoticed; he became the best qb in the league! He operated like a surgeon, placing the ball with deadly accuracy exactly where it was intended to go. The Rams prospered, with a precision offense that other teams found impossible to stop.

They won the 2001 Superbowl in a thriller against the Tennessee Titans.

In 2002 they won the NFC title and headed again for the bowl. There was only one problem; in September of 2001 the United States was attacked.

The moment of my eternal enmity struck as a result of the attack of 911; this year Super Sunday was being done up in unusually heavy fashion, and the esteemed Sir Paul McCarthy was to provide halftime entertainment. His interview before the game brought reality crashing down on me.

Throughout the playoffs, the underdog New England Patriots kept winning by the hairs of their chinny chin chins. They also faced a flurry of complaints against them, because they played ``aggressive football``; they grabbed, they clutched, they interfered-and they got away with it! For some strange reason, the officials felt compelled to overlook Pat infractions. It took them to the Superbowl.

Then came Paul McCartney, who crushed my hopes with this simple statement; ``wouldn`t it be wonderful if a team called the Patriots would win the Superbowl``. With that simple statement, I had a moment of clarity. I realized then that the Pats would be given every break, the benefit of every doubt, just as they had throughout the playoffs. It suddenly occurred to me that the powers that be wanted them to emerge victorious! I knew at that moment the Rams would not win.

And right I was! The Pats held all of the receivers, once mugging Marshall Faulk with three men at the line of scrimmage, and the refs never blew the whistle! The Rams had a precision offense; Warner threw to where his men were supposed to be, not where they were. He was standing in the pocket for an eternity, but often couldn`t find a single receiver open; this with the fastest team in the league, mind you. Warner was always throwing under pressure, despite having a ridiculous amount of time. The Rams were cheated out of the Super Bowl.

This clutch-and-grab game became the hallmark of the New England Patriots, and they have sailed to victory 3 out of the last 5 years with this dirty pool. This year, the Colts (who were cheated by the Pats in the past) went to the NFL and warned them they would make trouble if the Pats were allowed to get away with cheating again. I didn`t notice too much last night, but I have no doubt it was happening; the Colts never had a man who wasn`t being heavily covered all night. I don`t recall seeing one pass to a guy who was really open. Now, that may mean excellent coverage by New England, but it also suggests the Pats were holding their receivers-again. You rarely see this on television because the cameras focus on the Quarterback and the ball-not on the line. Also, Brady seemed to always have plenty of time in the pocket, and I saw several cases of offensive holding throughout the game.

They say cheaters never prosper, but that isn`t true-look at Bill Clinton!

It`s often said that this is just smart football; the officials are letting you get away with it, so you may as well benefit. True. Thumbing a guy in the eye and detaching his retina is smart boxing. Purposely beaning a hitter, or spitballing is smart baseball. Hitting a figure skating competitor`s kneecap is smart figureskating. Hockey-well, there`s not much to say there. The point is, it may be smart play, but it is dishonest and not sportsmanlike. Cheating is cheating. Do we admire Robert Mugabe for rigging the elections in Zimbabwe? Would we tolerate a spouse engaging in ``smart`` marriage?

It is now time to put on my tinfoil hat, and perhaps offend the good people of Texas as well as Massachusetts; I wonder if certain teams aren`t marked by the league for special care. I remember the bitterness we held for the Dallas Cowbows during the `70`s and `80`s; ``America`s Team`` they were called (who started that?) and a game against the Big Red never failed to enrage St. Louis because the Cowboys always got a break in the clutch by the officials. It never failed; just as St. Louis was on the verge of coming back (or surging ahead) some chippy call would be made to derail the train. We used to take bets on what particular call would be made, not if it would be made! Many here came to believe that the NFL promoted certain teams so those cities without home teams would have someone for whom to root. Many came to believe that ``America`s Team`` was their darling during this period.

I suspect the New England Patriots are the darlings of the NFL today. That`s not to say they aren`t a top notch team, it simply means that the league gives them critical breaks. The NFL has the very best playing, and there isn`t a whole lot of difference in their talent levels. The critical factors are coaching and coaching, but officiating can have a profound impact on who wins and who loses. The Pats always seemed to come out on top in that last category.

But not last night. A couple of devastating calls (especially that safety) combined with an absolute determination on the part of the Colts sent them home! I can`t say I`m weeping for them this morning.

Maybe there is some justice in this world after all! Maybe cheaters, in the end, really don`t prosper?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Long Green Arm

As everyone probably now knows, weatherbabe Heidi (who but a lib or a Swiss is named Heidi?)Cullen from the apolitical Weather Channel has called for strongarm tactics to be used on ``Climate Change Deniers`` in the meteorological field. She wants to have their certification pulled if they disagree with her politically correct interpretation of recent weather patterns. She claims that anthropogenic (man-made)Global Warming is established science, and that anyone who disagrees has no right predicting next Tuesday`s weather. This should not surprise us; liberals, and GW enthusiasts in particular, have used this tactic effectively for a long time, and what Heidi Heidi Ho has Yodled from her Weather Channel perch falls in a venerable old tradition of the Left in their quest to dismantle the America we all know and love (or know and hate, as their case may be.)

As it turns out, Heidi featured Dave Roberts on her Dec. 17, 2006 show. Roberts, you may remember, is the writer for Gristmill Magazine who openly called for Nurenberg Trials for Climate Change Deniers. He stated;

When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg.

So, those who disagree about the science are war criminals, who should be executed for crimes against humanity!

Anyone who ever challenges the Gang Green`s views are labeled dupes of Exxon-Mobile, or fools, or mouthpieces for S. Fred Singer. We are told there are no credible scientists who disagree (although I can think of many) and that such things as the Leipzig Declaration, the Heidelberg Appeal, the Statement by Atmospheric Scientists, and the Oregon Petiton are full of false signatures and lies (you would think that out of 20,000 signiators it would be easy to prove.) We have Nancy Oreskes, a UC San Diego history professor who conducted a study in which she found no (zero) papers by climate scientists which disagreed with anthropogenic global warming. Benny Peiser disagreed (having read papers which contradicted her assertion) and submitted his own study to Nature magazine. Nature footdragged for weeks, then rejected the submission outright, claiming he had nothing new. GW enthusiasts use the fact that Peiser wasn`t peer reviewed to ``prove`` he was wrong-despite the fact that they wouldn`t allow him to be peer reviewed.

Liberals manipulate science to serve their interests all the time. Remember Sigmund Freud? Psychotherapy was used to justify the ``free love`` movement, which gave us the sexual revolution, abortion, rampant illegitimacy, homosexuality, venereal disease. Leftists grabbed onto Darwin to preach their doctrine of nihilism and atheism, and this gave us Social Darwinism (the idea that societies evolve via natural selection, which figured prominently in Fascism and Nazism) and Eugenics, which was at the core of Hitler`s Aryan fantasies, and Marxism (which Marx stated he invented by modeling Darwin`s theory.) We had Franz Boaz dispatching the young libertine Margaret Mead to Samoa to advance the free love movement, budding feminism, and the pseudoscience of sociology`s contention that Man is purely a product of his environment. We had DDT, Rachel Carson and ``Silent Spring``, which is responsible for the deaths of countless third world people from Malaria, we`ve been treated to Alar scares, Dioxin scares, etc. all because liberals want a more ``natural`` lifestyle. We`ve witnessed attempts to ban ``second hand smoke`` despite a complete dearth of any credible evidence that it causes any problems. We`ve had Global Cooling, Nuclear Winter, The China Syndrome (which stopped the U.S. nuclear industry cold), Bird Flu, the banning of Freon to stop Ozone depletion, the overprescription of Ridalin to control behavioral problems (and thus absolve left-wing discipline techniques of failure), etc. Now we have Global Warming.

Ignored completely are the pertinent facts; Mars and Pluto have been warming, we are in a period of extremely high sunspot activity-which means the Sun is hotter than in 15,000 years, the Earth`s albedo has been increasing due to cosmic ray activity, meaning greater cloud cover which is holding more heat near the surface. (Of course, we are talking about a mere 1* F. rise in the last hundred years.) True, some glaciers are melting, but an equal number are growing.

We don`t understand the variables which affect climate, it`s that simple. We don`t understand about variability in solar radiation, variability in the solar wind, variability in the Sun`s magnetic field mean to the climate. We don`t understand cosmic rays. We don`t know exactly what effects meteors have. The Earth revolves around the Sun, but it also wobbles as it does so. What does this mean? What about tidal forces from the Moon, the Sun, Jupiter? Volcanic activity affects climate, but in what ways? The composition of the atmosphere is only one factor among many, and we understand few of these variables. What about the absorption mechanisms for atmospheric gases? Will CO2 stay in the atmosphere for millions of years? (No) What about Methane? Water vapor is a greenhouse gas; what part do the oceans and ice caps have to play? What about radioactive decay inside the Earth? What about comets?

This system is so complex, we may never be able to predict precisely how things will work. We make models, but a model cannot be as descriptive as the real thing unless it is as complex as the system it is intended to describe. How far can we simplify our model before it loses validity? Given the overwhelming complexity we are dealing with, it is doubtful that we will be able to work out a viable model which can give us the information we want. That, of course, doesn`t matter to the liberals; the models they are using are works of fiction. They are Sesame Street on Ice; fun but having little to do with reality. Yet our learned friends demand we accept these imprecise constructs as Gospel truth.

So we shouldn`t be surprised when weatherbabe Heidi tries to strongarm those who disagree with her pet panic attack. The Climate Short Change people are becoming desperate, because they see reality overtaking them. The jig is up, and in their hearts they know it.

She will do her best to Heidi it, though! BEWARE THE LONG GREEN ARM!

Harold Hill Science

Our friend Learner directs everyone`s attention to the Australian, where the Global Warming hysteria is in high gear:

First, we encounter a story making the dire prediction that Britain will be ``crippled`` by excessive heat waves and floods in the next century based on a computer experiment. Anyone interested was asked to download a program into their home pc`s to network into a ``supercomputer``. This network then ran climate simulations to ``prove`` that the end is nigh! Of course, it does not matter how big your computer network is; a computer is a tool which serves the data which is entered. Climatology is woefully bereft of a solid understanding of the forces which influence the Earth, and inadequate data programmed into the system with a biased model will give results at odds with reality. I have little doubt that CO2 was given a high value in terms of effecting temperatures in this model, and that other factors such as cosmic rays, planetary motion, solar radiance, etc. have been downplayed. One would be disturbed if this ``supercomputer`` gave anything other than dire warnings because it would mean it failed to function as it was programmed.

The point of all this is not science, but manipulation of the public perception of the issue; they got ``the average joe`` into the act by downloading a program (a symbolic act intended to recruit in a manner similar to a religious sacrament-liberals always use this trick), they tell people they have a ``supercomputer`` thus playing to superstitions about the technology. If a computer says it, it must be true!

Another piece at the Australian was about the resetting of the infamous ``Doomsday Clock`` kept by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to warn Mankind that we are all, well, doomed! The BAS has kept this thing going since 1947, and moves the hands towards or away from midnight as the political situation warrants (from their perspective). Generally, heightened tensions during the Cold War, or any success by the United States advanced the hands, while any lessening of tensions, or victories by the Soviet Union, receded them. (The BAS(tards) have always been left-leaning.) Now, to keep the clock relevant, our friends, the ``concerned scientists`` have taken to using Global Warming as a new harbinger of doom, and have once again moved the hands to 11:55 p.m.

Had these guys (Stephen Hawking among them) been content to advance the clock because of the dangers of terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons from rogue states like North Korea, Pakistan, and (in the near future) Iran, had they worried about biological weapons in a world at war, I would have agreed with them. In fact, I would suggest they move it to 11:58 given the circumstances. But to tack Global Warming onto this? If we were to concede the issue in it`s entirety, we would still have to agree that this is a long-range problem with minimal impact on the survival of the human species. At worse, we will see a minor rise in sea level, changes in storm patterns, the tropics move a few miles north and south, while the temperate zones do likewise, and some desertification while less hospitable regions blossom. That is worst-case scenario, mind you! Al Gore and company may try to frighten people with visions of rising floodwaters, pestilence, famine and the like, but no credible models suggest anything of the sort. (Oh, and try using a little DDT if you`re worried about malaria, Al!)

This article loses all credibility with this statement;

``Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking was among the Nobel laureates behind the warning, which cited North Korea and Iran as particular reasons increasing the danger of a nuclear winter. ``

Nuclear Winter has been shown to be a crock. Originally devised by left leaning scientists such as Carl Sagan, it was a tool to advance the nuclear freeze movement during the `80`s and was soundly rebutted as a scientific theory. Of course, this whole thing is not about science, so any dubious exploded theories which will help scare the public can be used.

Let`s face it, folks; Global Warming is a medicine show. Grandpa Ira`s hair tonic and youth elixer, anyone? Yes, we have trouble, folks, right here in River City, with a capital T and that rhymes with G and that stands for Global Warming!

Harold Hill would be proud.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The War Against Speech

The Democrats plot to steal our First Amendment rights.

From The Federalist:

First Amendment rights under attack
Democrats in the Senate and the House are preparing a full-frontal assault on the First Amendment rights of conservative groups in parallel legislative moves. The Senate ethics bill, passed Thursday night, contains a provision that will hold grassroots groups that attempt to ``influence the general public`` to the same rules as Washington lobbyists. This means that basically any group that suggests you write your congressman about an issue, from the humble editorial shop of The Patriot to the pastor of your local church, needs to file financial reports or face a $200,000 fine. In addition, any such group aside from liberal-loving unions that spends or collects more than $25,000 in three months would also be required to file.

The debate will continue, though, while House Democrats move to reinstall the ``Fairness Doctrine`` in an effort to silence conservative talk radio. The doctrine, which was allowed to die a quiet death during the Reagan administration, for years forced television and radio stations to give equal time to conservative and liberal opinion. Though it was never actually made law, now Democrats want to enforce the Fairness Doctrine in the proposed Media Ownership Reform Act. Under the guise of giving people a choice in the political views that they absorb in the media, Democrats are actually looking to force conservative talk radio stations to cede time to lousy liberal programming like Air America (which recently declared bankruptcy for lack of listeners). So much for the marketplace of ideas. The only programming choice liberals want to give the public is left and further left.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sticks and Stones will Barack His Bones

The Clintonistas have launched their shock-and-awe campaign against Barack Hussein Obama with this revelation that O(bi-Wan)Bama was raised a Wahhabist.

(Being partly an Irish-Catholic meself, I suggest that the good Senator should have changed his name to Brock O`Bama, from the County Cook; he would have gotten a lot of Irish support, and perchance a wee bit of money which used to grace the IRA coffers. His skintone would have been no problem; ever hear of the Black Irish, lads?)

I wouldn`t want to be in his loafers now; the Clinton machine operates very much like a Crime Family, and I doubt Obama has the organization to combat them effectively. He`ll be Osama Bin-Laden`s long lost son before Hillary`s button men are through.

Thanks to Bob at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia!

Snowing on Their Parade

President Bush should have hired Tony Snow years ago; see how he puts this reporter in his place:

"But do you think that the State of the Union is the place for Michael J. Fox and Congressman Langevin to advocate, by their presence, embryonic stem cell research," the reported asked.

"I'm not going to try to give lectures on etiquette," Snow replied.

"Members may invite whomever they wish. And the President understands that all these are important issues, and they're important to us, too," Snow said. "We want to get them right; we want to have a debate; and we want to try to move it from the level where people try to describe as heartless a President whose heart is absolutely in saving lives through stem cell research."

"Okay, I understand. I understand. You continue to say you want debates on all -- on many issues. But will you listen to the words of the opposition?" the reported shot back. "That's the question."

"Yes. And will the opposition listen to us? That's also the question," Snow replied.

Notice the sneering tone of this press corp member. Does anyone think that, when this gets written up by these guys, this exchange won`t be spun as an arrogant Bush Whitehouse out to screw those suffering from illness? Tony Snow is good, but his words can be edited-or left out entirely. We need regime change in the mainstream media.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Oracles of Dufi

Does anyone wonder why America is in such a pickle?

(From the Federalist Patriot):

Not only do American high schools fail to educate students about U.S. history and civics, but by the time many students finish college they know even less. That’s the conclusion of ‘the largest statistically valid survey ever conducted to determine what colleges and universities are teaching their students about America’s history and institutions.’ That study, conducted for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute by the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy, surveyed 14,094 college freshmen and seniors at 50 U.S. colleges and universities from Massachusetts to California. It found a stunning ignorance. Seniors scored an average of 53.2 on the 60-question civics test. That’s a big, fat F. More than half of college seniors could not identify the correct century in which the Jamestown colony was founded or name the battle that ended the American Revolution. Truly frightening, more than half also did not know that the Bill of Rights forbids the federal government from establishing a national religion. These are college seniors. Among the institutions whose students were surveyed: Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Michigan. It should go without saying that in a republic, civic education is a fundamental necessity. If even our elite college graduates have no idea what the First Amendment does, the country is in trouble.

New Hampshire Union Leader

Without a sound educational basis, Americans will not understand the fundamentals. This is the liberal strategy; keep the populace poor and stupid, so they, with their brilliant intellect, can tell the dimwitted hillbillies what they should think.

Liberals have a number of tried and tested recruitment methods; they appeal to the lusts of the young (read: the sexual revolution, the drug culture, violent protests etc.), they appeal to envy and covetousness, and they appeal to intellectual pride. The dumbing down of America is important, because it offers the anointed a way to exercise that pride. Since liberals are actually not the sharpest tools in the shed but desperately want to be worshipped, it is necessary for the general public to be hopelessly ignorant to be properly dazzled and easily lead. How can the left maintain their snobbish intellectual overlordship if Americans are wise to their theatrics?

They are the ones who have ruled the educational system in this country for decades; if they are as smart and as bright as they claim, why have their methods failed so miserably?

The Incredible Melting Al

Thanks to Wil Wirtanen for this piece from the Wall Street Journal:

Will Al Gore Melt?
January 18, 2007; Page A16

Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Today he is in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune.

The interview had been scheduled for months. Mr. Gore's agent yesterday thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?

One can only speculate. But if we are to follow Mr. Gore's suggestions of radically changing our way of life, the costs are not trivial. If we slowly change our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming century, the U.N. actually estimates that we will live in a warmer but immensely richer world. However, the U.N. Climate Panel suggests that if we follow Al Gore's path down toward an environmentally obsessed society, it will have big consequences for the world, not least its poor. In the year 2100, Mr. Gore will have left the average person 30% poorer, and thus less able to handle many of the problems we will face, climate change or no climate change.

Clearly we need to ask hard questions. Is Mr. Gore's world a worthwhile sacrifice? But it seems that critical questions are out of the question. It would have been great to ask him why he only talks about a sea-level rise of 20 feet. In his movie he shows scary sequences of 20-feet flooding Florida, San Francisco, New York, Holland, Calcutta, Beijing and Shanghai. But were realistic levels not dramatic enough? The U.N. climate panel expects only a foot of sea-level rise over this century. Moreover, sea levels actually climbed that much over the past 150 years. Does Mr. Gore find it balanced to exaggerate the best scientific knowledge available by a factor of 20?

Mr. Gore says that global warming will increase malaria and highlights Nairobi as his key case. According to him, Nairobi was founded right where it was too cold for malaria to occur. However, with global warming advancing, he tells us that malaria is now appearing in the city. Yet this is quite contrary to the World Health Organization's finding. Today Nairobi is considered free of malaria, but in the 1920s and '30s, when temperatures were lower than today, malaria epidemics occurred regularly. Mr. Gore's is a convenient story, but isn't it against the facts?

He considers Antarctica the canary in the mine, but again doesn't tell the full story. He presents pictures from the 2% of Antarctica that is dramatically warming and ignores the 98% that has largely cooled over the past 35 years. The U.N. panel estimates that Antarctica will actually increase its snow mass this century. Similarly, Mr. Gore points to shrinking sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere, but don't mention that sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere is increasing. Shouldn't we hear those facts? Mr. Gore talks about how the higher temperatures of global warming kill people. He specifically mentions how the European heat wave of 2003 killed 35,000. But he entirely leaves out how global warming also means less cold and saves lives. Moreover, the avoided cold deaths far outweigh the number of heat deaths. For the U.K. it is estimated that 2,000 more will die from global warming. But at the same time 20,000 fewer will die of cold. Why does Mr. Gore tell only one side of the story?

Al Gore is on a mission. If he has his way, we could end up choosing a future, based on dubious claims, that could cost us, according to a U.N. estimate, $553 trillion over this century. Getting answers to hard questions is not an unreasonable expectation before we take his project seriously. It is crucial that we make the right decisions posed by the challenge of global warming. These are best achieved through open debate, and we invite him to take the time to answer our questions: We are ready to interview you any time, Mr. Gore -- and anywhere.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It`s All About the Green

Global Warming has always been about money, as illustrated by these pieces from SEPP below. You will notice that the ultimate effects of such foolish restrictions are gloomy:

According to
Neutrality: A Shopper's Guide,"
in The Boston
Globe, "Many [Web]sites...offer the option of
offsetting an individual's entire ‘carbon
footprint.'" ("Carbon footprint" is an
expression environmentalists made up, meaning
the amount of carbon dioxide each person releases
into the atmosphere by breathing, driving to
work, heating the house, and other such noxious
activities.) "Customers can" also "buy offsets
for the carbon dioxide emissions released by air
travel." Shoppers will soon even be able to get
"a credit card that rewards carriers with offsets based on much they spend."

Under Kyoto, China has been an enthusiastic
seller of carbon credits since 2005, accounting
for about two-thirds of a fledgling US$2.5
billion market, but it has drawn the ire of the
rest of the world by imposing a tax on the deals,
effectively making what is meant to be an
environmentally supportive system into a subsidy for the Chinese government.

[Courtesy CCNet]

To retain leadership in the battle to curb climate change, the European Union
believes it must show the rest of the world how to stop a predicted ecological
catastrophe, while maintaining a healthy environment for business. But that
lofty goal ­ the promise of green growth ­ looks somewhat different from the
factory floor. Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel company with 135,000
workers in Europe, is among several companies that are sending out distress
signals two years after the EU began capping carbon dioxide emissions from
10,000 factories and power plants.
--James Kanter, International Herald Tribune, 7 January 2007

In a debate on energy security and climate change, Tom Crotty, chairman of
the chlorine producer Ineos ChlorVinyls, said that spiralling energy costs had
led to the loss of 100,000 job losses [in the UK] over the past 18 months.
Included in those losses were the closure of 13 glassmakers and 11 papermills.
Ineos ChlorVinyls, which had to halt production temporarily last year because
of higher energy costs, has 80 per cent of its costs tied up in energy. Mr
Crotty said that energy policy had failed industry: The true cost comes in
lost business, lost jobs and lost income.
--Christine Buckley, The Times, 28 November 2006

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