A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Birdblog

I have the new Birdblog up and running at and have hit the beaches with several new posts. Come on over and take a gander!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Birdblog to Move

Folks, I`ve been having some bad technical difficulties with Blogger, and will be moving (at least temporarily) to a new site. You can access the new Birdblog at

I will be back to posting at the new site as soon as everything is up and running. Please visit me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Apologies for such light blogging recently; I`ve had a very busy late week/weekend, and have been experiencing some serious technical difficulties.

For the good news:

I probably DO NOT have Ankylosing Spondylitis! I tested positive for this potentially debilitating disease (in which your spine fuses together), or rather, I tested positive for the HLA B27 gene, which means I am suseptible to this illness. I also had a number of symptoms indicative of the onset of AS, so I was sent to a Rheumatologist, who drained me of more blood than Dracula could have consumed. These exhaustive tests showed none of the tell-tale signs, such as high inflammation, so I am probably out of the woods. If things look good next year I`ll be discharged.

I also do not have heart disease. Because of my age and health issues my doctor sent me to have a stress test. I passed with flying colors (look, ma, no clogs!) My wife rewarded me with an enormous steak, plenty of beer, and extra butter on my potato! Of course, those veins are probably clogged now...

I had work to do at the Ozark Hilton; as you all know, my hand-built cabin (read shack, hovel) has had a problem with the high-tech HVAC system. Whenever I use my fireplace I get smoked worse than a ham. I had built it out of cinder blocks, and had used an adobe mix to caulk the layers but had forgotten to chink the sides of the blocks, so smoke poured through the gaps, I tried to remedy this by caulking with fireplace caulk, but to no avail, so I threw a steel barrel with a hole cut in the top into the fireplace to act as a firebox-didn`t work.

So this weekend I decided to do everything the right way. I removed the chimney I was using, which consisted of an upside-down barrel adobe plastered onto the top of the fireplace with a furnace ventpipe coming out of the top and running out of the cabin (I used furnace pipe because I was able to get it cheap). I bought the larger, regulation black stovepipe with two turn pieces and built a new barrel fire chamber. I left some of the top metal hanging to block smoke from coming out, as well as left a bottom lip so red hot coals would stop sliding onto the floor.

The stove-pipe was a mother, let me tell you! The currogated end is supposed to slip into the non-currogated end, but they were the same size, unlike the furnace pipe which fit together easily. I would struggle to force these pieces together, cutting my hands on the sharp edges as I labored, then would be brought to fury as the piece I had just made fit fell off while I was working on the next piece. Word flooded forth from my mouth! Dark, forbidding words of a nature long forgotten, possibly used by Aztec Priests or Babylonian necromancers. I was speaking in tongues, possessed by the Norse god Locki, or some demon who hates construction work.

It was very cold and twilight was upon me when I eventually managed to make it work, sort of; I had to put the pipes in upside down to get them to reach out of the gable frame. Of course, since it had poured buckets earlier, all of my firewood was soaked through, and I only managed to get it going by using a huge amount of kerosene (at $5 a gallon). The fire smoked and smoldered out repeatedly, and I had to repeatedly relight it, wasting more precious fuel. Once it got going smoke puffed merrily from the joints of the pipe, since it was upside-down. Eventually I had a nice blazing fire-and smoke STILL poured out the front of the barrel to fill the cabin! I swear that thing is cursed! I probably built the cabin on some Indian burial ground or something...

Exhausted I lit a fire in the old weber to cook some hamburgers. It was pitch dark and freezing, and I couldn`t find my paper plates, so I used an old syrofoam one I found lying around. Stupid. The burgers collapsed the plate as I was taking them off the grill, and they all spilled into the leafy mulch and dirt. I scraped them off and ate them anyway, since I had no other food but potato chips and wasn`t about to waste them. I burned the left-overs in my smokey fireplace.

I awoke about 2 am to the rumble of my stomach, and realized I was on the verge of a nasty bout of diarrhea. Since it was late at night and freezing cold, I lay as straight as possible and hoped that it would pass. No dice! I spent the night laying still and straight, waiting for morning. I heard a mouse scratching on something throughout the night, and at first light found the little @$%@%% had ripped into my hamburger buns and chips. I didn`t have much time to reflect on this turn of events as I had to make a nearly disasterous 50 yard dash to the ``convenience``, my cinder block and toilet seat in the woods. While devoting time worshipping at the nature god, I had a wasp light on my shoulder and remain there (I`ve never seen less aggressive wasps). I wonder if it was my old friend, the one who used to sit with me on my futon? He didn`t bother me, anyway.

I made the three hour drive with great difficulty, thanks to my upset stomach. I was totally exhausted when I arrived home, and slept all afternoon. I tried to post some things last night, but was having system problems which erased a previous attempt to write this very thing. So I went to bed early, and slept like a stone through the night.

Then the real trouble began. Blogger thoughtfully switched me to their new and improved version (funny, I don`t remember signing up) and, sure enough, it didn`t work. To use the new version you must sign up for a Google account, which requires going through a secure server. I haven`t been able to do that for years, probably do to a virus which I forcibly removed. I still keep getting a ``this page cannot be displayed`` every time I try to get onto the Create an Account site, and have tried everything I can think of-including restoring a backup and downloading another web browser (Internet Discovery keeps giving me an error page demanding that I send a report to Microsoft) but to no avail. Firefox says my ssl is not enabled, but going into my security settings it is checked as on. I am at wits end, and have only been able to post this by using my computer at work. I pray that I can get in at my home site, or I may have to take drastic measures.

At any rate, I will hopefully be a bit more dilligent with my blogging. Thanks for your patience!

An Incredible Lightness of Bee-ing

I first called attention to the dire crisis of bee extinction a while back. Now, it appears my prescience is uncontestable, and the left will be coming for your cell phones as a result.

I warned everyone; Global Warming is fizzling out, and the Left will need a new crisis. The U.K. Independent article states;

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

Sounds a bit like ``An Inconvenient Truth`` or the old Rachel Carson tombe ``Silent Spring`` doesn`t it?

How long before they tie this to microwave transmissions, to power lines, to the necessary framework of an industrial society?

A Taxing Economic Situation

Our old friend Wil Wirtanen passes along a couple of good pieces about free markets and the restrictions imposed on them.

This piece from The Art of War blog illustrates what is wrong with our current thinking on economics:

However, the source of the problem here is not that people are “needy.” The problem comes from the other side of the coin. These people have few skills and virtually all are living in societies where they cannot acquire skills. In a reverse of the professor’s analysis, almost all of the truly needy live in societies where the needs of the elites are satisfied by coercing everyone else, preventing them from developing assets by and for satisfying each other. If these governments’ elites left their people free, these low-skilled/needy would naturally develop their skills as they worked to satisfy the unmet needs all around around them.

Of course, in Western societies, our low-skilled/needy have a different problem. They have plenty of opportunities to develop those skills, but, in a rich society, they find various incentives NOT to develop those skills. Often, these incentives are drug and alcohol related but various forms of “help” from the elites perpetuate this lack of learning through a lifetime. Everyone, no matter what their natural abilities, can learn to produce value for others (and live more meaningful and rewarding lives if they are allowed to do so), but politicians, the media, and our educational establishments want to promote a sense of entitlement that says we should all be able to consume without having to produce.

Be sure to read the entire piece!

Also, Wil sends this from the Wall Street Journal:

************************************** See what's free at

Forwarded Message [ Download File | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

From: "Wil Wirtanen"
Subject: Interesting Facts
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 06:29:28 -0500

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With tax time here, below is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.

Wil Wirtanen

W Squared Research

(W) 314-664-9110

(C) 314-302-0986

The Taxpaying Minority
April 16, 2007; Page A15

If the tax forms you're filing this year show Uncle Sam entitled to any income tax, you increasingly stand alone. The income tax system is so bad, and increasingly reliant on a shrinking number of Americans to pay the nation's bills, that 40% of the country's households -- more than 44 million adults -- pay no income taxes at all. Not a penny.

Think of it this way. After dropping off your tax forms at the Post Office, you find 100 people standing on the sidewalk. Forty of them will be excused from paying income taxes thanks to Congress. Twenty of them, the middle class, will pay barely a thing. The 40 people who remain, the upper middle class and the wealthy, will pay nearly all of the income taxes.

Look at that crowd again and find the richest person there. That individual will pay 37% of all the income taxes owed by those 100 people. The 10 richest people in the crowd will pay 71% of the income-tax bill. The 40 most successful people will pay 99% of everyone's income taxes. Yet for some lawmakers in Washington , these taxpayers aren't paying enough. Our tax system comes up short in a lot of areas. It doesn't foster economic growth. It isn't very simple. And it certainly isn't fair. The one place where it does excel is at redistributing income.

According to a recent study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, those who make more than $43,200 (the top 40%) pay 99.1% of all income taxes, the taxes that support our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan , and, for example, fund the federal portion of transportation, education, environmental and welfare spending.

Those who made more than $87,300 in 2004, the top 10%, paid 70.8% of all income taxes, an increase from their share of 48.1% in 1979. Think about it. Ten percent pay seven out of every 10 dollars and their share of the burden is rising.

And those super-rich one percenters? Their share of the nation's income has risen, but their tax burden has risen even faster.

In 1979, the first year of the study, these affluent individuals made 9.3% of the nation's income and they paid 18.3% of the country's income tax. In 2004, these fortunate few made 16.3% of the nation's income but their share of the income tax burden leaped to 36.7%. Think about that. One percent take in less than 17% of the country's income, but pay almost 37% of the country's income tax.

As for the middle class, CBO reports they make 13.9% of the nation's income and their share of the nation's income tax dropped to 4.7%. In 1979, they made 15.8% of the nation's income and paid 10.7% of the nation's income tax.

The combination of across the board marginal income tax rate cuts and repeated expansions of the earned income tax credit (EITC) for lower-income Americans has created this situation in which fewer people are responsible for paying more and more of the income tax. When President Bush in 2001 cut the lowest tax rate to 10% from 15%, several million additional workers were excused from paying any income tax. Raising top rates, as Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton did in 1990 and 1993, also shifted the burden to a smaller group of Americans.

The EITC program redistributes money from those who pay income taxes to 22 million families and individuals with incomes less than $36,348. These workers not only don't have to pay any income tax, they're given a government check as a subsidy to help make ends meet. The EITC is also designed to relieve them of the cost of paying for their share of Social Security and Medicare.

If Republicans, including their presidential candidates, wonder why their calls for tax relief don't resonate like they used to, it's because there aren't that many income taxpayers left. They've been taken off the rolls.

As for the Democrats, they historically have raised taxes and redistributed income as a core philosophy. It doesn't matter to them how much money some people pay -- the argument is that the wealthy can always pay more. According to this point of view, it's immaterial that the tax code is highly progressive; it can always be made more progressive. While raising taxes on the few to benefit the many might be a political winner, it's an increasingly risky policy to pursue.

If, as now happens, 60% of the people in our democracy can force 40% to pay the bills, what's to stop 65% from making 35% pay it all? Since no one wants to pay taxes, what's to stop 90% of people in a democracy from making 10% pay it all? Or why not let 99% of the country off the hook, as long as the remaining 1% picks up the tab?

The problem is that there is a tipping point after which piling taxes onto the rich will leave the government unable to meet its obligations. And perhaps we're already reaching that point, where most people won't have a serious stake in what the government does because they don't pay for it. They want services and benefits, but they don't pay the price. That's a formula for runaway spending and no accountability. In other words, a system that looks a lot like the one we already have.

This can't last forever. When government revenues derive mostly from the wealthy, the fortunes of a few determine the fate of us all. Surpluses and deficits will be driven less by the economic strength of the country, and more by the gains made by the rich in hedge funds, mutual funds, equities and stock options. Like a spinning top that twirls on a narrow point, the top will stay up so long as it continues to go round. Once it slows down it falls, and the government's main source of tax revenue will plunge with it.

What a Catch-22. Members of Congress who want to fund antipoverty programs will have to hope the rich get richer, because the wealthy will need to make more to pay for all the federal programs.

The usual rebuttal made by those who support raising top rates is that lower income Americans pay Social Security and Medicare taxes and therefore need "relief." Of course they pay these taxes. But then, they alone get a good return on their money.

Top earners, on the other hand, pay payroll taxes so their money can be redistributed to others. According to the CBO study, the top 20% of workers, those with incomes over $64,300, pay 44.2% of the payroll tax while the bottom 20%, those who make less than $17,300, pay 4.2%. In return, when it's time to retire, lower-income workers typically receive more in Social Security benefits than they paid in, while the wealthy, who paid the most in taxes, simply can't live long enough to get back what they paid. For much of the middle class and the wealthy, Social Security isn't a retirement program -- it's another program that redistributes their income.

As for Medicare, it doesn't matter that the rich paid far more in taxes; all recipients receive the same benefits. Think of it this way. If Medicare were a car, its price for a low-income worker would be $145 and its price for a millionaire would be $14,500, even though it's the very same car.

Here's why. A taxpayer who makes $1 million a year pays $14,500 in Medicare taxes while a worker who makes $10,000 a year pays $145. But when they retire and visit their doctors or go to the hospital, Medicare reimburses both an equal amount of money. That's a pretty big redistribution of income and a pretty good deal for the low-income worker.

At the end of the day, everyone in this county is in it together. We have an obligation to help the neediest among us and the wealthy should pay more. But a system in which almost half the country pays no income taxes and 40% pay all the income tax has gone too far. Instead of raising taxes and punishing the successful by making them pay even more, it's time to junk the current system and start anew with a code that fosters economic growth for all, not increased redistribution of income for some.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Stealing Values from the Poor

Tony Blair echoes former Vice President Dan Quayle when he stated that the problem isn`t poverty but a poverty of values.

From the U.K. Guardian:

Patrick Wintour and Vikram Dodd
Thursday April 12, 2007


Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. His remarks angered community leaders, who accused him of ignorance and failing to provide support for black-led efforts to tackle the problem.
One accused him of misunderstanding the advice he had been given on the issue at a Downing Street summit.

Black community leaders reacted after Mr Blair said the recent violence should not be treated as part of a general crime wave, but as specific to black youth. He said people had to drop their political correctness and recognise that the violence would not be stopped "by pretending it is not young black kids doing it".

It needed to be addressed by a tailored counter-attack in the same way as football hooliganism was reined in by producing measures aimed at the specific problem, rather than general lawlessness.

Mr Blair's remarks are at odds with those of the Home Office minister Lady Scotland, who told the home affairs select committee last month that the disproportionate number of black youths in the criminal justice system was a function of their disproportionate poverty, and not to do with a distinctive black culture.

Giving the Callaghan lecture in Cardiff, the prime minister admitted he had been "lurching into total frankness" in the final weeks of his premiership. He called on black people to lead the fight against knife crime. He said that "the black community - the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law abiding people horrified at what is happening - need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids".

Mr Blair said he had been moved to make his controversial remarks after speaking to a black pastor of a London church at a Downing Street knife crime summit, who said: "When are we going to start saying this is a problem amongst a section of the black community and not, for reasons of political correctness, pretend that this is nothing to do with it?" Mr Blair said there needed to be an "intense police focus" on the minority of young black Britons behind the gun and knife attacks. The laws on knife and gun gangs needed to be toughened and the ringleaders "taken out of circulation".

Last night, British African-Caribbean figures leading the fight against gang culture condemned Mr Blair's speech. The Rev Nims Obunge, chief executive of the Peace Alliance, one of the main organisations working against gang crime, denounced the prime minister.

Mr Obunge, who attended the Downing Street summit chaired by Mr Blair in February, said he had been cited by the prime minister: "He makes it look like I said it's the black community doing it. What I said is it's making the black community more vulnerable and they need more support and funding for the work they're doing. ... He has taken what I said out of context. We came for support and he has failed and has come back with more police powers to use against our black children."

Keith Jarrett, chair of the National Black Police Association, whose members work with vulnerable youngsters, said: "Social deprivation and delinquency go hand in hand and we need to tackle both. It is curious that the prime minister does not mention deprivation in his speech."

Lee Jasper, adviser on policing to London's mayor, said: "For years we have said this is an issue the black community has to deal with. The PM is spectacularly ill-informed if he thinks otherwise.

"Every home secretary from [David] Blunkett onwards has been pressed on tackling the growing phenomenon of gun and gang crime in deprived black communities, and government has failed to respond to what has been a clear demand for additional resources to tackle youth alienation and disaffection".

The Home Office has already announced it is looking at the possibility of banning membership of gangs, tougher enforcement of the supposed mandatory five-year sentences for possession of illegal firearms, and lowering the age from 21 to 18 for this mandatory sentence.

Answering questions later Mr Blair said: "Economic inequality is a factor and we should deal with that, but I don't think it's the thing that is producing the most violent expression of this social alienation.

"I think that is to do with the fact that particular youngsters are being brought up in a setting that has no rules, no discipline, no proper framework around them."

Some people working with children knew at the age of five whether they were going to be in "real trouble" later, he said.

Mr Blair is known to believe the tendency for many black boys to be raised in families without a father leads to a lack of appropriate role models.

He said: "We need to stop thinking of this as a society that has gone wrong - it has not - but of specific groups that for specific reasons have gone outside of the proper lines of respect and good conduct towards others and need by specific measures to be brought back into the fold."

The Commission for Racial Equality broadly backed Mr Blair, saying people "shouldn't be afraid to talk about this issue for fear of sounding prejudiced".

Mr Blair spoke out as a second teenager was due to appear in court charged with the murder of 14-year-old Paul Erhahon, stabbed to death in east London on Friday. He was the seventh Londoner under 16 to be murdered since the end of January, and his 15-year-old friend, who was also stabbed, remains in hospital.

He`s right, though it is not a problem limited to race, but is a poverty of respect; respect for life, for property, for fellow man. We see this same issue in any high-crime area, because those who will prey upon their fellow men generally have similar traits, whether they are blacks in Detroit, Mexicans in Southern California, Whites here in St. Louis, people in India, in China, in Singapore, etc. The common denominator is a lack of appreciation for what their fellow is suffering, coupled with a sense of entitlement.

THAT is where the problems of crime are so exacerbated; the welfare culture has changed the attitudes of the poor to make them believe that they can behave in any fashion they choose since they have been ``cheated`` in this world. The entitlement culture leads to a belief system where what you can grab for yourself is all that is important.

There was a time when the poor had a dignity which demanded honorable behavior. Theft was looked down on, and engaged in only out of absolute necessity. No more, thanks to a culture which values the material over the spiritual, which values what you have over who you are. We hear it all the time-kids killing other kids to steal their $200 tennis shoes, this while the family lives on welfare in a section 8 hovel. Gang violence, drugs, illegitimacy, etc. are all aspects of this disintegrating respect for others, for the objectification of people and concepts for the pleasure of the individual. Liberalism and the nanny state have given this gift to the poor, have made their lives far worse by destroying the ties of family and friendship which make a community-however poor-worth living in. Dan Quayle was dead on; this is a poverty of values, and the Left has stolen those values from the poor they claim to care for.

Thanks, Beerman!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Who`s Your Daddy?

A nice little argument has started at Free Citizen over the paternity of Sally Hemmings` children; was it Thomas Jefferson as so many liberals insist, or was it his ne`er-do-well brother?

Anybody interested in this kind of thing will find this the kind of thing they are interested in.

Wait it Out

My timing this morning was almost as bad as Al Gore`s; I confidently declare that the troop surge is working, and here we have a deadly attack in the so-called ``Green Zone``, the safety parimeter heavily patroled by U.S. forces. Of course, this attack gives ammunition (I wish the President`s critics would give more ammunition to our troops and less to themselves for political purposes) to those who say that we cannot win, that war is unwinnable in general, etc.

Robert Novak, an inside-the-beltway journalist, had this to say about the surge in general:

Iraq: The troop surge in Iraq is getting mixed results, but so far most of the feedback is negative.

The heightened U.S. troop presence, according to the top commanders, appears to be pushing the violence out of certain areas, but it has increased in others. Meanwhile, U.S. troop deaths are skyrocketing, with very little attention being paid to this fact at home. The first quarter of 2007 saw 244 deaths, far more than the same period last year. On April 10, the Pentagon reported 35 troop deaths in the first 10 days of this month. The grand total is approaching 3,300.

Well, gee Mr. Novak, did anybody think it wouldn`t move out of certain areas and into others? What happens when law enforcement cracks down on crime in select neighborhoods? OF COURSE the terrorists are going to move to easier pastures. The whole point is that they are on the run, fleeing our forces. We can`t just lay back and wait for them to come to us anymore than the F.B.I. can wait for John Gotti`s crime family to resettle across the street from the Bureau; they have to be pursued. Also, why should we expect less troop deaths when we are aggressively chasing them? How many cops are killed in Dunkin Donuts? You may have less police deaths there, but you aren`t getting the villains. We should expect an increase in casualties if we are doing our job properly.

The real problem, though, is that the enemy knows full well that he can wait us out. The key is to attack and run away, hiding like cockroaches until the next sneak attack. In a year or two the Democrats will get their way, and the terrorists know that. How can they be demoralized, be beaten if they are constantly being told BY AMERICANS that America cannot win and must run away with tail firmly planted between legs? War is all about psychology; the loser generally sees a hopeless situation before they give up-and that means a unified enemy. The sissies in the anti-war movement, in the Democrat Party, keep giving moral comfort to these killers by talk of ``redeployment`` and claims that the war is unwinnable.

What they fail to see is that this will lead inexorably into our own back yards if we quit. These people are not going to let us take our ball and go home; they fully intend to make America hell on Earth, to punish the ``Great Satan`` for what they perceive is a wrong done to them. (That wrong consists of not letting them conquer the world for Allah.)

When the Soviet Union was beaten in Afghanistan, the West rightly concluded it was because of pressures applied on the corrupt Soviet system and U.S. aid to the resistance in Afghanistan. What the Islamic world concluded was that the Mujahadeen, the Holy Warriors of Islam, destroyed the Soviets through their mighty resistance, and they believe they can do it to America as well. If we leave Iraq without finishing the job we will verify this belief and, heady with their perceived victory, they will launch an aggressive campaign against our interests throughout the world. Meanwhile, anyone willing to fight on our side will run from us, since we will have shown ourselves to be the cowards the enemy claim. Civilization hinges on our success in Iraq, but too few people understand this.

The surge will work if we stand united, but will fail if those self-seeking scoundrels who seek political profit from our failure carry the day.

The Jaws of Victory

``Mookie`` Al-Sadr is clearly frightened by the success of the troop surge; he has been in hiding, changing tactics, and desperately trying to make amends with his Iraqi competitors in an effort to save his Mahdi Army and his own oily skin. Here we see Old Sadr calling for an end to internecine bloodshed and unity against the ``treacherous occupation``, the ``armies of darkness``.

He states;

The armies of darkness represented by the occupation spearheaded by America, the overarching evil, have started sowing sedition among the people of the one country directly or through its agents and lowly followers who sold their religion, land, and people. Regretfully, the malevolent fruit of their strange and loathsome actions have transpired. God says:" And the parable of an evil Word is that of an evil tree: It is torn up by the root from the surface of the earth: it has no stability. Allah will establish in strength those who believe, with the word that stands firm, in this world and in the Hereafter; but Allah will leave, to stray, those who do wrong: Allah doeth what He willeth. Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who have changed the favour of Allah. Into blasphemy and caused their people to descend to the House of Perdition?- Into Hell? They will burn therein- an evil place to stay in!" [Koranic verse]


An honorable resistance man does not hope from God other than one of two glorious things- Martyrdom or victory. But at the same time, a resistance man cannot at all kill an Iraqi for the blood of Iraqis is a red line. This is not only my opinion but also the command of God as He said:" Take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom." [Part of a Koranic verse]

Infighting among brothers is not right at all nor is following the dirty US sedition. Defending the occupier by some people is not right. Thus, fear God and stand out firmly for justice.

This is clearly a departure for Al-Sadr, this call for unity against America, and illustrates the desperation that the troop surge is producing. Al-Sadr knows that his little game of hide-and-seek can`t continue with enough soldiers-and friendly Iraqis-hunting him, and so he cowardly calls for help from the fellow countryman he would oppress and kill if Coalition troops were withdrawn.

This letter illustrates that time is not on the side of the insurgents. Unfortunately, given the Antenoran policies of the ``loyal opposition`` here in the United States, time may not be on the coalition`s side, either; our troops have to win this thing before the sniveling self-absorbed scoundrels in the Democrat (sic) Party pull the plug while victory lies in our grasp.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Iraqi Anthrax

The American Thinker is reporting that the anthrax used in the attacks on the United States following 911 could well have been made by the Iraqis.

I have been baffled by the accusations that this attack came from a disgruntled scientist here in the States, when there was considerable evidence that Iraq had these weapons, and, of course, had no qualms about using them. The only thing I can think of is that the Bush Administration wanted to avoid public panic by saying this was an American threat.

I`ve never believed that, nor have I ever believed that the WMD`s weren`t in Iraq. President Bush conceded that point way to early, and it has cost the country dearly because had the public known that the weapons were in Syria they would have supported a more aggressive approach. As things stand, the dearth of weapons soured the public on the War, giving ammunition to the peaceniks and hippies chanting ``Bush lied and people died!``.

If it can be proved that Iraq made the anthrax used in the attacks, the findings must be released to the public.

Meet the New Gods

Texas has a law allowing hospitals to cut off treatment to the terminally ill with just a ten day notice-despite the wishes of the next of kin or guardian. This situation is guaranteed a bad end, with people having the plug pulled despite the will of loved ones or even the patient himself. Texas has given doctors the power to play God.

This story is a case in point; doctors want to take this terminally ill baby off life support and let her asphyxiate despite the bitter protests of his family. Baby Emilio has Leigh`s Disease, a terminal neurological illness which will kill him. His family, while knowing he will die, are not prepared to watch the boy suffocate, not while he still shows signs of consciousness. Doctors at Brackenridge Children`s Hospital have decided to override the wishes of the parents and liquidate the child, so the Gonzalez family has brought suit and obtained an order giving them more time.

Increasingly we are witnessing this sort of thing; ``authorities`` determining who lives and who dies based on their own opinions. Those opinions may be right (or not) but America has traditionally believed that we are not the arbiters of who lives and who dies. That, Americans believed, was the province of the Almighty, and a doctor or other person who usurped that right was considered immoral.

Anyone remember the movie Malice? Alec Baldwin (perfect casting) played a doctor who removed the ovaries of his grifter girlfriend (Nicole Kidman) to scam the hospital which hadn`t given him a promotion out of a malpractice award. At the inquest, Baldwin say ``when those people are in the chapel praying, who do you think they`re praying to? You ask if I have a God complex? I AM God!`` Of course, this leads to a huge monetary award to Kidman.

The point I am making is that, while this attitude may have been a bit extreme, we are increasingly seeing this type of thinking in America today; ``experts``-real or self-appointed-believe they have the right to determine the future of others, up to the length of people`s lives. Gone is the humility which characterized American such issues, replaced by a blinding arrogance born of a purely material view of the nature of Man. One often wonders how Communists could be so cold-blooded in killing people, or how the Nazis could so casually enslave, murder, and dispose of the bodies of helpless individuals, but it should not surprise when utility is the guiding principle-of course communists and Nazis murder without thought those who are inconvenient or bothersome. They have usurped the Godhead, placed themselves in the position of ultimate judge. Communists were the high priests of economic necessity, Nazis of the Will of the Volk. In either case they discarded an absolute standard for an arbitrary one, with themselves are the arbitrators.

Increasingly, America is following suit with our enthrallment with the technology we have created, with our own arrogance, with our self-admiration for the science we have discovered. Increasingly ``Thy Will be Done`` is turning to ``My will over all`` and we no longer consider moral imperatives, but utilitarian concerns. This way will lead to our undoing.

It leads to a strange dichotomy; on the one hand we have those who insist we clone and cobble up fetuses for stem-cells, and those same individuals are often the ones who demand the right to pull the plug on people. If those stem-cells are our salvation, as they so often claim, isn`t it worth keeping the ill alive as long as possible? Isn`t a cure right around the corner? Yet they seem strangely willing to throw those individuals under the metaphorical bus.

It`s the desire to play God. They want the power to decide who lives and who dies, to control the human condition from cradle to grave. This is a malady guaranteed to bring down wrath upon us; there is only one God, and we aren`t Him. There are too many mistakes that can be made by pseudo-gods, and those who want to play at the godhead will find it is very, very difficult to get things right.

We need a return to the respect for the dignity of all human life.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Noose Around India`s Neck

According to this story in the India Gazette, The nation of India is planning on doubling their production of Uranium, building 12 new nuclear reactors including at least 3 fast breeder reactors.

Now, if we were to take a superficial look at this, we would dismiss this as of no importance-merely the growing need for power in a rapidly industrializing, heavily populated nation. But if one looks behind the curtain it becomes apparent that India is reacting to an increasingly deteriorating situation, and is taking steps to protect herself in a myriad of ways.

First, in terms of energy, it becomes apparent that India feels none-too-confident in being able to supply her needs from conventional sources. The Indians probably fear an energy crisis resulting from their insane neighbors in Iran, as well as Prince Putin`s desire to corner the world energy market (I swear, the guy has been playing too many board games-namely Stratego and Monopoly; next he`ll be wearing a tuxedo and a monocle!) and China`s increasing demand for for a larger share of the energy pie. Building more reactors makes good sense given the squeeze of current events. Energy is the cornerstone of modern industrial civilization; without an adequate supply the wheels of commerce will ultimately grind to a halt. (We just haven`t learned this lesson here in the United States, still worrying about ANWAR and the Gulf of Mexico being soiled while our enemies hold the power which keeps our civilization running in their blood-stained hands.) India is about to overtake China as the world`s most populous nation, and is emerging as one of the Earth`s great powers; she needs energy, and badly! Building those new reactors makes perfect sense from their standpoint.

But what really catches my eye is this business of building Breeder Reactors; Breeders mean Plutonium. Plutonium means atomic bombs.

Will they just build three? I certainly wouldn`t lay all my cards on the table if I were the Indians.

India is sandwiched between an antagonistic, expansionistic China, nuclear-armed Pakistan, and probably soon-to-be nuclear Iran. Three enemies, all of whom will soon have nuclear weapons. China is determined to take the mantle of Superpower status from the United States and make the 21st century the Chinese Century. If India should rise to challenge their hegemonistic ambitions, they may be most unpleasant. Pakistan hates her twin on the Subcontinent, and has been guilty of proliferation of nuclear technology worldwide.

But the possibilities of an Iranian nuclear arsenal probably scares the Indians to death. Exporters of worldwide Jihad, Iran seeks these weapons not for defensive purposes but to bring about the Islamic Apocalypse and the revealing of the 12th Imam (that guy who fell down that well). Iran would love nothing more than to destroy those nonbelieving devils to the east, to empty the Subcontinent for Islam and the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Allah Akbar!

India has to be prepared to burn Iran to a cinder if need be.

The Indians can no longer rely on a shaky United States to defend her from her enemies, and so the Indians have taken matters into their own hands. (Can`t say I blame them.)

In short, this move illustrates the declining confidence India has in America`s policies vis-a-vis (I`ve always wanted to use that in a sentence) the current political climate. The need to make India too dangerous to assault, a land flowing with nukes and dangerous materials, is worth the risks of terrorist attacks on their facilities. They need energy, they need defense, they need some sort of believable security for their geographically isolated nation-isolated by enemies on all sides.

Of course, this move will ratchet up the tensions, will make for a more belligerent Pakistan. According to the Weekly Standard, Pakistan has already become a haven for Al-Qaeda, and the last thing we want is for Pakistan to launch a major build-up of nukes. Musharraf sits precariously on the throne as it is, and fear of an Indian build-up could bring his government crashing down and hand Al-Qaeda a nuclear armed country.

But this cannot be avoided if we cannot guarantee India`s security, and internal politics here in the United States makes that impossible. India WILL proceed with this plan, and the consequences are difficult to ascertain at this point. This is a dangerous situation.

At this juncture, it is unclear as to who will ultimately win this clash of civilizations; the West simply does not have the stomach for it. Although India sometimes makes me nervous, I`m glad they are on our side, for they do. They are as hated by Islamic Jihad as we are, and as the Arabs used to say ``the enemy of my enemy is my friend``. India is solidly in our camp, and is our friend.

It may prove to be a bad thing to be friends with us for them; they are making the smart move.

Thanks Alternative Energy News

The British Love Big Brother

I had just posted my essay on stoplight cameras when David from Ultima Thule e-mailed me this from Jolly Olde England:

'Big Brother' scolds scofflaws in Britain
By Al Webb
April 9, 2007
LONDON -- In the land that gave birth to "Big Brother," the future has
caught up with a present in which drunks, hoodlums, litterbugs and other
wrongdoers are being yelled at and lectured to -- as well as watched --
from lampposts.
Britain has 4.2 million surveillance cameras -- a fifth of
the world's total -- hanging off its infrastructure, and loudspeakers
with microphones are being fitted to them in a government attempt to
strike more fear into the hearts of miscreants.
In the northeast England city of Middlesbrough, disembodied
voices bark out orders to "pick up that cigarette butt" or "put that
candy wrapper in the bin," shocking people caught on camera in the act
of crossing to the wrong side of the law.
Prime Minister Tony Blair's government is spending nearly $1
million to link microphones and loudspeakers to its vast network of
closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras as part of its "Respect"
offensive to try to control the burgeoning anti-social behavior that
plagues the nation's cities, towns and villages.
It works like this: When a CCTV camera spots someone
breaking a window, say, or tossing a crumpled cigarette package to the
sidewalk, the deed is monitored by local government officials based in
control rooms who then bark a warning to the erring party to clean up
their act, or else.
A dozen talking cameras have gone into service in
Middlesbrough, and the Home Office -- Britain's interior department --
is ecstatic.
Over past few weeks alone, it said, "fights have been broken
up, litterers have sheepishly picked up their rubbish, and skateboarders
have stopped rolling through traffic when told to do so" by the nearest
In dealing with litterbugs, says Middlesbrough Council
security manager Jack Bonnar, the talking cameras have "proven to be a
100 percent success." Drunkenness and fighting are more difficult to
address, he said, but even then, "the speakers are coming into their
own, and we're recording about a 65 percent to 70 percent success rate
for those kinds of offenses."
Officials said a verbal warning suffices most of the time.
If it doesn't, the videotape from the camera becomes evidence for arrest
and prosecution.
So pleased is the government with the results of the
Middlesbrough experiment that it will hang loudspeakers and microphones
to CCTV cameras in another 20 designated trouble spots across the nation
in the next few months.
Others argue that the whole business sounds like Big
Brother, the sinister system in George Orwell's novel "1984," with its
vision of talking screens being used to control the downtrodden populace
around the clock.
"It's just not right that Britain should become a society
where some anonymous official in an invisible room can bark instructions
to you," said Simon Davies of the British-based civil rights
organization Privacy International. "It is psychological warfare on the
Some leaders in the opposition Conservative Party dismiss
the government initiative as "scarecrow" policing, while 90 percent of
real police officers sit at desks filling out government-ordained forms.
There also are suggestions that the brains behind the
talking cameras don't understand the nature of Britain's hoodlums and
hooligans, whose likely response to being told to pick up an errant
burger bag or to cease throwing chairs through plate-glass windows is a
rude gesture to the cameras.
Home Secretary John Reid is undeterred, either by concerns
over naughty gestures or by accusations that the talking cameras are
"Big Brother gone mad."
Some folks are likely to be "concerned about what they claim
are civil liberties intrusions," Mr. Reid said, but "the vast majority
of people find that their life is more upset by people who make their
life misery in the inner cities because they can't go out and feel
"What really upsets people," the home secretary insists, "is
their night out being destroyed or their environment being destroyed by
a fairly small minority of people who get involved in drunk and
disorderly behavior or gangs, or whatever."

No wonder Britain is having such a tough time resisting the Moslem horde; a people who will allow their government to watch them at all times does not have the willingness to defend their freedom. It`s a sad thing what has happened to the once iron-spined Brits!

Oh, and it should be remembered that George Orwell (Eric Blair) was British.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Death by a Thousand Cuts

There are risks inherent in a free society. A society which places too much value on security runs the great risk of benevolent dictatorship; in the interest of making people safe they will either ban or make compulsory every conceivable thing, and the individual has his choices eliminated by the Nanny State. Freedom means making your own decisions, planning what is best for you and your family. Laws were intended to prevent flagrant violations of another person`s right to make those decisions for themselves.

Benjamin Franklin once said that ``Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither`` and this view was held by Americans until Liberalism, with such silly concepts as ``freedom from want`` (thank you FDR) bought enough people off with guarantees of money and free goodies. The ``Great Commoner``,William Pitt, coined the phrase which would be applied to the Patriots prior to the American Revolution ``Sons of Liberty``; this meant a zealous defender of freedom, and Pitt applied it to all Colonials because of their jealous defense of the rights as Englishmen. Americans would not accept such minor aggravations as taxes to pay for their defense by English soldiers.

That is why it is so astounding to see what we have wrought, and how spineless the American people have become when it comes to their liberties. Every April 15 we allow our government to force us to fill out these long, complicated forms to assist them in accounting for the taxes they have forcibly removed from our paychecks. Many of us have to hire professional form-fillers to comply with the requirements of our government-a requirement once proposed by none other than Karl Marx. If we fail to do this we will be arrested at gunpoint and sent to prison. If we make a mistake, something easily done considering the tax code is 26,000 pages long and nobody on this Earth can claim to understand it, we must pay penalties. If we refuse we go to jail. America fought a revolution for far less indignities than those imposed by our own government.

We permit government to dictate to us in ways the Founders would not believe; a bottle of whiskey would cost about 20 cents if not for the massive taxation, a carton of cigarettes would be a couple of dollars, gasoline would be a fraction of what they charge without the heavy burden of taxation. People lose their homes to property taxes every day, or to eminent domain. Don`t forget, it`s not just taxes, but benevolent laws which rob us of our freedom to guide our own lives. We have anti-smoking laws, seat belt laws, child safety seat laws, anti-discrimination laws of every sort, laws governing nutrition, how much salt to put in, how much sugar to leave out, etc. We are drowning in a sea of regulation-all ``for our own good`` and each and every one of them a gross violation of our right to be left alone.

That is why I find this business of putting cameras on stoplights so disturbing; while they may help prevent accidents, and the state has to regulate traffic to some degree, it sets a bad precedent. Currently, traffic cameras can only give non-moving violations (since there is no actual witness to confront the speeder in court) but the move is afoot to give these cameras the full force of the law, to allow technology to , essentially, arrest you.

This may do some good in the moment, but it is a slippery slope; how long before those cameras are used to catch people smoking in their cars? Not wearing seat belts? Not paying attention? Perhaps even (gasp) swatting their ill-behaved children? Once that principle is established, once it becomes accepted that government can constantly watch you, where will it lead? Will we have the home cameras of Orwell`s nightmare?

With cameras at every intersection government can follow you wherever you go-you no longer have any privacy. Yet millions of Americans, confident that they will live into eternity if properly protected, gladly trade their freedom for the security offered by that pseudo-deity we pay every April 15. That every camera put on a stoplight is a flagrant violation of your freedom never occurs to them. We have lost the spirit of `76, the Sons of Liberty have become the Daughters of Submissivity, and America finds many of her children unwilling to defend our way of life. Why?

It should come as no surprise that a nation willing to allow such things does not have the determination to resist a foreign enemy. If we won`t fight our neighbors over seat belts we surely won`t fight Jihadists over Sharia. Defense of Liberty is a matter of zeal; if you don`t have the zeal to stop the Fabian creep of well-intentioned paternalism you certainly don`t have it to stop the lions from devouring your freedom.

So think about that when you sign your income tax forms; you have surrendered a piece of the liberty our Founding Fathers bled and died to obtain. Think about that every time you pass through the watchful eye of Big Brother hanging so silently on that lightpost. Think about that when the polls say Americans want to pull out of Iraq and leave that country to those who wish to kill us and enslave us to the tyranny of Sharia.

As Patrick Henry said, ``give me Liberty, or give me Death!``

We`re dying by a thousand cuts.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Empty Tomb


``O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?``
(1 Corinthians 15:55-56)

The Gospel according to Matthew:

61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Happy Easter to All!

Thinking Blogger Award

BobG, the wise and brilliant proprietor of Sweet Spirits of Ammonia has cordially nominated me for the Thinking Blogger Award! This prestigious honor goes to the bloggers the current holder believes most inspiring to intelligent thought. While I may doubt Bob`s judgment in selecting me :), I cannot argue with the person who selected him; Bob has one of the best sites on the internet, a true intellectual pioneer. I will do my best not to soil his reputation, will try to put out a blog worthy of the honor he has bestowed upon me. Thanks, Bob!

The award is supposed to be prominently displayed, but the antiquated abacus that I operate, perhaps in conjunction with my rather feeble skills, keeps giving me an error when I try to insert it, so I would like to ask everyone to go here to view the award.

I have the rare priveledge of knowing many very bright and thoughtful bloggers, and my choice is a difficult one. I decided to nominate those who are more active, the daily reads (or nearly so). I`ve also chosen to go with those blogs which offer an eclectic mix, with essays rather than strictly news.

Now, I would like to nominate the following:

1.Static Noise

Craig Willms doesn`t post every single day, but most days will find some gem from Craig`s unique perspective. He never fails to get my mind working, and he is a credit to the craft of blogging. Be sure to check out his artwork, while you are there. Also, his brother puts out a fine blog although he updates it sporadically.

2. The Return of Scipio

Mike Austin is a history teacher and Indiana Jones-type adventurer who spends his free time hunting Mayan ruins in the jungles of Central America. When he`s not fighting off snakes and scorpions he`s writing one of the best blogs on the internet, one that should not be missed. His views are always carefully reasoned and peppered with historical anecdotes. A must for those interested in history or anthropology.

3. GM`s Corner

GM and Woody coauthor a terrific blog, full of humor, serious issues, and just plain good sense. They manage to ferret out stories I have never seen elsewhere, and they write with imagination and style. This is definitely a daily read!

4.The Paragraph Farmer

Farmer Pat plants the intellectual seeds, and then harvests a bounteous crop of good sense at this site. Different from the everyday blogs, Mr. O`Hannigan deals with topics not usually covered by the mundane wordsmiths of our day. There is a heavy Catholic flavor to this blog, and Patrick often studies topics related to the Catholic Church and general world events. A very intellectual blog.

5. Free Citizen

This excellent blog is a bit slow in updating, but always inspires a good pondering. Proprietor Steve Rankin is one of the best political observers around, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the institutions which dominate our political landscape. Always a worthy read!

For those of you I have nominated, please pass on the favor, nominating 5 worthy bloggers yourself. Link to this post to explain the details, so they know what to do when elevated to this exalted position. Proudly display the Thinking Blogger logo (if you can) and encourage your nominees to do likewise.

Once again, I would like to thank Bob for this honor!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Consecrate Islam

Something that is not often understood by non-Catholics is the veneration of Mary (or any of the saints); many Protestants believe that Catholics worship Mary as a part of the God-head, and that is not so. What we do is venerate Jesus` mother, we honor her as our spiritual mother in obedience to the Commandment ``Honor thy Father and Mother`` and in obedience to Christ, who gave her to us when he hung on the Cross. She is the mother of the World, and she has a vital role as intercessor between her Son and we poor mortals.

God does not, and did not, wish to be a fearsome overlord to mankind; rather, He wanted to be a Father, a Brother, a Friend. How could this possibly be accomplished, considering the enormous gap between our puny, powerless existence and His Almighty Glory? He decided to come among us as one of us, and he did it through human channels-ie. He was born of a woman. God, by His own decree, was voluntarily putting Himself under the discipline of a Godly woman, was placing His own Will under the guidance of Mary. This meant that He would occasionally turn if His mother asked it of him, just as she would turn her ways when asked by her God. Jesus` birth and life intertwined the Sacred and the secular, the Almighty with the baseness of common man. By His Incarnation God had bridged what seemed to be an impossible gap.

It is for this reason that Catholics venerate Mary. She was a model of how people should deal with God, and her intercession with her Son gives her unique influence in our favor. (It`s why we venerate and ``pray to`` or seek the intercession of all saints; many have unique roles to play, unique purposes which God honors by granting them small favors when they ask it of Him, and by our asking these Saints to help us we honor them and honor God by recognizing his special dispensation to them.)

I have a special fondness for Mary; she helped me through some hard times and has always been with me when I have needed her! I have a rosary from Medjugorje as well as a medal, both blessed by the Blessed Virgin. I visited Our Lady of the Snows when Ray Doiron was receiving his message from her (in fact, I ended up being interviewed on television that day; I had worked a graveyard shift and gone straight there, and was dirty and unkempt!) and I have witnessed private proofs of the validity of that apparition (miracles, albeit minor and only for me.)

At Fatima the Virgin Mary appeared to some Portuguese children, and gave them great prophecies for the world. She asked that the Pope consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Political pressure stopped the Pope from doing this, and Russia ``spread her errors throughout the World`` just as Mary had predicted. Pope John Paul II finally made this dedication, and the Evil Empire melted away like the morning dew.

But the human heart is corrupt, and human hands are ever-eager to do evil. Now we face a new challenge, a very difficult and dangerous one from an ancient heresy born in the Arabian desert. The Prophet Muhammad initiated a war to end all wars, a battle which could only end with the triumph or defeat of his religion. To usher in the Kingdom of Allah all means are acceptable, and so these Jihadists, these holy warriors, will use the most despicable and underhanded tactics. They erroneously believe they are working the will of God.

This is not a physical malady, not even a psychological one, but a spiritual bondage these people are condemned to live. Ultimately, as the Apostle Paul pointed out, our battle is not against flesh and blood but against Powers and Principalities. This is a spiritual war, fought in the spiritual realm, a battle ultimately between Christ and Satan, and the stakes being gambled are the souls of many, many people. This is the highest stakes poker ever played, and every suicide bomber robs God of at least one of the souls He finds precious, robs Him forever, as well as the misguided sinner.

If we are to fight the War on Terror, we must not make the mistake of assuming this is a temporal war only. The bombs and guns are the tools we are forced to use, but the ultimate victory will be won in the spiritual realm.

John Paul II was as important, or more, to the destruction of the Soviet Union as was Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. He fought the spiritual battles, while the political leaders fought the temporal. The fall of communism was ultimately a triumph of righteousness over evil, and it was won in the minds and hearts of people. Joseph Stalin once scoffed ``how many legions does the Pope have?`` and Mikhail Gorbachev would learn the awful reality that his legions are far larger, and far more mighty, than anything the Bolsheviks could field. John Paul destroyed their kingdom of spiritual darkness through prayer and his obedience to Mary`s request at Fatima.

Recently I was at The Return of Scipio, and Mike Austin was commenting n the vacuity of the women on ``The View``. One of the things said by them was that Moslems do not believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus. That is not true, and I dutifully pointed to Koranic scripture:

From Sura 19 of the Koran;

[19:16] Mention in the scripture Mary. She isolated herself from her family, into an eastern location.

[19:17] While a barrier separated her from them, we sent to her our Spirit. He went to her in the form of a human being.

[19:18] She said, ``I seek refuge in the Most Gracious, that you may be righteous.``

[19:19] He said, ``I am the messenger of your Lord, to grant you a pure son.``

[19:20] She said, ``How can I have a son, when no man has touched me; I have never been unchaste.``

[19:21] He said, ``Thus said your Lord, `It is easy for Me. We will render him a sign for the people, and mercy from us. This is a predestined matter.’ ``.

The Koran encourages a veneration of Mary, and Moslems have done so since the founding of their religion. They believe that Allah performed a miracle, sent Jesus into the world through a virgin.

That is why Mary appeared at Zeitun, Egypt to thousands of people, even appearing on television. Egypt`s President Nasser witnessed this miracle personally. (Is it any wonder that Egypt would be the first arab nation to make peace with Israel?) Moslems respect her, they venerate her.

That is why I call for Pope Benedict to consecrate Islam to the Immaculate Heart! I believe that this will, as with John Paul II`s consecration of Russia, spiritually demolish the darkness of Jihad, will turn the hearts of the majority of believing Moslems from death and destruction, will shine the light of truth on the spiders and cockroaches that inhabit the spiritual wasteland of evil which infests the Islamic world. This is the spiritual atomic bomb, the great spiritual WMD which could end the war. They may not believe in Christ as God, but they believe in Mary, and She can bring them out of their bondage if enough people ask her to do so.

At the very least this will split the fire-eaters from the decent, believing folks. They will have to choose between Mary and their hatreds, between aspects of their own faith.

Ultimate victory will come not from weapons, or numbers killed, but from the Hand of Almighty God. If we in the West are as decadent, as deserving of wrath as seems likely, if our faith is so shattered by the pomposity of liberalism and the arrogance of post-modern intellectual tyranny, we will lose. Islam, barbaric and backward, will triumph over us because they at least believe in something. If we have reached the point where ennui and self-hatred overwhelm the remains of our faith in Christ and God, we cannot win. The spiritual dimensions of this are not at all understood by most people-even most of those who understand the necessity of winning this war. We can only conquer if we first bind the Adversary, and that cannot be done by ourselves alone. We need to call in the Cavalry, and that cavalry consists of the Saints and the Mother of the Creator of the Universe! We need to ask for the intercession of the Blessed Mother.

Victory is within our grasp; it`s up to the prayers of individuals, up to us to repent and cry out for healing to God.

The Pope should heed this call.

Gore Driving The Earth Into An Ice Age

Wil Wirtanen sends this observation:


I heard this on the Allman & Smash Radio Show yesterday morning.

One of the first callers stated:

``The current cold weather is God’s Message for Gore to shut up!``


Every time Gore flaps his gums about Global Warming the mercury drops 5*; if he doesn`t shut up we`ll be in a full-blown ice age by August!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Gospel, according to Matthew:

30And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

32But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

33Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

34Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

35Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

36Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

37And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

43And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

44And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

47And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

49And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

50And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.

51And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.

52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

55In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

56But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

57And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

58But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.

59Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

60But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,

61And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

62And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

63But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

64Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

65Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

66What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

67Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

68Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?

69Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.

70But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.

71And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.

72And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.

73And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.

74Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

75And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

2And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

3Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

5And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.

8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

9Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;

10And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.

11And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

12And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

13Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?

14And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

15Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.

16And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

17Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

18For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

19When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

20But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

21The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

22Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

26Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

28And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

29And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

31And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

32And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

33And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

34They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

36And sitting down they watched him there;

37And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

38Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

39And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

44The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

47Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

48And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

49The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

55And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

56Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.

57When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

58He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

A Masterful Diplomatic Effort

I was perhaps a bit too hard on the British handling of the hostage crisis; in terms of diplomatic style they did quite well. The quick release of the hostages suggests that Tony Blair`s government quietly threatened them with something they did not want, and their quick response suggests some sort of deadline. It was a masterful diplomatic effort, and I tip my hat to them.

It was especially pleasing to see the United States was not dragged into the whole affair, although I don`t like letting this opportunity pass, since I fear we are fiddling while Tehran`s U238 is burning. Time is not on our side-either from a military perspective or a political one. If we are to act, we cannot afford to wait until the `08 elections; we could have a President Mrs. Clinton or Ouidas Grande Obama-both unserious people who will allow the situation to spiral out of control. A nuclear Iran will use those weapons in some capacity against us, and I am none-to-sure we will respond in kind even if nuked. America just ain`t what it used to be...

I can`t imagine George Bush has been doing nothing; I wish I knew what he has planned.

Troop Surge Working

The troop surge in Iraq is working, and the increasing willingness of tribal leaders and the Iraqi people to work with coalition forces is the proof.

It should also be pointed out that this little stunt by Iran, kidnapping British sailors, suggests a kind of desperation, a dangerous gambit designed to derail the surge by panicking the feint-hearted. It didn`t work.

Yet the Democrats refuse to give this surge a chance, and are demanding a timetable for withdrawal, one the President rightly threatens to veto. Their reasons are purely to benefit themselves politically, and the Antenoran Party, and those who were elected by voters as ``conservative alternatives`` to Republicans, have set themselves on a course where they must not only hope for America`s defeat but must demand it. Their entire agenda is based on a Bush/Republican defeat in Iraq, and they are casually willing to lose American lives to accomplish this.

I am not saying that everyone who opposes the War in Iraq and the general War on Terror is a bad egg. Naive, maybe, but they can be principled. Most Libertarians, for instance, follow a principled policy of Pacifism, a belief that we have no right conducting a foreign war. While I disagree with this, they have been consistent to their beliefs in opposing Iraq, and they do this out of love for country, so they are patriots. Ditto some of the liberal Democrats, and even some of the far left, who are doing what they believe is best for the United States. But the current Democrat Party does not fall, by and large, into this category; this is about nothing more than the success of their party and, in many cases, a reliving of a misspent youth. These are the types populating Dante`s Antenora; traitors to kin and country. Whether this is out of a desire for personal gain or some long-range strategy is immaterial, since in both cases they have to betray the security of their neighbors for something which benefits them.

Every ``symbolic vote``, every time they badmouth the Commander in Chief, every time they say the war is unwinnable, they embolden the enemy and chip another piece out from under our troops. It does not matter if they think they are somehow ``supporting our troops`` by trying to bring them home; they are in the middle of shooting war, and war is as much psychological as it is physical. The Democrats are conducted the most effective psy-ops ever seen on our own troops for the enemy, and that, in my view, borders on treason. At the very least they show themselves so irresponsible that they shouldn`t be running a school board or the local sanitation department, yet here they are-Pelosi is second in line for the Presidency, and in control of both houses of Congress. It is truly frightening that such sophomores could rise to the top of the machinery of power.

We are reaching a critical juncture in history, and the dangers to America are rising on a linear curve. More than ever, we need statesmen, mature people with the humility to subsume their personal ambitions to the common good. Unfortunately, we have a collection of adolescents instead.

Fortunately, George W. Bush is no adolescent.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Iranian Isandlwana

Britain has lost, and Iran has won.

Iran seized a British ship in Iraqi waters, kidnapped the sailors, forced bogus taped confessions out of them, paraded them before the world to illustrate their power. In the process, Ahmadinejad (one of the original thugs to authorize the taking of American hostages during the tenure of our ex-best-President, Jimmy Carter) managed to drive the price of crude oil through the roof (ever notice how Iran rattles the sabres ever time oil prices drop?), thus making lots of money for Iran , and managed to force Britain-a key partner in the coalition in Iraq-to come crawling on hands and knees, begging for their people back. Ahmadinejad even managed to look magnanimous, returning the kidnappees as an ``Easter gift``.

Britain, far from appearing mature and deliberative, simply appeared craven to the rest of the world. Throughout the Arab world, Iran`s esteem has grown high because of this. Foreign policy is all based on prestige; it was always understood that you could not afford to appear craven, or your enemies would pick your yellow carcass like vultures on roadkill. Negotiation must always be from a position of perceived strength (remember what happened to Germany at Versailles after the Kaiser abdicated and Germany sued for peace after WWI) and to be embarrassed in such a manner has assuredly emboldened our enemies. Nobody respects a pure talker; Britain needed to back up their talk with the point of a bayonette.

Actually, it looks like America backed up that talk with a a warship, and that may have been the reason for Ahmadinejad`s magnanimous act. War with the United States, as opposed to a bombing, is not in Iran`s best interest. The Iranians want to keep things in a crisis, to tire Americans of the whole rat`s nest in the Middle-East. He wants to have things drag on without resolution in the hopes that a war-weary America will vote for the peaceniks and quit the field. The key is brinkmanship; push America, but not too hard.

The Arab world sees diplomacy as war by other means, and this ``diplomatic settlement`` was a great military success for the aggressor. Why didn`t Britain act? Perhaps to avoid spoiling U.S. plans for military action against Iran?

I doubt that. We have been paralyzed into inaction by the Antenoran policies of our disloyal ``loyal opposition`` and an attack on Iran is going to require a level of committment in both men and materials on a whole new level. I don`t believe that the President could pull such an attack off at this juncture, despite the desperate need for a major assault. Lobbing a few bombs will only strengthen Ahmadinejad`s hand, turn those in Iran who now oppose the regime into allies. Our actions are going to have to be far deeper than a Clintonesque attack on aspirin factories.

At any rate, Iran has carried the day, and the Union Jack should be flying at half-staff this morning.

Peter Pan Politics

This from the Federalist Patriot:

``If [Nancy] Pelosi believes, as she told the [Israeli] Knesset, that Iran must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, she must explain how that is to be done without at least the possibility of recourse to military action. This she cannot do, because of the anti-Iraq war sentiment that has swept her own party’s precincts. Instead she plays domestic politics at Israel’s expense, despite warnings from our own state department that visiting Syria is a recipe for trouble. Ms. Pelosi will be fortunate if she, unlike the royal marines, is allowed to return home to America, though it is an open question where she can do more damage, over there or over here.``

The New York Sun

The San Francisco Bleat is behaving in the precise manner I expected; she is literally spanning the globeembarrassingng both herself and her country. More than most Democrats, Pelosi has absolutely zercommitmentnt to the United States. She is a middle-aged prom queen, and she views everything she does through the prism of her status and that of her clique. So, she flies to Syria despite a direct request from the Administration, to buddy it up with the terrorist thugs who have been killing our people in Iraq, usurping the President`s Constitutionally mandated role and giving aid and comfort to our enemies solely to make herself look important. Dante had such in mind when he wrote of Antenora, the circle of Hell reserved for traitors to kin and country.

So Chancy Nancy tells the Knesset that Iran must be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons to get the Jews to like her, all the while preventing any useful efforts on the part of the Administration to actually compel this. Somebody needs to call her bluff and demand an authorization from Congress for the use of force in Iran (if the President had any political savvy he would find a way for House Republicans to do precisely that). Given the hostage crisis, it would be a wise thing to do.

But we live in an era where half of the nation is completely out of touch with reality, where ``the end of history`` was a concept believed by many, and they just want to go back to sleep and dream of their 401K`s and the happy little illusions which they fostered in the Clinton years. War-what is it good for?

Quite a bit, at least when it comes to imposing a worldview, and our enemies have never forgotten that. Unfortunately, we have, and ounaivetety puts us at great risk. We aren`t going to be able to talk the Syrians and Iranians out of attacking us, anymore than we could talk Hitler or Tojo out of war. We beat back Fascism and Communism, and now we have to beat back an ancient religion-possibly our greatest challenge as a nation. To accomplish this we will need sober, dedicated leaders, not prom queens. The Democrats are nothing but prom queens, scoundrels, copperheads. History will judge them harshly no matter what happens, but they may be our undoing. America needs to judge them harshly now, or this Republic will surely perish.

We have got to stop pussyfooting around; now the Democrats want to ban the term Global War on Terror as well as other terms indicating that we are, in fact, engaged in a global struggle. Essentially, they want to end the war by linguistic fiat. They know that their softness on the War hurts them, and they want people to stop thinking about such things. Their fondest wish is to return to ``kitchen table issues``-health care, drug costs, and the like (although avoid social security)-and a return to Clinton-era concerns would mean more votes for Santa-crats. This whole war business is hurting their electability, and so, like good liberals, they want to stick their fingers in three hundred million ears and blot out the bad news that yes, there are a great many people who really do want to kill us. We`ll just click our heels together and repeat ``there`s no place like home, there`s no place like home...``

We need adults running our government. We have the progeny of Peter Pan in charge at the moment.

In this life there are things which cannot be ignored; the longer a situation festers, the worse it will be. We ignored the rising tide of Jihad for decades, and it has metastasized into something which could plunge the whole world into chaos and darkness. Pelosi and her ilk, like spoiled children, want to continue to play their games, pretending that nothing is wrong.

Can we afford any more of this?

Consensus Science, the Law, and Al Gore

This from the Wall Street Journal, courtesy of our friend Wil Wirtanen:


Climate of Opinion
April 4, 2007; Page A14

Al Gore will have no trouble finding in Monday's Supreme Court ruling more evidence that global warming is a reality, indeed a dire threat.

He will soon say -- you can take this to the bank -- words like: "Now, even a majority of the Supreme Court has recognized the danger of global warming." And he'll be right in the sense that the Court invokes the magic word "consensus" for a physical fact that itself is unproven, unprovable and exists purely in the realm of speculation.

Al Gore has made himself, in his curious way, the personification of a society's impulse to manufacture political certainty out of irresolvable scientific uncertainty, of which the Supreme Court is the latest culprit/victim. You can see this by arranging the questions related to global warming in descending order of urgency.

The most urgent, by definition, is Mr. Gore's claim that the atmosphere is in such a calamitous state that we have "no more than 10 years before we cross a point of no return." How does he know, asked interviewer Charlie Rose last year?

Mr. Gore's answer: "I accept the fact that the most respected scientists whose judgment I think is the best are now concerned that we may be in that territory."

The second question is whether human-produced carbon dioxide is driving this dangerous warming. Invariably, Mr. Gore cites a single observation: that such a belief is the "consensus" of scientists.

Only at the third question -- is there evidence that global warming is actually occurring? -- do we enter the realm of the observable. Air and sea temperature can be measured. The standard observation is that the planet has fitfully warmed by one degree Celsius over the past century, but this figure is produced by massaging inconsistent readings from many times and places. Different assumptions would produce different trends, or none at all. And that's without considering whether a planetary "average" temperature is even a meaningful datapoint (some have likened it to averaging all the phone numbers in the phone book).

In any case, evidence of warming is not evidence of manmade warming.

It would surprise the public, and even the Supreme Court, to know how utterly the science of global warming offers no evidence whatsoever on the central proposition. What fills Mr. Gore's film, books, speeches and congressional testimony are scientific observations and quasi-scientific observations, all right. They concern polar bears, mosquitoes, hurricanes, ice packs and everything but whether humans cause global warming.

Some of this evidence may suggest, weakly or strongly, the existence of warming trends in particular parts of the world (such local trends, both cooling and warming, have been observed in many places and many times). More dubiously, some may indicate a generalized warming. But none offers any evidence that carbon dioxide is causing warming. Mr. Gore's method is the equivalent of trying to prove that Jack killed Jane by going on and on about how awful it was that Jane was killed.

Polemicists in favor of human-caused global warming liken skeptics to tobacco lobbyists who denied the link between smoking and lung cancer. In fact, it makes a useful analogy.

Suppose the world consisted of exactly one smoker who could be observed only from a distance to test the theory that smoking causes lung cancer. If he died of cancer, it wouldn't prove smoking causes cancer. If he failed to die of cancer, it wouldn't prove smoking doesn't cause cancer.

The link between smoking and cancer is made by observing millions of smokers and nonsmokers. Indeed, what led scientists to seek systematic evidence of a link in the first place was anecdotal evidence that smokers, of whom there have been millions, appeared to die in unusual numbers from lung cancer.

Nothing remotely similar has been involved in developing the hypothesis that carbon dioxide creates warming. The relevant observations are a mess: Measured global temperature has both risen and fallen for considerable periods during the past century, even as CO2 has risen steadily. The geologic record suggests the world was much cooler in the past despite CO2 concentrations higher than today's. Unlike smoking and cancer, there's no anecdotal observation for the hypothesis that CO2 causes planetary warming. It may or may not be true, but to believe it is a "scientific truth" is to make a leap of faith, not science.

The consensus that human activities are causing global warming is purely a social invention -- there's no way of showing it to be so, and no self-evident reason for preferring to believe it's so. The "consensus" is, in truth, a product of itself.

Now we are prepared to get the joke. It came during last fall's Supreme Court oral argument about global warming, when the learned Justices, allowing the word "consensus" to serve as evidence of manmade warming, devoted themselves instead to a solemn discussion of how many inches of sea-level rise, and thus how many square miles of coastal inundation, the EPA is guilty of failing to prevent by refusing to regulate U.S. tailpipe emissions (which account for just 8% of human CO2 output).

Sen. James Inhofe is notorious for saying the theory of manmade global warming is a "hoax." Obviously we need a better theory than Mr. Inhofe's of when head-counting is a useful way of estimating the validity of a factual proposition and when it isn't. Until then, it's perhaps sufficient to say that many people believe in manmade global warming because many people believe in manmade global warming; Al Gore believes in it because many people believe in it; many people believe in it because Al Gore believes in it; and so on, right up to the highest court in the land.

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