A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hypocrisy from an Inconvenient Goof

Al Gore-the Inconvenient Goof-deserves a special award for not practicing what he preaches; his ``footprint`` on this Earth is truly staggering! Just read this piece from, courtesy of our friend and regular commenter Mike:

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own ``Inconvenient Truth``
Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

``As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,`` said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Teaching Death to Children

Parents no longer have any rights over what their children are taught in public schools-at least in Massachusetts.

Not so long ago homosexuality was considered by medical professionals a mental disorder and perversion akin to pedophilia, bestiality, or necrophilia, and it is still considered immoral by many. In a little over a generation we have completely altered our perception of this very destructive behavior, and now the Left is demanding that children be taught it is an acceptable ``lifestyle choice`` over the objections of their parents.

Homosexuality is terribly destructive both physically and emotionally. AIDS is only the most notorious of conditions which afflict gay people; they suffer from all the traditional venereal diseases such as syphilis, gonhorrea chlamydia, hepatitis,HPV, etc. at a much higher rate (do to far greater promiscuity and a more physically damaging lifestyle), they have a plethora of unique disorders such as ``gay bowel disease``, a condition caused by the entry of a parasite through fissures in male homosexuals rectums (a result of repeated tearing) causing chronic diarrhea, They suffer from depression at a far higher rate than the general populace, are much more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Homosexuals tend to die young, with an average life-expectancy in the 40`s. Suicide is rampant, it must be added.

The Left would demand government intervention if this were a Christian sect suffering from such rampant disease and mortality; indeed, non political groups concerned with public health would demand a Congressional panel to recommend ways to reduce this epidemic-like mortality rate. Since ``gay rights`` is one of the cornerstones of the liberal agenda, and a heavy contributor to the Democrat Party, the consequences of this behavior is swept under the rug.

Discouraging homosexuality is not a matter of promoting hatred or fear, but rather an act of kindness and mercy; these people are the walking dead. It`s the same impulse which motivates someone to throw a rope to a drowning man. These people are drowning, whether they know it or not. We discourage alcoholism, and the Courts often make alcoholics enter rehab for their own good. Yet homosexuality is a lifestyle choice we either ignore, or even promote.

I understand the arguments; they claim they were born that way, and this is natural for them. (interestingly they call themselves ``queer`` suggesting they know deep down there is something not quite right.) Be that as it may, it is natural for men (and women) to be attracted to and consummate that attraction with those who are not their wives or husbands, and yet it is entirely possible to remain faithful to a spouse. This is a choice. We are not animals, we have control over our own behavior. It might be unfair, it might be tough, but it can be done, and has been done through human history.

But homosexuals do not have a sexual outlet, we are told! What are they supposed to do? The fact is, and we all have experience with this, sexuality is a fire rather than a pressure; the more fuel you put on it, the more your appetite grows. Obsession with sex breeds more obsession. The key to sexual self-control is to put your lusts aside, to concentrate on other things. It can be done, and it has been done in the past. There is no reason to believe that homosexual people are not able to restrain their desires.

How many latent pedophiles walk this Earth? They have desires they know are wrong, and simply do not entertain them. How many people with any off-kilter sexual urge, such as bestiality, necrophilia, sexual cannibalism? Yet many of these people simply say no to these bizarre tendencies.

But homosexuality is a political tool, something to destroy our Judeo-Christian heritage. Now Massachusetts is demanding the right to teach children that it is a viable alternative, something perfectly acceptable. Parents are being told that what their own children are being taught is of no concern of theirs.

Fine! If educrats are going to shove their leftist propaganda down our throats, let them at least tell the entire story; how about passing a bill requiring that the terrible health affects of homosexuality be taught as well? Tell kids they will die in their 40`s, that they are committing suicide if they enter into that lifestyle. The Left loves sex education, so let`s give children both barrels!

Of course, that won`t happen. The Left is unbearably cruel.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Brief History of American Slavery and American Ignorance

My brother is eternally at war with the useless rag known as the Post-Dispatch. Once the crown jewel of the Pulitzer empire, the leftist paper has suffered terribly from declining standards as a result of the very liberal policies advocated by the Past-Disgrace`s editorial board. Affirmative action, groupthink, an unwillingness to ``judge`` the writing skills of their own columnists and staff writers, ignorance of the topics they cover, etc. have all conspired to produce a newspaper comparable in quality to one put out by a public high-school. The paper is filled with typos, poor grammar, and is completely devoid of any logic; it reads like an adolescent wrote much of it. My brother is a professor of history who would not tolerate such shoddy work from his students, and he is constantly writing snippy letters to express his displeasure. (Frankly, I haven`t read the idiotic thing in years, and am the better for it as I am more cheerful and my blood pressure remains lower in it`s absence. I do occasionally get into the online version for the news items-what few there actually are.) We haven`t had a decent newspaper since the conservative Globe Democrat closed decades ago.

I actually do find the Post very useful in one regard-it makes a dandy fire starter! I take discarded copies to my luxury vacation house and they serves me quite well!

At any rate, Brian noticed this whopping error in a review of the movie ``Amazing Grace``, and he called them on it:

Dear Mr. Williams,

In your review of "Amazing Grace", the new movie concerning William Wilberforce and the anti-slavery movement in Britain you mention that "The African slave trade was an abomination, yet it continued in America for almost a century after Thomas Jefferson declared that all men were created equal..." If you took the time to read the U. S. Constitution you would know that the African slave trade was constitutionally protected until the year 1808. (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1) The southern delegates reluctantly accepted the outlawing of the African slave trade after the stated year. The Congress subsequently passed a federal prohibition against the African slave trade and President Thomas Jefferson signed the measure into law, effective on January 1, 1808, the first day that the Constitution allowed such a law to take effect. Slavery continued in America until 1865, but the African slave trade ended fifty-seven years earlier on New Years Day, 1808.

With kindest Regards,
Brian E. Birdnow

He is, of course, absolutely correct; the reviewer had little understanding of the ``Peculiar Institution`` and the history behind it. Let me give a few details which are poorly disseminated or understood by many.

African slavery in the English Colonies got it`s start with the policy of indentured servitude; ship captains would rather pluck out an eye than make the long and perilous journey to the New World with a half-empty vessel, so if they were unable to fill up with willing white colonists they would take whomever they could grab-be they white or slave to the Arabs. America suffered from negative unemployment; employers were unable to find not just qualified people to work for them buy ANY people willing to sign on, since everyone who came to the New World dreamed of owning their own land, and could easily make that happen. As a result, employers would pay the passage of anyone interested in coming to work for them. The terms of indenture were generally a Biblical 7 years, after which the immigrant was free to pursue his own interests. Employers didn`t like it when ship captains delivered unwilling Africans, and so they demanded a longer period of indenture. This period continued to grow until it became 99 years, and then ``in perpetuity``. Slavery was born.

Slavery-and the slave trade-thrived on what was known as the ``Triangle Trade``; Ships carrying rum from New England went to Africa, where the rum was sold to Arab middlemen, who purchased prisoners of war from tribal chieftains to sell as slaves. The idea of the white slavers beating the brush to snag unsuspecting people is rubbish; the Arabs may have done this, but few (if any) white slavers bothered. They had a ready supply at hand. Black Muslims are fools for thinking Islam was their friend; the Arabs were far worse than the whites in this regard, as were their African ``brothers``.

Once a ship captain arrived in Africa, he traded his rum for a full hold of slaves, then set sail for the West Indies. There he traded his captives to sugar plantation owners for molasses, which he took to the distilleries in New England and traded for more rum. Thus a cycle of rum/slaves/sugar repeated endlessly.

The French began making rum right on the sugar plantations to get a jump on the English, and French rum was cheaper due to savings on transportation, so the New England distilleries began a long, steady decline. (It had often been wryly noted by men of the times that the North found her conscience after slavery stopped being profitable. They found it much easier to take bread out of the mouths of others than out of their own. ) Couple this with an honest religious movement aiming at abolish, and by the Revolutionary War it was thought slavery would die out. THAT was why the Founding Fathers seemed to kick the can down the road; they all believed slavery would expire in ignominy without anyone having to come to blows.

Eli Whitney ended all that; his invention of the cotton gin made slavery profitable (for a while, at least). The Southern states needed slaves now more than ever to produce ``King Cotton``. Still, it should be pointed out that less than 25% of Southerners owned any slaves at all, and only 1% owned 100 or more. Why? Slaves were expensive! They could cost as much as $100,000 in Antebellum money! (That was why slave-owners rarely beat their slaves; marks on a slave lowered their resale value! The punishments inflicted on slaves tended to be much crueler-threats of selling off family members and loved ones was the principle method of keeping slaves in line. It`s interesting to note the absence of fathers in the black community today. Does this tie in with this particular suffering endured by generations of black men during the slave era?)

Slavery also destroyed the Southern economy, because all of the low-end jobs were taken by slaves. Businesses couldn`t compete against free labor, so the poor were generally unemployed or worked seasonally at very low wages. As a result, the South lacked a strong middle class. Furthermore, slaves consumed food and wore clothes, thus driving the price of necessities up, while they did not purchase much else, thus depressing the higher-end market. The plantation economy was wrought with problems (and we`re going to see these same problems with the illegal immigrant economy in the near future.) and the South slipped behind the North in virtually all economic indicators. This is a primary reason why the North won the Civil War.

Since cotton was the principle commodity driving the Southern economic engine, everyone worked diligently to produce more of it. This lowered the market price, forcing the planter to grow ever more to make ends meet. It was a vicious cycle; the more they grew, the less money they made, and the more slaves they needed.

The issue of slavery proved to have no answer, at least none that could be implemented without great hardship. As was noted by Thomas Jefferson;

``Maintaining slavery is like holding a wolf by the ears; you don`t like it but you don`t dare let go.``

There were serious practical considerations-would the freed slaves become citizens, or be held (unconstitutionally) as subjects? How would they be housed once free? Fed? Would the states have to pay to educate them (as none were allowed to be educated by law)? Slave owners had a considerable amount of money tied up in their slaves; would Washington pay for this eminent domain taking, would the states, or would the slaveholder be out of luck? Abolitionists hated slave holders, and refused to spend a nickel of non-slaveholder money to free the slaves, instead demanding that the owners be punished for their sins. The Southerners who didn`t own slaves weren`t interested in funding abolition, and of course the slaveholders had no idea what they would do if abolition came. No Southerners were willing to place their former slaves in a position of equality. (Northerners, to be sure, were willing to place former slaves in a position of equality with Southerners; it all depends on whose ox is being gored.) There were some ideas about a mass exodus of slaves-to Mexico, or back to Africa, but that was plainly impossible to move so many people.

So slavery was not as cut-and-dried as many people believe, and the final solution left much to be desired. An entire section of the Republic had to be destroyed, a very bitter enfranchisement of slaves while disenfranchisement of former masters had to be imposed, a system of segregation was born whereby freed former slaves were still denied their rights and given second class citizenship, poor education, and little opportunity has warped and twisted the fabric of America for over a century. Had a political solution been found America-both white and black-would have been far better off. Unfortunately, things did not work out that way.

Abraham Lincoln certainly lost the peace; he had good plans for reconstruction, but few ideas on what to do with the liberated slaves. (People accuse GEORGE BUSH of failing to plan for the peace...) The chaos following the war, with freed slaves suddenly roaming about with no money, no food, and no idea what to do next lead to epidemic crime, and the Ku Klux Klan was formed as a vigilante group to restore order-and order the Union Army cared little for, since the suffering caused by the post-war chaos fell on those dirty rebels. The Klan was illegal, since the Confederacy was supposed to have surrendered all arms and been disenfranchised, but the need for civil stability was too great, and the Klan grew throughout the South. Later it would become an instrument for white domination of blacks.

Much of this history is not being taught in schools today, and too many people have a fictional view of genteel plantations with hoop-skirted women ordering their secret black lovers whipped to death to keep them silent, or of top-hated white aristocrats ordering the torture of slaves for their own amusement. Not true; mistreatment of slaves was evidence of low breeding, and a bad slaveowner would be shunned in polite society. Often the slaves and masters lived together quite amicably, although the slaves hated their station and yearned to be free. Slaveholders frequently loved their slaves, but always feared being massacred in a slave uprising by `other people`s slaves`. Of course, many slaves stayed on with their former masters as paid servants-where else could they go? It`s very easy to say ``you are free`` but hard to learn to live as free men.

All of this is lost on modern Americans, and so you have statements like that made by Mr. Williams in his review of ``Amazing Grace``. Now, it may be that Mr. Williams made a casual error, which is something we have all done, in which case I apologize for being overly harsh. In all likelihood he simply wasn`t aware that the African slave trade ended in 1808, because nobody ever told him.

Britain, of course, had it easier, but slavery was a ball-and-chain as much for the master as the slave, and Wilberforce was certainly someone worthy of the respect and admiration he received. I think Mr. William`s complaints about the movie are petty (I`ll admit, I haven`t seen it.) because the issue of British abolition was debated and adjudicated entirely by white Brits, many of whom had never even seen a slave. Out of sight, out of mind! Wilberforce fought for the invisible oppressed, was a voice for the truly voiceless.

At any rate, America will never solve the race issue in this country until the majority of Americans take a good, honest look at the issue of slavery and it`s aftermath. Unfortunately, few Americans know history in general, and even fewer understand the complexities which faced people at the time. What seems a simple issue to us has to be analyzed not by today`s standards but by the standards of the times, has to be looked at in light of the prejudices, problems, and lifestyles of the people who had to deal with them. Americans are terrible at this. We can`t even understand foreigners; we too often think they are Americans with funny accents. How many people in this country understand the Islamic threat? How many television programs asked ``why do they hate us?`` If we can`t understand our neighbors, how can we understand a culture which vanished over 140 years ago?

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Americans have ignored history for a long time; will we repeat it (albeit in another way) with illegal immigrants?

Just a thought.

Freedom of Speech and Moral Relativism

The New York City Council is considering banning the N-word inside of the metropolitan limits.

Strange, I thought we had freedom of speech in this country. Granted, speech detrimental to the public welfare has traditionally been regulated, but we have always recognized that people have the right to use language as they see fit. Certainly we hear enough M-F, F-U, B****, C*** S*****, etc. throughout America, yet nobody proposes outlawing this.

Profanity used to be regulated by cultural pressure; people who spoke profanely were dressed down by the gentlemen around them-especially if there were ladies present. Someone with a sewer mouth would be shunned by decent people. The Left has worked diligently to dismantle this system of societal discipline, to make any speech acceptable, any behavior fit in the eyes of America. Instead of the proprieties we now have non-judgementalism. Who are we to judge? We used to say that we had the right to judge bad behavior, but the Left has seen to it that those who try to maintain standards are the ones shamed and ostricized.

In fact, prayer is no longer tolerated in most public venue, yet here New York is debating banning a word which literally means black. It is not an insult unless taken as such. Granted, it was often used to insult black people, and polite society has done with it what had been done in the past with unseemly language. That is as it should be. But the Left does not want the old mechanisms to work, and so, as with most liberal policies, law is applied to force this change in behavior, rather than honor and custom. Law has been used to ban words such as God, Jesus, Savior, Yahweh, etc. from the public discourse as well; does it surprise anyone that speech has coarsened as prayer disappears? If Liberals hadn`t removed praise from our vocabulary would we now need a ban on the N-word?

I know; many of those using this word are black themselves, and they use it as a badge of honor. It`s bad insofar as it helps deepen the divide between the races in America, and it is a part of the general coarsening I`m speaking about. Still, if we are to be true to our principles we must accept the good with the bad, and use of some colorful invectives is a price that must be paid to maintain our right to free speech. What must be reasserted is our right to judge this speech as foul, and to punish it`s use in the old fashion. We cannot run to government to solve every problem.

It`s time we bring honor back to our land. Freedom does not mean the right to offend without consequences; those consequences used to come from the public at large. In fact, the Supreme Court has recognized that there are ``fighting words`` which excuse assault because the assailant was driven to it by the ``victim``. (I think flag burning certainly should fall under fighting words, for example.) People used to jealously guard their honor, lest they suffer the punishment of murmur, scandal, and ostricization. Sometimes loss of honor could be unfair, and sometimes it was harsh, but it worked. Now we maintain social stability through force alone in many instances, and force is a poor method, indeed. Law is often very unsure, especially American jurisprudence which emphasizes innocence over guilt and mercy over punishment. It also requires money, time, and can be easily circumvented. Trying to legally ban the N-word is a monumentally stupid idea.

Unfortunately, America has walked down this path, and it will not be easy to restore the old mores-if they can be restored at all. How long will it be before everyone realizes that government really doesn`t have such a firm grip, and everything falls apart?

A Thousand Words

Barack Obama says U.S. soldiers are wasting their lives in Iraq; oh, really? Perhaps Ouidas Grande should see what is happening there before he opens his (clean) mouth to insult our servicemen!

Thanks Wil Wirtanen!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The U.N.`s Mental Onanism

The U.N. Security Council is holding hearings to figure out ways to keep WMD`s out of the hands of terrorists.

Funny, if they would have given us any cooperation in Iraq, and would take a real, firm stand against Iran now, they wouldn`t need need this debate. Of course, the U.N. does nothing BUT debate, and act to restrain those who want to do something about the problem. They are the intellectual equivelent of internet porn Johns-always seeking to take matters into their own hands yet failing to bear any fruit.

In my opinion, the United Nations is worse than useless and it`s high time we withdraw from this waste of good parking space in New York.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Greens and Nuclear Power

Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, has rescinded his opposition to nuclear energy. It`s about time.

If you fear that Global Warming is being caused by the release of carbon dioxide from industrial activity, you should advocate non-carbon emitting energy sources. Nuclear is CO2 free! A nuclear reactor uses Uranium (not the heavily enriched Uranium used in bombs) or other very heavy elements (Plutonium can be used, but wouldn`t be since there is no way to prevent someone from using it in an atomic bomb) to produce heat via fission. When aligned properly, with the correct amount of mass, a ``slow`` chain reaction begins whereby neutrons from the decaying atoms strike other atoms, knocking off more neutrons to strike still more atoms. (Neutrons, being larger than protons and electrically neutral, drive the process of nuclear decay-the ``weak nuclear force``.) This process produces heat, which in turn is used to produce steam which drives a conventional generator to produce electricity. The exhaust from a nuclear reactor is good old H2O, a greenhouse gas to be sure but one which was taken right out of the air. The only worry is the waste product left after the reactor is shut down; this material remains radioactive for quite some time after shutdown, and has to be specially contained in some fashion. THAT is what the environmentalists have worried about, and the American public shared their fears after Hanoi Jane Fonda`s movie ``The China Syndrome``.

But if CO2 is driving Global Warming as the Environmentalists fear, if the danger is as great as they suggest, then they simply have to support nuclear. People are not going to dismantle our technological civilization. We couldn`t do it, at any rate, without triggering worldwide catastrophe; there are simply too many people on Earth, and nobody is going to live an 18th Century lifestyle when it is unnecessary. People will starve, people will suffer, people will die if we were to be so foolish as to dismantle industry to stop a nebulous warming. But, people will gladly accept an alternative energy source, if it does not require reducing their standard of living. Nuclear is the way to go in that regard. Furthermore, nuclear energy could be used to split hydrogen from oxygen, which could be used to run automobiles. The product of burning hydrogen is water. A hydrogen/nuclear economy would drastically reduce CO2 emissions without reducing our lifestyle.

But the Gang Green has, by and large, continued to oppose nuclear. Why? I strongly suspect that the reason lies not in the dangers of nuclear power but in their particular vision of society; they want a ``return`` to a lost Eden, a pastoral paradise they believe industrialism stole from Mankind. ALL technology is suspect. Nuclear requires maintaining the large industrial/military complex which they so despise, so it is not an option to them. THAT has been the whole point on the Global Warming scare! Too many Environmentalists want a revolution, a revolution intended to dismantle modern civilization. They are the intellectual heirs of Rousseau, with his belief that Man has somehow wandered out of paradise and can somehow restore it with proper political alignment.

At least Mr. Moore is honest enough to take a hard look things. But, as Thomas Lifson says in his piece at the American Thinker, what else have the environmentalists been wrong about over the years?

Fighting Fire and Reverse Discrimination

As a followup to this story, Birdblog`s correspondent on St. Louis City affairs reports on the S.L.F.P.`s latest court hearings:

Last Monday was the first day in court with F.I.R.E.'s discrimination charge. Here are some highlights:

1. FIRE'S expert witness is a man with a doctorate in Industrial Psychology, BUT NO EXPERIENCE IN TESTING! He basically testified that the test results had "adverse impact" because the results did not meet the "4/5 rule". The city does not deny that; but just because there is an adverse impact does not equate to bias or discrimination. The city attorneys, as well as the union attorney shot holes in his credibility because he has no experience in actually administering tests.

2. Fire Chief Sherman George testified that he wants promotional tests to be developed then given to the actual officers on the job for their perusal. Then these same officers would sign a "confidentiality agreement" stating that they would not share what is on the tests with candidates. Do you recall the cheating scandal on the previous test in 2004? A black battalion chief went and obtained part of the tests under false pretenses and had them delivered to FIRE'S organizational meeting hall. A white firefighter attempted to obtain the same portion of the tests, but ultimately failed. I think its obvious that the fire chief's idea of testing would not be feasible.

3. The fire chief was also asked on the witness stand if he would promote if the tests were found fair by the judge. After stalling and attempting to avoid the question, he finally stated "I do not know." This statement is a direct contradiction to what he said at his press conference in the summer of 2004. He stated that if the tests were proven fair in court, HE WOULD PROMOTE RIGHT AWAY AND GIVE BACKPAY TO THOSE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROMOTED EARLIER.

The court case reconvenes today with the city's expert witnesses, who are Dr. Barrett (adminster of the 2000 tests) and Dr. Jacobs (adminster of the 2004 test). After the case has concluded, the judge has 5 months to make a decision. City officials and attorneys state that it looks promising because FIRE's expert witness has no credibilty (experience) and both tests in question were given by companies with impeccable records. The feeling among the firefighters is that the tests will be proven fair, but Chief George will still refuse to promote, especially after his last testimony. It will then be up to the director of public safety and the mayor as to whether they will ORDER him to promote; and with the way the mayor has acted this entire time, it is doubtful those orders will be given, thus no promotions.

Don Wolff (the attorney who represented Sherman George
that they are not intelligent enough to EARN a promotion on their own merit and should be given promotions because the city hired them through affirmative action practices.Just being given the job on the FD is not enough; now they want promotions handed to them.

What do the black firefighters who earned their jobs and promotions through hard work and intelligence think of FIRE's claim?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Intellectual Dodos and the Evolution of Climate Change

Marc Shepperd chronicles the kinder, gentler Kyoto and the rising tide of skepticism at the American Thinker.

Here`s a small taste, one which should excite my Darwinian friends:

This continued turgidity in the face of evolving contrary science places the eco-maniacs in the unenviable position of having to substantiate their ongoing alarmism to the rational amongst their believing ranks. Meanwhile, more and more nations are accepting the need for human reaction to what may or may not be the result of any demonstrable human action. Subsequently, alarmists will soon be forced to deal with the science and economics of climate shift, rather than their mankind stinks politics - something they're pitifully even less qualified to do.

The Mauritius Dodo Bird (Raphus cucullatus) has been extinct for over 300 years. As with most unfortunate outcomes on the planet, its demise as a species has been widely attributed to the actions of mankind (Homo sapiens). Be that as it may, the same forces which demanded adaptation from the doomed flightless bird will ultimately and rightly demand it of all obstacles to human survival and advancement.

Be they unyielding treaties (Kyoto accordis) or stridently foolish alarmists (Skyis fallinonus), those that cannot respond to changes around them shall not endure on this Earth (Terra firma).

Intellectual natural selection should weed out the Gang Green; their hysteria will, if Mr. Shepperd is correct, be smashed on the jagged shoals of reality. Of course, they will simply move on to the next prophecy of doom...

Cool to Warming in Australia

An Australian Cardinal looks at Global Warming.

(Thanks, Dave-O):

Sunday Telegraph (Australia)

Keeping a cool head amid warming hysteria


Opinion / Op Ed; Pg. 81

February 18, 2007

Global-warming doomsayers were out and about in a big way recently,
but the rain came in central Queensland, then here in Sydney.

January also was unusually cool.

We have been subjected to a lot of nonsense about climate disasters,
as some zealots have been presenting extreme scenarios to frighten us.

They claim ocean levels are about to rise spectacularly, there could
be the occasional tsunami as high as an eight-storey building, and the
Amazon Basin could be destroyed as the ice cap in the Arctic and
Greenland melts.

An overseas magazine called for Nuremberg-style trials for
global-warming skeptics, and a US television correspondent compared
skeptics to ''Holocaust deniers''.

A local newspaper editorial's complaint about the doomsayers'
religious enthusiasm is unfair to mainstream Christianity.

Christians don't go against reason, although we sometimes go beyond it
in faith to embrace the probabilities.

What we were seeing from the doomsayers was an induced dose of mild
hysteria -- semi-religious if you like, but dangerously close to

I'm deeply skeptical about man-made catastrophic global warming, but
still open to further evidence.

I would be surprised if industrial pollution and carbon emissions had
no ill-effects at all.

But enough is enough.

A few fixed points may provide light on the subject.

We know that enormous climate changes have occurred in world history
-- for example, the ice ages and Noah's flood, when human causation
could only have been negligible.

Nor should it be too surprising to learn that during the past 100
years, the media has alternated between promoting fear of anew ice age
and fear of global warming.

Terrible droughts are not infrequent in Australian history, sometimes
lasting seven or eight years.

We all know that a cool January doesn't mean much in the long run.

But neither does evidence based on only a few years.

Scaremongers have used temperature fluctuations over limited periods
and in a few places to misrepresent longer patterns.

Warming evidence is mixed and often exaggerated but can be reassuring.

Global warming has been increasing constantly since 1975 at the rate
of less than one-fifth of a degree

Celsius per decade.

The concentration of carbon dioxide increased surface temperatures
more in winter than in summer, especially in mid and high latitudes
over land, while there was a global cooling of the stratosphere.

Britain's University of East Anglia climate research unit found global
temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2005, and a NASA satellite
recently found the southern hemisphere had not warmed in the past 25

Is mild global warming a northern phenomenon?

We may have been alarmed by the sighting of an iceberg as large as an
aircraft carrier off Dunedin, but we should be consoled by the news
that the Antarctic is getting colder and the ice is growing there.

The science is certainly more complicated than the propaganda.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cultivating Their Inner Child

Wil Wirtanen sends this gem from the Patriot:

It takes a lot more integrity, character, and courage to be a conservative than it does to be a liberal. That’s because at its most basic level, liberalism is nothing more than childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues.

John Hawkins

Given the level of discourse by certain individuals here lately, I think that observation is profound!

Step Right Up Folks!

Over at Townhall, William Rusher echoes several Birdblog themes about liberal hysteria and Global Warming. He reminds us of the many doomsday prophecies of the past, of liberal rage at corporations, and points to the massive amount of money being doled-out for climate change research. Don`t miss it!

More Outrage from the Border

I received this in my e-mail today from an organization called Grasstop USA, and decided to pass it along although I haven`t verified the information. Take it with a grain of salt. I decided to post it because it fits a pattern we have been seeing; the United States has been bending over backwards to keep the Mexican government happy, and they have done so at the expense of U.S. citizens-such as border patrol agents Ramos and Compeon. A while back, when the Minutemen were on the border aiding I.N.S. agents, the border patrol was ordered to ``stand down``, to not arrest anyone caught by the Minutemen. This was done after Mexico requested that the Bush Administration take action to stop the Minutemen from patrolling. Also, in the past we have set up aid stations for illegals to stop for water and the like. We have discovered tunnels crossing the border from Mexico, and have yet to fill them in-despite having discovered them years ago. This story certainly fits:

Could it be true? Are officials of the U.S. government involved in a shameless conspiracy to punish law enforcement officers who defend United States borders?

No, we're not just talking about Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean. We're talking about two new outrageous examples.

Outrage #1:

Texas Deputy Sheriff Guillermo "Gilmer" Hernandez saw a blue Chevy Suburban run a red light in Rocksprings, a favorite sneak alley for Mexican smugglers of drugs and illegal aliens.

The Deputy flipped on his lights and took off after the Suburban. The vehicle stopped, and when Hernandez got out of his patrol car, he could see several people in the vehicle. Illegal aliens? Dope dealers?

As he approached, the driver gunned the Suburban, wheeled around, and drove straight at Hernandez, attempting to run him down. He leaped out of the way and fired at the fleeing vehicle.

He was a good shot. He blew out the left rear tire, and two bullets ricocheted off the pavement and riddled the rear door. A fourth shot also struck the Suburban.

The Suburban crashed. Eight illegal aliens and one smuggler took off running. They left behind a woman, Maricela Rodriguez Garcia, who was slightly injured when a fragment of one bullet cut her lip and broke two teeth. (Of course, the fact that Garcia was crammed into the back of a Suburban with eight other people and sandwiched over the rear tire-well didn't help matters.)
Unfortunately, the videotape in Hernandez's camera was already full and couldn't record the action. Also, in filing his written report, the Deputy said he fired his "weapon one time at the back left rear tire" and then fired two more shots -- three in all. Actually he was mistaken. He had fired four shots. An understandable and irrelevant error.

But it wasn't irrelevant to U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton who charged Hernandez with "concealing facts" (Sound familiar?) and "Violating the Civil Rights" of an illegal alien. Yep, the same Johnny Sutton who persecuted Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean.

But that's not the full story. Evidence has now come to light that in both the Hernandez and the Ramos-Compean cases, the Mexican government DEMANDED the aggressive prosecution of our law enforcement agents!

And apparently, our government accommodated the request!

The Similarities Are Too Striking To Ignore!

The similarities between the Hernandez case and the Ramos-Compean cases are simply too striking to ignore.

Johnny Sutton pursued all three defendants with cruel disregard for their records of spotless service as law enforcement officers.

In both instances the government's case was built on the perjured testimony of illegal aliens and smugglers.

In both trials, Sutton charged the defendants with concealing evidence; and in both instances the "concealment," if it occurred at all, was trivial and irrelevant -- a measure of Sutton's obsession to shut down efforts by law enforcement to seal our borders.

In both cases, the law officers were defending themselves after being attacked.

In both cases, these criminal aliens were given immunity from prosecution, and treated like visiting dignitaries -- a disgusting spectacle to law-abiding citizens who despise dope dealers and smugglers of human cargo.

The pattern is unmistakable -- government grinding three good men under its heel to appease a third-world country.

Why are we bowing and scraping to the government of Mexico? The answer may chill you to the marrow.

Congressman Rohrabacher is demanding answers! He's pushing for congressional hearings to determine what role the Mexican government is playing in these egregious and overly aggressive prosecutions of our law enforcement officials and what steps our own government may be taking to accommodate the Mexican government.

Let's jam these 70 fax machines and demand that these key congressional leaders support Rohrabacher's call for congressional hearings into the Ramos-Compean and Hernandez cases. Let's get to the bottom of the who, what, when, where and how of these travesties of justice and let's do it publicly so that all Americans know exactly what is going on here.

AOL Members Use This Hyperlink

If the above hyperlink does not function, please copy and paste it into the address bar of your browser.

It's Becoming Clear. Mexico Played A Role.

One thing seems certain now. The Mexican government has played a sinister role in these despicable prosecutions.

For example, it is now known that in both the Hernandez and the Ramos-Compean cases, the Mexican government sent written correspondence to our government and demanded that our government "fix" the situation .

Here's what had to say:

"The Mexican Consulate played a previously undisclosed role in the events leading to U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's high-profile prosecution of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who are serving 11 and 12 year sentences for their role in the shooting of a drug smuggler, according to documents obtained by WND."

"And Mexican consular officials also demanded the prosecution of Texas Sheriff's Deputy Guillermo "Gilmer" Hernandez, who subsequently was brought to trial by Sutton, the documents reveal."

Congressman John Culbertson is also sounding the alarm and recently said that he has "long suspected that Mexican government officials ordered the prosecution of our law enforcement agents... Mexico wants to intimidate our law enforcement into leaving our border unprotected, and we now have confirmation of it in writing."

And Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, put it this way:

"It appears we are giving more credence to directions from Mexican government officials than we are to the dictates of our own Constitution and the security of the people of the United States."

Something smells... and it's up to the American people to get to the bottom of it!

Let's take a look at Outrage #2:

This story just broke on Monday, it is an old incident the press swept under the rug.

Here are the incredible details:

David Sipe, a Border Patrol agent -- while on duty in Penitas, Texas -- saw a group of 12 to 15 illegal aliens crossing the border. He ordered them to halt, but two fled into a thick patch of reeds.

Sipe went in after them and, according to his testimony, was attacked by Jose Guevara, an illegal alien. Sipe defended himself and struck Guevara with a flashlight. As a consequence, Guevara required five stiches in his head.

Sipe was subsequently charged with with Using Excessive Force and Causing Bodily Injury. That was in 2001. And incidentally, Guevara was subsequently awarded an $80,000 settlement from the U.S. government -- based on the guilty ruling.

But wait a minute! That's not the end of the story. Sipe appealed and was granted a new trial by the federal appeals court. Why?

Because the U. S. Attorney's office lied to the court in order to gain a conviction. As the Court of Appeals said in its ruling:

"The government stated in writing the aliens were allowed to remain and work in the United States pending trial and specified that 'no other promises or advantages' had been given. That was not true."

You better believe it wasn't true!


What happened at the new trial? Sipe was found NOT GUILTY!

And take note of this: the U.S. Attorney who persecuted David Sipe WAS APPOINTED BY BILL CLINTON.


And why take time to mention that?

To illustrate the point that the emasculation of our law enforcement officials has been going on -- under the radar -- for a very long time.


They give the following link to sign a petition:

or for AOL users to click:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The New Tsar, the Old Steel

More proof that Comrad Putin intends to be the new Tsar.

I don`t know what President Bush saw when he gazed into those cold blue bulbs, but I see the ghost of Ivan the Terrible, or Joe Stalin. (Stalin roughly translates ``Man of Steel``.) Remember, too, that Vladimir is Russian for Prince...

Stem-Cells Lies

Michael Fumento takes a look at the media distortion of the stem-cell debate.

Toilet Museum

David from Ultima Thule sends his greetings with this link to a museum of toilets. It really is much more interesting than it sounds; David points out that he was visitor 1,568,200; a million and a half people can`t be wrong!

Some of those toilets were downright scary, and you would be apt to miss your appointed duties if you forgot about them in the dead of night-they could scare the you-know-what right out of you!

I wonder how many liberals have George Bush toilets?

More Cold War II

Yet more proof of a second Cold War (Hat tip 7lb Dave):

Will Be Targets
Monday , February 19, 2007

http://www.foxnews. com/story/ 0,2933,252771, 00.html


Poland and the Czech Republic risk being targeted by Russian missiles if they agree to host elements of the proposed U.S. missile defense system, a top Russian general warned Monday in the latest in a series of increasingly bellicose statements from Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin has said he does not trust U.S. claims that it wants to deploy missile defense components in Europe to counter threats from Iran, and warned that Russia could take retaliatory action.

Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, head of Russia's missile forces, said the U.S. move would upset strategic stability.

"If the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic take such a step ... the Strategic Missile Forces will be capable of targeting these facilities if a relevant decision is made," he said.

The United States said last month that it wants to build a missile defense system in eastern Europe to protect the eastern United States and Europe from missiles launched from "rogue nations" in the Middle East. It would be the first such site in Europe.

The Czech government reiterated Monday that the U.S. defense system was not aimed at Russia.

"It is a passive defense against a different threat about which Russia has been informed in detail," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement from Prague. "It is nonsense from a military point of view that Russia could pull out of the treaty banning medium-range missiles and build additional military capabilities as a response to the U.S. missile defense."

But Solovtsov voiced concerns that Washington, which is planning to deploy 10 interceptors in Poland, could boost their number in the future. He warned that a hypothetical military action could have "grave consequences for all parties involved."

He also said that it would take only five or six years, or even less, to build new, upgraded versions of missiles scrapped under the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty -- the 1987 agreement signed by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan banning medium-range missiles.

"It is not difficult to restore their production," Solovtsov told a news conference. "The missiles were dismantled, but the production technology has remained."

At a security conference in Munich earlier this month, Putin said the INF treaty was outdated, and that many nations had since developed medium-range missiles eliminated by Russia and the United States. The chief of the military's General Staff later warned that Moscow's decision to pull out of the treaty would depend on whether the United States deploys the missile defense components in Europe.

Solovtsov said Russia would not simply copy the Soviet medium-range SS-20 missiles scrapped under the INF treaty but would develop a new missile with improved performance.

He also said Russia would continue gradually replacing Soviet-built intercontinental ballistic missiles with new Topol-M missiles, and would fully rearm around 2016 while maintaining levels under a 2002 arms control treaty signed by Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush. That treaty obliging both sides to cut their strategic nuclear weapons by about two-thirds by 2012, down between 1,700 to 2,200 missiles.

Putin also warned in Munich that Russia could respond to the deployment of U.S. missile defense in Europe by building new, more efficient weapons. He had previously boasted that Russia was developing new missiles that would be impossible for an enemy to intercept.

"It's possible to deploy such weapons shortly if the situation requires that," Solovtsov said, though he refused to elaborate.

He also said the military was considering plans for fitting multiple nuclear warheads to its new Topol-M missiles.

Military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said that Russia was likely to fit multiple warheads to its new missiles after the expiration of the 1991 START I arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union which barred Russia from such a move.

"Russia doesn't need it now, since the military still has a lot of Soviet-built missiles," he said.

If Putin is threatening to target his missiles on our defense platforms, what does that say about our need for that shield?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Singer on the IPCC

S. Fred Singer discusses the IPCC report at Sepp:

By S Fred Singer
Letter to Nature (sent Feb. 9, but not accepted for publication)
Printed Feb. 13 on

Michael Hopkin (in Nature, 6 Feb
writes about an illusionary ``consensus`` on the
IPCC report (Nature Feb. 6, 2007). But a
comparison of model-predicted with observed
patterns of warming contradicts the major IPCC
conclusion that the cause of current warming is ``very likely`` human.

Hopkin implies that the ``apparent discrepancy
between warming at Earth's surface and
temperatures in Earth's lower atmosphere`` has
been resolved. Not true. The key document is
the recent report of the US Climate Change
Science Program (CCSP), which is based on best
current information. It can be found at

In spite of a poorly worded Executive
Summary, the disparity between tropospheric and
surface temperature trends is quite apparent in
the report itself. Greenhouse models (see Figure
1.3F) indicate that the tropics provide the most
sensitive location for their validation; trends
there increase strongly with altitude, peaking at
around 10 kilometers. Actual observations,
however, show the opposite: flat or even
decreasing tropospheric trend values (see Fig.
3.7 and also Fig. 5.7E). This disparity is
demonstrated most strikingly in Figure 5.4G,
which shows the difference between surface and
troposphere trends for a collection of models
(displayed as a histogram) and for balloon and satellite data.

Allowing for uncertainties in the data and
for imperfect models, there is only one valid
conclusion from this failure of greenhouse models
to explain the observations: The human
contribution to global warming is still quite
small, so that natural climate factors are dominant

Waiting to Exhale

Thomas Sowell discusses the political trickery engaged in by the Gang Green:

By Thomas Sowell, February 15, 2007

If you take the mainstream media seriously, you
might think that every important scientist
believes that "global warming" poses a great
threat, and that we need to make drastic changes
in the way we live, in order to avoid
catastrophes to the environment, to various species, and to ourselves.

The media play a key role in perpetuating such
beliefs. Often they seize upon every heat wave to
hype global warming, but see no implications in
record-setting cold weather, such as many places
have been experiencing lately.

Remember how the unusually large number of
hurricanes a couple of years ago was hyped in the
media as being a result of global warming, with
more such hurricanes being predicted to return
the following year and the years
thereafter? But, when not one hurricane struck
the United States all last year, the media had
little or nothing to say about the false
predictions they had hyped. It's heads I win and tails you lose.

Are there serious scientists who specialize in
weather and climate that have serious doubts
about the doomsday scenarios being pushed by
global warming advocates? Yes, there are.

There is Dr. S. Fred Singer, who set up the
American weather satellite system, and who
published some years ago a book titled "Hot Talk,
Cold Science." More recently, he has co-authored
another book on the subject, "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years."

There have been periods of global warming that
lasted for centuries -- and periods of global
cooling that also lasted for centuries. So the
issue is not whether the world is warmer now than
at some time in the past but how much of that
warming is due to human beings and how much can
we reduce future warming, even if we drastically
reduce our standard of living in the attempt.

Other serious scientists who are not on the
global warming bandwagon include a professor of
meteorology at MIT, Richard S. Lindzen. His name
was big enough for the National Academy of
Sciences to list it among the names of other
experts on its 2001 report that was supposed to
end the debate by declaring the dangers of global
warming proven scientifically.

Professor Lindzen then objected and pointed out
that neither he nor any of the other scientists
listed ever saw that report before it was
published. It was in fact written by government
bureaucrats -- as was the more recently published
summary report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) that is also touted as the
final proof and the end of the discussion.

You want more experts who think otherwise? Try a
professor of environmental sciences at the
University of Virginia, Patrick J. Michaels, who
refers to the much ballyhooed 2001 IPCC summary
as having "misstatements and errors" that he calls "egregious."

A professor of climatology at the University of
Delaware, David R. Legates, likewise referred to
the 2001 IPCC summary as being "often in direct
contrast with the scientific report that
accompanies it." It is the summaries that the
media hype. The full 2007 report has not even been published yet.

Skeptical experts in other countries around the
world include Duncan Wingham, a professor of
climate physics at the University College,
London, and Nigel Weiss of Cambridge University.

The very attempt to silence all who disagree
about global warming ought to raise red flags.

Anyone who remembers the 1970s should remember
the Club of Rome report that was supposed to be
the last word on economic growth grinding to a
halt, "overpopulation" and a rapidly approaching
era of mass starvation in the 1980s. In reality,
the 1980s saw increased economic growth around
the world and, far from mass starvation, an
increase in obesity and agricultural surpluses in
many countries. But much of the media went for
the Club of Rome report and hyped the hysteria.

Many in the media resent any suggestion that they
are either shilling for an ideological agenda or
hyping whatever will sell newspapers or get
higher ratings on TV. Here is their chance to
check out some heavyweight scientists
specializing in weather and climate, instead of
taking Al Gore's movie or the pronouncements of
government bureaucrats and politicians as the last word.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover
Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

For Hate`s Sake

Schadenfreude? ``Keep hate alive?`` Definitely defines the Democrats and the Left! It also has a very familiar ring; now where have I personally encountered that lately? Oh, I remember! scroll down a couple of posts to see it first hand!

Destroying a president is not much of a strategy to win a war, but it’s all the Democrats have. The churls of the left don’t seem to care whether their country wins the war, the important thing is to ‘keep hate alive.’ If hate worked in ‘06, maybe it will work again in ‘08, when the stakes will be considerably higher. Sometimes it’s not only hate, but a bit of schadenfreude, too, taking pleasure in the woes of the enemy. ‘Partisan pleasure in George Bush’s pain dates to the anguish of the contested 2000 election loss,’ observes Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal. ‘The Democrats have run against something called ‘Bush’ for so long this sentiment is now bound up in any act or policy remotely attached to the president. Iraq’s troubles, or Iran or North Korea, are merely an artifact of crushing this one guy.’ The president’s tormentors in Congress, some old and some new, insist they don’t have anything against the fine young Americans with their lives on the line in Iraq, but the troops are dispensable to the larger partisan goal of destroying George W. and abdicating the responsibility that comes with being the world’s only superpower. If the troops are hurt, too, well, that’s just a risk the critics will have to endure.

Wesley Pruden

From the Federalist Patriot

The Death of the Reagan Revolution

Who said this first? Oh, that`s right; it was me.

The Reagan coalition is dying, in the way great governing coalitions do: not through its failures, but through its successes. Think of the issues that held us together in the 1980s and 1990s: slash income taxes, spur economic growth, monetary reform, welfare reform, crime, communism and the decline of the family. Hardly any of these issues has the same political weight today because Reaganism’s ideas transformed the U.S. economy, killed off communism, cut crime, stabilized inflation, and transformed welfare into workfare. Indeed, the irony is that the pro-family conservatives are the only part of the Reagan coalition whose problems are worse after 30 years of political effort. U.S. culture is coarser, families are weaker, schools now teach not only condoms, but gay marriage, porn is everywhere, abortion on demand is still the law, and almost 40 percent of our children are now born out of wedlock. What is the next great governing coalition? Somewhere, the next Reagan is thinking hard.

Maggie Gallagher

From the Federalist Patriot

Monday, February 19, 2007

Swarming Darwins, Glaciers, and their Flying Spaghetti Monster Climate Theory

Whenever I write anything about Darwin, or even post an article on the topic without commentary, a swarm of drones dutifully buzzes to the attack. I swear that if I were ever lost in Siberia I could simply clear an area around me, whisper ``Darwin was a dope!`` and would soon have dozens of furious atheists seeking to devour my hide. Shakespeare put it succinctly; ``Me thinks he doth protest too much!``

That said, I rarely see any interest from these people about any other subject, so I was surprised to see that a couple of them posted responses to my post Shrinking Glaciers or Shrinking Truth. I removed one comment because it was gratuitously nasty and reiterated what the previous poster had said, but here are the comments:

argystokes said...
Remember, those glaciers form at high altitudes, and one would expect them to shrink from increased solar radiative forcing i.e. a warmer sun melts the ice faster. High altitude means less air to block the sun. Do the math, folks!
Air is warmer at higher altitudes? Don't forget to pack your swim trunks and flip flops on your next trip to your favorite alpine lake!

8:06 PM
Jake said...
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:41 AM
Timothy Birdnow said...
Not saying it`s warmer at high altitudes, just that it is exposed to more radiation, which means that a hotter sun will be more likely to have an impact. Otherwise, you would have no loss of glaciers on Mars...

2:09 PM
Timothy Birdnow said...
Oh, and the daytime temperature on the Moon is around 250* F. The Moon is in hard vacuum. Why isn`t it bitterly cold?

2:19 PM
Rev. BigDumbChimp said...
You can't really be serious can you?

Silly me! I assumed that these people would either be intelligent enough to understand a reasonably simple point, and that they would be honest enough to not try to twist what I was saying. As long as I have dealt with these people, you think I would know better!

I seem to consume a very large amount of their attention, and I knew they wouldn`t be able to resist trashing me, so I ran a Technorati search. Lo and behold, anonymous (the guy who kept calling me Timmy to belittle me on the Darwin post) had stormed to the attack. Either he and his friends are monumentally ignorant, or monumentally dishonest. I suspect the latter; I think he understood full well what I was saying but twisted it to attack me. Anyway, here it is.

Here are some of the choice comments:

``Here it is... the blogging equivalent of the brown note (if this doesn't make you shit yourself from laughing too hard, you're lucky):

Remember, those glaciers form at high altitudes, and one would expect them to shrink from increased solar radiative forcing i.e. a warmer sun melts the ice faster. High altitude means less air to block the sun. Do the math, folks!
No, this is not a misquote. He really did say that it's natural for the air to be warmer the higher you go. Reminds me of a story about some guy who stuck feathers to his arms with wax...

To such an astoundingly idiotic statement as the one I've quoted, there can be only one proper response: oh my f****** God!
Obscenity edited by Mr. Birdnow

Tara Mobley said...
Timothy Birdnow? Of the spastic flibertigibbet dance? He's still spouting his lack of understanding on the internet? I'd have thought that run in with PZ would have taught him a lesson.

AustinAtheist said...
Oh, my f****** God!

BigHeathenMike said...
Reading that, I'm reminded of "Cousin Merle" from the Simpsons running into the office and saying to Sideshow Bob and Cecil, "Mr Terwilliger! Come quick! There's trouble down to de ce-ment mixer!" Slack-jawed yokel, indeed.

Jake said...
The coward deleted my comment! Wanker!

A comment he made further increases the holy-shit-buffoonery-in-action jaw drop from this.

Not saying it`s warmer at high altitudes, just that it is exposed to more radiation, which means that a hotter sun will be more likely to have an impact. Otherwise, you would have no loss of glaciers on Mars...

Is it possible that Timmy thinks that Global Warming is because we are making the sun hotter not because we are affecting the climate?

Anyway, you all get the idea. I don`t know if they all mis-understood my point, or if they are willfully ignorant. I decided to explain exactly what I was saying so that anybody who DOESN`T understand what is being discussed can perhaps learn a thing or two. Casual readers may come to see what I`m speaking about and realize what a dishonest bunch of people these militant Darwinists really are.

The whole theory of CO2 driven Global Warming was first postulated in the 1970`s, and was based on observations of the planet Venus. Venus has an atmosphere 100 times as dense as the Earth`s, and is composed principally of CO2. Temperatures are around 900* F. because the Venusian atmosphere traps and holds in heat in a fashion similar to a greenhouse. The idea of anthropogenic (man-caused) Global Warming was not taken seriously then because the prevalent theory was we were entering another ice age.

This theory ignores the very serious fundamental differences between Earth and Venus, and does not account for Mars. More on that in a moment.

When Global Cooling went belly-up, environmentalists jumped on the Global Warming bandwagon. They noted that the average worldwide temperature had increased by a whopping 1* in the 20th Century, and they claimed that this proved that rising CO2 from industrial emissions was at fault. CO2 levels have risen from around 280 ppm to 330 ppm, and this they claimed was the explanation for this dire temperature rise. Of course, this ignores the fact that we had two cold periods in the 20th Century-during the `30`s and `40`s and again during the `70`s at a period of heavy industrialization, but, hey, what`s a degree or two among friends?

So Man-made Climate Change became Gospel. The problem GW enthusiasts have is that it is very easy to account for this mild temperature increase, while at the same time we don`t understand the carbon cycle very well, or what affect an increase in CO2 has on the climate. Venus is closer to the Sun, has a much thinner crust than the Earth (thereby being subject to greater vulcanism) and rotates very slowly and retrograde (backwards); modeling Earth`s climate on a Venusian model does not work. What about Mars? Mars has an atmosphere that is 95% CO2, but is very cold because it`s atmosphere is thin. Much of the Martial atmosphere is frozen as permafrost or in the Polar Caps. Why, if CO
is such a powerful greenhouse gas?

Enter astronomy. Sunspots have been studied for a long time, and during the 20th century the Sun was in a period of heavy sunspot activity-especially in the latter third of the century. The Sun is hotter during periods of heavy sunspot activity, and cooler during quieter times. During the Maunder Minimum there was almost no record of sunspots, and this coincided with the Little Ice Age. Ice core sampling (Beryllium is formed in those cores during heavy sunspot periods) shows that the Medieval Warming Period which preceded the LIA was a time of heavy stellar activity.

There are a number of other factors which influence worldwide temperatures; Malankovich Cycles (variations in the Earth`s eccentricity) are particularly tied to Ice Ages, and recently it has been shown that Heinrick Svensmark`s theory about Cosmic Rays being linked to cloud formation is valid. But it is the more energetic Sun that drives the warming we have seen in the last century.

One of the continuous problems plaguing GW researchers has been the disagreement between satellite data and surface measurements; satellites have shown little warming of the atmosphere, while oceanic sampling has shown a temperature increase. What does that mean? It means that the more massive things-oceans and the like-are heating but the air isn`t, which suggests that CO2 is not the engine forcing this but an increase in solar activity. Sunlight is, to put it simply, stronger these days, and the dense oceans are absorbing this energy and warming, while the relatively thin air is heating far more slowly. One would expect the exact reverse if CO2 were the culprit.

It should be pointed out that CO2 levels have historically increased AFTER global temperature increases.

At any rate, let`s get back to glaciers and Mars; there are thick ice caps covering both of the Martian poles. These caps are composed of dry ice and water ice (more dry ice at the south pole) and they shrink in summer and grow in winter (in fact, the north pole sometimes nearly disappears). Now, let`s get this straight; Mars is very cold, and the poles never reach the melting point for water. These ice caps sublimate, that is, they evaporate straight into the atmosphere without ever becoming liquid. Why? Because during the summer they are exposed to more sunlight, more radiation, more energy. Their great mass absorbes this energy, and can only release it by sublimation-just like water evaporates from a pot on the stove. The process reverses in winter, and the caps grow.

This is the very same principle employed in passive solar heating of houses. You don`t let warm air into the house, you let sunlight strike something with thermal mass. By nightfall your thermal mass has warmed, and will continue to radiate heat for most of the night (at least in theory). That is what happens on Mars, and that is what happens to glaciers at high altitudes.

THAT, dear reader, is the point I was making; if Nepalese glaciers are shrinking, it can easily be explained by the fact that they are receiving stronger sunlight. The sun is burning warmer, and the extra radiation is sublimating or melting more ice.

But is the Sun warmer? Well, Mars is warming. For that matter, so is Pluto. Suggestive, no?

I have written about Global Warming at length; go here and here. Of course my friendly neighborhood Darwinists could have taken the effort to learn what I have to say before insulting me, but that would have taken all of the fun out of it!

Instead, those Seekers after Truth launched a particularly nasty attack on my credibility, heedless of the profound foolishness coming from their pie holes.

But, of course, it still isn`t about the science, is it boys? Perhaps you would like offer us your flying spaghetti monster theory of Climate?

Slumber Party

We`re in a new Cold War with the Russians, folks.

We have bungled our handling of post-Soviet Russian, and bungled it badly. We helped them rearm, and have supported Comrad Putin and his Dancing Teeth to consolidate power. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

So now we have Russia pointing their brand new next generation missiles at us, we have China doing likewise, we have International Jihad gunning for us, and our ``friends`` consist of a bunch of lick-spittle toads such as the French who will sell us down the river for one year more. We have failed to secure our borders, and will soon have half of Latin America living within the confines of the United States.

This nation is in mortal peril, yet we continue to play our little games with votes of no confidence in our troop surge and threats to strangle military funding from our ``loyal opposition``.

We are a slumbering giant, a nation living the grand illusion, throwing a continental slumber party while events move inexorably forward. I fear America will awaken when it is too late.

U.N. to Protect Us from Asteroid Strike

There is a story most of you have probably already seen; the United Nations is being urged to take charge of a program to deal with the threat of an asteroid strike on the Earth. I`d like to see what the U.N. could do about an eminent strike!

It`s not that a strike couldn`t happen; just take a look at the Moon. Every one of those craters was caused by space debris (granted, most of it happened billions of years ago, when there was a lot more debris.) On Earth we have a number of possible touchdown sites; the Yucatan, Hudson Bay, the Bay of Bengal, etc. The most popular theory for the death of the Dinosaurs is that a larger asteroid (probably ten miles in diameter or so) slammed into the Gulf of Mexico near Yucatan. This would evaporate megatons of seawater and trigger massive volcanic eruptions. The skies probably turned black and stayed that way for a long, long time. Acid from the volcanoes fell with the rains, and the planet cooled very quickly. Bye, bye Dino!

You know, an asteroid strike would likely end Global Warming; maybe it wouldn`t be such a bad thing, after all!

The U.N. has no space capability, and is incompetent at managing projects; just think of the graft in the Iraq Oil-for-Food program. Imagine entrusting them with the defense of the planet! One penny out of every dollar would go to actually protecting us; the rest would be syphoned off by every U.N. leech.

I`m sure they would send a strongly worded protest, however! Perhaps even file a formal complaint with the World Court!

Maybe we can ship the whole rotten organization into space.

Talking Our Way to the Graveyard

(Hat tip: Wil Wirtanen)

Here is a refreshing piece from The Warrior Class Blog about the misuse of language by those who seek to cut-and-run, and the difference between battle and war.

Ending the War
Posted by Gary Gagliardi under Sun Tzu , Terror War , Fourth Generation War , Doers vs. Talkers

One of the advantages in learning strategy is that it gives you a more precise vocabulary for discussing competitive issues. For example, lately Hillary Clinton has been claiming, in a variety of terms, that the Senate, or a Democratic president, can ``end the war.`` This statement confuses the nature of war with the nature of battle and the utility of both.

However, the truth is that the war between radical Islam and everyone else around the world will continue regardless of what the Senate or the US President does. I am currently in Thailand, where everyone realizes that the Islamic radicals, regularly killing people in the south of Thailand will continue to do so unless they are prevented from doing so.

What Hillary means to say is that she wants to withdraw from the battle, specifically, the battle in Iraq. In classical strategy, a battle is where you meet the enemy. Much of successful strategy is based upon picking the right time and place for battle. The question about whether Iraq is the right time and place is not the question here: wars continue even if battles are avoided and no war is ever won by any force who refuses battle.

This is an outstanding blog, be sure to visit and check out their other works.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Into Iran?

According to Scipio the Times of India is reporting that preparations are complete for a U.S. invasion of Iran.

Keep a sharp lookout!

Alinski`s Rules for Radical Darwinists

Since I have been enjoying a refreshing debate with my good friends in the Darwinian community, I decided to post their talking points. Actually, I obtained this from a right-wing atheist site (surprisingly) called the Politburo Diktat. The proprietor would be well suited to the role he is playing at, were he born in the good old Soviet days.

Now, don`t misunderstand me; there are good conservatives who are atheists, and good people who are liberal atheists. These are the people you rarely hear from, because they understand that people disagree, and that a person of Faith has arrived at their views through good will, just as they have theirs. I can think of a couple of really good guys in the Conservative Movement who are unbelievers-Christopher Orlet (who I link to frequently) and Shawn Macoumber come to mind. They have decided that they don`t believe in God, but they don`t hold it against those who do. Not so with many, particularly many of the members of Darwin`s Tabernacle Choir; these are the militants, those who are angry with God, and wish to kill him. The Kommisar is one such, despite being conservative on a number of issues.

At any rate, he put out this list of talking points, which bear a remarkable resemblance to Saul Alinski`s ``Rules for Radicals``. I have reprinted it here, with my own commentary in bold, so that you can see what these guys are up to, and why they operate the way they do. You will see much of these principles applied by my detractors here at Birdblog.

The Wedgie Document
Arguing with Creationists on the Internet

The Creationists have their Wedge Document. Rational people need one too. Here it is, The Wedgie Document, a guide to arguing with Creationists on the Internet.

Note the dripping sarcasm; he refuses to admit that intelligent people can disagree.

The purpose of The Wedgie Document is very specific: to provide rational people (defenders of science, evilutionists, whatever) with guidance in presenting persuasive arguments in internet debates. Someone once observed that 90% of the people reading these debates have their minds made up. It’s the other 10% of potentially open-minded readers that this document will help you address. A related purpose, at least for me, is to learn. A few months ago, I didn’t know what abiogenesis was, nor falsifiability, nor helium-rate diffusion. If you engage in fact-based debates, you can’t help but learn.

Update: The day after I wrote this, the NYTimes reported on a similar guide for museum docents. Plagiarists

I know this is nitpicking, but he forgot to use spellcheck.


Play offense - Find a logical inconsistency or gross factual error in his argument (easy to do) and hammer it. Avoid playing defense. By that I mean it is not possible to define, illustrate, and defend the whole of evolutionary biology in a blog post or comment thread. I don’t mean to avoid specifics. Factual details are good! Find a huge mistake (or 2-3 mistakes) in his argument and point them out. The typical Creationist will defend them for a long, long time.

Now we get to the meat of it! Play offense-this is the age-old leftist tactic. Do not let your opponent have their say, put them on the defensive and keep them there. That is why Darwinists come in swarms, firing from different angles. They want to get their opponents into a urinating contest. Of course, those who disagree with Darwin likewise cannot defend the whole of their position in a blog post, and they seek to exploit that. This is straight out of Saul Alinski, or Joseph Goebbles. Vintage Fascist tactics.

Stay focused - The typical Creationist will throw the kitchen sink at you. Focus on whatever topic(s) you want. Trying to respond to a lengthy list is a waste of time. Your own blog posts should be similarly focused on some specific evo topic or theme.

This is an interesting point; what he is saying is that the Darwinist should not respond when holes are poked in his theory. Stay focused means stick to the talking points.

Be factual. Don’t insult him or call him names - Tearing apart his argument will do it for you. Remember that any personal attacks or nastiness plays to his persecution complex, The big bad evilutionists are trying to stifle free inquiry and were mean to me. Obviously, personal attacks are counter-productive to the purposes of the Wedgie Document. In particular, I would not call him a fraud and a liar; I credit most of them with sincerity. They are not lying; they are mis-informed.

Now here is something that none of these people are capable of doing. Invariably, when their arguments disintegrate they turn to insults and name calling. Run a google search on my name, and you will see a steady stream of adjectives such as idiot, moron, fool, etc. Why? Because they quickly grow frustrated that they cannot win the argument. This happens to anybody who disputes Darwin-just ask Tom Bethell. Der Kommisar himself always refers to those who disagree as morons.

Questions - You’re under no obligation to answer his questions. You are playing offense. You should enter the discussion with a focused question or challenge (presumably unanswerable by the Creationist). He will doggedly defend it for a while, then will demand that you answer HIS questions. Nope. You don’t need to say it in so many words, but I asked you first is a very fair stance. But if you want to answer it, be prepared. If you’ve written a blog post about trilobites and punctuated equilibrium, you do not necessarily have to engage a challenge about information theory.

Again, more obfuscation and attack. Play offense because you cannot defend your position! Remember, HE is the one who claims the case is closed, that the science is indisputable. It`s up to the Darwinist to satisfy the onlooker, not the other way around. We merely point out the inconsistencies and fallacies of the theory.

Google him - If he throws out something new, Google it before you respond. Creationists are lazy. More than half the time, a factual rebuttal is available right there on the internet.

This is ``opposition research``; digging dirt on the enemy. More fascism. I can`t complain about researching your rebuttal, but two can play at that game!

Lengthy comments - Some blog commenters go on and on and on. Don’t. No one is going to read it. Make a brief, readable point, no more than 4 or 5 paragraphs, maximum. If you need a link or two, for further supporting details, that’s fine.

Know victory - When the creationist says something like, `Well, science doesn’t have all the answers and we have a lot to learn,`` that’s as close to admitting error that you will ever see on the internet. Let it go at that point.

That is a classic Leftist tactic-never, ever admit you may not be absolutely correct. This is an attempt at intimidation, an absolute refusal to give a single inch. Most ``Creationists`` don`t want to spend eternity arguing with some rabid atheist-they have lives to live, and prefer to settle things amicably. Not so with the fire-breathing Darwinist (or any other such Leftist); they will proclaim victory if you let them off the hook.

Netiquette - If you are commenting at a Creationist’s blog, you should remember that you are like a guest in his home. Not only should your exchanges be as polite as possible, but (more importantly) you should recognize that any blogger reasonably expects to get the last word on his own blog.

Never happens! I generally lose interest and let these guys yap like scalded puppies, because I would spend eternity arguing with them to no end. Why? Because they cannot, will not permit opinions that deviate from theirs. Why? Because it is all about Atheism, about the use of science as a tool to club religion-especially Christianity. They simply cannot allow the impression that they have lost the argument, because this is the only way they can justify their view.


Unpersuadables - Creationists tend to be more religious, less well-educated, and more inclined to ‘conspiracy theory’ type thinking than most. They are seriously unpersuadable. Like all netizens on any side of any issue, they are completely stubborn. Almost all creationists are Unpersuadables.

``More religious, less well-educated``? Hardy, har, har! If there were ever examples of True Believers, it is the Darwinists. Also, one of the Liberal/Darwinist enticements is the anointing; once you become one of them you are the elite. It is a monstrous snobbery which rejects anyone, no matter how well educated or thoughtful, as a hillbilly rube if they disagree. Again, this is intellectual fascism.

NOT Creationists - How often have you read the following? I am Not a Creationist but just a Sober Critic of Evolution? Such a statement is routinely followed by a lengthy re-hash of the oldest, most discredited Creationist nonsense. Apply the duck test comrades. If it looks like a Creationist, quacks like a Creationist, and walks like a Creationist, then it is a Creationist. Do not let the `NOT Creationists` get away with that.

Here we have the Big Lie. Apply the duck test yourself, Comrad! As the Bard once said ``Me thinks he doth protest too much``; the fact that YOU are disingenous about what it is you believe, and why, does nothing to impugn my veracity. You refuse to admit that there are people who believe in, say, Directed Panspermia, or even neo-Lamarckianism. What, pray tell, was Luschenko?

There are ample reasons to disagree with your pet theory-that does not a Creationist make (and, by the way, notice how they refuse to use the preferred term Intelligent Design Theorist? I`m all for calling them Perpetual Motion Theorists, since their Belief stems from something from nothing.) Why don`t YOU admit that you are using Darwin to justify your Religious beliefs?

Quote Miners - This is tough to deal with in a comment thread. By definition, the Creationist is taking something that Stephen J. Gould or another scientist said out of context. Trying to fit a misleading two-sentence quote into context, in a comment thread is not easy. You might try: On matters of evolution, shall we accept all that SJ Gould said as authoritative, or just this one out-of-context snippet? That’s a largely rhetorical response and I am open to better suggestions. Steve Verdon took this approach: I’m calling you out. I bet you simply copied those quotes from a website and can’t produce more expansive quotes by those authors. That is, I’d like to see the sentences before and after those quotes. If you’ve actually read those authors and have the books this should be easy. If you’ve just copied and pasted, then you can’t and your claims are suspect.

Yes, it is tough to deal with, because quote miners are actually using the dispute inside the Darwinian community to illustrate that maybe, just maybe, their theory has flaws. We can quote Gould because he has essentially admitted that the evidence isn`t what it should be to support Darwin. It is not a matter of taking it out of context-it`s a matter of actually telling people what they themselves are saying.

Bafflegab, Equation Meisters (BEMs) - Like this guy, who referenced a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) study that claimed to prove the earth is less than 10,000 years old, by studying helium rate diffusion. Yikes. I spent a whole weekend reading the YEC study, reading the technical debunking of it, and then summarizing the de-bunking. If you want to respond to stuff like this, be prepared to spend some time. A response of everyone knows that’s stupid is unpersuasive. (The BEM’s are not the lazy Creationists; see Comment #13 for his rebuttal of my summary of the rebuttal of the YEC study. )

Of course, a guy like Der Kommisar loves someone who makes silly claims because it bolsters his characterization of non-Darwinists as hillbillies. The Left and the Mainstream Media do this all of the time. Classic tactic.

Michael the Thumper - A Creationist with a good sense of humor. A guy who readily admits I believe God made the whole thing. A guy who will occasionally pose a subtly needling and accurate question about an evolutionary post, e.g. Do cladistic relationships necessarily imply descent? A guy who knows when another Creationist is getting his ass kicked. In my experience, Michael the Thumper is unique.

Riiight. I`ve tried to joke with these over-earnest people repeatedly, and it almost always goes right over their heads. If you want to address a lack of a sense of humor...

RESOURCES - This is an excellent resource. But don’t overuse it. An endless list of TalkOrigins links will not persuade anyone of anything. Also is a little over-used. Some Creationists have seen it before and their eyes glaze. It’s most effective to understand the points made at TalkOrigins and re-state them in your own words. By all means, though, if you want to reference it for a detailed list, do so. For example, There are thousands of transitional fossils. See this list at

(Thousands of transitional fossils? Why aren`t these reported; certainly the media is pro-Darwin! That is because they have nothing that isn`t open to serious debate, and they know it!)

Answers in Genesis (AiG) - This Creationist debunks a number of Creationist arguments. That’s right, it has a section, Arguments Creationists should NOT use. I was surprised at the laziness of Creationists. Most of them are not fraudulent, evil geniuses who have thought this all through. Far more likely, the internet Cretionist is just some bozo tossing out scraps that he remembers reading somewhere. Many of them use arguments already discredited by Answers in Genesis (AiG), a leading Creationist website. Bookmark this AiG link. When any Creationist trots out an argument dismissed by AiG, lower the boom.

Notice the bile, the anger that Der Kommisar has against those who disagree about a scientific matter. He takes this very personally.

So get out there and pull their whitie-tighties all the way up, over their Creationist heads.

Unfortunately for our friend here, his head (and many of his comrads) would be better served residing in his undies, as it currently resides in a place suffering from a dearth of sunlight.

So you see, the Darwinist is admonished to be ever on the offensive; audacity, audacity, audacity! Don`t actually discuss things in a civil manner, but attack your opponent, keep him on the defensive, accuse, isolate, destroy.

Here are Alinski`s rules:

Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.

Sound familiar?

Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people.
The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.

That`s why they rarely discuss anything but Darwin.

Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

That`s why these guys try to drag the discussion into technicalities and technical jargon.

Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.

`Nuff said!

Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

We`ve seen plenty of that! Just Google my name!

Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.

Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.

Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.

Hello, Panda`s Thumb crowd!

Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.

Dover, anyone?

Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, Okay, what would you do?

Sound familiar?

Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

What do they do to anyone who dares dispute the god Darwin?

Of course, these rules only work against those who are ignorant of what they are doing. Always keep these in mind when dealing with a radical Darwinist, or a member of the Climate Change Gang Greens, or a radical feminist or what-have-you. These are the tactics employed by all Left-Wing groups, and Darwin`s Tabernacle Choir is on the front lines with them.

I suspect that part of why they get so angry with me is that I know what they are up to, and their usual tricks aren`t working. These guys spend all their free time pestering people who disagree with their deity, and their methods generally remain the same, as they are using the same talking points. They keep use the same playbook because it usually works, and it usually works because many of their opponents aren`t aware of the tricks they are playing. Knowledge of their methods will go a long way.

(By the way, it should be pointed out that Darwinists never, ever refer to it as Intelligent Design-it is always creationism. We should not let them get away with that. I propose calling THEIR theory Perpetual Motion, because it presupposes a complete reversal of entropy.)

Anyway, I hope everyone finds this analysis illuminating. I`m feeling a bit autocratic, too, so may not allow any comments from my admirers-unless I find them amusing.

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