A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SCOTUS to Hear Health Control Law Appeal

Dana Mathewson

Well, guys, there's hope. The Supremes are to have their shot at ObamaCare. And during a presidential election year. That ought to add some excitement.


Now the fireworks begin. The Left is going to demand that Clarence Thomas recuse himself. And, of course, Elena Kagan should recuse HERSELF because she helped draft legal defense for the legislation - but she won't. This should be interesting.

Proving He's Obama

Dana Mathewson

This from the Patriot Post:

Barack Obama walks into the bank to cash a check. "Good morning, Ma'am," he greets the cashier, "could you please cash this check for me?"

"It would be my pleasure, sir. Could you please show me your ID?"

"Truthfully, I did not bring my ID with me as I didn't think there was any need to. I am President Barack Obama, the president of the United States of America!"

"Yes, sir, I know who you are, but with all the regulations, monitoring of the banks because of impostors and forgers, etc, I must insist on seeing ID."

"Just ask anyone here at the bank who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am."

"I am sorry Mr. President but these are the bank rules and I must follow them."

"I am urging you please to cash this check."

"Ok, this is what we can do Mr. President: One day Tiger Woods came into the bank without ID. To prove he was Tiger Woods he pulled out his putting iron and made a beautiful shot across the bank into a cup. With that shot we knew him to be Tiger Woods and cashed his check. Another time, Andre Agassi came in without ID. He pulled out his tennis racquet and made a fabulous shot, making the tennis ball land in my cup. With that spectacular shot we cashed his check. So, Mr. President, what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you, as the president of the United States?"

Obama stands there thinking and finally says, "Honestly, there is nothing that comes to my mind. I can't think of a single thing I'm good at."

"Will that be large or small bills, Mr. President?"

Blow and Tell

Dana Mathewson

This from Urgent Agenda. Sorry; no link available.


From Fox: SWEET SPRINGS, Mo. – A Missouri mom was facing felony charges Thursday after her kindergartner son brought a crack pipe and several baggies of methamphetamine to school for show-and-tell. Michelle Marie Cheatum, 32, has been charged with two class C felonies -- possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child, the Marshall Democrat-News reported.

Show-and-tell has changed over the years. When I was in school, kids would bring in slides of the Grand Canyon, or a sweater that mom had knitted. Am I being culturally insensitive? Should I go to special training?

Zippy steps in the poo again

Dana Mathewson

I'm sending the link from Lucianne which includes the comments as well as the link to the article. Comments on are among the best you'll find anywhere.

"At a Silicon Valley fundraiser Sunday, the president took a jab at Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, saying that he's a "governor whose state is on fire, denying climate change."

Note that he said this in Silicon Valley -- an area that gets hit with its own wildfires more often than they like."

Michael Barone says, regarding the current presidential race, that "you can't beat something with nothing," but if Obama keeps talking like this, he's going to run out of friends pretty soon.

How Herman Cain won the latest straw poll

Dana Mathewson

There is some smart politics here. Herman knows how to do it. I dearly hope he gets more chance to put it into play.

Also that the others don't learn it. I'm a Cain supporter, can you tell?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Delaware’s very own Solyndra

Paul Driessen and John Nichols

Will Delaware and US citizens get stuck with a Bloom Energy fuel cell boondoggle?

Delaware’s political establishment thinks First State electricity consumers should subsidize the manufacturing of super-sized fuel cells, under the auspices of California-based Bloom Energy, to replace natural gas and coal-fired power plants in generating electricity.

The politicos want to build a factory in Newark, where rail service is available to ship Bloom’s 10-ton, 100-kilowatt, “eco-friendly” Energy Servers to presumed eager buyers across America.

Bloom claims its “revolutionary new design” and “breakthroughs in materials science” make its new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology “clean, reliable and affordable.” Governor Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Colin O’Mara, Department of Economic Development Secretary Alan Levin and assorted legislators insist their plan will create jobs and put Delaware at the forefront of the Green Revolution.

If that’s the case, and if Bloom had a viable business plan, investors would be clamoring to get in on the action. There would be no need to stick Delaware ratepayers with a bloomin’ tariff (“green premium”) that will add at least $600,000,000 to household and business electricity bills over the next 20 years – above what they would pay for electricity generated by combined cycle natural gas plants. There would be no need for the Economic Development Department to contribute another $16,000,000 in startup costs.

Actually, the green premium could be much higher – based on a 2016 “levelized cost” of $215 per megawatt hour for the fuel cell tariff versus $66 for combined-cycle natural gas generators. The $149 difference times 5,200,000 MWh from fuel cells is $774,800,000!

Tariff proponents will likely argue that this cost must be reduced by $426,000,000 in renewable energy certificates (ie, energy taxes) that Delmarva Power is required to purchase under Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standards Act. However, this just means the same families and businesses must pay the bill in two ways: as taxpayers and as electricity ratepayers.

In other words, Free State families and businesses will be “free” to pay an extra $600,000,000 to $775,000,000 in any combination of taxes and tariffs they “choose” – for the “privilege” of being able to say part of their electricity comes in a greed or greenbacks shade of green.

Those higher electricity costs translate into higher prices for goods and services. They pull money out of productive sectors of the economy and transfer it to politically connected operators and campaign contributors. In the process, they destroy traditional jobs – as they did in Spain and Scotland, where overpriced “green” energy killed 2.2 to 3.7 jobs for every “green job” created.

Bloom also expects to receive a substantial US Department of Energy grant, if it can get swift approval of the Delaware tariff. That federal grant will come from borrowed money, in the midst of an economic and budgetary crisis, and in the wake of scandalous green energy bankruptcies.

This crony capitalism means Bloom Energy gets risk-free cash, so that it can proceed with an initial public stock offering. As a privately held company, it gets to keep its finances a secret, even as it gets millions in taxpayer aid, with little or no transparency or due diligence in assessing the financial arrangements. That means US and Delaware taxpayers are forced to take another big risk, while families and businesses must pay well above market rates for electricity.

This sweetheart deal is shocking in its audacity. But then, as Green Tech Media reports, “Bloom plays the subsidy game like a pro, receiving more than $218 million in subsidies in 2010 from California’s [Self Generation Incentive Program].” It gets worse.

This time around, Bloom persuaded the Delaware legislature to enact a special provision. If any future legislature ever modifies the Bloom tariff, the company will receive a lump-sum payment of the entire 20-year tariff, which Delmarva Power meantime will tack onto all ratepayers’ utility bills. Without this guarantee, Bloom would have a hard time peddling its IPO.

It’s equally amazing that Bloom can even qualify for renewable energy subsidies. For that it can thank the Delaware legislature, which adopted Markell and O’Mara’s expanded definition of renewable energy, to include Bloom’s natural gas-fueled SOFC Energy Servers.

They pulled this off by enabling only Bloom fuel cells to qualify under the Renewable Portfolio Standard, originally intended for wind and solar facilities, by claiming Bloom’s equipment “could” run on biofuels, like methane from cows or landfills. It never will, but it “could.”

As to being clean and green, Bloom’s Energy Severs require substantial amounts of rare earth elements, like yttrium and cerium. Prices are soaring – by 500-2000% over the past twelve months, according to a recent General Electric report. The United States imports 100% of all the rare earths it uses in countless energy, military, electronics and other applications, with 97% coming from China.

Now the Chinese have restricted rare earth exports, and sell mostly finished products, often using our technology. Worst, the rare earths are mined, processed and turned into these products under health and environmental conditions that severely damage farmland, wildlife habitats, miners and factory workers.

With the shale gas revolution driving natural gas prices down, there should be no need for fuel cells to replace gas-burning generators. With China and India building new coal-fired power plants every week, and emitting far more carbon dioxide than all our job-killing regulations and climate change initiatives can ever offset, even diehards like Al Gore cannot justify Bloom’s systems on global warming grounds.

Then there is Solyndra. One would think that scandalous debacle – $535 million in taxpayer cash blown in two years, and Solyndra executives now pleading Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination – would ensure at least a modicum of sanity, honesty, transparency, accountability, and reluctance to use more taxpayer and consumer dollars to benefit special interests. Apparently not, at least in Delaware and the US Energy Department.

On September 27-29, the Delaware Public Service Commission will conduct public comment sessions on Bloom Energy’s application for special treatment and subsidies. Every American who cares about our economy and unemployment, every citizen who is disgusted with our wasteful, crony-capitalist, bureaucrats-pick-losers system, can send comments to and then let their elected officials know enough is enough.

That may help inoculate America against the risk of the California and Delaware “green disease” becoming an uncontrollable national Contagion. We need to stop these costly bloom-doggles!


Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. John Nichols is a financial consultant and citizen activist in Delaware.

Timothy Birdnow

Found this on the re-elect Obama website.

Two things come to mind:

1. This dog is supported by our tax dollars, as the owner is undoubtedly on the public dole.

2. This dog will undoubtedly be voting in the general election next November.

Any questions?

Solar Pipe Dreams

Timothy Birdnow

The DOE's Solar Decathlon is a near washout.

Funny; students built a solar house that ostensibly saves the owners money on electricity, yet it costs $500,000 for parts alone! Sure, you might save on electricity, but your mortgage is too high to make it worth your while.

Solar energy is a pipe dream.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Greedy Climate Changers

Timothy Birdnow

The Climategate scandal just keeps rolling.

Steve McKintyre has been denied a formal Freedom of Information request by the University of East Anglia for data sets relating to the Yamal tree ring series used in reconstructing Siberian temperatures for 1000 a.d. Yamal was at the heart of the "hockey stick" graph and Keith Briffa is accused of cherry-picking trees to get the outcome he desired; a sudden spike in temperatures during the 20th century. It is known he based his work on just twelve trees.

Yet Muir Russell and other investigators chose to ignore the actual science, focusing instead on what people at East Anglia said about the process. Of course, they said it was fair (rather like asking the Gambinos if they had anything to do with organized crime...)

That UEA would deny McKintyre's request is not surprising, but the reason for doing so is:

"While climate scientists frequently say that they are not in it for the money, UEA’s refusal was based not on the public interest, but on their claim that they would be financially damaged by disclosure of the 2006 chronology, saying that as “copyright holder”, they had “an expectation of making financial gain from” publication of the 2006 chronology and that disclosure would cause them
“financial harm via adverse impact upon reputation, ability to attract research funding, and funding arising from the citation of the publications within the REF process by which universities in the United Kingdom receive funding”.

I have now submitted an appeal to the Information Commissioner. See here for the appeal and here for the prior correspondence. The appeal includes a review of events, commenting unfavorably on a number of untruthful assertions made by CRU and UEA along the way as excuses for not providing data or not complying with FOI/EIR legislation.

Obviously, I think that their arguments are unconvincing. But aside from that, we often hear from the climate community that they are not in it for the money. Any climate scientist who has ever made such a statement should condemn UEA’s placement of the university’s supposed “financial gain” above the public interest. Unfortunately, the climate “community” have, as usual, stood by mutely. Will Michael Tobis or Andrew Dessler speak out against UEA’s refusal? Or will they maintain the silence of the lambs that we have observed in the past."

End excerpt.

Well, well, well!

Whenever anyone challenges Global Warming they are immediately branded as shills for Big Oil by the Gang Green. I should know; my last article on the topic spurred some discussion, and I saw myself impugned as in the pocket of Exxon Mobile (would somebody PLEASE tell me where I can get a chunk of that oil money - I desperately need a new car) and yet who is it that is making money with this? From where I sit it appears that the real folding money is all on the side of the alarmists. They have made an entire industry out of this.

Some epigrams from the books of James Bovard

Dana Mathewson

From "Friend Eddie"
"Fair Trade Fraud: How Congress Pillages the Consumer and Decimates American Competitiveness" (1991)

• Government cannot make trade more fair by making it less free.

• "Fair trade" is a moral delusion that could be leading to an economic catastrophe.

• The US government has created a trade lynch law that can convict foreign companies almost regardless of how they operate.

• American trade negotiators have exerted far more effort to close the US market than to open foreign markets.

• It should not be a federal crime to charge low prices to American consumers.

• The myth of fair trade is that politicians and bureaucrats are fairer than markets – that government coercion and restriction can create a fairer result than voluntary agreement – and that prosperity is best achieved by arbitrary political manipulation, rather than allowing each individual and company to pursue their own interest.

• Our great grandchildren may look back at the trade wars of the twentieth century with the same contempt that many people today look at the religious wars of the seventeenth century – as a senseless conflict over issues that grown men should not fight about.

"Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty" (1994)

• America needs fewer laws, not more prisons.

• It is important to have a sounder distinction between democracy and thievery than simply counting votes.

• Beggaring the taxpayer is the main achievement of the welfare state. The federal tax system has turned individuals into sharecroppers of their own lives.

• The key to contemporary American political thinking is the neutering of the State – the idea that modern government has been defanged, domesticated, tamed.

• A law is simply a reflection of the momentary perception of self-interest by a majority of a legislative body.

• Politicians have sought to maximize social progress by maximizing the number of people labeled to be criminals.

• Without a realistic concept of government, political philosophy is only an exercise in moral aesthetics.

"Shakedown" (1995)

James Bovard: In this short 1995 book, I sought to mix muckraking and mirth – to shock readers at the same time I provoked belly laughs. The book had volley after volley of bureaucratic rampages involving asset forfeiture, HUD, the Food and Drug Administration, money laundering, the Endangered Species Act and even breast-feeding (as far as it related to harebrained child abuse accusations). I sought to plant the seeds of skepticism in readers' minds by vivifying how, across the board, government was far more abusive, oppressive and deceptive than they suspected.

"Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen" (1999)

• Paternalism is a desperate gamble that lying politicians will honestly care for those who fall under their power.

• The Night Watchman State has been replaced by Highway Robber States – governments in which no asset, no contract, no domain is safe from the fleeting whim of politicians.

• So much of political philosophy throughout history has consisted of concocting reasons why people have a duty to be tame animals in politicians' cages.

• The surest effect of exalting government is to make it easier for some people to drag others down.

• The growth of government is like the spread of a dense jungle, and the average citizen can hack through less of it every year.

• Trusting government nowadays means dividing humanity into two classes: those who can be trusted with power to run other people's lives, and those who cannot even be trusted to run their own lives.

"Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton-Gore Years" (2001) ...

• Clinton exploited and expanded the dictatorial potential of the US presidency.

• The power a politician acquires for government will survive long after his photo opportunities have faded.

• Faith in the coercive power of the best and brightest permeated Clinton administration policymaking.

• The lies that Clinton got away with were far more important than the ones on which he was caught.

• The better that people understand what Clinton did in office, the greater the nation's chances for political recovery.

"Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice, and Peace to Rid the World of Evil" (2003)

• Nothing happened on 9/11 that made the federal government more trustworthy.

• The Patriot Act treats every citizen like a suspected terrorist and every federal agent like a proven angel.

• The worse government fails, the less privacy citizens supposedly deserve.

• There is no technological magic bullet that will make the government as smart as it is powerful.

• Killing foreigners is no substitute for protecting Americans.

• It is impossible to destroy all alleged enemies of freedom everywhere without also destroying freedom in the United States.

• A lie that is accepted by a sufficient number of ignorant voters becomes a political truth.

• Citizens should distrust politicians who distrust freedom.

• In the long run, people have more to fear from governments than from terrorists. Terrorists come and go, but power-hungry politicians will always be with us.

• Habeas corpus is an insurance policy to prevent governments from going berserk.

"The Bush Betrayal" (2005)

• Truth is a lagging indicator in politics.

• The arrogance of power is the best hope for the survival of freedom.

• We need a constitutional amendment to make the federal government obey the Constitution.

• There are no harmless political lies about a war. The more such lies citizens tolerate, the more wars they will get.

• People have been taught to expect far more from government than from freedom.

• Neither Washington nor Jefferson ever intended for the President of the United States to become the Torturer-in-Chief.

"Attention Deficit Democracy" (2006)

• In recent years, Americans have devoted far more effort to spreading democracy than to understanding it.

• Rather than a democracy, we increasingly have an elective dictatorship. People are merely permitted to choose who will violate the laws and the Constitution.

• Instead of revealing the "will of the people," election results are often only a one-day snapshot of transient mass delusions.

• A democratic government that respects no limits on its own power is a ticking time bomb, waiting to destroy the rights it was created to protect.

• Bogus fears can produce real servitude.

• As long as rulers are above the law, citizens have the same type of freedom that slaves had on days when their masters chose not to beat them.

• Democracy unleashes the State in the name of the people.

• The more that democracy is assumed to be inevitable, the more likely it will self-destruct.

• Attention Deficit Democracy produces the attitudes, ignorance and arrogance that pave the way to political collapse.

Obama...same tax rate as a Jew

Jack Kemp

Obama made a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Dinner on Saturday night and slipped up, telling the truth. He said that a billionaire should pay the same tax rate as a Jew. Then he quickly changed it to "janitor" but the truth was out of the bag. You can watch him say it at

Actually, I once met a Jewish janitor in Lod, Israel who was cleaning toilets at the airport, but I don't think that's what Obama had in mind. He was giving a (Reverend) Wright Answer.

Well, I see Obama has a head start on a new career...making commercials for Republican candidates.

Professor exposes self on campus

Jack Kemp

And you thought you dreaded meetings with your teacher and your mother. A University of New Hampshire professor has exposed himself to a mother and daughter. Earning a 3 year probation, the faculty has attacked the student newspaper for calling him a "pervert." This brought the newspaper to attack the professor in a second article.

Growing up, even in the 1960s, I could not conceive of a professor doing this on any campus, let alone the faculty defending this behavior.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Boehner's Latest Boner

This from the Federalist Patriot:

"Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was censured by the House (333-79) just nine months ago for several ethics violations, including tax evasion. Yet Thursday, Rangel hosted a ceremony to unveil his official portrait in the Longworth House Office Building. The list of speakers at the ceremony included Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), as well as New York Democrat senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer. After getting an "OK" from the FEC, Rangel paid for the $65,000 portrait using campaign cash.

Truly, this is beyond words. These people really do live in a parallel universe -- one in which, as Pelosi once put it, they "drain the swamp" apparently by hanging portraits of swamp creatures. What next? Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize? Oh, wait..."


Get that? JOhn Boehner shows up at this self-aggrandizing event!

This proves that Boehner wants to go back to "business as usual", wants to maintain himself and his friends inside the elitist circle of rulers. Any rational person would have the good sense to avoid Rangel like the plague, and avoid such an exercise, yet here the leader of the GOP in the House is cozying up to these same people who have caused all the problems and who insult and impugne us at every turn.

Boehner believes that the public wants more "comity" because polls suggest the public is sick of partisan rancor, but he misunderstands what it is that the public wants. He thinks being friendly with his elitist chums will solve the problem, show he is really a nice guy. But the public does not want an end to rancor in the sense of a cease-fire; they want victory, a permanent end to it. Peace was not established after the Civil War by Lincoln visiting Jeff Davis and paling around; it was established by victory on the battlefield first. These people have to be beaten politically for there to be an end to the rancor. Remember, the left started this, and they continue it despite what the polls show.

This is a political civil war, and it won't end until one side is beaten. That fool Boehner simply cannot understand that. His enemies do, and are more than happy to get the Boner to take such stupid actions.

How can anything change with men like Boehner as our champions?

The Financial Advice of Experts, Then and Now

By Alan Caruba

“I see nothing in the present situation that is either menacing or warrants pessimism…I have every confidence that there will be a revival of activity in the spring, and that during the coming year, the country will make steady progress.” That’s what William Mellon, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, had to say on December 31, 1929. The Great Depression would last until 1941 when the U.S. entered World War Two.

“Could we have a crash a la 1929? The flat answer is no.” So said Dr. Pierre A. Rinfret, a noted economist, writing in Time magazine on October 5, 1987 and, on October 19, 1987—instantly dubbed “Black Monday”—the Dow Jones average plunged 508 points.

Despite the pronouncements of Presidents and pundits, it was the December 30, 1929 edition of Variety, a newspaper for the entertainment industry, that got it right. The day after the crash its headline read, “Wall Street Lays an Egg.”

All through history, the opinions of “experts” have been subject to revision and derision. The Internet has simply multiplied our access to a multitude of opinions. It behooves us all to pick our experts very carefully. A good track record is always a good sign, along with a healthy measure of common sense.

As the economies of the U.S. and several European nations totter on default it is essential to draw on lessons from the past. The most obvious lesson is that the governments of the U.S. and the Europeans have been spending far more than they can tax or borrow.

All have spent decades since the 1980s wasting billions on “alternative” sources of energy in the name of global warming or climate change. All have stayed busy before and since the end of World War Two consolidating power in the U.S. federal government and more recently in the European Union.

Herbert Hoover on whose watch Wall Street crashed in 1929 generally gets the blame, but five years earlier in an address to the annual meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hoover said, “The test of our whole economic and social system is its capacity to cure its own abuses,” warning that, “If we are to be wholly dependent upon government to cure these abuses, we shall by this very method have created an enlarged and deadening abuse through the extension of bureaucracy and the clumsy and incapable handling of delicate economic forces.”

“The clumsy and incapable handling of delicate economic forces.” Spoken nearly 90 years ago!

What a perfect phrase to describe what the nation has been passing through as Congress during the last days of the Bush administration and the passed two and a half years of the Obama administration has demonstrated.

The financial crisis of late 2008 was the result of government “entities”, Fannie Mae, created in 1938, and Freddie Mac, created in 1970, both intended to stimulate the housing market by securing the loans made by banks for the purpose of giving everyone, including those who could least afford it, the opportunity to own a house. By the time the crisis hit, they jointly owned more than 50% of all U.S. mortgages.

The failure of communism in the former Soviet Union (1922-1991) should be proof enough that government ownership of property and the means of production is one of the all-time bad ideas of the last century. A modified version exists in China with other versions existing from North Korea to Cuba. All depend on oppression and coercion.

The irony, of course, is that the Great Depression was extended by Hoover’s successor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who believed that expanding the role of government was the best way to bring the Depression to an end. Instead, the Depression, experienced as well by European nations in the wake of World War One, gave rise to totalitarian governments and World War Two.

There is a reason that President Obama’s approval ratings, along with those of Congress, are at record lows. Most astonishing is the fact that, when Obama took office, the Democrats controlled both houses of the legislature, the Senate and the House. Even more astonishing, Obama pursued the same failed programs of FDR, most famously sponsoring a multi-billion dollar “stimulus” bill, along with taking over General Motors and Chrysler, ginning up a Cash-4-Clunkers program, and discovering belatedly that there were few “shovel ready” infrastructure projects.

By 2010, the voters returned political power in the House of Representatives to the Republican Party, largely on the basis on newly minted “Tea Party” candidates. Obama’s Congress had rejected his proposed budget and the nation has been operating with “continuing resolutions” to fund its activities and a massive battle over raising the debt ceiling for the same purpose. A farcical congressional “super committee” has been told to cut a trillion and a half dollars out of government spending.

The economic advisers that Obama brought into the White House have all departed with the exception of the Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner. The various government departments continue to spend millions authorized by the Congress every week or engage in dubious “loan guarantees” which give every indication of being a series of Solyndra scandals.

Despite the increasingly absurd assertions of the President, it’s not just corporations, large and small, making decisions about the current and near-term future of the economy. It is the vast body of Americans who are deciding what to purchase, whether to expand their business by hiring or not, whether to invest in stocks or gold, and thousands of individual decisions by which the real economy is shaped.

It is their decisions that determine how long the recession lasts, not the official pronouncements about when the last one “ended” or a new one begins. Economists of a conservative point of view know what must be done and should be listened to, but they are not advising this President, nor guiding the government’s decisions.

In the midst of this latest of many financial crisises at home and abroad, the campaign for the next presidential election has begun. Much depends on who John Q. Public elects to the office. Much depends on the long, hard slog to reduce the size and grasp of the federal government.

Will the wisdom of “the crowd” prevail over the present “experts” affecting the economy?

Stay tuned.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Michael Moore; Waiting for Medical Treatment is Patriotic

Timothy Birdnow

Greasy tub-o-lard Marxist Michael Moore says that Americans will have to wait longer for medical treatment - and that if you are patriotic you'll be glad to do so!

Will Moore wait in line the next time he has to have food surgically removed from his stomach?

All the Little Libbies on JStreet

Timothy Birdnow

A couple of months ago I wrote a piece for Canada Free Press called "Palestinians? What Palestinians!" in which I explained that, unlike the Jews, there was never a nation of Palestine nor a people called Palestinians. They were a modern creation, an amalgamation of peoples who immigrated at first to find work, jobs opening up as a result of Jewish immigration causing an economic boom (they were the original illegal aliens) or ones who came to keep "infidel" Jews from taking this region out of the greater Islamic world.

Well, David Horowitz took out a full page add in the Washington University student newspaper making similar statements.

What is interesting is the reply from Jstreet, an ostensibly "pro-Israel" group on campus; they launch into a diatribe against the "racist" ranting of Horowitz.

Check it out; it just goes to show that in the battle between liberalism and Jewish heritage the liberalism generally wins out. Liberals are liberals first.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Timothy Birdnow

Faster than light; a dream of Mankind ever since Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity. According to Einstein, light can only move at a certain rate in a vacuum roughly 186,000 miles per second and nothing with mass can accelerate to the speed of light. As a mass approaches lightspeed it takes an ever increasing amount of energy to continue that acceleration (actually, the body itself gains mass as it increases speed) and it would take an infinite amount of energy to make a mass reach the speed of light (and the object being so accelerated would collapse into a black hole if it were to happen). Lightspeed is an absolute speed limit; nothing can go beyond lightspeed.

But that's not really true; if a body were already moving faster than light it could continue to do so, and in fact it would take energy to slow down to lightspeed. FTL is like a mirror of our universe, a place where velocity is infinite and lightspeed is as slow as it gets. A turtle in such a superluminal universe would be the fastest creature imaginable. It has been theorized that there are ftl particles called Tachyons that exist, but they have never been found. How could they be? At their rate of movement they would not be detectable by us slow pokes.

Recently a team of researchers (the OPERA team) published a paper in which they concluded that neutrinos, those ephemeral particles (sometimes called ghost particles) that form during certain nuclear reactions, move faster than light. According to the abstract:

"The OPERA neutrino experiment at the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory has measured the velocity of neutrinos from the CERN CNGS beam over a baseline of about 730 km with much higher accuracy than previous studies conducted with accelerator neutrinos. The measurement is based on high-statistics data taken by OPERA in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. Dedicated upgrades of the CNGS timing system and of the OPERA detector, as well as a high precision geodesy campaign for the measurement of the neutrino baseline, allowed reaching comparable systematic and statistical accuracies. An early arrival time of CNGS muon neutrinos with respect to the one computed assuming the speed of light in vacuum of (60.7 \pm 6.9 (stat.) \pm 7.4 (sys.)) ns was measured. This anomaly corresponds to a relative difference of the muon neutrino velocity with respect to the speed of light (v-c)/c = (2.48 \pm 0.28 (stat.) \pm 0.30 (sys.)) \times 10-5. "

End abstract.

Now the immediate assumption by both the researchers and others is that this is a case of instrumentation error. In fact, the researchers ask for replication of their work. Read here.

(Thanks, Dana Mathewson)

Prior efforts to measure the speed of neutrinos has suggested a speed slightly greater than light, and this confirms these efforts. But, these a difficult measurements to make, and the margin for error is wide.

What the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus (OPERA) project did was utilize Cerns's Neutrinos to Gran Sasso (CNGS) at the proton sychotron, which consists of a high-intensity and high-energy beam of muon neutrinos generated by the particle accelerator and beamed it at another site some 450 miles away. Muon neutrinos are one of three "flavors" of neutrinos (the other two being electron and tau.) The interesting thing about neutrinos is that they can "oscillate" between the three flavors while in motion, changing into the other type. And of the three known varieties each has an antiparticle with reversed spin. It is possible that the antiparticles are simple the particles that for some reason reverse their spin. Neutrinos do not have an electrical charge.

And, as a result, they pass through almost everything. Detection is difficult - but not impossible. Methods employed have used heavy water surrounded by phototubes which will show Cherenkov radiation, or large volumes of chlorine checked regularly for argon or germanium, a byproduct of interaction with neutrinos. There are other methods, but none are especially sensitive.

In the OPERA experiment detectors were used to study the three millisecond trip of neutrinos generated at CERN. The experimenters (who were interested in neutrino oscillation) used photographic emulsion plates with lead interspersed between. There were 1300 tons of bricks in the gadget, or 150,000 bricks of these plates. There is a wikipedia entry explaining details of the experiment.

The experiment yielded measurements that suggested the neutrinos arrived by a factor of 1 in 40,000 prior to when they should have arrived at lightspeed, suggesting they are moving faster than light. This falls within the margin of experimental error, so the researchers published their findings.

These results contradict studies of the SN 1987A supernova event; the neutrino flux would have arrived on Earth several years before they did. There is some agreement with prior attempts to measure neutrino speed.

Now neutrinos are believed to have a very small mass; they were thought originally to be massless. This makes the idea of their traveling faster than light even more bizarre; how do they get boosted beyond lightspeed? Remember, they are coming from us Tardyons, us slow movers. If they were at that speed as Tachyons it would make sense. But how does an object with mass accelerate beyond lightspeed?

A couple of years ago an experiment in reversing a beam of light (not just reflecting it, but actually reversing it) came up with some startling FTL results; the beam retrod it's path faster than light.

But this does not violate Relativity; INFORMATION isn't moving faster than light, merely a beam that is retracing it's path.

One wonders what we would see if a particle, say a neutron, were to go into the fiber optic tube along with that light beam; it would appear to an outside observer that the particle was actually an antiparticle because everything would be reversed. If it appears to be moving backward, is it really moving backward in time?

Many commenters on message threads about this have pointed out that a number of quantum effects suggest faster than light incidences. Quantum entanglement, for example. Quantum entanglement occurs when a particle and another particle have direct interaction and develop congruous quantum states. If the two resulting particles go off in different directions the particles continue to have the same aspects i.e. energy states, spin, etc. If one of the particles changes state the other does as well - instantaneously, no matter how far away it is from it's twin. For instance, if an observer measures the energy state of one particle he collapses the wavefront (as they say) and the particle has that particular energy state - but so does it's twin. There seems to be some strange sort of communication between the particles that defy rationality - and that seems to defy the lightspeed barrier.

But do they? Is it, perhaps, not we that are moving and not the particles? In point of fact, there may well not be two particles at all, but one seen from different aspects. One wonders; if the Universe splits at every event then perhaps quantum entanglement may be a view into that split universe i.e. both particles are one and the same but moving in a different direction. Perhaps in the resulting alternate reality the observer is with the other particle and sees ours as the one moving away? This sort of thinking is quick to deliver headaches, and illustrates how our understanding of the Universe is sketchy, indeed!

But enough idle speculation. Suffice it to say that quantum entanglement does not transmit information in the classic sense, and so there is no true ftl present.

But what of these neutrinos? Are they moving ftl or not?

Hard to say at this point. If they are we are at the cusp of a revolution in science.

Einstein has been well proven, and he is not to be overturned lightly. That is why it is important for the experiment to be repeated, and for hard criticisms to be made; it has to stand the rigorous testing that Relativity, quantum physics, etc. have already undergone.

Which makes Dana Mathewson's point pertinent:

"This is how science is "done" in the real world -- as opposed to in the Church of Climate Change. Scientists at CERN have detected neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light.

So what do they do? They take the (scientifically correct) approach that until they (and others) can reproduce the phenomenon, they will assume that they have made a mistake, either in their experiment or in their observation of the results.

This is the way that science is conducted among adults."


And right he is! Science is about rigorous testing, about observation of reality, about experimentation and careful work. It is not about consensus, or about maybe, or about computer programs that do not match reality. This is science; Global Warming is cargo cult science.

So, will the future hold hyperdrives for spacecraft, or Star-Trekkian warp drives? Even if this is true and there are things that travel faster than light, we are a long, long, long way from figuring out a way to manipulate such things. It may even be theoretically possible to travel ftl, but not be practical. Imagine a weight, for instance that is heavy enough to be too much for one or two men but not too much for six. But imagine if that object was too small for six men to crowd around to lift it; it becomes impossible to lift it manually, even though the parameters are not so unusual. (I stole this analogy from Isaac Asimov from his novel Prelude to Foundation where the lead character - Hari Seldon - explains why his theory that it could be possible to use mathematics to predict the future may never work.) There are other FTL ideas as well; wormholes move you between points a and b without going through the intervening space, for instance, or it may be possible to make a "warp drive" using something nicknamed the Alcubierre drive after the scientist who proposed it; using, say, artificial gravity, you could bend space-time in such a way that a bubble of spacetime moves along the fabric of the universe itself. Lightspeed remains normal inside and outside the bubble, but the bubble can move far faster than light. There are many fanciful ideas, but none of them are even close to being theoretically possible, much less practical.

And even approaching lightspeed is well beyond any capabilities we are remotely in possession of; the best two options for high speed spaceflight involves the Buzzard Ramjet, a fusion rocket that uses interstellar hydrogen as fuel. Theoretically a ramscoop could get close to lightspeed. In practice, it doesn't work for a whole host of reasons; there is too much drag from a magnetic scoop (perhaps some superior attractive field would work?), the interstellar medium isn't ionized adequately outside of the solar wind anyway, and we don't know how to make controlled fusion work. We would have to fuse protons if we could. As I said, some new tech could take care of some of these problems, but how many of them? Oh, and those protons would be coming on at near lightspeed relative to the ship, appearing as gamma rays and sterilizing everything on board. And should the ship hit so much as a grain of sand BOOM!

There are other types of interstellar drives that may barely suffice; light sails augmented by terrestrial-based lasers, say, or really, really, really big Orion drives. (The Orion was invented in the 1950's for a Mars mission. It uses a railgun to fire atomic bombs under a pusher plate. One bomb per second can build up quite a bit of velocity over time. For interstellar distances you would need like A MILLION bombs; you would reach a tenth of lightspeed and then coast. It would take about 150 years to reach the Centari stars; we had better develop suspended animation first.)

We will not be going to the stars any time soon; we need to make the best of the solar system that the Almighty has kindly provided for us. There are 9 - er - 8 - er- somewhere between the two planets revolving around the sun (as far as we know; there may be another dark one out there we haven't seen), innumerable moons and moonlets, asteroids, Kuiper Belt Objects, etc. We have plenty of worlds to conquer right here. Many of them can be settled. Prime candidates are, in my mind, the Moon, Mars, Ganymede and Callisto, Titan. In the farther future we may do Mercury and Europa, Triton and Pluto. We can settle asteroids as we like. We can also build space colonies, enormous habitats like beer cans or bicycle wheels that rotate for gravity. There really is an awful lot for us waiting out there.

But as for this new discovery; it is exciting and may or may not be valid. We really do live in fascinating times; the first humans to learn a great deal of this. Later generations will be far less fortunate because they will be reading about it second hand and it seems unlikely that the pace of technological development will continue this swiftly; eventually the curve will slow. This is a golden age, much like the classical Greek period, and they come rarely.

So let's enjoy it while we can.

The NY-NJ Port Authority’s Edifice Complex

Jack Kemp

The bi-state Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was created in 1921 to oversee port facilities between the two states. This grew quickly to include bridges, airports, tunnels with rail transportation. All well and good, until Chase Bank President David Rockerfeller wanted to build a World Trade Center and needed public financing of such a large project in the 1960s. He convinced the President of the Port Authority, Austin Tobin, to finance the project. It wasn’t a hard sell.

Wikipedia states:

“Although many questioned the Port Authority's entry into the real estate market, Tobin saw the project as a way to enhance the agency's power and prestige, and agreed to the project. The Port Authority was the overseer of the World Trade Center, hiring the architect Minoru Yamasaki.

Was it a wise idea of a government agency such as the Port Authority expanding into the real estate business?

The expansion of the government agency’s power into an unprecedented real estate venture was what New York firefighter and author Dennis Smith described, in his book “Report from Ground Zero” (page 369), a plan for a pair of towers with a reed/umbrella like structure having 25 percent more rentable space per floor than the old fashioned (solid) box-like construction. The plans also called for spray on fireproofing – and only one half inch instead of the typical inch and a half) between each floor and only three stairwells instead of the typical four. According to the book “Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11" by Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins, both these shortcuts were violations of the New York City Building Code which the politically connected Port Authority was able to get around with ease. Dennis Smith, also stated on page 369 of his book, that (then) chief of the New York City Fire Department, John O’Hagan, “opposed Yamasaki’s notion of open-space building construction, preferring instead the method of compartmentalized space between skeletal steel columns to confine any fire to a small space surrounded by walls.”

In “Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts” by David Dunbar and Brad Reagan, both Popular Mechanics editors, the authors stated that the Empire State Building, with its old fashioned box-like construction, weighed 38 pounds per cubic foot. The World Trade Center, with its vast, rentable open space with no view blocking columns, weighed 9 pounds per cubic foot. Balsa wood weighs 10 pounds per cubic foot.

O’Hagan understood what was involved in fighting a fire in a high rise or any other building. He was a firefighter who personally had gone into roaring fires and had ordered other firefighters into them as well, so he wanted to maximize the Department’s (and the office workers’) chance of survival in a conflagration at the proposed World Trade Center. O’Hagan knew who would be keeping the promises of building safety that the Port Authority so glibly “guaranteed.” The conceptual similarities to the fatal flaw “grand design” of the Titanic, pointed out by author Dennis Smith, are quite valid.

The Port Authority, for its part, a superagency with huge political power - and delusions of grandeur – would overrule Chief O’Hagan objections and have the Twin Towers built as they wanted. The Port Authority is not so readily answerable to any state legislature, and is a type of free floating permanent government somewhat independent of either New York or New Jersey’s voters. The agency concentrated its concerns on their own empire building which would now include creating a magnificent set of structures honoring – The Port Authority itself. The Authority did not concern itself with pedestrian security matters. It allowed anyone to park in the Twin Towers underground garages, a policy that ended when a terrorist truck bomb placed in those garages exploded in 1993. The 1993 bombing also made public the scandal of not having emergency battery pack lights in the three stairways of each Tower, something any private construction was mandated to have under the New York City Building Code. This lack of emergency lighting wasn’t fully remedied until 2000 when the fix helped in the evacuations of 9/11/01, despite smoke in those stairways.

To add to this, the book “Grand Illusions” reported that the Guiliani chose to place its emergency center in 7 World Trade Center. It was:

“a building with 17 generators, a virtual bomb itself. The building also sat on a Con Ed Substation. The substation also used a tank with 109,000 gallons of stored oil. Citigroup alone had 9 generators on its fifth floor trading site - and two 6000 gallon fuel tanks. Net total fuel in the building (minus Con Ed) was 43,384 gallons. New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir strongly opposed this, but Giuliani prevailed.”

Today, things are different. The City’s emergency center is in Brooklyn. The new Trade Center buildings are built stronger with anti-terrorist factors built in. Yet one could still argue that the Port Authority and New York City politicians had set up conditions that made it much easier to attack the old Twin Towers on 9/11/01, thus requiring the rebuilding of the Trade Center now in some form for reasons of both practicality and civic and national pride.

But does that rebuilding of the World Trade Center have to be done by the Port Authority? Why not a private developer? Couldn’t the Port Authority sell the land – and the new Trade Center towers, divesting itself of its real estate empire - and thus LOWER bridge and tunnel tolls as a result of such a windfall? The opponents of higher taxes, in the form of bridge and tunnel tolls, have clearly lost that initial argument to have toll money spent on updating crumbling roads and bridges rather than real estate. But the impact of the decision to use somewhat limited tolls and fees to finance a new Port Authority owned World Trade Center will not be quietly accepted by the public and local politicians, as it was in past years.

This week, Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY), who represents Staten Island and a part of Brooklyn, has taken up the issue of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority raising its tolls making commuting – and business activities (such as the container port) on Staten Island prohibitively expensive. In an interview with Joe Crummey on WABC Radio on September 22nd, he complained about Staten Islanders paying for rebuilding of the World Trade Center and the expansion of the commuter rail system (PATH) in New Jersey as “Taxation Without Transportation.” And he spoke of further legal (judicial) action against the increased tolls as well introducing legislation in Congress.
As Congressman Grimm’s website states, he has introduced, along with with Democrat Gregory Meeks (D-Queens County) to reduce local area tolls,

“The simple truth is that Staten Islanders pay exorbitant tolls to subsidize mass transit for other parts of our region,” said Rep. Grimm.

Congressmen Grimm showed an interest in a light rail system that went over the bridges from Staten Island to New Jersey, facilitating jobs and commerce, as part of a settlement, but no such remedy is planned by the Port Authority today. Cong. Grimm doesn’t want his district to subsidize a real estate empire for a bi-state agency while his constituents’ transportation needs are ignored. The term he coined in the WABC Radio interview, “Taxation Without Transportation,” is quite fitting.

Gone are the days of the 1950s when Staten Island was known as an outer borough outpost where New York City workers went to retire. It is a vibrant and growing borough of New York that is not interested in “business as usual” at the Port Authority defined it. How this fight will play out remains to be seen, but nationally, there is a growing trend to not have local taxpayers support politicians’ desires to build monuments to themselves as they expand government. We saw this is in the elections of 2010 and the New York District 9 special election on September 13th that replaced Anthony Weiner with the first Republican in that district in 90 years. We could see a much stronger reaction to government agency empire building – even in New York, The Empire State – in 2012 and many years to come.

The Latest Obama Gaffe

This guy is gonna pass Biden if he's not careful. His latest: America is the country that "built the Intercontinental Railroad."

FTA: "Obama's own Democratic Party controls the Senate and won't put their leader's jobs bill on the schedule because more wild spending like this doomed bill could also doom some Dem senators next year.

"So here's how the ex-state senator from the Chicago machine reacts: At an operating cost of $181,000 per hour, he flies Air Force One nearly four hours roundtrip for 17 minutes of remarks touting infrastructure repairs by a bridge that doesn't need them.

"The real reason he's at the Brent Spence Bridge is because it links the home states of both congressional Republican leaders, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. So Obama can cutely blame Republicans for holding up his jobs bill, even though it's Nevada Democrat Harry Reid."

Kyle-Anne Shiver contrasts Romney and Perry

Dana Mathewson

Spoiler alert: she like Perry a lot better.

Here's another way the government is strangling us

Dana Mathewson

Regulations, regulations and more regulations. 70% of the goods we depend on move by truck. And truckers are being slowly strangled by more and more regulations.

Consider this quote from a long-time driver: "We’re around 200,000 drivers short, and they’re making it to where you’ve got to be a jail house lawyer to get down the road. It’s turning a lot of guys off from being a driver."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Russian Plans to build another Nuclear Reactor in Iran

Timothy Birdnow

The Russians are planning to build another nuclear reactor for the Iranians. According to Pravda:

"Russia will continue cooperation with Iran in the nuclear field. Sergei Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, said that Russia may participate in the construction of another nuclear power plant in the country."

End excerpt.

Why build another plant? A military strike would be terribly difficult if the Iranians have another reactor, and the Russians know this. They are doing this to blackmail Europe and America. They know they must do something soon or their energy hegemony will evaporate, with huge reserves of natural gas being found in Poland and England, and threatening to aid Iran to further their atomic ambitions may force agreements with Europe to choke the development of those gas fields in utero.

This is power diplomacy at the point of a bayonette - a nuclear tipped bayonette.

And what will happen should the Israelis strike the Iranian nuclear facilities? Will Russia respond with military action?

The danger is reaching the emergency level. And yet our fearless leader continues to play golf and enjoy himself. We MUST get a new president next year; time is running out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Truth on Wealthy Tax Rates

This courtesy of the Federalist Patriot:

"Washington has repeated nearly every economic policy mistake of the 1930s in recent years, so why not repeat one of the bigger blunders of the 1960s too? We refer to President Obama's proposal [Monday] for a new 'Buffett Rule' to raise taxes on Americans earning more than $1 million a year. ... There's one small problem: The entire Buffett Rule premise is false.... In 2008, the last year for which such data are available, the IRS reports that those who made more than $1 million in adjusted gross income paid an average income tax rate of 23.3%. That's slightly lower than the 24.1% rate paid by those making between $500,000 and $1 million, probably because the richest are like Mr. Buffett and earn more from capital gains and dividends. ... [N]early all millionaires still paid a rate that is more than twice the 8.9% average rate paid by those earning between $50,000 and $100,000, and more than three times the 7.2% average rate paid by those earning less than $50,000. ... [T]he real point of Mr. Obama's Buffett Rule and his latest deficit proposal isn't tax justice or good tax policy. It is all about re-election politics. Down in the polls and facing a sullen liberal base, Mr. Obama wants to rally the left behind him, and nothing fires them up like the pretense that government is sticking it to the rich. Mr. Obama is picking a tax fight that he apparently believes will carry him to re-election next year." --The Wall Street Journal

Shale Gas in England

Timothy Birdnow

Now England has found huge reserves of shale gas.

First Poland and now England. The Russians will not be pleased.

This is no idle concern; Russia has traditionally used foreign aggression to cover up a bad economy, and the Russian economy is set to tank if her energy market dries up. The Middle East is a prime spot to become active, and this could touch off another world war.

Discovery of new energy sources is good - very good - but there are many vested interests who will not be happy about a worldwide drop in price. Obama certainly wouldn't be; remember his statement that he wished the gas prices would have risen more slowly back before he was elected?

And nations like Russia, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. won't be pleased to lose value on energy in general. More gas means less oil is needed in the long run. The plans so carefully laid out to dominate the energy markets are ruined, and something must be done about it. Ditto the U.N.'s careful plans to brown-out the West and establish a worldwide socialist utopia.

These are dangerous times.

Hitler discovers AttackWatch is a joke

Dana Mathewson

You can skip the ad.

Warning -- rough language alert.

Good News! Obama lets Biden loose on campaign trail

Dana Mathewson

Frankly, I think this is all an attempt to distract us from the lousy economy.

The comments are pretty funny too, for the most part.

John Bolton's comments on Abbas' posturing at UN

Dana Mathewson

As usual, he cuts through the fog in this video interview with Fox News' Greta Van Sustern.

Ambassador Bolton stresses the point that the U.N. General Assembly has no power -- that they can declare Palestinian statehood but that doesn't make it so. His arguments are beautifully clear.

Today's laugh at liberals' expense

Dana Mathewson

OK, it's actually from a few days ago, but I just discovered it today. I'm sending Power Line's post of it, which contains a link to the actual story, mainly because of the last line in this article.

It seems that one of the attorneys (female) in the New York State Attorney General's office moonlights as a dominatrix. I won't spoil the fun by telling you any more of it.

"Gunwalker's" body count grows, along with Obama administration's coverup

Dana Mathewson


Rep. Darrell Issa's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is doing its best to investigate this, and the deeper he gets, the more it looks like a number of Administration officials will eventually face felony charges. Of course, the investigation is encountering resistance from the White House. "The White House has thus far refused to divulge any of the documentation the congressional investigators have asked for, and the administration’s political appointees are stymieing all attempts to get information out of the Justice Department, Homeland Security, and other involved agencies. Rep. Issa seemed quite aware that his goal of resolving the congressional investigation in 2011 was going to be obstructed by an administration in full cover-up mode."

This article's author was able to speak directly to Rep. Issa on a conference call. "He elaborated a bit when he noted that while he wouldn’t presume to know the precise goals of Operation Fast and Furious, it certainly did seem to tie in with the narrative the Obama administration was trying to push — that U.S. guns were turning up at Mexican crime scenes. That allowed, the suggestion hanging in the air was that a goal of the Administration was indeed a “Reichstag fire” designed to support a narrative that has been publicly woven by Attorney General Holder, Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and President Obama himself on multiple occasions.

"One reason to assert the prominence of U.S. firearms in Mexico would be an attempt to once again bring forth an “assault weapons” ban like the failed 1994 law that sunset in 2004."

Are there any more reasons to vote Republican in 2012?

Another nail in Ron Paul's coffin

Dana Mathewson

At least, as far as I'm concerned, this in just one more example why Ron Paul must not get the GOP nomination for president, in 2012 or ever.,_id_put_dennis_kucinich_in_my_cabinet

This is proof, if proof is needed, that whack jobs seek each other out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No Greening in Greenland

Dana Mathewson

This from Urgent Agenda.

NOT MUCH MORE GREEN IN GREENLAND – In another fumble for the Church of the Global Warming, the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, one of the most authoritative atlases, is retracting a claim in its new edition that Greenland has lost 15% of its ice cover in the last 12 years. The actual number is reportedly closer to 0.1%, a dramatic difference. The retraction comes in the aftermath of "Himalayagate," another global-warming scandal in which it was claimed that the Himalayas could be glacier-free by 2035 due to global warming. The claim has been withdrawn.

Network News Viewership UP

Timothy Birdnow

In other troubling news (see Dems Outraising GOP below all three evening newscasts have seen a reversal of a decade long trend by growing viewership.

According to the article:

Compared to the 2009-2010 season during the just completed 2010-11 season:

* NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams is up +2.7%

* ABC World News with Diane Sawyer is up +3.3%

* CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley is up +2.7%

The gain of a combined 637,000 total viewers in the 2010-11 season, followed a loss of 739,000 viewers in the 2009-2010 season; which means, while viewership is up, it’s not at the level it was in 2008-09, which saw the presidential election/inauguration

Now, this could mean that the public is paying more attention, and that should spell disaster for the Democrats. But if they are paying attention to the propoganda machine that is the mainstream media...

It should be pointed out that 1.Katie Couric is gone.
2.Brian Williams is gone.

While the changing of the guard has been in progress, perhaps inertia kept viewers away and now they are just back to checking out the novelty. Maybe. But I wouldn't bet on it.

It also may be related to the President and his continuing meltdown; many people may actually watch the news because they want to see the leftists who present their opinions as fact, to see how they are taking things. I always enjoy a long face on a mainstream media type. And listening to their defense of Obama can be amusing.

But perhaps the pendulum is starting to swing back? Let us hope not.

Hat tip;

Dems Outraising GOP

Timothy Birdnow

Troublesome signs on the horizon.

According to The Hill The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee. In August they raised 3.6 million to the NRCC's 3 mill, and in 2011 $41.3 mill to 40.4.

Rick Moran figures it is a result of the incompetence of the NRCC and he has a big point there; people are still angry with the GOP in general, although they are gung-ho on individual GOP candidates - particularly Tea Party people (whom the RNC generally haven't supported and do not like).

However, I wonder if this isn't a function of larger things. This is Waterloo for the socialists/statists/radicals and their agenda; there will never be an opportunity like this in at least a generation, and maybe more. They see this as their moment, and are desperate to make permanent change to the Peoples R, er, Republic. They are going to spend as much as they humanly can. Corporations, too, will donate to the Democrats; they have a nice, cozy relationship with this rulilng Junta and would like that to continue. (Big corporations love regulations and restrictions BECAUSE it guarantees their position; nobody can compete with them under a heavily regulated regime.) GE, Goldman Sachs, Buffet, Soros, all want to keep the Democrats in power. They will donate heavily - and force their employees to donate as private citizens to get around McCain-Feingold.

Let's face it; the core of the Tea Party is composed of working people and enterpreneurs, those most seriously hurt by the bad economy. The Democratic base is composed of those on the government dole, union people, government workers, and the very wealthy. They aren't really hurt in their disposable income by the bad economy. Their money is largely guaranteed. They can afford to write checks to the DNC without fear that they may be hurting themselves down the line.

Many of these groups - particularly labor and the very rich - act as money-laundering instruements for the Democrats, and much of the stimulus went to teachers, to construction unions, to dependent companies like Solyndra that leech off government. They send that money to the DNC in the form of campaign contributions. And the stimulus was a trillion dollars...

Granted, donations to the RNC will increase as the election draws near, but will there be enough money to compete with the Democrat's slush fund?

And in the end too many Americans like government spending, government programs, being coddled and babied by surrogate parents in Washington. Too few people really think about the meaning of things like the Constitution and why limiting government is absolutely imperative to our national long-term survival (and maybe not even long term.) To far too many Americans, history began when they were born, and these problems have always been with them and always would be there; they cannot imagine these things metastasizing.

But it has happened many times in history. Weimar Germany. The Spanish Empire. The British Empire. Rome. Countries can and do collapse from lack of fiscal restraint. And often they end up with despotisms. Americans have been entirely too eager to trade their freedom for security; we know what Benjamin Franklin said about that.

Perhaps there really is a true awakening in this country; I certainly hope so. But there is a long time to the next election, and Obama and the Democrats will likely have at least equal funding (more likely better) and Obama has the power of the Presidency. Perhaps a military adventure is in order? Doubtless there will be a number of October Surprises waiting in the wings.

Let's not count our chickens before they are hatched.

More Evidence Warmists are Wrong at American Thinker

Timothy Birdnow

I have a blogpost about Global Warming at American Thinker today.

I originally entitled it Sunspots on the Spotted Mind, but that was perhaps a bit too levitous (and obscure) so editor Thomas Lifson retitled it More Evidence Warmists are Wrong.

Check it out!

Geopolitical History of the United States

Brian forwards a very interesting analysis of the geopolitical influences on the rise of the United States. It's a bit of a lengthy read, but well worth the time and trouble.,_part_1_the_inevitable_empire

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More VDH -- from brother-in-law David Dickinson

Dana Mathewson

A longer article than we usually get from this writer, but everything is to the point. Let's hope he is correct.

Victory is Sweet but the War Continues

Paul Driessen

Celebrate EPA’s withdrawal of job-killing ozone standards – but prepare for more onslaughts

Millions of Americans recently celebrated the demise of the Environmental Protection Agency’s job-killing ground-level ozone regulations. While a toast was appropriate, we shouldn’t drink too much champagne just yet.

As with the Battle of Midway and Lt. Col. James Doolittle’s Tokyo Raid in early 1942, White House action on this single EPA rule is merely a welcome victory in a long struggle. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce may have declared, “Now, at least they’re listening,” but other observers say the EPA and Obama administration are still tone deaf.

Indeed, a major factor in the White House decision on ozone was a map showing that 85% of America’s counties would be out of compliance with the Clean Air Act if the new rules were implemented. That would mean no new construction or manufacturing projects could begin – and no jobs “created or saved” – until billions are spent to bring existing facilities into compliance with arbitrary new ozone standards.

Many of those counties are in politically important states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – which better explains the administration’s sudden “conversion,” than does any supposed recognition that its rules are unnecessary and harmful. Moreover, the ozone rule was not killed; it was postponed until after the 2012 elections, to safeguard jobs: White House, administration, Democrat and SEIU jobs.

The administration’s mile-long regulatory freight train merely paused to shunt the ozone boxcar onto a siding, to be retrieved later. The engines and remaining cars are still roaring down the tracks, heading for a collision with a sick economy that has left 14 million Americans jobless, 9 million forced to take part-time work, 2.5 million who have given up looking for jobs, and 46 million on food stamps.

Orchestrated environmentalist outrage over the delayed ozone rule may deflect attention from the rest of the freight train, and make it easier to impose hundreds of other regulations. In fact, reams of complex Dodd-Frank financial rules and Obamacare health sector regulations are still onboard, as are National Labor Relations Board unionizing schemes, Agriculture and Interior Department land use regulations, and many others.

The Energy Department continues to lavish taxpayer dollars on expensive wind and solar projects that provide minimal energy at exorbitant cost, even after two more solar companies went bankrupt, costing Americans another $1 billion and 1,900 jobs. Solyndra alone cost US taxpayers $535 million, to create 1,100 temporary jobs at $485,000 apiece. They’re all gone now.

Citing Energy Department reports, the Washington Post reports that the $39-billion loan guarantee program, which President Obama promised would “create or save” 65,000 jobs, has instead spawned a measly 3,545 new, supposedly permanent jobs – after blowing nearly $18 billion, or $5 million per job.

Green jobs? Greenback jobs is more like it – taxpayer greenbacks for Obama and cronies. Worse, by draining billions from taxpayers, consumers and productive sectors of the American economy, the administration is killing two to three traditional, sustainable jobs for each greenback job it creates.

Then there is EPA, which even in this toxic environment remains the biggest single job-killing agency in government. Its ozone rulemaking is just one of dozens it has planned, finalized, or brought to the brink of sign-off and implementation.

Unable to get cap-tax-and-trade passed in Congress, EPA has its economy-killing carbon dioxide rules waiting on a railway siding, until the November elections spur a regulatory frenzy. It is still preparing coal-fired power plant emission rules to control the 0.5% of mercury that actually enters America’s atmosphere from those facilities, as well as expensive regulations on heavy-duty trucks.

“Cross-state” air pollution regulations will force utilities in a few states to install billion-dollar retrofits on coal-fired power plants that EPA computer models say could (minimally) affect air quality hundreds of miles away. EPA claims 20 states affect downwind states during the May-September NOx/ozone season, but demands that Florida shoulder 79% of the national responsibility.

It claims seven states affect Houston’s air quality, but wants Florida to provide 94% of the alleged benefits for the Texas city, 800 miles away, across the sultry, largely windless summertime Gulf of Mexico – after Florida utilities already reduced their NOx emissions by two-thirds since 2003. EPA also says Texas must retrofit power plants that might affect Illinois communities 400 miles away.

Even crazier, EPA is using outdated air pollution measurements to justify these rules. In reality, data from recent years show the supposedly impacted cities already meet national ambient air quality standards.

EPA’s “maximum achievable control technologies” (MACT) rules will impact power sources in factories and refineries. Its “reciprocating ignition compression engine” (RICE) rules will curtail the availability of thousands of backup, “peaking” and emergency generators at colleges, hospitals, malls, groceries and other facilities. When storms knock out power, or heat waves strain overloaded grids, the dearth of electricity will cause brownouts, blackouts and widespread chaos, especially in hospitals.

Coal ash and water quality rules will raise costs even further for nearly half of America’s power plants – and electricity users – for minimal environmental gain.

For three years EPA has used global warming claims to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline project, which could create hundreds of thousands of American refinery, construction, manufacturing, financial and other jobs – and stymie Shell’s oil drilling plans in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

In every instance, EPA claims “the regulatory benefits far exceed the costs.” However, as independent natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon and other analysts have documented, the health, welfare and environmental risks and benefits have frequently been exaggerated or even fabricated.

Worse, EPA steadfastly refuses to consider the significant adverse effects that its rules will have on human health and welfare. The cumulative weight of these rules will send energy costs skyrocketing and kill millions of additional jobs, Affordable Power Alliance co-chair Niger Innis points out.

Poor and newly jobless families will be even less able to afford gasoline, clothing, healthcare, proper nutrition and other basic needs, Innis notes. Many will suffer increased stress, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and crime rates. Many low income families will be unable to afford proper heating during frigid winter months or air conditioning during summer heat waves. People will die.

Equally outrageous, while it may have shunted its ozone boxcar onto a railway siding, EPA is ramping up its campaign to rally support for its dangerous policies. Under its “Plan EJ 2014” initiative and other programs, the agency is “leading from behind” – funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to minority, low-income and environmentalist groups that will advance EPA’s rulemaking, permitting, compliance, enforcement and other agenda items under guise of “environmental justice” and “civil rights” claims.

The Environmental Protection Agency is setting the stage for a national disaster.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson insists she wants “a real conversation about protecting our health and the environment.” By all means, let’s have that conversation. It’s likely, however, that she and her radical allies will not enjoy it one small bit.


Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

What Freedom of Religion? What Freedom of Assembly?

Timothy Birdnow

The City of San Juan Capistrano in California has fined a couple $300 dollars for holding a Bible study in their home.

According to The Blaze:

"City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. say Chuck and Stephanie Fromm are in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a permit. Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50."

End excerpt.

The Constitution of the United States has this to say on the matter:

Article I of the Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The California State Constitution has this to say:

Article I:

Sec. 4. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State: and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience, hereby secured, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.


Sec. 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property: and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

Sec. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.

and furthermore:

Sec. 10. The people shall have the right freely to assemble together, to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the legislature for redress of grievances.

Also this is important:

Sec. 19. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.

End excerpts.

And yet local communities are eager to abridge the right to peacefully assemble, to practice religion, and to be secure in houses.

We live in an upside-down world, a wonderland where fair is foul and foul is fair, and this is the work of Liberalism. Liberals do not want the Constitution, but rather a system where they rule by virtue of their own authority. This illustrates that very fact.

Oh, I understand; they are going to use the public safety to justify this, and doubtless they will point out a municipal code that was violated. But municipal codes have become a tool of repression. A city inspector can order a building condemned based on the flimsiest reasons; as much as a missed inspection can lead to a condemnation. Their power is nigh unto absolute and the homeowner has to crawl to them lest he be cited for numerous ridiculous violations. In my occupation as property manager I can tell you about a situation where there was lead-based paint on the windows of an apartment, and a licensed company did the work of encapsulation required by law. The inspector came out and took soil samples outside of the window, finding minor amounts of paint from the scrapings done. He condemned the building (in violation of the code) for that. Why? He was mad at the property owners.

This is totally out of hand; either we live under the Constitutional protections or we don't and should scrap our founding documents.

And freedom to assemble for religious purposes is doubly primary. If a municipality can do this they can do anything.

Do we live in a free society or not?

Obama's administration is starting to show its true colors

Dana Mathewson

...and it couldn't come at a better time. Insanity - repeating things but expecting different results.

I hadn't thought of this

Dana Mathewson

But I suppose it's true. From a commentor on

"Prepare for more 'Post Pardon Depression'. The list when he leaves office will be the usual 1300 page document including pardons for himself and the Moocher. Will look like a members list of the Politburo Communist Party West."

Imagine all the folks who should go to jail but won't. Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Van Jones, Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke, the administration pukes who OK'd the loans to Solyndra -- not to mention Zippy and Mooch themselves. . . Darn -- I need a drink all of a sudden and it's over two hours till Happy Hour!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Duty to Condemn

Timothy Birdnow

Bad behavior; done once constitutes a mistake, repeated it constitutes a moral disorder.

How does a society set boundaries for it's populace? In bygone days through the use of honor; behave badly and you were shunned, ostricized, sneered at, stigmatized. Remember the scarlet letter? Sins i.e. bad behavior was grounds for public humiliation, public ridicule, public disapproval.

What we have done is replace such acts of public disciplining with the power of the state. Now it has become a matter purely of law, and law is particularly ill-suited for setting a moral tone for society. Frankly, despotism is precisely that. So the law generally takes a hands-off approach (or, more onerously, works for the values of those who can buy the law). As a result, rebellion has been made "cool" by leftist revolutionaries, people who want to fundamentally change society. And it has worked; consider the out-of-wedlock birthrates as one example. The rise in those rates stems from efforts to stamp out societal disapproval.

The argument is, of course, that societal disapproval punishes someone forever for what was perhaps a single mistake. A teen girl having sex one time and getting pregnant suffers the slings and arrows for great periods, and often had to move away in the old days. It seemed unfair to the better-natured but ignorant in our society, and the hedonists who spearheaded the Free Love movement shamelessly used this to promote nonjudgementalism. They shamelessly used Christianity and Judaism, too. "Judge not lest ye be judged" was the favorite Biblical passage of the hedonists; it excused what they did.

And so a mistake became a moral disorder, and our society has accepted things it would never have accepted in the past. Homosexuality, for instance, was something whispered about and not in mixed company. Now it is celebrated on television and in movies, and the army has to accomodate it. This has opened the door to mainstreaming other, worse things; recently a movement to decriminalize pedophilia has become prominent.

This is what happens when you destroy a working mechanism and have no real replacement; you have a society that begins to collapse. The Left sees this as freedom; their definition of freedom is freedom to do whatever you want without constraint. They especially hate it when the people themselves censure behavior; they believe, in their brilliance and enlightenment, that they should be the final arbiters of what is right or wrong. They don't understand that there are moral laws that are as firm as any physical laws, and those laws work as surely as the law of gravity. Pull the cork out of the bottle and the liquid inside will flow out when turned over. Pull the moral cork and the life of a nation pours down the drain.

That's why I found this City Journal article gratifying; Myron Magnet chronicles a Boston city official writing angry letters about a shop selling tee shirts glorifying illicit drug use. Read it here.

He's right; we have to try to reintroduce this mechanism, the mechanism of stigma. For too long we have allowed moral relativism to paralyze us, to force us to be silent in the face of growing immorality and evil. No society can survive without disapproving such behavior. The government cannot do this. Only the people can.

And it's not a free speech issue; we have as much right to condemn as the offenders have to rebel. Free speech cuts both ways.

Anyway, be sure to read the article.

You Truly Are What You Eat

Timothy Birdnow

Here's an interesting bit of work by Chinese scientists; turns out that when you eat something you, well, let me quote the article:

"In a new study, Chen-Yu Zhang's group at Nanjing university present a rather striking finding that plant miRNAs could make into the host blood and tissues via the route of food-intake. Moreover, once inside the host, they can elicit functions by regulating host "target" genes and thus regulate host physiology."

End quote.

So, we really ARE what we eat!

Not that we didn't know that it is possible to cause damage to the body through the ingestion of information; viruses cause changes to the body by kicking out cellular DNA and taking control of the cell, sort of an outside military coup against the cellular rulers.

Prions, too. Prions are free floating protein templates that take over the protein-bending duties in the body. Proteins are shaped by special templates that twist them into the necessary shapes needed by the organism. Prions replace those bending devices and shape the proteins into their own aggressive shapes. Are prions aliive? I would say less so than viruses, yet they do behave like living things. Koru (laughing sickness) is one example of a prion disease - and is transmitted through mortuary cannibalism ie. eating your dead granny. Mad cow is another.

But this is different; it's making changes to the genome itself, not simply destroying and replacing.

So, does that mean that changes we see in organisms, differences in creatures from one local or another has been driven by what they eat? Perhaps the difference between a North American mountain lion and the real deal on the African plains stems ultimately from their diet?

What does it mean? Is perhaps our thinking a result of changes to our genome triggered by food? Does eating lots of granola and yogurt make people into moonbat liberals? Pregnant women eating lowfat yogurt causes asthma and allergies in their children, according to a new study. The moonbat liberals will doubtlessly have a field day with this; it will buttress Michelle Obama's "let's move" campaign to force the diet of her choice on the body politic (and down the throat politic).

This reminds me of a study a short while back that said if fathers ate lots of fatty foods they would change their genes to pass on diabetes to daughters they fathered.

But this is a little different; it suggests a sharing of information between different life forms.

Many primitive peoples believed that by eating a mighty or powerful creature they could absorb some of that creature's power. Eat a dead tiger and you will have cat-like reflexes. Eat an eagle and you will be able to see like one. Maybe they weren't all wet after all.

Well, of course they were. But perhaps some epigenetic changes occured to their bodies via this route. Perhaps they developed immunities (or susceptibilities) to certain diseases to which they were never exposed, or perhaps they just drifted a bit, enough so that marrying close relatives (something common in isolated communities) became less damaging. Then too, perhaps they simply found new ways of getting sick.

Which brings us to ask the question; Barack Obama's grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama was a Mau-Mau, one of those Kenyan terrorists who resisted British rule. To join the club, the candidate to Mau-Mauhood had to committ sins in every religion, thus making them unfit to join any save Mau-Mau.

A colonial administrator named Frank Cornfield claimed;,9171,940578-1,00.html

"“By compelling Mau Mau members to violate not only Christian ethics but every tribal one as well, Mau Mau leaders deliberately reduced their victims to a state where a man who took the Mau Mau oath was cut off ‘from all hope, outside Mau Mau, in this world or the next. Cornfield found that to achieve this absolute loyalty to the movement, ‘ . . . leadership forced its recruits, voluntary or involuntary, to seal their oaths by digging up corpses and eating their putrefied flesh, copulating with sheep, dogs or adolescent girls, and by drinking the famed ‘Kaberichia cocktail’-a mixture of semen and menstrual blood.”

End excerpt.

So, what perhaps happened to Obama's epigenetic profile? Is he carrying mutations culled from some putrid ingestation of his gramps?

Well, SOMETHING has to explain why the man is the way he is!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Ignorance of the Experts

Timothy Birdnow

German scientists have boldly proclaimed this year the lowest point ever for Arctic sea ice extent.

Armed with spiffy computer models, Georg Heygster, head of the Physical Analysis of Remote Sensing Images unit at the University of Bremen's Institute of Environmental Physics disagreed with the National Snow and Ice Data Center and others and proudly beamed that global warming has defrosted the freezer-burned region.

"On September 8, the extent of the Arctic sea ice was 4.240 million square kilometres (1.637 million square miles). This is a new historic minimum"


"The sea ice retreat can no more be explained with the natural variability from one year to the next, caused by weather influence.

Climate models show, rather, that the reduction is related to the man-made global warming which, due to the albedo effect, is particularly pronounced in the Arctic."

End excerpt.

But is this true?


To steal from the Real Science page "Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

More on Solyndra

Dana Mathewson

This is from Power Line but links to an Andrew McCarthy article in National Review Online. Increasingly, the whole Solyndra situation is revealed as a non-starter. President Bush and his people turned the company down for funding.

McCarthy says that the way things look now, people should do jail time for this.

Woefully Inadequate Darwin

Timothy Birdnow

I weary of the Darwin debate. The sides are largely intractable, and especially the high holy defenders of Darwin will tolerate absolutely no criticism of either their man or their theory in any fashion. As we are dealing with vagueries here there is no resolution.

Still, let me again wade into the troubled waters of this debate.

First, as Nemo over at Darwiniana (a man I agree with about as much as the Pope agrees with Richard Dawkins) points out that we really do not have a theory of evolution. What we have is a vague hypothesis, something untestable (and, given the failure to find the "missing links", those transitional fossils - it's part of what led Stephan Jay Gould to postulate punctuated equilibrium, the notion that species undergo sudden changes rather than the slow, steady changes Darwin believed) the only real test of Darwinian theory has largely failed. Darwinism makes no predictions, and refers to itself to explain the profusion of life. Ask a Darwinian biologist why a species evolved a certain way and he will tell you "because evolutionary pressures favored that direction". Ask him why and he will say "because it made the species more fit to survive". Then ask why that particular trait made the species more fit to survive and he will say "because evolution took that direction". It comes down to A = B = C = A; round and round we go with no real answer. A true theory would be able to say "the 6th postulate of Darwin says that A leads to B under conditions x,y, and Z. It should be possible to show that certain common traits evolved under very similar conditions and to explain why that should be. It's true that sometimes they do; fish and cetaceans both have fins and similar forms, because they both live in the water. But why do cetaceans live in the water? What survival benefits confered this rather bizarre return to the seas? The Darwinian biologists have no answer but to drool. The "theory" cannot explain these things. A theory is SUPPOSED to explain these things.

Not, please do not misunderstand; Darwinian theory is not just evolution, but an explanation of the mechanism of evolution. There were theories of evolution before Darwin (the most noted was Lamarckian, which argued that certain external stimuli caused something in the creature to mutate.) Darwin suggested that speciation occurs by random mutations confering survival on the mutant, and that the competitors die out and the mutant gene passes along to the organism. Sometimes the older form does not die out and the species diverge. Gorillas and Chimpanzees are said to be from the same ancestor, for instance.

(Interestingly, Lamarckian evolution is coming back )

But this argument is not, and never has been, about the science but about religion. Darwinism was seized upon by atheists early on because, to them, it offered a solution to the concept that life was created by God; they could now say that God is unnecessary for life to arise. This is foolish, given the extremely low probability of life coming spontaneously into existence (Fred Hoyle posited a 10 to the 40th power chance, although others have suggested a ten to the 24 power. You are still talking about 100000000000000000000000 chance.) It also requires the suspension of the law of entropy; information being encoded on the DNA molecule in opposition of the tendency of things to run down and not up. Granted, Darwinism is about the evolution of life and not about abiogenesis, but a theory of evolution should start at the beginning, and Darwin is woefully inadequate in that regard.

But the problems in Darwin's theory are too often glossed over or excused by proponents because of religion. A heated argument has been waged over whether Darwin was a believer or an atheist. Richard Weikart, author of the groundbreaking From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany wades into the fray, arguing that at best Darwin was an agnostic.

What is striking is Darwin's childish arguments against a Creator; he is convinced the problem of pain negates any possibility of God, or at least of a personal God. He believed evolution and natural selection were better explanations of suffering and pain.

But why would that be? If we are evolved to fit our environment, wouldn't we be likewise evolved to accept suffering and pain as part of the nature of things? Why do we think it unfair that there is pain? Wouldn't we rather have a built-in understanding that this is the order of things and while we may not like pain we simply roll with the punches? Suffering is arguably evidence of God. We KNOW that suffering is often unjust. We have a standard that is completely illogical from a naturalistic point of view. We reject the notion that suffering is just part of our existence. We resist it. Why should that be?

There seems to be an inborn knowledge of something better.

Of course, I am hardly original in this; C.S. Lewis devotes a considerable amount of Mere Christianity to this, as well as to the whole concept of justice and natural law and why a material explanation for Man makes no sense. And it is no idle speculation; the early Christian Church suffered terrible persecution, which is precisely what made it grow. The Apostles were all executed save John, who was exiled to a prison mine. These were simple men, uneducated, yet they went willingly to their deaths for their belief in Jesus. Any one of them could have turned, said that Jesus was a fake and would not just have spared their own lives but would have received honor and likely money. Suffering is what made Christianity. People flocked to it because it was antithetical to a "natural" existence. Pain and suffering often bear good fruit for the sufferer. But pain and suffering have to be put into context; if this Earth is all there is then it is a cruel, cruel joke. Why couldn't we simply have evolved to not suffer?

I know; suffering helps us survive. Sometimes. But what does, say, grief profit an organism? There are many forms of pain that do absolutely nothing beneficial from a material standpoint. How man broken-hearted lovers have taken their lives because they were jilted by the object of their affection? Where is the survival value in that? What of the frustrations of life? Is, say, the respect of a cold father really worth the pain that seeking said approval engenders? What value is there in shyness?

Things of the mind, and indeed the mind itself, are enormous arguments against Darwin's own theory and for theism. The brain, too; research has shown that human beings can alter their brains through force of will. (Read the works of Jeffrey Schwarz.) This means that, rather than being the creator of human consciousness as materialists claim it is a mechanism, a tool used by the mind to manipulate the perceptual universe. There are huge clues suggesting that our understanding of our own nature and the nature of the universe is far too unidimensional. Quantum physics, with the importance of the observer to collapse the wavefront, for instance, suggest that consciousness has nothing to do with matter, or at least is not simply bound by matter, but matter is bound by consciousness. Why should an observer matter a wit to quantum states? The observer is critical to the passage of time, too, as Einstein pointed out.

Darwinian theory can explain none of this, and Darwin's objections to religion founder on the shores of the unexplored country. We are learning that our understanding of reality - and especially our understanding during the 19th century where we thought we knew most of it - is woefully inadequate.

And that about sums up the value of Darwin's theory.

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