Saturday, January 31, 2009

The "Change" in Obama's ethics standards

We read that Tom Daschle, former Democratic Senate Majority Leader and Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, has filed amended tax returns reporting over $128,000 in unpaid taxes. He joins Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as another leader in Obama’s quest to change America by increasing taxes on the people who actually pay taxes while forgetting to pay taxes themselves.

So the Obama administration now has at least four senior members who would have been disqualified from high office prior to this presidency. Besides the two tax cheats, we have Attorney General Eric Holder, who arranged the corrupt pardon of Marc Rich, the number 2 man on the FBI’s most wanted list, and whose ex-wife just happened to donate $1 million at about the same time to Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library.

Holder calmly explained that in spite of his extensive efforts to bypass normal channels for Rich, he really wasn’t familiar with the crimes Rich was alleged to have committed. That explanation was more than enough to reassure Democrats in the Senate that Holder embodies the sort of competence and ethical standards that Democrats are looking for.

Holder also worked diligently for Clinton to arrange the commutation of the prison terms of murderous Puerto Rican terrorists who had committed over 100 bombings, killing and maiming dozens of innocent people, just when Hillary was looking to increase the New York Puerto Rican vote during her Senate campaign. While Holder seemed to regret his activities on behalf of Rich, Democratic Senators enthusiastically accepted his assurance that his release of unrepentant terrorist killers was entirely reasonable under the circumstances.

And of course, who can forget the appointment of Leon Panetta, a nice man with no intelligence experience whatsoever, as the head of the CIA. In times like these, why would anyone ask for experience in such a position?

While other administrations have inadvertantly nominated people with ethics challenges, only to withdraw them once their issues became apparent, Obama has continued to support his nominees in spite of these little problems. It’s interesting that the unspecified “Change” Obama used as about every third word in his campaign verbiage apparently includes the abandonment of every standard of ethics or competence that used to be considered prerequisites for high government office. Yes folks, that's "Change We Can Believe In."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Global warmer's former boss says Hansen "embarrassed NASA" with his claims

NASA's James Hansen is the enviros' point person on global warming, regularly serving up scare stories on impending environmental doom as worldwide temperatures continue to drop. But his former boss at NASA, Dr. John S. Theon, says he has become a global warming skeptic.

“I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made,” Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009. Theon is the former Chief of the Climate Processes Research Program at NASA Headquarters and former Chief of the Atmospheric Dynamics & Radiation Branch.

Theon declared “climate models are useless.” “My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit,” Theon explained. “Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results.

In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy,” he added.

There is more at Watts up with That.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Ten ways conservatives can fight back"

Blogger Nancy Morgan makes some suggestions about how conservatives can respond to the wave of Obamania sweeping the media, and therefore the country.

The media would have us believe that conservatives and our policies were repudiated in the recent election. The fact is that most people have no idea what The Messiah's policies are - they just thought he looked cooler than the old non-conservative guy he was running against.

If you ask most people if they're for open borders, amnesty for anyone who can slide under the fence, sky high spending, massive new environmental regulations, and tiny little expensive cars, they'll say heck no. So conservative principles didn't get crushed - far from it.

The media sold a bill of goods to the American people by emphasizing Obama's charisma and minimizing any explanation of his politics. So we'll have to go through 4 years of re-education similar to what happened during the Carter administration.

It's a painful process, but until Republicans learn how to get our message across without going through the Democratic Party/media complex, unpleasant experience is the only teacher in town. We just have to hope for as few avoidable deaths and injuries as possible during the class.

Mark Steyn again

Mark Steyn is at it once again, nailing the pretentious vacuity of the media/Democratic love affair with The Messiah. I wish I could write that well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama works to kill Americans to save oil

While Obama will be doing everything possible to reduce American oil production, he will also be doing as much as possible to kill and maim Americans on the road by forcing us to drive tiny little automobiles within the next 10 years. Studies have shown that fuel economy standards mandated during the 1970's kill about 2,000 Americans a year, and cause many thousands of serious injuries. The new standards will increase the death toll dramatically.

Liberals love to bleat about "blood for oil". Their energy policy will cost lots of blood without saving any oil, because they'll reduce our production to match any savings from driving aluminum foil cars.

One of the many ironies is that we have plenty of domestic oil. Our oil shale resources would provide hundreds of years of supply at current consumption rates. The only reason for our dependence on foreign oil is government energy policy.

Another national healthcare real-life story

We have a friend in Holland who had a baby recently. TheDutch national healthcare system saves money by omitting little niceties like painkillers during delivery. After trying for a natural delivery, this woman finally needed a caesarian.

The kind doctors informed her that with her hormones in delivery mode, she wouldn't really feel the surgical knife without anesthetic, so they cut the baby out without any painkillers! Needless to say, she definitely felt the surgery.

Those who can't wait for government run healthcare won't be so happy when they get this kind of treatment.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The liquidation of Putin's critics

"Suppose that during Bill Clinton's two terms as president Ken Starr, Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, Newt Gingrich and five other prominent Clinton critics had all been shot and killed, in gangland-style contract hits. "

This article describes the latest in a bloody trail of killings apparently initiated by the Kremlin since Vladmir Putin came to power. Not only have prominent critics been murdered inside Russia, the KGB extended its long arm into the heart of London to poison Alexander Litvinenko with a radioactive substance that can only have been made in a government controlled reactor.

While it is obvious to anyone who is aware of what's going on in the world that Russia has returned to its dictatorial roots, it's good to be reminded that Putin is just as ruthless as his Soviet era counterparts. The killings continue.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No freedom of speech in Holland

As I've posted before, freedom of speech is being extinguished in much of the western world through the outlawing of politically incorrect, so called "hate speech". This is only applied against people who oppose the left's agenda, never against similar speech directed by the left at conservatives (in the American sense).

Another example has cropped up in Holland, where a court has ruled that Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders should be prosecuted for "inciting racial hatred with anti-Islamic statements" that include calling the Koran a "fascist book."

We tend to take freedom of speech for granted in this country because of the First Amendment, but much of the western world doesn't provide that protection. Between taxation, regulation, and suppression of politically incorrect speech, freedom is dwindling in supposedly free Western countries.
Here's another article on the subject. Apparently Wilders has been under 24 hour police protection for the past 4 1/2 years because of Muslim threats against his life. So it's not OK to criticize people who have threatened to kill you, like they've killed other people in Holland who've criticized Islam? Freedom of speech isn't just dwindling in Holland, it's gone.

How conservatives can influence the Republican party

It's obvious that Republican pols depend on conservatives as their "base", then cut deals with Democrats which completely undermine the conservative ideals they claim to support. It's been going on for so long that the only real question is what to do about it. This article defines the problem and offers some approaches to a solution.

The first step is to stop sending money to the state and national party organizations, and direct those funds to individual candidates who walk the walk. The national party organizations have zero credibility after funding RINO after RINO against conservative challengers. Organizations like the Club for Growth support conservative challengers to incumbent RINOs in primaries, and pick key conservative candidates to support in the general election.

Conservatives can't afford to walk away from the Republican party, but we do need to be much more selective in how we support the party.

Nationalized health care is already a done deal

Read this disturbing article in the WSJ, and you'll know fully nationalized healthcare is being implemented right now through the SCHIP program, which is supposedly for low income kids. Typical of the liberal practice of misrepresenting the true nature of their programs, this one has no real limits on coverage based on age or income, so it will gradually but surely replace private health insurance. The same organization that does such a great job securing our borders, regulating financial markets, and weaning us from foreign oil will now be in charge of managing your healthcare. All the government needs now are the tax increases to pay for it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Interesting video site

Here's a new (to me) site called Right Wing Video. This is one of a Predator UAV in Iraq sending some Iraqi insurgents to meet Allah. There seem to be lots of interesting videos here.

America's largest unmanned rocket

The Delta 4 Heavy uses 3 Delta 4 first stages tied together. It's only been launched a handful of times, and puts on quite a spectacular show. Here's a set of good pics, of which the image above is one.

When you think you've seen it all...

Watch this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Princeton physics professor unloads on global warmers

Dr. William Happer served as director of the Office of Energy Research in the U.S. Department of Energy under President George H.W. Bush, and is now a Professor of Physics at Princeton University. He has some choice words for the AGW crowd.

“This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda,” Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, said in an interview. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”

“All the evidence I see is that the current warming of the climate is just like past warmings. In fact, it’s not as much as past warmings yet, and it probably has little to do with carbon dioxide, just like past warmings had little to do with carbon dioxide,” Happer explained.

Read the whole interview here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another view of Eric Holder's FALN pardon

The son of one of the victims of the FALN terrorists that Eric Holder helped to pardon describes the bombing that killed his dad. Eric Holder defends the pardon he was instrumental in arranging as "reasonable". Tell that to the victims of the over 100 FALN bombings and their families.

"At the time of the pardons, Eric H. Holder Jr. was deputy attorney general. In considering his department's recommendation on clemency, he met with supporters of the terrorists but ignored their victims. He pushed staff members to drop their strong opposition to a presidential pardon for the FALN members and alter a report they had prepared for the president recommending against clemency."

From fighting terrorists to releasing terrorists - nominating Mr. Holder to the highest law enforcement position in the land reflects the kind of change Barack Obama has in mind.

Terrorists should breath easy with Barack and Eric in charge.

The night Buckley met Reagan

From Powerline Blog

Ross Douthat begins his New York Times Sunday Book Review essay on Wiliam Buckley's Reagan memoir with the anecdote that opens the book:

On the night that William F. Buckley met Ronald Reagan, the future president of the United States put his elbow through a plate-glass window. The year was 1961, and the two men were in Beverly Hills, where Buckley, perhaps the most famous conservative in America at the tender age of 35, was giving an address at a school auditorium. Reagan, a former Hollywood leading man dabbling in political activism -- the Tim Robbins or Alec Baldwin of his day -- had been asked to do the introductions.

But the microphone was dead, the technician was nowhere to be found and the control room was locked. As the crowd began to grumble, Reagan coolly opened one of the auditorium windows, stepped onto a ledge two stories above the street and inched his way around to the control room. He smashed his elbow through the glass and clambered in through the broken window. "In a minute there was light in the upstairs room," Buckley later wrote, "and then we could hear the crackling of the newly animated microphone."

In this anecdote Douthat detects the theme of the man of ideas coming face to face with the man of action...

“Free market” is the same as “free people”

Since the financial meltdown, article after article has talked about the future of the “free market system” or “free market economics”. None of these articles seems to recognize that a “free market” is the same as a “free people”. What is a free market except people freely doing what they want to do?

To the extent people engage in economic transactions, which is to say, people interacting with other people every day, they are the free market. So when people talk about replacing the free market with something else, they are talking about replacing free people with non-free people.

It’s easy to understand why socialists use the term “free market” because it disguises the fact that they want to take freedom away from people. It’s less easy to understand why conservatives let socialists get away with this verbal slight-of-hand.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How not to improve the economy

Perhaps the centerpiece of Obama’s “tax cut” plan is the proposal to give everyone except high income Americans a $500 refundable tax credit, paid for by higher taxes on “the rich”, or by borrowing. What few people realize is that the tens of billions of dollars in total payouts under this scheme will reduce the sum of American investment and production by that same amount. In effect, America will become that much poorer overall.

The reason is that this money is not being paid for producing anything – people are getting it just for being there. If that same money were spent or invested by the taxpayers from whom it came, it would be spent on goods and services.

Those in favor of this scheme would argue that the money will be spent by the recipients, so there will be no difference in spending, but that is an invalid comparison. Think of the flow of this money through the economy as a chain of transactions, one after another. The tax transaction extracting this money from taxpayers results in zero production whereas their spending on other things would have produced goods and services.

The next transaction in the chain is the spending by the recipients of the tax credit, but this would have been matched by the spending of the vendors the taxpayers would have purchased goods and services from if their money had not been taxed away.

Not only are the taxpayers hurt, but their suppliers are also hurt. Instead of the suppliers being paid for their products, the money is instead directed to other people for producing nothing. Many of the employees of the suppliers are on lower rungs of the economic ladder themselves. The same amount of money given to people for not working is being taken away from other people for working – and producing.

Sometimes economics gets so wrapped up in theories and formulas that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it’s ultimately about real goods and services. The money is just a means to an end. In this case, the tax credit will result in a reduction of real goods and services by the same amount as the total payments.

Only a politician, or an economist, can believe the economy would be improved by reducing the total production of goods and services.

Former Gitmo inmates return to terrorism

You have to wonder what planet liberals live on. According to news reports, 61 former Gitmo detainees have returned to terrorist activities, yet liberals are demanding the immediate shutdown of these detension facilities. Further, 50 more detainees have been cleared for release but can't be returned to their home countries because of fear of mistreatment there! So liberals have put us in the incredible position of probably releasing terrorists into America because their original countries might harm the terrorists.

A major feature of the liberal mindset is the inability to think past the next move in any situation. But this really is ridiculous. The next moves are terrorist attacks by people we have caught and released, knowing they are likely to strike again.

In the liberal world, the needless sacrifice of the innocent lives of our citizens demonstrates their moral superiority. Can anyone think of a more twisted, mindless morality than that?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Saturn backlit

Here's a great new (to me) website called Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA. The picture above taken by the Cassini satellite is only one example of some great shots there.

Media collusion with terrorists

It's been clear to some of us for a long time that the media are an essential ally of terrorist groups like Hamas. Unfortunately, the alliance is effective because so many people don't understand that terrorism wouldn't be a useful strategy without sympathetic media coverage. This article does a good job of pointing that out. Some key passages:

"In fact, it is the media themselves who are criminally complicit in the internment of Gaza's civilians in the line of fire. They could stop the terrorists simply by headlining Hamas' responsibility for the plight of the Arabs of Gaza, over and over again. That's the real story --- if only they could headline the facts right in front of their eyes. But they don't.

That shows us the real values of CNN and BBC; morally they are no better than the terrorists. The media are essential to the Kabuki play of terror, response, and renewed terror. They are constantly fanning the flames...

The next time you turn on CNN, remember that you are looking at smiling faces that knowingly collude in the deaths of civilians, both Jews and Arabs. Without the leftist media there is no payoff for terrorists. Shut off the oxygen of publicity and Hamas shrivels to a powerless gang of thugs."

The whole thing is worth reading - and passing along to your less perceptive friends.

PBS host says "we're all working for Barack Obama"

It's supposed to be illegal for taxpayer supported PBS to take sides politically, but we all know that only applies to Republicans. PBS host Tavis Smiley knows which party he and his fellow PBS people support - "we're all working for Barack Obama". At least he's honest about his dishonesty. Via Newsbusters.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Proof of Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai massacre

Former Pakistani ISI chief Hamid Gul.

From The Long War blog, "The Pakistan-based handlers of the Mumbai terrorists ordered the murders of civilians over the phone and cheered after hearing the gunfire, according to the dossier of evidence India provided to the Pakistani government." Former Pakistani Intelligence chief Hamid Gul has been implicated as one of the handlers.

Pakistan has a lot to answer for in this incident, but is likely to do as little as possible since Islam allows Muslims to kill non-Muslims without penalty. India should conduct an airstrike on the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group, which has facilities in Pakistan and which was behind the Mumbai attack. This is not the first, nor will it be the last terrorist attack by Pakistani based Muslims on Indian civilians.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (Urdu for "Army of the Pious") was also blamed in the December 2001 suicide attack on the New Delhi parliament building that left 12 dead, and the June 2002 car-bomb attack on the US consulate in Karachi that killed least 11. The New Delhi attack brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war, and prompted Islamabad to formally ban the group.

It was then blamed again in the August 2003 Mumbai car-bomb attack that killed nearly 50. After the July 2006 Mumbai rail attacks that killed 180, the group's founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed was placed under house arrest in Lahore. He is one of some 20 militant suspects that India is now demanding be turned over.

It's time for India to make it clear that these attacks will not go unanswered.

In the stranger than fiction catagory

There are lots of reasons not to like windmills - their high cost, unreliability, need for 100% backup power, ugliness of the gigantic structures in rural landscapes, noise, bird killing, etc., etc. Apparently UFO's don't like them either, because in Britain, according to news reports, a UFO apparently attacked a giant windmill and tore off one of its 65' blades. Numerous witnesses saw the incident, and officials are baffled. Score one for UFO's against batty environmentalists.

Sarah Palin, the media, and intelligence

Here's a post election interview with Sarah Palin. Writing about the experience, the interviewer makes these comments,

"One of the things you quickly learn when you visit the Palins is that the legend created around who they are and how they live is no myth. It appears to be absolutely real and everything about them seems 100% sincere...We saw the genuine Sarah Palin and it is patently obvious this is the only one who exists. She is the real deal.

As a former TV sportscaster and radio talk show host I’ve interviewed a lot big-time “celebrities,” and can honestly say that even though you could argue Sarah Palin was the most prominent, she is also by far the nicest, most sincere and seemingly honest subject I’ve ever questioned."

Sarah Palin was the object of the standard anti-conservative media smear machine, and it has been successful at affecting the perceptions of many Republicans as well as non-Republicans. I know several Republicans who decided to vote for Obama because of the Palin selection. These people had bought the media line that Palin wasn't intelligent or experienced enough to be Vice President. The part about experience is laughable, of course, because she demonstrably has more experience than The Messiah.

The part about intelligence is interesting because it has been used over and over again by the media/Democratic Party machine against Republican candidates for as long as I've been watching politics, which is getting to be a very long time. How many remember that Dwight Eisenhower's intelligence was compared unfavorably to Adlai Stevenson in the 1950's? The intellect of the guy who won the war in Europe couldn't compare to the many achievements of Mr. Stevenson.

Of course, Ronald Reagan was universally portrayed as a dunce by the MSM. As we know, he only solved the 2 seemingly unsolvable problems of his day - winning the cold war, and ending the pernicious economic malady known as "stagflation", which had been brought on by the same Keynesian economic policies that The Messiah is about to re-introduce. Both goals were almost universally thought to be impossible by the "experts" of the day.

By the time of George Bush the younger, this mantra was in full cry, no matter that Bush had gone to a little podunk school called Yale, achieving higher grades there than John Kerry, and went on to an advanced degree at Harvard Business School.

So anyone who remembers history should be innoculated by now against this very familiar theme, but surprisingly, even many older Republicans who should know better drink the liberal Kool-Aid.

So how should one evaluate the intelligence of a political candidate? According to the media, only 2 things matter: glibness and whether the candidate is a Democrat. Bill Clinton won the all time glibness award. His contribution to history was to studiously ignore Osama bin Laden while defending his definition of the word "is". John Kerry was anointed by the MSM as the more intelligent candidate in his run against Bush though he was a little short of Bush's grades and his glibness quotient was lower than average. So glibness and being a Democrat don't necessarily seem to be the best definitions of intelligence.

Given the need to translate ethereal intelligence into practical results, it would appear that two relevant standards for candidates for office are 1. who has demonstrated performance, and 2. who has better policy positions. It can truthfully be said that intelligence is as intelligence does. Bookish intelligence that doesn't translate into meaningful performance is useless, particularly in a high level executive job.

So how does Palin compare to The Messiah according to these criteria? As the mayor of her town, Chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission , and as Governor of Alaska, Palin has gotten rave reviews. Her 80% approval rating as governor at the time of her nomination to Vice Presidential candidate is as high as approval gets. Along the way, she rooted out corruption in her own party, challenged long-time Republican bigwigs for office, and trounced them. If this isn't intelligence defined by performance, I don't know what is.

How does it compare to The Messiah? He came up through one of the most corrupt political machines in the country and did nothing to challenge it. He associated with a list of corrupt and disgusting characters including his longtime mentor Rev. Wright, his financial angel and convicted felon Tony Rezko, who arranged an almost certainly corrupt transaction to help him buy his house, and former terrorist bomber William Ayers. He enthusiastically supported Gov. Blagojevitch, who promptly put The Messiah's Senate seat up for sale.

His Illinois Senate career was completely undistinguished, notable primarily for the number of "present" votes cast, and he made no mark during his brief national Senate experience other than immediately abandoning his job to campaign for still higher office. So if performance is a measure of intelligence...?

In terms of policy, The Messiah believes in virtually unlimited government spending and regulation. His tax policy is to increase taxes on the 10% of people who already pay 70% of income taxes in order to pay for a giant new welfare system (sold as "refundable tax credits") for half the population.

To reduce our dependence on imported energy he wants to ban electricity production using our most abundant domestic energy source, ban drilling for oil in new areas offshore and in Alaska, and stop development of vast domestic oil shale reserves which would make us independent of foreign oil for the next several hundred years. He's also against development of nuclear power until the day when environmental fanatics are happy with nuclear waste disposal, whatever century that might be.

Instead he wants create "millions of green jobs" building windmills, solar panels, and other massively subsidized schemes which have no potential to make the slightest dent in our oil imports, but will cause huge increases in domestic energy costs. He proudly states that energy prices will and should "skyrocket" under his plans. If this is "intelligence", I prefer dumb, please.

By contrast, Sarah Palin wants to open Alaska and offshore areas to drilling, and is probably the most pro-energy production politician on the national scene. Comparing these two candidates on energy, with Palin we have a chance to reduce our dependence on friends like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. With Obama, we'd better get used to kissing their feet, which Obama apparently wants to do anyway.

Perhaps the real question of intelligence is about the MSM itself. Its definition of intelligence includes the thrill Chris Matthews gets up his leg when he hears The Messiah speak. If that's your definition of intelligence, you should buy their smear tactics against Palin's intellect.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Rich" in US pay highest share of total taxes of any western country

According to the OECD, the international organization of advanced democracies, the United States has the most "progressive" tax system of any of its member nations. But, according to Obama, that economist extraordinaire, the "rich" aren't paying their fair share.

Here's the chart: (Sorry, but the blog program doesn't seem to let me format charts as charts.)

Percentage of total taxes and income for the top 10% of income earners

United States 45.1 33.5
Ireland 39.1 30.9
Italy 42.2 35.8
Australia 36.8 28.6
United Kingdom 38.6 32.3
New Zealand 35.9 30.3
Canada 35.8 29.3
Netherlands 35.2 27.5
Czech Republic 34.3 29.4
Germany 31.2 29.2
OECD-24 31.6 28.4
Finland 32.3 26.9
Slovak Republic 32.0 28.0
Luxembourg 30.3 26.4
Belgium 25.4 27.1
Austria 28.5 26.1
Korea 27.4 23.4
Poland 28.3 33.9
Japan 28.5 28.1
Norway 27.4 28.9
France 28.0 25.5
Denmark 26.2 25.7
Sweden 26.7 26.6
Iceland 21.6 24.0
Switzerland 20.9 23.5

It would be lovely if Obama understood that these are the people who have the capital to create jobs for other people, so the more money he takes from them, the fewer non-government jobs there will be. But any economic knowledge seems to be a disqualification for top political jobs.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Obama's new CIA director has no intelligence experience

Leon Panetta, another Clinton era re-tread for change, is being appointed Obama's CIA director even though he has never worked in intelligence. Makes sense - the least experienced President in history picks the least experienced intelligence chief in history.

But Panetta's got the one qualification none of the experienced candidates apparently had. He won't authorize "torture" - in leftist parlance that means such things as listening to elevator music - no matter what the circumstances.

A nuclear weapon about to go off in a western city and we hold a plotter who knows where and when? No moral problem - it's better to allow millions of our fellow citizens to be cooked in a nuclear fire than to harm one hair on the head of a terrorist mass murderer. It shows our moral superiority, you see, to those of us still around to appreciate it.

Al Qaeda and other terrorist orgs should be grateful to Obama for such a fine pick. As for the rest of us, the world's about to get a lot more dangerous. Fasten your seatbelts.

Student suing school for requiring leftist political views

It's well known that schools of "social work" are major bastions of leftist academic "thought". It is perhaps not so well known that they often actually require students to conform to leftist views as a condition of graduation. This is, or should be, patently illegal for any tax supported institution, but of course those silly little rules only apply to conservatives. Most conservatives wouldn't major in this field, partly because of philosophical differences with the programs, and partly because they don't want to put up with the hassle of facing overt hostility by instructors and fellow students.

This student, however, made the attempt, says he was "persecuted" for holding conservative views, and is suing the school and several professors. While few conservatives have the interest and gumption to attend such a school, it's great to see someone fighting back.

News article criticizing the AP for a "news article" on global warming

Monolithic media bias about global warming seems to be cracking just a little. Here's an article about an outrageously slanted Associated Press article on global warming, actually quoting dissenting scientists. While bias by the newspapers and other print media, and the television networks is well documented, another major biased source is the wire services, which now write "news" articles just like editorials. These organizations have enormous influence because they "wholesale" news stories to the rest of the media, and they've lost whatever credibility they once had as objective purveyors of the truth.

Great article on media bias about Israel

Many of you know that Melanie Phillips is an excellent conservative writer. Here's an article that's dead on about media bias concerning Israel vs. Hamas and Fatah. The fact that the Arabs have launched over 6,000 missiles at Israel over the past 6 years is treated like it's a weather report - oh, well, nothing to be done about it. But when Arab civilians are killed because terrorists try to live and "work" as close as possible to them, the media can't wait to trumpet the horror of it all.

Acts of kindness by the Israelis like treating Arab wounded in Israeli hospitals is minimized while atrocities committed by Hamas are minimized or not reported. The following is from a New York Times article about events at a Hamas controlled hospital that appeared briefly, then was taken down, doubtless for being too anti-Arab,

"Mr. Hajoj was carried out by young men pretending to transfer him to another ward. As he lay on the stretcher, he was shot in the left side of the head. Mr. Hajoj, like five others killed at the hospital this way in 24 hours, was accused of collaboration with Israel."

How many of the deaths reported by Arab sources were people murdered by Hamas? The media won't even ask the question.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Global Warming sensors = bad data

For those who haven't followed the subject closely, one of the many critiques of global warming is that supporting temperature data is extremely suspect. Not only is past data spotty and of questionable quality, even today, climate monitoring stations are often placed in extremely poor locations which guarantee unreliable data quality.

This is not supposed to be happening in this scientifically advanced age, but one wonders whether modern data stations are sited by the ghosts of the Three Stooges. This is a case in point. As the article points out, there couldn't be much more wrong with this site. And there are many, many sites like this.

If you read through the article, another big question about the data is mentioned - adjustments. The people in charge of producing temperature trend charts incorporate large numbers of adjustments to the raw data without any explanation of the algorithms being used, or even that the adjustments are being inserted at all, so it is impossible to have any confidence in this data.

Israel and Gaza

As Israel embarks on yet another incursion into Gaza to try to stop incessant rocket attacks from there into Israel, the futility of this exercise as a way of permanently stopping these attacks is evident to almost everyone. The policy change Israel decided on to give up direct control of Gaza has to be seen as an abject failure. Far from improving the chance for peace, this policy has enabled Gaza to become a permanent launching pad for attacks against Israel.

None of Israel's incursions, no matter how extensive, will change the underlying dynamic, which is the determination of hardline Islamic groups to wage endless war until they achieve Israel's destruction. By giving them a base in Gaza and the West Bank, Israel has acquired new borders, on the other side of which are permanent guerrilla training and operations centers. When Israel withdraws from these areas, the hardline groups will inevitably reconstitute and resume their attacks. For Israel, it is a no-win situation.

So what policy could work? If one accepts Israel's right to exist, the root of the problem is the education of Palestinian children and the propaganda aimed at adults to create a sense of victimhood and of hatred for Israel. Unless the information flow to Palestinian children and adults in these areas is transformed, no progress toward peace is possible without the destruction of Israel.

So the only policy which could possibly work is to re-occupy these areas and to concentrate on the education of children, and the suppression of hardline Islamic propaganda. As long as children are taught to become suicide bombers and adults are subjected to nonstop anti Israeli propaganda, there can be no peace. Under these circumstances, the destruction of Israel is just a matter of time.

Predator drones decimating Al Qaeda leadership

This article describes losses that the Al Qaeda leadership, mostly based in Pakistan, has been suffering from strikes by unmanned Predator aircraft. Many of the top leaders have been picked off, and the rest are nervously watching the sky. May they sleep well, forever.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Son of Hamas leader denounces the organization

In this story, the son of a top Hamas leader tells a reporter about Hamas leaders torturing their own members, and his progressive disillusionment with the organization and with Islam itself. Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of the founders of Hamas, has renounced Islam and embraced Christianity. He is now in the United States and has asked for asylum.

He believes that peace between Hamas and Israel is impossible. He said, "There is no chance. Is there any chance for fire to co-exist with the water?" There is a short video clip of the interview with Yousef here. Fox will be running a longer version of the interview in a program called "Escape From Hamas" airing on Fox Saturday at 10pm, with repeats at 1am and 4am, EST, and Sunday at 9pm, with repeats at 12 midnight and 2am, EST.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

One of the awful effects of man made global warming, of course, is the melting of the Greenland snow cap leading to massive rises in ocean levels, flooding cities like Denver. The picture above shows an early warning radar station in Greenland back in 1967, before the snow melt had really accelerated. The picture below shows the same radar station after 40 years of melting.

Note the massive scale of this structure. The snow in the more recent picture has reached the top of the roof. Much more melting like this and we'll really be in trouble.

Castro's 50th Anniversary

The unfortunate people of Cuba have now been subjected to 50 years of oppression by the Castro regime. Almost as bad as the tyrannical rule by Castro and his myrmidons is the history of support for his dictatorship by the western media and many in the US government. You won't read about Castro's deadly legacy in the MSM, of course, which is why you have to read blogs these days to get any truth. Here's an article laying out some of the facts - including the despicable roles the CIA and the New York Times had in bringing this tyrant to power.

This is another article showing some of the economic effects of 50 years of communist rule, including these interesting statistics:

"Its inflation-adjusted gross domestic product is a mere 5% of what it was in 1958, the year before Castro took over, according to Jorge Salazar-Carillo of Florida International University."

"It's a major failure," Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a University of Pittsburgh economist, told IBD. "Cuba is unable to increase food production to meet its needs and now imports 84% of its food. Cuba produced 7 million tons of sugar in 1952. This year, it's 1.5 million tons. This is the result of economic policy of collectivization, killing of individual incentive, inefficiency, constant changes of policy."

Yet his friends in the American press, who always call him Cuba's "leader", rather than "dictator", will celebrate his anniversary as if the poor, impoverished people of Cuba had anything to be happy about.