Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Debunking revisionist history

Kerry & MSM Continue To Contaminate History

Pino Noir

Is it OK to question this guy's patriotism? I ask, because he is on the public dime.
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

Yesterday afternoon, I logged on to the "Global War" blog (global-war.bloghi.com) of Associate Professor Julio Pino - a Muslim convert who teaches at Kent State University. The heading for the site used to read "The Worldwide Web of Jihad: Daily News from the Most Dangerous Muslim in America." Now it reads "Are You Prepared for Jihad?" IN THE NAME OF OBL. 2007: THE YEAR OF ISLAMIC VICTORY!"

Hardly able to believe what I was reading, I called Pino at his office in Ohio around 4 p.m. According to his secretary, he had not been at work that day (he only has office hours two days of the week). He was drawing a paycheck from the people of the State of Ohio while trying to launch a Jihad against people like me. In fact, just five minutes before I called he posted an entry under the title "Crusaders Can't Take Anymore in Afghanistan!"

Pino began his morning of not going into his office at Kent State by penning a post under the title "Frightened British Crusaders Rush More Troops to Occupied Afghanistan." Using terms like "occupation" and "Crusaders" it isn't really necessary to read these posts in order to ascertain who this employee of the State of Ohio is rooting for in the War on Terror. ...
Professor Pino apparently teaches Latin American History at Kent State. One of his courses is titled "History of Women in Latin America," about which he writes:
The major challenge I have faced in preparing the class to write their essays has been confronting the stereotypes that students brought with them concerning gender in Latin America. Too many Americans think they know all about how females and males are supposed to behave south of the United States border with Mexico. American-made movies, television news and popular magazines all portray a land filled with aggressive machos addicted to a cult of virility and patient Marias—the humble females who dedicate themselves to the spiritual and moral sphere of life, sacrificing everything for the family. I have tried to get students to reflect on the socio-economic roots of such behavior, and why women of the lower classes are particularly at risk from both physical violence and sexual discrimination. These are: the prevalence in many countries of an agro-export economy with few jobs for women; the low-levels of industrialization which consign many urban women to housework; the high illiteracy rates, especially in the countryside; and the denial of political rights by authoritarian regimes. Few of my students, raised in middle class America, are comfortable with the idea that economic growth can come at the expense of women, a theme pursued in Third World feminist literature but not by the American press.

My class has normally attracted a dozen students, with a minority of females. ...
You can only wonder how he reconciles his condemnation of "physical violence and sexual discrimination" directed at Latin American females with Islamist misogyny. That is probably "left to the student."

There are obvious holes in the education of Kent State students, and the Chairman of the History Department should move to fill them by requiring the uniquely qualified Professor Pino to prepare 3 courses titled:
  1. "Comparative Feminism: Origins of Islamist Practices of Clitorectomy and Honor Killing as a Factor in Unemployment Among Latin American Females."
  2. "Female Illiteracy under the Taliban: Consequences of Female Education as a Capital Offense."
  3. "The Benefits of Religio-Patriarchal Extremism for Islamic Women."
Pino thinks he's good at "confronting the stereotypes." This would be a chance to 1- put a whole new spin on the Honor Killing stereotype of "sacrificing everything for the family," 2- demonstrate that not even a "minority of females" are fit to be educated, and 3- since most Latin Americans are Catholics, give the Pope some much needed relief from NOW's criticisms.

Oh, and the entire History faculty should be required to attend, and attain at least a "C" grade in these important studies, as a condition of continued employment. Either that, or all students signing up for his classes must read the Professor's blog and write a report demonstrating they understand his writings.

H/T Drudge

Monday, February 26, 2007

Property

Amy Ridenour notes that Peyton Knight is nonplussed by a Loudoun County Virginia “smart-growth,” “environmentalist” - one Andrea McGimsey. McGimsey favors a massive Federal initiative to rescind property rights, the “Journey Through Hallowed Ground.” Aside from "slow bleed," the Left always seems to have nice labels.

McGimsey’s puzzling question, “Whose taxes are paying for your property rights?”, she purports to answer in the same breath, “Mine are.” To rational beings, this is indeed bizarre. Unless McGimsey thinks she has some ownership interest in your property, how can her property taxes be relevant? I will suggest some possible translations.

McGimsey could say this because she believes property rights are rights granted by the government, not rights the government cannot take away. In this scenario, when the government takes your money, it grants you provisionary property rights. Property taxes are tribute. McGimsey thinks she has an ownership interest in your property, ipso facto, because a government exists. I favor this explanation, but there are others.

McGimsey could mean that without government to enforce contract law, private property would be a meaningless phrase. This has some merit. However, we suspect this is not her meaning because she says it in order to counter arguments favoring limited government. She argues that her property taxes enable, and therefore circumscribe, your property rights. This can only be an argument from privilege.

A bald statement of her position leads us to a third interpretation, related to the meaning of the term "rights." Ms. McGimsey may be convinced that her enjoyment of the rural character of Loudoun County trumps the rights of other property owners. She expects that paying taxes justifies total control of her environmental ambience. This might be summarized as - "I pay property taxes, in part, to protect the value of my property. My property will be worth more if I restrict how you use yours."

In passing we should note that the Center for Public Policy Research...”disapproved of the proposed management entity that would control the JTHG because taxpayers would have no say in determining its leadership.” And well they should disapprove: This is Confiscation without Representation.

Statists believe they have the right to constrain your pursuit of life, liberty and happiness in favor of their definition of greater good. As voters, this makes them troubling. As bureaucrats it makes them dangerous. Ms. McGimsey appears to qualify twice. She favors eminent domain by stealth.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Attack on the 21st Amendment

AKA, Repeal-Repeal.

There is another Islam-and-ethanol kerfuffle taking place, this time in Philadelphia. It's about moving a retail sales location nearer a Mosque. The University of Pennsylvania's student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, reports:

Potential move brings potential conflict
Possible move of liquor store to 43rd, Walnut brings protest from local mosque


For students living on Beige Block, the potential move of the liquor store closer to the area may be a godsend.

But to Ahmed Rushdie, the news is nothing less than "insulting."

Officials familiar with the negotiations say that there are talks to move the 41st and Market streets liquor store to 43rd and Walnut streets, a location close in proximity to a K-8 school and a community mosque.

The Masjid Al-Jamia Mosque is located at 4228 Walnut St., while the Penn-Alexander school is at 4209 Spruce St.

Rushdie, a professor in Penn's Near Eastern Language and Civilizations Department and a board member of Masjid Al-Jamia, says the move raises serious issues for Muslims in the area - under Islamic law, it is illegal for Muslims to consume alcohol.

OK, then don't.

Also, it's OK if you don't buy E-85. Feel free to refuse to live next to an ethanol factory. Let no OTC cough syrup pass your lips. Gargle not with Listerine. Divest yourself of all investments in wineries, brewing companies, distillers, or restaurants that serve drinks - don't forget your mutual funds. Mount a petition drive for a County ballot initiative to go "dry."

When you've achieved sufficient personal distance from ethanol, come back and we'll discuss where we should locate the liquor stores. We'll consider demands that punishment for student imbibing be expulsion for a first offense. We'll contemplate banning alcohol at all University functions, from faculty dinners to Communion in a University chapel.

But wait, there's a bigger immediate problem.An online commenter to the story notes:


What this article fails to mention is that there is a Beer distributor at 43rd and Walnut directly across 43rd from the mosque and exactly one block from the school.

But, despite the fact ethanol is already being traded in its vicinity, it isn't all about the Mosque:


College junior Artina Sheikh, vice president of the Penn Muslim Student Association, also spoke out against the possible relocation.

"The MSA is extremely concerned over this issue and objects to this establishment because of the moral implications of permitting wider distribution of alcohol to society at large," she said.

The logical conclusion here is that we need much narrower distribution of alcohol; the best case obviously being NONE. We last looked at this issue in 1933, maybe it is time to reconsider... ... Nah.

The case can't just be: "It is too near a school and to close to a center of religious devotion. It violates the zoning requirements. We oppose any deviation from the zoning law." Instead, it has to be a religious insult with moral implications for society at large. Not the community. Society. In such cases, you don't just fight the zoning board on the basis of existing law.

Upgrade

Updated and bumped. I can't get three columns to work right, despite some effort. Apologies to those who may have stumbled onto a scrambled blog while I was trying it. Some changes can't be tested without posting them. I need to set up a test blog.

I did get the blogroll/links better organized. Any comments or suggestions will be considered.

I don't like how Day by Day works, especially the Sunday layout where you have to scroll over, back and down. I'm still thinking about it.

I am upgrading the TOC template. Missing features will be restored.
Posted by Hershblogger at 2/24/2007 10:23:00 AM

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Consumer driven health care


Here is an interesting post on market driven health care from National Center Blog's David Hogberg, who picks a bone with someone named Matthew Holt.

Holt uses LASIK eye-surgery as an argument against consumer driven health care. Since LASIK cost has fallen 30 inflation-adjusted percentage points in the last decade and since customer satisfaction averages 93 percent, it seems a poor example. Apparently, Mr. Holt's complaints are that consumers are not well enough informed, and that advertising fails to reveal that the services of all providers are not identical.

The National Center Blog does a fine job of pointing out that this objection is basically twaddle, but let me add a bit, including a personal experience and some prognostication.

I'm near the front edge of the baby boomer cohort and until very recently, had had no experience with any medical condition that could be considered chronic, i.e. with long term implications. The short version of the story is that at the urging of my better half I undertook a sleep study to find a cure for what she claimed was a snoring problem.

The diagnosis of sleep apnea offered a choice of 60 percent successful surgery requiring an overnight stay in an ICU and 4 weeks of recovery, much of it very painful, or a potentially uncomfortable machine which I would probably have to use every night for the rest of my life.

I decided I'd try the machine first. I was naturally interested in the comfort features most likely to allow me to avoid surgery. So, I did some research. There is no central information source for these machines, but there are many vendors on the internet and a multitude of discussion groups and even blogs. I discovered a great deal about the machines
through advertising, and I settled on certain features.

Armed with an idea about what I should look for, much in the way I would research a car or a major appliance, I obtained a second opinion and a prescription for this "Class A Medical Device." I expected my final decision to be made after a visit to some kind of showroom where I could estimate the utility for travel, the control functions, features I may not have already discovered and general reputation of various manufacturer's offerings. That is, I wanted to speak with a salesman.

Such a place only exists on the internet. Instead, I received a call from the respiratory technician of my doctor's choice, who informed me he had a particular device ready and could deliver it in a couple of days. I asked about the features that were important to me, features that had never been discussed with me by anyone in the not-consumer driven health care arena. I was informed that I did not need those features because my prescription did not specify them. I informed him that since I would likely be using this thing for the rest of my life, I thought the features did matter. After a great deal of goofing about with a health care system that had already decided I was not competent to participate in this decision, I got what I wanted.

The point is that the "health care system" isn't really prepared for consumer choice. The prognostication is, that as more baby boomers bump into such issues, they will bring both their expectations of consumer choice and their intransigent feelings of "specialness" to bear in ways the health care system had better get ready to appreciate, even if Matthew Holt never does.

LASIK enjoys 93% customer satisfaction because it involves cutting your eyes with a laser. I bet people tend to be interested in the success rates even more than I was with my machine.

Now, add to that the fact that a Health Savings Account combines the tax reduction advantages of a traditional IRA with the tax avoidance advantages of a Roth IRA. That is, contributions to an HSA are tax deductible and, if you spend the proceeds on health care they are never taxed.

You can pass on an HSA as an inheritance. You will not be able to do that with Mr. Holt's opinion.

Consumer interest in medical care is clear, and the market will supply more and more information as baby boomers demand it. We haven't had a free market in health care for decades and we don't have one now. Speculation about the dearth of this market is premature.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Birthday to The Other Club


Today is the 2nd anniversary of The Other Club. Thank you to all who have visited, and special thanks to those who have contributed their own thoughts.

There is a thread connecting the first 2 TOC posts and events of the past week. The meaning of "Support the Troops" devolved further into far-left sophistry, the Senate refused to have a debate on strategy in Iraq, and the House laid plans to undermine our soldiers in Iraq.

Here are the posts from 19-Feb-2005.


National Peoples Radio

In “Best of the Web Today”, 16-Feb,
http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110006300

James Taranto notes the following:

The Whine Spectator
Car-bumper exhortations to support the troops have NPR commentator Bob Sommer bent out of shape:

 *** QUOTE *** 
That curious phrase, "support our troops," on those yellow ribbon magnets seems to
accuse me of not doing my part. Then I realized that "support our troops" is a code!
It requires parsing.
Here's what I think it means: Those who presumably need to be admonished to
support the troops are those who oppose the decisions of the administration.
"Support our troops" means, then, that we should be supporting the war. I believe
that most yellow-magnet bearers want support not just for the troops, but for the
mission, the presence, the president.

Maybe the magnets should say: "Shut up and support our troops."
 *** END QUOTE ***


I would suggest the following response to Mr. Sommer:

The curious phrase "support NPR and PBS" that appears on state funded broadcast media seems to accuse me of intolerance for the posturing of leftist pseudo-intellectual bigots. It exhorts me to pay (as if I'm not already) for views with which I thoroughly disagree.

Then I realized it is a code. The phrase requires parsing.

It means: "Those who presumably must be admonished to pay my salary are those same redneck moralists who can't recognize superior intellect when they're exposed to it. The same ones who think Christo's "The Gates" in Central Park look like a bunch of traffic cones with rags attached, that Eason Jordan has loose lips and that Bill Moyers didn't deserve an entire career on the public teat."

"Support Public Broadcasting", then, means that we should be supporting left-wing ideologues even as they grow fat on our money and call us ignoramuses. I believe that most voluntary Public Broadcast supporters want not just forced monetary support from the rest of us, but support for calling us idiots, for their moonbat ideas, for Michael Moore and Teddy Kennedy.

How about a PBS ad saying: "Shut up and give me back my tax dollars!", or "Send us enough to retire and we'll shut this stinking thing down."?


TOC's second post provides some
perspective on the Battle of Iraq:


Flags of our Fathers

John Bradley, Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and Mike Strank are the Navy corpsman and Marines who, on 23-February-1945, raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi. It’s a famous picture.

Still, Suribachi’s island wasn’t declared secure until 26-March, and it was 7-April before American fighter planes took off from the refurbished runway so many had died to secure.

Describing the Americans who fought this battle, Admiral Nimitz uttered the words that appear on the Arlington Cemetery monument to that flag raising: "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue".

Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal said that “the raising of that flag on Suribachi means there will be a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.”

Thank you Marines. Semper Fi. 440 years to go; though I expect you’ve extended that a bit in the interim.

Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the death-struggle for Iwo Jima, in which over 2,000 Marines died in the first 18 hours of fighting.

In the next 36 days Marines had a casualty every 2 minutes. 6,821 Americans and over 20,000 Japanese died. Of 353 Medals of Honor awarded during WWII, 27 were given for heroism on Iwo Jima; 13 posthumously.

And this was not the end of the Pacific war. In fact, it was just the first battle on Japanese soil.

My appreciation of this battle, and my gratitude to those who fought it, grew immensely when I read a book given to me by a former Marine. That book is Flags of our Fathers, by James Bradley.

Bradley discovered that his father, a Navy corpsman who survived the battle of Iwo Jima
, had not only been awarded a Navy Cross for his efforts there, but was one of the men in the famous picture of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. He discovered this only after his father had died, as he sorted through his father’s papers.

Danielle Girdano is another person belatedly aware of her father’s contribution on Iwo Jima.

18 year old private first class Daniel Girdano, 4th Marine Division, 24th Regiment, 1st Battalion A Company, first saw Iwo Jima's beaches on 19-February-1945. His daughter learned what really happened there almost by accident. She bought a vial of Iwo Jima ash for her father as a Christmas present in 2003, and he could not speak of his experiences still. “He saw this vial of ash, and this man who I’ve known my entire life as the Rock of Gibraltar, broke down,” she said. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/westmoreland/s_303180.html

What she learned from her small gift resulted in the Legend of Heroes Memorial. A monument in glass, metal and wood; it has the faces of 10 Iwo Jima vets engraved on it. Her father is one of them. It is beginning a 49 state tour this weekend.

It is inscribed, "Boys became men, men became heroes, heroes became legends."

I am cowed by the modesty, even self-effacement, of men like Bradley’s and Girdano’s fathers; though it is typical of those WWII vets who saw soul-wrenching combat. Part of it is certainly the modesty becoming of a different era, but I think most of it arises from the pain their experiences brought. (Note to John Kerry – your eagerness, sustained for 30 years, to capitalize on your experiences of "atrocities" in Viet Nam
is one of the reasons you were not credible.)

I recommend Flags of our Fathers, but for a brief tour you should read Arthur Herman’s piece at: http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110006317

Herman also invokes contemporary issues via a perspective on the doubt and debate surrounding WWII strategies that most of us now think of as uncontroversial.

It it useful to note that there were no non-binding resolutions being debated in either the Senate or the House on the surge at Iwo Jima. There was no Murtha plan to "slowly choke off the war by stopping the deployment of troops from units that have been badly degraded by four years of combat." Much less 18 hours.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Electoral Strategy 2008


The registration refused to work for me yesterday, s0 I delayed posting this. It is worth checking out. Courtesy of Democracy Project.

A number of conservative luminaries have started The Victory Caucus. This isn’t hard conservatives ranting about RINO’s, a posture which I personally think is both needlessly insulting and stupid. This is responsible figures who place national security above party.

So the House vote is over , and the Democrats have had their day and their defeatist, non-binding resolution. So what do we do now?

We begin organizing in earnest to ensure that in November 2008, voters will have a slate of strong candidates who believe in Victory.

This will be a long and serious effort, but it starts now. We have established a team within the site that will focus on identifying strong candidates -- veterans, ideally --- as well as teams devoted to identifying White Flag Republicans and their antimatter opposites, the Blue Dog Democrats. These three groups will be at the forefront of our efforts to identify the districts where we can do the most good: whether that is to replace a defeatist Democrat with a new Republican victory candidate --- or to help a Blue Dog Democrat who is strong on the war take down a White Flag Republican. Here, party comes second: victory --- and country --- come first. If this sounds appealing to you, be sure to register, and then you can join the teams you feel you can best contribute to….

Hillary takes a stand


Attacks in Baghdad down by 80%

It's over. We don't need a surge. Pull American troops from Iraq.



... the wife of former President Bill Clinton... has been criticized by some Democrats for supporting authorization of the war in 2002 and for not renouncing her vote as she seeks the U.S. presidency in next year's election.

"Now it's time to say the redeployment should start in 90 days or the Congress will revoke authorization for this war," the New York senator [Hillary Rodham, Clinton] said in a video on her campaign Web site, repeating a point included in a bill she introduced on Friday.

John Edwards and Barack Obama beat her to it.

Irresolution


The following letter appeared in this morning's Lansing State Journal. Reading the first sentence, most people might expect that the author was preparing to excoriate Majority Leader Harry Reid for refusing to entertain more than a single recreational resolution regarding troop reinforcements in Iraq. Not exactly.


Take stand on Iraq


Senators who tuck tail and run from the most important debate in this country aren't fit to be a [sic] U.S. senator.

Well, that's exactly what Republicans are doing right now. The tricks that they are pulling in the Senate to avoid a real debate on Iraq are pure political cowardice.

Republicans are using a bunch of procedural nonsense and bogus amendments to prevent an up or down vote to see where each senator stands on George Bush's plan to escalate the war in Iraq.

These Republicans just don't get it. The people made it real clear in November that they have had it with King George's war. But Republicans apparently still haven't gotten the message.

These are not your father's Republicans. Stop supporting them just because your family always has and start paying attention.

Let's tell them today to quit the political tricks and allow a real debate on Iraq.

Gary Mathias
Haslett

In fact, all but 7 Republicans were joined by Joe Leiberman, who is "your father's Democrat" - the only one - in voting not to cut off debate. It was the Democrats who wanted debate to end, so they could display the courage of their resoutions to be non-binding. The "political trick" in play is same one the Democrats used over and over to prevent up or down votes on judicial nominations. They became the first to use a filibuster for this purpose in the history of the United States. Up until the Democrats used it in this fashion, it was a standard Senate procedure. It would be interesting to hear Mr. Mathias' opinion on that.

Here is the only resolution the Democrats will allow to be "debated:"



110th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 574

To express the sense of Congress on Iraq.
_______________________________________________________________________

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 13, 2007

Mr. Reid introduced the following bill; which was read the first time

February 14, 2007

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

A BILL


To express the sense of Congress on Iraq.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON IRAQ.

It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) Congress and the American people will continue to
support and protect the members of the United States Armed
Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably
in Iraq; and
(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President
George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more
than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

SEC. 2. FREQUENCY OF REPORTS ON CERTAIN ASPECTS OF POLICY AND
OPERATIONS.

The United States Policy in Iraq Act (section 1227 of Public Law
109-163; 119 Stat. 3465; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) is amended by adding at
the end the following new subsection:
``(d) Frequency of Reports on Certain Aspects of United States
Policy and Military Operations in Iraq.--Not later than 30 days after
the date of the enactment of this subsection, and every 30 days
thereafter until all United States combat brigades have redeployed from
Iraq, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the matters
set forth in paragraphs (1)(A), (1)(B), and (2) of subsection (c). To
the maximum extent practicable each report shall be unclassified, with
a classified annex if necessary.''.


Again, the vote to cut off debate was proposed by the Democrats, not the Republicans. The Republicans wanted to debate, and vote on, other resolutions on the topic. Harry Reid blocked any resolution except the Democrats', and refused to consider any amendments to it.

Here's an example, proposed by New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, of a resolution Harry Reid refused to consider:



"It is the sense of Congress that Congress should not take any action that will endanger United States military forces in the field, including the elimination or reduction of funds for troops in the field, as such action with respect to funding would undermine their safety or harm their effectiveness in pursing their assigned missions."

You might think, with Rep. John Murtha planning stealth funding cuts over in the House, that the more deliberative and wise Senate Democrats would welcome an opportunity to reject any strategy designed to subvert reinforcement of our troops, in general, while they are in harm's way. Mark Steyn notes this from the Washington Post:



"The Murtha plan, based on existing military guidelines, includes a stipulation that Army troops who have already served in Iraq must be granted two years at home before an additional deployment. . . . The idea is to slowly choke off the war by stopping the deployment of troops from units that have been badly degraded by four years of combat."

[Steyn]...as the endearingly honest anti-war group MoveCongress.org put it, in an e-mail preview of an exclusive interview with the wise old Murtha:

"Chairman Murtha will describe his strategy for not only limiting the deployment of troops to Iraq but undermining other aspects of the president's foreign and national security policy."

"Undermining"? Why not? To the Slow-Bleed Democrats, it's the Republicans' war. To an increasing number of what my radio pal Hugh Hewitt calls the White-Flag Republicans, it's Bush's war. To everyone else on the planet, it's America's war. And it will be America's defeat.

In another attempt at provoking a full debate, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., proposed a resolution backing Bush's plan to deploy 21,500 additional troops to Iraq. That resolution would also set firm benchmarks for the Iraqi government to achieve after the deployment.

Harry Reid also refused to allow this resolution to be introduced. If a debate were desirable, as contrasted with pure political opportunism, both resolutions should be presented for up or down votes.

Just what is the meaning of the term "debate" to Democrats and Mr. Mathias?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

If Jobs Really Matter ……


Posted for Paladin, who is temporarily disconnected:

Jobs. Michigan needs more jobs. Ask anyone. Read any newspaper. Listen to any politician. More jobs are what we need. Better jobs are what we need. Manufacturing jobs are what we need.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in the 20 years between 1986 and 2006 right-to-work States like Alabama, Texas, and South Carolina added 104,000 auto industry jobs while union-fair-play States like Michigan, New York, and Ohio have lost 130,000 auto industry jobs.

Union membership in the United States has gone from 34% in the fifties to 12% in 2006. How much longer can Michigan afford to ride this curve? Where are the politicians who really do care about jobs? And why don’t we elect them?

Unions were needed in the 1930s. Unions thrived from 1945-1970 in the environment of the auto industry quasi-monopoly. And as long as the monopoly lasted, Michigan’s “fair play” laws could not do serious damage.

Those days are gone. Only free markets for capital, goods, and labor can restore Michigan’s greatness.

17 and 7


Harry Reid
, 48 other Democrats and 7 GOP Senators -
The 7 Senators
Who Voted to have a Vote For Defeat in Iraq:
Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, John Warner, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, Chuck Hagel and Gordon Smith.

Nancy Pelosi, 228 other Democrats
and 17 House Republicans -
The 17 Republicans Who Voted For Defeat In Iraq

In case you think the Democrats actually support the troops, John Murtha notes that this was Not the 'Real Vote'.

No, the real votes intend to inflict a thousand cuts -
The Democrats' 'Slow-Bleed' Strategy

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Un-Levin'd Thread


Here is a comprehensive look at the topic of Dan Mulhern's anti-interview with Senator Carl Levin yesterday on WJIM.


This is a long post, as I am going to try and collect in one place the key documents and links a reader will need to understand that the [sic] another in the many attempts to rewrite history to serve an antiwar political agenda.

The key question: In the late '90s and early years of this decade, did the CIA do a good job in predicting 9/11 or assessing Saddam's WMD? Those two numbers and three letters provide the context for the sham "controversy" surrounding former Undersecretary Douglas Feith. Did the CIA see 9/11 coming? Did the agency produce any reports asserting boldly that Saddam did not have the WMD that everyone thought he did?

Was the CIA, in 2002, an agency to be trusted to get the big ones right?

Of course not. The professionals of the agency tried, but they failed. After 9/11 the professionals at the DoD decided to look hard at the intelligence product coming out of the CIA concerning al Qaeda and Saddam. Now partisans are attempting to argue that DoD shouldn't do such a thing --a conclusion that would be hilarious if it wasn't so dangerous.
Read the whole thing: The DoD, The CIA, 9/11 and WMD (Bumped With Updates)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The New York Times reports on the Grammys


Grammy Sweep by Dixie Chicks Is Seen as a Vindication


But analysts said it would be a mistake to read the Dixie Chicks wins as simply a reflection of left-leaning ideology rather than the desire of many voters to strike a blow for freedom of expression.
If it was a contest between "a reflection of left-leaning ideology" and "the desire of many voters to strike a blow for freedom of expression," it would definitely be a mistake to consider the award to be in any way related to musical excellence.

The market seems to agree - the Chicks 5-Grammy album ended up 16th on the Billboard 2006 album chart.

IG-norance


Mr. Jennifer Granholm, aka First Gentleman Dan Mulhern, was guest host on WJIM's Michael Patrick Shiels' show this morning. Mulhern perpetrated an "interview" with Senator Carl Levin on a topic for which he (Mulhern) was singularly ill prepared. The topic was a recent report by some Inspector General or other.

I put it that way because Mr. Mulhern did not know which Inspector General this was, what department the person serves or even if this person was male or female. For the record, that is the Department of Defense - where Mr. Thomas E. Gimble is Acting Inspector General.

Mr. Mulhern's abysmal ignorance did not prevent him from handing a soapbox to Senator Carl Levin, after an introduction so effusive as to bring tears to one's eyes - if one's name is Carl Levin. Most everyone else probably found themselves tending more toward emesis than lachrymation.

Levin seized the otherwise dead air to reiterate the myth that George Bush had claimed there was a direct connection between the 9/11 terrorists and Saddam Hussein. That Bush never claimed this is well known. That there were connections between al-Qaeda and Hussein is well documented. TOC, courtesy of Power Line Video, posted a cut from ABC News demonstrating this here.

Mr. Mulhern had no idea there is an alternate point of view on this topic. I mean, some androgynous, anonymous Inspector General's report - a report you've obviously never even seen summarized - must be interpreted solely by Carl Levin. I'm sure this gullibility made it easier for Mulhern to treat one of the most partisan of the players involved in the issue as a latter-day combination of Diogenes and Lincoln.

He could have Googled "Inspector General" - Gimble is the first hit. He could have checked the blogs - wingnut or moonbat. He could even have read the Washington Post, which recently had to abjectly apologize for confusing the IG's report with polemics issued by Carl Levin's office in 2004. From this effort could have arisen an interesting question or three.

It was not to be, Mulhern wasn't even informed enough to confuse these issues, much less ask an intelligent question. Pitiful, just pitiful.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Close the door, and the light! stays! ON!


The Democrats' non-binding resolution to "support the troops, but not the mission" is even less useful than this feel good symbolism: Lights on, nobody home

Would that the Blue Surge Scoot crowd's "debate" also consumed only 5 minutes, and with similar import. For one thing, I'm sure our congressional shenanigans cost more in US dollars, and carbon dioxide emissions from the participants, than was saved by a brief blackout of the Eiffel tower.

For another thing, US congressional encouragement of Islamofascists is far more harmful than French municipal encouragement of global warming zealots. The global warmers represent a supernatural belief system committed to moving our economy and population to 7th century levels through attrition. The other guys want it done via beheadings.

"Nobody home," describes both the GWZ and Democrats pretty well.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be


Last Thursday, TOC engaged in a little instant nostalgia via an 2004 OpEd regarding Joe Wilson's lies about uranium, Niger and Saddam. This demonstrated that, once adopted by the MSM, certain Leftists tropes become the basis for "the story" and cannot be displaced despite overwhelming contrary evidence. "Joe Wilson lied" is the reality. "Bush lied" is the story.

In a similar vein, the Washington Post thoroughly embarrassed itself last week. In its eagerness to see conspiracy in the Bush administration, the Post confused Senator Carl Levin's polemics with a report from the Pentagon inspector general. Byron York sums it up here: Oops [Byron York].

Fact checking normally would include correctly attributing a source, don't you think? The Post's retraction is merely a more sophisticated version of Dan Rather's "Fake, but accurate." defense.

CNN weighs in with a report that the Democrats find it expedient to blame Doug Feith for being right. Powerline comments:



What will be lost in news accounts of the IG report and Levin's fulminations is that Feith's group was right. We know now that there were many connections between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda, and that Islamic groups of various stripes, including those labeled "secular" by the CIA, are entirely capable of collaborating against their common enemies.

The Pentagon inspector general conflates CIA's intelligence failures with manipulation of pre-war intelligence. In so doing, he is able to ignore historical fact and the report of the Senate committee on Select Intelligence as Power Line: A Trip Down Memory Lane



The current flap over the Pentagon Inspector General's report on Douglas Feith's Office of Special Plans has embarrassed the Associated Press, the Washington Post and, if he has any shame, the Inspector General. The controversy does have the merit, though, of raising once again the issue of the relationship between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda and other terrorists.

The Inspector General said it was "inappropriate" for Feith's group to question the wisdom of the CIA's dogma that Saddam Hussein, a "secularist," would never cooperate with bin Laden or other Islamic terrorists. There was a time, though, when the likelihood of such collaboration was widely reported and understood.

Here's the history they're trying to rewrite this week Courtesy of Power Line Video

An Inconvenient Survey


What's your score?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Show us the way John


I did say I'd consider voting for John McCain when he recanted on Campaign Finance Reform.

This is not exactly what I had in mind, however: McCain Taps Cash He Sought To Limit

I was thinking of a principled re-commitment to the 1st Amendment and a pledge to undo the damage he's already done. That would also level the playing field instead of favoring incumbents. That's probably why it does not occur to him.

1970's Climate Change predictions proven


SARCASM ALERT: Weather does not equal Climate, but after the fashion of those who were telling us last month how Unseasonably Warm = Anthropogenic Global Warming...

For those of you in upstate New York, this will help pass the time while Snow Continues to Pile Up and up.


"Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years."

Global Warming Turns People Gay

One More Time, For the Stupid People
H/T SDA

Václav Klaus about the IPCC panel

An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Global Warming tm as religion


Close upon the heels of the Union of Concerned Scientists' laughably biased survey, we have a Global Warming Smear from UK tabloids being reported straight up by the Washington Post after vigorous fact-checking. That is, they applied the standard pioneered by the New York Times' Jayson Blair and
infamously associated with Dan Rather.

As a result, the American Enterprise Institute is accosted by:


... Senators Bernard Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein and John Kerry sent a letter to Mr. DeMuth complaining that "should these reports be accurate," then "it would highlight the extent to which moneyed interests distort honest scientific and public policy discussions. . . . Does your donors' self-interest trump an honest discussion over the well-being of the planet?"
AEI is capable of defending itself, but the Volokh Conspiracy has more worth reading here.

It not just free speech these Copperheads want suppressed, it's the scientific method.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

16 words


Just in case there is someone out there who still does not believe Valerie Plame's lesser half Joe Wilson is a lying scumbag, or does believe that George Bush lied when he said: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Read this relatively restrained piece from Ann Coulter about the leading Oscar nominee for "Fastest Rewrite of History": Yellowcake and Yellow Journalism

The MSM know all this. TOC provided links here, and I wrote an OpEd that was published in the Lansing State Journal on the topic in July of 2004. I called it "Having your yellowcake and bleating it, too." I can't remember the LSJ title.



“Amazing” isn’t right, neither is “disappointing”. “Predictable” is banal and “hypocritical” is trite. Maybe just “sad” that there is an aversion to reality out there so powerful as to truly prefer the idea that George Bush is evil to any other idea whatever.

Last summer headlines were all atwitter with “BUSH LIED!!!” because Saddam may not have tried to buy uranium from Niger. This tempest in a parsing-pot was based on 16 words from the president's 2003 State of the Union Address. To wit, ''The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Most of the outrage became focused through a New York Times OpEd titled ''What I didn't find in Africa.'', by Joseph C. Wilson IV, the man the CIA sent to Niger to investigate. According to Wilson, he conclusively reported that there was no such attempt to buy uranium, but the White House ignored him, and lied to the American people in order to justify the Iraq War.

Wilson was hailed as a patriot by Vanity Fair magazine and The New York Times, awarded The Nation magazine's "Award for Truth-Telling" and given a lucrative book contract.

He subsequently campaigned with John Kerry in 6 states and is considered a senior foreign policy advisor. Kerry pays for Wilson’s Web-site, where Wilson states that; "...John Kerry...has the personal courage and integrity that I want in the leader of our great nation...” As we will see, so much for integrity; because Wilson’s allegations, true or not, merely represented an opportunity for the Democrat party and a story sympathetic to the views of the mainstream media.

CNN interminably replayed the “16 words”. The Democratic National Committee ran an ad saying "the administration knew it wasn't true". DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe agreed; "This may be the first time in recent memory that a president knowingly misled the American people during the State of the Union address." Sen. Carl Levin chimed in; "The statement that Iraq was attempting to acquire African uranium was not an inadvertent mistake." ''It's beginning to sound like Watergate,'' said Howard Dean.

John Kerry said Bush "misled every one of us.” This, as we have found out, is easy for Kerry to say.

These are serious charges, which, if they turned out to be untrue, could be expected to produce retractions and/or apologies.

On July 9th a Senate Intelligence Committee report reached the reasonable conclusion that Joe Wilson is a serial liar. They didn’t say that, of course, but they dismissed Wilson’s repeated claim that his wife (a CIA employee) had nothing to do with his assignment to investigate in Niger. They have the memo she signed recommending him. They further conclude that his report reinforced the conclusion that Saddam had approached Niger rather than the opposite he wrote for the NYT.

The committee also reported that the 16 words were an accurate assessment
, as did a British intelligence report released July 14th 2004, "We conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 ... was well-founded.".

The Senate committee went on to say it “… did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities."

Can we expect mea culpas now? Sorry, that’s rhetorical.

I remember a press conference where George Bush was hounded to apologize for the entire conduct of the war; but never having to say you’re sorry apparently only applies to love, Joe Wilson, high level Democrats and the mainstream media.

The fact that the MSM have known all this for years - they're even testifying about it at the Kafkaesque trial of Scooter Libby - and don't just merely ignore it, but still twist it 180 degrees - is disappointing if unsurprising. They continue to exploit Joe Wilson's lies to the detriment of the country.

Let's be clear, these lies may damage George Bush, but they damage the United States more by making it seem as if we are all as clueless as John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich and Dhimmi Carter.

The Blue Surge Scoot


The Democrats have tied the Senate in knots while they debate which version of a non-binding, non-confidence, nonsense-of-the-Senate motion to encourage al-Qaeda they want to pass.

Fortunately, life goes on - for a few less Islamofascists. Whole thing at the link.

Al Qaeda in Iraq Crumbling: al Masri on the run


Coalition forces in Iraq have delivered a series of stunning blows to al Qaeda in Iraq in the last 48 hours.

A key aide to Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the man who replaced Abu Musab al Zarqawi as the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, has been captured south of Baghdad. As A.J. Strata notes, the trail to the al Qaeda leader is fresh: the captured aide admitted to meeting with al Masri yesterday.

Since Taji is north of Baghdad, these two al Qaeda IED cell leaders captured by the U.S. in West Taji are not the same as those above. That's four al Qaeda leaders captured.

But four is such a lonely number. A facilitator of foreign fighters was captured by the Iarqi Army on the Syrian border. And foreign fighters tend to mean al Qaeda.

Not to be outdone by the IA, the U.S. struck two houses where foreign fighters had gathered---13 jihadis dead. An "individual" associated with foreign fighter facilitation was in the targeted area.

But wait, that's not all.

Top Iraqi official held in raid
Whole thing at the link.


US and Iraqi forces in Baghdad have arrested the deputy health minister during a raid at his offices.

The minister, Hakim al-Zamili, is a key member of the political group led by radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.

He is accused of aiding Shia militiamen and using ambulances to move weapons, a ministry source told the BBC.

Muqtada al-Sadr is the keyword as TOC has noted. If
al-Zamili is not charged and tried, things are not going well.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Conspiracy of silence


The Union of Concerned Scientists has claimed that there is a conspiracy by the Bush administration to intimidate and censor climatology scientists in the United States on the topic of Global Warming.

It's a conspiracy, all right, just not the one the real conspirators Union of Concerned Scientists claim it is. Read the whole thing at Real Clear Politics, but here's the intro:



In trying to prove that the Bush administration is throttling research into global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists rolled out some breathtakingly bad science.

The group unveiled a supposedly scientific survey of more than 1,600 federal climate scientists as evidence that the administration was engaged in "wide-ranging political interference in research related to global warming."

"The new evidence shows that political interference in climate science is no longer a series of isolated incidents but a system-wide epidemic," Dr. Francesca Grifo, Director of the UCS Scientific Integrity Program, said in a press release. "Tailoring scientific fact for political purposes has become a problem across many federal science agencies."

Grifo obviously doesn't' appreciate the irony when he trots out a poll that is so flawed that it is manifest evidence of exaggeration, incompetence or dishonesty on his group's part.

You don't have to be a social scientist to understand that the survey was deceptive, for example, when it lumped into the same category scientists who said they actually experienced the alleged tampering and scientists who simply "perceived" that it happened to someone else. For example, the group's press release said "Forty-three percent of respondents reported they had perceived or personally experienced changes or edits during review of their work that changed the meaning of their scientific findings." But turn to the study's appendix, and you'll find that only 15 percent of the respondents said that they had actually experienced such interference.

The Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University is mentioned in this article, but not linked. It should have been, so I'll correct the oversight.

In counterpoint to the Union of Concerned Scientists we have actual State intimidation of climatologists being practiced in Oregon: Global warming debate spurs Ore. title tiff



Should the state climatologist lose his title?

His opinions conflict not only with many other scientists, but with the state of Oregon's policies.

So the governor wants to take that title from Taylor and make it a position that he would appoint.

In an exclusive interview with KGW-TV, Governor Ted Kulongoski confirmed he wants to take that title from Taylor. The governor said Taylor's contradictions interfere with the state's stated goals to reduce greenhouse gases, the accepted cause of global warming in the eyes of a vast majority of scientists.

"He is Oregon State University's climatologist. He is not the state of Oregon's climatologist," Kulongoski said.

Kulongoski said the state needs a consistent message on reducing greenhouse gases to combat climate change.

The Governor says, "I just think there has to be somebody that says, 'this is the state position on this.'"
Governor, you just did. Why a scientist has to agree with you on a matter of expertise, his, not yours, is unclear. The scientific method demands that theories be subject to open debate. Theories that are not falsifiable because of religion - for example, creationism, cannot be called scientific. Making anthropogenic global warming into a religion will not get around that. But, just like Kansas seems to keep considering making the teaching of creationism mandatory, Oregon is free to make Kyotoism the State doctrine.

Good luck with that. I look forward to Oregon's achievement of its proportional Kyoto reductions in the very near future.
H/T Drudge Report

In closing, here's a very brief summary of changes in major IPCC predictions between 2001 and 2006.

Temperature increases down one-third.

Radiative forcing down to 1.6 watts per square meter from 2.43 watts - also down by one-third.

Maximum sea-level increases down one-half.

What's up is the "certainty" of human activity as the cause for warming we haven't been able to detect for the last 5 years. From 66 to 90 percent. Up almost one-third.

I'll bet when the certainty reaches 100% we'll find the temperature, sea-level and radiative forcing numbers drop to statistically insignificant levels.
H/T A Dog Named Kyoto

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"resolution of irresolution"


Perish the Thought reports What Joe Said --

That's Lieberman. On the Senate floor:



...This resolution is not about Congress taking responsibility. It is the opposite. It is a resolution of irresolution.

For the Senate to take up a symbolic vote of no confidence on the eve of a decisive battle is unprecedented, but it is not inconsequential. It is an act which, I fear, will discourage our troops, hearten our enemies, and showcase our disunity. And that is why I will vote against cloture.

If you believe that General Petraeus and his new strategy have a reasonable chance of success in Iraq, then you should resolve to support him and his troops through the difficult days ahead. On the other hand, if you believe that this new strategy is flawed or that our cause is hopeless in Iraq, then you should vote to stop it. Vote to cut off funds. Vote for a binding timeline for American withdrawal. If that is where your convictions lie, then have the courage of your convictions to accept the consequences of your convictions. That would be a resolution.

The non-binding measure before us, by contrast, is an accumulation of ambiguities and inconsistencies. It is at once for the war but also against the war. It pledges its support to the troops in the field but also washes its hands of what they are doing. It approves more troops for Anbar but not for Baghdad.

Click the link above. Read it all.

Role of the State


At Dust my Broom, Lisa makes a very interesting point about the powers of the state and how they are perceived.

The Second Amendment & NYC


Glenn Reynolds is Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee. Reynolds is also the Instapundit, an important and prolific blogger. His book An Army of Davids, is highly recommended.

So are these pieces on the Second Amendment.

Reynolds, Glenn Harlan, "A Critical Guide to the Second Amendment" . 62 Tenn. L. Rev. 461-511 (1995).

Reynolds, Glenn Harlan and Kates, Donald, "The Second Amendment and States' Rights: A Thought Experiment" . 36 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1737-1768 (1995)

Reynolds, Glenn Harlan and Denning, Brannon P., "Telling Miller's Tale" . 65 Law & Contemp. Probs. 113 (Spring 2002)

The Second Amendment is the reef upon which Rudy Giuliani's Presidential run may, and should, founder. Let us examine why the Second Amendment is a problem for the ex-Mayor.

Here, Guiliani tells Sean Hannity that he understands the Second Amendment to be optional depending upon demographics and circumstance.



HANNITY: Let me move on. And the issue of guns has come up a lot. When people talk about Mayor Giuliani, New York City had some of the toughest gun laws in the entire country. Do you support the right of people to carry handguns?

GIULIANI: I understand the Second Amendment. I support it. People have the right to bear arms. When I was mayor of New York, I took over at a very, very difficult time. We were averaging about 2,000 murders a year, 10,000...

HANNITY: You inherited those laws, the gun laws in New York?

GIULIANI: Yes, and I used them. I used them to help bring down homicide. We reduced homicide, I think, by 65-70 percent. And some of it was by taking guns out of the streets of New York City. [There is no evidence for this.]

So if you're talking about a city like New York, a densely populated area like New York, I think it's appropriate. You might have different laws other places, and maybe a lot of this gets resolved based on different states, different communities making decisions. After all, we do have a federal system of government in which you have the ability to accomplish that.

HANNITY: So you would support the state's rights to choose on specific gun laws?

GIULIANI: Yes, I mean, a place like New York that is densely populated, or maybe a place that is experiencing a serious crime problem, like a few cities are now, kind of coming back, thank goodness not New York, but some other cities, maybe you have one solution there and in another place, more rural, more suburban, other issues, you have a different set of rules.

HANNITY: But generally speaking, do you think it's acceptable if citizens have the right to carry a handgun?

GIULIANI: It's not only -- I mean, it's part of the Constitution. People have the right to bear arms. Then the restrictions of it have to be reasonable and sensible. You can't just remove that right. Y
ou've got to regulate, consistent with the Second Amendment.

HANNITY: How do you feel about the Brady bill and assault ban?

GIULIANI: I was in favor of that as part of the crime bill. I was in favor of it because I thought that it was necessary both to get the crime bill passed and also necessary with the 2,000 murders or so that we were looking at, 1,800, 1,900, to 2,000 murders, that I could use that in a tactical way to reduce crime. And I did.

The Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

What part of "shall not be infringed" is subject to the "reasonable and sensible" "tactical" requirements of the Mayor of New York City? What sort of Mayor favors violating the Constitution because the Brady Bill was "part of the crime bill." - because the ends justify the means?

Leaving abortion to the States, Rudy, in combination with appointing constructionist judges (a "trust me"), might even fly. Dodging "do you think it's acceptable if citizens have the right to carry a handgun?" with, "You've got to regulate, consistent with the Second Amendment.", will not.

And it makes me really, really wonder about what you mean by "
constructionist judges." Really, really wonder.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Michael Yon from Iraq


You can listen to the interview here: The Glenn and Helen Show: Michael Yon from Camp Victory

An excerpt, Michael Yon on the surge:


...it will be "unlike anything we've seen before"
I truly hope so. Godspeed to our soldiers and our allies. Confusion to our enemies.

As Joseph Heller said in Catch-22 - "The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on."

Also see:

Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette - Surging On


Twenty thousand additional troops are going in locked and loaded, and the enemy they'll confront is well aware of the enormous propaganda value of any action they take this week. As you read these words, American soldiers are counting ammunition, suicide bombers are preparing farewell videos, reporters are outlining stories, and speechwriters are typing furiously away.

As six million people in Baghdad wait and pray.

It ain't over 'til the Scientific Method stops screaming


1-
Climate of Opinion
"The latest U.N. report shows the "warming" debate is far from settled."


...U.N. scientists have relied heavily on computer models to predict future climate change, and these crystal balls are notoriously inaccurate. According to the models, for instance, global temperatures were supposed to have risen in recent years. Yet according to the U.S. National Climate Data Center, the world in 2006 was only 0.03 degrees Celsius warmer than it was in 2001--in the range of measurement error and thus not statistically significant.

The models also predicted that sea levels would rise much faster than they actually have. The models didn't predict the significant cooling the oceans have undergone since 2003--which is the opposite of what you'd expect with global warming. Cooler oceans have also put a damper on claims that global warming is the cause of more frequent or intense hurricanes. The models also failed to predict falling concentrations of methane in the atmosphere, another surprise.
This isn't really a surprise, Not only do these computer models not get the last few years right, they cannot even predict the past.

2-
An astrophysicist changes his mind.

The real deal?

"Against the grain: Some scientists deny global warming exists"


Astrophysicist Nir Shariv, one of Israel's top young scientists, describes the logic that led him -- and most everyone else -- to conclude that SUVs, coal plants and other things man-made cause global warming.

Step One
Scientists for decades have postulated that increases in carbon dioxide and other gases could lead to a greenhouse effect.

Step Two As if on cue, the temperature rose over the course of the 20th century while greenhouse gases proliferated due to human activities.

Step Three
No other mechanism explains the warming. Without another candidate, greenhouses gases necessarily became the cause.

Dr. Shariv, a prolific researcher who has made a name for himself assessing the movements of two-billion-year-old meteorites, no longer accepts this logic, or subscribes to these views. He has recanted: "Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media.

"In fact, there is much more than meets the eye."
3-
A climatologist objects.

Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?


...Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.

...Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970's global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990's temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I'll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.
4-
An independent summary from the Fraser Institute shows that the scientific evidence about global warming remains uncertain. The main points:


• Data collected by weather satellites since 1979 continue to exhibit little evidence of atmospheric warming, with estimated trends ranging from nearly zero to the low end of past IPCC forecasts. There is no significant warming in the tropical troposphere (the lowest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere), which accounts for half the world’s atmosphere, despite model predictions that warming should be amplified there.

• Temperature data collected at the surface exhibits an upward trend from 1900 to 1940, and again from 1979 to the present. Trends in the Southern Hemisphere are small compared to those in the Northern Hemisphere.

• There is no compelling evidence that dangerous or unprecedented changes are underway. Perceptions of increased extreme weather events are potentially due to increased reporting. There is too little data to reliably confirm these perceptions.

• There is no globally-consistent pattern in long-term precipitation trends, snow-covered area, or snow depth. Arctic sea ice thickness showed an abrupt loss prior to the 1990s, and the loss stopped shortly thereafter. There is insufficient data to conclude that there are any trends in Antarctic sea ice thickness.

• Current data suggest a global mean sea level rise of between two and three millimeters per year. Models project an increase of roughly 20 centimeters over the next 100 years, if accompanied by a warming of 2.0 to 4.5 degrees Celsius.

• Natural climatic variability is now believed to be substantially larger than previously estimated, as is the uncertainty associated with historical temperature reconstructions.

• Attributing an observed climate change to a specific cause like greenhouse gas emissions is not formally possible, and therefore relies on computer model simulations. These attribution studies do not take into account the basic uncertainty about climate models, or all potentially important influences like aerosols, solar activity, and land use changes.

• Computer models project a range of future forecasts, which are inherently uncertain for the coming century, especially at the regional level. It is not possible to say which, if any, of today’s climate models are reliable for climate prediction and forecasting.
The full text of the summary (64 pages, pdf), here:
Independent Summary for Policymakers
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report


You should read all of the links.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

One difference between cats and dogs


Ga. Crash Victim Says Dog Saved Her Life


THOMASVILLE, Ga. -- A south Georgia woman bloodied in a car wreck says she owes her life to a German shepherd who _ thankfully _ just wouldn't stay in his yard. Shannon Lorio says that after her car careened down an embankment, the wayward dog found her bruised and battered on the vehicle's trunk, pulled her by her shirt collar, dragged her about 50 yards through briars to a highway . . .
There are, of course, cats as large as German Shepherds - therefore physically capable of this feat.

However, such a cat is more likely to drag a person 50 yards away from the highway in order to enjoy an undisturbed meal.

Update 5:02PM : I did not forget about large canine predators in the wild. I've heard of Wolves. I understand I'm comparing domesticated canines to undomesticated felines.

The point being that,
aside from the fact Paris Hilton couldn't carry one in her handbag, there are reasons we haven't domesticated even Felis rufus at 20 pounds.

Next up would be Lynx canadensis topping out at maybe 40 pounds.

Comparable in weight to a Shepherd, we have the 90 - 150 pound Felis concolor.

"Nice kitty. How about a treat?! .......SIT! SIT!! .....................SH*T..."

"battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles"


Anti-missile missiles, then?

A- Politics first, science second

The University of Victoria's Andrew Weaver, official Canadian government climate modeller --and the CBC's go-to scientist for suggestive but unproven links between bad weather and climate change --blew himself right out the galaxy over the Fourth Assessment Report. "This isn't a smoking gun; climate is a battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles."

Somebody else said the report to be released in Paris on Friday contained an "explosion of new data."

All of this, however, is just the usual stage-managed showmanship that surrounds all climate science. First of all, what we are going to get on Friday is not the smoking gun, but the smoke without the gun, an explosion of data without the data, an intergalactic blast that never gets off the ground, the proof without the evidence.

B-
Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, was a special advisor to Margaret Thatcher from 1982 to 1986. He may be known to you as the person who sent this letter to Senators Snowe and Rockefeller on the occasion of their threats against ExxonMobil.

He is not a climatologist. In the following he is not acting as a scientist. He's simply fisking the IPCC Summary Report. Read the whole thing: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

Figures in the final draft of the UN’s fourth five-year report on climate change show that the previous report, in 2001, had overestimated the human influence on the climate since the Industrial Revolution by at least one-third.

Also, the UN, in its 2007 report, has more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches. It suggests that the rate of sea-level rise is up from 2mm/yr to 3mm/year – no more than one foot in a century.

UN scientists faced several problems their computer models had not predicted. Globally, temperature is not rising at all, and sea level is not rising anything like as fast as had been forecast. Concentrations of methane in the air are actually falling.

The Summary for Policymakers was issued February 2, 2007, but the report on which the Summary is based will not be published until May. This strange separation of the publication dates has raised in some minds the possibility that the Summary (written by political representatives of governments) will be taken as a basis for altering the science chapters (written by scientists, and supposedly finalized and closed in December 2006).

The draft of the science chapters, now being circulated to governments for last-minute comments, reveals that the tendency of computers to over-predict rises in temperature and sea level has forced a major rethink.

The report’s generally more cautiously-expressed projections confirm scientists’ warnings that the UN’s heavy reliance on computer models had exaggerated the temperature effect of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Previous reports in 1990, 1995 and 2001 had been progressively more alarmist. In the final draft of the new report there is a change in tone. Though carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, global temperature is not.

Figures from the US National Climate Data Center show 2006 as about 0.03 degrees Celsius
warmer worldwide than 2001. Since that is within the range of measurement error, global temperature has not risen in a statistically significant sense since the UN’s last report in 2001.

C-
Lord Monckton published an even more extensive examination of the IPCC's own data last November in the Sunday Telegraph. Apocalypse cancelled


D-
Professor Robert Giegengack, 67, teaches environmental analysis, a popular science elective among University of Pennsylvania arts and sciences undergrads.

With a master’s degree in geology from Colorado and a PhD from Yale he’s focused his research on rocks and climate change since 1970. He set up Penn’s environmental studies program, and ran it for more than three decades.

He isn’t getting grants from Big Oil. He voted for Gore in 2000 and says he’d probably vote for him again. He is credible politically and scientifically - and he’s not part of “the consensus.”

Philly Magazine reports further about Giegengack's analysis of global warming hysteria:

…He has described Al Gore’s documentary [An Inconvenient Truth] as “a political statement timed to present him as a presidential candidate in 2008.” And he added, “The glossy production is replete with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, and appeals to public fear as shamelessly as any other political statement that hopes to unite the public behind a particular ideology.”

… To determine temperatures and carbon dioxide levels in the distant past, scientists rely on what they call the “proxy record.” There weren’t thermometers. So researchers drill deep down into the Antarctic ice sheet and the ocean floor and pull up core samples, whose varying chemical elements let them gauge both the CO2 levels and the temperatures of the distant past.

…these core samples [in Giegengack’s view] from the polar ice and ocean floor help show that the Earth’s temperature and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been in lockstep for tens of thousands of years.

Of course, that was long before anybody was burning fossil fuels. So Giegengack tells his students they might want to consider that “natural” climatic temperature cycles control carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. That’s the crux of his argument with Gore’s view of global warming — he says carbon dioxide doesn’t control global temperature, and certainly not in a direct, linear way.

..."See," Gieg says, "the thing he [Gore] doesn’t mention is that there are 2.4 billion people in India and China who have launched a campaign that will increase their energy consumption by a factor of 10. No matter what we do. If we somehow cut our CO2 emissions in half, you wouldn’t be able to measure the difference because of the role played by India and China.

"It’s over. If CO2 is the problem, we’ve already lost."

When Gieg gets to this point in his argument, as he often does when talking about global warming, he gets a little frustrated. "I always get sidetracked because, first of all, the science isn’t good. Second, there are all these other interpretations for what we see. Third, it doesn’t make any difference, and fourth, it’s distracting us from environmental problems that really matter.” Among those, Gieg says, are the millions of people a year who die from smoking and two million people a year who die because they don’t have access to clean water.
Emphasis mine. The only difference spending a trillion dollars to implement Kyoto would make would be to waste the resources we would need to cope with the catastrophe the UN is predicting to be one-third less serious than it was 5 years ago.

The pity is that getting clean water to people is something the UN might actually be able to accomplish. Sure, it would cost 5 times as much as it should and take 3 times as long, but the UN's already had more than enough time and more than enough money.

The question is why those 2 million people are still dying every year from polluted water. One answer is that it's just easier for the UN to fret about Kyoto.

See also, other TOC posts.

H/T SDA

Update: 1:53PM Do NOT miss Mark's Steyn. What's so hot about fickle science?