Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is "W" Greener than Bigfoot Al?

This one is too good to miss.

Not that Bigfoot Al Gore's standard is a tough one to beat.

In 2001, this was in the Chicago Tribune. Of course, by the end of the article the author went on to try to cast it in the worst possible light.... (I'll make you follow the link to get to that part -- where he takes to task the idea that 4,000' is "shockingly small" for that kind of market. Hey, it's 1/7 the size of Bigfoot Al's 28,000 square foot Nashville mansion! Besides, this is about stunning hypocrisy, not about relative carbon footprints themselves.)

The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude

Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this "eco-friendly" dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.

This is President George W. Bush's "Texas White House" outside the small town of Crawford.

Did you hear about any of this? I doubt it. It doesn't cast "W" in the "correct" light.

But you've heard plenty about Bigfoot Al and his selfless crusade to save the planet since then, haven't you?

Al "Bigfoot" Gore

I think that's the perfect new nickname for him. :-)

Pass it on.

Bigfoot Spotted

Via House of Eratosthenes

So, Al Gore's carbon footprint comes to light. Well, not his total carbon footprint, but at least that of his mansion in Nashville.

And it's big. It's 221,000 kWh -- (that's according to his electric bill. None of this is apparently supplied by his touted solar panels - so none of that would be offset by them.) 20 times the national average household. And his mansion's Nashville Electric consumption went up by 2,200kWh per month from 2005-2006 according to Nashville Electric Service records.

But it's all ok, because he drives a hybrid and buys "carbon credits".

So let me get this straight. We're all dooming the planet by emitting Carbon Dioxide, and we really need to cut back on this stuff as much as we can, because the more we add, the worse the coastal flooding, gigantic hurricanes, severe drought, severe floods, extinctions -- all of the terrible stuff that'll come about due to our extravagance -- will be.

It's an emergency. We must stop this madness now. Or else ... !!!!! We're not messing around! This is real! Be very, very afraid!!!!

It's the CO2, right? The more CO2, the worse it will be. That's the bottom line.


CO2 is CO2, no matter where it comes from or what else you paid for on top of it. It goes into the same atmosphere, and would have the same impact that any CO2 released into the atmosphere might presumably have. Not only does the mansion use more than 20 times the average household, but its using 13% MORE than it did the year before -- while he jets all over the world telling everyone else they need to cut BACK Back back back or we're all DOOOMED Doomed doomed doomed!!!

It smacks of the kind of hypocrisy we saw in the Eiffel Tower Stunt.

If you really believed that you were destroying the planet and you had a conscience ... would ANY of this make sense at all?

Plus, according to this -- if you're rich, you can have as big a carbon footprint as you can "afford" and be blame-free. (Doesn't sound very "progressive" to me!) If you're not, well turn your thermostat down to 60 and buy a hybrid. Sure. You can afford one of those.

Incidentally, not that anyone'll listen, but the answer to our energy problems is probably... nuclear. But that's not something a leftie wants to hear, either.

Update: I call him Al "Bigfoot" Gore. via Michelle, Tigerhawk calls him a "Chickengreen"! Not bad, either.

Perfect Example of the "Change The Subject" tactic

Via Powerline.

Cheney re-states, for clarity, his statement on Al Queda's strategy and what Democrats' "re-deploy" policy would mean in light of it.

Al Qaeda functions on the basis that they think they can break our will. That's their fundamental underlying strategy, that if they can kill enough Americans or cause enough havoc, create enough chaos in Iraq, then we'll quit and go home. And my statement was that if we adopt the Pelosi policy, that then we will validate the strategy of al Qaeda.
How much clearer can you get than that? Where's the "spin"?

So do Democrats argue with his statement? Any of the premises? Well, no. Pelosi complains "how dare you question my patriotism?" And E.J. Dionne starts screaming about "smearing" and Scooter Libby.

When you can't argue with facts, change the subject. Often several times within the same sentence.

Statement: "If we abandon Iraq, we validate Al Queda's strategy"

"Counter" Statement: "But Imperial-Industrio-Bushitler-Halliburton-Cheney-ScooterGate! Dissent is Patriotic!"

update: Morgan observes the change the subject strategy in the Al Gore camp.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Weasles in Positions of Authority

This is politician speech. Weasel words:

“You cannot say as the president of the United States, ‘I welcome disagreement in a time of war,’ and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country,”
- Nanci Pelosi, regarding a disagreement with the Vice President

What she meant to say, if she said it in plain English, was

The President can't say he welcomes disagreement in a time of war and then have the Vice President go out and disagree with my disagreement by saying what I really mean but have been carefully avoiding explicitly saying.

It really pisses her off. How dare the Vice President do his best to assess what her position is and say it when she won't say it herself! How dare he try to pin a weasel down as to what her position is! Why, if she were forced to actually publicly take a clear position and state her plan of action, somebody might be able to, you know, criticize it. I'm sure that's like a violation of her free speech, or something.

Here's what Cheney actually said:

"If you're going to advocate a course of action that basically is withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, then you don't get to just do the fun part of that, that says, 'We'll, we're going to get out,' and appeal to your constituents on that basis"
Nothing in there about Nancy's Patriotism. He's saying she should stop weaseling and spell out her position. He wasn't questioning her Patriotism. He was questioning her honesty. He was challenging her to be upfront and honest with her constituents (and the rest of us).

Did she do it? No. Did she argue with anything he actually said? No. Her response amounts to "Daddy! Dick's saying I'm adopted again!!!! Tell him to stop!" when all Dick was doing was saying she should stop hedging about whether or not she intends to clean her room. He doesn't think, based on what she hasn't said and what she has done, that she's even thinking about it.

Well, Nancy, how 'bout it?

Can you tell me what Al Queda's strategy is? (Can you tell me, for that matter, what the "insurgent" strategy is -- when their actions can be differentiated from Al Queda's? )

Can you tell me what your perferred Iraq strategy is? ("Not whatever Bush does" is not a valid answer.)

Dick thinks your strategy is to abandon Iraq. Is he wrong? Dick thinks that Al Queda's strategy is to prey on the West's poor stomach for blood and do just enough to stay in the headlines so that America will leave and Al Queda can declare victory. I've read a few documents of theirs and listened to Bin Laden and Zawahiri say pretty much excactly that.

Is Dick wrong about that?

What are the consequences of leaving Iraq unstable right now? (note that "well it's all Bush's fault" or "we shouldn't have gone in the first place" does not answer that question).

I think Dick's dead on to what you're about and he struck a nerve. You struck back by going directly to chapter one in the Progressive Argument Handbook. Call 'em a name and change the subject.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Operation Baghdad

If you haven't looked at Iraq the Model in a while, I'd recommend going and taking a look. I used to read him a lot. He went into a posting lull for a while.

But he's been back for a while now, and the Iraqi Baghdad resident gives us an inside look at a real person with real fear and real hope.

It's a reminder that "de-escalation" or "re-deployment" would have real consequences for real people, real Iraqis.

If you're a Democrat, I double-urge you to read it.

NPR described yesterday's insurgent attack on an Iraqi/American military post as "brazen", "daring", and "significant". How many US/Iraqi attacks have been described with such heroic modifiers?

Democrats are busy condemning -- condemning this change in strategy as a continuation of the old strategy. They are afraid it might succeed. If it does succeed, they will claim that they forced the change in strategy. This will ring hollow against the backdrop of their non-binding resolution, but the public has a short memory in this "All Anna Nicole Smith, All the Time" day and age. Besides, isn't American Idol on?

Anyway. Go read.


Paul Mirengoff at Powerline observes:
But diplomats too often fail to appreciate this because their initiatives take on a life of their own. The imperative becomes brokering a deal without much regard to whether it will accomplish our objectives and serve our interests. We saw this with Oslo, and we almost saw it at Camp David under Clinton. We've seen it once with North Korea, and now we seem to be seeing it again.

And that's one answer to the Democrats when they ask what the harm is in talking with Iran. The last thing we need is for a Condi Rice or a Madeleine Albright to become obsessed with getting Iran's signature on a piece of paper, any piece of paper.

Friday, February 16, 2007


I feel almost guilty about linking Morgan again, as if this is just some sort of big back-patting fest, which it is not.

In what started out (as his posts often do) as a slightly meandering post -- it meanders to places it needs to in order to pick up the steam it needs in the end to be a truly powerful piece. When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.

I think he's on to something about Journalists and Journalism in this post.

Hey, I promise it'll be better than what I would have written on it.

Hot January?

Scott Johnson at Powerline makes a point about the short period of time we've been keeping global temperature records... since 1880, as the AP article he sites mentions. 127 years.

"Normal", as in "Normal temperatures" in climatology terms (the way it's used on your local weather forecast) means "the average over the last 30 years". Most people probably aren't aware of that. It probably helps foster the belief that there is a "normal" that the earth is "supposed to be". So we've been through a little over 4 of such cycles since we "started keeping records".

I have to wonder how global temperature readings were taken in 1880. Today we have remote-sensing satellites and myraid buoys, far more thermometers and the urban heat island effect. One wonders whether we are comparing apples to oranges over this short period of time, or even apples to pears -- and what significance we can really expect to ascribe to the resulting numbers over 127 years.

Mean time, it's been mighty cold here in the midwest this January/February. That's related to why it's been unusually warm in Siberia... the global circulation has been such that it's dumped air from there across the pole and down upon us (this may be related to El Niño -- I'm not sure, but odds are good). If you push in here, it'll bulge out there.

I love the current shift from calling it "Global Warming" to "Global Climate Change" -- that way, no matter how climate changes... and it will change, it always has ... it can be blamed on humans.

It's not really important whether the earth is warming or cooling. What's important is to cast it as human damage to the planet.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Putting 9/11 into perspective

Professor Bell writes an opinion piece in the LA Times "Putting 9/11 into perspective". He certainly puts it in a perspective, though it's not a very coherent one.

One thing he says in his summary paragraph of the Islamists:
To fight them effectively, we need coolness, resolve and stamina. But we also need to overcome long habit and remind ourselves that not every enemy is in fact a threat to our existence.

Now I know lefties disagree with me strongly, but I believe that the first sentence describes Bush's approach. He's shown coolness in not panicking when things haven't gone well. He's kept his focus, and he's emphasized resolve and stamina -- two things glaringly absent in the language and proposed actions of his opponents.

The second sentence doesn't even really make much sense. If by enemy we mean "someone who doesn't like you", then maybe I can see it. But in the context of international relationships, an enemy is pretty much by definition a threat to our existence. Al Queda's writings and communiques explicity threaten our existence, and they believe they can bring us down precisely because people among us will make arguments like Prof. Bell does in his article.

When someone threatens my existence, especially when they do it repeatedly and with much bravado, and even more especially when they back it up with actions -- I don't know, I kinda take it as a ... what's the phrase I'm looking for? Oh yeah, a threat to my existence. Call my crazy.

Lee Harris of TCS Daily wrote an impressive rebuttal. In his summary paragraph, he writes:

.... it may well turn out that the USA, instead of overreacting, failed to react strongly and forcefully enough. 9/11 as an act of unprovoked aggression is without parallel, and those who celebrated it throughout the Muslim world did so with complete impunity. In the eyes of our enemy, our failure to respond immediately and indiscriminately to the attack has not been chalked up to our humanitarian zeal, but to our weakness.
If you've read Al Queda's stuff and watched Muslim reactions all over the world, it's hard to disagree.

Five for Fighting gets a second listen from me

Don't remember where the link was I followed that landed me on the Glenn & Helen Show's website to this interview with Five For Fighting's John Ondrasik. Ok, so we find out that John is Five for Fighting and it's a sad comment on our culture and the music industry -- and also a bit amusing -- on how that name came to be and we don't just know him as John Ondrasik (like say we would a Phil Collins or a James Taylor or a Bob Zimmerman... oh... wait).

I was impressed by how personable and well-grounded this guy is. His self-assuredness, his wry assessment of fleeting success, his emphasis on his family, and the fact that he's not afraid to come out and frankly and eloquently express his world view when it is so different from everyone around him in his line of work.

I've heard "100 Years" and "Superman" and never gave them much thought. I never even knew the names of those songs, I just recognized them when I've heard them. It's a prejudice I've developed against his vocal style, because I associate it with what I call "whiner rock". That shows you where prejudice will get you. I should know better after being a music fan for... well all my life.

After listening to this interview I'm eager to listen to the rest of his stuff. I may have to move him into the Ben Folds category -- another guy I learned to like when I forced myself to get past initial impressions.

Anyway, about 12 minutes into the interview, and for about the next 6.5 minutes or so, is a particularly interesting bit of the interview that echoes almost excactly what I've kept coming back to here for the last several posts. That it's easy to rant and protest:

"... it's easy to stand up and call Bush a liar, and say war is bad under any circumstance and have have all your friends pat you on the back..."

"... it's easy to be a rebel, it's easy to stand up on a soapbox and complain and throw stones and call people names. It's much harder to offer an alternative solution or come up with some kind of thoughtful discussion -- and I see that, I think that's reflected both in music and in our leadership. And again I sometimes shake my head and I wouldn't say I'm ashamed to be a part of the music community, I just wish that there'd be a little more serious thought when we're facing such serious times."
Can I get an "Amen" from the back pew?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Listen up, Pelosi

Do you still think that the War on Terror is not in Iraq, Nancy? Zawahiri considers what happens there very important to their cause:

These traitors in Iraq and Afghanistan must face their inevitable fate and face up to the inescapable facts. America--which was transformed from the "Great Satan" into the "Closest Ally"--is about to depart and abandon them, just as it abandoned their like in Vietnam. If the Mujahadeen have--by the grace of God--broken the back of America will its agents hold their own against them in the absence of America?

And these countries must know that America doesn't thank anyone for serving it and there is a lesson for them in the fate of the Shah and final days of Arafat.

But let's listen to Nancy Pelosi, shall we? Iraq has nothing to do with the WOT.



Populist movements and Socialism

Socialist movements invariably rise on the heels of populist movements.

I have a theory that we are being groomed by socialists through issues like AGW and universal health care to elect Democrats to office, where they can claim a "mandate for change" and implement European Socialism right here at home.

On Ellen Goodman's Holocaust Hot Air

A look at No change in political climate - by Ellen Goodman

On the day that the latest report on global warming was released, I went out and bought a light bulb. OK, an environmentally friendly, compact fluorescent light bulb.
Thus illustrating the narcissistic impulse I have alluded to in other posts. Hey, Ellen, I've had them all over my non-progressive household for years.

Even the Prius in our driveway doesn't do a whole lot to reduce my carbon footprint, which is roughly the size of the Yeti lurking in the (melting) Himalayas.
Ah, and you have a Hybrid, too. Nice way to work that in with a little bit of self-deprication thrown in to show us that you're really humble about your image in the mirror. "Hey, at least I'm trying." Ever see the South Park episode, "Smug Alert"?

By every measure, the U N 's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change raises the level of alarm.
That would likely be due to the fact that it's the entire reason for its existence.

I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny.
But you can't. And I'm slightly impressed that you didn't. Well ... not quite.

Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.
Which is totally the same thing, right? I mean, denying something that actually happened that is well documented from the inside (Nazi documents) and outside (what Allies found when they came across the camps) and from people who were there -- it's totally the same as denying that something that crude and practically useless climate models have predicted that hasn't happened and there's no documentation of it at all ... since it's in the future. Yeah, Ellen, I'm followin' ya.

But light bulbs aside -- I now have three and counting --
Three??!! (and counting!) Woah, Ellen, you must really be concerned. You and the Eiffel Tower folks.

I don't expect that this report will set off some vast political uprising. The sorry fact is that the rising world thermometer hasn't translated into political climate change in America.
No, that got set off a long time ago, and it's gathering strength every day because of daily articles like yours asserting that it's fact when it isn't. (oops. Denier! Denier!) And it's a "sorry" fact, you know, since it's "true" and all.

One reason is that while poles are melting and polar bears are swimming between ice floes, American politics has remained polarized.
Ah, the blame America bandwagon. And this has never happened before, either. The Climate™ is in Fragile Balance™ and a change in just a degree or two means Certain Disaster™ for the Environment™. It couldn't possibly be something that has gone in cycles since the beginning of life on earth and before. No, no. Polar bears have always been able to saunter casually from Alaska to Siberia, and it's a tragedy that they can't anymore, and it's all our fault. Why, it's their right!!! Never mind the fact that the earth has been both dramatically warmer and dramatically colder than even the worst predictions of the various climate models -- all without human intervention. Shhhhh!!!! It doesn't help The Agenda™!

As Ross Gelbspan, author of "The Heat is On," says, "when people are confronted with an overwhelming threat and don't see a solution, it makes them feel impotent. So they shrug it off or go into deliberate denial."
I have a different theory: When people are confronted with an overwhelming threat and don't see a solution, many of them blame themselves -- because if it's something we're doing, then there's something we can do about it. It's psychologically easier than shrugging it off.

It also provides opportunities for moral self-righteousness. If I'm doing something about it and you're not, I'm better than you! Look, I buy compact flourescents and I drive a Hybrid!

Michael Shellenberger, co author of "The Death of Environmentalism," adds, "The dominant narrative of global warming has been that we're responsible and have to make changes or we're all going to die. It's tailor-made to ensure inaction."
Inaction? Au contraire. It's tailor made to appeal to people to buy in to for those who wish to set themselves apart from The Mainstream™. Alternative culture. Protest culture. And the Left accuses the Right of fear-mongering.
In addition, maybe we can turn denial into planning. "If the weatherman says there's a 75 percent chance of rain, you take your umbrella," Shellenberger tells groups.
Disregarding the fact that there are a lot of people who don't -- the weather man has a much better track record for forecasting today's and tomorrow's weather than it does a week or a month out, and as far as a year goes, fugeddaboudit. Five or Fifty years? The weatherman also has much more to lose. Tomorrow comes every day, and people will remember tomorrow what he said today. How many people remember the Global Cooling theory of the 70's and its urgent calls for policy change?
Even people who clutched denial as their last, best hope can prepare, he says, for the next Katrina.
Global warming should produce less severe hurricanes due to a warmer upper troposphere. But I know, Katrina Was Caused By Bush Not Signing Kyoto™ is an Established Fact™. Or so we are daily instructed to believe. Oh, and it's not because Clinton didn't sign it. No no. Besides, Al Gore did sign it, even though it was only symbolic and meant ... nothing -- but a political stunt.
The report is grim stuff.
The report won't be out until May. The politically motivated "Summary for Policy Makers" is. And there was no question that it would be grim before work on the report even started.
Can we change from debating global warming to preparing?
That's what progressives are desparately trying to do right now, because an actual debate on global warming leaves them a little short on facts. Confronted with facts they quickly change the subject to the motives of those presenting them rather than critical consideration of whether or not they're actually, you know ... true. Big Oil! Corporate Facists! Industry Stooges!

Grant whores.

Oops. Did I say that? Wow, lookie, I can call people names, too!

Narcissists. "I am angry and important!"

Yep. I guess I said that, too.
In America what matters now isn't environmental science, but political science.
Well, at last there's something we agree on.
We are still waiting for the time when an election hinges on a candidate's plans for a changing climate.
Who, excactly, is "we", Ellen? I'm thinkin' ... Democrats. Or maybe Socialists. But I repeat myself.
That's when the light bulb goes on.
And by that time you'll be up to, what, five?

Sowell Jumps in to the AGW fray

And he's more articulate than I am.

Global Hot Air

Global Hot Air, Part II

I guess this makes him the equivalent of a "Holocaust Denier".

(file under Global Warming)

Anti-Americanism Abroad

This is good.

If this keeps up, I'm going to have to consider moving to Australia, mate!

Liver & Ice Cream

Morgan Freeberg once again shows his uncanny propensity to be thinking about the same things I'm thinking about -- and in the same way. Speaking of the Democrats:

It’s just like liver and desert. There’s something we gotta get done…there’s something else that’s fun to do. It’s a human failing to do the thing that’s fun to do, instead of the thing that we know we need to get done — form a plan.

I’ve often heard it said that it’s a “conservative Republican canard” that Democrats have not yet formed a plan to deal with Iraq — that they have, they have, they have, and those poor oppressed Democrats, nobody’s talking about their plan. Well, how can we? They won’t talk about their plan. They just like to talk about how much they disapprove of the things that are going on…dessert before peas.
Except in today's day and age, progressivist parenting tends to rationalize that ice cream has eggs and milk -- which are nutritious -- so Bobbie really doesn't need to eat those peas in the end after all.

I have been mulling several related ideas lately -- and that is one of them -- and I need the time to congeal them into one post or coherent series of posts. But that first one that Morgan refers to... it's very easy to be against things. When you're against something, you get to sit back and second-guess what people who have actually formed a real plan and are doing something, that is, acting -- as in "taking action".

Acting is not going to the street with banners and signs and anger and moral outrage. That is very easy to do. I often hear from the Left that being openly anti-war is brave. Nobody likes war, so it's actually a very easy position to take. I submit that it is not brave at all, unless you have a workable, alternate action that you can show has a greater chance of attaining the same goal. Protesting had become for the left for the most part, an exercise in narcissism.

Nobody can criticize your solution because you have no solution to criticize. Your "solution" is to criticize.

The culture of moral outrage is long on name-calling and platitudes, and short on substance. Long on allegation and short on factual foundation.

Facts are usually the enemy of feel-good activist. They run from them like a cat from a vaccuum cleaner. They answer questions with questions. They change the subject to another in their rolodex of outrages and labels of Facism & Nazism ... or the latest fashion "corporate greed".

In politics in official settings like the house floor or press conferences or official statements -- progressivists spout vague ideals like "change of direction" and "new plan" without articulating a direction or a plan. It's not hard to figure out from their talks to special interest groups, when they're more certain they're safe in an echo chamber of homogeneous ideas, though to figure out what the apparentl "plan" for Iraq is. It's get out, and as soon as possible. The new direction is "away from Iraq". It's not toward something. It's away from something. Not to action, but away from action.

No matter what changes Bush makes in direction and strategy in this arena, it will be "more of a failed policy" because it's Bush. The Democrats' policy seems to be "not what Bush does". Anything he does. So there's this resolution on the floor to "support the troops" (whatever that means) but express "the American People's" .... "disapproval" of Bush's handling of the war.

Well, you know -- vague language can be handy. It's not hard to make the argument that the 17% swing from an approval of 51% to 34% was due to "disapproval" of the handling of the war. However, the next jump is from "disapproval" to "change of direction". And as we alluded above, "change of direction" means "out". But disapproval does not necessarily mean out. Disapproval, for many people, means "all out". Which at least this "surge" is a token effort at doing.

It seems to have gotten Al Sadr's attention.

But to the Democrats, this has never been about doing the right thing, it has been about vindication of their opposition to the invasion of Iraq, such that it was in the beginning. It's also about taking political advantage of windfall of the persistent anti-war campaign. The way I see it, once we actually invaded -- even if it was the wrong thing to do (and I don't think that's the case, but) -- the right thing to do from that point forward is an entirely different ball game.

If you sneak into a house and you shouldn't have, and say -- you cause a fire, it becomes your responsibility to see that that fire is put out before you leave. Simply leaving the house is no longer the right thing to do. It might have been before the fire was started, but that's not the case anymore. There's no do-over.

To the progressives, it's all about change, and whether we're ready to vote for someone of this color or that sex or another religion (as long as it isn't Christian) -- not about issues at all. Trust me, if America does not elect Hillary, it will be "because America isn't ready for a woman President" (which is bunk). If Obama wins the nomination and loses the election, it'll be because "America isn't ready for a Black president" (which is also bunk) or "America isn't ready for a president with Islamic ties"-- (which is probably not bunk, and for good reason at this point in history).

It's a narcissistic race to be seen as the most tolerant, the most anti-war, the most "green", the most "anti-corporate" ... and although they'll never use these excact words... the most anti-American (this is because it shows how tolerant and anti-war and anti-corporate you are).

I'm tolerant. I hate war. I want a clean environment with perserved wild spaces. And I'm a conservative.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This is the mentality we're dealing with

One of the main reasons I don't like shows like Hannity & Colmes, etc -- is, in fact, that rarely does anybody get time to complete a thought -- so the whole thing gets to be a waste of time.

So at first, I actually had some (some) sympathy for the Imam. But it became increasingly clear that the man was not interested in having a rational discussion on any topic remotely critical of Hamas or Ahmadinejad. In the end he was just screeching and sputtering pretty much incoherently. He was here to make political rants, and had no intention of addressing the issues raised.

Listen here.

Democrat's Islamic Invocation

On Friday, February 2, the Democratic National Comittee had the Imam of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn, MI deliver the invocation.

Just want to make sure we don't forget this the next time someone whines about somebody mentioning anything remotely Christian at any political event -- I mean, the man actually mentioned "God".

Monday, February 12, 2007

Arnold is F***ing Right

Arnold's Immigration F-Bomb

Is America sick and tired yet of taking everyone else's criticism and apologizing for daring to criticize anyone else? Even if we're criticizing people inside our own borders?

I am.

Hey illegal Latinos (not you Latinos who are here legally and behaving like Americans or guests of America) - if you don't like it, LEAVE!

ah, but "no human being is illegal", right? Cute. Bet I'd be illegal if I snuck into Mexico or Honduras "undocumented". Bet I'd be treated a like the criminal that would make me if I were caught. Get a clue. Something that is against the law is illegal. When you do something that is against the law, you do it ... illegally. It is an illegal action. "Immigration" (used loosely here) is an action. Someone who performs that action is an immigrant. If you performed that action illegally, you are an illegal immigrant. But that's in English. I don't know, maybe it works differently in en Español. Oh, that's right, that would make you an inmigrante ilegal.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lindzen on Larry King

The most telling bit in the Larry King Live exchange on AGW:

LINDZEN: I'm saying that we have seen a rate of temperature change that is not outside the range of what the climate does by itself. So --

NYE: You're saying the current rate is consistent with, for example, the ice score records? If that what you're saying, it's about the same speed as the record of the --

LINDZEN: The ice score records, excuse me, have a time resolution of 2,000 years. They couldn't tell you what's going on, on the scale you're talking about.

NYE: I disagree with that statement right there.

LINDZEN: Do you want to make this small wager on it?

KING: Go ahead, Bill.

NYE: I'll bet you a cup of coffee.

LINDZEN: how about a bottle of (INAUDIBLE).

NYE: I don't know what that is.

LINDZEN: Sixty dollars for a bottle of scotch.

NYE: Sure, it sounds fancy.

That's right. Like Paris is so concerned about AGW that it turned off its 650 megawatt decorative lights display for 5 minutes last friday... and then turned them back on ... Bill Nye, the Science Guy is willing to bet Dr. Lindzen of MIT ... a whole cup of coffee ... that the CO2 records in ice core samples are only good to a resolution of 2,000 years.

Lindzen wants to up it to a bottle of scotch. I knew he was my kind of guy.

AGW theory advocated are used to spouting claims without having to support them. We are simply instructed to believe them. When someone tries to hold them to a hard scientific fact, they change the subject.

Just check out the transcript of the show. How often was Lindzen interupted, or were his questions answered with another question that effectively changed the subject?

Censorship! Freedom of Speech!

A great observation, well put by Rand Simberg @ Terrestrial Musings:
I'm always amused when the first resort of the leftists, whenever they are criticized for what they [s]ay, is to cry "Censorship!" and "Freedom of Speech!" when no one has proposed censoring them. We are only asking them to grow up, and accept responsibility for what they say and write. The First Amendment only says that Congress can't pass a law to prevent you from speaking. It doesn't protect you from the real-world consequences of thoughtless speech.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Coulter Nails Libby Hypocrites

Ann on the Scooter Libby circus

... he's on trial for — at worst — misremembering who first told him that future reality show contestant Joseph Wilson was sent on a boondoggle to Niger by his wife, Valerie Plame.


The exact same people who are now demanding prison for Libby for not remembering who told him about Plame are the ones who told us it was perfectly plausible for Bill Clinton to forget that Monica Lewinsky repeatedly performed oral sex on him in the Oval Office. Even if chubby Jewish brunettes aren't your type, be honest: Which of the two events would stand out more in your memory?

That about sums it up, Ann. The whole thing was little more than a perjury fishing expedition in the desperate hope of "proving" that the White House was out-of-control sinister, like they believe it is.

We don't like BushHiltlerCheneyHalliburton. They're Corporate Facist Elitist and "Rich". Unlike HeinzKerry and Billary who give all of their money to the environment and the poor. So we don't like the fact that someone wants to discredit Wilson's report, because it took issue with a piece of evidence that supported an argument for going to war in Iraq. Oh look! Somebody leaked the name of a covert CIA agent in the process! It must have been CheneyHalliburton at the very least, hopefully BushHitler. Then we've nailed him! We'll wave our opposition to the death peanalty for this one!

Ooops. Plame isn't undercover? Well never mind that! Shhhhhhh!!!!!! Just keep shouting the original allegation loudly and often and nobody will notice!!!!! Waaaaah!!!! No crime was committed if she wasn't undercover. Ah, but Libby said he heard it on this date and this person said he heard it earlier than that -- even though it wasn't a crime to say "it" in the first place. It doesn't matter!!!!! He must be lying!!!! Perjury! Perjury! (well we've gotta nail someone to "prove" that the White House is the lying, sinister, Blood-for-Oil HalliburtonCheneyBushHitler place that it is!!!!)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Good Summary from Opinion Journal on AGW

From Climate of Opinion

This sums up my own view about as succinctly as possible:
While everyone concedes that the Earth is about a degree Celsius warmer than it was a century ago, the debate continues over the cause and consequences. We don't deny that carbon emissions may play a role, but we don't believe that the case is sufficiently proven to justify a revolution in global energy use.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Global Warming. Case Closed?

Well, if cases are closed by out-shouting any opposing points of view -- maybe.

Incidentally, spoiled brats are generally best at the art of shouting.

In this Time/CNN story, the illustrating photograph and caption illustrate part of the problem in the argument -- that being, if you assume A is the problem, then any problems that A might possibly have a hand in must, in fact, be due to A.

Here is the caption, which describes the picture enough that no reproduction is really necessary:
An Inupiat Eskimo walks on melting ice on top of the frozen Chukchi Sea in Shishmaref, Alaska. The town will have to be evacuated within the next few years because of global warming.

Really? I got curious. Where is Shismaref? How much of a sea level change have we had that a whole town would have to move already? How much above sea-level is this town anyway?

So I did a search. I found more than what I was looking for. I found out why, in fact, it's so close to sea level.

It's basically built on what amounts to a huge sand bar barrier island about 5 miles out into the Bearing Strait. And an Alaskan newspaper story which was linked from the page talked about the villiage having to be relocated -- not because of rising sea levels -- but due to massive erosion. Erosion of islands that were themselves products of erosion. These are the kinds of islands that are formed by storms and coastal currents, and it is a part of their nature to shift, change, move, disappear, and reappear (often farther along the coast).

Remember the story of the guy who built his house on sand?

The town is indeed just 25 feet above sea level in its highest spots, and is bordered by coastal marshes. Excavations have shown that people have lived on these islands for a few hundred years

The argument being made by the AGW believers who have studied it (as opposed to the vast majority -- who haven't) is not really rising sea-levels here (although they'd likely be more than happy to let you believe that.) It is instead that there's less shelf ice now that used to protect the sand bar from erosion, and much of the sand-bar's permafrost has thawed, accellerating erosion. This is not a new phenomenon, though. Apparently enough of this erosion took place before 1960 to cause the village to have to move once back then.

Erosion giveth, and erosion taketh away.

Did warmer local temperatures play a role? Probably. Is it because the global mean temperature has risen half a degree? Maybe. Is it due to catastrophic global warming? Not hardly. If catastrophic global warming were on the way, would this be one of the first places to go? No doubt it would be. Does the fact that the island is being eroded into temporary extinction (in geoligic time) mean that the predicted global warming is obviously here? No way. Not from by any use of scientific method I've ever seen.

The fact of the matter is, that big sand bar got there somehow. Storms churned the bottom and deposited it in the shallow coastal waters, and it didn't do it when ice covered the Bearing Strait.

The earth warms and cools. Coastlines are not constant (barrier islands even less so). We can show this. Climate is not constant. We can show that. The Earth is not a delicately balanced, stable entity spinning in space. It was once so warm that there were giant cold blooded reptiles roaming in areas that have been icy for centuries. It's been so cold that glaciers covered most of North America. Delicate balance? Is there a "correct" state for the earth to be in, and "unnatural" humans are making it spin wildly out of control to some point of no return?

Who are you kidding?

The Yellowstone cauldron could explode any time and shut down life on earth as we know it down for thousands of years. It's happened (repeatedly) before. It'll happen again. Save the Planet? From what? Humans? We are surface mold, and a very thin layer of it at that. And we are a part of it. Maybe even just a phase its going through. We are not something that happened to the Earth. We are something the Earth is doing.

The report says that 2,500 "leading" scientists participated in the U.N.'s (there's your first clue) latest study by the IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

You read the word "leading", and you're supposed to think "ah, the best and the brightest". But who decides who is a "leading" scientist, or what constitutes a scientist at all for that matter?

A side question for you. What is the percentage of physicians in the make up of the PCRM (Physician's Comittee for Responsible Medicine?)

Answer: It's about 5%. Surprised? Wanna take anything they say with a little grain of salt now? I'm not saying that the makeup of the group of 2,500 IPPC people only included 5% scientists (but I'd be interested to find out how many of them were even meteorologists, much less climatologists just out of curiosity - it's one of the many questions nobody asks). But that's not my main point.

The point about the 5% is that you can call any group by any name you want, but that doesn't make the group what you called it. And if you are a scientist who doubts the Anthropological Global Warming theory, what do you think are the chances that you were invited to take part in this IPPC "study" and be a part of the scientific "debate"? When we have people like Al Gore calling for the censoring of anyone who dares to argue against AGW, I'm going to guess ... zero.

If you're going to invite only people who are pre-disposed to find what you're looking for, you're going to get a concensus on what you wanted a concensus on in the first place. This is not science.

I have a degree in meteorology, and I understand the science behind the AGW theory. I understand the physics and the chemistry. And I also understand how little we really know about how the whole system works (inputs, sinks, feedback) . I further understand that "balance" is a constantly shifting line with many, many factors contributing to the constant shifting -- many of which we really haven't quantified and some we may know little or nothing about. I further understand that we are a part of the equation and we can and do have input into the processes, however small that may be.

The data simply doesn't fit yesterday's model projections, and that's no surprise to me. It's no surprise not because I didn't believe them (I actually did when I first heard about them) -- but because I know that they are woefully incomplete. And there's no reason to believe that today's models are significantly more complete. I had people telling me 20 years ago that by now we'd be 1-6 degrees warmer ("probably" on the high end) than we were in 1986. We're not. Now I have people telling me ... pretty much 0.25-0.75 degrees warmer by 2020, and the 1-6 degrees (the true believers saying that's too conservative) won't get here until 2100. It's still based on woefully incomplete models.

And so, in recognition of this terrible problem that we are all causing and we must move heaven and earth to stop and do it now, Paris will turn the Eiffel Tower's lights display off.

For five minutes.

And then it will turn them back on.

That shows real comittment, real concern. 650 megawats a year, to make a piece of Paris look pretty at night. In the mean time, turn your thermostats down, and take public transportation to work.

This is politics, not science.
"Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen"
Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC
source http://www.friendsofscience.org