Monday, September 29, 2008

John Fund spoke here on Stealing Elections

Today I had lunch with John Fund of the Wall Street Journal and about 200 other supporters of Evergreen Freedom Foundation. John has recently updated his book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud threatens our Democracy with new material including Washington's 2004 accomplishment by Christine Gregoire. You can learn about the book and its theme at the Amazon link and the 2004 Washington Governor race was ably covered here by Stefan Sharkansky and others. So I won't go into their depths. The $700 billion bail-out bill was not on the agenda, but was unavoidable, so a couple of notes: - The tide turned against Secretary Paulson's bill when he went to the Republican caucus and referred to the Speaker and Majority Leader as "Nancy and Harry" but called their Republican near-counterparts "Boehner and Blunt." It was clear who are his friends. - Fund didn't take a position on the bill that was defeated today or suggest how to rewrite it. But he suggested a "Plan B" that can be implemented by President Bush tomorrow without action by Nancy and Harry and their Congress. (1) End "mark to market" which requires reflecting a reduced market value immediately even though the value might recover. This can cause insolvency even though recovery is possible. End it. (2) Index the capital gains on stocks for inflation. Now you (and your mutual funds, etc.) pay tax on the "gain" that is eaten away by inflation. End that. It would increase everyone's gains and would certainly cause some people to sell stocks they were holding to avoid paying the excessive taxes, thus freeing up some "frozen" funds to provide desperately needed liquidity. - ACORN, the "community organizer" group that has repeatedly been caught submitting voter registrations for nonexistent people and other voting fraud, has been big on pushing use of the Community Reorganization Act of 1977 which in the 1990s required banks to make risky loans, in effect making it illegal to do due diligence before making loans. Stealing Elections and the 2008 election - Barrack Obama was a very successful community organizer in a sub organization of ACORN. He rose to the top of ACORN and became, first, their national trainer, then their attorney. He doesn't brag about this (my emphasis). - The 1993 Motor Voter Act required the risky practices of registering people by mail and while getting driver's licenses without appearing before an election official. It opened the door. Illinois Governor Edgar refused to implement parts of Motor Voter he found unconstitutional. He was sued by attorney Barrack Obama on behalf of ACORN. He doesn't talk about this accomplishment - he won in court. - ACORN, the empire of vote fraud, cannot be audited or even tracked. It is not one organization, but 154 organizations in the same building. The $700 billion bail-out bill including 20%, that's $140 billion, for community organizations including ACORN. Cross-posted at Sound Politics. See also Obama will convict your for your speech.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Investigating the cause of the bank melt-down

This video traces the sources. People made 10s of millions and they weren't private industry executives. No. Public ownership and laws of Congress. It's over 9 minutes and the graphics go by fast; be prepared to pause for some of them. You Tube Surprised? Powerful Democrat Senators forced the banks to make risky loans. The risky loans turn bad... Now they blame the banks. This video was made by The Mouth Peace. His channel at You Tube.

Obama will convict you for your speech

Barrack Hussein Obama is now showing his true colors. Obama's team is getting people arrested and convicted for their political speech. Canada Free Press: Marxism stepped out of the shadows to make its first bold public outing in St. Louis, Missouri. Prosecutors and sheriffs from across Missouri have teamed up with something called the Barack Obama Truth Squad, announced KMOV’s News 4, at 6 p.m. “The Barack Obama campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign,” News 4 reported. “They want to remind voters that Obama is a Christian who wants to cut taxes for those making less than $250,000 a year,” said KMOV reporter John Mills. The Barack Obama Truth Squad is an initiative based on pure unadulterated Marxism, a Marxism where the end justifies the means. Through the Marxist dialectic, Marxists are taught to lie and to accuse their detractors of lying. Let it be remembered that on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama became the only truth. Check out the words of St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch (here), who says …”whether it is directly attributed to the campaign or to one of the soft money operations, if they’re not going to tell the truth, someone should step in and say `That’s not the truth, this is the truth’.” Strangely enough News 4 did not include Gov. Matt Blunt’s charge that Obama’s campaign was making an “abusive use of Missouri law enforcement” in their televised coverage of the Barack Obama Truth Squad. “St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Clare McCaskill have attached the stench of police state to the Obama-Biden campaign,” Blunt said in an official statement released Saturday. “What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment. “This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants

Don't irritate Albert Gore, Jr. by expecting him to only ask for the possible. He is calling for civil disobedience to stop building coal-fired power plant unless they use technology that doesn't exist yet. Impractical? Yes. Irresponsible? Yes. Out of touch? Far! Child Gore lives in an imaginary world where everything is possible and he always gets his own way. Yahoo! News UK: NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental crusader Al Gore urged young people on Wednesday to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon. The former U.S. vice president, whose climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Academy Award, told a philanthropic meeting in New York City that "the world has lost ground to the climate crisis." "If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause. "I believe for a carbon company to spend money convincing the stock-buying public that the risk from the global climate crisis is not that great represents a form of stock fraud because they are misrepresenting a material fact," he said. "I hope these state attorney generals around the country will take some action on that." The government says about 28 coal plants are under construction in the United States. Another 20 projects have permits or are near the start of construction. Scientists say carbon gases from burning fossil fuel for power and transport are a key factor in global warming. Carbon capture and storage could give coal power an extended lease on life by keeping power plants' greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere and easing climate change. But no commercial-scale project exists anywhere to demonstrate the technology, partly because it is expected to increase up-front capital costs by an additional 50 percent. So-called geo-sequestration of carbon sees carbon dioxide liquefied and pumped into underground rock layers for long term storage.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Movement to ban DDT cost millions of lives. Updated

Eliot Richardson, who has been a leading Seattleite for a couple of decades, wrote the fatal rules. His intentions were good. But his science was terrible. Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com:
I find it very disturbing that there is a one-woman play to glorify Rachel Carson and her radical approach of placing the "natural world" above all else, including human life ("Rachel Carson's voice heard in a play," Sept. 23). Writer Krista Ramsey stated that Rachel Carson's book, "Silent Spring," "changed the nation's thinking on pesticide use and started grassroots environmentalism." The most significant result of Carson's activism was the banning of DDT in the U.S. and, more critically, eliminating its availability in developing countries. DDT was a means to an end for Rachael Carson and the environmental activists expanding their power in the early 1960s. Unfortunately, they focused on a pesticide, with tragic results for millions of innocent people without a voice in their fate. Malaria in western countries had already been wiped out through the use of DDT, so only the developing countries were left to suffer. Africa suffered the most. Even now the innocent continue to suffer. The World Health Organization reported nearly a million malaria deaths, mostly children under 5 years, in 2006. It is widely accepted that Carson's science was flawed and slanted to promote her agenda. Reputable scientific evidence on the limited harmful effects of DDT was available to Carson but was ignored. The safe and necessary use of DDT is no longer debated among most of the environmental organizations. The Wall Street Journal said it best on Aug. 16, 2007: "Opponents of DDT are only ensuring more misery and death." Over 350 scientists, including Nobel laureates, have signed a letter arguing for the use of DDT. The loss of tens of millions of lives is a high price to pay for furthering Carson's agenda. I hope we don't celebrate it.
Update. For those who haven't seen the data. Malaria kills, but DDT eradicates it. From Junk Science:
"In May 1955 the Eighth World Health Assembly adopted a Global Malaria Eradication Campaign based on the widespread use of DDT against mosquitos and of antimalarial drugs to treat malaria and to eliminate the parasite in humans. As a result of the Campaign, malaria was eradicated by 1967 from all developed countries where the disease was endemic and large areas of tropical Asia and Latin America were freed from the risk of infection. Source: [Bull World Health Organ 1998;76(1):11-6]
Eradicated in all the developed countries! Eradicated. But then Rachel Carson's book caught the imagination. DDT was banned and the deaths mounted.
Rachel Carson sounded the initial alarm against DDT, but represented the science of DDT erroneously in her 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson wrote "Dr. DeWitt's now classic experiments [on quail and pheasants] have now established the fact that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched." DeWitt's 1956 article (in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) actually yielded a very different conclusion. Quail were fed 200 parts per million of DDT in all of their food throughout the breeding season. DeWitt reports that 80% of their eggs hatched, compared with the "control"" birds which hatched 83.9% of their eggs. Carson also omitted mention of DeWitt's report that "control" pheasants hatched only 57 percent of their eggs, while those that were fed high levels of DDT in all of their food for an entire year hatched more than 80% of their eggs. Population control advocates blamed DDT for increasing third world population. In the 1960s, World Health Organization authorities believed there was no alternative to the overpopulation problem but to assure than up to 40 percent of the children in poor nations would die of malaria. As an official of the Agency for International Development stated, "Rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing." Source: [Desowitz, RS. 1992. Malaria Capers, W.W. Norton & Company]
Hmmm... Too many people. DDT is ending deaths from malaria. IT's hard to believe, but some "experts" want people dead. Not themselves, of course. 10/7/08 Added. American Magazine on deaths due to banning DDT

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Chicago Schools

Obama and William Ayers worked together for years; Ayers is an unrepentant radical. What was Obama's record in his years leading the Chicago Annenberg Challenge? They spent $100 million. What did they get? They planted radical politics in the schools. Tell us about it, Obama.
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists. The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home. The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. ... In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC. CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down.
This is not guilt by association, but guilt by participation.

Rosenbergs: Still guilty after 60 years

One of my earliest memories is the execution of the Rosenbergs for spying. The Communist left has maintained they were innocent - the victims of a "witch hunt." But after 60 years of denial, Soviet documents and their collaborator both confirm their guilt. Even their son now admits the obvious. But the left will just move back to another defensive position, Clinton style: "It doesn't matter." Kathy Shadle at FrontPage Magazine: For close to sixty years, Morton Sobell dined out on his reputation as one of the innocent “progressives,” wrongly convicted, along with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, of spying for the Soviet Union. After his 1969 release from Alcatraz prison, Sobell was feted by communist regimes in Cuba and canonized by fellow leftists as yet another victim of a wicked American justice system. All that changed last week. Sobell, now 91, has finally admitted the truth. He really had been a Soviet spy – and so had Julius Rosenberg. As the New York Times – no right-wing tribune – put it in a recent report, the pair was part of “a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets classified military and industrial information, and what the American government described as the secret to the atomic bomb.” Sobell still maintains that the information he passed along to America’s enemies wasn’t especially significant, but he has at last abandoned the pretence, which he maintained for nearly half a century, that he was never a Soviet agent. Sobell’s confession is not coincidental. It came just days before the National Archives released long-secret grand jury testimony in the world famous Rosenberg espionage case. Nevertheless, it has definitively shattered one of the enduring myths of the progressive Left. For generations of leftists, the innocence of the Rosenbergs was an article of faith. It bolstered their self-image as noble, if misunderstood idealists, forever doomed to persecution by a corrupt American system. Columbia University professor Eric Foner’s claim that the Rosenberg’s were singled out as part of “a determined effort to root out dissent” was a typical expression of the Left’s revisionism. Sobell’s admission has exposed it as self-serving nonsense. The Rosenbergs’ were in fact guilty as charged. This much is apparent even to the Rosenbergs’ staunchest supporters: their children. Until Sobell’s confession, the Rosenbergs’ sons, Robert and Michael Meeropol, had championed their parents’ innocence. Even when declassified documents proved that Americans really had been spying for the Soviet Union, the Meeropols refused to acknowledge that their parents had been among them. As recently as two years ago, the Rosenbergs’ granddaughter, Rachel Meeropol, insisted that they “weren't guilty of what they were convicted of.” But even for the Meeropols, this defense is now indefensible. Michael Meeropol told the New York Times after Sobell’s confession, “I don't have any reason to doubt Morty.” Despite the overwhelming evidence of the Rosenbergs' guilt, however, the Left will, in its standard tradition, continue to sacrifice truth on the altar of ideals. Larry Schweikart, author of 48 Liberal Lies About American History, notes that popular college history textbooks continue to give the convicted spies the benefit of the doubt and that the latest revelations are unlikely to change what students will learn about the Rosenbergs. “Some [textbooks] will use the cover-up phrases, ‘questions remain,’ or ‘some still argue’ to imply that the case isn't solved,” Schweikart predicts. “Most will state that the Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage, but what they did ‘wasn't that important.’ ... The fact of the Rosenbergs’ guilt is of more than academic interest. During the Cold War, communist fellow travelers sought to undermine national security by exaggerating America’s abuses, often citing the Rosenbergs as an example. The trend continues today, as anti-war activists seek to portray terrorist captives as blameless victims caught in America’s clutches. It is no coincidence that Rachel Meeropol is a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents Guantanamo detainees. As Larry Schweikart observes, “The modern-day Rosenbergs are the defendants in the Guantanamo Bay court cases that will be coming up.” If so, Americans should rest assured that their country is on the right course.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bush Called For Reform of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac 17 Times in 2008 Alone... Dems Ignored Warnings

Gateway Pundit
For many years the President and his Administration have not only warned of the systemic consequences of financial turmoil at a housing government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) but also put forward thoughtful plans to reduce the risk that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would encounter such difficulties. President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times in 2008 alone before Congress acted. Unfortunately, these warnings went unheeded, as the President's repeated attempts to reform the supervision of these entities were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems.
The link has extensive documentation.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The drilling bill that bans drilling

The Dems have figured out that the public finds it reasonable to drill for more oil. But rather than allow it, they pull a PR stunt - a bill in Congress - to make it appear, but not allow more drilling. Don't fall for it. Jeff Jacoby digs in. The Boston Globe: ... It isn't a drilling bill, it's an anti-drilling bill. If it becomes law, nearly all the oil and gas in the Outer Continental Shelf would be off-limits forever. Q: Huh? The story says the bill "would allow offshore drilling as close as 50 miles from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts." It quotes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "It's time for an oil change in America, and this bill represents that." That's anti-drilling? A: C'mon: A few weeks ago, Pelosi was implacably opposed to letting the House vote on lifting the offshore drilling moratorium. "I'm trying to save the planet!" she told Politico. "I'm trying to save the planet!" You really think someone so sanctimoniously hostile to drilling just six weeks ago is all for it now? Q: But this bill - A: This bill permanently bans all drilling within 50 miles of the US coast, which just happens to be where most of the recoverable oil and gas reserves are. It permits drilling between 50 and 100 miles out only if the adjoining states agree - which they won't, since the bill denies them any share in the royalties the oil companies would have to pay, thereby eliminating any financial incentive for a state to say yes. Virtually all the oil off the California coast and beneath the Eastern Gulf of Mexico would be locked up for good. Don't be fooled: The only offshore drilling this bill really opens the door to would have to be 100 miles or more out to sea, where the oil companies have no infrastructure. Q: But the Democrats claim they are "expanding the availability of oil by at least 2 billion barrels." A: Do you know how much oil is out there? According to the Interior Department, the offshore areas where drilling is restricted contain more than 19 billion barrels - that's equal to 30 years of current imports from Saudi Arabia. The bill would deny Americans access to as much as nine-tenths of that oil. A good deal? I don't think so. Q: So what are you saying? The Pelosi bill is a sham? A: Call it a political maneuver. Democrats don't really mind high gasoline prices; more pain at the pump means reduced consumption of fossil-fuel, which they and their environmental allies blame for global warming. But with millions of constituents growing increasingly upset over $4-a-gallon gas, and with polls showing the public heavily in favor of lifting the drilling ban, they had to do something. Voila - Speaker Pelosi's bill: a feint of supporting offshore exploration that would actually make drilling more difficult...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Choose carefully the color you wear on the streets of Bangkok

Choose carefully the color you wear on the streets of Bangkok. Colors have meanings, you know. Bangkok Post Red or yellow? Green or orange? Blue or pink? - think carefully before choosing the colour of your outfits in this time of colour politics. Most people may have thought the colour war had reached its climax when the "reds" from the pro-Thaksin group clashed with the "yellows" from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) on Ratchadamnoen Avenue earlier this month. But the reds v yellows confrontation turned out to be only a preface of the colour battle, after the leading candidates in the gubernatorial race unveiled their election campaigns. Apart from the already-politicised colours like red and yellow, green, blue, orange, red and pink are now no longer just colours. They carry political baggage, at least in Bangkok. "Laggards tend to like light blue," commented No 2 city governor candidate Kriangsak Charoenwongsak. Light blue is the theme colour of his arch-rival Apirak Kosayodhin, the former governor who is now seeking a second term under the Democrat party banner. "I didn't mean to attack any person, but you have to agree with me that the blue-lovers are mostly slow-going people," said the 53-year-old independent candidate. The academic-turned-politician picked dark green, light green and yellow as his theme colours. Yellow symbolises wisdom, light green means the bloom of new ideas, while dark green represents a big tree that provides shade and fruit to others, Mr Kriangsak said. For Mr Apirak, light blue signifies a totally different meaning. "It's the colour of freshness, hope and the future. I want Bangkokians to help me create a bright future for our city together," he said. More importantly, light blue was the logo colour of the Democrats, said Mr Apirak. He also used it as his theme colour in the 2004 Bangkok governor race, and he won. Orange is the colour of choice for People Power party candidate Prapas Chongsanguan. He said he likes the colour because it looks "lively and energetic". When asked if the colour symbolises reconciliation, as it is a mixture of red and yellow, he chuckled: "Yes, maybe." Another leading candidate, Chuwit Kamolvisit, has bombarded Bangkok with black-and-red posters. "I'm not afraid that people will brand me as a member of the pro-Thaksin group," said Mr Chuwit, referring to the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), which uses red as their symbolic colour. During his campaign trips, Mr Chuwit always dons a white shirt with a big red "8" and his name stitched on it, plus a crimson tie. "I'm confident that I can talk to any group - from the UDD to the PAD," said the former massage parlour tycoon. Red helped catch people's eyes on his posters and billboards, while black stands for his straightforwardness, he added. No 7 candidate Leena Jangjanja, 49, comes in pink.

Obama wants obsolescence

Obama decried progress this week. Does he want to bring back the buggy whip manufacturers? By his logic: Yes. Best of the Web Today - "A new television ad released Wednesday by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign highlights the closure of Corning Inc.'s plant in State College, Pa., and accuses Washington with Sen. John McCain's help of selling out the workers," the Associated Press reports. So what did Corning make at the plant? The ad, which you can see here, does not say, but the AP story does: "glass tubes for television sets and computer monitors." It's hard to remember now, but in the olden days TV sets and computer monitors used a technology called cathode ray tubes. A CRT consisted of an electron gun that projects an image onto a fluorescent screen. In most cases the gun had to be some distance from the screen, with the entire assembly enclosed in glass, which meant that TVs were bulky and boxy (hence the term "idiot box"). In modern times, the CRT has given way to superior technologies such as plasma and liquid crystal, which take up less space and provide superior picture quality. This is an enormous blessing to all Americans who watch TV or use computers. It's hard to imagine a more backward-looking position than mourning the decline of the picture-tube industry. What'll Obama do next, promise to restore American supremacy in the manufacture of buggy whips, iron lungs and floppy disks?

Universal health care - People with dementia have a duty to die

The "dream" of universal health care is the nightmare of bureaucrats deciding who lives and who dies. Who gets care and who doesn’t. And that’s not just a matter of who pays. If the low-level clerk decides you don’t get care there is no way around him; you just don’t get the care. "No" means "no. Never. Not by any means." UK Mail Online:
Elderly people with dementia are 'wasting' the lives of those who have to care for them, one of the country's most influential experts on medical ethics said yesterday. Baroness Warnock said that for the old and sick who are contemplating dying, 'there is nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so'. Her remarks in an interview with a church journal were the first public suggestion from any expert with close links to Whitehall that euthanasia should not only be legal but that elderly people should be pressed towards death. Lady Warnock said: 'If you are demented, you are wasting people's lives, your family's lives, and you are wasting the resources of the National Health Service.'
November 4: Reader Jaxon led me to this blog post by JAJoe that fisks* a survey that claims to show that 80,000 US physicians have changed from opposition to support of big-government health care. But his job is easy: they changed one of their two questions to get the result they wanted. * "to fisk" is to check a writer's logic and sources to see if they support what he is saying when he claims they do. It is named after British journalist Robert Fisk. The term is applied when the writer is misusing his sources. That's lying in any other context. Wikipedia

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oops! Nets wrong on warming; Arctic ice still there

The lame-stream networks got caught in their bias again. The Arctic ice did not disappear on their cue. They tried, but failed Wrong again! It must stink being a network global warming alarmist. They just can't seem to get their stories straight. It's only been a couple months when the networks were screaming about Arctic ice disappearing this summer. And, no surprise, they were entirely wrong. By 1.74 million square miles. As Maxwell Smart used to say: "Missed it by that much." Less than three months ago, NBC's Anne Thompson was warning ominously of ice loss. "But this summer, some scientists say that ice could retreat so dramatically that open water covers the North Pole, so much so that you could sail across it." Or not. According to a September 16 National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) report, such predictions were off. Way off. NSIDC reported ice loss was less than in 2007. "On September 12, 2008, sea ice extent dropped to 4.52 million square kilometers (1.74 million square miles). This appears to have been the lowest point of the year, as sea has now begun its annual cycle of growth in response to autumn cooling," according to the organization. Two days after Thompson's report, on July 30, ABC weatherman Sam Champion told the "Good Morning America" audience that Arctic ice loss was on a record pace. "Every summer we're on a record pace for losing it last summer and this summer we're at the exact same pace." The NSIDC assessment makes it clear that claim was also wrong, calling it "above the record minimum set on September 16, 2007." "The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era. "

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Honor General Petraeus for leading Iraq out of its darkest moment

General David Petraeus gives the reins in Iraq to Gen. Odierno with a huge success under his belt. Few people expected success from his command and new approach - "the Surge." But he - they - pulled it off. Of course Senator McCain was an early believer in and seller of the surge strategy Times Online : When he assumed overall command in Iraq in February 2007, General David Petraeus described the situation as “hard but not hopeless”. It is important to remember that, in that grim time, his assessment ranked as cock-eyed optimism - not least in Washington. Two battles were raging in Iraq, with both American and Iraqi casualties horrifyingly high and shooting upwards. Lethal attacks by insurgents or al-Qaeda on coalition forces averaged 180 a day, while Iraq's Sunni and Shia communities were simultaneously tearing at each other's guts. In parts though not all of Iraq, death squads roamed at will, kidnapping, torturing and killing in an orgy of sectarian violence that sundered neighbourhoods and had families cowering in terror behind barred doors. On General Petraeus's first day touring Baghdad, 55 corpses lay decomposing in the streets, victims of sectarian killings. The national daily average of civilian deaths had topped 80. His mission was to implement the new strategy announced by George Bush the previous month: a surge deployment of five extra army brigades and three Marine units, aimed at reducing violence enough to create space for the economy to revive and political reconciliation to begin. That mission, tough enough in itself, was all but friendless back home in Washington. President Bush had ordered the surge in the teeth of opposition from the Pentagon's top generals and the State Department. In Congress, not only Barack Obama (more troops would worsen the violence) but Republicans such as Senator Chuck Hagel (it would be “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam”) were loudly against, and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group had echoed public opinion in arguing for a strategy of “managed failure” to camouflage a speedy US withdrawal - with Senator Joe Biden further arguing that partition was Iraq's inevitable and even desirable fate. John McCain's backing for the surge looked like sinking his bid for the presidency. This week General Petraeus handed over command to his stalwart deputy, General Ray Odierno, with thanks to American and the much improved Iraqi forces for turning hard but not hopeless into “hard but hopeful” and this time was hailed for his modesty. Incontrovertibly, Iraq on his watch has pulled back from the precipice. Al-Qaeda in Iraq is not finished, as constant suicide bomb attacks attest; but it is no longer an existential menace. Its losses since April are reported on jihadist networks to be double its casualties in the four years from 2003 to 2007 - not least because of the Sunni “Awakening” against the nihilistic brutality of al-Qaeda's methods. Anbar, the “unwinnable” western province that was the heartland of the bloody Sunni insurgency and also of al-Qaeda in Iraq, is in consequence now so peaceable that on September 1 it became the 11th of Iraq's 18 provinces to be handed from American to Iraqi military control. In the south, Basra has been reclaimed from Shia militia rule (despite rather than because of Britain's inadequate and in part shameful contribution), as, for now, has the militantly Shia Sadr City area of Baghdad. Countrywide, daily attacks have fallen from around 180 last year to around 25, and there has been a drop of almost 80 per cent in civilian deaths. Street markets, even the odd swimming pool, have reopened. Despite still-dysfunctional electricity and water supplies and inefficient and corrupt public administration, the economy is picking up. The surge has ended: the additional units are out of Iraq. The gains are holding, with monthly US military fatalities dramatically down, from a peak of 126 as the surge got under way to 18 last month. They are holding because the surge involved much more than extra US troops. Militarily, it underpinned the switch, masterminded by General Petraeus, to a counter-insurgency strategy that moved forces out of barracks into Iraqi streets with a mission to protect the Iraqi population and earn their trust. Politically, the surge sent the all-important message that the US was not, after all, going to cut its losses and run.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Church of England intends to apologize to Darwin

I don't how good a source Truemors is. They say an unneeded apology is in the works. Some of his descendants think it's ridiculous. Truemors
In a move modeled after the Vatican’s apology to Galileo, the Church of England will apologize to the author of the theory of evolution on its website marking the scientist’s 200th birthday: ‘Charles Darwin, 200 years from your birth [in 1809], the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still.” Although the action has been ridiculed by many, including his great-great-grandson, the Church is hoping to distance itself from fundamentalist organizations that continue to argue against the theory. One descendent more in favor of the move explains that he believes “…this apology would have pleased him,” in light of Darwin’s fear of offending as well as his wife’s own Christian devotion. Thanks. Really. Wanna send a memo to this side of the pond?
It is very easy to prove that Darwin was a racist. The full title of Origin of Species is: The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

Monday, September 15, 2008

Google going really offshore

There is "offshore" and then there is offshore. Having done the first, not Google intends to go out to sea. Google search finds seafaring solution - Times Online : Google may take its battle for global domination to the high seas with the launch of its own “computer navy”. The company is considering deploying the supercomputers necessary to operate its internet search engines on barges anchored up to seven miles (11km) offshore. The “water-based data centres” would use wave energy to power and cool their computers, reducing Google’s costs. Their offshore status would also mean the company would no longer have to pay property taxes on its data centres, which are sited across the world, including in Britain. In the patent application seen by The Times, Google writes: “Computing centres are located on a ship or ships, anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away.” The increasing number of data centres necessary to cope with the massive information flows generated on popular websites has prompted companies to look at radical ideas to reduce their running costs. The supercomputers housed in the data centres, which can be the size of football pitches, use massive amounts of electricity to ensure they do not overheat. As a result the internet is not very green. Data centres consumed 1 per cent of the world’s electricity in 2005. By 2020 the carbon footprint of the computers that run the internet will be larger than that of air travel, a recent study by McKinsey, a consultancy firm, and the Uptime Institute, a think tank, predicted.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oabama's AP team faults Palin for something she never claimed

Meltdown at full speed. From Obama's team at Associated Press. Gov. Palin went to visit Alaska National Guard troops in Kuwait and went to the border. She never claimed to have entered Iraq. But the AP is wetting their pants because "unnamed aides" say she did. Her people who speak on the record say she didn't enter Iraq. And Gov. Palin made no such claim. There is nothing here. See for yourself. Obama camp suggests lies over Palin visit to Iraq -
The newspaper said unnamed aides initially explained that Palin had visited a "military outpost" inside Iraq. The Globe said campaign aides and members of the Alaska National Guard subsequently explained that she did not venture beyond the Iraq/Kuwait border when she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing on July 25, 2007. Lt. Col. Dave Osborn, commander of the 3d Battalion, 207th Infantry of the Alaska National Guard, who was in charge of the 570 local troops serving in Kuwait and Iraq, said Palin did not cross in Iraq.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Unknown Hero of Democracy - Gene Sharp

A hero of democracy I hadn't heard of - American Gene Sharpe. He has done enough good to be high on the enemies list of all the dictators. American Revolutionary -
In February, the Iranian government showed a fictionalized video on the dangers of foreign plots against the state. One of its stars: a mysterious American named Gene Sharp. In June 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez publicly accused Mr. Sharp of stirring unrest in Venezuela. Last year in Vietnam, authorities arrested several opposition activists who were distributing a book written by Mr. Sharp. In 2005, fires destroyed two Moscow bookstores selling Russian translations of the same book. The target of all this intrigue and animosity is 80 years old and slightly stooped. He walks with a cane. Working from a modest house in East Boston, Mr. Sharp is nearly unknown to the U.S. public. But he is despised by many authoritarian regimes and respected by opposition activists around the globe. Mr. Sharp has had broad influence on international events over the past two decades, helping to advance a global democratic awakening. An aging academic, Mr. Sharp says he has no links with the government or any intelligence agency. He responded to Mr. Chavez's speech with an open letter suggesting that if the president is concerned about being overthrown, he should read "The Anti-Coup," a booklet Mr. Sharp co-authored. Spread via the Internet, word-of-mouth and seminars, Mr. Sharp's writings on nonviolent resistance have been studied by opposition activists in Zimbabwe, Burma, Russia, Venezuela and Iran, among others. His 1993 guide to unseating despots, "From Dictatorship to Democracy," has been translated into at least 28 languages and was used by movements that toppled governments in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.
Wikipedia says his prime interest was nonviolence.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama mocks McCain because war injuries prevent him from typing

The Corner on National Review Online: Yep. The day after 9/11, as part of its "get tough" makeover, the Obama campaign is mocking John McCain for not using a computer, without caring why he doesn't use a computer. From the AP story about the computer illiterate ad:
"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," [Obama spokesman Dan] Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail."
Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "extraordinary." The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):
McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.
In a similar vein I guess it's an outrage that the blind governor of New York David Patterson doesn't know how to drive a car. After all, transportation issues are pretty important. How dare he serve as governor while being ignorant of what it's like to navigate New York's highways.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember we were attacked on September 11

We were attacked on September 11. Let's not forget it. They attacked Washington, DC and New York City because they are our capital and financial center. They attacked American and United Airlines because they are the US's largest airlines. The attackers were far-from-impoverished Muslims mostly from Saudi Arabia. Their Muslim faith drove them to plan to kill and to face their victims and kill in cold blood. Not all of Islam kills, but their faith was definitely involved. We need to remember those who died: mostly Americans, but many were Americans from other countries. And to remember those who killed and why. The phrase I most object to is "Islam is a religion of peace." It has proven over and over that it is a religion of war. A memorial to the victims of the attack on the Pentagon will be dedicated today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To end having to evacuate for every hurricane

Move! And stop making me pay for your folly.

Law enforced against Rangel?

Do our tax laws apply to powerful Democrats? Maybe. But the penalties applied to you and me don't, his high-paid lawyer explains. RANGEL HAS A BAD CHAIR DAY - New York Post:
Embattled Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel is facing possible ouster from his powerful committee chairmanship as he scrambles to file new tax returns in a desperate bid to hold on to his job. The amended returns will reflect years of income he never bothered reporting from renting out his beachfront Caribbean villa, his lawyer said yesterday. House Republicans yesterday pushed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to dump Rangel as head of the Ways & Means Committee, which writes the nation's tax laws. "Given Chairman Rangel's continuing ethical lapses, he cannot effectively carry out his duties," nine GOPers wrote to Pelosi. "It is in the best interest of the public and this representative institution for Rep. Rangel to step down from his chairmanship until his ethical issues have been resolved." Rangel, a 19-term Democrat, plans a news conference today to announce he'll submit amended federal, state and city tax returns, according to lawyer Lanny Davis.
With Lanny Davis is his corner you know he is one of the most partisan Demos. And crimes are defended by leadership, of course:
Pelosi defended Rangel. "The American people would be better served if Republicans would stop playing politics and allow the bipartisan Ethics Committee to do its job," said her spokesman, Brendan Daly.
We also want to hear more about his four (4) rent-controlled apartments.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Big-time Dem gets it - Palin floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee

This is the real Willie Brown. He is very liberal and very partisan, but still has a fun spunk in his words. He was the powerful speaker of the California state assembly until he was term limited, then mayor of San Francisco. He is totally establishment. If Willie Brown says they are in trouble, they really are. Palin floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee - San Francisco Chronicle
The Democrats are in trouble. Sarah Palin has totally changed the dynamics of this campaign. Period. Palin's speech to the GOP National Convention on Wednesday has set it up so that the Republicans are now on offense and Democrats are on defense. And we don't do well on defense. Suddenly, Palin and John McCain are the mavericks and Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the status quo, in a year when you don't want to be seen as defending the status quo. From taxes to oil drilling, Democrats are now going to have to start explaining their positions. Whenever you start having to explain things, you're on defense. I actually went back and watched Palin's speech a second time. I didn't go to sleep until 1:30 a.m. I had to make sure I got the lines right. Her timing was exquisite. She didn't linger with applause, but instead launched into line after line of attack, slipping the knives in with every smile and joke. And she delivered it like she was just BS-ing on the street with the meter maid. She didn't have to prove she was "of the people." She really is the people.

Thailand president kicked out due to cooking show on TV

This is not Scrappleface or the Onion. Thailand's prime minister forced to resign over TV cooking show - Los Angeles Times: BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's prime minister was forced to resign along with his Cabinet on Tuesday after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had violated the constitution by hosting TV cooking shows. His supporters vowed to bring him back to power, indicating that Thailand is still not free from its deep political crisis that has virtually paralyzed the government, spooked the financial markets and scared away tourists. "The defendant has violated Article 267 of the constitution, and his position as prime minister has ended," the head of the nine-judge panel, Chat Chonlaworn, said. He said the Cabinet will remain in a caretaker position until a new administration is installed. The judgment, broadcast live on television and radio, was greeted with loud cheers and claps from Samak's opponents who have occupied his office compound since Aug. 26 to demand his resignation. Samak, a self-proclaimed foodie, hosted a popular television cooking show -- "Tasting and Complaining" -- for seven years before becoming prime minister. But he also made several appearances after taking office, breaking a constitutional prohibition on private employment while in office.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Barack's berserkers lost the plot

This is choice. Here are some highlights, but read the whole thing.  From Nick Cohen in the UK. The Observer (UK)
... Democrats had only to maintain their composure and the White House would be theirs. During the 1997 British general election, the late Lord Jenkins said that Tony Blair was like a man walking down a shiny corridor carrying a precious vase. He was the favourite and held his fate in his hands. If he could just reach the end of the hall without a slip, a Labour victory was assured. The same could have been said of the American Democrats last week. But instead of protecting their precious advantage, they succumbed to a spasm of hatred and threw the vase, the crockery, the cutlery and the kitchen sink at an obscure politician from Alaska. ... And everything that could go wrong with the campaign against Palin did. American liberals forgot that the public did not know her. By the time she spoke at the Republican convention, journalists had so lowered expectations that a run-of-the-mill speech would have been enough to win the evening. As it was, her family appeared on stage without a goitre or a club foot between them, and Palin made a fighting speech that appealed over the heads of reporters to the public we claim to represent. 'I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion,' she said as she deftly detached journalists from their readers and viewers. 'I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country.' English leftists made the same mistake of allowing their hatred to override their judgment after the Iraq war. If they had confined themselves to charging Tony Blair with failing to find the weapons of mass destruction he promised were in Iraq, and sending British troops into a quagmire, they might have forced him out. They were so consumed by loathing, however, they insisted that he had lied, which he clearly had not. They set the bar too low and Blair jumped it with ease. 'When a man believes that any stick will do, he at once picks up a boomerang,' said GK Chesterton, and when the politically committed go on a berserker you should listen for the sound of their own principles smacking them in the face.

Friday, September 05, 2008

UW endowment $2.7 billion; lobbying for tax dollars

University of Washington is lobbying for tax dollars to upgrade Husky Stadium. And using our tax dollars to pay a lobbyist $175 an hour to do it. Washington Policy Center But the UW has one of the largest endowments of any public university in the country. Why spend our tax dollars to try to get more tax dollars? Christine Gregoire at her best. UW mulls adding more slots for freshmen:
Amid the talk of enrollment needs and budget requests the UW's Board of Regents paused Thursday to acknowledge the culmination of an eight-year fundraising campaign that has bolstered the university's endowment to $2.68 billion.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Obama plans criminal charges for Bush

The end of two-party government? It is a wonder of the world when the losing political party hands over power to the winner without a fight. But Senators Obama and Biden plan to bring that strength of our republic to an end. Then intend to bring criminal charges against President Bush. "Not out of vengeance..." Big lie. Come on, Senator Joe, we can see your lips moving: you are lying. Guardian (UK)
September 3, 2008 - Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November. Biden's comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin. But his statements represent the Democrats' strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years. "If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC. "[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution," he added, "out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."
There is are ways to hold the president accountable - elections and impeachment. You are way off base, Joe.

French minister finally admits defeat in battle against English

I attended a conference in Toulouse, France in 2000 that was entirely conducted in English. Even the vice-mayor of the city addressed our crowd in English. And that's when I learned one of the secrets of how the French and Germans were able to work together to make our competitor Airbus a success: They speak English in all meetings. Now France's top defender of la langue has admitted defeat. Daily Mail (UK) Online:
For generations, the French have fiercely guarded their language against the horreurs anglais. But France's education minister yesterday admitted for the first time that the secret to success is speaking better English. Xavier Darcos claimed poor English is now a 'handicap' because all international business is conducted in the language, and said French schools would offer extra lessons during the holidays. He also admitted that, because of globalisation, very few people outside France will being able to speak French in the future. Mr Darcos said he wanted to make it easier for all French students to learn English, saying that 'while well-off families pay for study sessions abroad, I'm offering them to everyone right here.'

Palin ran a state; Obama his own campaign

Poor Messiah Obama. He hasn't run anything. Nothing but his ego campaign.And he doesn't run that. He stays in front of the TV cameras while managers run his campaign. Budget: $30 million per month; about $360 million per year. Sarah Palin ran the state of Alaska the entire close-to 2 years Obama was running his own campaign. Alaka's budget: $11 billion per year. CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive
“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wassilla, has I think 50 employees. We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month,” Obama responded.
Note that he compares his experience to when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Why not when she was governor? Because he loses big time. With her years of executive experience she is running for #2. Innocent Obama is running to be president.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Teacher strikes are illegal

State and local public employees, including teachers, have no legally protected right to strike. State statute establishes no specific penalties for unlawful public employee strikes; in some cases, courts may grant injunctive relief to prevent or end unlawful strikes. The Legislature could enact laws establishing penalties for unlawful public employee strikes, provided that such laws are consistent with protected free speech and other state and federal constitutional rights. Washington Attorney General Rob McKennal

But there is one large problem. There is no cost to the striking teachers. They still get full pay, because the school year must be 180 days. They lose some of their summer, but none of their pay.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Surging B.C. glacier threatens to block river

HIde the news that doesn't fit your story. Here is a computer-generated 50,000-foot view of the Alsek River, just west of Glacier Bay Natonal Park.
A mammoth-sized glacier is dangerously on the move in remote northwestern B.C., threatening to seal off the Alsek River and create a lake that would ultimately burst and pose a flood hazard to rafters and anyone else downstream. Glaciers are supposed to be receding in this era of global warming. But a buildup of water beneath the Tweedsmuir Glacier is causing it to surge ahead at a rate of several metres a day. It is now midway across the Alsek River. "There is a reasonable chance this glacier will seal off the route of the Alsek," Garry Clarke, a professor of glaciology at the University of B.C., confirmed in an interview. "The end result has got to be a big flood. It would render the whole river downstream quite dangerous." Clarke visited the site as recently as Aug. 1 and said the glacier's 65-metre-high face is calving off pieces of ice which are being carried downstream to the Tatshenshini River. He figures it's just a matter of time before the volume of ice exceeds the river's ability to carry it away, creating a temporary lake upstream. Because ice floats, the lake would eventually tunnel underneath the glacier with a giant rush of water, known as a jökulhlaup to Icelanders. River rafters already must watch out for floating ice, and would have to get off the river entirely once a reservoir is formed. About 350 rafters, both private and commercial, travel the river system every year. Federal NDP leader Jack Layton took a guided trip in July. The Tatshenshini River flows into Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, where authorities are developing an emergency plan to ensure notification of about 50 rafters, hunters, fishermen, and park staff who could be at risk from a sudden flood.