Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm So Sorry About What is Happening to Mrs Clinton

Now that the press has figured out that the Clintons are unscrupulous people and not likely to advance the left-wing agenda, can we now expect the truth to be published about the $100,000 bribe, the stolen FBI files, Vince Foster’s death and relationship to Hillary, the Travel Office firings, the missing Rose law firm billing records, the hounding of Linda Tripp, the treatment of Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey, etc., etc., etc.?

Closed Borders, 2/28/08, American Spectator (Excerpt)
By Jennifer Rubin

“Suddenly the mainstream and conservative media press critics are in agreement -- and not just about the shoddy journalism at the New York Times.

Now that they suspect Hillary Clinton is going down for the count, they feel emboldened to say it: she is not very nice and neither is her staff. Imagine. In particular they do not like the way they have been treated. Tucker Carlson lets on:
They're awful to the media: let's be totally blunt. They're awful to the press. They treat the press like enemies. [Clinton Communication Director] Howard Wolfson's always calling around threatening people. Threatening people! News organizations! They do that! People hate you if you do that. I mean, they've earned the enmity of the press, in my view. They have. I mean, it's been hard but they've done it.

He is not alone. Dana Millbank of the Washington Post, who usually reserves his venom for conservatives, wrote a play-by-play account of a recent press conference. Describing an angry exchange between Clinton staffers and the press over the Drudge Report published photo of Barack Obama in Somalian garb, Millbank commented:

“The brief moment explained everything about the bitter relations between Clinton's campaign and the media: [Campaign spokesman Phil] Singer taunting the likes of [David] Broder, who began covering presidential politics two decades before Singer was born, with a comedy sketch that showed debate moderators fawning over Obama.”

Well, conservatives can laugh heartily that the media has finally discovered the politics of personal destruction. After years of training their guns on Republicans, impugning the motives of their opponents and smearing the gals who Bill Clinton left in his wake, now the Clintons have really done it. They've insulted David Broder.

THE LIST OF NEW critics of Hillary reads like a who's who of liberal pundits. Their criticisms are varied and their tone ranges from the helpful suggestion of Jonathan Alter that she should exit the race in high style to Richard Cohen's more blunt assessment: "Should Clinton come on strong? Should she go negative? Should she be upbeat and positive? Here's my answer: Stop campaigning."

Fellow Postie Eugene Robinson bristled at the notion that unfair press coverage was her biggest problem, noting that it "wasn't the media that decided she should take for granted all those states that Barack Obama has been winning." Even her hometown columnists Maureen Dowd had to remind Mrs. Clinton of "some truisms of politics that her husband understands well: Sunny beats gloomy. Consistency beats flipping. Bedazzling beats begrudging. Confidence beats whining."

And in words that could have been penned by any conservative blogger, Frank Rich wrote, "This is the candidate who keeps telling us she's so competent that she'll be ready to govern from Day 1. Mrs. Clinton may be right that Mr. Obama has a thin resume, but her disheveled campaign keeps reminding us that the biggest item on her thicker resume is the health care task force that was as botched as her presidential bid."

THE PUNDITS NOW SEE the object of their great sympathy and affection, Obama, as the target of what the New York Times described as a "kitchen sink fusillade" directed against favored candidate. Suddenly, the Clinton tactics are intolerable, dishonest and, they hope, inept.”


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Age Old Struggle Between Winners And Losers

Winners work and save and plan – and somehow manage to overcome the vagaries and pitfalls of life; losers do not. Through bad luck or a lack of discipline, losers fall through the cracks.

Throughout the ages there have always been winners and losers, and there have always been hugely more losers than winners. Dictators have used this to focus the hatred of the losers on scapegoats to gain and keep power – Hitler and the Jews; Mugabe and the white farmers; Stalin and the bourgeois farmers, for example. In democracies, political opportunists scapegoat the winners to gain power – usually by offering the losers the keys to the public treasury.

From their knowledge of history and of the downfall of almost all democracies, our Founding Fathers set up a system of checks and balances – the basic intent of which was to slow down the impulses of the mob, always incited by the opportunists and the demagogues. The electoral college, the two-thirds vote needed to override a presidential veto, the longer terms of senators (who originally were appointed), the life tenure of Supreme Court Justices – these are some of the devices put in place to ensure the survival of the American democracy.

It’s easy for the demagogues to scapegoat the winners and gain power from the losers - after all, they say, the winners wouldn’t be winners if they weren’t corrupt or born with silver spoons in their mouths. Besides, it just isn’t fair that some people have so much more than others. The scapegoating and the attacks on the treasury always come from the left.

Over the past 50 years, Lyndon Johnson not only greatly escalated the Vietnam War (after the “daisy” ad), but empowered liberals to embark on the “Great Society”, the greatest boondoggle in history. George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey tried and failed, but in 1976 we got the worst president in modern times (misery index of 23%, loss of Iran), Jimmy Carter. We escaped Carter after one term, and Ronald Reagan set many things right, but demagoguery won out again in 1992, followed by the largest tax increase of all time, the besmirching of the American Presidency and 9/11.

We are hearing the message of the demagogue once again in Barack Obama, once again promising to turn over the keys to the Treasury to the losers, but substantially raising the stakes by offering those keys to the entire world (the Global Tax). Since he says little of substance, since his followers act like his movement is a religion and since he is an African-American, exposing and defeating him and his message will be hard to do.

In the past there have been some very real instances where liberal movements have had merit – evil can exist in winners as well as in losers, and evil winners can create great harm from their positions of power and their organizational talents. The oil monopolies had to be broken, coal mines had to be made to restore the plundered earth, a balance of power was needed between labor and ownership, and those willing to sell poisons to people for gain had to be stopped. These necessary movements came from the forces of the left, and were beneficial to all.

This is not one of those times.

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No Country for Old Glory By Lisa Fabrizio

No Country for Old Glory
By Lisa Fabrizio
Published 2/27/2008 American Spectator

Watching the Oscars Sunday night -- an indignity I endure solely for the opportunity to engage in conversation with a few friends concerning our nation's "culture" -- only reaffirmed that Hollywood remains primarily engaged in selling a bill of goods that America is a dark and dreary place, worthy mostly of derision and disdain; even if not everyone is buying it.

Despite the film industry's lavishing its highest honors on films they consider "art," none of vehicles of the winners of the best-acting awards or even the best picture, finished any higher than 40th where it counts, at the box office. Worse for the glitter-crowd is the report that this year's telecast was also a ratings flop. That's the good news.

As the tedious four-hour celebration of all that the left loves dragged on, one gentleman, who literally plays Devil's Advocate at our weekly gatherings, reproached me for criticizing the Oscar lineup without having seen any of the movies nominated for critical acclaim by the Academy. I tried to explain that I refuse to support an industry whose priorities and politics repulse me and whose product consists mostly of violent, badly-written and uninspiring tripe.

Not surprisingly, one of the many misguided attempts at what passes for humor in Hollywood launched by uber-liberal Jon Stewart, turned out to be the highlight of the show. A video clip of old movie scenes -- including the sublime Rear Window --called "Oscar's salute to binoculars and telescopes" was supposed to be a poke at the writers strike, but only served to point out the wide gap between movie-making then and now.

As the old images, mostly scenes of World War II naval battles through periscopes, flickered past, they recalled the clear way in which Hollywood once presented wartime movies. Were they a little gung-ho and over-endowed with a flag-waving, "yes we can" spirit? Surely; but wasn't the country invested with those same sentiments after Pearl Harbor?

One has only to look back to the months immediately following 9/11 to recapture the feeling that Hollywood helped sustain in order to see the nation through the dark days of World War II. Studio executives merely did what they clearly saw as "their part" for the good of the country.

BUT OF COURSE, their modern counterparts' reaction was just the opposite; after the attack, the brave liberals in Hollywood made no movies about the War on Terror for fear of alienating our enemies, while ensuing years saw the release of films concerning our efforts in Iraq, which were stamped with their formulaic views of war, gleaned through their Vietnam binoculars. Happily though, thanks to the remaining vestiges of patriotism and devotion to our troops in the field, the American people saw to it that these movies bombed.

In today's Hollywood, as in liberal minds everywhere, our enemies' causes -- even as insanely twisted and barbaric as those of the Islamofascists -- must be given equal, if not more consideration than America's. Indeed, the leftists who seek to drive popular opinion in our country may soon manage to convince our young citizens that even World War II was unjust, and that Hollywood's output of movies during that conflict was, of course, nothing more than "propaganda."

As if making movies supporting American war efforts is wrong while making movies degrading America and the American soldier is in someway an artistic "truth." After all, in today's world, except for the GOP and its allies in corporate America, there are no aggressors, only victims. But you needn't visit your nearest movie theater to discover this, just open your local paper or turn on the TV.

During Sunday's broadcast, another fellow in our group who just retired from the military after a distinguished 40-year career summed it up best; saying that Hollywood is in the business of trying to turn Americans against America. And although the Academy has tried to ratchet down the left-wing political speeches of years past in order to boost ticket sales, they just can't hide their agenda. Mere minutes after an embarrassing bit in which some of our deployed troops presented an award, we were treated to this from the maker of a winning documentary on U.S. military torture:

And, truth is, I think my dear wife Anne was kind of hoping I'd make a romantic comedy, but honestly, after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition that simply wasn't possible...Let's hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light.

The real truth is, that our Tinsel Town socialists never see the liberation of over 50 million people through the fog of war they help to perpetuate, or the fact that there have been no attacks on our shores since President Bush made the painful decision to take military action against those who seek to do us harm. Nor can these people muster a word of cinematic thanks for our troops who defend them against those who would gladly demonstrate what real torture is all about, should we ever lack the brave men to prevent it.

If, in the days following Pearl Harbor, or especially 9/11, you could bring yourself to imagine that the lion's share of cinematic acclaim and the focus of untold pages of newsprint and miles of videotape would be the alleged mistreatment of our enemies at the hands of the U.S. military, and not on their intrepid efforts at winning the war, you might have thought that you were in some kind of fantasy land: hooray for Hollywood

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Will Obama Do When Iran Explodes a Nuclear Device?

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg have gone down in history to stand beside Judas as among the world’s most notorious traitors (it wasn’t fair that the US had the atomic bomb but Soviet Russia didn’t). Perhaps someday soon, the liberal holdovers from the Clinton Administration who strongly influenced the publication of the National Intelligence Estimate that Iran had stopped its efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability will join the Rosenbergs in their special place in hell.

By Ed Lasky December 09, 2007 American Thinker (Excerpt)
What Caused the NIE Reversal on Iran's Nuclear Program?
“The recently-released National intelligence Estimate (NIE) has come in for a round of criticism for its finding that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. This criticism spans the political spectrum. The political left and "doves" have found fault with it, as have Republican senators, who have urged a Congressional Panel be created to review the findings of the NIE. Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton outlined a case "against" the NIE, as has Alan Dershowitz.

Our European allies expressed dismay at the findings and even the Iran-friendly International Atomic Energy Agency expressed discomfort with the tone of the NIE.

"To be frank, we are more skeptical," a senior official close to the agency told the New York Times this week. "We don't buy the American analysis 100 percent. We are not that generous with Iran."

When all these parties can agree on any topic whatsoever there are certainly grounds for curiosity. The NIE conclusions deserve scrutiny. Unfortunately, this analysis has been hampered by the intelligence community's desire to keep their methodology hidden from public view under the pretext that disclosure of their sources of intelligence might imperil them. However, Washington being Washington and the media being the media, bits and pieces of the "logic" behind these findings are coming into the light.

These disclosures should give one pause when it comes to relying on the National Intelligence Estimate in judging the intentions and capabilities of the Iranian regime when it comes to their nuclear weapons program.”

******************** (Excerpt)
Our own “confidence” is not heightened by the fact that the NIE’s main authors include three former State Department officials with previous reputations as “hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials,” according to an intelligence source. They are Tom Fingar, formerly of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research; Vann Van Diepen, the National Intelligence Officer for WMD; and Kenneth Brill, the former U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).” ….

“Russia’s foreign minister, meanwhile, indicated that the U.S. report’s findings undermined Washington’s push for a new set of U.N. sanctions against Iran.

The U.S. intelligence report released Monday concluded that Iran had stopped its weapons program in late 2003 and shown no signs since of resuming it, representing a sharp turnaround from a previous intelligence assessment in 2005.

“This is a declaration of victory for the Iranian nation against the world powers over the nuclear issue,” Ahmadinejad told thousands of people during a visit to Ilam province in western Iran.”

Iran dismisses nuke documents as fakes
By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Feb 25, 2008 (Excerpt)
“The U.N. nuclear monitoring agency presented documents Monday that diplomats said indicate Iran may have focused on a nuclear weapons program after 2003 — the year that a U.S. intelligence report says such work stopped.”

Ever since the Valerie Plame travesty, where a liberal, anti-Bush mole in the CIA, heavily supported by the drive-by media, tried to undermine the policies of the elected President, we are reminded, again and again, of the dangers that those who hate their own country pose for the rest of us.

Barack Obama, in refusing to honor the flag and our National Anthem, and Michelle Obama, in making it very clear in her speeches what she thinks of this country, have shown just how close to the White House the hate-America crowd has come. Whatever disagreements we have had with Senator McCain, he is America’s only chance for a future secure from nuclear terrorists


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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hopefully Ralph Nader Will Draw Lots of Flies

I was much encouraged this morning that Ralph Nader has decided to run again for the presidency in 2008. Hopefully he will do again to the Democrats what Ross Perot did to the Republicans in 1992 and 1996. He may be divorced from reality, but he is an effective speaker and will motivate many in the hard left to vote for him. I say divorced from reality because, among other things, he is a proponent of the terrorists in Gaza, ignoring completely the many times the Israelis have been attacked by the surrounding Arabs, because he does not seem to realize that oil is our lifeblood and is running out, and because he does not even seem to recognize that life changed forever on 9/11.


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Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

I tried Googling the words, “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”. I got lots of references for, “snatch victory from the jaws of defeat”, but very few for the former. I guess, if we let the Democrats do it in Iraq, it will be one of the few times in history that a nation will, in fact, “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”.

If you think that that is impossible, think back to the mid 1970’s when we were close to negotiating an honorable treaty with the North Vietnamese, and a Democrat Congress pulled the rug out from American negotiators and the South Vietnamese forces by shutting off all funds.

From the memoirs of General Vo Nguyen Giap, the military leader of North Vietnam:

"What we still don't understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi. You had us on the ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender! It was the same at the battles of TET. You defeated us! We knew it, and we thought you knew it. But we were elated to notice your media was definitely helping us. They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had won!"

February 22, 2008 RealClearPolitics
Democrats Dug In For Retreat
By Charles Krauthammer

"No one can spend some 10 days visiting the battlefields in Iraq without seeing major progress in every area. ... If the U.S. provides sustained support to the Iraqi government -- in security, governance, and development -- there is now a very real chance that Iraq will emerge as a secure and stable state." -- Anthony Cordesman, "The Situation in Iraq: A Briefing from the Battlefield," Feb. 13, 2008

WASHINGTON -- This from a man who was a severe critic of the postwar occupation of Iraq and who, as author Peter Wehner points out, is no wide-eyed optimist. In fact, in May 2006 Cordesman had written that "no one can argue that the prospects for stability in Iraq are good." Now, however, there is simply no denying the remarkable improvements in Iraq since the surge began a year ago.

Unless you're a Democrat. As Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., put it, "Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq." Their Senate leader, Harry Reid, declares the war already lost. Their presidential candidates (eight of them at the time) unanimously oppose the surge. Then the evidence begins trickling in.

We get news of the Anbar Awakening, which has now spread to other Sunni areas and Baghdad. The sectarian civil strife that the Democrats insisted was the reason for us to leave dwindles to the point of near disappearance. Much of Baghdad is returning to normal. There are 90,000 neighborhood volunteers -- ordinary citizens who act as auxiliary police and vital informants on terror activity -- starkly symbolizing the insurgency's loss of popular support. Captured letters of al-Qaeda leaders reveal despair as they are driven -- mostly by Iraqi Sunnis, their own Arab co-religionists -- to flight and into hiding.

After agonizing years of searching for the right strategy and the right general, we are winning. How do Democrats react? From Nancy Pelosi to Barack Obama the talking point is the same: Sure, there is military progress. We could have predicted that.

(They in fact had predicted the opposite, but no matter.) But it's all pointless unless you get national reconciliation.

"National" is a way to ignore what is taking place at the local and provincial level, such as Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim, scion of the family that dominates the largest Shiite party in Iraq, traveling last October to Anbar in an unprecedented gesture of reconciliation with the Sunni sheiks.

Doesn't count, you see. Democrats demand nothing less than federal-level reconciliation, and it has to be expressed in actual legislation.

The objection was not only highly legalistic but politically convenient: Very few (including me) thought this would be possible under the Maliki government. Then last week, indeed on the day Cordesman published his report, it happened. Mirabile dictu, the Iraqi parliament approved three very significant pieces of legislation.

First, a provincial powers law that turned Iraq into arguably the most federal state in the entire Arab world. The provinces get not only power but elections by Oct. 1. U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker has long been calling this the most crucial step to political stability. It will allow, for example, the pro-American Anbar sheiks to become the legitimate rulers of their province, exercise regional autonomy and forge official relations with the Shiite-dominated central government.

Second, parliament passed a partial amnesty for prisoners, 80 percent of whom are Sunni. Finally, it approved a $48 billion national budget that allocates government revenues -- about 85 percent of which are from oil -- to the provinces. Kurdistan, for example, gets one-sixth.

What will the Democrats say now? They will complain that there is still no oil distribution law. True. But oil revenues are being distributed to the provinces in the national budget. The fact that parliament could not agree on a permanent formula for the future simply means that it will be allocating oil revenues year-by-year as part of the budget process. Is that a reason to abandon Iraq to al-Qaeda and Iran?

Despite all the progress military and political, the Democrats remain unwavering in their commitment to withdrawal on an artificial timetable that inherently jeopardizes our "very real chance that Iraq will emerge as a secure and stable state."

Why? Imagine the transformative effects in the region and indeed in the entire Muslim world, of achieving a secure and stable Iraq, friendly to the United States and victorious over al-Qaeda. Are the Democrats so intent on denying George Bush retroactive vindication for a war they insist is his that they would deny their own country a now achievable victory?

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Why Have The Democrats Not Acted on FISA?

Cross-posted from GOP Bloggers:

OK, Now I'm Questioning the Democrats' Patriotism
by Jon Roth at 08:57 AM

Democrats love to complain that Republicans question their patriotism, when it is simply Democrats' judgement on national security issues that is in doubt. But now, with their vile, grossly negligent and reprehensible behavior on terrorist surveillance, it is finally time to question their patriotism.

Even though the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to allow the government to eavesdrop on terrorists, Democratic Senator and intelligence committee chairman Jay Rockefeller voted in favor, and enough Democrats in the House demanded a vote to pass the bill, Nancy Pelosi refused to bring it to a vote. The issue, of course, is that the trial lawyers (aka, the DNC piggy bank) have dozens of lawsuits pending against the telecom companies that cooperated with the government to protect America. Rather than protect these patriotic companies from costly and frivolous litigation, Pelosi and the House Democrats refused to vote.

So now we are in our 5th day of being unable to surveil our mortal enemies. Many people complained that we failed to "connect the dots" prior to September 11, but now the Democrats are preventing us from even collecting the dots. The President (who should have postponed his Africa trip to pressure Congress) and every GOP member of Congress needs to hammer the Democrats every day non-stop on this issue. It is not only that important, but it is a 100% political winner - especially when the House Democrat leadership are bordering on treason.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Movies and News That Go Beyond Propaganda

It has been quite a while since I have actually seen a movie in a theater. It represents my protest against the prices and the previews that assault my eyes and ears. I watch movies only after they come out on DVD, and I do watch a lot of them.

Today I watched “September Dawn”, a movie that supposedly retells the story of a massacre carried out by Mormons on innocent pioneers back in 1857. The story reeks of Mormon craziness, deception and cruelty that rival the Islamic butchers who cut off people’s heads and set off bombs in crowded marketplaces. It definitely makes an attempt to equate the Mormons of the mid-1800’s with the Islamic terrorists we face today.

Isn’t it interesting that this movie was made and released (2007) by Hollywood just as a Mormon, Mitt Romney, was preparing to run for president as a conservative Republican who supports President Bush and his prosecution of the War on Islamic terrorists?

Isn’t it also interesting that Hollywood has also released recently at least four movies (like “Home of the Brave”) that portray soldiers returning from Iraq duty as crazed, walking time-bombs?

Isn’t it also interesting that, as unmistakable evidence of the success of the ‘surge’ bubbles up everywhere, the New York Times recently turned data upside down to try to portray returning soldiers as more-likely to commit murder than their contemporaries? The data actually showed just the opposite – that American soldiers who served in Iraq were much more likely to be model citizens than average. See “SMEARING SOLDIERS By RALPH PETERS”.

Late Edition: Isn’t it also interesting that the New York Times would choose now to run a story smearing Senator McCain?

Tale's tall on innuendo, short on proof
Thursday, February 21st 2008, NY DailyNews (Excerpt)

“Get ready for a feeding frenzy, with the press as the sharks and John McCain as the bloody chum.

The long-winded article The New York Times dropped on McCain Wednesday night falls between an impeccable investigative project and the "hit-and-run" smear job his campaign calls it. It is a meringue of tantalizing hints and innuendo about the steamy nexus of sex and power. It's all there - except a clear and firm direct allegation, let alone proof.

It suggests McCain had an affair with an attractive young lobbyist and used his Senate office to do favors for her clients. But it never actually says either of those things directly, relying instead on the worries of his aides that he was risking his reputation and career by being so close to the lobbyist and her clients.

Said aides are, unfortunately, mostly anonymous in the article.

Both McCain and the woman denied an affair, The Times reported. And the support McCain gave to her clients had been previously reported. And, oh, did I mention that this happened, if it all did happen, eight or nine years ago?”


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Political Correctness Continues in the Classroom

Ben Stein is one of contemporary America's most brilliant men: an actor, economist, author, poet and America lover. Stein wrote this opinion piece on Florida's recent struggle to balance the teaching of evolution with discoveries microbiologists are making daily that call Darwinism into question. What Florida did the next day is shown at the end of his piece.

Florida's Darwinian Interlude
By Ben Stein
Published 2/20/2008 12:08:44 AM American Spectator

Just a few tiny, insignificant little questions.

* How did the universe start?

* Where did matter come from?

* Where did energy come from?

* Where did the laws of motion, thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, come from?

* Where did gravity come from?

* How did inorganic matter, that is, lifeless matter such as dirt and rocks, become living beings?

* Has anyone ever observed beyond doubt the evolution of a new mammalian or aviary species, as opposed to changes within a species?

These teeny weeny little questions are just some of the issues as to which Darwin and Darwinism have absolutely no verifiable answers. Hypotheses.

Yes. Guesses. Yes. Proof? None.

To my little pea brain, these are some pretty big issues about evolution, the origins of life, and genetics that Darwinism cannot answer. Now, to be fair, does anyone else have verifiable answers either? Not as far as I know.

But if there are no answers that can be reproduced in the laboratory, isn't any theory about them a hypothesis or a guess? Isn't any hypothesis worth thinking about? And aren't these immense questions?

Yet the state of Florida, the glorious Sunshine State, was (I am told), until recently, considering legislation that would make it illegal to allow teachers or students in public schools to discuss any hypothesis about origins of life or the universe except that it all happened by accident without any prime mover or first cause or designer -- allowing only, again, the hypothesis, which is considered Darwinian, that it all started by, well, by, something that Darwin never even mentioned.

That is, the state of Florida was considering mandating that only Darwinian-type suppositions can be allowed about scientific subjects that Darwin never studied. (This is not to mention that we know now that Darwin was wildly wrong about some subjects such as genetics, and, again, although he wrote about the evolution of species, never observed an entirely new species evolve.)

This was beyond Stalinism. Stalinism decreed that only Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin knew all the answers, but it did not say that subjects they never mentioned could only be studied if the student guessed at what they might have said. The proposed law in the state of Florida was an anti-knowledge, anti-freedom of inquiry law on a scale such as has rarely been encountered. Maybe in Pol Pot's Kampuchea there were such laws, but they have been unknown in the USA until now.

By an incredible miracle of good sense, at the last minute, the state of Florida changed the proposed regulations. They backed off powerfully saying that only Darwinism could possibly make sense and said they would allow discussion of differing theories about the origins of life. That's the current proposal as I write this on the afternoon of the 19th of February.

I suspect the now omitted proposals would have been unconstitutional in any event (although this always depends on the court you ask). Freedom of inquiry is part of freedom of speech. That is basic. That is what America is all about. Whatever the proposed -- now discarded -- regulations were, they have nothing to do with freedom, very little to do with science, and not even much to do with Darwin, who had a lot more respect for freedom of thought than his henchmen in Florida apparently do.

Florida did NOT decide to allow discussion of differing theories about the origins of life. The battle continues against the collectivists.
Herald Tribune February 19, 2008 (Excerpt)
"State education leaders approved sweeping changes to Florida’s science curriculum on Tuesday, including a controversial standard to teach evolution.

After receiving thousands of complaints from people who wanted schools to also teach alternatives to evolution — like intelligent design and creationism — the Board of Education decided to emphasize that evolution should be taught as a "scientific theory."

They said that would make it clear that there is still debate over the concept."


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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Goodness, Can This Be Right?

I know we are having a very cold winter, and, normally, I would not cite that fact as evidence of anything related to global warming. That would put me in the same category as the alarmists who think that a few hurricanes means the end of the world and the propagandists who are endlessly pointing out occurrences they think are signs of man-made global warming.

On the other hand, perhaps the next two articles DO have some significance – as well as the opinion expressed below by a world renowned scientist in the third article cited. Why am I not surprised?

Recent cold snap helping Arctic sea ice, scientists find
CBC News February 15, 2008 (Excerpt)

There's an upside to the extreme cold temperatures northern Canadians have endured in the last few weeks: scientists say it's been helping winter sea ice grow across the Arctic, where the ice shrank to record-low levels last year.

Temperatures have stayed well in the -30s C and -40s C range since late January throughout the North, with the mercury dipping past -50 C in some areas.

Satellite images are showing that the cold spell is helping the sea ice expand in coverage by about 2 million square kilometres, compared to the average winter coverage in the previous three years.

"It's nice to know that the ice is recovering," Josefino Comiso, a senior research scientist with the Cryospheric Sciences Branch of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, told CBC News on Thursday.

Deep freeze in western Greenland
Article published Feb 13, 2008, By Mariia Simonsen (Excerpt)

"The ice between Canada and southwestern Greenland has reached its highest level in 15 years.

Minus 30 degrees Celsius. That's how cold it's been in large parts of western Greenland where the population has been bundling up in hats and scarves. At the same time, Denmark's Meteorological Institute states that the ice between Canada and southwest Greenland right now has reached its greatest extent in 15 years."

Baliunas Says Global Warming Related To Sun

In her lecture series, "Warming Up to the Truth: The Real Story About Climate Change," astrophysicist Dr. Sallie Baliunas shared her findings Tuesday at the University of Texas at Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Baliunas' work with fellow Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astronomer Willie Soon suggests global warming is more directly related to solar variability than to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, an alternative view to what's been widely publicized in the mainstream media."Some people argue solar influence is large; some argue it is small. I'm somewhere in the middle," she said during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Her research goes back to time periods when the amount of carbon emission was small enough that it wasn't a major player. "If you go back far enough you eliminate some of your variables," she said. "I've always been interested with the changes of the sun and how they impact the earth. I decided to look at a narrower time scale this time. "Baliunas asserts that increases and decreases in solar output led to historically warmer and cooler periods.

Baliunas said concerns for world energy poverty should be more significant than worrying about something 100 years from now. "I'm all for saving energy resources and eradicating energy poverty around the world," she said. "One can be concerned by the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and come to it from the philosophical idea of caution. We just don't want to take the chance; still we can take a view of precaution.

"She also said civilizations have always looked for the cause of climate changes. In 16th and 17th century Europe, thousands were executed for what was called "weather cooking," where religious and political institutions blamed witches - mostly women - for poor growing periods or storms

Dr. Baliunas received her M.A. (1975) and Ph.D. (1980) degrees in Astrophysics from Harvard University. She serves as senior scientist at the George C. Marshall Institute in Washington, D.C., and chairs the Institute's Science Advisory Board.Her talk was part of the university's Distinguished Lecture Series.

Sallie Baliunas is an astrophysicist formerly affiliated with the Mount Wilson Institute. Her awards include the Newton Lacey Pierce Prize by the American Astronomical Society, the Petr Beckman Award for Scientific Freedom and the Bok Prize from Harvard University. In 1991 Discover magazine profiled her as one of America's outstanding women scientists.


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Monday, February 18, 2008

Noted Psychiatrist Says Liberalism a Mental Illness

I’ve been baffled for much of my adult life why anyone would espouse the philosophy of modern liberalism whose tenets have failed wherever they have been tried. For example, anyone could see that when forced busing of schoolchildren was introduced to Boston, the result would be the flight of whites to the suburbs. On energy, liberal disdain for domestic drilling and nuclear energy increases our dependence on foreign sources and directly involves our military to protect our access. Before I note the article equating liberalism and mental illness, first read an excerpt from another article that best describes the failings of modern liberalism:

Christopher Adamo RenewAmerica 11/1/07 (Excerpt)

“As long as liberal programs can be separated from their consistently disastrous consequences by a sufficient period of time, the perpetrators stand a chance of pointing fingers of accusation at one straw dog or another, thereby escaping culpability for the disasters they helped create.

Thus the abject failures of America's "education" system are blamed not on the "politically correct" agenda of the ultra-liberal National Education Association, but on "insufficient funding." In New Orleans, all of the misery and needless suffering experienced by the people, now bundled in discussion under the heading of "Katrina," resulted not from the corrupt Democrat political machine that misused funds, ignoring the danger and failing to prepare for it, but from the incompetence of President Bush and FEMA.

Of course the most stunning example in recent memory, September 11, is similarly explained away in any manner possible, other than that Bill Clinton and the "girls" (Hillary, Madeleine Albright, Janet Reno, and Jamie Gorelick) chose to play "politically correct" games with national security, thus leaving the nation vulnerable.

Likewise, on the day that Kansas begins experiencing "brownouts," power outages, and the exorbitant costs of shoring up its energy needs by purchasing emergency supplies of electricity from other utilities, those most responsible for the crisis will be the noisiest complainants, ascribing guilt to every corporate interest and individual they can target, but never acknowledging their own complicity.

Nevertheless, until that day arrives, Secretary Bremby and Governor Kathleen Sebelius (a Democrat, of course...) can be expected to loudly extol the virtues of their sensitivity and concern for mother earth.

Not every wrongheaded decision will immediately result in an obvious "day of reckoning" with such horrific, recognizable consequences awakening America with the mesmerizing impact of skyscrapers imploding on thousands of terrified people, or the nightmarish scene of hillsides and entire neighborhoods ablaze. But just as surely, in every situation where liberal ideologues are allowed to set the stage with total disregard for reality, sooner or later that day will come.” Adamo

Top psychiatrist concludes liberals are clinically nuts!
Makes case ideology is mental disorder

February 15, 2008 WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.

"Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness." "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."

While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to "the vast right-wing conspiracy."

For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.

Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by the two major candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination can only be understood as a psychological disorder.

"A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do."

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

• creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
• satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
• augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
• rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

"The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."

Board-certified in general and forensic psychiatry
Over 35 years of experience
Consultation, evaluation, reports, and testimony
Civil and criminal matters
Expert/consultant for plaintiffs, defendants, and prosecution


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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Constructive Anger Is a Positive Force

I happened to watch the DVD movie of the film, “Bobby”, today, and I remembered where I was in 1968 when he was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan in the first instance of a major Islamic terrorist act against this country that I know of (not counting the Barbary pirates and overseas mischief). I remember being in Times Square and learning of the horrible act from reading the news billboard, and I remember how angry I was, even though I was not a Kennedy supporter. I was angry, not only because a person very familiar to me had been cruelly murdered, but because the assassination of a presidential candidate was a direct blow against my country. For many years I think most of us have assumed that Sirhan Sirhan was just a crazy person; but now we know he had the same kind of craziness that possessed the suicide bombers to explode those airplanes on 9/11. I will NEVER get over the anger I feel towards the Islamic terrorists for their murderous acts against Americans over the years.


When the “Flying Imams” pulled their stunt on US Airways flight 300 to Phoenix on November 20, 2006, and, with CAIR’s support, escalated the taunting charade by suing the airline and some of the passengers who felt threatened by them, I felt some anger at them, and at the multiculturalists who blindly supported them - and at CAIR for giving us one more reason to believe they (CAIR) are unhelpful at best – and have terrorist links at worst.


When the New York Times revealed the existence of one of our nation’s most important secrets, a surveillance program that prevented the plot to blow up 10 trans-Atlantic jet planes loaded with Americans and others, from succeeding, - a program that also helped uncover several other plots by Islamic terrorists to do great harm – I also became angry because it wasn’t the first instance of this kind of behavior by the Times. Revealing the existence of this program, which had been vetted with members of Congress, has undoubtedly caused terrorists to change their methods of communications. How many people will be killed because of this irresponsible and treasonous act by the Times will never be known.


Now I am also angry at the unbelievable irresponsibility of the Democrat Congress that just wasted time investigating steroid use in baseball while letting the extremely important FISA act expire. This is a statement that President Bush made just before Congress gave Republicans a major issue next fall by doing something unfathomable:

“Good afternoon. This Saturday at midnight, legislation authorizing intelligence professionals to quickly and effectively monitor terrorist communications will expire. If Congress does not act by that time, our ability to find out who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they are planning will be compromised. It would be a mistake if the Congress were to allow this to happen.

Members of Congress knew all along that this deadline was approaching. They said it themselves. They've had more than six months to discuss and deliberate. And now they must act, and pass legislation that will ensure our intelligence professionals have the tools they need to keep us safe.

Earlier this week the Senate did act, and passed a strong bill, and did so with a bipartisan majority. The Senate bill will ensure that we can effectively monitor those seeking to harm our people. The Senate bill will provide fair and just liability protection for companies that assisted in the efforts to protect America after the attacks of September the 11th. Without this protection, without this liability shield, we may not be able to secure the private sector's cooperation with our intelligence efforts. And that, of course, would put the American people at risk.

Now it's the House's turn to act. It is clear that the Senate bill would pass the House with bipartisan support. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate can put partisanship aside, and pass a good bill. There's no reason why the House cannot do the same, and pass the Senate bill immediately.

Our government has no greater responsibility than getting this work done, and there really is no excuse for letting this critical legislation expire. I urge congressional leaders to let the will of the House and the American people prevail, and vote on the Senate bill before adjourning for their recess. Failure to act would harm our ability to monitor new terrorist activities, and could reopen dangerous gaps in our intelligence.

Failure to act would also make the private sector less willing to help us protect the country, and this is unacceptable. The House should not leave Washington without passing the Senate bill.

I am scheduled to leave tomorrow for a long-planned trip to five African nations. Moments ago, my staff informed the House leadership that I'm prepared to delay my departure, and stay in Washington with them, if it will help them complete their work on this critical bill.

The lives of countless Americans depend on our ability to monitor terrorist communications. Our intelligence professionals are working day and night to keep us safe, and they're waiting to see whether Congress will give them the tools they need to succeed or tie their hands by failing to act. The American people are watching this debate, as well. They expect Congress to meet its responsibilities before they leave town on a recess.

Before leaving, he took this question:

Q Mr. President, I realize this is a sensitive matter, but I'm wondering if there's a way you can spell out for the American public what the practical impact may be, if this law expires, on our intelligence professionals, say, next week.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I hope it doesn't. But clearly, there will be a gap. And of course, we won't be able to assess that gap until the time. Step one is, I guess you got to come to the conclusion that there's a threat to America, or not a threat. And evidently some people just don't feel that sense of urgency. I do. And the reason I do is I firmly believe that there's still people out there who would do us harm.

Secondly, I know that the tools that I've just described are necessary to protect us. Why? Because we need to know what people are saying, what they're planning and what they're thinking. And the tool that I have just described has been very effective.

Thirdly, people are wondering why companies need liability protection. Well, if you cooperate with the government and then get sued for billions of dollars because of the cooperation, you're less likely to cooperate. And obviously we're going to need people working with us to find out what the enemy is saying and thinking and plotting and planning.

And so it's a -- to me it's a -- I guess one way to look at it is, some may not feel that same sense of urgency I do. I heard somebody say, well, this is just pure politics. No, this is what is necessary to protect the American people from harm. And I recognize there hasn't been an attack on our country, but that does not mean that there's not still an enemy that lurks, plans and plots.

And one of the reasons we've been effective is because we put new tools in place that give our professionals that which is necessary to protect us. This is a different kind of threat than we've ever faced before, it's a different kind of war that we're fighting, and it requires a different approach.

Again, I'll repeat to you that the Congress took a look at this issue and decided that the tools were necessary to give to our professionals last -- late last summer. And if it was necessary late last summer, why is it not necessary today? What has changed? Well, the threat hasn't gone away. It's still there, it's still real, and we better be worried about it as a nation. And the House has now got time to go out and get the deal done.

Yesterday -- a couple of days -- votes ago in the Senate made it abundantly clear that Republicans and Democrats can come together and put a good piece of legislation together and get it passed. And the House leadership has an opportunity to do that now.”

Constructive anger is a necessary and positive force; it makes you want to do something about some of the evils in the world. Publishing this weblog and political activism are my somethings.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Not All Democrats Are Stupid About Oil and Energy

Ross bill calls for energy 'independence' on back of oil drilling

By JON GAMBRELL Pine Bluff Commercial 2/15/08

LITTLE ROCK - A plan introduced Thursday by U.S. Rep. Mike Ross to encourage alternative and renewable energy relies on oil drilling in Arctic wildlife lands and the Gulf of Mexico to meet its goals.

Ross' bill, the "American-Made Energy Act of 2008," also would create tax credits to build new nuclear power plants throughout the United States, with an aim of having 40 percent of the nation's power come from nuclear sources.

Ross, a leader of a group of fiscally conservative Democrats known as the Blue Dog Coalition, is a co-sponsor on the bill with Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Ross told reporters on a conference call Thursday that technology would allow companies to drill for oil without endangering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska.

"We're not just trying to suck the oil out of the ground for no reason," said Ross, D-Ark. We're trying "to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and take the revenue from the sale of that oil and invest in all of these environmentally friendly and job-creating emerging technologies."

However, drilling in the refuge became a topic of heated Congressional debate at the end of 2005, when Democrats defeated a bill that would have allowed drilling at the refuge, the largest untapped U.S. oil reserve. The defeat came when Republicans still controlled Congress.

Ross said the drilling in the Arctic and off the Florida coast called for in his bill would raise about $80 billion over 30 years. He said that money would be "more than enough" to fund efforts to expand tax credits to fight global warming, encourage renewable energy operations and help consumers buy plug-in electric and flex-fuel cars.

Ross said the bill's tax credits for nuclear power plants would help wean the U.S. off of fossil fuels as well, though his bill includes subsidies to encourage liquid fuel production of coal. He said that could encourage further exploration of Arkansas' own coal reserves, bringing more jobs and industry to the state.

However, Ross acknowledged encouraging nuclear power and drilling in the Arctic might be a tough sale to Congress.

"This is not the '40s or '50s, this is not Chernobyl," Ross said. "This is the 21st Century. We can do these things in an environmentally friendly manner."

Because this is the first Democrat I know of who seems to have his head on straight regarding our dependence on oil, our need to expand greatly domestic drilling and refining, and our longer range need to develop nuclear power starting NOW, I decided to reprint below two earlier articles I posted on these subjects. Please bear with me.

Finally, After the Apocalypse, Comes the Nuclear/Hydrogen Age

It’s a stretch, but possibly it can be argued that extreme environmentalists are indirectly responsible for the murder of 3000 Americans on September 11, 2001 and for other, anti-American terrorist acts over recent years. This is because these extremists, aided by certain journalists like Walter Cronkite and by movies like The China Syndrome killed the continued development of nuclear power in the USA, and forced us to become totally dependent on oil from Muslim countries. This has had disastrous consequences for our environment, for our economy, for our military, and for our future well-being.

If we had not been misled by these people, and had continued our development of nuclear power, say as France has, we might have eliminated the need to protect the oil-fields and supply routes of the Persian Gulf, greatly reduced the production of greenhouse gases, saved 10’s of thousands of lives of coal miners, soldiers and others, and saved Americans countless dollars that were transferred to the pockets of Arab sheiks. We might also have avoided handing them a weapon to use against us and a pretext to do so.

Now, as the “Peak” of affordable oil production passes, as is happening right now, and as oil prices skyrocket and supplies shrink, we face the need to develop nuclear power almost on a ‘crash’ basis. (In France, for instance, about 75 percent of electricity is generated from nuclear power. Worldwide, it provides 17% of our energy. The US has not brought a new plant online since 1996 yet still generates 788.6 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh) yearly – almost 20% of the US total – accident free.)


City Journal:

“For such a nuclear-powered future to arrive, however, we’ll need to get beyond our nuclear-power past. In the now-standard histories, the beginning of the end of nuclear power arrived on March 28, 1979, with the meltdown of the uranium core at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. The Chernobyl disaster seven years later drove the final nail into the nuclear coffin. It didn’t matter that the Three Mile Island containment vessel had done its job and prevented any significant release of radioactivity, or that Soviet reactors operated within a system that couldn’t build a safe toaster oven. Uranium was finished….”


Renewable fuels, by contrast, made no visible dent in energy supplies, despite the hopes of Greens and the benefits of government-funded research, subsidies, and tax breaks. About a half billion kWh of electricity came from solar power in 2002—roughly 0.013 percent of the U.S. total. Wind power contributed another 0.27 percent. Fossil and nuclear fuels still completely dominate the U.S. energy supply, as in all industrialized economies.

And uranium’s combination of power and super-density makes the fuel less of a terror risk, not more, at least from an engineering standpoint. It’s easy to “overbuild” the protective walls and containment systems of nuclear facilities, since—like the pyramids—the payload they’re built to shield is so small. Protecting skyscrapers is hard; no builder can afford to erect a hundred times more wall than usable space. Guaranteeing the integrity of a jumbo jet’s fuel tanks is impossible; the tanks have to fly. Shielding a nuclear plant’s tiny payload is easy—just erect more steel, pour more concrete, and build tougher perimeters.

Greens don’t want to hear it, but nuclear power makes the most environmental sense, too. Nuclear wastes pose no serious engineering problems. Uranium is such an energy-rich fuel that the actual volume of waste is tiny compared with that of other fuels, and is easily converted from its already-stable ceramic form as a fuel into an even more stable glass-like compound, and just as easily deposited in deep geological formations, themselves stable for tens of millions of years. And what has Green antinuclear activism achieved since the seventies? Not the reduction in demand for energy that it had hoped for but a massive increase in the use of coal, which burns less clean than uranium.

The accident at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania, on March 28, 1979, was the most serious in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history, even though it led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community. But it brought about sweeping changes involving emergency response planning, reactor operator training, human factors engineering, radiation protection, and many other areas of nuclear power plant operations.

Detailed studies of the radiological consequences of the accident have been conducted by the NRC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services), the Department of Energy, and the State of Pennsylvania. Several independent studies have also been conducted. Estimates are that the average dose to about 2 million people in the area was only about 1 millirem. To put this into context, exposure from a full set of chest x-rays is about 6 millirem. Compared to the natural radioactive background dose of about 100-125 millirem per year for the area, the collective dose to the community from the accident was very small. The maximum dose to a person at the site boundary would have been less than 100 millirem.

In the months following the accident, although questions were raised about possible adverse effects from radiation on human, animal, and plant life in the TMI area, none could be directly correlated to the accident. Thousands of environmental samples of air, water, milk, vegetation, soil, and foodstuffs were collected by various groups monitoring the area. Very low levels of radionuclides could be attributed to releases from the accident. However, comprehensive investigations and assessments by several well-respected organizations have concluded that in spite of serious damage to the reactor, most of the radiation was contained and that the actual release had negligible effects on the physical health of individuals or the environment.”

With respect to Chernobyl, as terrible as it was, the World Nuclear Association had this to say: “Thirtyone workers and firefighters at the plant were killed. But a 16-year investigation by the UN and WHO concluded that there were no public radiation deaths or injuries No significant increase in any illness resulted except for 2000 cases of childhood thyroid cancer, a highly treatable disease from which there have been few if any deaths. But fear of radiation led to unnecessary evacuation of large population groups, causing unemployment, depression, alcoholism and suicides. In the year after the accident, there were 100,000 additional abortions downwind of the accident, presumably in unwarranted fear of bearing a "nuclear mutant." Deformed "Chernobyl victims" used to raise money for relief were later found to be unrelated to the accident. Some were from far away, others were deformed before the accident...

The European Commission’s Marina II study recently concluded that North Sea oil and gas operations now contributed more man-made radioactivity to the seas of northern Europe than anything emanating from the nuclear industry. Meanwhile, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd is committed to reducing radionuclides emissions into coastal water to ‘nil’ over the next 15 years...

The new, high temperature nuclear reactors — now undergoing trials in Japan and the US — are able to produce both electricity and, as a by-product, hydrogen. This latter may be our brightest hope to avoid a descent into the Stone Age when the lights eventually, inevitably, go out in Saudi Arabia."

The PBR Reactor – Our Future?

“Physicists and engineers at Beijing's Tsinghua University have made the first great leap forward in a quarter century, building a new nuclear power facility: a pebble-bed reactor (PBR) – sometimes also known as a Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). This reactor is small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough for emerging economies. Its safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete. This reactor is meltdown-proof.

What makes it so safe is the fuel: instead of conventional fuel rods made of enriched uranium, PBRs use small, pyrolytic graphite coated pebbles with uranium cores. As a PBR reactor gets hotter, the rapid motion of atoms in the fuel decreases probability of neutron capture by U-235 atoms. This effect is known as Doppler Broadening. Nuclei of heated uranium move more rapidly in random directions generating a wider range of neutron speeds. U-238, the isotope which makes up most of the uranium in the reactor, is much more likely to absorb the faster moving neutrons. This reduces the number of neutrons available to spark U-235 fission. This, in turn, lowers heat output. This built-in negative feedback places a temperature limit on the fuel without operator intervention.

PBRs use high-pressure helium gas, not water, for cooling. Reactors have been “run dry” – without cooling gas. Result: they simply stabilize at a given temperature – lower than the pebbles’ shell melting point. No meltdown can occur.
South Africa may have the most modern PBR on the drawing board. With the help of German scientists – acknowledged leaders in the field - they have planned to build several reactors within the next five years. Images in this article come from their design.

PBRs use helium, which has high thermal conductivity and inertness (read: fireproof and noncorrosive) for cooling. This makes them more efficient at capturing heat energy from nuclear reactions than standard reactor designs. The ratio of electrical output to thermal output is about 50%.
The high-temperature gas design also has a silver lining – it can produce hydrogen. Think about that – fuel cell vehicles need expensive-to-produce hydrogen to run on – this reactor could make hydrogen as a byproduct.

Generation of hydrogen has been the biggest stumbling block to its adoption as a clean fuel. Hydrogen, found primarily in water, is expensive to extract as a gas. While the technical problems of handling, storage and use as fuel are largely solved, the high energy cost to produce hydrogen has made it an energy transport medium, not a source.

James Lovelock, well known green activist and creator of the Gaia hypothesis that Earth is a single self-regulating organism, published a plea to phase out fossil fuels. Nuclear power, he argued, is the best short term hope for averting climatic catastrophe:

"Opposition to nuclear energy is based on irrational fear fed by Hollywood-style fiction, the Green lobbies, and the media. … Even if they were right about its dangers - and they are not - its worldwide use as our main source of energy would pose an insignificant threat compared with the dangers of intolerable and lethal heat waves and sea levels rising to drown every coastal city of the world. We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilization is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear, the one safe, available energy source, now, or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet." - From the London Independent – May, 2004”

Hydrogen cannot be produced economically in low-temperature, water cooled nuclear plants or by other, conventional means. It is a practically free byproduct of the new, high-temperature nuclear plants now being designed and built, of which the PBR design looks the most promising. Perhaps our shutdown of the continued development of nuclear energy can be turned to our advantage, since our sunk cost in conventional nuclear plants is so low, compared to the size of the problem and the size of the opportunity that confronts us. Energy independence, a clean environment, cheap electricity and vehicle fuel - all seem possible, but to avoid the cataclysm confronting us, we must act now.


So The Price Of Gas Is Starting To Hurt

I went out this morning, got gasoline for my car, and saw that overnight gas had gone to $3.05 per gallon. Later on in the day I heard on TV that President Bush's approval rating had fallen again. I wonder if the talking heads have seen the following graphic:

The red line represents Bush's approval rating; the blueline is the reciprocal of gasoline prices. In other words, when gas goes up, Bush goes down, and when gas goes down, Bush goes up.

If you recall, back in January I authored two pieces about Peak oil coming and the three things we must do: 1. fight to corner available sources, 2. switch to alternative fuels as fast as we can, 3. develop more domestic oil. The future is now.

The above graph starkly illustrates the situation the U.S. and all other developed and developing nations face; the peak is here and the competition to direct needed oil to one's own country is severe and will get much worse.

The above graph illustrates the extent of drilling activity in the U.S.A. Restrictions on drilling, largely put in place by Democratic politicians, far outweigh market factors in limiting our own drilling activity. The red line shows that activity, while the gray line shows market prices for oil. The next graph is even more telling. These restrictions (like in ANWR and in the Gulf of Mexico) have almost completely shut down exploring for new oil.

President Bush has attempted, over and over again, to push for more oil exploration and for development of nuclear power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The spin-masters of the Democratic Party, aided by their willing accomplices in the press and TV, have made him the fall guy instead of placing blame where it belongs - right in the laps of the Democratic politicians (especially Senator Nelson of Florida) who have been successful in stopping any new exploration and development. Their calls to get out of Iraq are also beyond comprehension.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Real Hard Ball Is What Counts

In deciding whether or not to vote for John McCain for president, conservative Republicans as well as independents and disaffected Democrats must consider the antics of leading Democrats on the subject of the War on Terrorism. Senator Clinton, remembering full well the Clinton Administration’s concerns and policies, was for the pre-emptive strike into Iraq before she was against it. Shades of Senator (flip-flop) Kerry. Senator Obama is for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, but wants to invade Pakistan, a complex Muslim country that has been as staunch an ally to us as possible.

Senate Majority Leader Reid, fresh from his humiliation by Rush Limbaugh, has declared the Iraq War “a loss for the United States” just as the news of the success of the ‘surge’ was becoming apparent to everyone else. Now the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a liberal Democrat, has joined Reid to declare Iraq a “failure”. Even the ultra-liberal New York Times, in an editorial today, has recognized the turnaround in Iraq and its importance to the future stability of the Middle East. Of course, the Times then adds all kinds of disclaimers to their surprising admission, but their message is clear: President Bush is well on his way to success in defeating Al Qaeda and in stabilizing an area of the world rent by violence for centuries – an area critical to the continued functioning of the economies of the developed world.

Do you really want these fools to be running things unchecked by a grownup? We need to get over our concerns with McCain’s inconsistency on conservative principles and unite behind him now. We need to continue President Bush’s record of stopping further major terrorist attacks on Americans and on American interests by playing ‘hard ball’ with terrorists while maintaining good relations with Muslim countries around the world.

Pelosi calls Iraq a 'failure'
By: Mike Allen
February 10, 2008 The Politico (Excerpt)

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said twice Sunday that Iraq “is a failure,” adding that President Bush’s troop surge has “not produced the desired effect.”

“The purpose of the surge was to create a secure time for the government of Iraq to make the political change to bring reconciliation to Iraq,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “Late Edition.” “They have not done that.”
The speaker hastened to add: “The troops have succeeded, God bless them.”

Pelosi’s harsh verdict is a reminder of the dilemma for Democrats as they head into this fall’s presidential and congressional elections:

They need to make the case that the country needs to depart from the direction set by Bush. Yet they don’t want to look like naysayers at a time when Iraq has become more stable, albeit still violent.”

New York Times
February 14, 2008
Making (Some) Progress in Iraq

Good news is rare in Iraq. But after months of bitter feuding, Iraq’s Parliament has finally approved a budget, outlined the scope of provincial powers, set an Oct. 1 date for provincial elections and voted a general amnesty for detainees.

All these steps are essential for national conciliation. As always in Iraq, it is best to read the fine print. Final details of the legislation aren’t known. The country’s three-member presidency council must still sign off. And then the laws have to be implemented.

One month after Parliament approved a law intended to open government jobs to former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, American officials insist it will ensure that more former Baathists will be hired than barred. That will take a lot more good will and follow-through than Iraq’s central government has so far shown.

The Bush administration — which has displayed only intermittent interest in Iraq’s political stalemates — will have to press a lot harder to make sure that all these new laws are translated into action.

We are, of course, cheered by the news that representatives from Iraq’s three main ethnic groups — Shiite, Sunni and Kurd — finally saw some benefit in compromise.

The Kurds’ largely autonomous regional government got what it wanted — a 17 percent share of the 2008 budget. The Sunnis will be the main beneficiaries of the amnesty law since 80 percent of the detainees in Iraqi jails are Sunnis.

The third law will transfer more power to Iraq’s ethnically dominated provincial governments — something all groups say they want. There are already questions about whether the provincial governments will be ready to hold elections in October. The United States and its allies will have to move quickly to provide both funding and technical help.

And there is a lot more work to be done. Iraq’s Parliament has yet to approve a law to ensure an equitable sharing of oil revenues.

Unfortunately, Iraq’s leaders still appear to feel no real sense of urgency. And the Bush administration — which is now talking about a “pause” in the drawdown of American troops — certainly isn’t doing anything to change their minds. Right after Wednesday’s vote, Parliament members began a five-week holiday.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Biofuels Meltdown By William Tucker

Biofuels Meltdown
By William Tucker
Published 2/13/2008 American Spectator

Last week two studies published in Science announced what anyone might have suspected all along. "Biofuels," rather than reducing carbon emissions, are adding two them -- possibly by a factor of nearly 100!

The two studies may finally puncture the myth that anything is to be gained from burning crops for fuel. From the very beginning, there was never any indication that turning corn into ethanol was improving our energy independence. As that effort faltered, the myth arose that at least it was reducing carbon emissions. Now it has been shown to do neither.

Meanwhile, thanks to a 51-cents-per-gallon tax break, 25 percent of the American corn crop is being turned into ethanol. Farmland prices are soaring and food prices are escalating all over the world.

Untangling that mess will be a job for the next President. The only candidate who has been willing to tackle the issue so far is GOP favorite John McCain, who bravely criticized ethanol subsidies during the Iowa caucuses.

From the beginning, the entire biofuels effort has been built on flimsy projections and dubious accounting that were seized upon by politicians eager to demonstrate they were "doing something" about energy. The whole fiasco can probably be traced to a single paragraph in Amory Lovins Soft Energy Paths, the 1976 book that inspired President Carter's embrace of "alternate energy" and convinced California Governor Jerry Brown that his state didn't need to build any more power plants.

(Google "California Electrical Shortage" to see what happened there.) In one hasty brushstroke, Lovins outlined what a national biofuels industry might look like:
[E]xciting developments in the conversion of agricultural, forestry, and urban wastes to methanol and other liquid and gaseous fuels now offer practical, economically interesting technologies sufficient to run an efficient U.S. transport sector. The required scale of organic conversion can be estimated. Each year the U.S. beer and wine industry, for example, microbiologically produces 5 percent as many gallons (not all alcohol, of course) as the U.S. oil industry produces gasoline. Gasoline has 1.5 to 2 times the fuel value of alcohol per gallon. Thus a conversion industry roughly ten to fourteen times the physical scale (in gallons of fluid output per year) of U.S. cellars and breweries, albeit using different processes, would produce roughly one-third of the present gasohol requirements of the United States....The scale of effort required does not seem unreasonable.

In other words, since beer and wine were already one-twentieth the volume of our gasoline, a reasonable expansion of distilleries could supply us with one-third of our transportation needs. Unfortunately, this analysis contained a single oversight that has bedeviled biofuels ever since.

Notice that while Lovins estimated the size of the distilling industry, he never mentions the amount of land required to produce the crops. Hops and vineyards currently occupy 40 million acres of farmland. Using Lovins' figure of "roughly ten to fourteen times the scale," that gives us 480 million acres -- more than all of U.S. cropland put together.

Lovins also made a mistake. Although he mentioned that beer and wine are "not all alcohol," he forgot to factor this into the final equation. Wine is 12 percent alcohol and beer is about 5 percent, so let's take 7 percent as an average. This means we must again multiply those 480 million acres by a factor of fourteen. That leaves us with 6.5 billion acres - three times the area of the United States, including Alaska -- in order to produce one-third of our transportation fuel needs in 1977. On this fatal error was the entire U.S. ethanol industry built.

Writing in the Washington Post in 2006, James Jordan and James Powell, two former enthusiasts of biofuels at Brooklyn's Polytechnic University, showed that the numbers have hardly changed:
It's difficult to understand how advocates of biofuels can believe they are a real solution to kicking our oil addition....[T]he entire U.S. corn crop would supply only 3.7 percent of our auto and truck transport demands. Using the entire 300 million acres of U.S. cropland for corn-based ethanol production would meet about 15 percent of demand....And the effects on land and agriculture would be devastating.

Oblivious to these concerns in 1979, Carter and Congress rushed ahead and exempted all biofuels from federal gasoline taxes. Farmers and agricultural conglomerates leaped to the bait. Archer Daniels Midland (56th on the Fortune 500) now produces 1.6 billion gallons a year, 20 percent of U.S. ethanol production.

More than 25 percent of American corn is now being refined into ethanol. This has diverted corn from other uses, mainly animal feed. As a result, milk prices jumped 33 percent in 2007. Yet all this effort is replacing less than 2 percent of our oil consumption.

EVEN AS THIS STAMPEDE into ethanol took shape, no one ever bothered to determine whether biofuels were saving any energy. Contemporary corn requires huge inputs from fertilizer and irrigation. Distillation is also energy intensive. Ordinarily, prices would inform us whether anything was being accomplished. But price signals have been overridden since 1979.

Instead, there is the "battle of the studies," in which various scientific groups -- some overtly political -- try to prove on paper whether energy is gained or lost. Although some investigators have claimed that corn ethanol loses energy, the consensus seems to be that there is a modest gain of about 10 percent.

Everyone agrees, on the other hand, that sugar would make a much better base crop. Brazil has replaced 40 percent of its gasoline consumption with sugar-based ethanol, although it has a much smaller fleet of cars. The American sugar industry is protected by a 4-cents-per-pound import duty, however, and there is a 54-cents-per-gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol. There are constant cries to remove the duty, but that means tackling a powerful farm constituency, the sugar lobby.

The dream of environmentalists is that we will eventually produce ethanol from cellulose, the fibrous material that makes up about 95 percent of most plants. (Currently only seeds and sugars can be distilled into alcohol.) The only thing in nature that breaks down cellulose is the bacteria that live in the gut of cows and termites. Numerous efforts are being made to domesticate these microorganisms and deploy them on an industrial scale, but none has succeeded. No one even knows if it is possible. Meanwhile, corn-based ethanol remains uneconomical.

Undaunted, biofuels enthusiasts soon cooked up the rumor that at least fuel crops were reducing global warming. The logic went like this: Burning fossil fuels releases carbon that has been buried in the earth for hundreds of millions of years. Burning crops, however, only releases carbon that was photosynthesized last year. Therefore the process is "carbon neutral."

All this works as long as you don't ask one question, "What was growing on the land before the bio-crops were planted?" If it was food or fiber, then it would be a long, long time before most of the carbon returned to the atmosphere. If it was a standing forest, then planting biofuels is the equivalent of setting fire to the trees.

All this was glossed over as long as biofuels remained an American Midwestern phenomenon. As it moved to the tropics, however, the outcome has been devastating.

IN AN ERA WHEN "Save the Rainforests" is an international crusade, tropical rainforests from Brazil to Malaysia are now being cleared for palm oil plantations sending "biodiesel" fuels to Europe and America. Three years ago, Friends of the Earth discovered that the clearing was threatening the last refuge of the orangutan. Trumpeting an "oil-for-apes scandal," environmentalists have since convinced the European Union to end biofuels imports. Ironically, Friends of the Earth was Lovins' home organization when he first proposed all this in 1976.

Even so, growing crops for fuel is having a worldwide impact on food prices. Mexico has had "tortilla riots" over the high corn prices. In December, a report from the International Monetary fund warned that "a significant part of the latest jump in food prices can be traced directly to biofuels policy." As Jordan and Powell of Polytechnic concluded: "It is morally wrong to divert cropland needed for human food supply to powering automobiles."

Last week's reports in Science makes the whole biofuels effort seem even more ridiculous. One study, headed by environmental economist Timothy Searchinger of Princeton, concluded that growing biofuels almost anywhere will result in land being cleared somewhere else for food or fuel. The other study, headed by Joseph Fargione of the Nature Conservancy, calculated that clearing grasslands for biofuels increases carbon emissions 93 times in the first year. "So for the next 93 years you're making climate change worse," concluded Fargione.

What's the moral of all this? Energy issues should be resolved in the marketplace, not by legislation. Put a price on carbon emissions -- either through a straight carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system -- and then let the market sort things out. (Once again, McCain is in the lead, proposing such a measure in the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act.)

In what direction is this likely to take us? I don't know any more than anyone else, but I do know that nuclear reactors are now making so much money that the attorney general of Connecticut has proposed a windfall profits tax.

I also know if we're ever going to develop electric cars, we'll need a lot more electricity. Putting a price on carbon emissions would make the economics of carbon-free nuclear electricity even more favorable. But that's another story.

William Tucker's book, Terrestrial Energy: Why Nuclear is Green and Will Help Rescue the Planet, will be published in June by Bartleby Press.


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Monday, February 11, 2008

The Muslims at the Back Door

While Muslim terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq are being defeated militarily in their attempt to establish a new caliphate through terror tactics – mainly the killings of westerners and anyone else they disagree with - with bombings, torture and decapitation, the establishment of their cruel Sharia law is quietly being infiltrated in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and in many other parts of the world.

I have previously discussed many times that the Muslim religion is much more than a religion, it is also a political movement which brings with it a set of civil laws (the Sharia) that includes the death penalty for the crime of adultery, and other such punishments such as amputations for the crime of theft and flogging for fornication or public intoxication. My readers also know that, while I strongly support President Bush’s efforts to prevent the War on Terror from becoming a religious war, and his efforts to protect American citizens of the Muslim faith, I also believe that any further immigration of Muslims should be drastically curtailed or ended.

Today I want to remind everyone of four situations that are happening here in the U.S. and in Canada and Great Britain. In all three countries Muslims have attempted to use the political processes of a free people to insinuate Sharia and/or ‘hate-speech’ distortions into our own legal systems – the end game of all this is to turn on its head the democracy which allows and abides this fascist poison.


1. Canada is fresh from a battle during which Muslims attempted to impose Sharia into the legal system of the Province of Ontario. Through the heroic efforts of a Canadian immigrant lady from Iran, named Homa Arjomand, who has devoted her life to fighting the Sharia and its abuse of women’s rights, Canadians were warned of what was happening and defeated the attempt largely through her efforts.

2. Author Mark Steyn published a piece in Macleans magazine pointing out the incredible differences in birth rates of Muslims vs. nonMuslims. He and Macleans have now been hauled up before a 'speech code' commission. See the excerpt and view the video below:

“Last month the students and the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), a lobby group, filed complaints against Maclean's at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, as well as those of Ontario and British Columbia. The article, the CIC claimed, harmed Muslims' “sense of dignity and self-worth”.

Their choice of forum has brought protests. The criminal code has hate-propaganda provisions, but using these requires convincing a prosecutor. The bar is much lower for Human Rights Commissions and their tribunals. These were set up to deal with discrimination on grounds such as race or sex in jobs, housing or services. Even the man who inspired them, Alan Borovoy, a civil-liberties lawyer, is dismayed at their misuse to limit free speech. The tribunals can only levy small fines and give an order to desist. But the proceedings involve steep costs for defendants, whereas plaintiffs pay nothing if the commission decides there are grounds to proceed.

Much of Canada's press and many broadcasters are already noted for politically correct blandness. Some fear that the case can only make that worse. Mr Steyn and others hope it will prompt a narrower brief for the commissions, or even their abolition. As he put it in his blog, “I don't want to get off the hook. I want to take the hook and stick it up the collective butt of these thought police.” Economist

United States:

3. Most of us are aware of the case of the ‘Flying Imams”
Intimidation by lawsuit
Mar. 30, 2007 Arizona Republic (Excerpt)
“As an act of coldblooded strategy, the pending lawsuit of the "flying imams" is a clever one.

It is directed not merely at an airline or at a government. It is directed at passengers, at anyone flying on a commercial airliner who might be so bold as to actually report what they believe may be "suspicious activity."

It is a strategy aimed at all of us. What, after all, do ordinary citizens fear almost as much as terrorism in the skies? It is the prospect of being dunned into their dotage - and into poverty - by lawyers and process servers demanding to know why they are so hateful.

And, so, the result: Let the other guy report what he sees, thank you.

Last November, six Muslim imams were returning to the Phoenix area from a conference in Minneapolis when they were removed from their US Airways flight for what passengers, crew and airline personnel described as suspicious activity, which included reports of chanting "Allah" in the gate area and, once on board, switching their seat assignments and asking for seat belt extenders that they didn't need.

The imams, five of whom live in the Valley, immediately claimed they were the victims of discrimination. They claimed to have done nothing more ominous than quietly pray at the times prescribed by the tenets of their religion. Surrounded by lawyers, they plaintively insisted they were targeted merely for "flying while Muslim."

Then they filed a federal lawsuit. Among the defendants cited, deep in Paragraph 21, are unnamed persons to be named later - certain "John Does," in the legal parlance. The lawsuit specifically refers to two passengers who stared at the imams as they prayed. But it isn't limited to them.”

Great Britain:

4. Those following what is happening in British society are dismayed by the successful efforts of the large Muslim population there to impose their customs and practices on all the rest of the British citizens - from the deletion of all references to pigs to the wearing of burkas while testifying in court – to the actual imposition of the Sharia into British civil law. Right now there is a controversy surrounding a liberal church elder:
Sharia law row: Archbishop is in shock as he faces demands to quit
09.02.08 ThisIsLondon (Excerpt)

Under fire: Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams
“The Archbishop of Canterbury was facing demands to quit last night as the row over sharia law intensified.

Leading bishops publicly contradicted Dr Rowan Williams's call for Islamic law to be brought into the British legal system.”

The problem in England, Canada and in the United States is the same: modern liberals, devoted to the poisonous concept of multiculturalism, refuse to face the dangers in which this philosophy places us all. They promote the values of other cultures because this makes them feel good, and they undermine efforts to reject dangerous and divisive practices. Many immigrants risked everything to escape their culture. How stupid is it to elevate these cultures above our own, because, make no mistake, this is the end game of the multiculturalists.

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