Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Review of the Past Decade

Ten Years in the Life of a Nation

By Lisa Fabrizio on 12.31.09 The American Spectator (Excerpt)

"The year 2000 closed with two events that were to impact the ensuing decade; the unavenged al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors, and the U.S. Supreme Court's ending of the presidential election fiasco with its constitutionally correct ruling in the case of Bush v. Gore. Although these were seemingly unrelated, they would continue to influence world history; the former, which further emboldened an already fanatical and growing enemy, and the latter, which set the face of liberals hard against cooperation with President Bush in the defeat of radical Islamism.

And so the decade with no name was underway, not with a whimper but with the bang felt around the world on September 11, 2001. As everyone remembers, after the initial shock and revulsion came a period of national unity unseen in this country since the days of World War II. But, as everyone also remembers, this era of good feeling was extremely and unfortunately short-lived.

If on September 12, anyone told you that, rather than joining Bush wholeheartedly in combating our savage enemy, many Democrats would instead focus their efforts on the treatment of POWs, you'd have called him insane. But the hatred of George W. Bush only exacerbated the inborn liberal desire for "peace" at any price, in a way that could have been disastrous for our nation, had it been led by a man of lesser resolve.

Yet, despite the rancor that cascaded down on him for most of his two terms, after 9/11 not one single life on American soil was lost to Islamic terrorism under his watch. But our nation grew tired of a war in which the enemy is content to sit and wait -- sometimes for centuries -- and elected a man who was to bring hope and change, not only to our country but somehow to the entire world.

And now we are suffering the ironic trick of history repeating itself; we have come full circle from the onset of the 21st century, where we once again have a Commander-in-Chief who treats acts of war as criminal offenses, despite having witnessed the consequences of such conduct. A man who, like Bill Clinton, directly benefited from the bold actions of his predecessor when it came to confronting evil head on, while failing to learn from those hard-won lessons

And, once again, the media shows its incredible bias by not excoriating a president who called the events on Flight 253 the work of an "isolated extremist," despite all the evidence to the contrary. The same media who emitted interminable howls of indignation when George W. Bush told FEMA chief Michael Brown that he did "a heck of a job" in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but virtually yawns when our Homeland Security chief proclaimed that "the system worked" after the Christmas Day bomb plot.

And so the new decade begins much like the last one: with the death of a dozen or so American servicemen -- this time on our own soil -- in the war between Islamic fundamentalism and Western civilization; a war that our current president doesn't seem to have the stomach even to acknowledge, much less fight. Welcome to 2010."


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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A German's View on Islam

I don't have a published source for this, but it made a lot of sense, and the facts seem correct. As of today, there have been 14,598 murderous terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims on the rest of us just since 9/11. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.

A German's View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts -- the fanatics who threaten our way of life..

Again, last night, a leader of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) appeared on television to downplay the role of Muslims in terrorist acts and to demand that profiling not be put into practice - profiling, something we desperately need to save the airline industry and to keep us safe. Muslims in America would be better off to put their energies into exposing the terrorists in their midst and also stop trying to impose Sharia.


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Monday, December 28, 2009

Obama Relaxes Shoe Bomber Restraints

Something so rotten is going on that is beyond comprehension.

President Obama just duly noted that another (Muslim) attempted to bring down an American jet carrying hundreds of American citizens. He referred to him as an "isolated extremist". Are you kidding me?

What Obama didn’t tell us, though, is that just a short time ago he had relaxed special rules that prevented the “shoe bomber”, Richard Reid, (also known as Abdul Raheem and as Tariq Raja) from communicating with fellow Muslims. Was Reid able to pass on information that led to this latest terrorist attack?

Whose side is President Obama on anyway?

Outrage As Feds Curb Shoe Bomber Prison Rules

By Jessica Fargen / Herald Exclusive | Sunday, September 20, 2009

Airplane shoe bomber Richard C. Reid no longer faces severe limits on his prison activities or communications after the Obama administration quietly ended years of hard-nosed curbs against the British-born al-Qaeda terrorist.

This summer the Justice Department halted six years of measures that kept Reid from associating or praying with fellow jailed Muslim terrorists, and limited his access to the news media and pen pals.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Clown alert: Janet Napolitano and Homeland Security

Over the weekend, the incompetence and the radical left ideology of the Obama Administration came together in the skies over the country as a would-be Al Qaida bomber tried unsuccessfully to take down a passenger-laden jetliner. We learn from the dunce running Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, that “the system worked” and “this was a lone operator – not part of a larger group”.

Clown alert: Janet Napolitano says the “system worked”

By Michelle Malkin • December 27, 2009

“It has been, in the words of Queen Elizabeth II, an “annus horribilis” for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Beginning with her embrace of the impotent euphemism “man-caused disasters” to the hit job on conservatives and veterans that she was forced to apologize for, to her assertion that crossing the border illegally “isn’t a crime per se”, to her boneheaded claim that 9/11 terrorists came in through the Canadian border, Ja-No has confirmed time and again that she’s not ready for prime time.

Today, she caps off her horrible year by playing Big Pollyanna in the wake of the Flight 254. The botched bombing — foiled by a faulty detonator and brave passengers, not by homeland security bureaucrats or any preemptive measures by intel officials — shows that she lives in a fantasy world.

If the “system” had “worked,” the U.S. consular officials who granted Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab a short-term visa last June would have revoked it immediately upon being informed by his father that he was a Muslim radical with al Qaeda ties.

If the “system” had “worked,” U.S. consular officials would have never granted Abdulmutallab — a rootless, young, single male — a visa in the first place in compliance with State Department visa regulation 214(b):

That law requires an applicant to show strong roots in his home country — such as a house, a spouse, and/or employment — in order to prove that he would be likely to return home when his visa expired.

Young, single, unemployed men are the people most often refused visas under 214(b) (when it is actually enforced) for the very reasons that al Qaeda recruits them so heavily: They are shiftless and have very little to stop them from packing up and moving to a new country. There’s also, sadly, very little to prevent them from committing terrorist attacks

The “system,” like Napolitano, was an epic failure.

And as predicted, Napolitano also played the “lone nut” card — dismissing the Christmas Day jihadist as a single operator not part of “anything larger” despite his own testimony to the contrary.

She’s Obama’s biggest joker. And there’s no Blame-Bush loophole to weasel through anymore.”

At some point, waiting until the next election doesn’t cut it. Our forefathers turned to violence when their wants and needs were ignored. We don’t need terror in our skies, and only 36% also seem to want the atrocious assault on our healthcare that is taking place.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009: The Year of Living Fecklessly

Sorry to bring a shudder of realism into the Christmas season:

2009: The Year of Living Fecklessly

By Charles Krauthammer December 26, 2009 RealClearPolitics

WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not just reject President Obama's latest feckless floating nuclear deadline. He spat on it, declaring that Iran "will continue resisting" until the U.S. has gotten rid of its 8,000 nuclear warheads.

So ends 2009, the year of "engagement," of the extended hand, of the gratuitous apology -- and of spinning centrifuges, two-stage rockets and a secret enrichment facility that brought Iran materially closer to becoming a nuclear power.

We lost a year. But it was not just any year. It was a year of spectacularly squandered opportunity. In Iran, it was a year of revolution, beginning with a contested election and culminating this week in huge demonstrations mourning the death of the dissident Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri -- and demanding no longer a recount of the stolen election but the overthrow of the clerical dictatorship.

Obama responded by distancing himself from this new birth of freedom. First, scandalous silence. Then, a few grudging words. Then relentless engagement with the murderous regime. With offer after offer, gesture after gesture -- to not Iran, but the "Islamic Republic of Iran," as Obama ever so respectfully called these clerical fascists -- the U.S. conferred legitimacy on a regime desperate to regain it.

Why is this so important? Because revolutions succeed at that singular moment, that imperceptible historical inflection, when the people, and particularly those in power, realize that the regime has lost the mandate of heaven. With this weakening dictatorship desperate for affirmation, why is the U.S. repeatedly offering just such affirmation?

Apart from ostracizing and delegitimizing these gangsters, we should be encouraging and reinforcing the demonstrators. This is no trivial matter. When pursued, beaten, arrested and imprisoned, dissidents can easily succumb to feelings of despair and isolation. Natan Sharansky testifies to the electric effect Ronald Reagan's Evil Empire speech had on lifting spirits in the Gulag. The news was spread cell to cell in code tapped on the walls. They knew they weren't alone, that America was committed to their cause.

Yet so aloof has Obama been that on Hate America Day (Nov. 4, the anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran), pro-American counter-demonstrators chanted "Obama, Obama, you are either with us or with them," i.e., their oppressors.

Such cool indifference is more than a betrayal of our values. It's a strategic blunder of the first order.

Forget about human rights. Assume you care only about the nuclear issue. How to defuse it? Negotiations are going nowhere, and whatever U.N. sanctions we might get will be weak, partial, grudging and late. The only real hope is regime change. The revered and widely supported Montazeri had actually issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons.

And even if a successor government were to act otherwise, the nuclear threat would be highly attenuated because it's not the weapon but the regime that creates the danger. (Think India or Britain, for example.) Any proliferation is troubling, but a nonaggressive pro-Western Tehran would completely change the strategic equation and make the threat minimal and manageable.

What should we do? Pressure from without -- cutting off gasoline supplies, for example -- to complement and reinforce pressure from within. The pressure should be aimed not at changing the current regime's nuclear policy -- that will never happen -- but at helping change the regime itself.

Give the kind of covert support to assist dissident communication and circumvent censorship that, for example, we gave Solidarity in Poland during the 1980s. (In those days that meant broadcasting equipment and copying machines.) But of equal importance is robust rhetorical and diplomatic support from the very highest level: full-throated denunciation of the regime's savagery and persecution. In detail -- highlighting cases, the way Western leaders adopted the causes of Sharansky and Andrei Sakharov during the rise of the dissident movement that helped bring down the Soviet empire.

Will this revolution succeed? The odds are long but the reward immense. Its ripple effects would extend from Afghanistan to Iraq (in both conflicts, Iran actively supports insurgents who have long been killing Americans and their allies) to Lebanon and Gaza where Iran's proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, are arming for war.

One way or the other, Iran will dominate 2010. Either there will be an Israeli attack or Iran will arrive at -- or cross -- the nuclear threshold. Unless revolution intervenes. Which is why to fail to do everything in our power to support this popular revolt is unforgivable.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From Sarah Palin's Facebook December 22, 2009

Sarah Palin: Midnight Votes, Backroom Deals, and a Death Panel

From Sarah Palin's Facebook December 22, 2009

Last weekend while you were preparing for the holidays with your family, Harry Reid’s Senate was making shady backroom deals to ram through the Democrat health care take-over. The Senate ended debate on this bill without even reading it. That and midnight weekend votes seem to be standard operating procedures in D.C. No one is certain of what’s in the bill, but Senator Jim DeMint spotted one shocking revelation regarding the section in the bill describing the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (now called the Independent Payment Advisory Board), which is a panel of bureaucrats charged with cutting health care costs on the backs of patients – also known as rationing. Apparently Reid and friends have changed the rules of the Senate so that the section of the bill dealing with this board can’t be repealed or amended without a 2/3 supermajority vote. Senator DeMint said:

“This is a rule change. It’s a pretty big deal. We will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law. I’m not even sure that it’s constitutional, but if it is, it most certainly is a senate rule. I don’t see why the majority party wouldn’t put this in every bill. If you like your law, you most certainly would want it to have force for future senates. I mean, we want to bind future congresses. This goes to the fundamental purpose of senate rules: to prevent a tyrannical majority from trampling the rights of the minority or of future congresses.”

In other words, Democrats are protecting this rationing “death panel” from future change with a procedural hurdle. You have to ask why they’re so concerned about protecting this particular provision. Could it be because bureaucratic rationing is one important way Democrats want to “bend the cost curve” and keep health care spending down?

The Congressional Budget Office seems to think that such rationing has something to do with cost. In a letter to Harry Reid last week, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf noted (with a number of caveats) that the bill’s calculations call for a reduction in Medicare’s spending rate by about 2 percent in the next two decades, but then he writes the kicker:

“It is unclear whether such a reduction in the growth rate could be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care.”

Though Nancy Pelosi and friends have tried to call “death panels” the “lie of the year,” this type of rationing – what the CBO calls “reduc[ed] access to care” and “diminish[ed] quality of care” – is precisely what I meant when I used that metaphor.

This health care bill is one of the most far-reaching and expensive expansions of the role of government into our lives. We’re talking about putting one-seventh of our economy under the government’s thumb. We’re also talking about something as intimate to our personal well-being as medical care.

This bill is so unpopular that people on the right and the left hate it. So why go through with it? The Senate is planning to vote on this on Christmas Eve. Why the rush? Though we will begin paying for this bill immediately, we will see no benefits for years. (That’s the trick that allowed the CBO to state that the bill won’t grow the deficit for the next ten years.)

The administration’s promises of transparency and bipartisanship have been broken one by one. This entire process has been defined by midnight votes on weekends, closed-door meetings with industry lobbyists, and payoffs to politicians willing to sell their principles for sweetheart deals. Is it any wonder that Americans are so disillusioned with their leaders in Washington?

This is about politics, not health care. Americans don’t want this bill. Americans don’t like this bill. Washington has stopped listening to us. But we’re paying attention, and 2010 is coming.
As the Senate prepares to vote on health care reform, American voters "mostly disapprove" of the plan 53 - 36 percent and disapprove 56 - 38 percent of President Barack Obama's handling of the health care issue, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters also oppose 72 - 23 percent using any public money in the health care overhaul to pay for abortions, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Angry Breakfast Group

We have a small group of retired men who meet for breakfast from time to time – mostly to talk politics. Most of us are conservative, but we do have one liberal member, and our talks are usually spirited. I have noticed these past few months that we have stopped talking about politics almost entirely, and I think I know the reason: we are all so angry that we are afraid that we will say something to our liberal friend that will destroy our friendships forever. Since the election of Barack Obama, new outrages have come at us every day, from the porkulus bill - to the apologies for our great nation's keeping of the world peace – to the czars consisting of 9/11 truthers, communists and a guy trying to promote homosexual practices in our school-children. I can only scratch the surface here; Obama keeps insulting our closest ally because of slights received in his childhood, double-crossed Poland and the Czech Republic, showed what a narrow-minded bigot he is in the Crowley-Gates affair, and bowed to every dictator he comes across. I'm not even getting into the industry and freedom-destroying Cap & Trade and Obamacare legislation he is pushing. We are all incredibly angry, and frightened by our own thoughts.

Dreading our future

By MICHAEL GOODWIN December 20, 2009 New York Post (Excerpt)

“I am a baby boomer, which is to say my life has coincided with turbulent and awesome times. From the Cold War to Vietnam, from Watergate to Monicagate, through the horrors of 9/11 and the stunning lifestyle advances, my generation's era has been historic and exciting.

Yet for all the drama and change, the years only occasionally instilled in me the sensation I feel almost constantly now. I am afraid for my country.

I am afraid -- actually, certain -- we are losing the heart and soul that made America unique in human history. Yes, we have enemies, but the greatest danger comes from within.

Watching the freak show in Copenhagen last week, I was alternately furious and filled with dread. The world has gone absolutely bonkers and lunatics are in charge.
Mugabe and Chavez are treated with respect and the United Nations is serious about wanting to regulate our industry and transfer our wealth to kleptocrats and genocidal maniacs.

Even more frightening, our own leaders joined the circus. Marching to the beat of international drummers, they uncoupled themselves from the will of the people they were elected to serve.

President Obama, for whom I voted because I believed he was the best choice available, is a profound disappointment. I now regard his campaign as a sly bait-and-switch operation, promising one thing and delivering another. Shame on me.

Equally surprising, he has become an insufferable bore. The grace notes and charm have vanished, with peevishness and petty spite his default emotions. His rhetorical gifts now serve his loathsome habit of fear-mongering.

"Time is running out," he says, over and again. He said it on health care, on the stimulus, in Copenhagen, on Iran.

Instead of provoking thought and inspiring ideas, the man hailed for his Ivy League nuance insists we stop thinking and do what he says. Now.

His assertion we will go bankrupt unless Congress immediately adopts the health monstrosity marks a new low. At least it did until he barged into a meeting in Copenhagen to insult the Chinese with the same do-it-now arrogance on carbon emissions.

Don't get me wrong -- it's OK to insult the Chinese, but save it for an urgent life-and-death issue. Iran qualifies, with its plans for a nuclear arsenal, yet Obama has not pushed China on that issue with the fervor of his attacks on their dirty smokestacks.

Washington has its own freak show and it also features Big Government theocrats. One of the mainstream media myths is that the Democrat-on-Democrat attacks of late pit moderates against liberals.

Horse hockey. No person of conservative or moderate sensibility could possibly support a federal takeover of the massive health system.

That some who profess to be moderates have gone along, either out of fear or partisan loyalty or payoffs, only underscores the madness.

In fact, it is a myth the fight is over health care at all. It is a vulgar power dispute between liberals and extreme liberals, with health care a convenient portal for command-and-control of 17 percent of the economy.

It's definitely not reform.

Notice how little Obama talks about sick people or medicine or suffering or any of the realities of illness and death. There is almost no mention of the moral dimension that supposedly animates the demand for universal coverage.

The public intuitively understands the con, which is why it prefers the flawed status quo. Voters tell pollsters by as much as 3-to-1 they think a federal takeover will cost them and the country more money and will produce more red tape instead of better care.

Yet, because power corrupts, and one-party rule corrupts absolutely, dissenters are considered heretics. Until the next election.

Meanwhile, Mother Nature delivered her verdict with yesterday's blizzard in Washington. I am cheered by the thought that finally, hell has frozen over.” New York Post

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Laughing at the Silliness of Liberal Logic

The problem is, it's not only funny, it's dangerous.

Laughing at the Left

By Quin Hillyer 12.18.09 American Spectator

If the consequences for this great nation of ours weren't so serious and the policies preferred by the left weren't so dangerous, one would really laugh, almost uncontrollably, at the beliefs and (il)logic of American liberals. Based on things they have actually said or done, here are some of the things they really, truly seem to believe.

They believe we can spend our way out of debt. They believe taking money from one part of the economy to give to another part somehow makes the economy bigger. They believe people who have never run a business can run a business better than people who have spent their whole lives running businesses. They believe that what appears to be a 20-year spike in global temperatures (a spike itself that hundreds of scientists dispute) can mean doom for a planet whose temperatures have swung much more widely for 6 billion years -- but that an eight- or ten-year flattening or even drop in temperatures can be ignored because it doesn't comport with the "models" based largely on the previous 20 years. They believe that punishing "developed" nations for carbon consumption is a good idea even if it means that developing countries without the same environmental controls will take over the production/manufacturing forced away from the developed countries. So, somehow, in the name of saving the environment from carbon emissions, they would create even more carbon emissions (and other, real pollution) elsewhere -- and call it progress.

They believe that teenage girls who aren't allowed to get even minor cosmetic surgery without a parent's permission should nevertheless be able to procure an abortion without a parent's permission. They believe that would-be parents should have the "choice" to kill their babies, but not the choice of where to send their children to school. They believe that when it comes to advising about abortions, nobody should interfere with the doctor (abortionist)-patient relationship -- but when it comes to caring for the elderly, anonymous bureaucrats should dictate to doctors what sorts of treatment are cost-effective enough to be "approved."

They believe it is unconstitutional for a legislature to mention Jesus but perfectly okay to mention Allah. They think it is offensive for mass-market movies to exhibit Christian sensibilities, but that it is perfectly okay for primetime TV shows on the public airwaves to have eighth graders decide which is the sexiest from among of contestants on MILF (Mothers I'd Like to ****) Island. They believe it disqualifies an appellate judicial nominee to joke one time about praying "please God, no more Souters" on the Supreme Court, but that it doesn't disqualify a Supreme Court nominee to repeat in multiple prepared speeches that "inherent physiological or cultural differences… may and will make a difference in our judging." They believe it is disqualifying for a judicial nominee to have quoted Thomas Aquinas about a Catholic duty to be good and active citizens while speaking to a Catholic high school. They believe explicit words in the Constitution protecting contracts, and gun ownership rights, and property rights against government seizure, are to be ignored; but that wholly invented "rights" that cannot be found in any words of the Constitution, but that merely "extend" from "emanations" from "penumbras" of other judicially created "rights," are somehow sacrosanct and essential parts of the Constitution.

They believe that when a white skinhead threatens a black man, it is a sign of a vast racist conspiracy; but that when paramilitary-garbed New Black Panthers with a weapon, spouting racial epithets, stand right in front of a polling place, it is no violation of civil rights at all -- even after a judge has already moved to issue a default judgment against the Panthers. They believe that blacks are suffering racial discrimination when black voters themselves choose to hold non-partisan elections.

They believe white firefighters can be denied promotions specifically because they are white, and that Asian students can be denied admission to college because they aren't black, but that black students who want to attend racially integrated private schools should be sent back to de facto segregated public schools in the name of "fairness."

The Left thinks it is good diplomacy to insult our allies while kowtowing to our enemies and bowing to problematic rivals. They tried everything in their power to stop Ronald Reagan's Cold War policies and yet now claim to have been part of a decades-long, bipartisan consensus on Cold War efforts. They think Afghanistan is a "war of necessity" until they are in charge of it, after which it becomes a war that must be stopped, one that was inherited from bad Republicans. They oppose missile defense because they say it will never work, and then when it works they oppose it anyway. They think that American imperialists are worse than foreign Communists. They think American servicemen should be prosecuted for (allegedly) punching a jihadist-terrorist in the stomach while capturing him -- and in a military court, without civilian due process rights -- but that foreign terrorist suspects are too good for military justice and instead deserve Miranda rights and other domestic American civil rights.

They support jail sentences for mere paperwork violations of environmental laws, even of foreign environmental laws or regulations, but they think even violent criminals should be let free if police make unintentional mistakes in paperwork or procedure.

They also think it is dangerous to the point of being an existential threat for ordinary citizens to challenge office-holders at town hall meetings, but perfectly okay for those same powerful office-holders to call their critics "un-American." They believe in the secret ballot for Mexicans, but not for American workers who are considering unionization. They say, against all evidence, that far more ballots are kept from being cast due to utterly unspecified "intimidation" than are cast fraudulently in the names of people who actually go nowhere near the polls, of dead people, and even of pet dogs …and of dead pet fish!!!

And, finally for now (this could go on for page after page), get this: They actually think most Americans agree with them. Now that isn't just laugh-inducing; it's worthy of a roll-on-the-floor, guffaw-til-you're-blue-in-the-face, uncontrollable laughing fit.


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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

It seems like every time a Democrat like Al Gore, Barack Obama, Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi opens his mouth - a lie or an attempt to conceal the truth comes out. How can anyone keep listening to these people? Whether you agree or disagree with them, George Bush and Sarah Palin tell the truth.

We are In Big Trouble

December 14, 2009 American Thinker (Excerpt)
Since the release of the CRU documents that prove the fraud of the science behind man made global warming, Al Gore has said at least three times (Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun puts it at four) that the emails and information were all ten years old. This is a lie. It has been repeated again and again by Al Gore. Some of the emails are less than two months old. And dozens upon dozens are less than ten years old. And everyone -- but Al Gore -- knows it.

Watch the video of the CNN interview with Gore here. One reporter does say to Gore, as a kind of aside, "Some of them [the emails] were from ten years ago, but many of them were far more recent than that."

Gore ignores the statement. Neither of the two reporters further disputes Gore's "ten year old" fabrication. No follow-up challenge from the CNN reporters to Gore's out right lie. None.

The mainstream media has downplayed the significance of the CRU documents. The headline of a recent AP story proclaims that the science from the CRU was not faked. Really? As (among others) Marc Sheppard, Lord Monckton, and I have proven the CRU findings most certainly were doctored. The raw date was manipulated to "prove" that the world is exponentially warming. There is no doubt about this.

And still, the mainstream media has not challenged Al Gore on the blatant absurdity of his claim that the documents were at least ten years old and have no real impact on the AGW debate. American Thinker
Revisionist History

December 13, 2009 PowerLine

A reader points out a remarkable bit of revisionist history in Barack Obama's Nobel Prize speech. No doubt others have commented on it and I've just missed it; but, in any event, it bears repeating. Here is the excerpt from Obama's speech:

Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait - a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.

Really? "The world" "recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein"? Well, not all of the world did. Our reader comments:

It strikes me that this is real news. His Oneness endorsing Gulf War I as a just war!!!...So NOW He tells us???!!!.....did He talk to Slow Joe Biden about that?..John Kerry?...ALL the many, many Dems who opposed that.....and in the FACE of U.N. endorsement!!!....the entire left opposed Bush I on this....

Furthermore, the Iraq War Resolution was based in part, and certainly as a legal matter, on the Gulf War I post-war settlement...the armistice....REPEATEDLY violated by Saddam Hussein in every respect....including inspections for illegal WMD....

You cannot endorse Gulf War I ---- and not just as a "realist" strategic "war of choice" but as a "just war"....REQUIRED by morality to "confront" "aggression" --- and oppose the IWR which on one level is just enforcing the UN judgment on Gulf War I.

If we had listened to all of His Oneness's pals --- including His own VP!!!!....Saddam Hussein would still be alive, still be in Kuwait and possibly Saudi Arabia with control of world oil pricing.....and ALREADY have nukes....if we had listened to them....

Everything they've touched they have screwed up or got wrong.....on THEIR OWN NARRATIVE!!!!!.....So why do they have ANY credibility now??

They don't, of course. Our reader is right. The vote in the Senate on the authorization of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, which took place on January 12, 1991, was 52-47. The Democrats controlled the Senate at the time; they voted 45-10 against the "consensus" on "the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait." John Kerry, Joe Biden and 43 other Democrats voted to let Saddam Hussein keep Kuwait and expand his control over Middle Eastern oil from there, while continuing to develop nuclear weapons--which, we later learned, he would have had by 1992 or 1993, at the latest.

In the House, the story was similar. The vote was 250-183, with a large majority of Democrats voting with Saddam Hussein. Sure, it would be possible to be more pathetic on national security than the Democratic Party, but it wouldn't be easy. What is interesting about all of this is the Democrats' need to rewrite history. Can anyone doubt that if Barack Obama had been in the Senate in 1991, he would have joined 45 of his Democratic colleagues in voting for Saddam Hussein's control over the Middle East? Of course not. Yet today, Obama is forced to pretend that ousting Saddam was a "consensus" decision taken by "the world." Thus does truth force itself on even the most unwilling auditors.


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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Medicare for Everyone Even Worse Than Public Option

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's latest scheme to enact ObamaCare is a combination of plans, the most important and most looney of which is to extend Medicare to everyone 55 and older. This is in addition to the provision that cuts $500 Billion from Medicare funding. If you are a senior, you already have seen instances of doctors refusing Medicare patients, because they lose money treating them, and you know that the time your own doctor spends with you has been reduced dramatically. What Medicare needs is better fraud detection and a cash-paid, co-pay that cannot be covered by supplementary insurance.  What an overtaxed system does not need are more cuts and a huge expansion of patients.

Our healthcare system does need some reforms. Ask yourself, why aren't the Democrats trying to fix the known problems, like tort reform, portability and interstate competition? Could it be that their motives have nothing to do with improving healthcare? Are we going to allow them to destroy the world's best healthcare in order to take over our lives?

Worse Than the Public Option

Harry Reid's Medicare gambit

DECEMBER 11, 2009 Wall Street Journal

It's hard to imagine a better illustration of the panic and recklessness stringing ObamaCare along in the Senate than the putative deal that Harry Reid announced this week. The Majority Leader is claiming that a Medicare "buy-in" for people from ages 55 to 64 has overcome the liberal-moderate impasse over the "public option." But if anything, this gambit is an even faster road to government-run health care.

The public option—an insurance program open to everyone, financed by taxpayers and run like Medicare—is intended as a veiled substitute for "single-payer" Canada-style insurance. Under the cover of "choice" and "competition," the entitlement would quickly squeeze out private insurance as people gravitated to "free" coverage and the government held down costs via price controls the way Medicare does now.

Mr. Reid's buy-in simply cuts out the middle man. Why go to the trouble of creating a new plan like Medicare when Medicare itself is already handy? A buy-in is an old chestnut of single-payer advocate Pete Stark, and it's the political strategy liberals have tried since the Great Society: Ratchet down the enrollment age for Medicare, boost the income limits to qualify for Medicaid, and soon health care for the entire middle class becomes a taxpayer commitment.

In the case of Medicare, this means expanding a program that is already going broke. Medicare reimburses doctors and hospitals at rates 70% to 80% below those of private insurers, which means below the actual treatment costs in many cities and regions. Providers either eat these losses—about half of U.S. hospitals are running a deficit or close to it—or they raise prices for private payers. This cost-shifting isn't dollar for dollar, but all empirical research shows that it adds tens of billions of dollars to consumer health bills, and this will accelerate if several million new patients are added to Medicare. That means higher prices for health insurance.

Adverse selection will also be a big problem, as the people who choose to join will inevitably be higher risk or in poorer health. Mr. Reid hasn't released any details on his plan, if they even exist, but would the sub-65 uninsured who join Medicare be subsidized? If so, in what sense is this one-hand-subsidizes-the-other taxpayer self-dealing a "buy-in"? It sounds simply like a huge Medicare expansion, especially if employers decide to drop coverage for anyone older than 55.

As for costs, how does adding new beneficiaries square with Democratic promises that they will cut Medicare spending on paper by two percentage points a year for the next two decades—just as the baby boomers retire and health costs continue to climb?

This last-minute, back-room ploy shows again that Democrats are simply winging it as they rush to pass something—anything—that can get 60 votes by Christmas. President Obama praised the proposal as "a creative new framework," while Finance Chairman Max Baucus told the Washington Post, "If there's 60 Senators who can reach agreement, I'm for it." Now there's a model standard to use for reordering 17% of the U.S. economy.

The latest polls show public support for the Senate plan falling into the mid-30%-range. The remaining supporters must not be paying attention.


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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Real Problem Revealed by the 'Climategate' E-mails, Long, but a Must Read

Al Gore and other global warming alarmists are busily spinning the implications and the importance of the information and the corruption revealed by the leaked (or hacked) e-mails from leading man-made global warming activist scientists. All of the mainstream media, to the extent that they are even mentioning "Climategate", have joined in to repeat ad nauseum that the e-mails reveal nothing important. This is simply not true. Those e-mails do not just reveal a conspiracy to hide the fact that global warming has actually been global cooling for the last eleven years, they reveal that the whole thesis of global warming is badly flawed.

This is a long and difficult post to read, but it is the best and most complete explanation of the fraudulent data manipulation that has taken place - and what the data really shows about natural global temperature changes.

Understanding Climategate's Hidden Decline

By Marc Sheppard December 06, 2009 American Thinker


Close followers of the Climategate controversy know that much of the mêlée surrounds an email in which Climate Research Unit (CRU) chief Phil Jones wrote about using “Mike’s Nature Trick” (MNT) to “hide the decline.” And yet, 17 days and thousands of almost exclusively on-line op-eds into this scandal, it still seems very few understand exactly which “decline” was being hidden, what “trick” was used to do so, and why Jones’s words have become the slogan for the greatest scientific fraud in history.

As the mainstream media move from abject denial to dismissive whitewashing, CRU co-conspirators move to Copenhagen for tomorrow’s UN climate meeting, intent on changing the world as we know it based primarily on their now exposed trickery. Add yesterday’s announcement of a UN investigation into the matter, which will no doubt be no less corrupt than those being investigated, and public awareness of how and why that trick was performed is now more vital than ever.

So please allow me to explain in what I hope are easily digestible terms.

First and foremost -- contrary to what you’ve likely read elsewhere in the blogosphere or heard from the few policymakers and pundits actually addressing the issue, it was not the temperature decline the planet has been experiencing since 1998 that Jones and friends conspired to hide. Certainly, the simple fact that the email was sent in November of 1999 should have allayed any such confusion.

In fact, the decline Jones so urgently sought to hide was not one of measured temperatures at all, but rather figures infinitely more important to climate alarmists – those determined by proxy reconstructions. As this scandal has attracted new readers to the subject, I ask climate savvy readers to indulge me while I briefly explain climate proxies, as they are an essential ingredient of this contemptible conspiracy.

Truth be told -- even reasonably reliable instrumental readings are a relatively modern convenience, limiting CRU’s global measured temperature database to a start date somewhere in the mid-19th century. That’s why global temperature charts based on actual readings typically use a base year of 1850 or somewhere thereabouts.

And yet -- most historical temperature charts, including the one Al Gore preached before in An Inconvenient Truth, go way back to 1000 AD. That’s where proxies come in.

While historical documents (e,g, ship’s logs, diaries, court and church records, tax rolls, and even classic literature) certainly provide a glimpse into past temperature trends, such information is far too limited and generalized to be of any statistical value. So climate scientists have devised means to measure variations in such ubiquitous materials as lake sediments, boreholes, ice cores, and tree rings to evaluate past temperature trends.

They then employ complex computer programs to combine such “proxy” data sampled throughout a region to plot that area’s annual relative changes in temperature hundreds or even thousands of years prior. By then combining the datasets, they believe they can accurately reproduce hemispheric and global temperature trends of the previous millennia.

And while reconstructions -- as past temperature interpretations from proxy data are called -- can differ greatly from one source to another, those generated by the CRU have often been accepted as the de facto temperatures of the past.

Largely because the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proclaims them to be.

Warmist Public Enemy Number One: The Medieval Warming Period

It’s important to understand that early analyses of these “proxies” clearly demonstrated that three radical temperature shifts occurred within the past millennium, as do many contemporary studies. Indeed, the years 900-1300 AD were labeled the Medieval Warming Period (MWP), as global temperatures rose precipitously from the bitter cold of the previous Dark Ages to levels several degrees warmer than today. The Little Ice Age, a sudden period of cooling, then followed and lasted until the year 1850. And then began the modern warming period, which was by no means unique and appears to have ended with the millennium itself.

Originally, even the IPCC accepted that pre-20th century analysis. In fact, the 1990 First Assessment Report used this schematic IPCC 1990 Figure 7c (courtesy of Climate Audit) to represent last millennium’s dramatic temperature swings.

But this image of a fluid climate system subject to abrupt and natural up-and-downturns made unprecedented 20th century warming about as marketable as Florida swampland. And opportunists who depended on the aberrance of post-industrial revolution warming in order to condemn and control mankind’s CO2 emissions soon recognized that perhaps the LIA but most certainly the MWP simply had to go.

And as many of these hucksters were closely connected to the IPCC – both sender and recipient names on those illuminating CRU emails include many of its editors, lead authors and contributors -- that task was far less daunting than one might imagine.

Proxies, Tricks and Hockey Sticks

The first step was taken in the 1995 Second Assessment Report, when the above Figure 7c was replaced with a 1993 reconstruction from RS Bradley and PD Jones that used 1400 AD as its base – effectively wiping the MWP off the radar-screen.

But it wasn’t until the 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR) that the MWP simply vanished. This multi-proxy reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature anomalies appeared in chapter 2, page 134, of the Working Group 1 (WG1) report.

IPCC 2001 WG1 Fig 2.20

Of course, the first thing you’ll notice is that both the MWP and LIA have indeed disappeared. In fact, temperatures appear to trend downward throughout the millennium until a sharp jump upward last century. But if you look closer, you’ll also notice that the “reconstructed” series terminate in 1980. What forms the dramatic blade to the hockey stick shape (yes, this is indeed the famous “Hockey-Stick” graph) is instead the distal segment of the 1902 to 1999 instrumental data series.

Mann has recently claimed that the available proxy data ended in 1980, but even his coconspirators at RealClimate admit that’s nonsense. The truth is that the proxy data was scrapped because unlike those measured, reconstructed temperatures showed a marked decline after 1980. And, as the chart plotted temperature anomalies against what the plotters selected as the “normal” period and temperatures of 1961 to 1990, the reconstruction would have been quite unremarkable otherwise. So at the 1980 mark, the actual post-1980 measurements were actually attached to the truncated proxy series to create the illusion they were one.

The figure below, found on the same page of the WG1 report reveals this trick more clearly. This chart plots the original 4 reconstructions used: 2 from Mann et al, 1 from Jones et al and 1 from Briffa et al. Notice how all but the first series continue to trend downward around 1960 while instrumental readings begin to trend upward? And even that series ends abruptly in 1980.

IPCC 2001 WG1 Fig 2.21

So not only did conspirators cherry-pick the one series of the four that approximated measured temperatures the longest, they also terminated that series at the point that it too, began to trend down. They then joined it to the actual 1980-1999 temperatures to “hide the decline” in the final product, as that decline created an inexplicable divergence between the reconstructed and measured temperatures. The existence of which challenges the entire series dating back to 1000 AD.

Remember, all of the temperatures prior to 1850 were estimated by computer algorithms and no actual readings exist to prove or disprove those figures. So a relatively short window of opportunity exists to test the programs against observations. Had 20th century measured temperatures continued to align with those recreated as smoothly after 1960 as they did previously, then the programmers could declare their code and hence their millennial temperatures sound. But the divergence, if allowed to stand, instead revealed serious design flaws in the proxy reconstructions. Which suggests that just as the decline was dealt with through trickery, so was the MWP.

And it seems that each time the trick was used, its involvement would be more deeply concealed.

Every multi-volume IPCC Assessment has been accompanied by a relatively brief and highly-politicized Summary for Policymakers (SPM). This synopsis invariably commands the bulk of the media and political attention. Here’s the version of the graph depicted prominently on page 3 of the 2001 TAR SPM [PDF], the only version of the report most policymakers and reporters would ever actually see. Notice how they further obscured their chicanery by omitting the series defining legend and the “1988 instrumental value” declaration:

IPCC 2001 SPM Fig 1b

And despite the fact that the only confirmable segment of the series failed that very test, which should have declared the entire series null and void, the chart’s caption informed policymakers that:
“the rate and duration of warming of the 20th century has been much greater than in any of the previous nine centuries. Similarly, it is likely that the 1990s have been the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the millennium.”

And it’s this highly fraudulent version that has become the poster child of the equally fraudulent Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) movement.

Thanks in large part to the trick that hides the decline.

Trick or Cheat

Now we'll take a closer look at exactly what Jones meant when he wrote that he had “just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

Why did Jones refer to the ruse as “Mike’s Nature Trick?”
As die-hard Hockey Team opponents and fans alike already know – the original 600-year version of the now infamous “Hockey-Stick” graph was dubbed MBH98 because it first appeared in the Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes paper Global-Scale Temperature Patterns and Climate Forcing Over the Past Six Centuries [PDF], originally published in the science journal Nature in 1998. And “Mike’s Nature Trick” received its dubious designation among CRU insiders for the very same reason.

As to the rest of the sentence -- It seems Jones was working on a cover chart for a forthcoming World Meteorological Organization report [PDF], WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999, when he wrote the email. As the graph would incorporate one reconstruction of his own plus one each from Michael Mann and Keith Briffa, he was informing them that he had used the trick on Mann’s series at the same 1980 cutoff as MBH98, but found it necessary to use 1960 as the cutoff on the Briffa series.
And what I uncovered in the source code told the tale why. While Mann used multiple proxy sources, Briffa’s reconstructions were based solely on a property of annual tree ring growth known as maximum latewood density (MXD). And the MXD-only-driven plots began to diverge from actual temperatures as early as 1960. In fact, while many of CRU’s programs are designed to exclude all data after 1960 for later manual splicing with instrumental data, others employ “fudge factors” to force the generated plot to more closely adhere to measured temperatures as far back as 1930.

And as you’ll soon see, Jones’s admitted use of MNT took it to an entirely new level of fraud.
Here’s the original reconstruction, with the three proxy and measured temperature (black) series intact:

Notice how Briffa’s series (green) begins to trend sharply downward around the mid-20th Century. Jones’s series (red) soon follows but less sharply and then begins to trend higher. Mann’s (blue) appears to flatten out around the same year that Jones’s begins to fall. Meanwhile, all three have broken with the measured rising temperatures of the late 20th Century.

Now take a look at the chart actually published by the WMO, with all three proxy series having been surreptitiously subjected to MNT:

Since the release of CRU’s FOI2009, alarmists have continued their claim that there’s nothing deceptive about the “trick” and that it has been openly discussed in scientific journals like Nature since 1998.

But I defy anyone to compare the above chart – the one Jones wrote he had applied MNT to – to the unadulterated version above it, and tell me there’s been no deception committed. At least with MBH98, a sharp eye might recognize the ruse. Here -- there is no indication given whatsoever that the graph represents an amalgam of proxy and measured temperatures. This, my friends, is fraud.
And I hope that those investigating the fraud will carefully consider this explanation of his WMO cheating given last week by Jones: [my emphasis]

“One of the three temperature reconstructions was based entirely on a particular set of tree-ring data that shows a strong correlation with temperature from the 19th century through to the mid-20th century, but does not show a realistic trend of temperature after 1960. This is well known and is called the ‘decline’ or ‘divergence’. The use of the term ‘hiding the decline’ was in an email written in haste. CRU has not sought to hide the decline. Indeed, CRU has published a number of articles that both illustrate, and discuss the implications of, this recent tree-ring decline, including the article that is listed in the legend of the WMO Statement figure. It is because of this trend in these tree-ring data that we know does not represent temperature change that I only show this series up to 1960 in the WMO Statement.”

And they’ll immediately recognize the dishonest denial they’re dealing with when they read the WMO Statement figure from the inside cover Jones referred to:

“Northern Hemisphere temperatures were reconstructed for the past 1000 years (up to 1999) using palaeoclimatic records (tree rings, corals, ice cores, lake sediments, etc.), along with historical and long instrumental records. The data are shown as 50-year smoothed differences from the 1961–1990 normal. Uncertainties are greater in the early part of the millennium (see page 4 for further information). For more details, readers are referred to the PAGES newsletter (Vol. 7, No. 1: March 1999, also available at and the National Geophysical Data Center (”

Even if MNT had been explained as Jones claimed -- which it wasn’t -- just how was the observer expected to differentiate the reconstructed from the actual data? And good luck finding that newsletter.

Spin it anyway you want – Mike’s Nature Trick is Phil’s WMO cheat.

More Tricks of the Charade

While suddenly the most famous, Mike’s is not the only in CRU’s bag of tricks.

Many of the programs I reviewed contained routines to exclude proxy data that demonstrated poor correlations with local temperature, which of course explains why CRU’s 19th through mid-20th century proxy temperatures appeared to be observationally accurate. Others “estimated” values for missing data.

And then there’s the Yamal matter – also a popular subject of the CRU emails.

In an October 5th email to climatologist Tom Wigley, Jones took issue with a piece I had written that day exposing the lies in CRU-based UN climate reports, which included a section on Keith Briffa’s mistreatment of Polar Ural data in order to exaggerate 20th century warming. That email prompted the reply from Wigley -- now familiar to AT readers -- in which he admitted it was “distressing to read that American Stinker item,” before offering to help Briffa, who “does seem to have got himself into a mess,” write an “explanation” for his deceitful cherry-picking of Yamal peninsula data.

Indeed, Keith’s Yamal Trick also “fudged” proxy reconstructions, not by overwriting them with instrumental data ala Mike, but rather by underhandedly stacking the actual dataset with trees hand-picked to assure his predetermined outcome. Yet both methods intentionally corrupted reconstruction results for the same devious purpose -- to skew late 20th century temperatures higher in order to artificially create the dreaded hockey stick effect.

Now, you might be wondering why all this fuss is being made over late 20th century temperatures when even we realists accept that they did rise until 1998. Hopefully, you now understand why the divergence between proxy and measured temperatures betrays a potential serious flaw in the process by which temperatures are reconstructed from tree-ring density. And that any reconstruction demonstrating such a flaw-revealing divergence should be dismissed outright, not presented as policy fodder.

But there’s another issue at stake here.

Anthony Watts has surveyed over 75% of the 1200-plus U.S weather stations from which national temperatures are accumulated. Most of those were found to be inaccurate by more than 2°C, largely due to being located within 10 meters of an artificial heating source. In fact, less than 10% met strict placement guidelines set forth by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Not to worry -- NOAA claims it has methods to “adjust” for such bias, including the use of “smoothing” adjustments to “homogenize” station data to that of surrounding stations.

Unpublished computer programs artificially adjusting the data -- what could possibly go wrong with that?

Would you be shocked to learn that at ICCC 3, Watts told us he had calculated such adjustments to raw temperature data between 1940 and 1999 to be 0.5°F to the positive? That accounts for almost one half of the 1.2°F warming over the last century.

And that’s here in America. Try to imagine what kind of shenanigans might be going on elsewhere in the world.

Consequently, even the “instrumental” temperatures the CRU crooks were fudging their results to align with were likely themselves fudged. So they were pumping the incline while hiding the decline
Hold the Fudge and the MWP won’t budge

In a June 2003 email to Jones and company, Mann discussed the notion of expanding CRU charts to 2 millennia, in an effort to ‘try to "contain" the putative "MWP."’ No deception in that, I suppose. Of course, an honest 2000 year reconstruction, such as this one from, adapted from a 2005 Moberg et al. temperature history derived from tree-rings and lake and ocean sediments, would actually emphasize rather than “contain” the MWP:

Any questions why Mann and friends work so diligently to “contain” (hide) the MWP?

As you can see, the post-LIA warming that began around 1850 is neither unprecedented nor spectacular. And certainly not worth rewiring the economic circuitry of the planet over.

And the CRU/IPCC reconstructions have been counterfeited for the express purpose of hiding that very fact.

After all, the stakes are enormous – perhaps trillions of dollars and unquestionably every American’s personal liberties. Tomorrow, over 20,000 delegates from 193 nations will gather in Copenhagen to craft an agreement which would not only force American power consumption to levels equal to those of about 1910, but would also have us pay reparations for an imaginary “climate debt” we’ve accumulated by building the world’s greatest economy of all time. That debt is based on the amount of CO2 our financial growth has purportedly pumped into the atmosphere, which, according to the conclusions of the IPCC, based largely upon reports from the CRU, has selfishly imperiled the planet by inducing climate change.

Of course, asking Americans to pay reparations based on the claim they’ve done harm to other nations by spoiling the climate is like asking me to pay damages to my neighbor based on his claim that he can’t sell his house because my great-grandmother’s ghost is haunting it.

As many have known and Climategate has proven, either would be equally preposterous.

But at least belief in ghosts is only marginally inspired by fraud.


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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Best Explanation of Liberal and Conservative Worlds

Rush Limbaugh often refers to the two different worlds inhabited by liberals and conservatives, where the liberal world is unreal - a place of lies, deceptions and fantasies, while the conservative world is realistic - a world of truth and facts - sometimes difficult to face. There aren't many conservatives in politics today, even among Republicans. It's hard to be a conservative; just ask Sarah Palin. Look at what can happen to someone like her who lives in the conservative world of reality and time-tested values - vilification by the know-nothings. This article by Roger Scruton is a detailed explanation of the differences.

Totalitarian Sentimentality

By Roger Scruton American Spectator Dec. 2009-Jan. 2010 issue

Conservatives recognize that social order is hard to achieve and easy to destroy, that it is held in place by discipline and sacrifice, and that the indulgence of criminality and vice is not an act of kindness but an injustice for which all of us will pay.

Conservatives therefore maintain severe and -- to many people -- unattractive attitudes. They favor retributive punishment in the criminal law; they uphold traditional marriage and the sacrifices that it requires; they believe in discipline in schools and the value of hard work and military service. They believe in the family and think that the father is an essential part in it.

They see welfare provisions as necessary, but also as a potential threat to genuine charity, and a way both of rewarding antisocial conduct and creating a culture of dependency. They value the hard-won legal and constitutional inheritance of their country and believe that immigrants must also value it if they are to be allowed to settle here. Conservatives do not think that war is caused by military strength, but on the contrary by military weakness, of a kind that tempts adventurers and tyrants. And a properly ordered society must be prepared to fight wars -- even wars in foreign parts -- if it is to enjoy a lasting peace in its homeland. In short, conservatives are a hard and unfriendly bunch who, in the world in which we live, must steel themselves to be reviled and despised by all people who make compassion into the cornerstone of the moral life.

Liberals are of course very different. They see criminals as victims of social hierarchy and unequal power, people who should be cured by kindness and not threatened with punishment. They wish all privileges to be shared by everyone, the privileges of marriage included. And if marriage can be reformed so as to remove the cost of it, so much the better. Children should be allowed to play and express their love of life; the last thing they need is discipline. Learning comes -- didn't Dewey prove as much? -- from self-expression; and as for sex education, which gives the heebie-jeebies to social conservatives, no better way has ever been found of liberating children from the grip of the family and teaching them to enjoy their bodily rights.

Immigrants are just migrants, victims of economic necessity, and if they are forced to come here illegally that only increases their claim on our compassion. Welfare provisions are not rewards to those who receive them, but costs to those who give -- something that we owe to those less fortunate than ourselves.

As for the legal and constitutional inheritance of the country, this is certainly to be respected -- but it must "adapt" to new situations, so as to extend its protection to the new victim class. Wars are caused by military strength, by "boys with their toys," who cannot resist the desire to flex their muscles, once they have acquired them. The way to peace is to get rid of the weapons, to reduce the army, and to educate children in the ways of soft power. In the world in which we live liberals are self-evidently lovable -- emphasizing in all their words and gestures that, unlike the social conservatives, they are in every issue on the side of those who need protecting, and against the hierarchies that oppress them.

Those two portraits are familiar to everyone, and I have no doubt on which side the readers of this magazine will stand. What all conservatives know, however, is that it is they who are motivated by compassion, and that their cold-heartedness is only apparent. They are the ones who have taken up the cause of society, and who are prepared to pay the cost of upholding the principles on which we all -- liberals included -- depend.

To be known as a social conservative is to lose all hope of an academic career; it is to be denied any chance of those prestigious prizes, from the MacArthur to the Nobel Peace Prize, which liberals confer only on each other. For an intellectual it is to throw away the prospect of a favorable review -- or any review at all -- in the New York Times or the New York Review of Books. Only someone with a conscience could possibly wish to expose himself to the inevitable vilification that attends such an "enemy of the people." And this proves that the conservative conscience is governed not by self-interest but by a concern for the public good. Why else would anyone express it?

By contrast, as conservatives also know, the compassion displayed by the liberal is precisely that -- compassion displayed, though not necessarily felt. The liberal knows in his heart that his "compassionating zeal," as Rousseau described it, is a privilege for which he must thank the social order that sustains him. He knows that his emotion toward the victim class is (these days at least) more or less cost-free, that the few sacrifices he might have to make by way of proving his sincerity are nothing compared to the warm glow of approval by which he will be surrounded by declaring his sympathies. His compassion is a profoundly motivated state of mind, not the painful result of a conscience that will not be silenced, but the costless ticket to popular acclaim.

Why am I repeating those elementary truths, you ask? The answer is simple. The USA has descended from its special position as the principled guardian of Western civilization and joined the club of sentimentalists who have until now depended on American power. In the administration of President Obama we see the very same totalitarian sentimentality that has been at work in Europe, and which has replaced civil society with the state, the family with the adoption agency, work with welfare, and patriotic duty with universal "rights." The lesson of postwar Europe is that it is easy to flaunt compassion, but harder to bear the cost of it. Far preferable to the hard life in which disciplined teaching, costly charity, and responsible attachment are the ruling principles is the life of sentimental display, in which others are encouraged to admire you for virtues you do not possess.

This life of phony compassion is a life of transferred costs. Liberals who wax lyrical on the sufferings of the poor do not, on the whole, give their time and money to helping those less fortunate than themselves. On the contrary, they campaign for the state to assume the burden. The inevitable result of their sentimental approach to suffering is the expansion of the state and the increase in its power both to tax us and to control our lives.

As the state takes charge of our needs, and relieves people of the burdens that should rightly be theirs -- the burdens that come from charity and neighborliness -- serious feeling retreats. In place of it comes an aggressive sentimentality that seeks to dominate the public square. I call this sentimentality "totalitarian" since -- like totalitarian government -- it seeks out opposition and carefully extinguishes it, in all the places where opposition might form.

Its goal is to "solve" our social problems, by imposing burdens on responsible citizens, and lifting burdens from the "victims," who have a "right" to state support.
The result is to replace old social problems, which might have been relieved by private charity, with the new and intransigent problems fostered by the state: for example, mass illegitimacy, the decline of the indigenous birthrate, and the emergence of the gang culture among the fatherless youth. We have seen this everywhere in Europe, whose situation is made worse by the pressure of mass immigration, subsidized by the state. The citizens whose taxes pay for the flood of incoming "victims" cannot protest, since the sentimentalists have succeeded in passing "hate speech" laws and in inventing crimes like "Islamophobia" which place their actions beyond discussion. This is just one example of a legislative tendency that can be observed in every area of social life: family, school, sexual relations, social initiatives, even the military -- all are being deprived of their authority and brought under the control of the "soft power" that rules from above.

This is how we should understand the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama. To his credit he has made clear that he does not deserve it -- though I assume he deserves it every bit as much as Al Gore. The prize is an endorsement from the European elite, a sigh of collective relief that America has at last taken the decisive step toward the modern consensus, by exchanging real for fake emotion, hard power for soft power, and truth for lies. What matters in Europe is the great fiction that things will stay in place forever, that peace will be permanent and society stable, just so long as everybody is "nice." Under President Bush (who was, of course, no exemplary president, and certainly not nice) America maintained its old image, of national self-confidence and belligerent assertion of the right to be successful. Bush was the voice of a property-owning democracy, in which hard work and family values still achieved a public endorsement. As a result he was hated by the European elites, and hated all the more because Europe needs America and knows that, without America, it will die. Obama is welcomed as a savior: the American president for whom the Europeans have been hoping -- the one who will rescue them from the truth.

How America itself will respond to this, however, remains doubtful. I suspect, from my neighbors in rural Virginia, that totalitarian sentimentality has no great appeal to them, and that they will be prepared to resist a government that seeks to destroy their savings and their social capital, for the sake of a compassion that it does not really feel.

Roger Scruton, the writer and philosopher, is most recently the author of Gentle Regrets: Thoughts From a Life (Continuum).

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

ROE: The Real Outrage of Obama’s Afghanistan Strategy

President Obama's decision to name a pullout date from Afghanistan, and to state it publicly has angered anyone who thinks seriously about all aspects of waging war on a fearsome enemy, but Obama's timing decision was not the worst of it.

I trust everyone has been noticing the recent news reports coming from Afghanistan of the increasing numbers of the deaths of American soldiers. Just about everyday we hear of four soldiers killed in ambush or fifteen Americans killed when a position has been overrun. So far, the number of military deaths has doubled this year over last year, and the year has not yet ended. What the mainstream press is not telling us, however, is the real reason for the great increase in American casualties recently: the reason is called, ROE.

In the above graph provided by, American deaths in Afghanistan total 155 in 2008 and 302 in just 11 months this year.

ROE stands for Rules of Engagement, the rules soldiers and their commanders have to follow when fighting the enemy. In Afghanistan, the enemy we are fighting have no ROE; they hide in civilian houses and in mosques; they position themselves in wedding and funeral processions; they use women and children as shields, and send women and children wrapped in bombs to kill Americans. They maim, mutilate and behead any prisoners that they capture.

Earlier this year the Obama Administration made significant changes in the ROE, exposing our soldiers to greater danger and, in many cases, making it impossible for them to defend themselves. I leave it to you to decide whether these changes are due to stupidity or whether more insidious motives are at work here. In my view, when we send American soldiers into battle, every attempt should be made to achieve the objective at minimum cost in American casualties, and anything else is treason.
Marines' plea for help under investigation: US

By Dan De Luce (AFP) – Sep 9, 2009 (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON — "NATO-led forces are investigating the death of four Marines in eastern Afghanistan after their commanders reportedly rejected requests for artillery fire in a battle with insurgents, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

Tuesday's incident was "under investigation" and details remained unclear, press secretary Geoff Morrell told a news conference.

A McClatchy newspapers' journalist who witnessed the battle reported that a team of Marine trainers made repeated appeals for air and artillery support after being pinned down by insurgents in the village of Ganjgal in eastern Kunar province.

The US troops had to wait more than an hour for attack helicopters to come to their aid and their appeal for artillery fire was rejected, with commanders citing new rules designed to avoid civilian casualties, the report said.

Morrell said the helicopters were not hampered by any restrictions on air power but had to travel a long distance to reach the Marines at the remote location near the Pakistan border.

"I think that it did take some time for close air support to arrive in this case, but this is not a result of more restrictive conditions in which it can be used," he said.

"It was the result, as is often the case in Afghanistan, of the fact that there are great distances often between bases where such assets are located and where our troops are out operating."

Morrell could not confirm whether appeals for artillery fire were denied by commanders.

According to the McClatchy report by Jonathan Landay, the US advisors assisting Afghan forces had been assured before the operation that "air cover would be five minutes away."

The incident comes after the top commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, issued new restrictions on the use of military force and air raids in a bid to prevent civilian deaths." AFP
Airstrikes in Afghanistan drop by almost half

By Jim Michaels, USA TODAY (Excerpt)

"Airstrikes by coalition forces in Afghanistan have dropped dramatically in the three months Gen. Stanley McChrystal has led the war effort there, reflecting his new emphasis on avoiding civilian casualties and protecting the population.

NATO fixed-wing aircraft dropped 1,211 bombs and other munitions during the past three months — the peak of the fighting season — compared with 2,366 during the same period last year, according to military statistics. The nearly 50% decline in airstrikes comes with an influx of more than 20,000 U.S. troops this year and an increase in insurgent attacks.

The shift is the result of McChrystal's new directives, said Air Force Col. Mark Waite, an official at the air operations center in southwest Asia. Ground troops are less inclined to call for bombing or strafing runs, though they often have an aircraft conduct a "show of force," a flyby to scare off insurgents, or use planes for surveillance, Waite said.

The decrease in air attacks may also be the result of having more ground troops, Waite said. Air attacks are often used when ground forces aren't available to secure an area or seize an objective.

Protecting civilians is generally more effective than large combat operations, McChrystal said in counterinsurgency directives issued to NATO forces in Afghanistan. "Destroying a home or property jeopardizes the livelihood of an entire family — and creates more insurgents," McChrystal wrote. "We sow the seeds of our own demise."

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said civilian casualties have been "dramatically reduced."

Airstrikes that accidently killed civilians have angered the population, undermining efforts to win over civilians.

Despite the reduction in airstrikes, a U.S. aircraft attacked two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by the Taliban last week in northern Afghanistan, killing civilians.

McChrystal has appointed a high-level commission to investigate the attack. An initial assessment concluded that civilians had been killed or injured in the blast, according to a statement issued Tuesday by NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The strike was authorized by German forces operating in the area. Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against rushing to judgment regarding the airstrike.

U.S. forces have been told to exercise extreme caution before ordering airstrikes.

By exercising so much restraint, the U.S. military may sacrifice a key firepower advantage on the battlefield and expose ground troops to more risk, some officers and analysts say.

"There is a tradeoff," said Col. Gian Gentile, a former battalion commander in Iraq who has publicly criticized counterinsurgency doctrine. "You reduce civilian casualties, but you potentially increase your own casualties."

Doug Macgregor, a retired Army colonel and military historian, says the emphasis on having conventional forces trying to win over the population is futile.

"You surrender whatever military advantage you have by compelling the U.S. conventional soldier or Marine to fight on terms that favor the enemy, not the American soldier or Marine," Macgregor said." USAToday

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Political Correctness and the War on Terror

The top officer in the U.S. Army, General Casey, had this to say after the massacre at Fort Hood, “Speculation could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers and what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here. It’s not just about Muslims, we have a very diverse army, we have very diverse society and that gives us all strength. But again we need to be very careful about that.”

Lot’s of people have commented that this statement was unbelievable. It was not.

The rot of multiculturalism is not just something that will some day destroy America, it is already well on its way, as the events pertaining to the massacre by a Muslim terrorist at Fort Hood make abundantly clear. What has happened to our army at higher command levels began long before Obama came to the presidency, but the lunacy of deliberately casting a blind eye at the role of Muslims in world-wide terrorism has gotten much worse, and this has become a perilous problem for all Americans as home-grown Muslim terrorism gathers strength.

We have great compassion for the Muslims in America who just want to live in peace - especially those who came here largely to escape the cruelty and pervasiveness of Sharia law as practiced in their former countries, but they largely live in Muslim communities, like Dearborn and Lackawanna, and are under enormous pressures from activist Muslims.

Islam is not “just another religion” to be granted the protection and deference we grant to other religions like Judaism and Christianity. Islam demands that it be the only religion and that all must bow down to it in all matters, religious and civil – from marriage and divorce to contract disputes and to punishments for criminal behavior. Islam is incompatible with our constitutional government and must be dealt with before it grows along with the exploding birth rates of its members. It is the duty of all Muslims to work toward the imposition of Islam and the Sharia wherever they live, and the only way to counter this is to shut down any further immigration of Muslims into this country.

Please take the time to read the following two reports:
God and Government: Islam and West Are Incompatible

November 21, 2009 American Thinker

Western policymakers and elites in government, academia, and the media suffer from an extraordinary ignorance about the true nature of Islam.

This ignorance was on display following the murder of thirteen American troops at Fort Hood, Texas by Nidal Hasan, a devout Muslim who held the rank of Major in the U.S. Army. Hasan is said to have shouted "God is Great" in Arabic as he gunned down his unarmed fellow troops.

Gen. George Casey opined that if Hasan's actions caused "diversity" in the Army to suffer, it would be a greater tragedy than the murders of his troops. President Obama stated that "no faith" justifies such actions. And Bob Schieffer of CBS News wondered if Hasan was merely a "nut," just like many of the "nuts" within Christianity.

These comments reflect a belief that Islam should be treated no differently from the various sects within Christianity. Some people go to Baptist churches, some attend Lutheran services, some attend Catholic mass, some play golf -- and some attend their local mosque. After all, we have "freedom of religion" guaranteed by the Constitution, don't we? Doesn't that extend to Islam as well?

The truth is that the Constitution's treatment of religion is premised upon concepts originating from within Christianity that are irreconcilable with the Islamic worldview. The Constitution prevents the "establishment" of a state religion. But the very idea that the state cannot or should not establish a religion is unique to Christianity. There is no parallel for this idea in Islam. The Constitution also prevents Congress from impeding the "free exercise" of religion. But the "free exercise" clause also assumes compatibility with Christian styles of worship -- for instance, one cannot engage in ritualistic human sacrifice to appease the gods and successfully claim immunity under the free-exercise clause.

Any honest evaluation of the history of Islam will indicate that it cannot be pigeonholed as if it were merely a different sect that utilizes a crescent rather than a cross as a symbol. Islam is fundamentally incompatible with Western attitudes toward religion and society.
Somebody at Fort Hood Should Be Walking the Plank

Andy McCarthy National Review

Prepare to be infuriated.

It's been brought to my attention by several reliable sources that the Defense Department has brought Louay Safi to Fort Hood as an instructor, and that he has been lecturing on Islam to our troops in Fort Hood who are about to deploy to Afghanistan. Safi is a top official of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and served as research director at the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

Worse, last evening, Safi was apparently permitted to present a check (evidently on behalf of ISNA) to the families of the victims of last month's Fort Hood massacre. A military source told the blogger Barbarossa at the Jawa Report: "This is nothing short of blood money. This is criminal and the Ft. Hood base commander should be fired right now."

ISNA was identified by the Justice Department at the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing conspiracy trial as an unindicted co-conspirator. The defendants at that trial were convicted of funding Hamas to the tune of millions of dollars. This should have come as no surprise. ISNA is the Muslim Brotherhood's umbrella entity for Islamist organizations in the United States. It was established in 1981 to enable Muslims in North America "to adopt Islam as a complete way of life" -- i.e., to further the Brotherhood's strategy of establishing enclaves in the West that are governed by sharia. As I detailed in an essay for the April 20 edition of NR, the Brotherhood's rally-cry remains, to this day, "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” The Brotherhood's spiritual guide, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who issued a fatwa in 2004 calling for attacks on American forces in Afghanistan, openly declares that Islam will "conquer America" and "conquer Europe."

Also established in 1981, the IIIT is a Saudi funded think-tank dedicated, it says, to the "Islamicization of knowledge" -- which, Zeyno Baran (in Volume 6 of the Hudson Institute's excellent series, "Current Trends in Islamist Ideology") has aptly observed, "could be a euphemism for the rewriting of history to support Islamist narratives." Years ago, the Saudis convinced the United States that the IIIT should be the military's go-to authority on Islam. One result was the placement of Abdurrahman Alamoudi to select Muslim chaplains for the armed forces. Alamoudi has since been convicted of terrorism and sentenced to 23 years in federal prison.#more#

As noted in this 2003 Frontpage report, 2002 search warrant links Safi to an entity called the "Safa Group." The Safa Group has never been charged with a crime, but the affidavit allegest its involvement in moving large sums of money to terrorist fronts. Safi was also caught on an FBI wiretap of Sami al-Arian, a former leader in the murderous Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The year was 1995, and the topic of the discussion between Safi and al-Arian was Safi's concern that President Clinton's executive order prohibiting financial transactions with terrorist organizations would negatively affect al-Arian. More recently, al-Arian has been convicted of conspiring to provide material support to terrorism.

At Human Events a couple of months back, Rowan Scarborough had a disturbing report about the FBI's "partnering" efforts with Islamist groups -- including the very same ISNA that the Justice Department had cited as an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism financing conspiracy. A prominent figure in the report was Louay Jafi:

Safi is a Syrian-born author who advocates Muslim American rights through his directorship of ISNA's Leadership Development Center. He advocates direct talks between Washington and Iran's leaders. He has spoken out against various law enforcement raids on Islamic centers.

In a 2003 publication, "Peace and the Limits of War," Safi wrote, "The war against the apostates [non-believers of Islam] is carried out not to force them to accept Islam, but to enforce the Islamic law and maintain order."

He also wrote, "It is up to the Muslim leadership to assess the situation and weigh the circumstances as well as the capacity of the Muslim community before deciding the appropriate type of jihad. At one stage, Muslims may find that jihad, through persuasion or peaceful resistance, is the best and most effective method to achieve just peace." [ACM: Implicitly, this concedes there is a time for violent jihad, too.]

At ISNA's annual convention in Washington in July, one speaker, Imam Warith Deen Umar, criticized Obama for having two Jewish people -- Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod -- in the White House. "Why do this small number of people have control of the world?" he said, according to a IPT transcript. He said the Holocast was punishment for Jews "because they were serially disobedient to Allah."

[Steven] Emerson's group [the Investigative Project on Terrorism] collected literature at the convention approved for distribution by ISNA.

It said the pamphlets and books featured "numerous attempts to portray U.S. prosecution of terrorists and terror supporters as anti-Muslim bigotry; dramatic revisionist history that denied attacks by Arab nations and Palestinian terrorists against Israel; anti-Semitic tracts and hyperbolic rants about a genocide and holocaust of Palestinians."

Asked if the FBI should sever ties with ISNA, Emerson said, "ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator. It's a Muslim Brotherhood group. I think in terms of legitimacy there should be certain expectations of what the group says publicly. If it continues to espouse jihad and anti-Semitism, I think it nullifies it right to have the FBI recognize it."

If you want to get a sense of the garbage our troops are being forced to endure in Fort Hood's classrooms, check out Jihad Watch, where my friend Bob Spencer has more on this episode and on his prior jousts with Safi.

What on earth is this government doing, and will Congress please do something about it?

Please understand that ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation, the country's largest successful prosecution of the Muslim terrorist network; and that the organization is widely believed to be closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood [the Egyptian group which created Hamas and serves as the intellectual grandfather to nearly all Islamic terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda]. Knowledge of this should have dashed any inclination by Ft. Hood's commander of even allowing Safi on the base.

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