Monday, February 28, 2011

Why liberals love trains

Why liberals love trains

by George F. Will February 27, 2011 Newsweek

Generations hence, when the river of time has worn this presidency’s importance to a small, smooth pebble in the stream of history, people will still marvel that its defining trait was a mania for high-speed rail projects. This disorder illuminates the progressive mind.

Remarkably widespread derision has greeted the Obama administration’s damn-the-arithmetic-full-speed-ahead proposal to spend $53 billion more (after the $8 billion in stimulus money and $2.4 billion in enticements to 23 states) in the next six years pursuant to the president’s loopy goal of giving “80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.” “Access” and “high-speed” to be defined later.

Criticism of this optional and irrational spending—meaning: borrowing —during a deficit crisis has been withering. Only an administration blinkered by ideology would persist

Florida’s new Republican governor, Rick Scott, has joined Ohio’s (John Kasich) and Wisconsin’s (Scott Walker) in rejecting federal incentives—more than $2 billion in Florida’s case—to begin a high-speed rail project. Florida’s 84-mile line, which would have run parallel to Interstate 4, would have connected Tampa and Orlando. One preposterous projection was that it would attract 3 million passengers a year—almost as many as ride Amtrak’s Acela in the densely populated Boston–New York–Washington corridor.

The three governors want to spare their states from paying the much larger sums likely to be required for construction-cost overruns and operating subsidies when ridership projections prove to be delusional. Kasich and Walker, who were elected promising to stop the nonsense, asked Washington for permission to use the high-speed-rail money for more pressing transportation needs than a train running along Interstate 71 between Cleveland and Cincinnati, or a train parallel to Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Madison. Washington, disdaining the decisions of Ohio and Wisconsin voters, replied that it will find states that will waste the money.

California will. Although prostrate from its own profligacy, it will sink tens of billions of its own taxpayers’ money in the 616-mile San Francisco–to–San Diego line. Supposedly 39 million people will eagerly pay much more than an airfare in order to travel slower. Between 2008 and 2009, the projected cost increased from $33 billion to $42.6 billion.

Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute notes that high-speed rail connects big-city downtowns, where only 7 percent of Americans work and 1 percent live. “The average intercity auto trip today uses less energy per passenger mile than the average Amtrak train.” And high speed will not displace enough cars to measurably reduce congestion. The Washington Post says China’s fast trains are priced beyond ordinary workers’ budgets, and that France, like Japan, has only one profitable line.

So why is America’s “win the future” administration so fixated on railroads, a technology that was the future two centuries ago? Because progressivism’s aim is the modification of (other people’s) behavior.

Forever seeking Archimedean levers for prying the world in directions they prefer, progressives say they embrace high-speed rail for many reasons—to improve the climate, increase competitiveness, enhance national security, reduce congestion, and rationalize land use. The length of the list of reasons, and the flimsiness of each, points to this conclusion: the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.

To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they—unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted—are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make.

Time was, the progressive cry was “Workers of the world unite!” or “Power to the people!” Now it is less resonant: “All aboard!”


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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Public Unions and Basic Morality

We all have to remember that there is a huge difference between the need for and the justification for labor unions in the private sector, where horrible working conditions, near-slave labor and other intolerable working conditions were once a reality - and public sector unions, where none of this was the case.

The public have been subjected to incredible corruption and blackmail wherever public sector unions exist. Corruption - such as the promise Gov. Corzine in New Jersey made to "take care of" public union members if they would support him and vote for him, and blackmail - with teachers walking off the job at the start of every school year if they did not get their way.

Public Sector Unions and Basic Morality
By Manon McKinnon on 2.23.11 American Spectator

The spectacle in Wisconsin has many of us rethinking the underlying grounds for public sector unions. Many Americans are thinking in terms of the obvious financial implications. But surely others are looking deeper to question the moral underpinnings of these unions and their place in public service.

Years ago President Franklin Roosevelt called the idea of public sector unions "unthinkable and intolerable." Not long after, AFL-CIO President George Meany declared that it was "impossible to bargain collectively with the government." They were both speaking to the morality of public servants making demands on taxpayers' earnings under the threat of withholding public services -- or as FDR put it, "looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it."

Roget's Thesaurus lists moral as: virtuous, honorable, conscientious, righteous, upright, and good; and unions will no doubt claim those qualities for themselves.

But is it righteous for garbage collectors to walk off the job and allow filth to pile up in the streets? Would you call it virtuous for striking policemen to give crime a holiday? Or honorable for firemen to desert their posts? And teachers -- can they be seen as conscientious as they organize against children and abandon their classrooms and their obligations -- as we are seeing in Wisconsin? Or could we call legislators upright when they skip out on their legislative duties? Undoubtedly, all this is what FDR foresaw, and what Pennsylvania union leader Gerald MacIntee meant when he urged his workers to "close down this God-damned state."

We need to remember -- as the Wall Street Journal pointed out -- that "collective bargaining for government workers is not a God-given or constitutional right." True -- and though we take them for granted today, public unions arrived on the federal level by way of executive order only in 1962, and states quickly followed. After five decades, various strikes and walk-outs, $3.32 trillion in state unfunded pension liabilities, and the current state of public education, it is hard to make the case that public sector unions are doing this country much good. And even harder to sustain is the moral case for public sector unions. They have become exactly what FDR feared they would.

Also from Roget's come these words: dishonorable, conscienceless, unconscionable, unscrupulous and questionable. These are words that well describe "the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it." FDR's "unthinkable and intolerable" is taking place in Wisconsin today and who-knows-where tomorrow. For right's sake, it is time to get rid of public unions and return to public service.


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A 50 Year Mistake

As Rahm Emanuel said recently, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste". Let's not waste the terrible financial crisis most states and the federal government are in. Let's use it to correct a 50 year mistake - allowing public sector employees to strike against the public interest to get their way. Both Franklin Roosevelt and Samuel Gompers once said that it was a mistake. Let's fix it now. We may never have another chance.

It is also the only way out of the financial mess we are in.

Government Unions Have Not Benefited the Public

By Jonah Goldberg February 23, 2011 RealClearPolitics

The protesting public school teachers with fake doctor's notes swarming the Capitol building in Madison, Wis., insist that Gov. Scott Walker is hell-bent on "union busting" in their state. Walker denies that his effort to reform public sector unions in Wisconsin is anything more than an honest attempt at balancing the state's books.

I hope the protesters are right. Public unions have been a 50-year mistake.

A crucial distinction has been lost in the debate over Walker's proposals: Government unions are not the same thing as private sector unions.

Traditional, private sector unions were born out of an often bloody adversarial relationship between labor and management. It's been said that during World War I, U.S. soldiers had better odds of surviving on the front lines than miners did in West Virginia coal mines. Mine disasters were frequent; hazardous conditions were the norm. In 1907, the Monongah mine explosion claimed the lives of 362 West Virginia miners. Day-to-day life often resembled serfdom, with management controlling vast swaths of the miners' lives. And before unionization and many New Deal-era reforms, Washington had little power to reform conditions by legislation.

Meanwhile, government unions have no such narrative on their side.

Do you recall the Great DMV cave-in of 1959? How about the travails of second-grade teachers recounted in Upton Sinclair's famous schoolhouse sequel to "The Jungle"? No? Don't feel bad, because no such horror stories exist.

Government workers were making good salaries in 1962 when President Kennedy lifted, by executive order (so much for democracy), the federal ban on government unions. Civil service regulations and similar laws had guaranteed good working conditions for generations.

The argument for public unionization wasn't moral, economic or intellectual. It was rankly political.

Traditional organized labor, the backbone of the Democratic Party, was beginning to lose ground. As Daniel DiSalvo wrote in "The Trouble with Public Sector Unions," in the fall issue of National Affairs, JFK saw how in states such as New York and Wisconsin, where public unions were already in place, local liberal pols benefited politically and financially. He took the idea national.

The plan worked. Public union membership skyrocketed and government union support for the party of government skyrocketed with it. From 1989 to 2004, AFSCME - the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - gave nearly $40 million to candidates in federal elections, with 98.5% going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Why would local government unions give so much in federal elections? Because government workers have an inherent interest in boosting the amount of federal tax dollars their local governments get. Put simply, people in the government business support the party of government.

And this gets to the real insidiousness of government unions. Wisconsin labor officials fairly note that they've acceded to many of their governor's specific demands - that workers contribute to their pensions and healthcare costs, for example. But they don't want to lose the right to collective bargaining.

But that is exactly what they need to lose.

Private sector unions fight with management over an equitable distribution of profits. Government unions negotiate with politicians over taxpayer money, putting the public interest at odds with union interests and, as we've seen in states such as California and Wisconsin, exploding the cost of government. The labor-politician negotiations can't be fair when the unions can put so much money into campaign spending. Victor Gotbaum, a leader in the New York City chapter of AFSCME, summed up the problem in 1975 when he boasted, "We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss."

This is why FDR believed that "the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," and why even George Meany, the first head of the AFL-CIO, held that it was "impossible to bargain collectively with the government."

As it turns out, it's not impossible; it's just terribly unwise. It creates a dysfunctional system where for some, growing government becomes its own reward. You can find evidence of this dysfunction everywhere. The Cato Institute's Michael Tanner notes that federal education spending has risen by 188% in real terms since 1970, but we've seen no significant improvement in test scores.

The unions and the protesters in Wisconsin see Walker's reforms as a potential death knell for government unions. My response? If only.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Benefits Bubble Has Burst in Wisconsin First

What we are seeing in Wisconsin has to happen in most states and in the federal government as well. How did we ever get in the predicament of allowing public employees to go on strike against the public? Even Franklin Roosevelt, a most liberal president, thought it was a terrible idea. It was always a ludicrous one, and now the chickens have come home to roost.

Benefits bubble has burst for Wisconsin unions

Dennis Byrne February 22, 2011 Chicago Tribune

The crowds mobbing the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison are right: Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill is indeed an attack on organized government workers.
And it's about time.

Labor compensation is the largest component of busted local, state and federal budgets, and those costs are the horrific results of government employees' "right" to bargain collectively and, in some cases, to strike. Government employees have had the upper hand for decades thanks to collective bargaining practices, rules and laws. For example, to resolve deadlocked talks, they can require binding arbitration, which takes the decision-making out of the hands of the taxpayers' representatives and gives it to an outside arbitrator who often "splits the difference."

Public employees who regard the taxpayers' munificence as an entitlement have reason to worry. Walker's bill would limit collective bargaining to wage issues alone, cap wage increases at rises in the cost of living (unless approved in a local referendum), limit contracts to one year and freeze any wage increases until a new contract is negotiated. Union members would have to vote every year whether to retain the union as its collective bargaining agent, state agencies would be barred from collecting union dues and individual employees could refuse to pay those dues.

The bill excludes from collective bargaining home health care workers in Medicaid programs, family child-care workers and University of Wisconsin faculty, academic staff, hospital and clinic employees. It empowers the governor to declare a state of emergency and fire workers who take unauthorized absences of three days to participate in "an organized action to stop or slow work."

The bill contains more, much of which should serve as a template for the even more financially crippled state of Illinois. If the bill is an overreaction, it should have been expected.

Ah, but the Wisconsin unions now say, they would graciously contribute more for their pensions and health care benefits. Big of them. Illogically, they insist that this concession, which is too little and too late, is reason enough to call off the dogs.

That government unions would consider this a concession in the face of the depth of our growing federal, state and local financial debacles testifies to their naivete or their contempt of the public. How astonishing that the thousands who abandoned their classrooms and the Democratic senators who have abandoned their sworn duties by exiling themselves to Illinois actually think they are helping their cause. As if this wholesale desertion of their duties would generate public sympathy. If this is a "movement" that labor leaders expect to sweep the country, then it was dwarfed by last November's national elections that revealed a much larger one demanding the restoration of rationality to government.

The throngs in Madison serve only to put on public display the crassness of their motives and torches whatever remains of the rhetoric that they're "doing it for the children." They are living in the antediluvian world of Saul Alinsky and "direct action," thinking that by making enough racket, they'll defeat a fed-up public.

Their tactics are as obsolete, self-serving and ineffective as an appearance by the Rev. Jesse Jackson — which, predictably, happened in Madison.

The benefits bubble has burst, folks. Even in Illinois, a state held captive by government labor unions, the absurdity of it all is coming home. House Speaker Michael Madigan, one of labor's staunchest allies, has committed the heresy of talking about cutting back pension benefits of current employees. Rahm Emanuel, the predicted winner of today's Chicago mayoral race, is making noises about restraining union demands. Gov. Pat Quinn is talking about a major consolidation of the state's 869 school districts — a move aimed at cutting duplicative labor costs. But that's only a start of what must happen here.

All the bellyaching by members of government unions about how tough they have it, about how hard they work for so little reward, is falling on the deaf ears of a public that works just as hard for not as much reward. Pouring more protesters crying "poor me" into Madison will only harden a disgusted public against them. As Bob Dylan, an icon of direct action, once sang, "the times, they are a changin'."

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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Two Obamas and What This Means

The Two Obamas

My friends and readers surely understand that I believe that Barack Obama is the most dangerous man ever to appear in national politics. By dangerous, I mean that his actions threaten the future aspirations, prosperity, security and the freedom of average Americans. Up until now, I have been critical in a piecemeal fashion of his policies and programs, believing him to be a naïve liberal, a socialist and a one-worlder. He is much more than that.

Some of my friends call him an “idiot” and say that his policies make no sense and are failures. Others, both liberal supporters and conservative critics, point out that there are contradictions in what he does and what he says. There are no contradictions. Now that I have read and digested an extraordinary and convincing work by Dinesh D’Souza on Obama entitled, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”, I now understand better what he is up to and how amazingly successful he has been in attaining his objectives, which are none other than to cripple America’s power and transfer America’s wealth to those from whom Obama thinks we have stolen it.

I think a wider understanding of the subject in this book is so important that I have purchased a quantity of “Roots” to loan out to anyone known to me. Just email me with your mailing address

Last week I wrote a brief review of “Roots”. Here below is a much more complete review:

D'Souza's theory is that our President is driven by an anti-colonialist ideological hatred.

D'Souza claims to be a lot like Obama: both with cosmopolitan backgrounds, with roots in former colonized countries, nonwhite, influenced by mixed marriages, born the same year, attended Ivy League colleges and graduating the same year.

What seemed to inspire the author to write this book was an article he read back in 2008, in the London Telegraph titled "Barack Obama's Lost Brother Found in Kenya". The 26 year old George Hussein Obama was found living in a Nairobi slum. "I live here on less than a dollar a month." George said. Humiliated by his poverty, he confessed he never mentioned the famous half-brother. The two Obamas met briefly in 2006 when Barack was a senator, but the two didn't connect. D'Souza was shocked that the Senator, with a net worth in the millions of dollars did not lift a finger to help a destitute close relative. George wanted to be a mechanic, and D'Souza raised a couple thousand dollars to help George move out of his hut. By then D'Souza believes the Obama's presidential campaign caught up with the guy, and George was apparently told to go into hiding.

D'Souza believes that since childhood, Obama's dream was always to become an anti-colonial warrior. And also that his father's dream became his own. He makes the important distinction: Obama's first book is not titled "Dreams OF My Father" but "Dreams FROM My Father", a distinction that convinces D'Souza that the son admits he has inherited his father's dreams.

They wanted to change the systems, the hierarchies and change history. The problem, as D'Souza puts it: "How does a man like Obama get elected in a country which has virtually no awareness of the defining events of his life, no concern for the injustices that move him, and consequently no sense of urgency about the need to put the resolution of the colonial problem at the forefront of the national agenda?

Another important question from D'Souza: is Obama a descendent and disciple of Martin Luther King? No. Obama's politics arise from a very different source than Martin Luther King's dream. D'Souza says that MLK's dream is irrelevant to Obama's worldview.

Obama studied carefully the anti-colonial activist and writer Frantz Fanon. He acknowledges Fanon in `Dreams from My Father' numerous times.

Acording to D'Souza, Fanon should be credited to placing the mask on Obama, translating the "anti-colonial ideas into the language and imagery of modern American politics." D'Souza also says Obama added "his own vision and strategy".

Fanon wrote: "The wealth of the imperial countries is our wealth too... For in a very concrete way Europe has stuffed herself inordinately with the gold and raw materials of the colonial countries... Europe is literally a creation of the Third Word." The awareness, Fanon concludes, produces a double realization: the realization by the colonized people that it is their due and the realization by the capitalist powers that they must pay."

Obama befriended the radical Bill Ayers. Ayers wrote about his own take: "We had been insistent in our anti-Americanism, our opposition to a national story stained with conquest and slavery and attempted genocide." and "What kind of a system is it that allows the U.S. to seize the destinies of the Vietnamese people?" D'Souza says: "The Vietnam war was America's attempt to stop communism. But that is not how Bill Ayers and Ho Chi Minh saw it. For Ho and Bill, this was an anti-colonial struggle." Bill Ayers was an anti-colonial friend of Obama.

Alinsky advocated for the activist to join the middle class, because they have the power; to adopt their style and attitude, to dress like them, to act like them, to smile a lot because smiles are a great way to disguise rage and contempt. This way, the activist will build a rapport with ordinary Americans and mobilize them on behalf of radical causes.

D'Souza continues: "The critique of neocolonialism espoused by Obama's father operates on the conviction that Western banks, investment houses, insurance companies, oil and mineral companies, and - we can add for good measure - the automobile and the pharmaceutical industries, are owned and operated by rich fat cats. This group - let's call it the overclass - achieves its position by exploiting the weak and the poor. As he argued in his paper, Obama Sr. sought to use the power of the state to bring down this overclass." Meaning subduing neocolonial institutions Obama blocks offshore drilling for oil by United States.

Obama underwrites offshore drilling for oil.... by Brazil with loans of 2 billion dollars, and also for Mexico. And not a drop of that oil will get to U.S.

D'Souza insists that to Obama the issue is not protecting the environment, its about shifting the balance of energy consumption away from the West and toward the developing world.

Through Cap and Trade Obama will curb America's energy production and consumption.

China is the world's no.1 leading producer of carbon dioxide. China accounted for most of the growth in the year's global greenhouse emissions. India was next. Neither of them care about reducing emissions. The agreement coming out of the UN Summit proposed that the West fork over 100 Billion dollars do developing countries. Obama administration supports this measure!

During his time in the Senate Obama sponsored the Global Poverty Act, that would have commited the United States to spending over 800 Billion Dollars over a decade to eradicate poverty in the Third World. D'Souza believes Obama wants to make the rich nations poorer and the poor nations richer and that America and the West are using too much of the Earth resources. D'Souza point out that this is a huge theme with Obama; he never stops talking about it.

For almost 10 years America has been fighting the `war on terrorism'. President Obama has called an end to this. D'Souza believes Obama is conducting a war against what he considers to be the biggest rogue state of all: United States of America.

In "The Audacity of Hope", Obama faults America for its role in supporting the repressive Suharto regime in Indonesia.

D'Souza points out that similar accusations come from Chavez in Venezuela, Russia, Zimbabwe, North Korea and the Islamic nations and that Obama's answer is to curtail America's power and influence.

Dinesh D'Souza gives two cheers (not three, because of the suffering inflicted) for colonialism. The British left a legacy previously alien in traditional Indian culture: democracy, rule of law, human rights, self-determination, individualism, people with better taste, opinions, morals and intellect, a capacity for better government, a free press, modern universities and research laboratories. Thanks to the Brits, English is D'Souza first language and he wrote this great book and many great other books before it.

D'Souza points out there is only one continent that missed out on the growth curve: Africa - with the exception of South Africa. The rest of Africa, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan put it, is a "cocktail of disasters", a lethal combo of poverty, repression, civil war, and AIDS.

D'Souza makes the point: the suffering of Africa is not due to Colonialism. As D'Souza points it out, Africa was colonized for little more than half a century, or a single lifetime. He says that a strong case can be made that Africa's problem isn't colonialism but too little colonialism.

D'Souza adds that the British did stop slavery in Africa, reduced if not prevented tribal conflict, and constructed a railway network through Uganda and Kenya - built, by the way, by importing 30,000 "coolies" from India. Obama knows about this because he writes about it, and D'Souza knows because his great grandfather was one of those coolies.

But too few Africans were provided with decent jobs or decent education. D'Souza says the Western powers were hampered in their attention to the needs of two world wars and a Great Depression. D'Souza's incredible conclusion: "colonization in Africa was a tragedy - but it might not have been had colonization lasted longer, as it did in India."

For most part Africa rejected the route of the free market capitalism and adopted a route of centralized planning and African socialism. Overall, Africa rejected pro-capitalist Jomo Kanyatta's approach in favor of the socialist approach of Barack Obama Sr. Dictators like Mobutu in Zaire, Idi Amin in Uganda, Banda in Malawi, Mugabe in Zimbabwe are "thugs who learned the language of anti-colonialism and used it as a pretext to confiscate property and appropriate it for themselves and their cronies." "These men continued for decades to blame the failure of their societies on the legacy of colonialism, freeing them from the responsibility of raising the people's standard of living.

D'Souza quotes Obama in his speech in Ghana: "Africa gives off less greenhouse gas than any other part of the world, but it is the most threatened by climate change." Obama pledged "substantial increases in our foreign assistance", including technical assistance for crop production. Falling back into campaign mode, Obama concluded "Yes we can! Thank you very much."

D'Souza concludes that "anti-colonialism is dead; no one in today's world cares about it - except the man in the White House. He is the last anti-colonial. We are now living in a new world.

And while most of the world is facing the challenges and seizing the opportunities of the twenty-first century, Obama refuses to embrace the promise of the growth - for his African homeland or for the country he was elected to lead."

D'Souza also claims Obama is hurting the world, because Obama is removing the protection United States offers, the role of policeman, so much needed everywhere. The author points out the United States has no intention of ruling or seeking tribute from other countries. Obama threatens the stability of the world and may allow America to lapse into a second-class position as Britain did.

"If Obama has his way, America would look a lot like Obama's father wanted Kenya to look: government-run cooperatives rationing land and natural resources in order to enjoy a modest self-sufficiency."


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Galileo and the Scientific Pose of the Left

Galileo and the Scientific Pose of the Left

February 17, 2011 By Robert Tracinski RealClearPolitics

If you ever visit Florence-and you really ought to see the birthplace of the Renaissance-there is a fascinating little museum, next to the more famous Uffizi, devoted to the history of science. There you can see one of Galileo's original telescopes, as well as a fascinatingly grotesque and revealing artifact: one of Galileo's fingers, preserved in an elaborately decorated container of the style used for holy relics belonging to the Church. Legend has it that this is his middle finger-a fitting message for Galileo to send to the Church that persecuted him.

That relic sums up the contradictions of Galileo's era, as well as the fate that tends to befall independent men who break through the hostility of the establishment to defend a great new truth. They are viciously opposed when they are alive-but when they are safely dead, they are co-opted by the establishment and turned into just another mummified authority figure.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I came across an opinion piece by Mark Hertsgaard in The Politico, where he cites Galileo in defense of the current global warming hysteria. Hertsgaard appropriates the name and legacy of a man who defied the established scientific dogmas of his day-and uses it to enforce the established scientific dogmas of today.

The man who dedicated his life to defending the idea that the Earth moves around the sun is doing a little turning of his own right now-in his grave

Hertsgaard accuses the Republicans of a "Galileo moment"-i.e, that they are acting like Galileo's persecutors-because "This week, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Energy Committee, introduced legislation that would 'repeal' the Environmental Protection Agency's scientific determination that greenhouse gases threaten human health and welfare."

Never mind that he's getting the politics wrong. (This is not a Galileo moment, but a James Madison moment. The point of the House legislation is not to "repeal science" but to reassert the separation of powers, preventing the EPA from imposing through regulation what congressional Democrats could not achieve through legislation.)

More fundamentally, Hertsgaard gets his science and history comprehensively wrong. Galileo is just a talking point; he doesn't know who Galileo was, what he did, and what was at stake in his struggle against the Church.

Galileo was persecuted-threatened with torture and forced to recant-for advocating the theory that the planets revolve around the Sun, which contradicted the Church-sanctioned dogma that the Sun and planets revolve around the Earth. But what exactly did Galileo do? He didn't originate the heliocentric system of astronomy; Copernicus did that. Nor did he refine the system and make it more accurate in describing the orbits and speeds of the planets; Kepler did that. Galileo's specific contribution was to demonstrate the physical basis for the heliocentric system.

Copernicus had presented his theory as a mathematical model which could explain the apparent motion of the planets in the sky, but the strictures of the Church prevented him from arguing for it as a real description of the actual solar system.

Galileo rejected these restrictions and set out to show how the physics of the heliocentric system would work, solving the apparent absurdities and dilemmas of the system-for example, if the Earth is spinning on its axis, why doesn't everything fly off of it? To answer these questions, Galileo performed his famous experiments on the science of motion.

Galileo also contributed crucial observational evidence to back the new theory. He perfected the design of an early telescope and was the first to use it to make observations of the moon and planets, which reinforced the heliocentric system. For example, he was the first to observe mountains and valleys on the moon, refuting the idea that celestial bodies are fundamentally different from the Earth and operate according to different physical laws. He was the first to observe the moons of Jupiter, revealing a kind of solar system in miniature. And he was the first to observe the phases of Venus, which could only be explained if both the Earth and Venus orbit the sun.

But physical explanations and observational evidence are precisely the weak points of the global warming dogma. The whole global warming theory began with mathematical computer models. But the actual observational data isn't there. Climategate helped produce revelations about the corruption and unreliability of global temperature data, which in any case has shown a lack of continued warming over the past decade.

In one of the Climategate e-mails , a consensus scientist complains that it is a "travesty" that they cannot explain recent cooling. In another, Michael Mann gives the most notorious line of the scandal, explaining how he is manipulating a graph of proxy temperature data to "hide the decline" it shows in recent decades

And as for physical explanations, a recent study by MIT atmospheric scientist Richard Lindzen brings into question the "greenhouse effect" itself. Rather than retaining heat to produce a self-reinforcing warming, Lindzen's data indicates that the atmosphere will actually bleed off excess heat, dampening any warming effect.

So the global warming dogma is based on the exact opposite of Galileo's achievement, elevating speculative mathematical models above physical explanations and direct observation

The more profound distortion in Hertsgaard's argument is his inversion of Galileo's cultural role. Galileo was not speaking on behalf of the kind of government-backed scientific "consensus" that we are constantly told is behind global warming. He was a cantankerous polemicist who challenged the scientific establishment and its consensus. This included not just the Catholic Church but also the entrenched scholastics at the University of Pisa.

As Galileo scholar Stillman Drake puts it, "In an age when authority was everywhere taken for granted, Galileo's watchword was the rejection of authority of any kind." Or as Galileo himself advised a fellow scientist, by doing experiments "you will be able to find out just how much force human authority has upon the facts of nature, which remains deaf and inexorable to our wishes."

The irony is that the entirety of Hertsgaard's argument is an appeal to authorities and institutions and "mainstream climate science," a phrase he keeps repeating. Here is the whole of his scientific argument:

When virtually every major scientific organization in the world, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and its counterparts in 18 other industrial countries, has affirmed that man-made climate change is real and extremely dangerous, only a crank would continue to insist that it's all a left-wing plot.

Hertsgaard acknowledges that "skepticism is invaluable to the scientific method"-but then calls for the skeptics to be "called to account" for their "sabotage." Cardinal Bellarmine, call your office.

Hertsgaard's article is partly a cautionary tale about one of the occupational vices of the political polemicist: using historical examples and symbols to score rhetorical points, without really understanding them. Perhaps Godwin's Law should be extended to cover Galileo and the Inquisition.

But it is also an example of the way the left uses science, not as a vital thinking method, but as a political pose. They drag out science as a prop, without understanding the basic method and attitude of science.

Part of the reason why Galileo is remembered as one of the fathers of modern science is his thoroughgoing rejection of this subordination to authority. His achievement is reflected in the motto of Britain's Royal Society: nullius in verba , "on no one's word." The idea is that even if a Galileo or a Newton were to present a new theory, his prestige should count for nothing. He still has to show his data and prove it.

The same goes for climate scientists, environmentalist activists, and hack political writers.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mexifornia, Islam and Europe

Until Mexicans and other Central Americans and Muslims immigrated here in significant numbers, every other immigrant group went through about the same sequence of stages of early discrimination followed by assimilation and acceptance. The Irish, the Italians, the French, the Germans, the Polish, etc., etc., etc. - all went through these stages and then became part of the American culture: part of the American dream and of American exceptionalism.

Then the liberals started in with their nasty concept of multiculturalism. Ethnic groups which had sacrificed everything to escape the culture of their homeland, started being told that their former culture was actually superior to American culture, and, rather than assimilate, they should retain and strengthen their own culture. Multiculturalism became part of that which is politically correct; liberals would never say that they were supporting other cultures over our own, but that was the practical effect of their policy, and the beautiful melting pot that led to the creation of the greatest country in the world has begun to turn into something resembling the former Yugoslavia.

We need to look at what has been happening in Europe, and we need to get serious about our borders, serious about Muslim immigration and serious about the great state of Mexifornia. We need to secure and protect our unique American culture and get back to assimilating those who immigrate legally into our country.

Will Multiculturalism End Europe?

By Pat Buchanan February 15, 2011 RealClearPolitics

Multiculturalism has "totally failed," says German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"State multiculturalism has had disastrous results," says Britain's David Cameron.

Is multiculturalism a failure in France? "My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure," says President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Ex-Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has declared multiculturalism a failure in Spain, saying it divides and debilitates Western societies.

Only in Canada and the U.S., it seems, is the issue still in dispute.

Yet these European leaders are not leading anyone. They are far behind the people, and their belated appreciation of the idea of national identity is but a product of political panic. Take Merkel in Germany.

Last summer, Thilo Sarrazin published a book the title of which may be translated as "Germany Abolishes Itself."

Sarrazin argued that Germany's gastarbeiters, guest workers -- Turks, Kurds, Arabs -- are dumbing down the nation. While Germany's birth rate fell below replacement levels decades ago, these foreigners with less intelligence and much higher dropout, welfare and crime rates are rapidly replacing the declining German population.

"It is a matter of culture," said Sarrazin, and "Islam is the culture." This is why Muslim immigrants are "socially, culturally and intellectually inferior to most everyone else." Yet Sarrazin did use the phrase a "genetic minus" to describe migrants from the Middle East.

Were these the ravings of a neo-fascist intellectual and closet admirer of the late Fuhrer? Not at all. Sarrazin was a proud member of the Social Democratic Party of Willy Brandt and a board member of the Bundesbank.

With Merkel and the German establishment howling for his head, Thilo resigned, unrepentant. Two-thirds of Germans said he had a right to speak his mind, a third said they agreed with him, and "Germany Abolishes Itself" has sold over a million copies.

It was in response to the firestorm of the Sarrazin affair that Merkel discovered that multiculturalism was a failure. Her EU colleagues have since been falling all over one another to agree.

Another factor has contributed to the sudden awakening of the EU's elite -- an explosion of anti-immigrant parties that are siphoning off working-class voters from socialist parties and nationalist voters from conservative parties.

Among these are Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front in France, the British National Party, the Vlaams Belang in Belgium, Geert Wilders' Freedom Party in Holland, the Swiss People's Party of Christoph Blocher, which won the battle to ban the burka, the Austrian Freedom Party and Alliance for Austria's Future, the Jobbik Party of Hungary, the Lega Nord in Italy, which favors secession, the Danish People's Party, and the Sweden Democrats, who just won a toehold in parliament.

What these parties share is that all are anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and ethnonational. They want to retain, or restore, a nation of, by and for their own kind, with its own history, holidays, heroes, language, literature, music and art.

They are fiercely resistant to any dilution of the ethnic composition or cultural character of their countries.

What is the menace of multiculturalism these people see?

From Moscow to Marseilles, from Stockholm to Sicily, they see the Muslims pouring in and creating tiny nations within the nation, and being unwilling to embrace a new identity as Englishmen, French or German.

And their fears are not unjustified.

For just as the populist parties are deeply ethnonational, proud of their identity as Swiss, Austrian, German, English, Dutch or Flemish, the newcomers, too, are deeply ethnonational: Turkish, Arab and African.

And Islam is a faith that is itself anti-multicultural.

Devout Muslims do not believe all religions are equal. They believe there is one God, Allah, and submission to his law is the path to paradise. They do not believe in freedom of speech and the press if it means mocking the Prophet. They do not believe in Western dress codes or mixing men and women in schools and sports. They do not believe all lifestyles are equal. Some think adulterers should be stoned and honor killings are justified for girls who disgrace the family.

They wish to live their faith and their culture in our countries, to live alongside us but to dwell apart.

"If you come to France," said Sarkozy last week, "you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France."

A little late for that. Some 5 million to 8 million Arabs and Muslims are in France, their birth rate is higher, and more are on the way.

The real questions: Whose idea was it to bring these people in? And what do France, Britain and Germany do if they say: This is a democracy, we will live as we wish to live, according to our beliefs, not yours.

How does a liberal, permissive society that celebrates diversity impose its values on a militant immigrant minority that rejects them?

Answer: It doesn't. All the rest is chatter.

This is what James Burnham meant when he wrote that liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Greetings From Sunny Florida

I’m treasurer and a director of my condo association in Florida, which is having budget problems – especially in the cost of heating our pool in the winter. After experiencing a very cold December, I decided to gather data to show that our winters in south Florida were getting colder, and we should consider shutting down our pool for a couple of months each year. Surprise! The actual data showed no general change in climate in southwest Florida over the past ten years - not colder, and not warmer either.

My friend, whose late husband had been a meteorologist, hearing of my interest, then loaned me a pamphlet he had written in 1988 about the area. Another surprise! The long, weather series he cited agreed completely with the more recent data I collected: our local weather hasn’t changed at all in 50 years!

You man-made global-warming weather freaks, just go away!

The Weather Isn't Getting Weirder

The latest research belies the idea that storms are getting more extreme.

By ANNE JOLIS February 10, 2011 Wall St Journal

Last week a severe storm froze Dallas under a sheet of ice, just in time to disrupt the plans of the tens of thousands of (American) football fans descending on the city for the Super Bowl. On the other side of the globe, Cyclone Yasi slammed northeastern Australia, destroying homes and crops and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

Some climate alarmists would have us believe that these storms are yet another baleful consequence of man-made CO2 emissions. In addition to the latest weather events, they also point to recent cyclones in Burma, last winter's fatal chills in Nepal and Bangladesh, December's blizzards in Britain, and every other drought, typhoon and unseasonable heat wave around the world.

But is it true? To answer that question, you need to understand whether recent weather trends are extreme by historical standards. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.

As it happens, the project's initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. "In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years," atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871."

In other words, researchers have yet to find evidence of more-extreme weather patterns over the period, contrary to what the models predict. "There's no data-driven answer yet to the question of how human activity has affected extreme weather," adds Roger Pielke Jr., another University of Colorado climate researcher.

We do know that carbon dioxide and other gases trap and re-radiate heat. We also know that humans have emitted ever-more of these gases since the Industrial Revolution. What we don't know is exactly how sensitive the climate is to increases in these gases versus other possible factors—solar variability, oceanic currents, Pacific heating and cooling cycles, planets' gravitational and magnetic oscillations, and so on.

Given the unknowns, it's possible that even if we spend trillions of dollars, and forgo trillions more in future economic growth, to cut carbon emissions to pre-industrial levels, the climate will continue to change — as it always has.

That's not to say we're helpless. There is at least one climate lesson that we can draw from the recent weather: Whatever happens, prosperity and preparedness help.

North Texas's ice storm wreaked havoc and left hundreds of football fans stranded, cold, and angry. But thanks to modern infrastructure, 21st century health care, and stockpiles of magnesium chloride and snow plows, the storm caused no reported deaths and Dallas managed to host the big game on Sunday.

Compare that outcome to the 55 people who reportedly died of pneumonia, respiratory problems and other cold-related illnesses in Bangladesh and Nepal when temperatures dropped to just above freezing last winter. Even rich countries can be caught off guard: Witness the thousands stranded when Heathrow skimped on de-icing supplies and let five inches of snow ground flights for two days before Christmas. Britain's GDP shrank by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010, for which the Office of National Statistics mostly blames "the bad weather."

Arguably, global warming was a factor in that case. Or at least the idea of global warming was. The London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation charges that British authorities are so committed to the notion that Britain's future will be warmer that they have failed to plan for winter storms that have hit the country three years running.

A sliver of the billions that British taxpayers spend on trying to control their climes could have bought them more of the supplies that helped Dallas recover more quickly. And, with a fraction of that sliver of prosperity, more Bangladeshis and Nepalis could have acquired the antibiotics and respirators to survive their cold spell

A comparison of cyclones Yasi and Nargis tells a similar story: As devastating as Yasi has been, Australia's infrastructure, medicine, and emergency protocols meant the Category 5 storm has killed only one person so far. Australians are now mulling all the ways they could have better protected their property and economy.

But if they feel like counting their blessings, they need only look to the similar cyclone that hit the Irrawaddy Delta in 2008. Burma's military regime hadn't allowed for much of an economy before the cyclone, but Nargis destroyed nearly all the Delta had. Afterwards, the junta blocked foreign aid workers from delivering needed water purification and medical supplies. In the end, the government let Nargis kill more than 130,000 people.

Global-warming alarmists insist that economic activity is the problem, when the available evidence show it to be part of the solution. We may not be able to do anything about the weather, extreme or otherwise. But we can make sure we have the resources to deal with it when it comes.


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Friday, February 11, 2011

There He Goes Again

With this comeback, Ronald Reagan famously ridiculed the foolish statements made by Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election campaign. For the past several days I’ve been pointing out how the inexplicable and contradictory policies of President Obama can be explained, once you understand that his main purpose in life is to transfer our wealth and power to peoples in the third world because of his anti-colonialist obsession.

This explains his stubborn commitment to Cap & Trade even though manmade global warming has been disproved. This explains his loan of $2 billion to help Brazil develop its oil while shutting down oil drilling in the USA. This explains his ignoring of the protests in Iran (in his eyes these protestors were tools of western imperialists) while jumping in immediately to support the Egyptian mob. This explains his instructing NASA that its purpose was not to explore space, but to raise the morale of Muslims. This explains Obamacare, which would cause a massive reduction in the quality of healthcare from those who can now afford adequate health insurance.

I could go on and on, but in the article below, you can understand the seeming, incredible stupidity of our intelligence czar by understanding that Obama has surrounded himself with those who share his views and with willing dupes.

This is not the first time that James Clapper has said something inane.

There’s Willful Blindness, and Then There’s Willful Stupidity

By Andrew C. McCarthy February 10, 2011 NATIONAL REVIEW

James Clapper, the head of intelligence for the United States of America, has explained to Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular.” It further has “eschewed violence,” decries al-Qaeda as a “perversion of Islam,” and really just wants “social ends” and “a betterment of the political order in Egypt.”
I kid you not.

This is the Muslim Brotherhood whose motto brays that the Koran is its law and jihad is its way. The MB whose Palestinian branch, the terrorist organization Hamas, was created for the specific purpose of destroying Israel — the goal its charter says is a religious obligation. It is the organization dedicated to the establishment of Islamicized societies and, ultimately, a global caliphate. It is an organization whose leadership says al-Qaeda’s emir, Osama bin Laden, is an honorable jihad warrior who was “close to Allah on high” in “resisting the occupation.” The same leader who insists that “the history of freedom is written not in ink [i.e., constitutions] but in blood [i.e., jihad].”

If this is what $40 billion–plus buys you, maybe Representative Ryan can make up the rest of that $100 billion by eliminating the intelligence community.


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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Collapse of the Middle East

I'm going to harp on one theme for a while: that Barack Obama is deliberately trying to weaken and punish the USA and our European allies to pay them and us back for colonialism, because he identifies with his father, a militant anti-colonialist. Today's article provides additional evidence for this point of view, and it is the only point of view that squares with all of Obama's inexplicable actions - like telling NASA that their main mission is to lift Muslim self-esteem.

We Are Witnessing the Collapse of the Middle East

By James Simpson February 03, 2011 American Thinker

If Egypt should fall, it will mark the beginning of the end for what little remaining stability there is in the Middle East. Jordan is facing similar unrest , as are Algeria and Yemen . Lebanon and Tunisia fell in January. It is highly unlikely that these events are unrelated. A combination of leftist and Islamist forces provoked the protests, and we are likely looking at a ring of radical Islamic states rising up to surround Israel. Once their power is solidified, perhaps in a year or two, they will combine forces to attack Israel. If Israel falls, the United States will stand alone in a sea of virulent enemies and impotent allies.

So whom does Obama support, Mubarak or his enemies?

Obama wasted no time in telling us. He supports Mubarak's opponents, and he probably has been all along. The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday that the Obama administration favors a role for the Muslim Brotherhood in a new Egyptian government.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest extremist Muslim organization, is behind practically every Muslim terrorist organization ever formed. And while they may have publicly renounced violence as the LA Times article claims, internal documents tell a completely different story.

And if that weren't bad enough, Obama's latest comment to Egypt's leader is that "an orderly transition ... must begin now."

Must begin. Now .

Simply stunning.

Juxtapose Obama's statements toward our allies with his reaction to the genuine uprising that occurred last year in Iran. Tunisia : "Reform or be overthrown." Egypt : "an orderly transition ... must begin now." Iran : "It is not productive ... to be seen as meddling." Meanwhile, candidate Obama claimed that the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezb'allah have "legitimate claims," and we all remember his mindless counterterrorism czar, John Brennan, reaching out to "moderate" Hezb'allah members last spring. Hezb'allah moderates?

The seeming inconsistency is astonishing. Unfortunately, there is a consistency. Obama uniformly sides with our enemies but rarely, if ever, with our friends and allies. His administration is packed with far-left radicals and vicious anti-Semites . And therein lies the rub, because what we are witnessing in reality is this president's un-American, anti-American, treasonous ideology in full play.

Perhaps this is the real reason for Bill Ayers's, Bernardine Dohrn's, Code Pink's Medea Benjamin's and Jody Evans's trips to Egypt in 2009. Following those trips, these same people made multiple visits to the White House.

Obama's breathlessly arrogant answer? Not the same Ayers, Dohrn, Benjamin, and Evans. Sure.

A few years back, I cited a quote by Lynn Stewart , the National Lawyers Guild attorney jailed for helping blind sheikh Omar Adel Raman foment terror from his New York jail cell. One might think that atheistic radical leftists would be foursquare against a political movement that tramples women's rights, murders homosexuals, and enforces strict theocratic mandates. No such luck, Stewart said:

They [radical Islamic movements] are basically forces of national liberation. And I think that we, as persons who are committed to the liberation of oppressed people, should fasten on the need for self-determination. ... My own sense is that, were the Islamists to be empowered, there would be movements within their own countries ... to liberate.

" ... movements within their own countries ... to liberate." Given recent developments, Stewart's statement was prescient. But I think it had a special meaning. Because when movement leftists like Stewart talk about "liberation," they are really talking about communism.

It has been my longstanding assertion that Muslim terrorism is simply a false flag operation, managed in the background by our main enemies, Russia and Red China. Almost since the beginning, Muslim terrorist organizations have been supported and nurtured by the Soviet Union or its Middle Eastern surrogates.

Yasser Arafat's PLO is a prime example. Created by the KGB, the PLO was always about providing a Soviet counterweight to Israel in the Middle East. They were uninterested in the Palestinian cause, and they said so ! Alexander Litvinenko, the KGB defector poisoned by Polonium 210 in what was assumed to be a KGB hit, claimed in his book, Allegations , that al-Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was a Soviet agent. And while today Hezb'allah is the de facto ruler of Lebanon, the real power is Ba'athist Syria.

David Horowitz wrote of the alliance between leftists and Muslim terrorists in his seminal book: Unholy Alliance : Radical Islam and the American Left . He describes in detail how the left and Muslim radicals work together to achieve their mutual ends: the destruction of America.

It is incomprehensible that President Obama does not recognize the strategic significance of what is happening, and if he does, then his support of Egypt's sham "democracy movement" is a naked betrayal of our Middle Eastern allies and, by extension, our own country.

Unfortunately, his view is shared by some Republicans who are so in love with the idea of "democracy" that it doesn't matter to them that the "democrats" in this case include fanatic mass murderers. At best, it can be seen only as incredibly myopic and ignorant to support Mubarak's enemies. People make the same mistake Carter did with Iran and Nicaragua: they commit the logical error of assuming that just because a country's current leadership is flawed and "undemocratic," that automatically means that someone else would do better. Newsflash: they can do worse, and almost without exception, they do, because people who take power by street riot have no interest in "democracy."

If their street revolutions are successful, these Middle Eastern countries will rapidly degenerate into radical Muslim thugocracies allied with our communist enemies. Israel will be the first target, and with Obama's radically anti-Israel orientation, the Israelis will stand alone. We will be next. One wonders if Obama will then stand to defend the country he swore to, or if he will be out in the streets with his fellow radical leftists burning American flags.


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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

In Case You Think I'm Nuts

In case you think I'm nuts in believing that Obama represents one of the greatest dangers ever faced by this country, and that he is trying to weaken and punish America and her key allies because of his anti-colonialist obsession, here below is another story that can only be understood in that light:

Undermining Allies

By Thomas Sowell February 8, 2011 RealClearPolitics

While everyone's attention seems to be focused on the crisis in Egypt, a bombshell revelation about the administration's foreign policy in Europe has largely gone unnoticed.

The British newspaper The Telegraph has reported that part of the price which President Obama paid to get Russia to sign the START treaty, limiting nuclear arms, was revealing to the Russians the hitherto secret size of the British nuclear arsenal. This information came from the latest WikiLeaks documents.

To betray vital military secrets of this country's oldest, most steadfast and most powerful ally, behind the back of the British government, is something that should set off alarm bells. Following in the wake of earlier betrayals of prior American commitments to put a nuclear shield in Eastern Europe, and the undermining of Israel and calculated insults to its prime minister, this pattern raises serious, and perhaps almost unthinkable, questions about the Obama administration's foreign policy.

One of Barack Obama's first acts as President of the United States was to fly to Russia and try to get a deal with the Russian government by welshing on an existing American commitment to put a nuclear shield in Eastern Europe.

Obama's glib rhetoric about how he was pressing "the reset button" on American foreign policy treated the ongoing international commitments of the American government as something that each new administration is free to disregard.

Nations that ally themselves with the United States, and who cooperate in many ways to oppose the threat of international terrorism, do so at the risk of their own national safety and even survival. To make America's reciprocal commitments to them contingent on the whims of each new administration is to make other nations have to think twice about allying themselves with the U.S.

Since the fight against international terrorism requires not only information about terrorist activities and networks from other countries' intelligence services, but also cooperation from other countries' financial institutions, in order to block terrorists' transfers of money to finance their deadly activities.

This is in addition to other nations' direct military involvement in the fight against terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places, current and prospective-- not to mention providing military access through their lands when needed.

But doing such things invites retaliation from the terrorists and from the leading international sponsor of terrorism, Iran, which may in a very few years have nuclear weapons.

Glib talk about setting the reset button on American foreign policy raises the question whether any alliance with the United States can be relied on beyond the term of a particular administration. To nations that have to think in terms of their own national survival, four years is a very short time.

It is also a very short time in the life of the United States of America. To alienate our allies and embolden our enemies because of one administration is a dangerous gamble in an international jungle where nuclear bombs may soon be in the hands of some of the most reckless nations on the planet.

The Obama administration's response to the current crisis in Egypt likewise threatens to make being an ally of the United States less attractive.

Whatever the merits or demerits of the advice that Barack Obama has been giving Hosni Mubarak, for the President of the United States to be publicly lecturing the president of another sovereign nation on almost a daily basis insults that nation, not just its leader.

Even in the worst days of the dictatorship in the Soviet Union, neither Stalin nor his successors publicly told the leaders of the satellite nations in Eastern Europe what to do. There is no question that Eastern European leaders were puppets of the Soviet Union, but Soviet leaders had the good sense not to say so to the whole world. Yet Obama makes allies look like they are puppets.

Countries like Egypt, that have once lived under colonial rule, are especially resentful of being publicly lectured by Western nations. Nor will the Obama administration's lecturing of Egypt endear us to other nations contemplating the down side of being an ally of the United States.


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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Some Baffling Contradictions Explained

Why did President Obama ignore the popular uprising in Iran, a sworn enemy of the USA and rushing to build a nuclear bomb, while trying mightily to jettison Mubarak, an important ally and keeper of the peace with Israel for 30 years?

Why did President Obama create the START treaty which reduces our and Russia’s stock of nuclear weapons, while ignoring the threats posed by Iran and North Korea?

Why did President Obama sit idly by as the Gulf oil spill created havoc and then ban and continue the ban on drilling even when held in contempt by federal courts, while loaning Brazil 2 billion dollars for them to develop their off-shore oil field for their own use?

Why did President Obama agree to provide some of the troops requested by General McChrystal for Afghanistan and then announce a withdrawal in one year – completely undercutting and undermining the American effort there?

These and other contradictions are answered in full by the research and analysis of Obama’s life in his book, "The Roots of Obama’s Rage” by Dinesh D’Souza. Below I present a video by D’Souza.
If video does not load go here.
I believe that the information in this book is so important for American voters to know that I am going to concentrate for awhile in bringing its message to anyone who will listen. I am also going to lend copies of this book to people I know.


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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Obama Defies Court, Now A Dictator

Not Since President Andrew Jackson defied the Supreme Court has a president of the United States so contemptuously ignored judicial rulings. Federal Judge Vinson ruled this week that the entire Obamacare law was unconstitutional, yet the Obama Administration is continuing to implement the law.

Unless Obama applies for and is granted a stay, Obama is in contempt of court, and we have a dictatorship in America. If this were not bad enough, today another federal court found the Obama Administration in contempt for its continuing ban on offshore drilling in the Gulf:

U.S. Adminstration In Contempt Over Gulf Drilling Moratorium, Judge Rules

By Laurel Brubaker Calkins - Feb 3, 2011 Bloomberg (excerpt)

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) - - “The Obama Administration acted in contempt by continuing its deepwater drilling moratorium after the policy was struck down, a New Orleans judge ruled.

Interior Department regulators acted with “determined disregard” by lifting and reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling, following the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman of New Orleans ruled yesterday.

“Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,” Feldman said in the ruling.

“Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re- imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt,” Feldman said.

President Barack Obama ’s administration first halted offshore exploration in waters deeper than 500 feet in May, after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig off the Louisiana coast sparked a subsea blowout that spewed more than 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Overly Broad

Feldman overturned the initial ban as overly broad in June, after the offshore-drilling industry and Gulf Coast political and business leaders challenged it.

Almost immediately, U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar announced he’d find another way to block offshore exploration until the industry beefed up drilling safety and oil-spill response capabilities in reaction to the Gulf oil spill.

Salazar instituted a second drilling ban in July, which was also challenged by an industry lawsuit that claimed the ban was devastating the Gulf Coast economy, which is heavily dependant on deepwater drilling activities. That ban was rescinded in October, before Feldman could rule on its validity.

Feldman later ruled that enhanced drilling safety rules Salazar imposed to permit companies to resume offshore exploration violated federal law, and he struck those down as well. The offshore industry and Gulf Coast interests complained to Feldman that regulators were continuing to block the resumption of drilling activity despite his rulings.

Neither Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle nor Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff immediately returned e-mail messages sent after regular business hours, seeking comment on Feldman’s ruling.” Bloomberg

Up until now the liberal press has ignored charges that Obama has ignored and disobeyed the Constitution, particularly in the General Motors and the Chrysler takeovers. Can the NY Times, the Washington Post and the TV networks ignore this? We are now living in a dictatorship in the USA, and we must take whatever steps are necessary to end it. .


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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Ethanol and the Egyptian Riots

While it is undoubtedly true that political repression plays a large role in the riots that resulted in a change in leadership in Tunisia, and will undoubtedly unleash major repercussions in Egypt (we pray it will not lead to a government sympathetic to jihadists), one of the main reasons for the turmoil is the large increase of food costs in the Middle East and in other poor countries.

Unfortunately, American policies involving ethanol subsidies and deliberate dollar inflation bear much of the blame for these increases.

Even one of the main supporters of biofuels, Al Gore, now says that our policy of subsidizing the use of corn to make ethanol was a mistake.

Ethanol has been shown to be a net loss in energy; that is, it takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy derived from a gallon of ethanol. Why are we still subsidizing its production?

America and the Middle East Food Riots

By Steve McCann January 31, 2011 The American Thinker

Perhaps the most overused but most accurate term used to describe the policies and ideology of the American left is the "Law of Unintended Consequences." There is virtually nothing that these people espouse that, once put in place, has not had detrimental effects on either the people of the United States or the world.

Today there is a global food shortage and skyrocketing prices. This has become the underlying factor in the riots in Tunisia, Algeria , and Egypt, where up to 56% of a person's income is dedicated to the acquisition of food. These riots are now leading to the upheaval of governments and the very real possibility of the ascendancy of the radical elements into control.

While bad weather in various parts of the world is an element of the accelerating food prices, there are two other factors directly related to the United States and its policies.

First, because of the enormous deficits run up by the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress, the Federal Reserve has had to effectively print trillions of dollars, which have flooded the global market. Commodities are priced in dollars; consequently, emerging markets throughout the world, and the food sector in particular, are suffering from rapidly rising inflation.

The CRB food index is up an incredible 36% over last year. Raw materials are up 23%. Since 2009, the dollar has declined by over 13% against the Japanese yen and 25% against the Canadian dollar.

Larry Kudlow in the National Review writes in regard to the riots in Africa and the Middle East:

So I have to ask this tough question: Is Ben Bernanke's ultra-easy QE2 money-priming partially to blame.

But food riots in the North Africa/Middle East area are bumping smack into long-time resentment over autocratic government. If food is in fact the trigger for what may be a revolution in Egypt, then US monetary policy has to shoulder at least some of the blame.

An example of this inflation is in the price of wheat. The January 2011 future price is $335.00 per metric ton, while last year at this time, it was $157.00 per metric ton -- an increase of 113% . Not all of this increase is due to the inflationary impact of the dollar, but with global yields down due to weather factors, this foolish U.S. monetary policy has made matters needlessly worse.

The second factor in the overall global food situation is the American decision to, in essence, burn food in its cars, a policy championed by the environmentalists since the 1990s. In 2010, the United States produced 13.1 billion bushels of corn. Of that amount, 4.2 billion bushels went into ethanol ( 33% of total production). That represents for 2011, a year in which global stocks are down nearly 8%, over 14% of all corn grown in the world being used in the most inefficient manner possible -- being put into American gas tanks.

Thus, the future price of corn per bushel in January 2011 is $6.51, as compared to $3.84 in January 2010 -- an increase of nearly 70%
While the price spike is in part due to lower yields, had the corn destined for ethanol been put back into the overall corn stocks, the net effect would have been to offset this lower crop, and the global market would have maintained the 2010 price level despite the inflationary impact of the dollar.

There is no quicker way to foment riots and revolution than to deprive the populace of food, particularly when so much daily income goes into feeding oneself and one's family. The pictures we have seen in North Africa may well be repeated elsewhere throughout the world. This time, the "Law of Unintended Consequences" wrought by the policies of the American left and the Obama administration will be limited not only to the United States, but also to many throughout the world. If the riots in Egypt and the Middle East take a severe and radical turn, then the prospect of open warfare in that region, which will involve the United States, will become a near certainty.


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