Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Napolitano Is Thrown to the Wolves at Fox

Fox News interviewed Janet Napolitano, President Obama's Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security over the weekend. Pajamas Media has a devastating Dan Riehl story that includes the news of the interview, and more importantly, who aired it. Plainly sent specifically to Fox News by the White House to expiate her earlier sophomoric official response to the Flight 253 Undi-bomber incident,  Napolitano was surely cast into this, the vulpine den of cable news as a piece of red meat, knowing its large and talkative audience would be certain to shred her. This will no doubt incline her to understand, going forward, how much easier it will be for her to resign.

Here she is with a shotgun and ear protection, pretending to enjoy shooting at a campaign outing.



Which contrasts with these, those who are not pretending, whom she is, in part, currently charged with protecting us against:

 

As compared to...Winston Churchill, an iconic bust of whom--a previous gift to the White House from London--President Barack Obama, as one of his first acts upon taking office, repatriated to the British government, while simultaneously hiring Janet Napolitano for the job she will soon be exiting.



 Winston Spencer Churchill, superbly pinstriped homeland security expert and son of a New York mother. Led the British Empire to victory against the Nazis.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Peary Polar Expedition Of 1909: a Forgotten Centennial

The claims of success of the several polar expeditions at the turn of the 20th century were all fraught with the same controversy as to outcome: Did they really make to the Pole? Admiral Robert E. Peary's expedition of 1909 was no different. Peary, after brilliantly studying, and then utilizing Inuit clothing, sleds, and techniques made his 1909 dash for the Pole, on this, not his first expedition, starting on the 1st of March 1909, traversing moving ice and arriving at 90 degrees north latitude on the 7th of April by his reckoning, before turning back to Ellesmere Island on the return trip. That the ice under the feet of his party was moving south as he mushed north was no small factor in their intrepid endeavor.

Peary, a Navy man, was in many ways, a bonafide claimant to the mantel of Christopher Columbus (celebrated at the recent World's Columbian Exposition of 1893) and of John Wesley Powell, the navigator and mapper of the Colorado river through the canyons of the American Southwest. Peary set out with 23 men, 133 dogs and 19 sleds about the cusp of the vernal equinox with a crew of Inuit mushers and former Navy men including Matthew Henson, an intrepid and highly skilled African-American civil engineer.

Despite the subsequent technical arguments made against his claim of success, Peary and Henson will always remain American adventurers of the highest order and iconic exemplars of the American spirit of exploration and courage. Without them it is difficult to imagine either Charles Lindbergh's Atlantic crossing of 1927 or the Apollo mission of the 1960's.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Just Shoot Them


And be done with it. News today is that a US Predator Drone brigade has taken unprecedented offensive military action in the tip of the Arabian peninsula in Yemen against al-Qaeda operatives on the orders of US president Barack Obama. Meanwhile, also today, we learn that Guantanamo Prison will soon be releasing six Yemeni jihadists to their home country, also on the orders of the President. Unless, on the off-chance they have been implanted with tracking devices for larger purposes, would it not make better military, political and economic sense to just shoot them now, while we have them in custody? Why expend the precious carbon to send them home only to spend millions more later to hit them with drones? Yemenis are perhaps the most recidivist of the previously released Guantanamo jihadist prisoners. Bullets are cheap. A clearer message could not be sent to Osama bin-Laden, if the president were interested in sending one. Osama, as a Yemeni himself, would understand.

Update 12/24/09. Another Yemeni Gitmo recidivist dies in the second strike in Yemen this week. Also taken out was Nidal Hassan's Yemeni contact and "spiritual adviser" Anwar al-Awlaki. A small hive is exterminated. Al-Awlaki had just been interviewed by Al-Jazeera. Fame is fleeting.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Strategy of Jihad


When all is said and done, it is the the Koran, and how it is weaponized that will decide the fate of the Ummah. It is the Koran which creates the Ummah, and it is the Koran that enjoins the Ummah of all  Muslims to the cause of Islam, and its increase. The Koran provides both a strategy of acquisition and warfare as well as a strategy of negotiation. The imperative to the acquisition of people and land is called jihad. The Ummah is a trans-tribal concept created by Mohammad. A part of the acuity of its invention is that the Ummah explicitly creates a larger political entity than the tribe. The tribe was Mohammad's conundrum. Imposing Allah's primacy, from among the shared deities of the competing tribes in the pantheistic world of the 7th century Arab peninsula, was his key to selling the bargain to the tribes. His unique and personal intercession with Allah was his key to personal political durability and supremacy. For the Arab tribes, the benefits would be huge.

The essence of jihad is extortion, intended to inflict an opt-out or opt-in duality of choice on its subjects. Both choices are accounted for in the Koran to the benefit of the Ummah. The mechanism of jihad is personal violence. Capitulation is to be its own reward, as the wealth and women of all of the kuffar--non-Muslims, are progressively subsumed into the Ummah, at ts pleasure. Those blessed Muslims who die in the furtherance of jihad will have sold their lives in a guaranteed bargain with Allah, for a worry-free eternity in paradise, with all expenses paid and with on-demand access to 72 eternally virgin concubines, thrown in for good measure. Go to sea on jihad, and a shahid's virgins double to 144. For the kuffar who refuse capitulation it means execution for the crime, or dhimmitude: 2nd class legal status, humiliating cash-tax penalties and constant apprehension within your family, if you choose to live.

Individual Muslims, as part of the Ummah, are solemnly enjoined by the Koran to refrain from attacks upon other Muslims, so as not to fracture the interests of the Ummah against the kuffar. This injunction is often breached in practice when recalcitrant Muslims, themselves, need further instruction on the seriousness and severity of jihad, or, if they just get in the way. Islam is a total belief system, encompassing and mandating specific personal moral, physical, dietary, sexual and hygienic behaviors, as well as the public, political and "religious" expressive aspects of life. Those "rightly guided" Muslims who die as incidental collateral damage in the pursuit of jihad by their betters, also get a pass to paradise. Allah sorts them out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Al-Qaida Snorts at China-& Calls for Jihad


The Chinese, as they have asserted their right to defend themselves from the Islamists, are now finding themselves in the cross hairs of the सिक्क Al-Qaida Islamic tribalists. China, on a per capita basis, consumes more pig meat than anywhere else on the planet. Abu Yahya al-libi, a Libyan national, has spoken:
A leading Al-Qaeda militant on Wednesday called on Muslims worldwide to defend Uighurs in China's restive northwestern region of Xinjiang. He told Uighurs to prepare for a holy war or Jihad and urged a "vast media campaign" to raise awareness of their fate at the hands of "oppressive" China.

In the video posted to jihadist websites, Abu Yahya al-Libi appeared to launch a frontal assault against China.

"This massacre is not being carried out by criminal Crusaders or evil Jews who have committed crimes against ओउर नेशन," al-Libi stated.

"Today, a new massacre is being carried out by Buddhist nationalists and communists against the Muslim population in eastern Turkestan," said al-Libi.

"Thousands of people have died from the radiation emitted by the many nuclear missiles that have been launched and the experiments carried out in the area," al-Libi concluded.
One can only hope they have enough tin-foil hats--and pork spits.

Monday, September 21, 2009

LIBERAL AVG

Does nothing ever change? Looking back on the so-called "Golden Age" of the Roman Empire, 50 years after the death of Nero, here is the emperor Hadrianvs Avgvstvs (Hadrian), the second of the adoptive emperors advertising his standard method of mollifying the Roman population to keep them quiet in the face of his foreign and domestic policies. Like Barack Obama, Hadrian toured Europe and visited Egypt, giving speeches and making his presence known. And like Barack Obama, Hadrian used his government to provide cash handouts for his clients and supporters. He issued coins like the one above and similar ones, in their millions, commemorating his every exploit, as if they were tweets, the better to remind the people of his generosity and his patronage.

On the reverse of the coin above, a silver denarius, the emperor is shown sitting on a raised platform behind two officials, one with an abacus, while the other dispenses cash to a citizen who stands, unapologetically before the dais, the folds of his robe open to receive the coins. Under the dais the inscription reads LIBERAL AVG, a commemoration which remains to this day, 1,890 years after the minting of this coin, an easily understood paradigm for political success.

Like Hadrian, Obama is a famous patron of the arts. Like Hadrian, Obama has the the support of the glitterati and the governing elites. Like Hadrian, Obama has forbidden torture.
Like Hadrian, Obama is a fervent (albeit hetero), supporter of gay rights. As Hadrian did, so is Obama in the process of surrendering his predecessor's conquests in Mesopotamia to the Persians. Like Hadrian, Obama has taken the side of the Palestinians against the Jews. In fact, it was under Hadrian that the land formerly known as Judea came to be called Palestine for the very first time. Like Hadrian after his death, Obama has been "deified", despite being still in office. It remains to be seen whether Obama will continue to channel Hadrian, that most benevolent of autocrats, in forming his own version of the frumentarii: loyal followers who, at the the emperor's insistence acted as his personal spies.

Despite being called by some of his critics ignorant of the past, it seems pretty clear that Barack Obama is well on his way to re-enacting almost verbatim, a fairly sophisticated slice of history. Of the ancient and imperial variety.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sustainability: Graft for the Earnestly Spiritual, Planet-Saving Rent-Seeker. Green is the new Gold

All too often, in today's greenspeak parlance, "sustainable" means subsidized. It doesn't have to be, but it has been and continues to be the most disingenuous and egregious of eco-jargon patois passed-off as earth-friendly by the progressive non-profits , corporatists, and other rent-seekers of the left. All of the HOV pomposity of the planet-savers and the LEED certified architects at their conventions can't make it otherwise, despite all of their earnest declaiming and seriousness of purpose.

Here's the reality: if a green system, concept, product or energy solution is being offered as "sustainable", and its use therefore imperative, it should be assumed unless it can be demonstrated otherwise, that there is a government subsidy embedded somewhere within it to propagate it. It might be a mandate, it might have its production or labor costs underwritten, its competition may be abolished or selectively taxed, or perhaps some level of government is its primary customer. If any system or concept or energy solution is being referred to as "unsustainable", then, almost invariably, it is privately financed, already, or about to come under government oversight, and probably involves hunting, mining, drilling, manufacturing, cropping or fishing, in one form or another in exchange for money at market prices. The trendier opponents of such "unsustainable" activities will tend toward, or even fully embrace, the beliefs that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and a poison and contraception is "the cheapest way" to combat "global warming". Doomsday is right around the corner.

Rent-seekers are completely predictable (and sought after) by government bureaucracies, and their goals are therefore "sustainable". They are the segment of society the bureaucrat can most readily plan for--and measure. Instead, the entrepreneurs, the wildcatters, the venture capitalists, the innovative production farmers and independent inventors of all stripes, who, by engaging in risk-taking endeavors beyond legislative imagination create and maintain with their hard work and incremental improvements the technical and theoretical bases of all advances in civilization, these are the "unsustainable" ones: yet they are as indispensable as they are incommensurate. These are the people who have no need to fill in the endless and intricate government grant and assistance forms that keep the union bureaucrats at their desks working so diligently day-in and day-out. They ask for nothing more than an opportunity and a marketplace. In a politically-driven economy such behavior is discouraged to the point of being unsustainable.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Magic Beans of ObamaCare

The Democrats controlling the U.S. Congress are ready to trade the worn-out cow of economic sanity for the magic beans of ObamaCare. For many of us, like silly Jack, magical thinking transcends good sense and a hopeful and enticing story is enough to persuade. Leading us along down this road, are our representatives, and others with a callous will to power and political advantage.

The story is that the American "healthcare" system is "broken" and can only be fixed by falling one and all, into the welcoming arms of the federal government. As has become customary, the government will use private businesses to the greatest degree possible to implement their plans, just as they currently compel them to be their (uncompensated) revenue collectors and record keepers for sales, income and excise taxes to fund everyday government operations. Yet the proposed government plan can only claim success by virtue of adding more regulation.

Nominally accounting for some 20-30% of the current "healthcare" costs are the salaries of paper shufflers inside the care providers' offices who send (meaningless) invoices to patients, while at the same time processing claims upon their patients' insurance policies, all of which makes the satisfaction of a medical bill a lengthy process. These workers, while dedicated & skillful at what they do, are drawing-off some very big money which adds substantially to the cost of insurance premiums, without ever providing a lick of actual "healthcare" themselves. In addition, there are the government bureaucrats in their thousands, who, at every level, spend their lives as the polar opposites of their private counterparts, sorting, approving, collating and monitoring their reports. They, in turn, report to their current legislative and executive political wings who never stop creating evermore time-swallowing procedural mandates and substantive regulations requiring timely compliance from medical practitioners within the ever-larger loop they create. All government-driven costs.

Add to that the extra 10% or 15% Americans pay for all of the medical research and development financed by American medical device and drug companies that off-shore socialized governments don't perform but benefit from, and another 10% or so for individual state-mandated coverages, plus the aging, litigious, and increasingly risk-averse U.S. population that expects to live forever at any cost, (taking their treatments in the new standard marble-and-oak-paneled clinics and hospitals), and there you have the reasons that the healthcare sector is marauding through the U.S. economy and fast gobbling-up the rest of it. Not to mention the small army of actuaries and attorneys at $200K per year, both in and out of government, that are milking the system on a daily basis.

Lost somewhere in that cacophony of compliance behaviors, lawsuits, marketing costs and paper-pushing are the patients, their doctors and their nurses. Much of the conundrum is a direct result of the legal, financial and social interventions of today's government policies and prescriptions imposed upon the business of doctoring and patient care. So, as is typically the case in Washington, the solution for bad government today is even more government tomorrow.

As Mark Steyn has put it:
Well, says the president, shuffling his cups and moving the pea under another shell, we’re spending too much on health care. By “we’re,” he means you and you and you and you and millions of other Americans making individual choices over which he casually claims collective jurisdiction.

And that, ultimately, gets closer than anything else he says to giving the game away. For most of the previous presidency, the Left accused George W. Bush of using 9/11 as a pretext to attack Iraq. Since January, his successor has used the economic slump as a pretext to “reform” health care. Most voters don’t buy it: They see it as Obama’s “war of choice,” and the more frantically he talks about it as a matter of urgency the weirder it seems. If he’s having difficulty selling it, that’s because it’s not about “health.” As I’ve written before, the appeal of this issue to him and to Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, et al., is that governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture — one in which elections are always fought on the Left’s issues and on the Left’s terms, and in which “conservative” parties no longer talk about small government and individual liberty but find themselves retreating to one last pitiful rationale: that they can run the left-wing state more effectively than the Left can. Listen to your average British Tory or French Gaullist on the campaign trail pledging to “deliver” government services more “efficiently.”
When Jack finally climbs his beanstalk, ascending into the clouds, the giant he finds there will be a leviathan federal government, devouring everything it can grasp. And Jack will hear the giant bellowing as it bears down upon him, as children have heard since long ago, "Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread..."

And that's what passes for "heathcare" reform under this Congress and this administration.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Playing the Hand That's Dealt You


Overlooked in the overwrought and often simple-minded debate over the nature of the now famous photo-shopped image of Obama as the Joker, is the underlying and essential playing cardness of it all. The Joker is after all, the quintessential wild card in the game. Even 5 of a kind is possible when the Joker is in the deck. Obama as the Joker strikes me as a possible metaphor for devious political shape-shifting or changability, and as such, is a completely legitimate means of graphically expressing a complex idea in a complex arena.

Is the image racist? I don't see it, but I can say that it's entirely irrelevant to the artist's message--that is, to the artist who seized the internet image from the original phot0-shopper and put the text SOCIALISM under Obama's photo-shopped face and turned the image into a political poster. As such the two of them became accidental collaborators in a type of gestalt pattern recognition relay of messages. In the aggregate it strikes me as more of a warning to the voters, not to Barack Obama. What he looks like isn't what he is--He can be anything.

Wikipedia states:

The Joker's use is greatly varied....Often, the joker is a wildcard, and thereby allowed to represent other existing cards. The term "Joker's Wild" originates from this practice, as does the game show of the same name....The Joker can be an extremely beneficial, or an extremely harmful, card.

In the Tarot deck there are different properties associated with the card, where it known as the Fool, and from that it's apparent that the figure of the Joker is an ancient one having varied and subtle cultural meanings over time. Batman's Gotham nemesis was fond of leaving a Joker behind as his calling card. Whatever else may be true, it is clear that when you decide to play with the Joker in the deck, the normal rules will no longer apply. In your hand, the Joker can be what you want. But what happens when the Joker can make you become what he wants?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Scots Judge Boots Lockerbie Bomber Out of UK's Free Health Care System


Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the terminally ill convicted Lockerbie bomber, has been released from Greenock prison in Scotland. After spending no more than a fortnight in custody for each of the 270 victims killed in the 1988 Panam flight 103 bombing, the Libyan Arab terrorist has been returned home to Tripoli where he was cheered by 1000's of his fellow countrymen, proving correct the mother of one of his victims: Susan Cohen, who lost her 20-year-old daughter in the attack, is reported to have said in response to recent rumors ahead of the impending release, "If you send him back, he will be a hero and Gaddafi will be able to forget the whole thing."

He was allowed to return home on compassionate grounds Scottish officials said, after doctors said he is suffering from terminal prostate cancer and may have only three months to live.

Al-Megrahi, 57, served only eight years of the life sentence imposed after his 2001 conviction.

Under a deal struck between former PM Tony Blair and the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2008, the release takes the UK's NHS off the hook for footing the bill for al-Megrahi's hospital care for his terminal prostate cancer. The NHS, suffering itself from crippling cost overruns was no doubt cheering politely along with the raucous Libyan mob at the move, over the savings that will be realised. Further, no UK funds will need be expended on a proper Islamic burial for Mr. al-Megrahi, either.

He was released over the objections of Australian and U.S. officials, who obviously have no concern for the problems of socialised medicine in the UK. Most of the victims were U.S. citizens on their way home for Christmas.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Baghdad Reverts to Form


Truck bombs and mortars exploded across Baghdad yesterday killing scores and wounding hundreds in coordinated attacks. Without the American forces standing watch over their every move, the former seat of the Abbasid caliphate is steadily reverting back to petty, corrupt and bloody form. Is there an Arab society that is not utterly and intractably violent and corrupt?

We waste our American military forces, honorable volunteers all, by using them to fight as surrogates in intra-Ummah battles; a no-win scenario if ever there was one. Just look at the recent victory party Maliki threw to celebrate the withdrawal of the American 'occupiers'. In that sense, Afghanistan will be just another not-so-instant re-play. Where is the overarching strategy for the West? This was President Bush's entirely avoidable error.

GWB had the courage of his convictions, but lacked knowledge and historical imagination or he couldn't have done what he did. He also gets a 'D' for the quality of his political leadership skills in my view (speaking as a 2-time GWB voter). All-in-all, Iraq has been and continues to be, just another in a long line of corrupt Islamic tribal sinkholes for American lives and treasure. Remember, the successes of General Petraeus' tactics were driven by American cash money--greasing the palms of the sheiks. When the money ran out as the Iraqi government took over, so did they.

As far as this having been an illegal war--such a meaningless thing does not exist, and can't--war is entirely about the intention of imposing one's own idea of what 'legal' is by use of force. Either you win or you don't. But fighting and winning a war only to install a Sharia-based Islamic constitution is just plain stupid.

update 8/28/2009

Afghanistan president Karzai takes a page out of Maliki's playbook to put distance between himself and the U.S.A. for domestic political advantage as the Afghan election results get sorted out. Whichever Muslim comes out on top, be it by way of the ballot box or force of arms, Western aims will be inevitably
degraded and diminished because Shariah law is consistently allowed to trump the naive "hearts and minds" suasions of the infidel. Playing with Muslims by Muslim rules, so as not to "offend" them by adhering to our own culture, will always produce the same sorry outcome.

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Flew Over the Climate's Nest

Skeptics of climate change orthodoxy--that is, of the human-caused/human-correctable variety of climate change, as earnestly espoused by our world-government-in-waiting as well as by the once reputable but currently true-believing National Geographic Society, now have something else to worry about.

Serious investigations have recently begun into understanding and correcting the underlying psychological dysfunction of the AGW-skeptical brain, and its for our own good--as a species. Better that the American Psychological Association can provide the government with the insights and psychological tools with which to break down our political resistance and turn us around before we skeptics have to be (justifiably!) sent off to the treason tribunals for climate change deniers. And it's not just for our own good--the very future of the planet is at stake.

Correlating decades of interrelated research, a task force chaired by Janet Swim, PhD, of Penn State University, made its presentation to the 117th annual APA convention in Toronto, Canada, the Association convention's surprisingly frequent home-away-from-home destination, on August 7. Discussing the means and methods of behavioral modification to unblock the sadly ill-informed and closed-minded prejudice of the skeptics was only a part of task force's report and its public policy recommendations.

The task force identified other areas where psychology can help limit the effects of climate change, such as developing environmental regulations, economic incentives, better energy-efficient technology and communication methods.

"Many of the shortcomings of policies based on only a single intervention type, such as technology, economic incentives or regulation, may be overcome if policy implementers make better use of psychological knowledge," the task force wrote in the report.

Because this is presumably a government-financed study, we are I'm sure, intended to understand it as impartial and even-handed, just as are most of the other $79B worth of government-funded global climate warming hope-and-change studies, right? How can I tell? It doesn't say a single thing about electro-shock treatments yet, so far as I know. Let's hope the next APA convention isn't being held in Chicago.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Cloud Ship Earth

When it comes to cooling the planet, this is a much better idea than spraying particulates into the upper atmosphere, or sending giant mirrors into outer space. Or so they say. It certainly makes for a way-better illustration opportunity (compliments to Telegraph.co.uk). The current fantasy, as it is explained in the article, is to build a global fleet of 1900 immense unmanned, satellite-directed robot ships to inject sea water high into the atmosphere to create fluffy salt-seeded clouds on demand to reflect the sun's heat back into space. On an as-needed basis. Or something. It's amazing to me that there are still folks out there who do not consider the U.N. to be a special interest group. Anyway, my favorite aspect of articles like these (aside from the groovy sci-fi illustrations) is actually the wacky and insightful comments and here are my favorites today:

These clowns have finally have made the L. Ron Hubbard Stage. The Cloud Ship concept is amazing. Your gonna have to create several million tons of thrust to make the upper atmosphere. The Water Ammo will kill all animals in a hemispheric pattern at a rate of 28 miles and raise the water temperature more than 17%

The economic crisis must be the real myth if this is how we are spending our $$$.

The only thing missing here is the little box with a dial that will regulate the amount of cloud to be generated by these ships. This "world thermostat" will, of course, be installed in Al Gore's office at the top of his ivory tower.

painting California WHITE would be a lot cheaper, and would do more to slow global warming...and is at least as practical as the ideas in this article.


What could possibly go wrong?

In the name of fighting climate change, they are going to do some real damage to the planet. If they think that "global warming" is bad, just wait until they cause the next Ice Age.

This too funny, cause I just read an article that said clouds trap atomospheric heat in. And "The Goracle" says the science is settled. Go figure.

Has anyone mentioned yet that when the salted rain falls onto the surface into the top soil that it will kill all life on the planet? That's a surefire way to stop global warming.

its a great idea so long as i can invest in the company

Why bother spending all that money when mother nature has been cooling the earth for free since 1998.

If the global warming zealots don't stop soon they're going to discredit science in general in the eyes of the public. This is and always has been an absurd theory that would have died a natural death long ago if it hadn't been propped up by politically motivated research grants. That grant money has now so thoroughly corrupted atmospheric science, we can't trust anything that so-called climatologists or atmospheric scientists say.


Why not just blast Al Gore into a low orbit and let his fat a$$ block a few tenths of a percent of sunlight. We'll go get him when earth cools back down.

Whenever I start to think about how reckless, irresponsible and/or just stupid the American media has become, I just head on over to the UK. It makes me realize that, by comparison anyway, the US media could be worse.

They want to cut down on CO2 and sunlight....it sounds like a war on plants to me.

HA, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Was this a Saturday Night Live skit? No......It's for real? Who let the inmates run the insane asylem?

It looks like it will work better than than cap & trade and will be much cheaper!

Will National Geographic be endorsing this? Polar bears are waiting.

Already doing this with the chemtrails try looking up for once.

Why not just shift the orbit of the moon to give total solar eclipses every day? ;)

What a ridiculous idea! Don't mess with Mother Nature. Why don't we send some freezer ships to the arctic to make ice for the polar bears...

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" James Madison.

make lots of dry ice and store it at the poles. dont forget to plant a tree.

And I presume these magical unmanned ships will be powered by unicorn farts and rainbows, and protected from pirates who can spot the plumes a hundred miles away by fierce dragons.

It just proves scientists can be insane too.

1,900 ships plying the oceans, and no carbon footprint! fueled by pixie dust, I'm sure.

Unmanned? Perhaps they will have cameras so we can watch pirates steal them.

They tried this on Futurama and it still didnt work. Whats next? a giant space ice cube dumped into the ocean?

Cloud ships? Bwahahahahaha.

Now if only global warming were real, we would have a solution.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Is Obama Really Like the Joker?

Posters started appearing in Los Angeles depicting Obama as the Joker with the word “socialism” below his face. The image quickly spread throughout the internet, gaining knee-jerk liberal condemnation and making people ask things like “What does Obama have to do with the Joker?” and “What does the Joker have to do with socialism?” and “Is this racist somehow? I’m pretty sure it has to be racist.”
All in good humor, this article by author Frank J. Fleming. Check it out. "Some men just want to watch the world burn."

Monday, August 03, 2009

Obama's 911

Everything that he wanted to accomplish as president is now or shortly will be, drifting away, bobbing out of his grasp. For President Obama, federal tax revenues are the mother's milk of his dreams for the American future. Single-payer "healthcare", the zero-emission utopia of green jobs across the land, government buyouts of private businesses--all are about to crumble before the tremors propagating across the economic landscape. Now that his policies have helped turn down the curve of federal tax revenue receipts, his resources are melting away like an ice floe in the fevered brain of Al Gore and President Obama is like that proverbial polar bear in summer--hungry, angry and lonesome--and drifting, drifting in a forbidding sea.

The numbers could hardly be more stark: Tax receipts are on pace to drop 18 percent this year, the biggest single-year decline since the Great Depression, while the federal deficit balloons to a record $1.8 trillion.

Other figures in an Associated Press analysis underscore the recession's impact: Individual income tax receipts are down 22 percent from a year ago. Corporate income taxes are down 57 percent. Social Security tax receipts could drop for only the second time since 1940, and Medicare taxes are on pace to drop for only the third time ever.

The last time the government's revenues were this bleak, the year was 1932 in the midst of the Depression.


Just as George W. Bush saw his presidency defined by the unforeseen events of the 911 razzia, Barack Obama will see his presidency defined by the unforeseen events and the unintended consequences of the federal economic policies that have given us this recession. He will not have the revenue to implement his policies. Not only are the costs and demographics of today's Medicare and Social Security boondoggles conspiring against it, but the people at large are coming unglued, in open rebellion against the arrogance of the government confiscators. To cut costs overseas, the president is frantically working to mollify the vanguard of Islamic Imperialism and our nearer Marxist enemies while backing away from past principles, commitments and alliances in order to convert the expenses to domestic use. It's not working. Obama's strategic goals will be undone by his own tactics and legislative timing. This is what comes of inexperience and cockiness and a lack of seriousness, and for that we are lucky. Internationally, he is stumbling and the harder and faster he tries to ram his objectives through at home by attempting to create a sense of urgency for them, the less he is trusted--by anyone.
Bills in Congress passed unread,
Disquiet in the land grows and spreads,
As tax reports are held to wait
In hopes that congress votes then skates.

But the haste of July sighs and lapses
As Blue Dogs' confidence collapses
Then August dawns with revenue falling
Obama's month for truths appalling.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Not a Batman Fan

More creepiness emanating from the persona of the central figure of his own personal drama spilling out into the world beyond his psyche. This bit of sickness from the environs of Los Angeles, CA. Found plastered on walls. HT: American Thinker. More commentary on this can be found at Bedlam Magazine.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Healthcare for Clunkers

It was in the stimulus package. Buy a new car and get a rebate (up to $4,500.00) for trading in your inefficient old "clunker". The clunker, (if it passed the government clunker-test) would be taken off the road and scrapped, the government-run auto industry stimulated, you'd get a brand-new, new-car-smelling new car and the planet would be saved, all in one fell swoop. Scheduled to kick-in on the 1st of July, many dealers and buyers made their deals over the first two weeks of the month, based on the government's promises and published clunker criteria, only to find the feds holding-up the start of the rebate payments until the middle of the month. When the funds were finally released after the 15th they came with a brand-new, updated and more restrictive set of clunker criteria, non retro-active, thus gumming up a myriad of good-faith trade-ins already made on the basis of the pre-published clunker criteria. Tough break that, for the chumps who will now get no rebate and must pay the full price for the new car. No worries, though, the program was still drawing buyers by the droves to the new car showrooms over the last couple of weeks of the month.

Today, the program was canceled for lack of proper planning. As I recall, Congress didn't have of lot of opportunity to read the stimulus bill before they passed it, and neither did the President, before he signed it, so that's understandable. But they'll read the Healthcare bill, right?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fixed Gaze Jihadi

A sad story of jihadi tourism.
The unnamed "foreign fighter" whose corpse was put on display by the alleged government of Somalia has been identified on a jihadi forum as former Minneapolis, Minnesota resident Jamal Bana. He had previously been identified by his mother, who found a picture of his dead body on a Somali news site. HT: Internet Haganah.
Like at least one other of the missing Minnesota Somalis, Jamal Bana "al-Amriki" was presumably executed when he quavered at performing his designated jihadist duties. These are the guys whose bodies Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5) wants the federal government to buy back to Minneapolis for burial.

Quote of the Day

In response to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry's quoted opening remarks to his Senate Foreign Relations Committee and this apocalyptic intro from a recent Political Intelligence Column at Boston.com:
Massive crop devastation, melting glaciers, water shortages, millions of displaced people -- all of these will drag the US military into conflict if global climate change goes unchecked, a Senate panel was warned today.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, convened by Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, focused on what so far has received only modest attention in the climate change debate: the effect it is bound to have on national defense.

An intrepid observer opines:

"Well Bush might have been misunderestimated but he did manage to keep two of America's biggest morons out of the White House so kudos to him for that"
-Comment #168, posted by Lynn at 10:15 a.m. from the recent Political Intelligence Column at Boston.com on the subject of Sen. John Kerry's fear-mongering "climate change" hearing.

When the government starts buying science, you know it won't stop until it gets what it wants.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Creepy Warrior

It used to be asked when shown a picture of President Richard (Tricky Dick) Nixon: "Would you buy a used car from this man?". The question more or less had its answer embedded in the combination of the questioner and question. The very fact that the question was asked made it merely rhetorical. We all knew the answer was no, without saying a thing. Nixon's adversary back then was progressive Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, who was known as the "Happy Warrior" in his day for his upbeat and indefatigable efforts in the cause of civil rights. Barack Obama is the Creepy Warrior. Humphrey and Nixon have changed rhetorical places and the question has changed, too. "Would you dare to try to buy your health insurance from anyone other than this man?" Progressivism's new coercive inspiration.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Undoing the Bush Legacy

From the war in Iraq, to missile defense for Eastern Europe, from increasing domestic oil and gas production to embryonic stem cell research, the Obama administration has been hellbent on reversing virtually everything set in place by the previous administration. Where we have seen backpedaling on the part of the Obama stampede to undo everything Bush it has been because of inconvenient intervening facts, as in the case of jihadi recidivism and the related Gitmo closure problems. Here's another bit of the Bush legacy recently undone as reported by the Wall Street Journal:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate for job losses for June is 467,000, which means 7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.
The past six months are Obama's work. Impressive.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Obama's Lifestyle Cops at Work

In a recent column, Hertitage Foundation contributor Ronald D. Utt cuts to the chase in his acerbic disquisition on some Obama administration policy:
"Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood remarked in May that his livability initiative "is a way to coerce people out of their cars." When asked if this was government intrusion into people's lives, LaHood responded that "about everything we do around here is government intrusion in people's lives," a sentiment that would have certainly surprised the authors of the United States Constitution, a document whose major purpose was to restrain government."
Mr. Utt points out how the new policy appears to be directed at re-creating a nineteenth century transportation lifestyle on the backs of twenty-first century taxpayers. Bear in mind, of course, there were no income or corporate taxes in the nineteenth century. If we're to have free health care (for the healthy), its hard to see how we're going to be able to afford much $5.00 gasoline, right?

One wonders just how a young family of six will be able to exist in our brave new world. Clearly transportation will be an increasingly problematic issue as government pressure mounts to limit the size of new vehicles. There's just so much carbon guilt already that driving down the size of families is just one more way to alleviate it and limiting their transportation options is one way to do it.

Read his article here.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

An Ummah of Ants

From the BBC Earth News comes this:

Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) were once native to South America. But people have unintentionally introduced the ants to all continents except Antarctica.

These introduced Argentine ants are renowned for forming large colonies, and for becoming a significant pest, attacking native animals and crops.

Remarkable behaviour. See the article "Ant mega-colony takes over world".

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Hive of Islam

The post title links to a live Saudi web cam trained on the ka'aba in the so-called "Grand" Mosque of Mecca. Watch the swarming ummah at your leisure. For additional background on the ka'aba and the black stone go here or here or here. If you didn't think before that Islam was a creepy cult of ancient tribal superstitions, mated to a barbarous and superficial understanding of Judaism and Christianity, you've got some work to do. And be sure to click-up the links, especially this one.

UPDATE 6/16/2009
It appears they've shut off the web cam, leaving the page there, but without the swarming image. It was a live version of this....

UPDATE 6/18/2009
The web cam is back up.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

All four men were US-born.

From the Daily News comes a timely timely report on a lowdown, homegrown, ex-moderate, 100% genuine Islamic activity:

The FBI busted a homegrown terror cell late Wednesday night as the men sneaked around a Jewish temple in Riverdale planting what they thought was packages of C-4 explosives, sources told the Daily News.

The four African American men, three of whom were said to be jailhouse converts to Islam, also allegedly had what they believed was a working Stinger missile in their car.

Officials said they hoped to shoot down a plane at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh in Orange County.

..................

Arrested was alleged ringleader James Cromitie of Newburgh, the son of an Afghan immigrant and his African American wife.

Cromitie served a long stretch in prison in the past.

Alleged henchment David Williams, Onta Williams and Leguerre Payen were busted with him.

Sources said the three were jailhouse converts to Islam.

Here are my questions about this story. Why are we permitting Saudi Arabia to finance the training for a universal jailhouse da'wa and what is it that criminals find attractive about converting to Islam and engaging in jihadist razzias in their own backyards? Where stand the ikhwan CAIR and their spokesman Ibrahim Hooper in all of this? Do the Saudis find jailhouse conversions to be a cost effective jihadi recruiting strategy? Do they enjoy the clever irony? After all, we absorb the cost of the initial criminal activity plus we absorb the cost of housing the prisoners, and then we pay the Saudi-trained imam-chaplain to do the rest prior to their release.

The technique seems to be in maximal use all across the kuffar prisons of the Western world. Were we to halt the in-migration of Muslims to the USA would that make a difference to the Homeland Security program? Would it be safer to fly an airplane or be a Jew? What's really pathetic is that after all this stupidity we then go on to pay the directors and agents of the FBI to plan and infiltrate and entrap these traitors after we release them while they go about putting into action the Islamist belief system we enabled them to acquire while in prison. Why, the next thing you know, we'll be be cleaning up the wreckage from middle of a city or something. At our expense. Sheesh. Why don't we just convert and pay the jizya? It would be cheaper.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cleaner Air? There must be some mistake


This just in:

President George W. Bush drew the ire of environmental groups throughout his eight years in the White House, perhaps the loudest in 2003 when he announced that he would end a Clean Air Act program that required older power plants, refineries and industrial sites to install pollution control devices when they expanded their operations.

But in looking over the data on air quality from the Bush years, Hayward notes that levels of most air pollutants decreased at a faster rate than they did during the Clinton administration.


How odd. How odd that people of good will, intellect and intention would come together without the specter of government compulsion to accomplish a socially useful purpose in course of making their own choices for their own purposes? That to accomplish a socially useful purpose might be one of their purposes? That that purpose might be cleaner air on its own merits? I wonder how that national forest policy of relaxing federal regulation in favor of local administration of local priorities worked out???

Monday, April 27, 2009

More Israeli Genius: 40% Better Gas Mileage


An Israeli teen has conceived and developed a new device that improves gas mileage by as much as a whopping 40% and cuts emissions as well. The device can be very easily retro-fitted into most gas and diesel powered vehicles apparently and reportedly boosts engine horsepower as an added benefit. Great news on the conservation front that can help to push the cost of gas lower by reducing demand. Maybe someone can figure out a way to keep the device out of Iranian hands while they are busy shouting "Death to Israel". Gas shortages are our friend in their corner of the world.

Update 28 April 2009
I am now wondering if this technology could be adapted to home heating. Many homes in the northeastern U.S., more percentage-wise than any other area of the country, use fuel oil for heat. If so, huge savings could be obtained, and possibly more B.T.U.'s could be extracted per gallon of oil burned in the the home heating market. This could be another frontier of engineering exploration. The entire notion of "peak oil" may have just gotten smacked by a new consumption paradigm.

Update 15 July 2009
The product is now being marketed by the Z5 Global Group . Here is the company website. Here is a recent article with more on the inventor and his invention.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why is Nancy Nervous?


John Kerry, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, has just returned from a fact-finding mission in Pakistan, his timely and worrisome observations challenging President Obama's bellicose but confused Af/Pak policies, while trying to come off as helpful. At home, the country is in a furor over the President's declaration that there could be criminal prosecutions of some Bush era officials based upon the new and improved "torture" policies, contravening his own chief-of-staff and Director of National Intelligence.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, former ranking Democrat of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and as Speaker, the 3rd highest Constitutional Officer of the U.S. government, is backpedaling furiously onto the ropes over the same subject, attempting to defend herself from allegations that she had been advised in sub-committee of the secret details of the torture techniques and the policy approach to using them, and had legitimized their use by the CIA (however tacitly). That she chooses to respond to pointed questions by anxiously and nervously defending herself (to her base, no less), is the most telling aspect of her reaction.

That the President might not be displeased by this turn of events should be considered a good bit more than possible. The size and of complexion of the stimulus legislation, for which the President has been roundly criticized even by members of his own party, was composed and packaged by the most left-leaning of the Congressional Democrats, and led by Nancy Pelosi. The Speaker has shown herself to be feisty when it comes to standing up to the Obama White House. Though she leads the left wing of her party, she is not particularly well-liked by her colleagues in the House. Further, were she to fall the chances are slim that her successor as Speaker would be as far to the left as she. Whoever succeeds her leadership among House progressives is not likely to occupy the Speaker's chair. Conceivably she could lose her credibility with the left and yet retain the Speakership. However, if the left's protection of her falls away for this cause, coupled with her role in the Harman wiretapping incident and they begin gnawing at her, she will also be punished by them. As for President Obama, at this point in his career the Community-Organizer-in-Chief no longer requires the brokering services Nancy Pelosi provided him with the bellwether San Francisco Democrats, or with progressives in general.

With Pelosi moved to the sidelines and out of his way, a more Obama-compliant cadre of house leadership will emerge--and she won't be calling in the plays from the left. How this resolves remains to be seen. If questioned about torture-gate on what he knew and when he knew it, Senator Kerry will no doubt turn the conversation to Afghanistan and his very recent trip, accompanied by some helpful statesman-like hemming and hawing. Maybe Nancy's nervous because she senses she's about to be cut into political ribbons by the harpies on the left unleashed by virtue of the President's abrupt flip-flop to their cause. It will be telling to see if she is defended by him now, if given the opportunity, or if instead he chooses remains silent. If it is silence, or less than serious and reasoned defense, listen then for the sound of knives being sharpened in the cellar; Nancy may be on her way out and the president free of one more thorn in his side. Irony or intention?

Update 26 April 2009:
Porter Goss, who was, in the fall of 2002, chairman of the House intelligence committee of which Ms. Pelosi was the ranking minority member, (and later Director of Central Intelligence), has established that the Congresswoman was in on the waterboarding from the very beginning. His piece in the Washington Post makes it very clear that she was, in fact, deeply involved and committed to the technique in the pursuit of information from the al Qaida operatives in CIA hands at the time. Barack Obama, back in Illinois was not, so his hands are clean.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The EPA Takes a Call from Obama's Science Officer

Presumably its ok for the government to deliberately fill the stratosphere with massive quantities of dust in order to "cool the planet" (forget about the Clean Air Act), but hey, its not okay for you to burn the toast. Down the road, these hyperventilating bureaucrats will be on your case making sure you get the opportunity to pay your fair share out-of-pocket for your own personal carbon "emissions". Just think of it as a sin tax to fund the syntax of post-modern existence. Life will be beautiful in the thrilling, new sustainable world that's out there somewhere beyond tomorrow; I can just feel it coming on, can't you? Of course you can. I do however, sense a troubling disturbance. For the "settled scientists" of man-made global warming worries:
Panic attacks are almost always associated with shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. When people feel short of breath, they often respond by hyperventilating, another common symptom of panic attacks. People hyperventilating exhale more carbon dioxide than they produce, thereby lowering carbon dioxide levels in the body. As carbon dioxide levels drop, several other changes in the body result in the lightheadedness and dizziness that often accompany panic attacks.*
You'd think a little more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be beneficial for some people. And that they'd be self-aware enough to recognize it.

*or maybe its just breathing abnormalities

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Representation Without Taxation?

What was once merely an outlandish disparity in numbers between those who benefit from U.S. income tax policy and those who actually pay the taxes, is now on its way to its largest and most disturbing level in history. So many voters today pay no income tax that there is little natural incentive within the electorate to keep the cost of government low, to set reasonable spending priorities or to vote for anyone other than a redistributionist Democrat. Rather than trumped-up publicity stunts, I hope that the Tea Party rallies tomorrow will shine a light on this problem above all others. In an article published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal Ari Fleischer, a former Bush press secretary writes:

According to the CBO, those who made less than $44,300 in 2001 — 60% of the country — paid a paltry 3.3% of all income taxes. By 2005, almost all of them were excused from paying any income tax. They paid less than 1% of the income tax burden. Their share shrank even when taking into account the payroll tax. In 2001, the bottom 60% paid 16.3% of all taxes; by 2005 their share was down to 14.3%. All the while, this large group of voters made 25.8% of the nation’s income.

When you make almost 26% of the income and you pay only 0.6% of the income tax, that’s a good deal, courtesy of those who do pay income taxes. For the bottom 40%, the redistribution deal is even better. In 2001, these 43 million Americans, who earn less than $30,500, made 13.5% of the nation’s income but paid no income tax. Instead, they received checks from their taxpaying neighbors worth $16.3 billion. By 2005, those checks totaled $33.3 billion.

Not that this is an entirely new phenomenon; however, the situation in which we find ourselves today, to a far greater extreme devalues work, undermines success, and is at bottom, fundamentally corrupt and debilitating. The pendulum has swung too far in a direction that can only lead to a self-perpetuating and thuggish majority, voting themselves no taxes, but only benefits to be paid for by the minority who are taxpayers.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog."


"The president's new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth's air. John Holdren told the Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed. One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort."

"It's got to be looked at," he said. "We don't have the luxury of taking any approach off the table.

Holdren outlined several "tipping points" involving global warming that could be fast approaching. Once such milestones are reached, such as complete loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, it increases chances of "really intolerable consequences," he said.

Twice in a half-hour interview, Holdren compared global warming to being "in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog."

At first, Holdren characterized the potential need to technologically tinker with the climate as just his personal view. However, he went on to say he has raised it in administration discussions."

Living as we are in an era of mass psychosis, I shouldn't be surprised to learn that this kind of nonsense is being seriously discussed in the White House. Giddy with power, and out for a joyride in a hybrid with bad brakes, the Obama administration is accelerating into a foggy left turn.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Israeli Science Breakthrough Extracts Fuel from Water

What if they came for the carbon tax and no one paid? Enterprising men will always find a way to redefine the political playing field and send the politicians scrambling. The carbon tax juggernaut, now being eyed as the coming cash cow for financing an ever more bloated and intrusive government must surely, if there is any justice in the world, or any luck at all, sputter and die. And hopefully with it will go all of the other avatars of eco-fascist impulse.

An Israeli research team at the Weizmann Institute has found a promising way to convert water into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen parts that may make hydrogen fuel cells economical. The current technique for creating the hydrogen for fuel cells from water has required so much energy input, that hydrogen fuel cells are not now economical to operate as an everyday energy source. The Israeli scientists have devised a three stage process inspired by photosynthesis which actually utilizes light energy in its third stage.

Among the most important challenges facing science today is designing an efficient system for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. The ability to do so will introduce hydrogen into the market as a clean, sustainable fuel. But man-made systems for getting to the root of water that exist today are very inefficient and often require additional use of sacrificial chemical agents.

The Who - Shakin' All Over - Woodstock 1969

Worth listening to, if only for the final image of the slide show. For fans (like me) of the Who; a band I first saw in concert in 1970.

Friday, April 03, 2009

"Our Efforts to Control Climate Change"

President Obama, on April 2nd discussed his recent meeting with the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh. Responding to a young female Indian reporter's question on whether the U.S. was coordinating anti-terror strategies with the Indian state, the president instead took the opportunity to go on-and-on, teasing and wincingly patronizing the young reporter before getting around to the serious business of avoiding her question. Instead of combating real threats, high on the list of priorities he shared with the prime minister in his best Chicago-style spirit of mutuality, was, and I quote: "our efforts to control climate change". As an architect, I am keenly aware of the concept of climate control. Of course, when I think of "climate control" I am referring to mere interior climate control, a highly complex and often times convoluted set of engineering and user-feedback challenges that can take a year or even more to get right in a newly commissioned building. This president, on the other hand, envisions simpler causes and more direct effects on a far broader physical and political climate. A man who has been heard equating his own election to the presidency with coming return of the supposed man-caused swollen seas to their rightful shores, Mr. Obama intends to have his way at controlling the planetary climate, and his first step will be to control us, and all of our energy producing and consuming activities. One might go so far as to say he's got global ambitions.

So, I ask myself. How many kilowatts of energy are delivered to the earth's atmosphere, oceans and surface over the period of a year from the following sources: The sun. The earth's own mantle and core. The activities of humankind. What are the respective percentages? If the climate runs on energy, and it does, then to control the climate we must in some respect control the energy inputs into the climate system and the flux of that energy to such an extent that the effects are not just measurable and meaningful, but also beneficial. Without beneficial effects, the energy expended is wasted because control has not been achieved. If the percentage contributed by human activities is small to begin with, and I would think the order of magnitude is less than one percent, then we might be able to reduce the energy inputs into the climate by some fraction thereof. It might be said, however, that the problem is not the amount of energy that we are putting into the atmosphere but rather that we are changing the proportions of the gases in the atmosphere. By so doing, we are thereby causing more of the natural energy inputs into the climate system to be retained in the atmosphere and oceans over a longer period of time than would otherwise be the case, hideously distorting its otherwise ineffably and sublimely perfect and natural state. An arguable point in a world free from "acts of God".

Imagine for a moment, just for the heck of it, that all of the windmills in all the world, and all of the windmills yet to come, are operating in reverse, blowing like fans, so that instead of drawing energy from the atmosphere, as they now do, they are instead imparting energy into the moving air. What might the net effect be on the global climate? Would it be large and obvious over time? Or would it be miniscule, and difficult to observe the changes, let alone measure them? How much electrical energy would it take to accomplish such an enormous task? How much carbon? What an outlandish example, you say. President Obama, after all intends to control the energy in the climate not just by direct means by burning less fuel, but by indirect means. And the results will be measured indirectly, as well, such as by how many new government-subsidized "green" jobs he can claim his policies have produced. Direct measurements, such as temperatures over historical time and atmospheric and temperature data provided by paleoclimatology, not to mention sunspot energy and orbital cycles cannot be made sufficiently persuasive. Not if your purposes are control and "sustainability".

The provision of food, clothing and shelter for the human population, on an annual per capita basis, means that for each of us a certain amount of energy must be expended, and ejected into the climate system, in the form of heat, cooling, light, transport and utilities. Two of the by-products of this energy production are increased water vapor and carbon dioxide. Some of us on the planet cause more of this energy to be expended than others, of course. First World leisure economies come to mind. Stored carbon (oil, coal, wood) energy buried in the ground is a part of the earth and came from living things that lived and died in the past. Removing and releasing some of it from out of the earth and into the air is one of the costs of maintaining life. Remove and release a little more and you can buy safety and security, a little more yet and you can buy liberty and the luxury of virtue. Perhaps one might even find a direct correlation between increasing energy comsumption and one's ascent up the pyramid of Abraham Maslow's heirachy of needs. How many non-self-actualizeds working in the factories and stores, and on construction sites and farms does it take to produce the surplus that buys for our society the good offices of those with glorious visions?

Globalization is a process that began slowly and spontaneously many thousands of years ago through the course of human migrations, beginning in earnest only with the mastery of the Atlantic crossing by the Renaissance Europeans and the start of smokestack industries, mass production and mass communications in the 19th and twentieth centuries. In other words, modern globalization is carbon-based. Globalization occurs from the top down. The less carbon you release, the less global and more local you are likely to be. As a corollary, you are also more likely to be poorer. Wealth begets globalization. Poverty does not. For those for whom endless cultural striving for improvements in the human condition has produced wealth, security and comfort, globalization is a natural urge.

If carbon is taxed, then like all other taxes, a carbon tax will be levied unevenly, and capriciously. If your intent is the control of economic activity and hence the climate, then taxes are effective at making otherwise uneconomical activities "sustainable", as well as previously economical activities unsustainable. Might they then be a useful tool in order to dial-in and manage the various rates of globalization across the various regions? Maybe its time then for the developed (and taxable) regions of the world to let the Obamas of the world tie one hand behind their backs and knock them a peg or two down on Maslow's heirarchy. Then the game would be fairer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Working Man's Philosophy of Climate Change














Sadly, and hockey stick graphs notwithstanding, past and present human influence on the earth’s climate, despite what you have been told has not been proved to be anything more than marginal, if even that. CO2 is not a pollutant; it is, in fact, and always has been (just as you were taught), essential to life in all its forms. CO2 levels in the earth's atmosphere have been considerably higher in the past than they are now, and will continue to vary over time, with or without our help, into the infinite and indefinite future. CO2 is a minor contributor among the naturally occurring greenhouse gases, far-and-away over-shadowed by ordinary water vapor. Sequestering carbon in the hope that in so doing, the earth's climate can be “returned to normal” is a fool's errand and is wasteful of both labor and capital. The au courant notion that worldwide climate stability is amenable to, or governable by human tinkering and tooling is a nefarious and hubristic political fiction, perhaps even an example of the persistence of magical thinking in the modern mind. Just when exactly, was the earth's climate ever "perfect", or in a steady state?

As the Greek philosopher Protagoras posited that "man is the measure of all things", so perhaps it is inevitable that people living today would assume that the condition of the climate in the time in which they live is ideal or perfect in some way. The earth and its climate, however, know nothing of our conceits. A walk under the stars on a dark night, or a trip to the new International Tsunami Museum in Thailand might be a helpful reminder of the actual scale of the natural world and our relative place in it. A proper scientific double-blind test to determine the true influence of human life on the earth's climate can never be performed, and therefore any and all estimates of our impact on the global climate can never be anything more than speculation.

What you are left with then are cherry-picked statistical correlations and earnest but evolving (and at any given time, spurious) computer models to make the case for AGW, "climate change" or whatever you care to call the phenomenon (assuming, of course, that there is such a phenomenon). As correlation does not prove causality, the underlying philosophical assumptions leave us no choice but to conclude that it is no more, nor any less, than our own received, but unexamined ontological opinions on the nature of man and of man's place in the natural world that leads us to nod mindlessly along with the breathlessly delivered reports of the elitist and anti-democratic hacks at NASA, the UN, the EU and the universities on the purported looming climate apocalypse. Ipso facto then, it is our lazy and non-committal approach to the central philosophical questions of life, and not science, that ends up determining or enabling everything regarding current climate change doctrine and economic policies....whether we care to admit it or not.

And comments are most welcome.