“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

As The World Turns and Mars Wobbles

According to Al Gore and Company, the science and the debate are settled and man is the cause of global warming. The inconvenient truth is, as this National Geographic article indicates, the debate is anything but settled.
Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human- induced—cause, according to one scientist's controversial theory.

Earth is currently experiencing rapid warming, which the vast majority of climate scientists says is due to humans pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. (Get an overview: "Global Warming Fast Facts".)

Mars, too, appears to be enjoying more mild and balmy temperatures.

In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row.

Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.

"The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars," he said.
Of course, the article went on to quote a couple of GW adherents labeling Abdussamatov as being "outside of mainstream science." They also claimed that the simultaneous warming is coincidental and attributed Mars' warming to its "rotational wobble."

Doesn't that sound familiar? They must all share the same media and political advisers. Have many times have we heard the Democrat leadership claim that Republicans were out of the main stream? The rotational wobble bit.....I don't know 'dog, sounds pitchy.'

ht: Tiger at Observanda

Following on the heels of Vice-President Cheney's recent visits to Australia and south Asia here's more news of the consequence of man's actions.

In this case, a loser from Australia who got involved with Islam and in 2001 was rounded up by "irregulars" in Afghanistan is about to once again be a free man.

SYDNEY, Australia, Saturday, March 3 — The decision by the United States military to charge an Australian citizen, David Hicks, with one terrorism-related offense comes as Prime Minister John Howard is under mounting pressure, even from conservatives in his own party, to have Mr. Hicks charged, tried and brought home.

Mr. Hicks is the first detainee from the American base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to be charged under the Military Commissions Act of 2006. But the single charge, of providing “material support for terrorism,” after Mr. Hicks has been held for five years in Guantánamo, has been met with skepticism, disbelief and some anger here, from conservatives and liberals alike.

The charge, which was announced by the Pentagon in Washington on Thursday, represents a substantial reduction in the case the Bush administration has claimed it has against Mr. Hicks, a high-school dropout who was captured in Afghanistan after the American invasion in 2001.

Described by one Australian police official as a “lost soul,” Mr. Hicks was a kangaroo skinner in the Australian outback, went to Japan to train horses, and joined the Kosovo Liberation Army, which had the support of NATO in the war against Slobodan Milosevic.

Back in Australia, he tried unsuccessfully to enlist in the army. He joined an evangelical church, but eventually converted to Islam and went to Pakistan. There, he first joined up with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was not declared a terrorist organization by the United States or Australia until the last week of 2001.

He was picked up by Afghan irregulars and turned over to the American troops for a ransom of several thousand dollars, according to his father, Terry Hicks, a printer by trade.

Human rights groups claim that Mr. Hick is not a dangerous man. He only suffers from 'rotational wobble.'


  1. For some time I have been notcing the increase in sloar flare activity. Solar flare activity is expected to build for the next three years maxing out in 2010. They have a significant effect on telecommunications and can even affect electrical transmission.

    Solar flares carry huge amount of energy. They also affect the northern atmosphers and it show up in the activity of the " Northern Lights."

    It would not surprise me if there were other atmospheric links that could affect winds and water circulation patterns and affect warming and cooling trends. The planet is in equilibriun, not because it is unchanging, but because it does change and then re-adjusts to a state of equilibrium.

  2. If you'll notice the warm spells have been, for the last six thousand years, been getting a little cooler. This one, so far, is a little cooler than the medieval one, which was a little cooler than the one two thousand years ago, etc., etc.

  3. The later Maya certainly attributed much mythological significance to the beginning date, relating it to the birth of their deities, but it now seems certain that the placement of the Long Count hinges upon its calculated end point. Why did early Mesoamerican skywatchers pick a date some 2300 years into the future and, in fact, how did they pinpoint an accurate winter solstice? With all these considerations one begins to suspect that, for some reason, the ancient New World astronomers were tracking precession.

    The Precession
    The precession of the equinoxes, also known as the Platonic Year, is caused by the slow wobbling of the earth's polar axis. Right now this axis roughly points to Polaris, the "Pole Star," but this changes slowly over long periods of time. The earth's wobble causes the position of the seasonal quarters to slowly precess against the background of stars. For example, right now, the winter solstice position is in the constellation of Sagittarius. But 2000 years ago it was in Capricorn. Since then, it has precessed backward almost one full sign. It is generally thought that the Greek astronomer Hipparchus was the first to discover precession around 128 B.C. Yet scholarship indicates that more ancient Old World cultures such as the Egyptians (see Schwaller de Lubicz's book Sacred Science) and Babylonians also knew about the precession.

    I have concluded that even cultures with simple horizon astronomy and oral records passed down for a hundred years or so, would notice the slow shifting of the heavens. For example, imagine that you lived in an environment suited for accurately demarcated horizon astronomy. Even if this wasn't the case, you might erect monoliths to sight the horizon position of, most likely, the dawning winter solstice sun. This position in relation to background stars could be accurately preserved in oral verse or wisdom teachings, to be passed down for centuries. Since precession will change this position at the rate of 1 degree every 72 years, within the relatively short time of 100 years or so, a noticeable change will have occurred. The point of this is simple. To early cultures attuned to the subtle movements of the sky, precession would not have been hard to notice.

    The Mayans knew the Earth wobbled and the Galatic cycle begins again on 21 Dec 2012. It really is pretty interesting, to think that those folk, living in the jungle, had astronomy down cold.

    This fellow explains it reasonably well, but goodle 21 December 2012 for a full range of explanations.


  4. ... and then the Newt says:

    "... The American people have come to the exhausted conclusion that they don't see how this administration in this setting is going to win this war. Now, I happen to think that withdrawal is the wrong solution - but the frustration with the current campaign is totally legitmiate. . .

    The [Iraq troop] surge in its current form has about one chance in five of succeeding. . . . If it's going to work, there's at least 18 additional changes [in approach] you have to make, which I think gets you up to about a four out of five chance to succeed.

    BUT you just can't get the administration to take this seriously. . . . They cannot get to a decision, because they have an inter-agency system that's broken . . . If they're serious, they'll create an inter-department chief of staff who would report directly to the president, a four-star general or a four-star admiral whose only job is implentation [of war plans]. And that chief would walk in and every morning see the president . . .

    The president is supposed to be commander in chief. He's not. He doesn't command . . . . Tell me what they've done to make things different. . . .
    Voters [last November] looked up and said, "Scandal, no balanced budget, pork-barrel spending, mismanagement in Katrina . . ." You look at the polling data. It was the mismanagement in New Orleans that was the first huge break. Because they suddenly said, "If these guys think Brownie's doing a great job, there's something fundamentally wrong going on."

    And then Baghdad hasn't worked. Whether you're for it or against it, it hasn't worked . . . If Bush had said, "I understand, you're not satisfied, and I'm replacing Rumsfeld" three weeks before the election, he would have saved the Senate and saved at least 10 seats in the House. Because part of what was going on was people were thinking, "You know, how hard do I have to vote 'no' to get your attention?"

    REMEMBER, the "reform party" that Ronald Reagan represented was an insurgency . . . Chuck Schumer has it exactly right in his new book: We wrote the Contract With America as an insurgency against the Republican regulars, more than as an insurgency against the Democrats.

    That was a radicalizing document designed to move the whole party to a much more reform model and it worked for about three years. And then, frankly, we failed. We didn't train a generation of leaders who understood what we were doing, we did not create a second contract and we didn't arouse the grassroots to impose their will on the Congress. And you cannot change Washington from the inside. "

  5. DR,

    We must never forget that Newt is a naughty boy.

  6. Soldiers conducted house-to-house searches through the densely populated grid of squat two- and three-story buildings, but met no resistance in a district firmly in the hands of the Mahdi Army militia led by the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said Lt. Col. David Oclander.

    Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman, told Al-Arabiya television U.S. officials spoke daily with community leaders in Sadr City before entering the stronghold.

    "If you go to Sadr City today you will see joint Iraqi and American troops cooperating with the head of the Sadr City council," Caldwell said in comments translated into Arabic. "There is no problem between the two sides, and we are trying to set up a small security center there."

    Al-Sadr withdrew his militia under intense pressure from the government, but there were worries that a large-scale military push without political clearance could bring a backlash and jeopardize the entire security effort.

    "The indication that we are getting is a lot of the really bad folks have gone into hiding," Oclander said.

    Proof, once again, that the Shia Militias are extensions of the Iraqi Government. They have stood down, gone to hiding, on command.

    A year, 18 months, nothin' but a thing, do that standing on their heads.

  7. "The report on climate change said that humans are very likely making the planet warmer. To which Hillary Clinton said, 'Hey, can't blame me for that one.'" --Jay Leno

    "Barbra Streisand told Diane Sawyer that we're in a global warming crisis, and we can expect more and more intense storms, droughts and dust bowls. But before they act, weather experts say they're still waiting to hear from Celine Dion." --Jay Leno

  8. rufus,

    I cannot get Austin Bay to come up by any means. Whether the fault is on my end or his I cannot tell.

  9. Half of the G-Team, to my thinking.

    Newt as empowered VP, as opposed to the Cheney model.

    Rudy as Chief Federal Law Enforcement Officer. Now that the War on Terror has degenerated into a criminal matter.

    It'd be a Republican revolution, without an Insurgency.
    Or lose in '08.

  10. BAGHDAD, Iraq (Associated Press) -- Iraq's prime minister has confirmed that U.S. and Iraqi authorities are working together to arrest and prosecute Iraqi politicians and top officials suspected of links to armed extremist groups.

    "There is coordination between us and the (U.S.-led) Multinational Forces (that) started at the beginning of this year ... to determine who should be arrested and the reasons behind arresting them," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told The Associated Press in an interview Saturday.
    Deputy Health Minister Hakim al-Zamili was arrested Feb. 9 by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers for allegedly diverting millions of dollars from his ministry to the Shiite militia, the Mahdi Army.

    Iraqi officials give various estimates about the number of people on the list, ranging from 50 to more than 100. The discrepancy could not be explained, but it could be due to changes in the list based on intelligence operations or linked to an effort by Iraqi leaders to pare the list down for political reasons.

  11. The Little Ice Age ended at some point during the mid to late 19th century. That's about a milli-second ago in geologic time.

    At the end of an ice age, things warm up. Indeed, that's how you know an ice age has ended - NO ice. Get it?

    If people want to worry about global warming, they might worry about the fact that the warming at the end of the Little Ice Age is much less than one ought to expect. In short, given the past as indicative, there has been insufficient global warming.

    Baby it's cold outside, geologically speaking.

  12. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Hosseini said Iran will announce "in the near future" whether it will attend the March 10 conference in Baghdad. Syria, the United States, Britain and France have said they will participate.

    Hosseini claimed the U.S. has proposed holding direct discussions with Iran over Iraq. Iranian officials have made those claims in the past, but U.S. officials have not confirmed proposing any talks.

    "Recently, the United States has proposed negotiations with Iran through different channels over the Iraq issue," Hosseini said. "Meeting with Americans on the sidelines of the Baghdad conference is not on the agenda of Iran, for the time being."

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made the surprise announcement Tuesday that a U.S. diplomat will be at the conference and that she herself will go to a later session. In December, the White House dismissed the recommendation from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that it reach out to Syria and Iran to try to stabilize Iraq.

    On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the U.S. would not rule out "any particular diplomatic interaction" with other delegations at the Baghdad conference.

  13. DR,

    Yesterday, Bob W, in his critique of the Walter Reed scandal, hit the nail on the head: our best efforts are being suffocated by bureaucracy. No genuine improvement on any front, whether Iraq or Social Security, will be possible so long as the sclerotic bureaucracy remains in place. Dismantling these fiefdoms is the work for a genius such as Gingrich. The chance of that happening, sadly, is about 1:1,000,000.

  14. As long as those that demanded others vote against principle, for Party & Nation's sake, stay the course themselves, Rudy and Newt could carry the day.

    Then the tale that 9-11-01
    "Changing Everything"
    would be proven true.

    Otherwise we'll party,
    like it's 1999.

  15. He'll get them coming back to Las Vegas, where gamblers belong.

    That's what his constituents want.

    Anything else he's just pissin' in the wind.

  16. We'll never know, Bob. He wasn't majority leader back on Aug 16, when that article was written.

  17. Have the rivers risen, since?

    Or has the mighty Mississippi stayed dry, since '05?

    Missed that entirely.

  18. 05'? Shit, I was so busy chuckling over the Aug 16 I didn't make it to the 05' part.

    OK, here's the Question. How many EB'ers does it take to fisk an article?

    So far we've used up three commenters; one to find the article, and two to get the date straight.

  19. Cain't pull no wool over the eyes of the EB'ers.

  20. Let me see if I understand: Gingrich's suggestion that Islam be attacked at one of its weaker points, misogyny, is harebrained.

    Now, I could see it being harebrained to expect American fembats to rise to the aid of their Muslim sisters, but Gingrich hasn't asked that, as far as I know.

  21. As to Gingrich being harebrained for seeing parallels in Western policy towards Islamofascism now and Fascism in the 30s, well, he has good company.

  22. That is why Newt gets to be VP, dealing with Health Care and School Vouchers, while the Prosecutor in Chief, Rudy, invigorates the Police Chase in the War on Terror.

    Each to their specialties.

  23. A human being is in mortal peril from the instant of conception.

    Nevertheless, one moves on.

  24. Trish said, When you're in mortal peril, you don't dick around with gender rights campaigns, do you? Or if you do, you don't understand what 'mortal peril' means.

    We're not in mortal peril. 9-11 was a cheap shot. North Korea's "nuke" was 200 tons of dynamite going off inside in a tunnel as part of an ongoing extortion racket that has worked at least since 1994 and now Iran wants a piece of the action. They're like a company that has given up their main line of production in favor of a business model based solely on bringing nuisance lawsuits against other companies.

  25. For those who don't believe the United States in mortal peril, try getting major media to publish a cartoon of Mohammed.

    A nation can be in mortal peril without it being all about YOU.

  26. Harebrained is believing you can predict the success of the Surge as 1:5. That was too obvious and uncharged politically to get much notice, I guess.

  27. rufus,

    I got through to Austin Bay's site. The VDH interview was first rate!

  28. Allen, it was this article with Peter Schraefer that I was talking about. Artcle

  29. lord acton, they're already on it.

    The magic phrase for today is "atmospheric alterations"!

  30. The 1930's: Major industrial power poised to consume half of a continent. Sorry if the similarities escape me.

    The similarity is in the ideology. A supremacist ideology that is similar in its psychological and physical thuggery to the one behind the nazi expansionist drive. But this fascistic expansionist ideology isn't just poised to consume half a continent or half of the globe, because that is already a reality; it is poised to take over the whole world, through the total corruption of our western institutions, and the physical reality of demographics.

  31. But not, mat, by force of arms.
    No Mohammedan armies are on he march, pushing the frontiers.
    Just border bandits and jihadists. They do not represent the Religion of Peace, as Prince Bandar told Mr Bush and he believes it so.

  32. d'Rat,

    Tell that to the Serbs. Tell that to the Israelis. Tell that to the Greeks. Tell that to the Armenians. Tell that to the Ethiopians. Tell that to half of Africa. Tell that to the Indians. Tell that to the Russians. Tell that to the Chinese. Tell that to the dhimmi everywhere dar al islam is solidifying its land grabs.

  33. Bobalharb said, "A lot of these Iraqi bloggers seem to write very correct English, like they were raised in Virginia, maybe."

    Yawl reckon? My brother's moving out here from Virginny, shonuff, I hain't seen him in munts.

  34. You all meant raised up at Langley, aye?

  35. You might find this of interest Clouds

    More solar flares = higher solar output, higher solar magnetic field, fewer 10GEV protons, fewer clouds.