“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."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wheat and Chaff

This may not be news to the EB regulars but I couldn't let it pass without a post.

  • China is experiencing its coldest winter in 100 years.
  • The coldest winter in recent memory has killed over 900 people in Afghanistan.
  • The coldest winter in 50 years has forced Tajikistan to appeal to the United Nations for aid.
  • There is a third more ice in Antarctica than is usual for this time of year.
  • The Northern Hemisphere has endured its coldest weather in decades and snow blankets more areas than at any time since 1966.
  • Jerusalem, Damascus, Amman, and northern Saudi Arabia report the heaviest snow falls in years and below-zero temperatures.
But the BBC was trumpeting the news that a glacier the size of Texas is rapidly advancing toward the ocean. More evidence, they claim of global warming even as some warn that we should prepare for cooler weather.
Ice pack belies global warming
Weather will be ‘normal’ in Northwest, scientist predicts

By Terence Day
For the Capital Press

SPOKANE - Atmospheric scientist Art Douglas says the world could be experiencing global warming or sliding into the next ice age. But in either case, Pacific Northwest weather will be near normal over the next few years.

Speaking Feb. 5 at the Pacific Northwest Farm Forum, the long-range weather consultant and professor emeritus at Creighton University said the region's weather may be about 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer in March, April and May, with precipitation above normal and gradual drying going into harvest.

The region should experience normal weather next fall and winter, he said.

However, weather in the region is likely to turn dry in 2009. Douglas said the Northwest is in a weather pattern similar to the pattern experienced in 1949-1963.

Douglas expects Montana and the Dakotas to be dry throughout 2008, and Canada and northern China will continue very cold with heavy snows into mid-spring, followed by a summer that is hot and dry.

"China will bake May to August," Douglas predicted, with temperatures about 3 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in northern China. Crops will experience drought, and the Olympics will experience dense smog.

Douglas reported Australia's weather is improving for grain production, but South America's wheat-producing regions face continued dry weather. South African growing conditions should be good in 2008.

Whatever the weather, Douglas said, it's not being caused by global warming. If anything, the climate may be starting into a cooling period.

Many were greatly alarmed at melting sea ice near the North Pole with about one-third of the normal ice pack melted by 2007. But Douglas said between November 2007 and January 2008 the entire Arctic Ocean froze over, with the ice pack forming farther south than normal. Ice is forming in places in Korea and Alaska where it normally doesn't, and Siberia's January snow cover was extensive.

"We've really never seen anything like this for many, many years," he said. And the impact has been enormous, with China importing coal "because of a super-cold winter."

The amount of sea ice is the largest ever seen in the Southern Hemisphere, and it has even snowed in Buenos Aires, Douglas said. "Within four or five months, it appears that a warming trend can go very rapidly in the other direction."

Douglas said the climate can quickly correct itself, restoring lower average temperatures in as little as two years.

He said he doubts global warming. He said if greenhouse gases were responsible for global warming, both the Arctic and Antarctic would be experiencing warming, but they aren't.

Douglas said he believes the weather patterns the world is now experiencing are regional phenomena and not a global pattern. He also noted that the warmest year on record was 1998, but questioned why, if we're in a warming trend, it hasn't gotten any warmer than it was that year.

Douglas said warming trends put more moisture in the atmosphere, resulting in more snow, which leads to cooling.

Americans don't understand, he said, that what Europeans fear is that we may be heading into a period of global cooling, which could push ice lower than Europe has experienced in modern times, creating problems for ports there.

After his speech, Douglas told a group of farmers who questioned him that alarm over global warming is analogous to alarm a few decades ago that the Great Salt Lake had shrunk so much that it could never recover. In only three years - in the 1980s - the lake was flooding farmland and endangering highways, industries and subdivisions, which prompted the state to build pumping stations to draw water into the desert to evaporate.


  1. IRS Investigating Obama's United Church Of Christ
    Says Reason To Believe Speech Violated Restrictions On Political Activity By Non-Profit Groups
    NEW YORK (CBS/AP) ― The IRS is investigating the United Church of Christ over a speech Barack Obama gave to its national meeting last year after he became a candidate for president.

    Obama is a member of the church.

    A spokesman for the denomination says it received notice of the inquiry on Monday.

    The IRS says there is reason to believe the speech violated restrictions on political activity for nonprofit groups. The denomination denies any wrongdoing.

    Church officials say they had consulted with lawyers before the Democrat's June 2007 speech in Hartford, Conn., and made clear before Obama's address that he was speaking as a church member, not a political candidate.

  2. Another recent addition to the Green the Capitol initiative focuses on reducing the weight of the compostable material that is hauled to suburban composting facilities.

    The House’s two-month-old food pulper, which is like a giant garbage disposal, crushes, shreds and squeezes the liquid out of the waste collected from the composting bins, significantly reducing the weight of the garbage.

    Consequently, the cost of hauling the waste has been reduced by at least 60 percent.

    House Getting Greener

  3. WASHINGTON — In an about-face, Senate Republicans on Tuesday agreed with Democrats to advance an anti-war bill because they said the debate would give them time to hail progress in Iraq.

    The change of heart came after months of blocking similar measures. But unlike most of last year, security conditions in Iraq have improved, and Republicans say they now feel they have the upper hand on the debate.

    "We welcome a discussion about Iraq," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declared.

    The measure, by Democratic Sens. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, would cut off money for combat after 120 days. It had been expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle and move ahead.

    But after Republicans agreed in a private meeting that the debate could help make their case, the Senate voted 70-24 to begin debating it in earnest.

  4. Given the political and military progress in Iraq, and the fact that the national discussion in the presidential race has largely turned to domestic issues, Republicans believe that now would be a good time to let the Democrats make their arguments that the Iraq effort should be abandoned. The maneuver is not without political risk, however.

    Nothing energizes the Democratic Party's base, and unites it, like the Democratic led Congress standing up to the Bush Administration. By debating and perhaps passing the measure, a long-shot that would force a veto, Democrats will satisfy their political base and could focus its attention on defeating Republicans and away from the internecine battles of the primary campaign.

    But the risk for Republicans is clearly worth the effort, as Sen. John McCain, the GOP candidate, has tied his fortunes much more closely tied to public perception of the war effort.

    Iraq Debate

  5. Here is an interesting site that you can have some fun with.

    The way I understand it, if CO2 worked the way the doomers claim it would be a lot Warmer at 14,000 ft.

  6. Neat site. Warmest summer was '98. Coldest '00

  7. You can change altitudes by clicking on the altimeter on the left.

  8. Federal scientists say climate change is prompting a seasonal reduction in Arctic sea ice. The ice has served as a protective buffer from destructive storms for coastal villages like Kivalina.

    "We need to relocate now before we lose lives," said Janet Mitchell, the city administrator for the city of Kivalina, in a press release announcing the lawsuit.

    "We normally have ice starting in October, but now we have open water even into December, so our island is not protected from the storms," Mitchell said.

    Sueing Energy Companies

  9. So confusing.

    The global warming caper, not Rufus' site.

  10. Needless to say, I don't think the Gateway Pundit has completely bought into the Global Warming Thing.

  11. Greater Victoria’s transit tax is going from 2.5 cents to 3.5.

    So to recap, by July 1 a Lower Mainlander may pay 14.5 cents to the B.C. government, plus nine cents to TransLink, plus 2.5 cents in carbon tax, which Victoria promises to recycle back. Plus GST, of course, and if history is any guide you’ll pay GST on the carbon tax too.

    Get used to the idea of $1.50-a-litre gasoline.

    Carbon Tax

  12. I talked to Rick N. today, a noted climatologist in this area, as I am myself. We both agreed that 'shit, it's been colder than hell around here this winter'. Rick is an old high school friend who has never taken a climate class in his life, as I haven't. We compared this year's snowpack in Moscow to that of the fifties and sixties. Yup, for awhile this year you could drive down the street and not see the cars on the other side for the snow berm, just like the old days.

    How much money is Obama getting for the muzzies?

    Sam, if we just pull whole hog out of Iraq, Iran owns it, is what I think.

  13. McCain fortune traced to organized crime
    Mob figures later implicated in Arizona savings and loan scandal

    Posted: February 26, 2008
    9:29 pm Eastern

    By Jerome R. Corsi
    © 2008 WorldNetDaily

    Sen. John McCain

    John McCain's personal fortune traces back to organized crime in Arizona, through his father-in-law, according to a report published by a multi-news agency team called Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc.

    IRE reporters Amy Silverman and John Doherty, writing in the Phoenix New Times, note that the father of McCain's wife, James Hensley, was convicted by a federal jury in U.S. District Court of Arizona in March 1948 on seven counts of filing false liquor records. Hensley also was charged with conspiracy to hide from federal authorities the names of persons involved in a liquor industry racket with two companies he managed, United Sales Company in Phoenix and United Distributors in Tucson.

    The umbrella company, United Liquor, at that time held a monopoly in Arizona, organized and managed by Kemper Marley, who was accused of mob ties by a reporter who was murdered in 1977.

    Silverman and Doherty report that by 1955, Hensley had launched a Budweiser distributorship in Phoenix, "a franchise reportedly bestowed upon him by Marley, who was never indicted in the 1948 liquor-law-violation case – or a subsequent one – despite his controlling role in the liquor distribution businesses."

    (Story continues below)

    According to Marley's longtime public relations man, Al Lizanetz, the Marley liquor empire was founded by the Bronfman family dynasty of Canada which operated Allied Finance Company, Northern Export Company and Distillers Corporation – the Seagrams, Ltd. empire.

    As chronicled by the "Rumrunners and Prohibition" video shown popularly on the History Channel, during the 1920s, the Bronfman family made millions in bootlegging, accounting for half the illegal liquor crossing the border, working in a profitable distribution deal with the infamous mobster Meyer Lansky, who later moved on to establish the crime syndicates in the casinos of Havana, Cuba, in the 1940s and 50s.

    Arizona in the 1970s drew a "who's who" of organized crime figures seeking to retire in the sun, including Rochester, N.Y., mob boss Joe Bonanno, who spent his last days along the Lake Havasu shores and in a quiet home in Tucson.

    In 1977, after Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles was killed when his car was blown up by the mob in a parking lot, a team of 36 journalists from 27 news organizations, known as IRE, published an 80,000 word 23-part series on organized crime in Arizona.

    Dan Nowicki and Bill Muller, reporting in the Arizona Republic March 1, 2007, documented that in 1953, Hensley was again charged with falsifying records at Marley's liquor firms.

    Hensley was found not guilty after being defended by William Rehnquist, the future chief justice of the Supreme Court, Nowicki and Muller wrote.

    In 2000, Hensley, then 80 years old, still controlled the Budweiser distributorship valued as a $200 million-a-year business, with annual sales of more than 20 million cases of beer.

    On Feb. 17, 2000, Pat Flannery reported in the Arizona Republic that Hensley's beer-distribution empire was the fifth largest in the nation, "a Budweiser franchise whose bigwigs hold the No. 2 spot on Sen. John McCain's all-time career list of corporate donors."

    Since 1982, according to the Center for Public Integrity, Hensley & Co. officials have pumped $80,000 into the campaigns of McCain, Flannery wrote. More than a quarter of that has been donated since 1997.

    Flannery further reported that in 2000, Cindy Hensley McCain, the senator's wife, held a 37.18 percent financial interest in her father's Budweiser distributorship, although she was not involved in day-to-day operations.

    The McCain's four children held a combined 23.55 percent interest, though their interests were at that time held in trust.

    Arizona crime connections again surfaced in the 1980s when McCain was implicated as one of the five U.S. senators named in the "Keating Five" scandal.

    Charles Keating Jr. and his associates paid McCain some $112,000 in political campaign contributions between 1982 and 1987, while Keating was organizing a massive real estate fraud in the then FDIC federally insured Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.

    In April 1986, McCain's wife and father-in-law also invested $359,000 in a Keating shopping center, before the savings and loan scandal broke.

    Keating was sent to prison under civil racketeering and fraud charges for the $1.1 billion loss the investment scheme cost the public, although McCain and the other U.S. senators involved managed to avoid charges in the Senate, with McCain receiving only an Ethics Committee rebuke for exercising "poor judgment."

    Even today, McCain's 2008 presidential campaign staff includes several prominent lobbyists, despite the senator's claim to be a campaign reform crusader whose goal is to take money out of politics.

    WND previously reported McCain's 2000 and 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis took a six-figure salary as president of the Soros-funded Reform Institute in the intervening years and managed his own lobby firm of Davis, Manafort & Freeman in Alexandria, Va., operating at the same building in a suite down the hall from the Reform Institute.

    In 2003 and 2004, Davis apparently solicited CSC Holdings, a subsidiary of the Cablevision Systems Corporation, headed by Charles F. Dolan, to make two separate $100,000 contributions to the Reform Institute.

    In between the two separate $100,000 contributions Cablevision made to the Reform Institute, McCain, then chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission supporting Cablevision's desire to continue packaging customer TV programming in a manner more profitable to Cablevision.

    In this period of time, McCain worked with Vicki Iseman, a lobbyist representing telecommunications companies, including Cablevision.

    WND also reported Davis arranged a 2006 meeting with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska in Davos, Switzerland, a close supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

    McCain repeatedly has voiced opposition to Putin, even calling on President Bush to suspend Russia's membership in the Group of Eight.

    In 2007, the U.S. State Department cancelled Deripaska's visa over continuing concerns he remained connected with the Russian mafia.

  14. Be interesting to see how the northern winter translates into the southern winter come July. Melbourne can get pretty dang cold. Snowed in downtown a couple years ago which is unheard of. I'll keep you posted when we get to that timeframe, anyways.

    Iraq - Yeah Bob, Iran moving in is just one of the scenarios I s'pose. And along with them comes Hezbollah. That means Hezbollah will be operating out of 4 countries. Lebanon/Syria/Iraq/Iran. And that's not counting the sleeper cells in the US.

  15. Bob,

    In his old age, King david too suffered from Jerusalem's cold climate. I believe that crafty old goat decided best it was to construct a bigger bed.

  16. Similarly, in Delaware, state law requires a candidate to gain access to the ballot by either 1) collecting 500 signatures from registered Republicans or 2) demonstrating that he or she has qualified for matching funds. McCain chose the second option and submitted to Delaware election officials the FEC press release announcing that he had qualified for public financing as evidence.

    This comes as the DNC released an FEC letter proving that unlike McCain, the Dean campaign followed the law and received written permission from the FEC to withdraw from the public financing system. Additionally, the FEC approved the Dean campaign's request to withdraw because Dean had not yet received any public funds and had not used matching funds as collateral to secure a private loan, a condition the McCain campaign has already violated.

    "John McCain's willingness to use matching funds when it helps his campaign and to break the law when it hurts him is exactly the sort of cynical politics and sheer hypocrisy the American people are already sick of," said DNC Communications Director Karen Finney. "John McCain should either obey the law by getting the FEC's approval to withdraw from the public financing system they signed on to, or stop distorting the truth and admit that they're wrong.

    McCain Campaign

  17. "..if we just pull whole hog out of Iraq, Iran owns it, is what I think."

    Iran cant afford it. And neither can the US. The money is better spent elsewhere.

  18. Mercury from power plants in China, for example, is borne across the Pacific in clouds that rise up when they hit West Coast mountains. That causes the mercury to drop out of the clouds attached to rain droplets or snowflakes, he said.

    Release of the study, which was coordinated by the National Park Service, came after a delay of several months. A Park Service spokeswoman, Colleen Flanagan, said the delay was caused by the time needed to analyze the vast volumes of data collected, from 2002 to 2007.

    The study also included researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service.

    Contaminant Levels High

  19. Now King David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.

    Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.

    So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coast of Israel, and found Abishag (that came with pail and rag, the withered hag, who was once the picture pride of Hollywood--provide, provide--Robert Frost) a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.

    And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

    Then Adoniah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

    The First Book of Kings(commonly called, The Third Book of the Kings)
    Chapter 1: 1-5 King James Version

  20. Provide, Provide
    by Robert Frost

    The witch that came (the withered hag)
    To wash the steps with pail and rag,
    Was once the beauty Abishag,

    The picture pride of Hollywood.
    Too many fall from great and good
    For you to doubt the likelihood.

    Die early and avoid the fate.
    Or if predestined to die late,
    Make up your mind to die in state.

    Make the whole stock exchange your own!
    If need be occupy a throne,
    Where nobody can call you crone.

    Some have relied on what they knew;
    Others on simply being true.
    What worked for them might work for you.

    No memory of having starred
    Atones for later disregard,
    Or keeps the end from being hard.

    Better to go down dignified
    With boughten friendship at your side
    Than none at all. Provide, provide!

  21. Jews believe that the Torah is the truth for Jews and for all of humanity. Believing this, however, doesn’t require that everyone convert to Judaism. Jews are expected to keep the 613 commandments of the Torah, but for everyone else, there is what is known as the Seven Laws of Noah. They are called such because human beings are the descendents of Noah. They include:

    - Do not murder.

    - Do not steal.

    - Do not worship false gods.

    - Do not be sexually immoral.

    - Do not eat the limb of an animal before it is killed.

    - Do not curse God.

    - Set up courts and bring offenders to justice.

    7 Laws

  22. If they can tie McCain to Marley, which is more than a little likely, he's dirtier than I thought.

    Kemper was a very "hard" man. Met him once, he was polite to a fault. Knew his adopted grandson, he who herded goats on the McDowell Mountains of Scottsdale. We had a mutual ex-girl friend.

    Kemper, not a man to be trifiled with. Had himself a posse, including Governors, Ambassadors and plumbers. More than a few cowboys. A person could disappear, messin' with Kemper, no doubt of that.
    The Don Bowles story, blew him up in downtown Phoenix, car bombed him.

    In part tied to the Emprise Corp, that ran the dog tracks. Now morphed into Delaware North, a private corporation owned by Jerry Jacobs, son of the founder, a once and future member of the Forbes 400. Did some contract work for his horse show interests, about ten years ago.

    A tangled web of power and influence, to be sure.
    Dirty as soot, guarenteed.

  23. From Foreign Policy Blog (

    If you were were looking for a hard number to sum up the state of Cuba's political leadership, try 70. That's the average age of Raúl Castro and the six vice presidents appointed this past weekend. The ascension of these longtime Raúlistas to the top spots in Cuba's government is as good an indication of any that Raúl has no immediate plans for major reform. In a conference call organized by the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American studies, Senior Research Associate Brian Latell characterized Cuba's new government as a "gerontocracy... old men dealing with the possibility of an upheaval and instability among the younger generation of Cubans."

    His colleague, University of Miami Assistant Provost Andy Gomez, said his interviews with young Cubans in recent days indicated a disturbing trend of authorities arresting youths on trumped up charges, possibly to prevent major demonstrations. Gomez worries that unless major reforms are undertaken soon, we might soon see a major outward migration of young Cubans to the United States and elsewhere:

    "I do think that we might see a movement of this young generation trying to leave the island in any possible direction. My concerns here are multiple. First, the United States is in the process of a presidential election. I don't think that this administration or any of the candidates want to deal with a mass migration… The current infrastructure in the state of Florida is not prepared to deal with such a large migration. The state of Florida and the Miami-Dade public schools have [budget] shortfalls. We are just not prepared. This could be a problem for the United States like we haven't seen before."

    It's also unlikely to help alleviate the already toxic state of the U.S. immigration debate.


    You can compare it to China in the 70s or Russia in the 80s. Whichever one, the clock is ticking in Cuba.

  24. So the rulers of Cuba are, on average, younger than John McCain.

    They have a lot of time left on the clock.

  25. Not even about to start the two minute drill.

  26. But Wayne S. Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington and chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana from 1979 to 1982, predicted Sunday in an editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Raul Castro will not break strongly from his brother's policies.

    "Rather, we will see a peaceful transition and the existing system remain largely intact," Smith predicted.

    Still, changes are inevitable, he said. "Raul Castro has called for a nationwide debate on the country's economic future and for Cubans to propose reforms in group discussions.

    Challenges in Cuba

  27. It's not 'who' has a lot of time left on the clock; it's 'what.'

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. So the Dictatorship of the politariat will be passing on into the night?

    With a bang, or a whimper?

  31. Don Bolles, he worked for the AZ Republic, the paper of record, in AZ. Which is owned by Mr Dan Quayles' family, he being the one time Senator from Indiana and VP to Bush41.

  32. Was owned by the Quayle family, back in the day. Now a piece of the Gannett chain of newspapers

  33. Well, Virgin Atlantic Airlines just successfully completed a London-Amsterdam flight with a 747 that was partially fueled by the oil of coconuts and Brazilian babassu nuts. The biofuel mixture is so sustainable that the company's colorful president, Richard Branson, guzzled it for the cameras.

    Now, why does America have to keep waiting for alternative fuels again?

    Sure, the flight felt a little gimmicky, and it was - biofuels aren't going to be a panacea when it comes to fighting global warming. In jet engines, for instance, biofuel doesn't burn any cleaner than kerosene.

    Biofuels Take Off

  34. Because kerosene is still a whole lot cheaper than "the oil of coconuts and Brazilian babassu nuts."

    Even if it cannot be guzzled.

    Without extensive tax credits, the solar power plant that is proposed for Gila Bend, AZ., is not economicly viable.

    Even with the credits, the electricity is much more costly than that produced at the Palo Verde nuclear facility. Some reporting a cost base that is triple that of nuclear generation.

    That reported in a letter to the editor of the AZ Republic.

  35. Windpower - somebody here, can't remember who, who posted on windmills.

    Said it takes 20 years, or something-a-rather, for them to even get to the point of paying for themselves.

    Because of the amount of energy that goes into producing them. The windmills.

  36. mat was advocating for sea borne windmills, rufus and I figured out we'd have to cover South Dakota with them, to generate enough power to make them a viable alternate source of electrical power.

    Which may be a viable solution, not much else is happening in South Dakota.

    The Gila Bend project needs 1,900 acres for 260 megawatts. That's three sections, three square miles of dirt. More than a little.

  37. Even with the credits, the electricity is much more costly than that produced at the Palo Verde nuclear facility. Some reporting a cost base that is triple that of nuclear generation.

    Nuclear, wind, solar, damned near anything beats trying to heat buildings with warm stinking swedish bodies.

    All our politicians are a bunch of crap.

    Car bombed the reporter, huh? Before car bombing was cool, too.

  38. It's not too late to take a step toward their good side - and steal a little more oxygen from the would-be Senor Bolivar next door.

    Could (our most likely future President) Obama be encouraged to do it? What a gas that would be, given his billing as the Second Coming of JFK.

  39. I wonder if the USA, taken as a whole, would use more or less energy if it was 5 degrees warmer or colder on average? That's to say which is worse, energy wise, air conditioners or furnaces. Across the whole country.

    We're almost to the time when the furnace goes off, here.


    4 months of nothing
    then--2 months of air conditioning
    then--3 months of nothing
    then--3 months of furnace, and

  40. There will be a convention in hell one day. One dayless day. Lil Kim, meet Raoool, both of you fellows, say hi to Bobby Mugabe, and oh, there's Saddam....amd over here, some of our best members...

  41. Offering to phase out the embargo, bob. 'Cause those chickens are coming home to roost. (So to speak.) One way or another.

  42. Maybe another Mariel boatlift is in the offing.

    Peteerike below didn't mention flooding the country with uncounted illegals, making them legals, good dem voters.

    peterike said...
    This is all just a nightmare. Our long national nightmare is just beginning.

    Have you guys seen the Obama video that Powerline posted? Obama talking about how he'll basically disarm America? I kid you not.

    "I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems...

    ...I will not weaponize space...

    ...I will slow development of future combat systems..." [As the mandarins in Beijing smile ear to ear.]

    And on and on it goes. You've got to see it for yourselves.

    Really, the more I learn about the guy, the more I think he's a genuine Manchurian Candidate, put up by hardline Leftists. I wouldn't even doubt that some of Putin's old buddies in the KGB are involved. The Chinese? Maybe, but the Clinton's have been their riding horse for all these years. Maybe the Russians just outflanked the Chi Coms and bet on the winner.

    Curiouser and curiouser. And is there a word that means nauseating-er?

    2/26/2008 08:28:00 PM


  43. Blog: Science
    Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling
    Michael Asher (Blog) - February 26, 2008

    World Temperatures according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction. Note the steep drop over the last year.Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming

    Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.
    No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

    A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

    Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

    Let's hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans -- and most of the crops and animals we depend on -- prefer a temperature closer to 70.

    Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news.

  44. Well, I'll be damned. The Nation of Islam really does believe in a mothership. I wonder what Richard Hoagland would have to say about this heresy.

    Nation of Islam
    created by pingouin
    (idea) by Ashley Pomeroy (1.4 wk) (print) ? 2 C!s I like it! Fri Sep 07 2001 at 11:14:11

    According to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's Message to the Black Man in America, one of the key texts of the NoI, black people are descended from the 'Shabazz', an alien race which arrived on earth sixty-six trillion years ago, and white people are the result of genetic experiments conducted seven thousand years ago by a misguided scientist called 'Yakub'. Furthermore, gorillas and monkeys were created as a result of genetic engineering carried out by white people in an attempt to make themselves black again. As one might expect, a Shabazz mothership orbits the Earth at a height of forty miles, and at the time of armageddon, the mothership will obliterate all cities and thus purge the world of the white plague. (And you thought George Clinton was just a jolly funk musician.)
    To the Nation of Islam, white people are inherently evil and weak, and are referred to as 'devils'; all technology and societal advances stem from black people. Luckily, the rule of the white man ended in 1914, and the current state of the world is merely a protracted death throe. All arguments to the contrary are perceived as racist attacks against black people, as the Nation of Islam believe themselves to be the one true religion representing black people.

    None of the above is any more potty than some of the stuff in the Christian Bible; however, whilst relatively few Christians take the Bible literally, Nation of Islam followers are encouraged to believe the above as if it were fact. That 'Elijah Muhammad' may have simply concocted a fancy-sounding set of beliefs that would appeal to his chosen audience and thus make money is not unique to the Nation of Islam; the relatively easy ride the cult receives at the hands of the press is galling, however, as few are willing to criticise the group for fear of being accused of cultural imperialism or worse.

    Which seems wrong, because most of the above is equally appealing for racists of all colours - for black racists, they dehumanise white people, and for white racists, they give the impression that black people are extraordinarily stupid, cattle-like drones.

    The NoI confuse the heck out of left-wing people, in that whilst the prospect of Christian Biblical creationism being taught in schools is decried for being 'backwards' and retrograde, the prospect of the NoI's theories being taught in schools (and there are at least half a dozen of them, 'Muhammad University of Islam schools') tends to produce deafening silence; it is not 'backwards', it is instead an enlightened, equally-valid expression of a unique cultural heritage, etc.

    Any similarity between the Nation of Islam and traditional Islam is purely coincidental; whilst the NoI adopts concepts and names, the two are distinct entities, not least because the bona fide Islam is not currently evangelised by a one-time calypso singer.

  45. From the National Standard:
    Last month, Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, shrugged off manmade climate change as "a drop in the bucket." Showing that solar activity has entered an inactive phase, Prof. Sorokhtin advised people to "stock up on fur coats."

    He is not alone. Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon.

    The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.

    It's way too early to claim the same is about to happen again, but then it's way too early for the hysteria of the global warmers, too.

  46. "It's not too late to take a step toward their good side?"

    Why? Not enough 400sq ft gilded marble toilet vacation spots in the Caribbean to go round?

  47. The snows seem to be returning to Mt. Kilimanjaro, too.

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