ZEG

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In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG has some New Year wishes up

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Britain's major Leftist newspaper, The Guardian, is at least good for a laugh!

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Britain's Guardianistas really do take the cake. They are so wrapped up in their own little fantasy world that they have no idea how absurd they can sound to others. For example: This article blames China for the now universally acknowledged "failure" of the Copenhagen climate conclave (There's a tongue-twister for you!).

As the writer himself acknowledges, it is an unwritten rule that the holier-than-thou crowd must never blame poor countries for anything. Only the "rich West" can do wrong. But apparently China is now rich and powerful enough to have lost that protection. So our climate apostle has got daring.

But the funny bit comes towards the end of his article when he concludes in sorrow and in anger that China is not playing the Guardianista game at all. He seems surprised that he has to conclude: "This is fast becoming China's century, yet its leadership has displayed that multilateral environmental governance is not only not a priority, but is viewed as a hindrance to the new superpower's freedom of action".

China is not interested in global governance! How awful! How concerning! How disillusioning! What is left? Fancy China wanting to run its own affairs! How can those nice Communists be so awful? It's all a terrible shock to a Guardianista!

The Guardian has its flock, however. My first wife (the first of four) has always been Left-leaning and she has just emailed me to tell me that she is now very angry with China! LOL! She would once have turned a deaf ear to any criticism of China.

It reminds me of Israel. For a couple of decades after WWII, the Left were supportive of Israel. But after Israel won the six-day war, that steadily eroded and Israel is now regarded with widespread hostility among Leftists. Leftists just hate other people doing well for themselves. They only like people that they can look down on and patronize. One of the reasons I support Israel is that it gives me pleasure to see other people doing well -- but that makes me a conservative, of course. No Leftist would understand that. I even think highly of Bill Gates!

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Utopian new left just like old left

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How did the European left rationalize communism's crimes and transform itself into a viable political force after the fall of the Soviet Union? It's all explained in "Last Exit to Utopia: The Survival of Socialism in a Post-Soviet Era." First published in 2000, the book by the late French intellectual Jean-Francois Revel is only now available in English. But given Revel's insights into today's leftist movements, it couldn't be more timely.

The old left's attempt to "excommunicate" modernity, as Revel describes it, is as alive today as it ever was. He traces the left's ideological rejection of modern civilization and the idea of progress back to French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who in the 18th century launched the Romantic rebellion against the Age of Reason.

Revel explains how Rousseau's "primitivism" and denial of reason manifested itself in the utopian ideologies of communism and fascism. These ideologies are often mistakenly associated with rationalism, progress and science. But their deeper motivation was the irrational impulse to eliminate all the uncertainties of the human condition -- to create, in short, an earthly paradise. Revel calls this the "totalitarian temptation" because mankind is tempted into thinking that the only obstacle to creating the good society is a lack of will and power.

Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany were the most extreme examples of this idea. But Revel notes there were softer versions, ranging from socialism to the progressive movements in the United States. Yes, some versions were violent while others were not. But, Revel stresses, all shared the idea that their noble cause to create an ideal society morally justified the means, and the means of choice was state power - sometimes grossly violent and sometimes not.

Hitler's creation is long gone, and so, too, is the Soviet Union. But the legacy of Rousseau's assault on civilization and progress lives on in three modern political movements.

The first is environmentalism. By this I don't mean the mere desire to have a clean environment, but rather the messianic mission to create a new ecological order through the application of state power. Environmentalism, particularly in its more radical forms, has inherited all of the old left's habits of mind, only on a far grander scale. It seeks to transform not just civilization, but the physical planet as well.

As with the old left, new left environmentalists view capitalism and the free market as enemies. But so, too, is reason. The lengths to which some scientists will go to stifle dissent reveal not only a disrespect for the scientific method, but also contempt for using reason to understand reality. If truly understanding climate change were the main goal, there would be no hesitation to look at all the evidence of global warming. In the minds of many climate-change scientists, however, the top goal is not to understand the planet but to "save" it. The cause transcends the science.

Another new left movement is dedicated to "global governance" -- the creation of supranational institutions to control societies. Manifested in the United Nations, the European Union, and other international institutions, the ostensible aim is more happiness for more people, but the means is the same old centralization of power in ever larger governing institutions -- in this case, regional and global ones.

The enemies here are also familiar, namely, the nation-state and the free market. The United Nations and the European Union seek to bypass and control both, empowering bureaucratic elites who are unaccountable to the democratic process. In the old days, the nation-state was to be the engine of socialism; today, it is supranational institutions.

Unsurprisingly, this movement exhibits all the traits of the old left. Dissent from the received ideal is tolerated no more than the fat-cat bourgeois was by old-school socialists. For example, EU advocates in the European Parliament are boycotting its new European Conservative and Reform Group because it questions some aspects of integration. Its sin is apostasy from the creed of European integration, which EU advocates equate with wanting a return to the bad old days of suicidal wars. The same advocates never explain how regulating the size and shape of bananas and cucumbers or the noise that tires make serves such a noble cause.

Another great utopian movement of our era, militant Islamism, differs in origin from these secular leftist movements, but it shares some of their mental habits. The Muslim Brotherhood rejects capitalism and freedom no less than the most ardent environmentalists. It matters little whether advocates want to create a religious caliphate or an ecological nirvana. They share the utopian's disregard for progress and civilization, and see few if any limits on the means to stop them.

Though written about the past, Revel's book is a window into the future. Read it and you understand why, as the French say, "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose" ("The more things change, the more they stay the same.")

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Politics is Force

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The core component of politics is: Forcing people to contribute. Without force (or the reasonable threat of same) there is no politics.

From North Korean despotism to Swiss (or Californian) direct democracy this core remains. Although they are very different systems the central injustice stays intact: Some people are forced to contribute against their will.

This injustice does not suddenly go away when 50%+1 of the people agree on an action. In this case 50%-1 of the people are being forced to contribute to something they don't agree with. That is a plain injustice. It doesn't even go away when 100%-1 agree on an action. Injustice against one person is still an injustice.

So, to all our friends on the left whose almost daily mantra is a railing against injustice? To be consistent you must also do what we on the right seek to do: Limit politics to the smallest sphere possible. Fight the Injustice!

Leftist bigot resents popular Jewish songs

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JEWISH SONGWRITERS have created some of the most enduringly popular songs of the season -- Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," of course, but also "The Christmas Song," "Silver Bells," and "I'll Be Home For Christmas," among others. Some people might view that as a heartening, only-in-America expression of interfaith goodwill and warmth. But not Garrison Keillor:

"All those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck," he fumed in a recent column for the Baltimore Sun. "Christmas is a Christian holiday -- if you're not in the club, then buzz off." His piece bore the sour headline: "Nonbelievers, please leave Christmas alone."

Remember the days when Keillor was endearing and witty? It's a shame to see him grown so cranky and intolerant. What kind of grinch thinks "White Christmas" is "dreck?"

Well, here's hoping that all the songs written by those "Jewish guys" didn't put too big a damper on Keillor's Christmas this year. And let's hope no one ruined it entirely by letting him know that the Jewish connection to Christmas didn't start with Irving Berlin.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Some questions that need answers

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Situational awareness is a term I learned from the fly-guys. When you’re hurtling along at 1000 miles an hour, knowing where you are (and where you need to be) in relationship to the ground and every other aircraft isn’t a matter of passing interest, it’s a matter of life and death. It’s the same thing for drivers, especially those who are talking on the cell phone while smoking a cigar and driving a car with a six-speed manual transmission.

Being on an airliner or a train is pretty much the opposite, especially at the end of a long trip. On a long transatlantic flight -- even in business class -- all you want to do is get off the doggone plane, get through customs and home to that waiting hot shower. You’re not thinking about someone seated a few rows in front of you who has a bomb concealed in his underwear.

That’s not your problem, right? They screen everyone, the highly-trained Federal Air Marshals are on board -- undercover -- and ready to spring into action. But what if they’re not? What if you’re departing from a high-risk airport such as Amsterdam’s Schipol, with a young Nigerian man aboard whose explosives go undetected? And what if there are no watchful FAMs aboard? It’s not only your problem: it’s the problem of every person on that aircraft.

For all the inconveniences we go through -- for all the blue-haired Norwegian grannies who are practically strip-searched regularly at the airports -- our security people seem to be unable to stop even the crude kind of attack attempted by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day.

No sentient being could have been comforted by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s ABC TV appearance on Sunday morning. No matter the question, she stuck to her mantra of how the system reacted perfectly to the attack, impervious to the question of why the system didn’t interdict it. She said in-flight aircraft were warned, the crew of Flight 253 reacted well and so forth. But she evaded every substantive question Jake Tapper asked.

Tapper asked questions -- ranging from why Abdulmutallab wasn’t prevented from getting on the flight to why DHS has spent billions on new technologies but hasn’t yet fielded one of them -- and Napolitano ducked every one.

Congressional Republicans should be asking Napolitano some pointy-type questions right now. Such as:

1. Abdulmutallab’s father apparently reported him to the embassy in Lagos, saying he'd turned radical. Who shared that information and with whom? Was there any follow-up?

2. What is the function of the so-called “Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment,” which listed Abdulmatullab, other than to keep DHS bureaucrats employed?

3. What does it take to be promoted from the “TIDE” list to the “no-fly” list?

4. Abdulmutallab has apparently claimed that Yemeni al-Queda planned the attack and provided him with the means. Are those claims true?

5. What preventive actions are being taken while Abdulmutallab’s claims are being investigated?

6. In light of Abdulmutallab’s claims, will the administration delay or cancel plans to release some Gitmo inmates to Yemen?

7. The flight reportedly had no Federal Air Marshals aboard. Why? Schipol is notoriously lax in security.

8. How much has Homeland Security spent on new passenger and baggage-screening technologies? What do we have to show for it?

Which brings us back to our personal dilemma: we can either stop flying -- which we mustn’t do -- or we can take personally our duty to defend ourselves and our fellow passengers in the air.

TSA shouldn’t panic: no one is advocating sneaking weapons aboard or punching every suspicious person in the gut. But what I am saying is that our right of self defense is also a duty and it has to be undertaken seriously.

We have to be aware, and we have to be willing. How many of us would have reacted as did Jasper Schuringa, the brave Dutch filmmaker who jumped over other passengers to subdue Abdulmutallab and put the underwear fire out? Too few, I’d guess.

More HERE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Cancer charity donates less than 1pc

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And officialdom just waffles. It's a warning about whom NOT to donate to, however. I mostly donate directly to individuals. That way I know that my money is not going to support parasites and con-men. If you want to donate to cancer research, give it directly to a university medical school. You will even get more thanks that way

LESS than one cent in every dollar raised by an Australian charity has gone to its intended cause in its first two financial years, documents show. The Adelaide-based National Cancer Research Foundation last year picked up $387,864 in donations but gave just $4900 away, according to its audited profit and loss statements. The year before, it raised almost $197,160, giving away only $935.

So far this financial year, one of the foundation's directors says the charity has passed on almost $30,000, but yesterday could not say how much had been raised.

Most of the money raised in the past two financial years went on commissions, management fees, travelling expenses and drivers. The foundation's director, Neil Menzies, blamed the start-up costs of a charity.

In heartfelt letters obtained by The Advertiser the foundation, which was launched in January 2008, outlines its fundraising aims, saying it needs hundreds of thousands of dollars for research. It says it urgently needs to raise $700,000 for ovarian cancer, $650,000 for children's cancers, $800,000 for breast cancer and $500,000 for prostate and colon cancer research. "The costs are staggering, but we will succeed again," its letters say.

Mr Menzies said the company was working hard to improve its margins, claiming it had already given away almost $30,000 this financial year to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Camp Quality, and the Canberra Hospital. "More will be passed on before the end of the next financial year," he said. "We're changing our structure. Where we relied a lot on telemarketing, which is labour (intensive), we'll be more into events, golf days, dinner dances, quiz nights." "Within two or three years if we're able to pass on . . . (money) in the vicinity of $100,000 per year, that would be terrific."

The Office of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner monitors charities, under the auspices of Gambling Minister Tom Koutsantonis, who said yesterday that governments were working hard to make them more accountable. "This is what we're looking into - we're making charities publish all their financial details . . . to make them more transparent and more accountable," he said. "While we believe the majority are doing the right thing, South Australians deserve to know where their hard-earned money ends up.

Philanthropy Australia chief executive officer Gina Anderson said it was difficult to pinpoint the proportion that should be passed on. She said the word "foundation", often used by charities, did not have any legal meaning, and she said Australia was finally going to accept standard accounting measures for charities.

The Productivity Commission is reviewing the not-for-profit sector. In its draft report, released in October this year, it found there was a need for wide-ranging reforms. It recommended a "one-stop shop" for regulation, to ensure community organisations and charities were transparent, and to simplify regulatory processes.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

More Warmist pseudo science: "CO2 unleashes more warming than thought"

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They assume what they have to prove: That CO2 is the cause of warming. And they are supposed to be paleoclimatologists -- yet paleoclimate data indicate that CO2 rises FOLLOWED temperature rises -- so could not be the cause of the temperature rises. The study is no more than a grovel to the established faith. It is not science

Carbon dioxide indirectly causes up to 50 percent more global warming than originally thought, a finding that raises questions over targets for stabilising carbon emissions over the long term, a study said on Sunday. In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, British scientists said a tool commonly used in climate modelling may have badly underlooked the sensitivity of key natural processes to the warming caused by CO2. As a result, calculations for man-made global warming on the basis of carbon emissions may be underpitched by between 30 and 50 percent, they said.

The study was coincidentally published on the eve of a 12-day UN conference in Copenhagen aimed at providing a durable solution to the greenhouse-gas problem. The authors stressed that the more-than-expected warming would unfold over a matter of hundreds of years, rather than this century. The findings do not mean that the predictions for temperature rise by 2100, established notably by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), should be rewritten, they said. "We don't want to be overly alarmist here," said lead author Dan Lunt of Britain's University of Bristol. "But if people are thinking about stabilising CO2 at a certain atmospheric level, or putting together a treaty, or having a debate about what the levels should be, it really is important to know what the long-term consequences of those emissions are going to be, because CO2 hangs around for so long."

Lunt and colleagues decided to test a widely-used climate model on an epoch called the mid-Pliocene warm period, about three million years ago, when Earth heated up in response to natural processes. Cores drilled from ocean sediment provide a good idea about atmospheric carbon levels and temperature at the time. What the team found, though, was that the CO2 levels in the Pliocene -- around 400 parts per million (ppm) -- were not consistent with the warming, which was around three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than today.

The difference could only [ONLY??] be fully explained by the long-term loss of icesheets and and changes in vegetation, says the paper. These changes cause Earth's surface to absorb more solar radiation, which causes more warming, and so on.

When applied to what awaits us this century, the adjusted model suggests that nothing significantly different will happen compared to what has already been estimated. "In that time scale, we don't think the Greenland icesheet is going to melt completely or that East Antarctica will melt. That was what we saw in the model for three million years ago, but it is unlikely to take place in the next century," said Lunt.

Where it poses a dilemma, though, is how to fix a target for stabilising CO2 emissions so that future generations, centuries from now, are not hit by this long-term warming mechanism. A popular goal is to limit warming since pre-industrial times to 2 C (3.6 F), a figure that in mainstream climate models typically equates to about 450 ppm. At present, Earth's CO2 concentrations are at around 387 ppm.

Lunt says that today's level may already be too high in this context. "Our work says that at 400 parts per million, you are looking at more than two degrees C [3.6 F]. "To stabilise at two degrees C, you would have to aim for something like 380 ppm. But remember, this is the sort of level that applies if you want a long-term commitment that goes on for centuries, for generations to come."

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Australia's proposed Warmist laws: Grocery industry attacks fraudulent government cost estimates

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THE grocery industry has sided with the Coalition's claim the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme will be a big tax.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said yesterday that claims by the Australian Food and Grocery Council that food prices would be pushed up by 5 per cent overstated the reality by seven times. "The Treasury modelling found that in 2013, the average price impact of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on food bills will be around $68 a year -- less than 1 per cent of household food bills," Mr Garrett said.

However, the council chief executive Kate Carnell said this was not realistic, given the role of electricity in the processed food supply chain. "The average shopping basket is about $200 a week, so the government's modelling suggests a barely 0.5 per cent increase off the back of increases in electricity prices of 20 to 40 per cent. That is not even vaguely credible in a manufacturing industry," she said.

Her estimate of a 5 per cent rise was based on internal modelling by food companies. She said the modelling had been presented to Coles Myer and Woolworths. "They didn't suggest we were off the money," she said.

Mr Garrett said that throughout the debate on climate change, "various industries have paid for modelling designed to suit their lobbying purposes".

A spokesman noted that Woolworths had rejected the council's claim of a 5 per cent rise when it was first presented in August. The company had put out a release in response, declaring its support for theemissions trading scheme, and noting that the exclusion of agriculture would reduce what was only ever going to be a "slight price rise". Woolworths is a signatory of the Copenhagen Communique on Climate Change, a document developed by global corporations and endorsing ambitious emission reduction targets. [Woolworths is obsessively "Green" in many ways]

However, the grocery council's renewed attack on the scheme highlights the Coalition's support base among industries which believe they will be adversely affected. Ms Carnell said baking, dairy and tinned processed food, such as canned spaghetti, were the most energy intensive parts of the food industry.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

What Troops? .....oh, THOSE troops....

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It's an unfortunate soldier whose Commander-in-Chief only remembers them - ON CHRISTMAS EVE! - after someone else REMINDS him.

(skip forward to the last minute or so of that mind-numbingly dull, blatantly self-congratulating speech, and watch some reporter with more balls than brains remind Pharaoh that maybe he should remember the men and women overseas that he's supposed to be leading.)

Then again, when one of Pharaoh's staffers tells him about a phony, staged midnight photo-op, he's there with bells on.
.....and cameras rolling, of course.



What the f*ck were you thinking last November, America?

The Climate Change Scam: A Concise Summary

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In the wake of Climategate, common sense deniers like to say that there is lots of other evidence for global warming, in addition to that which has been debunked by the East Anglia whistleblower. Actually, however, the scientific evidence for AGW is remarkably weak. At Icecap, Lee Gerhard, geologist and reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sums up the key scientific evidence with admirable brevity:

It is crucial that scientists are factually accurate when they do speak out, that they ignore media hype and maintain a clinical detachment from social or other agendas. There are facts and data that are ignored in the maelstrom of social and economic agendas swirling about Copenhagen. Greenhouse gases and their effects are well-known. Here are some of things we know:

• The most effective greenhouse gas is water vapor, comprising approximately 95 percent of the total greenhouse effect.

• Carbon dioxide concentration has been continually rising for nearly 100 years. It continues to rise, but carbon dioxide concentrations at present are near the lowest in geologic history.

• Temperature change correlation with carbon dioxide levels is not statistically significant.

• There are no data that definitively relate carbon dioxide levels to temperature changes.

• The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide logarithmically declines with increasing concentration. At present levels, any additional carbon dioxide can have very little effect.

We also know a lot about Earth temperature changes:

• Global temperature changes naturally all of the time, in both directions and at many scales of intensity.

• The warmest year in the U.S. in the last century was 1934, not 1998. The U.S. has the best and most extensive temperature records in the world.

• Global temperature peaked in 1998 on the current 60-80 year cycle, and has been episodically declining ever since. This cooling absolutely falsifies claims that human carbon dioxide emissions are a controlling factor in Earth temperature.

• Voluminous historic records demonstrate the Medieval Climate Optimum (MCO) was real and that the "hockey stick" graphic that attempted to deny that fact was at best bad science. The MCO was considerably warmer than the end of the 20th century.

• During the last 100 years, temperature has both risen and fallen, including the present cooling. All the changes in temperature of the last 100 years are in normal historic ranges, both in absolute value and, most importantly, rate of change.

Contrary to many public statements:

• Effects of temperature change are absolutely independent of the cause of the temperature change.

• Global hurricane, cyclonic and major storm activity is near 30-year lows. Any increase in cost of damages by storms is a product of increasing population density in vulnerable areas such as along the shores and property value inflation, not due to any increase in frequency or severity of storms.

• Polar bears have survived and thrived over periods of extreme cold and extreme warmth over hundreds of thousands of years extremes far in excess of modern temperature changes.

• The 2009 minimum Arctic ice extent was significantly larger than the previous two years. The 2009 Antarctic maximum ice extent was significantly above the 30-year average. There are only 30 years of records.

• Rate and magnitude of sea level changes observed during the last 100 years are within normal historical ranges. Current sea level rise is tiny and, at most, justifies a prediction of perhaps ten centimeters rise in this century.

The present climate debate is a classic conflict between data and computer programs. The computer programs are the source of concern over climate change and global warming, not the data. Data are measurements. Computer programs are artificial constructs.

Public announcements use a great deal of hyperbole and inflammatory language. For instance, the word "ever" is misused by media and in public pronouncements alike. It does not mean "in the last 20 years," or "the last 70 years." "Ever" means the last 4.5 billion years.

For example, some argue that the Arctic is melting, with the warmest-ever temperatures. One should ask, "How long is ever?" The answer is since 1979. And then ask, "Is it still warming?" The answer is unequivocally "No." Earth temperatures are cooling. Similarly, the word "unprecedented" cannot be legitimately used to describe any climate change in the last 8,000 years.

SOURCE


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Obama's year of falling swiftly

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Reality bites

As Barack and Michelle Obama prepare for their first Christmas in the White House, they might wonder why he has fallen so swiftly from being virtually a national icon to the unhappy status as among the least popular occupants of the Oval Office since modern polling began.

Regardless of what happens during the balance of his presidential tenure, Obama will always be a national treasure because he proved for all time that America truly is the place where any child, including one whose skin is not lily white, can be elected to the most powerful office on Earth.

But, just as Americans can elect whomever they choose to be their commander-in-chief, they can also decide they made a serious mistake in their choice. There is an especially bitter cast to that realization when it involves a recognition that they were lied to by somebody in whom they invested a historic trust.

To grasp the depth of the gathering disappointment with Obama, consider this fact: He is less popular today, not quite a year into his first term, than the battered and bruised George W. Bush was at the end of his eight years in office.

Here are the numbers: Scott Rasmussen's latest survey of likely voters -- the most reliable predictor of future election results -- finds 56 percent of those questioned either disapprove or strongly disapprove of Obama's performance, with 46 percent falling in the latter category. When Bush left office, 43 percent strongly disapproved of his performance.

In the Gallup Poll, only one in four Americans is satisfied with the direction in which Obama and the Democratic Congress are leading the country. Rasmussen's tracking finds Republicans with their biggest lead of the year in the generic congressional party balloting, leading Democrats by 44 percent to 36 percent. Only one in four Americans approves of the job Congress is doing, according to Gallup.

It's not hard to see why Obama and the Democratic Congress have sunk so low in the public esteem. Obama's signature issue, for example, is health care reform, and his solution is to create a government-run health care system.

Whatever the merits of Obama's proposed solution, health care reform is an odd choice for a signature issue. As Gallup puts it, "the perception that healthcare is the nation's top problem was fairly scarce during most of the decade, reaching a low point of 1% in October 2001 (as terrorism overrode other concerns)."

When Obama and congressional leaders turned their attention away from economic recovery to the campaign to enact Obamacare, "the public's mentioning of healthcare as the country's top problem began to rise again, reaching 26% by late August/early September," according to Gallup.

But now, "at decade's end, concerns over healthcare had drifted back to 16%."

In other words, the smartest guy in the room ran a slick presidential campaigns, capitalizing on public disgust with his predecessor by portraying himself as a tax cutter who would deliver "a net spending reduction," and benefiting from a generational yearning to make history by electing the country's first black president.

It was a brilliant strategy, but, once in office, Obama lost his touch. He and his advisers believed their own hubristic press releases about solving the nation's problems by doing what Washington Democrats have been doing since FDR -- throwing tax dollars and bureaucrats at them -- only doing it more spectacularly than ever before.

So they've done pretty much what I predicted they would do in a Feb. 11 column: Obama has spent 2009 "making himself the symbol of what's wrong with Washington rather than being the agent of change in Washington."

The title of that column was "Obama headed to a one-term strategy." He still is.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Yet Another Human Climate Warming Effect In The Arctic – Aircraft Contrails

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We have reported on the role of black carbon (soot) as a major non-greenhouse gas human climate forcing in the Arctic; e.g. see: "New Study On The Role Of Soot Within the Climate In The Higher Latitudes And On “Global Warming" -- where an article in Scientific American by David Biello based on a study by Charlie Zender, a climate physicist at the University of California, Irvine stated: ““…. on snow—even at concentrations below five parts per billion—such dark carbon triggers melting, and may be responsible for as much as 94 percent of Arctic warming”.

Now we have yet another human climate forcing that was reported by Rex Dalton of Nature News in the article: "How aircraft emissions contribute to warming – Aviation contributes up to one-fifth of warming in some areas of the Arctic."

The article includes the text: "The first analysis of emissions from commercial airline flights shows that they are responsible for 4–8% of surface global warming since surface air temperature records began in 1850 — equivalent to a temperature increase of 0.03–0.06 °C overall. The analysis, by atmospheric scientists at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, also shows that in the Arctic, aircraft vapour trails produced 15–20% of warming.”

The photo in the news release has the caption: “Aircraft emissions could be having a dramatic effect on the warming of the Arctic”.

Clearly, as we summarized in our EOS article: "the human role in the climate system is much more than the human emissions of CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Lessons from John Galt

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Recent headlines seem lifted directly out of an Ayn Rand novel. President Obama decries the “fat cat bankers on Wall Street”. Harry Reid attacks insurance companies for making too much profit. House Democrat leaders call Tea Partiers “Racist, Nazi, Gun Nuts”. How about this nauseating statement made by Army General George Casey after the Muslim terrorist attack on Ft. Hood? -- "As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well"

Each of these headlines might well have been uttered by an Ayn Rand character. Rand, whose father’s pharmacy was confiscated by the Soviets during the communist revolution of 1917, and who came to America in 1926, seems uniquely able to speak to us about the inverted morality of our times. Virtue is to be apologized for. Depravity commands respect. Success is cast as evil and punished while failure is blamed on others and rewarded. Rand’s insights into the psychological state of collectivists—those who demand that we sacrifice our individual freedom and happiness for the sake of the state—explain what often seems incomprehensible to thinking people.

An epic demonstration of the inverted morality that Rand described was on display in Copenhagen last week as the world’s worst most evil dictators—Mugabe and Chavez—partnered with the world’s most visible and misguided progressives—Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Barack Obama—in an orgy of depravity. Sadly, even the Pope lent his moral support to the lunacy, saying, “Industrialized nations must recognize their responsibility for the environmental crisis, shed their consumerism and embrace more sober lifestyles.”

John Galt, the industrialist hero of Rand’s 1957 masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged, refers to those in power who stripped men of their minds, wealth and freedom, as mystics. The mystics of spirit were the religious leaders of centuries past who proclaimed that faith is superior to reason. Galt is no fan of these mystics but it is the mystics of muscle—the progressives who force us to submit to their version of the common good—that Galt despises.

And Barack Obama is a mystic of muscle in its purest form, able to corral the worshipping media, the always superficial Hollywood elites, America hating academics, state-sponsored capitalists (e.g., Goldman Sachs), and grant hungry “scientists” & environmentalists hoping to cash in on a trillion dollar loot of the American people called global warming. These are the pillars of deceit Obama used to get elected. This was how he convinced enough of us to give up our minds for the the mystical concept that Rand called the collective. True to form, Barack, master of the mystics of muscle, has used his power mightily to loot from the producers, and hand it to the parasites, crooks and undeserving (read; SEIU, ACORN, UN Climate Fund, General Motors).

John Galt leads a revolt by the productive class and outlines Rand’s philosophy in his 60-page radio address. Here, he explains how human beings—alone among life forms—can choose to be mindless: "A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long in the existence they affronted. But the history of man has been a struggle to deny and destroy the mind."

Sad to say, for a movement powered by the mindlessness, there is plenty of fuel to sustain “hope and change”:

* Who but the mindless can believe that government run health care will reduce costs and improve care while covering more people?

* Who but the mindless can believe that this President is now serious about reducing the deficit after shattering spending records during his first year?

* Who but the mindless can take seriously the sham “jobs summit” held by a President whose every policy is a lesson in job destruction?

* Who but the mindless can believe Obama’s lie that “Cash for Clunkers” which cost taxpayers $24,000 per car was successful?

* Who but the mindless would not outraged that our government has reneged on its promise pay back the unused TARP fund to taxpayers?

* Who but the mindless would not question the morality that the world’s finest health care, which has extended and improved human life in unimaginable ways—conceived and produced by countless unsung heroes in the private sector—should magically be transformed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi into a “human right”, taken over by the state and rationed out as they please?

The assault on reason by our President and Congress goes on ad infinitum. It is mindlessness that elected “hope and change” and mindlessness that sustains it. Ayn Rand recognized that the greatest struggle on earth is that between the individual and the collective, and to submit to the collective, the individual must lose his ability to think for himself. Howard Roark, hero of The Fountainhead explains: "The mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain."

The last thing a mystic of muscle wants is for us to start using our minds to uncover their fraud. Galt gets to the heart of the evil of progressive demand that we all serve the state when he says: "By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man—every man—is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose."

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Merry Christmas

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Remember those who cannot spend the Holidays with their families because they're out defending yours.



MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL WHO COME BY HERE!

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I have a full offering on all my blogs today (mostly put together yesterday) but I will probably not be putting up as much as usual for the next day or two. As Australia is in a much earlier time-zone than the USA, many readers will in any case be reading this on their Christmas Eve. As I write this, I have just been to a big family celebration on my Christmas Eve. It is swelteringly hot here at the moment so a Christmas Eve celebration makes sense. Later today (on Christmas day) I will be attending a sung eucharist at the Cathedral followed by a smaller family Christmas lunch. I don't take the tokens at the Cathedral but I enjoy the music and the show. The Church of England is good for that, though not much else

I hope all my readers do as well as the guy below:



Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

BrookesNews Update

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Why the US economy is facing a very unhappy New Year: All in all, future prospects are pretty grim for the US economy. Right now economic indicators are not healthy. What is more, the economy could be paradoxically heading for a monetary crunch
Wondering why young people spout Marxist claptrap? Look no further than the universities : If Copenhagen reveals anything at all - apart from the stupidity of politicians - it is that the cult of socialism is alive and is as intolerant and as ignorant as ever. So where do young people get this socialist drivel from?
Activists use backdoor socialism to con and bludgeon corporations : Socialism is a power cult that will not die, a fact that the current political shenanigans in Copenhagen amply support. No matter how many times reason and history refute socialist fantasies its adherents always manage to dress it up in new garb
Obama's Afghan pickle and Bill Ayers : Is the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers threatening to blow the whistle on his old mate Obama? The US-hating Ayres has been deeply angered by Obama's failure to surrender outright to Islamic terrorism
Uncle Obama's extortion racket : Uncle Obama has gotten a hold of your credit card. And he's amassing charges on it that you - not he - are liable for. You can call the fraud line, you can call the police, you can call any politician or government agency, and they will all tell you the same thing. Shut up and pay up. Since misery loves company, you might feel better knowing that you're not the only one being extorted

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Yet another gaping hole in the Warmist story

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Study shows CFCs, cosmic rays major culprits for global warming


Cosmic rays and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), both already implicated in depleting the Earth's ozone layer, are also responsible for changes in the global climate, a University of Waterloo scientist reports in a new peer-reviewed paper. In his paper, Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, shows how CFCs - compounds once widely used as refrigerants - and cosmic rays - energy particles originating in outer space - are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. His paper, derived from observations of satellite, ground-based and balloon measurements as well as an innovative use of an established mechanism, was published online in the prestigious journal Physics Reports.

"My findings do not agree with the climate models that conventionally thought that greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, are the major culprits for the global warming seen in the late 20th century," Lu said. "Instead, the observed data show that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays most likely caused both the Antarctic ozone hole and global warming. These findings are totally unexpected and striking, as I was focused on studying the mechanism for the formation of the ozone hole, rather than global warming."

His conclusions are based on observations that from 1950 up to now, the climate in the Arctic and Antarctic atmospheres has been completely controlled by CFCs and cosmic rays, with no CO2 impact. "Most remarkably, the total amount of CFCs, ozone-depleting molecules that are well-known greenhouse gases, has decreased around 2000," Lu said. "Correspondingly, the global surface temperature has also dropped. In striking contrast, the CO2 level has kept rising since 1850 and now is at its largest growth rate."

In his research, Lu discovers that while there was global warming from 1950 to 2000, there has been global cooling since 2002. The cooling trend will continue for the next 50 years, according to his new research observations.

As well, there is no solid evidence that the global warming from 1950 to 2000 was due to CO2. Instead, Lu notes, it was probably due to CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays. And from 1850 to 1950, the recorded CO2 level increased significantly because of the industrial revolution, while the global temperature kept nearly constant or only rose by about 0.1 C.

In previously published work, Lu demonstrated that an observed cyclic hole in the ozone layer provided proof of a new ozone depletion theory involving cosmic rays, which was developed by Lu and his former co-workers at Rutgers University and the Université de Sherbrooke. In the past, it was generally accepted for more than two decades that the Earth's ozone layer is depleted due to the sun's ultraviolet light-induced destruction of CFCs in the atmosphere.

The depletion theory says cosmic rays, rather than the sun's UV light, play the dominant role in breaking down ozone-depleting molecules and then ozone. In his study, published in Physical Review Letters, Lu analyzed reliable cosmic ray and ozone data in the period of 1980-2007, which cover two full 11-year solar cycles.

In his latest paper, Lu further proves the cosmic-ray-driven ozone depletion theory by showing a large number of data from laboratory and satellite observations. One reviewer wrote: "These are very strong facts and it appears that they have largely been ignored in the past when modelling the Antarctic ozone loss."

New observations of the effects of CFCs and cosmic rays on ozone loss and global warming/cooling could be important to the Earth and humans in the 21st century. "It certainly deserves close attention," Lu wrote in his paper, entitled Cosmic-Ray-Driven Electron-Induced Reactions of Halogenated Molecules Adsorbed on Ice Surfaces: Implications for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change.

SOURCE

Journal abstract follows:

Cosmic-ray-driven electron-induced reactions of halogenated molecules adsorbed on ice surfaces: Implications for atmospheric ozone depletion

By Qing-Bin Lu

The cosmic-ray driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules adsorbed on ice surfaces has been proposed as a new mechanism for the formation of the polar ozone hole. Here, experimental findings of dissociative electron transfer reactions of halogenated molecules on ice surfaces in electron-stimulated desorption, electron trapping and femtosecond time-resolved laser spectroscopic measurements are reviewed. It is followed by a review of the evidence from recent satellite observations of this new mechanism for the Antarctic ozone hole, and all other possible physical mechanisms are discussed. Moreover, new observations of the 11 year cyclic variations of both polar ozone loss and stratospheric cooling and the seasonal variations of CFCs and CH4 in the polar stratosphere are presented, and quantitative predictions of the Antarctic ozone hole in the future are given. Finally, new observation of the effects of CFCs and cosmic-ray driven ozone depletion on global climate change is also presented and discussed.

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

ZEG

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In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG wants to draw your attention to the plight of hunger-striking farmer Peter Spencer. Spencer has in effect had his rights to his land taken away by NSW Greenie laws.

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Psychiatric hospital: Moronic official "wisdom"

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Keep psych ward knives in drawers after fatal stabbings, says chief psychiatrist. THAT should be a big help! (NOT). It's often said that the psychiatrists are nearly as mad as the patients and this seems rather a good example of that

AN inquiry into the stabbing deaths of two patients at a Melbourne psychiatric hospital has come up with seven recommendations, including a requirement that knife sets be kept in drawers.

Last month two patients at the Thomas Embling Hospital - Raymond Splatt and Paul Notas - were stabbed to death. Fellow patient Peko Lakovski is facing two counts of murder.

Victoria's Chief Psychiatrist Dr Ruth Vine conducted an inquiry into the deaths, aided by a team of interstate experts with forensic clinical experience. Dr Vine said the government has accepted all seven recommendations and said the inquiry found that there was a ``very high threshold" of safety at the Thomas Embling.

The inquiry recommended that the hospital find a way for night staff, who may not deal directly with inmates, to come into contact with patients so they can assess their mental state and stability.

It also recommended that the hospital remove boxed knife sets from benches and put them into drawers. It said that while Jardine Unit patients were expected to cook and clean for themselves, ``the immediate and visible availability of implements that could be used as weapons should be minimised".

Other recommendations included the regular monitoring of relationships between the residents, getting more feedback on patients from their family and carers and documenting any early relapses of illness. "It is still the case that there has never been a serious incident committed by a patient on leave or following release from Thomas Embling Hospital," Dr Vine said. "The community can feel confident that Thomas Embling Hospital is well managed." [Two patients murdered and it is "well managed"!!??]

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

"The CRU webserver is gradually being rebuilt"

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(CRU being the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, Holy of Holies in the temple of Warmism)


Or so we learn from their minimalist webite. One consequence of the "rebuilding" is that the picture of Phil Jones that I had at the top of GREENIE WATCH is now no longer hosted by the UEA. Amusing. Is the "rebuild" designed to distance the UEA from him? You decide. I have however rehosted the picture so it still appears in its accustomed place there. There is an even tinier picture of him hosted by the UEA here though.



I note that they have still got their amusing graphic of global warming up though. See above. Ignore the arbitrary horizontal line they have put through it, however, and you see that it in fact shows a steady process of warming from 1910 onwards -- not from the late 20th century as they usually claim and as their graphic purports to show. The warming began, in other words, long BEFORE the era of mass industrialization, so cannot be attributed to it. So even after all their "adjustments" to the raw data, it is still only chartmanship (deceptive graphics) that allows them to make their case! All the huge political activity over global warming depends on deceptively presented graphics!

There is actually a second deception in the graphic as well. And perhaps a worse one. Because mere tenths of one degree Celsius are graphed (in another classic tactic of chartmanship), the slope of the graph is vastly exaggerated. You would be unlikely to notice it, but from top to bottom the temperature rise over the entire century totals only about one degree Celsius. If the room you are in now warmed up by that tiny amount, you wouldn't notice it! The change is trivial in reality but made to look huge in the graph. If units of just one degree (which is probably what most people would expect) had been used, the graph would show a flat line instead of a rising one!

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

"Shut up" is a favorite Democrat talking point

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"This is not an administration that takes bad news well," Jennifer Rubin wrote on Commentary's blog, referring to Robert Gibbs' fit when asked to explain the Gallup poll showing the president taking on water, sinking into the high-to-mid 40s, and losing ground fast. Neither apparently does much of the left, which, faced with cratering numbers for both the health care proposals and for global warming, responded with all of the rational discourse and respect for debate and dissenting opinion that has made them so widely beloved.

First, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who emerged in the health care debate as the leading Republican anti-bill spokesman, was widely portrayed as sorry old coot acting from "bitterness," and who squandered his chance to establish a legacy by opposing the bill out of spite. He was a maverick, not an ex-Democrat, and his ally Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., fared even worse.

He was described as a "putz" by Jonathan Alter, as "the L-word" and as "Joe the Bummer" by Chris Matthews. He was also described as a traitor to Judaism by various bloggers -- by Jonathan Chait as the one Jew in the world too clueless to know what he's doing, and by Ezra Klein as a potential mass murderer, "willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score." Paul Krugman wanted him "hung in effigy," and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., urged he be "recalled" from office, though by whom was uncertain. Unfortunately, there is no provision in Connecticut law for recalls (much less for lynching) so they will have to wait for their chances in 2012.

In related news, Rep. Alan Grayson, Lunatic-Fla., known mainly for saying the Republicans' health plans called for asking the sick to "die quickly" and for telling former Vice President Cheney to "shut the f--k up," sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Department of Justice to investigate, fine, and perhaps send to jail for five years a Florida activist who reacted to his behavior by setting up a fundraising Web site called "mycongressmanisnuts.com." He complained that the blogger was "senseless and juvenile." "Just five years?" queried blogger Ed Morrissey. "Why doesn't Grayson just demand that Holder chop off her head?"

Then there was global warming, or the First Church of Al, where Al Gore sought refuge after the Florida recount and rapidly built a cult following. This was largely by warning that the Earth was in such danger from fossil fuel usage that in order to fight it he was compelled to jet all over the world spreading the message, and run up monstrous utility bills in his three or more homes.

When this cause was imperiled by e-mails showing that the global warming police had doctored the data -- and film showing Obama flying into a snowstorm on his trip to the summit at Copenhagen, Denmark, and then flying back into an even more extravagant blizzard in Washington -- certain members of the pundit-industrial complex responded by asking that news that impugned their consensus should be -- you guessed it -- suppressed.

ThinkProgress blogger Matt Yglesias complained that CNN ran a show called "Global Warming: Fact or Fiction" without taking sides on the side of the "Goracle," or saying that what he called the global warming "deniers" were totally out of their minds. He then said the news media -- along with the rest of what he called the elite of the country -- had a moral duty to the rest of humanity to censor their output, so that opinion contesting the "global climate-warming consensus" would never again see the light of the day.

At the New Republic, Ed Kilgore was in total agreement, blaming the mainstream press for being browbeaten by right-wing fanatics into thinking they ought to air different opinions, and even cover all of the news. Morals in this case seem to equal suppression. "Yglesias is right," he concluded. "This is one area of public policy where 'respect for contrary views' and 'editorial balance' are misplaced."

What a good thing Democrats are the party of logic and reason. They might tell their critics to "Shut the f--k up."

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Beware girls in bars, warns Australian government agency

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And it's one government warning that deserves notice



THE following scenario is neither joke nor fantasy, but a travel tip provided by the Federal Government. An Australian man is travelling overseas and walks into a bar. He is beckoned by a woman, who requests a drink. He quickly obliges. What did he do wrong?

According to a travel bulletin titled "Partying Overseas", issued this week by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the bar-goer should have checked the prices before bestowing his largesse. Otherwise, the bill could end up larger than his ego.

"Large numbers of Australians get into trouble overseas as a direct result of partying too hard and forgetting about simple safety precautions," says the bulletin. "Parties and festivals like Full Moon Parties in Koh Phangan, Thailand, and Oktoberfest in Germany can be fun experiences, but drinking too much or taking drugs can put you in difficult and often dangerous situations far from home. Australians have had their drinks spiked, had their documents stolen, been assaulted, injured, arrested, imprisoned and even killed."

The department lists risks and pitfalls such as leaving drinks unattended or getting drunk while carrying passports and valuables. It warns people not to miss the last ferry from island parties, to beware of foreign drinks with higher-than-expected alcohol content, and to pre-pay or check prices for food. "Before entering or ordering services in a bar, restaurant or other establishment that you or your friends are not familiar with, check that it has readily available price lists for food, drinks and other services it may offer. "If you don't, you may find yourself with an unexpectedly large bill, which you might be forced to pay under duress before you can leave. Be aware that in some bars there is strong coercion to buy drinks for others, for example for bar girls, and these drinks may be very expensive."

A spokeswoman for the department said it was concerned about reports of Australian party-goers falling into trouble. The bulletin was a "response to the increasing number of consular cases and comments to our consular feedback inbox regarding drink spiking, assaults and robberies occurring at parties overseas".

The department lists examples of Australians getting into trouble, including two in Europe who were taken to a bar by a friendly taxi driver. They failed to check the prices and received a bill for thousands of dollars. "Security guards" held one person and escorted the other to a nearby teller machine.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

How political correctness has messed up people's heads

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An email from a reader below:

The other morning I was listening to WBBM-AM radio (www.wbbm780.com), in Chicago. The radio station has been playing "Holiday Greetings" from various persons in their management. But one in particular caught my attention.

The manager of whatever came on with "Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings. The management of WBBM wish all our listeners a Feliz Navidad and Propero Ano Nuevo, Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings to all." The (English) word "Christmas" was never mentioned.

Apparently saying Merry Christmas is only unacceptable if you say it in English. Saying it in Spanish is perfectly acceptable.


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Glaciers melt, sea level drops

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I think that the writer below is wrong in one minor detail. It is true that ice has a larger volume than the water that it contains but the effect when floating ice melts is to leave the water level unchanged. The "missing" volume is the bit above water level. His basic point that melting land-based ice can cause the apparent sea level to FALL is however correct

Actually it is the land that is rising. More on that later. But just as the Church of Global Warming overlooked the possible effects of a drop to zero in solar activity, it seems these Brainiacs overlooked the effects of ice melting.

They have been saying the melting ice will cause the sea to rise. But when sea ice melts the sea level drops. Ask Archimedes about water displacement.

When glaciers melt (ice on land) the sea gets more water. But the land rises, too. At least in Alaska it has been rising.

“The geology is complex, but it boils down to this: Relieved of billions of tons of glacial weight, the land has risen much as a cushion regains its shape after someone gets up from a couch. The land is ascending so fast that the rising seas — a ubiquitous byproduct of global warming — cannot keep pace. As a result, the relative sea level is falling, at a rate ‘among the highest ever recorded, according to a 2007 report by a panel of experts convened by Mayor Bruce Botelho of Juneau,” the New York Times reported.

Now we know that shorelines shift over time. It has nothing to do with mankind producing carbon dioxide.

The predictions of the ice melting and swallowing up San Francisco as sort of a modern version of Sodom and Gomorrah is amusing. The adherents of the Church of Global Warming use parlor tricks and the general lack of knowledge among the general population to push this phrenological-style pseudo-science.

The New York Times story contains not one benefit — other than golf course — of the expansion of the land surface of Alaska. The story is as mournful as missing the glaciers that melted and gave us the Great Lakes after the last Ice Age ended.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Barnaby becomes Labor's problem

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Barnaby is a Queenslander and in good Queensland style is something of a populist. And populism has always played well in Queensland -- witness the long reign of Sir Johannes Bjelke-Peterson. And a rout in Queensland would tip Federal Labor out of power. From memory, the Whitlam Labor government retained only one out of 17 Queensland Federal seats in 1975 and that was the end of them. And that rout was largely the doing of the populist "Sir Joh"

THE Rudd government is clearly determined to create a media image of the opposition's finance spokesman, Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce, as totally compromised in his new frontbench role, the economic village idiot or a combination of both. Unfortunately for Labor this spin isn't working. In fact there are signs of growing public concern at the bully-boy tactics that Rudd and his cabinet colleagues have used to demonise anyone who dares to criticise the Prime Minister's policies.

Those who questioned the logic of Rudd's emissions trading scheme, and Joyce led this political assault, were denounced as climate change dinosaurs and economic vandals who should be cast into the wilderness because of their lack of support for Rudd's compassion over the future of the planet. But in immediate response to the Liberals' rejection of this scheme, after months of painful internal soul searching, the Liberal Party's stocks rose, as the last Newspoll showed.

The Liberals' decision to dump Malcolm Turnbull and support for the government's ETS, which he had fought tenaciously to preserve, vindicated the stand taken by Joyce. It also meant that the Rudd government had to carry its tattered ETS banner off to Copenhagen on its own. It can blame this humiliation more on Joyce than Abbott, who defeated Turnbull by the narrowest margin. So it is no wonder that when Joyce put his head up to raise the spectre of the US and some Australian states defaulting on their massive debt repayments, Rudd and his ministers tried to kick it off.

Joyce was variously condemned for shooting from the lip, advocating whacko economics and being an extremist. He also was attacked for urging a ban on investment in the resource sector by Chinese government-owned enterprises.

There is undeniable downside potential from the huge debts that have been run up by governments across the world in response to the global financial crisis. And there is considerable concern in Australia that the government is going out of its way to accommodate a resource-hungry China by softening foreign investment rules.

Nevertheless, Joyce seems to be well aware that he strayed into a minefield and, while not recanting his opinions, says he will now focus on his portfolio responsibilities. You only have to look at the wide area covered by Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner to see the potential for Joyce to shake up the government. To start with, he need go no further than the government's much vaunted national broadband network, where administrative responsibility is shared between Tanner and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

This project has enormous financial implications for the whole country, including rural Australia, which will have to rely on satellite delivery for high-speed services instead of the fibre-optic cable the government plans to roll out into all homes and businesses in large cities and other high-density areas. Yet again the Nationals' rural constituency faces being relegated to second-class status in this latest attempt by government to create a communications superhighway. This assumes, of course, that the NBN gets off the ground.

But so far the taxpayer is being asked to take on trust the government's grand $43 billion scheme which, as yet, has no business plan. On a magic carpet ride of rhetoric recently, Rudd said the national broadband fibre-optic caravan, which is still to roll out of Tasmania, would create a platform for future innovation, drive new business efficiencies, support smart infrastructure, open new trade opportunities and contribute to productivity growth across the economy.

It also would address the challenge of greenhouse gas emissions, which it could reduce by 5 per cent, Rudd assured a government-organised forum designed to pump up the NBN's image. Part of this effect would come through the use of video-conferencing, reducing the need to travel for face-to-face meetings.

Clearly this option does not extend to the office of a Prime Minister who is highly sought after on the global diplomacy speaking circuit. Rudd's assessment of the NBN's positive effect on climate change ignores the increased energy demands that would be required to meet a substantial take-up of this high-speed service. Undaunted, Rudd says the NBN and the government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme go hand in glove in Labor's policy on climate change.

Now this is a worry, looking at how the ETS has blown up in the government's face. But what we are witnessing is an attempt by Rudd to wrap the NBN in the same blanket of political correctness he used to shield his ETS policy from its critics.

Considering Joyce's successful strike rate against this flawed ETS policy, it is no wonder that Rudd is pulling out all stops to try to knock him off his perch before the campaign begins for the next federal election.

SOURCE


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

ZEG

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In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG has some derisive words for Kevin Rudd's Copenhagen junket.

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Leftist hatred of Israel

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Exclusively siding with the Palestinians or the Israelis is counter productive. The Canadian national media is not as neutral as they'd have us believe-check the numer of articles listed in this site, for starters. Chances are if the organization is left leaning, their editorials, news reports, special programs will not take the side of the Israels and in many cases they will join their leftist brothers in siding with anyone but Israel.

One must ask, in all honesty, if newspapers which are biased or perhaps even agents of left leaning propaganda, should be found in Ontario schools, where young impressionable students are trying to develop a world view based upon sobriety of opinion and not on spin?

Many Jews believe the left hates Israel. Unfortunately this lament is largely based on reality. Most radical leftist groups today oppose the very existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East. And as the recent federal parliamentary debate showed, many representatives of the centrist Australian Labor Party (ALP) also hold little sympathy for Israel. See here.

Historically, orthodox socialism has always been opposed in theory to Zionism and other forms of Jewish nationalism. However, at least prior to 1967, this leftist anti-Zionism was balanced by a genuine concern for Jews as an oppressed group. It would never have occurred to the early left to denounce Zionism as a racist ideology because Jews were themselves the foremost victims of racism.

The 1967 Six-Day War changed everything. The left discovered the Palestinians, and the romance with the PLO began. Israel was stereotyped as a powerful oppressor state and a tool of western imperialism involved in suppressing the national rights of the Palestinians.

Leftist anti-Zionism soon spread beyond the radical left to mainstream social democratic parties. In 1974-75 the Australian Union of Students motions calling for the liquidation of Israel.

The antisemitic rhetoric used at the United Nations Conference in Durban and the various proposals for academic boycotts of Israel suggest an increasing leftist hostility not only to Israel, but also to Jewish supporters.

The anti-Zionist left also ignores the differences between the Palestinians and other commensurate resistance movements.

Few on the left are willing to take into account the views of those who are victims of terrorism. The left prefers to ignore the potential genocidal implications of what it advocates.

As usual when Israel fights back at terrorists, Canadian leftists are lining up behind the men in the masks and suicide vests. But no one has disgraced himself — and his organization — quite so much as Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario section of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)... Where, we ask, were the CUPE boycotts against academics from Russia, China, Sri Lanka, or any of the many other nations whose battles against terrorists have resulted in a far greater civilian toll?Nowhere. On this file, Mr. Ryan and his fellow CUPE leaders care about demonizing only one country: the Jewish state. There’s a name for that kind of bigotry, isn’t there? Remember to speak its name plainly next time you meet a CUPE Ontario employee.

More HERE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Chicken or Egg Questions finally getting some prominence in the Climate Debate

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Attention being drawn again to the crucial role of clouds in warming/cooling -- and the dubious assumptions about them that the Warmists make

Which came first, the warmer temperatures or the clearer skies? Answers to that and similar "chicken or egg" type questions could have a significant impact on our understanding of both the climate system and manmade global warming.

In an invited talk the week of December 14 at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting, Dr. Roy Spencer from The University of Alabama in Huntsville discussed the challenge of answering questions about cause and effect (also known as forcing and feedback) in the climate. "Feedbacks will determine whether the manmade portion of global warming ends up being catastrophic or barely measurable," Spencer said recently.

Spencer's interest is in using satellite data and a simple climate model to test the simulated feedback processes contained in climate models that are used to forecast global warming. "I am arguing that we can't measure feedbacks the way people have been trying to do it," he said. "The climate modelers see from satellite data that warm years have fewer clouds, then assume that the warmth caused the clouds to dissipate. If this is true, it would be positive feedback and could lead to strong global warming. This is the way their models are programmed to behave. "My question to them was, 'How do you know it wasn't fewer clouds that caused the warm years, rather than the other way around?' It turns out they didn't know. They couldn't answer that question."

One problem is the simplicity of the climate models. Because cloud systems are so complex and so poorly understood, all of the climate models used by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change use greatly simplified cloud parameters to represent clouds. But the calculations that set those parameters are based on assumed cause-and-effect relationships. Those assumptions might be working in the wrong direction, Spencer said. "What we have found is that cloud cover variations causing temperature changes dominate the satellite record, and give the illusion of positive feedback."

Using satellite observations interpreted with a simple model, Spencer's data support negative feedback (or cooling) better than they support positive feedback. "This critical component in global warming theory -­ cloud feedback -­ is impossible to measure directly in the real climate system," Spencer said. "We haven't figured out a good way to separate cause and effect, so we can't measure cloud feedback directly. And if we don't know what the feedbacks are, we are just guessing at how much impact humans will have on climate change.

"I'm trying to spread the word: Let's go back to basics and look at what we can and cannot do with measurements of the real climate system to validate both climate models and their predictions."

SOURCE


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

"Merry Christmas" makes a comeback after Parramatta Council dumps "Seasons Greetings" signs

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COUNCILS have turned their backs on political correctness, reinstating the "Merry Christmas" greeting to its rightful place. Parramatta Council, in Sydney's west, has taken down its "season's greetings" banners in favour of posters wishing "Merry Christmas". The move came after the council produced Christmas cards and 50 banners for five years without mentioning Christmas once.

Councillors believe the politically correct banners reflected "a secular view of Christmas" instead of the "traditional Australian view of Christmas". "Our community is fed up with this erosion of the true meaning and essence of Christmas through this ridiculous pre-emptive surrender of the real Christmas on the basis it may offend someone," councillor Michael McDermott said. "All we do is offend the great majority of our residents by this politically correct nonsense and watering down of the historically accurate view of Christmas. "This is not some puerile statement, it is a debate that our communities need to have about the essence of Christmas and the manner in which political correctness is used to attack and erode it."

He put forward a move to reinstate the phrase "Merry Christmas" on banners, websites, booklets, leaflets, and for Christmas events, as well as to cover the words "season's greetings" on all banners within the Parramatta CBD with "Merry Christmas". Staff were asked to design a range of banners that illustrated "the traditional notion of Christmas, and the nativity version and traditional Christian notion of Christmas".

A council spokesman said four new "Merry Christmas" posters would be hung at selected sites and new Christmas banners would be made next year.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

GLOBAL COOLING

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Unprecedented breakdown of channel tunnel trains due to exceptionally cold weather

Another sign of global cooling

MORE than 2000 passengers spent a chilly and hungry night stranded in the Channel Tunnel linking France and Britain after cold weather caused five trains to break down. The trains failed as they moved from the freezing air of northern France into the warmer temperatures of the tunnel on Friday evening, operator Eurostar said. All Eurostar services were suspended until today.

Some passengers complained they were left to fend for themselves when the trains were halted under the English Channel during one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Lee Godfrey, who was travelling back to London from Disneyland Paris with his family, said: "We were without power. We ran out of water, we ran out of food and there was very very poor communication from the staff. "We lost air-conditioning when we lost the power. We had to open the emergency doors ourselves.

Eurostar said all the passengers had been evacuated from the affected trains, which were all travelling from France to Britain. It said the cold weather had forced the suspension of services until Sunday, adding to the chaos for travellers trying to reach their families for Christmas. "We have not had a situation like this in 15 years," Eurostar executive Nicolas Petrovic said.

The problems with the Eurostar trains added to an already difficult situation on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year in Europe as temperatures dropped as low as minus seven degrees Celsius.

More HERE




Blizzard blasts United States, one of the worst in a decade

Another sign of global cooling

A deadly storm described as one of the worst in a decade blanketed much of the eastern United States overnight, grounding flights and bringing traffic to a standstill on the last weekend of the holiday shopping season. In the bullseye of the historic storm, the cities of Baltimore and Washington - in a snow emergency - were on track to topple December snowfall records, with about 30 to 60 centimetres forecast by dawn this morning. That would eclipse Washington's 30 centimetre December record set in 1932, and Baltimore's record 35.8cm from December 1960.

President Barack Obama, attending a heated UN summit in Copenhagen where world leaders struggled to hash out a plan to battle global warming, raced home to avoid the worst of the storm that hammered the East Coast two days before the official beginning of winter.

After snow ploughs cleared the runway at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington for the presidential jet, Obama stepped off Air Force One and into a heavy snowfall shortly after 1am (5pm AEDT). In a rare move he was whisked to the White House by motorcade rather than his traditional Marine 1 helicopter due to the treacherous weather....

"This is a very serious storm," said Maryland Emergency Management chief Richard Muth. "The next 12-to-15 hours are going to be very hazardous," Muth added, warning people not to drive unless in an emergency. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine earlier declared a state of emergency, urging people to stay home, while Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley followed suit.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty declared a snow emergency.

More HERE




NYT edits out cold weather

In a perfect end to a perfect global warming conference, Barack Obama has left Copenhagen “in order to return to Washington before a major snowstorm hits.” It might be only the 12th white Christmas for Washington in weather-recording history. The beauty of this moment was too much for the New York Times, which initially reported, accurately enough: "Aides said he left to get to Washington ahead of a major snowstorm headed toward the capital".

But that piece has since been re-written, omitting a certain word: "Mr. Obama, who left before the conference considered the accord because of a major storm descending on Washington …"

More HERE


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Mary and Joseph post-sex billboard upsets Catholics

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"Progressives" at work in new Zealand. Mary remained a virgin according to Catholic doctrine.
"An inner-city Auckland church, trying to promote debate over Christianity, has given up on a controversial billboard which made international headlines.

The billboard, featuring a dejected Joseph and a quizzical Mary in bed, with the message, "Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow", has been attacked four times since it was erected outside the Anglican church on Thursday. After the latest attack, by an elderly woman with a knife, the church said the billboard would not be replaced.

The vicar of St Matthew-in-the-City, Glynn Cardy, said: "[The billboard was] attacked by a knife-wielding Christian fanatic who was then apprehended by a group of homeless people who care about our church. Later in the evening, another group of fanatics ripped it down.

The church had no regrets about fuelling discussion about God: "We are glad that discussion about Santa, food, and present-buying was momentarily usurped by a discussion about Jesus."

Source

A bit of direct action there. Must be learning from the Muslims

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here