Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Econ 101

The following is lesson one in elementary economics from Dr. Walter Williams for ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ's readers:

The first lesson in economic theory is that we live in a world of scarcity. Scarcity is a situation whereby human wants exceed the means to satisfy those wants. Human wants are assumed to be limitless, or at least they don't frequently reveal their bounds. People always want more of something, be it: more cars, more food, more love, more happiness, more peace, more health care, more clean air or more charity. Our ability and resources to satisfy all those wants are indeed limited. There's only a finite amount of: land, iron, workers and years in a lifetime.

Scarcity produces several economic problems: What's to be produced, who's going to get it, how's it to be produced, and when is it to be produced? For example, many Americans, and foreigners, too, would love to have a home or vacation home along the thousand miles of California, Oregon and Washington coastline. Shipping companies would like to use some of it as ports. The U.S. Defense Department would like to use it for military installations. There's simply not enough coastline to meet all the competing wants and uses. That means there's conflict over coastline ownership and its uses.

There are several methods of conflict resolution. First, there's the market mechanism -- let the highest bidder be the one who owns and decides how the land will be used. Then, there's government fiat, where the government dictates who gets to use the land for what purpose. Gifts might be the way where an owner arbitrarily chooses a recipient. Finally, violence is a way to resolve the question of who has the use rights to the coastline -- let people get weapons and physically fight it out.

At this juncture, some might piously say, "Violence is no way to resolve conflict!" The heck it isn't. The decision of who had the right to use most of the Earth's surface was settled through violence (wars). Who has the right to the income I earn is partially settled through the threats of violence. In fact, violence is such an effective means of resolving conflict that most governments want a monopoly on its use.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Killer Balloons Unleashed on "Innocent Civilians™"

An Israeli promotional campaign involving balloons caused panic among Lebanese civilians Saturday when the wind carried them over the border into southern Lebanon.

The Lebanese media reported that some civilians were hospitalized after inhaling the gas in the balloons.

The AP will doubtless recruit the green helmet guy to drag out some corpses for a photo op.

However, the photographs published on the Web site of Hezbollah's TV station Al-Manar show green balloons from a promotional campaign for Ha'ir, a Schocken group newspaper.

Lebanese sources said the balloons reached the southern Lebanese cities of Nabatiyeh and Tyre, and the Lebanese army warned civilians not to touch them. Some were brought to Italian UN troops for examination.

The Italians must have laughed their asses off.

Lebanon's official news agency claimed that they were "poisoned balloons" dispersed by IDF aircraft.

In order to understand the Arab/Muslim mindset which most of the world has bought into consider the question posed by the Arab Walid Shoebat: "Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?"

hat tip: Sigmund Carl and Alfred


Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Faux War

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ is beginning to believe he has not been keeping up to date with the latest "new-speak". Apparently the word "war" (both noun and verb forms) has undergone a change over the recent half century. Until early 1979 it was an act of war to seize and occupy a foreign nations' embassy and diplomatic personnel and refuse to release them. In 1979 the Islamic Republic of Iran accomplished both of those acts against the United States and therefore a state of de facto war has existed between the U.S. and Iran since that time.
Those acts of war, instead of eliciting an traditional response, caused the idiotic then president of the U.S. to deem it appropriate to festoon the nation with miles of yellow ribbon and whine for "talks" to resolve the crisis. The important priorities seemed to be to give away the Panama Canal and don sweaters in order to offset the oil embargo as well as wait in long gas lines and complain of an American "Malaise".
The more things change, the more they remain the same. During the middle years of the Viet Nam "war" the president of the united States insisted on approving the targets to be attacked which resulted in hours and even days of delay. Consequently by the time such approval was debated and approved the "targets" were most often vacant real estate.
Apparently we have not learned the necessary lessons of these idiotic practices as evidenced by the recent revelations that combatants engaged in actions against U.S. military forces in Iraq have included members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who have escaped death or evaded detention of more than a few days due to the "rules of engagement" which were: "catch and release".
Mr Bush has finally come to the realization that the situation (war? in Iraq) as a result of among other factors, his rules of engagement, has evolved into a political disaster of enormous proportions and has decreed that heretofore combatants of Iranian nationality will be treated as true combatants instead of suspects of misdemeanor crimes.
Another instance of idiotic "rules of engagement" is the incident of the two Border Patrol agents who are now imprisoned for aggressive attempts to apprehend a major Mexican drug smuggler which resulted in the Mexican criminal being wounded by a gunshot in the ass. Instead of being allowed to use the force necessary to apprehend a felon engaged in the commission of a serious crime, the Administration's rules of engagement are designed to allow the criminal to escape across the border unmolested. The agents realized this and attempted to cover up their actions even though any reasonable citizen would understand that their efforts were justified by common sense.
From a personal perspective ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ does not care if the Mexican criminal smuggled several tons of marijuana into the U.S. but the fact remains that our rulers have designated such activities as major crimes and now punish their own agents for enforcement.
If ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ were a Republican or Democrat, he would be extremely embarrassed.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Expen$$ive Justice

All too often the criminal justice lives up to the aphorism; "the best justice that money can buy". ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ has experienced the truth in this saying to a much lesser extent than the outrageous tale of the three former lacrosse team members of Duke University in North Carolina. Our own experience while costing something in the neighborhood of $10,000.00 pales when compared to the estimated cost of defense to the three families which thus far is exceeding five million dollars.

However, some people might say that because the original prosecutor in the Duke case, Michael B. Nifong, has turned it over to the state attorney general’s office, that this somehow gives a measure of justice to this fiasco. Nothing could be more untrue. While Nifong no longer is directing this pack of lies, all that means is that another prosecutor – James Coman – is the new enabler of the Big Lie. Even if Coman chooses not to take this thing to trial – the only honest choice he faces – he still has his name on a series of false charges.

Moreover, once he inevitably drops the case (as to bring it to trial would be to knowingly suborn perjury and could create some legal and ethical problems for him – although law and ethics are foreign terms to prosecutors), he will say something like, "We don’t have enough evidence to gain a conviction." He will not say, "These charges were a criminal fraud in themselves, and the State of North Carolina apologizes to the defendants, their families, and all who were affected by this hoax." No, the state never engages in hoaxes. Just ask the Little Rascals defendants, whose lives were ruined by the Lies of the State of North Carolina.

The question one asks is this: Why does the State of North Carolina [or California in the case of ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ] continue to impose huge costs on everyone when we [they] know this case is a fraud? The simplest answer is this: They do it because they can do it. Furthermore, they do it because the benefits to those who promote hoaxes far outweigh any costs that generally are imposed upon them.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Meanwhile, In "Moderate" Turkey

Recent events in Turkey may be clue as to what can be expected when Islamic shiara law comes to a community near you:

Suspect in Hrant Dink’s murder: "I said my Friday Prayer and shot him" Ogün Samast, suspected of murdering Hrant Dink, Editor-in-chief of Agos newspaper, said in the statement to Samsun police following his arrest, “I shot him after I said my Friday Prayer”.

Hrant Dink’s murder suspect was arrested yesterday night in Samsun after his father recognised his son on camera footage and informed the police. Brought to Istanbul this morning, Samast was interrogated by police. Four other suspects were arrested in in Trabzon and brought before Istanbul police for questioning.

Samast admitted to murdering Dink in his first statement given in Samsun. This is what he reportedly said his statement: “I read the news on the internet. I saw that he said, ‘I’m from Turkey, but Turkish blood is dirty’. That is why I decided to kill him. I do not regret it.”

A Trabzon Legend gave the orders to kill Hrant DinkYasin Hayal, the man now suspected of giving the orders to 17 year old Ogun Samast to murder journalist Hrant Dink, had in fact previously chosen a different candidate for carrying out the act, but had met with resistance from first young man's family.

Hayal, who himself had served 10 months in prison for the bombing of a McDonald's restaurant in Trabzon, has been known recently for gathering young Trabzon youth around him and leading them in activities such as rifle practice. His ultra-nationalist rhetoric focused on what he perceived as "enemies of the state," and he told the disaffected youth who spent time with him that it was "their duty" to see to the punishment of those who "insulted Turkey." Interestingly, it has been revealed that Yasin Hayal set up a web site, still under construction, called "Yasin Hayal; Trabzon's Legend....Is Returning....." The incomplete web site can still be viewed at

Following the identification of murderer Ogun Samast by his father, Ahmet Samast, Yasin Hayal and 12 others in Trabzon were arrested, at which point Hayal reportedly admitted "I gave the gun and the money to Ogun Samast. I am angry at the things which are happening in this country. The state is doing nothing to the people who are against Turkey. Which is why I gave Ogun this job. He carried out his duty successfully, and he helped rescue Turkey's honor."

It would also appear that the recent documentary on British TV of the programs preached in British mosques has been ignored by their government schooled dumbed down population in favor of the British equivilent of "Survivor".

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Here We Go Again!

In following the "Global Warming is caused by human activity" debate it becomes clear that in fact no scientific "consensus" exists. What is apparent is that the anthropogenically caused global warming (AGW) camp is better organized. This is probably due to government grants driving the AGW studies in order to promote governmental (coercive) actions to avert the "catastrophe". A recent article here now raises the specter of the opposite occuring to wit: "global cooling"!
Professor Emeritus at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, past President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a scientist as honoured as they come, believes that man-made greenhouse gases have recently had a role in warming the earth, although the extent of that role, he says, cannot yet be known. What is known, however, is that throughout earth's history climate change has been driven by factors other than man: "Variable behaviour of the sun is an obvious explanation," says Dr. Weiss, "and there is increasing evidence that Earth's climate responds to changing patterns of solar magnetic activity."

The sun's most obvious magnetic features are sunspots, formed as magnetic fields rip through the sun's surface. A magnetically active sun boosts the number of sunspots, indicating that vast amounts of energy are being released from deep within.

Typically, sunspots flare up and settle down in cycles of about 11 years. In the last 50 years, we haven't been living in typical times: "If you look back into the sun's past, you find that we live in a period of abnormally high solar activity," Dr. Weiss states.

These hyperactive periods do not last long, "perhaps 50 to 100 years, then you get a crash," says Dr. Weiss. 'It's a boom-bust system, and I would expect a crash soon."

In addition to the 11-year cycle, sunspots almost entirely "crash," or die out, every 200 years or so as solar activity diminishes. When the crash occurs, the Earth can cool dramatically. Dr. Weiss knows because these phenomenon, known as "Grand minima," have recurred over the past 10,000 years, if not longer.

The pro warmista position can be found here
A contrary and opposing view relating to global warming on other planets can be found here

Observations indicate that the south polar residual cap [on Mars] is not permanent. It is disappearing, a little bit more each southern spring and summer season. At the present rate, a layer 3 m thick can be completely eroded away in a few tens of martian years. Since each layer is equivalent to about 1% of the mass of the present atmosphere (which is 95% carbon dioxide), if sufficient carbon dioxide is buried in the south polar cap, the mass of the atmosphere could double in a few hundred to a thousand Mars years. That could lead to profound changes in the environment. For example, it would change how much and where wind erosion would occur, and where and for how long liquid water could survive at or near the surface.

It also means that Mars may have been very different in the recent past (perhaps only a few thousands of years ago). On today's Mars, the ice is eroding, but in the past that material had to have been deposited. The martian climate was probably colder, and there was more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For some reason, large amounts of carbon dioxide froze at the south pole---one might say that there was a "Martian Ice Age"---and this freezing occurred on a time scale similar to that of the most recent Ice Age on Earth.

It remains to be seen if proposals to counter these "pushme pullyou" scenarios can arrive at the same solutions i.e. draconian government measures designed to avert "catastrophe. Do the climate change charts reveal the coincidence of man's harnessing fire with global warming? :o)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pot to Kettle: "Hi Blackie"

ACORN, (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) a national organization of low- and moderate-income persons, has been around since the early 1970s. The organization claims about 175,000 member families in 80 cities and advocates left-wing populist approaches to a variety of issues including public housing, jobs, wages, taxes, and voter registration.

ACORN has been calling for "living wages," which would raise wages for low-skilled workers and boost union membership.

While advocating living wages, though, ACORN has opposed paying even minimum wages to its own workers.

This was made apparent back in 1995, when ACORN sued the state of California to be exempted from paying its own workers the minimum wage. According to the December 21, 1995 ruling of the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District:

"ACORN contends that California's minimum wage laws ... are unconstitutional as applied to ACORN because they restrict ACORN's ability to engage in political advocacy. According to ACORN, this adverse impact will be manifested in two ways: first, ACORN will be forced to hire fewer workers; second, its workers, if paid the minimum wage, will be less empathetic with ACORN's low and moderate income constituency and will therefore be less effective advocates.

"Leaving aside the latter argument's absurdity (minimum wage workers are ipso facto low-income workers) as well as irony (an advocate for the poor seeking to justify starvation wages), we find ACORN to be laboring under a fundamental misconception of the constitutional law."

A 2003 study of ACORN by the Employment Policies Institute noted, "ACORN pays a wage of $5.67 per hour, less than half the level demanded by many proposed 'living wage' ordinances that ACORN supports."

Despite ACORN's demands that all workers be allowed to organize, ACORN has tried to prevent its own workers from joining unions. In March 2003, after firing workers who had tried to organize, ACORN lost its final appeal of a National Labor Relations Board ruling, which found ACORN had violated the rights of its employees to unionize.
Hat tip: John Ray

ACORN is the group that has submitted thousands of fraudulent voter registrations in Missouri and Illinois even though Democrats (Conyers, Gore et al) whine about "Republican voter fraud".

Capital Punishment (For Hands and Feet)

This in from Iran:
The chief of the regime’s judiciary in the western city of Kermanshah, Allah-Yar Malik-Shahi yesterday said, “Soon there will be a number of limb amputations in public in connection with robberies in [Kermanshah] Province.” (Official news agency IRNA, January 10, 2007)

He said, “The judiciary will cut off the hand which steals people’s properties in order to serve as a lesson for others… Carrying out several sentences in public will greatly decrease such crimes in society.”

The medieval regime has resorted to extreme measures, such as limb amputation, eye gouging, flogging, and the degrading punishment of parading prisoners around towns, to combat the rising tide of popular uprisings and demonstrations in various provinces across Iran.

The Iranian Resistance calls on all international human rights organizations to condemn the medieval regime’s punishments and take urgent action to stop the barbaric and systematic violations of human rights in Iran. [Right. That'll help]

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 11, 2007


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Are "Conservatives" Up To It?

With the political left virtually in league with the religious enemies of western culture, can the right be relied on to lead a defense? The record is far from encouraging. At Liberty and culture, Jason Pappas is not optimistic:
The failure to criticize the enemy’s ideology, Islam, is not only pervasive on the multi-cultural Left but is also widespread on the conservative Right. Both show utmost respect for this backwards religion 1 while its most devout believers commit attack after gruesome attack in reaffirmation of their faith. Our commentators, conservatives among them, attribute these attacks to a “terrorist” group that we have decided do not represent the religion! President Bush,2 in particular, has gone out of his way to praise the religion. Although a minority of conservatives cautioned the President against his blind embrace of this bellicose religion,3 those with influence have encouraged his outreach. He has shamefully embraced “moderate” Muslims,4 later shown to have terrorist leanings or actual terrorist ties. His continual praise – vacuous, syrupy and downright silly – is all the more ludicrous when you realize that he is referring to what at the core is an incorrigible warrior religion. Why is it so hard for conservatives to attack the Islamic ideology as they attacked and vilified the communist ideology?
Can conservatives face the threat of Islam? So far the record is unsatisfactory. At first the Shiite theocracy in Iran was dismissed as an enthusiasm that differed from the more sedate Sunni mainstream – such as our Saudi “friends”. However, the atrocity of 9/11, perpetrated by devout Sunni Muslims from Saudi Arabia, refuted all previous theories about Islam.11 Muslims through out the world cheered 9/11; a fact that is difficult for conservatives (and others) to face. It is even harder to come to grips with religion’s central role in that event. The Islamic religion, its history and doctrines, all point to a disturbing fact that conservatives evade. If during the Cold War, many social democrats found it difficult to keep the full horror of Communism in mind, today conservatives can’t believe the full horror of today’s enemy – a religious enemy.


Monday, January 15, 2007

A Nobel Prize?

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice — the group of senior Islamic clergy that reigns supreme on all legal, civil, and governance matters in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has banned the letter X.

The commission's damning of the letter "X" came in response to a Ministry of Trade query about whether it should grant trademark protection to a Saudi businessman for a new service carrying the English name "Explorer."

"No! Nein! Nyet!" was the commission's categorical answer.


Well, never mind that none of the so-called scholars manning the upper ranks of the religious outfit can speak or read a word of English. But their experts who examined the English word "explorer" were struck by how suspicious that "X" appeared. In a kingdom where Friday preachers routinely refer to Christians as pigs and infidel crusaders, even a twisted cross ranks as an abomination.

So after waiting a year, the Saudi businessman, Amru Mohammad Faisal, got his answer: No. But, like so many other Saudi businessmen who suffer from the travesties of the commission, he seemed more baffled than angry. He wrote letters to Saudi newspapers to criticize the cockamamie logic. An article he wrote appeared with his photograph on some Arabian Web sites. It sarcastically invited the commission to expand its edict to the "plus" sign in mathematics and accounting, in order "to prevent filthy Christian conspiracies from infiltrating our thoughts, our beliefs, and our feelings."

Among the commission's deeds is the famed 1974 fatwa — issued by its blind leader at the time, Sheik Abdul Aziz Ben Baz — which declared that the Earth is flat and immobile.
hat tip powerline


According to the latest development in the Duke university lacrosse players bogus rape case the prosecutor, Mr Nifong, has been granted his request to be relieved of prosecuting the 3 defendants and the state Attorney General's office will assume it. His statement, or rather that of his attorney, that "...he wants to make sure the accuser receives a fair trial." is rather bizarre.
Apparently I have been too long retired from my humble role in the so called "justice" system of investigating cases and presenting the evidence to the District Attorney for use against the accused in court. It is now the case that the defendants are not to receive a fair trial, but the victim. Not only that, but the District Attorneys are represented by legal counsel.
In the "good old days" evidence was presented to the office of the prosecutor and if sufficiently credible, he would proceed to prosecute the accused. If the evidence was lacking in sufficiency or credibility he would decline to proceed with the case.
Things seem to have changed, at least in North Carolina. If the "victim" is a member of a protected group i.e. racial minority, female, gay etc. then the victim must have a "fair" trial and evidence must be fabricated as well as exculpatory evidence for the "suspect" hidden. This is "justice" in century 21 US?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Debating: Sarcasm and Irony

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ, who engages occasionally in debates is attempting to resist the temptation to utilize sarcasm and irony overmuch. This is sometimes difficult and the examples put forward by such superb practitioners as Ann Coulter and others are tempting to emulate. An excellent example of both Sarcasm and irony is the following pearl courtesy of Sigmund Carl and Alfred:
Barbara Boxer’s ‘Freudian Slip’ is telling. First, she accused Condaleeza Rice of being a flawed decision maker. Then Ms Boxer insinuated that because she has no children, Condaleeza Rice cannot be as empathetic or sympathetic to those Americans who might lose a loved one.

Of course, that would mean Ms Boxer couldn't possibly understand the evil or significance of racism, because she isn’t black and thus her positions on race cannot be taken seriously.

Ms Boxer can [however] opine with some credibility on the matter of corruption. Among other things, she funneled $115,000 to Douglas Boxer & Associates, from a PAC for Change, her leadership political action committee.

Douglas Boxer calls the Senator, ‘Mommy.‘

It seldom gets better than that.
ht/ John Ray

Saturday, January 13, 2007

We Should be so Fortunate

Year by year the onset of the silly season seems to arrive earlier and earlier. The candidates for the presidency are flocking to establish their "exploratory" committees with the actual election nearly two years away. One of the most interesting individuals to add his name to the slate is Dr. Ron Paul a nominally Republican member of Congress from Texas. Dr. Paul last ran for President as the Libertarian candidate in 1988 but plans to seek the Republican nomination in 2008. He is a rather prolific writer on the subject of his political philosophy which of all the candidates to date most closely approximates that of ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ. An archive of his positions is here . Our favorite however, is the one reproduced below:
Scandals Are a Symptom, Not a Cause

by Ron Paul

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

~ James Madison

The Washington political scandals dominating the news [ ...]may be disheartening, but they cannot be considered surprising. We live in a time when the U.S. government is the largest and most powerful state in the history of the world. Today's federal government consists of fifteen huge departments, hundreds of agencies, thousands of programs, and millions of employees. It spends 2.4 trillion dollars in a single year. The possibilities for corruption in such an immense and unaccountable institution are endless.

Americans understandably expect ethical conduct from their elected officials in Washington. But the whole system is so out of control that it's simply unrealistic to place faith in each and every government official in a position to sell influence. The larger the federal government becomes, the more it controls who wins and who loses in our society. The temptation for lobbyists to buy votes – and the temptation for politicians to sell them – is enormous. Indicting one crop of politicians and bringing in another is only a temporary solution. The only effective way to address corruption is to change the system itself, by radically downsizing the power of the federal government in the first place. Take away the politicians' power and you take away the very currency of corruption.

Undoubtedly the recent revelations will ignite new calls for campaign finance reform. However, we must recognize that campaign finance laws place restrictions only on individuals, not politicians. Politicians will continue to tax and spend, meaning they will continue to punish some productive Americans while rewarding others with federal largesse. The same vested special interests will not go away, and the same influence peddling will happen every day on Capitol Hill.

The reason is very simple: when the federal government redistributes trillions of dollars fromWe some Americans to others, countless special interests inevitably will fight for the money. The rise in corruption in Washington simply mirrors the rise in federal spending. The fundamental problem is not with campaigns or politicians primarily, but rather with popular support for the steady shift from a relatively limited, constitutional federal government to the huge leviathan of today.

We need to get money out of government. Only then will money not be important in politics. It's time to reconsider exactly what we want the federal government to be in our society. So long as it remains the largest and most powerful institution in the nation, it will remain endlessly susceptible to corruption.

We wish Dr. Paul the best of luck in the forlorn task of advancing the restoration of individual liberty

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Panic de Jour

The Media's Crisis De Jour

The list of scourges hyped by the media as about to end the world as we know it continues to lengthen. During the 1950's, bomb and fallout shelters were "required" in order for us to survive nuclear armageddon. In 1968 Paul Ehrlich in his "The Population Bomb" prophesied that we would all be starving to death by 1979. In fact, by 1979 the threat became the onset of a new ice age. In the 1980's as the AIDS pandemic was touted as a serious threat to the populations of non needle using straight citizens we began to hear the hue and cry for the government to find a cure. Indeed, the cacophony from the "gay" community became so loud and demented as to accuse the Reagan administration of "genocide" for not dedicating the national treasury to research an AIDS cure. Recently the "bird flu" and deadly spinach scares have surfaced, not to mention the "flesh eating" bacteria.

One doomsday scenario however has really gained traction of late and that is "global warming" or to be more precise, anthropogenic climate change. Why has a hypothesis attracted the following of so many otherwise reputable scientists? Leonidas theorizes that the underlying motivation for the emergence of a so called "consensus" that climate change (which has been occurring since the earth's beginnings) is driven by human activity is that collectivist politicians see the hypothesis as an opportunity to augment their power. Politicians who control the treasuries of governments as well as NGOs have been fueling one side of the debate with copious amounts of grant cash. Indeed some politicians such as senators Snowe and Rockefeller have seen fit to threaten skeptics of the hypothesis and their supporters into silence. It is interesting to note that only one side in the debate engages in efforts to intimidate the other.

Recently our attention was called to this article published in the Independent in the UK: " Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island". The article assigns the disappearance if an inhabited island in the Ganges River delta to "global warming". For those unfamiliar with sedimentary formed islands in the worlds river deltas, they are known to form an disappear over relatively short periods of time. This process is invariably related to laying down and erosion of sediments. The independent article does not assert that sea levels have risen along the nearby coasts of India or Bangladesh nor indicate the time frame wherein the population of the former island was forced to relocate.

These are the kinds of publications that politicians are seizing on in order to ram through adoption of stringent controls on human economic activity. The winners: politicians and bureaucrats. The losers: mostly the populations of both the developed and developing world whose only hope of escaping grinding poverty is economic activity.

A good indication of how unsettled the science is with regard to this specific event is here as well as here.

We often fail to "understand that facts trump theories: and that a "preponderance of opinion," no matter how eloquent or ardent, cannot change the way the universe really works."

Sunday 7 Jan 2007 08:32 EST
UPDATE!!! For a timely exposition of the debate go HERE.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

For those unaware of recent history (that would be most publicly educated citizens) the "Black September" terrorist organization conducted an operation designated "Cold River" in Sudan during 1973 wherein 2 U.S. diplomats were abducted and later murdered on the orders of the late Yassir Arafat. The same Mr. Arafat who was the most frequent guest of the White House and Lincoln Bedroom between 1993 and 2000. It seems that these facts have been concealed for over 30 years but are now admitted by the U.S. State Department. John Hinderaker of Powerline writes:

"[T]he big lie"-- [is] the U.S. State Department's deliberate cover-up of the fact that [in the Cold River operation of 1973] Yaser Arafat personally ordered the murder of State's own overseas personnel, including an ambassador. This [cover up] is indeed a very big lie.

But why was State willing to give Arafat a pass through seven Presidential administrations? State lied about Cold River in order to advance a much bigger and more important lie: the myth that the Israel-Palestinian "peace process" is the key to solving the Middle East's many problems.

State lied about Cold River because, had it acknowledged that Arafat was the unrepentant and cold-blooded murderer of an American ambassador, the American people would have demanded action. It would no longer have been possible to pretend that the PLO was anything other than a terrorist gang. It may no longer have been possible to pressure Israel to accept Arafat as a "partner in peace"; to invite Arafat to stay at the White House; to applaud his speeches at the U.N.; to hold hands with him at one futile "summit" after another.
The world has no shortage of longstanding ethnic and religious conflicts. Take just one example: the conflict between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan over Kashmir. This dispute is almost exactly as old as that between the Israelis and Palestinians. more people have died in Kashmir and as a result of that dispute, than as a result of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Yet where are the front-page headlines to accompany every fatality in Kashmir? Where are the endless U.N. resolutions? Where is the international pressure on India to trade "land for peace"? Where is the endless procession of Sunday morning talking heads assuring us that resoluton of the Kashmir dilemma is the key to solving all of the problems of Central Asia?

Israel has little or nothing to do with the many pathologies that beset the Arab and Persian Middle East. A magical, overnight solution of the Palestinian problem would have zero impact on Iraq, on Iran, on Syria's domination of Lebanon, on the sinister threat posed by Hizbollah, etc.

Yet the State Department soldiers blindly on, committed to what must be the biggest lie in American foreign policy--the near-mystical belief that the Palestinian "peace process" holds the key to progress in the Middle East. So committed is State to this myth that it preferred to cover up the murder of its own personnel rather than confront the hollowness of its own policy.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Our Rulers Are Not Serious

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ has long been convinced that airport "security" is a farce. Recent events in the UK have confirmed this view and revealed the so called "war on terror" to be little more than a sad joke.

Mustaf Jama, a Somali ''asylum seeker'' in Britain wanted for the murder of a policewoman, fled the country by taking his sister's passport, wearing a niqab (the full Islamic head-to-toe get-up that covers everything but the eyes) and passing unhindered through the checkpoints at Heathrow.

How about that? It turns out we are profiling after all, but we're profiling everybody except Muslims. Your wizened l'il ol' gran'ma on a Yuletide break to London is bent double and out of breath struggling to take off her coat and shoes. The officials sternly scrutinize her passport to check that the picture matches her flustered and bewildered face. All around her hundreds of women are doing the same, mutely shuffling through the scanner in their stocking feet. But Britain's most wanted man is breezing through because he took the precaution of dressing as a Muslim woman. And it would be culturally insensitive to expose them to the same scrutiny as your gran'ma.

Many of us think about the long-term shifts necessary to win this struggle: euthanizing the United Nations and overhauling other malign and anachronistic institutions. Fat chance. Mustaf Jama's express check-out is the perfect parodic reductio of "security": The state is willing to inflict pointless bureaucratic discomfort and inconvenience on everyone else, but the demographic group with the most links to terrorism gets to go through the fast-track VIP channel.

The funniest line in the Jama story was Her Majesty's government's touching faith in the Horn of Africa's extradition procedures:

''He is thought to be hiding in Somalia where approaches have been made to the transitional federal government to return him to Britain.''
The West is so wedded to political correctness that its wars are now fought against abstractions such as tactics.
It's as if after Pearl Harbor, the US had declared war on "surprise attacks".

hat tip: realclearpolitics

UPDATE 02 Jan 2007 @ 22:50
CAIR Welcomes TSA Hajj Sensitivity Training

WASHINGTON -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed an announcement by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that it has provided special training about Islamic traditions related to the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, to some 45,000 airport security officers.

The TSA cultural sensitivity training includes details about the timing of Hajj travel, about items pilgrims may be carrying and about Islamic prayers that may be observed by security personnel. See: (Search using the term "Hajj.").

h/t Michelle Malkin