Friday, December 28, 2007

Foreign Policy or Foreign Insanity?

Within hours of returning to her native Pakistan last October, former 2 time Prime minister Benazir Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a 1 year old child laden with explosives was detonated next to her motorcade. Scarcely 2 months later a second attempt was successful in ending her political comeback as well as her life. The apparent ease with which the operation was executed would seem to call into question the current Bush Administration policy of supporting the so called democratization of nations containing Muslim majorities.

In his statement today from Crawford Texas Mr. Bush failed to even mention the fact that credit for the assassination had been claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an al-Qaida-linked Sunni Muslim militant group . In other words, the Islamist group that claims religious motivations for its jihad against Western civilization cannot even be named by the supposed leader of the "Free World". Does Mr Bush expect to gin up support for a heretofore unprecedented expenditure of US blood and treasure for this "war on terror" when he dares not allow the name of the enemy to cross his lips?

For many months now enormous U.S. pressure has been applied to the Pakistani President to "democratize" his nation and relinquish direct command of its military. Experience has demonstrated that pursuing such policies can as often as not lead to the opposite of what would be considered U.S. national interests.

In Pakistan a recent CNN poll revealed that 46 percent of Pakistanis approve of Osama bin Laden while Bush's approval throughout the "Islamic" world registers at NINE percent. It would appear that some serious work needs to be accomplished before the present US policy can be evaluated as being beneficial to our national interests.

There is the Pakistan of our fantasy. The burgeoning democracy in whose vanguard are judges and lawyers and human rights activists using the “rule of law” as a cudgel to bring down a military junta. In the fantasy, Bhutto, an attractive, American-educated socialist whose prominent family made common cause with Soviets and whose tenures were rife with corruption, was somehow the second coming of James Madison.

Then there is the real Pakistan: an enemy of the United States and the West.

The real Pakistan is a breeding ground of Islamic holy war where, for about half the population, the only thing more intolerable than Western democracy is the prospect of a faux democracy led by a woman — indeed, a product of feudal Pakistani privilege and secular Western breeding whose father, President Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, had been branded as an enemy of Islam by influential Muslim clerics in the early 1970s....

Popular elections have not reformed Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon. Neither will they reform a place where Osama bin Laden wins popular opinion polls and where the would-be reformers are bombed and shot at until they die.

At the behest of entrenched State Department bureaucratic careerists, the foreign policy of the United States is held hostage by insane political correctness and the counsels of those who advocate wise policies in pursuit of the national interest; such as John Bolton, are driven from the arena.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Environmental Guest Posting

The following post is a comment left on a previous post (Not Alone?) on this blog and is by Francis T. Manns, Ph.D., P.Geo. (Ontario)

Not just in America...

Abandon hope (all ye who abandon science for politics).
“Verily said Gandalf”, in a loud voice keen and clear, “That way lies our hope, where sits our greatest fear.”(J.R.R. Tolkien)
To whom it may concern:
I attempted to bring [up a protest to] the propaganda piece, An Inconvenient Truth, to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) last year because a teacher did show it to a friend's child in a grade 5 class in Etobicoke, Toronto, Canada. TDSB put me off several months, permitted me a five minute window, but when the time came for my audience - they cut it to three minutes. I did not present. AGW is a very large topic.

Thanks to the Nobel Prize for GUFF more people are more confused than ever. If a scientific body awards prizes for alarmism, there is an assumption that there must be some foundation in the science. I have read as much as I can for 20 years on climate change and am a practicing geoscientist. I cannot find a single reference that elevates AGW beyond an unsupported hypothesis. As an unsupported hypothesis, AGW has more value than the concept that the moon is made of blue cheese because that has been disproven, and less value than fluctuations of the sun are responsible in a very complex manner for climate change (glaciations).

The other positions, discounted by the UN, that water vapour is by far the most abundant GHG, has also been ignored along with the sound astrophysical research by the Danish National Space Center (web site). The worst piece of all is throwing out the scientific balance of experiment and testing.
Propaganda ‘science’ has been happening more and more; the scientific basis for banning DDT is missing! Millions have died from malaria. Last year the World Health Organization lifted the ban... too bad for the millions of people already dead.

Propaganda junk science led the USSR to develop the dangerous Chernobyl reactor and the reactors for their nuclear submarine fleet as well. A political hack insisted their science was so superior to the capitalist west that cooling and containment were unnecessary. Now I guess Gore has lowered us to the USSR standard.
PCBs have never been shown to be hazardous. People who manufactured PCBs have not reported any increased disease or illness.

Discarded crumpled water bottles litter streams and highways. Bottled water is required for travelers in most of the world less prosperous than ours. To me the discarded plastic water bottle is the icon of mindlessness. The most overlooked of all benefits of prosperity is abundant clean water. Toronto is located beside the world’s largest supply of fresh water and ranks with the best water quality on the planet. Torontonians do not need to buy bottled water, but they do and then they throw the bottles away (called recycling by some). People who fear our excellent municipal water, that the developed world would envy, are throwing away the plastic by the tonne.

Streetcars are an icon of our self-righteous municipal face. Running on electricity, they transfer the burden of energy generation to the power plants in rural areas. They allow commuters to ride with an easy conscience, because their impact is invisible. The ozone produced, however, by electrical mass transit, trolleys and subways, is the only street level pollutant on the rise in Toronto. Trolleys are convenient, no doubt, except when they break down and clog the streets for everyone for an interminable time until help arrives. But they still clog the arteries during the tow to the barn. All other transportation must slow while the clot is towed and the line of blocked streetcars diverted. All the while, other traffic burns fuel less efficiently. Why doesn’t the city pull the plug? Optics?

Smog alert? Smog is brown nasty air resulting from a solar initiated reaction within incompletely burned hydrocarbons. Toronto smog alerts have increased to the absurd levels beginning in early spring. The alert threshold is set very low. Lowering the threshold increases the threshold for a potential smog event. I have never seen any brown smog on the days of the alert while I am commuting. What I see is white haze that is simply the natural humidity in the air next to a vast lake Ontario. What you will see are people on bicycles with gas masks.

The lake is cleaner now. The zebra mussels are abundant. What happened? Mussels are filter feeders that process the entire volume of the lake in a year. Pickerel have returned to Toronto harbour because sunlight penetrates to the bottom and grasses can grow nurseries for the spawn. Nothing wrong with that. Thanks to concerted efforts and tax dollars by the city, storm surge is diverted and sanitary sewage is being diverted away from the lake. We still have closed beaches but that not because the water is dangerous, it’s because of the extremely low threshold for alert to compete with international lake and ocean front beaches. The result is a base-level of population paranoia about water quality that borders on unhealthy. There may also be some litigation consciousness involved. What do you think?

Mindlessness is everywhere. The use of cyanide in metal extraction is a very safe industrial process and cannot be pointed to as dangerous to man. Cyanide kills fish, and spills are to be avoided at all cost, and cyanide is composed of hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen and it decomposes in sunlight in a few days.
Fill up with gasohol? Hard to justify or avoid; it increased the cost of corn tortillas in Mexico- the lower end of the economic stepladder, and methanol manufactured by fermentation, produces CO2. CO2 is plant food in my world, and pollution for the environmentalists. Plant food is good so I’m neutral on gasohol except that I get lower gasohol kilometreage and that seems counterproductive, and the poor get whacked again. Gasohol does not have the heat content of gasoline and will not take you as far on a litre unless you coast.
The hole in the ozone layer over Toronto (6% depletion) put Toronto citizens at the same risk as the people of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is not known as the skin cancer center of NA; Phoenix is. More than 160 children in Quebec contracted beri beri. The epidemic was caused vitamin D deficiency, by sun blocking moms of children that did not drink milk.

The issue really is about deception. Is it a good idea to slow international economies in order to clean up the planet?

Is the planet dirty? I’d say a lot of cities are a mess but the planet is pretty well OK. Modern mining, usually blamed for eco-disasters is subject to largely self-imposed reclamation and site remediation. Many environmentally conscious students stayed with the field of geology 30 years ago. The industry, a heavy industry, is however, laced with practical environmentalists and socially conscious human beings. Corporate social responsibility and environmental studies are part of geology curricula across the developed world and are carried into developing world prosperity.

Consider the footprint of mining as an example. Mining is a heavy industry that digs holes in the ground and extracts metal that we need for electrical power distribution (copper), rust protection (nickel, zinc), monetary security (gold), and construction of tall modern buildings, bridges, and ships (iron). Concrete comes from pits.
But, the dirty footprint of mining is an optical illusion. For British Columbia, of 94,000,000 hectares, only 0.07% is under governmental reclamation from mining activities. For Alberta, only 0.5% may eventually be strip mined for oils sands. … and the nature of the exploitation will be sequential so that only a small part of that will ever be mined at one time. Reclamation and remediation are continuous. The fear is based on an optical illusion. The arts community glazes over at the introduction of quantification. Our eyes are so small that nature looks big.

Short of energy – peak oil? Given some gradual inflation, the carbon resource from Utah to Colorado contained in kerogen shale is sufficient for more than 1,000 years of US consumption. Inflation is bad? Not if you reckon that exploitation of resources becomes lower than most value added manufactured goods adjusted for inflation with every year. There is unrecognised but enormous leverage in resources. Think of it, our increased lifespan, refrigerated food, prosperity, standard of living are inextricably linked to modest currency inflation. Currency inflation, which we are taught to fear, is the cause of prosperity because it allows exploitation of the planet’s riches to proceed in pace slightly ahead of demand. Moderation in all things (inflation). Terence (185 BC - 159 BC).

When we breathe we inhale a mixture of natural gasses including the so-called GHGs and oxygen; when we exhale we exhale the mixture minus some oxygen and more GHGs, CO2 included. Gore does it too. Plants and trees do the opposite. Oxygen is our fuel and CO2 is plant food. This is a symbiotic bargain born in the awful immensity of geologic time and evolution. If you’re not buying into evolution, I have a bridge to Brooklyn you might like. Other GHGs come from elsewhere in animal bodies. That may be too much information.
Is it insane to put mirrors in space or sprinkle iron in the ocean and second guess the wisdom of evolution? Someone thought rabbits would do well in Australia. The hubris is more serious than the fraudulent junk science proposals. The damage is that junk science will attract the tax dollars that would be better spent on water wells and medicine. I’m more concerned about the intellectual climate.

The most important information you can have is that CO2 has a property called retrograde solubility. Unlike most substances, it dissolves in cold water rather than hot. As earth heats by natural causes, CO2 is released from the slightly warmer ocean and if earth’s oceans cool CO2 goes into solution. Shake up a warm beer if you don’t believe me. CO2 trails natural warming.

In a great summary paper covering all the atmospheric CO2 analyses over the past 130 years, Ernst-George Beck (2007) exposed the superficiality of the UN IPCC reports on CO2 by showing several periods since the 1880s when CO2 was higher than today. The correlation with temperature is inverse with CO2 trailing temperature in direct contradiction to An Inconvenient Truth. We should know by now that correlation is not causation, but lack of correlation is a powerful refutation of the Gore/UN hypothesis that CO2 is causing climate change and that plant food is pollution. CO2 was 400 parts per million in the 1940s just prior to the most recent cooling period.

Don’t get me started about opening my back door in the dead of winter to feed my recycling boxes. That is a lose - lose situation. …

I guess what I am getting to is that the polarization of society between arts and engineering has left the arts side of the population vulnerable to big expensive scams, and propaganda. No one doubts that the climate changes. It always has and always will.

For many years the Nobel Committee held back on awarding a prize for mathematics to John Nash because of his schizophrenia. You may remember, "A Beautiful Mind". Gore is flat wrong, but that seems to be fine with the committee.

The world is not perfect. We can only chose the solution that solves more problems than it creates. Pollution can be crippling. I have seen polio in Jakarta; Toronto, however, has the cleanest air for a city that I have ever experienced. But the big lie is everywhere. When I see David Suzuki on a billboard holding a dim light bulb with 5 mg of mercury, I know I'm living a nightmare. Have the schools stopped requiring 1984 or Brave New World? I prescribe them for my kids.

Francis T. Manns, Ph.D., P.Geo. (Ontario)
323 Blantyre Avenue
Toronto M1N 2S6
Canada, World

"To dwell only on horror scenarios of the future shows only a lack of
imagination." (Kari Enqvist)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Venezuela Redux

A confirmation of previous reports of the events of the Venezuelan referendum on Hugo Chávez' proposed constitutional changes was published today in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. The article is in Spanish but a good synopsis is presented here as well as a complete translation here. It confirms that in fact Hugo intended to steal the election but was notified by Fidel Castro that the Venezuelan military was mobilizing for a coup d' état in such an eventuality.

According to El Mundo, the G-2, Castro's intelligence service who handles Hugo Chavez's personal security, informed Cuban dictator Fidel Castro that several of Venezuela's army units were getting ready to act if Chavez refused to accept the results, as he was initially trying to do.

The G-2 told Castro that there were troop movements in several key armed forces garrisons, including the 41 Armored Brigade in Maracay and the El Libertador air base.

According to high Venezuelan government officials who spoke anonymously with El Mundo, Castro called Chavez after midnight, Venezuela time, to let him know what the G-2 knew and to let him know that if he didn't accept the results, the Venezuelan armed forces were going to get rid of him.

Soon after that, Chavez went on national television and accepted his defeat.

These conditions did not obtain in the elections of 2004 and 2006 which one could infer were also stolen by Chávez under the aegis of Jimmy Carter, our dictator friendly ex president . An interesting question arises concerning the local military commanders' status now that Hugo has so "graciously" accepted defeat. One wonders.

ht: The Real Cuba

Not Alone?

For many of us Americans who see individual liberty slipping away on a global scale most depressing is the news and comment coming from our so called co-culturists in Europe. They appear to be willing nay, eager, to go quietly into the dark night of tyranny and oppression as engendered in Islam and its enabler, leftist collectivism. The mainstream media, acting as the voice of the political elite, incessantly bombards us with the need to surrender more and more of our liberties to that elite in order to address the ephemeral crisis de jour be it islamaphobia, racism, fascism or global warming.

Thanks to the alternative media we are able to learn of the existence of European opposing voices. One such voice is a Swedish author, journalist and blogger whose opinions are excluded from the traditional outlets. His name is Kurt Lundgren and he posts in Swedish on his blog Östra Ölands fria horisont. The following is a translation of his posting on 15 December
The Theory of Climate Change is the Road to Slavery:

Thanks to the United States, Europe was saved from communism even though many did their best to assist in a Soviet take over. [Olof] Palme's proposed nuclear-free zone in Europe for example, was tantamount to a policy of nuclear weapons for the communists, but no nuclear weapons for democracies.

The USA can again save the free world. How? By rejecting the worst of the climate-nuts and not submitting to the proposed climate treaties.
The anthropogenic global warming idea is by far the most dangerous theory ever put forward. Not even Lenin's sharp mind, before he was completely demented, could have conceived a idea which would give politicians more power over the masses. Lenin's theory of conquering the commanding heights of society has by way of the AGW theory reached a refinement and status which is obvious to all except the intellectually obtuse.

The AGC theory gives the politicians reasons and the rationale for taxation we have never witnessed. The theory gives them control of all facets of our lives; how we are to be born; what we may eat; if we are fat or slim. It penetrates into our bedrooms and decides how we are to be processed after death. Being cremated can increase global warming. Perhaps we will need to be freeze-dried and buried standing up.

This is the ultimate and maximum political theory- -- it gives politicians complete power over the whole of society. Governments cannot tax sunspots or cosmic rays or other natural phenomena, but there is now a rationale for taxing everything using environmentalist positions as the reason, even human activity to sustain life.

The political theory of anthropogenic global warming is the road leading to humanity's greatest enslavement; it also rejects man's creativity and reduces him to helplessness without political influence. This means less freedom, increased taxes and slavery under a political power whose extent we have never witnessed.
Computers, satellites, surveillance-cameras are all available to the potential tyrant, we can not escape.
I hope that the USA and China will cooperate to reject all of the proposed agreements made in Bali. This will hopefully save humanity from a terrible oppression by a political elite.

Consider a socialist government in Sweden under Mona Sahlin [leader of the Social Democratic (socialist) Party of Sweden] armed with the climate-theory's possibilities for political power. Such a government would leave no sector of life free from control or political intervention."

Additionally, there are other voices both of individuals and the very few political parties in Europe who are protesting the onslaught of totalitarianism. They need the moral support of those of us in the U.S. willing to speak out on behalf of individual liberty.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The REAL Function of Government

I recently entered into a discussion with an acquaintance on the positions of various presidential candidates and what their agendas might be if elected next November. The conversation eventually got around to various administrative departments of the Executive branch and their functions.

Being a curious individual, a bit of research was appropriate and the recent release of the National Intelligence Estimate which seemed to contradict what we had been led for several years to accept (with regard to Iran's nuclear aspirations) appeared to be a good place to begin.

A recent news item revealing that an illegal alien from the Middle East, hired by the FBI and subsequently transferred to the CIA was engaged in obtaining sensitive US intelligence data on Hezbolla is an interesting case in point. Why would a national investigative bureau and later an intelligence agency hire a female illegal alien unvetted and untrained in intelligence functions and subsequently grant her clearance to highly classified material? The answer to this question will astound the interested citizen.

"On December 6, Donald Kerr, the PDDNI, that is, the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, laid out his agency’s 500-day plan to set things right.... The 500-day plan enters almost immediately into a discussion of the vital importance of “Equal Opportunity and Diversity.”

There you have it gentle readers. If you believed that the purpose of a national intelligence agency was to utilize the most highly qualified staff to gather and report on intelligence matters for the purpose of furthering national security you would be wrong! Its real purpose is to provide interesting and lucrative career opportunities for women and minorities not to mention foreign espionage operatives so long as they are ethnically and gender "diverse". Lottsa Luck.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

History's Greatest Scam

It becomes increasingly clear that the hugely hyped and costly circle jerk conference in Bali designed to prevent the politicians rice bowls from being threatened by objective reality will only result in the warmista political religionists e.g. politicians and their paid "scientific" shills circling the wagons. In spite of mounting scientific evidence to the contrary, the proponents of increased government power continue to insist that "the scientific" consensus is that "global warming" which has recently been amended to climate change due to lack of any measurable global temperature increase, is a man made catastrophe that can only be averted by massive accretions of government power.

“It is a circus here,” [stat]ed Australian scientist Dr. David Evans. Evans is making scientific presentations to delegates and journalists at the conference revealing the latest peer-reviewed studies that refute the UN’s climate claims.We now have quite a lot of evidence that carbon emissions definitely don’t cause global warming. We have the missing [human] signature [in the atmosphere], we have the IPCC models being wrong and we have the lack of a temperature going up the last 5 years,” [...] Evans authored a November 28 2007 paper ”Carbon Emissions Don’t Cause Global Warming.”
Evans touted a new peer-reviewed study by a team of scientists appearing in the December 2007 issue of the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society which found “Warming is naturally caused and shows no human influence.” “Most of the people here have jobs that are very well paid and they depend on the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. They are not going to be very receptive to the idea that the science has gone off in a different direction, Evans explained.

Guess what. Those inflated salaries and other perks are NOT paid by "Big Oil".

Meanwhile, the juggernaut grinds on with the media and politicians moving forward with plans to seize more cash from and power over the industrialized world's producers of wealth.

Will this scam succeed? See this essay and cast your vote.

Cross posted at: Eternity Road

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Narrow Escape in Venezuela

After last week's "narrow" victory in Venezuela of the NO votes on Hugo Chavez' proposed constitutional "reforms" that would have made him president for life and transformed the country into a socialist state a la Cuba, it was puzzling that he did not demand a recount. Now we know why. According to intelligence sources inside Venezuela the margin of victory for the NO vote was much more than reported by the media and the massive theft of the outcome by Chavez was thwarted by the military.
As reported in El Nacional, and confirmed to me by an intelligence source, the Venezuelan military high command virtually threatened him with a coup d'état if he insisted on [stealing the election]. Finally, after a late-night phone call from Raúl Isaías Baduel, a budding opposition leader and former Chávez comrade in arms, the president conceded—but with one condition: he demanded his margin of defeat be reduced to a bare minimum in official tallies, so he could save face and appear as a magnanimous democrat in the eyes of the world.

As Chávez is in total control of the Electoral Commission (CNE) in Venezuela as well as all of the other branches of government, the true outcome of the election will probably never be published.
This situation casts further suspicions on the previous elections "won" by the Cuadillo and "certified" by Jimmy Carter who never met a dictator he didn't support.

Chávez has another 5 years remaining in office so it is premature to celebrate this setback for him. Equally as unsettling is that it was only the Venezuelan military that prevented this potential constitutional coup.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Safety or Revenue?

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

More Deja Vu?

The highly touted "Annapolis Conference" sponsored by the current U.S. administration has just concluded with more "talks" to follow. In fact nothing of substance was resolved regarding the conflict between the Arab populations of the middle east and Israel other than a retreat of the U.S. from its previous support for the embattled Jewish state's "defensible" borders. (Does "over a barrel" come to mind?)

Future "talks" will be conducted between Israel which has ceded considerable territory along its northern border with Lebanon, Gaza, Sinai, settlements in Judea, Samaria and Jeruselem in exchange for promises from the terrorist "Palestinians" which have never been kept.

The Jewish state has agreed to continue "talks" with the Palestinian Fatah "government" which is non representative of the Arab population as evidenced not only by the most recent "democratic" elections but by the de facto exercise of authority in Gaza by Hamas, a certifiably terrorist organization.

Not only does Hamas refuse to recognize the right of the Israeli state to exist but the cabal (Palestinian Authority) led by Mr. Abbas also hedges its "supposed recognition" by refusing to consider recognizing Israel as a Jewish state . This is nothing more than a veiled insistence on the so called "right of return" to Israeli territory of exponentially augmented Arab populations currently living in refugee camps sustained by United Nations funding. Such a transfer of populations would result in the "democratic" extinguishment of the Israeli state. No proposal is on the table allowing the jewish populations expelled from Arab territory since 1948 to return to their homes even though their numbers far exceed the numbers of displaced Arabs.

The conduct of the Annapolis conference should be a severe embarrassment to the Bush administration due to the de facto apartheid imposed on the participants. The Jewish participants were denied entrance to the conference via the same (front) entrance as the Arabs and forced to arrive via the rear service entrance at the insistence of the Saudi Foreign Minister.

Additionally, the U.S. Secretary of state referred to the security measures implemented by Israel to prevent terrorist attacks by Muslim suicide bombers as "humiliations to the Palestinian people". This was in reference to the checkpoints established by the Israelis at the entrances to their territory. Apparently Ms. Rice has not been subjected to the TSA indignities regularly visited upon ordinary commercial air travelers these days in the United States.

In conclusion, the willingness of not only the United States government to sponsor but the current Israeli government to acquiesce in giving away the store in these so called "negotiations" will come home to roost in a bloody fashion on future generations. "We're depending on the righteousness of our cause and on the international community, including the United States, which is sympathetic toward the Palestinian issue," added Abbas during a brief stopover at an Amman air base.

War is not a pleasant option except when compared to slavery or genocide.

cross posted at: Eternity Road