Archives for June 2006
AQ Leaders Negotiated With Saddam Regime For Training. The MSM had reported on this in January 1999.
Today’s articles from Maria
Move over, Bob Dole: Limbaugh Detained After Viagra Found
As Ron White says, when life gives you lemons, find someone whose life has given them vodka and have a party. I suggest that Rush’s people get together with Pfizer’s people and get their vodka and lemons together.
Bring out the fireworks? I wonder how this will impact (pun intended, as always) global warming: Huge Asteroid to Fly Past Earth July 3
Smart Pill to Report from Inside the Body. Sounds better than having a colonoscopy. But will it clog the septic tank?
Market Forces Pushing Doctors to Be More Available. MARKET FORCES.
‘Breathtaking’ Waste and Fraud in Hurricane Aid. As one would expect from a government agency.
THE CROSS-DRESSING DEFENSE. Did his shoes match that bag?
Angelina Jolie‘s in Forbes this week. Angelina, who makes $15 million per film, has pushed three bills in Congress “to protect children”:
One would have the U.S. spend $500 million next year and $15 billion over ten years, to educate kids in the poorest regions. She plans to work with Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, who has proposed it. In April, to pique interest in the press, Jolie joined in a media conference call about education when she was eight months pregnant; it generated 243 stories.
A second bill would provide legal help to alien minors (she despises the term “alien”) who are alone and pass through U.S. borders. The Senate passed it in December 2005, but it has languished in the House for six months. “It’s caught up in the overall immigration debate,” Jolie says, “but I just think it’s un-American to refuse refugee children access to a lawyer.” But in a private meeting, Representative F. John Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin scoffed at the cost of implementing such an idea, she says. “He didn’t treat me gently–I left shaking in my heels.” Her third bill, to aid 70 million “vulnerable” kids in the Third World, was signed by President Bush last November–but so far no funding has been okayed.
It’s your tax money, folks. And it’s great PR for Angelina.
I Am Jack Bauer. What 24 means for homeland security
Best line: “Jack Bauer, for example, could strangle you with a cordless phone”.
Today’s articles from Maria
Mark Steyn: U.S. can’t ‘redeploy’ its way out of Iraq
The danger we face is not a Chinese superpower or an Islamist superpower: If it’s a new boss, you learn the new rules and adjust as best you can. But the greater likelihood is of a world with no superpower at all in which unipolar geopolitics gives way to nonpolar geopolitics, a world without order in which pipsqueak thug states that can’t feed their own people globalize their pathologies.
Even more depressing for the Islamists is that their enemy is not the American or European West per se, but a far more insidious Westernism, something that has infected diverse peoples from South Korea and China to Central America and enclaves in the Middle East like Beirut and Dubai. Westernization — whether we define that as a C-SPAN televised gripe session on Palestinian rights at a Western university or navigating through 7,000 tunes on an iPod or flipping on the CD, air conditioning, and power seats in a Honda Accord or watching assorted bare navels on MTV — is insidiously seductive and ultimately subversive to the patriarchal world of the eighth century
Revolutionary Hubble telescope stops working. I had a chance to see the unfinished Hubble several years ago before it was launched.
The Bishop of Rochester in the UK says Truth should be more important than unity
In the past, Anglican comprehensiveness has been grounded in acknowledging the supremacy of the Bible, the authority of what Christians have always and everywhere believed, and of the Anglican formularies, such as the Book of Common Prayer, the Articles of Religion and the Ordinal, which bear witness to this faith. Such foundations are more and more dispensable these days, and it is this which has produced our present crisis.
Mysteries of the Masons: THE SECRET SOCIETY RAISES $2 MILLION A DAY FOR CHARITY AND PREACHES BROTHERLY LOVE AND TOLERANCE – BUT WILL IT BE THE NEXT OPUS DEI? Nah, the Opus Dei doesn’t have Shriner’s conventions.
Because Jimmy is always bad news: Bin Laden family gave $1 million to Carter
Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has an article in this morning’s WSJ (by subscription) where he correctly states, again, that There Is No ‘Consensus’ on Global Warming: An inconvenient truth for Al Gore.
Dr. Lindzen is eminently qualified to discuss climate change, as you can see from his CV (lots of big words in there. Look them up if you question his qualifications.) One of the things he debunks is Gore’s assertion that scientists “don’t’ have any models that give them a high level of confidence” on the supposedly rising sea levels. I can only imagine the reaction of Dr. Lindzen and his colleagues, considering how Lindzen himself
has developed models for the Earth’s climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000 year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate. In cooperation with colleagues and students, he is developing a sophisticated, but computationally simple, climate model to test whether the proper treatment of cumulus convection will significantly reduce climate sensitivity to the increase of greenhouse gases.
While right now the WSJ article is available only by subscription, you can read a siimilar article by Dr. Lindzen here. In this article Lindzen aks,
Why, one might wonder, is there such insistence on scientific unanimity on the warming issue? After all, unanimity in science is virtually nonexistent on far less complex matters. Unanimity on an issue as uncertain as “global warming” would be surprising and suspicious. Moreover, why are the opinions of scientists sought regardless of their field of expertise? Biologists and physicians are rarely asked to endorse some theory in high energy physics. Apparently, when one comes to “global warming,” any scientist’s agreement will do.
The answer almost certainly lies in politics. For example, at the Earth Summit in Rio, attempts were made to negotiate international carbon emission agreements. The potential costs and implications of such agreements are likely to be profound for both industrial and developing countries. Under the circumstances, it would be very risky for politicians to undertake such agreements unless scientists “insisted.” Nevertheless, the situation is probably a good deal more complicated than that example suggests.
In today’s WSJ Lindzen concludes (emphasis added),
So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.
First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists – especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. This an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a “moral crusade”.
Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce – if we’re lucky.
The political issue can lead to disastrous public policy, and, as Dr. Lindzen well knows (pdf file),
Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens.
I can only add that it is your duty, as a citizen, to not only understand the issues but also to understand the qualifications of the person explaining the issues. A source like Dr. Lindzen, because of his education, background, experience and research, is worth thousands, even millions of blind global Gorewarmers. Update: Keith Burgess-Jackson examines a common fallacy about the transferability of expertise and authority, and advises,
On matters that require expertise, either become an expert yourself or consult someone who is. On matters that require no expertise, such as morality, make up your own mind — after gathering all relevant facts.
More on global warming:
At the blogs
The Anchoress looks at The media’s full-court press on Global Warming
Sigmund, Carl and Alfred has Environmental Reality, Round Two.
Bookworm room notices how there’s Always an agenda
Update: There’s a Dr. in the house.
Immediate cause of cynicism
ABC wants you
We need a Publix in Princeton.
(technorati tags Alonzo Mourning)
(If you click on the photo you’ll notice how their bio shows him as still playing with the Nets, but I love the photo anyway)
NYT, June 23, 2006:
A vocal collection of Americans, mostly on the political right, have an unshakable faith that such weapons exist.
(hat tip neo-neocon)
Maybe the “vocal collection of Americans” remember what acting head of United Nations inspectors office said, and the NYT reported on June 18, 2004
“The United Nations has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003”.
Demetrius Perricos, acting head of United Nations inspectors office, tells Security Council that equipment and material that could have been used to produce banned weapons and long-range missiles have been emptied from Iraqi sites since war started and shipped abroad; says many of items bear tags placed on them by UN inspectors as suspect dual-use materials; cites discovery of engines from banned missile in scrap yards in Netherlands and Jordan
So much for vocal collections.
Update, Monday June 26: Saddam’s WMD: Why is our intelligence community holding back?, by PETER HOEKSTRA AND RICK SANTORUM
We believe that the decisions of when and what Americans can know about issues of national security should not be made by unelected, unnamed and unaccountable people.
No, not gasoline, but gas, specifically, sarin and mustard gas
As it turns out, some more WMDs were found in Iraq where coalition forces have recovered about 500 shells, canisters or other munitions that contain degraded mustard gas or sarin nerve agent. The story has gone mostly ignored by the MSM, while the NYT (along with the LA Times) for instance, leaks another national security program, again.
I say some more because just a week ago substantial evidence was found of more buried WMDs.
- the two tons of low-enriched uranium and about 1,000 radioactive samples that were removed from Iraq’s Tuwaitha Nuclear Center;
- the 17 chemical munitions the Poles found in July 2004 and the two containing cyclosarin, a substance many times stronger than sarin;
- and all the others shells containing sarin and mustard gas that have been found over the past three years, some of which were reported by CNN.
- [Update, More, via Cassandra, the Detailed Preliminary Assessment of Chemical Weapons Findings by the CIA]
- Heck, two weeks ago on June 8 CNN even said that Zarqawi had been hiding in Northern Iraq, where he had installed a sarin factory as an al-Qaeda operative in 2002 (if you sincerely believe that anyone could have installed a factory in Iraq without Saddam’s countenance, you have more problems than you know).
Even the UN has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003.
Yet the Left continues to wallow in denial and repeat the “Bush lied” mantra.
However, this one takes the cake:
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif), who is normally fairly level-headed about War on Terror matters, asserted on Fox News today the newly-reported chemical weapons discovered in Iraq were old and therefore no more dangerous than aging items one might find “under the kitchen sink.”
Commenter Good Ole Charlie explains on sarin
This is the chemical agent that even Adolph Hitler refused to use during WWII (largely perhaps because Adolph was gassed himself during WWI [see Mein Kampf’s opening pages for his description]).
The same impure (~1% pure) agent that raised a ruckus in the Tokyo subway system a few years ago. Even the decomposition products are nasty, but not as deadly as sarin itself.
The Husband, who also has a background in science, tells me that the main difference between fresh mustard gas and decayed mustard gas is that the decayed mustard gas doesn’t burn the skin, lungs and eyes as badly as the fresh [clarification] yet remains lethal.
Jane Harman, along with her party, need to stop inhaling the toxic gas fumes of their own partisanship. And rather than look under the sink, they should examine their own consciences.
Update: Dr. Sanity
National security be damned. They have their own war to win. And they won’t cut and run or redeply their forces until their mission is accomplished and Bush is defeated. Anything that furthers that specific goal, by their definition, is truly heroic.