Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Glove Doesn't Fit

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there is a method that can be used to check on whether the
observed warming is anthropogenic. 
It relies on comparing the observed pattern of warming
with the one calculated from GH models. 
Essentially we try to see if the “fingerprints”
match.  The
fingerprint is the pattern of warming, that is, the rate of
warming at different latitudes and altitudes. 
Greenhouse warming should give increasing rates as one
goes from the surface up into the atmosphere -- peaking at
about 10 kilometers, where the rate of increase is about a
factor of two greater than the surface rate, and quite
pronounced in all the models. 

observed pattern, however, does not show any increase at all;
in fact, the data from balloon-borne radiosondes show a slight
decrease over the equator. 
Evidently, the observed and calculated fingerprints
don’t match, indicating that the human contribution to
current warming is insignificant, too small to be discerned.


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Actually, the Iraq war erases the perception among Muslims that Americans can't fight.

Well, if you follow jihadist Web sites, you'll see that nobody is making that argument anymore.

During the Second Battle of Fallujah, the word got out that the Americans were relentless and just as ruthless as the muj. There were several cases of muj wearing suicide vests being buried up to their necks in rubble, and the explosive ordnance disposal teams simply blew up these hapless idiots, treating them as artillery shells or unexploded bombs.

When snipers occupied an empty house, the Americans flattened the entire building and moved on.

The muj were and remain in awe.

That's what the Iraq war has accomplished, and that's a priceless, far-ranging victory we couldn't have achieved any other way.

They fear us now, which is what we need in order to get their cooperation.

More Brand Damage

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Echoing what Gen. Dempsey said the other day and what Michael Yon’s been saying for months. Baseball Crank had an interesting short post last night that’s worth tagging here. Lost in the endless jeremiads about quagmire is the fact that the United States isn’t the only player in all this that’s been taught some hard lessons. With the eyes of the world upon them, AQ had a chance to fashion itself as a champion of Muslims against the west; instead they did everything they could to destroy the brand, to the point where, I suspect, their abiding scumminess is one of the few issues on which you’d find huge consensus among Iraqis across sectarian lines. Cue Ryan Crocker:

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq said Saturday that al-Qaida’s network in the country has never been closer to defeat, and he praised Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for his moves to rein in Shiite and Sunni militant groups…

Absolute Fear

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Senator, since 1979 the Mullahs of Iran have killed upwards of one million Iranians, not to mention the nearly one million sacrificed to the 8-year-long Iran/Iraq war. And what the Iranian people have withstood in terms of outrageous human rights violations is shocking; public hangings, stoning, flogging, cutting off limbs, tongues and plucking out eyeballs are an everyday occurrence across Iran. All are meant to strike fear of the ruling Mullahs into people’s hearts.

Since you began talking about unconditionally dialoguing with the Islamic regime of Iran, you too have struck absolute fear in the hearts of the Iranian people, both inside and outside Iran. The few Iranian-Americans who support you are well-intentioned individuals who have been swept up in the excitement and fervor of your campaign. But we can wholeheartedly assure you that your comments have landslide opposition within the much greater Iranian heart both inside and outside Iran.

The Change You Know

Dear 3rd District Voter:

Are you sick and tired of Bill Clinton and his tax-and-spend insider Democrat friends in Congress? Then please cast your vote me, Jerry Bristol, in the upcoming 1994 election for the 3rd District seat in the United States House of Representatives.

As a small businessman, I know how all of us here in the 3rd District are being affected by regulations and taxes from unaccountable Washington bureaucrats like 3rd District Democrat incumbent Chuck Larson.

The job of a Congressional wife is often difficult, with a husband who works tirelessly for voters like you. Unfortunately, as we have all recently learned from the biased liberals of the Townsburgh media, sometimes that means late night legislative sessions with sexually predatory aides. If I can find it in my heart to forgive Jerry for succumbing to a brief videotaped human weakness, shouldn't you?

Hola amigos! Bienvenidos al tercer distrito del Congreso.
Stopping global Warming.
This one is a side-splitting RTWT. The snippets do nothing but hint at the trajectory of this one. Some days I worship at Iowahawk's feet...

Good Questions About Energy Guilt

If you are not a transnational progressive, you will find it appealing to think of energy this way:

Candidate Obama, like so many lefties, seems to believe anything bad about the United States, without even submitting it to critical thinking. He said on May 19, 2008, for example, that 3% of the world’s population (i.e., in his calculation, the United States) accounts for 25% of the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere. In the 1970s, the lefties used to talk about 6% of the world’s population using 25% of the world’s energy. Even before Obama, they were blaming America first.
But if we mean by “energy” only the modern sources of energy
all of these except one were invented by the people of the United States, as their gift to the world.
Why can’t the other peoples of the world learn how to discover, invent, and develop new kinds of energy? Why must the whole burden be placed upon the people of the United States?

All good questions.
And it ends like this:

In the end this is just another variant on the anti-Americanism of people who assume that the world's wealth was found in the ground or given to us by Allah or extracted from the stolen labor of working people. If you believe -- as I do -- that wealth is the surest expression of human creativity, then you also believe that America's great inventions spring from our system, not the natural resources with which we have been endowed or the winnings of imperialism. But most peoples of the world (including American leftists) do not understand this -- which is why they do not invent anything important -- and instead view American wealth as if it were looted, rather than created. Hey, if I thought America was rich from theft rather than creativity, I'd feel guilty too.

Karl is cheering his brainless dupes from the grave.

Worry Wart


I try to get along with the people in my neighborhood, but sometimes it can be difficult. Take for example my neighbor "Mahmoud." Last weekend while I was seeding my lawn, he drove back and forth slowly in front of my house "flipping the bird" from his minivan, which is painted with pictures of bloody corpses and mushroom clouds and "welcome 12th Imam." Normally I wouldn't have given it a second thought (I get "fingered" by a lot of the neighbors), but lately I've noticed he has been working on some kind of secret project in his garage with really stinky chemicals. Also, I've been getting these constant annoying 3 AM phone calls threatening to kill my kids.

Frankly, I'm sort of worried about the situation, but even the neighbors I get along with tell me I shouldn't jump to conclusions, and not to make a big deal of it. I don't want to make waves, but I also don't want to end up like the Goldbergs who had their house burned down last week. Am I being too much of a "worry wart"?

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Terrible Price

This graph tells the story; you can barely see the American oil companies as minor players on the right side of the chart.
The irony is that it doesn't have to be that way. The United States--unlike, say, France--actually has vast petroleum reserves. It would be possible for American oil companies to develop those reserves, play a far bigger role in international markets,

This would be infinitely preferable to shipping endless billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela.

So, why doesn't it happen? Because the Democratic Party--aided, sadly, by a handful of Republicans--deliberately keeps gas prices high and our domestic oil companies small by putting most of our reserves off limits to development. China is now drilling in the Caribbean, but our own companies are barred by law from developing large oil fields off the coasts of Florida and California.

In short, all Americans are paying a terrible price for the Democratic Party's perverse energy policies.

Taxation Without Representation

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Averaged over the U.S. population of 300 million people, the $ 1 trillion OPEC-induced burden levies a tribute amounting to $3,300 per head — for every man, woman and child in the country (or $13,200 for a family of four). The average American worker makes about $45,000 per year, or $35,000 after taxes paid to Uncle Sam. In 1999, a worker supporting a family of four had to pay 3 percent of his disposable income for oil. Now Uncle Saud and Uncle Hugo are taxing him for over 35 percent of his take-home pay. Is it any wonder that such people are not buying houses? Such a massive drain of cash from the pockets of consumers must perforce cause the real estate market to collapse — as well as affecting many other kinds of consumer goods.

If we want to avoid complete economic defeat, we need to destroy the oil cartel.

In order to stop the OPEC looting of the U.S. and world economies, we need to break the cartel's vertical monopoly by creating fuel choice on a global scale.

Barring Any Unforeseen Changes

Frankly, there's just no way around the stark mathematics of the situation: Inconvenience(Me) = 1.0 * Accident(You). It is an inescapable statistical fact, as proven over and over again by my loyal team of Karma accountants -- including Sid Blumenthal, Howard Wolfson, and Harold Ickes. Contrary to what some people say, my boys did not learn untraceable poisoning techniques from the Russians. In fact, it was the other way around. And let's face it: even if Senator Obama receives prompt medical attention for his eventual post-nomination accident, voters in the general election will be repulsed by his grotesque and permanent Dioxin scarring. Once again, Hillary Time.

Senator Obama is a young man, and if he serves me loyally he will be eligible to run again in 2016. Barring any unforeseen changes to Presidential term limits.

Protecting The Narrative

Imagine, for a moment, that you are the book review editor of a major newspaper, and a book has been written by someone who was a high-level public official deeply involved in what has been the biggest and most controversial story of the past half-decade.

The book I’m talking about, of course, is War and Decision, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith’s account of his role in the Iraq war. And it is being subjected to an astonishing and shameful blackout from many of America’s biggest newspapers. Noting the decision of the Washington Post and New York Times not to review the book, Rich Lowry wrote, “Apparently it’s OK to heap every failure in Iraq on Feith’s head, but then to turn around and pretend he’s a figure of no consequence when he writes a book.”

You would think the book interfered with the preferred narrative or something.

Suicide Update

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These cases, while unprecedented in the annals of history, should not be that
surprising. If you glorify individual suicide, if death is the key to a happy
afterlife, if war itself is sanctified, why not extend these ideas from the
individual to the collective? To the regime itself ? Suicide is the path to both
individual and national salvation.

Luckily, not all Arab or Muslim regimes are like that. The vast majority of
Arabs seek life, liberty and happiness. But when it comes to the hated Israel,
madness rules, and not only the Iranians. It is a fact that Iran's explicit aim
"to wipe Israel off the map" and its implicit threat to use nuclear weapons for
this purpose are supported by many Palestinians - even though they too would be
"wiped off" in the process.

Suicide in the struggle against Israel has acquired a degree of legitimacy
the West cannot even fathom.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hauser's Law

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The chart nearby, updating the evidence to 2007, confirms Hauser's Law. The federal tax "yield" (revenues divided by GDP) has remained close to 19.5%, even as the top tax bracket was brought down from 91% to the present 35%. This is what scientists call an "independence theorem," and it cuts the Gordian Knot of tax policy debate.

The data show that the tax yield has been independent of marginal tax rates over this period, but tax revenue is directly proportional to GDP. So if we want to increase tax revenue, we need to increase GDP.

What happens if we instead raise tax rates? Economists of all persuasions accept that a tax rate hike will reduce GDP, in which case Hauser's Law says it will also lower tax revenue. That's a highly inconvenient truth for redistributive tax policy, and it flies in the face of deeply felt beliefs about social justice. It would surely be unpopular today with those presidential candidates who plan to raise tax rates on the rich – if they knew about it.

[You Can't Soak the Rich]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

His Goal Too

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“But what might work on the primary campaign trail doesn’t work nearly as well in Tehran. What, for example, does Mr. Obama think he can offer the Iranians to get them to become a less pernicious and destabilizing force? One of Iran’s top foreign policy goals is a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. This happens to be Mr. Obama’s top foreign policy goal, too. Why should Iran or other rogue states alter their behavior if Mr. Obama gives them what they want, without preconditions?

On Wednesday, Mr. Obama said in Florida that in a meeting with the Iranians he’d make it clear their behavior is unacceptable. That message has been delivered clearly by Republican and Democratic administrations in public and private diplomacy over the past 16 years. Is he so na├»ve to think he has a unique ability to make this even clearer?”

No Response

Later in the hearing, Senator Orrin Hatch walked Hofmeister through the Democrats' latest efforts to block energy independence:

HATCH: I want to get into that. In other words, we're talking about Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. It's fair to say that they're not considered part of America's $22 billion of proven reserves.

HOFMEISTER: Not at all.

HATCH: But they're stopping us from doing that right here, as we sit here. We just had a hearing last week where Democrats had stopped the ability to do that, in at least Colorado.

HOFMEISTER: Well, as I said in my opening statement, I think the public policy constraints on the supply side in this country are a disservice to the American consumer.

The committee's Democrats attempted no response. They know that they are largely responsible for the current high price of gasoline, and they want the price to rise even further.

Every once in a while, Congressional hearings turn out to be informative.

Goldfish (Part 2)

In today's Best of the Web, the WSJ's James Taranto notes that a blogger named Lance Adams found a 2004 Chicago Tribune article in which Obama sang a much different tune about Iran than the one we heard earlier this week.  As James recounts, the Senator recently said:

"Iran, Cuba, Venezuela—these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying we're going to wipe you off the planet."

But in 2004, here's what he had to say:

"In light of the fact that we're now in Iraq, with all the problems in terms of perceptions about America that have been created, us launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in," he said.
And the rest of the quote is:

"On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse. So I guess my instinct would be to err on not having those weapons in the possession of the ruling clerics of Iran. . . . And I hope it doesn't get to that point. But realistically, as I watch how this thing has evolved, I'd be surprised if Iran blinked at this point." . . .

Obama said that violent Islamic extremists are a vastly different brand of foe than was the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and they must be treated differently.

"With the Soviet Union, you did get the sense that they were operating on a model that we could comprehend in terms of, they don't want to be blown up, we don't want to be blown up, so you do game theory and calculate ways to contain," Obama said. "I think there are certain elements within the Islamic world right now that don't make those same calculations. . . ."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The Asia Times article darkly hints that al-Qaeda will redouble its efforts
to inflame Pakistan and attack NATO supply lines in order to compensate for its
loss of sanctuaries in the tribal areas." The enemy is in the logistical rear of
the US effort, but politically that is difficult to acknowledge. It would be as
if the US offensive against Germany had to be supplied through a country heavily
populated by ardent fascists, but everyone was afraid to mention the possible
complications of that fact.

But what would have been madness in decades past is par for the course

Thinking has become the ultimate crime; demagoguery the ultimate virtue and a
studious avoidance of strategic thought something to be achieved at all costs.
Strategy has become the hostage of the 30-second soundbite. How strange it is
that a society as complex and technological as Western civilization has a
short-term memory only slightly longer than that of a goldfish.

Monday, May 19, 2008

He's Not A Laughingstock ...

Barack Obama, last night in Portland, on Iran: "They don't pose a serious threat to us."

Barack Obama, today, in Billings, Montana, on Iran: "I've made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave."

Can someone explain why it is, exactly, that Barack Obama is not a laughingstock?

... because this country is suffering from near complete educational failure and attention deficit.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

From The, Er, Arabs

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His earlier message vented spleen about the yahouds; today, Arabs are in Osama’s rhetorical sights. He castigates them as “sheep” and demands that they rise up and liberate Gaza from the, er, Arabs:

The rest of the Arab world doesn’t really want a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It gives the leaders a convenient issue to misdirect the ire of their subjects in order to keep them from focusing on the true source of their misery, ie, the kleptocrats and the mullahcrats themselves. To that extent, Osama has at least some truth in this message, but if it took him this long to figure it out, he’s more of a dolt than anyone believed.

Osama called on Egyptian terrorists to “work on breaking this blockade” of Gaza. That sounds unusually explicit and could be a go-order for an attack on Egyptian Army posts on the southern border of Gaza. The next few days will tell whether Osama has an operation ready to launch, or is just whistling in the wind.

Moore Porn

Now here’s Michael Moore, the
latest infringer, using my work for his own crude political purposes. I recall some years ago watching one of his
movies in Paris,
and thinking how sad it was that an American would make propaganda so flagrant
that it seemed pornographic. It was sad
but at the same time uplifting, because Mr. Moore was able to exercise his
right to free speech, rights that should never be infringed upon.
It’s got nothing to do with
the fact that Michael Moore is anti-war (he’s not just against the Iraq War,
but he was also against the war in Afghanistan). I respect Moore’s opposition to the Iraq War; I might
even agree with him on some particulars.
But I object to the tone of many of his arguments, especially the manner
in which he uses my work to further his causes.
As I said above, sometimes it seems pornographic. That’s a strong word, so I’ll explain.

His Absolute Property

And how does our culture fare? If Churchill were alive today he might say:

How dreadful are the curses which Political Correctness lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of thought, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the PC rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in post-modern politics every minority must belong to some liberal as his absolute property - either as ward, token, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until PC has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual leftists may show splendid qualities.

The Second Reason

The second reason for al-Qaeda's decline has been their defeat on every battlefield on which they have been found. And as important as the material losses to them have been, far more serious has been the loss to their prestige.

Deborah Haynes, a journalist with the Times Online, describes the latest fashion trends among young men in Baghdad. They want to look like American soldiers.

Elbow or knee pads strapped deliberately to ankles and goggles worn back to front over helmets, some Iraqi soldiers have a unique sense of style. Efforts to mimic their American mentors or simply spruce up and re-enforce their regular army gear result in a variety of different outfits whenever the troops are on patrol.

In short, winning against al-Qaeda has been largely achieved by winning. There are those who think negotiations are a substitute for winning, rather than their complement.
Negotiations are not useful merely as instruments of surrender or vanity platforms for the self-flagellant.

Because They Don't Have To Live Under It

Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome".

The wave passes. But the ocean remains.

Yet if Zarate were correct in claiming that the US has, for the moment, beaten back al-Qaeda to what would it be due? To two things. The first is to inevitable excesses of the Mad Mullahs themselves. A movement like the Jihad eventually sustains itself by exactions and impositions on the population. A movement which aims at paradise can have little regard for daily concerns. Al-Qaeda gets real old, real quickly when you actually have to live under it. The reason it retains the sympathy of the Western intelligensia is because they don't have to live under it.