Sunday, January 31, 2010

NASA Probe To Study The Importance And Role Of Sun Storms

NASA is embarking on what will be an interesting mission. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) probe is set to launch in less then two weeks time. The probe will observe disturbances in the sun's atmosphere.

Barbara Thompson, project scientist, said: “It is Nasa’s first weather mission and it aims to characterise everything on the sun that can impact on the Earth and near Earth.

“We know things happen on the sun which affect spacecraft, communications and radio signals. If we can understand the underlying causes of what is happening then we can turn this information into forecasts.

The Sun is our planet's primary source of heat. This mission has the potential to reveal more information about our planets unstable climate then any study involving tree rings ever has.

4 billion years of an unstable climate before SUV's were even invented is nothing to sneeze at. It is good that NASA will begin to look at our climate's primary driver, the sun, with an eye to how it can affect things here on earth.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Space Exploration For India: All Systems Are Go!

Here in the US, at the direction of Democrat President Obama, our nation is scaling back our efforts to reach for the stars.

India, on the other hand, is stepping it up.

From CNN World: India plans manned space mission in 2016

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- Indian researchers have announced plans to send their astronauts to space in 2016.

The cost of the proposed mission is estimated at $4.8 billion, said S. Satish, spokesman for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Studies have begun on the design of the crew capsules that will be used to put a pair of astronauts 300 kilometers aloft for seven days, he said. The project budget has been sent for federal approval, he added.

While the US is saddled with politicians launching ever larger and ever more intrusive government programs, India is taking steps to become a space faring nation.

The race to the stars will not go those driven to shakedown the banks. It will go to those that see man's place among the stars.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Barrack Obama, Reckless Lending, The State Of The Union and Punishing Banks.

There are lots of people out there taking the President's State Of The Union Speech to pieces. It lends itself easily to that task. It really is a stinking pile.

The part that I would like to highlight is a few of President Obama's comments about Banks.

Our most urgent task upon taking office was to shore up the same banks that helped cause this crisis.

The Banks are to blame?

Look, I am not interested in punishing banks. I'm interested in protecting our economy. A strong, healthy financial market makes it possible for businesses to access credit and create new jobs. It channels the savings of families into investments that raise incomes. But that can only happen if we guard against the same recklessness that nearly brought down our entire economy.

Barrak Obama's interests in banks goes way back. Punishing banks is not a new thing to him. I suspect that from a certain point of view, he really isn't particularly interested in “punishing” banks per say, but punishing them is not a new thing for him.

From A Poisonous Cocktail by Peter Schweizer

Obama's battle against banks has a long history. In 1994, freshly out of Harvard Law School, he joined two other attorneys in filing a lawsuit against Citibank, the giant mortgage lender. In Selma S. Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank, the plaintiffs claimed that although they had ostensibly been denied home loans "because of delinquent credit obligations and adverse credit," the real culprit was institutional racism. The suit alleged that Citibank had violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and, for good measure, the 13th Constitutional Amendment, which abolished slavery. The bank denied the charge, but after four years of legal wrangling and mounting legal bills, elected to settle. According to court documents, the three plaintiffs received a total of $60,000. Their lawyers received $950,000.

Barrack Obama has been a major player in our current banking problem for a long time.

He is offering the people of the United States solutions to a problem that can substantively be laid at his feet. It would be unfair to lay the blame exclusively on Barrack Obama. Lots of people were helping “punish” the banks. He was just one of many.

And now he offers to help fix the problem.

A problem that he helped create.

What a guy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fox News Wins In Trustworthyness.

Reported at Politico: Poll: Fox is most trusted name in news

Fox is the most trusted television news network in the country, according to a new poll out Tuesday.

A Public Policy Polling nationwide survey of 1,151 registered voters Jan. 18-19 found that 49 percent of Americans trusted Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network.


That has to sting.

Worse yet, Public Policy Polling (PPP) is a Democrat affiliated polling company.

I have some concerns about the survey because it was a robot-poll, which typically excludes cell phone only households. Cell phone only households are a large and growing minority of eligible respondents. Excluding cell phone only households from a poll of this type can result in some misleading numbers.

PPP is a Democrat affiliated polling company known for its extreme partisanship. These are the same yucks that thought it would be fun to ask "Do you think that George Bush is the Antichrist?" and "Do you think that Barak Obama is the Antichrist?" and then report results that were almost identical as a slam against Republicans. In a survey that acknowledges a +/-3.9% margin of error, a 2 point difference is no difference at all. These are the kind of snotty hacks that give polling a bad name.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Beau Biden Decides Against Running For Senate

Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau Biden, has decided to just run for re-election as Delaware's Attorney General instead.

From Fox News:GOP Encouraged to Pick Up Senate Seat as Beau Biden Decides Not to Follow Dad

"Clearly, Beau Biden's decision not to run for the United States Senate represents a major recruiting setback for national Democrats, who have been counting on his candidacy to keep the vice president's former seat in Democrat control," Reed said. "As we saw in Massachusetts last week, voters clearly stated that these seats belong to the people - not to either political party or dynasty."

Democrats on Tuesday saw the seat formerly held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts fall to Republican Scott Brown. The win raised questions about Democrats' ability to hold onto seats once thought to be reliable for their party.

This is not good for the Democrats. It makes it look as if they see defeat in their future when their more promising candidates give up on what would have been easy wins.

I was looking forward to a Beau Biden race. What little I had heard about him made it sound like he was one of the very few Democrats that wasn't a stark raving loon.

Hat tip/ design czar @ Correspondence Committee

Bogus Claims Were Included In The IPCC Report To Advance Political Agendas

More proof that politics trumped science in the UN's IPCC report.

From MailOnline: Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn't been verified

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’

This is just the tip of the iceberg glacier.

The IPCC report and every other outrageous environmental claim will begin to be rightly challenged. Good science will stand. Politicized science will fail.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

UN IPCC Report Included Unsupportable Linkage Between Natural Disasters And AGW

Another indication that the UN IPCC report was a sloppy con from the word go.

TimesOnLine: UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters

THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.

The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month's Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.

The AGW con-artists needed the linkage so it was included in the report. They effectively said "fuckall" to the demands and rigors of science because for them, the authority and prestige of the UN IPCC report is just a cover and a stage-prop for their grifting.

(PS - Its the Sun that you guys need to be looking at. You know, that great big energy pump in the sky. Its kind of important.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The New York Times Exposes A Blogger Suffering From A Self-Inflicted Flame-War

Many of us knew that the New York Times would be publishing a feature article about a certain blogger this month. That his melodramatic flouncing away from “the right” would attract the attention of the New York Times was no surprise. What was surprising was how thorough the New York Times article was. It wasn't the "puff piece" that we had expected that blogger to get.

Johnathon Dee of the New York Times gets much right about how the fracas spun out of control.

It was a kind of orgy of delinking, an intentionally set brush fire meant to clear the psychic area around Johnson and ensure that no one would connect him to anyone else, period, unless he first said it was O.K. No one would define Johnson’s allegiances but Johnson. Of course, much of this was accomplished by the very methods he felt so threatened by: a kind of six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon approach to political rectitude, in which the existence of even a search-engine-generated connection between two people anywhere in the world implied a mutual back-scratching, an ideological partnership. It was unfair and simplistic and petulant, but it also seems to have achieved its goal. Very few people on the right want to be linked with Charles Johnson anymore.

I sure don't. I won't link to him. I don't even like having his or his blog's name mentioned here in these quotes.

The following paragraph is essential to understanding how that place devolved into what it has become. I am very surprised that Johnathon Dee included it. I am grateful that he did.

No one ever said L.G.F., or any blog, had to be about the free exchange of ideas. “It’s his sandbox,” Pamela Geller says simply. “He can do whatever he wants.” Still, if you read L.G.F. today, you will find it hard to miss the paradox that a site whose origins, and whose greatest crisis, were rooted in opposition to totalitarianism now reads at times like a blog version of “Animal Farm.” Johnson seems obsessed with what others think of him, posting much more often than he used to about references to himself elsewhere on the Internet and breaking into comment threads (a recent one was about the relative merits of top- versus front-loaded washing machines) to call commenters’ attention to yet another attack on him that was posted at some other site. On the home page, you can click to see the Top 10 comments of the day, as voted on by registered users; typically, half of those comments will be from Johnson himself. Even longtime commenters have been disappeared for one wrong remark, or one too many, and when it comes to wondering where they went or why, a kind of fearful self-censorship obtains. He has banned readers because he has seen them commenting on other sites of which he does not approve. He is, as he reminds them, always watching. L.G.F. still has more than 34,000 registered users, but the comment threads are dominated by the same two dozen or so names. And a handful of those have been empowered by Johnson sub rosa to watch as well — to delete critical comments and, if necessary, to recommend the offenders for banishment. It is a cult of personality — not that there’s any compelling reason, really, that it or any blog should be presumed to be anything else.

That place got freaky weird.

Cults and abusive spouses threaten their victims with being cast-out. They will tell their victims, and it will be echoed by their enablers, that they would be nothing without their leader/spouse. They are also slowly but then thoroughly isolated from friends and relatives outside the group/family. Even speaking to or associating with casual acquaintances or strangers on the outside is discouraged and sometimes even forbidden.

These are powerful tools of control. As you can see from what Johnathon Dee describes, those tools were evident in their use, even if their named intent was for something else. When these methods start out small and grow in their utilization over time, the victim may not even recognize that they are being manipulated in this way. They become like the frogs sitting in a pan of cool water with the heat set on low.

But . . .

This is the internet . . .

I would never have thought such relationships could be made on the web.

Now I am certain that they can.

I used to think that internet cults were an impossibility.

Now I believe that they are possible and even real.

Pres. Obama Is Nationalizing The Democrat 2010 Midterm Campaigns

Pres. Obama is assigning his 2008 Campaign manager, David Plouffe, to coordinate his parties campaigns accross the whole country.

Mr. Obama has asked his former campaign manager, David Plouffe, to oversee House, Senate and governor’s races to stave off a hemorrhage of seats in the fall. The president ordered a review of the Democratic political operation — from the White House to party committees — after last week’s Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race, aides said.

This is a risky stratagy in that by running the Democrat's various 2010 campigns from the White-House, with Obama 2008 Campaign staffers, they will make the Midterm Elections de facto a referendum on Obama.

This does not mean that the Midterm Elections will be a cake walk for Republicans. Karl Rove explained a few weeks back how the Democrats think that they can retain and even potentialy gain power.

Mr. Obama can placate congressional Democrats by arguing that all that extra spending he has already crammed through can cover their spending desires at least through the 2010 congressional elections.

The Democrats believe that campaigns can be bought. They are banking on it this next go-round.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Democrat Rank and File Rebellion Begins tonight.

It may sputter and die quickly or it could result in Reid and Pelosi being tossed out of their leadership posts on their asses.

A political office is a pretty cushy job. Elected Democrats now understand that their once "safe" seats, even the safest of them as were the Massachusetts Senate seats, are now all at risk because of Obama's, Pelosi's and Reid's extremist leadership over the last 365 days.

From Politico: The fallout: Democrats rethinking health care bill

Republican Scott Brown’s upset win in Massachusetts on Tuesday threatened to derail hopes of passing a health reform bill this year, as the White House and Democratic leaders faced growing resistance from rank-and-file members to pressing ahead with a bill following the Bay State backlash.

Democratic leaders and the White House insisted ahead of the vote that they aren’t preparing to desert health care. They admit they’ll have to come up with a new strategy to win passage but said they didn’t want to allow one Senate race to take them off course on the president’s top legislative item for the year.

This was not just "one Senate race" and the Democrats know it. It is a Republican trouncing a Democrat out of the one of the safest Democrat seats in the country largely due to the Democrats arrogant and base lust for power.

Tonight, the Democrats got their clock cleaned. They know it. They will try to play it down, but they all know the truth of it.

The Democrats will now show their true colors in how the deal with seating Senator Elect Brown.

If they play games and delay seating him, they will just make their naked malice and greed so plain that only the willfully blind will not see it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tuesday, Massachusetts will elect a new Senator.

So far, Scott Brown, the Republican, looks likely to win in a landslide. A big landslide.

Elected Democrats are predictably freaking out. Well that they should. This race may be a bellwether for the next ten years.

If the establishment Democrat, Martha Coakley, loses big to a Republican in Massachusetts, then no Democrat will feel that their seat is “safe” anywhere. If a Democrat can lose “Ted Kennedy's seat,” then all bets are off on every Democrat “safe” seat.

If Coakley loses, and loses big, watch for a rebellion among elected Democrats who will realize that they could lose their cushy sinecures by being associated too closely with Nancy Pelosi's and Harry Reid's flavor of politics.

The polls are all over the place. There are many reasons for this. The whole polling industry is struggling with some huge changes that they must come to grips with.

The primary problem is cellphones and cellphone only households.

If you would like a first hand anecdotal feel for how big of a problem cellphones present to the polling industry, ask the following question in the next large group that you are in. “How many of you no longer have a land-line phone and only have cellphones in your household?” If your group is made up largely of people under forty years of age, odds are that half to over half of them will be cellphone only households. This is very significant. It is a game changer in the polling business. It is also a number that is very likely to increase over the next ten years. In twenty years, land-line phones may be as anachronistic as Telegraph machines.

There are rules for calling cellphone sample that make it very expensive to work with. Mainly, you cannot use any kind of automated dialing method. If you are knowingly dialing on cellphone sample, you must hand dial the phone numbers.

Robo polls will miss cellphone only respondents. The results of a robo poll are ever more doubtful due to the fact that the robot dialed poll cannot account for the opinions of respondents that live in cellphone only households. (Texting may be a way around this problem. So far as I know, there are no rules against using automated systems to send out text messages to cellphones.[Where there is a will, there is a way - especially if there is money involved.])

When it comes down to the wire in regards to elections, I find that I am much more trustful of the punters then I am of the pollsters.

The punters ask a different question. They do not ask “Who will you vote for?” they ask “Who are you willing to bet good money, your money, on to win?” Its a question of knowledge, not of opinion. Which makes its a very different question. The results can be significantly different and potentially far more accurate.

Predicting elections was once something that the odds-makers dominated. Scientific telephone polling changed the game and allowed telephone pollsters to take that role away from the bookies. Now the game may be changing again, giving the advantage in predicting election outcomes back to the gamblers.

Take a look at Intrade and watch the election numbers as they come in Tuesday. Election Markets may be the way of things to come. Time will tell.

And these are very exciting and interesting times indeed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Can the New York Times Be Marketed Like Porn?

The New York Times will soon try a strategy that will reduce its readership and relevance, further accelerating its decline.


They will try to charge you to read their articles.

This model does work for online porn. (It is pretty amazing that it does since so much Internet porn is available completely free of charge.)

The New York Times must think that their content will sell as well as porn. I think that they should keep their pants on.

News, for the most part, is not porn.

Most people will just begin to skip links to the NYT and to any other news organization that attempts this online subscription (Porn) model.

Display ads can still be seen in the off the rack "paper" newspapers. When people used to regularly read news printed on paper, display ads were profitable.

Then the Internet happened and print readership plummeted. Click-through ads were then touted and became the de facto norm for online advertising.

Click-through ads are stupid. Think about the long ago days of yore when you actually read a "paper" newspaper. There were ads all over the execrable thing were there not? Did you drop everything when you came across an advertisement about a product or service that interested you, pick up the phone and call or hop in your car to run out and buy it? No? No shit.

What on earth would make anyone think that such a model would then work for news-sites on the Internet?

Display ads in the paper and even the ads on television and radio worked on the concept of impressions. The idea was to use the ads to put the product brand or service brand in your mind for when you were actually ready to buy that type of product or service. The impression concept focused on shaping your opinion of which brand you would buy when you were ready to buy. There was no expectancy of an immediate customer response while you were reading through the newspaper.

While the Internet changed the way the news was delivered to the reader, it did not change the way the reader responded to display advertisements.

Display ads can be profitable online. Keep them simple. Sell them by the old impression model. Human psychology has not changed even if the news delivery medium has.

Leave the click-through ads for the adult content websites.

Another AGW Hysteria Fraud Exposed.

More indications that you have to view Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) claims with a certain amount of skepticism.

From an article titled World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown at Times Online

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.
It turns out that it was all just gum-flapping bullshit.

The old peer review process must be revised. No more secret data. No more secret programing. If they “can't” share their data and their sources, they should not be given the time of day.

HT: squatch at Correspondence Committee (See Post #20)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Compassionate Invasion?

From a Time Magazine article titled: The U.S. Military in Haiti: A Compassionate Invasion

The Obama Administration is doing things differently: Haiti, for all intents and purposes, became the 51st state at 4:53 p.m. Tuesday in the wake of its deadly earthquake. If not a state, then at least a ward of the state — the United States — as Washington mobilized national resources to rush urgent aid to Haiti's stricken people.

I wonder if these idiots understand what they are saying here. They are putting us in the position of being responsible for Haiti. Do they sling around their words like the meaningless guttural utterances of drunkards or do they really think that the US should become Haiti's owner?

Will Haiti Devolve Into A Mogadishu?

The Earthquake in Haiti is truly a catastrophe.

The number of dead may be innumerable. We will likely never really know the true number of causalities. In that kind of climate, the bodies must be disposed of quickly. There will not be time for careful counts.

The desperation of the survivors will soon be at a pitch. They are on the verge of losing what little ties they have to civilization. There are no police. There is no government. There are reports of armed gangs setting up road blocks to demand money and goods from relief trucks attempting to bring in emergency relief supplies. Armed shop keepers are attempting to protect their property from roving gangs of looters.

While there are some UN “Peace keepers” there in Haiti, individuals are left to fend for themselves against looters and thieves that would rob them of what they have left. Relief workers and even those driving truckloads of the dead off for disposal are being threatened and even killed while they attempt to do what little they can.

Sending US troops into this mix is problematic.

What will be their mission?

What will be their Rules Of Engagement(ROE)?

How can they bring law and order to that country without operating as an Army of Occupation? And most importantly to that question, do we have the will and courage as a nation to allow our troops to use the deadly force that will be necessary for them to use in order to bring Haiti back from the brink of anarchy.

Are we prepared for that first day that an American soldier has to kill a Haitian? What if he kills several, or if several troops get trapped and have to kill and wound a whole lot of them? Can we allow US troops to put down the Riots and Unrest that are likely to result in the days and weeks to come?

This is a very dangerous situation for us to be in.

It will get worse before it gets better.

Obama will have to be very careful if he is to avoid having Haiti become his Mogadishu.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Taxation Used As A Weapon

It didn't take long for the “Tax everything that moves and doesn’t move”* party to set its sights on taxing bonuses at 50%.

The initial proposal here is to tax bonuses paid out to bank executives for expressly punitive purposes. This is copy-cat to something that the socialist kleptomaniacs in the UK imposed on their bankers in December of 2009. (See Make Them Work for Free Dammit!)

Reported in The Hill.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) will introduce legislation that would impose a 50% tax on excessive bonuses at firms that received bailout funds.

The "Wall Street Bonus Tax Act" would apply only to bonuses over $50,000, and would use the tax revenue to support loans to small businesses.

Democrat Congresscritter Peter Welch's claim that the tax would be used “to support loans to small businesses” is pure bullshit. This is taxation being used as a weapon. It is just that simple.

*“The percentage of taxes on GDP (in Pakistan) is among the lowest in the world... We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn’t move, and that’s not what we see in Pakistan,” - Sec. Of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton(D) October 2009.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Its The Sun Stupid!

It may take some of the Anthropogenic Global Warming clowns a little while to accept that the sun dominates the climate cycles, but give them a little ice-age in the middle of their histrionics and they may have no other option.

From a report at Fox News:

Latif thinks the cold snap Americans have been suffering through is only the beginning. He says we're in for 30 years of cooler temperatures -- a mini ice age, he calls it, basing his theory on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the world's oceans.

We should be cautious however since Professor Mojib Latif is a major proponent of AGW. His track record is a little suspect.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Jobless Recovery And A Devious Midterm Election Strategy

The new Unemployment Numbers are telling a grim tale.

From Bob Willis and Courtney Schlisserman at

The so-called underemployment rate -- which includes part- time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking -- rose to 17.3 percent in December from 17.2 percent.

The number of discouraged workers, those not looking for work because they believe none is available, climbed to 929,000 last month, the most since records began in 1994.

Normally, this kind of news would doom the Party in power to a Midterm Election rout. This next Midterm Election may well be an exception.

Watch for the Democrats to begin spending money like its going out of style as the Midterm Elections approach. The Stimulus moneys are still largely unspent. That will change as the election approaches. The Stimulus moneys were never meant to be spent to improve the economy, rather their purpose was to stimulate Democrat election chances in the midterms.

Karl Rove discusses this at the Wall Street Journal.

But Americans shouldn't be misled by the election year ploy: Mr. Obama rigged the game by giving himself plenty of room to look tough on spending. He did that by increasing discretionary domestic spending for the last half of fiscal year 2009 by 8% and then increasing it another 12% for fiscal year 2010.

So discretionary domestic spending now stands at $536 billion, up nearly 24% from President George W. Bush's last full year budget in fiscal 2008 of $433.6 billion. That's a huge spending surge, even for a profligate liberal like Mr. Obama. The $102 billion spending increase doesn't even count the $787 billion stimulus package, of which $534 billion remains unspent.

Mr. Obama can placate congressional Democrats by arguing that all that extra spending he has already crammed through can cover their spending desires at least through the 2010 congressional elections.

This will be an interesting election cycle.

Gelb on Islam

There is an important article posted up at The Daily Beast by Leslie H. Gelb . The Daily Beast is notably left of center so the publication of Gelb's article there is all the more notable.

Of the terrorist killings and maimings that have taken place over the last three years, over 90 percent have been Muslim on Muslim, Shiite on Sunni, Sunni on Sunni, or Shiite on Shiite, with rare exceptions. Most of these slaughters have religious, cultural, and historical causes. But wherever the fanatics lodge themselves firmly in power, as the Taliban did in Afghanistan, they will try to practice the totalitarianism of Hitler and Stalin. Their rule is the end of hope for women, the end of freedom for all, except themselves—and the institutionalization of corruption and cruelty, which they rationalize with their interpretation of the Koran. They’ve tried to impose totalitarianism in Iran, but haven’t succeeded so far—because the Iranian people have fought back. And if you listen to the fanatics’ rhetoric, they plan to move on to the rest of the world and apply the same principles. They are Muslim fanatics. The culprits are not Hasidic Jews running amok around the world or Tea-baggers bent on replanting Christianity among the heathen.

I think that Gelb still has a few misconceptions about Islam to work through, but he is looking at the problem of Islam with more thought than is usually found on the political left. For that he deserves our respect.

Gelb correctly takes American Political leaders on both the left and the right to task for their counterproductive avoidance of specifically identifying Muslims or Islam as the source of most terror attacks in the present world. He correctly blames "Political Correctness" for their failure to speak honestly about the problem.

Go to the link.

Read the whole article.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Car-B-Ques In France.

Here in the Puget Sound Region of Washington State, my neighbors set off Fireworks, banged on pans and shouted "Happy New Year" at the top of their lungs to any and all that would here them at midnight. For the most part, it was good and fairly uneventful celebration.

Not so good elsewhere.

From Crispian Balmer at Reuters.

It said police detained 549 people overnight, compared with 288 in 2009 New Year celebrations. However, unlike in previous years, there were no direct clashes between police and youths. "The few disturbances that did take place were brought swiftly under control," the ministry said in a statement.

"Youths." A curious euphemism. Something important is being left unsaid in that little article.

"move along, move along, nothing to see here, move along. . . ."