Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Light Posting Excuse

I'm off to Pinedale, WY, where I was a for real cowboy a couple of decades ago and then on to the Yellowstone. Happy Happy Joy Joy.

Back on Sunday.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Hungry for News

Southern California was hit with a moderate earthquake today just before noon. It was a 5.8 on the Richter Scale. No one was killed, or even injured and no buildings were damaged severely. However, you wouldn't have know that from the semi-hysterical wall to wall news on the all news all the time channels. Cheesh.

The Richter Scale is a complicated equation from the 1930s which creates a logarithm from the amplitude of the lines on a seismometer along with other information. It is designed to show the amount of energy released in the quake. Because the scale is logarithmic, each whole number increase represents a ten fold increase in amplitude and 32 times the energy in the quake, but even that doesn't capture the increase up the scale. Think of a graph accelerating the rate of change and going, in the end, straight up. A 5.8 earthquake can be felt of course but an 8.8 involves not just 96 times more energy but several orders of magnitude more energy. There is no theoretical upper limit to the scale, but a 12 would nearly have to involve collision with a large asteroid. There has never been recorded a 10 yet.

The story was worth about 30 minutes in my book, so it got all day as if this unnamed, middling earthquake were the ground shaking equivalent of Katrina. Give me a break.



This Day in the History of Simultaneous Beginnings of Rises and Falls

On this day in 1588, at the naval Battle of Gravelines just northeast of the Channel, the Spanish Armada was defeated by an English fleet under Lord Howard and Sir Francis Drake. A count of ships captured, disabled and sunk would reveal a tactical draw, but the Spanish Admiral decided to sail around Great Britain rather than fight his way back through the Channel. Bad move. After storms scattered and sank much of the Armada, Spain never could put together enough ships to attempt a second invasion and Spain began to decline steadily thereafter to the point where, in the final years of the 19th Century, we could sink all their ships near Cuba and Luzon with hardly a casualty. Britain went just the opposite way until 1945 when the sun finally began to set on the Empire.



Missing Sea Ice

Here is a graph of the sea ice in the Northern Ocean published today, at least using information from the federal government (the National Snow and Ice Date Center up the road a bit in Boulder, CO). It says there is just below 8 million square kilometers of ice just now. That's worse than the 'average' between 1979 and 2000 but better than last year (which was alarmingly low).

The next graph is from the University of Illinois and it shows only about 5.3 million square kilometers. Where did more than two and a half million kilometers of sea ice go? Notice too that the government had 14.4 at the beginning of April, while the college showed less than 13.4. Both show about a million square kilometer more ice now than at this time last year. Let's see if the satellite photo composite shows that difference.

Yeah, it looks like there is a lot more ice, especially along the northern coast of Siberia. Two months of ice melting northern warmth to go before the sea ice begins to form again in early Autumn.


Monday, July 28, 2008


Thought of the Day

Once you begin trading live terrorists for dead soldiers, what have you done but encouraged your sworn enemies to abduct and murder your soldiers as well as your civilians?

Burt Prelutsky


Saturday, July 26, 2008


Particularly Lame 'Debunking'

A reader from Fredericksburg, VA pointed me to Tim Lambert's so called rebuttal of the David Evans article about the disappearing underpinnings of the Global Warming Climate Change Crisis movement. I wasn't that impressed, but there was one part which was pure bullshit. I thought I'd reproduce it here.

The new ice cores from Vostok in the Antarctic show that over the last 500,000 years the global mean temperature and the concentration of atmospheric CO2 have gone up and gone down as they always do. There is a certain similarity, a synching of their respective graphs but (and it's a Kim Kardassian size, important but) the rise in CO2 followed the rise in temperature. Thus, in the real world of cause in effect, the rise in temperature was not caused by CO2. Rather the rise in CO2 was itself caused by the higher global temperature and the higher temperature was caused by something else (I still nominate the Sun). The rise in CO2 was the effect of warming from another cause.

If I pick up something hot and very shortly thereafter I feel pain, exhibit redness and blisters at the exact point of contact of my skin with the hot object, I say I burned myself, the hot object caused the pain, redness and blisters of a second degree burn. However, if 8 minutes before I pick up the hot object, the pain redness and blisters form, something else caused that (a chemical burn ?) and not the contact with the hot object.

Here's what a Climate Crisis supporter says about the CO2 lagging centuries behind the warming:

He starts with quoting Evans:

4 The new ice cores show that in the past six global warmings over the past half a million years, the temperature rises occurred on average 800 years before the accompanying rise in atmospheric carbon. Which says something important about which was cause and which was effect.

Lambert then writes:
This is wrong. The temperature rises started on average 800 years before CO2 levels rose, but most of the warming occurred after CO2 levels started rising. Jeff Severinghaus writes:

Does this prove that CO2 doesn't cause global warming? The answer is no.

The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data. ...

In other words, CO2 does not initiate the warmings, but acts as an amplifier once they are underway. From model estimates, CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O) causes about half of the full glacial-to-interglacial warming.

Sorry Jeff, the lagging of the CO2 rise by 8 centuries after the warming does indeed prove the CO2 rise didn't cause the warming, something else caused it to warm and then that warming caused the CO2 to rise. That's how real life cause and effect work.

I'll grant you that the warming period lasted longer than 800 years, but by what mechanism is the original warming nullified by the CO2 rise? What causes the original cause to go away and CO2 to take over? Not explained. The source of the warming is not explained. Lambert and Severinghaus merely assert their belief that more CO2 in the atmosphere must cause warming and so the warming caused by other than increased CO2 must be amplified by the resultant CO2 rise. The reasoning is beginning to circle on them.

If you believe, as I do, that CO2 is merely an innocent bystander to natural warming and cooling, then there is no mystery, no reversal of cause and effect to be explained. Only if you believe that a CO2 increase must cause warming, is there a problem about the cause and, here, a half-assed explanation, which really comes down to 'because we say so.' Its worse because their ilk has programmed the climate models, on which they rely for all the crisis talk, to say increased concentration in CO2 will always cause warming, even though there is plenty of science which tells us the climate is not at all sensitive to CO2 concentration. Oh yeah, one of the scientists saying that was David Evans whom Lambert was trying to debunk.

Sorry, no sale.

UPDATE: The UAH and the RSS numbers for global mean temperature use satellites. Why is the GISS, the outlier in this trio, which is associated with NASA (which at least used to deal with satellites) absolutely satellite data free? Is NASA no longer interested in measurement and observation of the planets from space?



This Day in the History of Bad General Appointing

On this day in 1861, Union General George B. McClellan, the Wesley Clark of the Civil War, was put in command of the Army of the Potomac. He helped produce a huge, well trained force, but he never used it well. Had he fought even half as aggressively as Grant, he could have knocked Lee's Army of Northern Virginia out of the fight and captured the Rebel capital in the first year, thus saving nearly half a million American lives.


Friday, July 25, 2008


Snap Prediction

On September 21, 2008, the area of sea ice in the Northern Ocean will be above 4,100,000 square kilometers. Last year at that time, it was just below 3 million.

It will be an important milepost for the 'scientist' who claims all the sea ice will be gone in summer within 5 years, assuming he cares about such mileposts.



This Day in the History of Our Government Saying the Exact Wrong Thing

On this day in 1990, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, met with Saddam Hussein, assuring him, "...we have no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts like your border disagreement with Kuwait."
We certainly know how Saddam took that statement and I'm hard pressed to think of any other reason to say it but to give a green light to his invasion of Kuwait, which had been a separate nation from Iraq for 140 years. Still, it's Saddam's bad for taking the action rather than Glaspie's for saying something so unnecessarily dangerous.

It's a bad thing, however, when you're replaced by lyin' Joe Wilson, and he's an improvement.



Thought of the Day

Judging from the local drive time radio shows, we bitter, religious pistol-packers here in flyover country remembered only two things from Obama's Berlin visit: the phrase 'citizen of the world' and Obama's failure to visit wounded troops at Landstuhl and Ramstein.

Peter Kirsanow


Thursday, July 24, 2008


Thought of the Day

Support our troops. Enlist.

Ralph Peters


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Is YouTube in the Tank for Obama?

First YouTube wouldn't let me post the video on this site. Now YouTube seems to have lost the video. What video, you ask? The one where Obama says this:

In terms of knowing my commitments, you don’t have to just look at my words. You can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.
(Emphasis added).
"...which is my committee..."? Obama is not the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. He's not even on the Banking Committee.

What a liar!

This sort of gaffe/lie would be like death to a Republican running for office. Care to bet if the liberal media will cover this (or provide cover for Obama)?

UPDATE: John Hinderaker at Powerline has the best take on the story so far.



Great News from Iraq

Having cleared nearly all the cities in Iraq of al Qaeda, now elements of the Iraqi Army, 30,000 strong, are set to clear the last provincial stronghold, Diyala Province. How do you say 'Get some!' in Arabic?

How well these guys do in this block and sweep (or hammer and anvil) may determine how soon our guys get to come home in victory. They are backed by other Iraqi units (Police) and by about 10,000 of our guys. I bet the al Qaeda types won't stand, fight and die this time. What's Arabic for 'scurrying away like cockroaches?'

Pretty brave guys to take on an enemy, armed with Russian automatic weapons and RPGs, with only a Glock.

Money quote for the guys in the fight over there:

If successful the assault on Diyala will strengthen Mr. Maliki's hand in negotiations with the US over its troop strength in Iraq. He has announced that the American military should be withdrawn to barracks by 2010.

As its combat role is wound up, American army deployments to Iraq will be reduced

I have to admit that I hope the announced August 1 start date is a head fake and we start right away.



Voting With Their Feet

No one ever seriously thought that President Bush (son) was clever enough to have foreseen that al Qaeda would be drawn into post-Saddam Iraq to be killed in droves by our fine armed forces and our Muslim allies there. The fly-paper effect, as it came to be known, was just an added bonus to our liberation of Iraq through the overthrow of Hitler-lite tyrant Hussein. Looks like this bonus effect is repeating itself in Afghanistan, according to this report.

I can see the thought process: Too hot in Iraq? Move to the cool high mountains of Afghanistan. Meet the eager Marines. (Die in droves).

Money quote:

We have heard reports recently that many of the foreign fighters that were in Iraq have left, either back to their homeland or going to fight in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is now seeming to be more suitable for al-Qaida fighters," said Ambassador Samir Sumaida'ie.

General Petraeus was not quite as sanguine:

They're not going to abandon Iraq. They're not going to write it off. None of that," Petraeus said. "But what they certainly may do is start to provide some of those resources that would have come to Iraq to Pakistan, possibly Afghanistan.

I am nearly giddy with the news. Yes, things could go south under Democratic leadership, but for now, al Qaeda has been nearly defeated in Iraq, what its leaders called the central front, and now some of them are going to die in vain in the strategic cul-de-sac which is Afghanistan. So much for re-establishing the Caliphate.

I never thought we were losing, though for a time I could not say we were winning. Now I know we're winning.

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A Little Shot of Schadenfreude

Net earnings for the despicable, traitorous, totally in the tank for Obama, New York Times fell below the published expectations by about 40%; and in fact earnings fell by 82% from last year at this time. There are certainly chapters left in the lengthy saga of the dowdy old grey lady but it's beginning to look like the story will end in chapter 13.

Nice going, Pinch (or is it Putz? or Paunch? I can't recall). Really well done.



Very Good News Regarding Afghanistan

I have to admit that I'm having trouble following the Democratic 'logic' that the landlocked, non-Arab, non-oil producing strategically insignificant country of Afghanistan is a more important front in the Jihadi War than the front in Iraq, which is the central front according to Zawahiri and bin Laden (the latter said in 2004:
The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation. It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The world's millstone and pillar is in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate.)

But let's take the Democrats at their word and turn our attention from our extraordinary successes in Iraq to the supposedly neglected backwater of Afghanistan. How's it going there?

Pretty well, it seems. More of our soldiers are dying there, more's the pity, but just dead and wounded soldiers makes for a tricky metric--our greatest losses in the Pacific front of WWII came in the last year of the war when victory was pretty much certain. What you always need to do to win a war is to destroy either the willingness or the ability of the enemy (and preferably both) to continue to wage war against you. So, with this in mind, how's it going, really?

Well! We're killing their leaders, capturing their leaders, and causing them to resort to IEDs (generally the tactic of the loser) and car bombs, which kill fellow Afghans, further alienating the populace, which is death to an insurgency movement (just look at Iraq as a recent example).

The British spokesman Lt. Col. Robin Matthews said:

The Taliban's senior leadership structure has suffered a shattering blow. They remain a dangerous enemy, but they increasingly lack strategic direction and their proposition to the Afghan people is proving ultimately negative and self-defeating.

Will our forces take casualties as they cause them in the other side? Of course, but look at the proper metrics and you'll see that we're winning in both Afghanistan and Iraq. All we need to do is to continue doing what we're doing, and the Taliban's and al Qaeda's ability to launch war winning attacks will subside and end, and they will be properly consigned to the ash heap of history where they belong. Only a Democrat as commander and chief can turn such nearly sure victory into defeat.
The photo is of a Canadian APC. Nice, eh?



A Caveat for Green Energy

There are several downside things to production of Green Energy, energy whose production does not create CO2. The best one, nuclear power, produces long lived radioactive remnants. Hydroelectric requires dams and generally the loss of rivers to the man-made lakes behind the dams (and a block to migrating fish). The more popular ones, wind and solar, have their own problems--bird and bat chopping and heavy metal contamination--but the main thing wrong is that the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine, while our need for power is generally constant. So if you want to rely on wind and solar, you also have to have conventional power plants to take up the slack when the wind dies down and the sun goes down or is occluded. And that 'back up' conventional power plant (or plants) has to have the capacity to provide all of the communities' power needs. If this supposition of mine is mistaken, I would love to hear how I'm getting it wrong.

There is a second problem, however, coming from the nimbleness of the conventional 'back up' power plant, or rather the lack of it. A coal fired plant needs about 12 hours to react to increased demand for electrical power. It's not a lot better for nuke plants. (A watched pot never boils). So if you have coal fired plants as your 'back up', they have to be running at a capacity which would provide all of the communities' electrical power needs pretty much all the time. This sad fact reduces the wind mills and solar arrays backed up by coal fired plants to mere trinkets. They make us feel better about the community and its caring about CO2 production, but they reduce the CO2 output very little, if any.

Power plants using natural gas are more nimble and can pump up the power in response to, say, the wind dying down, in a matter of minutes. So, if you really want to reduce CO2 production (although I think that is an absolutely wasted priority) by building thousands of wind mills (as T. Boone Pickens and Al Gore propose) their 'back up' power plants had better be nukes or fueled by natural gas, or you're just fooling yourself.

Over half of the power plants in America are coal fired. Less than a fifth are natural gas. A full fifth are nukes.

Oh yeah, and the popular green energy production is very, very expensive.

So suck it up, poor people; it's the planet we're saving (supposedly).



This Day in the History of Understandable Steps for Justice Gone Wrong

On this day in 1914, Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia following the killing of Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Serb assassin. Things went downhill from there.



Thought of the Day

It's my life and I'll do what I want
It's my mind and I'll think what I want
Show me I'm wrong, hurt me sometime...

Roger Atkins and Carl D'Errico


Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Putting the Stake into Anthropogenic Global Warming

There is one thing shared by all the climate models and projections, relied on by the IPCC, Al Gore and all the rabid Warmies for their dire (and demonstrably false) predictions--that the worst of the warming will be in the troposphere about 10 kilometers up over the tropics. Here is the computer generated heat signature. This pattern is not only common to the predictions; it is key to the predictions.

There's only one thing wrong. It ain't there. The scientists have looked for it with satellites; they have run up weather balloons with transmitting thermometers. There is no such signature, or pattern, there to be detected.

Here's the real heat signature:

So there is something totally wrong with the models, projections and predictions. Namely, that there is no appreciable global warming caused by human generated greenhouse gasses, not in the past, not now, not in the future. As we Deniers dared to predict months ago, anthropogenic Global Warming Climate Change is a huge and ultimately perfidious hoax. Within a year, the sad fact of the hoax will be common knowledge and Al Gore will be ridiculed constantly by the likes of Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart.

Anyone care to bet against me?

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If You Don't Know Who This Guy Is, Take the Time to Learn the Truth

Here's the story behind the picture. Why the Israeli leadership (22 out of 25 ministers voted for it) allowed this guy to go free, with others, for two corpses is a disturbing question and a national shame.

(h/t MASB)

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This Day in the History of Evil

On this day in 1942, the first of nearly 310,000 Jews were sent from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka Extermination Camp, which dispensed with the camouflaging of the gas chambers by showers. The main problem at Treblinka for the Nazis was body disposal. The picture was from 1945 nearly 18 months after the camp was closed, following a revolt by the sonderkommando which burned a lot of the camp buildings.



Thought of the Day

Carbon Doxide is an innocent bystander to natural climate change here.


Saturday, July 19, 2008


Light Blogging Excuse

I'm in the mountains near Aspen. It's like 100 in Denver today. Enough said.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


Just How Thin are the 'Facts' Behind the Torture Slander

Here and here are two stories about the alleged mistreatment of the illegal combatants (Hamden and Omar Khadr) we have captured. One was a tape of a detainee in Gitmo taken secretly through the grating of the air duct. The second was testimony of the alleged bad treatment. And there is no torture---none. NONE. Not even close.

Here is the whole of the 'torture' Omar's mouthpiece describes.

He was deprived of sleep by being removed from his cell and to another cell every three hours on a 24-hour basis for three weeks solid, followed by three weeks of deep solitary confinement," Mr Edney told the BBC.

Oh no, not the deep solitary confinement. Those Nazi thugs!

Here is what he claims about his medical treatment. Doesn't actually add to his credibility.

Mr Khadr says: "No I'm not. You're not here... I lost my eyes. I lost my feet. Everything!" in reference to how his vision and physical health were affected. "No, you still have your eyes and your feet are still at the end of your legs, you know," a man says.

The total lack of anything approaching the routine treatment the Jihadists give those they kidnap doesn't stop the shameless Canadian attorneys from making unethical appeals for release or the seditious lawyers for bin Laden's driver from making groundless and frivolous arguments about compelled testimony. (The well known trick of using a woman to ask the questions. And she gets close to him. And she touched him. Gently.) Can you imagine?

Here is the whole of the reported testimony of the mistreatment in Hamden's hearing:

Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden who is accused in a terrorism conspiracy, told a military court that during questioning in 2002, a female interrogator "came close to me, she came very close, with her whole body towards me. I couldn't do anything. I was afraid of the soldiers."

"Did she touch your thigh?" asked Hamdan's attorney Charles Swift.

"Yes. . . . I said to her, 'What do you want?' " Hamdan said at a pretrial hearing. "She said, 'I want you to answer all of my questions.' "

"Did you answer all of her questions after that?" Swift asked. Hamdan said he did.

Hamdan's attorneys are seeking to persuade a judge to throw out incriminating statements he allegedly made to interrogators at the U.S. military prison here, arguing that they were obtained through coercive tactics.
(Emphasis added, incredulously).

Wait, there's more:

In his testimony, Hamdan said he was repeatedly held in solitary confinement and sometimes deprived of sleep by guards who banged on his cell door every few minutes. He acknowledged, however, that he also took naps of up to three hours on some afternoons.

What pansy asses these terrorists are. I'm beginning to think we can beat these fragile flowers.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The Problem With Predictions Redux

Here is the first prediction for Cycle 24 sunspot numbers on top of the most recent adjustment (which adjustment was made necessary by, well, the lack of predicted sunspots). As you can tell, the angle of the predicted rise in numbers in Cycle 24 is the same, or nearly the same, in both predictions. The absolute numbers is also exactly, almost, the same. This, I believe, is counter to good science. If a cycle is lengthier than the last, there usually is a difference in the next cycle. Why are the predictors betting against the house and good science?

Why are the predictions in this paper from 2006 appearing to be the more likely?

Here is the apologia pro graphia sua from David Hathaway and what a Denier, William Briggs, says about that talking point. You make the call on who makes more sense.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Concert Review--Cowboy Junkies

Went with Kit, and Mark and Amy, and Bob and Jane, and Becky and her sister, Sunday to the Botanic Gardens to see Canadian country/alternative band Cowboy Junkies. It was OK. If you googel ennui and alternative music the first entry to come up is this band. Not a lot of fire in the belly. Margo Timmins (her brothers Peter (drums) and Michael (guitar and songwriting) are most of the rest of the band) has a good voice but there is a bit of soporific sameness to the songs. Common Disaster is pretty good; and two I can't remember off the new studio album, At the End of Paths Taken, were pretty good. They can't even get the words to their big hit, Sweet Jane, right.

Standing on a corner, suitcase in my hand....

Still, it was a good night.



Thought of the Day

I think the consensus people [supporting Global Warming caused primarily by humans] have just run off a cliff like Wile E. Coyote in the Roadrunner cartoons and they're in mid-air with their feet spinning madly while they wait for the earth to smash them to the ground far below.

Dennis Avery


Monday, July 14, 2008


This Day in the History of Improvement in Explosives

On this day in 1867, Alfred Nobel demonstrated dynamite. All Nobel did was make nitroglycerine less unstable by absorbing it with diatomaceous earth and a little sodium carbonate. However, dynamite was a huge improvement on black powder and Nobel made a fortune, some of the interest of which is now handed out as prize money for various categories of achievement.


Sunday, July 13, 2008


The Wisdom of the New York Times, Pt. 2

Former theater critic Frank Rich is so deep into Bush Derangement Syndrome, that he accuses the whole administration of war crimes, namely torture in this prissy, hysterical op ed. He also says that the energetic efforts the administration has taken to defeat Muslim extremists world wide, by taking the fight to them, has actually made us more vulnerable to attack. The logic of that position escapes me, but it is the source of his accusations that we have indeed tortured people which interests me. Here is what he writes regarding the source of that accusation:

Antonio Taguba, the retired major general who investigated detainee abuse for the Army, concluded that “there is no longer any doubt” that “war crimes were committed.” Ms. Mayer uncovered another damning verdict: Red Cross investigators flatly told the C.I.A. last year that America was practicing torture and vulnerable to war-crimes charges.

And there are links! Followed, the first one reveal some interesting things: Here is the principal source for the general's findings, a report from Physicians for Human Rights:

The physicians' group said that its experts, who had experience studying torture's effects, spent two days with each former captive and conducted intensive exams and interviews. They administered tests to detect exaggeration. In two of the 11 cases, the group was able to review medical records.

Oh, so the source was a small sample of released detainees, interviewed long after their release, and an even smaller sample of medical records and we can only guess what they contained.

The second link reveals this:

Ms. Mayer acknowledges that Red Cross investigators based their account largely on interviews with the prisoners

Notwithstanding the problems with these sources, we know that what the left considers torture by us is merely the soft foreplay of the real torture the Jihadists actually use (to the silence of the lefty journalists).

We know too that the training manual of al Qaeda (the Manchester document) tells the captured to accuse falsely their captors of torture at ever turn. So the primary and nearly exclusive source of those accusing us of torture are those who are trained to lie.

Has any American 'torturer' confessed? Has any so called torture been captured on film? Is there an unimpeachable source to these 'findings'? Or is it all based on the words of the Jihadists, schooled to lie?

Just as they see torture in the slightest action of our guys while remaining blind to the electric drill work, et al ., of the enemy, the left is eager to believe the lying Jihadists and accuse our guys of lying.

Rich, as usual, is completely full of it. When we actually fight back against those who wage war against us, we defeat them and world wide terrorists activity drops. When we treat it like crime and prosecute the few we catch after their attack on us, the al Qaeda types proliferate.

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The Wisdom of the New York Times, Pt. 1

Here is the lengthy editorial last year (July 8, 2007) by the failing, traitorous New York Times declaring defeat in Iraq and calling for swift, complete withdrawal (retreat) damn the consequences. This was (is? who knows?) Obama's position as well. No one in authority listened to them, thank God, and instead we have lower violence levels, functional defeat, but not eradication, yet, of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, functional disbanding of the most violent militias and completion of 15 of the 18 benchmarks (16 if you recognize that the sharing of oil revenue is being accomplished through the budget) set by Congress.

Incredibly telling is this tidbit.

Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs. Perhaps most important, the invasion has created a new stronghold from which terrorist activity could proliferate.

The administration, the Democratic-controlled Congress, the United Nations and America’s allies must try to mitigate those outcomes — and they may fail. But Americans must be equally honest about the fact that keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse.

Keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse?

As predictions go, it is difficult to imagine one more wrong.


Saturday, July 12, 2008


When Your Memory Does Not Jive With History

I liked the Talking Heads song, Life During Wartime, a lot when it came out. I was in law school at the time. We used to sing a few lines of it with modest changes. Original--"Why stay in college? Why go to night school? Gonna be different this time?" We'd sing:

Why stay in college? Why go to law school? etc.
Such was the mad cap, non-stop wackiness that made up my life at the time. But here's the weird part--what I remember of some other lines in the song.

Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
You ought to know not to stand by the window,
Somebody blow you away.

See how that scans and rhymes? 'PA' and 'away'? Excellent.

Here are the real lyrics:

Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh PA?
You ought to know not to stand by the window,
Somebody might see you up there.

Now it doesn't scan; and do 'PA' and 'there' rhyme? Do they even make a sight rhyme. NO. They don't. Neither one. Nearly all the rest of the verses rhyme (some are merely close). Why not this one?

And why do I have a different memory than the recording? It's either a world wide conspiracy or I have a faulty memory (albeit a better rhyming, cutting edge one). Neither alternative is that satisfying to me.

Just thought I'd get that off my chest.

This ain't no party; this ain't no disco; this ain't no fooling around. This ain't no mudd club, or C. B. G. B. I ain't got time for that now.

Life during wartime indeed.



Sea Ice in Northern Ocean Goes Psychadelic

I don't know what it means but here is the false color version of the satellite images of the Northern Ocean over at the Cryosphere Today yesterday. Groovy!

Actually, the trend is good in some areas, like the Arctic Basin, and bad in others, like the Beaufort Sea. We're still way above the extent of the sea ice melt last year at this time. The Warmies made a big deal about the North-West Passage between the islands of the Canadian Archipelago being open sea last summer. They said, falsely, this was the first time ever the passage had been navigable. Ha!

Well, this year, the passage is blocked by plenty of sea ice and that ice has actually increased in area in the past three weeks. So not actually global warming.



The Real Iranian Missile Testing

Some people doubt the fauxtography from Iran recently. Others doubted there was testing of any new missiles at all.
But who are you going to believe--them or your truth detecting eyes?



Well This Just Sucks

Good guy journalist, radio and TV commentator, and onetime White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has died from his colon cancer. Man, I'm going to be sad all day. He leaves behind a wife and young kids, I believe. He was two years younger than I am. My colonoscopy at 50 was unremarkable. He woke from his to have an informed consent for major surgery shoved in his face. The medieval idea of a wheel of chance outside the rose window sounds about right now. RIP.



This Day in the Recurrence of Hatred

On this day in 1290, Jews were expelled from England by order of King Edward I, Longshanks, (left--looking like a 60s rock drummer) the conqueror of Wales and most of Scotland, the bad guy in Braveheart. The Jews in England had been made to wear an identifying badge for over a decade before this banishment and confiscation of nearly all their property. At least the British didn't put them in camps and murder them all. That took a continental frame of mind. The Jews weren't allowed back in until late in the 17th Century. Many other nations followed the British model.
The nation of Israel exists as expiation for over 2 millennia of Roman, Christian and Muslim sins against the Jews. Never again.


Friday, July 11, 2008


This Day in the History of Close Calls

On this day in 1978, a truck full of liquid natural gas crashed in the sunny, German tourist filled town of San Carlos de la Rapita, Spain, on the Mediterranean coast about halfway between Barcelona and Valencia. By chance, I stayed a night just off the beach in that town very near the crash site in August, 1972. I have an excellent story from that night which I will soon tell if I haven't already. The story from 1978 is not as happy. There were about 800 people below the highway and everyone was standing around in bathing suits when the truck came down the hill after the crash and exploded. The liquid gas evaporated explosively and ignited and 215 were burned to death with hundreds of others horribly burned.

Whew, not exactly close, but a terrible fate avoided. That counts, I think.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008


The Problem With Predictions

Sooner, or later, your prediction of the future is going to be compared to the present. Here is an original prediction and (above) the revised prediction of Solar Cycle 24 Sunspot Predictions. The first comes from October 2005 (sorry for the lousy resolution), not quite 3 years ago. It says that there should have been 60 Cycle 24 sunspots by now. There has been only one. Even earlier, the scientists were predicting a very active Cycle 24. And it could still happen, however, as you can see from the most recent NCAR graph, the scientists predicting just 1/50th of a century into the future, have had to revise the predictions seriously. We deniers of the validity of dire predictions of Global Warming Climate Change over the 21st Century (caused primarily by anthropogenic greenhouse gasses) take some solace from the fact that the predictors of the sun's 'weather' can't get it right mere months after their initial predictions. I predict the climate speculators will be equally inept.

Anyone care to predict I will be wrong?

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Happy Happy Joy Joy

The publicly traded stock of the traitorous, despicable New York Times hit a 10 year low and is expected to go even lower in the next year or so. Must be some kind of right wing plot.
The stock sank 7 percent, or $1.05, to $14.01 yesterday, near its lowest point in 10 years and 77 percent off its 52-week high of $24.76.

The drubbing came after Lehman Brothers analyst Craig Huber slammed the Times' shares for being too expensive, compared with Gannett and McClatchy.

Huber also ratcheted down his previous price target to $8 a share from $12 a share, due to the industry having deteriorated faster than he earlier predicted, adding, "We think the shares have significant further downside risk over the next year as the stock is the most expensive in the [newspaper] group, plus Street estimates remain way too high in our opinion."

He urges the company, which is run by CEO Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr., to cut its dividend, claiming it should utilize the money to pare down the company's $1.05 billion debt.
Schadenfreude is over-rated, but then again Karma is a black hearted one.



This Day in the History of Americans Fighting for the Freedom of Others

On this day in 1943, Operation Husky began as U.S. and U.K. forces invaded Sicily. I have a lot of problems with how the war in Italy was fought. We should have done an Inchon type end around in September, 1943 on the Adriatic coast south of Venice and trapped some of Germany's better combat units in the boot. (I know about Anzio). As it was, we started at the bottom and wasted thousands of lives allowing the Germans to wage an effective fighting retreat for 22 months. The war ended before we got to the Brenner Pass to Austria.

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Thought of the Day

ubi jus incertum ubi jus nullum

Where the law is uncertain, there is no law.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008


This Day in the History of Evil

On this day in 1934 (one year into the Hitler dictatorship) Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler was given the duty to administer the concentration camp system which would become one of the infamous hallmarks of the 12 year NAZI regime.



Thought of the Day

quid nos dura refugimus aetas quid intactum nefasti liquimus


What have we, a hard generation, shirked? What have we, wickedly, left inviolate?


Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Well Not Exactly Global

Since we are in (deeply in) one of the 20 or so interglaciations which have occurred regularly over the last couple of million years, and coming out of a mini ice age (which followed the Maunder and Dalton Minimums), it is not surprising that the glaciers which covered all of Canada and a lot of the Rocky Mountains (and New York City) just 12,000 years ago, are continuing to shrink. Nor is it any evidence of Global Warming Climate Change caused primarily from anthropogenic greenhouse gasses (mainly CO2). A rooster may make a lot of noise just before the sun rises (or seems to) each morning, but that doesn't mean the rooster causes the sunrise.

Just so, there are indeed higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 over the last century and almost certainly warming of just over a degree and a half F during that same period, but that doesn't mean CO2 is causing the warming (although only a fool would deny that it contributes some little bit). The Vostok ice core record indicates that CO2 follows a rise in temperature over the last 400,000 years. No reason to believe it isn't the same now.

Because the climate and daily weather are more complex than we can yet begin to understand, we can barely predict what the weather will be like a month from now. Evidence of this complexity is the fact that, despite the warming, all the glaciers on Mount Shasta in Northern California have been growing. Who predicted that 20 years ago? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

No one is the true answer.



The Silence of the Lambs

Remember just a few months ago, when the United States forces were kicking ass in the first part of the surge change in tactics in Iraq, and it became harder and harder to deny that reality, so the Democrats switched from denial to "well, we always said our armed forces would do well (lie), but the surge has failed because the government of Iraq has failed to meet the bulk of the 18 benchmarks?" It was in all the papers. Obama said it. Need I cite more?

Well, now the Iraqi government has met 15 of the 18 benchmarks (and the oil revenue sharing is actually being met by the budget rather than by separate legislation). Porcine, serial military defamer Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) still thinks its only 4 or 5 out of 17. What a buffoon. Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) doubts the report (a Progress Denier).

We're not hearing a lot about the surge's failure due to lack of benchmarks met now, are we? Not hearing much about the gigantic success in Iraq lately, come to think of it. Was the press silent about our victories on Iwo Jima and, ultimately, in the Bulge? Silent in the months before VE and VJ day?

Hmmm? Wonder what's up with that?

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Not So Fast There, Mr. Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh just resigned with his bosses for the Sun the Moon and all the Stars ($400,000,000 through 2016) and he was talking today about what he could do with the money. He noted that he could purchase his beloved Pittsburg Steelers, for about a bil.

Sorry, Rush, my old friend and roomie senior year, Stanley Druckenmiller ($3.5 bil) is the likely buyer. He can pay cash for the team.



More on the Yellowcake Out of Iraq

Here is the AP story on the subject. Of course it was unused stuff at the Tuwaitha nuclear site, but a lot of it. Here are some pertinent questions.

And why was it unused? Because the Israelis, bless 'em, had the foresight and moxie to bomb the reactor before it was up and running.

Well if there were 550 metric tons of it in Iraq since 1982, why would Iraq have needed to purchase more from Niger? Because Saddam wanted yellowcake that was not discovered and catalogued with which to be able to ramp up his nuclear program clandestinely.

I'll let the next question be asked by others.

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This Day in the History of Psychotic Nations Being Defeated

On this day in 371 B.C., at the Battle of Leuctra the soldiers of Thebes defeated the soldiers of Sparta. The Spartans had won but been weakened by the Peloponessian War which had ended in 404 B.C. Called the Lacedaemonians in Greece, this loss consigned them to the inevitable ash heap of history. Sic transit...



Thought of the Day

quieta movere magna merces videbantur


To stir things up seemed a great its own reward.


Monday, July 07, 2008


Report on the Climate

The sea ice in the Southern Ocean, around Antarctica, is about 800,000 square kilometers above normal, about 500,000 above where it was this time last year (and last year was a record high for Antarctic sea ice). In the Northern Ocean, the sea ice is about 1,200,000 square kilometers below normal. But just in the sea inside the Arctic circle, the sea ice is about 800,000 below normal, but it is about 800,000 above where it was at this time last year (and last year was a record low for Summer Arctic sea ice). So things were melting far faster in the Northern Ocean last year at this time. I'd bet against all the Northern sea ice melting this year (or any year in this century), but it's a tougher call about the area right around the North Pole. There is a lot of evidence that sea volcanoes in the Northern Ocean certainly contributed to the alarming sea ice melt last summer. The Northern Passage is blocked by lots of sea ice.

The reliable satellite measurements (averaged) have the mean global temperature about .04 degrees Celsius below normal (so the Earth is not actually warming that much lately).

For the future, recurring sea/weather patterns indicate global cooling should take place over the next 8 to ten years. As far as the Sun is concerned, everything is very quiet. The flux density number has been in the mid upper 60s for months now (64 is as low as it goes) and there have been only a handful of tiny, last cycle sunspots, which last mere hours, since January and the sun is clear now.

The mean ocean level has risen 20cm since 1884. That's half a foot per century, not an alarming rate to me.



This Day in the History of Evil Beginnings

On this day in 1937, WWII (Pacific Theater) began with the incident at the Marco Polo Bridge in China. We always think it began December 7, 1941, but just as WWII (European Theater) began September 1, 1939, so too the war everywhere was going strong before 12/7/41 and our entry therein. Some people call the initial incident the Battle of Lugou Bridge.

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Thought of the Day

regibus boni quam mali usupectiores sunt semperque his aliena virtus formidolosa est


The good are more suspected by kings than the bad and virtue in others is to them always a source of worry.


Sunday, July 06, 2008


The Persistence of Lies

The one thing about lefty journalists (sorry for the redundancy), including Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes, is that they're not afraid to repeat lies even when the lies they are repeating have been shown to be lies. It really is amazing. In this belligerent, belittling interview with good guy Douglas Feith, Kroft says:

One of the reasons people were told we were going to war in Iraq was because of the imminent attack with weapons of mass destruction was about to happen.

Feith says no one said that [an attack from Iraq was imminent] and Kroft quotes three people, Rumsfeld, President Bush and Vice-President Cheney and no one uses the word "imminent." Rumsfeld says that of all the nations harboring terrorist, the threat from Iraq is the greatest and "more immediate" but that's a comparison with others, not a straight statement that Iraq is about to attack us.

So, with all the researchers and film at their fingertips, and the set up of Kroft lying about what the administration said, and Feith denying it--here was the opportunity to make Feith look the fool and point out that the administration indeed said an attack from Iraq on America or Americans was imminent.

And they produce no such clip.

That's because there is no such clip.

There is this rather famous bit from the 2003 State of the Union address:

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

Kroft didn't play that.

The next time some Democrat/socialist/moderate/anarcho-syndicalist says that the administration lied to say that an attack by Saddam was imminent (or that they used some sort of Jedi mind trick to fool some into thinking that) call them a liar, because they are.

Oh, and about the "wide" debunking of the Czech report that leader of the 9/11 attack, Mohamed Atta, met just before the attack with Iraqi officials in Prague, who debunked it widely, the CIA? The FBI? No way they could ever be wrong about anything. No freakin' way. That's crazy talk.

When you're as wrong as Kroft is on the facts, it really doesn't suit you to be smug as well.



Great News from Iraq

Not the paper most supportive of our efforts to win the war against Muslim extremists (the Long or Jihadi War), the London Times now reports on efforts to drive al Qaeda in Iraq (AQM) from Iraq, and the battle in the final city AQM is to be driven from, Mosul, in the north. And they write the story as if it was already won. And, guess what? It already is won, both in Baghdad and in Mosul.

Here's my favorite quote:

Nevertheless, the speed of Al-Qaeda’s decline in Iraq – not only in the north but throughout the country – has taken many military strategists and observers by surprise.

Many, but not all.

Oh and the yellowcake (semi refined uranium ore) of which many liberals, including lying Joe Wilson were blissfully unaware, about 550 metric tons of it, have been removed from Iraq and is safely in Canada now. That's like a million pounds. Wait, no, it's more than a million pounds of it.

No doubt we would have been better off to leave Saddam to his hobbies. No harm could ever have come of it. I mean there must be hundreds of peaceful applications for uranium. Hundreds.

The photo is from a four hour fight in Mosul, February 12, 2005.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Friday Movie Review (quite early)

Just got back from Hancock which was not at all crowded (that's not so good) and I have to give this warning:


It's not that bad a movie, but the director, Peter Berg, (whom I quite like as an actor) dispensed with the steadicam and filmed a jerky, nausea inducing flick. Not good.

Will Smith was really quite adequate to the role, not at all like the Fresh Prince all grown up (which, face it, he has been from time to time in his work of the recent past).

And for a while it was quite enjoyable, until the big unmentionable plot twist came and the movie went right to hell. Express. Or maybe that was when the nausea kicked in. Either way, it couldn't have ended too quickly for me. I guess I wait for the Hellboy sequel now. The new Batman movie might be OK.



Report on the American War Dead in Afghanistan and Iraq

The news is interesting rather than good. A total of 56 American servicemen died in Iraq and Afghanistan last month, according to Department of Defense news releases. For the first time ever, more died in Afghanistan (31) than in Iraq (25). The Iraq numbers were up slightly over May, but were still half of that in the months this year before May. The numbers are up in Afghanistan because we're taking the fight to the Taliban and the Taliban has switched to the effective, but not actually brave, tactic of the IED. Here's the further breakdowns.

In Iraq, 11 servicemen died from IEDs. That's low but not low enough. Four were killed by small arms and two in combat operations. That doesn't indicate a lot of stand up combat. Five died from non combat or non hostile causes. Two were killed in a bomb blast (no other information given) and one died but there was no further information given.

In Afghanistan, 11 also were killed by IEDs and 12 were killed in combat operations. Two were killed in a rocket attack, one was killed by a land mine and five were killed by vehicle accidents. No one with a female Christian name died. However, it was a tough month for officers with 7 killed, mainly in action. The officers lost were: Major Dwayne M. Kelley, 48, from Willingboro, NJ; Captain Eric Daniel Terhune, 34, from Lexington, KY; Major Scott Hagerty, 41, from Stillwater, OK; Lt. Col. James Watson, 41, from Rockville, MD; Captain Gregory T. Dalessio, 30, Cherry Hill. NJ; Lt. Col. Max A. Galeai, 42, Pango Pango, Samoa; and, Captain Philip J. Dykeman, 38 of Brockport, NY.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our brave warriors and their families.



Christopher Hitchens Proves the Whiney Bitch We Always Thought He'd Be

Christopher Hitchens, Brit ex-pat, Trotskyite writer for all lefty, all the time, Vanity Fair has a piece in the next issue where he describes undergoing waterboarding, the Viet Nam era variety, wet cloth over the face. And he didn't like it much. But as usual he is all over the place. Compare these two statements:

When contrasted to actual torture, waterboarding is more like foreplay.

...if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.

I'm sticking with my earlier pronouncement--waterboarding for 30 seconds, not torture; waterboarding for 30 minutes, torture. Something tells me Diomedes is on (water)board with that distinction a well

Here is the key sentence to take away from Mr. Hitchens:

One used to be told—and surely with truth—that the lethal fanatics of al-Qaeda were schooled to lie, and instructed to claim that they had been tortured and maltreated whether they had been tortured and maltreated or not.

Look in the photo how little water was used. And then read again what a fuss he makes about it. Wuss doesn't begin to cover it. I am sure, however, that I'd do no better and indeed would do worse if they locked me in a tight place. Do that to Julia.
UPDATE: You can go here for a video of it. By my reckoning, they used about two cups of water (they had prepared two gallons) and Chris Hitchens lasted about 6 seconds. So waterboarding must be like Pauley Shore, freakin' awful, but innocuous.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008


This Day in the History of Good Beginnings

On this day in 1863, the first elements of the Army of Northern Virginia, coming from the north, met the first elements of the Army of Potomac, coming from the south, as both entered the hamlet of Gettysburg, PA. Although Lee's troop drove the Yankees out of Gettysburg, on the next day Lee failed to turn the Union Army's flanks at Culp's Hill or at Little Round Top, and on the third day should have stopped a doomed frontal assault and retreated to more defensible areas in Maryland. He didn't, and the war took a big turn for the worse for the South.



Thought of the Day

quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo?


By what knot will I hold this shape shifting Proteus?



Stalinist James Hansen's Prediction Abilities

Here is a pdf version of the speech Dr. Hansen gave 20 years ago, which speech is credited with jump starting the anthropogenic CO2 caused Global Warming Climate Change crisis. If you go there, scroll down to the final page (10) and look at the chart he presented to predict the next 30 years. Now, compare that to the RSS for the past 28. Not even close.

Hansen's prediction is closer to the GISS record , but as Anthony Watt and others have been showing, someone is cooking the books at GISS and it is not reliable.

Now, when someone tells you that his knowledge and study causes him to believe a certain thing will happen in the future and then when the future becomes the now, what the person said would happen, didn't, in fact, well, happen; do you continue to blindly believe that person or do you begin to take what he says cum grano salis? The question answers itself except for those who have adopted Climate Change (from anthropogenic CO2) as a personal religion. There certainly are plenty of them.


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