November 25, 2010

The Truth Shall Set You Free; a Thanksgiving Narrative

"Every form has its own meaning. Every man creates his meaning and form and goal. Why is it so important--what others have done? Why does it become sacred by the mere fact of not being your own? Why is anyone and everyone right--so long as it's not yourself? Why does the number of those others take the place of truth? Why is truth made a mere matter of arithmetic--and only of addition at that? Why is everything twisted out of all sense to fit everything else? There must be some reason. I don't know. I've never known it. I'd like to understand."

Howard Roark in The Fountainhead  by Ayn Rand

What was once called the objective world is a sort of Rorschach ink blot, into which each culture, each system of science and religion, each type of personality, reads a meaning only remotely derived from the shape and color of the blot itself.  

Lewis Mumford, "Orientation to Life," The Conduct of Life, 1951

When Pontius Pilate, Roman governor of Judea, tried Jesus of Nazareth, he famously asked Jesus "What is truth?" Pilate was speaking the oldest of all human questions, one absolutely fundamental to the human condition; Adam and Eve, the Biblical prototypes for Humanity, sought that very answer, and disobeyed God by eating not just any apple, but an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. THEY wanted an answer, and in seeking one outside of the Almighty they reaped a most bitter harvest. Anthropology, too suggests that the earliest of Men have sought answers to the nature of reality, and why it is such an unpleasant thing. Religions have been birthed and died, whole civilizations have risen and fallen over that fundamental question. Paleolithic and Neolithic peoples have sought not just the answer, but an answer favorable to themselves, and religion, that creation of the human mind (as opposed to revelation from God) has sought to manipulate Truth. We call this magic, and magic has walked hand in hand with Mankind in their quest for a pleasing answer to this question. Most religions have some sort of magical thinking, and this thinking goes back to the first attempt at magic by our original sires.

This is no idol question; the great civilizations were largely born of this, this desire to not just know the truth, but rather to manipulate it. Egypt, Canaan, many of the ancient civilizations worshipped gods who were somehow manipulated into giving fertility to the ground, the rivers, the sky. How many cults of fertility have there been?  How many supernatural belief systems that not only pretended to answer "what is truth?" but have sought to manipulate it?  

Even today, we have scientism which seeks to reduce reality to a core of materiality, because we have found we can manipulate the material. It frightens many to think that there may be a reality outside of our control.  That is at the root of Marxism, the belief that Man can reshape himself to create a paradise. It is in the Environmentalism of modern America. It is at the heart of all Liberalism.

And much modern science has buttressed this; the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Physics which says that all reality is dependent on our observation of it, for example. Liberals have brought this into mainstream thinking, causing many to doubt the evidence of their senses and, indeed, of their natural understanding. Alienation, which is blamed by many on the Left on capitalism and industrial society, is the result of this refusal to accept reality as real. It is the same tired belief system held by shamans and pagan priests; magic can transmute reality.

The quote from Ayn Rand is illustrative; Rand was an atheist and the mother of Libertarianism, and her refusal to believe in God gave her a vision of a mutable world, of a reality that can be molded to suit.

And it is this vision that lies at the heart of what is wrong with Mankind: Mankind is horrible lacking in gratitude.

Everyone has at some point received a gift that he hasn't liked. It happens all the time.  Now, as we grow older we shrug it off and politely thank the giver, suggesting that we like what we have received and expressing appreciation. We frequently send the gift to someone else, just to be rid of it, or we chuck it in the basement and forget about it. Sometimes we find it ten years later and realize that it really was a terrific gift after all!  

That is the essence of what Mankind has done with reality; we had a fine gift which we have simply refused to accept because it wasn't what we ourselves would have made.  Many of us spend our lives trying to be as God, to create our own reality, rejecting the reality that has been given to us.

And the result has been alienation and madness. Liberals continue with the same policies that have not ever worked, hoping for a different result. Libertarians are better grounded in reality, but they, too, eventually come up with crazy ideas - like a world without borders, a demilitarized world, etc. In the end, wishful thinking becomes the norm with those who are incapable of accepting that, yes, there is a concrete reality, and we must work with it.

That reality is a harsh thing to those who do not accept anything beyond that which can be touched, tasted, heard, felt, or smelled, and the desire to do magic is always going to return to a Fallen Man. There is no cause, none whatsoever, to be thankful for reality if one does not believe in God. It is a cruel, unavoidable pit of despair, impersonal and cold. Our existence is a horrible joke, because we spontaneously generated and will spontaneously disappear for eternity. Our moment on this accidental rock is not the product of either good or ill, but merely is, and so there are two directions to be taken; either believe in it and despair or refuse to believe in it and hope to change things. But changing things must start with a grounding in reality, and if one refuses to believe in reality...

So the general condition of Man - and this means not just liberals but also those who do not hold any real Faith but are grounded in materialism of any sort, is one of magical thinking.

Magical thinking is, ultimately, an insult to God and the reality He created.

That is the point of Thanksgiving; the Pilgrims had to accept the difficulties they endured, but they could also understand what Divine Providence had provided for them, and were thankful for it.  They prospered as a result.

Can you imagine what would have happened to a group of modern liberals had they undertaken something similar?  They would simply have refused to believe that they were starving to death and would have starved. Only a people grateful for what is given could have made it, and one cannot be grateful if one resists the reality which has been provided in the first place.

That is ultimately the problem with our country, our Western Civilization, and our World in general. We are an ungrateful generation, one who has rejected the gifts given to us because we want something we think is better. But good parents do not give children what they want all the time; does a mother give a nine year old a gun because he wants one?  

In point of fact, this is why the Israelites were given the First Commandment; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me. Ingratitude is akin to idolatry, because it places the desires of the ungrateful above the Will of God. The ungrateful refuses to believe in reality, and seeks some idol that he believes he can manipulate.

So, on this Thanksgiving Day, let us remember that we are not gods ourselves, and that we should be thankful for all we have been given, even if it is something we do not think we want. It is better to face reality for what it is - and benefit from that which God has provided for us in His infinite wisdom - than to live a lie, to pretend the world is something we can remake if we choose to believe in what is not real. Dorothy left Oz in that way; but her leaving Oz was a return to reality, not a flight from it. She believed the truth in the end.

And so should we.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Mayflower Compact

Timothy Birdnow


In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are under-written, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November [New Style, November 21], in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Dom. 1620.

Signing the Mayflower Compact by Edward Percy Moran

compact.JPG (50459 bytes)
John Carver
William Bradford
Edward Winslow
William Brewster
Isaac Allerton
Miles Standish
John Alden
Samuel Fuller
Christopher Martin
William Mullins     
William White
James Chilton
John Craxton
John Billington
Richard Warren
John Howland
Steven Hopkins
Edward Tilly
John Tilly
Francis Cook     
Thomas Rogers
Thomas Tinker
John Rigdale
Edward Fuller
John Turner
Francis Eaton
Moses Fletcher
Digery Priest
Thomas Williams
Gilbert Winslow     
Edmond Margeson
Peter Brown
Richard Bitteridge
Richard Clark
Richard Gardiner
John Allerton
Thomas English
Edward Doten
Edward Liester
John Goodman
George Soule

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Earmarks and Term Limits

Steve Rankin
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Sidney Salter wrote about U. S. senator Roger Wicker's support of a two-year moratorium on congressional earmarks. Sidney compared this support to Wicker's endorsement of the House Republican candidates' 1994 Contract with America.

"... Republicans who are truly concerned about angering the Tea Party crowd might do well to review the last time they made promises to the voters and failed to keep them. Back in 1994, Wicker the candidate signed the ten-point 'Contract With America' — which promised to bring term limits to Congress. ... .
Yet Wicker the congressman never voted in favor of term limits.

"... Wicker got away with his rather blatant 1994 'Contract With America' flip-flop on term limits..."

The big majority of the Republican House candidates, including Wicker, signed the Contract with America in the fall of 1994. In doing so, they promised to bring each of the ten pieces of the Contract to a vote-- but not necessarily to passage-- on the House floor during the first 100 days of the new Congress. The first GOP House majority in 40 years, the Republicans kept this promise. While they had not pledged passage of the ten parts of the Contract, they did indeed pass nine of the ten parts-- all but term limits. Despite getting a simple majority (227 to 204), the term limits proposal did not receive the two-thirds vote necessary for a constitutional amendment.

Thus, since Congressman Wicker never pledged to vote for term limits, he did not "flip-flop" on that issue (the House Republicans voted for term limits, 189 to 40, whereas the Democrats voted against the measure, 163 to 38).[1]

If the term limits amendment had indeed gotten the required two-thirds vote in the House, it would then have also had to get a two-thirds majority in the Senate before being sent to the states for ratification.

In the end, President Bill Clinton signed seven of the ten pieces of the Contract with America into law.


[1] The independent Bernie Sanders, then Vermont's lone congressman, also voted against term limits. Sanders, an avowed socialist, is, of course, now a U. S. senator. He caucuses with the Democrats, where I'm sure he feels right at home.
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Update on the Minnesota Governor's Recount

Dana Mathewson

Just to keep you in the picture.  I'd say it's time to throw out the whole Minnesota Supreme Court.



Recount Update - November 23


As you know, Minnesota State law requires us to go through the process of a manual statewide recount because the difference between votes for Tom Emmer and votes for Mark Dayton is less than one half of one percent.  Last week, Emmer for Governor filed a petition, within the legal framework of the canvassing process and the recount, seeking the Minnesota Supreme Court’s assurance that the number of votes counted matches the number of voters as required by state law (Minn. Stat. § 204C.20). We had hoped that the next governor could be seated on January 3 with an outcome that has followed the letter of the law.

However, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied the petition to ensure that reconciliation has occurred in each of Minnesota’s 4,136 precincts as required by Minnesota law.  The petition was filed after receiving several reports from election judges who prepared or observed preparation of summary statements for their precinct and did not witness election judges count the names of individuals signing the polling roster or the names of individuals who registered to vote on Election Day. This is a clear violation of the law.  In fact, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s own election judge guide acknowledges this legal requirement and says:

While the law cannot be clearer, Tom Emmer’s request to uphold the law was denied within a few hours of the Supreme Court hearing without an explanation.  With their decision yesterday to deny the request that the number of voters be reconciled with the number of votes before the beginning of the legislatively mandated recount, the court has now increased the likelihood of an election contest.  The decision yesterday creates the real potential, if not addressed in an election contest, that the votes of lawful Minnesota voters will be illegally diluted by the inclusion of unlawful ballots in the vote count.

We are in the process of investigating several reports of excessive vouching, absentee ballot voting issues, widespread machine malfunction and military ballot issues, not to mention the nearly 400,000 vote error that was made when Hennepin County reported vote totals on Election Night.  We are prepared to be very aggressive once the legislatively mandated recount starts on Monday, November 29.  We also fully expect hostility from election officials and DFL challengers at the recount sites.

What we need now is your support.  We are so grateful for all of your efforts this election cycle, but this is not over.  We need your help to ensure election integrity for Minnesota during this recount.  Please consider contributing today.  You can donate online by clicking here.


 Tony Sutton


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November 24, 2010

Stealth President?

Dana Mathewson

I've read stuff similar to this before, in various places.  But never on a site as, well, respected as this one (at least, in my eyes):

FTA: I cannot use names, but an exceedingly well informed source told me that he was in discussion with a formerly high official of Columbia University, circa early 80s, and the subject turned to Barack Obama, class of '83.  The Columbia man told this source, approximate quote, "Nothing at that time went through the Political Science Department without my knowing about it, and I never heard of Barack Obama."

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Will NOW have a Take Our Daughters to the Airport Day?

Jack Kemp
In 1993, the “Take Our Daughters To Work program was founded by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women...”  It is now called “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”
So where is Gloria Steinem and NOW when so many young children, female and male,  have been harassed at the nation’s airports? Why isn’t Steinem standing up for the rights of females? We know the answer. As Tammy Bruce found out years ago, NOW is the handmaiden of the Democratic Party that only takes up causes that support the party’s positions.

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About Dragons

Brian Birdnow has a terrific analysis of the rising Chinese dragon at Townhall:

From the article:

"Two separate news reports this week heralded, once again, the arrival of China as a major player on the world stage. These reports should serve as an official corrective to those optimists who insist that China’s emergence as a colossus is a force for good in the world. First of all, a security report delivered the startling news that a Chinese missile strike could destroy five of the six American air bases in East Asia with minimal risk to themselves. In addition, China’s feverish build-up of her surface fleet, bombers, rockets, and submarines has paid off in the sense that she can threaten American naval forces as far east as Guam.

The second disquieting news report came from Beijing itself, where, according to the New York Times, “…China, emboldened by its rising economic might…appears determined to confront the West…and to mobilize China’s citizens against what it views as an assault on its political system.” What the Times is referring to is the stark communist Chinese warning to the world that the Nobel Committee’s decision to award the Peace Prize to noted Sino dissident Liu Xiabo is a slap in China’s face, and, if carried out, will result in extreme Chinese displeasure. The news clips concerning Chinese military capabilities and her intense touchiness about “internal affairs” has puzzled many supposedly deep thinkers who assured us that the Chinese leaders were all jolly good fellows, who wanted cordial relations with America and the West. It now appears clear to these former optimists that containing China may be to the Twenty-First Century what containing the Soviet Union was to the period 1945-1990.

A closer look, however, at Sino-American relations over the last forty years reveals a clear pattern of aggressive and provocative Chinese behavior as the pitiful, wallowing giant of East Asia grew stronger and richer..."

Read the entire piece!

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The Democrats' 'Hail Sarah' Pass

Jack Kemp

This past weekend, we were treated to Robert Reich, a very leftist Democrat, saying nice things about Sarah Palin on ABC's
"This Week," calling her a legitimate candidate for the Presidency. Other Democrats, such as Donna Brazile, parroted  this
statement on the same show and other Democrats have echoed this party line.  The New York Times has a Sunday Magazine cover story on Sarah Palin. The Los Angeles Times,0,1455706.story  now has an article speculating on  Sarah Palin's chances.

For the Democrats, it's now All Palin, All the Time. What is going on? Why are Democrats so interested in Sarah Palin?

I believe the answer is based, in significant part, on Obama's low polls and his need for a "Hail Mary" (or a "Hail Sarah") Pass,
a gamble that could get him reelected. Robert  Reich is not lying when he says Palin is a serious candidate, and he knows she
could win against Obama. But, in my opinion, he and the other Democrats believe that Obama would have much more trouble
winning against a classic conventional male experienced candidate such as former Gov. Romney, Gov. Pawlenty of Minnesota,
Gov. Perry of Texas or Sen. DeMint of South Carolina. A dull (or not so dull) man in a suit who doesn't try to remake America overnight would look awfully good to a lot of voters today in comparison to Barack Obama, the Accidental Tourist to India who created a lot of government jobs -- printing dollars and bonds (with prospectuses in Chinese) and made those voters family doctor seriously consider retiring.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is a very unconventional person who shows up on "Dancing With the Stars" to cheer her daughter and then appears on her own show to stand in a stream with a bear. George Will was not impressed with Palin on "This Week." Barbara Bush was downright nasty on a book tour, saying Palin should stay home in Alaska. But being unconventional -- and disliked by long time Establishment Republicans and even long time conservatives does not guarantee a loss in 2012 America. Far from it. Sarah Palin could beat Barack Obama, but she would be the opponent the Democrats would find easiest to attack, giving the former Messiah of Lake Michigan a fighting chance to win.

The Christian Science Monitor  states that Palin could beat Romney for the Republican nomination, but:

    "In a new Quinnipiac poll of GOP 2012 front-runners, Palin would lose a head-to-head matchup with Obama, if it were held today. She would win 40 percent of the vote, and Obama would get 48 percent, according to Quinnipiac survey respondents."

Being eight points behind isn't much to make up and very early polls are insignificant. Scott Brown made up 30 points in
Massachusetts in a much shorter time. And if the Republican-Tea Party office holders don't stop the funding of ObamaCare,
the disappointment that would follow would hurt support/enthusiasm for the "Momma Grizzly" of the Tea Party. But, once
again, the Democrats aren't sitting near their opponents' goal line. It's more like sitting near their own goal line with a third
down and thirty yards to go. Their former Worst Nightmare, Sarah Palin, is a wild card, an unpredictable opponent who could
turn out either very formidable or an easy opponent to beat. She certainly has been their favorite candidate -- and family -- to
mock, especially with the assistance of the news and entertainment media -- and the aforementioned George Will and Barbara
Bush. If the liberal conventional wisdom proves wrong and people vote Palin into office, well...Obama looks like a loser

The Democrats, so fond of the Sixties, may also be recalling the words of a Bob Dylan song from that era in formulating their
strategy for their weak presidential candidate:

    "When you ain't got nothing, you've got nothing to lose."

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November 23, 2010

Gang Green Threatens Boycott Against U.S. over AGW

The Gang Green are reaching the threat stage.

This courtesy of CCNET:

Climate Wars: Nick Stern Threatens U.S. With Trade Boycott

The Times, 19 November 2010

Ben Webster

The United States will be banned from selling goods to many countries if it continues to shirk its promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the world’s leading climate change economist.

In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern of Brentford said that nations that were taking strong action on emissions could start imposing restrictions on “dirty” US exports by 2020.

Lord Stern, who advises several G20 leaders and is one of the key players in the international negotiations seeking a deal on emissions, made his comments ten days before the annual United Nations climate change conference opens in Cancun, Mexico. They reflect the feeling in many countries that a lack of action on emissions in the US is delaying progress in the talks.

“The US will increasingly see the risks of being left behind, and ten years from now they would have to start worrying about being shut out of markets because their production is dirty,” Lord Stern said. “If they persist in being slow about reducing emissions, US exports will start to look more carbon intensive.”

President Obama pledged before the Copenhagen climate conference last December to cut US emissions by 17 per cent on 2005 levels by 2020. But his efforts to introduce legislation have been blocked by Congress. Republican gains in the midterm elections mean that there is little chance of legislation being passed in the next two years.

The US emits more than twice as much CO2 per capita as the EU and almost three times as much as China.

Lord Stern said that Europe and the Far East (sic) were forging ahead of the US in controlling emissions and switching to low carbon sources of energy. They would not tolerate having their industries undermined by American competitors that had not paid for their emissions. “If you are charging properly for carbon and other people are not, you will take that into account,” he said. “Many of the more forward-looking people in the US are thinking about this. If they see a danger on the trade front to US exports that could influence public discussion.”

Asked what type of US products could face restrictions, Lord Stern said: “Aircraft, clearly, some cars, machine tools — it’s not simply what’s in the capital good, it’s what kind of processes the capital good is facilitating.”

Lord Stern said that a complete ban on some goods was also possible. He said the American people should overcome their historical antipathy to taxation and accept that emissions needed to be controlled either through a tax or a trading scheme.

“It’s a country that is very sensitive to big government and taxation for understandable historical reasons,” he said, adding that it was a “conceptual mistake” to see charging for emissions as a tax.


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Good without God?

Also from the Federalist Patriot:

"It has become an annual tradition: The days grow shorter, the holidays approach, and the American Humanist Association rolls out an ad campaign promoting atheism and disparaging religion. Last year, the organization placed ads reading 'No god? No problem!' on billboards and buses in more than a dozen cities. Its theme in 2008 was: 'Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake.' This year, the association is taking a more combative tone. It is spending $200,000 to 'directly challenge biblical morality' in advertisements appearing on network and cable TV, as well as in newspapers, magazines, and on public transit. ... Can people be decent and moral without believing in a God who commands us to be good? Sure. There have always been kind and ethical nonbelievers. But how many of them reason their way to kindness and ethics, and how many simply reflect the moral expectations of the society in which they were raised? In our culture, even the most passionate atheist cannot help having been influenced by the Judeo-Christian worldview that shaped Western civilization. 'We know that you can be good without God,' [executive director of the American Humanist Association Roy] Speckhardt tells CNN. He can be confident of that only because he lives in a society so steeped in Judeo-Christian values that he takes those values for granted. But a society bereft of that religious heritage is one not even Speckhardt would want to live in. For in a world without God, there is no obvious difference between good and evil."

Jeff Jacoby


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Horse Sense and Horse's Asses

This courtesy of the Federalist Patriot:

"In 1920, when the top tax rate was 73 percent, for people making over $100,000 a year, the federal government collected just over $700 million in income taxes -- and 30 percent of that was paid by people making over $100,000. After a series of tax cuts brought the top rate down to 24 percent, the federal government collected more than a billion dollars in income tax revenue -- and people making over $100,000 a year now paid 65 percent of the taxes. How could that be? The answer is simple: People behave differently when tax rates are high as compared to when they are low. With low tax rates, they take their money out of tax shelters and put it to work in the economy, benefitting themselves, the economy and government, which collects more money in taxes because incomes rise. High tax rates, which very few people are actually paying, because of tax shelters, do not bring in as much revenue as lower tax rates that people are paying. It was much the same story after tax cuts during the Kennedy administration, the Reagan administration and the Bush Administration. The New York Times reported in 2006: 'An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.' Expectations are in the eyes of the beholder -- and in the rhetoric of the demagogues. If class warfare is more important to some politicians than collecting more revenue when there is a deficit, then let the voters know that. And spare us so-called 'deficit reduction commissions.'"

Thomas Sowell


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GZ Mosque applies for $5 mil in Federal Aid

Jack Kemp

Guys, as if they couldn't get more tone deaf, the Park51 mosque applies for $5 million in federal aid. Even the Daily Beast says they won't qualify. But that doesn't mean Obama won't give that to them. This is like murdering your parents and asking the court for mercy because you are an orphan.


Link and small excerpt below. Notice this is from a liberal website and they don't think much of this move.

The so-called Ground Zero mosque recently applied for a $5 million federal grant from a fund designed to rebuild lower Manhattan after 9/11, reports The Daily Beast’s John Avlon.

Developers of the controversial Park51 Islamic community center and mosque located two blocks from Ground Zero earlier this month applied for roughly $5 million in federal grant money set aside for the redevelopment of lower Manhattan after the attacks of September 11th, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The former Burlington Coat Factory building that will make way for the Cordoba House (the 'Ground Zero Mosque') is seen in lower Manhattan on Jul. 29, 2010 in New York.

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Wanna know why I call the UN "Useless Nincompoops?"

Dana Mathewson

Because of things like this:

Please, please let's do away with this worse-than-useless organization and start a new one, strictly for democracies and free republics!


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Is Pluto a Planet?

Dana Mathewson

Should Pluto be reclassified as a planet again?

Some are saying "yes."  They are objecting to some of the new rules that led to Pluto's downgrading.  So do I, for whatever that's worth.  When I was a kid, Pluto was a planet, and I liked it that way


I have a soft spot for Pluto; that lonely little iceberg in the great vastness of the Kuiper Belt. Actually THOSE lonely icebergs; Pluto's moon Charon is about half the size of the "planet", so we have two icebergs rotating around each-other in the gloom of the edge of the solar system. Truly an underworld existence.

Frankly, I think the argument is a tempest in an ice-tea pitcher (certainly not a hot-tea pot!); it's an argument about what is or is not a planet - purely an arbitrary line, as there are things great and small in our solar system, and the nice, neat categories no longer fit.

Pluto is a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) and is large enough to have gained the dubious (and relatively new) title of Dwarf Planet. (I don't like that term; I would prefer Planetoid, with asteroids or KBO's for the smaller objects, but that's just me.) Ceres, largest of the asteroids, is now considered a Dwarf Planet. So is Eris, another KBO. I don't think Pluto can be formally a planet, because it has an eccentric orbit and is composed of frozen gases and ice, much like a comet. Granted, this is partly true of Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa - three of the Galillean Moons of Jupiter, and likewise true to a degree of Titan, Saturn's great moon, as well as Neptune's moon Triton. These moons would not be giants were they not composed of frozen gases as well as rocks. Perhaps we need a new title for moons; terrestrial and snowball?  The Earth's moon is terrestrial, composed of dust and rock. It is very different from the moons of Jupiter or the other gas giants, but then they are radically different from the terrestrial planets in the inner system.

Actually, the new definition of planets makes Pluto's moon Charon a planet, since the center of gravity - the Barycenter - lies outside of Pluto. In short, Pluto and Charon orbin a point somewhere between the two, so are both considered planets by the new definition. The Earth's moon will become one in the future, too, as it moves away from the Earth. (Actually, the Moon is much more like a planet than most bodies in the solar system; it just orbits the Earth.)

My opinion is that Pluto probably does not deserve to be called a planet, but won that singular honor by being in the right place at the right time; Clyde Tombaugh was looking for a planet in that very spot and found this lucky wanderer instead. (I almost got to meet him once; he was a neighbor of friends of my parents.)  Still, tradition is not to be ignored, and if one learns that one was adopted when a newborn that does not invalidate the right to proudly bear the name given by the adoptive parents. WE adopted Pluto as a planet, so a planet she should be called!  Granted, Pluto has a very different genetic history...


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"Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town"

Dana Mathewson

Whee! Carol Mosley Braun has decided to run for mayor against Rahm Emanuel.  Pass the popcorn, dude!,0,884053.story

Remember her?  First black gal in the U.S. Senate, and the corruption charges started soon afterward.  Meanwhile, Chicago will be a circus.

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Frank Talk - and Franks & Beans

Jack Kemp

Velma Hart, the black woman who told off Obama at the televised town hall meeting in Washington, saying she wondered if she'd would have to go back to eating hot dogs and beans, doesn't have to wonder anymore. She was laid off from her job at a non-profit company that helps military veterans.

The interesting part of the article is this comment (and non-comment by the firm's president, Mr. King):

"It's not anything she did," said Jim King, the national executive director of Am Vets. "She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people. It was a move to cut our bottom line. Most not-for-profits are seeing their money pinched."

King would not say whether the organization had had other layoffs.


Recall that she said she was tired of having to defend Obama. This problem may also be ending for her.

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November 22, 2010

Swimming in Black Cream

This from the Washington Examiner, courtesy of CCNET:

The World Is Awash In Energy

The Washington Examiner, 21 November 2010

Washington's political class often seems impervious to changing facts. Case in point is the nation's current and probable future access to essential energy resources, especially fossil fuels like oil, natural gas and coal. This trio of carbon-based fuels accounts for the vast majority of the nation's electrical and other forms of power, and will continue to do so through at least 2030, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States is the world's largest consumer of energy, but is also the world's most productive economy, so demand here for energy resources is going to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

According to the conventional wisdom, supplies will soon peak and then the nation will experience severe declines in the supply of oil and natural gas. Thus, the U.S. should invest billions in the development of renewable energy resources and use the power of government to create artificial consumer demand for them by imposing mandates for their use. Energy costs "will necessarily skyrocket," to use President Obama's memorable words, but that's the price the nation must pay in order to achieve energy independence and protect the environment.

When the price of a barrel of oil hit $147 per barrel in July 2008 and Americans were paying as much as $4 per gallon for gas, that scenario seemed reasonable. But it turns out that in the years since, the energy market has experienced profound changes that negate the conventional view. As the New York Times recently reported, "Just as it seemed that the world was running on fumes, giant oil fields were discovered off the coasts of Brazil and Africa, and Canadian oil sands projects expanded so fast, they now provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia. In addition, the United States has increased domestic oil production for the first time in a generation."

The significant news wasn't restricted to oil. The Times also noted that "another wave of natural gas drilling has taken off in shale rock fields across the United States, and more shale gas drilling is just beginning in Europe and Asia. Add to that an increase in liquefied natural gas export terminals around the world that connected gas, which once had to be flared off, to the world market, and gas prices have plummeted." The result, according to the Times, is that energy experts now predict decades of residential and commercial power at reasonable prices."

In other words, the nation can look forward to abundant oil and natural gas supplies at affordable prices for decades to come. As Institute for Energy Research President Thomas J. Pyle puts it, "We can improve our economy, create jobs, and increase our supply of affordable, reliable energy in one fell swoop if the government allows businesses to look for and produce American energy." Consumers should ask how much longer Washington will continue policies meant to restrict access to these resources.

The Washington Examiner, 21 November 2010


Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:03 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Climate Cash Cow

Dana Mathewson forwards this. It has already appeared here courtesy of Ron De Haan, but it bears repeating:

You may have already seen this -- not sure of the actual source.  "Friend Eddie" sent it to me.
The Climate Cash Cow
Posted 06:59 PM ET
Hoaxes: A high-ranking member of the U.N.'s Panel on Climate Change admits the group's primary goal is the redistribution of wealth and not environmental protection or saving the Earth.

Money, they say, is the root of all evil. It's also the motivating force behind what is left of the climate change movement after the devastating Climate-gate and IPCC scandals that saw the deliberate manipulation of scientific data to spur the world into taking draconian regulatory action.

Left for dead, global warm-mongers are busy planning their next move, which should occur at a climate conference in relatively balmy Cancun at month's end. Certainly it should provide a more appropriate venue for discussing global warming than the site of the last failed climate conference — chilly Copenhagen.

Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and co-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change (say that twice), told the Neue Zurcher Zeitung last week: "The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War." After all, redistributing global wealth is no small matter.

Edenhofer let the environmental cat out of the bag when he said "climate policy is redistributing the world's wealth" and that "it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization."

In his IPCC post, Edenhofer was a lead author of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report in 2007. Based on anecdotal evidence, it contained unsubstantiated claims that the Himalayan glaciers would soon disappear and Bangladesh would be totally submerged.

Edenhofer claims "developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community" and so they must have their wealth expropriated and redistributed to the victims of their alleged crimes, the postage stamp countries of the world. He admits this "has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole."

It has everything to do with a different kind of green. U.N. warm-mongers are seeking to impose a global climate reparations tax on everything from airline flights and international shipping to fuel and financial transactions. At first, this punitive tax on progress is expected to net $100 billion annually, though that amount, like our energy costs, is expected to necessarily skyrocket.

We've seen such plans before. Just before Copenhagen, a group of "chicken littles" along with some gullible corporations ran an ad campaign titled "Hopenhagen." It pushed a global wealth redistribution scheme based on the theory that Western nations, particularly the U.S., owe a "climate debt" for having initiated the Industrial Revolution and plundered the world's fossil fuel resources in the name of unbridled capitalism.

According to a Hopenhagen pocket guide, there will be a "Green New Deal" that "will be based on the polluter-pays principle, on the historically high emissions of developed nations and on the capacity of the rich nations to help the poor."

This sounds like the Marxist principle: to each according to his need from each according to his ability — with a guilty conscience thrown in for good measure. As President Obama might put it, U.N. officials are seeking a "fundamental transformation" of the globe.

Given this administration's willingness to compromise American sovereignty, we could soon see Americans taxed to fund a global scam — the ultimate form of taxation without representation.


Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Information to be aware of

Dana Mathewson

I don't care if this shows up on Snopes as "false."  I increasingly don't trust Snopes on anything like this.  So if you see it get thumbs-down from Snopes, don't bother to tell me so.  This thing has the ring of truth as far as I'm concerned.  What's more, it doesn't surprise me a damn bit.  We've been at war with "radical Islam" since the Carter administration.



Guess these reports are things to be aware of.  I don't know if they are all true, but maybe.----might be a good thing to know at least of the possibility of them being real.

Subject: FW: Information to Be Aware of

Read it, believe it, pass it on, and get ready. They do believe that we are the enemy. 


Subject: Information to Be Aware of

This is an interesting article from an Air Force friend. 

The unfortunate reality of this article is that it is probably true and what we are now seeing with the stiff hand of the government on the crotch of everyone that steps aboard an airplane is the manifestation of this attempt to scare the hell out of everyone. 

I personally believe that our second amendment to the constitution will be our best deterrent against any radical group.  It will cause them to think twice. I don't think the bad guys know what open season means.  

We now live about 30 miles from Fresno.  We are up in the Sierras and Fresno
 is the first big town we encounter when we leave the mtns.  We shop there
 often.  I received this from my ex-homicide partner who is still active in
 law enforcement circles in the Fresno area.
 Excuse the language, but don't excuse the facts.  Don't give up your guns,
 and buy necessary ammunition if you can find it.  Be cautious and alert.  Be
 ready if, God forbid, we need to protect our families and loved ones.
 If you weren't at Rotary meeting on Friday, you missed the only decent
 speaker we've had in more than a year.  LTC John Cotter is the 144th Fighter
 Wing's antiterrorism officer.  John had a two-part presentation.  First part
 was describing his job as the unit’s antiterrorism officer.  Pretty standard
 The second part was information that will curl your hair.  A Part-time air
 guardsman works as a checker at local Von's.  Two women in full burkas buy
 every pre-paid cellphone in the store.  Clerk/airman gets to thinking about
 it.  Goes to Cotter and reports incident.  Cotter asks store for
 surveillance video.  It's scary enough that he contacts Fresno FBI.
 FBI investigates and determines these women have been doing this all over
 the Valley.  Cell phones shipped through Canada to Iraq/Afghanistan where
 they become triggers for roadside bombs.
 The Shell station at Peach and Shaw.  Every time a local GI goes there in
 fatigues they are asked specific questions.  What is your unit?  When are
 you deploying?  How many aircraft are you taking?
 The F-16s out of Fresno fly CAP for west coast.  As such they are the first
 line of defense so they have the US 's most sophisticated air-to-air
 missiles.  Foreign governments would like to get their hands on those
 missiles or at least learn how to build them.  Also how many we have, etc.
 Two spy groups are working on it, one based at Fashion Fair Mall (the F-16s
 take-off pattern) and one based at Sierra Vista Mall (the F-16s landing
 Cotter said the ragheads (But we don't profile) are always probing the
 base.  Two dorks in a pickup show up at the front gate wanting to deliver a
 package marked Air National Guard, Fresno.  No postage, no UPS, no FedEx, no
 DHL, no nothing.  Just a probe.
 I asked Cotter why we haven't seen anything about this in The Sacramento Bee, on KMJ,
 on local TV news.  He said they're not interested.  Since Friday I've
 learned of two other things.  My brother-in-law, Frank, (management at
 Avaya) had a Muslim tech who took a leave-of-absence for 6 weeks in
 Afghanistan.  After the 6 weeks were up he called from New York requesting
 an extension.  Frank (who does profile) said, you're fired, and called the
 Fresno FBI who were very interested.  Don't know the outcome.
 A Muslim who owns a liquor store in my former hometown of Kingsburg was
 constantly bugging customers to buy guns for him.  Finally one of the guys I
 grew up with called the FBI.
 We are a country at war and the enemy is among us.  I don't care what Janet
 Napolitano says, it's a fight to the death and we should be prepared as
 possible.  Brother-in-law Frank has a theory and I think it may be closer to
 the truth than Homeland Security wants to admit.  There are a certain number
 (probably a large number) of Muslims among us who are awaiting the trigger
 date and will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can, sort of a
 Fort Hood on steroids.  I know I'm getting prepared to shoot back.
 Two items of interest: Sheriff Margaret Mims wants to grant concealed carry
 permits to all who are qualified.  Columnist Jim Boren, among the most
 bleeding of the bleeding heart liberals, says it's time for Fresno residents
 to arm themselves.  LOAD up, you can bet this is happening in places other
 than Fresno.
  David Rayburn
 I was asked to send this to everyone in my address book.  Some of those I'm
 sending it to WILL NOT forward it!  To those I say, “Get you head out of the
 sand and look around with an open mind or before you know it we will no
 longer be living in the land of the free and the brave!


Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:39 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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St. Louis is Number 1!

Dana Mathewson

the study may be flawed.  I hope so.  Lots of people who crunch numbers really don't know how to do it properly these days...

A NOTE FROM TIM, a resident of St. Louis City:

We can finally say we're NO. 1 here in 'the Lou'! 

There is a lot of dispute by boosters of the City (capital C to distinguish it from St. Louis County) about these rankings because they only look at the city proper. St. Louis is a free city, meaning it is it's own county as well, and so you have a smaller pool to base your statistics upon. They always demand that the entire metropolitan area be factored in; the crime stats drop significantly. I find that argument less than fully convincing; St. Louis City IS a county, after all. Do they add all of Long Island unto New York stats? 

The sad fact is that STL is two thirds ghetto.  Democrats have owned this place since 1948 when the last Republican held the mayorship. The City operates in a typically Democratic fashion, and this results in large swaths of the Third World existing in town.

Consider the many housing projects built to "improve" housing conditions. Pruitt Igo was an abomination, a model of bureaucratic incompetence. They tore down old but servicable buildings to create high rises (Pruitt Igo was the big name, but there were plenty) which became incubators of crime. My father once witnessed the following vignette; a couple were sitting at a stoplight (he was behind them) and foolishly had their car windows open. A kid reached in and grapped the woman's purse and fled into the Projects. The man, who proved to be completely crazy, gave chase. My father said he was inside the building for no more than ten seconds when he came running at top speed, chased by a half dozen thugs brandishing assorted makeshift weapons.

There were other such projects; Laclede Town was intended to be a "mixed income" residence, ostensibly to bring the undeserving poor up to middle class standards (the old liberal belief that people are inherently good and that they just need guidance). The place became a hell-hole and was bulldozed. All of that happened under the Democrats, of course.

There was a neighborhood called McCree that was so crime-ridden that the City decided the best choice was to demolish it. They did, not realizing that criminals would simply spread out. They went primarily into Dutchtown (a long time area held by the poor whites, the people St. Louisans call "hoosiers" meaning urban rednecks; I suppose some originally were what Indianans call hilljacks and came from that area of Indiana). Now the hoosiers are gone, and the area went from rough to mortal. Dutchtown isn't alone in this. All that is needed is for a couple of criminals to move onto a block, and their friends begin hanging around. The neighborhood is kaput. And the hoosiers have moved into what were the more upscale areas of the City, driving the more affluent residents into the ex-urbs (many parts of the near suburbs have likewise declined thanks to Democrat care.) 

It never occured to any of our brilliant civic leaders that razing McCree would send one bad neighborhood into many.

Then, too, the push for light rail. Not many St. Louisans ride it, because we have such a decentralized metropolitan area. But public transportation is seen as a must among liberals, and to get financing the City Fathers extended it to EAST ST. LOUIS which, to those unfamiliar with it, is the absolute worst community in North America and possibly the world. Harlem is a whitebread paradise next to East St. Louis. East St. Louis has few working streetlights because the locals steal all the bulbs. ESTL has no streetsigns, so if you have business there you have to count the number of streets to know where to turn. East St. Louis has numerous abandoned factories and industrial areas that are inhabited by squatters who square off an area of the old foundaries or whatnot for their homes. Think Moghadishu, except it's colder. I would add that very few people there speak English, at least in any intelligible fashion. Drugs are the primary business there. Drugs and the red-light district, which is run by the mob. 

They connected THAT to the entire metropolitan area with light rail.

Of course, all the early stops are in St. Louis proper.

And the City has the earnings tax, which places a 1% burden on everybody. If you live in the City you pay. If you work in the City you pay. If you are holding an event in the City you pay. St. Louis wanted to become a big convention center, but conventions have to pay the City earnings tax, so they avoid it. Ballplayers have to pay it when they come to town to play against the Cardinals (which is part of the reason the Cards are always considering moving out to St. Louis County). Anheuser Bush has to pay 1% off all their profits to the City. Businesses won't settle here for that reason - and Mayor Francis Slay argued on the radio that, well, it shouldn't be about what the City can do for business but what business can do for the City! (I kid you not; he made that very comment!)

So, the City is broke, many of the good people have left, and crime is rampant. How could crime NOT be rampant, under such abyssmal management?

Oh, and they stole the election for Russ(tler) Carnahan in the south city precincts. Things will never change.

I fear St. Louis will eventually implode.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:20 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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