May 31, 2011

Palin and the White Working Class

Jack Kemp

From Amer. Thinker.

May 31, 2011
Palin and the White Working Class
By Christopher Chantrill

Sunday May 29 and Rolling Thunder marked Sarah Palin's first incursion into "enemy territory" since 2008, according to Politico's Molly Ball.  The US Northeast is the region that's "least friendly" to the Tea Party favorite.

Molly might have written that, with her Tea Party base all sewn up, Palin is already reaching out to the Northeast, a target-rich environment full of the white working class that has been up for grabs in recent elections.  But then, Molly is writing for Politico, not the Wall Street Journal.

There's a good reason why the white working class is up for grabs.  It is the "the most pessimistic and alienated group in American society," according to Ronald Brownstein in the National Journal.  That is no wonder, for "the average high-school-educated, middle-aged man earns almost 10 percent less than his counterpart did in 1980."

There's only one problem, according to Brownstein.  Minorities have suffered in the recession and have experienced the same wage squeeze as the white working class.  But minorities are optimistic about their future.

We know why.  Time was that the white working class was the darling of the liberals.  But then the liberals soured on them.  In the 70s working-class whites were bigoted Archie Bunkers; in the 2000s, "bitter clingers."  Liberals decided that all along they had really loved women and minorities, and they became the darlings of the liberals, extolled and boosted in the university, the halls of Congress, in stock photos, and on stage and screen.

Of course, the white working class has only itself to blame.  Put not your trust in princes, says the Good Book.  Back in the 19th century the working class had built its own authentic social institutions, the labor unions, the fraternal associations, the Methodist and Baptist Churches, from scratch.  But then the liberals came calling with flattery and free money.  There's a line for that too: The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

When you are living in the Garden of Eden, the darlings of the liberals, life is peachy: good jobs, good wages, benefits, health care, pensions.  But when the liberals decide to change you out for a newer model, then it's back to the real world, only now the unions are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Democratic Party and the fraternal associations have withered away into irrelevance.  But for the "pessimistic and alienated" in this fallen world, there is God and guns and Sarah Palin.

You can see why the party professionals don't take Palin seriously.  The way people talk, you'd think Sarah Palin was a political newcomer, rather than a 20-year veteran of elected politics.

But there is another, bigger reason why the Republican insiders find it so difficult to take Palin seriously.  Their game is political chess, a game of movement, and Palin plays Chinese Go or weiqi, a game of position, where you put down counters and never move them.  With Going Rogue, she put down a counter that positioned herself as a "commonsense conservative."   With America by Heart she positioned herself as a "commonsense constitutional conservative."  Now, with her "One Nation" bus tour, she is mounting a "campaign to educate and energize Americans about our nation's founding principles, in order to promote the Fundamental Restoration of America."

That's the new counter that Sarah Palin is placing on the board as she moves up the Northeast corridor: the "Fundamental Restoration of America."  It has quite a ring to it.  It is just the line you would want to take if you were running for president against Barack Obama and his czars, his crony green capitalists, his waivers-for-friends ObamaCare, his regulatory blizzard, his jobless recovery, and his 1967-borders foreign policy.  With "Restoration," Palin appeals to the patriotism of the white working class without getting into tricky economic details.  

But what about women and minorities?  Isn't Palin going down a cul-de-sac bidding for the white working class, a demographic slice in decline?  It could be, but don't forget that the day will come when women and minorities will no longer be the "darlings of the liberals" either.  Women might wake up one day and decide that they believe in marriage and children; minorities might opt one day for jobs, jobs, jobs, instead of debt, debt, debt.

A warning to you women and minorities: Stand up to your liberal "partner" on these issues and you too will soon recall in your lonely pessimism and alienation the old injunction.  You'll say: forget the princes.  Put not your trust in politicians.

Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  See his and also  At he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.
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Bumper Crop in India; Global Warming takes a Holiday

Timothy Birdnow

India has had a record crop this year, in complete contradiction to global warming alarminsts who claim warming is causing famine.

From the article:

"There is a bumper wheat and rice crop. In Andhra Pradesh, India's rice bowl, production is up 30%. Millers are offering only Rs 8 for a kilo of paddy though the MSP is Rs 10.30. Angry farmers last week threw paddy into the Krishna river. The state government has borrowed Rs 550 crore from RBI for procurement. The FCI can do little. After buying 50 million tonne wheat and rice this season, added to 44 million tonnes left from last year, it is exhausted."

End excerpt.

What does this say? It says that a people committed to free enterprise can produce a bounty, and that the hated evils of capitalism are the best means available to bring wealth from poverty. Socialism brings poverty from wealth, and our flirtation with it here in the U.S. is a large part of our economic woes. Ditto Japan.

It also says that AGW has miraculously stopped in India. I'm not sure how, given that India has been developing economically and the Subcontinent is pumping all sorts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere - including cow flatulence. Remember, cows are sacred in India and so allowed to break wind as much as they please.

Isn't this a typical leftist trap? Claim that free enterprise does not work, then blame it for global warming, then blame global warming for the failure of free enterprise, a failure engineered by your own anti-global warming regulatory quicksand.  Never does the liberal think to look to his own policies; it must always be somebody else at fault. Like the rise in gasoline prices must be price gouging, not the refusal to allow more drilling and refining.

Well, the Indians aren't playing ball with the modern Luddites. Good for them! They are showing the bankruptcy of the modern Progressive movement.

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May 30, 2011

Votes have consequences

Dana Mathewson

Minnesotans have been attempting to ensure that election fraud is minimized in our state.  "No More Frankens" might have been our rallying cry, and our legislature -- GOP-controlled, finally -- passed a Voter ID bill that would require voters to show ID when voting.

Not surprisingly, Governor Mark "I'm really a mental health case" Dayton vetoed it.

I'm not quite sure how we'll punish him for this, but I am hopeful that we will.

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A Veteran gives a tour at The American Airpower Museum

Jack Kemp

"I was twelve years old, listening to a radio like that when they announced Pearl Harbor had been bombed. I asked my father what that meant and he told me it meant we were at war."

Speaking was my guide, Air Force veteran Bob Romeo, pointing to a display of a typical 1940s home with a cathedral shaped table radio. We are in the small but growing American Airpower Museum at Republic Field in Farmingdale, Long Island,  in the heart of World War plane manufacturers' factory locations of Republic Aircraft and Grumman Engineering. The old hangar had been designated an historical site, saving it from becoming an extension of one of Republic Field’s runways. In World War II, it had been a final assembly site for fighter planes, taking up to weeks to finish the last steps but rolling out one finished plane every 15 minutes.

Walking over to the photo and diorama exhibit of the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii, Bob Romeo tells me that Congress had, in recent years, passed a law allowing those that served on the U.S.S. Arizona to have their remains buried – or their ashes spread – at the Memorial. I tell Mr. Romeo about the time I was returning from Las Vegas in early December with my dad, changing for an earlier standby flight. One of the Pearl Harbor veterans who had gone there that week for a convention noticed us sitting apart and gave up his seat so that we could be together. In more ways than one.

Bob Romeo had entered the Army Air Force at the end of the War and was going to go to pilot training. But after his preliminary training, the atomic bomb ended the war and the military had a surplus of pilots from both the Pacific and European Theaters, so they stopped training new ones.

“They were nice enough to ask me what I wanted to do in the Air Force, so I became an aircraft mechanic.”

We walked on to enter a reconstruction of an actual ready room for World War II bomber missions. The place where they held briefings, it contained a map of Europe, a blackboard and some benches.

“They’d wake the crews up at two a.m. and tell them what their target was. They would take off at sunrise. To climb into a formation would take about an hour and the plane before you, which you couldn’t see, had to get high enough. Once in formation, spread out over multiple altitudes, the gunners’ fire overlapped and covered the planes. But the biggest cause of bomber losses in Europe was the FLAK, the German 88 guns which could fire a shell up to 35,000 feet and then explode near or inside a bomber in pieces of shrapnel.”

Bob took a flyer’s flak jacket off a wall hook an handed it to me. It consisted of steel plates sown into a shirt-vest. It was quite heavy. He explained that there were also flak pants made, but no one could walk around a plane with all that weight. The crew often took off the flak jacket and placed it along the exterior wall of the plane where they were working. They also had an electric suit, kind of like a modern electric blanket that plugged into different outlets around the airplane. With all this and leather clothing – and the minus 50 degree Fahrenheit temperatures – if a flyer got hit with shrapnel or a fighter plane’s shells, they could not remove the clothing because the crew member would freeze to death. The often applied a tourniquet and in some desperate cases dropped them out of the plane with a parachute so that the German hospitals would treat (that did happen). Flying in World War II was a lot less glamorous than we would now think. A bomber crew was most often in a non-pressurized plane that typically flew at 25,000 feet. Depending on the bomber, they flew at speeds ranging from 175 to 275 miles an hour, making it was a relatively slow moving target. The German fighter planes were considerably faster. And even with the later development of the P-51 Mustang fighter escorts, which didn’t have to turn back quickly to England, the biggest problem were the German 88 guns which could take deadly aim at the bombers over the target.

We walked to a diorama of the Ploiesti oil field raids in Romania, where American planes suffered huge losses and five bomber pilots were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Bob Romeo called it “a suicide mission.”

"Around 30,000 members of the 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 15th Army Air Forces died in the ETO / MTO" (European and Mediterranean Theaters in World War II), according to one website.  Others have estimated higher figures.

“All over Germany there were synthetic oil plants that were not bombed. Churchill insisted on bombing the cities because of the German bombing of English cities (roughly 50,000 people lost their lives in England from those bombings).”

I mentioned some details known years later, namely that Russia suffered 8 million military deaths and 12 million civilian deaths in World War II. Stalin insisted on bombing civilian targets in Germany as well. In 1944, American planes in England, were able to fly to targets over Germany, fly on to a landing field in Russia, then reload with fuel and bombs to hit other Eastern European targets on a flight to US bases in Italy and then make a similar more western bombing run on the way back to their bases in England. Stalin insisted on a veto and choice of targets for planes going to and from Soviet bases because of the horrendous losses Russia suffered before the Allies invaded Europe. This information – and many other amazing details of the War, can be found in Donald Miller’s definitive book “Masters of the Air.”

We went on to a P-40 Flying Tiger plane that was flown by American volunteers in Chang Kai Shek’s Chinese Air Force in 1940, before America officially entered the War. Pilots were paid an incentive of $500 in gold for every Japanese Zero they shot down. At $35 an ounce, that is 14.285 ounces – or the equivalent of around $21,428 in today’s dollars. The Curtis P-40 Warhawk was an inferior plane to the Japanese Zero, so special tactics were devised to attack the Zeros from out of direct sunlight and in a high speed dive.

Bob Romeo told me that The Airpower Museum offers rides in some of their planes for tax-deductible membership donations, such as a simulated D-Day paratrooper drop where the participants are outfitted in a WW II paratrooper’s uniform and flown in an actual C-47, complete with military markings, to a staging area out over Long Island where a uniformed historical reenactor portrays a jump commander until the drama ends without leaving the plane. I’d been in the Museum’s C-47 when it was on ground display and sat on its tin bench of seats. With the roar of the engines and no temperature controls, it would be quite an experience to relive the easy part of a D-Day jump. Bob told me that The Museum’s C-47 had not been in D-Day but had taken part in "Operation Market Garden" in Holland (the subject of the movie "A Bridge Too Far") and had later been sold to the Israeli Air Force. Speaking of that, one of soldiers who did jump on D-Day was a West Point graduate military lawyer who didn’t want to sit out the war riding a desk. With no parachute training, Col. Mickey Marcus jumped behind enemy lines into the French countryside in the first wave of the D-Day assault. He would later go on to become the first General in the Israeli Army since the time of the Bible, killed in a mishap not knowing a Hebrew password and being shot by a guard. He is buried at West Point. But I digress – somewhat.

A woman and her sons left another guide and joined us. She asked Bob why some planes, such as a Grumman Navy fighter-bomber on display, had folding wings. He explained that is a requirement of carrier based aircraft, even today. It is done to make room on the elevators of air craft carriers and storage in the crowded lower decks.

Speaking of women, one of the aircraft motors on display had a mannequin of a woman working on it in a defense plant, as often happened on Long Island in World War II and around the country. There was also an exhibit of women who flew military aircraft from factories to delivery at Air Force and Naval bases around the country.

Many school groups visit this Museum to learn about what being in the Air Corp was really like during wartime. It is a lesson and legacy that we need to tell our youngsters – and ourselves – so that we remember why and how we have our freedoms and what many brave men and women did to ensure that in past years. I have only touched on part of what is on display at the American Airpower Museum, a museum that may move to a larger location in coming years.

On this Memorial Day Weekend, I salute you, Bob Romeo, and all the people whose efforts to keep this living memorial open and all the veterans who keep our country safe.

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A Welcome and Some Notes

Timothy Birdnow

A few notes.

First, let us offer a hearty welcome to the great Alan Caruba as a new contributer to this website. I've always loved his writing, and have tried to model my own on his. As regular readers are aware, Ron De Haan loves him, too, and frequently posts his essays here.  

I corresponded with Mr. Caruba recently when we had very similar articles appear at Canada Free Press at the same time, and he has graciously offered to send me his latest essays. While they will not be exclusive to this site, they may well appear here before anywhere else, so we may get the "scoop" on the big names. It's a thrilling development; he has his own Wikipedia entry, after all!

It is a great honor to be able to post Mr. Caruba's work.

On another topic, I have to ask for some ideas; guys, we simply have to come up with a decent name for this website. Birdblog really doesn't work anymore, since I write only a portion of it these days. Any ideas?  If we ever hit the big time nobody will know what to call us.  It doesn't matter that I founded the thing; there are better writers than myself here, and we should come up with a name that includes us all. Preferably a pun (Jack and Dana love puns, too).  Tom Joseph once suggested "Surfing Bird" because the Bird's the Word! I like it, but it's a bit California for my midwestern hillbilly tastes. (Anyone ever read the Richard Matheson story about Las Angelas being a plague, and the rest of the country becoming infected? Old women begin walking around in midriffs and hot pants, playing tennis and driving around in convertibles while wearing dark sunglasses and scarves; really scary stuff!) Suggestions for a name would be appreciated.

Also, one of these days I need to customize the site. A header would be nice. GM Roper kindly produced one for me using the Birdman of Cahokia, which would be fun. The Birdman was an ancient symbol of the once great city of Cahokia, an ancient capital for the Mound Builder culture. Jack Kemp has produced one using a cardinal, in honor of the baseball team here in the 'Lou. I would also consider putting a picture of the Ozark Hilton on the top; it does rather resemble the unibomber shack, and would doubtlessly give our liberal friends a fine tweak. Problem is, I just don't know how to do pictures, and experiments have failed me.

It's supposed to be about the writing anyway. I don't even bother to insert hyperlinks, as you all know. I DO know how to do that.

Perhaps it's time to make this site less amateurish. I rather like it amateurish; it gives it a kind of charm that is missing from the big guns. It's a sort of workman mentality; we put out raw, unpolished but solid stuff. I really don't want a slick site, but perhaps it's time to make it a bit more slick?

I am very proud of this site. We do not get many visitors, but we get visitors with some clout. I know of one particularly top rated talk radio giant who has visited here before; he borrowed my phrase "Max Headroom President" the very day I posted it!  We are linked up at Commentaries website, too.  We may not be big but we are influencial.

At any rate, keep a sharp eye for Alan Caruba's fine work here in the future! 

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Financial Terrorism

Dana Mathewson

Can you believe this?  Well, these days you probably can...

"An astounding Department of Justice threat to cancel airline flights to and from Texas, in addition to underhanded lobbying by TSA representatives, has killed efforts in the state to pass HB 1937, a bill that would have made invasive pat downs by TSA agents a felony.

HB 1937, a bill that would have made it “A criminal act for security personnel to touch a person’s private areas without probable cause as a condition of travel or as a condition of entry into a public place,” was headed for an imminent Senate vote in Texas having already passed the House unanimously 138-0, before the federal government stepped in to nix the legislation."


Why wouldn't the TSA simply tell Texas that any blood will be on their hands? Could it be that they fear there will be no blood, and that this law would show the futility of their agency?  If enhanced security screening worked it would be easy to prove with one state out of the program; every terrorist would fly into Houston or Dallas first.

Me thinks someone wants the hands of Uncle Sam on our junk!

Texas should have gone forward and filed for an injunction at the same time. The old Texas spirit just ain't what it used to be!

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600 More Days of Obama

Alan Caruba

As of May 30, 2011, America has 600 days more of rule by President Barack Hussein Obama.

He is the 44th President and, while we have had incompetent Presidents in the past, we have never had one determined to destroy the nation. It has taken more than two years for most sentient Americans to grasp this extraordinary threat. He has not solved problems. He has exacerbated them."

Granted the financial crisis began in 2008 as President George W. Bush was finishing his second term, but President Obama—aside from blaming Bush for everything that has occurred on his watch—literally tripled the national debt with dubious and failed “stimulus” programs, plunging the nation into debt that rivals all others in our history.

President Obama had a lot of help in getting elected and will no doubt get it in his effort to secure a second term. The mainstream media has utterly debased itself, sounding more like the state monopolies of fascist nations.

On June 6, 2008, a reporter for the Associated Press wrote an article, “These men are likely targets in an anti-Obama campaign”, naming Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, the former Weatherman domestic terrorist, among others. One of them, Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko, an early Obama supporter, was convicted of mail fraud and money laundering the same week the article appeared.

By July 2008, Investor’s Business Daily took note of Obama’s “Stealth Socialism” when he addressed the NAACP using the code words “economic justice” four times to a cheering audience. IBD reported that “‘Economic justice’ simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It’s a euphemism for socialism.”

In October 2008, the Washington Post’s syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer, wrote “I’ll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory.”

With the election days away in November 2008, Sammy Benoit, posted on American, wrote, “Please take a look at these people allied with the Obama campaign. Some of them are anti-Israel; others are anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel.” He named Samantha Power who had “called for an invasion of Israel to impose a solution to the Palestinian issue.” Obama’s open hostility toward Israel in recent days demonstrates how prescient Benoit was.

Shortly after the election, Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post’s reporter on the media asked “Are the media capable of merchandizing the moment, packaging a president-elect for profit? Yes, we are.” Then he touched on the key role the media had played leading up to Obama’s election and afterward. “We seem to have crossed a cultural line into myth-making.”

“Whew! Are journalists fostering the notion that Obama is invincible, the leader of what the New York Times dubbed ‘Generation O’?” asked Kurtz.

In rapid succession, with some rejections, President Obama filled not only his cabinet posts, but added an astonishing level of advisors, quickly dubbed “czars”, to the White House. Their ranks included the true believers in the global warming hoax including a former Environmental Protection Agency director who had just resigned from a post as commissioner for the Socialist International Commission for a Sustainable World Society. Czars and cabinet members all represented the antithesis of moderation.

Moderation is not a word anyone would apply to the Obama administration. By February 18, 2009, political guru, Karl Rove, pointed out that “Less than 700 hours after taking the oath of office, President Barack Obama signed the largest spending bill in American history.”

His eligibility to hold the office was already an issue by February 2009 and it is not going to go away. Dr. Jerome Corsi’s new book, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” is a New York Times bestseller, its sale buoyed by widespread and growing concerns that Obama, under the terms set form by the U.S. Constitution, was not and is not eligible. Not only are there questions about his alleged birth certificate, but his Connecticut Social Security number as well.

After “Obamacare” was literally reamed through the House and Senate on a strict party-line vote, the public began to have some serious concerns. The massive assault on Medicare would bring a million people to Washington, D.C., to protest it prior to the vote and would spark the Tea Party movement. By November 2010, control of the House would return to the Republican Party and Democrats had lost members in the Senate.

By early 2011, Wall Street Journal columnist, Daniel Henninger, commented on Obama’s dwindling “likeability gap” citing the passage of time. “Obama.2008 was engaging, patient, open, optimistic, and a self-identified conciliator. Obama.2011 has been something else—testy, petulant, impatient, arrogant and increasingly a divider.”

As voters begin to scan the November 2012 horizon, Henniger wrote “Never forget: That historic 2008 victory came with 52.9% of the total vote and 52% of independent voters. David Axelrod recently noted ‘how small the margin for error is.’”

By April 2011, Gallup reported that “Barack Obama’s approval among the poorest Americans dropped to an all-time low of 48 percent…leaving the president with less-than-majority approval among all income brackets reported in Gallup’s presidential approval surveys.” Rasmussen polling showed the same numbers.

On August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon resigned the office of the presidency, the first to do so in the nation’s history. The sordid events dubbed “Watergate” forced his hand. Earlier, Lyndon B. Johnson had told voters he would not run for reelection after his pursuit of the war in Vietnam had turned them against him.

It is not beyond the realm of the possible that Barack Hussein Obama may find himself in increasing difficulty in the remaining 600 days of his first and likely last term in office.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

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May 29, 2011

Marines and their Devil Dogs

Jack Kemp

If you want to see photos of the Marines' military dogs whose skills were on display Saturday at Manhattan's Battery Park - as part of Fleet Week, check out my photo essay at American Thinker.

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May 28, 2011

The USS New York Returns, Part II

Jack Kemp

In the first part of this story, I was getting ready to leave home to travel to the Staten Island Homeport to get an official guided tour of the USS New York. Along with our 9/11 Tribute Film's director, Jeff Bruzzo, we were to join up at the front gate at 12:45 pm and walk to the Media Affairs area. Well, things turned out for the good, but not as we expected because of the excitement of the day.

Jeff and I were traveling separately. I couldn't stay home and left early for the downtown Manhattan and the famed Staten Island Ferry ride. But as I was about to board the 10 am ferry, I realized I had a lot of spare time, so I left the terminal and walked over to the (US) Marine Day events in nearby Battery Park. In previous years, this had included displays of weaponry and demonstrations of simulated hand to hand combat, but this year there was something different.

The Marines brought some attack dogs to the park and put them through their paces. After taking photos and notes for an exclusive pictorial essay elsewhere, I went back to the ferry terminal and proceeded to Staten Island.

Arriving separately, Jeff got one tour by the ship's Captain and I got a second tour. Jeff saw the officer's quarters and areas generally off limits to civilians. He got some amazing footage for our 9/11 tribute film and later told me he was amazed at how much the crew knew about the events of 9/11 in New York. I got a tour with with  Media Specialist Gordon.

Although I didn't get the "grand tour" this time, I had lucked out in 2009 during Fleet Week at the Staten Island Homeport when I joined a special tour given for two New York Police officers of the guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf, a ship that had chased pirates off the coast of Somalia  so I didn't feel too left out.

After checking the main gate once more (via a port golf cart) - and checking my home phone's messages - both to no avail, MC/2 Specialist Gordon asked me if I wanted to take the tour without Jeff. I told him that I had brought my still camera and had posted a piece about going on a tour this day at a website with one million viewers (there were other sites), so I had to go through with it. We went to the pier, I took some shore level photos and then proceeded up the gangplank.

"Permission to come onboard. I have a media guest with me" - or similar words - resulted in us entering below decks, past the huge hovercraft and an armored personnel carrier in the giant cargo bay and up a ramp to the flight deck.

On the rear flight deck I could see an attack helicopter and a larger transport one - and also a straight line view of where the World Trade Center used to be in Manhattan, just east of the World Financial Center's green topped buildings.

New York City, a few years before 9/11/01, had voted against expanding the Staten Island Homeport into a major Navy base. Had the "sophisticates" of New York who thought they lived in the era of "The End of History" voted otherwise, perhaps a Navy missile could have taken out the second of the jetliners that crashed into the south tower (Tower 2) of the World Trade Center and saved half the lives lost that day, both among civilians and first responders (firefighters, police, emergency service people) - or maybe even scuttled the plans for the attack. But "If" is for dreamers and Monday Morning Quarterbacks. Now seven and a half tons of the steel from the Twin Towers is included in the bow of this ship, the part an adversary sees coming straight at them.

I told MC/2 Specialist Gordon that I had been on the ship when it came to New York in November 2009 for its commissioning and showed him a printout of my photo essay from that time. See 

To end our tour, we walked down the ramps and off the pier, returning to our starting point. I thanked Specialist Gordon for his hospitality and spent a few anxious hours thinking our documentary's needs would only be partially met with some movie magic manipulations of the still photos I shot to make them appear as a right to left scan of the scene.

It wasn't until I got home and received a phone call from Jeff did I find out how good a day our film project had had, thanks to the US Navy. It goes to show that persistance and enthusiasm can sometimes result in "winning ugly:" even if you don't reach perfection, you can reach your goal.

Once again, the best of Memorial Days to you all - and especially to you Veterans.

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USS New York Returns

Jack Kemp

Just recently it was announced that the USS New York, whose bow was forged with 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center, was part of New York City's Fleet Week celebrations this Memorial Day Weekend. The Navy has also build two other ships to commemorate the other locations attacked on 9/11. The others are the USS Arlington (to commemorate the Pentagon attack) and the USS Somerset (in honor of Somerset County where Flight 93 went down at Shanksville, PA).

I visited the Staten Island Homeport in New York, but couldn't get a place to tour the USS New York again (I toured it when it first came to New York City for its commissioning ceremony in 2009). So I toured the frigate USS Carr berthed next to it and took the photo that appears on the home page of Project Shining City at 

One thing I did do, however, was to stir interest in the director of the Island Metro's 9/11 tribute film, Jeff Bruzzo, to want to create video of the outside of the ship for the movie. While at the port, I formally requested permission to shoot external video. After the Navy later reviewed our trailer ( and asked if we wanted to interview sailors (I said no and the officer liked that answer), we at Island Metro Productions have gotten official permission and a guaranteed admission appointment to come on board the USS New York to shoot video for our film today, Saturday May 28th. The film will be used as B-roll (a movie term for background scenery) near the end of our film, a fitting tribute to the people who died on 9/11 and to the people of the United States of America.

The Best of Memorial Days to you all. I've got to go get cleaned up for my trip to the Staten Island Homeport.

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May 27, 2011

Light Blogging

Timothy Birdnow

Folks, I may not post anything tomorrow; I have to go to the Ozark Hilton, to check for damage after the tornadoes ripped through Missouri. Hopefully all is well, but I may have some reconstruction work to do. Check back on Sunday if nothing is posted tomorrow.

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Waiting for the Hammer and Sickle to Fall

Timothy Birdnow

There is much back-and-forth over the causes of the current budgetary nightmare. Democrats and their lackeys in the media try to blame it on taxes they say are too low. But what is the true story?

It's the spending, stupid!

Bill Wilson from Americans for Limited Govenment puts it in perspective:

"After all, in just 2007, the total budget was just $2.728 trillion with only a $160.7 billion deficit. Now, in 2011, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the budget will be $3.771 trillion with a $1.597 trillion deficit. That’s a whopping 893 percent increase in the deficit in just four years. How can this be, when marginal tax rates are exactly the same as in 2007?

A part of the $1.436 trillion increase in the deficit has been the recession, when revenues plummeted from $2.567 trillion in 2007 to a projected $2.174 trillion for 2011. But that only accounts for $393 billion of the increased shortfall. The rest of it was $1.043 trillion in spending increases.

In other words, 72.6 percent of the problem is too much spending, meaning at least 72.6 percent of the solution must be dramatic spending reductions. In a recent piece for, Louis Woodhill writes that “etween FY 1955 and FY 2008, federal revenues increased by 1.0 percent of GDP. However, federal spending increased by 3.4 percent, causing the federal deficit to increase by 2.4 percent of GDP.”

Specifically, the biggest driver of new spending has been “the rise of the welfare state”. As Woodhill notes, “‘Payments to Individuals’ (both direct and via grants to State and local governments) exploded from 3.6 percent of GDP to 12.7 percent of GDP.”

End excerpt.

And tax increases reduce economic growth, making the defecits even worse. Democrats used to understand this; John Kennedy reduced taxes to spur economic growth, reducing the top rates from 90 to 70% and saw a huge increase in revenue - from $94 billion in 1961 to $153 billion in 1968.

Yet the position of their party is to increase taxes, because they have wedded themselves to the class warfare tactic and because they want high taxes and high spending, believing that ultimately all money comes from government and that the public holds their cash on loan, a sort of trust endowed by government. They are collectivists, and private ownership ultimately must be abolished. That can only happen through government control of industry, which can only happen through high taxation and high spending.

Cloward and Piven elucidated the battle plan best; overwhelm the system, break it down, rebuild it along socialistic lines.

The system is about to break down; we MUST make some very hard spending choices now, or face ruin. Already social security and medicare have seen their lives shortened; Medicare will fail by 2024 and Social Security by 2036.,_social_security_going_broke_even_faster_than_expected These huge entitlements - the bulk of our fiscal woes - will mean an end to the United States as we know it if they fail. They must be reformed now, but the Democrats resist and demogogue any efforts to fix them. Partly they hope to benefit from the fear of changing the system, partly they hope to break it. Either way, they are absolutely despicable.

There really are only two terrible options if we continue to drift:

1. We default. Default means we never get any credit from anybody, and the nation will likely be partitioned as the individual states would have to stop doing business with a government that cannot pay their debts.

2. We print money to pay our debts, giving worthless script to creditors, thus cheating them. This would likewise be disasterous (Wiemar Germany used this option during the Depression) because, as in a default, nobody gets paid, except in theory. It's like paying with monopoly money. Credit dries up, faith dries up, the states have to fend for themselves.

One thing is certain; America is finis as a world power. We likely won't even be a regional power. We won't be able to pay for ships, planes, anything.

In any event, the likelihood of America surviving this catastrophe is dim; we must fix the problem NOW, not ten years from now. When America can no longer make Medicare payments in 11 years the public will revolt. Too often such revolts are the precursor to despotism.

But, then, perhaps that is what some of our friends on the Left have had in mind all along?

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Zombie Climate Theory

Timothy Birdnow

Wesley J. Smith has a blogpost at Second Hand Smoke pointing out that the world's ice has failed to cooperate with global warming alarmism.

From the essay:

"The problem is that some of the predictions hysterics have made that could be judged in our own times, have not come to pass, such as the one that UK children by now would barely know what snow is.  Another is that the arctic ice will have melted by now."


"The snows are even returning to Kilimanjaro, which Al Gore wrongly claimed was losing its famous snow due to warming.  Some Himilayan glaciers–you know, the ones that the IPCC once said would be gone by 2035–are actually growing.  Oh, and the polar bear population is stable despite the ridiculous listing of them by our GHW bureaucrats as “threatened.”

In the face of these and other miscues, GWH’s now desperately seize at any severe weather event as proof of global warming.  No snow? Warming!  A lot of snow? WARMING!  Flood?  WARMING!  Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes–WARMING! WARMING! WARMING! WARMING! And the ever compliant media  dance to the tune, as in this Toles cartoon."

End excerpts.

I left the following comment:

"Arctic ice melt is not unusual; it happened in 1922, well before the great increase in anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

There are other explanations for ice melt, and the way the ice is melting does not fit with AGW theory.

End comment.

Sorry about tooting my own horn here, but I didn't want to rewrite something that was already written. The point is, if a theory does not fit reality it does not work.

When the Michaelson-Morley experiment failed to find a direction for the "ether" Einstein simply discarded that concept; it did not match reality. Anthropogenic Global Warming fails to explain reality; it's time it was discarded.

But AGW is like a zombie in a George Romero movie; it rises from the grave every night. It feeds on brains, too; many otherwise bright people fall for it. And the decaying corpse sure does have a bad smell...

Perhaps that should be the next movie in the "Night of the Living Dead" franchise?

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The Biofuel Sleight of Hand

Timothy Birdnow

If anyone wants proof that the environmentalists want not just an end to fossil fuels but to restrict our energy usage, George Moonbat, er, Monbiot provides the evidence.

Monbiot essentialy argues that biodiesel, that penultimate of alternate fuels, is worse than oil and should be stopped by the full force of law. From the article:

"Last week, the chairman of Malaysia's Federal Land Development Authority announced that he was about to build a new biodiesel plant(4). His was  the ninth such decision in four months. Four new refineries are being built  in Peninsula Malaysia, one in Sarawak and two in Rotterdam(5). Two foreign consortia - one German, one American - are setting up rival plants in Singapore(6). All of them will be making biodiesel from the same  source: oil from palm trees.
"The demand for biodiesel," the Malaysian Star reports, "will come from  the European Community.... This fresh demand...would, at the very least,  take up most of Malaysia's crude palm oil inventories"(7). Why? Because it's  cheaper than biodiesel made from any other crop.
In September, Friends of the Earth published a report about the impacts  of palm oil production. "Between 1985 and 2000," it found, "the  development of oil-palm plantations was responsible for an estimated 87 per cent of deforestation in Malaysia"(8). In Sumatra and Borneo, some 4 million hectares of forest has been converted to palm farms. Now a further 6  million hectares is scheduled for clearance in Malaysia, and 16.5m in Indonesia."

End excerpt.

This echoes complaints about sugar cane growth in Brazil; it takes up land better used to grow food crops.

In point of fact, the sky-high price of conventional fuels has led to a rash of grease theft.
Where once restaurants had to pay waste companies to haul their used cooking oil away, now they have to lock up their grease to avoid it being pirated by people who will turn it into fuel.

People are unwilling to go backward; nobody is going to choose to ride the bus or train when they have a perfectly good automobile in their driveway. The environmentalists want them on those trains and buses (despite the inconvenience) because they want them under control. See my essays here and here

And to force them onto those public conveyances they have to find a way to get people to stop driving. How? Make private vehicles too expensive to operate.

The sad fact is that alternative energy is no more wanted than fossil fuels; if they show enough promise they will be demogogued to death. What is wanted is a less energy-intensive lifestyle, a world where people stay put, where people eat what they are told, do what they are told. It is a world where people do not use air conditioning, where people use light sparingly, where Man can return to that pastoral paradise of which the gang green dreams. It is the opinion of many in the environmentalist movement that civilization has alienated Man from nature, and that nature is inherently good, so Man's suffering is caused by his civilization. Break it! Once the evil western lifestyle is destroyed Man can rebuild on a foundation in tune with the natural.

Of course, the natural was not and will never be there for Man's benefit; we are fitted to it, it is not fitted to us. How many starry-eyed adventurers have wandered off into the bush to live off the land, only to die of starvation or from exposure to the elements? Take the famous case of Chris McCandless; a young and angry man, he spent time tramping around America for several years before heading into the wilderness in Alaska. He was found dead from starvation in an abandoned school bus.

McCandless had survived in the lower 48 states as a parasite, feeding off of the refuse of civilization and the kindness of strangers. Once in the true wilderness he found the going not so easy. Nature did not care about him one way or another. There was no natural paradise.

He made a natural mistake; he believed what he read by liberals. A huge devotee of Thoreau and Jack London, McCandless believed the liberal utopian vision (London was a communist, although he did portray Alaska as brutal) and had it in his mind that he was "destroying the false being within" which is nonsense to the natural world. But his unhappiness in the world of his parents led him to seek paradise in the world, something that nobody will ever find. He left civilization, which is the world created by men to protect them from the really bad things that nature entails, and met his end.

He is hardly alone in this; people have been finding it impossible to survive in the wild for a long time.

There was a guy named Dick Proenneke who went to live in isolation in Alaska and succeeded - and he became a folk hero to the back to the land movement. But they were shocked by the fact that he hunted animals to survive; they thought surely he must be vegan, or at least vegetarian. But man cannot survive in the wilderness - especially that far north - without killing and eating animals. Nature is sharp of tooth and claw, and Man must be the sharpest or he will perish. There is a reason why Homo Sapiens is the only surviving member of the species hominid. Even Neanderthal Man, a very bright and capable species, is extinct (although it is believed they interbred with Cro-Magnon, so many of our liberal friends are likely decended from them).  Humans are pretty incompetent in nature; we need the tribe around us, which means we need some sort of civilization. Life in the wild without it is painful, uncomfortable, hungry, cold, hot, and short.

But Proenneke was different; he was friends with a brush pilot who came on a regular basis, delivering supplies without which Proenneke would have starved. Proenneke needed all manner of things, and received them on a regular basis. He used tar paper and polyethelyne for the roof of his cabin. He used gasoline for his lights. He imported bullets for hunting. He purchased clothes, tools, canned goods, bulk food items. He was a part of civilization; he just hid himself. He did not try to go it alone.

McCandless and many others tried to do this and failed.

So, Man needs civilization. If nothing else, civilizations protects us from predators including other people. Yet the fundamental goal of the Greens is to dismantle that civilization on the theory that things were better under the tyranny of nature. This utopianism bespeaks a fundamental sense of paradise lost. The Apostle Paul spoke of this when he said that man was condemned regardless of being told about God, because nature speaks to us; there is a moral code, as C.S. Lewis points out in Mere Christianity, and that code cannot be said to derive from any natural causes (read the book to read the arguements; I don't have time for it here). At any rate, the utopian left feels in their gut that something is fundamentally wrong with us and our condition, but instead of seeking answers in religion they seek it in a quasi religion, in a form of nature worship. Even the atheistic left does this, worshipping science as God because they BELIEVE there must be answers somewhere. They simply cannot accept that there is a judge, and they won't accept that nature is so unkind.

The only answer the Gang Green can find is in the Nature that has so spurned us; if man is inherently good and perfectible, it must be our civilization that is bad. They simply will not question that fundamental assumption. Christianity says Man is not inherently good, nor is nature.

But that way lies either God or madness, so the liberal will not face it. He prefers to live in a fiction, a world of his own making, one where his labors eventually bear the fruits of the Garden of Eden, only this one without God or the serpent. An eden of his own making. He has to "destroy the false being within" and to do that he has to destroy the false being without.

The process of becoming can be awfully destructive.

But getting back to the subject of biofuels, there is no more desire for them than for oil or gas among liberals; it was a will-of-the-wisp designed to trick the masses into abandoning our current fuels. Once those fuels are gone the bios will be targeted. This is about control, nothing more.

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May 26, 2011

Rabbit Police

Mike W.

The next time you hear of an e-coli outbreak you can sleep better knowing the USDA has spared no expense in chasing down and apprehending magicians without a license to handle rabbits. It is also after anyone who sells rabbits and makes more then $500 in said sales. The fine for such an outrageous and grievous act can go as high as $90,000.
As is well. The USDA is on the job!!!

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The Angel of Death Visits Missouri

Timothy Birdnow

"That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses."


There may not have been any Smitten Egyptians yesterday, but there was certainly a smoting, and this passage is entirely mete. The Angel of Death passed over us yesterday here in St. Louis. He came in many guises and from many directions, a legion of destruction marching through our city from the south, the north, and the west, ever eager to reach across the great river to visit death and destruction to those of the prairies of Illinois.

Last Sunday an F-5 tornado formed directly on top of the city of Joplin in the southwestern corner of Missouri, demolishing Joplin like a child demolishes a cities of tinker toys. On Good friday last month we were visited by a band of tornadoes here in St. Louis, and large swaths of the metropolitan area - particularly around Lambert St. Louis International Airport - were destroyed in their fury. My own father, working as a security guard in an office building in Bridgeton, was spared what would likely have been death; a tornado went right down the street, destroying homes on the other side of the street and sparing his building. He sits at the guard station in front of the great wall of glass...

Yesterday looked to be even worse.

They came on like avenging angels, or demons escaped from the Bottomless Pit, in a series of waves. Hail, from pea sized up to softball sized and larger, plummeted from the skies, breaking windshields and windows. One news channel had a photograph of four pairs of arms holding a hailstone larger than a basketball. Lightning was visible, although not our main concern; too much of the storm's energy was diverted to the tornadoes. Rain fell sporadically. The skies lightened then darkened until day turned to night.

I was in Dutchtown when I saw it. Dutchtown is a crumbly old section of south St. Louis, a place formerly inhabited by German immigrants (now long gone; it's part of the ghetto). I was there to show an apartment, and the woman who made the appointment was late. She called the office and they asked me to wait, although it was clear she had no idea where this was located. (They often don't.)  I waited, against my better judgement. Radio reports made it clear that a tornado had been seen in Arnold, a suburb due south of the city, and a funnel cloud was moving north along I55 through Affton - headed straight for me. When hail began to drop I decided it was time to go.

There it was; moving at 35 miles per hour and coming from the southeast; a funnel cloud. Angry black with a swirl and a tail nipping at the ground, it walked along the Earth like some great monster from prehistory. I was torn; I wanted to SEE it and yet knew the sensible thing was to seek shelter immediately, because that thing could spawn a demon tornado, but I so wanted to get a good view of it. I had a camera; perhaps a photo of a tornado being born would present itself?  I thought to stop the car and watch it pass, but caution overrode my wrecklessness. Men who fail to listen to their instincts end up dead. I drove on, giving the beast a wide berth.

But it was heading directly north, and was likely to shake hands with my mother. I called her, warning her to get into the basement and stay there. It took a while for the beast to leave the north county area, but it never turned into the tornado everyone feared. We were spared.

In fact, much of the metropolitan area was spared. Like the Angel 0f Death, this murderous storm seemed to pass us over.

But I fear for Illinois; it was warm and sunny, and southern Illinois is a wide, flat prairie (except in the far south, the "Little Egypt" area, where Illinois' Ozark Mountains will give them some protection) and perfect ground for tornadoes. Indiana offers little better, and so was likely scraped like an icy windshield by these terrible storms.

Joplin is still searching through the rubble for survivors; 1500 people are missing. Fortunately, the storm front did not choose to damage this place any further.  

Barack Hussein Obama took a moment out of his busy schedual of drinking Guinness and pretending to be an Irishman (I'm of the Connamara O'Bama's, don't ye know!) to send condolences. He has sent FEMA to the scene, although it's unclear whether he has formalized a national state of emergency for the community. He's likely to be a bit more responsive to Joplin than to the communities in Mississippi and Alabama; Missouri is a swing state, and he has to take care of some Democrats - such as Claire McCaskill - who are in tough re-election bids. Also, Joplin was a community that tended to vote Democratic. Now, if this had happened in Joanne Emerson's solidly red district in Southeastern Missouri...

George Bush was criticized fiercely for not returning to Washington on August 30, the day the Levees in New Orleans broke, yet here Obama is enjoying himself in Europe for a solid week, and the media makes no mention of the fact. Why didn't he return immediately? Why not after two days? Bush overflew the affected area on Friday, three days after the disaster; Obama can't seem to be bothered. He'll visit Joplin on Sunday, a solid week after the catastrophe. His visit is counterproductive; security will clog up streets and block access to emergency services. Large digging machines are trying to sift through the rubble to rescue trapped people. All this activity will constitute a security risk, so doubtless these rescue workers will be pulled off the job to protect the President. Better he should stay home, but the anointed one will not miss this photo-op.

At any rate, Obama's presence in Joplin is much like the flies buzzing around the destroyed buildings looking for corpses (yes, Mr. President, you DO pronounce that corpses in this case); he's just another carrion eating parasite. Better he remain in Europe, where he feels comfortably at home anyway.

We have dodged a major bullet in Missouri yesterday.  One must wonder at this; was it pure luck, or did the prayers of the faithful spare the city?  Was this a warning for Americans to repent? We have certainly changed the incorruptible God for corruption in all forms, and may be reaping the penalty thereof. America has decline morally, and too many people saw nothing wrong with that. Remember Bill Clinton? People thought his immorality was humorous, and re-elected him knowing he was a shameful man. America voted for Obama, not bothering to acquaint themselves with his support for partial birth abortion because they wanted someone to restore the economy i.e. they cared nary a wit about placing a mass murderer in office if he could fix their 401K's. For years we have not cared about what is righteous, but what is pleasant to us. Perhaps we are receiving a warning; repent or have God's protection withdrawn?  We have seen our economy collapse, and now nature is punishing our land. Entirely natural, of course, as I have made the case repeatedly, but supernatural, perhaps?  

Mysticism aside, we have a lot of hard work cleaning up, and we will have to fight the cockroaches on the Left who will use this disaster to their advantage. We are much like Nehemiah, who had to post guards on the walls of Jerusalem to protect the workers who were rebuilding the city. We'll have to rebuild the physical structures, and fight the liberals who will try to seduce the public with claims that this is a result of global warming, and demand that we centralize everything. It's a tough road ahead.

But as for me, I offer a prayer of thanksgiving, for the Angel of Death has passed over. We have been spared. At least for now.

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May 25, 2011

TANJ - Al Roker blames Joplin Tornado on Global Warming

Timothy Birdnow

Sometimes I despair of this world; the most ignorant people seem to rise to the top, a sort of reverse cream effect. Take, for instance, Al Roker...

Somebody please take Al Roker - as in away in a straightjacket.

The likable television meteorologist from the Today Show has blamed the recent spate of tornadoes on, drumroll please, Global Warming!

Now, Mr. Roker is a meteorologist (a profession far more skeptical of "climate change" than their climatological cousins) and should know better. Tornadoes are not caused by warm air but by cold air, and in this instance by La Nina spinning cold air off the Pacific. If one wishes to blame climate change in any capacity one can say it is global cooling, not warming, that is the cause of these tornado strikes. Be that as it may, Roker surely must understand that a strong La Nina cannot be construed as proof that the globe is warming.

The reality is, there has been no statistical warming since 1995, and even if one wants to claim that the cold air is meeting unusually warm air the case cannot be made. What case can be made is we are at the peak of a 40 year cycle, and that this seems unusual to us because we have gotten used to a quiet tornadic season; the last fifty years have been very quiet, while humans have been busily building up areas that would have been rural backwaters. Naturally we are seeing high death tolls, because we have more people in the path of these storms.

Global Warming fails as a theory; the projected hot spot in the troposphere is not there (and all models require this), the oceans are not really heating up, the planetary ice balance is not down (yes, it's down some places and up in others), the oceans actually DROPPED last year, and we have not witnessed any long term increase in the rate of sea level rise. That all the measurable metrics have paused cannot be accounted for by CO2 as the primary forcing. We also now know that the temperature record is horribly corrupted. There has been purposeful manipulations by insiders of the data sets (CRU).

Roker should know this.

Roker should also know that coincidence is not causality, and that weather is not climate. Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn predicted this very spate of tornadoes based on solar activity:


75% #Joplin Destroyed in 4th #tornado swarm of year.
Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist of said: "May's tornado count was below normal up to this date so we are very pleased with this dramatic confirmation of our explicitly forecasted dangerous and  tornado swarm which has come in the regions we predicted when we said to within a Day. This continues our 100% success rate in EXTREME EVENT / tornado USA warnings in April and May which is so far 11/11 (7/7 for April* & 4/4 for May so far). We successfully predicted all 4 of the major tornado outbreaks / swarms so far this season.
Our sympathies go to all those who have suffered in this dangerous deadly outbreak and hope that in future the Authorities can use our forecasts to be better prepared for such dangerous weather events.
* See &  (for Earthquakes)"

End excerpt.

This was not based on increases in greenhouse gases, mind you, but observations of the sun. The sun is the principle forcing of the climate. Surely Roker understands that?  

Apparently not.

On the Martin Bushir show, Roker:

"Roker also offered a theory on why tornadoes are seemingly touching down in more urban areas as of late. His answer: Climate change.

“And you know look – yesterday, or the day before yesterday, we had the tornado in Minneapolis,” Roker said.  “We have had these tornadoes and earlier this week we had a tornado in Philadelphia. And so, you know our weather, or climate change is such now that we are seeing this kind of weather not just in rural parts of our country, but in urban centers as well.”'

End excerpt.

And this fellow is on national television as a meteorologist?  

Science fiction writer Larry Niven coined a term for it TANJ or There Ain't No Justice. It applies here; Roker should be doing readings at weather stations or filing data in some backwater office, not misinforming millions of people.

TANJ is right!

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A Popular Delusion and the Madness of Climate Science

Timothy Birdnow

Here is a good piece by William Happer that gives a general overview of what is wrong with Global Warming theory - and climatology as it is currently defined.

From the beginning of the article, a quote from Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds:

"The object of the Author in the following pages has been to collect the most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes,” wrote Charles Mackay in the preface to the first edition of his Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. I want to discuss a contemporary moral epidemic: the notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet. The “climate crusade” is one characterized by true believers, opportunists, cynics, money-hungry governments, manipulators of various types—even children’s crusades—all based on contested science and dubious claims."

End excerpt.

Global Warming is an attempt to stampede people. As Happer points out:

"I began with a quotation from the preface of the first edition of Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, and it is worth recalling now a quotation from the preface of the second edition: “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”'

And that about sums up the generation-long War of the Worlds scare nicely.

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Liberal Doomsday Predictions just as Nutty

Dana Mathewson

This article tells it like it is.  The MSM and the rest of the left is beating up on that poor old Rev. Harold Camping, who merely said the end of the world was gonna be last weekend, based on faith-based mathematics.  Prager says that "science-based" predictions from the left over the years are much more ridiculous.,_the_left_shouldnt_laugh_at_the_religious

And, of course, he's correct.

(A note from Tim; the end of the world happens every day for someone. Why do we need an apocalypse to force us to take stock of things?)

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The Apocalypse in Joplin

Timothy Birdnow

Let us all pray for the city of Joplin, Missouri, which was recently destroyed by a terrible twister.

The tornado, which may be as strong as a category 5, touched down directly on top of Joplin, for those who are not aware.

I cannot imagine the horror of such a thing. I am sorely tempted to go there to see it, but then the best thing I can do for them is to NOT go and gawk; they need clear roads and routes for the supplies.

President Obama is going to give a speech there on Sunday, from what I am given to understand, and the surviving residents aren't pleased; he could have given them comfort right away, but now he is going to come in with a huge staff and lots of security, tying up the facilities these people need to survive, solely to make a political statement. And people complained about the slow response of George W. Bush to Katrina...

My friend 7lb Dave lived in Joplin for several years, and I've been there a few times. It's a city, not just a town, and there was an older downtown area that was ripe for destruction; old buildings not especially well maintained. It was kind of a shabby place, really, although the southern outskirts was full of well-to-do residents with nice homes. Had the feel of a college town in those parts because of Missouri Southern State University, I guess (a small college, but a college).  

It really is an astonishingly awful thing.  There is a lot of concern here and throughout the state, so I suspect it's not going to resemble Katrina and New Orleans, but with Obama putting his grubby hands in it you never know. The town is fairly well served in terms of roads and does not have the problems New Orleans had with levees and the like. As long as the roads remain clear help will get through.

Which brings up an interesting tidbit; yesterday on our local conservative radio they were interviewing a guy who runs a tree service (Jeff Hansen, of Hansen's Tree Service) who wanted to bring heavy equipment down to Joplin to help dig out. These big digging machines are used to remove whole trees, the big ones, but they cannot be moved on roads without a special permit. The permit office closes on Friday afternoon and reopens Monday morning - so they had to wait until the wheels of bureaucracy began to turn to send rescue equipment.  Just more proof that the government acts to restrain the enterprise of the people.

At any rate, the official death toll is 116, although radio reports have it as high as 300, with as many as 1500 missing. That Reverend Camping fellow may have been dead wrong about the end of the world, but it sure looks like he was spot in Joplin; the city is decimated. As Dana Mathewson so plaintively asks, what could they possibly have done to deserve that? It is horrible.

Donations can be made to the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, or any other worthy organization. The residents will need money, food, water, clothing, just about everything. Please be generous; these people have lost it all.

And prayers; these will be a most precious relief that can be given. The poorest among us can at least make THAT donation. Nonbelievers can pray by discussing this with others, asking them to help.

Such disasters make us understand the fragility of this proud civilization we have built.

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