July 31, 2012

Milton Friedman's 100th birthday

David Dickinson

Had Milton Friedman not died on November 16, 2006, today would have been his centennial.  Dr. Friedman said a lot of things memorable enough for him to be often quoted, but one of my favorites of his is:

"Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink, and make the combination worthless."

As this column from the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore lays out so well, Milton Friedman was "the man who saved capitalism."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444226904577558882802335216.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

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July 30, 2012

Comrade Elizabeth Warren praises China's infrastructure

Jack Kemp

In a prime time television ad, Fauxcahontis, Elizabeth Warren, is now praising how things are done in China as opposed to the United States. This to an audience of viewers who tuned in to see the US best other team's athletes at the London Olympics.

Well, at least I can't accuse her of speaking with forked tongue. But she isn't doing her campaign any favors, not that I'm opposed to that.

Here are some quotes from the one 30 second Cherokee - and the internet link which also gets you to a youtube video of her saying this.

How does one say "I'm an elitist snob and statist useful idiot" in Cherokee or Chinese? And why no mention of the 70 million people Chairman Mao murdered? Does she also want to emulate that?

http://www.nysun.com/national/elizabeth-warren-praising-communist-china-as/87918/

Massachusetts residents who tuned in to the Olympics opening ceremony saw a new 30-second campaign commercial from the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Elizabeth Warren, that said America should be more like Communist China.

"We've got bridges and roads in need of repair and thousands of people in need of work. Why aren’t we rebuilding America?” asks Ms. Warren, a professor at Harvard Law School who served in the Obama administration. "Our competitors are putting people to work, building a future. China invests 9% of its GDP in infrastructure. America? We’re at just 2.4%. We can do better.”

SECTION OMITTED

The first problem is mathematical. U.S. gross domestic product is about $15 trillion a year. Increasing infrastructure "investment” to the 9% Chinese level that Ms. Warren cites would mean an additional $1 trillion a year in government spending. That’s an immense spending increase. To put it in context, the entire federal government spent about $3.6 trillion in 2011, on revenues of about $2.3 trillion.

SECTION OMITTED

China is able to spend so much on infrastructure because it’s an un-free country. It lacks the rule of law that lets American community groups wage legal and political battles against big government projects. Ms. Warren may protest that when she’s talking about "infrastructure” she mainly means maintaining existing roads and bridges, not building brand new projects that flatten urban neighborhoods or destroy scenic rivers. But that’s not what’s happening in China.

One of the ironies here is that some of the lawyers opposing big proposed American infrastructure projects on environmental or eminent domain or racial discrimination grounds were trained by Ms. Warren and her colleagues at Harvard Law School and at other similar institutions like the University of Chicago, where Barack Obama taught after attending Harvard Law School.

Such opposition, sometimes spurious, can succeed in delaying and raising the cost of private development projects even if the opponents ultimately do not prevail in court or in the political process. Free-market fans tend to like the eminent domain suits and dislike the ones about snail darters, and it is a distinction worth maintaining.

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Begun the Breastfeed Wars Have

Timothy Birdnow

I warned that the newest liberal powergrab would be over breastfeeding, and I wasn't wrong.
http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012/07/29/nyc-mayor-bloomberg-pushes-mothers-to-latch-on-with-new-breastfeeding-initiative/

I warned this was coming months ago.
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/46672

Whatever happened to the liberal demand that government keep it's hands off women's bodies?


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July 29, 2012

McCaskill being shown up in the Show Me State

Jack Kemp

from American Thinker:
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/sen_mccaskill_trails_gop_challengers_badly_in_missouri.html

Sen. McCaskill trails GOP challengers badly in Missouri

Rick Moran

Even the weakest GOP senate primary candidate bests the incumbent by 5 points.

National Journal:

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) trails all three of her potential Republican rivals, according to a new survey conducted for two Missouri news outlets, cementing her status as this cycle's most vulnerable incumbent.

Businessman John Brunner (R) holds the largest advantage over McCaskill, leading by a 52 perent to 41 percent margin. Former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) leads by a 49 percent to 41 percent margin. And Rep. Todd Akin (R) leads by a 49 percent to 44 percent margin.

McCaskill's big problems come among independent voters. She scores just 40 percent among independents against Akin, and she's mired in the mid-30s when she's matched up with Brunner and Steelman. And while McCaskill has said she would like President Obama to campaign with her, Obama wouldn't be much of an advantage -- the poll shows Obama trails Mitt Romney by a 51 percent to 42 percent margin.



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Why the Olympics will not memorialize Munich '72

Jack Kemp

You can read some politically incorrect details that never made it into the press both recently and in 1972 concerning the Olympic Committee's anti-semitism.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/07/27/why-ioc-will-never-memorialize-72-munich-massacre/

BEGIN QUOTE

Recently, new information about the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympic Games was released by German police as a result of pressure from German investigative reporters. It was reported that the "Black September” terrorists were helped by a Nazi group in Germany to get fake IDs, weapons and access to the Olympic Village.

This was not too shocking, as the head of the IOC in 1972 was Avery Brundage, a Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite. His protege, Juan Samaranch, eventually served the second longest IOC term as president, but his support of Nazis and the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was kept a dirty secret. Most IOC members knew the truth but stayed silent because he organized a regal lifestyle for them -- with money diverted from sport."

SECTION OMITTED

Gilady informed us that a moment of silence was not possible because if the IOC had a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes, they would also have to do the same for the Palestinians who died at the Olympics in 1972. 

My mother said, "But no Palestinian athletes died."

Gilady responded, "Well, there were Palestinians who died at the 1972 Olympics."

I heard one of the widows say to Gilady, "Are you equating the murder of my husband to the terrorists that killed him?" 

Silence. 

END QUOTE

The article goes on to detail how one Israeli team member was castrated by the terrorists at or near death from other wounds and his genitals were stuffed in his mouth. Neither Walter Cronkite or Brian Williams were/are ready to mention that level of barbaric detail on the evening news. It is not good that this happened but it is good that these Israelis are willing to talk about it openly - and some outlets, notably the internet, are willing to post these details.

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July 28, 2012

We ignore Iran at our peril

Dana Mathewson

In the opening days of his presidency -- or was it during the campaign (it's hard to distinguish between them) -- President Obama dismissed Iran as "a small country" and downplayed any threat it might pose to us. Similar thinking seems to infect our State Department.

Not good, people, not good! The Washington Post tells us, in an article linked on Urgent Agenda, that:

Iran is rapidly gaining new capabilities to strike at U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, amassing an arsenal of sophisticated anti-ship missiles while expanding its fleet of fast-attack boats and submarines, U.S. and Middle Eastern analysts say.

The new systems, many of them developed with foreign assistance, are giving Iran’s commanders new confidence that they could quickly damage or destroy U.S. ships if hostilities erupt, the officials say.

Urgent Agenda's William Katz points out that "That is a critical point. What if Iran opened the hostilities? The aggressor has the advantage of surprise and maneuver in the first hours. Many forget that there were more than 50 American warships in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. There were many American fighter aircraft on the ground at nearby bases. Yet look at the damage the Japanese inflicted in the opening minutes. The battleship Arizona was sunk in the first ten minutes of the attack. Planes were destroyed on the ground."

The entire article is here: http://www.urgentagenda.com/PERMALINKS%20VII/JULY%202012/27.IRAN.HTML

Hello, Mr. President? Hello, Hillary? Anybody paying attention?

No answer. Guess everybody's watching the Olympics.


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July 27, 2012

And You Thought the Housing Crisis Was Over!

David Dickinson

Several years ago I said that I had gotten to the point in my life where nothing shocked me anymore.  Surprise me, maybe.  But then Barack Obama was elected, thanks to the most significant and effective news blackout in history, a blackout that effectively erased the origins and essence of the man who is now President, and enabling the creation of the new political phenomenon, the "blank slate politician."  Hence the occasional return of shocking moments and events.

 Each day I do what many people do while drinking their morning coffee, visit my favorite websites and read columns written by America's greatest conservative voices and thinkers. As a consumer of the Rush Limbaugh radio product, I often play a game of predicting which of these columns Rush will have seen and will talk about on that day's 3-hour show. 

This morning, I read the attached column by William Tucker at "The American Spectator," and knew instantly that not only would Rush discuss it, he would lead with it. 

He did.

As I told my brother-in-law, Dana Mathewson, in an email with this article's link attached, my reaction was simply:  "Unbelievable." 

On July 21, 2010, Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, much to the consternation of a good many Americans.  Within that ominous legislation was a new bureaucracy, (in William Tucker's words) the "Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, designed by good old Elizabeth"Nobody-Ever-Made-It-On-Their-Own" Warren, which should really be called the Bureau for Bringing Down the Entire Economy."

The CPFB has effectively implemented a new version of the "Community Reinvestment Act" in which not only will banks be forced to make risky loans, as Mr. Tucker says,  "They're going to take over the credit rating agencies and force them to change their standards to accommodate blacks and Hispanics so that nobody will have any idea who is a bad credit risk and who is not."  Part of the new policy reads: "Applying different lending standards or offering different levels of assistance to applicants who are members of a protected [i.e., minority] class...."

How can our government ignore the fact that forcing banks to make risky loans was the primary reason our economy went into the tank in 2008?  And not are they just ignoring history, they are repeating it.  "Bureau for Bringing Down the Entire Economy" indeed. The only thing I can say besides "unbelievable" is, "Elections Matter."  Read it and weep.

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/07/27/and-you-thought-the-housing-cr

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Newsweek to cease publishing paper version

Scott Whitlock | July 27, 2012 | 12:30

According to an announcement on Wednesday, Newsweek magazine will cease publishing a print version in 2013 and switch to an online only presence. Despite hemorrhaging money for years, the publication has been a steady voice of liberalism, both in the magazine and when contributors and editors appeared on  television. On June 9, 2009, managing editor Evan Thomas famously told Hardball anchor Chris Matthews: "[Barack] Obama's standing above the country, above — above the world. He's sort of God." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

As the magazine's circulation plunged, the publication became even more shrill. A January 23, 2012 cover story wondered, "Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?" In 2010, liberal editor Tina Brown took over and Newsweek merged with the Daily Beast. Appearing on the July 6, 2011 edition of Morning Joe, Brown compared conservative Republicans blocking tax increases to "suicide bombers."

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Mike Bloomberg endorses... Scott Brown?

Dana Mathewson

Amazing! Simply amazing! I didn't think it was possible for Bozoberg to do anything that made any sense whatsoever -- at least to conservatives.

But you read the headline correctly. The item is found on the Big Government website, here: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/27/New-York-Mayor-Bloomberg-Endorses-Scott-Brown  and suggests "that the Senate race between Republican Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has become the most important non-Presidential contest in the country," according to author author Michael Patrick Leahy.

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Hidden Defectors?

Dana Mathewson

The pundits -- professional and otherwise -- are always fond of saying that "the election will be decided by the independent voters." Personally, it scares me to think that people who supposedly can't decide which side of the fence they belong on are going to be the ones who pick our next president. I'd rather such folks stayed home.

Nevertheless, one astute analyst -- IBD's Andrew Malcolm -- believes that things may come down a bit differently than expected this year. For one thing, he suspects that among the supposed Obama supporters there lurk a number of disillusioned folks who may do one of two things: either stay home on Election Day or actually "pull the lever" for the GOP candidate (most likely Mitt Romney, but we have three months to go, and you never know).

"So much political shouting is flying around in the multi-million dollar ad wars from both sides these days it's easy to miss an occasional whisper that could prove very effective in what most now agree is likely to be a close presidential election on Nov. 6.
[...]
"So, conventional wisdom holds, the real political battle these next 102 days is for a slim middle of self-defined, so-called independents, presumably susceptible to argument and evidence. A fair number of these folks are really faux independents who prefer the perceived openness of that label, although in truth their voting patterns are likely as predictable as their parents.

"But is this perhaps a false deadlock? There's a growing suspicion among conservatives -- and a latent fear among Obamaphiles -- that another significant bloc of voters is hidden like double agents within the Democrat's camp.

"These are voters who still say they support Obama with apparent conviction, much like those Wisconsin voters last month who so badly skewed the recall's exit poll results by saying, you betcha,they voted the union way against Gov. Scott Walker. But, in truth and in secret, they did not."

The whole article, which I recommend to you heartily, is at http://news.investors.com/article/619979/201207270832/romney-obama-poll-deadlock-could-be-false-like-wisconsin.htm

Let's hope he is right!


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July 26, 2012

EPA: Water Safe to Drink in Fracking Region Town

Dana Mathewson

Enviro-wacko opponents of fracking were dealt a setback yesterday in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that it has completed tests on drinking water in the northeastern Pennsylvania village of Dimock and has determined it is safe to drink, despite the claims of some residents who say it has been polluted by gas drilling.

The EPA said in a statement that it doesn't plan further tests, and that there's no need to provide residents with alternative supplies of drinking water.


Dimock resident Ray Kemble didn't accept the EPA verdict.


"I don't care what EPA says. The water is still polluted," Kemble said. "Do something about it."

The article is here: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/26/EPA--Water-is-safe-in-town-in-Pa-drilling-region

It's nice to see the EPA acting like something other than a jackbooted Nazi organization for a change, though I understand the townspeoples' concern. Still, this is one small victory for an oil and gas extraction method that has attracted a huge amount of knee-jerk opposition. The point is made here, and cannot be stressed too highly, that the kind of pollution encountered in the town often occurs naturally. What is not addressed in this article is a timeline -- whether methane was found in the water before the gas extraction began.

On a personal note, I'd like to say that back in the middle 1960's I spent a couple days with a friend in the northwestern Pennsylvania town of Bradford, in Pennsylvania's oil region. You would have been well-advised not to have thrown a lit match into the toilet -- in fact, you would have been well advised not to have lit a match in the bathroom in the first place. The smell of oil pervaded the house, and I was glad to leave after two days and one night. I suppose one gets used to living with smells. I can't remember if we drank the water, but I doubt we did.

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The U.N. Gun Treaty

Dana Mathewson

I don't think we've been discussing this a lot on this site (forgive me if I've missed it if we have), but I'm sure many of us have been concerned about the thing anyhow. The U.N., to whom I often refer as the Useless Nincompoops in private e-mails to Timothy, are intending, as part of their march to One World Government, to take guns out of the hands of the Great Unwashed and keep them solely for Themselves, the Elite, the Only Ones Who Can Be Trusted With Them. This removal will be accomplished by force, if necessary -- and you can bet your shoes it would be necessary to use force to take the guns away from America's hunters and sport shooters, and no less so from those of us who have the quaint idea that we might need our shootin' irons to protect ourselves from our less benevolent fellow men -- whether they be our neighborhood drug dealers or our neighborhood politicians.

Steven Hayward, writing in Power Line, explains the whole thing at http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/07/behind-the-un-gun-treaty.php

Here, he quotes the opening paragraph from a report by the UN Human Rights Council on the issue:

No international human right of self-defence is expressly set forth in the primary sources of international law: treaties, customary law, or general principles. While the right to life is recognized in virtually every major international human rights treaty, the principle of self-defence is expressly recognized in only one, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights), article 2.48. (Emphasis added.)
He adds: "Now hold it right there, pardner, as John Wayne might say. There’s no "general principle” of a right to self-defense??? Say what!? So all that stuff from John Locke and other theorists of social contract theory about self-preservation being the first principle of all human rights that stands at the core of classical liberalism—that is all just swept away, is it? (Needless to say, once they come for your guns, they’ll come next after the second principle of liberalism rightly understood: your property rights.)"

The whole thing is definitely worth the read. And he ends it perfectly:

What was that? I didn’t hear you. I’m reloading. The UN is a menace to human liberty–full stop.

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The White House Fears Leaks -- and Rightly So

Dana Mathewson

California Senator Dianne Feinstein made some remarks a few days ago about how the White House was the source of the leaks about cyber warfare, targeted assassinations of terrorists, Iran, etc. Predictably, she got her hands (or perhaps another part of her anatomy) slapped and issued an unconvincing retraction. And faithful lapdog David Axelrod was sent out to the usual MSM organs to assure us that, far from spilling the beans, the President is spending every waking hour (well, considerable time, at least, when he's not campaigning) making sure our security is in good hands. (Just whose hands, he apparently never clarifies. But hey, that's the Chicago style, isn't it?)

This is all from a Jonathan Tobin story in Commentary. The entire article is here: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/07/25/david-axelrod-leaks-assurances-ring-false-white-house-romney-feinstein/

"But Axelrod’s assurances ring false. Obama’s problem here is that the White House’s fingerprints were all over these stories [in the New York Times and other media]. It’s not just that secrets were spilled, but that they were leaked in a manner intended to make the president look like he was actively involved in the details of national security matters. The Times stories in particular — served up as they were to fill the front page of a number of Sunday editions of the paper — were more than background material about the nuts and bolts of how the nation is pursuing terrorists and attempting to stop Iran’s nuclear program but crafted so as to make the president look good. Moreover, they were sourced in such a way as to make it obvious it came from the White House. That is why [likely GOP presidential candidate Mitt] Romney’s call for a special prosecutor had to make the president and his senior advisers squirm.
[...]
"The problem here is not merely a bad news cycle in which Romney got the better of the president. The leaks investigation is the sort of thing that can and will haunt the president and his senior staff long after the election. The current investigations being conducted by two prosecutors appointed by President Obama have the potential to drag a second term — if he is lucky enough to have one — down in scandal. That should make their anxiety about the outcome in November even greater. Should, as Romney rightly suggests, a special prosecutor be appointed, there’s little doubt that some of Obama’s senior staffers are going to spend the next few years defending their reputations in a scandal that will tarnish the president’s historic legacy. Re-electing the president and keeping Attorney General Eric Holder in office so as to keep the Justice Department from pursuing these charges too zealously is their only hope."

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July 25, 2012

Can it be? Sen. Harry Reid makes sensible statement re: gun control legislation

Dana Mathewson

Be still, my beating heart! No, this is not from The Onion. It's from Breitbart's Big Government site. In the face of desk-pounding by usual suspects Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Mayor Mike Bozoberg... er, Bloomberg, about the need for more gun control laws, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has had an uncharacteristic Sensible Moment -- for which he will undoubtedly be taken to the woodshed by Democratic Party solons.

"I think we have to wait and see how this plays out,” Reid told reporters, according to The Hill."I think we should just wait for a reasonable period of time before people are off making statements about what they should do and what they shouldn’t do and also recognize what we’re doing here in the Senate.”

Sen. Chuckie Schumer, the Democrat's chief political strategist (in my not-so-humble opinion, if he's their chief political stragetist, they are in deep trouble), is of a similar mind. "Schumer, punting on the issue, said since the House would not be able to pass any gun control legislation, it would be pointless to bring any up in the Senate."

At least the two can recognize political realities when they are hit over the heads with them. The article says "Reid represents a state (Nevada) that does not favor gun control and almost received the NRA’s endorsement in 2010 when he barely won reelection. Schumer is politically savvy enough to know that gun control legislation will only hurt Democrats nationally."

Now if the rest of the Donkey Party would get so smart -- not to mention the rest of the liberal establishment. Don't hold your breath, though.

The article is here: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/24/Senate-Democrats-Chicken-Out-on-Gun-Control-Will-Not-Introduce-Gun-Legislation



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Mass Murder and Untreated Madness

Dana Mathewson

The MSM are, as expected, doing their level best to try and use the Aurora, CO shootings to lobby for more gun control (read: citizen control). As part of that, they are looking at the background of the shooter -- PhD candidate, etc. -- and acting as if such a person is totally unlikely to have done such a thing.

But Clayton E. Cramer, a historian who has studied matters such as these, points out in an excellent PJMedia article, that high intelligence and madness are often found together in the same individual, and that policies instituted by liberals beginning in the 1960's have made it harder to treat mental illness.

He begins by saying that:

The network news coverage of the recent shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, seemingly asserted that we should be surprised by the background of the alleged killer: Phi Beta Kappa graduate of University of California, Riverside, and until recently, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado medical school. There isn’t any reason to be surprised: there is a very strong relationship between severe mental illness and murder, and another strong relationship between mental illness and intelligence.

As my new book points out, for centuries the connection between mental illness and violence was considered sufficiently obvious that the legal system provided various ways to hospitalize the severely mentally ill when they first provided clear indications that they were a hazard to themselves or others. Only in the 1960s and 1970s did our society decide that this system was unfair. It then embarked on a policy of "deinstitutionalization.” The idea: standards for long-term, involuntary commitment of the mentally ill should be just a bit less demanding than the standards of proof for criminal conviction.

Unsurprisingly, emptying out the mental hospitals and making it difficult to hospitalize people with serious mental illness problems meant that society as a whole became a bit more like a low-grade mental hospital. Supporters of gun control argue that we need stricter laws because ordinary, law-abiding people just "snap” and go on rampages. There are people who indeed snap and go on rampages (and not just with guns) — but they are seldom ordinary. Often, they are people with long histories of mental illness who in 1960 would have been hospitalized before they killed someone. Gun control is in some respects an attempt to make all of America into a low-grade mental institution, where we don’t trust people with deadly weapons.

[...]

I mentioned earlier the connection between intelligence and mental illness. It has been noticed for a long time that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are genetic. Your mother doesn’t drive you crazy; you inherit genes that increase your risk of developing these two mental illnesses. It also appears that creativity and intelligence are associated with these genes. We have many examples of very smart people whose descent into madness led to violence.

Think of the Unabomber, a Ph.D. in mathematics who taught at Berkeley. Or Professor Amy Bishop at the University of Alabama, accused of not only mass murder in her department, but also of the murder of her brother many years before. Or Professor Ernesto Bustamante at the University of Idaho, whose mental illness led him to murder and suicide. Or Cynthia Clinkingbeard, an endocrinologist who lost her medical license because of bipolar disorder problems, and pretty well blew her chance of winning the Democratic nomination for Congress in my district because of a crazy incident involving a pistol and Staples. I can supply dozens more examples.

The article is here: http://pjmedia.com/blog/deinstitutionalization-mass-murder-and-untreated-madness/

I recommend it highly, and you can use it when one of your liberal friends tries to use Aurora to beat you over the head.


 


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July 24, 2012

Obama's Likeability Ratings Decline

Dana Mathewson

Hat Tip to "Friend Eddie" Engebretson for this one. Dick Morris (with whom one may or may not agree but who certainly has a lot of experience at this sort of thing) analyses a New York Times/CBS poll of registered voters (not likely voters -- the difference is significant) and finds that Obama is losing his personal popularity among voters. This personal popularity, you may recall, is something that persisted even as people lost their confidence in his ability to handle his job.

In April, Obama had a 42-45 favorable/unfavorable rating, itself a shock given his vastly higher favorable ratings only a few months before. Now, he has a favorable rating of only 36% and an unfavorable rating of 48%.

What is most notable about this statistic is that it is not due primarily to the bad economy. While the Times poll showed that the percent of voters who feel he is doing a good job in handling the economy has dropped to 36%, Obama’s ratings in this category have been low for some time. The drop in favorability is new.

Rather the cause of his decreased likeability is his negative campaigning, both in person and on the air. He is now no longer the sunny, optimistic, friendly person he portrayed himself as being in 2008. Instead, a nasty, surly, angry image has taken over.

Dare I say that you can't fool all of the people all of the time? The article can be found here: http://www.dickmorris.com/obamas-ratings-dive/#more-9295

This is a reminder that personal style is still important in politics.

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Western wildfires – horrific, destructive … and unnecessary

estern wildfires – horrific, destructive … and unnecessary

New fire-fighting technology could help put them out. Why isn’t it being used?

Paul Driessen

Millions of Americans watched their evening news in horrified fascination.

The Colorado Springs wildfirehad doubled in size overnight, to 24 square miles – half the size of San Francisco – as 50-mph gusts carried fiery branches from exploding treetops across fire breaks, down Waldo Canyon and into fresh stands of drought-dried timber. Flames crested the ridge above the beautiful Air Force Academy campus, 346 houses burned, hundreds more faced immolation, and 32,000 people were evacuated, through smoke and ash that turned daytime into a choking night sky.

130 miles north, another monster firewest of Fort Collins consumed 136 square miles of forest and torched 259 homes. By July 4, this year’s Colorado forest fires had devoured 170,000 acres – 265 square miles, nearly five times the size of Washington, DC. Across eleven western states, nearly 2,000,000 acres have already burned this year; imagine all of Delaware and Rhode Island ablaze.

People died. Many homes are now nothing but ashes, chimneys and memories. In the forests, the infernos exterminated wildlife habitats, roasted eagle and spotted owl fledglings alive in their nests, boiled away trout and trout streams, left surviving birds and mammals to starve for lack of food, and incinerated every living organism in the thin soils, presaging massive erosion that will clog streambeds during downpours and snowmelts. Many areas will not recover their foliage or biodiversity for decades.

Having hiked in many of these areas, I’ve been truly depressed by these infernos. Why were they allowed to happen? "We are doing everything possible to control these blazes,” officials insist. One has to wonder.

Put aside the insanity of letting horse-blindered environmentalists, bureaucrats and judges obstruct even selective cutting to thin dense stands of timber or remove treeskilled by beetles, after decades of Smoky the Bear management. Forget for a moment that these policies turn forests into closely bunched matchsticks, waiting for lightning bolts, sparks, untended campfires or arsonists to start conflagrations.

Ignore the guidelinethat say fires in these areas can be extinguished if they are of human origin (if making that distinction is even possible in the midst of an inferno) – but must be allowed to burn if they are "natural” (caused by lightning, for example), even amid droughts, in the hope that they won’t become raging infernos that threaten homes. Disregard the crazy jurisdictional disputesthat prevent aircraft from dropping water on a fire, because the crew cannot tell whether the blaze is on Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service land.

Pay no mind to the fact that these fires emit prodigious amounts of carbon dioxide – along with large quantities of mercury, particulates and other pollutants. (Many rock formations contain mercury; trees absorb it through their roots, and release it into the atmosphere when they burn.)

Once a fire erupts, there is no reason it should devastate homes, suburban developments or vast forest areas. The technology exists to stop these fires, long before they reach such intensities and proportions.

Two days before Waldo Canyon burst into flames, a revolutionary fire suppressant stopped a 300-acre fire north of Albuquerque, New Mexico almost in its tracks. Just nine single-engine planeloads of FireIce(about 7,200 gallons) were needed to douse the flames, prevent nearby trees and homes from igniting, and insure that the fire remained permanently extinguished.

Dutch Snyder, the independent 27-year veteran fire-fighting pilot whose airplane handled this successful mission, remarked afterward that he had "never seen a retardant hold a fire line” so well, or "any product knock down a fire so quickly.”

According to its inventor, GelTech Solutions chief technology officer Peter Cordani, FireIcesmothers fires, by taking heat and oxygen away from combustible materials. It can be dropped directly onto a fire, penetrating through to burning trees and brush – rather than just being dropped far from flames, in often futile efforts to create fire breaks that hold.

As many news outlets, like Fox 21 KXRM-TV in Colorado Springs, have documented in recent years (visit the GelTechwebsite for video clips), this product can be dropped by plane to suppress wildfire intensity, or sprayed by homeowners on houses and landscaping to protect them from heat and flames. Even a 2,000-degree F blowtorch cannot ignite a wood board (or burn a human hand) coated in FireIce.

The product is non-toxic, non-corrosive and environment-friendly, Cordani says in the news stories. It’s been tested, certified and approved by the US Forest Service, which has FireIce and GelTechon its "qualified products list” of fire-battling chemicals and professionals. The company maintains its own state-of-the-art mixing equipment and is ready at a moment’s notice to assist aerial and ground fire-fighting operations anywhere in the USA. It can fill trucks and airplanes of any size, including 3,000-gallon Air Force C-130s and even 10,000-gallon DC-10 supertankers.

Duly impressed, I called the company to ask what role it was playing in fighting the Colorado blazes and why its technology apparently was not working. The answer shocked me. It had not been asked to help!

Despite all the news stories about FireIce, its certification by the USFS, and frequent communications between GelTech and federal, state and local officials – no one had contacted the company.

How is that possible? What will it take to persuade officials to break from traditional (and obviously inadequate) wildfire tactics and retardants, and use FireIce to combat what Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown called fires of "epic proportions” – to protect homes, habitats, wildlife and human lives?

New Mexico has now used FireIce with great success against several forest fires. With a long fire season still ahead, perhaps US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Dan Jiron, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs Mayors Karen Weithunat and Steve Bach will now follow the example set by Governor Susana Martinez and her colleagues in the Land of Enchantment.

If they do not, responsible legislators and environmentalists should find out why – so that tragedies like these Colorado fires never happen again.

____________

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, a ten-year Colorado resident, legislative aide for former US Senator Bill Armstrong of Colorado, former policy analyst for the US Department of the Interior, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

 

 

 

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The Real Joker in the Aurora shootings

Jack Kemp


An immigrant from the old Soviet Union has written a great essay indicting "progressive" value free education and the nihilistic viewpoint it advances as real motivators in the Aurora, CO, movie shootings. Here is a an introduction. Read the entire piece.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/the_theater_shooter_is_caught_but_the_real_joker_keeps_laughing.html#ixzz21Wzb51cV

The Theater Shooter Is Caught, but the Real Joker Keeps Laughing

By Oleg Abtashian

Why is it that in the previous decades, when life was tougher, weapons were widespread, and the ratio of mental disorders was presumably the same, mass shootings were unheard of?  Some would say that those people had not yet been corrupted by moral relativism, desensitized by Hollywood's fantasy violence and glorification of crime, or addicted to gory point-and-shoot videogames.  All valid points -- yet one major reason hardly gets any notice.

The set of rules for war are different from the set of rules for peace.  Wars have always been brutal and soul-sapping; while killing was the norm, there have also been rules to spare innocent civilians.  The inhuman murder of a random group of defenseless innocents for no other reason than murder itself was never a part of war -- let alone of peace.  What has changed in our 2,000-year-old Western civilization that makes it possible?

Admittedly, the major driving force of cultural change is the education system.  Until recently, no generation of young Americans has been exposed to such a massive, centrally planned indoctrination based on the dehumanizing, soul-sapping "progressive" ideology.  Accordingly, never before have students dropped out of school in such large numbers, with so confusing and conflicting views of the world and their place and purpose in it, with blurred perceptions of right and wrong, and infected with what I like to call "secondhand envy" and "phantom grievances" (which is similar to the Marxist concept of false consciousness, only not as far-fetched).



Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 03:39 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 23, 2012

United Air abuses disabled vet & his dog

Jack Kemp


Disabled veteran says United Airlines staff kicked his service dog and asked if he was retarded as delays forced him to spend THREE days at the airport

By Laura Cox

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A disabled veteran and his service dog were abused by United Airlines staff, he has claimed.

Jim Stanek, a three-tour Iraq veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, said employees of the airline kicked his dog, Sarge, and asked him if he was retarded.

In a YouTube video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xr93KI6vaKE#!  the Paws and Stripes founder describes his ordeal which began on July 16 at Dulles International Airport in Washington.

Scroll down for video

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:40 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The Right to Keep and Bear Liberty

Timothy Birdnow

Apologies for any typos or misspellings or whatnot; I'm still blogging blind. It's pretty tough, I might add.

Yesterday the inevitable began on the Colorado shooting; Fox News Sunday had a woman on the panel (I didn't get her name = I can only see shadows on the television) was using this foul murder to call for gun control, and none other than Bill Chrystol, editor of the Weekly Standard and the king of neocons, weighed in on the issue for what he called "reasonable standards" involving guns and ammo. The woman before him asked the question "does the Second Amendment mean the right to carry semiautomatic weapons and hundreds of rounds of bullets? and Chrystol agreed (calling himself a squish on the issue) that there should be restrictions. After all, the reasoning went, there are restrictions on all of our freedoms. We can'[t yell "fire" in a crowded theatre, for instance (my example, not Chrystols) so why shouldnt there be restrictions on guns?

Should the public be allowed to own weapons as powerful as the military uses?

The answer is yes.

The argument was made on FNS (and elsewhere) that had anyone in the theatre had a gun this incident should have ended. In fact, the Columbine shooting occured in Colorado as did this last shooting in Aurora, and one must ask the common denominator - Colorado. Does Colorado have concealed carry? I don't know and can't look it up, but Colorado has become home to the hippies who have abandoned California, and my guess would be no. Ot os omterestomg tjat. at nest. tjere are mp ,pre sjpptomgs om cpmcea;ed carru states tjam om tje gim cpmtrp; pmes. amd O sis[ect tje pmes wotj gim cpmtrp; actia;;u jave jogjer stats/ Tjeu certaom;u see, tp jave ,pre dra,atoc omcodemts/

But that is neither here nor there; the Second Amendment was not put into the Constitution to protect the rights of hun ters and sportsmen. It was put into the Constitution because the Foun ders understood that they were giving the power of the military to the United States directly, and wanted the citizenry to act as a counter-balance to the U.S. force of arms. They had, after all, just fought a revolution against an oppressive military power and wanted to ensure that the new government they were creating was not going to be a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" and one of the cornerstones of that was to see to it that the citizenry could fight back. As a result, they intended the citizens tohave the right to arm themselves any way they saw fit. It was but another check on the powers of the central government.

We have all forgotten that little fact.

There are other arguments that can be made; the shooter started by tossing a grenade into the theater, and he could simply have made thermite or poison gas and killed just as effectively - or moreso - and with commo0n household chemicals. We can't watch everyone's every movement, not without becoming the very horror that we seek to prevent. Better to have an armed citizenry ccapable of dealing with a guy like this themselves. Oh, and the killer could always just buy guns from Mexico courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice and a little program called Fast and Furious...

But the fundamental reason for having the Second Amendment is to allow people to own "assault weapons" if they wish. Bear in mind that governments have committed far larger massacres over the centuries than any committed by private individuals. Just ask the Sioux, or the good people of the town of Osceola Mo. where the Union army massacred the civilians and burned it to the ground during the Civil War.

The Bible says the king is given the "power of the sword" to "punish evildoers" but that power can be used to punish rivals, or the recalcitrant, or anyone unfortunate enough to be in the way. America was founded with the fundamental premise that the People are the source of governmental authority and the People therefore retain the rights of government, including the power of the sword. The sword is allowed in the hands of the citizenry to punish evildoers in government.

Biall Chrystol misses the whole point of the Second Amendment; it is not like the right to choose a mate or the right to travel about freely but rather is a right that is nigh unto a duty, to restrict the power of government by acting as a civilian counterbalance to the force of arms held by the state. Had the colonists not been armed there would have been no rebellion against George III. Ask yourself why Australia never rose against the Kind; it's because they weren't allowed freedom of firearms, being founded as a penal colony. And there was every bit as much provocation; the so called Rum Corps abwas a cadre of British officers who used Australia as their personal fiefdom, and they abused the colonists terrible, often simply raping tyheir women and burning houses, stealing cattle, etc. There was nobody to stop them because the colonists, having been prisoners prior, were restricted in their ownership of guns. (William Bligh, the famous ccaptain of the Bounty who lost his ship in the famous mutin7y, was sent to straighten out the probelems in Australia and he sided with the colonists; the Rum Corps mutinied and held Bligh prisoner for two years. by the way.)

A large part of America's greatness stems from her embracing of an armed citizenry, and talk of restricting access to guns on the federal level (some restrictions are permissible at the state level, something Chrystol and company seem to have not umnderstood) is a usurpation of not just liberty but a fundamental dismantling of the careful planning of our forefathers. The Civil War strted this process, and it has gone on ever since. Is it any wonder that, as America has become more "civilized" we have had a more aggressive imperialistic government, and more crime at the same time? Our government has grown powerful enough to restrain the good men from defending tehemselves and their institutions and has left the evil men empowered. It is irrational, yet once again the call has gone out for more gun control.

At least the Obama Administration has remained quiet on this; can't say I blame them, with Fast and Furious looming over theri heads.

In the end the right to keep and bear arms is the right to keep and bear liberty. End one and you end the other. It really is as simple as that.

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