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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Systemic social problems are not an excuse for rioting and theft.

But changing some of our social systems to encourage personal responsibility may make ‘entitlement’ riots and opportunistic looting less likely.

That is the gist of Michael Coren’s new column in the Toronto Sun:

If the British riots disaster is not to be replicated elsewhere, here is a manifesto of advice. Ignore it at your smug peril.

1) Reduce the role of the state and, as a balance, increase the role of the family.

For many years in Britain, parents have been told their children’s social, sexual, moral and cultural formation was better achieved by schools and social workers than mothers and fathers. Not only is the notion flawed philosophically, in practical terms it emasculates parents and enables children to act out every aggressive and narcissistic fantasy imaginable.

In West Indian families, for example, there are numerous cases of poor but good and responsible parents who, in trying to discipline their children, are prosecuted by white, middle-class lawyers for spanking a kid who goes on to join a gang and spend years in prison. Equally, parents are not informed by law if their underage daughters tell doctors or teachers they are sexually active, but they are left to face the consequences when teenage pregnancy or STDs occur.

2) State-supported education and health care may, arguably, serve a purpose, but state-supported welfare and social services have become so all-embracing that individual self-reliance has evaporated. The balance is important here. Neither the fanatical libertarian nor the obsessive socialist model works.

3) Stop the war on religion. Whatever your view of faith and God, the massive decline of religious observance and community in Britain has removed one of the glues that held the country together.

When churches disappear, the vacuum is filled by gangs or tribes. Beyond this is the disappearance of moral standards and ethical absolutes. Witness how in the black community it is the Christian evangelical youths who are least touched by the anarchy.

4) Control immigration, so it is based on the cultural and social needs and unity of the host population as well as on compassion and economic growth. The privileged people who decide our immigration policy seldom live in those areas where the mass of newcomers settle. A nation is more than an assembly of financially viable shopping malls, and without some sort of national and emotional fraternity we see inevitable decay.

5) Liberate the police from the whims of political correctness and government fashion. If London police had reacted swiftly and harshly to the rioting, there would not have been copy-cat incidents throughout Britain. Because of years of “racial sensitivity” training, they were held back in Tottenham, meaning — irony of ironies — law-abiding local people were attacked and robbed.

The police are not guardians of the state but protectors of the people. Their job is not to arrest storekeepers protecting their property, not to hand out traffic tickets, not to control controversial speech, not to be empathetic, but to stop crime and arrest criminals.

6) Do not romanticize the worst of lower-class antics on TV and in cinema and music. Entertainment once presented a world worthy of aspiration, now it glorifies the mud and muck. It makes the rich richer, keeps the poor poorer.

In conclusion, will any of this be achieved? Keep the baseball bat handy.

‘Zionism’ is simply the assertion that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state. This is no more racist than saying that Jordan or Saudi Arabia have the right to exist as Arab states.

Jews have an unbroken connection with Israel that goes back between three and four thousand years. If anyone can claim to be the indigenous people of that part of the world it is the Jews.

The League of Nations gave Britain a mandate to make the old Ottoman province of Palestine, the historical home of the Jewish people, into a Jewish homeland and state. Britain did so, but carved off 80% of the mandated territory – everything East of the Jordan River – to create the state of Jordan to be a homeland for the region’s Arab people.

The 20% left to the Jewish people was reduced again in a proposed partition which gave a further 30%, Gaza and the West bank of the Jordan, to local Arabs.

The Jews accepted this arrangement, which left them with only 15% of the mandated territory, less than one 6th of 1% of the land of the Middle East. Leaders Golda Meyerson and David Ben Gurion repeatedly affirmed their desire to live in peace with their Arab neighbours. Arabs living in Israel would be given the full protection of the law, and full rights of Israeli citizens.

Arabs leaders rejected this plan, and told Arabs living in Israel to leave, since the Jews would soon be defeated, and they would then be able to return to take over the farms, schools, roads and hospitals the Jews had built.

The state of Israel was proclaimed in a declaration of independence on May 14th 1948. The following day Israel was attacked on all sides by the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, said “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the crusades.”

Israel survived, as it has survived the relentless attacks on its territory since that time, including three more major conflicts (1967,1973 and the Intifada) and ongoing terrorism.

Israel is the only non-racist state in the Middle East. Arab citizens still have full rights of citizenship. Arabs can be, and are, members of parliament, judges, police officers and soldiers. Jews are not even allowed to live in Jordan, Saudi Arabia or the Arab occupied territitories of Israel.

There are temples, mosques, and churches throughout Israel, as well as synagogues.

Yet Israel is constantly attacked by the UN, and nowhere more viciously and dishonestly than at the Durban Conferences.

It is an disgrace that Australia is still considering sending a delegation to the planned Durban conference in New York.

It is bizarre and embarassing that while talking about moral leadership in imposing a pointless tax on ‘carbon,’ our government is considering legitimising a conference which is itself grossly racist.

It is especially important that the government give a clear lead given the recent spate of boycotts and blockades of Jewish businesses in Australia. Nineteen ‘protestors’ (read thugs) were arrested and three police officers injured during a rally outside Max Brenner’s chocolate shop in Melbourne in July.

Even if the government won’t, some Australians are taking a stand against anti-Jewish bullying:

Gerard Henderson, Jana Wendt, Paul Howes, Warren Mundine, Sandy Gutman and Michael Danby at Max Brenner's Chocolate Shop

I will be in Melbourne next weekend to visit the theatre and to see the Tutankhamun exhibition. I think I’ll call at Max Brenner’s for a coffee as well.

Reason number 12934618 to get the heck out of the Epsicopal church, if not the entire gluey mess that is worldwide Anglicanism.

Episcopalians will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a three day memorial including readings from the Koran.

Robert Spencer has selected some verses which might be appropriate:

Qur’an 98:4-6: “Nor did the People of the Book make schisms, until after there came to them Clear Evidence. And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer; and to practise regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight. Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.”

Qur’an 5:14: “From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.”

Qur’an 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

In words as slippery as fish oil, presiding ‘bishop’ Katherine Jefferts Schori said: “The anniversary is an opportunity for reflection” adding that the Episcopal Church “continues to work for healing and reconciliation. The greatest memorial to those who died 10 years ago will be a world more inclined toward peace.”

Well, yes. Except that peace and reconciliation have their foundation in truth, something the Epsicopal church seems to have lost track of completely.

Yep, Obama gets a ringing endorsement from the pampered niece of Fidel Castro.

“Let’s overlook President Obama​’s failures during his first term,” advised Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela to Congresspersons Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey and Sam Farr recently in Havana. “We must support him for a second term so that he can have a better opportunity to accomplish better things.”

While being feted by a Stalinist regime that shoots and imprisons labor leaders, outlaws strikes and burns Orwell’s “Animal Farm” as “seditious,” the three smitten U.S. legislators were acting as honored plenipotentiaries of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

While delighting in the company of a regime that jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoners in modern history, that to this day jails and tortures Cuban blacks for the crime of quoting Martin Luther King, Jr​., and whose co-founder (Che Guevara​) declared, “The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and drink, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent,” — while swooning in this august company, California Rep. Barbara Lee also acted as plenipotentiary of the Congressional Black Caucus.

This Congressional delegation’s respectful visit to the Stalinist regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin’s, murdered them at a higher rate than pre-war Hitler’s and bans elections under penalty of torture chambers and firing squads, was sponsored by the California-based Center for Democracy in the Americas.

Mariela Castro, 49, serves as head of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, which is dedicated “to enlightening people against  traditional sexual prejudices,” and is run by the only regime in the modern history of the Western hemisphere to herd gays into forced labor camps for the crime of being gay, and to herd HIV sufferers into isolation camps until they died.

More on the economic and human disaster that is communist Cuba at The American Spectator.

Dim witted leftists who gush over Castro’s ‘achievements’ are in the same category as the useful idiots who came back from Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia with glowing reports about new industries and a workers’ paradise.

Jennifer S Bryson notes the high proportion of captured terrorists who have had large amounts of pornography in their possession.

Pornography makes women and men masturbation aids. The actors cease to be human. Their only purpose is to provide physical stimulation. If they don’t do their job, they disappear – the page is turned, the next website clicked.

Pornography de-humanises both actors and users.

If we want to understand the inner workings of terrorists and would-be terrorists, we must seek to understand their entire person, including the relationship—or inconsistencies—between their words and actions. In the case of the 9/11 hijackers who visited strip clubs, and in the case of Abdo and among what seems like an increasing number of terrorists, actions include sexual perversions and pornography use that cannot be squared with what these ideological terrorists and their supporters espouse.

Terrorist acts rely on the ability to dehumanise planned victims. Victims are less than real, less than people. They are to be blotted out.

Bryson asks:

Are there security costs to the free-flow of pornography? If so, what are they? Are we as a society putting ourselves at risk by turning a blind eye to pornography proliferation?
 
I wonder further: Could it be that pornography drives some users to a desperate search for some sort of radical “purification” from the pornographic decay in their soul? Could it be that the greater the wedge pornography use drives between an individual’s religious aspirations and the individual’s actions, the more the desperation escalates, culminating in increasingly horrific public violence, even terrorism?

It can no longer claim to stand for Australian workers.

If it did, it would have come down on Craig Thomson like a ton of batts.

This guy (allegedly) stole from health services workers to give himself cash bonuses and $2000 sessions at a brothel.

Then he lied about it.

Instead of standing up for the workers, the Labor Party paid Thomson’s legal bills, lent him another $50,000, and told everyone else to shut up.

Gillard and Labor will no longer be able to form a government if Thomson has to stand down, so it is understandable that they don’t want that to happen.

But they seem to have no comprehension that by acting as they have, Gillard, Swan, etc, have confirmed what is now the standard public view – that they are in this for themselves and cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of ordinary Australians.

The Labor Party will win people’s trust again, and their votes, when it acts in a trustworthy way.

A black bus that looks like a monstrous hearse, and not one US flag in sight. This is the bus Darth Vader would have picked. Not just a misery tour, but a genuinely stupid idea.

A few days ago communist China launched its first (albeit recycled) aircraft carrier. Whatever else this is, it is an attempt to project Chinese authority over the Western Pacific.

A renewed reason to demonstrate and affirm moral and material support to our non-communist allies in Asia.

But virtually simultaneously, the news that the US has bowed to pressure from communist China, and will not supply F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan as expected.

China has called the sale a “red line.” A recent editorial in the state-controlled People’s Daily called for the use of a “financial weapon” against the U.S. if new F-16s were released.

The U.S. decision comes as a blow to the self-ruled island’s effort to counter China’s growing military, whose first aircraft carrier began sea trials last week, and therefore to its independence.

There are fears that losing Taiwan could spell the end of U.S. power projection in the region. Losing Taiwan would “change everything from the operational arch perspective to the posture of Japan and the U.S.” in the region, said Raytheon’s Asia president, Walter Doran, a retired admiral who once commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

An ordinary level of commonsense financial management would not have left the West so vulnerable to the pressure of a threatened ‘financial weapon.’

A set of balls in the White House would also help.

For last four months allegations have been made that Federal Labor MP and former Federal Secretary of the Health Services Union Craig Thomson had used his union credit card to make make unauthorised cash advances, and to pay for prostitutes.

He has denied those allegations, claiming the cash withdrawals were made by someone else, or if made by him, were appropriate and properly accounted for, and that the signatures appearing to be his on credit card vouchers for ‘escort services’ are forgeries.

Forensic handwriting expert Paul Westwood has examined the vouchers and says there is no evidence of this, and that he ‘would be very surprised if the signature was a forgery.’

The signatures on the license and credit card slip look identical to me:

Craig Thomson - Signature a Forgery?

Radio station 2Ue’s Michael Smith points out that in either case, a crime has been committed, and the police need to be called:

One – Mr Thomson did it. 

Two – Someone knocked off his card, then knocked off his licence, then forged his signature.   They also knocked off his phone, and used his phone from the area where he lives up the Pacific Highway, then used the phone coming down the highway to Sydney and used that phone to call the same escort agency where the knocked off credit card, forged signature and knocked off licence were presented.   Then his card, his licence and his phone were returned to him without him even noticing they were missing.

Then when that $2,745 bill came in as a result of scenario two he just authorised it for payment.   Didn’t ask what it was about.   Didn’t investigate.   It’s just $2,475 anyway.

The NSW Police must be involved in this investigation in either case.   In either scenario one or two it is a clear case of fraud.

And the victims here are the poor buggers who go to work every day cleaning hospitals.   It’s their union dues.   And Craig Thomson was the man who signed off on the way the money was spent.

….

I just rang the number that appears on Craig Thomson’s mobile phone records on the night that the $2,475 was paid to Keywed Pty Ltd, trading as Sydney Room Service escort agency.

The phone was answered “Sydney Room Service.”

I said “I’m Michael Smith, I’m from 2UE and we’re doing a story on the use of credit cards for escort services.   Can you tell if your clients need to show any further ID if they pay for your services with a credit card?”

The lady who didn’t want her name used said, “Yeah, if you pay with a credit card you must produce photographic ID.   That’s a standard practice throughout the industry.”

I said, “Are your staff instructed to check the photographic ID against the face of the person in front of them, the person who signs the credit card voucher?”

She said, “Yes, absolutely.   They know that if that’s not done they don’t get paid.   It happens 100% of the time.”

The Labor Party has so far paid some $40,000 defending Mr Thomson from these allegations. If he has to resign, this will force a by-election, which Labor will lose. If Labor loses one seat, they lose government.

I’m also a bit curious – what on earth would you get for $2475 at Keywed Restaurant aka Sydney Outcalls Network?

Facts have defeated the climate alarmist juggernaut. It still lumbers on like a gigantic zombie looking for brains to devour. Poor thing. It does most of its lumbering in universities and Labor Party gatherings, where brains are in short supply.

This is part of a speech to be given by Perth geologist David Archibald at the no carbon tax  rally in Canberra today:

My first duty to you today is tell you what is happening to the climate.  What is happening is cooling.  The oceans started cooling in 2003, and the atmosphere is following.  There has been no warming since 1998.

In fact, the temperature of planet today is almost the same as it was when satellites first started measuring it in 1979.  No one under the age of 32 has experienced global warming.  Some of us predate that and remember the heavy frosts of the nineteen seventies.  Those frosts are returning, and worse.  Solar activity is weakening, and will remain weak for another 22 years.

We in this blessed country will be spared the worst of it, but a large portion of the grain belt in the northern hemisphere will have crop failures due to longer winters and early frosts.  Canada will go from being a large exporter of grain to becoming a frequent importer.  As long as Australia remains a net food exporter, we will benefit from the shorter Northern Hemisphere growing season.

For us, climate is a non-problem.  Carbon dioxide’s heating effect is real, but minuscule.  The one hundred parts per million that we have added to the atmosphere in the last one hundred years has heated the planet by one tenth of a degree.  We will add another hundred parts per million over the next fifty years.  The total of two tenths of a degree will be very welcome by mid-century.

In fact, the more carbon dioxide we add to the atmosphere, the better.  During the ice ages of the last three million years, the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere got as low as one hundred and seventy-two parts per million.  Plant growth shuts down at one hundred and fifty parts per million.  Life above sea level was almost snuffed out due to a lack of carbon dioxide.  We were only twenty-two parts per million from extinction …

Click here to download David Archibald’s Speech in MS Word format.

Stop Islamisation of Europe has issued the following advisory to the government of Turkey:

The organizations “Stop Islamisation of Europe” and “Stop the Islamization of Georgia,” report that they are going to hold a rally of humanitarian assistance in support of ethnic minorities living in Turkey.

Both organisations note the Turkish government permits flotillas sailing to Israel to embark from ports in Turkey with no interference., In this regard, we ask the Turkish government not to interfere in the promotion of the convoy.

SIOE pre-states that among the passengers and volunteers will be well-known personalities: journalists and members of legislative bodies of both Georgia and other European countries.

The column of cars and trucks is for peaceful purposes and called “Rights and Freedom.”

We are purely a humanitarian and an information group acting to expose to the world the status of national minorities living in Turkey and to provide assistance to such minorities.

The date for moving “Rights and Freedom” convoys will be stated later.

Cool! Can’t wait to see how Turkey responds.

Those dastardly right-wing Christians are at it again.

This time they are claiming that we serve the poor best by being financially responsibile:

… we do not need to “protect programs for the poor.” We need to protect the poor themselves. Indeed, sometimes we need to protect them from the very programs that ostensibly serve the poor, but actually demean the poor, undermine their family structures and trap them in poverty, dependency and despair for generations. Such programs are unwise, uncompassionate, and unjust.

The group calls itself Christians for a Sustainable Economy. Here is a bit more of their letter to President Obama:

All Americans – especially the poor – are best served by sustainable economic policies for a free and flourishing society. When creativity and entrepreneurship are rewarded, the yield is an increase of productivity and generosity.
 
Compassion and charity for “the least of these” is an essential expression of our faith, flowing from a heart inclined towards God. And just as the love of God frees us for a more abundant life, so our charity must go beyond mere material provision to meet the deeper needs of the poor. To suggest that Matthew 25 – or any commandment concerning Christian charity – can be met through wealth redistribution is to obscure these truths. We encourage you to consider the whole counsel of scripture, which urges not only compassion and provision for the poor but also the perils of debt and the importance of wise stewardship.

Amen.

The ever interesting Katharine Birbalsingh says the riots in England are about race, and nothing will be resolved until authorities are willing to face this fact:

Some of the black kids I used to teach will tell you that the riots are absolutely justified. A number of adults would agree with them. Everywhere I read that the protest was understandable because “people are very angry”. …

At school I remember watching a presentation given to the kids by Trident, the Metropolitan Police Service unit set up to investigate and inform communities of gun crime in London’s black community. I didn’t know what Trident was then, and it struck me that all of the photos of people shot (the idea was to scare the kids) were black. So at the end, I approached one of the policemen and asked him what percentage of those involved in gun crime were black. I kid you not, but my question made this thirty-something white man who was, after all, trained to deal with the black community and its issues, turn pink.
 
He explained that about 80 per cent of gun crime took place in the black community. I smiled uncomfortably. But no, he said, it was worse than that. Then he told me that 80 per cent was black on black gun crime, and that of the remaining 20 per cent about 75 per cent involved at least one black person: black shooting white, or white shooting black. I pushed to know more. While he kept saying his stats were crude and he didn’t have scientific numbers, on the whole the whites who were involved in these shootings tended to be from Eastern Europe.
 
Was any of this ever mentioned in their presentation? Of course not. Just like the news about the Tottenham riots doesn’t mention race either.
 
Problems cannot be addressed unless people are willing to tell the truth. As with so many other things in this country, we stick our heads in the sand and refuse to speak out about it.

The death of petty criminal and gangster Mark Duggan in a shootout with police was not part of a ‘context of oppression’ that explains why young black people are so angry. Nor is planned reduction in social welfare services. These are simply handy excuses to destroy property and steal.

Brendan O’Neill writes in The Australian that the riots are nothing like a political rebellion. They are an expression of the toddler-like rage of a molly-coddled mob.

One of the most disappointing things about these conflicts is the police warning against ‘vigilante justice.’ You have got to be joking.

Vigilantism is when something bad has been done and people try to catch the wrongdoers and punish them without due process under law. Sikhs, Kurds and others who have had the courage to stand and defend their properties and families are not vigilantes. They are trying to prevent crime. They are doing the job the police should be doing.

I don’t mean to be critical of individual police officers. Most of them are people of courage and integrity who really do want to make a difference in their communities. Most of them do not accept the ‘we police with the consent of the communities we serve’ platitudes. They police because they are sworn to uphold and enforce the law, regardless of locality, race or creed.

They are hampered (perhaps betrayed would be a better word) by a politically driven management class of senior officers, many of whom have very little enforcement and operational experience. Christine Nixon, recent and unlamented Commissioner of Police in Victoria, is a perfect example.

The riots in England, and the attempts to excuse them by reference to the down-trodden lives of the rioters and the uncaring attitude of government, remind me of the Palm Island riots in Australia in 2004.

‘Respected local man’ and petty criminal Cameron Doomadgee died in police custody. The circumstances are still unclear. The habitually drunk and violent Doomadgee allegedly attacked the police, who defended themselves and responded with sufficient force to subdue him, including punches to the abdomen. He suffered internal injuries which were not noticed, and died a few hours later.

This was the pretext for riots on the island in which the courthouse, police station and police barracks were burned down. Local police (eighteen police for a population of 2000) and their families were threatened. Fearing for their lives, they barricaded themselves in the small hospital until another eighty police arrived from the mainland.

There seemed to be an infinite supply of social workers and government officials ready to describe the islanders as ‘justly outraged’ and expressing the anger of accumulated years of mistreatment. Police involved were demonised in the press, and the usual intellectuals offered the usual claims about institutionalised racism.

What hogwash.

I have worked with police in remote locations with high aboriginal populations. Overwhelmingly they are men and women who care for their communities enough to put themselves in danger when things go wrong. Those who work in remote communities can find themselves alone in threatening circumstances, under great pressure and with little time to make decisions about appropriate words or actions.

The 1999 Guiness Book of World records said that, apart from war zones, Palm Island was the most violent place in the world to live. Criminologist Paul Wilson has confirmed the island has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world. The homicide rate is 94 per 100,000 people per year, compared with 6 per 100,000 per year for the rest of Australia. Serious assaults are 930 per 100,000, compared with 46 per 100,000 per year for the rest of Australia. Almost every female between the ages of 13 and 16 has at least one sexually transmitted infection. Wilson claimed this horrifyingly destructive behaviour was the fault of repression and colonial mismanagement.

No it is not. Do we really have so little regard for the young people of Tottenham and the aboriginal people of Palm Island that we have no expectation of any ability to control themselves, to take reponsibility for their actions? Do we have so so little respect for them that they don’t even have to make up their own excuses any more, because there is an army of Mrs Jellybys with baskets full of excuses suitable for any occasion?

Even in the poorest parts of London there are still parents who are responsible, honest, work hard, and teach their children to do the same, and to respect other people and their belongings:

In his coffee shop in Stoke Newington, Karagoz tried to explain another feature of these riots – why Turkish and Kurdish youths had generally not joined the looting.

“We have businesses and work hard for what we have. As parents we want our children to work, earn money and be able to buy what they want, not steal it. Our young people know we would be ashamed of them if they were doing this.”

Thanks Karagoz. And all the parents like him.

First, hello!

It has been a month since my last post – my apologies.

I have had some minor health and family issues to sort out. Then there is the retail downturn, and downturn in the number of travellers to the island. I have had to work longer hours, taking on tasks I would not normally accept so the bills can be paid. All that has meant a lack of mental and emotional energy for blogging.

But enough with the excuses!

First up, Sarah. It still amazes me that some people keep buying the liberal media theory that she is a stupid small town mayor who has inflated ideas of her own abilities.

She has vastly more business and administrative experience than Obama.

Her latest Facebook post is the best thing I have read so far on the US credit rating downgrade, the reasons for it and what can be done to restore confidence.

Some excerpts:

I’m surprised that so many people seem surprised by S&P’s decision. Weren’t people paying attention over the last year or so when we were getting warning after warning from various credit rating agencies that this was coming? I’ve been writing and speaking about it myself for quite some time.

Back in December 2010, I wrote: “If the European debt crisis teaches us anything, it’s that tomorrow always comes. Sooner or later, the markets will expect us to settle the bill for the enormous Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending binge. We’ve already been warned by the credit ratings agency Moody’s that unless we get serious about reducing our deficit, we may face a downgrade of our credit rating.” And again in January, in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address I wrote: “With credit ratings agency Moody’s warning us that the federal government must reverse the rapid growth of national debt or face losing our triple-A rating, keep in mind that a nation doesn’t look so ‘great’ when its credit rating is in tatters.”

Many commonsense Americans like myself saw this day coming. In fact, in June 2010, Rick Santelli articulated the view of independent Tea Party patriots everywhere when he shouted on CNBC, “I want the government to stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending! STOP SPENDING!” So, how shamelessly cynical and dishonest must one be to blame this inevitable downgrade on the very people who have been shouting all along “stop spending”? Blaming the Tea Party for our credit downgrade is akin to Nero blaming the Christians for burning Rome. Tea Party Americans weren’t the ones “fiddling” while our country’s fiscal house was going up in smoke. In fact, we commonsense fiscal conservatives were the ones grabbing for the extinguishers while politically correct politicians and their cronies buried their heads in what soon became this bonfire.

Be wary of the efforts President Obama makes to “fix” the debt problem. The more he tries to “fix” things, the worse they get because his “solutions” always involve spending more, taxing more, growing government, and increasing debt. This debt problem is the greatest challenge facing our country today. Obviously, President Obama doesn’t have a plan or even a notion of how to deal with it. His press conference today was just a rehash of his old talking points and finger-pointing. That’s why he can’t be re-elected in 2012.

Our economic news is disheartening and the task before us can seem daunting, but we must not lose our sense of optimism. People look around today and may see only the negative. They see a culture and a nation in decline, but that’s not who we are! America must regain its optimistic pioneering spirit again. Our founders declared that “we were born the heirs of freedom.” We are the heirs of those who froze with Washington at Valley Forge, who held the line at Gettysburg, who freed the slaves, carved a nation out of the wilderness, and allowed reward for work ethic. We are the sons and daughters of that Greatest Generation who stormed the beaches of Normandy, raised the flag at Iwo Jima, and made America the strongest and most prosperous nation in the history of mankind. By God, we will not squander what has been given us!

She makes some key, commonsense points about what needs to be done:

  • Stop Spending
  • Cut taxes and red tape
  • Make energy cheaper

Listening, Julia?

The opinions of politicians, singers and film stars on the state of the climate and what should be done about it, are eagerly sought by the populist press. As a partial consequence of this, the populist press is becoming less and less popular.

On the other hand, the ABC and other leftist media organisations are quick to dismiss climate realists who do not have science qualifications. According to them, if you are a climate alarmism sceptic, you only have the right to express your views if you have an advanced degree in a relevant field of science. And even then you don’t because your scepticism marks you out as ‘not a real scientist’ or ‘in the pay of the oil companies.’

Point out that science is not decided by consensus but by evidence, that every citizen has the right to discuss matters of public policy, and that in any case, there is no consensus amongst climate scientists that the world is warming in an unusual or alarming way, and you will be greeted by the equivalent of fingers poked in ears, looking away and shouting ‘I can’t hear you.’

If that doesn’t work, they will try to stop you speaking at all, suggest you be imprisoned or tattooed so everyone can see you coming and avoid you, or even suggest you should be gassed or your children blown up if you persist in your dangerous derangement.

This is derangement in the same sense that anyone in Germany who disagreed with Nazism, or in Soviet Russia with Stalin, was thought by the state to be deranged, and dealt with accordingly.

Just don’t say you think their proposals sound like fascism, because then you really will be in trouble. Greenies apparently believe it is OK to act like a fascist. But that it is not OK, in fact grossly unfair and horrible and like, really mean, man, for anyone to point out that they are doing so.

But facts are stubborn things. And scientists with integrity can be stubborn as well.

One such scientist is Dr William Happer, Professor of Physics at Princeton University.

He has written a longish article called The Truth About Greenhouse Gasses, in the current edition of First Things magazine.

Here are a couple of paragraphs:

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.

I am a strong supporter of a clean environment. We need to be vigilant to keep our land, air, and waters free of real pollution, particulates, heavy metals, and pathogens, but carbon dioxide (CO2 ) is not one of these pollutants. Carbon is the stuff of life. Our bodies are made of carbon. A normal human exhales around 1 kg of CO2 (the simplest chemically stable molecule of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere) per day. Before the industrial period, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 270 ppm. At the present time, the concentration is about 390 ppm, 0.039 percent of all atmospheric molecules and less than 1 percent of that in our breath. About fifty million years ago, a brief moment in the long history of life on earth, geological evidence indicates, CO2 levels were several thousand ppm, much higher than now. And life flourished abundantly. …

We conclude that atmospheric CO2 levels should be above 150 ppm to avoid harming green plants and below about 5000 ppm to avoid harming people. That is a very wide range, and our atmosphere is much closer to the lower end than to the upper end. The current rate of burning fossil fuels adds about 2 ppm per year to the atmosphere, so that getting from the current level to 1000 ppm would take about 300 years—and 1000 ppm is still less than what most plants would prefer, and much less than either the nasa or the Navy limit for human beings.

Yet there are strident calls for immediately stopping further increases in CO2 levels and reducing the current level. As we have discussed, animals would not even notice a doubling of CO2 and plants would love it. The supposed reason for limiting it is to stop global warming—or, since the predicted warming has failed to be nearly as large as computer models forecast, to stop climate change. Climate change itself has been embarrassingly uneventful, so another rationale for reducing CO2 is now promoted: to stop the hypothetical increase of extreme climate events like hurricanes or tornados. But this does not necessarily follow. The frequency of extreme events has either not changed or has decreased in the 150 years that CO2 levels have increased from 270 to 390 ppm. …

Let me summarize how the key issues appear to me, a working scientist with a better background than most in the physics of climate. CO2 really is a greenhouse gas and other things being equal, adding the gas to the atmosphere by burning coal, oil, and natural gas will modestly increase the surface temperature of the earth. Other things being equal, doubling the CO2 concentration, from our current 390 ppm to 780 ppm will directly cause about 1 degree Celsius in warming. At the current rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere—about 2 ppm per year—it would take about 195 years to achieve this doubling. The combination of a slightly warmer earth and more CO2 will greatly increase the production of food, wood, fiber, and other products by green plants, so the increase will be good for the planet, and will easily outweigh any negative effects. Supposed calamities like the accelerated rise of sea level, ocean acidification, more extreme climate, tropical diseases near the poles, and so on are greatly exaggerated.

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