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Archive for February, 2007

February 28th 2007

When Covering Global Warming, Why Bother With Facts?

A BBC story caught my attention with this line:

This will be the fourth [International Polar Year] since 1882 but the first one in which the impact of man-made global warming will be clearly visible at both poles.

Man-made global warming!?” When was that proved? No qualifications? Really? Was not even a teensy degree of it caused by well-established natural climatological cycles?

Then, a couple inches down, this:

The southern polar ice sheet holds 90% of the world’s fresh water.

If it all melted, global sea levels would rise by 200 metres. (650 feet).

Ninety percent? 650 feet? Just in Antarctica? Never having heard those stats before, off to I went. It didn’t take long to find less sensationalistic stats:

  • First, even though the Earth has a great deal of water, only about 3% of this supply is made up of freshwater. (Kaufman and Franz, 1993, 281). Of this amount 75% is locked up in the polar ice caps. (source)
  • Just 3 percent of the world’s water exists as fresh water—2 percent is locked in the polar ice caps; less than 1 percent resides in freshwater lakes and streams. [That would be 66.7%] (source)
  • If just 10 percent of the water locked in these frozen [polar, north and south] reservoirs is added to the oceans, geologists predict that sea levels will rise by more than 20 feet …. [Then 100% melt would equal 200 feet.] (Scientific American)
  • Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey estimate that If all of the ice sitting on land in Greenland and Antarctica melted it would cause global sea levels to rise by about 215 feet, or about 65 meters. (USAToday)

BBC’s ocean-rise stat is just three times overstated. Bloody Blimey! Don’t they have any fact-checkers over there in England? Or do they just have sensation-verifiers?

Of course, none of this matters because not even the whackiest Warmie is predicting anything remotely approaching a total meltdown of the polar icecaps. BBC’s use of total ice-meltdown stats is no less bizarre than if they had written a story on the war in Iraq saying, “If all the American and British troops in Iraq were killed …”

But it’s a story on global warming. Accuracy is hardly mandatory; heck, it’s not even expected.


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February 28th 2007

The Mental Misfits Who Cover The UN

Yesterday, Ban-ki Moon met with the parents of two kidnapped Israel Defense Force soldiers.

Nice of him to do so, even if he has virtually no power to do anything whatsoever for those two poor souls. At today’s UN press briefing the matter came up. You’ll love this.

Question: Yesterday, I think you said that the Secretary-General met with the families of the Israeli soldiers, prisoners. Will the Secretary-General also consider meeting with the families of prisoners now in the US jails, as reported by Human Rights Watch yesterday, by the CIA?

Spokesperson: He hasn’t been asked yet.

Excuse me? Is there not some sort of competency test for journalists? Is there not a better answer than, “He hasn’t been asked yet?” Like maybe, “Are you out of your ever-lovin’ mind?”

Just to clarify: The soldiers were kidnapped on duty, a war ensued, and they’re still being held after the war ended, in violation of all international understandings on the treatment of war prisoners.

The Human Rights Watch allegations about captured terrorists whose whereabouts are supposedly unknown are unsubstantiated and could be considered credible only by people who consider testimony by terrorists against their enemies to be credible. To raise these phantom terrorists to the same level of the Israeli soldiers is sheer lunacy.

Yet the guy asking the question has UN press credentials. If you know someone with a mental defect that leaves him with absolutely no mental discernment, I think I know where you can get him a job.


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February 28th 2007

Is It Breathing? Yes? Give It 500 Bucks!

California’s power and water infrastructure, education system and highways are all in need of massive repair and improved management. But why should the state’s managers — those august electeds in Sacramento — care about that when there are opportunities to fling money around willy-nilly?

Here’s their latest brain-numbing idea:

California would give every newborn child a tax-free $500 savings account under legislation scheduled to be unveiled Wednesday.

The measure, Senate Bill 752, will be presented at a 1:30 p.m. news conference by state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

The bill is meant to persuade more families to invest for the future, beginning when their children are very young.

SB 752 estimates that state costs would total about $270 million.

The state’s $500-per-baby investment would be seed money for a long-term, tax-free account that would encourage family contributions.

The account, called Kids Investment and Development Savings, or KIDS, is meant to grow until the child is 18 and could use the money for a house, education or retirement savings.(source)

The authors of this flight of legislative fantasy are a Dem, Darrell Steinberg, and a GOP, Bob Dutton. Maybe they think they’ll nab the parent vote.

They’ve built in all kinds of financial penalties for parents who cash in the $500 and use it for, oh, I don’t know … meth. I suppose one or two will do that … one or two million. A year.

And I’m sure your local meth head, gambling addict or, for that matter, hungry mom with hungry kids won’t think about the tax consequences and the fact that they’re supposed to pay back the state when they cash out the KIDS account.

I’m also sure they won’t be worried about how much the state will pay to chase down and prosecute these KIDS criminals. But I am. And I wonder why Steinberg and Dutton aren’t. Because it’s not their money; it’s our money? Maybe.


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February 28th 2007

Blood Is Thicker Than Union Activism

This is a very funny story about a very local issue, so even if you don’t care a bit about what happens in OC, please read on.

I posted a couple weeks ago about our “Ngyuen/Ngyuen” (pronounced “win/win”) election to the OC Board of Supes, where two GOP Vietnamese candidates, Janet Ngyuen and Trung Ngyuen, are locked in a very tight recount. The third candidate, Dem Tom Umberg, was trying to sneak in on union votes and is nowhere to be seen: distant, distant, distant.

With that background, here’s the funny post from Red County:

I was chatting with OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino…. We were marvelling at the magnitude of the Vietnamese turnout in the 1st [Supervisorial District] special election and how it caught so many of us by surprise.

Nick shared an anecdote which vividly illustrates how much the election of a Vietnamese-American candidate to the Board of Supervisors meant to the Vietnamese community.

Nick told me that in late January, they (they being the unions) started a pro-Tom Umberg Vietnamese phone bank staffed by Vietnamese union members. After about a week, the question occurred to someone: “How do we know they’re really asking people to vote for Tom Umberg?”

Nick Berardino said they decided to station a Vietnamese-speaker within earshot of the phone bankers to listen to what they were saying.

“Sure enough,” Nick told me, “they weren’t saying anything about Umberg. They were just telling people to vote.” Since Janet Nguyen and Trung Nguyen received virtually all the Vietnamese-American votes, the local public employee unions were running a de facto GOTV phone bank for GOPers Janet and Trung — and they quickly pulled the plug on the Vietnamese election outreach.

Nick pointed out that these Vietnamese-American phone bankers are dedicated union people. Whereas the average member might walk a single precinct and knock off by early afternoon, Nick Berardino said these folks will walk three, maybe four precincts in a day.

But even that level of dedication to the union gave way before their enthusiasm for electing one of their own as OC’s first Vietnamese -American Supervisor.

The Vietnamese are old-school, reminding me very much of earlier waves of Italian, German and Polish immigrants: They came here and maintained their ethnicity for generations, but also fully assimilated themselves into the American society, seeing themselves as Americans first, Americans for the long haul, and Italians, Germans or Poles second.

May the best Nguyen win, and make their Little Saigon neighbors proud.

hat-tip: Jim


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February 28th 2007

Stupid Bush Again Out-Thinks His Critics

Normalization of relations with L’il Kim Jong Il’s personal pleasure playground? That’s not the sort of thing Bush — the yahoo from Yale, the cowboy from Crawford — should be capable of pulling off.

The leftyblogs — Kos, Americablog, DemUnderground – are all mystically silent on the matter. Perhaps they remember their boy Kerry trying to whop Bush during the debates, belittling the prez for not taking on NoKo one-on-one in bluster-diplomacy. Bush stood his ground, belittling right back with the results of Clinton’s one-on-ones with L’il Kim.

This little bit from today’s WashTimes coverage underscores the wisdom of the Bush approach:

Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs, arrived in Beijing yesterday and was expected in San Francisco tomorrow, a State Department official told The Washington Times. He will continue to New York for talks with his U.S. negotiating counterpart, Christopher Hill, which will likely begin early next week.

Kim went first to Beijing, then to Washington. That action proves the wisdom of the Bush administration’s Six-Party approach. Any deal with NoKo that doesn’t include China is doomed because only China exerts any control over the Pyongyang Gang.

And in the process, Bush has skillfully drawn Beijing into a new role of Asian peace-promoter, establishing a foothold that future administrations can build on to manage all the problems and potentials China poses.

And the Leftyblogs just go on and on about conditions at Walter Reed … fiddling with non-stories while the world changes.


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February 27th 2007

Not Available For Comment

If you didn’t catch the rabidly bad taste comments on HuffPost regarding the lame but fatal Taliban assassination attempt on the VEEP, you won’t find them there now.

(You can find a good representative sampling still at Amy Proctor’s blog. Don’t worry, Amy’s purged the ****-load of mindlessly obscene leftyspeak.)

There’s terrifying significance to the fact that so many Americans feel comfortable saying, and believing, comments like this:

You can never find a competent suicide bomber when you need one.


You can never find a competent suicide bomber when you need one.

But you know that, so let’s talk instead about blog ethics. Was it right for HuffPost to do this:

Over the last few hours, the more than 400 comments appended to the Huffington Post’s news item on the attack in Afghanistan on a base being visited by Vice-President Dick Cheney have been expunged from the site. At first the comments were closed, then gradually shrunken and for a short time completely expunged from The Huffington Post as the heat on the Cheney hate fest built up over the day. (Pajamas Media)

I would certainly have deleted the obscene ones myself, and edited some others, but HuffPost did something entirely different, deleting comments like “Cheney’s spokeswoman said he was fine. F***” and keeping comments like “glad the vp is ok.” PajamasMedia says:

The comments now visible are evidently cherry-picked out of the original thread to give some sort of “tone” to the thread that it did not originally possess. It is really amazing what you can do to history with just a few strokes of the keyboard.

Now it is one thing to close comments, another thing to erase them, but something else altogether different to actually “edit” the thread to give a false impression.

A conscious decision was made at HuffPost to allow comments to be posted without monitoring, then another conscious decision was made to delete offending comments only after the sickest of them had spread through the blogosphere and conservative radio.

Disgusting posts were going up as early as 8:15 a.m., but the comments weren’t deleted until around 2:50 p.m. — so the posts were there for about five and a half hours, and OK with HuffPost for at least four hours, assuming it would take the Huffies 90 minutes to hash out what they’d do and do it.

Their decision was a terrible one. First, it will really, really tick off HuffPost’s readers and will do longterm damage to the blog’s credibility among its primary readers.

It was hypocritical. You can’t blast the Bush admin day after day — right up to the original headline of the post, “Cheney ‘Targeted’ Deadly Afghan Blast,” — then purge the overly critical comments, creating a false impression of the blog and its readers.

And for that reason, HuffPost’s decision was terribly unethical.

As the PajamaMedia writer nicely pointed out, you can’t ask the 400 commenters what they think of being deleted: They’re not available for comment.


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February 27th 2007

Gore’s Math Apparently Stuck In The Lockbox

You remember the lockbox, the famous lockbox, that was in all AlGore’s debate answers about Social Security. Well, he apparently put his carbon neutrality math in there as well.

It was great to see AP’s tough story on Al’s electric bill today, as the MSM picked up the story with gusto. Even greater were these snippets:

The Gores used about 191,000 kilowatt hours in 2006, according to bills reviewed by The Associated Press spanning the period from Feb. 3, 2006, to Jan. 5. …

Utility records show the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home. …

Gore participates in a utility program that sells blocks of “green power” for an extra $4 a month. Gore purchases 108 such blocks every month, covering 16,200 kilowatt-hours and helping subsidize renewable energy sources. …

[Electric company spokeswoman] Laurie Parker…said Gore has been purchasing the “green power” for $432 a month since November.

Let’s see. Gore’s “carbon footprint” for electricity use at home is $1,200 a month for the electron juice the clan burns each month. For that, he buys $432 in credits — $768 short each month.

Well, that’s $768 short each month since November. Before that, he was $1,200 short each month. And that’s just for electricity; we’re not even talking about natural gas, gasoline or jet fuel yet.

Warmies say conservatives don’t understand the concept of carbon neutrality. I say they don’t understand the concept of math — and here I thought math was at the core of global warming modeling.

(Also of note was this little bit:

The Gore home is also under renovation to add solar panels, [Gore spokesgal Kalee Kreider said.

Under renovation?! Gore’s been laying guilt on us for years about global warming and he’s just now getting around to adding solar to his house? He’s made tens of millions of dollars since he left office, so his only excuse must be that solar is … Inconvenient.)

Art: RSchultz


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February 27th 2007

Left Circles The Wagons Around Al

Holy glowing lightbulbs, this is wierd.

Drudge runs an item from the Tennessee Center on Policy Research on the Gore’s personal electrical use and not a soul denies the content of the release — just the fact that it got reported at all. There’s a lot of foam being flung from a lot of mouths on the rabid left this morning; I can imagine keyboards drenched in foam as blogscribe after blogscribe defends their demi-god Gore.

“Did you honestly think that the Right Wing $mear machine was going to let Al Gore stand up with the terrific team who created and direct the movie and receive an Oscar for ‘An Inconvenient Truth?’” asks Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest. He continues:

Did you really believe they would stand by and watch a Democratic leader validated for his life’s work?

No chance in hell.

Johnson is not one to ask questions of Gore; rather he attacks the source — not a fact beyond low web hits on the group’s Web site, but that doesn’t stop him — and when he’s sufficiently riled up, he concludes:

But guess what? We’re going to fight back. All of us.

Why? Well, first of all, Al Gore turning his lights on doesn’t make him a hypocrite, it makes him a human.

Second, we’ve seen this game a few too many damn times. The trick is for them to create doubt and distraction. They need to create doubt all around the country about Al Gore. But there is no doubt.

Al Gore is a hero.

Even heroes need help – join us, add to the comments, let’s find out everything we can about these guys and stop them in their tracks. Now.

Hey, we’re all humans, after all. So do we all get a hall pass like Al does? Not a chance, not even if your name is Barack Obama:

Note to Senator Obama: spare us the hope and bi-partisanship talk and help us fight back.

Man, that’s bleak.

The Anonymous Liberal bleats:

Moreover, Gore lives in a large home (10,000 sq. ft.). If you look at the data, it’s clear that Gore’s energy usage per square foot (even assuming the 221,000 kWh number is accurate) is well within the average range for his climate region.

His math is a bit screwy, but consider this: Lefties are quick to attack any overt sign of over-consumption — a Hummer, for example — but they’re letting Al and Tipper, a household of two, get by with 10,000 sq. ft. of living space without a raised eyebrow?

Another meme is carbon footprint forgiveness, as enunciated here by Unqualified Offerings:

Curiously, the “free market” think tank that gives us our first link declares that Gore’s free choice to use his own money to offset his family’s carbon output makes him a “hypocrite,” since he thinks global warming is bad.

Several of the leftyposts have challenged the Tennessee Center’s math — not with facts, but with suppositions — but none raise a question about the foundational mathematical assumptions of carbon neutrality.

Suppose Al buys trees to offset the carbon footprint of his private jet. If they’re seedlings, they’re not scrubbing the amount of carbon of mature trees, the trees that are used in neutrality calculations. If the money preserves mature forests, is he compensating for the tree-buying organization’s management costs and over-contributing to take care of his true carbon footprint?

Good questions. Don’t expect the Warmie Left to answer them.

Several blogs pointed to Dave Johnson’s post as a great rebuttal to the statements about the Gores’ energy use. He’s got solar. He’s got flourescents. His house is big, so it’s average use isn’t that big.

Look, if he’s got solar and flourescents, it just makes matters worse. He’s really, really got to be burning electrons 24/7 to be 20 times the natural average if he’s greened up his house that much.

This is simple stuff, not rocket science. But it doesn’t protect Al, so it’s not going to be covered by his allies on the Left.

hat-tip: memeorandum


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February 26th 2007

The Religion of "Piece"

Islam’s backwardness has many measures, not the least of which is its treatment of women. Long before Mohammed, Christ set a guideline for greater respect of women — his treatment of the adultress, the woman at the well and Mary Magdeline.

Unfortunately, Mohammed ignored Christ’s revolutionary acceptance of women. For women, the Religion of Peace has become a religion that treats them like pieces of flesh, as evidenced (yet again!) in this story:

HYDERABAD (Reuters) – A teenage girl in southern Pakistan, whose late father lost her in a poker game when she was 2 years old, has asked authorities to save her from being handed over to a middle-aged relative.

Rasheeda, 17 (above), said she has filed applications with the police and a local councillor asking them to prevent Lal Haider, 45, from taking her to his home.

Her mother, Nooran said her husband racked up a debt of 10,000 rupees ($151) to Haider playing cards.

“My husband didn’t have money to pay, and instead he told Lal Haider that he could take Rasheeda when she grows up,” she said.

Yeah, so what? It’s just a girl.

Pakistan is a supposed ally in our confrontation with terror, but women there are routinely terrorized by its culture, and the religion that fires the culture. If all that happens to Rasheeda is an unwanted and unloving marriage, she won’t be doing too badly for a woman in an Islamic culture — as long as she can avoid an honor killing, or worse, a failed honor killing.


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February 26th 2007

Do We Want A Woman President?

Ugh. A frightening thought. More photos available at


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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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