Month: November 2007

If You Believe in Global Warming, I’ve Got a Piece of Alaskan Oceanfront Property to Sell You

An Alaskan island is losing ground – Los Angeles Times

The LA Times article is worth the read only if you want to gain an understanding of how the global warming alarmists turn unrelated facts into incoherent fiction. Honestly, I feel sorry for the author, Alan Zerembo. I guess it was either pay for lunch or write the daily “We Are Doomed” piece. The following is what happens when you only have three bucks in your pocket.

Kivalina is disappearing, the victim of a warming world and a steady natural erosion that probably began long before the Eskimos settled here 100 years ago.

Ummm…someone needs to tell the new guy that he better not mix fear-mongering with common sense. The elevation of Kivalina, a glorified sand bar, is a mere 13 feet. Dennis Rodman can jump higher than that. Kind of hard to blame global warming for erosion that has been ongoing since before…well, since before Gore invented global warming.

Call me overly cynical, but while I was reading this I got the sneaky suspicion that the residents of Kivalina might just ride the global warming wave for all the cash it’s worth. I wasn’t disappointed.

“Village leaders have squabbled for years with state and federal officials over relocating, which could cost as much as $250 million. No one has offered to pay.”

Some want to head to higher ground, others want to stay on the coast. And while they can’t agree on which option is better, they can all agree that anyone but themselves ought to pay for it. That anyone, by the way, would be us taxpayers.

The article continues on with the crashing of waves and the desolation of the sand bar…I mean, island. Zerembo, trying hard to add some tragic nuances to his piece, says this:

“There is no heroic battle to stop the advancing water.”

Yea, because that would be like trying to hold back the ocean or something stupid like that.

Then, in a serious lapse of judgment, Zerembo infuses this little factoid:

“Kivalina is nothing but fine sand,” said Oscar Swan, an 84 year old resident.

Oops. Sunday school student or not, everyone knows you don’t build your house upon the shifting sand.

Obviously tiring of the global warming slant, Zerembo’s piece starts to read like one of Oprah’s feel-sorry-for-the-downtrodden episodes in which her highness, Madame O, showcases her benevolence.

Today, about 70 homes sit on short stilts above the permafrost. Most homes have no running water and the standard toilet is a 5-gallon bucket. A shower costs $3 at the “washeteria.”

Life in Kivalina can be as bleak as the landscape.

“There is little work in town, and those who want to make a decent living have to head to the borough seat in Kotzebue or the Red Dog Mine, the world’s largest zinc operation, about 45 miles away. For those who stay, the center of social life is the city-run bingo hall, where the average adult loses $750 a year.”

“Last year, three people committed suicide. In the last eight years, there have been three killings.

“Some have gotten numb to their pain,” said Lowell Sage, the pastor at Kivalina Friends Church, whose brother was stabbed to death by a neighbor several years ago.

If you’re a Go Green junkie it’s easy to see how Global warming is to blame for the lack of jobs, the killings, and the bingo losses. If your not an avid Greener, you’d probably check to see if you turned to the wrong page of your newspaper for the article’s continuation.

Zerembo, after receiving a thwack on the back of the head from a colleague for digressing, got back on track…sort of.

It’s often biting cold, but in recent years, people have begun noticing tiny changes. For the first time anybody could remember, it rained in January. Furnaces were turned off after May.

The key here is the line, “For the first time anybody could remember…”. So because nobody remembers it, it never happened before? I don’t remember a blasted thing about the Police’s Synchronicity concert I went to when I was 17 (because I was blasted), but it happened nonetheless. Once again, the reliance upon memory as a means of measuring plausibility is deployed by the left. Think Hillary- “I don’t recall.”

When Joe Swan Sr., 72, checked his cold cellar, a deep hole in the ground where meat is aged over the summer, he found that his caribou and seal had rotted. The surrounding permafrost had thawed, filling the pit with water.

He had heard about global warming, and some of his neighbors embraced the idea, especially after storms in 2004 and ’05 cut huge swaths out of the beach.

But he has remained skeptical because Kivalina has always been eroding. An 1838 explorer’s account said the island was about 1,800 feet wide, three times what it is today. Most of that was lost long before anybody talked about global warming.

Once again, the facts got the best of Zerembo. But he quickly got back on track.

But what really got people uncomfortable was when the rest of the world started pointing at them as the leading edge of an impending climatic apocalypse.

If Zerembo’s boss hadn’t been looking over his shoulder I’m sure this would have read, “But what really got their opportunistic juices flowing was when the rest of the world started pointing at them as the leading edge of an impending climatic apocalypse.”

This is exploitation on a grand scale. This is the left in spades.

The article rambles on about how the residents braced and evacuated for a big storm… that didn’t come.

Fears of global warming came to a head in September, when weather reports warned that a powerful storm was on track to strike Kivalina.

Bad storms usually came in the fall, but this time borough officials ordered an evacuation and dispatched small planes to whisk away the elders.

Mayor Austin Swan and Vice Mayor Enoch Adams Jr. went door to door, warning residents to get off the island. All-terrain vehicles were loaded onto metal skiffs, and evacuees crossed the narrow channel at the south end of the island, then rumbled down the beach in a ragged caravan.

Raymond Hawley, 74, a hunter and carpenter, couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. It always stormed in the fall, and from what he had heard on the radio, this one didn’t sound particularly bad.

Two of his children were already off the island, in prison. He and the rest of his family were staying.

Yea, had to mention the part about the kids being in prison. That was relevant.

While reading this I was waiting for the part about global warming being the cause of the storms non-arrival, but Zerembo never mentions that. Instead, he hops down another bunny trail and reports how a certain family, the Swans, horde all the jobs on the island. I couldn’t help but wonder what that had to do with the article. I’m still wondering.

Interestingly, while Zerembo reports that there was no storm, he says:

The aftermath of the storm was a hectic time.

Well, like Zerembo, the people of Kivalina took full advantage of the…(non-existent) storm…caused by global warming (also non-existent). A member of the infamous job-hogging Swan family, Colleen Swan, flew to Anchorage to testify before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery about coastal erosion. Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Adams was on the phone begging for more sandbags.

As he pleaded for more sandbags, the CB radio crackled in the background: Somebody had stolen a seal skin and some beluga meat during the evacuation.

“These children need to behave,” the voice on the radio ranted.

All in all, global warming made for a chaotic autumn.

“We’ve got to get off the island. It’s obvious,” Adams said.

These children need to behave? It’s apparent an ability to write coherently is not required at the LA Times.

Of course, no article about global warming would be complete without playing the Bush card.

A class at the high school was assigned to write to President Bush. “Erosion is destroying our island,” wrote Kelly Hawley, 17, a senior. “We ask if you can provide help for our poor island.”

Obviously President Bush’s last surviving fan, Hawley is under the impression he can hold back the ocean.

Propping her 8-month-old baby on her lap at home, Hawley explained that the issue isn’t just about erosion, it’s about making a new start in life. “I want to move,” she said. “We have no flush toilets or running water. There’s not many places to hang out.”

I had to work at it, but I managed to get the connection Zerembo was trying to make: Global warming is the cause of teen-age pregnancies on Kivalina. Personally, I’m of the opinion that global warming is the least of their problems.

And lest anyone think I’m too harsh and judgmental when I say the residents of Kivalina are trying to capitalize on the global warming myth, the Times validates my point:

There were no offers to pay for relocation, but Adams, the vice mayor, thought the village’s chances were good because of all the publicity that had turned Kivalina into an icon of climatic disaster.

“The federal government will give us the money,” he said. “Global warming is going to sell itself.”

The people of Kivalina had wanted to relocate to Kiniktuuraq, a “rutty patch of oceanfront tundra just a couple miles down the coast.” Sort of reminds me of those California types who like to build their homes in areas known for mud slides. Not too bright.

But after a two-year study of possible relocation sites, the Army Corps of Engineers concluded last year that Kiniktuuraq was no good. It too was vulnerable to erosion, flooding and permafrost thawing — and would become more vulnerable as the planet warmed.

That last part, “…and would become more vulnerable as the planet warmed” wasn’t part of the Army Corps of Engineers report. That’s called creative license, but the MSM calls it “reporting the facts”.

Building there [Kiniktuuraq] would require depositing a layer of gravel at least 9 feet thick, adding $100 million to the cost of relocation, according to the report.

The corps favored two inland sites on higher ground: Imnakuk Bluffs and Tatchim Isua.

The report put village officials in a bit of a bind. The specter of global warming was now sinking their chances of moving to the site they wanted.

Translation: We don’t want an option that makes sense. We want to live in an area that will flood so we can cash in on this global warming thing.

Don’t believe me?

Pastor Sage said he was still confident Kivalina would eventually be moved. It will just take a big enough storm. “If Kivalina floods or something really bad happens, then they’ll move us,” he said. “That’s the only time we’ll get money.”

Zerembo failed to report that the residents of Kivalina are now praying for global warming to increase exponentially so that their island will be washed from the face of the earth and they will finally get paid to relocate to New Orleans–Elevation: below sea level.

Bush OK’s War on 100-Watt Lightbulb

Bush signs landmark energy bill – Los Angeles Times

Just put your head between your knees and kiss your…light bulbs good-bye.

I’ve defended Bush on several fronts, but on this one he’s on his own. While flanked by a salivating Pelosi and an apoplectic Harry Reid, Bush, with one swift scrawl of his name, banned (by 2012) the 100-watt incandescent bulb. Yep, the war on terror has been replaced by the war on wattage. Just once I’d like to hear the old guy have a press conference and say, “These people are completely out of their minds.” We can still dream in America, can’t we?

So how exactly do you go about banning a light bulb? According to Reid, “The military’s Green Berets, a branch of special forces currently in the Middle East ruthlessly killing women and children, will be reassigned to house inspection duty. They will be in charge of the bulb compliance part of Project Green. Anyone with a contraband 100-watt light bulb will be rifle-butted and prosecuted for hate crimes against the climate.”

But seriously (if that’s possible given the topic), as if Bush signing such liberty-killing legislation wasn’t enough:

Congress on Tuesday gave final approval to the 822-page measure, sending it up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House in a Toyota Prius hybrid.

Great. Legislation grandly brought to the Commander in Chief via the Wuss-mobile. This would be laughable if it didn’t signify the end of what little reasonable thinking existed in Washington.

Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the bill would improve the energy efficiency of “almost every significant product and tool and appliance that we use, from light bulbs to light trucks.”

Improving energy efficiency doesn’t generally equate with saving money, at least not for the consumer. Just look around. Everything across the board that sports a green eviro-friendly label is more expensive than it’s earth-killing counterpart. And for what? A mere 7% reduction in energy use? Heck, just get Gore to turn off a few lights at his house and we’ll accomplish that. Let’s not forget the nebulous 9% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. And that will be measured, how…? Oh, that’s right, it can’t.

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a dandy little think tank founded, funded, and run by disenfranchised socialists, the new energy bill will:

… save consumers and businesses more than $400 billion between now and 2030, “accounting for both energy cost savings and the moderately higher price of energy-efficient products.”

It is truly amazing how liberals can pull random numbers out of their…heads and pass them off as credible statistics. Now I’ll admit that I’m not savvy when it comes to liberal math, but I can’t figure out how forcing companies to pay millions more to make their products earth friendly, which would actually make for a loss of jobs and higher prices on said products, equates to a $400 billion savings. I mean, what are we looking at, here? A $60 watt light bulb? Nothing says cost savings like sticking it to the consumer. (And really, this isn’t an exercise in math as much as it’s an lesson in Socialism 101.)

By the way, I’ve used those swirly “acceptable” light bulbs. Not only do they look ridiculous, the light they put out makes the room look like a gulag…which is probably why the environmentalists like them so much.

One can only hope the religious fanaticism of global warming fizzles out before more ridiculous legislation gets passed. Until then I’m stocking up on light bulbs.

The AP Wants Their Terrorist Back

 

Military files complaint against detained AP photographer

 

The military is filing an official complaint with an Iraqi criminal court against detained AP photographer, Bilal Hussein, because they claim to have convincing evidence that he is a “terrorist media operative”. Now, as a rule, I always side with the military, but I have a couple questions for the military and the AP.

 

First of all, what is the military’s definition of “terrorist media operative”? According to Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, Hussein is a “threat to security and stability as a link to insurgent activity”. If that is the criteria for being a terrorist media operative, then the military should put a 20-foot electrified barbed wire fence and armed guards around CNN headquarters. Putting tanks, mine fields, and a rabbit-proof fence around Hollywood might not be a bad idea either.

 

I’m also wondering just how a guy with the last name Hussein managed to pass the AP’s background check. Oh, I forgot, the MSM doesn’t believe in profiling. Sorry, dumb question.

 

AP president and CEO Tom Curley has said, “While we are hopeful that there could be some resolution to Bilal Hussein’s long detention, we have grave concerns that his rights under the law continue to be ignored and even abused.”

 

Curley went on to say, “That Hussein is a threat to the country is a non-issue. American citizen or not, we will grant him the First Amendment right to act seditiously and put our military in harm’s way. The bomb-making materials, insurgent propaganda and a surveillance photograph of a US military installation found in his Ramadi apartment were for a story he was working on about troop movement called “An Al-Quaedian Guide to Thwarting the US Military”.

 

As usual, in the minds of liberals, an offender’s rights supercede the rights of the offended. In this case, a terrorist is to be treated “fairly” while the military gets chastised for attempting to protect this country. This from the camp that doesn’t believe in profiling yet claims anyone in army boots is guilty of war crimes.

 

Personally, I say we yank the press cards from all these under-foot, war-time reporters, wrap them in American flags, and tell them to walk to the nearest airport. As for Hussein? The military should keep him detained and use him to hone their skills at achieving more humane water boarding techniques.

Material Mom and Gucci Team Up to Buy Baby Bling

Madonna and Gucci team up for Malawi charity gig | Entertainment | Reuters

Madonna, the reigning queen of the moral high ground, is the newest member of the The Mercy Police , that illustrious group of Hollywood do-gooders who work tirelessly to appear as if they are helping the down-trodden children of impoverished countries while they rake in millions trashing ours.

Her project? Teaming up with Gucci to end AIDS in Malawi. Actually, she’s throwing a fund-raiser in New York to help pay for the kid she has been trying to extradite from Malawi. Amazing. What cracks me up is that the agencies in these countries view Madonna as a suitable parent….well, maybe not. Which brings us back to the fund-raiser.

Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, thanked Madonna and Gucci and said AIDS remained one of the most devastating public health problems in recent history.

“Every day, 6,000 children lose a parent to AIDS, and 1,400 children die from AIDS,” Stern said in the statement.

Stern obviously hasn’t seen the Material Girl in action. (Did he say Madonna’s work remained one of the most devastating public health problems in recent history?) Having Madonna head up AIDS relief is like having Ted Kennedy head up the “Click it or Ticket” campaign for the Department of Motor Safety. In the words of another self-aggrandizing liberal, who would cat fight Madonna to reign supreme as America’s moral compass, it demands the “willful suppression of disbelief”.

The saddest part about all of this is not Malawi’s AIDS problem, which is tragic, but that UNICEF views Madonna, or Gucci for that matter, as a viable avenue for help. It’s obvious that money, not morality is in demand here.

Truth be told, Malawi isn’t so sure about America’s most chaste Catholic-quasi-Kabbalah girl and her ambitions to adopt one of their own. Hence the fund-raiser. Madonna is hoping her act of benevolence will convince the Malawian government that she has, indeed, traded in her pasties for an apron. Heck, it worked on Caryl Stern, although I think he’s just in it for the lap dance.

Madonna isn’t breaking new ground here. It has been the “in” thing in Hollywood for a while now. No, I’m not talking about the peddling of sex, but rather, the pretending to have a conscience. It’s good press to look benevolent and buy, I mean, adopt children from impoverished countries.

But honestly, what’s really behind the feigned altruism? I can sum it up in one word: Accessorizing. The current must-have bling in Hollywood is China dolls and African babies perched on the hip. Chihuahuas are out, ethnic babies are in.

So, contrary to what Hollywood believes about itself, adopting these kids really isn’t about educating, empowering, or saving the children of these third-world countries from things like hunger and AIDS. Its about looking like their savior. And how does the truly narcissistic manage that? By orchestrating photo-ops with starving, unkempt children and then throwing money at these countries while flying away with a little bundle of baby bling. (By the way, the money usually floats into the backyards of the fat, happy despots they had dinner with the night before.)

But maybe I’m being too critical of the Madonnas and Guccis of this world. I mean, doesn’t everyone deserve a little bling now and then? And if a child from Africa gets a better life, who am I to judge? I guess we should all be thankful that these lucky little tykes are being adopted by such compassionate and morally upstanding people.

The Democratic Debate: Two Hours I’ll Never Get Back

Clinton Says Rivals Twisting Her Record

As it opened, the Democratic debate looked more like an academic brain-bowl than a presidential debate. Unfortunately, it sounded like a presidential debate and not like an academic brain-bowl.

Senator Clinton put her best foot in it by saying, “The American people know where I stand”. No argument there. The question is, does she? She’s an uber-liberal socialist Democrat trying desperately to come across as a moderate. And this is a big problem for the little lady because a moderate is just another name for an uber-liberal socialist Democrat who is too spineless to admit they’re an uber-liberal socialist Democrat…because it’s political suicide. But so is claiming to be a moderate because everyone knows a moderate is just an uber…oh, you get the point.

For a minute I thought Edwards was going to call Clinton out for “trying to have it both ways”. But then I realized he was just using Hillary’s personality disorder to slam Bush.

Edwards was next to accuse Clinton of trying to have it both ways—with the war in Iraq, Social Security and defining the scope of President Bush’s power to use military force against Iran. “She says she will bring change to Washington while she continues to defend a system that does not work, that is broken, that is rigged, that is corrupt.”

Said the former North Carolina senator who nearly single-handedly destroyed obstetrics, gynecology, and neurosurgery in North Carolina while making millions on his rampant lawsuits. 

The mature part of the evening really got rolling when Hillary retorted,

“I’ve just been personally attacked again. I don’t mind taking hits on my record on issues, but when somebody starts throwing mud at least we can hope it’s accurate and not right out of the Republican play book.”

I think she meant the Democratic play book where it says Democrats should fire personal attacks with reckless abandon and claim them to be legitimate points. If Hillary is going to whine every time she’s the target of a tactic she can do in her sleep she better find a new hobby.

Finally New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who had become cranky because he couldn’t get a word in edgewise, was forced to tell the candidates to “stop the mudslinging.” He then gave the camera his best pageant wave and said, “All I want to do is give peace a chance.”

The debate ended with Edwards and Clinton sissy-slapping each other at arms length.

On CAIR: You Say Apologist, I Say Activist

This is in response to a comment I received from Mike LaSalle of BlogWonks,  about my last post. If I understand him correctly, LaSalle felt I was wrong to place a negative view of Muslims (who want us wiped off the face of the earth) on to CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), the self-proclaimed advocacy group for all things Muslim. So, he changed the title of my piece to read: Irony: Muslim Apologists Offended by Savagery.

You know, I could be sawing off the very limb I’m blogging on, but I think calling CAIR, “Muslim apologists” is a bit of a stretch. Maybe they want to be called apologists, just like they want Islam to be called peaceful, but really, activist is a better fit. Apologists systematically defend a position. “Force the infidels to have sensitivity training” hardly qualifies. Activists campaign, harass, cajole, and bully people in their effort to change government or social conditions- “Force the infidels to have sensitivity training”…now that qualifies.

LaSalle’s reasoning is as follows: “The problem with the title (and the article) is that it conflates the particulars of an advocacy group (CAIR) with the pejorative subject of the post (namely, “Muslims”).”

He says conflate, I say connect the undeniably obvious dots. But,whatever…

In LaSalle’s view, I shouldn’t mix up what CAIR wants us to believe about them and the Muslims they “advocate” for with my (deservedly) negative tone toward America-hating Islamists.

I’m smelling a little C-Y-Blogwonks-A going on here.

I might be missing something, but I don’t think CAIR is pure as the wind-driven snow. That they have positioned themselves as some sort of advocacy group (and gotten people to buy off on it) is laughable at best. It’s tantamount to Ted Kennedy advocating for and actually selling the public on the concept of safe driving while utterly inebriated.

Make no mistake, the goons over at CAIR have an agenda. They might not be flying planes into buildings, but they definitely make it easier for those who do.

Yes, Michael Savage probably crossed the line, but, it’s Michael Savage, and that’s what he does. And yes, CAIR has every right to lobby advertisers to pull from Savage’s show. However, CAIR’s complaints won’t stop at merely wanting to sway advertisers to pull their ad revenue. Whether they get what they want in this situation or not, this is just the first step in a very calculated plan to convert public opinion. Savage offended Islam. Allah will have none of that.

That CAIR was offended is just the tip of the iceberg. The bloodbath we call 9/11 was offensive to Americans, yet, thanks to collective amnesia brought on by leftists who can’t sleep at night if they think someone doesn’t like them, we light up the Empire State Building for Ramadan. But CAIR gets offended and it will probably be one more nail in Conservative talk radio’s coffin…or worse.

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but CAIR is all about using the ruse of having their sensibilities affronted as a segue into legislating how Americans are allowed to express their opinions about Muslims. And, sadly, playing the perpetually offended card is wildly successful in today’s culture. CAIR isn’t breaking any new ground; they are merely capitalizing on a tried and true stratagem.

With a deftness that only a surgeon could appreciate, the militant homosexual community has waxed offended and managed to drastically change the fabric of American culture.  Clergy are now being told to keep quiet about homosexuality because it’s considered hate speech. In schools kids are being taught that homosexuality is normal, and they are given sensitivity training so as not to offend anyone who is gay, thinks they might be gay, is considering being gay, or who is gender-confused (No, I didn’t make that up). How is it that the homosexual community has gotten so much power and  morphed into “Most Favored Segment of Society” status even though the majority of Americans don’t agree with their lifestyle? Easy, the offensive play at being offended and a PC media and academia serve up their defense daily. CAIR is just following the playbook.

So, yes, Mike, I did purposely tie CAIR in with my negative opinions of anti-American Muslims, because CAIR, a self-professed advocacy group…of Muslims…is, in my estimation, a bunch of anti-American Muslims. If they just wanted to get Savage to tone it down (or leave the airwaves in a vapor trail), that would be one thing, but make no mistake, they want much more than that. Precedents are being set here. The groundwork is being laid. What is and isn’t gong to be allowed in this country is being defined. The question is, will it be Americans who will do the defining?

A Diplomat Ditty

Only 3 State Dept Personnel Killed in Iraq War — 11/09/2007

It seems Jack Crotty, a senior foreign service officer who is trying to pull a Clinton and run from serving his country, is a bit of a songwriter. This little ditty was found scrawled on his cocktail napkin.

To the tune of Yankee Doodle:

Incoming is coming in every day,
Rockets are a hittin’ the Green Zone.
It’s one thing if you b’lieve in duty
but a-nother thing if you’re chicken.

I’m sorry you see, but Baghdad is
a potentially lethal assignment,
and answer this, oh Condi dear,
Who’ll raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?

We’re diplomats,
we are afraid.
We’re diplomats,
just pay us.
We’re diplomats,
we shake the hands
of those who want to slay us.

I know, it’s a stretch, but over all, it works.