Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Marriage much more than legal benefits
COMMENT: This may be the very best article (by my dear friend and former State Senator David Fowler) that I have ever read on this subject. I hope you will read it and share it with others.
Marriage much more than legal benefits
Debates are often won and lost based on how the key terms are defined. In the cultural war, the California Supreme Court just threw down the gauntlet with their recent redefinition of marriage. Advocates of real marriage need not fear, but they must understand how to respond.
Those who want to reduce marriage to the least common denominator want to appeal to our sympathies. So, they begin the debate by urging us to look at marriage as simply a status to which the law provides certain benefits. From there it is easy to play on our sense of "fairness" by arguing that its not fair for some to get those benefits and not others.
But for this kind of logic to work, it is necessary to reduce marriage to nothing more than love between committed adults. Defined this way everyone can have the "benefits of marriage" and life is "fair." But, while love and commitment are important for marriage, they are not enough to constitute a marriage.
To consider the legal benefits of marriage and who gets them before defining marriage is to put the proverbial cart before the horse. It is not the legal benefits given by society that make something a marriage. Rather, it is the nature of marriage that motivates society to give it certain legal benefits.
A unique relationship
The point is that marriage is not a relationship that society created in order to give some people benefits and deny them to others. Rather, "marriage" is the name that societies worldwide have given to a unique relationship between men and women that provides particular benefits to society.
By analogy, there are many geometric shapes. The word "square" represents one type of shape and "circle" another, but because each is what it is by definition, we cannot make circles that look like squares or vice versa. Likewise, there are many different relationships, even very important ones, but they are not marriages.
To continue reading go to http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008805270342
Posted on 05/28/2008 5:13 PM by Bobbie Patray
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Committing technological genocide?
Committing technological genocide?
1. 31,000 Signatures Prove "No Consensus' About Global Warming
2. Global Warming Heresy
3. Hundreds of scientists reject global warming
1. 31,000 Signatures Prove ‘No Consensus’ About Global Warming
Briefing | By Melinda Zosh | May 22, 2008
Presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Monday that “we have to get used to the idea that we can’t keep our houses at 72, drive our SUVs and eat all we want.” Arthur B. Robinson, president and professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, has a different response.
“I don’t want to give up eating all I want because of a failed hypothesis,” said Robinson at the National Press Club here on May 19. Robinson said global warming is not a threat to America. He said that the global temperature increased by just .5 degrees in the last century.
Robinson spoke about his petition signed by 31,000 U.S. scientists who reject the claims that “human release of greenhouse gases is damaging our climate.”
“World temperatures fluctuate all the time,” said Robinson. “The temperature of the Earth has risen many times, far more times than carbon dioxide could drive it. There is no experimental evidence that humans are changing the environment…”
Robinson said that in recent years the U.N. and a group of 600 scientists, representing less than one percent of the scientific population, reached a “consensus” that global warming is happening. This has never been done before, Robinson insists.
Dennis Avery, Director for the Center of Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute, agrees with Robinson. “Nobody can do science by a committee. You do science by testing,” said Avery. “To me it is appalling that an international organization of the stature of the U.N. would ignore the evidence of past climate changing.”
The signers of Robinson’s petition, including 9,000 Ph.Ds, all have one thing in common. They believe that human rights are being taken away.
When the U.N. and others want to limit hydrocarbons, which account for 85% of the current United States energy supplies, the consequences are disastrous, Robinson said.
“America is buying 30 percent of its energy abroad... Now we’re getting to the point where we can’t afford energy abroad,” said Robinson. “The problem was created by state and federal taxation against…now they want to [make]…further regulations that will stop these hydrocarbons.”
Robinson said that the results of high taxation and regulation of energy is evident in America right now with gas prices hitting over four dollars per gallon. When you take away energy, you lose critical technology, he said.
“Industry is required to give you all the things you want, ranging from pencils to cars,” said Robinson. “When you take away technology, you lose all those things. Anything that was created with any sort of technology was created by energy.”
Robinson said that without necessary energy, the world will see the “greatest technological genocide you can imagine.”
“We wouldn’t have six billion people on Earth without technology,” said Robinson. “If you reduce energy, you [are also] reducing technology. The biggest problem is people in the third world who die in enormous numbers.”
Avery said that a vast number of people are already suffering in the third world, because they are forced to cook inside their homes.
“The indoor cooking fires in the third world are vastly more harmful to the health of women and children than smoking cigarettes,” said Avery. “If you eliminate their opportunity to move up from burning dung and straw and wood to burning kerosene…then you are eliminating their possibility of having healthy lungs.”
In addition, Avery said that energy restrictions cause “an awful lot of premature deaths.” However, if Green Peace decides to eliminate nitrogen fertilizer, even more people will suffer.
“If we eliminate the nitrogen fertilizer, then that will cut the world’s crop fields in half immediately,” said Avery. “Half the world will be hungry.”
Robinson said that the U.N. is doing more harm than good.
“Every individual has a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness….and the right to access technology that will help him prosper whether he is a wealthy man in the U.S. or an African that can barely feed himself,” said Robinson.
To continue reading, go here.
2. Global Warming Heresy
Most climatologists agree that the earth's temperature has increased about a degree over the last century. The debate is how much of it is due to mankind's activity. Britain's Channel 4 television has just produced "The Great Global Warming Swindle," a documentary that devastates most of the claims made by the environmentalist movement. The scientists interviewed include top climatologists from MIT and other prestigious universities around the world. The documentary hasn't aired in the U.S., but it's available on the Internet. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XttV2C6B8pU)
Among the many findings that dispute environmentalists' claims are: Manmade carbon dioxide emissions are roughly 5 percent of the total; the rest are from natural sources such as volcanoes, dying vegetation and animals. Annually, volcanoes alone produce more carbon dioxide than all of mankind's activities. Oceans are responsible for most greenhouse gases. Contrary to environmentalists' claims, the higher the Earth's temperature, the higher the carbon dioxide levels. In other words, carbon dioxide levels are a product of climate change. Some of the documentary's scientists argue that the greatest influence on the Earth's temperature is our sun's sunspot activity. The bottom line is, the bulk of scientific evidence shows that what we've been told by environmentalists is pure bunk.
Throughout the Earth's billions of years there have been countless periods of global warming and cooling. In fact, in the year 1,000 A.D., a time when there were no SUVs, the Earth's climate was much warmer than it is now. Most of this century's warming occurred before 1940. For several decades after WWII, when there was massive worldwide industrialization, there was cooling.
There's a much more important issue that poses an even greater danger to mankind. That's the effort by environmentalists to suppress disagreement with their view. According to a March 11 article in London's Sunday Telegraph, Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five death threats since he started questioning whether man was affecting climate change. Richard Lindzen, professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, said, "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labeled as industry stooges." Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said, "Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system."
Suppressing dissent is nothing new. Italian cosmologist Giordano Bruno taught that stars were at different distances from each other surrounded by limitless territory. He was imprisoned in 1592, and eight years later he was tried as a heretic and burned at the stake. Because he disagreed that the Earth was the center of the universe, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. Under the threat of torture, he recanted and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.
To continue reading, go to http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4941
3. Hundreds of scientists reject global warming
Basing policy on carbon dioxide levels
'potentially disastrous economic folly'
A new U.S. Senate report documents hundreds of prominent scientists – experts in dozens of fields of study worldwide – who say global warming and cooling is a cycle of nature and cannot legitimately be connected to man's activities.
"Of course I believe in global warming, and in global cooling – all part of the natural climate changes that the Earth has experienced for billions of years, caused primarily by the cyclical variations in solar output," said research physicist John W. Brosnahan, who develops remote-sensing instruments for atmospheric science for clients including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.
However, he said, "I have not seen any sort of definitive, scientific link to man-made carbon dioxide as the root cause of the current global warming, only incomplete computer models that suggest that this might be the case.
"Even though these computer climate models do not properly handle a number of important factors, including the role of precipitation as a temperature regulator, they are being (mis-)used to force a political agenda upon the U.S.," he continued. "While there are any number of reasons to reduce carbon dioxide generation, to base any major fiscal policy on the role of carbon dioxide in climate change would be inappropriate and imprudent at best and potentially disastrous economic folly at the worst."
The report compiled observations from more than 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen nations who have voiced objections to claims of a "consensus" on "man-made global warming."
Many of the scientists are current or former participants in the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose present officials, along with former Vice President Al Gore, have asserted a definite connection.
The new report, which comes from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's office of the GOP ranking member, cites the hundreds of opinions issued just this year asserting global warming and man's activities are unrelated.
"Even some in the establishment media now appear to be taking notice of the growing number of skeptical scientists," the introduction to the Senate report said. "In October, the Washington Post Staff Writer Juliet Eilperin conceded the obvious, writing that climate skeptics 'appear to be expanding rather than shrinking.'
"Many scientists from around the world have dubbed 2007 as the year man-made global warming fears 'bite the dust,'" the introduction said.
And there probably would be many more scientists making such statements, were it not for the fear of retaliation from those aboard the global-warming-is-caused-by-SUVs bandwagon, the report said.
"Many of my colleagues with whom I spoke share these views and report on their inability to publish their skepticism in the scientific or public media," noted Nathan Paldor, professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The author of almost 70 peer-reviewed studies said, "First, temperature changes, as well as rates of temperature changes (both increase and decrease) of magnitudes similar to that reported by IPCC to have occurred since the Industrial revolution (about 0.8C in 150 years or even 0.4C in the last 35 years) have occurred in Earth's climatic history. There's nothing special about the recent rise!"
At an earlier hearing, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., confronted Stephen Johnson, administrator of the EPA, about a threatening e-mail from a group that includes the EPA. The e-mail from the American Council on Renewable Energy was addressed to Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and said, "It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on."
It was signed Michael T. Eckhart, president of ACORE.
The scientists cited in the new study hail from Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, New Zealand, France, Russia and the United States. They defied the idea promoted by various political and environmental agendas that man's activities are endangering the future of the Earth through contributions to a rise in temperatures.
Paleoclimatologist Tim Patterson, professor in the department of Earth sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, recently converted from a believer in man-made climate change to a skeptic. Patterson noted that the notion of a "consensus" of scientists aligned with the U.N. IPCC or former Vice President Al Gore is false.
"I was at the Geological Society of America meeting in Philadelphia in the fall, and I would say that people with my opinion were probably in the majority," he said.
The report was generated after U.N. IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri implied there were only "about half a dozen" skeptical scientists left in the world.
Gore has likened skeptics of the global-warming philosophy to "flat Earth society members."
But the Senate report noted the scientists who are expressing a dissatisfaction with such generalizations include experts in climatology, geology, oceanography, biology, glaciology, biogeography, meteorology, economics, chemistry, mathematics, environmental sciences, engineering, physics and paleoclimatology.
"Some of those profiled have won Nobel Prizes for their outstanding contribution to their field of expertise and many shared a portion of the UN IPCC Nobel Peace Price with Vice President Gore," the report said.
Besides the Nobel Gore shared over the issue of global warming, he also won an Oscar for his work on "An Inconvenient Truth," which proclaims the validity of man-made global warming and advocates urgent action.
However, Muriel Newman, director of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, has told Academy President Sid Ganis and Executive Director Bruce Davis that the honor should be withdrawn.
That's because British High Court judge Michael Burton has concluded Gore's documentary should be shown in British schools only with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination. The decision followed a lawsuit by a father, Stewart Dimmock, who claimed the film contained "serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush."
To continue reading, go to http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59319
Posted on 05/27/2008 5:11 PM by Bobbie Patray
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Stuck on Stupid??
COMMENT: As college students are returning home for the summer, maybe this is a good time to give this issue some thought. The latter part of this article is extremely encouraging!!
- 75% of Christian youth leave the church after high school.
- Intellectual skepticism is one of the major reasons they walk away.
- Most Christian students are unequipped to resist rabidly anti-Christian college professors who are intent on converting their students to atheism.
- College professors are five times more likely to identify themselves as atheists than the general public.
- More than half of all college professors view evangelical Christian students unfavorably.
- The “new atheists”—Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens—are writing books and are growing in popularity.
Forward this column or get stuck on stupid
Mike S. Adams - Guest Columnist - 4/9/2008 7:00:00 AM
If your kid comes home from college one day and tells you that your Christian faith is stupid, welcome to the world in which I live. The college environment does that to our kids. It makes good Christian students stupid. By that I mean it turns them into liberals, atheists, or both. Three out of four Christian kids (that's 75% for those of you who attend UNC-Wilmington) abandon the church when they go to college and only about a third of them return by age 30. In other words, most stay stuck on stupid.
Christians and conservatives could simply whine about this, but then we would just sound like liberals. Instead, we need to take action. Before I tell you what you can do to help fix this problem, let me clarify what we're facing.
Two Jewish researchers went on campus (this is not a joke) last year to see just how anti-Semitic the faculty were. Their findings? In a survey of over 6,600 college professors across the country, they found virtually no anti-Semitism. Instead, they found a distinct bias against evangelical students: More than half (53%) of college faculty view evangelical students unfavorably. Mormons are next at 33%, followed by Muslims at 22%.
Let me put this in proper perspective: In the United States of America, professors are two and a half times more likely to view evangelical Christian students unfavorably than Muslim students.
The study also found that: Professors are five times more likely to be atheists than the general public: 19% vs. 4%; there are far fewer Evangelicals among the faculty than the general public: 11% vs. 33%; professors are more than twice as likely to identify themselves as liberal than the general public: 48% to 22%. (This is consistent with an earlier study which found that Democrats outnumber Republicans ten to one on college faculty.)
But enough with the statistics -- what are Christians doing about this? Just take a moment to imagine the following:
There's someone speaking on college campuses capable of -- without quoting Bible verses -- showing students solid evidence why Christianity is the most reasonable worldview. Imagine further that the four-point presentation this person gives is so provocative and entertaining that not only Christians attend, but atheists and skeptics show up as well (swelling some audiences to over 1,500 like a recent N.C. State presentation). Imagine that during Q&A atheists are treated respectfully, but their arguments are exposed as fallacious. And imagine that there is a book, DVD series, website and TV show available for follow up that strengthens Christians and challenges skeptics to consider Christianity.
You don't need to just imagine it happening because it already is. Dr. Frank Turek, founder and President of CrossExamined.org, is leading a team of Christian apologists to conduct "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" seminars on college campuses and at churches across the country. The seminar, based on Turek and Norman Geisler's award-winning book of the same name, is outstanding (back in September 2006, I told you that this is the book that helped bring Jimmy Duke to Christ).
I hosted Frank here at UNCW a couple of weeks ago, and I can tell you that the Christians were emboldened and the atheists were respectfully but firmly refuted. In fact, we've already invited Frank back for next semester, which will coincide nicely with UNCW's three-year celebration of Charles Darwin ("diversity" demands that we have an opposing view, I’m told).
Please go to CrossExamined.org to invite Frank or someone from his team to your campus or church. If you can't get into the fight directly, then maybe you can help others do so by donating on the website (Frank and his team charge students nothing for campus events -- they rely on tax-deductible donations). At the very least, get the book, watch the TV show (Sundays at 6 p.m. Eastern on DirecTV Channel 378), and visit the website to equip yourself and your kids with the truth.
It's time for conservatives and Christians to stop whining about how secular liberals are dominating our college campuses. It is time to take action and reach out to college students who are stuck on stupid.
Dr. Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and author of Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts "Womyn" On Campus.
Posted on 05/20/2008 5:09 PM by Bobbie Patray
Friday, 16 May 2008
State Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry
State Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry
COMMENT: California Marriage Law: 4,618,673 to Four
By a 4-3 margin, the justices struck down a law, adopted by 61 percent of voters in 2000, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
1. State Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry
2. 'Judicial fiat' triumphs in CA marriage ruling
State Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry in California, the state Supreme Court said today in a historic ruling that could be repudiated by the voters in November.
In a 4-3 decision, the justices said the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the "fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship." The ruling is likely to flood county courthouses with applications from couples newly eligible to marry when the decision takes effect in 30 days.
The ruling set off a celebration at San Francisco City Hall. As the decision came down, out-of-breath staff members ran into the mayor's office where Gavin Newsom read the decision.
Outside the city clerk's office, three opposite-sex couples were waiting at 10 a.m. for marriage certificates. City officials had prepared for a possible rush on certificates by same-sex couples, but hadn't yet changed the forms that ask couples to fill out the name of the "bride" and "groom."
Kenton Owayang, the office supervisor for the city clerk's office, said he's waiting for word from the state registrar's office about marriage forms and working on getting extra staff members in today in case the city is able to give out the certificates to same-sex couples.
Ed Harrington, the general manager of the city's Public Utilities Commission, was one of the staff members in the mayor's office shortly after the decision was released. Harrington has lived with his partner for 35 years and in 2004 Harrington married about 40 same-sex couples.
"You wait for this your whole life," said Harrington, who said he planned to call his partner and say, "I love you. What more do you say on a day like this?"
The PUC chief said he's unsure if he'll get married if Newsom resumes the City Hall marriages. "What's important is to be able to (get married) if you want to," he said.
The celebration could turn out to be short-lived, however. The court's decision could be overturned in November, when Californians are likely to vote on a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. Conservative religious organizations have submitted more than 1.1 million signatures on initiative petitions, and officials are working to determine if at least 694,354 of them are valid.
If the measure qualifies for the ballot and voters approve it, it will supersede today's ruling. The initiative does not say whether it would apply retroactively to annul marriages performed before November, an omission that would wind up before the courts.
The legal case dates back to February 2004, when Newsom ordered the city clerk to start issuing marriage licenses to couples regardless of their gender, saying he doubted the constitutionality of the state marriage law.
The state's high court ordered a halt a month later, after nearly 4,000 same-sex weddings had been performed at San Francisco City Hall. The court annulled the marriages in August 2004, ruling that Newsom lacked authority to defy the state law. But it did not rule on the validity of the law itself and said it would await proceedings in lower courts.
Some of the couples immediately sued in Superior Court and were joined by the city of San Francisco, which said it had a stake in ensuring equality for its residents. The case that ultimately reached the state Supreme Court consolidated four suits, one by the city and three by 23 same-sex couples in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer, ruling in the San Francisco cases, declared the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in March 2005. He said the law violates the "basic human right to marry a person of one's choice," a right declared by California's high court in 1948 when it became the nation's first court to overturn a state ban on interracial marriage.
Kramer said the law also constitutes sex discrimination - prohibited by another groundbreaking California Supreme Court ruling in 1971 - because it is based on the gender of one's partner.
But a state appeals court upheld the law in October 2006, ruling 2-1 that California was entitled to preserve the historic definition of marriage and that the state's voters and legislators, not the courts, were best equipped "to define marriage in our democratic society."
To continue reading, go to http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/15/BAGAVNC5K.DTL
'Judicial fiat' triumphs in CA marriage ruling
Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 5/15/2008 2:15:00 PM
Pro-family activist Matt Barber says the California Supreme Court betrayed "We the People" and engaged in the "worst kind of judicial activism" earlier today by overturning the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in March 2000.
The 4-3 ruling allowing homosexual couples in California to legally marry is expectedly drawing the ire of pro-family groups. Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues at Concerned Women for America (CWA), says it was ridiculous for the California Supreme Court to create a "phantom right" to homosexual marriage that was not in the minds of the framers of the state constitution.
"[T]hey have imposed same-sex marriage on the people of California through judicial fiat," says Barber, following that remark with a more optimistic one. "The good news is that I believe this will re-ignite the debate over a federal constitutional amendment -- and will certainly, I think, give a big boost to pro-family activists in California and help them to get a constitutional amendment passed there. They have the signatures to get it on the ballot."
Indeed, a coalition of pro-family groups have submitted to the California secretary of state more than a million signatures favoring a November vote on a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage. The minimum number of valid signatures needed is 694,354. The secretary of state's office has estimated a vote count should be released before the end of June.
To continue reading, to go http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=117442
Posted on 05/16/2008 5:07 PM by Bobbie Patray
Thursday, 15 May 2008
A new "Speech code" + Outlawing the Pig
1. Strategic Collapse in the War on Terror
2. Outlawing the Pig
3. Islam's Torture of Lebanon
1. Strategic Collapse in the War on Terror
By Joseph Myers
May 04, 2008
Words matter, and in the global war on terror we are losing the battle of words, in a self-inflicted defeat. The consequences could not be more profound.
Recent government policy memoranda, circulating through the national counter-terrorism and diplomatic community, establishes a new "speech code" for the lexicon in the war on terror, as reported by the Associated Press and now available in the public domain.
These new "speech codes" recommended that analysts and policy makers avoid the terms jihad or jihadist or mujhadid or "al-Qaida movement" and replace them with "extremists" and by extension other non-specific terms.
The use of these "new words" and rejection of the "old words" is ostensibly designed to avoid legitimating al-Qaida and its followers while mollifying the sensitivities of the larger Muslim community.
This culmination of previous trends does not surprise me at all.
This is more than simply dancing on the pinhead of cultural sensitivity-words have meaning, ideas have consequences.
This policy is a strategic collapse.
It does nothing to improve our strategic comprehension of the threat or improve our foreign strategic communications; in fact it reinforces existing conceptual problems and risks confusing our messaging with our own actual knowledge of the jihadist threat.
It is a failure of commission, a collapse of competency and reason. It is a collapse of precision and possibly the most profound setback in the war on terror since 9-11, when the global jihad brought itself to our attention.
Clausewitz noted that in war the moral factors are perhaps the most important, and we have just demonstrated we neither have the moral clarity or moral fortitude to comprehend the nature of the war we are in. Dr. Antulio Echevarria of the Army's Strategic Studies Institute stated once that the "US military does not have a doctrine for war as much as it has a doctrine for operations and battles" and we have just demonstrated we don't have the comprehension of this war as much as we can comprehend its operations and battles.
The AP report highlights a level of ignorance and hubris by the functionaries speaking to this topic so grave that is raises my concern about the actual extent that our government is in fact co-opted by our enemies.
War is a complex endeavor, there are no silver-bullet weapons, theories, words or phrases that will disarm our enemies or shape the cultural attitudes of the jihadists or other fellow Muslims. Only how the Islamic world doctrinally perceives and receives the claims of legitimacy of al-Qaida and the rest of the global Islamic movement will determine that outcome -- not any mincing of words by the West.
But it is important that we use the right words so that the West and the American people can understand the nature of our global challenge in this war as much as anyone else.
No Global Threat Model
Over the last several years, there have been numerous examples of incredible malfeasance and lack of due diligence in homeland security, prediction and investigations evidenced by the reporting of, for example, Patrick Poole in his Hometown Jihad series.
Also the schizophrenic activities of our government in dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood in America that has declared itself engaged in "civilizational jihadist process" to destroy our way of life and replace it with an Islamic model, and repeated examples of one arm of the government attempting to prosecute elements of the Brotherhood while the other half vets their actions and cultural sensitivity programs against the same organizations. Or recall the DHS booth placed next to the Islamic revolutionary organization of Hizb ut-Tahrir at another Islamic conference.
National security strategy is policy and policy implies a theory -- a theory for action. To date we have no concrete theory of action because we have no fully articulated global threat model. We are seven years into a global war with armed combat and many dead and wounded, and yet still lack a common analytic paradigm to describe and model the enemy. It is a stunning failure to propel the country to war without a fully elaborated threat model that clarifies and specifies the enemy and makes clear our true objectives.
The lack of a threat model and a theory for action explains our schizophrenia, our failures and homeland security shortcomings.
Understanding the enemy -- "the threat," his threat doctrine and the authoritative statements, sources and philosophy undergirding that doctrine is a primary duty. That is the first step in developing a threat model. It is the vital step in the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield process, to template enemy doctrine by laying it over the terrain: the physical, human and cultural terrain to understand its manifestations in reality. These are the first relevant questions to be answered for US national security analysis.
To continue reading, to go http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/05/strategic_collapse_in_the_war.html
2.Outlawing the Pig
By Janet Levy
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, May 02, 2008
The practice of political correctness may soon be tallying another casualty: the pig. Increasingly, as America and the rest of the Western world continue accommodating Muslim religious demands, pork food products are being singled out for removal from dining tables and pig-related trinkets banished from the desks of office workers.
If this continues, good ol’ American food, such as barbeque replete with hot dogs and ribs and the typical American breakfast of eggs, bacon and sausage, might be seen as the equivalent of political poison. Could outright censorship of pig depictions in drawings, pig references in literary works and pig portrayals in movies be far behind? Could the well-known, cartoon figure Porky Pig become a cultural embarrassment of our unenlightened past as we fear to utter the “P” word?
Though the notion may seem more appropriate for a comedy routine, an increasing number of pig-related incidents, accommodations and Muslim demands in recent years points to an uncertain future for our porcine friend and its place in our economy, culture and our culinary traditions.
In October of 2005, the United Kingdom, clearly further along on the road to dhimmitude due to its proportionally large and more radical Muslim population, banned piggybanks as promotional gifts from its banks. At about the same time, government social welfare offices called for the removal of all pig paraphernalia, including pig calendars, toys and accessories from employee desks. These new regulations were ostensibly implemented so as not to offend Muslim patrons.
Meanwhile, in the United States in 2007, several school districts removed pork products from their cafeteria offerings. Dearborn, Mich., schools banned pork completely to avoid the possibility that Muslims students might unknowingly eat it. The district later added special halal foods to its menu to cater to the demands of its Muslim population. An elementary school in San Diego that offers Arabic, single-gender classes and Muslim-only organized prayer, no longer offers pork to any of its students. And in Oak Lawn, Ill., where the administration is debating elimination of Christmas holiday celebrations, pork has already been banished from the school lunchroom.
Orthodox Jews, who follow kosher laws that prohibit the consumption of pork, have never demanded such special considerations for their chosen dietary habits nor have Jews feared accidental pork ingestion. They privately moderate their consumption according to their religious observances and often consume food prepared at home according to prescribed regulations.
Contrast this to how Muslims and their dietary habits are treated. In April 2007, a 13-year-old middle school prankster was suspended and his behavior labeled a hate crime for placing a bag with a ham steak on the lunch table of a group of Muslim students. That same month, Muslims started a Facebook group, “Fight Against Pork in Frito-Lay Products.” The more than 1,800 participants sought to pressure the company to remove pork enzymes from its cheese seasonings.
Last year, Somali Muslim employees at a St. Louis Park, Minn. Target store refused to handle pork products, citing religious reasons. Target made special allowances for Muslim employees, who now scrutinize customer purchases and can call for assistance when a pork product appears at their check stand. Presumably, the Muslim employees knew they would be encountering bacon and pepperoni pizza when they signed on for their jobs and have no problem collecting a salary paid out of profits from pork sales.
In 2007, the Year of the Pig, an imam in Taipei complained after receiving a greeting card from Taiwan’s foreign minister depicting celebrating pigs. When “Year of the Pig” postal stamps were issued, the Taiwanese government cautioned citizens about using them on letters and parcels to Muslim friends or to Muslim countries. That year, China banned pig images and the mention of pigs in television advertisement to avoid offending the country’s Muslims.
This year, the popular story, The Three Little Pigs, was banned in a primary school in the United Kingdom as the school’s administration thought references to pigs might offend Muslim pupils. Another school removed all books containing stories about pigs, including the talking pig ‘Babe’ from classrooms following complaints from Muslim parents. In 2007, a UK church school production of The Three Little Pigs was renamed The Three Little Puppies to maintain multi-cultural sensitivities. Ironically, the pig is mentioned often in the Koran as a derogatory reference to Jews.
In further accommodation to Muslims, Fortis Bank in the Netherlands and Belgium dropped its pig mascot. Knorbert the pig was eliminated after seven years with a statement from a bank spokesperson that “Knorbert does not meet the requirements that the multicultural society imposes on us.”
A recent BBC report described how pork butchers are gradually being put out of business as Turkey adopts a more fundamentalist Muslim character. Pork slaughterhouses are being closed in record numbers to accommodate shariah law countrywide.
In 2004, a Muslim-owned investment company, Arcapita (formerly Capital Crescent Investments) acquired the 1,200-unit Church’s Chicken chain. In 2005, Arcapita, with a net income of $70.5 million and assets worth $1.2 billion (2004), enjoined a franchisee from selling pork products. In correspondence with the franchisee, the corporate owners cited violation of shariah law as the reason for prohibiting the sale of bacon, ham and sausages. The restaurant owners were thereby forced to surrender to corporate demands and operate under shariah law.
Where will this end? Will “Animal Farm” be banned at our high schools and university campuses? Will the words “pork barrel spending” and “porker” be eliminated from the vernacular? Will Piggly Wiggly supermarkets be forced to change its name and re-brand its products? This could all be quite amusing if the implications weren’t so grave.
The pig is an icon of American culture, a culinary tradition and an important component of our economy. While high grain prices and competition from Chinese imports are recognized as the two greatest threats to the industry, hog producers could be overlooking a larger threat to their livelihood looming on the horizon.
To continue reading, go to http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=B4D7EA5D-074C-4D34-AB04-71E9354504CB
If you want to understand what happened to the Christian country of Lebanon, I highly recommend
3. Islam's Torture of Lebanon,
Posted on 05/15/2008 5:05 PM by Bobbie Patray
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Human Animal Hybrid Clones?
Human Animal Hybrid Clones?
COMMENT: Is our scientific ability outstripping our morality? It would certainly seem so. Although the British may have backed down, I dare say there are others who would 'push the scientific envelope' with or without the 'authority' to do so. Passing preemptive legislation is certainly advantageous.
1. Half man, half chimp - should we beware the apeman's coming?
2. Scientist Says British Human Cloning Bill Would Allow Human-Chimp Mating
3. Leading British MP Backs Down From Pro-Human Cloning Bill Before Vote
4. Pro-Life Groups Back Congressional Bill to Ban Human-Animal Hybrid Clones
1. Exclusive: Half man, half chimp - should we beware the apeman's coming?
Published Date: 29 April 2008
A LEADING scientist has warned a new species of "humanzee," created from breeding apes with humans, could become a reality unless the government acts to stop scientists experimenting.
In an interview with The Scotsman, Dr Calum MacKellar, director of research at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, warned the controversial draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill did not prevent human sperm being inseminated into animals.
He said if a female chimpanzee was inseminated with human sperm the two species would be closely enough related that a hybrid could be born.
He said scientists could possibly try to develop the new species to fill the demand for organ donors.
Leading scientists say there is no reason why the two species could not breed, although they question why anyone would want to try such a technique.
Other hybrid species already created include crossed tigers and lions and sheep and goats.
Dr MacKellar said he feared the consequences if scientists made a concerted effort to cross humans with chimpanzees. He said: "Nobody knows what they would get if they tried hard enough. The insemination of animals with human sperm should be prohibited.
"The Human Fertilisation and Embryo Bill prohibits the placement of animal sperm into a woman The reverse is not prohibited. It's not even mentioned. This should not be the case."
He said if the process was not banned, scientists would be "very likely" to try it, and it would be likely humans and chimps could successfully reproduce.
"If you put human sperm into a frog it would probably create an embryo, but it probably wouldn't go very far," he said.
"But if you do it with a non-human primate it's not beyond the realms of possibility that it could be born alive."
Dr MacKellar said the resulting creature could raise ethical dilemmas, such as whether it would be treated as human or animal, and what rights it would have.
To continue reading, go here
2. Scientist Says British Human Cloning Bill Would Allow Human-Chimp Mating
by Steven Ertelt
May 2, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) -- A leading scientist says the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill the British parliament is considering is so grisly that it would allow scientists to mate humans and chimps. Dr. Calum MacKellar says he's worried the bill, which promotes human cloning, would allow interspecies mating.
MacKellar, director of research at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, says he worries the bill would open the door for the "humanzee," created by breeding apes and humans.
He told the Scotsman newspaper that he thinks a new species could theoretically be born if the bill allows the grisly science to move forward.
"The Human Fertilisation and Embryo Bill prohibits the placement of animal sperm into a woman. The reverse is not prohibited. It's not even mentioned. This should not be the case," he explained.
If the process isn't banned, he worried scientists are likely to try it.
While mating humans and other species wouldn't be successful, MacKellar told the newspaper he thinks it would work with apes since their DNA most closely resembles that of human beings.
"If you put human sperm into a frog it would probably create an embryo, but it probably wouldn't go very far," he said. "But if you do it with a non-human primate it's not beyond the realms of possibility that it could be born alive."
To continue reading, go to http://www.lifenews.com/printpage.php
3. Leading British MP Backs Down From Pro-Human Cloning Bill Before Vote
by Steven Ertelt
May 12, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) -- The leading British MP who is pushing for Parliament to adopt a bill that would promote human cloning and the creation of hybrids is backing down slightly in advance of the debate and vote on the bill. Lord Winston now appears to admit the human cloning bill isn't needed to advance science.
Across Britain, pro-life advocates are pulling out all the stops to head off the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act when it comes up for a second reading debate in the House of Commons.
While scientists say human cloning is necessary to find cures for diseases, pro-life advocates say adult stem cell research is already successful and that destroying human life to advance science is unethical.
According to a Monday London Telegraph report, Winston said he wouldn't be too disappointed if the bill failed and he admitted the measure is unnecessary to promote the search for cures for diseases.
"If the hybrid embryo thing doesn't go through, it in no way shakes the body of science. It's not about embryos that can survive, or viable monsters. Nothing like that," he said.
"It's a nice adjunct; a useful extra. But if we don't have that resource, it won't fundamentally alter the science of stem cell biology," he told the newspaper.
Winston also told the Telegraph that he, too, has problems with the creation of so-called "saviour siblings" -- unborn children created as a genetic match specifically so they can be killed later to provide cells or body parts for an older, sick child.
He said, after birth, such children would be pressured to donate their organs.
To continue reading, go to http://www.lifenews.com/bio2436.html
4. Pro-Life Groups Back Congressional Bill to Ban Human-Animal Hybrid Clones
by Steven Ertelt
April 30, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Pro-life groups are backing a new Congressional bill that would ban the creation of hybrid clones with both human and animal parts. Rep. Chris Smith introduced the bill last week in the House of Representatives at a time when British lawmakers are considering allowing the practice.
The measure is the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act (H.R. 5910 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HR05910:) and Senator Sam Brownback introduced the Senate companion bill (S.2358 - http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:SN02358:) last fall.
[Note: The senate bill was introduced in 2007 but neither bill has seen any action.]
Several pro-life groups have already pledged to support the bill because the creation of the clones will involve the destruction of human life.
They also oppose manipulating human and animal DNA to create hybrids.
Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committee on pro-life activities, welcomed the legislation as “an opportunity to rein in an egregious and disturbing misuse of technology to undermine human dignity.”
He told LifeNews.com the legislation "offers an opportunity to rein in an egregious and disturbing misuse of technology to undermine human dignity."
Though some may regard hybrid cloning as nothing more than science fiction, Cardinal Rigali said the threat is real.
"The United Kingdom is preparing to authorize the production of cloned human embryos using human DNA and animal eggs, setting the stage for the creation of embryos that are half-human and half-animal," he said.
"Researchers in New York have boasted of implanting ‘mouse/human embryonic chimeras’ into female mice, and California scientists say they may produce a mouse whose brain is entirely made up of human brain cells," he added.
“The alleged promise of embryonic stem cells has already been used in attempts to justify destroying human embryos, and even to justify creating them solely for destructive research," he explained. "Now, the same utilitarian argument is being used to justify an especially troubling form of genetic manipulation, to create partly human creatures as mere objects for research or commercial use."
In January, Brownback had choice words for the British researchers wanting to make hybrid clones.
"We need to ensure that experimentation and subsequent ramifications do not outpace ethical discussion and societal decisions," he said.
To continue reading, go to http://www.lifenews.com/bio2421.html
Posted on 05/13/2008 4:54 PM by Bobbie Patray
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Darwinians hysterical over 'Expelled'
EXPELLED’ BREAKS INTO TOP 10 ON FIRST WEEKEND:
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed took in $3.2 million on opening weekend. The movie stars Ben Stein, who interviews scientists and professors who have been blacklisted, lost tenure, and in some cases were fired for questioning Darwinian evolution and wanting to teach intelligent design.
Mark Mathis, executive producer of the movie, says the strong showing will get Hollywood's attention. "There's a lot of garbage out there in our theaters, and when investors stick their necks out and risk their hard-earned money to see a movie like this produced, they're taking a big risk -- and they're hoping that people will honor that and actually go see it," he shares. http://eagleforum.org/educate/2008/apr08/intelligent-design.html
RECOMMENDATION: Get your children or grandchildren to the theaters as soon as possible. Go to http://expelledthemovie.com/theaterap.php, where it says “State”, click on TN and all the locations will come up.
Ben Stein Provokes the Liberals' Wrath
by Phyllis Schlafly, May 7, 2008
Ben Stein is known to many as an actor on Comedy Central. But the funniest part about his latest movie called "Expelled" is not any clever lines spoken by Stein but the hysterical way the liberals are trying to discourage people from seeing it.
Stein's critics don't effectively refute anything in "Expelled"; they just use epithets to ridicule it and hope they can make it go away. However, it won't go away; even Scientific American, which labeled the movie "shameful," concedes that it cannot be ignored.
The movie is about how scientists who dare to criticize Darwinism or discuss the contrary theory called Intelligent Design (ID) are expelled, fired, denied tenure, blacklisted, and bitterly denounced. Academic freedom doesn't extend to this issue.
The message of Stein's critics comes through loud and clear. They don't want anybody to challenge Darwinian orthodoxy or suggest that Intelligent Design might be an explanation of the origin of life.
Stein, who serves as his own narrator in the movie, is very deadpan about it all. He doesn't try to convince the audience that Darwinism is a fraud, or that God created the world, or even that some unidentified Intelligent Design might have started life on Earth.
Stein merely shows the intolerance of the universities, the government, the courts, the grant-making foundations and the media, and their determination to suppress any mention of Intelligent Design.
The only question posed by the movie is why, oh why, is there such a deliberate, consistent, widespread, vindictive effort to silence all criticism of dogmatic Darwinism or discussion of alternate theories of the origin of life? Stein interviews scientists who were blacklisted, denied grants, and ostracized in the academic community because they dared to write or speak the forbidden words.
The liberals are particularly upset because the movie identifies Darwinism, rather than evolution, as the sacred word that must be isolated from criticism. But that semantic choice makes good sense because Darwinism is easily defined by Darwin's own writings, whereas the word evolution is subject to different and even contrary definitions.
The truly funny part of the movie is Stein's interview with Richard Dawkins, whose best-selling book "The God Delusion" established this Englishman as the world's premier atheist. Dawkins is a leading advocate of the theory that all life evolved from a single beginning in an ancient mud puddle, perhaps after being struck by lightning.
Putting aside the issue of evolving, how did life begin in the first place? Under Stein's questioning, Dawkins finally said it is possible that life might have evolved on Earth after the arrival of a more highly developed being from another planet.
Aren't aliens from outer space the stuff of science fiction? And how was the other-planet alien created? According to Dawkins, life must have just spontaneously evolved on another planet, of course without God.
Stein spent two years traveling the world to gather material for this movie. He interviewed scores of scientists and academics who say they were retaliated against because of questioning Darwin's theories.
Stein interviewed Dr. Richard Sternberg, a biologist who lost his position at the prestigious Smithsonian Institution after he published a peer-reviewed article that mentioned Intelligent Design. Other academics who said they were victims of the anti-ID campus police included astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, denied tenure at Iowa State University, and Caroline Crocker, who lost her professorship at George Mason University.
Stein dares to include some filming at the death camps in Nazi Germany as a backdrop for interviews that explain Charles Darwin's considerable influence on Adolf Hitler and his well-known atrocities. The Darwin-Hitler connection was not a Stein discovery; Darwin's influence on Hitler's political worldview, and Hitler's rejection of the sacredness of human life, is acknowledged in standard biographies of Hitler.
Stein also addresses how Darwin's theories influenced one of the U.S.'s most embarrassing periods, the eugenics fad of the early 20th century. Thousands of Americans were legally sterilized as physically or mentally unfit.
Mandatory sterilization based on Darwin's theories was even approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes writing his famous line, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." Stein also reminds us that Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist who wanted to eliminate the races she believed were inferior.
Stein's message is that the attack on freedom of inquiry is anti-science, anti-American, and anti-the whole concept of learning. His dramatization should force the public, and maybe even academia, to address this extraordinary intolerance of diversity.
Read this article online: http://www.eagleforum.org/column/2008/may08/08-05-07.html
Posted on 05/08/2008 4:52 PM by Bobbie Patray
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Protecting you genetic data
COMMENT: We have not had a lot of 'good news' from Washington lately, but this certainly fits the bill. This is a great victory for privacy and encourages good health care decisions.
In my file from several years ago, I have an article about a women whose unborn baby was diagnosed with a handicap. Her insurance company told her they would not cover the medical needs baby leaving her with the choice of abortion or paying for all the medical bills herself. I have to wonder if this legislation could be use in a case like that.
Bill would protect use of genetic test data
Insurers could not use it to raise rates
WASHINGTON — Anyone who can trace breast cancer in the family, or sickle cell anemia, Lou Gehrig's or some other affliction will be understandably concerned about a genetic test showing a predisposition for debilitating diseases.
But what they shouldn't have to worry about is a health insurer using that information to raise their rates, or their boss firing them to save on the company's medical costs, a problem Congress hoped to solve Thursday when it overwhelming passed the nation's first anti-genetic discrimination bill.
President Bush is expected to soon sign the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which would prohibit health insurance companies from using genetic information to set premiums or determine enrollment eligibility.
Similarly, employers could not use genetic information in hiring, firing or promotion decisions.
Lawmakers and advocates called the bill "the first major civil rights act of the 21st century."
Federal law already bans discrimination by race and gender.
"Your skin color, your gender, all of those are part of your DNA," said Francis Collins, head of the National Human Genome Research Institute.
"Shouldn't the rest of your DNA also fall under that protective umbrella?"
Lawmakers and advocates told tales of Americans using fake names, or paying cash or flat-out refusing genetic tests out of fear that their companies or insurers would find out what was in their genes.
That's bad for researchers, who need genetic testing to develop cures for crippling diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington's or Lou Gehrig's.
"We will never unlock the great promise of the Human Genome Project if Americans are too afraid to get genetic testing," said Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill.
It's also potentially harmful to people, said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.
"Consider that genetic tests can tell a woman with a family history of breast cancer if she has the genetic mutation that causes it long before the cancer develops," Slaughter said.
"Armed with this information, this woman can make important health decisions on when to engage in preventive care and when to seek early treatment."
Coverage was denied
Americans have had good reason to worry about the use of their genetic information.
In the 1970s, several insurers denied coverage to African-Americans who carried the gene for sickle cell anemia.
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California secretly tested workers for sickle cell trait and other genetic disorders from the 1960s through 1993.
Workers were told it was routine cholesterol screening.
In another incident, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. paid 36 employees $2.2 million in 2002 to settle a lawsuit in which the workers claimed the company sought to genetically test them without their knowledge after they had submitted work-related injury claims.
The railroad denied that it violated the law or engaged in discrimination.
A 2001 study by the American Management Association showed that nearly two-thirds of major U.S. companies required medical examinations of new hires.
Fourteen percent conducted tests for susceptibility to workplace hazards, 3 percent for breast and colon cancer, and 1 percent for sickle cell anemia, while 20 percent collected information about family medical history.
Bill offers guarantee
More Americans will opt to get genetic testing if they don't have to worry about a simple predisposition being used against them, advocates said.
To continue reading, go to http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008805020405
'GINA' Law Would Stop Genetic Discrimination
April 25, 2008 12:42 PM ET | Deborah Kotz
| Permanent Link
Yesterday the Senate voted unanimously to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which after going back to the House for final approval is expected to be signed by President Bush as early as next week. This law will ensure that anyone who gets genetic screening tests will be protected from having that information shared with health insurers or employers. Up until now, women who tested positive for, say, one of the breast cancer genes could be denied insurance coverage or employment based on her predisposition to developing breast cancer years down the road.
In the works for 13 years, GINA got stalled along the way by a few obstinate lawmakers, as my colleague Dr. Bernadine Healy, U.S. News health editor, pointed out in this column. So consumer health advocates are greeting yesterday's news with a huge sigh of relief. "It's an extraordinary step forward and essential if we ever want to see the potential of genetic research," says Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, a nonprofit advocacy group that has been lobbying for GINA's passage. "There are people afraid to enter research studies or get genetic testing, and we hope this legislation will alleviate those fears."
The law will: (a) prohibit the use of genetic information to deny employment or insurance coverage; (b) ensure that genetic test
results are kept private; and (c) prevent an insurer from basing eligibility or premiums on genetic information. Specifically, it will prevent genetic discrimination cases like these, which were outlined in a 2004 report issued by the National Partnership:
- A 28-year old woman who tested positive for the BRCA-1 breast cancer gene was denied insurance coverage. Although she wasn't asked for her genetic information when she applied for insurance, she reported having undergone prophylactic mastectomies and a hysterectomy, which some women make the heart-wrenching decision to do to drastically reduce their chances of getting breast or ovarian cancer. According to the report, the insurance company put 2 and 2 together and denied her insurance; she ultimately had to hire a lawyer to procure coverage.
To continue reading, here
Posted on 05/06/2008 4:50 PM by Bobbie Patray
Friday, 2 May 2008
Ice age coming -- food shortages?
COMMENT: Thanks to Gore and friends efforts to reduce 'global warming' by focusing on biofuels is driving up the price of food and its availability. Well, I guess if we have another ice age it won't matter anyway -- we won't have land available to raise enough food.
1. Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh
2. Excessive government created vicious cycle
3. Food Crisis Starts Eclipsing Climate Change Worries
Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh
Phil Chapman | April 23, 2008
THE scariest photo I have seen on the internet is www.spaceweather.com, where you will find a real-time image of the sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, located in deep space at the equilibrium point between solar and terrestrial gravity.
What is scary about the picture is that there is only one tiny sunspot.
Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.
All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.
There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries, the winter in China was simply terrible and the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the austral winter was the greatest on record since James Cook discovered the place in 1770.
It is generally not possible to draw conclusions about climatic trends from events in a single year, so I would normally dismiss this cold snap as transient, pending what happens in the next few years.
This is where SOHO comes in. The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.
It didn't happen. The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon.
The reason this matters is that there is a close correlation between variations in the sunspot cycle and Earth's climate. The previous time a cycle was delayed like this was in the Dalton Minimum, an especially cold period that lasted several decades from 1790.
Northern winters became ferocious: in particular, the rout of Napoleon's Grand Army during the retreat from Moscow in 1812 was at least partly due to the lack of sunspots.
That the rapid temperature decline in 2007 coincided with the failure of cycle No.24 to begin on schedule is not proof of a causal connection but it is cause for concern.
It is time to put aside the global warming dogma, at least to begin contingency planning about what to do if we are moving into another little ice age, similar to the one that lasted from 1100 to 1850.
There is no doubt that the next little ice age would be much worse than the previous one and much more harmful than anything warming may do. There are many more people now and we have become dependent on a few temperate agricultural areas, especially in the US and Canada. Global warming would increase agricultural output, but global cooling will decrease it.
Millions will starve if we do nothing to prepare for it (such as planning changes in agriculture to compensate), and millions more will die from cold-related diseases.
There is also another possibility, remote but much more serious. The Greenland and Antarctic ice cores and other evidence show that for the past several million years, severe glaciation has almost always afflicted our planet.
The bleak truth is that, under normal conditions, most of North America and Europe are buried under about 1.5km of ice. This bitterly frigid climate is interrupted occasionally by brief warm interglacials, typically lasting less than 10,000 years.
The interglacial we have enjoyed throughout recorded human history, called the Holocene, began 11,000 years ago, so the ice is overdue. We also know that glaciation can occur quickly: the required decline in global temperature is about 12C and it can happen in 20 years.
The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027.
To continue reading to go http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23583376-5013480,00.html
Excessive government created vicious cycle
The current "global food crisis" is not a crisis in its own right. It is a symptom of a broader intellectual crisis that has spawned a vicious cycle of increasing government intervention, here and abroad.
Excessive and poorly conceived government regulations, taxes and subsidies have created a cluster of crises, and now the fluctuating prices will be used as an excuse to increase government meddling even further.
We could start by looking at extreme cases, such as Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe has liberated his country from the status of net agricultural exporter and turned it into an aid-dependent exporter of hungry people. That's what you can do with just the right mix of bad economic policies and corrupt political practices. Third World governance begat and maintains our current portfolio of Third World countries.
With a little more effort we, too, could achieve that status. It will take awhile, but we do have some talented folks in Washington who are hard at work on it. Through the wonders of pseudo-science, they have converted most of us to the worship of the green goddess of global warming, which now explains all things. Who needs science when we have "consensus"? Those of us who actually understand something about mathematical models remain skeptical about their use in forecasting complex phenomena such as climate change and future economic conditions. But such "deniers" risk conversion by the sword or, worse, a loss of research funding.
Ethanol hinders progress
The green goddess now demands burnt offerings: We call it "ethanol." To ensure that we all practice what they preach, the pious folks in Washington have made our participation mandatory. The production of ethanol and other biofuels is promoted through subsidies, tax credits, grants, loans and import restrictions — burdens cheerfully borne by consumers and taxpayers. Corn producers are appropriately thankful, and vote predictably.
We are told ethanol will help us achieve energy independence and reduce the emission of unpopular gases. But it actually hinders both objectives. Further, ethanol is harmful to internal combustion engines and corrodes fuel-handling systems, including underground storage tanks. It is an expensive and wasteful energy source, so the government has to force us to use it in our gasoline.
To continue reading, go to http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080425/OPINION01/804250410/-1/ARCHIVE01
Food Crisis Starts Eclipsing Climate Change Worries
Gore Ducks, as a Backlash Builds Against Biofuels
By , Staff Reporter of the Sun | April 25, 2008
The campaign against climate change could be set back by the global food crisis, as foreign populations turn against measures to use foodstuffs as substitutes for fossil fuels.
With prices for rice, wheat, and corn soaring, food-related unrest has broken out in places such as Haiti, Indonesia, and Afghanistan. Several countries have blocked the export of grain. There is even talk that governments could fall if they cannot bring food costs down.
One factor being blamed for the price hikes is the use of government subsidies to promote the use of corn for ethanol production. An estimated 30% of America’s corn crop now goes to fuel, not food.
“I don’t think anybody knows precisely how much ethanol contributes to the run-up in food prices, but the contribution is clearly substantial,” a professor of applied economics and law at the University of Minnesota, C. Ford Runge, said. A study by a Washington think tank, the International Food Policy Research Institute, indicated that between a quarter and a third of the recent hike in commodities prices is attributable to biofuels.
Last year, Mr. Runge and a colleague, Benjamin Senauer, wrote an article in Foreign Affairs, “How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor.”
“We were criticized for being alarmist at the time,” Mr. Runge said. “I think our views, looking back a year, were probably too conservative.”
Ethanol was initially promoted as a vehicle for America to cut back on foreign oil. In recent years, biofuels have also been touted as a way to fight climate change, but the food crisis does not augur well for ethanol’s prospects.
“It takes around 400 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol,” Mr. Senauer, also an applied economics professor at Minnesota, said. “It’s not going to be a very good diet but that’s roughly enough to keep an adult person alive for a year.”
Mr. Senauer said climate change advocates, such as Vice President Gore, need to distance themselves from ethanol to avoid tarnishing the effort against global warming. “Crop-based biofuels are not part of the solution. They, in fact, add to the problem. Whether Al Gore has caught up with that, somebody ought to ask him,” the professor said. “There are lots of solutions, real solutions to climate change. We need to get to those.”
Mr. Gore was not available for an interview yesterday on the food crisis, according to his spokeswoman. A spokesman for Mr. Gore’s public campaign to address climate change, the Alliance for Climate Protection, declined to comment for this article.
However, the scientist who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mr. Gore, Rajendra Pachauri of the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, has warned that climate campaigners are unwise to promote biofuels in a way that risks food supplies. “We should be very, very careful about coming up with biofuel solutions that have major impact on production of food grains and may have an implication for overall food security,” Mr. Pachauri told reporters last month, according to Reuters. “Questions do arise about what is being done in North America, for instance, to convert corn into sugar then into biofuels, into ethanol.”
In an interview last year, Mr. Gore expressed his support for corn-based ethanol, but endorsed moving to what he called a “third generation” of so-called cellulosic ethanol production, which is still in laboratory research. “It doesn’t compete with food crops, so it doesn’t put pressure on food prices,” the former vice president told Popular Mechanics magazine.
A Harvard professor of environmental studies who has advised Mr. Gore, Michael McElroy, warned in a November-December 2006 article in Harvard Magazine that “the production of ethanol from either corn or sugar cane presents a new dilemma: whether the feedstock should be devoted to food or fuel. With increasing use of corn and sugar cane for fuel, a rise in related food prices would seem inevitable.” The article, “The Ethanol Illusion” went so far as to praise Senator McCain for summing up the corn-ethanol energy initiative launched in the United States in 2003 as “highway robbery perpetrated on the American public by Congress.”
In Britain, some hunger-relief and environmental groups have turned sharply against biofuels. “Setting mandatory targets for biofuels before we are aware of their full impact is madness,” Philip Bloomer of Oxfam told the BBC.
To continue reading, go to http://www.nysun.com/news/food-crisis-eclipsing-climate-change
Posted on 05/02/2008 4:47 PM by Bobbie Patray
Thursday, 1 May 2008
'Social change' organization says 'masculinity' too narrowly defined
COMMENT: Children are being exposed to all kinds of information that will affective their lives in a negative way forever. This is not just happening 'out there' somewhere -- parents of public school students here in Tennessee must be alert to what is happening in their student's classroom and school!!
Class for kids: How to be homosexual
'Social change' organization says 'masculinity' too narrowly defined
Posted: April 28, 2008
9:30 pm Eastern
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A state-funded organization in Maine touted as "a stellar program for social change" is advertising a seminar that essentially provides information to impressionable school-age boys on how to be homosexual, according to a pro-family organization opposing the plans.
The seminar, "Queer, Questioning, Quiet: Developing Gender Identity & Male Sexual Orientation," is promoted by the Boys to Men organization in Portland, Maine, during its coming 2008 conference. The session will feature a presentation by speakers from the homosexual Proud Rainbow Youth for Southern Maine, officials said.
"I think it's outrageous," Michael Heath, chief of the Christian Civic League of Maine, told WND. '"This is now starting to happen in public schools throughout our state. The public needs to wake up, become aware, and speak out against it."
The Boys to Men website advertisement about its conference says the outreach is "targeted primarily to middle and high school boys and their adult male mentors." The workshop on homosexuality the website said, includes "speakers from the Maine SpeakOut Project and PRYSM (who) will discuss their own coming-out experiences and use these as a springboard for exploring LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) issues and resources for youth in Southern Maine."
The organization's "core value" page states: "Traditional media and cultural representations of masculinity and femininity are too narrowly defined and contribute to destructive and damaging behavior towards individuals of all genders and ages. We are committed to eliminating the inequalities and institutional injustices that result from these traditional media and cultural representations of masculinity."
It also lists as a goal to teach "young men and young women to work together to enhance school climate by standing up against ... gender stereotyping, homophobia and intolerance of difference."
"This continues to happen to impressionable young boys," Heath said. "The sad thing is the boys who are least able to endure this message, this confusion, are the ones they're preying upon."
He said the New England states are just about even with California in pursuit of a sexual liberation that makes the hippies' free love atmosphere of the 1960s look staid.
"We have laws protecting transgenders. We have a 10-year-old boy [in the state] being raised as a girl. The elementary school is being forced to allow the boy to use the bathroom with the girls," Heath said.
He said it's so important that families, and especially parents of younger children, realize the "sexual orientation cabal" that is flooding his state and region.
"We writing about it [the seminar] right now," he said. "We're going to let folks know ... what's going on."
Heath said the "sexual revolution" is entrenched in the law, and its impacts are both widespread and serious.
"I don't think insanity is too strong a word for it," he said. "Here in New England .. urges and pleasures are what drive the culture, the law."
Unless there is a rally for traditional and moral views, Heath said, "We will witness the disintegration of a civilization." A best-case result would be that there is enough of a public reaction
To continue reading, go to http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=62820
Posted on 05/01/2008 4:46 PM by Bobbie Patray