Friday, April 30, 2010

The Results Are In

Each week, the members of the Watcher's Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for best post. The Watcher publishes the results each Friday. And the results of this weeks voting are in:

The winner this week in the Council Category was my post The Roots Of Slavery & The Races Hustlers’ Holy Grail – Reparations. It puts slavery in historical perspective, points out the many surreal elements of those who call for reparations, and lastly, makes the point that those calling for reparations are the penultimate race hustlers in our nation. Coming in second place was another great post from our resident professional writer, Gerard Van der Luen of American Digest. In The Circumnambulation of Queen Anne, he takes us on a caffeine fueled, humorous - and fully photographed - two mile walking tour of his neighborhood. It is, like everything else this man writes, highly entertaining. I would give my eye teeth to be able to write like him.

In the Non-Council Category, the winner was The Belmont Club's The Washington Monument, pointing out that Clinton has it wrong. The Tea Party's aren't expressing agression, they are expressing fear. Coming in tied for second place was Doug Ross must read post exposing the radicalism at the heart of many of the Latino protestors in Irony-meter breaks: La Raza, MEChA and other racial separatist groups worry that law enforcement might use racial profiling to enforce laws. Also tied for second place was RedState's Stop the Haters: FreedomWorks Responds.

There were some great entries last week. You can find them all, as well as the full results of the voting at the Watcher's site.


Politicians & The Perspective Of Time

An e-mail was sent to me that is making the rounds in the UK. It applies equally as well on this side of the pond - and although the list of new taxes is different, it is no less applicable:

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

- A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

- A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

- A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

- A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

- A billion Pounds ago was only 13 hours and 12 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

* Stamp Duty
* Tobacco Tax
* Corporate Income Tax
* Income Tax
* Council Tax
* Unemployment Tax
* Fishing License Tax
* Petrol/Diesel Tax
* Inheritance Tax (tax on top of tax)
* Alcohol Tax
* V.A.T.
* Marriage License Tax
* Property Tax
* Service charge taxes
* Social Security Tax
* Vehicle License Registration Tax
* Vehicle Sales Tax
* Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago...and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt...

we had the largest middle class in the world... and Mum stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened?

Can you spell 'politicians?'


What Labour Hath Wrought

LIke the RMS Titanic, the UK's ship of state is sinking. British journalist William Shawcross, writing at the NRO, tells why in a damning indictment of Labour and its 12 year stewardship of Britain. This from Mr. Shawcross:

A Foreign Office diplomat’s proposal to mark the Pope’s visit to Britain with Benedict condoms and by having him bless a gay marriage, open an abortion clinic, and set up a hotline for abused children is a perfect example of the ruling Labour party’s degradation of Britain. Former ambassador Sir Ivor Roberts said on Sunday, “I cannot think of a papal visit anywhere in the world where the host government has had to apologize so profusely and abjectly…for the appalling behavior of one of its officials.”

The truth is that the Foreign Office is no longer fit for purpose after 13 years of New Labour dogmas and a succession of weak if not feckless ministers, in particular the incumbent, David Miliband. Under New Labour, the idea that the Foreign Office should actually fight for British interests is considered passé, if not racist and imperialist. Instead, New Labour has forced Britain to become a mere piece of the bland but increasingly oppressive Bambiland of the E.U., promoting such PC global issues as gay rights (except in Muslim lands) and man-made climate change. . . .

Charles Crawford, a distinguished ambassador who retired early in despair at New Labour’s destruction of British diplomacy, says that in Euroland, “religious pieties plus national identities and symbols, and thus the role of national embassies, are all essential targets of postmodern pastiche.”

He is right — “postmodernism,” the disastrous creed that there is no objective truth and that everything is relative, is the defining characteristic of New Labour. The only force of which Labour (like most E.U. ruling parties) seems to be in awe is Islamism. No Foreign Office official would have drawn up a document mocking Islam. “Postmodernism” is in effect a form of appeasement.

And Gordon Brown has been a disaster for this country. As the all-powerful chancellor, he spent the first ten years of New Labour undermining what might have been sensible Blairite reforms to education, health services, and welfare. Brown and his allies wanted no success for Blair — instead, they simply threw money at unreconstructed and inefficient structures. Billions upon billions of taxpayer money is still being squandered. Perhaps most tragic is the lack of welfare reform. Brown has perpetuated the growth of a wretched, demoralized underclass, unwilling and increasingly unable to work.

At the same time, Labour has continually expanded its client state (70 percent of the workforce in Northern Ireland), which produces nothing. Every person in the U.K. now has £40,000 of national debt to his or her name.

The list of horrors is endless: Brown sold our gold at about the lowest price imaginable, he destroyed the country’s strong pension system, he broke Labour’s promise for a referendum on the E.U.’s Lisbon Treaty, and he has mortgaged Labour back to the trade unions. Harold Wilson had more courage.

Unforgivably, Brown has treated our soldiers with contempt. He has never given the armed forces the resources they needed to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many men have died in battle because of inadequate equipment. Recently Brown was forced to correct a lie he told the Chilcott Iraq Enquiry when he claimed that under him, defense spending had risen every year.

Labour boasts that 3 million new jobs have been created — but most went to immigrants. Labour deliberately let immigration rip but never put this controversial policy before the voters in a manifesto. Some leaked Labour documents suggest this was a deliberate policy “to dilute Britishness” and create a new class of voters grateful to Labour.

It is an outrage that the British people were never told the truth about Labour’s immigration free-for-all. Instead, Labour apparatchiks denounced anyone as racist if he or she complained. Those who hate the rise of the British National Party should blame Labour, not the poor white voters whom Labour abandoned and whose lives have been changed forever by uncontrolled immigration. Last week, two London taxi drivers told me that they were going to vote BNP because it’s the only party that cares at all about them.

It’s not just about immigration that they complain. People are grossly offended by the drunken anarchy that Labour has encouraged in so many town centres, with 24-hour drinking, the litter that everyone now feels free to throw, the noise, the anger, the increasing incivility. The quality of millions of peoples’ lives has really suffered.

This government has made countless attacks on our civil liberties and has constantly, carelessly undermined our constitution, which has been carefully crafted over centuries to protect us. The Lord Chancellor has gone, the Law Lords have gone, now the House of Lords, one of the last bastions of independent expertise, is also threatened by Brown, who wants to create an elected clone of the Commons. Nick Clegg would do the same.

Labour’s bullying “multicultural” ideology has been a catastrophe. The government has cosseted extremist Islamist preachers of hatred to a shocking degree. No wonder French security officials talk of “Londonistan.” At the same time, under New Labour’s “progressive” laws, ordinary Christians have been persecuted for their views. Gordon Brown boasts of being “a son of the manse,” but he cares far more about leftist ideology than he does about the religion of his father. Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has now taken up the cudgels on behalf of Christianity, its followers, and the fine tradition of British tolerance. It is a measure of the illiberalism of this government that he should have to do so.

“Orwellian” is an overworked phrase, but at least everyone knows that it means something destructive to society. It is a fitting description of the debasement of language, the ignorance of history, and the oppressive culture of “postmodern progress” controlled by thousands of highly paid apparatchiks that Labour has forced upon us. . . .

In his conclusion, Mr. Shawcross calls for people to vote for the Tories as their best option to right Britain's sinking ship of state. Perhaps if anyone heard from David Cameron words similar to Mr. Shawcross, they might be able to do so with some confidence. But by all measures, David Cameron is nothing more than a base political opportunist himself who has, once having promised a referendum on EU membership, reversed himself not long ago. Unfortunately, it appears that the only real conservative party in Britain, the UKIP, is rudderless at the moment. The upcoming election will no doubt be interesting, but I seriously doubt indeed if it will result in a positive change in direction for Britain.

Just to highlight one other point, note that Mr. Shawcross credits "Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury" as being the nation's best defender of Christianity, That is because the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, elevated to his current position by nomination of Labour PM Tony Blair in 2002, has proven utterly worthless in standing up for Christianity and the Anglican Church.


Obama Folds On Immigration As Polls Sharply Support Arizona Law

AP is reporting that Obama has announced that immigration reform is off the table for 2010. For all the hyperventelating about the Arizona immigration reform bill in the left wing MSM, it would appear that the majority of people see things differently:

Seven in 10 U.S. adults support arresting people who can't prove they're in the United States legally, a poll about Arizona's new immigration law
indicated. . . .

Seventy-one percent of poll respondents said they'd support requiring their own police to determine people's U.S. status if there was "reasonable suspicion" the people were illegal immigrants, the poll found.

An equal percentage supported arresting those people if they couldn't prove they were legally in the United States.

Almost two-thirds, or 64 percent, said they believed immigration hurt the United States, with nearly six in 10, or 58 percent, saying illegal immigrants took jobs away from American workers, the poll found. . .

And as Instapundit observes, apparently the Democrats "own polls must have showed something similar. And with blue-collar dems facing layoffs and recession, and black dems not so hot on amnesty, there wasn’t any percentage in bucking the sentiment, I guess, even in terms of shoring up their own base."


Illegal Immigration, Arizona & The Constitution

There are two very good essays on the Constitutionality of the recently passed Arizona law aimed at illegal aliens. The first, from, an attorney who helped to draft the law, Kris Kobach, writing in the NYT:

. . . The arguments we’ve heard against [the Arizona law] either misrepresent its text or are otherwise inaccurate. As someone who helped draft the statute, I will rebut the major criticisms individually:

It is unfair to demand that aliens carry their documents with them. It is true that the Arizona law makes it a misdemeanor for an alien to fail to carry certain documents. “Now, suddenly, if you don’t have your papers ... you’re going to be harassed,” the president said. “That’s not the right way to go.” But since 1940, it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them. The Arizona law simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime. . . .

“Reasonable suspicion” is a meaningless term that will permit police misconduct. Over the past four decades, federal courts have issued hundreds of opinions defining those two words. The Arizona law didn’t invent the concept: Precedents list the factors that can contribute to reasonable suspicion; when several are combined, the “totality of circumstances” that results may create reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. . . .

The law will allow police to engage in racial profiling. Actually, Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in making any stops or determining immigration status. In addition, all normal Fourth Amendment protections against profiling will continue to apply. In fact, the Arizona law actually reduces the likelihood of race-based harassment by compelling police officers to contact the federal government as soon as is practicable when they suspect a person is an illegal alien, as opposed to letting them make arrests on their own assessment.

It is unfair to demand that people carry a driver’s license. Arizona’s law does not require anyone, alien or otherwise, to carry a driver’s license. Rather, it gives any alien with a license a free pass if his immigration status is in doubt. Because Arizona allows only lawful residents to obtain licenses, an officer must presume that someone who produces one is legally in the country. . . .

In sum, the Arizona law hardly creates a police state. It takes a measured, reasonable step to give Arizona police officers another tool when they come into contact with illegal aliens during their normal law enforcement duties.

And it’s very necessary: Arizona is the ground zero of illegal immigration. Phoenix is the hub of human smuggling and the kidnapping capital of America, with more than 240 incidents reported in 2008. It’s no surprise that Arizona’s police associations favored the bill, along with 70 percent of Arizonans. . .

The second is from Prof. Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection, adding a bit of the nuance to the argument:

There is a fundamental disconnect in the arguments being mounted against the Arizona immigration law. What many of the critics want to say, but do not, is that they view all immigration laws as inherently racist because most illegal immigrants are non-white.

There are some legitimate civil liberties concerns regarding the standard by which police can require someone to produce identification or other information. These concerns are not unique to the Arizona immigration law. Much of the history of our criminal laws is an attempt by the courts to set forth standards for police conduct regarding searches and seizures, and questioning of suspects.

But a point I have made before is that a law which may end up being tossed by the courts on civil liberties grounds does not make the law racist. Issues such as random DWI checkpoints have posed serious legal issues for reasons completely unrelated to race.

That a racially neutral law may be enforced in a racially discriminatory manner also does not make the law, or supporters of the law, racist. Our traffic laws are a prime example.

Police often are accused of singling out minorities for traffic stops based on race, but that does not mean we stop enforcing traffic laws altogether, or accuse proponents of speed limits and stop signs of being racist. Rather, we implement policies which prohibit racial profiling and do our best to enforce such policies.

I realize that this may be too nuanced for some. But the distinction is important because of all the hyperventilated charges that Arizona now is a Nazi, Communist and Apartheid state (quite a combination). . . .

Having reviewed the Arizona law, I will be surprised if it is overturned. The radical left and that portion of the Latino community that quite literally wants to secede are coupling with Democrats seeking the Latino vote to wholly misrepresent both the Arizona law and its purpose. Race cards are flying - and as usual, with no basis in fact.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Christainity, Islam, Homosexuality, & Britain's Socialist State

I have addressed the left's two century old war on Christianity at some length here, pointing out that the left wants to rip Christianity from the foundations of society. In its stead, the left seeks to redefine morality based on whatever they believe is the greater good. We see this at work on both sides of the pond, with the most recent example coming from Britain - a Christian nation with a national Church - in a recent court case:

A judge today threw out a Christian counsellor's claim he had been wrongly sacked for refusing to give sex therapy to homosexual couples.

In a ruling which will further inflame fraught relations between the Church and the judiciary, Lord Justice Laws said that the protection of views purely on religious grounds cannot be justified.

He said it was not only an irrational idea, 'but it is also divisive, capricious and arbitrary'.

The case was brought by father-of-two Gary McFarlane, a former Relate counsellor, and backed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.

Mr McFarlane, 48, from Bristol, had worked at the Avon branch of Relate where he had offered advice on sexual intimacy to straight couples.

But during his three years at the centre, he refused to work with same-sex partners because he believed it went against his religious beliefs.

This eventually led to him being sacked in 2008. Mr McFarlane later alleged unfair dismissal on the grounds of religious discrimination.

But a tribunal dismissed his claims in January last year. He had gone to the High Court to seek leave to appeal the decision.

In a ruling issued today, Lord Justice Laws, threw out his case.

He said 'We do not live in a society where all the people share uniform religious beliefs.

The 2001 British census showed the populace of Britain to be Christian - 71.6%, Muslim - 2.7%, Hindu - 1%, other - 1.6%, and unspecified or none - 23.1%. This is a judge imposing multiculturalism and socialist ethos on a predominantly Christian nation - and a nation where the Judeo-Christian ethic has undergirded its legal system for well over a millennium.

'The precepts of any one religion - any belief system - cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other.

'If they did, those out in the cold would be less than citizens, and our constitution would be on the way to a theocracy, which is of necessity autocratic.

This is fatuous reasoning indeed. Leaving aside the fact that Britain is still a Christian nation, whose belief system is the judge imposing? Obviously he is imposing some belief system, he is just not being honest about it. And indeed, he is imposing the belief system of the secular left - something which history has shown to have a tendency towards the most autocratic of systems.

'The law of a theocracy is dictated without option to the people, not made by their judges and governments.

'The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law, but the State, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself.' . . .

A theocracy? I would expect a more sophistated argument from a high school student.

So according to this radical secularist, any laws which are undergirded by the Judeo-Christian ethic make of Britain a theocracy? That is utterly ludicrous. Britain, like all of Western civilization, has had laws based on the Judeo-Christian ethic for well over a millennium, yet no one with even the slightest passing acquaintance with British history could ever have called it a theocracy. One wonders if this judge has any idea what a theocracy is? Or did he learn his history reading Marx?

Actually what the judge is doing is the opposite of respect for conscience. Regardless of what one may think of homosexuality today, the reality is that it has been deemed a wrong for millennia in both Judaism and Christianity. Whether and to what extent it should be accepted in society today is a question of social policy to be decided by the community at large. But that is not what is happening here. The Judge, by his decision, is enforcing a modern secular belief system - the conscience of left wing socialist state - favoring homosexuals over the left's nemesis, Christianity, and making it a modern secular sin to do anything but fully accept homosexuality as a normal life-choice.

And do note, while the secular left is conducting its war against Christianity, it is wholly servile when it comes to Islam. While a Christian acting in accord with his conscience and belief is punished, Muslims are accommodated. For example, Muslim female hospital employees are allowed to wear long sleeves in hospitals despite the fact that such is much more likely to transmit "superbugs." All Brits in the UK are now paying welfare benefits for Muslims in polygamous marriages. And these are only a few of the many accommodations made to Muslims. The secular left favors Islam because, for now, it is an ally in the left's war on Christianity.


The World's Most Airbrushed Photo?

Do you recognize that person on the cover of Capitol Fill magazine. Believe it or not, that 30-something looking woman with the Madonna smile is supposedly . . . crazy Nancy Pelosi. So has anyone alive ever seen Crazy Nancy look like that?

is this the world's most blatant case ever of airbrushing? Compare and contrast with the (barely edited) photo of crazy Nancy below the fold and then answer the question.


The Nominations Are Up

Each week, the members of the Watcher's Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for best post. The Watcher publishes the results each Friday morning.

If you would like to participate in the Council's activites, you have two options. There is an opening on the council at the moment, so if you would like to submit your blog for permanent membership, visit the Watcher's site and follow the instructions you can find linked on the right side bar. Similarly, if you would like to self-nominate one of your posts for competition in the Non-Council category, you will also find the instructions for that at the Watcher's site.

As always, this week's nominations present an eclectic mix of thought-provoking reading.

Do enjoy them all:

Council Submissions

• Joshuapundit – Happy Birthday Trig Palin! Oh, And More Mean Spirited Trig-Truther Rot From Sully

• Wolf Howling -The Roots Of Slavery & The Races Hustlers’ Holy Grail – Reparations

• Mere Rhetoric - Obama Defense Dept: We’re Not Going To Attack Iran, And If Israel Tries We Might Shoot Down Their Jets

• Rhymes With Right - Doing My Part For Freedom Of Speech, Press, And Religion

• The Razor - Socialism=Cannibalism

• The Colossus of Rhodey - Race conundrum in education (again)

• Bookworm Room - What if American blacks don’t want to join the club?

• The Provocateur - Get Ready for the Immigration Debate

•Right Truth - Mandatory Voting?

• The Glittering Eye - The Arizona Immigration Law

• American Digest - The Circumnambulation of Queen Anne

Non Council Submissions

• Wretchard/Pajamas Media - The Washington Monument Submitted by JoshuaPundit

• Q&O – Open Borders, Immigration & Reality Submitted by Wolf Howling

• Snapshots - On Jerusalem, Wiesel: 1, DeKoven Ezrahi: 0 Submitted by Mere Rhetoric

• Doug Ross @ Journal – Irony-meter breaks: La Raza, MEChA and other racial separatist groups worry that law enforcement might use racial profiling to enforce laws Submitted by Rhymes with Right

• Barbay Live – Dem’s “anti-Wall Street bandwagon” Submitted by The Razor

• Discriminations – More Liberal Hypocrisy: Race “As One Of Many Factors…” Submitted by Colossus of Rhodey

• Red State - Stop the haters : FreedomWorks responds Submitted by Bookworm Room

• Az Central - Are You Listening Mr. President Submitted by The Provocateur

• Asylum – ‘The Internet Will Fail’ — Bold Predictions That Completely Bombed Submitted by Right Truth

• Dennis the Peasant - Clearly The Boy Is Unacquainted With The Concept Of ‘Irony’… Submitted by The Glittering Eye

• Walter Russell Mead - Go Home Mae West Submitted by American Digest

• Fausta’s Blog – GM paid noting. You did. Submitted by the Watcher


. . . But You Can't Fool All The People All Of The Time.

Honest Abe he ain't. And while he might have been able to fool most of the people back in November 2008, it would seem, from the latest Rasmussen poll, that Obama's ablities at deception are starting to wear thin.

. . . President Obama this week formally kicked off meetings of his bipartisan deficit reduction commission, but most Americans view the commission as cover for Congress to raise taxes.

. . . 78% think it’s at least somewhat likely that Congress will raise taxes if the commission proposes any tax hikes, including 53% who say the legislators are very likely to do so. Only 14% say Congress is not very or not at all likely to raise taxes if the commission recommends it.

Although 83% of Americans are concerned about the size of the federal budget deficit, just five percent (5%) think Congress and the president should consider only tax increases when dealing with it. Forty-three percent (43%) say only spending cuts should be considered, up eight points from February. Forty-four percent (44%) say a mix of spending cuts and tax increases should be on the table. . . .

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Americans say the size of the federal budget deficit is due more to the unwillingness of politicians to cut government spending than to the reluctance of taxpayers to pay more in taxes.

Democrats from the start have viewed health care reform as the most important of the budget priorities cited by the president in a speech to Congress last February. Republicans and unaffiliated voters consistently have said the president’s priority should be cutting the federal budget deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Most voters believe the new national health care plan will raise the deficit, which is one reason why 58% support its repeal.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters say cutting government spending is good for the economy, and 61% say the same of cutting taxes. Forty-one percent (41%) prefer a budget deficit with tax cuts over a balanced budget that requires higher taxes. Nearly as many (36%) would rather see a balanced budget with higher taxes.

Even if the president and Congress raise taxes to reduce the federal deficit, 58% of voters think they are more likely to spend the money on new government programs. . . .

It would seem that a majority of American have had their eyes opened. If the Republicans are smart, they will unveil a detailed plan to reduce the deficit by July - both to run on against the Democrats who are unable to float a plan of their own and to get well out in front of the Democrat's "budget deficit commission.


A Freudian Slip

The Wasthington Post's editors at the top of their game . . .

From American Digest, where Mr. Van der Luen asks, "and the difference is?"


Pro-Illegal Immigration Rally

John Hawkins at RightWingNews has posted twelve of the most offensive signs from the "pro-illegal immigration" protests. I wonder why these signs haven't gotten anywhere near as much media play (actually, they have gotten zero media plas) as, well, pick any sign at one of those racist hated filled tea party protests. Here are a few of the signs:

Does anyone catch the cognitive dissonance - the Latino protestors speak . . . Spanish - a European language. Not surprising, since the majority of Mexicans are in fact a mix of SPANISH and Indian lineage.

Moreover, this smearing of "Europeans" is, like most racist screed, historically ignorant in the extreme. Many tribes in South and Central America were far more warlike and savage than any European nation thought of being. Unfortunately, they committed one cardinal sin. They never developed to the point that they could successfully defend that which they had conquered. Too bad that. Then there is the lunacy of illegals coming north to work in, well, a functional country, yet pining to reunite parts of the U.S. with Mexico. Somehow, the cognitive dissonance seems lost on them.

Do see RightWingNews for the rest of the pictures. And do see this from Victor Davis Hanson as he tries to put all of this in context.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Immigrants, Demagoguery & Expanding The Left Wing Base

Note the similarities of the left, on both sides of the pond.

In Britain, a Labour supporter mentions to Gordon Brown she is concerned about immigration to Britain - and she has every right to be. Labour - and the EU - have thrown open the borders of Britain. The demographics are completely and completely changed because of it, government services are being overwhelmed, crime has skyrocketed and the very nature of Britain is being changed because of it all. As I pointed out here, the decision to allow this level of immigration was a conscious, though unannounced, decision of Labour made after determining that it would substantially increase their voter base. At any rate, the 66 yr. old Labour supporter went on to say "the issue of immigration was not being discussed properly for reasons of political correctness. 'You can't say anything about immigrants.'" PM Minister Brown was pleasant enough, but then in his car, with a microphone still taping, called the woman a bigot for apparently even broaching the topic.

In the U.S., Obama and the entire left are hyperventilating over a carefully crafted Arizona law directing Arizona law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants. The bill does not allow for racial profiling, but directs police to check immigration status should they have otherwise lawful contact - i.e., stop for a traffic violation, etc. Obama demagogued the issue at a Town Hall the other day. Victor Davis Hanson sums up the left wing response:

Racist! Nativist! Profiler! Xenophobe!

Write or say anything about illegal immigration, and one should expect to be called all of that and more—even if a strong supporter of legal immigration. Illegal alien becomes undocumented worker. Anti-immigrant replaces anti-illegal-immigration. “Comprehensive” is a euphemism for amnesty. Triangulation abounds. A fiery op-ed grandstands and deplores the Arizona law, but offers no guidance about illegal immigration — and blames the employer for doing something that the ethnic lobby in fact welcomes. . .

The common threads between Britain and the U.S. are that leftists on both sides of the pond see immigration as a means to attack the existing political system and increase their own political power. Further, both are quite willing to demagogue the issue and label opponents as bigots in order to prevent debate or discussion on the topic. Both are despicable.


Playing To A False Narrative

A joke the other night that was vintage Leno:

Last week, President Obama gave a speech in New York City about his plan to reform these rules on Wall Street, you know? And one embarrassing moment. When the head of Goldman Sachs was going through security, he was asked to empty his pockets and five Republican senators fell out.

It was also vintage bull patties. The Democrat Party long ago became the party of the wealthy. And it is also the party of Wall St. The reality is that Goldman Sachs was the second largest contributer to Obama's election campaign. And billionaire hedge fund manager, John Paulson, the man at the center of the SEC complaint against Goldman Sachs, also appears to have favored Democrats with his largesse. He gave $30,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in June, qualifying him as a major Democratic donor. Leno's joke, though quite funny, was playing to a narrative, not reality.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some Interesting Reads

Newt Gingrich has a good op-ed piece in the Washington Post documenting why he has referred to the Obama Administration as a "secular socialist machine:"

An April 14 op-ed by Norman J. Ornstein, "The great 'socialist' smear," argued that to those "outside the partisan and ideological wars," it is "bizarre" to accuse the Obama administration of "radicalism, socialism, retreat and surrender." I was among those he cited, for having called Barack Obama "the most radical president in American history" and describing the goals of the left and its methods of operation as a "secular-socialist machine."

In fact, Ornstein has it exactly backward. It is only from the perspective of the cultural elite that the left-wing governing of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid team could be seen as moderate. . . .

Do read the entire article. As I inevitably find with Gingrich, he makes perfect sense.

The second article is by someone I have never recommended before in this blog - Pat Buchanan. I parted ideological ways with Buchanan years ago. That said, his most recent peice on the left's melodramatic response to Arizona's new immigration law is spot on. This from Mr. Buchanan:

With the support of 70 percent of its citizens, Arizona has ordered sheriffs and police to secure the border and remove illegal aliens, half a million of whom now reside there.

Arizona acted because the U.S. government has abdicated its constitutional duty to protect the states from invasion and refuses to enforce America's immigration laws.

"We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," said Gov. Jan Brewer. "But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created an unacceptable situation."

We have a crisis in Arizona because we have a failed state in Washington.

What is the response of Barack Obama, who took an oath to see to it that federal laws are faithfully executed?

He is siding with the law-breakers. He is pandering to the ethnic lobbies. He is not berating a Mexican regime that aids and abets this invasion of the country of which he is commander in chief. Instead, he attacks the government of Arizona for trying to fill a gaping hole in law enforcement left by his own dereliction of duty.

He has denounced Arizona as "misguided." He has called on the Justice Department to ensure that Arizona's sheriffs and police do not violate anyone's civil rights. But he has said nothing about the rights of the people of Arizona who must deal with the costs of having hundreds of thousands of lawbreakers in their midst.

How's that for Andrew Jackson-style leadership? . . .

Do read the whole article.


Lyin' and Legislatin'

Trusting a politician tell you what is and is not in bill - or what the bill will do - is the equivalent of trusting a used car salesman when he hands you a pen and tells you there's no reason to read the contract. Understand that a court asked to interpret legislation looks to the plain language in the bill and, if the language is clear, than nothing else matters. The bottom line, what a politician tells you about legislation in a speech on t.v. is utterly meaningless. You have to read the bill to determine whether it does or does not do what the politician claims.

With that in mind, here is a bit of late blogging on two lyin' legislators - Congressman Jim Obertar and our President, Obama. Both are spinning utter fantasy for the public and lying through their teeth in the process.

Congressman Obertar is first up. He wants to modify the Clean Water Act by changing the jurisdiction of the federal government from all "navigable waters" in the U.S. to all "waters." Oberatar claims that this will not act to fundamentally alter the reach of the government. Anyone who believes that is an utter fool. It would be harder to imagine a more extensive power grab. It would erase federalism and give the federal government stand alone power to regulate the vast majority of the land mass of the U.S. This from the panel at Fox News:

(H/T Hot Air)

Then there is Obama, telling the nation that anyone who claims that his proposed financial regulations contain virtually unlimited bailout authority is lying. Actually, the plain language of the bill clearly contains provision that do precisely that. It allows Treasury to act unilaterally to nationalize any business it sees fit and take over their debts, bypassing Congress and the bankruptcy courts. This marks a major change to our regulatory structure, it give the federal government permanent bailout authority, and when Obama demagouges the issue, he is lying through his teeth.

(H/T Hot Air)

When you look at things like this, it is hard to believe that the polls show that the number of people who trust our politicians today stands at 22%. I don't know who makes up that 22%, but they are kool-aide drinkers indeed.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Roots Of Slavery & The Race Hustlers' Holy Grail - Reparations

Update: The following short blog entry and video provide a spot on introduction to this post. This from Black Educator:

Here's a brief summation of the history of Arab enslavement of African Peoples. It is important to know this history in order to understand both the evolution of Western capitalism's slave trade and the current atrocities against Africans (by Africans) unfolding in the name of Islam and/or "Arab Civilization.

Islam & slavery by BLACKMUSICS

Prof. Henry L. Gates, a Prof. of African American Studies at Harvard and late of Beer Summit fame, is chasing the Holy Grail of the race-hustling industry – reparations for slavery. Writing in the NYT, Gate's defines reparations as “the idea that the descendants of American slaves should receive compensation for their ancestors’ unpaid labor and bondage.” As Gates notes:

There are many thorny issues to resolve before we can arrive at a judicious (if symbolic) gesture to match such a sustained, heinous crime. Perhaps the most vexing is how to parcel out blame to those directly involved in the capture and sale of human beings for immense economic gain.

Prof. Gates has no problem “parcelling out the blame” for slavery on this side of the Atlantic. It is, he tells us, the “whites.” So under Gates's theory, if you are a white American, you are born with the sin of slavery hung about your neck. What troubles Gates is the fact that the historical record shows that the people on the supply side of the African slave trade – the people selling African slaves into bondage - were not the evil white skinned devils, but rather black Africans themselves. To solve that conundrum, Gates wants the intercession of President Obama:

. . . [I]n President Obama, the child of an African and an American, we finally have a leader who is uniquely positioned to bridge the great reparations divide. He is uniquely placed to publicly attribute responsibility and culpability where they truly belong, to white people and black people, on both sides of the Atlantic, complicit alike in one of the greatest evils in the history of civilization. And reaching that understanding is a vital precursor to any just and lasting agreement on the divisive issue of slavery reparations.

The issue is not divisive at all. It's ludicrous. Those who took part in slavery in America are long dead. It is a fundamental aspect of our legal system that people are held responsible for the wrongs they personally commit; responsibility for those wrongs does not follow down blood lines. But, as Prof. Gates would have us, let us leave that fundamental issue aside. Even so, over 145 years having past since the end of slavery in America, there are a host of issues associated with who should owe what to whom such that every aspect of Gate's call for reparations passes into the surreal. Obama himself perfectly encapsulates some of this.

You will note that Gates glosses over Obama's parentage in the paragraph quoted above. He does so for good reason. Obama is the child of not merely an American mother but a white American mother. Since Obama is half white, does that mean he is entitled to only half of the reparations, or no reparations at all? Actually, it gets even more convoluted. Obama has no American slaves in his family tree, though his wife, Michelle, does. Obama's father was from Kenya – one of those areas heavily involved in the African slave trade in the 16th through 18th centuries. Indeed, it is quite possible that Obama's lineage includes people who captured and sold other blacks into slavery. Where does that leave Dr. Gates and Obama? Does our President now have to make a personal mea culpa for the sin of slavery and pay reparations to Michelle? Is Obama really, as Gates posits, "uniquely positioned" to pass on the relative culpability for the African slave trade to America? If not him, then who?

Those are only a small part of problem with Gates's call for reparations. That Gates would slander all white Americans living today with the original sin of slavery is at least as surreal and, indeed, historically myopic in the extreme.

Slavery didn't begin with the African slave trade. To the contrary, slavery, as an accepted practice in the world, ended with the African slave trade. Slavery began with the dawn of civilization and it has involved virtually every race. Indeed, unless Gates is historically illiterate, he must know that slave based agrarian economies have been the norm throughout much of the world's history.

Evidence of slavery predates written records, and has existed in many cultures. . . . The earliest records of slavery can be traced to the Code of Hammurabi . . . and the Bible refers to it as an established institution. Slavery was known to occur in civilizations as old as Sumer, as well as almost every other ancient civilization, including Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, the Akkadian Empire, Assyria, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Islamic Caliphate, and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas. . . . Records of slavery in Ancient Greece go as far back as Mycenaean Greece. Two-fifths (some authorities say four-fifths) of the population of Classical Athens were slaves.

The first movement to end slavery as an economic model can be traced to the downfall of serfdom – a medieval version of slavery – in England. The Black Death of 1348-1350 so depopulated the nation that labour became scarce and the peasantry rebelled at attempts to keep them as serfs. It wasn't until three hundred years later, with the coming of the industrial age and growing moral abhorrence of slavery as part of the American conservative Christian movement known as Second Great Awakening, that the slave-based economic model fully and finally fell from grace. By 1786, all of the colonies except Georgia had banned or limited the African slave trade, with Georgia following in 1798. This movement crossed the pond, where Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce and others famously drove public opinion against slavery in 19th century Britain. Their efforts culminated in Parliament's 1807 passage of the Slave Trade Act, making importation of slaves illegal throughout the British Empire. Thereafter, it was the British that drove the slave trade from the high seas.

But, that aside, lets apply the logic of Gates to the reality of history. If slavery is an original sin that involves the collective responsibility of entire races of people, then who owes what to whom - and on a related note, do the people that ended slavery get a pass on reparations?

Gates first clue should come from examining the origins of the word “slave.” It is a derivation of “Slav” - as in the Slavic people who were enslaved in such number by European warlords towards the end of the Dark Ages and for the better half of the following millennium that their very name came to be identified with "slavery." So can anyone with some Slavic blood get in on this reparations deal? Do they get to reach into the pockets of the Germans, Italians and Celts?

But then what of the Spanish, Italians, British, Irish and Americans of European ancestry? Many were enslaved by African and Arab Islamic pirates who for centuries made raids to capture white Europeans as slaves. The Africans would also enslave the crews of any ships they captured - including American ships:

Reports of Barbary raids and kidnappings of those in Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Scotland as far north as Iceland exist from between the 16th to the 19th centuries. It is estimated that between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by pirates and sold as slaves during this time period. Famous accounts of Barbary slave raids include a mention in the Diary of Samuel Pepys and a raid on the coastal village of Baltimore, Ireland, during which pirates left with the entire populace of the settlement.

One and a quarter million Western Europeans enslaved by Africans during the time frame slavery in America was also in practice? To put this into perspective, note that only an estimated 645,000 Africans were imported into the United States as slaves. That means that Africans enslaved nearly two times as many whites as did whites in America import Africans as slaves. And those European whites enslaved by the Africans never had the benefit of Africans raising up in a civil war to end their slavery. So does this mean that Obama, Gates, and all people of African origin are morally culpable for enslaving whites? Can people of white European stock get two times the reparations from people of African origin today? Taking the reasoning of Gates to its logical conclusion, the answer to both questions should be "Yes."

And what of other people and other lands. The Romans regularly took slaves as they marched across Europe and into the Middle East. If Europeans could trace their lineage back two millennia, probably most of the population of Europe could find an ancestor enslaved by the Romans. Then there were the Mongols and Tartars who enslaved an estimated 3,000,000 people from Poland, Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, I don't think the Mongols have the economy today to grant large scale reparations. Maybe the Poles and Russians can hit them up for some free yurts.

What of the Jews? The Old Testament makes clear that they owned slaves and made slaves of other tribes in the Middle East. But the Jews may have an out. The Jews themselves were enslaved, during various times, by the Egyptians and Babylonians. So can the Jews just tell whomever they owe to pick up the IOU's in Cairo and Baghdad and call it even?

And of then there are the world's most prolific slavers of history – the Arabs. Indeed,the Arabs in Saudi Arabia still teach today that it is permissible to make slaves of non-Muslims. And indeed, they still practice what they preach - enslaving blacks in Mali when it fell under al Qaeda rule. Under the Gates theory, we should all be getting reparation checks from Ridyah.

The bottom line, if slavery is, as Gates posits, an original sin that passes not only through the generations, but also among entire races, then it hangs around the necks of most people in the world today - including President Obama and Prof. Gates. Obviously that can't be right. That doesn't fit the Gate's narrative at all.

But even if we refocus the Gates's theory to do away with collective responsibility and aim to hold culpable just those who actually took part in slavery between 1607 and 1861 in America, it still falls apart. The historical record does anything but support Gates's theory that all white Americans should be deemed morally culpable for slavery. The logic of Gates is an attempt to shoehorn moral culpability to all whites in America based on the fact that the founding fathers allowed the institution of slavery to stand in limited fashion at the founding. That is not merely twisted logic, it completely ignores historical reality.

Slavery in America predates the founding of our nation by well over a century and a half. And by the time our nation was founded, the lines between those supporting slavery and those opposed to it were clearly drawn. Most whites in America didn't own slaves and didn't support the practice of slavery. The abolitionist movement in America predates the founding of our nation by nearly a century, and while slavery was permitted to continue at the time of the founding as a necessary step to the formation of are nation - it is equally as clear that there were many virulently opposed to the practice of slavery. They saw to it that slavery was circumscribed in our new nation through acts such as the passage of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Indeed, so unacceptable was slavery to the majority of our nation that, less than 70 years after the inking of The Constitution, it lead to the bloodiest war in American history.

To follow this line of reasoning further - one of the seemingly best kept secrets of American history is that so many whites were so opposed to slavery that they formed a political party. That party's central plank was opposition to any expansion of slavery in America. It was called the Democrat Republican Party. And less than 11 years after it was formed, both the abolitionist leader of that party and over 360,000 men who flocked to its banner lay dead in what proved a successful effort to both preserve the union and end slavery. Indeed, if all Dr. Gate's wants is a "symbolic gesture" from white Americans to expiate the sin of African slavery, then is there any reason this symbolism should not suffice . . .

or what about a Union graveyard . . .

or this drawing of a Republican President dying of an assassin's bullet less than 1,000 days after signing the Emancipation Proclamation and less than 60 days after signing the 13th Amendment . . .

That is, of course all far more than mere symbolism. It is the very essence of substance. Why is it that the death of hundreds of thousands of white Americans and the assassination of a President over the issue of slavery in America insufficient to provide the necessary "symbolic gesture" for Prof. Gates? One might begin to suspect that Gates has an ulterior motive.

The only way Prof. Gates call for reparations can have even a patina of legitimacy is if it holds culpable only the descendants of those who actually owned slaves and supported the institution of slavery. Fortunately, they are identifiable. The slave owning class in pre-Civil War America and the supporters of slavery as an institution were all to be found in the Democrat Party. It is beyond perverse for Gates, on this historic record, to also seek to hold culpable the Republicans who never supported slavery and whose ancestor's gave their very lives to end slavery. Do you think an Executive Order condemning the Democrat Party for slavery in America and ordering them to pay the reparations per a special levy would satisfy Dr. Gates? I for one could be persuaded to accept that as a reasonable settlement of the problem,

Besides the failed logic of Gates, there is of course the surrealism of a black man at the pinnacle of academia, a full professor at America's premier university – and a man who has never been a slave - petitioning a black man at the pinnacle of power in America, a President popularly elected by whites and blacks – and who was likewise never a slave but whose progenitors in Kenya may have been slavers - to expiate the original sin of slavery in America by punishing all whites alive in this country today, none of whom have ever owned slaves and many of whose progenitors fought and died in a war against slavery. We won't even delve further into the surrealism of asking, say, an Italian who immigrated to America decades after the end of slavery to foot the repartition bill simply because of the color of his skin. Why . . . that would be positively racist of Dr. Gates.

Gates's push for reparations has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. If he wanted to actually do something constructive for blacks in America, then Gates would be shouting to the rafters about the call of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for a color blind society. That is certainly in the best interests of both blacks and our nation. Yet instead of focusing on furthering that cause, Gates is pursuing an issue that is sure to, by its very nature, drive whites and blacks apart.

I am sure Dr. Gates is not so dumb as to be ignorant of any of the above. Nor can he be ignorant of the fact that the descendants of slaves in this country have, today, all of the opportunities of America open to them. No one, Prof. Gates included, could possibly believe that the call for reparations will add anything to that.

Actually, given that Prof. Gates's wants to apportion blame to all "whites" in America for slavery, it would seem self-evident that the purpose of Dr. Gate's push for reparations is to foster a permanent sense of guilt in the white population of America on one hand and, on the other hand, to separate blacks from whites in society by keeping blacks focused on past sins. That has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with politics. It is naught but a variant on the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, damning America and calling for blacks to eschew the values of "white" America.

More specifically, this is the “sins and grievances” approach to politics about which Thomas Sowell recently wrote in his brilliant four-part essay, Race and Politics. It directs blacks and other members of 'victim classes' to “nurse their resentments, instead of advancing their skills and their prospects.” As Dr. Sowell notes, the only beneficiaries of this type of grievance politics “are politicians and race hustlers.” The losers in this equation are those blacks ignoring their opportunities and the reality of America in 2010 and instead, following the ilk of Prof. Gates on the hunt for the race hustlers' holy grail.

Update: Thomas Sowell has weighed in on this topic in his article today at NRO, Misusing History. This from Dr. Sowell:

. . . Slavery is a classic example. The history of slavery across the centuries and in many countries around the world is a painful history to read — not only in terms of how slaves have been treated, but because of what that says about the whole human species — because slaves and enslavers alike have been of every race, religion, and nationality.

If the history of slavery ought to teach us anything, it is that human beings cannot be trusted with unbridled power over other human beings — no matter what color or creed any of them are. The history of ancient despotism and modern totalitarianism practically shouts that same message from the blood-stained pages of history.

But that is not the message that is being taught in our schools and colleges, or dramatized on television and in the movies. The message that is pounded home again and again is that white people enslaved black people.

It is true, just as it is true that I don’t go sky-diving with blacks. But it is also false in its implications for the same reason. Just as Europeans enslaved Africans, North Africans enslaved Europeans — more Europeans than there were Africans enslaved in the United States or in the 13 colonies from which the nation was formed.

The treatment of white galley slaves was even worse than the treatment of black slaves who picked cotton. But there are no movies or television dramas about it comparable to Roots, and our schools and colleges don’t pound it into the heads of students.

The inhumanity of human beings toward other human beings is not a new story, much less a local story. There is no need to hide it, because there are lessons we can learn from it. But there is also no need to distort it, so that sins of the whole human species around the world are presented as special defects of “our society” or the sins of a particular race.

If American society and Western civilization are different from other societies and civilizations, it is in that they eventually turned against slavery, and stamped it out, at a time when non-Western societies around the world were still maintaining slavery and resisting Western pressures to end slavery — including, in some cases, by armed resistance.

Only the fact that the West had more firepower put an end to slavery in many non-Western societies during the age of Western imperialism. Yet today there are Americans who have gone to Africa to apologize for slavery — on a continent where slavery has still not been completely ended, to this very moment.

It is not just the history of slavery that gets distorted beyond recognition by the selective filtering of facts. Those who mine history in order to find everything they can to undermine American society or Western civilization have very little interest in the Bataan death march, the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire, or similar atrocities in other times and places.

Those who mine history for sins are not searching for truth but for opportunities to denigrate their own society, or for grievances that can be cashed in today at the expense of people who were not even born when the sins of the past were committed.

An ancient adage says: “Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.” But apparently it is not sufficient for many among our educators, the intelligentsia, or the media. They are busy poisoning the present by the way they present the past.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hang 'Em High - Fraud In Bond Ratings Leading To The Financial Crisis

One of the most insidious causes of the financial meltdown was the role of ratings agencies that gave triple-A ratings to tranches of subprime loans. I have been highlighting this issue for well over a year. You can read more of the background here. Finally, this issue is being addressed. And for possibly the first time in my life, I find myself in complete agreement with Democratic Senator Karl Levin. This from the NYT:

. . . The role of the rating agencies in the crisis came under sharp scrutiny Friday from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Members grilled representatives from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s about how they rated risky securities. The changes to financial regulation being debated in Washington would put the agencies under increased supervision by the S.E.C.

Carl M. Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the Senate panel, said in a statement: “A conveyor belt of high-risk securities, backed by toxic mortgages, got AAA ratings that turned out not to be worth the paper they were printed on.”

As part of its inquiry, the panel made public 581 pages of e-mail messages and other documents suggesting that executives and analysts at rating agencies embraced new business from Wall Street, even though they recognized they couldn’t properly analyze all of the banks’ products.

The documents also showed that in late 2006, some workers at the agencies were growing worried that their assessments and the models were flawed. They were particularly concerned about models rating collateralized debt obligations like Abacus.

According to former employees, the agencies received information about loans from banks and then fed that data into their models. That opened the door for Wall Street to massage some ratings.

For example, a top concern of investors was that mortgage deals be underpinned by a variety of loans. Few wanted investments backed by loans from only one part of the country or handled by one mortgage servicer.

But some bankers would simply list a different servicer, even though the bonds were serviced by the same institution, and thus produce a better rating, former agency employees said. Others relabeled parts of collateralized debt obligations in two ways so they would not be recognized by the computer models as being the same, these people said.

Banks were also able to get more favorable ratings by adding a small amount of commercial real estate loans to a mix of home loans, thus making the entire pool appear safer.

Sometimes agency employees caught and corrected such entries. Checking them all was difficult, however.

“If you dug into it, if you had the time, you would see errors that magically favored the banker,” said one former ratings executive, who like other former employees, asked not to be identified, given the controversy surrounding the industry. “If they had the time, they would fix it, but we were so overwhelmed.”

I am a big supporter of greed and virulently opposed to holding people criminaly liable for poor business judgement. But when it comes to fraud, I believe in the old adage of "hang 'em high." And it certainly sounds as if the practices involved in turning sub-prime loans into triple-A rated bonds crossed that line. I do hope Sen. Levin and his committee follow this one closely - though whether the answer is new regulation or merely enforcement of existing regulations as the answer is very much in question. The NYT also has a second article relating to this issue, Former Employees Criticize Culture of Rating Firms:

Perhaps the most riveting testimony came from Eric Kolchinsky, a former managing director at Moody’s who for most of 2007 oversaw the ratings of collateralized debt obligations backed by subprime mortgages.

“The vast majority of the analysts at Moody’s are honest individuals who try hard to do their jobs,” Mr. Kolchinsky said. “However, the incentives in the market for rating agency services favored, and still favor, short-term profits over credit quality.”

Mr. Kolchinsky added: “It was an unspoken understanding that loss of market share would cause a manager to lose his or her job.” He said he was suspended after warning in September 2007 that a batch of securities “being hyper-aggressively pushed by the bankers” had been given a rating that was too high because it was based on 2006 ratings that were about to be downgraded.

“I believe that to assign new ratings based on assumptions which I knew to be wrong would constitute securities fraud,” Mr. Kolchinsky said. . . .

Yes, it would. And heads really should roll over all of this.


Naive Greens - When Faith Runs Up Against Reality

Andrew Bolt, writing at Australia's Herald Sun, has up a superb article on the global warming acolytes, having bought into the dogma that the polar regions are melting away under the intense heat of man made global warming, made expeditions to the poles to raise awareness - only to find that maybe they should have checked with Joe Bastardi instead of the IPCC . . .

TOM Smitheringale wanted to prove the world was warming. Now he's another alarmist with frostbite.

The 40-year-old from Perth planned to be the first Australian to trek unassisted to the North Pole, but announced he'd raise some consciousness along the way.

As he wrote on his website: "Part of the reason Tom's One Man Epic is taking place now is because of the effect that global warming is having on the polar ice caps."

Indeed, he wanted to see the North Pole while it was still there: "Some scientists have even estimated that the polar ice cap will have entirely melted away by 2014!"

Have your say at Andrew's blog

But Antarctica isn't melting away, and Arctic ice has slowly increased since its big low in 1997.

But no one seems to have told Tom, who soon found his extremities freezing. . . .

This is actually now the fourth year running that warming alarmists have had to be rescued from expeditions to prove the Arctic is warmer than it actually is. It's a metaphor.

Last year it was British eco-explorer Pen Hadow and his two-person team who had to be flown out mid-stunt, after battling brutal sub-zero weather conditions that gave the team's photographer frostbite.

The year before, eco-adventurer Lewis Gordon Pugh was similarly thwarted.

He'd planned to kayak 1200km to the North Pole to raise awareness of how global warming had allegedly melted the ice sheet so badly that scientists warned the North Pole that summer could be ice-free.

No such luck. Pugh had to pull out, still 1000km from the finish, when a great barrier of sea ice blocked his route.

The year before gave even more farcical entertainment.

"Explorers and educators" Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen said they were off on what reporters described as "a historic 75-day expedition to the North Pole and beyond to raise awareness of global warming's impact on the fragile Arctic".

It turned out that what was fragile was not the Arctic but the alarmists, who had to call off their big trip not long after it started, when Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold drained their batteries.

Explained a spokesman: "They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming."

Like the globe, really.

The fact is that when Arctic rescuers must save more people from global warming stunts than from global warming itself, it's time to heed again the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." So if alarmists settled down, they might just live longer, and keep their toes.

And the rest of us might not be put to so much needless expense. Like rescues, for instance.

There certainly is a measure of justice to all of this. Now if we could just ship all the greens to the poles for a reality check . . . Indeed, hopefully they might even be able to give us first hand information as to whether the polar bear population is really shrinking - assuming they can run fast enough.


First Annual Draw Mohammed Day

In the wake of the threats to the South Park creators from - and Comedy Central folding like a cheap Bedouin tent - this from Michael Moynihan at Reason (via Hot Air):

Via Dan Savage's blog at The Stranger, some clever chappie (I don't know who) has declared May 20, 2010 "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day," in support of Matt Stone and Trey Parker and in opposition to religious thuggery. Why May 20? I haven't a clue, though it could have something to do with Otto ascending the throne of Greece. Or, more likely, King Sancho IV of Castile's founding of the Study of General Schools of Alcalá.

I will be employing my tremendous skill as an illustrator, of course, and expect that my colleagues will do the same. If they refuse, they will be declared weak-kneed, namby-pamby, quisling infidels and will be shamed on this blog (Though such idle threats rarely work these days; perhaps I could threaten them with a painful death, which seems to do the trick). If readers would like to show their solidarity, please email your Mohammad masterpieces to me here: mmoynihan at The best ones will be published on Hit & Run, which, along with the concomitant death threat, is reward enough.

My own artistic contribution, already sent to Reason, is below the fold (because it is PG-13 Rated):

If you are Muslim and see this and are offended thereby, that was my intent. In the days since the threat made to Comedy Central, I have waited to hear a Muslim response condemning the Muslims who made that threat in no uncertain terms. I have heard only silence. Should you decide to publicly condemn those who would silence speech regarding your religion, I will be more than happy to remove this picture and support your efforts.


Rush Responds To The Left's Attempt To Silence Criticism

Rush Limbaugh has written an exceptional essay in the WSJ: Liberals and the Violence Card - Conservative protest is motivated by a love of what America stands for. In it, he deconstructs the left's charges that covservatives are suborning violence. This from Rush:

. . . Now the liberals run the government and they're using their power to implement their radical agenda. Mr. Obama and his party believe that the election of November 2008 entitled them to make permanent, "transformational" changes to our society. In just 16 months they've added more than $2 trillion to the national debt, essentially nationalized the health-care system, the student-loan industry, and have their sights set on draconian cap-and-trade regulations on carbon emissions and amnesty for illegal aliens.

Had President Obama campaigned on this agenda, he wouldn't have garnered 30% of the popular vote.

Like the millions of citizens who've peacefully risen up and attended thousands of rallies in protest, I seek nothing more than the preservation of the social contract that undergirds our society. I do not hate the government, as the left does when it is not running it. I love this country. And because I do, I insist that the temporary inhabitants of high political office comply with the Constitution, honor our God-given unalienable rights, and respect our hard-earned private property. For this I am called seditious, among other things, by some of the very people who've condemned this society?

I reject the notion that America is in a well-deserved decline, that she and her citizens are unexceptional. I do not believe America is the problem in the world. I believe America is the solution to the world's problems. I reject a foreign policy that treats our allies like our enemies and our enemies like our allies. I condemn the president traveling the world apologizing for America's great contributions to mankind. And I condemn his soft-peddling the dangers we face from terrorism. For this I am inciting violence?

Few presidents have sunk so low as Mr. Clinton did with his accusations about Oklahoma City. Last week—on the very day I was contributing to and raising more than $3 million to fight leukemia and lymphoma on my radio program—Mr. Clinton used the 15th anniversary of that horrific day to regurgitate his claims about talk radio. . . .

Rush is an articulate man indeed. Do read the whole article.


Dr. Jasser's Islam

This from M. Zhudi Jasser, noting that Muslims should not be portrayed as a monolithic entity:

. . . Jibril Hough and I represent two ends of an intra-faith conflict within Muslim communities. Hough is a leading supporter of the ideology of Political Islam. Islamism's faith in the supremacy of an Islamic State is in direct conflict with the ideals of liberty, religious freedom and the Establishment clause that founded the United States.

At the American Islamic Forum for Democracy we advocate for a preservation of the principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution. We believe Muslims can better practice their faith in a free and open society based in one law. We believe it is incumbent upon us as American Muslims to demonstrate to Muslim and non-Muslims alike that our faith does not have to be in conflict with American ideals.

If you are not visiting and supporting Dr. Jasser's American Islamic Forum For Democracy (AIFD), you should be. His objective, to reinterpret Islam and move it from the political to the religious realm, is in direct opposition to the goals of "radical Islamists." Simply put, if he wins, the world wins.