Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Economists said the massive stimulus injected by the U.S. government, such as the cash for clunkers program that lifted car sales, helped boost consumer spending. Since the federal stimulus reached its maximum effect in the third quarter and the unemployment rate remains high, there's uncertainty over the sustainability of the recovery.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Christian men attend mosques on Fridays, so as not to arouse suspicion. Bibles are kept hidden. There are no public meetings, let alone a church. Catholic churches and cemeteries have been destroyed. The last nuns in the smashed capital, Mogadishu, were chased out in 2007. The year before, an elderly nun working in a hospital there was murdered. The only Christian believers left are local Somalis.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Lord Stern, the author of the influential 2006 Stern Review on the cost of tackling global warming, said that a successful deal at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods that generate large quantities of greenhouse gases.
The eco-pawprint of a pet dog is twice that of a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year, researchers have found.
Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialise in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living.
More subversively, they suggest that climatologists, like everyone else, respond to incentives in a way that shapes their conclusions. "The economic reality of research funding, rather than a disinterested and uncoordinated scientific consensus, leads the [climate] models to approximately match one another." In other words, the herd-of-independent-minds phenomenon happens to scientists too and isn't the sole province of painters, politicians and news anchors.
Hence, too, it may well be that global warming is best tackled with a variety of cheap fixes, if not by pumping SO2 into the stratosphere then perhaps by seeding more clouds over the ocean. Alternatively, as "SuperFreakonomics" suggests, we might be better off doing nothing until the state of technology can catch up to the scope of the problem.
All these suggestions are, of course, horrifying to global warmists, who'd much prefer to spend in excess of a trillion dollars annually for the sake of reconceiving civilization as we know it, including not just what we drive or eat but how many children we have. And little wonder: As Newsweek's Stefan Theil points out, "climate change is the greatest new public-spending project in decades." Who, being a professional climatologist or EPA regulator, wouldn't want a piece of that action?
Part of the genius of Marxism, and a reason for its enduring appeal, is that it fed man's neurotic fear of social catastrophe while providing an avenue for moral transcendence. It's just the same with global warming,
Friday, October 23, 2009
Exactly half of the entire 1.3 million NHS workforce isn't treating patients. The real questions are for the Conservative shadow health secretary: Andrew Lansley, are you listening?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
"Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
If everyone had these values, the “dog-eat-dog” principal would be the major principal in the world history. But America failed to do it. There are plenty of “underdeveloped” people in the world who continue to cherish spiritual values. There are not that many chances left to force them into worshiping money since these “underdeveloped” people adopt western technology and become stronger. The appeal to adopt American values doesn’t work either. Why would we adopt the system if the system is in crisis?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Rasmussen's got the strong like versus strong dislike up to -12...so much for the Nobel bump. I've chatted with some Obama voters recently who really feel duped...in no particular order, these are some of their concerns:
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.
Hadn't posted Rasmussen's poll in a couple of weeks - we check it daily and he's been riding in the -6 to -8 range. Odd, that after winning the Nobel Peace Price, the Heismann and the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award that he would be slipping again. What's that little word? "Trust?"
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In Chinese schools, however, the dividing line between historical fiction and history can easily be confused. Children are often not taught to make a distinction. As a result, students lose the ability to look for and identify mistakes, says Leng Yubin, one of the teachers campaigning for a textbook purge. The press has quoted comparisons of these errors to the adulteration of milk with toxic melamine, which poisoned tens of thousands of infants last year.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
And yet, without thoughtful, fully-informed judgments on all of the questions by the scientists who are expert in the particular issue area, the EPA should not feel comfortable issuing an Endangerment Finding in support of CO2 regulation.
The global warming fraud is a lesson in the self-censorship of liberals, their fear of finding out the truth. It's even worse when you see that same self-inflicted blindness over and over again. Millions of liberals didn't want to know about Obama before the election. They sleepwalked into that voting booth, like an old Disney cartoon with Donald Duck holding his arms out in front and with his eyes firmly shut. But they do that a lot, just shutting out sizable parts of the world and not exercising basic adult intelligence in the minefield of politics.
It is also worth noting that, of the 24 years analyzed by The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis (CDA), 2020 had the second lowest GDP loss. Furthermore, the CDA found that for all years the average GDP loss was $393 billion, or over double the 2020 hit. In 2035 (the last year analyzed by Heritage) the inflation adjusted GDP loss works out to $6,790 per family of four--and that is before they pay their $4,600 share of the carbon taxes. The negative economic impacts accumulate, and the national debt is no exception. The increase in family-of-four debt, solely because of Waxman-Markey, hits an astounding $114,915 by 2035.
GM has announced plans to build 2.8 million vehicles next year, about 1 million more than it expects to make in 2009.
"When an automaker builds more cars and trucks than consumers want -- as GM has done in the past -- it is forced to discount the vehicles, which cuts into profits. Some experts wonder if GM is doing that again," wrote Tim Higgins, a Free Press business reporter.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Second, my guess is this was a sympathy vote after Obama and his team got skunked in Stockholm last week. Frankly, this ranks right up there with giving the 0-10 kids soccer team trophies at the end of the season because they "tried hard."
Third, this is one Obama can legitimately blame Bush for. This is an anti-Bush award - the Nobel committee is signaling to the world the way they want the United States to behave. We don't want a strong United States that stands up for its values...we want a nice beta wolf United States - one that comes in with its tail flat and rolls over showing you its throat and asks to have its belly rubbed.
Finally, the committee has shown the road map for getting a Nobel Peace Prize: publicly denounce the United States, publicly denounce Israel, talk lamely about ridding the world of nuclear weapons and shazam - you da' man!
Rumbler guess? This will prove to be one of the most shameful decisions ever made by the Nobel Committee, one that they will regret. Even Obama supporters know this is wrong, I think it will backfire on him and only add to the growing chorus of comedians that are finally starting to openly mock this empty suit. "Here's your trophy Barack, you played really hard and I know you wanted to score a goal but didnt'...let's prop up your self esteem!"
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Liberal paradox: "We support choice! Uhh, but not for you or your kids!! Uhhm, unless your kid needs an abortion..."
Our public school system in this nation is, for the most part, a disgrace. Charter schools and voucher systems have started to break the logjam with some successful pilot programs. Standing firmly in the way? The liberals and the teachers' unions.
1. He asserts that Afghanistan is a nation whereas South Vietnam was created by the French in 1954. He notes that Afghanistan dates back to 1747 and that the "vast majority of Afghans say their national identity trumps their loyalty to the tribe." I would argue that this is the weakest of the three points he makes: a poll of Afghans? Seems to me the only people that would know enough or could be contacted are going to be the urban residents in Kabul and Kandahar who are one step removed from their tribe - the rest of the country is definitely tribal. But, the older nation argument stands.
2. Beinart then states that the enemy is different. When the U.S. entered the war, we largely took up the part that the French had abandoned...and "Ho Chi Minh was Vietnam's George Washington." The Taliban are not viewed as some kind of unifying nationalist force - they are murderous thugs and often when villages are liberated, they are grateful for U.S. and NATO forces.
3. His final point of difference is that in Vietnam, "we tried." We only recently got above 20,000 troops in Afghanistan versus the half a million we poured into Vietnam. Now warfare has changed dramatically since 1968 and man for man, our military is far more lethal than back then. But point well taken. Our initial arrival in Afghanistan was to take out the regime that had harbored the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11. That mission was accomplished with a very small footprint in the country. Since then, our mission has become befuddled - and now it is especially befuddled with troop morale starting to plummet.
Beinart's conclusion? "Afghanistan isn't Vietnam; it's worse."
Sadly, I tend to agree. Rumbler has never been a fan of nation building on the part of our military. As I have scribbled on these pages in the past, the U.S. military is exceptionally good at "killing people and breaking things." The military that fought the first Gulf War was basically one designed to fight the Soviet Union - big tanks, lots of bombs and missiles, air superiority. The military that fought the second Gulf War and swiftly defeated the Iraqi Army was the same. The military that fought in Afghanistan and defeated the Taliban was far more lethal and cunning. We learned from the Soviets that tanks don't work so well in the Afghan terrain...special forces and working with different tribal factions to achieve our aim does.
But once our initial mission was finished, what then? Eight years on, we are still asking that question. We continue to operate under the cultural ignorance that somehow, we can make democracy happen in a rabidly Islamic and tribal nation. Islam is profoundly anti-democratic. The notions of equality and a rule of law not based in 12th Century jurisprudence are anathema to them.
I do not believe that the "surge" strategy that worked so well in Iraq will work here either. Iraq had a very high literacy rate and an infrastructure in place for success. Further, most of the "bad guys" in Iraq were "out of towners" that the Iraqis didn't like either. In Afghanistan, the Taliban bad guys are native. Most of the Al Queda bad guys are out of towners, but there are precious few of those guys left and most of them are believed to be on the Pakistani side of the border.
I believe that the best option is to get a thug in place that will prevent the country from descending into an Islamic nutjob failed state such that Al Queda and all the other factions of world hatred will have a breeding ground. To accomplish this, we need a commitment of additional forces to buy the time to get the Afghan Army and police force to a point that they can take care of themselves. Once that's done, exit stage right as fast as we can.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- For the first time in three decades, a U.S. recession may wipe out all the jobs created during the previous expansion, according to Ed McKelvey, a senior economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York.
Pending payroll revisions and the likelihood that employment will keep dropping in coming months mean the 8.3 million jobs created from 2003 through 2007 will be lost, McKelvey wrote in an Oct. 6 note to clients.
The last “little” Ice Age started as early as the 14th century when the Baltic Sea froze over followed by unseasonable cold, storms, and a rise in the level of the Caspian Sea. That was followed by the extinction of the Norse settlements in Greenland and the loss of grain cultivation in Iceland. Harvests were even severely reduced in Scandinavia And this was a mere foreshadowing of the miseries to come.
By the mid-17th century, glaciers in the Swiss Alps advanced, wiping out farms and entire villages. In England, the River Thames froze during the winter, and in 1780, New York Harbor froze. Had this continued, history would have been very different. Luckily, the decrease in solar activity that caused the Little Ice Age ended and the result was the continued flowering of modern civilization.
There were very few Ice Ages until about 2.75 million years ago when Earth’s climate entered an unusual period of instability. Starting about a million years ago cycles of ice ages lasting about 100,000 years, separated by relatively short interglacial perioods, like the one we are now living in became the rule. Before the onset of the Ice Ages, and for most of the Earth’s history, it was far warmer than it is today.
Indeed, the Sun has been getting brighter over the whole history of the Earth and large land plants have flourished. Both of these had the effect of dropping carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to the lowest level in Earth’s long history.
Five hundred million years ago, carbon dioxide concentrations were over 13 times current levels; and not until about 20 million years ago did carbon dioxide levels dropped to a little less than twice what they are today.
It is possible that moderately increased carbon dioxide concentrations could extend the current interglacial period. But we have not reached the level required yet, nor do we know the optimum level to reach.
So, rather than call for arbitrary limits on carbon dioxide emissions, perhaps the best thing the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the climatology community in general could do is spend their efforts on determining the optimal range of carbon dioxide needed to extend the current interglacial period indefinitely.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
the purpose of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s highly publicized secret visit to Moscow on Sept. 7 was to provide the Russians with a list of Russian scientists and engineers working on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
It is not clear to us that the Russians or Iranians are getting the message yet. They have convinced themselves that Obama is unlikely to act because he is weak at home and already has too many issues to juggle. This is a case where a reputation for being conciliatory actually increases the chances for war. But the leaks this weekend have strikingly limited the options and timelines of the United States and Israel. They also have put the spotlight on Obama at a time when he already is struggling with health care and Afghanistan. History is rarely considerate of presidential plans, and in this case, the leaks have started to force Obama’s hand.