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SATURDAY,  NOVEMBER 28,  2009

THE GLOBAL WARMING "FALSE DATA" SCANDAL SPREADS - AT 8:47 P.M. ET:  Reader Jeanette Kemper alerts us to still one more story about falsification among the clergy in the church of global warming.  This one is from New Zealand:

The New Zealand Government’s chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn’t there.

The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain’s CRU climate research centre.

In New Zealand’s case, the figures published on NIWA’s [the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research] website suggest a strong warming trend in New Zealand over the past century:

But analysis of the raw climate data from the same temperature stations has just turned up a very different result.

Gone is the relentless rising temperature trend, and instead there appears to have been a much smaller growth in warming, consistent with the warming up of the planet after the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850.

The revelations are published today in a news alert from The Climate Science Coalition of NZ.

COMMENT:  There are now enough of these stories, from credible sources, to warrant major investigations.  There are also enough dissenters with excellent credentials to force us to question the whole "science" behind global warming.  Is it real science or political science? 

The Democrats won't do a thing.  They are tied to global warming the way ancients were tied to the concept of a flat Earth.  And with about as much logic.  But polls show that the American people are turning against the "consensus" on global warming.  The president would be wise to appoint a blue-ribbon commission, or even more than one, to conduct major investigations and get at the truth.

November 28, 2009   Permalink

IRAN BALKS, AGAIN - AT 8:15 P.M. ET:  From AP, via The Washington Post:

TEHRAN, Iran -- A conservative Iranian legislator warned Saturday that his country may pull out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty after a U.N. resolution censuring Tehran - a move that could seriously undermine world attempts to prevent Iran from developing atomic weapons.

Iran's official news agency quoted a hardline political analyst who made the same point, another indication the idea could be gaining steam.

If Iran withdraws from the treaty, its nuclear program would no longer be subject to oversight by the U.N. nuclear agency. That in turn would be a significant blow to efforts to ensure that no enriched uranium is diverted from use as fuel to warhead development.

COMMENT:  The report is significant because the legislator involved often reflects the government line. 

The story, though, is strange, and tilts leftward.  You'd think, based on what the reporter wrote, that UN efforts have been oh so successful in restraining Iran.  In fact, the success rate is zero.

Talks with Iran over its nuclear program have gone nowhere.  We are one month away from President Obama's publicly declared deadline for progress.  The UN nuclear agency's resolution censuring Iran is nice, but little more than that.  It has no teeth, no enforcing mechanism.

The president announces his Afghan policy on Tuesday, and it is likely to be opposed by the left wing of his party, which dominates the party in the House.  Then, in the fact of this same opposition, he will have to confront Iran, and that ultimately may involve military action.

The president is going to need Republican support, and that may be one of the most fascinating developments yet to come.

November 28, 2009   Permalink   

TERROR IN RUSSIA - AT 12:30 P.M. ET:  From The New York Times:

MOSCOW —The cause of the crash of one of Russia’s most illustrious trains was identified on Saturday as a homemade bomb that went off on the tracks between Moscow and St. Petersburg, killing more than 25 people, wounding scores of others and raising fears of a new era of terrorism here.

Officials called the explosion on Friday the worst terrorist attack in Russia in years, outside volatile Muslim parts of the North Caucasus region, which includes Chechnya. There were no immediate credible claims of responsibility.

COMMENT:  Once again we see the vulnerability of modern societies to terrorism.  And yet, we here in America are returning to a pre 9-11 mentality, under the tutelage of The One and his chief lawyer, Eric Holder.  It is only a matter of time before a price is paid.

November 28, 2009   Permalink

STUNNING PIECE ON SARAH - AT 12:11 P.M. ET:  Sam Indorante and other readers alert us to a piece from the great American Thinker website, on the "wilding" of Sarah Palin.  You don't have to consider Sarah to be presidential material to be affected by this essay, written by "Robin of Berkeley," a psychotherapist and former committed feminist. 

(CAUTION:  The full version of this piece, but not the segments quoted here, contains sexual language that some may find offensive.  The writer writes from the viewpoint of a trained therapist.)

Robin recalls her fears about the vulnerability of women, and what those fears led her to do:

The answer: seek safe harbor within the Democratic Party. I even became an activist for feminist causes, including violence against women. Liberalism would protect me from the big, bad conservatives who wished me harm.

Like for most feminists, it was a no-brainer for me to become a Democrat. Liberal men, not conservatives, were the ones devoted to women's issues. They marched at my side in support of abortion rights. They were enthusiastic about women succeeding in the workplace.

As time went on, I had many experiences that should have made me rethink my certainty. But I remained nestled in cognitive dissonance -- therapy jargon for not wanting to see what I didn't want to see.

There were hints: 

One clue: the miscreants who were brutalizing me didn't exactly look Reagan-esque. In middle and high schools, they were minority kids enraged about forced busing. On the streets of New York City and Berkeley, they were derelicts and hoodlums.

Another red flag: while liberal men did indeed hold up those picket signs, they didn't do anything else to protect me. In fact, their social programs enabled bad behavior and bred chaos in urban America. And when I was accosted by thugs, those leftist men were missing in action.

The moment:

What finally woke me up were the utterances of "bitch," "witch," and "monster" toward Hillary Clinton and her supporters early last year. I was shocked into reality: the trash-talk wasn't coming from conservatives, but from male and female liberals.

I finally beheld what my eyes had refused to see: that leftists are Mr. and Ms. Misogyny. Neither the males nor the females care a whit about women.

Women are continually sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. If under radical Islam women are enshrouded and stoned and beheaded, so be it.

And...

Then along came Sarah, and the attacks became particularly heinous...

...They are wilding her. And they do this with the full knowledge and complicity of the White House.

The Left has declared war on Palin because she threatens their existence. Liberals need women dependent and scared so that women, like blacks, will vote Democrat.

And...

These "progressives" are so alienated from the sacred that they perceive nothing as sacred. And they will destroy anyone whose goodness shines a mirror on their pathology. The spiritually barren must annihilate the vital and the fertile.

It has been almost two years since I woke up and broke up with liberalism. During these many months, I've discovered that everything I believed was wrong.

But the biggest shock of all has been realizing that the Democratic Party is hardly an oasis for women. Now that it has been infiltrated by the hard Left, it's a dangerous place for women, children, and other living things.

In the wilding of Sarah Palin, the Left shows its true colors. Rather than sheild the vulnerable, leftists will mow down any man, woman, or child who gets in their way. Instead of a movement of hope and change, it is a cauldron of hate.

COMMENT:  I'm afraid this piece reveals some fundamental truths.  But elements of modern liberalism have become a religion, and the practitioners will never question it.

November 28, 2009   Permalink 

HERE IT COMES - AT 10:50 A.M. ET:  Three days before President Obama's speech at West Point, in which he will reveal his new, improved, 104-point quality-checked Afghanistan policy, we have this from The Washington Post:

KABUL -- Two Afghan teenagers held in U.S. detention north of Kabul this year said they were beaten by American guards, photographed naked, deprived of sleep and held in solitary confinement in concrete cells for at least two weeks while undergoing daily interrogation about their alleged links to the Taliban.

The accounts could not be independently substantiated. But in successive, on-the-record interviews, the teenagers presented a detailed, consistent portrait suggesting that the abusive treatment of suspected insurgents has in some cases continued under the Obama administration, despite steps that President Obama has said would put an end to the harsh interrogation practices authorized by the Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

COMMENT:  I don't know if this is true or not, but the timing of the report certainly raises legitimate suspicions.  You don't think it could have anything to do with trying to influence public opinion before the president's speech, do you? 

Nah.  Who would do that?

I still remember all the breathless stories during Vietnam on how corrupt the South Vietnamese government was.  Why, anyone who worked with us had to be corrupt.  All crooks.  All sinister.  As compared with the devoted, dedicated civil servants of North Vietnam, that workers' paradise.

But, at the end of the war, we invited thousands of those who worked with us to come to the United States.  They came, and formed an intelligent, enterprising and successful community, without a whiff of corruption.  I guess it was the ocean voyage.  We all know that the smell of salt water makes you honest.

Moral:  There are no doubt things we do that need to be corrected.  But don't believe every story, or think every story represents some wider truth.  There are agendas out there, and they pop up at the most interesting times.

November 28, 2009   Permalink

A WARNING FROM BRITAIN - AT 10:33 A.M. ET:  Reader Tom Wharton alerts us to a piece in London's Telegraph, warning of what Britain's National Health Service has become:

One of Labour's great triumphs with the National Health Service is that people now go into hospital to die rather than to be cured. It seems to render the whole debate about assisted suicide utterly pointless. Who needs a Dignitas clinic when you can check into a hospital in Basildon and be relatively certain to be taken out in a box?

And...

This exposes one of the great pretences of the NHS: that it is there first and foremost for the benefit of patients. It isn't. It exists these days mostly for the benefit of various trade unionists who are fully paid-up members of the Brown clientele, and who earn good money as petty bureaucrats trying to "manage" things that, if they need to be managed at all, could be far better done by fewer people in much more efficient systems.

COMMENT:  And yet, that is the system that the most vocal elements of the Democratic Party aim for, and they do so without apology.  They believe we can do what Britain has not been able to do, and what other nations do poorly - make a national health system work well for the critically ill.

Why do they dream the things they dream?  Because this is what they've been taught, by an increasingly ideological educational system, by a breathtakingly shallow knowledge of foreign countries, and by partisans in the press.

November 28,  2009   Permalink

 

 

 

FRIDAY,  NOVEMBER 27,  2009

OUR NEW JUSTICE DEPARMENT IN ACTION - 10:33 P.M. ET:  The Department of Justice, under Eric Holder, is likely to become a major political issue.  The decision to try the mastermind of 9-11 in a civilian court in New York is one factor.  Here is another:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay the community group Acorn for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group.

The department’s conclusion, laid out in a recently disclosed five-page memorandum from David Barron, the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, adds a new wrinkle to a sharp political debate over the antipoverty group’s activities and recent efforts to distance the government from it.

COMMENT:  Notice the day this comes out - the day after Thanksgiving, when no one is concentrating on the news. 

Earlier this year, Eric Holder and his band of little litigators abandoned a perfectly winnable case against a group of new Black Panthers who were charged with intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place on election day, 2008. 

We have a Justice Department being run as a political adjunct of the left wing of the Democratic Party.  Eric Holder, who had a reputation as a very political Justice Department official during the Clinton administration, and who approved the pardon of fugitive Marc Rich, should never have been made attorney general.  Obama's mistake is now our curse, and it must be lifted as soon as possible.

November 27, 2009   Permalink 

POTENTIALLY MAJOR STORY - AT 5:03 P.M. ET:  Lost in the turkey and holiday sales, an economic crisis in the Gulf nation of Dubai has roiled markets and raised gray hairs.  We don't yet know how much damage this can do here.  From The Washington Post:

NEW YORK -- This was the sideswipe investors had feared.

The stock market is in the middle of one of the great rallies of a generation, but for weeks there has been a nagging fear that bad news was never far off. The news came from Dubai, a wealthy Middle Eastern city-state that many Americans probably couldn't find on a map. Concerns that a government-backed investment company risked defaulting on $60 billion in debt ripped through world markets and served as a reminder of how fragile the financial system remains a year after it nearly collapsed.

And...

Worries about bad debt are fresh in investors' minds after the collapse of the U.S. brokerage Lehman Brothers in September last year kicked the U.S. economy deeper into recession overnight as banks halted lending on fears about the extent of bad loans.

The latest concern is that problems in Dubai, which has drawn wealthy tourists and investors from around the globe in the past decade with its Las Vegas-in-the-Middle East appeal, could imperil a nascent economic rebound around the world. This could happen if banks suffer big losses or confidence falters.

"The biggest risk is a domino effect," said Kevin Shacknofsky, portfolio manager of the Alpine Dynamic Dividend Fund in Purchase, N.Y.

COMMENT:  Experts are divided over the impact of Dubai, with some saying it indicates that the financial markets are still fragile and subject to collapse, and others saying this will be taken in stride.  But $60-billion isn't a teenager's weekly allowance, except in Hollywood, and it has to have some impact somewhere. 

We are not out of the woods, especially if consumer spending during this holiday season falls below expectations, or if profits, because of deep discounting, are weak.  Watch the Dubai story.

November 27, 2009   Permalink

OH, THEY CAN'T MEAN THIS - AT 4:28 P.M. ET:  On a spin, the trial of the century, and our safety, may well depend.  How may the judge in the New York "mastermind of 9-11" trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed be selected?  From The New York Times:

At first glance, the wooden wheel looks as if it might have been used to call out bingo numbers in a church fund-raiser. But sometime soon, a federal magistrate judge in Manhattan could be spinning the wheel in open court, unlocking a small door on one of its sides, and pulling out a sealed envelope containing the name of a judge.

That judge could well be charged with overseeing the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four others accused in the Sept. 11 terror attacks. And that judge will have to consider questions as procedural as trial dates and as controversial and delicate as evidence gained through torture.

The case could last years, and the judge who gets it will most likely be assigned security around the clock — for his or her lifetime.

COMMENT:  Caution.  It is not absolutely certain that the wheel will be used.  There are other methods available.  As the story says, the Justice Department may seek to join this case to another, current terrorism case, where the judge has already been selected.  However, that judge is Jewish, and you can just imagine the comments among the Islamists and in the print columns of their stalwart friends on the left. 

But the wheel carries with it all kinds of risks.  What if we wind up with the person considered to be the "worst judge in New York," to cite a newspaper series that used to run regularly?  What if we wind up with the most left-leaning judge available?  What if we wind up with New York's Lance Ito?

It shows how foolish was the decision to try the 9-11 kingpin in an ordinary federal courtroom.  This is the first of many complications.

November 27, 2009   Permalink

QUOTE OF THE DAY - AT 10:13 A.M. ET:  From Peggy Noonan, in The Wall Street Journal:

I was reminded of something I began noticing a few months ago in bipartisan crowds. I would ask Democrats how they thought the president was doing. In the past they would extol, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, his virtues. Increasingly, they would preface their answer with, "Well, I was for Hillary." This in turn reminded me of a surprising thing I observe among loyal Democrats in informal settings and conversations: No one loves Barack Obama. Half the American people say they support him, and Democrats are still with him. But there were Bill Clinton supporters who really loved him. George W. Bush had people who loved him. A lot of people loved Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. But no one seems to love Mr. Obama now; they're not dazzled and head over heels. That's gone away. He himself seems a fairly chilly customer; perhaps in turn he inspires chilly support.

And this:

Mr Obama is in a hard place. Health care hangs over him, and if he is lucky he will lose a close vote in the Senate. The common wisdom that he can't afford to lose is exactly wrong—he can't afford to win with such a poor piece of legislation. He needs to get the issue behind him, vow to fight another day, and move on. Afghanistan hangs over him, threatening the unity of his own Democratic congressional base. There is the growing perception of incompetence, of the inability to run the machine of government. This, with Americans, is worse than Obama's rebranding as a leader who governs from the left. Americans demands baseline competence. If he comes to be seen as Jimmy Carter was, that the job was bigger than the man, that will be the end.

COMMENT:  Peggy Noonan is inconsistent, but this is one of the best columns I've seen from her in a long while.  Read the whole thing.  She discusses the meaning of the presidential bows - to the Saudi king, to the Japanese emperor - and how devastating they are to Obama, and why.  Very insightful.

November 27, 2009   Permalink

THE POLLING BLUES - AT 9:17 A.M. ET:  In America, our system of states plays a critical role in our politics, and who gets what and how much.  An examination of the midwestern states, and others, shows the extent of the political problems the Obama administration is facing, less than a year into its term.  From Politics Daily:

Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling, which did some of the new surveys cited here, observes: "Obama generally seems to be having problems in the Midwest. A Des Moines Register poll (Nov. 8-11) showed Obama's approval rating there dropping to 49%. A Quinnipiac poll a few weeks ago in Ohio showed 50% of voters disapproving of him there to just 45% approval. A recent Rasmussen survey in Minnesota found him only slightly in positive territory, 51/48. He won all three of those states last year by margins ranging from 4 points in Ohio to 10 points in Iowa and Minnesota."

One thing that is increasingly disturbing is the division of the country along ethnic lines.  Consider California, for example:

SurveyUSA reports that Californians approve of the job Obama is doing by 62 percent to 33 percent with 5 percent undecided. Whites disapprove by 50 percent to 46 percent (the margin of error is 4 percentage points) but blacks, who make up 6 percent of the sample, approve by 80 percent to 19 percent and Hispanics, who make up 28 percent of the sample, approve by 75 percent to 17 percent.

COMMENT:  A cautionary note about polls:  Rasmussen generally has Obama's figures lower than other polls.  This may reflect methodology.  Rasmussen polls among likely voters, whereas other organizations may poll among all voters or even all citizens above a certain age.  Republicans tend to do better among likely voters than in other samples.

But there's no denying that Obama's poll numbers are, in most places, declining.  That is not a guarantee of the future, but clearly this White House has become a disappointment to many.  If the real economy, as opposed to the Wall Street economy, continues in the doldrums, Obama's numbers are not likely to improve.

November 27, 2009   Permalink  

MADNESS - AT 8:40 A.M. ET:  The unemployment and underemployment situation has become a real crisis.  If we don't create jobs, we will have, at best, a sluggish recovery, and possibly another recession.

So who is making job creation more difficult?  I suspect you've guessed it

While President Obama and congressional leaders say they would like to do more to spur job creation, economists and business executives warn that their plans to impose new health care and climate-change costs on corporations would have the opposite effect.

The initiatives, according to this analysis, are likely to overwhelm any positive impact on jobs from stimulus measures by giving businesses a reason to keep laying people off.

The House's health care bill would raise the cost of hiring in a straightforward way: by charging businesses a new payroll tax of up to 8 percent if they do not provide health insurance to workers. The Senate plan would impose smaller fines on those same employers.

The House-passed climate-change legislation would not add directly to the cost of hiring, but would raise energy prices, which are a major cost of doing business. Economists say that many companies would react by hiring fewer people.

And...

The legislation has "perverse economic effects," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities. "Health care mandates will likely raise the cost of labor and thereby discourage hiring," while "cap-and-trade will likely increase the cost of energy and transportation for employers and thereby reduce any funds left to hire workers."

COMMENT:  One of the biggest mistakes Obama has made was to turn his legislative program over to Congress.  The result is wild legislation that may hurt more people than it helps, if it helps anyone.  Yet, the liberals in Congress, who run the place, show little interest.  Once again we see that they're more interested in ideology than in people. 

But they will get great praise at those seminars in Aspen.

November 27, 2009   Permalink

IRAN CENSURED - AT 8:23 A.M. ET:  Well, at least it's a start.  From the New York Times:

PARIS — One day after the director general of the United Nations nuclear watchdog castigated Iran for blocking inquiries into its nuclear program, the organization’s governing body voted on Friday to censure the country and demanded that it freeze operations “immediately” at a once-secret uranium enrichment plant. The panel also expressed “serious concern” about potential military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program.

The censure resolution, which passed 25-3, came after Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic energy Agency, declared in unusually blunt language on Thursday that Iran had stonewalled investigators about evidence that the country had worked on nuclear weapons design, and that his efforts to reveal the truth had “effectively reached a dead end.”

And...

While 6 of the governing body’s 35 nations abstained, and one was absent, the resolution had unusual backing by Russia and China, broadening the message of international displeasure with Iran that is frequently voiced in the West. But it was not immediately clear whether Moscow and Beijing would go further and support the expansion of sanctions that the Obama administration may promote.

That, of course, is a key issue.  This resolution, while desirable, has no teeth.  There's no way to enforce it.  It was easy for China and Russia to support it, then privately reassure their Iranian friends that nothing more will be done.

President Obama is approaching an end-of-year deadline to reassess whether the United States should move toward what Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has termed “crippling sanctions” on Iran.

Words.  The U.S., on its own, could not impose crippling sanctions.  It could, of course, blockade Iranian ports, but that goes well beyond sanctions.

Israeli officials, meanwhile, have said that they will not consider taking military action until Mr. Obama’s deadline runs out, leaving hanging the suggestion — maybe the bluff — that they are preparing for that possibility in 2010.

That is the real area of international concern.  But this would be a difficult military operation, with success not guaranteed. 

COMMENT:  As with most international issues, it will be the position of the United States that will be decisive.  Thus far, that position has been weak and indecisive.  The president's address Tuesday at West Point, dealing with Afghanistan, may hint at a tougher foreign-policy line, which is certainly called for with Iran.

Watch for Iran to make some "gesture" toward the end of the year to get the U.S. to extend its deadline.  If we take that bait, we're fools.  Or at least one man is a fool.

November 27,  2009   Permalink

 

 

s

 

"What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.

 

"Councils of war breed timidity and defeatism."
    - Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, to his
      son, Douglas.

 

THE ANGEL'S CORNER

Part I of this week's Angel's Corner was sent late Wednesday night.

Part II was sent late last night.

 

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