Monday, April 30, 2007

Hitchens on Tenet

Chewy and delicious.

[N]ow comes Tenet, the man who got everything wrong and who ran the agency that couldn't think straight, to ask us to sympathize with his moanings about "Iraq—who, me?"

Got to break it before you can fix it

Once again Ed Driscoll ties together a number of threads, including an article by Tim Blair called "The Left's love of disaster," which title serves for a summary. It was doctrine of the Marxists, we heard this in the '60's from the Weather Underground and the like, that it was the duty of the revolutionaries to make conditions worse for the common people, so that they, the common people, would rise against their oppressive rulers. Because the conditions had not been oppressive enough before the revolutionary cadres, in their wisdom, proceeded to make things intolerable.

It's this kind of thinking that leads the Democrats to believe that, as I said before, to tank the economy and lose the war quickly, before the election, so that they can blame these things on the current administration and thereby gain political advantage, is actually a good thing to do. And we should not question their patriotism. In their wisdom, they know that worse is better. Eventually.

If you studied Latin long enough, the first sentence of the second paragraph above would seem elegantly periodic. If not, then not so much.

Update, January 24, 2009: Added "Ayers" tag.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Reid says we have lost. So who won?

A commenter at LGF points to this by Salim Mansur:

[…]The war in Iraq, as in Afghanistan, to bring regime change was swift. The post-war effort to help put in place the basic requirements for democracy in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world, however, was met -- not surprisingly -- with stiff resistance from both within and outside of Iraq.

Al-Qaida killers and their local supporters learned that indiscriminate violence against fellow Arabs and Muslims could weaken Americans in their commitment to the making of a free and modern Iraq.

Al-Qaida's strategy is seemingly working. Harry Reid, the U.S. Democratic Senate Majority Leader, has declared the war in Iraq is lost. Hence, the winners would be the terrorists -- the barbarian marauders from the 7th century taking full measure of the greatest Western power of the 21st century and its inability to stomach the cost of defeating them.[…]
More on this later. The losing side in a war customarily is required by the winner to pay reparations to the victor. What does Reid have in mind that we should pay to Al Qaeda for reparations? The lives of losing leaders are often forfeit; since Reid has declared the loss, does that make him the loser? Or does he have someone else in mind?

[Update, June 9, 2007: The original link to the Winnipeg Sun for the Salim Mansur article has gone behind a pay wall, so I have changed it to what appears to be the same article at the Toronto Sun.]

Also: At Villainous Company, Cassandra tears Harry Reid a new one and sets off a comment storm.

This from Ramirez at Investors Business Daily:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Flood-Ravaged Ireland

John Derbyshire has a picture of the devastation.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cho, Che, what's the difference

Once again, Glenn Reynolds catches the creator of the The People's Cube in a somewhat more serious mood.

Che had killed many more “rich kids” than Cho - yet his deeds are glorified by Hollywood, his writings are published worldwide, and his pictures are plastered over the t-shirts of a new generation of “rich kids” - the faceless class enemy whom Che would not hesitate to shoot given the chance. Both Che’s and Cho’s speeches are equally delusional - so why does Che get a pass and Cho doesn’t? Because Cho had only killed 33 “rich kids” instead of 33,000? Or because Cho’s mental disorder was documented by a professional psychiatrist?


Besides acting as a catalyst on a depressed mind, “progressive” education is also a major cause of depression in itself. Imagine growing up while believing that yours is the worst country on the planet, guilty of death and suffering of millions of poor people worldwide, who are being wantonly killed, robbed, enslaved, raped, and tortured so that your mom could shop at the mall and your dad could fill up the tank. The species are dying, the rainforest is dwindling, the ozone hole is growing, and the globe is warming. If it is frightful enough to turn a sensitive adult into a guilt-ridden neurotic, think about a ten-year-old who, in addition, lives with the fear that if we all don’t die of skin cancer by the age of thirty, global warming and raising sea levels will finish everyone off anyway.
The whole thing is worth reading, and it ties in to the idea of old Soviet psyops having become memes perpetuating themselves in the academic and info-spheres, mentioned below.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Natural history of TV

in the Marlin Perkins or Steve Irwin sense. The strip is "Lio" by Mark Tatulli; click to see it bigger.

Friday, April 20, 2007

"I found Saddam's WMD bunkers"

No, not me, I didn't find them. Dave Gaubatz found them. Melanie Phillips has the story. Thanks again to the indefatigable Instapundit. This is a story that needs investigation or debunking. The fact that neither side will talk about it gives it more credibility. And besides, it's what I have thought all along, based only on news reports. Now comes one who claims to have been there. His claims deserve more attention than they are receiving. It sounds like a coverup by all parties.

AP6 may be turning 7

Seven countries, that is.

In a somewhat surprising development, Canada, a long-time supporter of the Kyoto Protocol, announced that it may want to join the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6), a six-nation coalition focusing on voluntary emission-reduction steps and technology transfers. Many environmentalists oppose AP6 out of a fear that it may undermine political support for the legally binding Kyoto treaty.

The partnership, launched in mid-2005, is an agreement among six countries -- Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United States -- to develop and share greenhouse-gas reduction technology to combat climate change. According to the AP6 Web site, the six partner countries "represent about half of the world's economy, population and energy use, and they produce about 65% of the world's coal, 48% of the world's steel, 37% of world's aluminum, and 61% of the world's cement." The countries also account for half the world's greenhouse-gas emissions.
I had not heard of the AP6 group before seeing Glenn Reynolds's item this morning. It seems like a much more sensible approach than Kyoto, especially since China and India are included. Two caveats: (1) GR's headline says "Canada joins …" but the story says "may join." (2) Is an ice age on the way? if so, we need more warming to fend it off. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

They are not kids

College students are adults by most measures. Treating them as children only serves to keep them silly. In a way, it's like foot-binding, or as the Bible hath it, twig-bending. Dave Kopel on respect and responsibility.

And Charles Johnson points to this by Mark Steyn, "A Culture of Passivity."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Arma Virumque

is where the following comes from, by way of Jerry Pournelle's mail:

Then and now, or 8 (more) reasons the 1950s are unfairly maligned

A friend in Chicago sent these 8 scenarios comparing life in 1956 and today. We are always told how repressive, staid, homogenizing, and uncreative the 1950s were. These comparisons suggest how far off-base that stereotype is.

1. Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.
1956 - Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.

2006 - School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

2. Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1956 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

2006 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.
There are more. Go read.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Trees -- what about them?

I thought the forests were our friends. Now comes this article by Steven Milloy about a new study showing

that while tropical forests exert a cooling influence on global climate, forests in northern regions exert a warming influence — and it’s not just a trivial climatic effect.

Based on the researchers’ computer modeling, forests above 20 degrees latitude in the Northern Hemisphere — that is, north of the line of latitude running through Southern Mexico, Saharan Africa, central India and the southernmost Chinese island of Hainan — will warm surface temperatures in those regions by an estimated 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100.

Most of the warming is predicted to occur north of 50 degrees latitude — that is, north of the line of latitude running just north of the U.S. border with Canada, through Northern France, Northern Mongolia and Southern Siberia.
Now you could say that the warming and the cooling are both good. That the higher latitudes need a little more warmth and the tropics a little less, so that works out. Will the countries in the North start clearcutting? Hmm, if Canada, Russia, Norway, and so on, lose the warming effect of their forests, they'll need to keep warm somehow. How handy to have a big pile of firewood right there! Oh, wait, burning it would give off CO2, can't do that. Oh dear, oh dear.

Update: Russell Seitz has this in the Wall Street Journal: An Inconvenient Tree.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Otters and Chavez and snow, oh my!

Fausta asks, "Where's my global warming?" A roundup including this story:

An unbudging sheet of sea ice has blocked off the waters where the Alaska Peninsula's sea otters forage, forcing the starving animals inland on a search for food and making them easy prey for wolves and humans, according to a report.
If AGW is the only thing staving off the next Ice Age, I'm all for it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Inconstant constant

Einstein postulated the cosmological constant, but didn't like it. It seemed to be returning, in the form of dark energy; maybe the dark energy is not there after all. Science: it's not a consensus!

Barbecue tax in Belgium (update: April Fool!)

Belgians have barbecues? They certainly need to be taxed.

Update: Novosti seems to be the only news agency that has this, and they are now saying it was an April Fool's gag. Though they don't say who was the joker.