Thursday, January 31, 2008

Despite Coming Ice Age, Poor Will Be Hardest Hit by Global Warming

As noted here earlier, despite the caterwauling and hysteria, we could see another ice age before long.

Still, no amount of evidence will stop the clowns at the UN from shaking everyone down in order to aid the wretched refuse of the earth in coping with the dreaded global warming climate change.
The developed world should help poor countries brace for global warming by assisting them in taking steps like restoring coastal forests and training health care workers, the head of the U.N.'s climate panel said.

Recognizing that climate change may be hard to reverse, experts are now examining "adaptation," or how to deal with potential catastrophes such as rising seas as a result of melting glaciers.

"In the developing countries it's critical we think of combining mitigation measures with adaptation measures," said Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

"We know extremes of temperatures are going to go up, now we have to adapt to them," he said at a climate panel at Columbia University late on Wednesday.
Uh, actually, we don't know that.
The United Nations agreed to start an adaptation fund for poor countries last month at climate talks in Bali, Indonesia. It comprises only about $36 million, but might rise to as much as $5 billion a year by 2030 if investments in green technology in developing countries increase.
Maybe guys like Pachauri and Gore can start contributing by waiving their speaking fees and stop jetting around the world on the public dime.

They may also want to start paying attention to those who don't agree with them and actually look at the data available that doesn't concur with their opinions.

Paging the Goracle, Al Gore pick up the courtesy phone

Sun's low magnetic activity may portend an ice age
If the Sun’s magnetic activity does not increase, and it goes dim for an extended period, it will get quite chilly. In the meantime the Canada Space Agency, the Royal Observatory Greenwich and the US Air Force Solar Optical Observing Network are all keeping an eye on the Sun.

This is what occurred in the 17th century when the earth experienced a mini ice age. So maybe the Times was right back in the 70's when they predicated a global ice age.

Of course Atlanta has a Democratic government

Mayor Franklin: Atlanta facing $70 million budget deficit
Atlanta has been controlled by the Democrats since the end of the War of Northern Aggression I think. It is no surprise that the city is in debt, it is just the amount that is staggering, along with the revelations of how it got so bad.
For instance, some salary expenses, pension payments and worker compensation payments were listed as "reserves" when they were expense items, city officials said. The city did not anticipate spending $11 million to settle a lawsuit to police officers not paid for overtime and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service for payroll processing delays. The city also expects to spend $30 million more than expected for fuel, utilities, health insurance, vehicle repairs, consultant fees and other expenses.
Now in the way of defense some folks from the city government handed out some packets to reporters.
City officials noted Atlanta is not the only government facing financial troubles. They handed reporters a packet of newspaper articles detailing budget shortfalls in higher-populated cities like Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix. Sacramento, Calif., a city with a population similar to Atlanta, is grappling with a $55 million shortfall.
Now what do all of those cities have in common? Hmmm I can't quite put my finger on it.
What is missing from these articles is some of the funny math and just downright stupidity that went into doing the budget. They spend 8 million a year for an entertainment area known as Underground Atlanta. heaven only knows what the money goes for since the area is a bunch of shops and bars all privately owned. They also discovered that the pensions they were paying out instead of putting them on the minus side of the ledger they counting them as income.
For instance, some salary expenses, pension payments and worker compensation payments were listed as "reserves" when they were expense items, city officials said.
And no, all of the information is not contained in one source. It is hard to get beyond the headlines and find out any information regarding what actually led the nuts and bolts of the shortfall. Suffice it to say it plain looks like creative bookkeeping at its best.

Horrors: 'Saucy Schoolgirl' Ad Sparks Complaints

Lighten up, people.

Seriously, all this hubbub over thirteen complaints?

Ryanair has locked horns with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a newspaper advert featuring a "saucy schoolgirl", the BBC reports.

The advert punting cheap flights, which appeared in the Herald, Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Mail, shows a teen temptress with the strapline “Hottest back to school fares”. It attracted 13 complaints to the ASA insisting it was "offensive to show what appeared to be a schoolgirl posing and dressing provocatively and that the ad implied there were sexual connotations to the image".

According to the ASA adjudication, Ryanair "disagreed that the ad suggested sexual connotations" and further "believed it was obvious that the image was of a woman fully clothed and that the short skirt and bare midriff were representative of the type of clothing that was fashionable among young women in the UK".

Ryanair defended that it "believed the ad was likely to be found offensive only by the minority of people who were likely to find any such representation objectionable".

Meanwhile, Ryanair also has some problems with Sarko.

Afghan vet faces enemy without body armor

First up is Chuck Ziegenfuss' take and comments on this confrontation. You'll have to excuse Chuck's language but just getting home from your 35th trip into the operating room and maybe not quite adjusted to the new meds will do that to you. For more info read the entries from his wife who has been keeping everybody informed of his trials and travails.

Of course Uncle Jimbo over at Blackfive couldn't leave so much red meat laying on the ground. (scroll down for his comments)
As for me. This soldier shows why we are winning in Iraq and Afghanistan. He doesn't hide behind shields and he saw a chance to confront directly some of the very people who have made his job harder and more deadly then it already was. The fine congress critters sitting in front of him showed they are not worthy to wash his ACU's. If a lone soldier in civilian clothes can draw such a dismissive attitude it kind of makes you wonder how they would act if faced with the same physical dangers the soldier is exposed to. Courage comes in many forms. More times then not it is moral courage that is harder to muster then physical courage. This young man proves he has plenty of both.

Diplomatic Furor Over 'Finger in the Butt'

Let's hope they can put this all behind them before there's a fullblown international incident.
A German song that is riding high on the country's charts has ruffled diplomatic feathers as a result of its mixing of geographic and scatological issues. But the singer of "Finger in the Butt, Mexico" is unrepentant.

Mexico's ambassador to Germany has voiced his displeasure over a popular German song that allegedly disparages the North American country.

The song, which has been on the German charts for 10 weeks, features as its chorus the charming refrain "Finger in the butt, Mexico." (The German version, "Finger im Po, Mexiko," rhymes.)

Germany's mass-circulation daily Bild reported Thursday that Ambassador Jorge Castro-Valle Kuehne has written a letter of complaint to EMI, the record company which publishes the song.

The newspaper quotes the ambassador as writing: "As I'm sure you can understand, the lyric has aroused great outrage among the members of the Mexican community living in Germany, who have a right to be angry that Mexico's name is being used in this kind of disrespectful and disgusting way."

The song was written and is performed by 34-year-old German entertainer Mickie Krause, who made his breakthrough performing works such as "Go Home, You Old Shit" and "10 Naked Hairdressers."

According to Bild, Krause does not understand what the big stink is about. "It looks like the ambassador has too much time on his hands," Krause says, "if he can spend so much time worrying about a finger in the butt."

Predator Drone Administers Justice to Al Qaeda Goons

Keep up the good work, boys. In fact, try and get a lot more practice.
A suspected U.S. missile strike that killed up to 13 foreign militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region this week had targeted second or third tier al Qaeda leaders, according to residents in the tribal area.

Initial reports said 10 people were killed in the attack on Monday on a house in Torkhali village near the town of Mir Ali.

An intelligence official, however, told Reuters on Thursday that based on information gleaned from tribal contacts there were seven Arabs and six Central Asians killed.

He said the attack was believed to have been carried out by a pilotless U.S. Predator aircraft flown across the nearby border with Afghanistan.

"The missile appeared to have been fired by a drone," the intelligence official said.

The Pakistani authorities have not confirmed the attack, and the Pentagon has denied taking any action, but the Defense Department does not speak for the Central Intelligence Agency, which operates Predators that the tribesmen say carried out the attack late on Monday.
Looks like a couple of high value targets were present.
Tribesmen in the area said a deputy of Abu Laith al Libi, a senior al Qaeda leader, had been staying there and was among the dead, according to the intelligence official.

"The latest information we have from the area is that a second-in-command to al Libi was among those killed," he said.

A leading Pakistani daily, The News, reported that the strike had targeted Libi and another senior figure, Obaidah al Masri, though neither was present at the time of the attack according to a senior Taliban commander quoted by the newspaper.

Libi and Masri were promoted up the al Qaeda ranks due to successful U.S. and Pakistani operations in the past to catch or kill the guerrilla network's second tier leaders.
Some background on al-Libi and al Masri.

Hot Air links. Thanks!

: Islamist website confirms al Libi is off to meet his virgins.

Allahpundit links again.

Fed Rate Cut Baffles the Beeb

Here is more pure stupidity by BBC editors.

Fed cuts US interest rates to 3%
The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates for the second time in nine days as it tries to keep the US economy from entering a recession.

The central bank lowered rates to 3% from 3.5% after a two-day meeting.

Last week, the Fed slashed the cost of borrowing by the largest amount in 25 years in a shock move to calm tumbling global stock markets.

The Fed is hoping the cuts will cushion the US economy from the worst effects of the credit crunch and housing slump.
There is no "hoping" to it, this will improve things in the market.

For those unfamiliar with how this impacts the economy (such as socialist BBC editors, apparently), not only does this lower borrowing costs, but it serves to expand the money supply due to increased lending activity. This will impact the economy much faster and deeper than any tax rebate. Fiscal policy moves like tax rebates have much longer time lags before they take effect.

Of course the BBc editors had to document their stupidity yet again by printing this criticism of the Fed:
The Fed looks foolish. It seems they're afraid of the market," said David Greenwald, a partner at Scalene Capital Management.

"Everyone knows that it takes a while for 75 basis points to get through the economy and by cutting 50 now, I just think they're not leaving much room in the future.
And everyone who knows what they are talking about knows that monetary policy takes effect much faster than fiscal policy. What would Mr. Greenwald and the BBC editors have the Fed do otherwise right now? Waive a magic wand? Wish upon a star?

Monetary policy moves have shorter time lags than fiscal policy moves. So once again, the BBC editors are either outright stupid or they are lying to you with this piece.

The reason why the Fed's did the 75-point basis cut last week was to forestall a market meltdown that was happening around the world on January 21 while the U.S. markets were closed due to a holiday. Their choice was either make the move or watch panic set in. The rest of the world was certainly not going to do anything to deal with the slide. Then the Feds recalculated and did the rest of the needed cut this week.

I look for the market to trade sideways for the next six months or so, and then start moving forward again. I also look for the BBC editors to continually document their stupidity in print with articles like this.

Small business seminars In Iraq!

Gee if the Iraqi economy gets any better they may start to scare our chicken little Wall St investors we seem to have in this country. Our stock market plunges because of rumors of Warren Buffet passing gas.
Small-business owners in Iraq attended training seminars at business centers in Fallujah and Ramadi to learn how to bid on government contracts, officials said.
U.S. Marines and civilian reconstruction officials hosted seminars at the refurbished Fallujah Business Development Center and the Ramadi Business Center using a bilingual presentation to advocate the expansion of small-business operations in Anbar province, a release by the U.S. II Marine Expeditionary Force said.
A Marine contracting official said the local sheiks and business owners met the chance to bid on U.S. government contracts with enthusiasm.
The seminar focused on training local businessmen how to find solicitations advertised by the U.S. government on the Internet and advised them to register with a U.S. database to receive future request-for-quotes, the official said.
The Marines reported 135 sheiks and local businesses attended the seminars.


We keep being told by Islamic apologists that Sharia law is much misunderstood by us infidels and that it is in fact a very enlightened form of justice. There is an active Islamic lobby that would wish to see Shar'ia law implemented in the UK, for instance. In some areas it already operates at a low level and is unofficially sanctioned by the police doing nothing to stop it.

Now comes the news that a young man, a student of journalism, has been sentenced to death by an Islamic court in Afghanistan for downloading a report from the internet. The sentence is then upheld by the country's rulers. The fate of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh has led to domestic and international protests. He was accused of blasphemy after he downloaded a report from a Farsi website which stated that Muslim fundamentalists who claimed the Koran justified the oppression of women had misrepresented the views of the prophet Mohammed. Mr Kambaksh, 23, distributed the tract to fellow students and teachers at Balkh University with the aim, he said, of provoking a debate on the matter.

Leaving aside the inherent anti-US bias in this report in the uberlibera Independent, surely it is just one more instance of how Islamic law and modern democracies are entirely incompatible? Can you imagine how Shar'ia law would roll back every form of liberal values imaginable. And yet, oddly enough, many western liberals appear content to run with the idea of tolerating Sharis law! Is it because their uberliberalism has stopped them from seeing that Shar'ia is a threat to us all, but most particularly, to them?

Cross posted on A Tangled Web.

Iran continues to build a wall of secrecy

This time is has to do with executions. No, silly they aren't going to stop them. They are just going to stop doing them in public.
Iran's chief justice banned executing convicts in public unless there are approved "social necessities," state-run Iran Press TV reported.

A spokesman for Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi said the decree was issued Tuesday.
I guess all those videos and pictures being shown in the free world is starting to have an impact, not that it has hurt their ability to maintain the "moral high ground" among the leftists in the west. So now it appears they have learned something else from their close ties to Russia. How to make people disappear.

National Heroes Tour Schedule

I had posted earlier about the National Heroes Tour and now the schedule is finalized. Go here for all the details.
This is a chance for you you to see and interact with some real heroes. Not the plastic Hollywood type or steroid pumped up prima donnas who are payed millions to entertain you. If they are coming to your area please try to see them and take the kids.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Building Putin's Empire

Deal with Serbia gives Russia victory in 'pipeline war' with EU

Russia won the right Friday to direct a major supply route for natural gas through its ally Serbia to Europe, a deal that analysts described as a Kremlin victory in a "pipeline war" with the European Union.

The agreement, signed in the Kremlin before President Vladimir Putin and visiting Serbian leaders, increased Moscow's control over energy supplies to Europe and could undermine a rival EU project.

Strong Russian opposition to independence for the Serbian province of Kosovo was a key bargaining chip in the negotiations that resulted in Serbia joining the project, the South Stream natural gas pipeline. Belgrade also agreed to sell a majority stake in Serbia's state-owned oil monopoly, NIS, to the Russian natural gas giant, Gazprom, at a favorable price.

South Stream is a project worth a projected €10 billion, or $14.7 billion, organized jointly by Gazprom and the Italian energy giant ENI to carry Siberian gas to Europe via the Black Sea.

"Our close political relations were today converted into economic results," Putin's chosen successor, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, told reporters. "This is a great breakthrough."


The agreements signed Friday by Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica of Serbia, gave Gazprom a 51 percent stake in Serbia's NIS oil and natural gas company, for €400 million [US$593,259,318.44 ed.] and a pledge to invest €500 million more by 2012.

Some analysts described the price as well below market value, giving estimates of €1 billion to €2 billion [US$1,483,589,692.57 - US$2,966,249,293.59 ed.], although others said the NIS plant needed heavy reconstruction.

NIS dominates the Serbian market, with a monopoly on refining and a network of almost 500 gas stations. The NIS deal gives Gazprom its first refinery outside Russia.

Gazprom gets OMV stake

Gazprom will acquire a stake of 50 percent in OMV's natural gas hub in Austria, giving it greater access to the Continent's customers, under an agreement signed Friday, Bloomberg News reported.

The two will sell to Germany and Italy through the Baumgarten hub, located near a trunk pipeline from west Siberian natural gas fields.

Via The IHT
On January 17, 2008, The Streetwise Professor observed that
Gazprom/Russia is/are playing smashmouth ball over Serbia’s national oil company. Don Miller and Don Medvedev have presented Serbia with an offer it can’t refuse: to sell Naftna industrija Srbije at a fraction of its true value–and one with an unbelievably short fuse, like, you know, Friday.

In exchange for control of SIJ’s hard assets and guarantees of a monopoly position in Serbia for some period (take that Serbian consumers, Gazprom doesn’t do competition), Gazprom Neft (Gazprom’s oil affiliate) is offering an amount that has been estimated to represent well less than one-half (and perhaps as little as one-quarter) of the Serbian company’s value. The tacit quid pro quo is that Russia will support Serbia on Kosovo–but, if Russian rhetoric is to be believed (yeah, I know) they would do that anyways.

To make the deal look a little less like an abject surrender, Gazprom has also dangled the prospect of giving Serbia a stake in a future gas venture. Word of advice, guys–DON’T BELIEVE IT, and DON’T TAKE IT. Gazprom is the master of what Bob Amsterdam calls “premature contractualization.” That is, announcing deals just in time to forestall projects that are adverse to Gazprom’s interest, and then fading the deal when the threatening competing projects are shelved in response to the Gazprom announcement. Gazprom will whisper sweet promises in anybody’s ear to get what they want, and then renege when it suits them. (Nigeria–you should take note of this, as Gazprom has been wooing you too.)

Gazprom’s stratagem is analogous to a common ploy in the software business. In the 80s and 90s “vaporware” was a commonly employed competitive strategy. A software company would announce a new, improved software product in order to forestall entry by a competitor. Once the potential entrant was scared away, the new software would just fade away into the mists, never to be seen. Gazprom is essentially following this playbook–constantly announcing vaporpipelines, vaporwells, vaporinvestments, vaporstorage, vapor-you-name-it whenever a threatening project is mooted.

So, what Gazprom is offering Serbia is: a pittance in cash plus a pig in a poke in exchange for hard assets right now. Given Gazprom’s record of delivering on its big talk, the Serbs would be well advised to take cash on the barrelhead and take the promises for what they are worth–a little more than nothing.
It would be fair to say that Serbia is the first new province in Putie's Soviet Union Lite. Let's see how long it takes before soon-to-be Soviet Russian Premier Putin directs the new pawns - with their new military advisors - to square off against KFOR, while at the same time, telling the EU that abandoning their NATO obligations would be in their absolute best energy supply interests.

And whether he delivers the message or has his beard, Gazprom poohbah Gerhard Schroeder, do so instead.

See also: How To Attract Foreign Investment (Gazprom and its business partners)

Will the Chimpy McHitlerburton Horrors Ever End? Waterboarding Cows For School Lunches!

It's the perfect storm. We've got the confluence of animal rights wackos, the dastardly interrogation technique that turns leftwing knees into jello and a pet Democrat program all rolled into one.

Possibly the only thing that could make this a four-star bonanza were if it occurred at Club Gitmo.

Too good to be true.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Humane Society of the United States said on Wednesday a California slaughterhouse was using a range of torture including "waterboarding" to prod unfit animals into the slaughterhouse so they could be processed into food that may have ended up in school lunch programs.

The Humane Society displayed a video from its own undercover, six-week investigation that it said showed abuse by workers at the Hallmark Meat Packing Co of Chino, California. However, the name of the plant was not visible in the video.

The video showed workers kicking cows, ramming them with forklift blades, applying electric shocks and even using a hose to simulate the feeling of drowning so the animals would revive long enough to pass federal inspection.

"The attempt was to make them so distressed and to cause them so much suffering that these animals would get up and walk into the slaughterhouse," Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, told reporters,
No word whether they were subject to lights or bad rap music.
"We've heard a lot about waterboarding in 2007 as a torture technique and we saw this applied to these animals where a high pressure hose was put in the mouth and through the nose," he said, referring to a controversial technique used in the past by the CIA in its terrorism interrogation program.

The company was not immediately available for comment but said in a statement that operations had been suspended at the plant and two workers fired.

Pacelle said the plant supplies meat to the Westland Meat Co, which is the second-largest supplier of beef to the USDA Commodity Procurement Program Branch.

This branch distributes beef to needy families, the elderly and to more than 100,000 schools and child-care facilities nationwide under the national school lunch program.
The man who called our troops in Iraq Nazis was immediately available for comment.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, on Wednesday called for an immediate federal investigation into the safety of ground beef used in the school lunch program.

"The treatment of animals in the video is appalling, but more than that it raises significant concerns about the safety of the food being served to our nation's children," Durbin said in a statement.
H/T Shiplord Kirel.

UPDATE: Hot Air links. Thanks. Gateway Pundit also links and has the video.


I'm sure you may have heard the latest anti-Semitic outburst from Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has proclaimed that...

"I advise you to abandon the filthy Zionist entity which has reached the end of the line. It has lost its reason to be and will sooner or later fall. The ones who still support the criminal Zionists should know that the occupiers' days are numbered.''

Now, we all know just how dangerous this man is, as the regime which he heads up seeks to gain nuclear capability. For peaceful purposes, right?

But what is the connection with the MSM's favourite Republican - John McCain?

Well, McCain is using James "F*ck the Jews" Baker and Brent Scowcroft, the man who favours talking to Hamas - as his key foreign policy advisers. Both these men also hold interesting views on how the US should deal with Ahmadinejad's lunatic regime. Scowcroft has warned that the US should not to be belligerent with Iran, whilst the fabulous Baker boy believes that Iran can be a force for stability in the region. (Well, I suppose if wiping Israel off the map constitutes stability then maybe he has a sort of point?) So, both these appeasers of a regime that calls Israel "filthy" and is working to finish what Hitler started are the men that McCain turns to for his foreign policy expertise. Little wonder the MSM loves McCain.

Cross posted on A Tangled Web

Lancet Report on Steroids: Groups Now Claim a Million Dead Iraqis

Here we go again.

Supposedly independent groups issue a "study" claiming wildly inflated death tolls in Iraq and the media dutifully regurgitates it without question.
LONDON (AFP) — More than one million Iraqis have died because of the war in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, according to a study published Wednesday.

A fifth of Iraqi households lost at least one family member between March 2003 and August 2007 due to the conflict, said data compiled by London-based Opinion Research Business (ORB) and its research partner in Iraq, the Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies (IIACSS).

The study based its findings on survey work involving the face-to-face questioning of 2,414 Iraqi adults aged 18 or above, and the last complete census in Iraq in 1997, which indicated a total of 4.05 million households.

Respondents were asked how many members of their household, if any, had died as a result of the violence in the country since 2003, and not because of natural causes.

"We now estimate that the death toll between March 2003 and August 2007 is likely to have been in the order of 1,033,000," ORB said in a statement.
So just what kind of group is the Opinion Research Business?

Well, Michael Fumento notes them in his current item shredding the Lancet study.
Only one source found higher numbers than either Lancet paper – a poll by the British Opinion Research Business (ORB). It claimed in a September 2007 press release that "more than 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens have been murdered since the invasion took place in 2003." (Emphasis added.) The polling ended in August 2007, and the actual alleged death toll was over 1.2 million.

"Murdered" isn't the language of the staid, neutral polling organization that its defenders claim ORB to be. Yet surely only a hardened cynic would assert that ORB's purpose was to make the Lancet figures seem to be in the ballpark despite all other studies showing otherwise.

Or perhaps it wouldn't take a hardened cynic. "The key importance of the [ORB] poll," claimed one leftist British "media watch" organization, "is that it provides strong support for the findings of the 2006 Lancet study, which reported 655,000 deaths."

Yes, they sound rather impartial.

Interesting how this report was released last September and it's being rehashed once again.


Do you remember the good old days when the rotten Soviet Union was crumbling from within? There used to be regular Pravda communication hailing the latest record-breaking run of factor production! Wheat production regularly exceeded all known targets. Nobody believed it, of course, but the Soviets felt obliged to pretend all was well, even as their people starved and their factories melted down.

Now comes the announcement from EU leaders that their
economies are strong and that the fundamentals are secure. Does ANYONE believe this drivel? The EU economies are a mess, and the underlying problem is that none of them can afford to run the welfare statism that characterises their economic infrastructure. Check out the unemployment rates in France or Germany if you want to assess just how solid those fundamentals really are. Britain is as bad, though, and government manipulation of statistics, just like Soviet manipulation of the statistics, does not alter this reality.
Cross posted on A Tangled Web

Silky P Quits Race, AP Sends Love Note

The smarmy snake-oil salesman finally got the message, and the Associated Press sends him off with a gushing love note.

Man, talk about a journalistic tongue-bath.
DENVER - Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies, The Associated Press has learned.
Nedra, baby, get off your knees.
Edwards burst out of the starting gate with a flurry of progressive policy ideas — he was the first to offer a plan for universal health care, the first to call on Congress to pull funding for the war, and he led the charge that lobbyists have too much power in Washington and need to be reigned in.

The ideas were all bold and new for Edwards personally as well, making him a different candidate than the moderate Southerner who ran in 2004 while still in his first Senate term. But the themes were eventually adopted by other Democratic presidential candidates — and even a Republican, Mitt Romney, echoed the call for an end to special interest politics in Washington.
Contrast this slobbering with the account of Rudy Giuliani departing the GOP race.

What media bias?

More on Edwards at Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, and Gateway Pundit, who has a fond farewell video to Silky.

FBI Launches Sub-prime Investigation

The FBI is starting their investigation into the sub-prime lending mess. You are going to hear a lot about lending practices and defaulting loans.

Just remember, these really are two different issues, and confusing them will not lead to a solution.
The FBI is investigating 14 companies embroiled in the sub-prime mortgage crisis as part of a crackdown on improper lending.
It did not identify the companies but said the investigation encompassed developers, sub-prime lenders and investment banks.

FBI officials said the agency was looking at instances of accounting fraud and insider trading.
There very well may be some accounting fraud and other inappropriate activities in the lending industry. But I don't think it had much to do the sub-prime meltdown.
The sub-prime market is focused on providing home loans to those with poor or limited credit histories.

Many of these borrowers have been unable to keep up with payments and face losing their homes.

The wider crisis emerged as many of these mortgages were converted into financial instruments and sold on to investors including the big investment banks.
It is a cold, hard fact that at any given time there are only so many people in the mortgage market who can really afford a mortgage. Years ago, those unqualified mortgage applicants would have been turned down until they improved their financial situation.

But due to political correctness and "red-lining" laws, it has become almost impossible for lending institutions to deny those unqualified applicants today without getting sued for discrimination of one sort or another.

So, lending institutions have shifted to making the risky loans, and then packaging the mortgages into other instruments and selling them off to both avoid getting sued and unload the risky loan, all the while making some nice fee income off the deal.

It's like a bookie taking a risky wager and sloughing pieces of it off on other bookies to dump the risk (not that I would have any direct knowledge of such illegal wagering activity, you understand).

The public is looking for someone to blame now for this mess, so I expect to see some bank CEO's get drawn and quartered on TV in the near future. But if we are really interested in avoiding a repeat of this situation down the road, we have to allow lending institutions to turn down unqualified applicants without getting sued into oblivion.

Once those risky loans are made, it's just a matter of time until a large number of them default.

Swarthy Munchkin: Israel's Days are Numbered

Of course, should Israel launch a pre-emptive strike, they'll be harshly condemned around the globe.

But this little freak can say what he pleases and nobody bats an eyelash.
HARDLINE president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has renewed his verbal attack on Israel, saying its days are numbered and predicting that the "filthy Zionist entity" will fall sooner or later.

"I advise you to abandon the filthy Zionist entity which has reached the end of the line,'' Mr Ahmadinejad today told world powers in a speech in the southern city of Bushehr carried live on the state television.

"It has lost its reason to be and will sooner or later fall,'' he said.

"The ones who still support the criminal Zionists should know that the occupiers' days are numbered.''

The Islamic republic considers Israel its arch enemy, along with the United States, and its hostility towards the Jewish state has deepened since Ahmadinejad became president in 2005.

Mr Ahmadinejad has drawn the ire of the international community by calling for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map and describing the Nazi holocaust a "myth''.
Those who don't greet such statements with a yawn will merely dismiss it as overheated rhetoric, but seriously, the point will soon be reached where Israel will need to aggressively deter these fanatics.

Then Little Mahmoud will realize his days are numbered.

'I have never worked anywhere where morale was so low'

Gee, the hopes were so high, yet now it's all coming unraveled.

Must be the after-effects of the neo-McCarthyite plot.

Apparently, only the Democrats take these people seriously.
Al-Jazeera's troubled English language news channel is facing a "serious staffing crisis" after scores of journalists left or have not had contracts renewed amid claims of a revolt over working conditions.

Staff at the Doha-based 24-hour news channel - which only reached its first birthday in November - have told of a series of issues including the removal of benefits and a lack of pay rises which have led many to resign or look to leave.

The staff unrest comes amid speculation that al-Jazeera English is set to relaunch in the second quarter of this year with new schedules and new studios in Gaza and Nairobi.

According to insiders, resignations have occurred across the board, including the director of human resources, the director of operations, producers, senior camera operators and editors.

One source said that the general belief among staff was that the English language rolling news service "cost so much to set up that they are now cutting costs at the expense of quality and quantity".

There are also renewed reports of tensions between al-Jazeera's Arabic language channel, which has been on air since 1996, and the more recently launched English outlet.

Sources have added that executives on the main Arabic al-Jazeera network are trying to exert more control over the English language outlet, which is mainly staffed by western journalists.

One source said the al-Jazeera editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Hilal, was pushing for the English channel to take a more Islamic slant, quoting the example of the recent furore surrounding British teacher Gillian Gibbons who was arrested in Sudan for allowing her class to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

"He [Hilal] sent an email banning the story from being run on al-Jazeera English because it would upset Muslims," the source added. "It was only covered when there were riots in Sudan."
Shocking, isn't it, that Jihad TV would want and Islamist slant?

Never saw that coming.
Al-Jazeera is also embroiled in two employment disputes, including one in London with the former al-Jazeera English head of planning, Jo Burgin, who is claiming sex, race and religious discrimination.

Sources have said that the Washington-based former financial controller Clive Brady is also taking legal action in the US after being dismissed.

Another source described the working environment at al-Jazeera English as "hateful".

"I have never worked anywhere where morale was so low," one former staff member said. "Some people have worked very hard to produce a channel but there is no recognition whatsoever."
These people pimp themselves out to a network that's an avowed enemy of the West and they're surprised they're treated like this?


We'll leave you with this laugher.
In a statement, he said: "Al-Jazeera's mission and vision has always been based on the values of human dignity, equality, and diversity.

"This applies not only to our coverage but also to our organisation. The commitment to diversity is the reason we have over 2,500 staff and journalists from over 40 different nationalities and from many different faiths working across all parts of the world.

"In a global organisation such as ours all employee grievances have a channel for resolution and we have an open door policy to resolve all issues.
H/T: Different Drummer via the LGF spinoffs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Here's a big wet kiss for McCain

The polls have barely closed but the ads are already ready. This one may be coming to a tv near you tomorrow. It is an anti Hillary, er, McCain ad. hard to tell the difference nowadays.

Here is something for Condi to talk about the next time she talks to the Saudis

The father of a 16-year-old boy — who was executed last year following his arrest three years ago at the age of 13 in connection with the death of a young boy in Jizan — is seeking justice claiming his son was unjustly killed.

You can just add this to the long list of heinous acts carried out in the kingdom in the name of justice. These are the people who somehow the left in this country tell us have the "high moral ground". The next time some liberal plays the Bush is Hitler card point him to this story.
“I want justice. I will not rest until I get it,” Al-Hakami told Arab News, speaking about his son who was beheaded on July 10 last year. To add to his pain, Al-Hakami only learned that his son had been executed a few days later and till this day does not know where his body is buried.

The High Cost of Inflation ... and A Few Other Factors: Haitians Reduced to Eating Mud

Surely, someone will blame this on global warming. There certainly are residual effects on Hispaniola from the hurricanes in 2007, but Haiti in particular has been a hellhole for so long, it's a wonder whether it can ever function properly.

Either was you cut it, this should not be happening in the civilized world.

Poor Haitians resort to eating dirt
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

"When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day," Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.

Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. "When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too," she said.

Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well.

The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places.

The global price hikes, together with floods and crop damage from the 2007 hurricane season, prompted the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency to declare states of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean countries. Caribbean leaders held an emergency summit in December to discuss cutting food taxes and creating large regional farms to reduce dependence on imports.
Believe it or not, some say eating dirt isn't all that bad.
Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.

When Real Life Interrupts

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Boston Globe sportswriter and ESPN personality Bob Ryan, whose son Keith Ryan was found dead of an apparent suicide in Pakistan Monday.

Just awful news.
Growing up in Hingham, Keith Ryan held his political beliefs so strongly that he seemed like a real-life version of a popular TV character who was considerably more conservative than everyone else in his household.

"We used to kid when he was in high school that it was like 'Family Ties' -- he was Alex Keaton," said Mr. Ryan's father, Bob, a sports columnist for the Globe.

His political convictions brought Mr. Ryan into a career of federal service, which ultimately led to Pakistan, where he was an attache for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, based in Islamabad. Mr. Ryan apparently took his life, according to the US State Department, and was found today in his Islamabad residence. He was 37 and was about to return home to visit his wife and three children in Silver Spring, Md.

"As anyone who has been confronted with the suicide of a family member can tell you, the only word to describe the sensation is devastated," Bob Ryan said. "We will always have questions."

The US Embassy in Pakistan issued a statement praising Mr. Ryan, who, his father said, had been stationed in Islamabad since December 2006.

"Mr. Ryan was a well-respected, trusted, and longtime member of the US Mission in Pakistan," the statement said. "His death is a great loss.
Meanwhile another noted ESPN figure, the Washington Post's and Pardon the Interruption's Michael Wilbon, apparently suffered a minor heart attack Monday.
Michael Wilbon, the famed Washington Post sports columnist and co-host of ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption", suffered a minor heart attack early Monday morning.

According to reports, Wilbon complained of chest pains to his wife around 3 a.m. She then took him to the hospital. Doctors found minor blockage in his heart and performed an angioplasty, which successfully removed the blockage.
We wish him the best for a speedy recovery.

The Moment We've Been Waiting For: Abu Ghraib Documentary to Premiere

You get the feeling the left will still be carping about the alleged horrors of Abu Ghraib 150 years from now.

You don't see any celebrity documentaries about the mass killings of Saddam Hussein. You hear diddly squat about the hundreds of annual public executions in Iran.

The murder and imprisonment of political prisoners in Cuba?


But a few soldiers get out of hand, pose with prisoners and put panties on their heads? Why it's nonstop coverage for five years, now culminating in a documentary, which is sure to sweep up awards and accolades worldwide, just because it makes us looks bad.

Abu Ghraib documentary in Berlin premiere
A FILM about the prisoner abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail will become the first documentary ever to enter the competition at the Berlin Film Festival next month, organisers said overnight.

Standard Operating Procedure by Oscar-winning director Errol Morris uses recovered footage, reenactments and the notorious photographs published round the world to shed light on the sexual and physical abuse of Iraqi inmates by US troops at the notorious prison outside Baghdad.

"It kept us glued to our seats," Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick said of the film ahead of the February 7 to 17 event.

"The known facts are presented in a way like you have never seen them before. That is the best thing a documentary can do."

Morris, who will turn 60 next month, won an Academy Award for his incisive 2003 documentary The Fog of War about former US Defence Secretary Robert McNamara.

His films The Thin Blue Line about the death penalty in the United States and A Brief History of Time on the disabled British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking were also international successes.

Mr Kosslick said the line-up of the 58th Berlinale would be less political than in recent years and focus on music in cinema.
Yes, it will be less political by presenting this documentary and bashing George W. Bush over the head once again.

Carnival Float 'Commemorates' Holocaust

Nothing quite brings out the festive mood of Carnival down in Brazil like a float depicting images of the Holocaust.

Seriously folks, there's a time and place to observe the Holocaust, and this isn't it.
A Carnival float with a pile of model dead bodies commemorating the Holocaust is causing unease before the lavish parades in Rio de Janeiro this weekend.

The Viradouro samba organization, or school, plans to feature the grim display when it marches in the Sambadrome parade strip on Sunday, despite objections from a local Jewish group.

"Really, it makes no sense addressing this theme with drums and dancing girls," said Sergio Niskier, president of the Israelite Federation in Rio de Janeiro state, referring to the slaughter of Jews by Nazi Germany in World War Two.

"There are still survivors of that horror who have the marks of that tragedy on their skin," he said.

Rio's Carnival is famed for the parades by samba schools with glitzy floats and costumes and street parties where costumed revelers drink and dance all night.

The elaborately decorated floats are a key part of each samba school's presentation, along with thousands of dancers and drummers led by near naked Carnival queens.

Viradouro insisted its Holocaust float is not meant to offend anyone.


To any objective observer, Al Jazeera is the broadcasting arm of the Jihadists.

It has continually attacked the integrity of our military, it has broadcast the disgusting decapitation videos, and lied about the Jihad. It is the modern day equivalent of the Nazi broadcasting that took place in WW2 - the name of their game is relentless propaganda aimed at undermining our side. So, naturally enough, Al Jazeera has been the best seat in the house for the State of the Union address. Yes, a very special place just a few steps away from the House Democrat Whips Office has been been reserved for Osama's little helpers. Makes you feel proud, eh? Al Jazeera should be BANNED from this event. They are the enemy within though perhaps the Dem's feel a deep affinity with them

Peaceful Religious Man Admits to Plot to Behead Solider 'Like a Pig'

And here all this time I though Islamists were offended by pigs?

Briton admits plot to behead Muslim soldier

Of course, the headline is just a wee bit misleading, since it was one Muslim who planned to kill another.
A man has pleaded guilty to a plot to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier, a court was told on Tuesday.

Parviz Khan, a 37-year-old Briton, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a series of charges including the beheading plot which was thwarted by police and the MI5 security service a year ago.

Media had previously been barred from reporting Khan's plea until Tuesday, when a trial of two other men opened in the central English city of Leicester.

Prosecutor Nigel Rumfitt told the jury Khan was "a man who has the most violent and extreme Islamist views", and at the centre of a Birmingham-based network gathering money and equipment to send to Pakistan for the use of "terrorists".
Why the quotes around the word terrorists?
He also wanted to get himself involved in acts of terrorism, Rumfitt said.

"He was enraged by the idea that there are Muslim soldiers in the British army," the prosecutor continued, adding that Khan had decided to kidnap such a soldier with the help of drug dealers operating in Birmingham.
Seems as if it doesn't take much to "enrage" these people.
"He would be taken to a lockup garage and there he would be murdered by having his head cut off like a pig. This atrocity would be filmed," Rumfitt said.
Such lovely people.

Monuments To Her Nazi Past

Honoring Nazi victims as witnesses fade

Most countries celebrate the best in their past. Germany unrelentingly promotes its worst.

The enormous Holocaust memorial that dominates a chunk of central Berlin was completed only after years of debate. But the building of monuments to the Nazi disgrace continues unabated. On Monday, the German minister of culture, Bernd Neumann, announced that construction could begin in Berlin on two monuments, one near the Reichstag to slain members of the gypsy groups, known here as the Sinti and Roma, and another not far from the Brandenburg Gate to gays and lesbians killed in the Holocaust.

In November they broke ground on the long-delayed Topography of Terror center at the site of the former Gestapo and SS headquarters. And in October, a huge new exhibition opened at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. At the Dachau camp outside Munich, a new visitor center opens this summer. The city of Erfurt is planning a museum dedicated to the crematoriums. There are currently two competing exhibitions about the role of the German railroads in delivering millions to their deaths.

This Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party taking power in Germany, which remarkably has prompted yet a new round of soul-searching.

"Where in the world has one ever seen a nation that erects memorials to immortalize its own shame?" said Avi Primor, the former Israeli ambassador to Germany, at an event commemorating the Holocaust and the liberation of Auschwitz on Friday in Erfurt. "Only the Germans had the bravery and the humility."


RĂ¼diger Nemitz first began welcoming back this city's exiled victims of Nazi tyranny, the overwhelming majority of them Jews, in 1969. Berlin flies its former citizens, mostly Jews, back for a week of fully expense-paid visits, complete with a reception by the mayor.

The Invitation Program for Former Persecuted Citizens of Berlin, which has brought roughly 33,000 people for visits to the city, once had 12 full-time staff members. Now it is just Nemitz and another half-time employee.

The program is not, however, winding down due to waning support for commemoration of Germany's difficult past. To the contrary, at a time when the nearly-broke Berlin city government has had to make deep cutbacks in other areas, Nemitz said that every single political party in the city Parliament supported the program and had not pared back its budget of €550,000, or about $815,000, for flights, hotels and tours since at least 2000.

"When it started, they were grown-ups. Now, it's people with hardly any memory of Berlin," said Nemitz, 61, from his office on the ground floor of the Berlin City Hall. "Those who come today were children then."

The visits will end in either 2010 or 2011, Nemitz estimated, because there are so few victims left.


As the contact to the events becomes more remote, less personal, it raises the question of how a society should enshrine its crimes and transgressions over the longer term.

"I can't help but feeling that some of the continued 'Let's build monuments. Let's build Jewish museums,' is a fairly ritualized behavior," said Susan Neiman, director of the Einstein Forums in Potsdam, an international public research organization.

Her own children, she said, are saturated with discussions of the Holocaust and no longer want to hear about it.

"I worry terribly that it's going to backfire," she said.


When insufficient care is taken around the history, it immediately grabs national attention. In Munich this past weekend, a traditional carnival season parade overlapped with the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, celebrated every year on Jan. 27. The result was a nationwide flood of negative publicity for the city. Charlotte Knobloch, head of Germany's national Jewish organization, said that it "dishonors and insults the victims."

"There was no conscious affront," said Stefan Hauf, a spokesman for the city. He explained that they would have changed the date of the parade as the smaller city of Regensburg had, but too many participants were flying in from other countries to make the change on such short notice.

"The date has been on the public calendar since last May," Hauf said.
And not a soul working for the city was aware of the significance of January 27th??? My . . . Heinie . . . ass you didn't know.
Munich played a special role in Nazi history. It is where the National Socialist party rose to prominence and was the location of the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, the failed coup attempt enshrined in Nazi myth. Hitler eventually declared the city the "Capital of the Movement." Unlike Berlin, which has developed a reputation as a city with a memorial practically on every street corner, Munich has often been criticized for playing down its history.

"Munich was the capital of the movement. Since 1945 it's been the capital of forgetting," said Wolfram Kastner, an artist who said he has fought the city government over the years for permits and permission to use performance art to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.


Read it all at International Herald Tribune

Monday, January 28, 2008

Honoring The Victims

Teenagers of all faiths remember Holocaust

The warmth which encompassed every faith community in Liverpool yesterday embraced elderly survivors of the Holocaust and victims' relatives at a memorial concert in the city. There to welcome them were teenage Jews, Christians, Hindus and - for the first time in an official capacity - Muslims who had been on a "walk of faith" to call for tolerance, friendship, and the sanctity of individual life.

"The Holocaust was not so much six million deaths as one death six million times," said the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, taking up the theme which won Liverpool the honour of hosting National Holocaust Memorial Day this year.

He and Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Commonwealth chief rabbi, prayed together by a huge heap of spectacles, sent to Liverpool town hall from across the world and piled on a set of railway tracks like the infamous ones at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

"This is the darkness," said Liverpool councillor Tina Gould, who worked for a year to organise the mixture of religious service, music, poetry and drama, before visiting Auschwitz earlier this month. "As a Jew and as someone who loves Liverpool, I find it very hard to bear. But look, here is the light."

She opened one of the big, mahogany doors of the town hall and colour flooded in from thousands of paper butterflies - an age-old symbol of the human spirit - made by children in honour of named individuals who died in the Nazi camps.

The main commemoration at the Philharmonic Hall, on Hope Street, which unites the two once warring cathedrals, also dealt in names rather than numbers. The packed audience listened to music by Hans Krasa, who died at Auschwitz, and Hans Gal, who escaped and ended up in Liverpool interned as an "enemy alien" during the war, but was shown around the city by friendly Scouser guards.

Martin Bell, the former independent MP and BBC reporter in the Balkans, then introduced the true story of Bosko and Admira, the Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo whose love was destroyed by the hatred between Serbs and Bosnians.

Tahira, 15, a Muslim who joined Catholic, Anglican and Hindu teenagers on the faith walk, said: "That is what we must prevent, and we do it by meeting together and making friends - simple, and just what we do in Liverpool's youth council."

Via The Guardian

See also: Liverpool Hosts Holocaust Memorial Day

H/T NYNana

Rove Derangement Syndrome Seeps Down to High School Level

Chances are strong most of these kids have no idea who Karl Rove is, and it was probably their whiny parents who complained.

Apparently others wanted an alleged comedian to be there instead.

Might help if they learned a little tolerance and developed some open-minded appreciation for those they may not disagree with.

As if.
Following protests from students, former presidential adviser Karl Rove has withdrawn as this year's commencement speaker at a prestigious prep school, the school's headmaster said Monday.

The choice of Rove as speaker for the June commencement at Choate Rosemary Hall had led some students to plan to walk out of the ceremony. Others had sought to bring comedian Stephen Colbert to campus for an alternate speech.

Instead of commencement, Rove now will speak at the school on Feb. 11, headmaster Edward J. Shanahan said. Shanahan said he will deliver the commencement address at the school, the alma mater of John F. Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson.

Shanahan said he had asked seniors for their opinions on the proposed commencement speech and many said they wanted to hear from Rove - but at some time other than commencement.

He said they also were concerned that outsiders might disrupt graduation if Rove appeared in June.
Ah yes, the dreaded outsiders. Read: Obnoxious leftwing pinheads.
In an e-mail to students and staff Monday, Shanahan quoted Rove as saying: "I would not want 12 minutes of remarks to be used as an excuse by a small group to mar what should be a wonderful day of celebration for the members of the 2008 graduating class and their families, so I am delighted to instead accept Choate's invitation to speak on campus Feb. 11."

"He was more than understanding," Shanahan wrote to the students. "He was gracious and generous in his thinking about you and 'your day.'"
Far more gracious that those who would rather he remain silent.


Oh it's not ME that's saying that. Well, not today anyway!( I've been saying that ever since the 11th September 2001)

But I wanted to share the news with you that an “overwhelming majority” of Europeans apparently believe immigration from Islamic countries is a threat to their traditional way of life, a survey revealed last night. The poll, carried out across 21 countries, found “widespread anti-immigration sentiment”, but warned Europe’s Muslim population will treble in the next 17 years. It reported “a severe deficit of trust is found between the Western and Muslim communities”, with most people wanting less interaction with the Muslim world. Who can blame them?
Let's think about that trebling of the number of Muslims in Europe to 15% in the next 17 years. I reckon that means we will have around 50 MILLION Muslims in the EU. Mmm - that's like Spain and Portugal being 100% Muslim. Can you imagine the pressure those burgeoning numbers will have on the already craven political class? If you think they are dhimmis now, just imagine what they will be like in the future. The shadow of the Islamic crescent grows larger by the day over Europe and given that many young Muslims (the future) refuse to integrate into our societies , a massive problem is building up here. What will relieve the pressure?

Cross posted on A Tangled Web.

Say It Ain't So, al-Goracle!

Some would think that they'd fall into line, eh. But Canadian scientists - that is, real scientists, eh, have hosed one of the linchpins of al-Gore's 'global warming' junk science. Doing so at the site where al-Gore says there's irrefutable, on-the-ground evidence that Bushchimphitler 'global warming' wreaked havoc in 2005 makes it ever so sweet.

Physicist questions climate change finding

No evidence in Canadian skies to back U.S. theory of jet condensation trails, York U. professor says

NEW ORLEANS – A York University professor has ignited a controversy by challenging a supposed prime example of man-made climate change – that jet condensation trails, know as contrails, act like clouds, cooling the Earth during the day and keeping it warmer at night.

Physicist William van Wijngaarden says he found no evidence to support this climate effect in Canadian temperature records for the contrail-free days immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

That contrasts with a 2002 study by U.S. researchers that concluded the temperature spread between day and night over the lower 48 states increased by 1.5C over long-term averages between Sept. 11 and 14 in 2001, when commercial air flights were mostly grounded over North America.

Those results initially reinforced theories that thin jet contrails may spread out over large areas for days, becoming invisible from the ground but still blocking infrared radiation, or heat.

Their absence would mean lower temperatures at night as more heat escaped the Earth. It could also mean higher daytime temperatures since the contrails weren't there to reduce the sun's rays.

This double whammy would increase the span between daytime highs and nighttime lows, called the diurnal temperature range.

Heralded as evidence from a "natural laboratory," the U.S. findings after 9/11 have been widely quoted as demonstrating short-term human impact on climate, since the birth of jet travel in the 1950s, as opposed to the longer buildup of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

"There's been a lot of groupthink going on about this," Wijngaarden said in an interview in New Orleans at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society.

The York researcher said he decided to double-check the U.S. findings because the claimed temperature rise was so large, almost equal to the global average temperature increase from greenhouse warming.

"If it was that big, then I ought to have been able to see it in Canada," he said.

But when he examined the spread between day and night temperatures from 112 weather stations across Canada for Sept. 8 to 17 in 2001, there wasn't a spike during the no-fly period.

In Canada, commercial flights were grounded entirely for 48 hours after the terrorist attacks and were about a third of normal levels for the next 24 hours.

Yet the diurnal temperature range for September 2001 across Canada fell well within the long-term average from 1977 to 2005.

The absence of any contrail effect held true even for the 34 weather stations in Canada below the 50-degree latitude, where jet flights are normally most intense.

Instead, Wijngaarden found the temperature range at stations across southern Canada both increased and decreased in the contrail-free days after the post 9-11

"The American researchers need to look a bit harder at the original data," Wijngaarden said.

The lead researcher on the original U.S. study told the Star yesterday that the negative results from Canada don't necessarily undermine his group's findings.

"It's possible that Canada simply doesn't have a high enough density of jet traffic for contrails to make any difference," said David Travis, a geography professor at the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater.

But Travis said he had not realized Pearson Airport has been ranked 20th busiest airport in the world measured by takeoffs and landings.

Wijngaarden travelled in person to New Orleans to explain his controversial findings at the largest gathering of meteorologists and climate experts in the world.

"If I wasn't here, people might say I was chickening out," he said.

al-Gore was busy in his office doing paperwork and was unavailable for comment.

Previously: Wait a minute, I thought the science was settled?

Also at A Tangled Web

Building Bridges Rather Than Driving Off Them: Fat Drunk From Taxachusetts Endorses Barry O

Just watch it, Barack. Between The Swimmer and the Clintons, there's a long trail of, um, accidents, so make sure the Secret Service is on full alert.
Two generations of Kennedys—the Democratic Party's best known political family—endorsed Barack Obama for president on Monday, with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy calling him a "man with extraordinary gifts of leadership and character," a worthy heir to his assassinated brother.

"I feel change in the air. What about you?" Kennedy said in a speech salted with scarcely veiled criticism of Obama's chief rival for the nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as her husband, the former president.

Kennedy's endorsement was ardently sought by all three of the remaining presidential contenders, and he delivered it at a pivotal time in the race. A liberal lion in his fifth decade in the Senate, the Massachusetts senator is in a position to help Obama court Hispanic voters as well as rank-and-file members of labor unions, two key elements of the Democratic Party.

He is expected to campaign actively for Obama in the eight days leading up to next Tuesday's delegate-rich primaries and caucuses across 24 states, beginning later this week in Arizona, New Mexico and California.

The senator made his comments at a crowded campaign rally at American University that took on the appearances of a Kennedy family embrace of Obama.

He was introduced by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late president, who said Obama "offers that same sense of hope and inspiration" as did her father. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, son of the senator, also offered his support.

In is own remarks, Kennedy sought one by one to rebut many of the arguments leveled by Obama's critics.

"From the beginning, he opposed the war in Iraq. And let no one deny that truth," he said, an obvious reference to former President Clinton's statement that Obama's early anti-war stance was a "fairy tale."

"With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion.

"With Barack Obama we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay," Kennedy said.
So the Democrats are going to stop pitting the race against race? Sure.

They'll stop playing the gender card? Sure.

They're stop using gays as mascots to bash people with? Sure.

Oh, that's just for Democrats?

You can bet every nickel you have Kennedy will just lie with impunity and misrepresent everything the GOP says.

And naturally, the media will let him get away with it.

It will be most curious to see the next card the increasingly desperate Clintons now play.

Next to the Kennedys, getting the endorsement of Janet Reno isn't exactly a big deal.

UPDATE: Suitably Flip and Gateway Pundit link. Thanks!

UPDATE II: You've got to be kidding me. Via Hot Air.

Michael Moore's Freedom Fighters Using Children as Human Bombs

Earlier this month we noted how the pathetic band of fanatics known as al Qaeda was reduced to using old ladies as homicide bombers.

Now these noble religious men ordained as freedom fighters by the porcine propagandist Michael Moore are using kids as young as 15 to carry out their murderous ways.

At this rate, even the leftwingers who sympathize with these scumbags might have to give second thought to why we're actually fighting the monsters.
BAGHDAD: Al-Qa'ida is using teenagers as suicide bombers in Iraq, a US military spokesman said yesterday, as an influential Sunni cleric urged the jihadists to stop "strapping bombs to children".

The comments came as Iraqi troops and tanks rolled into Mosul to boost forces for a huge offensive against al-Qa'ida after deadly bombings in the restive northern city in the past week killed dozens, among them a police chief.

Rear Admiral Gregory Smith said two suicide attacks in Iraq in the past week had been carried out by 15-year-olds.

"We are not sure whether one of these children even knew he was being used to deliver a bomb," the US military spokesman said.

One attack was carried out at a funeral ceremony near Tikrit, executed dictator Saddam Hussein's home town north of Baghdad, and the other was at a school in Mosul, Admiral Smith said.

He gave no details of the two bombings. Iraqi police said 17 people died in a January 21 suicide blast at the funeral near Tikrit for a relative of an Iraqi police colonel.

"Al-Qa'ida in Iraq is trying to brainwash children with hate and death ... they seek to create a culture of violence, hate and despair," Admiral Smith said.
Yeah, but are they using sleep deprivation techniques or, God forbid, putting panties on the heads of prisoners?

Of course not. They chop people's heads off instead.
"(They) are sending 15-year-old boys on suicide missions to spread death and helplessness."

Ninety per cent of "suicide murders inflicted on Iraqi people are committed by foreign fighters brought in by al-Qa'ida in Iraq to spread destruction," Admiral Smith said.

His comments came as moderate but influential Sunni leader Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarraie accused the al-Qa'ida-linked Islamic State of Iraq of committing the "worst crimes against our people".

"They have killed thousands of thinkers, dozens of scholars, tens of thousands of innocent people in horrifying ways," Sheik Samarraie said in a statement. The jihadists were "strapping bombs to children and sending them into gatherings and mourning ceremonies".

"They feel happy with these killings. They deceived young people to attach bombs to their bodies to explode themselves to go allegedly to paradise," he said, appealing to Islamic scholars around the world to declare such attacks as contrary to Sharia law.
Editors from The Lancet and The New York Times were unavailable for comment.

How Convenient: Demoted Figure in Spitzer Dirty Tricks Scandal Gets Mystery Promotion

We won't yet call this witness tampering, but it sure stinks to high heaven.

We will, however, call it business as usual with the ethically-challenged Spitzer administration.
TOP aides to Gov. Spitzer have secretly promoted a central figure in the Dirty Tricks Scandal who was demoted last summer after his involvement was revealed, The Post has learned.

The unannounced promotion of William Howard, Spitzer's former homeland-security advisor and liaison to the State Police, occurred this month, although Howard is expected to testify in connection with several scandal-related investigations.

The promotion, to acting chief of staff of the Homeland Security Office, was approved around the same time a top scandal investigator with ties to Spitzer was secretly granted a hefty pay raise after only a few months on the job.

"Howard's promotion is startling, because it looks like it is part of a pattern designed to influence the [scandal] investigation," said a Spitzer-administration source.

Howard was demoted from his $175,900-a-year post last July after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo confirmed The Post's disclosure that top Spitzer aides had used the State Police in a plot to damage Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, the governor's chief Republican opponent.

Howard's pay was cut to $155,000 a year, and he was transferred from the Governor's Office at the state Capitol to a secondary post at the Homeland Security Office.

He is expected to receive "a significant raise," a source added.

News of the promotion was all "the buzz" at a homeland-security forum held last week by the state's Business Council. His new title appeared on the list of speakers.

Howard could not be reached for comment.
Naturally. Though I'm sure he could easily be reached when Spitzer needs a favor.

With Democrats running the show in New York, expect them to simply try and milk the clock on this. If only some other media outlets outside of the New York Post would pay any attention (looking at you, NY Times), this might get somewhere.
His promotion comes just weeks after Herbert Teitelbaum, executive director of the Spitzer-controlled Public Integrity Commission, which is probing the scandal, was granted a $15,000-a-year raise and time to take a 21/2-week South American vacation after only a few months on the job.

Last October, Darren Dopp, a key scandal figure suspended in the wake of the Cuomo report, was hired at increased pay and, according to sources, with Spitzer's approval, by lobbyist Patricia Lynch.

A few weeks later, Teitelbaum's commission said Dopp, the governor's former communications director, may have committed perjury when he released what Spitzer claimed was a sworn statement about the scandal.
It must be great to have that D after your name.

French Bank Trainwreck

What a surprise! The French bank Societe General is now painting themselves as a victim in their own trading scandal.

French trader 'concealed deals'
The trader at the centre of an investigation into losses at Societe Generale has admitted to hiding deals, according to the Paris prosecutor.
Jerome Kerviel told police he concealed his actions to "appear like an exceptional trader and earn higher bonuses", the prosecutor said.

Last week, Societe Generale revealed a 4.9bn-euro ($7.1bn; £3.7bn) loss, which it blamed on Mr Kerviel.
Bank management puts it this way:
Speaking on French radio, Daniel Bouton, chief executive of Societe Generale, said: "This fraud has been committed by a great pretender, who has succeeded in navigating the many sophisticated control systems that we have, to permanently conceal what he was doing, while also going about his normal activities."
Let me be clear, this guy Kerviel deserves everything they can throw at him shy of the chair. But having said that, how do you hide deals this big for this long?

How could they have "many sophisticated control systems" and be taken like this?

Because their controls were deficient or nonexistent, that's why.

Here is how a good internal control is supposed to work. In my own professional investing activities, when I make a trade I keep my own log of my activities and give a trading ticket made up by myself to a third party who reports to somebody else, and who keeps track of all this and internally audits the results.

The original trade tickets and original account statements then go to this third party who reconciles everything and ensures that the trades were conducted per existing law and policy and as I logged in to begin with.

On a regular basis, we reconcile our two journals and the original statements to make sure everything matches. I also give the third party a heads up before each future trade so they know what is coming.

All of this is then regularly reviewed by an independent auditor who cross-examines me on any trades they feel like to ensure that I adhered to the rules. The auditor then reports to my Board of Directors on all investment activities.

So you have not only a watchman, but somebody watching the watchman.

The bottom line is, for me to ever trade against the rules, I would need to have a conspiracy with both the third party verifier and the independent auditor for it to not get caught but quick.

Not going to happen.

Getting back to the French scandal, my guess is some others at the bank had an idea what was going on, but looked the other way as long as they thought a profit was there.

Now that the stuff has hit the fan, nobody knows anything.