I am a traitor to the planet!

June 30, 2009

Sounds cool doesn’t it, the kind of thing a supervillain would say as he reveals his dastardly plot and promises to destroy us all? With obligatory maniacal laughter, of course. Devil

Sadly, the truth isn’t nearly so cool: I don’t get a bizarre spandex outfit, I don’t have a hidden Evil Headquarters, and I don’t have Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy hanging off my arms. (Dang!) Instead, according to the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, I have betrayed Mother Earth and her High Priest Al Gore because I, along with the 212 member of the House of Representatives with some sense left, opposed the Waxman-Markey global warming cap-and-tax bill:

So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

Krugman, himself a model of mendacity, then goes on to cite supposed evidence that damns global warming skeptics (who, by the way, are deserving of show trials for their heresy) as immoral and irresponsible. Let’s look at one in particular:

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking,…

Um, no, actually, they’re not. According to corrected data from Nansen, the sea-ice extent for April and May of this year at the North Pole was nearly normal. For some historical perspective on polar ice variations, Watts Up With That has a great article you should read – and so should Captain Hysteria Paul Krugman.

(By the way, the Antarctic ice shelves show no sign of climate change, either.)

The rest of the article is filled with similar alarmist hyperbole masquerading as facts, all meant to scare the public into demanding something be done NOW!, before it’s too late – even if the evidence doesn’t justify it. (Cultists of the High Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming like to say the scientific consensus is settled, but the truth is far different.) I haven’t the time to deconstruct all Krugman’s rantings, but I can recommend the following sites as good places to follow for hard looks at the “science” of global warming:

Krugman’s article is typical of the left-liberal, statist mindset: government is the only vehicle for fairly allocating resources, so we need a problem so vast, so imminent, and so threatening that it justifies a massive government intervention in the economy and our private lives. And if skeptics should point out inconvenient truths, well, they’re just traitors, all of them.

Dr. Johnson once said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. These days, he might have included environmentalism, too.

LINKS: Fellow traitor Tom Maguire tugs on Captain Hysteria’s cape.

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I am a traitor to the planet!

June 30, 2009

Sounds cool doesn't it, the kind of thing a supervillain would say as he reveals his dastardly plot and promises to destroy us all? With obligatory maniacal laughter, of course. Devil

Sadly, the truth isn't nearly so cool: I don't get a bizarre spandex outfit, I don't have a hidden Evil Headquarters, and I don't have Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy hanging off my arms. (Dang!) Instead, according to the New York Times' Paul Krugman, I have betrayed Mother Earth and her High Priest Al Gore because I, along with the 212 member of the House of Representatives with some sense left, opposed the Waxman-Markey global warming cap-and-tax bill:

So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

Krugman, himself a model of mendacity, then goes on to cite supposed evidence that damns global warming skeptics (who, by the way, are deserving of show trials for their heresy) as immoral and irresponsible. Let's look at one in particular:

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking,…

Um, no, actually, they're not. According to corrected data from Nansen, the sea-ice extent for April and May of this year at the North Pole was nearly normal. For some historical perspective on polar ice variations, Watts Up With That has a great article you should read – and so should Captain Hysteria Paul Krugman.

(By the way, the Antarctic ice shelves show no sign of climate change, either.)

The rest of the article is filled with similar alarmist hyperbole masquerading as facts, all meant to scare the public into demanding something be done NOW!, before it's too late – even if the evidence doesn't justify it. (Cultists of the High Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming like to say the scientific consensus is settled, but the truth is far different.) I haven't the time to deconstruct all Krugman's rantings, but I can recommend the following sites as good places to follow for hard looks at the "science" of global warming:

Krugman's article is typical of the left-liberal, statist mindset: government is the only vehicle for fairly allocating resources, so we need a problem so vast, so imminent, and so threatening that it justifies a massive government intervention in the economy and our private lives. And if skeptics should point out inconvenient truths, well, they're just traitors, all of them.

Dr. Johnson once said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. These days, he might have included environmentalism, too.

LINKS: Fellow traitor Tom Maguire tugs on Captain Hysteria's cape. Sister Toldjah is a traitor, too. In fact, 41% of the country are traitors. Treason! Treason against Holy Gaea everywhere!


Congratulations Iraq

June 29, 2009

Today is tomorrow in Iraq, Tuesday, the 30th of June, which has been declared a national holiday because it is the day the United States formally hands over responsibility for the security of all Iraqi cities to the Iraqi government and security forces:

Iraqi forces officially assumed control of Baghdad and other cites across the country early Tuesday, following the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from urban areas. Celebrations in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, include music, dance and poetry.

Iraqi government TV has been playing patriotic music to celebrate the U.S. military withdrawal from cities, towns and villages across the country, officially set to be completed by Tuesday June 30th.

Iraqi military vehicles were also covered with flowers to celebrate the event, and military parades, complete with band music, were organized in Diyala and Diwania provinces.

The government declared a "Day of National Sovereignty" to mark the event, and has invited ordinary citizens to join evening celebrations at Baghdad's Zawra Park for a festival of music and poetry.

Interior Minister Jawad Boulani told journalists the U.S. withdrawal is almost complete and Iraqi forces are capable of maintaining order across the country.

As I recall, Diyala and Diwania were scenes of heavy fighting from 2005-2007, yet now they're gearing up for concerts and a poetry festival. I'd call that a win, wouldn't you, Senator Reid?

Minister Boulani expressed the opinion that Iraqi forces are now up to maintaining internal security. I hope he's right. There's been a disturbing rise in violence as the Americans began to pull back, including pogroms against homosexuals and Christians, not to mention a rise in bombings in Baghdad and Kirkuk. Clearly the coming months and years will be a test for the Iraqi government and security forces to see if they can not only guarantee public order, but equally to all Iraqis.

I have confidence in Iraq and the Iraqis, however. Since liberation in 2003, they've faced incredibly difficult circumstances and always come through: I still marvel at the success of the elections of 2005 and forest of purple fingers raised in pride. They've written a constitution (and stuck to it), and they're adapting to the freewheeling style of democratic parliamentary politics. Sure, there have been frustrating setbacks and delays, but with each success Iraq takes another step toward becoming the first real democracy in the Arab world, and example that could revolutionize the region — and perhaps the power of this example is already being felt in neighboring Iran.

I hope somewhere former President Bush is taking satisfaction in this moment; he earned it, and I hope Iraqis tomorrow remember to toast him with a raised glass of sweet tea. Without his decision to invade and overthrow Saddam Hussein in the first place and then to risk everything on the success of the surge in 2007, we wouldn't be at this moment, and Iraq would likely still be a Hell-hole.

But it isn't, and that's a reason to celebrate. Party

LINKS: More at Hot Air, Sister Toldjah.


Congratulations Iraq

June 29, 2009

Today is tomorrow in Iraq, Tuesday, the 30th of June, which has been declared a national holiday because it is the day the United States formally hands over responsibility for the security of all Iraqi cities to the Iraqi government and security forces:

Iraqi forces officially assumed control of Baghdad and other cites across the country early Tuesday, following the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from urban areas. Celebrations in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, include music, dance and poetry.

Iraqi government TV has been playing patriotic music to celebrate the U.S. military withdrawal from cities, towns and villages across the country, officially set to be completed by Tuesday June 30th.

Iraqi military vehicles were also covered with flowers to celebrate the event, and military parades, complete with band music, were organized in Diyala and Diwania provinces.

The government declared a "Day of National Sovereignty" to mark the event, and has invited ordinary citizens to join evening celebrations at Baghdad’s Zawra Park for a festival of music and poetry.

Interior Minister Jawad Boulani told journalists the U.S. withdrawal is almost complete and Iraqi forces are capable of maintaining order across the country.

As I recall, Diyala and Diwania were scenes of heavy fighting from 2005-2007, yet now they’re gearing up for concerts and a poetry festival. I’d call that a win, wouldn’t you, Senator Reid?

Minister Boulani expressed the opinion that Iraqi forces are now up to maintaining internal security. I hope he’s right. There’s been a disturbing rise in violence as the Americans began to pull back, including pogroms against homosexuals and Christians, not to mention a rise in bombings in Baghdad and Kirkuk. Clearly the coming months and years will be a test for the Iraqi government and security forces to see if they can not only guarantee public order, but equally to all Iraqis.

I have confidence in Iraq and the Iraqis, however. Since liberation in 2003, they’ve faced incredibly difficult circumstances and always come through: I still marvel at the success of the elections of 2005 and forest of purple fingers raised in pride. They’ve written a constitution (and stuck to it), and they’re adapting to the freewheeling style of democratic parliamentary politics. Sure, there have been frustrating setbacks and delays, but with each success Iraq takes another step toward becoming the first real democracy in the Arab world, and example that could revolutionize the region — and perhaps the power of this example is already being felt in neighboring Iran.

I hope somewhere former President Bush is taking satisfaction in this moment; he earned it, and I hope Iraqis tomorrow remember to toast him with a raised glass of sweet tea. Without his decision to invade and overthrow Saddam Hussein in the first place and then to risk everything on the success of the surge in 2007, we wouldn’t be at this moment, and Iraq would likely still be a Hell-hole.

But it isn’t, and that’s a reason to celebrate. Party

LINKS: More at Hot Air.

 


Congratulations Iraq

June 29, 2009

Today is tomorrow in Iraq, Tuesday, the 30th of June, which has been declared a national holiday because it is the day the United States formally hands over responsibility for the security of all Iraqi cities to the Iraqi government and security forces:

Iraqi forces officially assumed control of Baghdad and other cites across the country early Tuesday, following the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from urban areas. Celebrations in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, include music, dance and poetry.

Iraqi government TV has been playing patriotic music to celebrate the U.S. military withdrawal from cities, towns and villages across the country, officially set to be completed by Tuesday June 30th.

Iraqi military vehicles were also covered with flowers to celebrate the event, and military parades, complete with band music, were organized in Diyala and Diwania provinces.

The government declared a "Day of National Sovereignty" to mark the event, and has invited ordinary citizens to join evening celebrations at Baghdad’s Zawra Park for a festival of music and poetry.

Interior Minister Jawad Boulani told journalists the U.S. withdrawal is almost complete and Iraqi forces are capable of maintaining order across the country.

As I recall, Diyala and Diwania were scenes of heavy fighting from 2005-2007, yet now they’re gearing up for concerts and a poetry festival. I’d call that a win, wouldn’t you, Senator Reid?

Minister Boulani expressed the opinion that Iraqi forces are now up to maintaining internal security. I hope he’s right. There’s been a disturbing rise in violence as the Americans began to pull back, including pogroms against homosexuals and Christians, not to mention a rise in bombings in Baghdad and Kirkuk. Clearly the coming months and years will be a test for the Iraqi government and security forces to see if they can not only guarantee public order, but equally to all Iraqis.

I have confidence in Iraq and the Iraqis, however. Since liberation in 2003, they’ve faced incredibly difficult circumstances and always come through: I still marvel at the success of the elections of 2005 and forest of purple fingers raised in pride. They’ve written a constitution (and stuck to it), and they’re adapting to the freewheeling style of democratic parliamentary politics. Sure, there have been frustrating setbacks and delays, but with each success Iraq takes another step toward becoming the first real democracy in the Arab world, and example that could revolutionize the region — and perhaps the power of this example is already being felt in neighboring Iran.

I hope somewhere former President Bush is taking satisfaction in this moment; he earned it, and I hope Iraqis tomorrow remember to toast him with a raised glass of sweet tea. Without his decision to invade and overthrow Saddam Hussein in the first place and then to risk everything on the success of the surge in 2007, we wouldn’t be at this moment, and Iraq would likely still be a Hell-hole.

But it isn’t, and that’s a reason to celebrate. Party

LINKS: More at Hot Air.

 


Coup in Honduras, and our flaccid foreign policy

June 28, 2009

This morning the Honduran military arrested the country’s president and sent him into exile in Costa Rica. While most reports are describing this as a coup d’etat, Honduras’ largest newspaper, La Prensa, claims that President Zelaya was removed from office under order from the country’s Supreme Court:

An official statement of the Supreme Court of Justice explained that the Armed Forces acted under lawful grounds when detaining the President of the Republic, and by decommissioning the
materials to be used on the illegal poll which aimed to bring forth Executive Power against a judicial order.

Other sources verified that the president of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti, will assume the presidency of the republic in a few hours.

Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was detained this morning by the military in compliance with an order of the courts of law.

(translation by Fausta Wertz)

The most up-to-date coverage can be found in this post by Fausta, and I refer the reader there. Plenty of good links to follow.

My concern is with the United States’ response:

WASHINGTON — U.S. diplomats are working to ensure the safety of
deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and his family as they press
for restoration of constitutional law and his presidency.

President Barack Obama called Sunday for “all political and social
actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the
tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter” as the Central
American crisis unfolded.


For those conditions to be met, Zelaya must be returned to power, U.S. officials said.

Secretary of State Clinton also jumped in:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the action taken against Honduras’ president should be condemned by everyone.


She says Honduras must embrace the principles of democracy and respect constitutional order.

Two things I’ll point out about this:

First, how is it that it took days for the Administration to strongly condemn the theft of an election and subsequent massacres in Iran, yet the removal at the request of the legally constituted courts and legislature of a president allied to one of our enemies and who was trying to emulate his ally by becoming  populist dictator is worthy of immediate condemnation? Why do President Barack Obama and his State Department seemingly coddle dictators while giving constitutionalists the cold shoulder?

Second, do the Administration and State know the situation in Honduras? Even cursory research indicates a situation more complicated than it first appears. Zelaya is allied to Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, the former a current enemy of us and the latter an old foe. He was violating the constitution and defying a court order by trying to hold a referendum seeking approval for extending his term, something prohibited by the constitution. Latin American constitutions often give the military the role of “defender of the constitution” (add irony as needed), and it’s quite possible, given the support and direction provided by the legislature and the court, that the military acted not to sieze power, but to prevent a seizure of power by the president. In other words, it may have been an act in defense of constitutional order and the rule of law. It may also not have been, but we should be aware of the subtleties here.

Is Washington aware of this? Did they consult with the embassy in Tegucigalpa before rushing to the microphones? (Again, if they could wait for days on Iran because they didn’t want to meddle, why the rush to meddle now?) Somehow I doubt it. Both statements look like variations on boilerplate used by the government for decades.

It’s been argued that Obama is simply more comfortable with, and therefore more solicitous toward, anti-American dictators than with genuine democrats, which explains his various moves. His background makes him open to thuggery. Perhaps, but it’s also possible that what we’re seeing are the spastic reactions of a foreign policy tyro, a naif who really doesn’t know what he’s doing, being far more interested in domestic affairs and having only the most superficial knowledge of the world beyond our borders. Both are possible, and both are in their way very disquieting.

LINKS: Ed Morrissey thinks this is another indication Obama’s priorities are out of step with the rule of law.


Quote of the day

June 27, 2009

From journalist David Freddoso:

Global Warming is apparently so urgent that we can’t even wait until members of Congress know what they’re voting on.