The Democratic Party: the party of class and race war?

August 31, 2011

I want you to look at two videos, both from Naked Emperor News (1), that illustrate the intellectual bankruptcy and political desperation of what passes for leadership in the modern Democratic Party. Not the average, working- and middle-class rank and file member who’s been a lifetime registered Democrat out of habit, but the career leftist pols who’ve risen to the top thanks to a pernicious combination of seniority and safe districts.

First we have Nancy Pelosi (whose San Francisco idol was avowed Stalinist Harry Bridges) offering an unusual motive on the part of those who oppose economic redistribution and advocate lower taxes: they’re the filthy rich who want immortality!

(via Pirate’s Cove)

Okay, okay. So, she’s talking about “immortality” through getting buildings named after them. It’s still bunkum. Not only are the most vociferous advocates of federal restraint and tax reform not among the filthy rich (2), but, in my experience, most of the money that buys names on buildings comes from rich liberal donors. And what about all the wealthy liberals just screaming for higher taxes, such as Warren Buffet or Stephen King? Are they conspiring for immortality at the expense of the poor and downtrodden, too, Nancy? Do all wealthy people look alike to you?

Oh, and while we’re at it, how goes your own search for life eternal? I mean, you are worth $35 million, after all…

Even more bizarre, however, is her attack on those opposed to raising the minimum wage: it’s all a conspiracy meant to make people dependent on private credit companies and lenders!! Seriously, Nancy? Are you actually arguing that, if we only kept making the minimum wage higher, people wouldn’t need to use credit cards or take out a loan to buy a car? Just how high a “minimum wage” do you envision, O Former Speaker, and what level of taxation do you think would be needed to support it?

Just how much of your $35 million are you willing to give up to save the counter-person at McDonald’s from the evils of the private credit market?

Ignore the fact that a rising minimum wage destroys jobs, this is utterly hypocritical class warfare and pathetic demagoguery that demonizes people who are successful or who are simply concerned about the self-destructive fiscal path this country is on.

But wait! It gets worse!

Earlier this summer, we heard Democratic National Committee Chairwoman (3) Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) claim that Republicans wanted to take America back to the era of Jim Crow. Debbie had to walk that back under fire, but the Congressional Black Caucus has decided that the Tea Party is the new Klan and to play the race card for all it’s worth. Just listen:

Ed Morrissey concentrates on Congressman Andre Carson’s (D-IN) claim that Republicans and Tea-Partiers would be happy to see Blacks lynched. That’s outrageous enough as it is — Carson shouldn’t just apologize and resign, he should be expelled from the House. But listen to the rest: claim after claim that Americans advocating limited government and fiscal sanity are motivated by racism (4), are the enemy, and, as the execrable Maxine Waters puts it, can go “straight to Hell.” This is class warfare blended with good, old-fashioned racism — only the racism is coming from the CBC.

(Be sure to click through to Ed’s post for a second video, this time with Congressman Allen West responding to Rep. Carson and making it quite clear that he’s reconsidering his membership in the CBC. I’m also sorry to see featured in the video my former Assemblywoman and former Speaker of the CA State Assembly, Rep. Karen Bass. She should be ashamed.)

Anyway, there you have it. With a dismal record in office and with the increasing rejection of progressive ideology by a majority of the nation, all the Democratic Party “leadership” has left to offer is class envy, ethnic vitriol, and social division.

Now there’s Hope and Change.

UPDATE: Heh. The Washington Examiner contacted Congressman Carson’s DC office to ask if he would identify which members of Congress want to see him lynched. So far, no response.

(1) How does NEN get these videos? They must have a spy network to rival the CIA…
(2) Last I checked, the Tea Party counted very few millionaires and billionaires in its ranks.
(3) Yeah, I’m un-PC. I shall report to my nearest reeducation center right after lunch.
(4) I’d like to see them pull this crap on Allen West, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, and other minority conservatives who’ve risen to political prominence. Or does that call for the related “Uncle Tom card?”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Global warming causes mental illness?

August 30, 2011

Is there nothing that can’t be blamed on a harmless gas that serves mainly as plant food?

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ”emotional injury, stress and despair” in the wake of these events.

The report, A Climate of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change, called the past 15 years a ”preview of life under unrestrained global warming”.

”While cyclones, drought, bushfires and floods are all a normal part of Australian life, there is no doubt our climate is changing,” the report says.

Emphasis added, because that bit is key to the whole fantasy built by this article — that dangerous man-caused climate change is leading to an increase in mental illness.

First, let’s remind ourselves of something. According to one of the high priests of the Cult of Global Warming, Dr. Phil Jones, former Director of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (1), there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995. Another, Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, once wrote in an email:

“The fact is that we cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.”

So, I ask the article’s author and the Climate Institute, where is the “unrestrained global warming?”


But let’s get back to the article’s thesis. It rests on two pillars:

  1. That changing climate (2) and severe weather events can lead to stress and various mental illnesses.
  2. That these events and therefore the mental illnesses can be attributed to anthropogenic global warming.

I have no disagreement with the first point, nor am I making light of the mentally ill. Fire, drought, earthquake, hurricanes, tornadoes… all these and other disasters can lead to the loss of property, loss of a job, injury or even the death of loved ones. Sure, all this can lead to stress and possible mental illness. I’ve seen it myself in the wake the wildfires and temblors that periodically ravage California.

So, sure. A connection between natural disasters and mental illness? No problem.

But it’s in the second point that Erik Jensen Health of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Climate Institute take a Wile E. Coyote-like leap off the cliff of logic. First for assuming anthropogenic global warming exists when it is very much in question. (See also Carter and Plimer.) And second for listing event after event with the underlying assumption that AGW must be the cause, while never presenting a skeptical viewpoint and without ever investigating if  these events fall outside the norms of Australia’s climate history, whether as recorded by human observers or seen in the paleoclimatological record.

This wasn’t an article about science or even the problems of mental illness. It’s just unchallenged assertion after unchallenged assertion, all meant to scare the reader by invoking the dread demon Climate Change. It was nothing more than a fire-and-brimstone sermon at an Al Gore revival meeting:

“Repent, ye racist greenhouse gas-spewing sinners, lest your communities collapse and your children go nuts because of your crimes against Gaea! THOU SHALT DE-CARBONIZE!!”

The SMH should be embarrassed for running such tripe.

via WUWT

(1) Also a key figure in the Climategate scandal. (See also)
(2) Of course the Earth’s climate (really, a range of regional climates) is changing. We live on a dynamic planet that has never been in a steady state. But there is no evidence showing that any changes now occurring are beyond what has happened in the past. It’s not CO2, folks, it’s the sun.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Smart Power in Action: US and Iran on same side in Libya

August 29, 2011

Well, Obama did promise to offer an “open hand” to Iran to achieve a new era of more cooperation and less confrontation. But, somehow, I don’t think even the striped-pants set at the State Department thought that meant cooperating to overthrow another government:

Iran “discreetly” provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli, Jam-e-Jam newspaper quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday as saying.

“We were in touch with many of the rebel groups in Libya before the fall of (Moamer) Kadhafi, and discreetly dispatched three or four food and medical consignments to Benghazi,” Salehi told the daily.

“The head of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, sent a letter of thanks to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for having been on their side and helping,” he added.

And so, for the price of some food and medicine (1), we and NATO did Iran a favor by removing a rival for influence in the Middle East and giving them easy access to eastern Libya and the Benghazi area, a region well-known as a fertile recruiting ground for Al Qaeda and other Islamic radical groups. (2)

That’s “Smart Power” for you. Real smart.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying Daffy Qaddafi wasn’t a bad man — far from it, and I hope the Libyans catch him and string him up. But, from the point of view of American interests, there was no point to this war. Qaddafi had given up his nuclear program in the wake of our liberation of Iraq, there was intelligence cooperation against Al Qaeda, and he had largely stopped sponsoring terrorism. In other words, he had been tamed, and there was no pressing reason to go after him.

On the other hand, in Syria, where we have a great opportunity to weaken or even overthrow one of the key clients of our avowed enemy, Iran, an event that would greatly weaken the Mullah’s power in the region and genuinely serve our strategic interests, for weeks we did… effectively nothing. We clucked our tongues and wagged our fingers, even called the dictator a “reformer,” while the Assad regime, with the assistance and advice of Iranian Revolutionary Guards, slaughters thousands.

If that’s “smart power,” I’d hate to see what their idea of “dumb” is.

via Bryan Preston

LINKS: More from my friend Michael Ledeen, who argues that this is a big regional war with Iran at the center (which the Obama administration may be finally and belatedly starting to grasp), and then draws some lessons from Libya.

(1) And if you believe the “humanitarian aid” was nothing but rice and bandages and the Iranians accompanying it weren’t Iranian Revolutionary Guards, I have just the bridge to sell you.
(2) Don’t fall for the “Sunnis and Shiites won’t cooperate” myth. Yes, they have a bloody internecine history, but Iran and Sunni radical groups are more than happy to cooperate to strike at us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Sunday evening Rubio: Q&A at the Reagan Library

August 28, 2011

A few days ago I posted video of Senator Marco Rubio’s speech at the Ronald Reagan library. The junior senator from Florida hung around afterwards for a brief question and answer session. Like the speech itself, it’s worth watching. He’s completely at ease and, unlike another (supposed) great speaker, there are no “ums,” “ahs,” or awkward pauses.

At the risk of sounding like a Rubio groupie, this guy is good:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Another bad day for the Church of Global Warming

August 28, 2011

Don’t you just hate it when empirical results get in the way of a cherished article of faith theory? Not only have none of the predictions of doom made by global warming alarmists come to pass, but now experimental results are lending strength to an alternate theory of global warming and cooling:

It sounds like a conspiracy theory: ‘cosmic rays’ from deep space might be creating clouds in Earth’s atmosphere and changing the climate. Yet an experiment at CERN, Europe’s high-energy physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, is finding tentative evidence for just that.

The findings, published today in Nature, are preliminary, but they are stoking a long-running argument over the role of radiation from distant stars in altering the climate.


To find out, Kirkby and his team are bringing the atmosphere down to Earth in an experiment called Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets (CLOUD). The team fills a custom-built chamber with ultrapure air and chemicals believed to seed clouds: water vapour, sulphur dioxide, ozone and ammonia. They then bombard the chamber with protons from the same accelerator that feeds the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle smasher. As the synthetic cosmic rays stream in, the group carefully samples the artificial atmosphere to see what effect the rays are having.

Early results seem to indicate that cosmic rays do cause a change. The high-energy protons seemed to enhance the production of nanometre-sized particles from the gaseous atmosphere by more than a factor of ten.

To be fair, physicist Kirkby then points out that the generated particles are too small for clouds to form around, though he concedes that this experiment is an “important first step” in understanding how cosmic rays might be involved in the creation of clouds.

The significance of this experiment is that it seems to bear directly on the debate over whether CO2 or solar activity is most responsible for global warming and cooling, and thus climate change.

In short, it’s been known for over a century that radiation from outer space, “cosmic rays,” bombard the Earth, and that these rays are affected by the “wind” put out by the sun when it is active, the visible sign of which is an increase in sunspots. When the solar wind is strong, fewer cosmic rays reach the Earth. When it is weak, the number of rays hitting us increases.

Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark theorized that cosmic rays play a role in the formation of clouds, which in turn act as regulators of the Earth’s heat: more clouds means a cooler world, fewer lead to warming. Thus, the theory goes, periods of weak solar activity lead to more cosmic rays, which creates more clouds and a cooling planet. And, of course, the reverse would be true of periods of strong solar activity. Svensmark and others claimed that this would explain the apparent correlation between a warming and cooling Earth and the sunspot cycle. (See, for example, the Little Ice Age and the Maunder Minimum).

While writers such as Warren Meyer at Forbes (and Climate Skeptic) rightfully caution us:

But let’s be careful.  We are basically now in the exact same place with Svensmark that we are with CO2 greenhouse warming.  We know the relevant effects exist in a lab, and are fairly certain they exist in nature, but we are uncertain how sensitive the actual climate is to these effects.  We skeptics criticize alarmists for exaggerating feedbacks and real-world sensitivities to CO2.  We should avoid the same mistake.

…I find Svensmark’s thesis much more plausible, as it does something alarmist theories have not: account for the past. Advocates of man-caused global warming either deny (or hide) or hand-wave away the various warming and cooling periods in the past, unable to plausibly explain how those occurred without the presence of CO2 dumped into the atmosphere by Man.

The cosmic-ray theory, on the other hand, seems to correlate nicely not only with the past, but with the observed present in which there has been both a decline in solar activity and no statistically significant warming since 1995.

At the very least, this suggests that the science, no matter what Al Gore says, is far from settled and that we should avoid implementing sweeping policies until we know much, much more.

By which time, I suspect, we’ll recognize them for the poisonous cures to a problem that does not exist that they are and can toss them onto the intellectual trash heap with the “flat earth” theories and Piltdown Man.

via Watt’s Up With That

LINKS: Calder’s Updates has more details. So does The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Follow-up reactions from WUWT. The Telegraph’s James Delingpole goes to town on this development, reminding us that the scientific establishment never wanted this experiment to take place. There’s good scientific practice for you. Meanwhile, this and other recent developments casting doubt on anthropogenic global warming has been hard on the church’s High Priest, Al Gore. From an obscenity-filled tirade to suggesting we need to eat less meat to save the planet to equating skeptics with racists, he’s publicly losing it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Al Qaeda #2 sent to meet his virgins, courtesy of the USA? Update: He’s not dead yet?

August 28, 2011


Atiyah Abd al Rahman, a top al Qaeda leader who long served Osama bin Laden, was reportedly killed on Aug. 22 in Waziristan, Pakistan, according to multiple press reports. Both the Associated Press and Reuters cite US officials as saying that Rahman has been killed. Matt Apuzzo of the AP reports that a US official would not confirm how Atiyah had been killed, but the AP story notes that on same day, the CIA launched a drone strike in Waziristan.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal would neither confirm nor deny Atiyah’s reported death. One senior US intelligence official observed that verifying the deaths of top terrorists is difficult and the US has gotten it wrong in the past. Atiyah himself, the official pointed out, was reportedly killed in 2010. Still, this official said, it is certainly possible that the new reports of Atiyah’s demise are accurate.


Atiyah has been described as al Qaeda’s “operations chief” in some press reports, and his role in plotting terrorist attacks has been repeatedly noted. But according to one senior US intelligence official contacted by The Long War Journal, Atiyah was al Qaeda’s “general manager” and also served as Osama bin Laden’s “chief of staff.”

While Atiyah was involved in plotting attacks, the official said, he was not really the “operational commander.” In the nascent plot to attack the US on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, for example, Atiyah would pass messages back and forth between Osama bin Laden and operatives elsewhere, but the tactical details of the plot were left to other al Qaeda commanders.

Atiyah was also given a senior role in managing al Qaeda’s finances, the official said. Only the most loyal and trustworthy terrorists would be given such a role.

You can read more about this thankfully dead medieval lunatic glorious martyr to Allah’s cause at The Long War Journal.

As TLWJ points out, this surely hurts Al Qaeda by killing another senior leader, disrupting operations and spreading fear and mistrust — did a traitor give Atiyah’s location away? Are there spies in their midst?

But we should keep in mind that Al Qaeda is a deliberately decentralized organization, with branches (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and franchises (Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb) that are fully capable of planning and carrying out operations on their own. Indeed, the attempted Christmas bombing over Detroit and the jihad attack at Ft. Hood were both planned or supported by AQAP, while AQIM has been linked to plots to launch a Mumbai-style attack in Europe. Striking a blow at Al Qaeda-central, while important, shouldn’t be and I’m sure isn’t our sole focus. (See also and also.)

Coming back to the probably-late Mr. Atiyah, if he is dead, it’s almost certain that this is one fruit of the intelligence haul we made when we looted bin Laden’s compound after killing him last May. You can bet there have been and will be others, as we exploit that trove of information for all it’s worth. And one has to wonder about the reaction of the next guy to be promoted to second-in-command: give thanks to Allah or run shrieking in terror? It doesn’t seem to be a job with much future in it…

UPDATE: From TLWJ’s blog, Threat Matrix, doubts are being cast on reports that Atiyah is really dead. This is a reminder that many such reports of prominent AQ and Taliban casualties have turned out to be premature. Perhaps Al Qaeda’s number two isn’t quite ready to go on the cart, yet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Mexican police operating from US soil

August 27, 2011

At some point, someone in authority is going to have to admit there is a war going on in Mexico and that our national security is at stake, because we’re already fighting it:

The Obama administration has expanded its role in Mexico’s fight against organized crime by allowing the Mexican police to stage cross-border drug raids from inside the United States, according to senior administration and military officials.

Mexican commandos have discreetly traveled to the United States, assembled at designated areas and dispatched helicopter missions back across the border aimed at suspected drug traffickers. The Drug Enforcement Administration provides logistical support on the American side of the border, officials said, arranging staging areas and sharing intelligence that helps guide Mexico’s decisions about targets and tactics.

Officials said these so-called boomerang operations were intended to evade the surveillance — and corrupting influences — of the criminal organizations that closely monitor the movements of security forces inside Mexico. And they said the efforts were meant to provide settings with tight security for American and Mexican law enforcement officers to collaborate in their pursuit of criminals who operate on both sides of the border.

Although the operations remain rare, they are part of a broadening American campaign aimed at blunting the power of Mexican cartels that have built criminal networks spanning the world and have started a wave of violence in Mexico that has left more than 35,000 people dead.

Many aspects of the campaign remain secret, because of legal and political sensitivities. But in recent months, details have begun to emerge, revealing efforts that would have been unthinkable five years ago. Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón, who was elected in 2006, has broken with his country’s historic suspicion of the United States and has enlisted Washington’s help in defeating the cartels, a central priority for his government.

American Predator and Global Hawk drones now fly deep over Mexico to capture video of drug production facilities and smuggling routes. Manned American aircraft fly over Mexican targets to eavesdrop on cellphone communications. And the D.E.A. has set up an intelligence outpost — staffed by Central Intelligence Agency operatives and retired American military personnel — on a Mexican military base.

Two things I’ll say about this. The first is that I’m glad it’s happening. For too long Mexico has hidden behind a chest-thumping nationalism (1) and refused almost any serious cooperation. That the Calderon administration is changing this policy, albeit quietly, at great political risk to itself shows they recognize the serious problem they have, that it’s also a military and no longer just a law-enforcement problem, and that they need help. While Mexico is not yet a failed state, the danger signs are there.

Second, while I’m glad we’re cooperating with the Mexicans and giving them help, it would be really nice if our own government would admit there is a serious security problem on our southern border and make a credible effort to secure it, including fencing where appropriate and Border Patrol forward operating bases (FOBs) in others.

And if the US government really wants to help Mexico, maybe it should stop helping to arm the cartels.

So, when do we resume cavalry patrols?

via Big Peace

(1) Just because of that little dust-up in 1846 that cost them half their country. Jeez, what grouches.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)