Time Magazine’s Jeffrey Kluger writes what might possibly be the stupidest article about climate ever – climate change causes volcanoes

January 30, 2015

Global warming is like the monster in a bad 1950s science fiction movie: there is nothing it cannot do. Nothing.

Watts Up With That?

The stupid, it burns like a magnesium flare.

volcanoes-climateExcerpt from the article:

Now, you can add yet another problem to the climate change hit list: volcanoes. That’s the word from a new study conducted in Iceland and accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. The finding is bad news not just for one comparatively remote part of the world, but for everywhere.

Iceland has always been a natural lab for studying climate change. It may be spared some of the punishment hot, dry places like the American southwest get, but when it comes to glacier melt, few places are hit harder. About 10% of the island nation’s surface area is covered by about 300 different glaciers—and they’re losing an estimated 11 billion tons of ice per year. Not only is that damaging Icelandic habitats and contributing to the global rise in sea levels, it is also—oddly—causing the entire island…

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Something I rarely say: “Good for you, Senator McCain”

January 29, 2015
Get off his lawn.

Get off his lawn.

I’m not a great fan of John McCain (R-AZ) (1), but when given a choice between him and the juvenile, narcissistic, sanctimonious anti-American pendejas of Code Pink… Well, the choice is obvious:

As the protesters from the group Code Pink chanted “arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes” and waved a pair of handcuffs in the 91-year-old’s face, former Secretary of State George Shultz, who was also called to testify, confronted them, and several senators, including Republicans Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Joni Ernst of Iowa, came down from the podium to assist. Capitol Police, meanwhile, did not intervene to stop the protests.

“You’re going to have to shut up or I’m going to have you arrested,” McCain told them, then added: “Get out of here, you low-life scum.”

Code Pink protesters are a common feature at Armed Services hearings in both chambers, but McCain said Thursday’s protest was beyond the limits of what was acceptable.

Damn straight it was unacceptable. We give plenty of leeway to protesters and they have many means to make their voices heard. However, disrupting a hearing in a democratically elected legislature and attempting to intimidate a witness —a 91 year old witness— is not one of them. McCain wants these brownshirts pinkshirts prosecuted, and I hope the Capitol Police follow through on it.

One question: Why the heck did the Capitol Police let it get this to the point where US senators felt they had to come down to protect Dr. Kissinger?

One observation: Both Senator Cotton and Senator Ernst recently served in the Army. I would not have laid money on Code Pink’s chances, had they tried to press their luck.

Footnote:
(1) In fact, I’ve been know to utter the words “vain old fool” in connection to him…


Iran to Netanyahu: “Screw with us and we’ll kill your sons!”

January 29, 2015
Supreme Thug

Supreme Thug

Nothing like making international disputes personal, is there?

Iran is encouraging its terror allies to pursue the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s children by publishing personal information about them, including photographs of the kids lined up in crosshairs, and declaring, “We must await the hunt of Hezbollah.”

The publication of the personal information and biographies of Netanyahu’s children follows an Israeli airstrike last week that killed several key Hezbollah leaders and an Iranian commander affiliated with the country’s hardline Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

(…)

Regional experts with knowledge of the IRGC said this type of public threat is meant to intimidate the Israelis and act as a deterrent against possible military action.

“Here, we have organized a list of prominent Israeli Aghazadehs,” or children, according to the original post by the hardline Iranian website Mashregh, which has since removed the article. The Fars reproduction is still available online in Farsi.

Netanyahu’s children are acceptable targets for assassination due to their affiliation with top Israeli leaders, according to the article, which is titled, “The file of the Zionist Children.”

Apparently their mandatory 3-year military service also makes them legitimate targets for murder — in the eyes of the Iranians. The Free Beacon piece also points out that the Iranian article also specifically threatened the adult children of former prime ministers Olmert and Sharon.

Though the article doesn’t mention this, among the Hezbollah leaders killed in that raid was Jihad Mugniyeh, son of the vicious terrorist Imad Mugniyeh (1), who was killed a few years ago, probably by the Israelis. Jihad himself was following in Dad’s dirty footsteps and had become a Hezbollah officer. In a honor and revenge culture such as the one that dominates the Middle East, Iran could be making these threats to show support for its Lebanese client: “Kill the son of one of our heroes, and we’ll kill two of yours!”

But it also demonstrates the “thug mentality” at the heart of the Iranian regime. Nations in conflict play hardball with each other all the time: espionage, special operations, sabotage, &c. But the targets are agents or facilities of the enemy state, even when death results. It’s like the old cliche, “Just business, nothing personal.”

But to specifically threaten the family of an enemy leader? That’s very personal, and it’s vile and low, but sadly not surprising from a gangster regime that uses rape to terrorize its domestic opponents.

Footnote:
(1) Mugniyeh senior was a key player in the mass murder of our Marines and French soldiers in the 1983 Beirut bombings. I will admit to not being sorry when he went “boom.”


Prediction: Gridlock for the Next Two Years, but that’s Better than the Alternative of Expanding Government

January 28, 2015

If Congress and the administration can’t agree to do anything good, then doing nothing is the next best solution. Or, as Reagan (I think) once said, “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

International Liberty

There’s a lot of navel-gazing analysis in Washington about whether to expect some sort of bipartisanship over the next two years.

I find such discussions very irritating because they assume that you automatically get good results when Republicans and Democrats both agree on a policy. My reaction, to put it mildly, is “these people are f@*&#^@g crazy!!!”

Was it progress when Republicans and Democrats conspired to bail out their contributors on Wall Streetwith TARP?

Was it progress when Republicans and Democrats joined hands to impose Bush’s no-bureaucrat-left-behind education scheme?

Was it progress when the first President Bush broke his read-my-lips promise and sided with Democrats to boost taxes and spending in 1990?

So you can see why I instinctively like gridlock. Simply stated, it’s better to do nothing if the alternative is to have more bad laws that expand the burden of government.

But perhaps I’m being too…

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Good News: the Iranian-allied Yemeni rebels are really moderates we can work with!

January 26, 2015

Last week, Iranian-backed “Fiver” Shia rebels captured Yemen’s capital and forced the president to resign. Given that the former government had (mostly) cooperated with our counter-terrorism efforts and given also that the Houthi rebels were supported by our enemy, Iran, one might expect them to be hostile to us.

The New York Times, however, is here to tell us we’re wrong. The good news? They’re really moderates!

But for all their harsh sloganeering, the Houthis may be a lot more moderate than [their motto] suggests, according to many diplomats and analysts who have followed them closely. They say it would be premature to dismiss them as Yemen’s Hezbollah, despite their alliance with Iran.

Of course, we all remember those “moderate Islamists” in Syria we were so happy to work with and train, right? That’s sure worked out well.

Anyway, back to Yemen. Let me ask — does this look at all “moderate” to you?

Yep. The very soul of moderation. Why, I bet they belong to their local Kiwanis Club, too.

It’s said the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The coffee table version of that is obviously illustrated with pictures of The Times and its “experts.”

via Patrick Poole, who has much more


Sunday Book Review: Paul Johnson’s “Churchill”

January 25, 2015

book cover johnson churchill

It’s less fashionable in the practice of History these days to study the lives of great men, those individuals who by their words and deeds change the course of the world for better or worse. At one time, History was about these men: Alexander, Caesar, Washington, Napoleon, and others. Then that fashion fell out of favor and, in reaction, the role of Great Men was largely supplanted by the study of “impersonal forces,” those societal and intellectual trends that move History along, individuals being less important, often replaceable. This view was popular with progressive historians of the early to mid-20th century, seeing its extreme in Marxist historians.

But the study of Great Men lives on, in this case in the form of Paul Johnson’s “Churchill,” a brief biography of Sir Winston Churchill, the British statesman, soldier, parliamentarian, and his nation’s Prime Minister during most of the Second World War.

Johnson’s biography of Churchill is of an older school, which seeks not just to analyze its subject, but draw from it moral lessons for the reader. In this manner, it is comparable to Plutarch’s “Lives .” As Johnson writes at the start:

Of all the towering figures of the twentieth century, both good and evil, Winston Churchill was the most valuable to humanity, and also the most likable. It is a joy to write his life, and to read about it. None holds more lessons, especially for youth: How to use a difficult childhood. How to seize eagerly on all opportunities, physical , moral, and intellectual. How to dare greatly, to reinforce success, and to put the inevitable failures behind you. And how, while pursuing vaulting ambition with energy and relish, to cultivate also friendship, generosity, compassion, and decency.

Churchill’s life is well-known, and Johnson glosses over the details to cover the important points the reader needs to know: his early childhood with a vaguely disapproving father; his military career , which established the young Churchill as a popular journalist; his political career with his rise to Cabinet rank as First Sea Lord during World War I; his role in laying the foundation for Britain’s welfare state, and his fall from power; his “wilderness” years out of government, when even his fellow party members rarely wanted him around and during which he warned incessantly about the rise of the Nazis in Germany; his return to power when the Nazis started World War II, again as head of the British Navy and then Prime Minister; and his postwar life and career, with one more pass as prime minister, until his death in 1965.

That Johnson can cover all this in just 170 pages while telling a fascinating story and educating the reader is a mark of how good a writer he is. “Churchill,” if it was a joy for him to write, is also a joy for us to read. Johnson’s style is delightful, and he deftly weaves in small details and observations that humanize for us a towering figure who might otherwise be lost behind the noble statues and stern portraits. For example,one that sticks with this reviewer is the revelation that Churchill found happiness in, of all things, bricklaying. So much so, that he tried to join the bricklayer’s union. (He was declined.) Most people know that he was an accomplished painter, but a bricklayer? That such a common, workaday craft should bring satisfaction to a man born in a palace and who dealt regularly with kings and presidents, who commanded his nation’s armed forces in a global war, can’t help but build a bond between reader and subject, reminding us that Winston Churchill, for all the statues and portraits, was still a mortal man.

“Churchill” is not without its weaknesses. A degree of superficiality is inevitable, given the task of compressing so full a life into such a short work. And it touches very lightly on his flaws, such as his Romantic fixations on strategies of dubious worth, for example his attempted defense of Antwerp in the First World War, or his obsession with invading Norway in the Second. A late Victorian in a rapidly changing 20th century, his attitudes toward non-European people were often at best patronizing, sometimes downright bigoted.

But, to dwell on these lacks would be to criticize “Churchill” for not doing what it was never intended to do: to be a “balanced, modern” biography. As much hagiography as biography, Paul Johnson’s goal was to introduce us to the life of one of the greatest men who ever lived and show how it could serve as an example and an inspiration, especially for the young. In this, he has succeeded admirably.

Highest recommendation.

Format note: Churchill is available in both Kindle and softcover formats. I read the Kindle edition and can recall no problems with editing or formatting. And I do get a few pennies from each purchase made through the links in this review.

UPDATE: Catching up on my reading at Power Line, I came across historian Steven Hayward’s post quibbling with the idea of Churchill as “the last lion.” I think what he says about “Great Men” and how they differ from their contemporaries is pertinent to this review:

The tides of history and the scale of modern life have not made obsolete or incommensurate the kind of large-souled greatness we associate with Churchill or Lincoln or George Washington. Of course all of us are powerfully affected by our environment and circumstances, yet the case of Churchill offers powerful refutation to the historicist premise that humans and human society are mostly corks bobbing on the waves of history. Lots of Churchill’s contemporaries were also products of the late Victorian era—many of them from the same schools Churchill attended. But no one else had Chruchill’s courage, insight, and capacities. Why was Churchill virtually alone among his contemporaries? The answer must be that they transcended their environments and transformed their circumstances as only great men can do, and thereby bent history to their will. Which means we are contemplating a fundamental human type. Leo Strauss wrote of Churchill in a private letter to the German philosopher Karl Lowith: “A man like Churchill proves that the possibility of megalophysis [the great-souled man] exists today exactly as it did in the fifth century B.C.” (In other words, as the idea was presented in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.)

Churchill was indeed a “large soul.”

 

 

 


Confirmed: former French soldiers defecting to ISIS

January 23, 2015

France flag

From Canada’s National Post:

Several French former soldiers have joined the ranks of jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq, the country’s government confirmed on Wednesday, as it outlined a series of new anti-terrorism measures following the Islamist attacks in Paris.

Most of the ex-soldiers, reportedly numbering around 10 and including former paratroopers and French foreign legionnaires, are said to be fighting on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Most worrying is the reported presence of an ex-member of France’s elite First Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment, considered one of Europe’s most experienced special forces units and which shares the “Who Dares Wins” motto of the SAS.

The unnamed individual, of North African origin, had received commando training in combat, shooting and survival techniques. He served for five years before joining a private security company for which he worked in the Arabian peninsula, where he was radicalised before heading for Syria, according to L’Opinion, a news website.

The danger is not just the fighters being trained for combat in the Middle East, though that’s bad enough. But consider that these defecting soldiers were born and raised –or immigrated to and grew up– “being French.” They understand French culture: how to behave, how to fit in, the right lingo, the perfect accent. With their military training, they can move around France and Europe without standing out, which makes them perfect for terrorist operations there in ways no Egyptian-born jihadi could ever equal.

And as I asked before, how many sympathizers do they have who are still in French ranks? It’s no wonder Paris is planning to spend a lot more on counterintelligence to monitor… their own troops.

They’ve got a real problem on their hands.


Comforting: French soldiers joining ISIS

January 22, 2015

France flag

The link from Breitbart to the original article is broken at the moment, but the idea isn’t unimaginable, not in a world in which a US Army officer can describe himself as a “soldier of Allah” and then murder over a dozen of his fellow soldiers while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” And Major Hasan was a psychiatrist acting alone; these former French soldiers represent a whole new level of threat:

A dozen former French soldiers have joined up with jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria, a French official claimed this week, raising concerns about radicalisation of soldiers within the French Armed Forces.

A source within the country’s ministry of defence confirmed the news to AFP news agency after a French radio station, RFI, reported news of the soldiers-turned-jihadis, the Local reports.

“We estimate at around a dozen the number of former troops who have joined these networks,” said the source, who wished to remain anonymous, adding that their concern “is not former soldiers…It’s preventing the phenomenon of radicalization with our forces.”

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian refused to comment directly on the issue, instead telling reporters at a press conference that cases of former soldiers being tempted by jihadism are “extremely rare.”

Rare (we hope), but it only takes a few to cause a disaster. The article goes on to illustrate some of the risks of professionally trained Western soldiers “going jihadi:”

News which will concern French and other European country’s interior security forces is the news that some of the men, who are mostly in their twenties are “explosives experts” opening up the possibility of the front line being moved from Syria to Europe’s doorstep, with bombs being added to the arsenal of techniques used by Islamic radicals.

L’Opinion newspaper reports that one soldier had served in the French 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment whose speciality is going behind enemy lines for sabotage or intelligence gathering.

The paper reports that after five years as a paratrooper the soldier joined a private security firm protecting oil fields in the Arabian peninsular, a lucrative option for former soldiers with experience and training.

Emphases added. The jackals who attacked Charlie Hebdo had training in Yemen, but these guys bring specialist skills sure to be in high demand with ISIS or al Qaeda… or other groups.

I’m not sure what can be done about this — we can kill these guys, but what about the loyalty of other Muslim recruits or those who convert after enlisting? Are there “soldiers of Allah” currently within French ranks in sensitive posts?

Whatever the answer, this is a worrisome development.


Bookshelf update: Anne Applebaum’s “Gulag”

January 22, 2015

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Anne Applebaum’s “Gulag: A History.”

 

book cover applebaum gulag

I’ve only just started it, so I can’t comment on my impressions of the writing or the quality of the Kindle formatting, but the topic is compelling: a complete history of the Soviet prison camp and slave labor system from its foundation under Lenin to its final dissolution in the 1980s. Like reading a book on the Holocaust, I suspect this is the kind of history that will have me hating humanity by its end. Gulag is available in both Kindle and softcover formats.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. Wouldn’t you?


Journalism Dean: “There are limits to free speech”

January 21, 2015
"Free speech means the freedom to offend."

“Free speech means the freedom to offend.”

It’s a measure of how craven and corrupt our political culture has become that even the Dean of a journalism school in a nation founded on free speech and freedom of the press should say “there are limits, however:”

Charlie Hebdo has gone too far.

In its first publication following the Jan. 7 attack on its Paris office, in which two Muslim gunmen massacred 12 people, the once little-known French satirical news weekly crossed the line that separates free speech from toxic talk.

Charlie Hebdo’s latest depiction of the prophet Mohammed — a repeat of the very action that is thought to have sparked the murderous attack on its office — predictably has given rise to widespread violence in nations with large Muslim populations. Its irreverence of Mohammed once moved the French tabloid to portray him naked in a pornographic pose. In another caricature, it showed Mohammed being beheaded by a member of the Islamic State.

While free speech is one of democracy’s most important pillars, it has its limits.

So says DeWayne Wickham, Dean of the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Wayne State University. In a very limited sense, he’s right: I cannot go yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater (1), for example (2). Nor can I incite to violence by, for example, standing before a crowd and telling them to go now and beat up a certain person or persons.

But that’s it. All other political speech is within bounds, regardless of whom it offends. You cannot have a free society unless the it includes the right to freely criticize those in authority — and not just criticize, but to satirize and mock, too. If I as a Catholic want to question Original Sin and the need for Divine Grace, or that Jesus was not Divine until adopted by God, then the Church might well denounce me as a heretic and excommunicate me, but the law cannot punish me for my beliefs, nor should I fear physical violence. If I want to be truly outrageous and place the Crucifix in a beaker of urine, I would be a jackass, but I still should not have to fear either legal sanction nor physical violence.

And the same is true of any religion. If I want to question Muhammad’s status as a prophet, or even if he existed at all; if I want to argue that his earliest biography shows he was a bandit, a warlord, and a torturer; and if I want to criticize Sharia, Islam’s divine law, for calling for the execution of homosexuals, that is my right as a free man — even if I want to draw questionably funny satirical cartoons.

This is the right of any human being and well-within the “limits” of free speech.

Let’s be honest. It’s not a regard for the proper limits of free speech that motivates Mr. Wickham. If he or one of his students offended some Amish who then complained, I’m willing to bet he’d be on his soapbox screaming about “free speech” and “freedom of the press.”

And that leads us to the truth. Amish might shun you. Catholics won’t invite you to Bingo Night. A Buddhist would probably just decide you’re an annoying illusion and don’t really exist.

But all too many Muslims would be quite willing to kill you for insulting their Muhammad. Just ask the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, or Theo van Gogh.

The limit to Dean Wickham’s freedom of speech is his fear of punishment, and thus he is not free at all.

via Michael Walsh

Footnote:
(1) Popehat points out the serious flaws with that particular justification for censorship.
(2) When it’s not true, that is.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Audio) Obama has spoken. Now listen to a real orator

January 20, 2015

President Obama has just delivered his State of the Union address Speech from the Throne. If you had the stomach to put up with that, then you deserve a reward: the greatest orator of the 20th century at the climax of his greatest speech.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Prime Minister:

No comparison.


Bigger problems than global warming – NASA discovers 8 new dangerous near Earth asteroids

January 19, 2015

Now here’s something worth worrying about, rather than a trace gas that functions mostly as plant food. If people worried about human survival were serious, they’d be pushing for more money to track and possibly deflect dangerous asteroids.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall-

chelyabinsk-meteor The Chelyabinsk meteor, possibly caused by a near Earth Asteroid

In 2013, NASA decided to take time out from creating spectacularly useless climate models, and reactivated their Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer programme. The result is moderately terrifying – 8 previously unknown near Earth asteroids with catastrophic impact potential have been discovered, along with a host of smaller bodies which have the potential to wipe out a city.

According to The Register;

In December 2013, NASA re-activated the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) and in the twelve months since the project discovered three new comets and 40 previously-unknown near-earth objects, eight of which have Earth-bonking potential.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/16/ninety_new_doom_asteroids_found_in_2014/

The JPL website contains more information about the discoveries of various space survey projects;

“WISE was launched into a low-Earth orbit in December 2009, and surveyed the full sky in four infrared wavelength bands (3.4, 4.6, 12…

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Dear God. That lackwit John Kerry really did take James Taylor to Paris.

January 16, 2015
Your Obama foreign policy team

Your Obama foreign policy team

I used to think our national dignity couldn’t sink any lower, nor our embarrassment get any worse, after our foray into “hashtag diplomacy.”

I was wrong:

After enduring a firestorm of criticism for failing to send a high-ranking official to last Sunday’s massive anti-terror rally in France, Secretary of State John Kerry finally made it to Paris on Thursday — where he immediately cemented his reputation as an international laughing-stock.

In perhaps the most pathetic diplomatic apology ever enacted without actually saying “I’m sorry,” Kerry offered a “big hug” to a room full of survivors, family members and first responders involved in the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

And then he trotted out James Taylor, looking on proudly as the 70s-era guitarist serenading the shell-shocked survivors with a soulful rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend.”

I… I… I’ve got nothing. There are no words to describe how monumentally stupid and farcical a move this was. It’s bad enough that we didn’t send any high-ranking official to the rally in Paris, but then to compound our mistake by trotting out a 70s retread singer to lead everyone in a group therapy session? Nearly a score of people were massacred by Muslims waging jihad against everything we stand for, and this buffoon thinks the right response from the Western World’s leading nation is to relive the Summer of Love? Forget “incompetence.” John Kerry should be impeached for humiliating us.

France lies bleeding, and we offer it… a song.

We’ve become an international joke.

RELATED: Leslie Gelb is right: If we’re to get through the next two years without experiencing  major disaster, Obama has to fire everyone. Starting with the James Taylor groupie at Foggy Bottom.


God Bless Australia

January 16, 2015
David Leonyhjelm

David Leonyhjelm

It seems some politically correct Australian nanny-stater was upset over Senator David Leyonhjelm’s criticisms of multiculturalism and his defense of the natural right of all humans to voice those criticisms. An “activist” wrote to demand he stop, because multiculturalism was the law, so… shut up!

This was the senator’s reply (below the fold for language): Read the rest of this entry »


(Video) Andrew Klavan with the revolting truth about the Senate “torture report”

January 16, 2015

Writer and satirist Andrew Klavan takes a sober, dignified look at the recent report on torture and the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques from the Senate Intelligence Committee. I think he sums it up just about right:

Notice how quiet the Democrats and the MSM have become about that report? That’s because they realize it was such an embarrassingly bad hack job that even they can’t defend it.


Nothing today, so how about some music?

January 15, 2015
"I got nothing."

“I got nothing.”

Been busy all day with meetings. Sadly, not the plotting to take over the world kind. Maybe something later. In the meantime, enjoy this clip of the great Wayne Shorter playing one of my favorites, “Adam’s Apple:”

Yeah, he could kind of play sax….


Do not mention the dread words “bacon” or “pork,” for you may offend “you know who!”

January 14, 2015
bacon

“Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!” Offended yet?

 

Once there was this neat thing called “Western Civilization,” which gave the world such wonderful ideas as human liberty, the worth of the individual, and the freedom to speak, write, and publish without the fear of being punished for what we say.

That was then, this is now:

The largest university press in the world has warned its authors not to mention pigs or pork in their books to avoid offending Muslims and Jews.

Oxford University Press (OUP) explained that their books must take into consideration other cultures of the world and must avoid mentioning pigs or “anything else which could be perceived as pork,” the International Business Times reported.

The move was revealed during a discussion on free speech during BBC Radio 4’s “Today,” following last week’s terror attacks in Paris.

“I’ve got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people.” Presenter Jim Naughtie said. “Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.

“Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you’ve got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke,” he said.

Let me state for the record that I agree with Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, himself a Muslim, that this decision is ridiculous; Oxford deserves to be roundly mocked for their sniveling cowardice.

However, it’s not as if they haven’t been given reason for this. Not only have we had repeated examples of Muslims rioting and killing for perceived slights against Muhammad, but (to name just one incident) a fast food chain in Britain was threatened with “jihad” over a dessert on which the lid maybe vaguely resembled Muhammad’s name in Arabic. (1)

With all that, one can almost sympathize with Oxford’s preemptive self-castration. (2)

Almost.

There was a time when we had confidence in our civilization, its values, and its accomplishments, a time when we would cheerily tell those who would try to tell us what we’re allowed to say to take a flying leap.

Apparently that time has passed at one of the oldest centers of learning in the Western world, whose publishing house rushes to censor itself before anyone even complains.

Grow a pair, Oxford.

UPDATE: Charles Cooke writes:

This is nothing more or less than an institution’s permitting the violent threats of the illiberal to impose thought control on the free. Worse, perhaps: this is forbiddance of the most petty, minor, craven sort. If those utilizing the publishing house of Britain’s oldest university cannot mention a basic food product for fear of offending the inordinately silly, how on earth are they supposed to tackle the larger questions of race, religion, love, poverty, sex, war, and politics? What chance do they have investigating belief systems and ideas? How might they go about debating subjects that really matter? All told, the popular claim “I’m offended” represents nothing more than a meaningless piece of cowardly self-indulgence. That Oxford University is so much as considering entertaining it is a disgrace.

Amen.

UPDATE II: The people of Paris show themselves far more brave than the craven editors of OUP.

Footnote:
(1) “Offend Jews?” Since when has any official body in Britain worried about that?
(2) They claim they just wanted to reach the broadest market. Yeah, right.


1 million tons of pressurised CO2 stored beneath Decatur, Illinois

January 14, 2015

The enviro-Left (and Green businesses hoping for lucrative government contracts) have been pushing carbon sequestration –storing CO2 deep underground — as one way to “save the planet.” But did you know if this underground storage ruptures for any reason, the released CO2 could kill thousands? Smart. Put people at risk to fight a problem that does not exist: catastrophic man-caused climate change. Great work, Green Movement!

Watts Up With That?

It was a tenth of that, 100,000 tons, that caused the Lake Nyos disaster

Lake Nyos, a volcanic crater lake located in the Northwest Region of Cameroon Lake Nyos, a volcanic crater lake located in the Northwest Region of Cameroon

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

7000 ft below the city of Decatur, Illinois, population 74,710 people, is a high pressure reservoir which contains 1 million tons of CO2.

From the press release:

One of the largest carbon sequestration projects in the U.S., the Illinois Basin – Decatur Project (IBDP) has reached its goal of capturing 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and injecting it deep underground in the Mount Simon Sandstone formation beneath Decatur, Illinois. The project is designed to demonstrate the feasibility of carbon capture and storage. IBDP director Robert Finley talked about the million-ton milestone with News Bureau physical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg. Finley is director of the Advanced Energy Technology Institute at the Illinois State Geological Survey, part…

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Al Gore, wrong again – Polar ice continues to thrive

January 13, 2015

How dare Nature continue to deny The Goracle?

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Rolf E. Westgard

global.daily.ice.area.withtrend[1]

In his 2007 Noble Prize acceptance speech, former Vice President  Al Gore warned that the “Arctic ice could be gone in as little as seven years.” Last week, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reported:

“The North and South Poles are not melting.” In that report, oceanographer Ted Maksym noted that polar ice “is much more stable than climate scientists once predicted and could even be much thicker than previously thought.”

That Woods Hole study was confirmed by today’s NOAA  Arctic radar map which shows the Arctic Ice Cap at more than 4,000,000 square miles, larger than on any December 28 in the past five years. Reaching the North Pole requires either a dog sled or a nuclear sub; Al Gore’s cruise ship will stay in the tropics. At the South Pole,  Antarctic ice coverage is at the highest extent since radar measurement began…

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Breaking: Paris massacre caused by shape-shifting Jews looking to frame Muslims

January 13, 2015

 

satire tinfoilhat conspiracy

But, of course:

He also called the Paris terrorist attacks “un complot,” or conspiracy, and launched into a lengthy explanation of the “magical Jews” behind it. They were not ordinary Jews, he said, but a “hybrid race of shape shifters” who have extraordinary abilities. “They know how to get in everywhere,” he said. “They are master manipulators.”

Oh, those wacky Jews! I wish I had their cool powers!

Bearing in mind that this Great Thinker is also a self-confessed drug-dealer,we might be inclined to write his theory off as the ravings of a nut-job. And, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’s been sampling his own wares a bit too much.

However, it’s also true that Arab Islamic society loves conspiracy theories, since it lets the believer take the role of the victim and avoid facing the real pathologies (self-)afflicting his or her world. For example, did you know Jews can cause earthquakes, or that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are works of science?  And this is not a recent development: Jew-hatred is common in the Qur’an, Islam’s foundational text. As the late Sheikh Tantawi, former Grand Mufti of Egypt and head of al-Azhar university (in other words, a deep scholar of Islam) wrote:

[The] Qur’an describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah, corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness…only a minority of the Jews keep their word….[A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims, the bad ones do not. (Qur’an 3:113)

You can read the rest in a long, but worthwhile dissertation on Islamic antisemitism here, or just buy the book. With thousands of years of tradition and orthodox theology lending their approval, is it any wonder it’s so easy to blame the Jews for anything, no matter how nutty?

Even when killers shout “Allahu akbar!” and “We have avenged The Prophet!” or train with al-Qaeda in Yemen.

via Susan L. M. Goldberg

PS: Yes, I know we have our own conspiracy nuts. Try searching “fire can’t melt steel” sometime. But, thankfully, these freaks are far less common here, though still dang annoying. In the Arab Islamic societies of the Middle East, on the other hand…