Assad funds his own enemies

December 31, 2015

Everybody in that region is not just double-dealing, but triple-dealing.

Money Jihad

The regime of Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad is buying millions of dollars in oil from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Maybe years of sanctions against Syria have backfired in that Assad doesn’t have too many other willing sellers. This business relationship between Assad and ISIS helps explain the protracted nature of the conflict.

That, and we’ve been too slow to recognize that Assad may be the lesser priority evil in the region. The thinking in fashionable circles in D.C. for the last couple years was to defeat Assad then defeat ISIS. It may be a better idea to let him defeat ISIS and then reassess.

Here’s a telling excerpt from an interview by NPR’s Renee Montagne with Treasury official Adam Szubin (h/t El Grillo):

…MONTAGNE: I think it will amaze listeners to hear that a great deal of the oil paying for the Islamic State’s war…

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Greenland retained 99.7% of its ice mass in 20th Century!!!

December 30, 2015

So much for the hysterical claim that the Demon CO2 was melting the Greenland ice cap. Be sure to click through: I especially like the graphic of the “lost ice cube.”

Watts Up With That?

(Featured image borrowed from http://www.clipartbest.com)

Naturally, the Real Clear Science headline actually read…

Greenland Lost 9 Trillion Tons of Ice in Century

Which sounds even more serious than the original headline…

Greenland.PNGGreenland has lost 9,000 billion tons of ice in a century

One would think that the fact that 99.7% of Greenland’s ice sheet survived the 20th Century might just be more scientifically relevant than a 0.3% loss… But I guess that doesn’t make for a very dramatic headline.

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Great advice for the 2016 political season

December 30, 2015

Via someone on Twitter, I forget who:

Stop being stupid

Yep. smiley cowboy


British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods

December 28, 2015

Say it after me, kiddies: “There is nothing the Dread Demon CO2 cannot do. Nothing.” I wonder what they think caused changes in flood patterns before the Industrial Age?

Watts Up With That?

Carlisle Civic Centre amid floodwater, author Rose and Trev Clough, source Wikimedia Carlisle Civic Centre amid floodwater, author Rose and Trev Clough, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Top British government officials have predictably blamed Climate Change for severe flooding which has afflicted England in recent weeks. But there has also been strong criticism of river management policies.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald;

London: Climate change is forcing England to re-assess its flood defences in the face of unprecedented river level surges, one of the United Kingdom government’s most senior environment officials says.

We are moving from a period of known extremes into a period of unknown extremes,” said David Rooke, deputy chief executive of the UK government’s Environment Agency, which manages the country’s rivers.
“We will need to re-assess all the defences right across the country.”

He linked the devastating Boxing Day floods, still engulfing swathes of the country, to climate change.

“What we are seeing are…

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Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2015

From Public Secrets Global HQ, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and many happy surprises under your tree:

UPDATE: Here’s a very interesting article by historian John Steele Gordon on the origins and history of Christmas, including the story of how it came to fall on the end of the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. Smart man, that Pope Liberius: A Brief History of Christmas. (Hint: search the author and title in Google to get past the subscriber wall.)


US Landed Gentry demand Medieval Climate Tithes

December 22, 2015

And thus we see the true heart of the Green Movement: cronyism and rent-seeking at the expense of the public. The true believers are being played for suckers.

Watts Up With That?

lake windermere fern forest

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What could be better than owning a large woodland estate, and making a steady income from harvesting timber? Harvesting an additional tithe of taxpayer’s money, of course.

According to the Huffington Post;

America’s Family Forests: Our Climate Change Solution

Last weekend, 195 nations reached a landmark agreement that will commit the world to limiting its greenhouse gas emissions. Throughout the two weeks of negotiations, we saw significant discussion about how investing in forests can be a low cost climate solution. Unfortunately, these discussions often focused on international forests, and assumed that U.S. forests’ ability to sequester carbon will remain the same without any special action.

That’s why today, the American Forest Foundation and The Trust for Public Land, co-chairs of the Forest Climate Working Group, a coalition of landowners, conservation organizations, forestry advocates, forest products companies and scientists delivered a letter to President Obama calling…

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So-Called Paycheck Fairness Was the Nuttiest Idea at the Democrats’ debate

December 20, 2015

Remember what Margaret Thatcher said; it applies to the Democrats: They would rather everyone were poorer, as long as the gap between rich and poor were narrower. We would rather *everyone* be richer, and the “gap” be damned. The difference is crucial and fundamental.

International Liberty

Normally I’m very happy to work for the Cato Institute, both because it is a principled and effective organization.

But I wondered about my career choices last night because I was stuck with the very unpleasant task of live-tweeting the Democrat presidential debate. Cleaning out septic tanks would have been a more enjoyable way to spend my time.

Of all the crazy things that were discussed (you can see my contemporaneous reactions on my Twitter feed), the Clinton-Sanders-O’Malley support for so-called Paycheck Fairness legislation would be at the top of my list.

Yes, I was irked by the myopic fixation on income inequality, the support for class-warfare taxation, and the reflexive advocacy for more government spending, but messing around with the price system – because of an assertion that women are paid 77 cents for every $1 received by men – is an entirely different level…

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From the farcical to the surreal: Putin endorses a grateful Trump

December 17, 2015
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

Endorsed by dictators

When did I cross into Bizarro World?

Russia’s strongman took time out from bumping off political adversaries, putting his muscle in Iran’s service, and annexing other countries’ territory to praise GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump as “an outstanding and talented personality.”

A grateful Trump reacted: “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”

So, the currently leading Republican candidate is honored to be endorsed by a man intimidating and dismembering the countries around him, having opponents and critics assassinated, and generally acting like a global thug.

Analyst Tom Nichols offered this apt analogy:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I won’t go as far as Tom did in another tweet and call Trump a “traitor,” but I do think he is a contemptible buffoon — and a dangerous one, should he win the nomination and the presidency.

Are we sure Rod Serling didn’t introduce this story?


Minimum Wage Mandates Help Workers…into the Unemployment Line

December 17, 2015

Progressive city councils (Hello, Seattle and Los Angeles!) and state governments (Hiya, California!) have a lot to answer for: pricing out of the job market the very people they claim to want to help — young people and the poor.

International Liberty

As you can see from this interview, I get rather frustrated by the minimum wage debate. I’m baffled that some people don’t realize that jobs won’t be created unless it’s profitable to create them.

You would think the negative effects of a higher minimum wage in Seattle would be all the evidence that’s needed, but I’ve noted before that many people decide this issue based on emotion rather than logic.

So even though we have lots of evidence already that wage mandates cause joblessness (especially for minorities), let’s add to our collection.

Here are some excerpts from a Wall Street Journal column by Professor David Neumark from the University of California Irvine.

Economists have written scores of papers on the topic dating back 100 years, and the vast majority of these studies point to job losses for the least-skilled. They are based on fundamental economic reasoning—that…

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Enough

December 16, 2015

I’m largely neutral in the Cruz-Rubio fight, having decided to see how things shake out, but my friend AG makes a strong case that Cruz is being –at best– disingenuous when he insists he didn’t support legalization for illegals during the 2013 Gang of 8 debate.

agconservative

Enough.

I understand that Cruz fans feel the need to defend their candidate, but there is a certain level of intellectual honesty that reasonable debates require. Several people have sent me @trscoop ‘s defense of Cruz today as if it is evidence that those accusing Cruz of lying are wrong. Amazingly, Scoop accuses Cruz’s critics of being dishonest while he tries to rewrite history and ignore damning evidence that proves his assertions are false.

Scoop, through Amanda Carpenter’s tweets, is essentially arguing that Cruz’s amendment (which would have effectively granted a path to legalization to millions of illegal immigrants) was simply a poison pill and he never actually supported a path to legalization. This revisionism requires people to ignore hundreds of statements from Cruz to the contrary. Most importantly, Cruz specifically said at the time that his amendment was not a poison pill. Cruz said the objective of his amendment…

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The Intelligence Lessons of San Bernardino

December 16, 2015

These are lessons our leaders desperately need to (re)learn. Trouble is, I have little faith the current bunch will come anywhere close.

The XX Committee

It’s been nearly two weeks since Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple, murdered fourteen innocent people and wounded twenty-two more in their terrorist attack on a mental health facility in San Bernardino, California. Once the initial shock of that terrible event, the worst jihadist terror attack on American soil since 9/11, began to wane, awkward questions have been raised about just how effective our government’s efforts to combat violent extremism inside our country actually are.

Americans were shocked by the San Bernardino crime, and no wonder: Farook, a native-born citizen, coldly gunned down co-workers who were assembled at an office party, with help from his immigrant wife, both of whom had left their six month-old baby at home when they left for their suicide mission. While female participation in jihadist terrorism is nothing new, this was an unusually brazen and horrifying attack, particularly since given the size of…

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Shocker: Vegetarian diets worse for climate than eating bacon

December 15, 2015

“Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,…” Heads just exploded at Climate Cult meetings all across California. Pass the bacon.

Watts Up With That?

From Carnegie Mellon and the “BLT’s must be carbon neutral then” department comes this story sure to strike fear into the hearts of vegetarian climate activists everywhere.bacon

Vegetarian and ‘healthy’ diets are more harmful to the environment

Carnegie Mellon study finds eating lettuce is more than three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon

Contrary to recent headlines — and a talk by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference — eating a vegetarian diet could contribute to climate change.

In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie. Published in Environment Systems and Decisions, the study measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint and GHG emissions associated…

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R.I.P Tibor Rubin, American hero

December 13, 2015
Tibor Rubin

Tibor Rubin

Tibor Rubin died recently, after living a life that marked him as a great man. Born a Jew in Hungary, Rubin and his family were thrown into the death camps by the Nazis. He lost his mother and sister there, but Tibor survived to see the Americans liberate the camp and its prisoners. Overwhelmed with gratitude at the men who came from over the sea to save him and destroy his people’s tormentors, Rubin vowed to find a way to make it to America and become an American soldier.

Eventually he did, and Rubin found himself fighting in Korea against the North Koreans and Chinese. Legal Insurrection quotes from his medal of honor citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Corporal Tibor Rubin distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period from July 23, 1950, to April 20, 1953, while serving as a rifleman with Company I, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in the Republic of Korea.

While his unit was retreating to the Pusan Perimeter, Corporal Rubin was assigned to stay behind to keep open the vital Taegu-Pusan Road link used by his withdrawing unit. During the ensuing battle, overwhelming numbers of North Korean troops assaulted a hill defended solely by Corporal Rubin. He inflicted a staggering number of casualties on the attacking force during his personal 24-hour battle, single-handedly slowing the enemy advance and allowing the 8th Cavalry Regiment to complete its withdrawal successfully.

Following the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, the 8 th Cavalry Regiment proceeded northward and advanced into North Korea. During the advance, he helped capture several hundred North Korean soldiers. On October 30, 1950, Chinese forces attacked his unit at Unsan, North Korea, during a massive nighttime assault.

That night and throughout the next day, he manned a .30 caliber machine gun at the south end of the unit’s line after three previous gunners became casualties. He continued to man his machine gun until his ammunition was exhausted. His determined stand slowed the pace of the enemy advance in his sector, permitting the remnants of his unit to retreat southward. As the battle raged, Corporal Rubin was severely wounded and captured by the Chinese.

Choosing to remain in the prison camp despite offers from the Chinese to return him to his native Hungary, Corporal Rubin disregarded his own personal safety and immediately began sneaking out of the camp at night in search of food for his comrades. Breaking into enemy food storehouses and gardens, he risked certain torture or death if caught. Corporal Rubin provided not only food to the starving Soldiers, but also desperately needed medical care and moral support for the sick and wounded of the POW camp.

His brave, selfless efforts were directly attributed to saving the lives of as many as forty of his fellow prisoners. Corporal Rubin’s gallant actions in close contact with the enemy and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Tibor Rubin didn’t receive his medal until 2005, when it was discovered an antisemitic sergeant had interfered with the initial reports. It’s to the credit of Congress and the Bush administration that they corrected this insult.

You can read more and watch a video about Tibor Rubin at Legal Insurrection — in fact, I insist you do. In an era when we hero-worship narcissistic nothings who’ve never done a thing in their lives worth remembering, when we pander to infantile adults who become upset at hearing words they don’t like, it’s gratifying, refreshing, and reassuring to read of someone who, to the day he died, always looked for some way to pay back the land that had saved his life. Not flashy, not showy: no screaming “look at me, me, me!” Just a man of quiet, humble courage who was a better American than many who were born here.

Rest in peace, Corporal Tibor Rubin. May your memory be a blessing to your family and the adopted country you so honored.


Aussie “Green” Opposition Leader Busted Texting while driving a SUV

December 11, 2015

Well my, my, my.

Watts Up With That?

Yipes! Great White Shark, South Australia pictures underwater photos

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Australia’s Federal left wing opposition leader Bill Shorten, who has repeatedly demanded far more ambitious greenhouse gas cuts than the current Australian government, has just been busted on video sending a mobile text message, while driving a SUV.

According to the Australian ABC;

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been fined $455 and has lost four demerit points after he was caught using his mobile phone while driving in Melbourne.

A video, obtained by News Corp, showed Mr Shorten driving along Kings Way in August this year with his phone in hand.

Today he made a public apology for the incident.

“Like most drivers, I always try to do the right thing,” he said.

“But there’s no doubt that using your phone while driving is the wrong thing to do — there’s no excuse for it.

“I shouldn’t have done it and won’t do…

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Oh noes! A handful of climate skeptics may ‘derail’ Paris treaty – so let’s revoke their credentials

December 7, 2015

Sounds like the Climate Cultists are desperate for their own “safe space,” where no contrary opinions are ever heard.

Watts Up With That?

getout

Activists demand UN ‘revoke’ credentials of ‘climate deniers’ in Paris – Claim ‘Climate Hustle’ film is ‘full of lies’ – without seeing it – Warn skeptics may ‘derail’ UN treaty

THE AUSTRALIAN, DECEMBER 7, 2015 12:00AM

Graham Lloyd – Environment Editor
Sydney: Green groups want alternative views on climate science silenced in Paris, with a call for delegates with contrarian opinions to be ejected from the UN talks.
Sceptic groups such as the Heartland Institute have started to arrive in the French capital, sparking fears among environment groups that they will derail proceedings using funds from fossil fuel interests.

A new documentary, Climate Hustle, was due to be premiered in Paris tonight (Monday). Producers claim it will be for nonbelievers what Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was for the converted.
Climate change action lobby group SumOfUs has pushed back with an international campaign to raise funds for a counter offensive.

The…

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Pearl Harbors then and now

December 7, 2015

In the last surprise attack on American soil before 9/11, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor:

The end of the USS Arizona

(Credit: Aviation History)

My grandfather was a Petty Officer aboard the USS Nevada during the battle. Below are a couple of pictures of his ship under attack, the only battleship to get underway that day:

…and…

Grandpa was having a bad day

(Both photos credit: Naval Historical Center)

As you can see, they had been hit pretty hard. Thankfully, Grandpa survived.

Fourteen years ago, we were hit by another fascist enemy, Muslims waging “jihad fi sabil Allah,” with casualties 25% higher than Pearl Harbor:

(credit: September 11th News)

…and…

(Credit: Aspersions)

…and…

(Scene at the Pentagon. Credit: US Navy via Wikimedia)

Our grandfathers finished their job. Let’s not do any less, shall we?

RELATED: The story of Lt. John William Finn, the last surviving Medal of Honor winner from Pearl Harbor.

NOTE: This is a republishing of a post I put up each December 7th.


#SanBernardino jihad massacre: Was Christmas itself a target?

December 6, 2015
Fatwa this!

Prophet of jihad

I know it sounds bizarre to us –how exactly does one attack a holiday, and who could hate Christmas so?– but it’s not as farfetched as one might think. In an article for PJ Media, Bridget Johnson looks at the religious angle to what fools were initially describing as “workplace violence:”

But there’s been little attention paid to why [jihadist Syed] Farook’s co-workers were gathered together, technically away from their workplace: the Christmas party.

And terrorist groups have a fondness for the holiday season.

In 2001, shoe bomber Richard Reid attempted to down a transatlantic American Airlines flight on Dec. 22. Acting for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight heading from Amsterdam into Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009. On Christmas Day 2011, Boko Haram launched a series of strikes against churches in four cities that killed 41.

(…)

That spring, AQAP released an issue of Inspire magazine that explicitly suggested staging attacks during the holiday season and exploiting Christmas for strategic advantage.

In a bomb-making how-to with the AQ Chef — the nom de guerre for al-Qaeda’s bomb instructor for “open-source jihadists” — the magazine stressed that “choosing the place and time is a crucial factor to success in any operation. Choose targets in your own country. You know the enemy better, you are within.”

Suggested targets were sporting events, election campaign, festivals and any other gatherings regardless of whether or not there’s a landmark involved — “the important thing is that you target people and not buildings.”

Recommended times to strike? Christmas and campaign season, said Inspire.

There’s more: be sure to read it.

One thing many people don’t realize is that, for the jihadist, this is a religious war. Sure, we might recognize that superficially, but most of us don’t really understand its implications. This is a war waged by adherents of one religion, Islam, against all other religions to prove that their god is superior (“Allahu akbar!” means “Allah is greater!”), to reserve all worship for him, alone, and to subjugate and even destroy the other religions, which are seen as, at best, misguided (Christianity), or at worst as downright evil. (Hinduism and Judaism, for example.) The Believer is under religious command to fight these other religions:

And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.

(See also, for more)

Like I said, the concept is almost incomprehensible to us Westerners, raised in a secularized, rational society shaped by the Enlightenment, something the Islamic world has never experienced. We burned that need to make war on other religions out of our psyches during the horrific religious wars in Europe in the 16th and, especially, the 17th centuries.

True though it is that the West is still superb when it comes to waging war –we can fight and win savage wars to the death when needed– we don’t go attacking Christmas parties. That makes no sense to us from a military standpoint and it offends our sense of decency.

But, to the jihadist Muslim, it makes perfect sense because the religion is the real target, and therefore you must attack its symbols and celebrations. By doing so you tell its believers that their religion is weak or false, that their god cannot protect them, that safety only lies in submission or conversion to your religion.

When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

This is why Syed Farook and his wife attacked the Christmas party and killed their coworkers and their guests. It wasn’t just a soft, undefended target — it was a celebration of the enemy religion and thus a legitimate target.

This is a religious war, with all the implications those words carry. And until we understand the doctrines and teachings of the religion for which this war is waged —Islam— we’re going to keep losing.