Lacking enough ships of our own, US Marines will serve aboard foreign ships

June 23, 2015
"You're not welcome."

“Good thing we could catch a ride here!”

This is embarrassing:

Faced with a shortage of U.S. Navy ships, the Marine Corps is exploring a plan to deploy its forces aboard foreign vessels to ensure they can respond quickly to global crises around Europe and western Africa.

The initiative is a stopgap way to deploy Marines aboard ships overseas until more American vessels are available, said Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa.

The Marines will be able to respond quickly to evacuate embassies or protect U.S. property and citizens, a need highlighted by the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

“There’s no substitute for U.S. amphibious” vessels, Cooling said. “We’re looking at other options” in the meantime, he added.

The Marines have been working with Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and other close allies to determine the suitability of the foreign ships for U.S. personnel and aircraft.

Hey, at least these are allies. What’s left of our space program has to hitch a ride with the Russians.

I can just see it now: an emergency somewhere in the Middle East, and US Marines have to run onto some boat in Sicily asking “Hey, buddy! Can you give us a lift?”

This is what happens when you have a Socialist (1) president and his party is dominated by progressives: through budget cuts and initiated by the White House and a budget process in Congress so screwed up by the then-majority Democrats under Harry Reid that the sequestration meat-ax was inevitable, our military has been starved of funds to the point that it’s having an effect on operational capabilities. And that, in turn, will further affect stability around the globe, which has relied since 1945 on US power.

None of this has to be, of course, but it’s the tragic consequence of electing a government more interested in fundamentally transforming America at home than in protecting her interests abroad. A government that, in fact, views American interests and American power as a problem and views our decline as a positive choice for the world.

I hope they’ve at least budgeted for cab fare for our Marines.

via Tammy Bruce

Footnote:
(1) This is beyond doubt. The only question is what kind and to what degree.


#ChinaHack: That does it. I want executions.

June 17, 2015
x

OPM network security specialist

This Ars Technica article about today’s House hearing on the Chinese hacking of almost the entire US government personnel database opens with a recounting of the deserved reaming the head of OPM and its CIO received from Chairman Chaffetz (R) and his committee. But, that was not the nut of the article. Oh, no. The crucial piece of information was buried in the next to last paragraph. See if you can spot it.

Some of the contractors that have helped OPM with managing internal data have had security issues of their own—including potentially giving foreign governments direct access to data long before the recent reported breaches. A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project “was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People’s Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is ‘so what’s new?'”

Repeat after me: the Chinese (1) had frakking root access (2) to those databases!! That made them top-level administrators with access to everything. All the supposedly secure, classified data on every background check of every US employee investigated by OPM. And who knows what else they could do while they had access?

I’m almost speechless. To Hell with firing people: this is so weapons-grade stupid that only a firing squad will do.

Pour encourager les autres.

via CinnaminM and John Schindler

Footnotes:
(1) Please. Don’t even try to tell me a root-level administrator working in China was not -at the least- turned by Chinese intelligence, if not an active agent.
(2) See.


ISIS: Is Barack Obama merely “incompetent,” or malevolently so?

June 10, 2015
Leadership

Leadership

I was wondering what that sound was I heard the other day. Turns out it was jaws dropping at the Pentagon when they heard their commander in chief say this:

The US does not yet have a “complete strategy” for helping Iraq regain territory from Islamic State (IS), President Barack Obama has said.

He said the Pentagon was reviewing ways to help Iraq train and equip its forces.

But Mr Obama said a full commitment to the process was needed by the Iraqis themselves.

How long has ISIS/Daesh/The Islamic State been in the news as they rampage across what used to be Syria and Iraq butchering thousands? Over a year? And yet the president says his military still hasn’t presented him with a “complete strategy?” (Which begs the question of why he wasn’t pounding his desk demanding one, being the commander in chief, after all.)

Reacting to the news that they’ve just been thrown under a bus, a Pentagon official had this to say:

One military official reacted angrily to Obama’s blamesmanship:

“What the f— was that,” the official told Fox News. “We have given him lots of options, he just hasn’t acted on them.”

I guess this is how community organizers smooth over civil-military relations: take no responsibility for what’s in your job description and then find a scapegoat to take the fall for you, hoping enough of your toadies in the press will run with that to at least confuse the issue of your own failings. Deflect and distract, it’s the Obama way.

Of course, we’ve known for years that he just isn’t really that interested in his job, especially foreign affairs, which is one of his three major constitutional responsibilities. Hence his failure to really act on the options the military chiefs have given him and his need to blame someone else for his own failings.

As the Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, sometimes says, if Obama really were trying to destroy America’s foreign relations, what, exactly, would he do differently?


Free Speech: I find your lack of faith disturbing, America.

May 24, 2015
x

Do we need a refresher?

Via Tom Nichols, here’s Charles Cooke on the results of a survey showing a majority of Democrats and a significant minority of Republicans effectively favor repealing the 1st Amendment:

Depressing news from YouGov:

“YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups. Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.”

What’s disturbing is that the speech in question doesn’t directly incite violence. It doesn’t urge people to go right now and burn the shops of those unliked people “over there.”

Rather, the “hate speech” referred to is a vague term (1) meaning “hurtful things you said that I don’t like.” To give a personal example, I’m very clear regarding my dislike for Islam: I think it an antisemitic, misogynistic, and bigoted faith with aggressive imperatives that lead it to demand supremacy over other faiths and to make war on their adherents until they submit. I have serious questions about whether it is or can be compatible with liberal, post-Enlightenment societies, at least with regard to Muslims who choose to live it as Muhammad intended.

For some, that would qualify as “hate speech”under the standards of that survey, because I would be “stirring up hatred” against Islam, though I would never advocate violence against Muslims, no matter how strong my criticisms of their faith. As Cooke explains, that standard is nevertheless exactly what would get me in trouble in the UK, where free speech protections are dying on the vine under the assault of laws such as the Public Order Act.

That a majority of the self-identified adherents of one of our two major parties would favor laws to criminalize the expression of thought — and that a large portion of the supposedly conservative party would agree with them! — is profoundly disturbing. I hope, indeed, I pray, that this is simply because people agreed with something they thought “sounded reasonable” and didn’t think through the implications thereof, rather than indicating a fundamental change to something that has made us, as a nation, truly exceptional.

Otherwise, we’re in deep trouble.

RELATED: While a number of Republicans have lost their way when it comes to free speech, let’s not forget that it was the Democrats who actually proposed an amendment effectively gutting the 1st Amendment.

Footnote:
(1) This is a great analysis of the increasing calls in the MSM for censoring free speech. Well-worth reading. (h/t Charles Cooke)


UK: Labour leader promises to criminalize “Islamophobia”

April 26, 2015

“Big Brother as a young man”

Great Britain is holding a general election on May 7th, and it’s clear that Ed Miliband, the Labour Party leader, is getting desperate. In an interview with the Muslim News web site, Her Majesty’s would-be first minister promised to outlaw Islamophobia:

“We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records with the police to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime,” he said, adding: “We are going to change the law on this so we make it absolutely clear of our abhorrence of hate crime and Islamophobia. It will be the first time that the police will record Islamophobic attacks right across the country.”

Now, lest you think “attacks” just means physical assault, bear in mind the UK has a growing problem with the tolerance of free speech. Given these and other examples, it’s clear that what Mr. Miliband has in mind includes the punishment of free speech, which is the expression of a person’s thinking. In other words, Ed Miliband would make “incorrect thinking” a crime — thoughtcrime.

George Orwell, call your office.

I’ll be frank, Eddie, this is pretty damned disgusting. For a major party leader in the land that gave the world the concepts of individual liberty and natural rights –including free speech– to advocate the creation of a crime based on the holding of abhorrent thoughts is, well, almost unspeakably sad. Shall Great Britain, patriarch of the Anglosphere and the font of our liberties, cast off its heritage and become tyrannical out of fear of hurtful words? Do you, Ed Miliband, seriously propose policing people’s thoughts just to pander for votes among the Muslim community?

If Labour had any sense, they’d toss you to the curb for even making the suggestion.

PS: It’s not as if we don’t have a growing problem here, too, with Leftists and their allies assaulting free speech on our college campuses. And the “hate crime” in general is a troublesome concept, criminalizing a person for his or her thoughts, if they can be known with any certainty, and not just their actions. It also creates privileged classes of victims: declare hatred of red hair a crime, and suddenly assaulting a redheaded person is a worse offense than assaulting a blonde person in the exact same manner. That’s not treating all citizens as equal, as the law should.


Test at Tonopah solar project ignites hundreds of birds in mid-air

March 2, 2015

Well done, Green Movement, well done.

Watts Up With That?

Uh, oh. From NatureWorldNews

crescent-01[1]

“It’s no secret that solar power is hot right now, with innovators and big name companies alike putting a great deal of time, money, and effort into improving these amazing sources of renewable energy. Still, the last thing you’d likely expect is for a new experimental array to literally light nearly 130 birds in mid-flight on fire.

And yet, that’s exactly what happened near Tonopah, Nevada last month during tests of the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project.”

“According to Rudy Evenson, Deputy Chief of Communications for Nevada Bureau of Land Management (NBLM) in Reno, as reported by Re Wire, a third of the newly constructed plant was put into action on the morning of Jan. 14, redirecting concentrated solar energy to a point 1,200 feet above the ground.”

“Unfortunately, about two hours into the test, engineers and biologists on site started…

View original post 132 more words


#Obamacare chronicles: government sends wrong tax information to nearly 1,000,000 people

February 20, 2015
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

What was it Ronald Reagan said? Oh yeah:

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

Happy to help, America:

About 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers got the wrong tax information from the government, the Obama administration said Friday, and officials are asking those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns.

The tax mistake is a self-inflicted injury that comes on the heels of what President Barack Obama had touted as a successful enrollment season, with about 11.4 million people signed up.

California, which is running its own insurance market, on Thursday announced a similar problem affecting about 100,000 people in that state.

The errors mean that nearly 1 million people may have to wait longer to get their income tax refunds this year. And they could also affect the size of those refunds.

Another 50,000 or so who already filed may have to resubmit their returns.

My late father, a sharp man in many ways, once taught me something about handling employees:

“You can do almost anything you want to people who work for you, but you never, ever screw with their money.”

The same holds true for government and taxpayers; the Fed and California just broke that rule big-time.

Consider: We are all required by law (1) to have health insurance. If we do not, we will be punished. If our insurance is not provided by an employer, we are required, again by law, to buy it on the Obamacare exchanges. In order to afford those policies, now more expensive thanks to the “Affordable” Care Act, the government offers subsidies, the amount of which is determined by various factors, such as income and number of children. And that information has to be provided to the IRS on our tax forms, including whatever information the government provides on these new “1095” forms.  And that information in turn helps determine whether we get a refund, what size it is, or if we wind up owing the government money.

And the government gave out the wrong information.

To a million people. smiley d'oh!

It’s bad enough that people who wanted to file their return and who have almost most certainly scheduled their appointments with overworked tax-prep people will now have to delay their filings (For how long? Can they reschedule with the accountant?), but what about those who have already filed? Now they have no idea whether they get a refund or owe Uncle Sam — surprise!!

And you can bet a good portion of these one million taxpayers, most of them voters, are going to be royally ticked off about this and looking for someone to blame as we get into election season. (2)

Dad was right.

via Iowahawk:

Footnotes:
(1) This anti-constitutional monstrosity of a law, that is.
(2) That would be the Democratic Party. Not a single Republican voted for this. In fact, we were screaming like Cassandra that this was a fiasco waiting to happen. Please remember that on election day.


For the good of the nation, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson should resign

February 19, 2015
Jeh Johnson

Jeh Johnson

It’s been tough to stomach the vacuous platitudes and the detached-from-all-reality prescriptions being offered at the White House’s three-day “summit” on “Countering Violent Extremism,” which is their latest laughable response to the threat from Islamic terrorism and jihad — though they’ll never use those words in a connected sense. It’s always an amorphous “violent extremism,” as if we should be just as worried about the threat from radical Presbyterians as much as the danger posed by Muslims waging jihad fi sabil Allah.

First there was the President’s own op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, in which, among other fatuities, he tells us we must deal with “legitimate grievances” that lead to “violent extremism,” perhaps meaning a Harf-ite jobs-for-jihadis program. I’m sure the fighters flocking to ISIS to burn people alive and buy sex slaves would lay down their arms if they only had a 9-5 with two weeks off.

Then there was Secretary of State Kerry’s blather about violent extremism and the need for unity and an “action agenda.” If anyone can find any intellectual substance behind his words, you’re a far better detective than I.

But those insults to our intelligence can be shrugged off as more of the mush that masquerades as a genuine foreign and national security policy in the administration. We’ve heard it all before, though it’s harder to take in such concentrated doses.

What can’t be shrugged off, however is a slanderous insult against the American people, especially when offered by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Speaking at the CVE summit, Secretary Jeh Johnson said:

[W]e in the administration and the government should give voice to the plight of Muslims living in this country and the discrimination that they face. And so I personally have committed to speak out about the situation that very often people in the Muslim community in this country face.

Excuse me? What “plight?” Considering the horror visited upon America on September 11th, 2001, Muslims in the US have been treated with remarkable restraint and even kindness, as many people went out of their way to show they weren’t holding them to blame for the massacre their co-religionists wrought. In fact, in the most recent figures available, the FBI reports that there are more than three-times as many hate-crimes against Jews as against Muslims.  (1)

Will Secretary Johnson “give voice” to the tragic plight of Jews in America, too?

Later in the same article, Power Line’s John Hinderaker writes:

This is simply insane. Does the Obama administration think that pleading guilty–falsely–to discriminating against Muslims is somehow going to pacify ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and the rest? And what, exactly, is the “plight” of American Muslims? How does it compare with the plight of Muslims who live in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Libya and elsewhere in the Islamic world?

Not to mention the plight of Christians and Jews who live in those places, to the extent there are any left. A funny thing about that: if, as Johnson assures us, “the Islamic faith is one about peace and brotherhood,” what, exactly, happened to all those Christians and Jews? The administration is delusional, but one constant, no matter the context, is its reflexive instinct to condemn America.

Like I said, it’s one thing for Obama and Kerry to spew nonsense; perhaps I’ve become jaded to their drivel, but Secretary Johnson is specifically charged with the protection of Americans in the American homeland. For him to abase himself before the conference attendees and lend credence to the Islamic victim narrative with false accusations against his own people is beyond excuse and renders him unfit for his office.

I’d say he should do the decent thing and resign, but I’ve long stopped expecting decency from the typical Obama appointee.

Footnote:
(1) The recent murders of three Muslims in North Carolina, which apologists from the president down to CAIR were quick to imply were rooted in “Islamophobia,” appear instead to have been the horrifying result of a dispute over parking. But even if they had been motivated by religion, they would have been among the strikingly few examples of anti-Islamic violence in the US.


I think we can call this a “non-starter” of an idea

February 14, 2015
x

“Wait. She’s serious?”

Let pedophiles adopt? Sure, and let’s give junkies keys to the pharmacy, while we’re at it:

Helen Reece, a reader in law at the London School of Economics, called on Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to relax rules which automatically ban sex offenders from caring for children, saying that this could breach their human rights.

In an article in the respected Child and Family Law Quarterly, Miss Reece suggested that reoffending rates were not high among sex criminals, adding: “despite growing public concern over paedophilia, the numbers of child sex murders are very low.”

Well, if it’s only a few, why should we be concerned about putting child-molesters into direct, daily, and intimate contact with the objects of their perverse obsession? What could go wrong?

This is one those milestones on the road to the collapse of civilization, isn’t it?

Yeesh.

via Jonah Goldberg:


Obama: “Don’t criticize Islam because Christians did terrible things, too!”

February 5, 2015

satire does not equal 02

Sigh. While speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, Obama warned against insulting religions, just because one has the right to do so. In the process, he engaged in some intellectually lazy moral equivalence:

“Humanity’s been grappling with these questions throughout human history, and unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place — remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ,” Obama said.

“…So it is not unique to one group or one religion; there is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. And God compels us to try.”

Obama advocated starting with “some basic humility.”

First, let’s all take a moment to clean up after the spit-take we all experienced when Barack “I’m the 4th greatest president, ever” Obama advocated some basic humility. Better, now?

The President was speaking in the context of the horrific murder of Jordanian pilot Lt. Mu’adh Yusuf al Kasasibah by burning him alive. And Obama, always supposing himself to be the only reasonable man in the room wanted to warn others, “Hey, Christians have done some nasty things, too, so let’s not go overboard in reaction.”

This is called a tu quoque error, Latin for “you, too,” or arguing the accuser is a hypocrite for being just as guilty as the accused. Not only is this an error of relevancy –what happened centuries ago has no bearing on the atrocities committed by ISIS nor our condemnation of them– in this case Obama is showing an all too common ignorance of both history and the religions he presumes to lecture about.

Put bluntly, when a Christian commits “terrible deeds” while invoking the name of Christ, he is acting against Christ’s teachings. On the other hand, when a Muslim does something similar, he is often acting in accord with the teachings of the Qur’an, the hadiths, and the recorded deeds of the life of Muhammad. Writing at Victor Davis Hanson’s site, Bruce Thornton puts it so when criticizing another example of historical and theological ignorance:

This point makes [Harvard Professor Kevin Madigan’s] argument a false analogy, for there is nothing in traditional Islamic theology that provides a basis for making violence against heretics and non-believers un-Islamic. The professor wants to argue away these inconvenient truths about traditional Islam by arguing that the faith can evolve away from them, just as Christianity did. But again, whereas historical Christian violence could find no scriptural justification, and much to condemn it, Islamic violence and intolerance––and of course slavery and Jew-hatred––are not the result of fringe or extremist misinterpretations. Rather, they are validated in the Koran, the Hadith, and 14 centuries of Islamic theology and jurisprudence, all regularly and copiously cited by today’s jihadists and theologians.

Thus the doctrine of jihad against infidels––the notion that such aggression is a justified form of the defense of Islam and necessary for fulfilling Allah’s will that all people become Muslims––is the collective duty of those dwelling in the House of Islam. The Koran instructs, “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth.” Nor can there be any “tolerance” or “mutual respect” for those who reject Islam, especially Jews and Christians: “O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” The professor’s dream of a “broad-minded form” of Islam would require an extensive reinterpretation or rejection of some of Islam’s fundamental tenets.

That whole article is worth the time to read.

While I was raised in a Catholic household, I’m not a religious person. And while I have a great deal of respect for (most) religions, I have none for the kind of shallow, intellectually indolent and sanctimonious ignorance Obama displayed in his remarks. The fact is, while Judaism, Christianity, and Islam arose in roughly the same region and have some similarities, what is valued as right and good and a religious duty in Islam is far different than in the former two faiths, as anyone who takes more than a superficial glance at them can see.

If we’re to fight this war successfully, we have to understand accurately the beliefs of those fighting on the other side. Sadly, we’ll have to wait for the next president to have any hope of that in our leadership.

PS: Regarding the Crusades, whatever wrong happened during them, let’s not forget that they originated in a Western counterattack against the Muslim conquest of two-thirds of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, including Christendom’s holiest sites.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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…

View original post 926 more words


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.


Climate Craziness of the Week – AGW could trigger plants and soil in tipping point attack

December 27, 2014

So now a “greening” of the Earth, leading possibly to higher food production as more areas become arable and plants get more plant food (that nasty CO2) is a bad thing. The climate alarmists are getting desperate, I tell ya.

Watts Up With That?

Yes, somehow, more plants growing due to increased CO2 will cause more carbon dioxide in a vicious cycle. Notice three things about this study: 1. The word “could” 2. “modeling work”. 3. Lack of any paleo reference to such an event in Earth’s past during higher periods of CO2.

Attack_of_the_monster_plantsFrom Princeton: Dirty pool: Soil’s large carbon stores could be freed by increased CO2, plant growth

An increase in human-made carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could initiate a chain reaction between plants and microorganisms that would unsettle one of the largest carbon reservoirs on the planet — soil.

Researchers based at Princeton University report in the journal Nature Climate Change that the carbon in soil — which contains twice the amount of carbon in all plants and Earth’s atmosphere combined — could become increasingly volatile as people add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, largely because of increased plant growth. The…

View original post 443 more words


Hilarious irony – Michael Mann to give lecture on ‘Professional Ethics for Climate Scientists’

December 15, 2014

This is like Bill Clinton lecturing on marital fidelity.

Watts Up With That?

From the ‘truth is stranger than fiction department’, reporting from San Francisco at the AGU Fall Meeting

ED11D-02
Professional Ethics for Climate Scientists
Monday, December 15, 201408:15 AM – 08:30 AM Moscone South 102
Several authors have warned that climate scientists sometimes exhibit a tendency to “err on the side of least drama” in reporting the risks associated with fossil fuel emissions. Scientists are often reluctant to comment on the implications of their work for public policy, despite the fact that because of their expertise they may be among those best placed to make recommendations about such matters as mitigation and preparedness. Scientists often have little or no training in ethics or philosophy, and consequently they may feel that they lack clear guidelines for balancing the imperative to avoid error against the need to speak out when it may be ethically required to do so. This dilemma becomes acute…

View original post 191 more words


#Obamacare: Good news! Your tax dollars pay for foreign diplomats’ health care!

December 11, 2014
x

Obamacare loophole writer in action

Reason number eleventy-billion why they should have read the danged bill. Apparently a loophole allows foreign diplomats and UN employees to receive premium subsidies for their insurance:

Congress is considering a new bill aimed at stopping foreign diplomats stationed in the United States from receiving taxpayer subsidized health coverage benefits under Obamacare, according to a copy of the bill filed Wednesday.

Foreign diplomats and United Nations employees posted in the United States are permitted to receive premium tax credits and other perks paid for by the U.S. taxpayer under a loophole in President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.

The Obama administration confirmed earlier this year that the loophole existed, prompting outrage on Capitol Hill among lawmakers who argue that the U.S. taxpayer should not foot the bill for foreign diplomats’ health care costs.

House lawmakers moved on Wednesday to close the loophole by offering a new bill to designate foreign diplomats as ineligible for tax credits and other cost-sharing reductions under Obamacare, according to a copy of the bill authored by Reps. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) and Dave Camp (R., Mich.)

The legislation would require Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees implementation of Obamacare, to ensure that no foreign diplomats are receiving such benefits.

I think Moscow can pay for its own diplomats’ insurance, don’t you?

Of course, given the rolling disaster that is Obamacare, maybe encouraging foreign diplomats to sign up for it could be considered an act of war.


Michael Tomasky’s raging progressive bigotry

December 8, 2014
Chattanooga VW workers, per MSNBC

Michael Tomasky’s South

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the worst reactionary bigots I’ve ever met have all been on the Left. Case in point:

I’d never heard of Michael Tomasky before this morning, when my feed reader was suddenly full of commentary about his anti-South screed at The Daily Beast. Apparently the recent disaster the Democrats suffered in the midterm elections set him to boiling, and Mary Landrieu’s defeat over the weekend in the Louisiana runoff blew the lid off:

Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment. A fact made even sadder because on the whole they’re such nice people! (I truly mean that.)

With Landrieu’s departure, the Democrats will have no more senators from the Deep South, and I say good. Forget about it. Forget about the whole fetid place. Write it off. Let the GOP have it and run it and turn it into Free-Market Jesus Paradise. The Democrats don’t need it anyway.

“They’re such nice people, but I really hate their guts!”

Mikey then goes on to say there are some parts of the South the Democrats really do need, but, for the rest, he wishes secession had succeeded, because they just aren’t real Americans down there.

Yeesh. Look, Mike. I know the election was hard on you. From Texas to the Atlantic, there is now only one Democratic statewide officeholder in the Old Confederacy. Landrieu lost a seat the Democrats held since I think the 1870s (1). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think every state legislature in the South is now in Republican hands, too.

I get it. This is tough on you. It can’t be easy being rejected when you’re so cock-sure of your own side’s intellectual and moral superiority. I only hope you didn’t smash the keyboard while writing your tirade.

I’d like to think the election results would have lead you and your fellow progressives to reflect on why you lost so badly in that part of the country. What policies lead to your rejection? What was it about what the Democrats were offering that made so many say “no, thanks?”

But, no. You and so many like you in the progressive commentariat already know the answer, no self-reflection needed: “They’re all a bunch of mouth-breathing Jesus-fetishists who just don’t know what’s good for them, so we should just tell them to go to Hell!”

If that’s the case, Mike, how do you explain Colorado and Iowa, where Republicans won the Senate races? Or New Mexico and Nevada, where Latino Republicans won reelection for governor? Or deep-Blue Maryland and Massachusetts, where Republicans also won the elections for governor? I’ve never been to Maryland, but I know it ain’t a “Free-Market Jesus Paradise.”

If you want to find the real bigot suffering from “choleric resentment,” Mike, try looking in the mirror.

Footnote:
(1) You know, when Reconstruction ended and the Democrats returned to power, using Jim Crow laws and their allied terrorist groups, such as the KKK, to make sure Blacks could never vote Republican — or often not at all. There’s a good book on all that and more.

RELATED: Also writing on this are Jonah Goldberg, Charles Cooke, and Noah Rothman.

Correction: When I wrote “only one Democratic statewide officeholder,” I was thinking of Governor McAuliffe in Virginia. I forgot about Senator Nelson in Florida. Still, the party is almost extinct in statewide offices.


Theater of the Absurd: taxes force Spanish theater to sell porn to stay open

December 5, 2014

“Detrás de la puerta verde?”

Here’s another wonderful example of the ridiculous situations created when a bloated, unsustainable social welfare state forces politicians to tax anything and everything they can think of in order to feed the beast. In this case, a Spanish theater that presents the plays of Spain’s “Shakespeare” has to sell pornography to reduce its crippling tax burden:

Crippled by colossal tax rates and falling ticket sales, the Spanish cultural sector is taking creative action to cut its tax bill, including one theatre which has changed its main business to pornography to avoid having to pay high taxes.

The tax charged on cultural performances in Spain has shot up from eight to twenty-one percent since 2011 as the government attempts to balance the books, and has drawn a broader range of products into the local VAT-like ‘sales tax’. Some have noted the uneven application of the new higher taxes, which have hit high culture but not erotica and magazines.

Theatre director Karina Garantivá said: “It’s scandalous when cultural heritage is being taxed at 21 percent and porn at only at 4 percent. Something is wrong”. Her company, which performs works by the “Spanish Shakespeare” Pedro Calderón de la Barca has decided to circumvent the new, punitive taxes by registering as a distributor of pornographic magazines – and is offering free performances.

Punters buying €16 worth of hardcore-swingers magazine Gente Libre from the company receive a ‘free’ ticket to a performance of the highly regarded 17th century comic drama El Mágico Prodigioso.

Garantivá said the law as it stands made theatres feel as if they were “in a straitjacket, suffocated”, and that “We want people to ask what kind of a society makes this kind of decision. That they compare pornography and Calderón … and reach their own conclusions”.

A tax on “cultural performances?” That might make even gentry liberals here howl in outrage.

Ms. Garantivá asks the right question in the above highlight, but I have to wonder if someone raised in Spain’s all-encompassing social welfare system could easily come to the right answer? The problem is welfare statism itself, which spends far more than it can afford and faces continual pressure to spend even more to support an aging population, while dealing with a declining birth rate. The government’s increasing tax demands thus fall on a shrinking tax base, taking more per person. It’s a recipe for economic stagnation at best and collapse at worst. It’s a growing problem confronting much of Europe, but the people most burdened by the taxes often shriek the loudest at any effort to cut taxes and benefits to more rational levels. And we’re not all that far behind.

Meanwhile, you also have to wonder about politicians who tax “Shakespeare” more than smut.


Obama Ignored US Embassy’s Warnings On Climate Change Speech

November 23, 2014

Our petulant man-child president strikes again, this time insulting a close ally in order to push his climate-change claptrap. The only word to describe such a performance is “juvenile.”

Watts Up With That?

US_Embassy_Seal[1]Obama’s Climate Fiasco Drives Aussies Closer To India & China

Barack  Obama defied the advice of his embassy in Canberra to deliver a stinging attack on the Abbott government’s climate policies in Brisbane last weekend. The US embassy, under the leadership of ambassador John Berry, advised the President, through his senior staff, not to couch his climate change comments in a way that would be seen as disobliging to the Abbott government, sources have revealed. Historians of the US-Australia relationship are unable to nominate a case of a visiting president making such a hostile speech for the host government. — Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 23 November 2014

The United States embassy in Canberra advised President Barack Obama not to make the provocative, anti-Abbott speech on climate change which he made at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. That the President acted against the advice of his own embassy reveals a…

View original post 316 more words


100 Year Snow Records broken across the South Eastern US on October 31st and November 01st

November 3, 2014

Global warming — there is nothing it cannot do, including making it snow earlier than it has for 134 years.

Watts Up With That?

It was the earliest and heaviest snow in several places since records have been kept dating as far back as 1880.

Southeast_US_snow
100 Year Snow Records broken across the South Eastern US on October 31st and November 01st. It was the earliest and heaviest snow in several places since records have been kept dating as far back as 1880. Reduced sunspot count shows Solar hibernation is occurring along with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) showing a cooling Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) Atlantic Ocean temperature is predicted to fall by 2020, which screams of cooling events to take place globally.
Story Title:

h/t David DuByne

View original post


Good news! Some of our vetted, moderate Syrian allies have defected to al-Qaeda!

November 2, 2014

satire oops embarrassed button

I swear, our foreign policy would be turning out better results if it were run by the Keystone Cops. Via Patrick Poole at PJM, while some have just surrendered to al Qaeda, others have switched sides. Oh, and handed over he weapons we gave them. What was it bin Laden said about people preferring the strong horse?

Guess who’s the weak horse?

Two of the main rebel groups receiving weapons from the United States to fight both the regime and jihadist groups in Syria have surrendered to al-Qaeda.

The US and its allies were relying on Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front to become part of a ground force that would attack the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

For the last six months the Hazm movement, and the SRF through them, had been receiving heavy weapons from the US-led coalition, including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles.

But on Saturday night Harakat Hazm surrendered military bases and weapons supplies to Jabhat al-Nusra, when the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria stormed villages they controlled in northern Idlib province.

The development came a day after Jabhat al-Nusra dealt a final blow to the SRF, storming and capturing Deir Sinbal, home town of the group’s leader Jamal Marouf.

Remember, these were among the guys we were counting on to fight ISIS. That’s some vetting job we did there.

Read the rest of Poole’s report for information on a growing rapprochement between ISIS and al Qaeda, which would reunite the two branches of our deadly enemy. Between this and the desultory, micromanaged air campaign ordered by a diffident president who’d much rather be golfing, the self-proclaimed Caliphate and their al-Nusra besties should be marching into Baghdad and Damascus by New Year’s.

We’re in the best of hands.

UPDATE: Michael Totten, who knows the Mideast better than you and I ever will, says Syria is gone.