Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Officers Hurt by Occupy Protestors

I found this story interesting on a couple of levels. I haven't been terribly impressed with the Occupy movement in general in terms of their understanding of reality, but this was particularly stupid. Here's the story:

Melee Sparks Outside Capitol; Officers Hurt

It evidently started with a protest against the genocide of whites in South Africa. That sounds important to know about. Unfortunately, the protestors were initially reported to be a particularly unsympathetic group, white supremacists.

As an aside, the idea that skin color could possibly make any person better than any other has been thoroughly debunked scientifically decades ago, and racism is a particularly loathsome ideology.

The South Africa group did have a proper permit, however, and they denied being white supremacists.

As a second aside, for those who don't understand the First Amendment, it exists to protect offensive speech. Inoffensive speech needs no protection. New and challenging ideas should all be presented, and then a free society discards the ones that are found lacking, like racism.

The Occupy movement called a counter rally, presumably without a permit, since they tend not to bother with issues like fair use, legality, and other people's rights. It's unclear what they were countering. Since the original group was protesting genocide of whites in South Africa, perhaps Occupy supports genocide so long as it's white people being exterminated. Perhaps they were protesting the idea of freedom of speech if that speech comes from people they disagree with, a fairly common attitude from the progressive Left.

Then Occupy chose to do something I find almost as loathsome as racism. From the first-linked article:
"It was the activists across the street engaging the officers," said CHP officer Sean Kennedy, referring to the Occupy protesters.

CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader said the two officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital.

Kennedy said one of the officers was injured in the face and appeared to have been hit with some kind of a chemical agent. Kennedy said the other officer injured his leg, likely his knee.
Whether Occupy's message was, "Up with genocide of white people," or, "People with wrong some ideas shouldn't be allowed to express any ideas," injuring the police really isn't the way to make the point. Police have a tough job to start with and are just trying to maintain public order and ensure public safety. They're not the enemy.

In fact, all it proves to me is that a bunch of potentially unfairly-labeled white supremacists can be trusted to behave in a more socially acceptable manner by demonstrating peacefully with a proper permit than Occupy Protestors can be. Way to represent, Occupy Oakland.

For the interested, the slaughter of white farmers in South Africa does appear to be a problem:



Best Anthropogenic Global Warming Headline Ever

I'm sure it'll change soon, but Whatsupwiththat has preserved it:

Global warming is making the world colder

Yes, they do some scientific gymnastics to try to hold on to the anthropogenic theory of global warming.

No, anthropogenic global warming alarmists still don't bother to admit that their data set is corrupted junk, completely undermining their theory and requiring additional scientific skepticism.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Democrat Quotations on WMD in Iraq

I thought this subject was completely dead, until I saw a twitter note on it. I was shocked. I remember in that time period a bumper sticker, "Regime Change Begins at Home!" It existed because regime change was a stated goal, due to Saddam Hussein's ongoing violations of at least 16 U.N. resolutions. Once no nuclear weapons were found, though, those bumper stickers were quickly scraped off. Note that we found plenty of chemical weapons, which were documented to have been used. After the fact, the media insisted those weren't WMD in their eyes, though. They wanted nukes!

Saddam didn't have nukes. He used chemical weapons, and put on a great show of developing nukes, mostly to fool his neighbor Iran, but he didn't have them. His show of developing them had everyone believing him, however.

Fox News military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney said it well: "Everybody knew Saddam had chemical weapons, the question was, where did they go. Unfortunately, everybody jumped on the offramp and said 'well, because we didn't find them, he didn't have them.'"

Did everyone know Saddam had WMD's? Everyone with access to intelligence data seemed to think so. It wasn't just President Bush.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

Just in case there's any doubt, let's also hear from former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

As it turns out, after years of bashing Bush for "lying" about the intelligence they interpreted the same way, opponents of the war might have to eat some crow. Then, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off in Iraq that apparently contained sarin gas, a nerve agent.

No one would make much of a stink about one nerve gas filled shell if the cries of "Bush lied" and "there are no WMD's" hadn't been so loud. Now the cries have become, "Those aren't the WMD's we were looking for," and, "Those stockpiles are so old they've become degraded and harmless."

We'll deal with those objections separately. First, were those the WMD's we were looking for? Why, yes, they're precisely the ones. We knew that Saddam couldn't make nuclear weapons yet. He'd tried before, but Israel stopped him in 1981 by blowing up the French-built nuclear reactor he was publicly saying was intended for a civilian nuclear power program. No, we're not talking about Iran in 2005, we're talking about Iraq in 1981. If we'd learned from history, we might have been a little louder about Iran's "peaceful nuclear program." Even had Saddam obtained uranium as intelligence indicated he was planning to do, those weren't what caused weapons inspections to break down and the U.S. to invade Iraq.

In fact, a large portion of the motivation for war was that Saddam failed to account for some 550 shells containing mustard and sarin gases, and we weren't ready to let him hide them away. He had a bad habit of using them against Kurds in Northern Iraq and everyone knew it. Again, I turn to a Democrat to make the point: "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998. We simply weren't going to allow him to stymie inspections and hide weapons any longer. So we went to war.

Second, the idea that the WMD shells found were degraded past the point of effectiveness is only half true. The shells containing mustard gas were probably harmless by now. The shells containing sarin gas, however, were perfectly lethal. Sarin, when mixed, does degrade fairly rapidly. That's why Saddam's shells kept the chemical components separated until the shell was fired, meaning the sarin gas never had the chance to degrade. It was mixed when fired. In fact, the sarin shell that was used in an IED against our troops probably didn't kill anyone because the chemicals didn't have the chance to mix in the unfired shell. However, the chemical components in those shells were perfectly viable, and could be used to make sarin gas, or if anyone happened to load them in a howitzer, would have immediately been usable as WMD's against our troops or Saddam's own people. Additionally, experts in the field say that sarin is so lethal some degradation, had the gas been mixed, wouldn't really prevent it from being extremely effective. It's just that deadly.

A chilling report has come from Dr. Richard Spertzel, who is a member of the team inspecting Iraq's weapons. Evidence has surfaced that Saddam fully intended to mix sarin gas and introduce it into perfumes to be sent to U.S. and European stores, possibly as a "thank you" for the humiliation of weapons inspections. The lethality of sarin can't be disputed. A gram or so can kill about 20 people with decent dispersal. Gram for gram, that makes this stuff 10 times more lethal than the fissionable material used in the bomb over Hiroshima. If Saddam had gotten his way, this wouldn't be mathematical theory, we'd have gruesome empirical data to prove the point.

There's still more to find, too, according to former Iraqi nuclear scientist Gazi George, who worked for Saddam's regime. He firmly believes additional WMD's were transported to Syria and still others buried.

Getting rid of Saddam, his murderous plans and his weapons wasn't a bad thing. Whether how we ended up pursuing the war was optimal is certainly up for debate, but what we knew going in isn't: there were weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam had the desire to use them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


"When we talk about poverty, we often compare the poverty of some with the wealth of others, as if the wealth of some causes the poverty of others. 'The problem with our international global economy,' argues Bishop Thomas Grumbleton, 'is that the wealth of the world goes from the poor to the rich. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and poorer.' But the gap between the rich and the poor does not automatically mean that wealth is just transferred from the poor to the rich. In a market economy, it is as wrong as saying that the health of some causes the illness of others or the intelligence of some leads to the ignorance of others. Steve Jobs and his many well-paid employees didn't get rich by stealing iPads from homeless people. In fact, this 'gap' thinking can actually prevent us from helping the poor." -Jay W. Richards and James Robison, "Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It's Too Late"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sierra Snowfall Unaffected by Global Warming

Thanks, San Francisco Chronicle:
Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada has remained consistent for 130 years, with no evidence that anything has changed as a result of climate change, according to a study released Tuesday.

The analysis of snowfall data in the Sierra going back to 1878 found no more or less snow overall - a result that, on the surface, appears to contradict aspects of recent climate change models.

John Christy, the Alabama state climatologist who authored the study, said the amount of snow in the mountains has not decreased in the past 50 years, a period when greenhouse gases were supposed to have increased the effects of global warming.

The heaping piles of snow that fell in the Sierra last winter and the paltry amounts this year fall within the realm of normal weather variability, he concluded.

"The dramatic claims about snow disappearing in the Sierra just are not verified," said Christy, a climate change skeptic and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. "It looks like you're going to have snow for the foreseeable future."
Naturally, the ecochondriacs are still screaming the study's questionable. Okay, how about this one:
The world's greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows.

The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.
The anthropogenic theory of global warming is dead. I refuse to call it climate change, because that's nonsensical. The historical record has shown the only constant with climate is change. So you can't get alarmist about what the Earth has been doing since it formed.

The truth is, even if the global climate were rock steady for the next 50,000 years, alarmists would scream that the stability was unnatural and anthropogenic to justify their government grants.

Can we hang Al Gore in effigy now?

More global warming myths are dispelled here.

How is it I'd never heard of Frederic Bastiat?

Sometimes people attribute quotations falsely to historical figures to try to give them extra weight. I didn't authenticate these because they stand on their own merits. Mickey Mouse might have said them and their inherent truthfulness would lend them all the authority they need.

Attributed to Frederic Bastiat:
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.