Boring Bridges and Roads

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By Alan Caruba

In November 2010, Business Week, noting the $72 billion set aside in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the “stimulus”, cited a 2009 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers on the state of the nation’s infrastructure of roads and bridges, solid waste and water treatment processing facilities, the aviation system, and energy needs.

Known as the ASCE “report card” and issued every four years, the Society gave America a grade of D regarding the nation’s crumbling and outdating infrastructure. The estimated cost of what needs to be spent through 2014 was estimated to be $2.2 trillion.

The stimulus allocation of $72 billion falls considerably short, but any money directed to infrastructure maintenance and upgrading is money well spent. However, as President Obama discovered, “not all shovel ready projects were shovel ready.” Any civil engineer or town mayor could have told him that.

Essentially, today’s politicians find infrastructure projects boring. They lack the razzle-dazzle of programs devoted to “renewable energy”, high speed trains, and countless electric cars speeding down the potholed highways of the future.

It took a very long time to create the network of bridges, roads, air and seaports, and other essential elements of the infrastructure and, thanks to time, wear and tear, and general indifference they are all deteriorating at an increasing rate.

This means your children and grandchildren face the possibility of living in a Third World nation of disasters such as the Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007 and the New Orleans’ levee failures when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

The national highway system we love was built in the 1950s. “More than 26% of U.S. bridges are either structurally deficient or obsolete,” says the ASCE. “The average bridge is now 43 years old.” Auto traffic between 1980 and 2005 increased 94% and truck traffic doubled!

Most Americans are blissfully unaware or just plain ignorant about the role of infrastructure and, worse, at a time of financial crisis the prospect of spending millions or trillions on it is slim. There is, of course, a price to neglecting such things. It goes up every year repair and replacement is put off.

Fortunately, there are people sufficiently concerned about this to come up with a plan to address it in a fiscally prudent, but long term way. There’s a website, http://whataretherealcosts.org/ representing “a campaign to implement life-cycle budgeting at the federal, state, and local levels.” It was initiated on June 22.

The site offers a white paper titled “Delivering Taxpayer Value: Three Tools That Can Help Ensure a More Efficient Cost-Effective Infrastructure” written by John W. Fischer, a transportation consultant who spent more than three decades with the Congressional Research Service.

The white paper should be read by the staffs of every Senator and Representative in Congress. White House staff should read it, too. Then it needs to be read by the staffs of every state governor and, of course, all transportation officials.

Boring as this may seem, when the recommendations cited in the report were implemented in Louisiana, it saved an estimated 25% on the costs of materials purchased by its department of transportation for road projects. In Indiana, an estimated $10.3 million was saved and, in Missouri, over a three-year period, paving projects came in between 5.1 and 8.6% below cost.

At least one politician is trying to do something to change the usual approach to budgeting for major infrastructure costs. In March Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Fiscal Accountability and Transparency in Infrastructure Spending Act of 2011.

How serious is it? Well, serious enough for publications from Business Week to Scientific American, among others, to issue warnings, usually based on the ASCE “report card.” Anyone who has ever had to endure a loss of electricity knows the helpless feeling when a part of the infrastructure doesn’t perform. Now add to that water treatment plants to ensure you get clean water when you turn on the faucet. You get the point.

Potholes are not big vote-getters. Rusting bridges may not collapse. Landfills are, well, Landfills. You don’t have to be a civil engineer to know how much serious trouble we’re in. It will only get worse if the politicians from D.C. to the town hall do nothing about it.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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We'll see

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I blogged recently on the right of homeowners/tenants to defend themselves against those who would choose to break into their properties, seems the circumstances of the people arrested who weren't the actual thieves has hit a nerve somewhere in the government.

Express.

USING “whatever force necessary” to repel a burglar means that stabbing them or hitting them with a poker won’t be a criminal offence, Justice Minister Ken Clarke said yesterday.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Clarke said that under plans to clarify the law on self-defence “we will make it quite clear you can hit a burglar with a poker if he’s in your house and you have a perfect defence when you do so.
“If an old lady finds she’s got an 18-year-old burgling her house and she picks up a kitchen knife and sticks it in him, she has not committed a criminal offence, and we will make that clear.”
Mr Clarke has come under attack over what was seen as his soft stance on sentencing.
He accepted the defence of reasonable force already exists, but said: “Given that doubts are expressed, we are going to clarify that. What people are not entitled to do is go running down the road chasing them or shooting them in the back when they are running away or to get their friends together and go and beat them up.
We all know what we mean when we say a person has an absolute right to defend themselves and their home with reasonable force.
“Nobody should prosecute and nobody should ever convict anybody who takes these steps.”
 So what is reasonable force? Well the government and the laws view seems to be that you can only defend yourself if your assailant or other villain is facing you, the minute they run away it's no longer reasonable force. My idea of reasonable force is that anyone who breaks into my home or threatens me and mine should never be given an opportunity to do the like again and if that means chasing them down the road whilst shooting them in the back, then that strikes me as fairly reasonable. Suspect from the comments I got that my position isn't that unreasonable to most who read my stuff and if anything is a little mild. To me (and others) the minute you illegally enter a premises with the intention of breaking the law, then whatever rights you have, have gone out of the window and God help you if you run away, the only option you have should be surrender because running away means you might come back later so makes you fair game.
Too many of our politicians and lawmakers and enforcers don't really live in the real world where there is an ongoing problem with crime, they live in nice communities away from the reality of living with the fear of attack or robbery. Perhaps if they hadn't spent so much time disarming us (for our our own protection) and gave us more control over our lives and safety, we wouldn't be talking about this.
As it is, I really don't see anything in Ken Clarke's statement that gives me cause to rejoice, he's just stated the law as it stands and hasn't given any guarantees that people wont be arrested simply for defending themselves, until the law is changed to remove the "reasonable" force clause, then this I'm afraid is simply just soundbite policy on the hoof.
Give us the right to really defend ourselves, then perhaps I might just change my mind about what is and isn't reasonable.

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The Epicenter of Anti-Semitism

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By Alan Caruba

Anti-Semitism has a very long history.

In June, Dr. Rivka Shpak Lissak, a Jewish historian, posted a section of her forthcoming book, noting that “The Roman Empire committed a genocide of the Jewish people under its occupation (63 BCE – 324 CE) of the land of Israel. From about 3,000,000 Jews in the first century CE (Common Era), about 200,000 survived until the 7th century, most of them killed or enslaved.”

How does this differ from the Arab agenda that has existed since the day that the modern state of Israel was resurrected and was immediately attacked by five Arab nations in 1948?

Islam’s exponents in Hamas and Hezbollah have always made it clear that the purpose of their existence is the destruction of Israel and both are instruments of Iran’s expressed intention to “wipe Israel from the map.”

The United Nations, despite its role in the recognition of Israel, is the epicenter of modern anti-Semitism and a facilitator of Jew-hatred.

It has provided a shameless platform for every virulent call for the destruction of Israel and the Jews. If for no other reason, the UN has no right to exist. The United States should not be a participant or party to this obscenity.

The UN’s role in the furtherance of global anti-Semitism is so manifest it is impossible to ignore. Its sponsorship of the Durban conferences, allegedly to oppose racism, has fostered the most egregious anti-Semitism. In September 2009, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the conference and repeated every tired lie about Judaism and Jews. Out of 192 UN members, only eleven got up and left. The United States and Israel had chosen not to attend.

In September 2010 Ahmadinejad used his UN invitation to New York to claim that that “segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the (9/11) attack” on behalf of “the Zionist regime”; only seven nations including the U.S. departed the General Assembly.

Simply not attending these events without a strong, vocal denunciation is a weak response.

The “tilt” of the Obama administration against Israel has only encouraged Arab states. In the two and a half years Obama has been in office, he has expressed support for a mosque within sight of Ground Zero, has openly insulted the Israeli Prime Minister on his first trip to Washington, and backed a UN investigation into the Turkish flotilla to Gaza, among other overt acts.

Most recently, the UN leadership endorsed the Iranian-sponsored “World Without Terrorism” conference on June 25-26. It was a confab attended by some of the leading actors when it comes to terrorism including Sudan and Pakistan, both of which were hosts to the late Osama bin Laden. By far the leading facilitator for terrorism is, of course, Iran. This Alice-in-Wonderland approach to the truth is typical of Arab and Persian Islamic deception and incitement.

In June, the UN General Assembly elected Iran as one of its vice presidents and Qatar as its president. Each will begin a year-long term in September. Durban III is scheduled for September 22, 2011.

The Palestinians will push for recognition as a nation-state in the General Assembly where the U.S. has no veto. Former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, noted that “General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, and that body has no authority to recognize states, although its actions can be politically powerful, as the 1975 ‘Zionism is racism’ resolution demonstrated.”

Bolton is urging Congress to make it clear that any resolution to recognize Palestinian statehood will result in a cutoff of funds to the UN, but not to separate agencies such as the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and others.

From the days of ancient Rome, to the last century’s Holocaust, to the present existence of the United Nations, anti-Semitism remains an evil component in the affairs of the world

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Sleeper Agent

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As visitors to this blog know, I never post anyone else's writings here. I am going to break that rule to share an unsourced piece of writing that came my way from a fellow blogger. Why? Because it says what needs to be said!



Obama: Where are his girl friends?????

Where are his girl friends? Strange that none have popped up!!!!

Strange to the point of being down right WEIRD!

OK.. this is past the ‘birthers’ questions…this is just plain old common sense, no political agendas for either side.

Just common knowledge for citizens of a country, especially American citizens, who even know that Andrew Jackson’s wife smoked a corn cob pipe and was accused of adultery, or that Lincoln never went to school or Kennedy wore a back brace or Truman played the piano.

We are Americans! We are known for our humanitarian interests and caring for our ‘fellow man.’ We care, but none of us know one single humanizing fact about the history of our own president.

Honestly, and this is a personal thing…but it’s niggled at me for ages that no one who ever dated him ever showed up. The simple fact of his charisma, which caused the women to be drawn to him so obviously during his campaign, looks like some lady would not have missed the opportunity….

We all know about JFK’s magnetism, McCain was no monk, Palin’s courtship and even her athletic prowess were probed. Biden’s aneurysms are no secret. Look at Cheney and Clinton…we all know about their heart problems. How could I have left out Wild Bill before or during the White House?

Nope…not one lady has stepped up and said, “He was so shy,” or “What a great dancer!” Now look at the rest of this…no classmates, not even the recorder for the Columbia class notes ever heard of him.

I just don’t know about this fellow.

Who was the best man at his wedding? Start there. Then check groomsmen. Then get the footage of the graduation ceremony.

Has anyone talked to the professors? It is odd that no one is bragging that they knew him or taught him or lived with him.

When did he meet Michele and how? Are there photos? Every president gives to the public all their photos, etc. for their library.

What has he released?

And who in hell voted for him to be the most popular man in the world?

Does this make you wonder?

Ever wonder why no one ever came forward from Obama’s past, saying they knew him, attended school with him, was his friend, etc.? Not one person has ever come forward from his past.

VERY, VERY STRANGE. This should really be a cause for great concern. To those who voted for him, you may have elected an unqualified, inexperienced *shadow man*.

Did you see a picture called The Manchurian Candidate?

Let’s face it; as insignificant as we all are…someone whom we went to school with remembers our name or face…someone remembers we were the clown or the dork or the brain or the quiet one or the bully or something about us.

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News said the same thing during the 2008 campaign. He questions why no one has acknowledged the president was in their classroom or ate in the same cafeteria or made impromptu speeches on campus. Stephanopoulos also was a classmate of Obama at Columbia — the class of 1984. He says he never had a single class with him.

While he is such a great orator, why doesn’t anyone in Obama’s college class remember him? And, why won’t he allow Columbia to release his records?

NOBODY REMEMBERS OBAMA AT COLUMBIA

Looking for evidence of Obama’s past, Fox News contacted 400 Columbia University students from the period when Obama claims to have been there, but none remembered him.

For example, Wayne Allyn Root was, like Obama, a political science major at Columbia, who also graduated in 1983. In 2008, Root says of Obama, “I don’t know a single person at Columbia that knew him, and they all know me. I don’t have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia …EVER!

Nobody recalls him. Root adds that he was also, like Obama, “Class of ’83 political science, pre-law” and says, “You don’t get more exact or closer than that. Never met him in my life, don’t know anyone who ever met him.”

At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack! And five years ago, nobody even knew who he was. The guy who writes the class notes, who’s kind of the, as we say in New York, ‘the macha’ who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him.”

Obama’s photograph does not appear in the school’s yearbook, and Obama consistently declines requests to talk about his years at Columbia, provide school records, or provide the name of any former classmates or friends while at Columbia.

NOTE: Root graduated as valedictorian from his high school, Thornton-Donovan School, then graduated from Columbia University in 1983 as a political science major in the same class in which Barack Hussein Obama states he was.

Some other interesting questions.

Why was Obama’s law license inactivated in 2002?

Why was Michelle’s law license inactivated by court order?

It is circulating that according to the U.S. Census, there is only one Barack Obama but 27 Social Security numbers and over 80 aliases.

WHAT!?

The Social Security number he uses now originated in Connecticut where he is never reported to have lived.

No wonder all his records are sealed!

h/t http://texasfred.net/
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Wuff Justice*

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* Sorry, sorry, but too good a pun to resist.

I'm a great believer in people getting their just deserts when it comes to criminals, too many have had their lives made a misery so it's good to see that occasionally there's a bit of payback in the grand scheme of things.

Telegraph.



A knife-wielding robber's attempt to rob an off-license shop in Devon is thwarted by the owner's dog. 
Eve Watson, 55, and her six-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Cane, took on the intruder after he jumped over the counter with a Stanley knife demanding money from the till.
The shop owner fought back by grabbing a nearby craft knife, telling the robber, "so you like to play with knives, do you".
Mrs Watson then grappled with the robber and managed to pull down his hood, exposing his face to the CCTV cameras in the shop.
Her dog then joined in, biting the man between his legs before the intruder fled the shop empty-handed.
Well this day just keeps on getting better and better, amazingly enough she wasn't arrested for having a dangerous dog, nor was the dog dragged off to be put down.
Devon and Cornwall police praised Mrs Watson for her bravery and have now launched an appeal to find the culprit.
He is described as a white male, aged 23 to 25 with fair hair who has a thin, acne marked face and was wearing jeans and dark trainers.
Hopefully walking with a pronounced limp and unable to sire any children either (well we can hope)
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Get Easy Online Payday Loans in 1 Hour

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Online Payday LoansYou may be plagued by problems with cash that have occurred because of your spending your salary too fast or any sudden expenses coming your approach. To upset such a state of affairs, what you’ll do best is take up cash earlier until your salary arrives and then repay it. this will be completed the fast approach through low cost payday loans online. Through low cost payday cash advance, the borrowers who are in require of urgent money amounts will get them simply. what’s required is just the filling of an application sort online. With this and therefore the conditions or approval fulfilled, the funds is transferred to the account of the borrower in but 24 hours. sure conditions are needed to meet as no guarantee of compensation is concerned.

You can use simple online payday loans for whatsoever desires that you’re falling in want of money. the needs are often breakdown of your vehicle, medical bills, mastercard bills, consolidation of debts, for improvement of your house, and lots of a lot of. These services are useful for pay family people. they’re approved in twenty four hours. they’re useful as they will be availed every by people that have good and adverse credit standing. within the online mode of application, the choice whether or not or to not approve this service or not is taken speedily. Faxless payday advance loans can bring money to account of applicant for his or her urgent wants. It permits applicant to use cash until next payday. then money must be repaid. it’s a speedy thanks to prepare money one time you would like money however payday is way.

Payday loans via net to want advantage of all the facilities of loans whereas sitting alone at home. after you’re in would like of cash between paydays, you’re invited to fill out a simple kind given by the loan lending companies to gather some personal data relating to the borrower. The credit loan companies raise for your name, address, phonephone variety, account variety, occupation etc. Before using cash advance loans you want to require care that you just are ready to repay loans payday online because of high interest rates the amount can increase rapidly and may well be caught at intervals the debt entice. Taking advantage of payday loans net on your ability to pay.

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President Babe

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By Alan Caruba

There’s a lot I don’t know about Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Representative who just announced that she wants to be the next President of the United States of America, but I do know she is great eye candy and, given the present occupier of the office, I would much rather look at her in the Oval Office than him.

She is—and I say this with all due respect—a babe.

Mitt Romney, with whom she is currently a “front runner” in the nomination sweepstakes, looks classically presidential. He is a handsome fellow with a winning smile. My guess, though, is that if Texas Governor Rick Perry gets in the GOP race, all bets are off or, more accurately, all bets will be on him. Gov. Perry has a certain John Wayne cragginess about him and a track record of success in the Lone Star State.

I would like to say that the presidency is not a beauty contest, but to some degree it is.

Put side-by-side on a stage with Obama during the 2008 campaign, John McCain looked like one of the dwarfs that hung out with Snow White. However, confounding everyone during the campaign was the former beauty contest contestant and Governor of the Great State of Alaska, Sarah Palin and she, too, is an attractive gal. Plus she can skin a moose. Can you????

In a society that is conditioned by scads of celebrity silliness to prefer handsome men and beautiful women, it is no secret that we prefer our candidates to meet Hollywood casting standards. Anyone old enough to remember John F. Kennedy can verify that. Rumor is that the ladies loved him and he returned the favor. Jackie Kennedy was quite a beauty in her own right and a great asset for him.

By Hollywood standards, who would not vote for George Clooney or Robert Redford in a heartbeat? By comparison, Newt Gingrich more resembles the Pillsbury Doughboy. Until he opens his mouth and then he has the tendency to make a lot of sense along with the occasionally egregious gaff such as teaming with Nancy Pelosi to spout global warming fairy tales.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, 73% say they expect the United States will have a woman President sometime in the next ten years. “Voters are more willing than ever to elect a woman president” said the survey results and the national telephone survey found that “82% of likely U.S. voters say they are willing to vote for a woman president.”

So a President Bachmann, while unlikely in the short run, is not unlikely in the decade ahead unless, of course, we elect a President Palin before that. Some political pundits are saying that Rep. Bachmann might end up on the GOP ticket as the vice president candidate and would thus be one heart attack away from the presidency.

Rep. Bachmann is a Tea Party conservative and that has been gaining traction. I would vote for her just because she wants to repeal Obamacare and there’s much in her stated political positions with which I would agree. In politics as in life, good timing is always helpful and Rep. Bachmann brings an impressive personal and political resume to a race that is actually beginning to look and sound interesting.

Given the savage treatment accorded Gov. Palin, we shall soon know how much Rep. Bachmann scares the Left by how quickly they begin to photoshop her head on photos of porn star bodies. Their dementia knows no bounds.

Americans should recall that Ronald Reagan’s counterpart in Great Britain was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and England has not had a PM to match her judgment and toughness since.

Let us keep our eye on the prize which in this case is to send Barack Hussein Obama packing; back to his beloved Chicago where he can pig out on fast food with Rahm Emanuel, Bill Ayers, and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Why are we paying for this?

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Seems every time I look at the activities of those involved in the maintaining of public services from management to unions I keep finding stories of corruption and waste. At one time the UK ran an empire that controlled about a quarter of the globe and managed it with about 1500 civil servants, I know times have moved on and life is a tad more complex now but the over-manning, waste and general corruption is truly shameful especially as it comes out of the pockets of the taxpayer. This is one of the little scams that the unions have to get paid for doing their job out of the public purse rather than out of their members subs.

Telegraph.
More than 360 civil servants are working full-time on trade union duties, figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph show.
The cost of the officials to the taxpayer is estimated to be nearly £19 million, an increase of more than £2 million in the past year.
The Ministry of Defence employs 66 full-time civil servants working on trade union duties and 321 working part-time for unions, the figures released under freedom of information laws show.
The figures were obtained by Dominic Raab, the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton in Surrey, amid concern among ministers over the spread of militant trade unions in the public sector.
The civil servants are entitled to work full-time on trade union business, including representing workers’ grievances and negotiating over pay and other perks. Some ministers suspect they are privately building support for strikes.
There is simply no justification for this, if people want to be involved in union activities, then it's not the job of the taxpayer to be paying for them to do so, that should be down to the union members to pay for any full time officials. There is no way such practices would happen anywhere other than the public services with their magic money trees, even if (predictably) the unions have the nerve to blame it on Tory reform laws.
I expect as the public services go on strike over the next few weeks that a lot of these stories will come out of the woodwork as the government lays the ground to gut the public service unions.I also think the unions are going to be quite surprised at the low level of public support they will get too, those of us who work in private industry having little or no sympathy with those who want to keep their perks and gold plated pension at our expense and that at the end of the day is the crux of the matter, the public services do what they do at our expense, no-one expects them to do without necessities, but we do expect them not to take the piss either and using the public purse to pay for your union reps rather than doing the job they are supposed too is seriously taking the piss!
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First Ignored, Then Attacked: 6th International Climate Change Conference

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By Alan Caruba

In the words of Gandhi, “First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Thursday, June 30, will mark the beginning of the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, sponsored by The Heartland Institute, a free market policy center headquartered in Chicago. The conference will be held in Washington, D.C., an appropriate location considering how much hot air emanates from Congress and the White House.

I attended the first conferences that took place in New York City, just across the river from where I live, so I was “there at the beginning” for conferences that were, in the words of Gandhi, largely ignored by the mainstream media and subsequently mentioned but only as the object of mockery.

When, in 2009, emails exchanged between a handful of scientists who provided the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with the most specious, deliberately duplicitous “data” to prop up the “global warming" hoax were revealed, the whole house of cards began to collapse.

It has since been propped up by a bunch of media, political, and science dead-enders who had stacked their reputations on pulling off the great hoax of the modern era; that an infinitesimal amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—0.038 percent—was causing the Earth to heat up, the seas to rise, and Minnie Mouse to announce she was pregnant.

The success of the forthcoming conference, however, has been blessed by the modern form of respect, a preemptory news release attacking it. The Center for American Progress issued a “press call advisory” titled “Climate Deniers Congregate in the Nation’s Capital.”

It began, “The Heartland Institute, a conservative group funded by Exxon Mobil and Charles Koch…” Whoa! Mr. Chairman, we rise to question why the Center for American Progress would engage in an outright lie? Answer: That’s what progressives do because they are immune to the truth.

For the record, neither Exxon Mobil, nor Mr. Koch, has contributed to the cost of the conference. The former has not contributed to the Institute since 2006 and the Kochs have not sent any money in more than a decade.

But let’s finish the Center’s opening sentence that characterized the conference as “boasting a full agenda of notable climate deniers.” The term climate deniers has long been attached to any scientist, academic, politician, or commentator such as myself who had the temerity to point out that every single claim made on behalf of “global warming” was pure horse-hockey.

Since 1998 we have been discussing the new climate cycle, a COOLING one!

The Center for American Progress sought to make light of the conferences’ theme, “Restoring the Scientific Method.” And a damn fine theme it is considering the damage to the entire scientific community that, prior to the global warming hoax, was not famous for deciding what the truth was by “consensus.”

Real science still depends on peer review and the thorough testing of a hypothesis until it can no longer be disputed because it is reproducible. You can say the Earth is flat until you are blue in the face, but it is still round. The “warmists”, however, did everything they could to short-circuit this rigorous process.

The Center for American Progress is concerned that the forthcoming conference asserts that “global warming is not a crisis” and it will be devoted to “ending global warming alarmism” and “disputing that global warming is man-made.”

Would someone please tell the Center that the Earth is now more than a decade into a perfectly natural cooling cycle and that mankind does not control the sun, the oceans, the clouds, the volcanoes, or any climate event? Whenever a tsunami, blizzard, or tornado occurs, Mother Nature’s advice to mankind is “Get out of the way!”

Since I am loath to travel further these days than the Bagel Chateau one town over from where I reside, I shall be watching the conference on streaming video, June 30 to July 1. It should be noted that, in addition to a roster of some of the world’s most respected climate scientists who will make presentations, the Institute has routinely invited some of the most prominent alarmists—warmists—to participate.

A recent Forbes article noted that “a virtual Who’s Who of global warming media hounds” had been invited to participate in the conferences over the years. Conference coordinator, James Taylor, the Institute’s senior fellow for environment policy, said that Al Gore, James Hansen, Michael Mann and others “all seem to have some sort of scheduling conflict whenever they have to share the stage with a scientist who will be challenging their evidence.”

Meanwhile, the egregiously misnamed Center for American Progress will hold a conference call on Wednesday to launch an attack on the conference. No longer ignored or mocked, the Heartland Institute and its conference are clearly on the winning side.

Funeral ceremonies for “global warming” will follow with the mourners all wearing green.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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On your Mark's

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The Euro, love it or as most of us do ignore it has a poor history, supposedly one of the flagship marques of the European Union it was an artificial currency that took no notice of regional economies as it did not have anything like the checks and balances built in to alleviate regional differences that its so called rival the US Dollar does.
Still, with the current difficulties it faces with the Southern Mediterranean states (and Ireland) the possibility of a Greek default on their loans, you'd have suspected that it would have been one of those states who would eventually be the first to leave the Euro. and that the Euro bolstered by the more stable Northern EU economies would survive.

Express.
ALMOST three-quarters of Germans doubt that the euro has a future, a poll reveals.
They also believe rescue attempts are futile as billions more euros will be paid to bail out Greece.
A poll by German newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine, found 71 per cent had “doubt,” “no trust” or thought there is “no future” for the euro. Only 19 per cent expressed “confidence” in it.
Sixty eight per cent said they did not think the emergency bail out of Greece would work.
A separate poll last week showed more than half of Germans thought that Greece should be thrown out of the euro.
Rumours are also rife in Germany that Deutsche Mark bank notes are being printed again in preparation for ditching the euro.
It is said Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, has been ordered to print marks as part of contingency plans to leave Europe’s single currency.
Couple of years ago I'd have been gobsmacked by such an announcement, that was however until I noticed something a bit odd on my till receipts from my occasional booze cruises to France in that they all had the amount in Francs still printed on them, seems the only people who thought the Euro could work were the EUphiles and despite their claims, they still only form a minority of people throughout the EU, the rest being either highly hostile or mostly indifferent to the EU, just check out the percentage of votes cast in the EU elections, hardly a vote of confidence is it?
I expect the EU to move heaven and Earth to keep the Germans onboard, but Merkel is walking on a knife edge, elections are due and it's just possible that the opposition will force the German governments hand. If Germany leaves the Euro it will be the end of it, far more so than if Greece does.
We can dream.
Can we leave yet?
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Liberals Exit Stage Left

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By Alan Caruba

Granted that reading anything in the liberal media can be daunting for the sheer volume of infantile content it represents, but it can be instructive, particularly as regards the emergence of trends in Leftist opinions.

I am sure that liberals were delighted to read all the criticism conservatives directed at George W. Bush, but they seemed unaware that Bush43 was more frequently than not on their team. As the debate over modifying Medicare rages on, they forget that he expanded the program by adding prescription benefits to it. W never saw a spending bill he would not sign.

Now, however, liberals have their man in the Oval Office and have had two and a half years to assess his performance. They are increasingly unhappy.

Sunday’s Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll found that 24% of the nation’s voters “strongly approve” of Obama’s performance, but short of changing his party affiliation that is a near-constant level of approval. It just means that nearly one-in-four voters are too dumb to be allowed to use sharp instruments. I call it the Food Stamp Vote.

By contrast, “Nearly half of U.S. voters give President Obama poor marks for his handling of the economy,” noted Rasmussen and it is the economy that will dominate the 2012 elections even if he totally emptied the Strategic Oil Reserves.

I have long regarded Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, as a barometer of what liberals are saying to each other. She’s the Ann Coulter of liberalism and almost as entertaining.

Her Sunday column was titled “Why Is He Bi? (Sigh)” and notes that Obama is “binary” and “likes to be on both sides at once.” After that she was off and running, citing how “In Afghanistan, he wants to go but he wants to stay” while “On Libya, President Obama wants to lead from behind. He’s engaging in hostilities against Qaddafi while telling Congress he’s not engaging in hostilities against Qaddafi.”

“On the budget, he wants to cut spending and increase spending.” Her column is well worth reading because, essentially, she skewers Obama in a fashion that only a former true believer could.

“With each equivocation, the man in the Oval Office shields his identity and cloaks who the real Barack Obama is,” chiding that “On some of the most important issues facing this nation, it is time for the president to come out of the closet.”

Conservatives know who the “real” Obama is. He’s a Marxist. He’s possibly a Muslim. He is incompetent, arrogant, and was ineligible to run for the presidency or hold the office.

If it was just Maureen Dowd voicing her doubts, it would not be a trend, but over at the Huffington Post, Arianna was having her own doubts about recent Obama decisions, noting that “This week brought two high-profile examples of what has become the president’s trademark approach to leadership—‘the fierce urgency of something later’—as he kicked the proverbial can down the road on Afghanistan and gay marriage.”

An apparent memory lapse regarding Libya caused Arianna to write “We know that it’s easier to start a war than to finish one…” It was Bush who first ventured into Afghanistan to drive out al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11 and then got distracted by Iraq. Even so, he was elected twice. Obama has taken to openly expressing doubt he will be a two-term president.

Meanwhile, over at the reliably liberal Washington Post, the lead story was “Obama’s focus on visiting clean-tech companies raises questions.” Well, yes, it does and it was nice of the Post to notice. By now we all know that Obama is besotted by solar panels, electric cars, and high-speed trains where none are needed.

All those “green jobs” he promised have failed to materialize, but neither have all the other jobs he promised two trillion dollars ago.

Could we be witnessing a slow inching off the stage by the Left? Having lost three governorships and power in the House to Republicans, liberals/Democrats may be having second thoughts about the Obamessiah. This is surely a trend worth watching.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Same rules should apply

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It's all about respect, certain professions should command respect and occasionally fear if you cross a certain line, fear of the consequences that is. Remove the respect and you remove the fear and you can expect morale to plummet and can probably watch as the whirlwind is reaped.
This is especially so with the Police, not that the higher echelons have much of a clue as to what is really going on at the lower levels as most of them are Common Purpose placemen having been politically chosen for their politically correct/equality/multicultural views and support of certain left wing dogmas where it comes to treating certain sections of the people, which is why some forces now carry a card telling them that they can't arrest people for abusing them.
Mail.
Police have been banned from arresting foul-mouthed yobs who abuse them with the most offensive swear words in the language.
The rule change, which has sparked a revolt in the force and anger among MPs, is revealed in secret advice issued to officers and leaked to The Mail on Sunday.
Scotland Yard has issued a card to its officers, telling them to do nothing if they are subjected to a torrent of obscene abuse.
The card, which the police are told to keep on them, secreted behind their warrant badges, says: ‘The courts do not accept police officers are caused harassment, alarm or distress by words such as ‘f**k, c**t, b*****ks, w*****s’.
The guidance has been issued despite existing laws that sanction the fining of people who swear at police and the jailing of persistent offenders.
The same section of the card warns that yobs cannot be handcuffed ‘just’ because they pose a threat to the safety of officers. ‘‘Handcuffed for officer safety” – Not sufficient!’ it says. ‘We must be able to justify it.
Fully detail all the circumstances, set the scene and describe their build, your build, their demeanour and any warning signs. Include all the factors available to you.’
 Now this is an area where most of us would expect something to be done if we were so stupid enough to go around abusing a police officer, after all we wouldn't like it done to us and there are certain circumstances in which if it was we'd expect the law to take a hand and deal with the perpetrator. If the police cannot do this any more then they will lose what little respect they have left, though I rather suspect that the higher ups intend that anyway, after all unless there is massive civil unrest to justify the placemen of Common Purpose to be able to take over, then what's the point of having all these laws in place to deal with it?
Taken as individual items, the collapse in morale of the police, armed forces and various other "guardians" of society, coupled with the introduction of alien creeds and cultures (yes Islam we're looking at you) and a general breakdown of society where people are at each others throats could be dealt with, but when they all appear at once it begins to look more like someone is pulling the strings. Yet I do wonder just what is waiting in the wings, after all, if the morale of the guardians is shattered, the Gramscian/CP placemen wont have a street army to enforce their diktats anyway. Certainly they aren't loved by the masses and a good few of us know what they are all about and who they are, even in their own organisations. Even those who might ostensibly be on their side such as the unions might not be able to raise the numbers necessary to bring about the one world order (communism/socialism) that seems to be the aim with an elite living the life of Riley at the top lording it over the drones controlling them by a massive security force. After all this has been the end result of every attempt to do things the lefts way so far, practically the definition of insanity, doing the same thing, the same way and expecting a different result. Though with their current treatment of the security services, you have to wonder where they'll get them from, certainly I doubt there will be a spontaneous uprising lead by the CP crowd, we don't trust them because of what they did anyway, then again we don't know who they all are anyway. The only way it could work is via the demagogue method, someone to convince us to follow them and there's no-one like that on the horizon anyway, the destruction wrought on our society has made it unlikely one could arise.
The destruction (possible) of the EU might put a massive kink in their plans anyway, we'll have to wait and see where this is all going, the endgame isn't in sight yet.
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Spending Insanely While the Economy Collapses

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By Alan Caruba

America is a sovereign nation, a constitutional Republic that will celebrate the 235th anniversary of its declaration of independence in 1776 and the 223rd anniversary of its Constitution which became effective when the State of New Hampshire became the ninth State to ratify it in 1788.

By most indications it is a nation in its death throes. Its original values and virtues are being jettisoned and that is always a sign of internal rot. The passage of a law legalizing gay, same-sex marriage in New York State is just one example. It becomes the sixth State to do so.

Families are regarded as the keystone to a healthy society. When they begin to disintegrate or are redefined as same-sex, most observers conclude that a range of social problems will ensue.

The Census Bureau recently announced that married couples no longer head a majority of families in the United States. They now represent only 48% of households, based on data from the 2010 census. It is the first time this has ever occurred.

The 2008-2009 financial crisis was a wake-up call. The nation has been through such crises in the past including the Great Depression from 1929 until the start of World War Two in 1941. The present administration, Congress, and Federal Reserve has responded in much the same way it did in the past and, not surprisingly, the economy has not responded to a flood of “quantitative easing”, governmental make-work programs, and similar efforts.

As Ronald Reagan told us, government is not the answer, government is the problem.

Let me share just a few examples of what is so terribly wrong.

The U.S. Department of Transportation cancelled a $1.2 million federal highway program that would have sent employees on a 17-day globe-trotting journey “to photograph different billboards” after ABC News told the Department it planned to air a report on it. The program has been around for a decade, allegedly to study how other countries handle their major highway networks, motorcycle safety, managing pavement, and “adapting to climate change.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced the awarding of $26.7 million in “sweat equity” grants to produce at least 1,500 affordable homes for low-income individuals and families. Grants were made at a time when there is an abundance of homes in the marketplace that have been emptied by foreclosure or the decision to walk away from them because the mortgage costs more than the decreased value of the home. A total of four cities received these grants. This same department handed out more than $31 million in grants to public housing authorities, resident associations, and non-profit organizations. It appears to be a lame effort to keep people on payrolls at a time of growing unemployment.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving $60 million in the form of $20 million each to three public universities in Florida, Iowa, and Idaho (the first two States have political importance in the forthcoming election) as a “major scientific investment in studying the effects of climate change on agriculture and forest production.”

Climate change is the new way of describing “global warming.” At a time when an estimated 14 million Americans are out of work, the USDA is enriching professors of tree physiology and claiming that climate change will increase levels of food contamination “from chemicals” such as the ones used to actually grow crops and protect them against weeds and insect depredation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its Forest Service Awards, has also given away nearly $3 million for “renewable energy projects” at the same time the administration has tapped the Strategic Oil Reserve—intended for use only for emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina—in a lame effort to lower prices at the gas pump. Secretary Tom Vilsack claimed that “Biomass is a vital part of America’s clean energy future” while Congress was voting to discontinue subsidies to ethanol producers that were costing Americans billions.

These are just three government departments that are giving away millions for useless, politically-motivated, grants and programs that drain the public treasury. The news, however, gets worse.

Wayne Crews, a vice president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, is an expert on the impact of federal government regulation of business and industry. He recently noted that the federal government “is on track to spend more than $3.5 trillion this year. What most people don’t know is that government costs about fifty percent more than what it spends. That’s because complying with federal regulations costs an addition $1.75 trillion—nearly an eighth of GDP. And almost none of that cost appears on the budget.”

“At the end of 2009, the Code of Federal Regulations was 157,974 pages long. In 2010, 3,752 new rules hit the books—equivalent to a new regulation coming into effect every 2 hours and 20 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

While Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke was telling reporters he had no idea why the economy was stalled, growing at an appalling rate of just over 1 percent annually, the government was continuing to throw money away in the name of climate change, a green economy, and countless other giveaway programs labeled “discretionary spending.”

The author, Ayn Rand, warned that, “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed.”

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Equality or ability?

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One of the massive failings of socialism and socialists is their inherent blind spot where it comes to equality of everything, mostly because it always ends up being an equality of the lowest common denominator.
This means that in the case of choosing a talented person who is just right for a certain job, they hamstring themselves by putting in a person of the correct gender/religion/skin colour. Harriet Harman is a prime example of this congenital idiocy of the left.

Mail.
Harriet Harman has resurrected her demands that one of Labour's two top posts should always be held by a woman.
The arch-feminist MP has proposed a change in the rules to stop her party reverting to its 'default position' of having men as leader and deputy.
Miss Harman believes women are 'still a long way from equal' in the Labour Party, and wants a vote on the issue by next year.
Her comments that Labour has a default position of choosing men for the top jobs is extraordinary given that she was fairly elected deputy leader of the party four years ago.
She secretly tried to change party rules in 2007 to ensure it could never again be led by an all-male team, but was foiled.
Miss Harman called last year for new rules to ensure half the shadow cabinet was made up of women.
But the suggestion provoked a furious outcry from male and female Labour MPs who branded it undemocratic.
yes, it's not only undemocratic, it's only equality of gender, not of ability, though I suspect that Harman merely sees it as a possible sinecure to keep her in a top job for as long as possible.
That's always the problem for those who seek to make life "fair" in that by making it fairer for some they usually make it unfair for others. Now personally I don't have a problem with Labour making themselves unelectable by this means, however there's always the chance that in (another) moment of madness the electorate will give them another chance. Certainly the Tories are not exactly thrilling the electorate at the moment, so it is a possibility. This would mean that there would be a possibility of the idiot Harman's schemes being inflicted on the rest of us like she did with the hideously unworkable Equalities Act.
People aren't equal, everyone has differing abilities all you can do with legislature is ensure a level starting point, after that it's up to raw talent and often enough luck. What you cannot do is start with the top placings and demand equality there, more often than not you'll displace people who have worked hard to get themselves there and cause a serious morale problem as people with lesser talents get promoted simply by being who they are not how good they are.
People like Harman see injustice where there is none and attempt to correct it by being unjust. Sums up the Equalists in Labour to a tee really.
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Cartoon Round Up

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It pays to ask

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There are times when I wonder if I'm the classic voice in the wilderness, or rather a minority voice in the wilderness as you can tell from my blog list. I tend to read quite a few other blogs not mentioned on the list too, though they are mainly what I call the "opposition" and it would be churlish to expect that they blogroll me. Nor do I see any reason to list them, particularly as they rarely have anything on to write home about, though if you do blog and have me on your blogroll and I don't list you, let me know, quid pro quo is the exchange of choice out here in the blogosphere.
In practice though we only tend to go where we feel welcome, so with a few notable exceptions most of my blogroll is of right, libertarian, Anglo-nationalist blogs, one of the few exceptions being Harry's Place which for all I don't tend to agree with them is always a damned good read.
Still, it's nice to know that my views on certain things echo with the public as a whole occasionally.

Express.
SEVEN out of 10 voters want Britain’s spending on foreign aid frozen or slashed.

And 43 per cent want to scrap it entirely, a new poll reveals today.

David Cameron has vowed to increase Britain’s foreign aid budget to more than £12billion by 2013 while ordering most other Government departments to make drastic spending cuts.

But 69 per cent support freezing the budget at its current level of £8.4billion a year, saving £3.7billion, according to the YouGov/ TaxPayers’ Alliance survey.

The poll also reveals support for cutting spending on the controversial high-speed rail project, trade union funding and a Green Investment bank.

Results found that 48 per cent support cancelling the high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester – a saving of £30billion.

And 51 per cent would like to save £67.5million by stopping the practice of paying full-time trade union organisers in large public sector organisations.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Ordinary families are facing higher taxes and huge pressure on their finances.

“There is strong support for cutting expensive projects like high-speed rail, which they don’t see as the right use of their cash.

“There is no way taxpayers’ money should be supporting thousands of trade union activists who are planning strikes and fighting very necessary cuts to public spending.”
Naturally enough the Tax Payers Alliance are going to have a sympathetic place in my mind, but it's always nice to know that somewhere out there at least half of the people (roughly) agree with a few of the things I have a go at, mainly that charity begins at home and that the government should not be a charitable giver, even to the point of not paying the way of union reps in public service.
There is a direct disconnect between politicians and the use they make of taxpayers money, they see it as their money to spend how they wish and it's not for us to tell them what to spend it on. Which is why I'm also coming round to the idea that Referism is worth supporting, after all if they know we'll get a direct vote on their spending, they'll make damned sure we'll like what they put to us (we can always hope) but most people who could be bothered to vote will at least know the economic realities involved. I can't see the powers that be going for it unless they have their hands twisted up their backs by the weight of public opinion, or more likely their heads in a noose.
It's always nice to know though that in the greater scheme of things, you aren't quite a small minority after all.
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The Queering of America

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By Alan Caruba

Queer, an adjective
1. strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; singular: a queer notion of justice.

2. of a questionable nature or character; suspicious; shady: Something queer about the language of the prospectus kept investors away.

3. not feeling physically right or well; giddy, faint, or qualmish: to feel queer.

Also slang for a male homosexual.

The Obama visit to New York on June 23 included a demonstration by GetEQUAL, a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) “civil rights organization” and Queer Rising, a New York based grassroots “queer equality organization” at a time when New York State is just one vote away from enacting a law to legalize “gay marriage.”

For millennia marriage has been recognized solely as the union of a man and a woman. No society has ever sanctioned “gay marriage” because to do so would be to undermine the keystone of society, the family.

For the first time in the nation’s history, we have a President who has lent his office to the advancement of the homosexual agenda, though it should be noted that former President Clinton attempted to do that when he tried to alter the military to the open acceptance of homosexuals in its ranks in 1993. After an outcry, this was modified into a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that Congress has since repealed.

Among the “czars” that President Obama appointed was Kevin Jennings, given the title of “Safe Schools Czar” overseeing elements of policy in the Department of Education. Jennings was and is a homosexual activist who will leave his office in July and return to Massachusetts. He has specialized in targeting children with the “gay rights” message through indoctrination in the nation’s schools that is intended to advance acceptance of homosexuality and its permutations as an acceptable lifestyle choice.

Let me pause to say that I have long regarded homosexuality as an abnormality that appears to occur in some people from birth. It is, in that regard, not a choice. Neither, however, is one’s race. I do not discriminate against homosexuals, but I do not accept the destruction of societal norms because some homosexuals demand it.

It is difficult at best to determine how much of the U.S. population is homosexual. As best as I can determine it ranges from one to three percent, with the latter being on the high side of such estimates. For years homosexuals encountered laws that conferred a criminal status on homosexuality. They also encountered many forms of rejection by the greater society.

Those laws have been repealed, but the rejection they encounter represents an increasing backlash as homosexuals have “gone public” to initiate the legalization of “gay marriage” and the introduction of “hate crimes” legislation that conflict with freedoms granted by our Bill of Rights. It has mutated as well into an alleged “anti-bullying” campaign in schools as if bullying has not been a part of every child’s introduction to the fact that bullies exist everywhere in one form or another.

Last year, Jennings helped introduce Bill 4530 in Congress that would require the normalization of homosexuality, transgenderism, cross-dressing, and other practices in the curriculums of our nation’s schools. His office received $410 million in FY 2011.

In California there is a bill moving forward to actively portray homosexuality in a positive fashion including a provision that textbooks must include figures and events in gay history. Former Governor Schwartzenegger vetoed the bill but Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated he would sign it if it passes this year. I am pretty sure this is not what the majority of Californians want their children to learn, nor is it a fit topic to teach.

On top of national initiatives, the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Given that homosexuality is a crime in 76 nations this seems a reasonable step toward protecting those who, as I have noted, have no choice in the matter of their sexual orientation. It is, however, just a resolution, not a law.

I can speak only for myself, but I find all this activity to legalize “gay marriage” and to introduce a gay agenda into the curriculums in the nation’s schools a distinct threat to the fabric of a society based on the undisputed normality of heterosexuality. I am pretty sure the “straight” citizens of Boston and elsewhere find it offensive to host a gay parade.

I believe the greater society has a right to protect itself, its children and its military forces against these legislative intrusions, mandates and coercions to force acceptance upon it. If it continues, it will become one more factor in the destruction of America, a signal that its moral foundations continue to be eroded.

Candidates for elected office and those holding such offices should be challenged and removed when they advocate and vote for the queering of America.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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My gaff my rules

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People should have the right to defend themselves and their property, the law even (supposedly) allows this with a reasonable force addendum to any crime in which the perpetrator is injured. Though personally speaking the states idea of reasonable force and my idea of reasonable force don't really match as mine includes the possibility of the perpetrator never being in a position to attack/rob me or mine (or anyone else) ever again, which seems reasonable to me.
So it still irritates me to see headlines like this in the media.

BBC.
A burglar has been stabbed to death and the householder arrested on suspicion of murder after an attempted break-in at his house in Salford.

Four masked men attempted to get into a house in Ethel Avenue before midnight on Wednesday.

The stabbed man, 26, is believed to have been carried away by the other intruders as they fled, before being dumped in a street in Pendlebury.

Peter Flanagan, 57, son Neil, 29, and his son's girlfriend are being held.

The men and the 21-year-old woman are being questioned on suspicion of murder.
Police said the stabbed man was found on Hospital Road and died a short time later.

Ch Supt Kevin Mulligan, who heads Greater Manchester Police's Salford division, said the man suffered "at least one stab wound" during an altercation in the house involving at least one person from the address and four people breaking in.

He said he could not comment further on the injuries or the cause of death until a post-mortem examination had been carried out.

He also refused to comment on whether the weapon had been taken into the property by the intruder or if it belonged to the householder.
 Now to my mind, anyone breaking into someone else's house immediately puts themselves beyond the laws protection, that ought to make them fair game for any self defence that the property owner/tenant should decide to use to defend themselves and their goods. Not according to the law of the land though, as far as they are concerned if you commit a crime defending yourself then your going to be prosecuted. The law as it stands only allowing you to defend yourself physically if your opponent is facing you. Stab them in the back and it's assault and upwards and you probably spending more time inside than they do such is our crazy system, just ask Tony Martin.
No, I'm not suggesting that people be allowed to set mantraps in their gardens, but what I am saying is that felons are beyond the laws protection either coming towards you or running away during the course of the felony and you have the right to use as much force as you like as they are fair game. You do not have the right to go round to their place the following morning and shoot them though, however the rules of hot pursuit should be recognised too, their only recourse being to turn themselves in whilst trying to escape.
In the USA you shoot a burglar, you don't get arrested, but in certain states the people with the burglar are arrested and charged with the manslaughter/wounding with intent as the injuries sustained committing a crime are deemed to be the criminals responsibility. Strikes me as common sense which is probably why our legal system will persecute the victims rather than the perpetrators.
The state wants all forms of violence firmly in its hands or those outside the law, has done for a while now, after all armed people might just go after the powers that be. That in a nutshell is why people who defend themselves frequently end up being prosecuted and incarcerated themselves.
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Why the End is Always Near, but Never Arrives

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By Alan Caruba

If you were to depend on the Huffington Post for your knowledge of the world, you would remain appallingly ignorant. As a leading website for liberal news and views, it is a platform for sheer nonsense and the wonder of it all is that so much is produced on a daily basis.

Take, for example, the June 20 post “State of the Ocean: ‘Shocking’ Report Warns of Mass Extinction from Current Rate of Marine Distress.” I doubt that most HP readers have a clue how vast the oceans of the world are. They compose the majority of the Earth’s surface, some 70 percent, and contain 97 percent of the world’s water.

According to its website, the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) gathered at the University of Oxford, for “A high-level international workshop”, described as “the first inter-disciplinary international meeting of marine scientists of its kind… designed to consider the cumulative impact of multiple stressors on the ocean, including warming, acidification, and over-fishing.”

“The 27 participants from 18 organizations in 6 countries produced a grave assessment of current threats - and a stark conclusion about future risks to marine and human life if the current trajectory of damage continues: that the world's ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.”

Please, someone, please tell me the last time an international group of scientists did not get together and then announce to the world that some horrid future awaited everyone?

According to the IPSO geniuses, “We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime, and worse, our children’s and generations beyond that.” The scientific panel concluded “that the degeneration in the oceans is happening much faster than has been predicted” and, therefore, all the coral reefs “could be gone by 2050.”

Why is it that every one of these apocalyptic groups always predict something “could be”, “might be”, “is expected to”, and a whole raft of wishy-washy terms that add up to “We don’t know, but we want to scare the crap out of you just the same”?

Implicit in this latest prediction is that human actions are responsible for whatever they claim is happening to the oceans. Never mind all the other creatures on Earth, gazillions of insects, millions of birds and all manner of mammals, not to mention all the fish, it is always humans despoiling the Earth.

Have we not lived with this tiresome nonsense since the early days of the environmental movement and, in particular, the creation of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? A recent editorial in The Washington Times exposed the way the latest IPCC pronouncement that “the entire world will soon depend on renewable energy” was lifted from a paper whose primary authors were from Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council!

The IPCC has managed to destroy the integrity and the trust in science that has taken centuries to be built. Its constant flogging of the bogus global warming fraud has caused everyone except the Green Kool-Aid drinkers to conclude that scientists cannot be trusted.

Many can’t. Over the years, they have been seduced by billions in government funds for research that always seems to confirm whatever the political agenda is at the time. Galileo was put under house arrest by the Vatican because his findings conflicted with the teaching of the Church at that time. Now governments just buy scientists by the boatload. In addition, the scientists working for government agencies such as NASA know where their paycheck comes from.

A caveat, please. I am privileged to know quite a few scientists as the result of spending the last thirty years debunking global warming. A relative handful of very brave men and women risked their academic and professional careers to dispute the IPCC and other charlatans. From June 30-to-July 1, the Heartland Institute will convene its sixth international conference devoted to the truth about "global warming", i.e., that it is a massive lie. So, yes, there are many good scientists and interested parties who fought the good fight.

Compounding the problem here in the U.S., the nation’s schools have been totally co-opted by the Green agenda and whatever passes for science is mostly some version of the Gaia religion spoon-fed to the kiddies in pre-school, kindergarten, and up to graduation. The process continues at most colleges and university. The result is a generation or two of enviro-robots for whom science is little more than propaganda.

So, like the marine prognosticators, be polite, listen to their ravings, and ignore them. Be serene and secure in the knowledge that the sun, the oceans, the clouds, the volcanoes, and other factors affecting the Earth are immune to any but the ancient cycles that were known by Chinese, Mayan and druid astronomers long, long ago.

That is why the end is always near, but thankfully never seems to arrive.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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You couldn't make it up.

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I'm an engineer, I've done some daft things in my time going against the prevailing wisdom, following orders from the boss to the letter (and not the spirit) but I've always managed to avoid making a complete laughing stock of myself.

BBC.
Council bosses have admitted scoring an "own goal" after a fence was built through the middle of football goalposts in a park in York.
The new fencing was installed at a cost of £6,000 on playing fields in Heworth.
It was erected before £37,000 worth of new play equipment is phased in at the park over the next few weeks.
Dave Meigh, City of York Council's head of parks and open spaces, said: "We recognise that the failure to relocate the goalposts is a real own goal."
It has left local people who use the park to play football confused.
Mr Meigh said the council had asked the contractors to "resolve the issue as a matter of urgency and can only apologise for the error".

Spot the slight problem?

Truly a situation that mobile phones were made for, I mean what the hell were the contractors thinking? Nobody comes out looking that great from this, not the workers, the contracting firm or the council itself for not having any sort of oversight or input.
Made me smile though.
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Banning BPA Will Kill People - The BPA File, Part Six

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By Alan Caruba

The lies being told about Bisphenol-A, BPA, via the print and broadcast media, and via the Internet are a destructive tsunami intended to ban its use. If successful, people will die.

In previous parts of this series on BPA, I have identified environmental organizations and public relations firms that have worked as sponsors and/or purveyors of systematic falsehoods about BPA.

The inescapable conclusion is that there is an intricate matrix of comparable groups behind a global fraud that reeks of the same pathology and methodology as the disgraced and debunked “global warming” hoax. But the results of a successful BPA hoax could have deadly consequences.

BPA has been in use for more than a half century and as such, it is among the most tested substances in use today. It is used to line the insides of metal containers and to make shatterproof safety plastics. Unlike what the junk science merchants would have us believe, BPA is not a carcinogen, it is not mutagenic and it’s not an ‘endocrine disruptor.’

Stated simply, BPA improves human health and safety.

Dr. Angela Logomasini, PhD, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, authored the report “Anti-BPA Packaging Laws Jeopardize Public health,” and concluded, in reference to efforts at the state level to restrict BPA, that “these policies threaten to undermine food safety because BPA is used to make resins that line metal cans and other packaging to prevent the development of dangerous pathogens and other contamination.”

The safety characteristics provided by BPA in making shatterproof plastic are no less valuable. Consider this simple and common scenario: a new mother trying to care for her infant while literally juggling a telephone, a cooking utensil and a glass baby bottle. This is actually one of the reasons that bottles made of hardened, shatterproof plastic became so popular so quickly; they were safe to use and spared mothers the risk of shards of shattered glass in homes with infants and toddlers.

We take for granted that we eat all manner of food packaged in cans as well as food and drink in plastic bottles. Imagine if you could not be sure that it was safe to eat or drink? Imagine if you had to fear the contents of a metal can of soup every time it was opened? Or feared what might happen if you drank soda from a plastic bottle?

Banning the use of BPA would put the contents of billions of cans and bottles at risk of contamination, a function that BPA protects against every day and everywhere around the planet. The risk of a BPA ban is clear; there are no alternatives to BPA that have a similarly tested safety profile.

Thousands of studies have been conducted on BPA and not a single one of them has ever shown any harm to human health from BPA in normal consumer use.

This truth was illustrated in an April article by author Jon Entine who reported “A comprehensive review by the German Society of Toxicology of thousands of studies on BPA concluded, ‘(BPA) exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies.’” During June 2011 in Europe more people died from eating organic vegetables than ever exhibited so much as a symptom of illness due to BPA over the past half century.

While activists clamor for bans on BPA, they’re largely mute when asked what the alternative might be. A report in FoodQualitynews.com noted that Dr. John Rost, chairman of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance, stated “There is a great deal of research underway at this time, but the fact remains there is no readily available alternative to BPA for all the types of metal food and beverage packaging currently in use.” The likelihood of finding a substitute is literally “years away.”

Opponents of BPA seek to intimidate and marginalize credible researchers by condemning their ‘links’ to industry – accusations that are as specious as the non-existent ‘links’ of BPA to physical ailments – yet Rost’s safety concerns were underscored in a May 12 opinion piece in the New York Times which stated what scientists have been saying all along; “Swapping out BPA-free bottles, teething rings and sippy cups for substitutes whose dangers are unknown isn’t keeping our children safe."

Banning BPA would not only constitute a health threat, it would have a catastrophic economic impact on the provision of all food and drink packaged in metal or plastic containers. The assault on BPA is an assault on the vast bulk of humanity that depends on safe, protected containers.

The anti-BPA propaganda, all of which use the vague phrases that BPA “may” pose this threat, “might” pose that threat, “could” have some affect, “has been linked”, is baseless. It plays to the fears of those also read and hear an endless range of specious claims about chemicals of every description. That fear has a name, chemophobia.

Just as the anti-PBA propaganda continues, so do the alleged “studies” that link it to “possible”, “potential” hazards. Time and again, they prove to be an insult to the scientific method.

The sensible consumer knows that mere “exposure” does not constitute a threat or hazard. Every day we are “exposed” to all manner of things we safely eat and drink simply because the exposure is so small—parts per billion—as to constitute no hazard and because the body naturally excretes substances such as BPA on a daily basis.

This pernicious assault on the use of Bisphenol-A must be stopped.

Editor’s Note: The complete series can be accessed at http://thebpafile.blogspot.com/ and at http://www.anxietycenter.com/bpa.htm.

.© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Despicable

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Most crimes are despicable, though some crimes seemingly go beyond that into the truly despicable, particularly those which involve robbing or using violence upon the disabled, elderly, very young or in the case here, robbing a charity.

BBC.
The Midlands Air Ambulance's headquarters have been raided by three masked men armed with a Taser.
Police said the men burst into the charity's office on the Enterprise Trading Estate, off Pedmore Road, in Brierley Hill at around 0845 BST.
An ambulance spokesman said they held 20 members of staff hostage with the Taser although it was not used on them.
No-one was injured, and the men escaped in a member of staff's car having stolen bags of money.
Midlands Air Ambulance charity director Hanna Sebright said: "I find it hard to comprehend that people would commit such a violent crime and steal money from a life-saving charity.
"Dedicated people have gone to great lengths to raise money for the charity, and it is appalling that it will be unable to be used for the purpose of keeping the air ambulances in the air.
"This despicable act could actually cost people's lives."
Police said the men are all described as black, in their 20s and wearing scarves across their faces.
 It's akin I suppose to robbing from the poor box of a church, when churches of course had a poor box. That money was raised to help an air ambulance service run so it could save lives by getting the injured to a hospital safely and a lot quicker than by road. Instead the costs of running the service will have to be raised again by the generosity of the public assuming they can, these are hard times after all and if they can't perhaps lives will be lost as these things cost for fuel and maintenance along with wages for the staff.
I know under the law all crimes are supposedly equal, that robbery is robbery and it's only the degree that is taken into account use of violence etc. But frankly these guys if caught should be looking at spending the rest of their lives chopping down trees in hard labour somewhere cold and unfriendly.
But they won't, you and I know they wont, because there is no such thing as real justice anymore, just degrees of law without any real deterrent to breaking the law.
Personally I think we should just be allowed to lynch them, but that's just my anger and vitriol at a system that fails us time and time again coming out.
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The New "Consensus" Predicts an Ice Age

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By Alan Caruba

Since the late 1980s a “consensus” of scientists, we were told, agreed that the Earth was in a period of “global warming” and anybody who disputed that was a “skeptic” or a “denier.”

Then, in 1998, the Earth began to cool. The handful of scientists at the heart of the global warming hoax began to sweat and not from the heat, but because they knew their scheme, created and blessed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) would soon be revealed. Frantic emails went back and forth as they tried to come up with some way of keeping the lie alive.

Literally thousands of scientists had climbed on the global warming bandwagon, scooping up billions in research grants that were all intended to “prove” that global warming was real. Nations, including ours, were making investments and controlling people’s lives based on the hoax. By 2009, the game was up. A huge blizzard concluded the 2009 IPCC Copenhagen climate change conference. The next one was held in Acapulco.

On June 30-July 1, the Heartland Institute, headquartered in Chicago, a free-market policy center, will hold what may likely be the last of its six climate change conferences, all of which debunked global warming by bringing together some very brave scientists to present seminars based on real, not fraudulent, science. It will be held in Washington, D.C. You will be able to “attend” by watching it on streaming video.

In 1997 Robert W. Felix published a book, “Not by Fire, but by Ice”, a softcover. It’s second edition, can be purchased from his website, IceAgeNow.com. For anyone interested in knowing the truth about the Earth’s many cycles of warming and cooling, and especially about its ice ages, I recommend it. While there, pick up his other book, “Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps.”

Fourteen years ago Felix pointed out that ice ages occur in a “dependable, predictable, natural cycle that returns like clockwork every 11,500 years.” Then he noted that the Earth is at the end of the current interglacial period!

The human species, homo sapiens, that had been evolving from an ape-like state really hit its stride around 500,000 years ago while modern humans showed up around 200,000 years ago. It took a while to learn how to use fire, make tools, develop language, and spread around. It wasn’t until about 5,000 years ago that what we call civilization began.

In addition to developing agriculture, building pyramids, and such, our ancestors spent their time making war on each other. With each passing century we developed new weapons of war, plundering, looting, raping and pillaging. Religions were invented, discarded, refined, but the wars have continued unabated. Now we are so “advanced” we can kill thousands of people with a single bomb.

Civilization was greatly facilitated by an interglacial period that provided increasing crop yields to feed armies and populations clustered in cities, virtually all of which were surrounded by large walls.

Since the weather was critical to agriculture and the waging of war, humans began to pay greater attention to what the sun was doing and keeping records. It was noticed that lots of sunspot activity was an indicator of warmer climate.

From 1645 to 1715, virtually no sunspots appeared and this phenomenon called the Maunder Minimum coincided with the Little Ice Age. Rivers froze over in Europe and America. Crops failed. Revolutions occurred.

Now, instead of “global warming”, scientists are agog over a new slowing of sunspot activity—enormous magnetic storms—something that occurs every 11 years, half of the 22-year sunspot cycle. Now the U.S. National Solar Observatory and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory are suggesting that a new Little Ice Age is on its way.

Robert W. Felix told them that back in 1997 while most U.S. climate agencies were still blathering away with global warming predictions. This time, though, based on cycles known to the ancient Chinese and others, they have gotten it right.

What is not being said, however, is that this predicted Little Ice Age could very well turn into a very Big Ice Age. It’s due. It could start tomorrow. Bundle up!

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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