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- A hybrid today keeps global warming away
- Lucas Oil Stadium
- Chavez: Just another thug
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- An Inconvenient Graph
- Big Brother (the show) meets Big Brother (governme...
- Another One Bites the Dust
- Cool Sunday in May: Global Warming's a'comin'
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- Jerry Falwell, RIP
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- Signs of the Times
- Hatemonger's Quarterly
- Warning: More Global Warming Skepticism Ahead!
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- Legalese, Spin Doctoring, and Moral Sensitivity
- ▼ May 2007 (20)
Whether or not blind faith in man-made, catastrophic global warming has become a new religion, many of its adherents, ironically, embrace it with the same type of unquestioning zeal they sloppily attribute to and summarily condemn in Christians.The second column, by Ben Shapiro, discusses some tongue-in-cheek ideas for individuals to use in their everyday lives to fight global warming.
Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after leading a congressional delegation to Greenland, declared that she and her fellow travelers saw "firsthand evidence that climate change is a reality, there is just no denying it."
Pelosi is also sure the "global warming" is caused by human beings. She said, "It wasn't caused by the people of Greenland; it was caused by the behavior of the rest of the world."
In the Jimmy Carter spirit of bashing the president and the United States on foreign soil in front of foreign leaders who are emboldened by American self-flagellation, Pelosi subtly criticized President Bush for failing to endorse Kyoto. Once again, she sided with a foreign government over her own.
Pelosi said, "We hope that we can all assume our responsibilities with great respect and that our administration will be open to listening to why it is important to go forward perhaps in a different way than we have proceeded in the past." In other words, the president should get off his selfish, imperialistic, unilateralist duff and join European nations in their quest to bankrupt themselves in furtherance of a highly dubious (and debatable -- yes, debatable) cause.
Before Pelosi condemns President Bush too fiercely on this subject, she should be reminded that Democrats, along with Republicans, passed a unanimous Senate resolution (95-0) in 1997 opposing the United States's participation in Kyoto absent certain conditions. First, it must apply to developing nations, and second, it must not result in serious harm to the U.S. economy. Moreover, President Clinton never sent it to the Senate for ratification.
What about the environmental track record of Germany and other European nations that signed the Kyoto treaty and, along with double agent Nancy Pelosi, are scolding the United States for destroying the world?
Again, the facts are not Speaker Pelosi's friends. According to Chris Horner's delicious "Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism," Europe promised it would live up to Kyoto; it isn't. It promised its carbon dioxide emissions would be down, but they're up, it promised its emissions would be dropping, but they are rising. "Since 2000 they are increasing three times as fast as America's." No matter. Europe still lambastes America because, like good liberals, it subscribes to the axiom that good intentions mean more than results.
While I'm sure many are convinced of the benign intentions of the global alarmists and discount any conspiratorial design on their part to radically compromise our capitalism, liberties and sovereignty, it's hard to understand how they would proceed differently if they were active conspirators.
Those who are willing to give up so much in pursuit of so little can't possibly be accused of an affinity for the glorious uniqueness of America. We must keep a sharp eye on them.
Well, global left, your words have finally hit home. I finally realized that correlation does equal causation after all. As one of the pig-Americans you so despise, I pledge to do my utmost to mitigate the threat of global warming.Shapiro stole that last idea from me, as I posed it on Yahoo Answers a couple of weeks ago.
And so, without further ado, I henceforth dedicate myself to achieving the following goals to aid Mother Earth:
-- EAT COWS. Turns out, cows are the climate's worst enemy. Cows, it seems, are culpable for 18 percent of greenhouse gases. Their cud-chewing, flatulence and burping create giant clouds of methane. All this time, we thought the cattle were our mammalian friends. But, fools that we are, the cows outsmarted us. While we milked them, they pursued their long-term strategy of world domination.
So the question becomes: What can we do to fight the global onslaught of the bovine herds?
I say this looming threat must be handled -- and handled immediately. I believe Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when she says, "Now is time to act; the future of our country, indeed our entire planet, is at stake." I stand with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid when he explains, "We cannot afford to defer action."
It's the cows or us, people. If we eat them faster than they can reproduce, we can sleep easy at night. Hamburgers are the answer. Steaks. Barbecue ribs. Vegetarians, dissent here isn't patriotism -- it's global suicide.
So let's roll. Or rather, let's put them on a roll.
-- BUY A GAS-GUZZLING 2007 FORD MUSTANG GT CONVERTIBLE. I can't afford a private jet like Al Gore, Arianna Huffington or Laurie David, so I'll have to settle for a Windveil Blue GT -- with leather interior, to make sure I pick off a couple of cows.
First off, buying a GT will drive up the price of gas-guzzling sports cars. If fewer people can afford gas-guzzlers, I'm saving the planet.
Second, my new GT won't use ethanol. That's a benefit in and of itself. Manufacturing ethanol requires more pollution than manufacturing gasoline. As John Stossel reports, "The standard mixture of 90 percent ethanol and 10 percent gasoline pollutes worse than gasoline."
-- CONVINCE FELLOW GLOBAL WARMING CRUSADERS TO STOP BREATHING. Al Gore says, "[W]e should start by immediately freezing CO2 emissions and then beginning sharp reductions." I concur. If carbon dioxide emissions are the problem, persuading global warming fanatics to immediately stop exhaling may be the solution.
I'd buy a carbon offset for that.
His political appeal in Venezuela - evidenced by his landslide electoral victories - stems partly from his ability to talk like he's one of the common folk, part of the underclass. And he has done a decent job of turning around their awful economy (50% inflation in 1997 to under 20% now). However, as usually is the case with dictators, he climbed to power primarily due to the extreme corruption and incompetence of previous administrations. And slowly, as he has gained more and more control over the government, his underlying beliefs and ambitions have come to light. He has suspended or rewritten parts of their constitution as benefited him, and he banned New Tribes Mission from the country in 2005 with the obviously bogus reasoning that they were American spies. Recently, he also mentioned that he is considering rewriting the constitution so that he can run again for president in 2012. So it appears that as Fidel Castro nears the unenviable meeting with his Maker, Chavez will be the next to carry the Communist mantle in Latin America.
[Avoiding offense] is what most of us want to do, because if you're "causing offence" it can get pretty exhausting. In the Middle East, for example, I'm like those British and European schoolma'ams: on the whole, I avoid bringing up the Holocaust--in part because in the Muslim world it's a subject impervious to reason, but also because it's very disheartening to meet folks who are bright, witty, engaging, perceptive and then 40 minutes into the conversation you mention the Jews and discover that your bright, witty, engaging, et cetera companion is, at a certain level, nuts.
Last year, a poll found that 37 per cent of British Muslims agreed that British Jews are a legitimate target "as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East." Who wants to argue with that every time you mention the Second World War? Best just to drop the subject.
In 1984, George Orwell wrote, "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." The Muslim community in Europe does not yet "control" anything: they are, relatively, small in numbers, though big in certain cities and bigger still in the schools of those cities. Nevertheless, it is significant that, though still quite a long way from formal "control," they are already determining the shape of the future, and thus of the past. The Holocaust did happen. Millions did die. "Facts," said John Adams, "are stubborn things." But not in the Europe of 2007. Faced with serving a population far more stubborn than any mere fact, Continental teachers are quietly putting reality up for grabs. It's a small thing, initially--the sin of omission, of discreetly gliding over "controversy" in the interests of multicultural sensitivity.
These are straws in the wind, but there will be many more of them from a political and bureaucratic class anxious to avoid "causing offence." What other bits of reality will be chipped away from the curriculum in the years ahead? And will what's left be enough to glue a nation together? After all, if you can't agree on the past, you're unlikely to agree on the future.
A few months ago, I met the splendid prime minister of Australia, John Howard, on the day of a new education initiative to get the country's history taught (as he put it) as an "heroic national narrative." It's a marvelous phrase, but in Britain and much of Europe the classroom can no longer agree on who are the heroes and who are the villains.
This graph is based on data from the Vostok ice drilling in Antartica and can be found on the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration website.
The primary consequence of most campaign finance reform has been to ensure that more and more extraordinarily rich people run for office.The one weakness in my eyes in Fred Thompson's political resume is his support of this same campaign finance reform. Here's hoping he has seen the error in his ways and will readily admit it when asked.
By prohibiting a billionaire from giving more than $2,000 to anyone else's campaign but his own, campaign finance reform has ensured that with few exceptions, only the super rich will run for office in races that demand great expenditures of money.
A few years ago, I considered running for the Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer. Ultimately I decided against it for family reasons and because I thought that having a national radio show enabled me to influence more people than even a Senate seat from California would. But what rendered running untenable was the campaign finance reform ban on individuals giving candidates more than $2,000.
Since no one can run in a California statewide election with less than $40 million and since I have no personal wealth, I would have had to raise tens of millions of dollars from tens of thousands of individuals. My life would have consisted almost solely of asking people for money. I had supporters who could have personally given me millions of dollars, but they are barred from doing so. Wealthy people can only spend such money on themselves, no matter how ill-suited they may be for public office.
That is what campaign finance reform has achieved -- discouraging, if not actually eliminating, non-wealthy Americans from running for office and forcing those who do run to devote their lives to asking for money; while at the same time pushing more and more extremely wealthy incompetents into office.
And I haven't even mentioned campaign finance reform's undermining of elementary freedoms. Who is the government to tell an American whom he can give his money to? So long as the giving is completely transparent -- i.e., the public knows exactly who has given any candidate money and exactly how much -- people should be allowed to spend as much on another person as on themselves.
That is how damaging campaign finance reform has been to American democracy. And that is why John McCain ... cannot now get my vote. Which is quite something considering that I voted for him against a governor from Texas in the 2000 California presidential primary.
I don’t think it does any good to take a middle position between sense and nonsense. “Global warming” is not an exaggeration, but a fraud, in which possible human influences on climate -- chiefly the increased proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels -- are made to explain variations in average temperature that almost certainly have nothing to do with them. Yes, increasing CO2 could theoretically create a “greenhouse effect,” but that is to disregard compensating factors. Yes, the average temperature of our globe might rise uncomfortably high, if the slight warming trend of the last half-century continued and accelerated. But no, there is no reason to think it will.Every time I think about global warming and what a joke and a fraud it is and read or hear people who are "replacing their light bulbs" and hoping to find fruit grown closer to home to conserve energy makes me want to go out and buy the biggest gasoline-guzzler and greenhouse gas-emitter of all automobiles and drive it across the country with a "Stop the Global Warming Idiocy" campaign. Unfortunately, that would break my bank. But it would be worth it to see the looks of horror from the people who have fallen for this foolishness. Conserving energy by replacing light bulbs helps your pocketbook; don't self-righteously delude yourself by pretending that it's helping the environment.
There have been much more pronounced warming and cooling trends throughout recorded history, including two dramatic “mini ice ages,” and several more modest ones, in the last thousand years -- and relatively torrid intervals between them. The freezes have coincided nicely with quiet periods in the solar cycle, the boils to extended periods of sunspots and flares. We are currently coming out of an extended session of abnormally heavy solar activity, that has lasted about fifty years, and therefore average global temperatures will soon be falling -- if they are not doing so already. Quite possibly, they will fall dramatically, as we are overdue for one of the sun’s prolonged quiet spells.
Of course, the weather changes from day to day, and weather patterns from year to year, so you will always be able to convince the ignorant that something terrible is happening. Governments looking for opportunities to radically increase direct and indirect taxation, and vastly extend the regulatory bureaucracies that are the essence of their power, are currently playing on this public credulity. They are the chief investors in, and beneficiaries of, the fake science that employs computer modelling to generate alarming if meaningless long-term climate forecasts.
Now to be fair, many of the scientific researchers who signed on for the global warming circus, are perfectly honest people who simply did not have the breadth of background to realize that they were being used. Over-specialization is the bane of current scientific research, and there are even “experts” on “palaeoclimatology” who don’t know anything about sunspot cycles.
Predicting solar activity is an art no better developed than predicting long-term weather trends, however. It also depends on computer modelling, which should soon enjoy the reputation phrenology acquired after its 19th-century vogue collapsed. Moreover, while the coincidence between solar magnetic and terrestrial climate trends becomes increasingly obvious, as isotope and pollen and other readings stretch back our records of both through thousands of years, the mechanism connecting them is imperfectly understood.
The best argument I have read from such specialists as Sami Solanki of the Max Planck Institute in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, or Leif Svalgaard at Stanford, California (both recently quoted in an article in New Scientist), comes down to this: Solar magnetic activity has recently declined to the lowest levels since the 1950s, and is likely to settle lower still, and for a long time, given that we have just passed through an abnormally frenetic half-century.
In other words, it is time to chill out.
Any conservative Republican who supports this bill will find his re-election campaign suffering from extremely apathetic support from his base. Even Democrats are already getting an earful from their constituents. As Mark Steyn says this week in his Chicago Sun-Times column,
This is a very divided political culture in which bipartisanship is all but nonexistent on everything else, starting with war and national security. So, when the political class is in lockstep bipartisan mode, that's sufficiently unusual all by itself. When it's in bipartisan mode on an issue on which the public is diametrically opposed, that looks less like bipartisanship and more like the lockstep myopia of an out-of-touch one-party state.
The reluctance of Washington to be seen to enforce its own borders is very perplexing. From the "Washington sniper" to 9/11, there has been for a generation a clear national-security component to the illegal immigration issue. To present it only as a matter of "the jobs Americans won't do" is lazily reductive. The economists may see the vast human tide as an army of much-needed hotel maids and farm workers and nurses and plumbers, but to assume that everyone on the planet sees themselves as primarily an economic entity is complacent and (post-Sept. 11) obtusely deluded. The political class' urge to capitulate on the integrity of the national border sends as important a message to the world about American will as their urge to capitulate on Iraq.
[Rev. Falwell] discussed his willingness to make provocative statements: He didn't mean to be harsh, but he wanted to tell the truth, and he had long ago realized that bold speaking would bring press attention to issues that otherwise would be ignored.The second piece is by Ann Coulter:
His pronouncements about homosexuality, in which he expressed love for sinners but hatred for the sin, were what critics most remembered after he collapsed in that office on Tuesday.
Here in Lynchburg, a whole community was grieving. Phelps described how, five days before Falwell died, he handed out diplomas to pre-kindergarten kids at his church's early learning center. He tapped her grandson on the head with his diploma, hugged others and posed for photos. "It was such a proud thing for us," Phelps recalled. "How loved he was."
She also described how in the 1960s she lived near Falwell's early church building and her father despised the young pastor: "My daddy absolutely could not stand him." One Sunday churchgoers parked in front of their house, and after that, "my daddy would take kitchen chairs and sit out in the street just so they couldn't park there. He said to Jerry, 'You may get all of Lynchburg, but you'll never get me.' A couple of years later, Jerry reminded my daddy of that when he baptized him."
No man in the last century better illustrated Jesus' warning that "All men will hate you because of me" than the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who left this world on Tuesday. Separately, no man better illustrates my warning that it doesn't pay to be nice to liberals.Amen.
Falwell was a perfected Christian. He exuded Christian love for all men, hating sin while loving sinners.
For putting Christ above everything ... Falwell is known as "controversial." Nothing is ever as "controversial" as yammering about Scripture as if, you know, it's the word of God or something.
(If you still think it isn't Christ whom liberals hate, remember: They hate Falwell even more than they hate me.)
Despite venomous attacks and overwhelming pressure to adopt the fashionable beliefs of cafe society, Falwell never wavered an inch in acknowledging Jesus before men. Luckily, Jesus' full sentence, quoted at the beginning of this column is: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
So much for not dancing on a person's grave; Christopher Hitchens is quite gleeful about Falwell's death and has no qualms saying so. And in the comments of a website linking to this video, most commenters were equally as happy to see Falwell die and one even said "I'm hoping Dobson goes next." Does it seem that much of a stretch to imagine a time in the relatively near future when Christians could be killed in this country for their faith? If one thing again proves the existence of God and Jesus to me, it is this: the vile and irrational hatred that Christianity inspires among unbelievers and other religions. It is one matter to not believe in Christ as Savior, but to hate Him??? One of the best pictures of what many God-hating unsaved feel toward Jesus was depicted in the movie The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Not so much the recent version, but the 20-year-old made-for-TV one from the UK. In it, the White Witch and her minions scream and sneer at Aslan as he walks into their midst. That is basically what Mr. Hitchens is doing in this video, sneering at Falwell's Christ. "To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted."
While I am not very good at book reviews, I will at least attempt at one with this book, as it is probably one of the most important books that have been written in the last 20 years. Or as Thomas Sowell said: "A classic for our times. It is as fundamental for understanding the world we live in as the three R's." Besides using wonderful prose and language that can't be found in any Tom Clancy novel, Dalrymple's topic is one of earnest importance. His premise: the impoverished in the developed Western world (Europe, America, etc.) are not thus because of economics but due completely to a worldview and value system created by the liberal intelligentsia (i.e. the intellectual elite). While liberal elite may have invented these ideas, it was left to the poor and underclass to live them out. And the whirlwind has been reaped. Life at the Bottom is a collection of Dr. Dalrymple's accounts of his experiences from the mid-90's to 2001. They are broken down into two sections; "Grim Reality," in which he describes in vivid and eye-opening detail what he has seen in the slums of England, and "Grimmer Theory," in which he discusses the ideas and worldviews (or Weltanschauung, as he calls it) that have helped to foster that "reality." One note: Dalrymple's stories and accounts are likely to seem a little unbelievable, but this is due to the likelihood that Britain is just 20 years ahead of America with the modern liberalism experiment.
Primarily, Dalrymple focuses on the complete lack of willingness within the underclass (or culture at large, for that matter) to take responsibility for one's own actions. Everyone seems to be suffering from an addiction or syndrome or mental disorder these days which, to some extent or another, negates their responsibility for their deeds. However, as the doctor repeatedly shows, most of these "addictions" are nothing more than the underclass adopting the terminology it has heard from the intellectual community and acting accordingly. So, to combat that, he calls for a level of "tough love" that few have the courage to mete out. For example, he constantly had domestically-abused women as patients who were blind to their own role in getting abused. They knew the men that were abusing them were violent and yet, the women would not press charges and usually went right back into the abusive relationship as soon as the broken bones had healed. So the doctor called them on it. Rather than allow them to wallow in their victimhood, he asked them simple questions which would, if they were ready to do so, make them admit their culpability in the abusive situation. Thus freed of their "victim" mentality, they could then take responsibility for their lives and leave the abusers.
The doctor also discusses the decline of esteem for manners and education and its role in making the underclass what it is today. The cause: moral relativism. Nothing is better or worse, just different. For example, Dalrymple writes that
Our educational practices are now so bizarre that they would defy the pen of a Jonathan Swift to satirize them. In the very large metropolitan area in which I work, for example, the teachers have received instructions that they are not to impart the traditional disciplines of spelling and grammar... to assert that there is a correct way of speaking or writing is to indulge in a kind of bourgeois [upper-class] cultural imperialism; and to tell children that they have got something wrong is necessarily to saddle them with a debilitating sense of inferiority from which they will never recover... I was told of one school where the teachers were allowed... to make corrections, but only five per piece of work, irrespective of the number actually present. This, of course, was to preserve the amour propre [self esteem] of the children, but it seemed not to have occurred that... [the] five-correction rule was likely to have unfortunate consequences. The teacher might choose to correct an error in the spelling of a word, for example, and overlook precisely the same error in the next piece of work. How is a child to interpret correction based on this principle?After a few more accounts of this "grim reality," the doctor dives into the worldview (and its features) from which this cultural perversion was born. The first aspect he dissects: society's extremely damaging "rush from judgment."
Experience has taught me that it is wrong and cruel to suspend judgment, that nonjudgmentalism is at best indifference to the suffering of others, at worst a disguised form of sadism. How can one respect people as members of the human race unless one holds them to a standard of conduct and truthfulness? How can people learn from experience unless they are told that they can and should change? One doesn't demand of laboratory mice that they do better: but man is not a mouse, and I can think of no more contemptuous way of treating people than to ascribe to them no more responsibility than such mice.In the last few "chapters," the doctor discusses the causes of crime as they pertain to worldview and ideas. One aspect of this is the utter lack of appropriate (or any, for that matter) punishment for criminals in England, and the personal examples Dalrymple gives will make you seethe at the injustices mentioned. Lastly, he closes with a few words regarding the liberal intelligentsia's complete disregard of the evidence proving their societal theories and worldviews to be rubbish.
In any case, nonjudgmentalism is not really nonjudgmental. It is the judgment that... everything is the same, nothing is better. This is as barbaric and untruthful a doctrine as has yet emerged from the fertile mind of man.
The answer is to be sought in the causative relationship between the ideas that liberal intellectuals advocated and put into practice and every disastrous social development of the last four decades. They saw their society as being so unjust that nothing in it was worth preserving; and they thought that all human unhappiness arose from the arbitrary and artificial fetters that their society placed on the satisfaction of appetite. So dazzled were they by their vision of perfection that they could not see the possibility of deterioration.What an amazingly powerful book! Read it. I am now on to reading his more recent book: Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses.
And so if family life was less than blissful, with all its inevitable little prohibitions, frustrations, and hypocrisies, they called for the destruction of the family as an institution... It resulted instead in widespread violence consequent upon sexual insecurity and in the mass neglect of children, as people became ever more egotistical in their search for momentary pleasure.
If liberal intellectuals recalled their childhood experiences of education as less than an unalloyed joy, education had to become a form of childish entertainment
And if crime was a problem, it was only because an unjust society forced people into criminal activity, and therefore punishment constituted a double injustice, victimizing the real victim.
Every liberal prescription worsened the problem that it was ostensibly designed to solve. But every liberal intellectual had to deny that obvious consequence or lose his Weltanschauung [worldview]: for what shall it profit an intellectual if he acknowledges a simple truth and lose his Weltanschauung? Let millions suffer so long as he can retain his sense of his own righteousness and moral superiority. Indeed, if millions suffer they are additional compassion fodder for him, and the more of their pain will he so generously feel.
And so the prescription is: more of the same. The Liberal Democrat Party, Britain's third party, which is dominated by the middle-class liberal intelligentsia and is gaining an unthinking popularity born of disillusionment with the government and of the patent incompetence of the official opposition, recently held its annual conference. And what were the most important proposals put forward there? The legal recognition of homosexual marriage and shorter prison sentences for criminals.
Nero was a committed firefighter by comparison.
Is the French election a belated acknowledgment of reality or the latest attempt to dodge it? In other words, is it Britain voting for Mrs. Thatcher in 1979 and America for Ronald Reagan the following year? That's to say, the electorate understands the status quo is exhausted and unsustainable and that unless catastrophe is to be avoided radical course correction is required.
They're sick of crime and unemployment and on the whole could do with rather fewer Muslims on the streets, but they're not yet willing to give up on the economic protectionism and lavish social programs that lead, inexorably, to the crime and unemployment and a general economic and demographic decline leaving the nation dependent on mass immigration and accelerating Islamization.
In my recent book, whose title escapes me, I cite one of those small anecdotes that seems almost too perfect a distillation of Continental politics. It was a news item from 2005: A fellow in Marseilles was charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.
She was 94 when she croaked, so she'd presumably been enjoying the old government check for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it: "Frenchman Lived With Dead Mother To Keep Pension."
Think of France as that flat in Marseilles, and its economy as the dead mother, and the country's many state benefits as monsieur's deceased mom's benefits. To the outside observer, the French give the impression they can live with the stench of death as long as the government benefits keep coming. If that's the case, the new president will have the shortest of honeymoons.
Whereas AI used to take no position one way or the other on a woman’s right to abortion or an unborn child’s right to life—though they were always against forced abortion—they now have broadened their understanding of sexual and reproductive rights to include a “right” to abortion, although they’ll strenuously deny it.The second article comes from the op-ed page of The Boston Globe, discussing the likelihood that polygamy and incest are going to be legalized sometime in the near future; stemming from the 2003 SCOTUS decision to strike down all laws prohibiting sodomy. At the time, as you may remember, there were people, such as former Sen. Rick Santorum, who said that banning such laws would lead to a legal slippery slope of allowing all abhorant sexual behavior and appetites. They were routinely labeled as bigots and their comments dismissed as hyperbolic red herrings. However, as this article shows, those warnings were quite accurate.
The new policy has three basic goals: (1) provide access to abortion in what they claim will only be “particular circumstances,” (2) ensure that women have access to medical care after botched—whether legal or illegal—abortions, and (3) eliminate all penalties against women seeking abortions and against abortion providers.
In fact, read further on in the FAQ and you see that Amnesty International disagrees with the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold a ban on partial-birth abortion. “AI therefore opposes the provision of the federal law upheld by the Court in Carhart that imposes fines and up to two years in prison for doctors who perform particular types of abortions.” According to the new Amnesty International position on abortion rights, a state can’t even prohibit the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion.
Amnesty International’s new abortion policy will strain—if not completely sever—the close ties it enjoys with many of the staunchest defenders of human rights: religious believers, in particular, the Roman Catholic Church. Though they hope to preempt such a conclusion—and gave their members just such a set of talking points—they are only kidding themselves:Some religious believers consider abortion a violation of the right to life. International law is silent on the question of when life begins and Amnesty International takes no position on this question. The organization recognizes and respects the diversity of religious viewpoints on abortion and believes that one of its greatest strengths has been the solidarity forged among people of diverse beliefs who nonetheless share a commitment to ending human suffering. In this spirit, the organization’s leadership believes that its members and supporters can continue to collaborate on specific human rights issues without having to change or challenge their moral standpoint or views on issues such as abortion.Amnesty International, of course, ultimately does take a position on the question of when life begins: Life does not begin—at least not in a way that merits the advocacy of Amnesty International—until after birth. The organization’s leadership deludes itself if it thinks its new support for an unlimited abortion license doesn’t undermine the solidarity once enjoyed among all those working to end human suffering. And that’s reason for all champions of human rights to be saddened by the “news” coming from Amnesty International today.
When the BBC invited me onto one of its talk shows recently to talk about the day's hot topic -- legalizing adult incest -- I thought of Rick Santorum.
Back in 2003, as the Supreme Court was preparing to rule in Lawrence v. Texas, a case challenging the constitutionality of laws criminalizing homosexual sodomy, then-Senator Santorum caught holy hell for warning that if the law were struck down, there would be no avoiding the slippery slope.
the [Supreme Court] dissenters echoed Santorum's point. "State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are . . . called into question by today's decision," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the minority. Now, Time magazine acknowledges: "It turns out the critics were right."
Time's attention, like the BBC's, has been caught by the legal battles underway to decriminalize incest between consenting adults.
Some years back, I'd written about ... Allen and Patricia Muth, a brother and sister who fell in love as adults, had several children together, and were prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned as a result. Following the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence, they appealed their conviction and lost in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
But the next ... Muth to come along, or the one after that, may not lose. In Lawrence, it is worth remembering, the Supreme Court didn't just invalidate all state laws making homosexual sodomy a crime. It also overruled its own decision just 17 years earlier (Bowers v. Hardwick, 1986) upholding such laws. If the court meant what it said in Lawrence -- that states are barred from "making . . . private sexual conduct a crime" -- it will not take that long for laws criminalizing incest to go by the board as well. Impossible? That's what they used to say about normalizing homosexuality and legalizing same-sex marriage.
Your reaction to the prospect of lawful incest may be "Ugh, gross." But personal repugnance is no replacement for moral standards. For more than 3,000 years, a code of conduct stretching back to Sinai has kept incest unconditionally beyond the pale. If sexual morality is jettisoned as a legitimate basis for legislation, personal opinion and cultural fashion are all that will remain. "Should Incest Be Legal?" Time asks. Expect more and more people to answer yes.
The Houston Chronicle reports that an explosive device was discovered at an abortion clinic in Austin, TX. Thankfully, it was removed before anyone was harmed.
Now, from the outset, we must say that we consider ourselves pro-choice. If you ask us, abortion is murder, and we’re for it. Not, we must add, so-called partial birth abortion, which the devout Catholic Nancy Pelosi greatly esteems. But, in general, we think abortion ought to be legal—and rare. (Gosh: Don’t we sound like Hillary?)
We suppose, however, that this is neither here nor there in regard to what we’re about to discuss. Ever since Islamic terrorism has been on the mainstream media’s radar screens, we’ve been bombarded (if you will) with all sorts of apologias for this nefarious evildoing.
According to the likes of Michael Scheuer... the Islamist terrorists are merely acting defensively: If the West were smart enough to remove all non-Muslim troops from the Arabian peninsula and allow the Israelis to be massacred to a man, all would be well with the world.
If you ask us, all of this caterwauling in response to Muslim terrorism isn’t just insane—although it is that. It also mindlessly blames the West for all the sins of our Muslim brethren. To the Michael Scheuers and Barbara Ehrenreichs of the world, nothing in the world happens which is not ultimately the fault of the real Evil Empire: America.
And this brings us—admittedly long-windedly—to our question: Whose fault is it that an enraged pro-life maniac planted a bomb outside an abortion clinic? If the United States is to blame when it finds itself the victim of a terrorist attack, are our pro-life [I think they meant pro-choice] friends to blame for this work of evil? Why not?
Maybe we could take a page out of Michael Scheuer’s book and say: Hey, the pro-life folks are just angry about females’ access to abortion. If we could drastically curtail this access—or, better yet, cut it off altogether—we’d have nothing to worry about. Sound good?
Why do we doubt that the Barbara Ehrenreichs of the world will capitulate to the forces of the pro-life movement as readily as they bow down to al Qaeda?
In a couple of hundred years historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the Tenth Century as the Christian millennium approached. Then as now, the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor in the planet's rapid downward slide.
Then, as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church sold indulgences like checks. The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in "carbon credits" is in formation. Those whose "carbon footprint" is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others less virtuous than themselves.
The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of carbon dioxide is making any measurable contribution to the world's present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely on unverified, crudely oversimplified models to finger mankind's sinful contribution — and carbon trafficking, just like the old indulgences, is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed.
Now imagine two lines on a piece of graph paper. The first rises to a crest, then slopes sharply down, levels off and rises slowly once more. The other has no undulations. It rises in a smooth, slow arc. The first wavy line is the worldwide CO2 tonnage produced by humans burning coal, oil and natural gas.
And the other line, the one ascending so evenly? That's the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere... Boom and bust, the line heads up steadily... The two lines on that graph proclaim that a whopping 30 percent cut in manmade CO2 emissions didn't even cause a 1 ppm drop in the atmosphere's CO2. It is thus impossible to assert that the increase in atmospheric CO2 stems from people burning fossil fuels.
Not so long ago, [scientist Dr. Martin] Hertzberg sent me some of his recent papers on the global warming hypothesis, a thesis now accepted by many progressives as infallible as Papal dogma on matters of faith. Among them was the graph described above, so devastating to the hypothesis.
As Hertzberg says, water in the form of oceans, snow, ice cover, clouds and vapor "is overwhelming in the radiative and energy balance between the earth and the sun. … Carbon dioxide and the greenhouse gases are, by comparison, the equivalent of a few farts in a hurricane." And water is exactly that component of the earth's heat balance that the global warming computer models fail to account for.
It's a notorious inconvenience for the Greenhousers that data also show carbon dioxide concentrations from the Eocene period, 20 million years before Henry Ford trundled out his first model T, 300 to 400 percent higher than current concentrations. The Greenhousers deal with other difficulties like the medieval warming period's higher-than-today temperatures by straightforward chicanery, misrepresenting tree ring data (themselves an unreliable guide) and claiming the warming was a local European affair.
We're warmer now because today's world is in the thaw that follows the recent ice age. Ice ages correlate with changes in the solar heat we receive, all due to predictable changes in the earth's elliptic orbit around the sun and in the earth's tilt... In past post-glacial cycles, as now, the earth's orbit and tilt give us more and longer summer days between the equinoxes.
Water covers 71 percent of the surface of the planet. As compared to the atmosphere, there's a hundred times more CO2 in the oceans, dissolved as carbonate. As the post-glacial thaw progresses, the oceans warm up, and some of the dissolved carbon emits into the atmosphere, like fizz from soda. "The greenhouse global warming theory has it a— backwards," Hertzberg concludes. "It is the warming of the earth that is causing the increase of carbon dioxide and not the reverse."
It looks like Poseidon should go hunting for carbon credits. The human carbon footprint is of zero consequence amid these huge forces and volumes, not to mention the role of the giant reactor beneath our feet: the earth's increasingly hot molten core.
The purpose of Orwellian language is so people can pretend there is a slight possibility the words are an accurate description.After having read that post, with which I agree completely, one would tend to assume that the writer must be socially conservative in his or her beliefs (since the liberal agenda is so anti-life). So it would come as quite a surprise to the reader that the writer actually describes herself as a bisexual post-modern neo-feminist with unique interests including nudism. So if she can "get it" on abortion, why can't her fellow feminists? The concept of every human being's right to life shouldn't be so hard to grasp, right? But, as we read in Keystone last night,
Some people, who have not actually read the decision, think the Supremes recently limited the ability of women to have late term abortions. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In these situations women can still become un-pregnant. They can “disarticulate the fetus” and even “reduce” or “separate the fetal calvarium.".
"Disarticulate" actually means to dismember it.
"Reducing the calvarium" means to suck out the baby's brains. Sorry--I mean "fetus."
When a doctor separates the calvarium she is removing the head with scissors.
These procedures can all still be used in late term pregnancies. Although, it requires a little more finesse, the court said it is ok to require that it all be done without inducing delivery.
Does anyone else think there is something wrong when civilized people can sit around and actually discuss whether it is better to sever a baby’s head or just suck out it's brain, and then conclude it all depends on the precise physical location of the body at the time?
This is all Orwellian obfuscation of the truth. There is a slight possibility that the location of the body at the time the brains are sucked out has some profound moral bearing, but it is unlikely.
None of us are as precise with language as we should be, but Orwellian doublespeak is something altogether different.
There is always a reason for it.
they are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. (Eph. 4:18-19)Only through the saving power of Christ can we see the "light" and become sensitive again to God's law.