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Monday, December 29, 2008
This writer in The Daily Telegraph discusses how 2008 was the year that global warming was disproved. Praise God! It's too bad that science had to get such a black eye, but maybe that's a good thing.
Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.
First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.
Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.
Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).
Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.
Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. As we saw in this month's Poznan conference, when 10,000 politicians, officials and "environmentalists" gathered to plan next year's "son of Kyoto" treaty in Copenhagen, panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for "combating climate change" with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.
Suddenly it has become rather less appealing that we should divert trillions of dollars, pounds and euros into the fantasy that we could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent. All those grandiose projects for "emissions trading", "carbon capture", building tens of thousands more useless wind turbines, switching vast areas of farmland from producing food to "biofuels", are being exposed as no more than enormously damaging and futile gestures, costing astronomic sums we no longer possess.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
This heart-breaking story of a Korean immigrant who lost his entire family to a military jet crash this week in San Diego is difficult to read, but the reaction of the widowed husband toward the pilot is awe-inspiring.
"Please pray for him not to suffer from this accident," a distraught Dong Yun Yoon told reporters gathered near the site of Monday's crash of an F/A-18D jet in San Diego's University City community.
"He is one of our treasures for the country," Yoon said in accented English punctuated by long pauses while he tried to maintain his composure.
"I don't blame him. I don't have any hard feelings. I know he did everything he could," said Yoon, flanked by members of San Diego's Korean community, relatives and members from the family's church.
Dennis Prager said something interesting today during one of his radio hours (I'm sure he said something interesting during all three hours, but I only caught a part of one of them). It is his opinion that it is man's nature to celebrate or see what exists in his wife's character or personality while it is a woman's nature to notice what is missing in her husband's. Because of this (and other reasons), women are more likely to be unhappy than men when it comes to marriages. Now, obviously, he admits there are plenty of exceptions where some men only see what is missing in their wife, or wives who ignore their husbands' faults and only see the good, but this is not the natural inclination of either gender. On the flip side, he believes it's in a man's nature to want to stray while it is in a woman's nature to be monogamous.
Agree or disagree?
Agree or disagree?
Friday, December 05, 2008
TIME magazine reprinted an article from Christmas 1940 on the suffering of Christians in Germany at the time. Very interesting and inspiring...
More than 80% of the prisoners in the concentration camps are not Jews but Christians, and the best tribute to the spirit of Germany's Christians comes from a Jew and agnostic — the world's most famous scientist, Albert Einstein. Says he:Sadly, history has forgotten the stand that Christians made against the Nazis while everyone else bowed to worship them. Another deadly idea, that Hitler was a Christian and used the Bible to support his evil plans, is much more likely to be heard in our universities than the fact that if it were not for Christians, Hitler's hate would have spread much more quickly and easily.
"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. . . .
"Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."
Said a Catholic news dispatch from Geneva last month: "It is generally anticipated that in the case of a victorious war the Nazi regime would no longer hesitate to wipe out all vestiges of Christianity in Germany and try to establish a 'national church' under Nazi supervision which would be entirely based on the pagan conceptions of 'blood and soil.' "
And one of Hitler's first acts as Chancellor was to declare: "In the two Christian creeds lie the most important factors for the preservation of the German people." Only in secret did he tell his confidant Hermann Rauschning: "The parsons will be made to dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes. ... I can guarantee that they will replace the cross with our swastika."
[Reichbishop] Kerrl's creed: "The primacy of the State over the Church must be recognized. . . . The question of the divinity of Christ is ridiculous and unessential. A new authority, Adolf Hitler, has arisen as to what Christ and Christianity really are." To Minister Kerrl, Adolf Hitler is "the Jesus Christ as well as the Holy Ghost of the Fatherland."
[F]rom his prison cell the Advent message that Martin Niemoller smuggled out last December reached the U. S. in time for another Christmas:
"There is one thing I want to ask of you all; that we give no place to weariness, to capitulation! There are those who would persuade us that the suffering of our Church is a sign that it follows a perverted way. To that we reply confidently that the Apostles have borne witness to the contrary. ... In their strength let us go forward on the way—in His footsteps—unconcerned with the censure of men, but with the peace of Christ in our hearts and with praise of God on our lips. So help us God!"
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Thomas Sowell wrote an excellent piece this week on the new trend within college admissions committees to reject applicants who don't have any "community service" listed on their applications.
Most people on the left are not opposed to freedom. They are just in favor of all sorts of things that are incompatible with freedom.
One of the most innocent-sounding examples of the left's many impositions of its vision on others is the widespread requirement by schools and by college admissions committees that students do "community service."
The arrogance of commandeering young people's time, instead of leaving them and their parents free to decide for themselves how to use that time, is exceeded only by the arrogance of imposing your own notions as to what is or is not a service to the community.
Working in a homeless shelter is widely regarded as "community service"-- as if aiding and abetting vagrancy is necessarily a service, rather than a disservice, to the community.
Is a community better off with more people not working, hanging out on the streets, aggressively panhandling people on the sidewalks, urinating in the street, leaving narcotics needles in the parks where children play?
This is just one of the ways in which handing out various kinds of benefits to people who have not worked for them breaks the connection between productivity and reward, as far as they are concerned.
But that connection remains as unbreakable as ever for society as a whole. You can make anything an "entitlement" for individuals and groups but nothing is an entitlement for society as a whole, not even food or shelter, both of which have to be produced by somebody's work or they will not exist.
The most fundamental problem, however, is not which particular activities students are required to engage in under the title of "community service."
The most fundamental question is: What in the world qualifies teachers and members of college admissions committees to define what is good for society as a whole, or even for the students on whom they impose their arbitrary notions?
What expertise do they have that justifies overriding other people's freedom? What do their arbitrary impositions show, except that fools rush in where angels fear to tread?
What lessons do students get from this, except submission to arbitrary power?
I am sure those who favor "community service" requirements would understand the principle behind the objections to this if high school military exercises were required.
Indeed, many of those who promote compulsory "community service" activities are bitterly opposed to even voluntary military training in high schools or colleges, though many other people regard military training as more of a contribution to society than feeding people who refuse to work.
In other words, people on the left want the right to impose their idea of what is good for society on others-- a right that they vehemently deny to those whose idea of what is good for society differs from their own.
The essence of bigotry is refusing to others the rights that you demand for yourself. Such bigotry is inherently incompatible with freedom, even though many on the left would be shocked to be considered opposed to freedom.