Interesting Articles from the Interwebz for 12/16/09

"The science is settled. Karl Marx's tomb is the center about which the sky revolves."

Climate Change is Natural: 100 Reasons Why, by the Daily Express

1) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.

2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.

4) After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.

5) Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher – more than ten times as high.

Yes, there is Santa, by Michael Graham

I’ve never understood the discomfort Massachusetts liberals have with public celebrations of Christmas. After all, it’s the season of believing, and let’s face it: Liberals will believe anything.

If you thought the “fire never melted steel” crowd was nuts, check out the new study from the bipartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. They find that liberals and Democrats are far more likely to believe in ghosts, psychic powers and astrology than their conservative/Republican counterparts. About 50 percent more Democrats than Republicans say they have spoken to the dead.

Or as it’s known at Democratic Party headquarters, “voter outreach.”

Taking Over the GOP Consists of Only One Step, by Vassar Bushmills

For you one-issue conservatives, whether your cause is school prayer, abortion, immigration, low taxes, without the Constitution you’re skating on thin ice. You only have a political issue. You have no universal high ground. You have no territory.

Split hairs later. Make the Constitution your universal watchword. Your ralling cry. Your standard. Your battle cry.

Do that one thing, and you will regain the Republican Party.

Civility and the Rules of Engagement, by Bernie Chumm

The Left uses the internet as a tool, as ammunition. The Right seems to use it as sanctum sanctorum, an escape from the rudities and crudities of the political world. I can’t help but believe this latter condition is caused from a nearsightedness that is damned near narcissistic in nature.

So, we like trolls, opposite minded people sneaking into a site and stirring up a ruckus…inasmuch as we think our side would be better at trolling than the Left. If armed with the facts, a keener wit, etc why not invade the bastions of Mordor under the shadow of darkness?

You see, our purposes would be different than the Left’s.

Massachussetts teacher confirms Jennings controlled material at “fisting” conference, by Ed Morrissey

I’m repeatedly struck by the childish presentation of this material, which shows that it’s obviously intended for adolescents by its presenters.  “How safe is dat“?  “Hooking up”?  The repeatedly dropped “g” on the gerunds?  The 1950s style cartoons of the doctors?  It’s almost embarrassingly patronizing for an age set that should be more focused on learning the basics, rather than getting indoctrinated into the outliers of sexual activities by cartoon characters.

Anyone who thought this material was appropriate for 14-year-olds shouldn’t be within 500 yards of a school, and as a choice for “safe schools” czar is as much a cartoon as the doctor on this handout.

Update: Shorter Media Matters — “Yes, Jennings was there, yes he gave the keynote speech, and yes, he was in charge of the group that staged this conference — but how dare you insinuate that he approved of it!” Noted.

Bill of Rights Day, by Tim Lynch

Since today is Bill of Rights Day, it seems like an appropriate time to pause and consider the condition of the safeguards set forth in our fundamental legal charter.

Let’s consider each amendment in turn.

The First Amendment says that Congress “shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Government officials, however, insist that they can make it a crime to mention the name of a political candidate in an ad in the weeks preceding an election. They also insist upon gag orders in thousands of federal investigations.

Civis Romanus Sum, by Richard Fernandez

Protection (and my understanding of the term is doubtless imperfect as a layman) is apparently a legal theory in which the legal rights of the defendant vary according to the degree of his allegiance to the country he sets himself against. Professor Hamburger writes:

This Article explains the principle of protection and its implications for terrorism. Under the principle of protection, as understood in early American law, allegiance and protection were reciprocal. As a result, a person without allegiance was without protection, including the protection of the law. Not owing allegiance, such a person had no obligation to obey American law; moreover, not having protection, he had no rights under such law. This was the principle on which early American law dealt with enemy aliens and other persons who did not owe allegiance, including those who today would be called “terrorists.”

The early Americans had to solve actual problems involving foreign nationals “privately at war” with the United Status. Hamburger explains:

Imagine that Middle Easterners of dubious intent turned up in Virginia in 1785: What would the Founders have done? Would they have detained them without trial? Would they have interrogated them without allowing them access to lawyers? Would they have denied them habeas corpus? Would they have denied them habeas even if they were held within the United States? Would they have taken these measures against them even if they were acting on behalf of a nonsovereign power? And on what principle could the Founders have done all of this without violating the law? Astonishingly, the answers need not be hypothetical, for “Algerians” were in Virginia in 1785.

Its an interesting thesis, which runs counter to the modern tendency to diminish the difference between citizens and noncitizens before the law.

Iranian official says 70 percent of university students against Ahmadinejad, by Asia News

Even before last 7 December celebration of Student Day, Ahmadinejad supporters were unable to hold rallies on campuses. Their speeches were drowned out by other students shouting.In order to put a stop to the unrest, Mohammad Mohammadian wants “firmer confrontation” against professors and students guilty of weakening the regime.

Speaking at the 62nd annual conference of university chiefs, he sounded the alarm bell. According to the existing data, “70 per cent of students would vote against Ahmadinejad,” he said.

Recent protests are thus but the tip of the iceberg of widespread dissatisfaction. Government officials have lost control on many campuses; universities in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan and Hamedan, just to name a few, have been hit by the “green tsunami”, the protest movement that is close to the opposition.

Worthwhile Analogy, by David Foster

Imagine that some of our Congresspeople–Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and Robert Byrd, for example–formed a professional sports team. Baseball, basketball, football–take your pick.

Would anyone invest money in such a team? Would anyone go to watch it, for any purposes other than mockery? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

Well, the average Congressperson probably knows far more about sports than he knows about business. Almost certainly, he watches sports on TV…he may well have played himself in his younger days…whereas the typical Congressional knowledge of business is comparable to a baseball-watcher who doesn’t understand the difference between balls and strikes. Yet this Congress, with the encouragement of the Administration, is arrogating to itself the power to micromanage every business in the country in excruciating detail.

Lebanon’s Legacy in Afghanistan, by Caroline Glick

Instead of asking what was required for victory, like Olmert before him, Obama asked two questions. First, he asked what he needed to do to placate a public that views him as soft on defense. And second, just as Olmert did in Lebanon, (and later in Gaza), Obama asked what policy he should adopt in Afghanistan that would not hurt him too much with his anti-war political base.

And so he arrived at Tuesday’s announcement at West Point. The US will not pursue victory. It won’t even do much to strengthen the Afghan government’s ability to fight the Taliban on its own. Indeed, it views the Taliban as a legitimate force in Afghanistan.

What Obama agreed to do was lend his commander on the ground, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, 30,000 troops for 18 months. But the message he sent US forces is far from resolute. With the forces’ rules of engagement constrained by the Obama Justice Department’s penchant for prosecuting US servicemen and intelligence officials for aggressively pursuing their enemies, it isn’t clear how many risks those forces will be willing to take. Moreover, it is hard to imagine fighting with decisiveness under a commander-in-chief whose vocabulary does not include the word victory.

Then there is the message he sent the Afghans. Just as Barak and Olmert discouraged the Lebanese from cooperating with IDF operations against Hizbullah when they declared that the IDF would not remain in Lebanon, so by announcing a timeline for withdrawal at the same time he announced his force build-up, Obama told the Afghan people that they have no reason to collaborate with US and NATO forces on the ground.

For Obama personally, this is a win-win situation. If McChrystal is able to make headway, Obama will take the credit. If not, Obama will blame McChrystal, and the Afghans, and NATO, and the Republicans, and George W. Bush for his failure. Then he will withdraw all US forces from the country, and watch as a disinterested observer as the Taliban retake control of Afghanistan – all to the rousing applause of his anti-war political base.

The Gardener’s Perspective, by IraqPundit

Iraqis love their gardens. The patch in front of the house is so special that people lovingly plant fruit trees and brightly coloured flowers in designs. People love to sit in the yard on a cool evening and admire the sight. The relationship between an Iraqi man and his yard is really different. Years ago, a guy told me: “It’s in our soul.” I have visited several Middle Eastern countries, but I have yet to see this connection in other places. One guy I know who went to work in Dubai missed his garden so much that his family emailed him photos of it. He’s back now and works in his yard each day. For this reason, I talked with a couple of gardeners today.

These men who look after people’s gardens are among the most modest imaginable. They know their trees, they know their flowers, but they have had no formal education. The ones I met today told me life is much better than it was before.

I hope you enjoyed some of these articles. I thought they were all terrific and very insightful.

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