Archive for April, 2013

Climate Deniers in Congress

April 30, 2013

It seems that Organizing for Action is going to shift to global warming/climate change/ climate chaos/ etc. after their embarrassing defeat on gun control.

David —

Right now, way too many lawmakers in Washington flat-out refuse to face the facts when it comes to climate change.

We’re never going to make real progress on this issue unless members of Congress get serious. Instead, some of them have made a habit of publicly mocking it.

We thought it was time to call them out for denying what’s basic science.

Watch this embarrassing video of climate deniers in Congress — and say you’re ready to help hold them accountable:

The science matters in this.

That’s the message way too many people in Washington need to hear right now.

In 2011, there were 240 members of Congress who voted to say that climate change is a hoax.

Most of them are still around today, and they’re getting away with it — some of them are actually proud of it. They think the whole debate is pretty funny.

If we want to make progress on climate change, we need everyone in Congress on board for a solution. It’s our job to show them there’s a price to pay for being a climate denier.

Take a look at this video and join the fight:

http://my.barackobama.com/Climate-Change

Get ready — more on this coming soon.

Thanks,

Jon

Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action
@JonCarsonOFA

The use of the word “denier” is meant to suggest that questioning the hypothesis that the Earth is warmer due to man made carbon dioxide emissions and that drastic action involving increased government control of individual lives is necessary to combat this warming is equivalent to denying the historical fact of the Holocaust. It is a intellectually dishonest and despicable choice of wording and the use of “denier” is sufficient to indicate that the user does not have the facts on their side.

Here is the video. On the whole, I think it is only embarrassing for the people who made it. The politicians who are showcased actually seem to know what they are talking about, which is very odd.

Comments are disabled for the video on YouTube. I wonder why.

No the science is not overwhelming nor have the models that climate scientists have used turned out to be particularly accurate. The Earth is not currently warming to the extent they predicted. The Earth’s axial tilt does oscillate over time which does affect the climate, though what relation, if any, that long-term process has on recent shifts in climate, I do not know. The reference to the Vikings that the makers of this video found so humorous was probably a reference to the Medieval Warm Period, in which temperatures were probably somewhat higher than they are presently, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. During this period, the Vikings were able to colonize Greenland and even North America. When the climate became cooler in the thirteenth century, the Vikings were forced to abandon these colonies.

Mars’ ice caps seem to be melting. This is most likely a periodic phenomenon with no relation to events on Earth. Still, it would be very interesting and beneficial of we could get some idea how the temperatures have changed on other planets, especially Mars. It is certain that even insignificant changes in solar luminosity would have a far greater effect on the Earth’s climate than anything human beings could possibly do.

No, Mr. President. Hurricane Sandy, while devastating, was not unprecedented in size. There have been worse droughts in North America and droughts are a periodic phenomena, influenced by El Nino/La Nina more than our carbon emissions. When even the mainstream media is finally starting to admit that the world is not going to end, why does Organizing for Action feel they need to take action on this issue?

 

Women’s Underwear for Men

April 30, 2013

I am afraid that I am going to have to report that Western Civilization has entered its terminal phase. We had a good run but there is no way that a civilization that produces this product can have any hope of lasting. I am referring to a new product made by the lingerie firm HommeMystere, women’s underwear designed to fit men. Here is the story from Metro. There are pictures that go with the article, but I would rather not copy them.

If you’re a man and have ever wanted to dress in women’s lingerie a firm has come up with the perfect product for you.

HommeMystere are hoping their new range of lingerie for males, which includes thongs and padded bras, will change the landscape of men’s underwear.

The Australian firm said their under garments include ‘comfortable men’s panties that really do fit, bra straps that don’t fall off the shoulder, teddies that don’t ride up halfway through the night and quality soft fabrics that feel great for all day wear’.

The label already has a UK seller so men this side of the world can look forward to more ‘enjoyable’ pants.

And the company are keen to stress the garments are not just for gay men.

They added: ‘We provide our lingerie for guys.

‘We are not concerned if you are gay, straight, vegetarian, republican, anglican, martian or any other persuasion.

‘We just design and manufacture attractive luxury underwear for men.’

I guess that is a problem for cross-dressers. Women’s bodies are shaped differently from men’s so the clothes that a cross-dresser wears must not ever fit just right. I can see where there would be a market for this sort of thing. It is too bad Ed Wood never lived to see this.

 

I think he preferred Angora. Maybe HommeMystere could introduce a line of Angora underwear for men.

But, as I said, the fact that there must be something of a demand for these products is disturbing and a sure sign that our civilization is doomed.

 

Jesus’s Appearance

April 29, 2013

I saw this posted on a Facebook group.

488028_500663049997463_1663490392_n

I was not aware that the Republican party had any sort of official position on the appearance of Jesus, nor was I aware that Republicans do not believe in science.The picture on the right is not how Science sees Jesus. That picture is a reconstruction of a typical first century Judean male based on skeletal evidence and forensic anthropology. The physical appearance of Jesus is never described in the gospels but we can infer that he did not look in any way unusual or had any particular distinguishing marks.

You can see the trick here. Liberals state that their positions are based on Science. Therefore if you do not agree with them than you do not believe in Science. For example, if you do not believe that man-made global warming is a drastic threat that requires immediate action which might damage the world’s economy and lower living standards for billions. The truth is that it is people on the Left who consistently misunderstand the nature of science. I have said it before. Science is not an infallible Authority. Science is not based upon unquestioned dogma. Science is a method of asking questions about the world around us and getting the answers.

But, as to Jesus’s appearance. It is important to remember that Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew who lived in Galilee in the first century. The New Testament and especially the Gospels cannot be properly understood without a knowledge and appreciation of the cultural background in which the books of the New Testament were written. It is unfortunate that many generations of Christians have tended to disregard the Jewish heritage of their faith.

Still, the Jesus Christ ought not to be too tied to any one culture or ethnicity. As the Son of God and our Savior, Jesus is universal and can be claimed by all humankind. Thus we have the Northern European Jesus.

Eurojesus

Or the Chinese Jesus

chinese-jesus-11

Or the African Jesus

BlackJesus_Euro_hair

The Indian Jesus

indian_jesus

And the Native American Jesus

NativeAmericanJesus

He can be depicted as a Byzantine Emperor.

MA Byzantine Jesus

Or as a humble shepard

Jesus-Good-Shepherd-04

Jesus has been depicted in many ways in books, art, in movies and in manga.

Manga_Messiah

So, every culture and ethnic group can claim Jesus as their own. His actual physical appearance is quite irrelevant. What matters most is the message He preached and His death and resurrection.

 

 

Blocking Obama’s Agenda

April 29, 2013

The Democrats don’t seem to like Mitch McConnell very much. That is the impression I am getting from some of the latest fund raising e-mails they have been sending me.

Friend — Mitch McConnell and the Republicans couldn’t care less about what we want.

They only care about blocking every single piece of President Obama’s agenda. That’s why McConnell has led 401 filibusters, including the Republican filibuster against background checks.

But they aren’t going to get away with it. Polls show McConnell’s support has plummeted, meaning we have a real chance to beat him and the Republicans.

In 36 hours we face the first FEC deadline since the latest GOP filibuster of background checks. If we don’t reach our $400,000 goal before this deadline, McConnell will point to it as evidence that grassroots support is waning for sensible reform.

Will you help us defeat Mitch McConnell and the Republicans? If you give $3 by tomorrow’s FEC deadline, we’ll renew your membership (we see you haven’t re-upped yet).

Actually what I want is for President Obama’s destructive agenda to be blocked as much as possible, so it would seem that Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are doing exactly what I want.

Fusion Breakthrough

April 29, 2013

 

If we had anything like a reasonable energy policy in this country, the government would be doing its best to remove regulatory obstacles and excessive costs to building nuclear power plants. Most people think of nuclear power as being much more dangerous than other forms of producing energy and incidents at places like Chernobyl and Fukushima have not helped nuclear power’s image. Still nuclear power is cleaner than any fossil fuel in terms of pollution and waste products and safer in terms of lives lost at all stages of production. In the United States alone, over 100,000 coal miners have been killed in accidents in the past century. The worst nuclear accident in history, at Chernobyl, may have been responsible for 4000 deaths. Even some environmentalists are coming around to the idea that nuclear power is not so bad.

 

Still, nuclear power is not without its drawbacks. So far, when we have spoken of nuclear power, we have meant power obtained by nuclear fission, that is power obtained from the breakup of radioactive atoms, usually uranium. Nuclear fission reactions can yield millions of times more energy than any chemical reaction, which includes burning fossil fuels. There is another type of nuclear reaction which yields even more energy than fission and does not leave any radioactive waste. This is nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion is the opposite of fission. Instead of a relatively large atomic nucleus breaking apart, fusion occurs when smaller nuclei smash together, forming a larger nucleus, the most common reaction would be hydrogen atoms fusing together to create helium. The actual steps involved are a little more complicated than that, but the details are not important.

 

Every star in the universe is powered by fusion power. We have managed to produce fusion reactions here on Earth in the form of hydrogen or thermonuclear bombs. While these weapons are very destructive, they are not very useful in production the power we need. For that, we need to learn how to produce a controlled fusion reaction. The trouble is that atomic nuclei, being positively charged, are mutually repelled by the electro-magnetic force. Protons and neutrons inside a nucleus are held together by the strong nuclear force, which is far stronger than the electromagnetic force but has an extremely short range.

Diagram illustrating, in a schematic way, the ...

In order for nuclei to to pushed close enough for the strong force to work, the temperature has to be very high, the core of the Sun is 15.7 million Kelvin or 28 million degrees Fahrenheit. This is a problem.

We can get temperatures that high on Earth, in a nuclear explosion.

Nuclear weapon test Mike (yield 10.4 Mt) on En...

 

We can even get temperatures that high in the lab. The problem is that the plasma heated to such a high temperature must be contained, somehow, or it will disperse before any useful reactions take place. There is no substance on Earth that would not be instantly vaporized at that temperature.

 

Which leads me at last to the article in the Independent on the latest progress in making fusion power a reality.

 

An idyllic hilltop setting in the Cadarache forest of Provence in the south of France has become the site of an ambitious attempt to harness the nuclear power of the sun and stars.

It is the place where 34 nations representing more than half the world’s population have joined forces in the biggest scientific collaboration on the planet – only the International Space Station is bigger.

The international nuclear fusion project – known as Iter, meaning “the way” in Latin – is designed to demonstrate a new kind of nuclear reactor capable of producing unlimited supplies of cheap, clean, safe and sustainable electricity from atomic fusion.

If Iter demonstrates that it is possible to build commercially-viable fusion reactors then it could become the experiment that saved the world in a century threatened by climate change and an expected three-fold increase in global energy demand.

 

Nothing is left to chance in a project that has defied potential Babel-like misunderstandings between the collaborating nations. The design, development and construction of a machine that will attempt to emulate the nuclear fusion reactions of the Sun is proving to be a triumph of diplomacy, as well as science and engineering.

“It is the largest scientific collaboration in the world. In fact, the project is so complex we even had to invent our own currency – known as the Iter Unit of Account – to decide how each country pays its share,” says Carlos Alejaldre, Iter’s deputy director responsible for safety.

“We’ve passed from the design stage to being a construction project. We will have to show it is safe. If we cannot convince the public that this is safe, I don’t think nuclear fusion will be developed anywhere in the world,” Dr Alejaldre said.

“A Fukushima-like accident is impossible at Iter because the fusion reaction is fundamentally safe. Any disturbance from ideal conditions and the reaction will stop. A runaway nuclear reaction and a core meltdown are simply not possible,” he said.

Conventional nuclear power produces energy by atomic fission – the splitting of the heavy atoms of uranium fuel. This experimental reactor attempts to fuse together the light atoms of hydrogen isotopes and, in the process, to liberate virtually unlimited supplies of clean, safe and sustainable energy.

Nuclear fusion has been a dream since the start of the atomic age. Unlike conventional nuclear-fission power plants, fusion reactors do not produce high-level radioactive waste, cannot be used for military purposes and essentially burn non-toxic fuel derived from water.

 

The roots of the Iter project go back to 1985 when Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the former Soviet Union, offered his country’s prowess in nuclear fusion as a bargaining chip in the nuclear disarmament talks with the US, which at that time was pursuing its “Stars Wars” defence system.

Gorbachev and President Reagan, with the support of Margaret Thatcher and French President François Mitterand, signed an agreement to cooperate on nuclear fusion using the Russian “tokamak” reactor. This was a revolutionary device that could hold the super-hot fusion fuel by creating a “magnetic bottle” within the reactor’s doughnut-shaped vacuum vessel.

Several experimental tokamak reactors around the world, including one at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, have shown nuclear fusion is theoretically possible, but the giant tokamak at Iter will be the first to generate more power than it needs to attain the very high temperatures required for nuclear fusion.

The Iter tokamak machine, which is twice the linear size and 10 times the volume of its nearest rival at Culham, will produce temperatures of well over 100 million C – many times hotter than the centre of the Sun.

It is the first experimental fusion reactor to receive a nuclear operating licence because of its power-generating capacity. For every 50 megawatts of electricity it uses, it should generate up to 500mw of power output in the form of heat.

 

A critical phase of the project will be the injection of plasma – the superhot, electrically-charged gases of the atomic fuel – into the reactor’s vacuum chamber. This plasma, a mix of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium, will drive the nuclear-fusion reaction.

The plasma will be heated to temperatures as high as 300 million C to force the atomic nuclei close enough together to cause them to fuse into helium, a harmless and inert waste product that could be recycled as an important industrial raw material. Giant electromagnets powerful enough to trap an aircraft carrier will contain the plasma within a spinning vortex held by the magnetic bottle of the tokamak reactor.

 

There is more to read there. All I can say is hurry up, the sooner fusion power is practical for the large scale production of electricity, the better.

 

 

 

 

Parents of the Bombers

April 25, 2013

I suppose if my children were involved in some crime or outrage I would be mortified and embarrassed. It is even possible that I would deny my children could possibly in involved. So, the reaction of the Tsarnaev brothers parents is understandable. I read the story on Yahoo news.

The parents of the two main suspects in the Boston bombings said on Thursday their sons had been framed and accused U.S. authorities of killing the older brother to put on a display.

Anzor Tsarnaev, the father, banged the table in anger as he announced plans to go from Russia to the United States to “find out the truth” and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother, said she had wanted to scream when she heard of her elder son’s death.

She denied Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, had made contact with Islamist militants during a stay in Russia last year and said she was considering giving up her U.S. citizenship.

“I wanted to scream to the whole world, ‘What did you do?’ What have you done with my son? He was alive. Why did you need to kill him? Why didn’t you send him to Guantanamo or whatever? Why? Why?,” she shouted at a new conference, her voice cracking.

“It is some kind of show, spectacle,” she said, adding that she wanted her son buried in Russia, where he has roots.

Pounding the table with his fists, Anzor Tsarnaev said: “I am going to the United States. I want to say that I am going there to see my son, to bury the older one. I don’t have any bad intentions. I don’t plan to blow up anything.”

“I am not angry at anyone. I want to go find out the truth,” said Anzor, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses.

He said he would go as soon as possible but that he had not yet bought a plane ticket.

If you shoot at the police, they do tend to shoot back. In any case, Tamerlan might have been captured alive if his brother hadn’t run over him and dragged him forty feet.

I wonder how sincere they are, though. Have they looked at their son’s Amazon.com wishlist? It includes such hits as:

How to Make Driver’s Licenses and Other ID on Your Home Computer

The I.D. Forger: Homemade Birth Certificates & ​Other Documents Explained

Secrets Of A Back Alley ID Man: Fake Id Construction Techniques Of The Underground

The Lone Wolf And the Bear: Three Centuries of Chechen Defiance of Russian Rule

Organized Crime: AN INSIDE GUIDE TO THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL INDUSTRY

It wasn’t a secret that their sons were becoming more devout in their faith, and not necessarily in a good way.

They said, however, that Tamerlan had frequented a mosque which is considered by local police to be a hotbed of radical Islamist ideas.

Investigators are looking into whether Tamerlan was influenced by the local Islamist militants, who are waging an insurgency against Russian rule of the North Caucasus.

Zubeidat was questioned for almost seven hours by Russia’s security services on Wednesday on her son’s movements during his time in Dagestan.

On another occasion, when the FBI came to question Tsarnaev in the United States in 2011, Zubeidat said they had quizzed her about his religious views.

“They told me, ‘Don’t you think that Tamerlan is being a little extreme about religion? Do you think he would think about organizing something, some kind of … terrorism?,” she said.

Despite the visit, she said: “I really did not see any reason for worry.”

Anzor and Zubeidat said Tamerlan had been influenced by an ethnic Armenian emigre from Azerbaijan whom they knew only by the name of Misha.

“Tamerlan very much respected him for him knowing Islam… He was (saying) like, ‘Mom, look at him, he prays, he is fasting all the time’,” said Zubeidat, who describes herself as a devout Muslim and said she was inspired to become more religious by the man called Misha.

The family said they had met the man in the Russian-speaking diaspora in Boston in 2007.

U.S. officials have said Tamerlan became more radical from around 2009.

“I wasn’t praying until he (Misha) prayed in our house, so I just got really ashamed that I am not praying, being a Muslim, being born a Muslim … while Misha, who converted, was praying,” Zubeidat said.

Maybe she should have worried.

 

 

Miss Him Yet?

April 23, 2013

I have always thought that it is unfair that George W. Bush left office with the lowest poll numbers since Nixon and with a consensus by presidential historians that he was a failure as president. I would not say that Bush was the greatest president in American history, or even that he deserves to be rated among the top ten. Still, he was not a failure. If Bush’s media coverage had not been so unrelentingly negative, he might been more popular when he left office. If the media did their jobs and actually covered President Obama, instead of being his lap-dog, it is likely that Obama’s favorability ratings would be even lower than Bush’s. As for the historians, it is obviously too early to make any sort of balanced assessment of Bush’s presidency and I think that his low ranking among historians is more a reflection of their political biases then any considered reflections on his presidency.

I have also thought that over time, the public and historical perception of George W. Bush would improve somewhat. Harry Truman was also very unpopular when he left office, yet many people today regard him as one of our better presidents. I thought that this process might take somewhere between twenty and fifty years. It seems, however, that the public perception of George W. Bush is improving more quickly that I expected. Bush’s presidential library opens this week, and his approval ratings are up, according to the Washington Post.

George W. Bush will return to the spotlight this week for the dedication of his presidential library, an event likely to trigger fresh public debate about his eight fateful years in office. But he reemerges with a better public image than when he left Washington more than four years ago.

Since then, Bush has absented himself from both policy disputes and political battles. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests that the passage of time and Bush’s relative invisibility have been beneficial to a chief executive who left office surrounded by controversy.

Days before his second term ended in 2009, Bush’s approval rating among all adults was 33 percent positive and 66 percent negative. The new poll found 47 percent saying they approve and 50 percent saying they disapprove. Among registered voters, his approval rating today is equal to President Obama’s, at 47 percent, according to the latest Post-ABC surveys.

Majorities said they still dis­approve of Bush’s performance on the Iraq war and the economy, but his economic approval numbers nearly doubled between December 2008 and today, from 24 percent to 43 percent, with 53 percent disapproving. Iraq remains the most troublesome part of his legacy. Today, 57 percent say they disapprove of his decision to invade, though that is down from 65 percent in the spring of 2008, the last time the question was asked.

Much of the reason for this improvement in Bush’s ratings is due to his decision to stay out of the public eye. Bush hasn’t been aggressively promoting himself but has stayed at his ranch. He does make speeches, etc, but he seems content to no longer be at the center of things, and maybe that is not something he ever really wanted. Of course, no matter what happens, the liberals are going to hate George Bush. They can’t live without hatred.

Another reason might be that compared to his successor, Bush’s record doesn’t look at all bad. And, say what you will about Bush at least he didn’t feel the need to apologize for America to every tin-pot tyrant and Muslim terrorist.

I do.

I do.

Denial is a River

April 22, 2013

Denial is the major river in Liberal Land, at least in regards to Islam as a possible motive for terrorism. It is truly remarkable the mental gymnastics that some commentators will undergo to deny that the Religion of Peace is perhaps not so peaceful. If backed into a corner that will admit that some violence is committed by fanatic Muslims but will assert that other religions have their fanatics that are just as violent. Consider this exchange between Bill Maher and one Brian Levin. I don’t usually have much use for Bill Maher but he has his head screwed on right here.

There are hypocrites and fanatics in every religion, but the Christian or Buddhist fanatics are not blowing people up. I do disagree with one statement of Maher’s, that Christianity may have been more of a problem  in the Middle Ages. The truth is that throughout the Middle Ages Islam was an aggressive expansionist ideology. We must not forget that the Crusades were a belated Christian response to centuries of Muslim aggression against Christendom.

Melissa Harris-Perry does not think the Tsarnaev brothers’ religion is not relevant to their actions.

According to her guests, the only reason why anyone would want to blame Islam for the recent atrocity is the preserve a sense of “otherness”. Why is it so hard for them to connect the dots? Why can they not realize that noticing a pattern that almost every contemporary terrorist attack is committed by Muslims is not being prejudiced or islamophobic.

Marc Ambinder at The Week thinks that it is insane to blame Islam for terrorist attacks committed by Muslims.

We are still speculating about virtually everything right now, but I feel as though I need to explain why I find the quick and easy conversation about Muslims being radicalized in America to be so illogical and laced with bigotry.

Of course, there is a global violent jihadist movement, loosely organized, that wants to recruit young men to influence policies at home and abroad and perhaps usher in the global caliphate. That ideology motivates some Muslims to kill innocent people.

But you’re allowed to be a radical Muslim in America. You’re allowed to believe that the Qu’ran proscribes the most elegant set of laws. You’re allowed to believe that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. And you can say, in America, pretty much anything you want. Not everything, and after 9/11, a little less, but you can still make very unpopular arguments.

So just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the only factor that motivated these two brothers from Chechnya to set off bombs and kill police officers is their decision to accept some form of radical Islamic teachings as their foundational belief system. (I highly doubt this is the case, but let’s just throw it out there.)

We ask: “We have to look at the whole issue of radicalization. What prompts someone raised as an American to cause such carnage?”

I don’t think that he realizes that freedom is the problem for some people. Yes, you are allowed to be a radical Muslim in America, but you are also free to be a more moderate Muslim, or a Christian, or a Jew or even an atheist. To people who believe that sharia law should be imposed, this freedom is hateful and even against the will of God. To them, the only just and good society is one in which either everyone is a Muslim or one in which the Muslims dominate and non-Muslims are submissive.

Let’s move on.

It’s a horrible habit: A Korean-American shoots fellow students at Virginia Tech, and suddenly, we’re forced to pretend that it’s OK to blame Korean-American family structure and culture for putting him over the edge, ignoring the millions of Korean-Americans who have never considered taking up arms.

The murderer Andrew Cunanan was, in Tom Brokaw’s famous words, a “homicidal homosexual.”

See? The gay made him do it.

But when a white kid murders dozens of children, we don’t ask whether the predominant Christian religion in America somehow radicalized him, or whether his upbringing was somehow less American than anyone else’s. Stupid questions! Glad we don’t ask them.

I don’t recall anyone arguing that Korean family structures or homosexuality is a cause of mass murder. There are not large numbers of Korean-Americans or homosexuals flying planes into buildings, placing bombs to kill people, or trying to ignite their shoes. If there were, the question of whether Korean culture or homosexuality encourages violence would be a legitimate one. The predominant Christian religion in America does not preach hatred and violence against non believers. I doubt there is a single priest, minister or preacher, with the exception of Fred Phelps, at any church in America who has called for the extermination of any group. There are any number of Imams both here and abroad who do preach violence at their mosques.

It is far more plausible that American gun culture, the way that Americans are uncomfortable with people who are different, the gaps in the mental heath system, and a hundred other things, some of which cannot ever be controlled, pushed these two men over the edge. If it was Islam, or a hidden network of radical jihadists, then these types of events would not be rare in America. That they are is the answer to whether Islamic radicalization is a problem that Americans can and must contend with by stigmatizing Muslims.

What is it about America that so alienates young men?

What is it about their community — Cambridge, lower-middle class, American popular culture — that isolated them and encouraged their pursuit of a different way to add meaning to their lives?

So, its our fault. We have immigrants from all over the world in this country. Why is it that only people from predominantly Muslim countries feel so alienated that they turn to jihad. There are not large numbers of Mexican-Americans or Chinese-Americans engaging in violence. Surely, someone just arrived from India or Africa would feel a certain culture shock and perhaps some alienation. Young men native to the United States who commit crimes and atrocities are rarely of any religion, McVeigh was an agnostic. Yet, somehow when a young man does turn to religion and commits an act of terrorism, the religion he turns to is Islam, never Hinduism or Rastafarianism.

He concludes.

Bias against Muslims is real and it hurts. And the easiest way to radicalize un-radicalized people is to treat them like enemies.

Bias by Muslims hurts a whole lot more. I do not think it is right to blame every Muslim for terrorism, but there is a connection there that we ignore at our peril. How many more people must be killed before Brian Levin, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Marc Ambinder will admit there is a problem?

 

Lenin’s Birthday or Earth Day

April 22, 2013

Last week, NPR Counter-terrorism Correspondent Dina Temple Raston speculated that the Boston Marathon bombing was the work of domestic right-wing extremists because of the timing. Here is the story and video courtesy of viralfeed.

On NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ yesterday, Counterterrorism Correspondent Dina Temple Raston concludes that the Boston Marathon tragedy was more than likely “a domestic extremist attack” citing April as a “big month for anti-government, right-wing individuals.”

In her segment, she notes that Hitler’s birthday and the anniversaries of the Columbine attack, the Oklahoma City bombing and the assault on the Branch-Davidian compound in Waco, TX all fall in April.

I think I can honestly say that there is no one in the United States would could even remotely be considered conservative or right wing who celebrate Hitler’s birthday or the anniversaries of the shooting at Columbine or the Oklahoma City bombing. On the other hand, liberals celebrate the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, the Russian Communist dictator and mass murderer every year on Earth Day.

Happy Earth day/Lenin’s Birthday.

Oh, and I have never seen a conservative with an Adolf Hitler or Heinrich Himmler T-shirt, but I see liberals with Che Guevara shirts regularly. I guess that they think that because they admire tyrants and murderers, conservatives must too

 

Good News

April 20, 2013

There has been good news lately. First, the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing has been captured alive.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was discovered by a homeowner lying in a boat in the man’s backyard around 7 p.m. The man noticed blood on the boat, spotted a body inside the boat and called 911, according to Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

According to police, a helicopter with infrared technology then located Tsarnaev in the boat and noted that he was moving about within it. The helicopter directed officers on the ground to the boat, where they briefly exchanged gunfire shortly before 7 p.m.

Police halted their gunfire and sent hostage negotiators to try and talk Tsarnaev out of the boat Davis said.

But the suspect was not responsive, and after about an hour and 45 minutes, officers went to the boat and took Tsarnaev into custody.

His arrest sparked a spontaneous celebration in Watertown with people high fiving police, chanting Boston strong and USA.

“We got him,” Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted immediately after Tsarnaev was arrested. “I have never loved this city & its people more than I do today. Nothing can defeat the heart of this city .. nothing.”

The Boston police department also sent out a tweet in the aftermath trumpeting, “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”

Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, are believed to be behind the bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday that killed three individuals and injured more than 170.

Tsarnaev was then transported away from the scene in an ambulance, as law enforcement officials and onlookers clapped and cheered.

The alleged bomber had been shot by police during gunfire nearly 24 hours earlier, when he and his brother allegedly shot and killed an MIT police officer and then engaged in a shootout with cops.

Police said tonight that there were some 200 rounds of ammunition, as well as improvised explosive devices and homemade hand grenades found at the scene of the shooting. Tamerlan was killed in the gunfire, but Dzhokhar fled on foot into Watertown.

Police locked down a 20-block section of Watertown today and searched door-to-door with heavily armed SWAT team members.

But police said at a press conference after the standoff ended that Tsarnaev had escaped their manhunt and hid himself in the boat just one block outside of the perimeter they were searching.

“We know he didn’t go straight to the boat,” said Watertown police chief Edward P. Deveau. “We found blood in the car he abandoned and we found blood in a house inside the perimeter. We had no information that he had gotten outside the perimeter, but it was very chaotic this morning. We had a police officer who was shot and bleeding.”

“We had a perimeter that we thought was solid and we did that but we were about one block away,” Deveau said.

Tsarnaev is in “serious” condition at a hospital tonight, Davis said.

A senior Justice Department official told ABC News that federal law enforcement officials are invoking the public safety exception to the Miranda rights, so that Tsarnaev will be questioned immediately without having Miranda rights issued to him.

The federal government’s high value detainee interrogation group will be responsible for questioning him.

The Miranda exemption exists to protect the public safety from another attack, according to the official.

The capture was quickly followed by a press conference with a host of law enforcement officials, ranging from the Boston police commissioner to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney who will ultimately prosecute the case, all of whom praised the work of officers and the public.

President Obama condemned the actions of the bombers today, though he warned the public not to jump to conclusions about motivations.

“In this day of instant reporting, tweets, and blogs, there is a temptation to latch onto any bit of information, sometimes to jump to conclusions, but when a tragedy like this happens, with the public safety at risk and the stakes so high, it important to do this right,” Obama said. “That’s why have an investigation, that’s why we relentlessly gather the facts, that’s why we have courts.”

“Whatever hateful agenda drove these men cannot, will not prevail,” he said, “and whatever they thought they could achieve failed because the people of Boston refuse to be intimidated, and we as Americans refuse to be terrorized.”

I am not sure if it would have been better if Tsarnaev had been killed. I hate for him to have the publicity of a trial, but on the other hand it must surely be worth interrogating him. I like what the president said about not jumping to conclusions about his motives. I take it, he does not want us to speculate on whether the Tsarnaev brothers might possibly have been inspired by the teachings of the Religion of Peace. If the bombers had been anti-government Tea Party/militia fanatics, as so many of the left wished, President Obama wouldn’t hesitate to speculate on their motives, and blame the Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and whoever else was even remotely conservative.

The other good news was earlier this week. The Senate easily defeated Obama’s gun control proposals, marking a clear victory for the cause of liberty. This report from the Washington Post seems to be even more biased than usual.

President Obama’s ambitious effort to overhaul the nation’s gun laws in response to December’s school massacre in Connecticut suffered a resounding defeat Wednesday, when every major proposal he championed fell apart on the Senate floor.

It was a stunning collapse for gun-control advocates just four months after the deaths of 20 children and six adults in Newtown led the president and many others to believe that the political climate on guns had been altered in their favor.

The national drive for laws that might prevent another mass shooting unraveled under intense pressure from the gun rights lobby, which used regional and cultural differences among senators to prevent new firearms restrictions.

One by one, the Senate blocked or defeated proposals that would ban certain military-style assault rifles and limit the size of ammunition magazines.

But the biggest setback for the White House was the defeat of a measure to expand background checks to most gun sales. The Senate defied polls showing that nine in 10 Americans support the idea, which was designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” a visibly angry Obama said as he delivered his response to the nation.

The president was flanked by Newtown families, a scowling Vice President Biden and former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in 2011 in Tucson and limped from the Oval Office to join Obama in the Rose Garden.

Anytime Barack Obama is upset and angry is a good day for America. The president and his minions in the media are confused by this defeat, but the matter is not really very complicated. There never was any strong ground swell in public opinion for stricter gun control despite the efforts of Organizing for America and the New York Times. Most Americans have more important things to worry about at the moment, like whether the economy is ever going to get any better or whether they will have a job.

Even when Americans do think about gun control, they are far less likely to support the idea than in past decades. There has been a real change in American public opinion, at least since 9/11 and probably before that. Americans are less likely these days to passively sit back and let the authorities and the experts take care of things. In part this change is the result of a growing realization that the experts don’t really know what they are doing. Compare how many attempts at terrorism have been foiled by Homeland Security as opposed to private citizens paying attention to their surroundings.

Walter Russel Mead has similar thoughts and has manged to tie together these two seemingly separate news items.

Millions of Americans listening to the bulletins on the developing manhunt were either glad they had guns in their homes or thought seriously about getting them. Yet for many professional journalists, and maybe especially those in the Acela corridor in the Northeast, this reaction is incomprehensible.

Put simply, millions of Americans don’t want to depend only on the police for protection. They think about the inevitable interval between calling 911 and the arrival of the cops, and they don’t want to wait helplessly for the good guys to arrive. Events like this one reinforce deeply held public beliefs about the dangerous world we live in and the limits of the state’s ability to protect the people from the bad guys.

This may not strike enlightened and well credentialed Acela liberals as sensible or rational, but that’s not the point. Without understanding the visceral belief that many Americans have, that their “right to bear arms” is about self defense and the right to take care of your own when the State fails you, it’s impossible to understand the politics of gun control in the United States.

The chances of getting 60 votes in the Senate for serious gun control remain slim to none.

I think this is a good thing. The police and Homeland Security cannot be everywhere and as the Tsarnaev brothers, and 9/11, has shown in the War on Terrorism everywhere is potentially a front and everyone is potentially a front line soldier. Rather than trying to take guns away from people, Obama and company would do better to encourage more Americans to be armed.

 


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