Friday, May 16, 2008
In a move climate realists have dreaded for months, the polar bear was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act yesterday. Despite their sharply increasing numbers. Ursus maritimus now distinguishes itself as the first creature ever afforded special protections based on a theory... of possible... future... harm.
Bureaucratic actions this preposterous invariably mask ulterior motives, and this little doozy is certainly no exception.
Under what is perhaps the nation's strictest environmental law, the bear's critical habitat must now be protected and a strategy formulated to assist its population's 'recovery' [? there were 5000 polar bears in 1972 - today there's >25,000 - how do you 'recover' from that?]. [snip]
... the groups that demanded the ESA listing are mostly the same that are pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to declare CO2 a pollutant [that would be our breath] under the Clean Air Act. They already have the lawsuits of 17 states and Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works chair Barbara Boxer behind their ridiculous demands.
Should they prevail, the EPA would, indeed, be in control of airborne carbon. And beyond inevitably materializing the green dream of cap-and-trade by regulatory decree, it would - in confluence with yesterday's dreadful decision -- empower unelected bureaucrats to levy huge ESA violation penalties against "polluters."
And that's just for starters... [i.e., they're not just talking about companies...]
As the newest member of 2nd Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, Canamore, 19, is in a tough position.
Seemingly overnight, he found himself at a combat outpost in Baghdad, eating field rations with the battle-hardened veterans of Company B. As a SAW gunner, he goes out three or four times a day on patrols, where the learning curve has been steep.
“It’s a lot of pressure, because you really want to do well and make a good impression,” said Canamore, a Pekin, Ill., native. “Every time I make a mistake, I make a mental check and try to improve that,”
That’s the way it has always been, said Staff Sgt. William Weinburgh, of Wrentham, Mass., a squad leader with 2nd Platoon. While drill sergeants teach raw recruits the basics, it’s up to the team leaders and squad leaders at their assigned units to push new soldiers like Canamore to the next level, Weinburgh said.
“New guys are going to be a reflection of you,” he said. “Either you set them up for success or you set them up for failure.”
In a combat environment, it becomes even more important to make sure new troops know their jobs, Weinburgh said. “There’s no safety net out here,” he said. Still, he’s learning new things every day, and someday, he said, he’ll be in a position to pass that knowledge on.
[there's more, all impressive in its humble and humbling way...]
An Iraqi officer near Sinjar told me that recently a group of perhaps 20 "jihadists," many of them foreign, descended on a Nineveh village. The Iraqi officer said the terrorists killed some adults and two babies. One baby they murdered was 15 days old.
Until recently, such terror attacks inside Iraq could have coerced the village into sheltering Al Qaeda. Yet this time, the "jihadists" got an unexpected reception. Local men grabbed their rifles and poured fire on the demons, slaughtering them. Nineteen terrorists were destroyed.
Times have changed for Al Qaeda here. Too many Iraqis have decided they are not going to take it anymore. Al Qaeda in Iraq is still fighting, but Al Qaeda Central seems to realize there are easier targets elsewhere, perhaps in Europe, where many people demonstrate weakness in the face of terror...
“Our mission is to pair up recently wounded veterans who are the recipients of the Purple Heart Medal with vacation homeowners who are eager to donate a week of free lodging in their vacation homes,” said Peggy Carr, who founded the Vacations for Veterans with her husband, Christopher...
[got a vacation home going underutilized? visit >
NEW DELHI — Breaking months of calm, seven bombs went off in close succession on Tuesday evening near a Hindu temple and a crowded bazaar inside the walled enclave of the historic pink city of Jaipur, about 160 miles from here. Authorities described it as a terror attack that killed at least 45 people and injured 100. The police said that the bombs all went off within a radius of 50 feet and that they may have been planted in the wheels of bicycles, the mangled remains of which were found near many of the blast sites.
Amman, Jordan - A man who was suspected of drowning his 22-year-old sister for having an extramarital affair was charged Monday with premeditated murder, a judicial official said. The unidentified woman’s brother beat her with the help of his family Saturday and then took her to the Dead Sea where he drowned her (Snip) The state prosecutor also charged the woman’s parents and another brother Monday with assisting in the murder by knowing about it and beating the woman before she died...
Despite the success that liberal democracy has experienced since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the possibility of Western concepts of freedoms no longer progressing, but in fact, regressing, is now more of a possibility than perhaps since Hitler's rise to power in the 1930's. What we may be witnessing today is not progress but regress in terms of our rights and freedoms.
In Britain, councils have ruled that images of Piglet from "Winnie the Pooh" must not be displayed because it causes offence to Muslims. Most newspapers and magazines refused to publish the infamous "Danish Cartoons" of Mohammed despite them being a legitimate news story because of the riots they resulted in around the world. The editors that did were castigated and in the case of Canadian editor, Ezra Levant, hauled before a "Human Rights Tribunal" after a complaint was filed against him by an imam in Calgary, Alberta.
Canadian author Mark Steyn has warned in his book, American Alone, that the West faces major civilizational threats from a combination of it's declining birth rate and an influx of Muslim immigrants, many of whom do not share Western values, and some of whom are violently opposed to Western values. Like Mr. Levant, Steyn too has been summoned to appear before the British Columbia Human Rights Commission (HRC) to answer before the thought police for portions of his book that were published in Maclean's magazine...
[I.e., our liberal legal systems are being used to achieve dhimittude. Recommended > ]
Peru has been experiencing fast growth -- better than 6 percent annually -- for almost seven years. The key reform that has made all this possible is the opening of the economy, which until 1990 had very high tariffs designed to protect local industries:
- In 1990, inflation reached 7,000 percent, but over the past six years it has averaged 2.3 percent.
- That means that even before any other changes in government policy, every Peruvian has enjoyed a tax cut and a boost to his savings power.
The doom-mongering wing of the environmental movement is burdened by a long history of false prophecies, for example:
• In the mid- to late-1960s, the leading environmental concern was overpopulation, predicting mass starvation and arguing that technological solutions were unrealistic, and concluded that catastrophe was unavoidable.Better science and more reasonable voices preceded writers like Ehrlich, but were ignored by a media fascinated with frenetic alarmism. None of the predicted environmental catastrophes actually occurred, says Demming:
• By 1980, it was environmental degradation, which would wipe out all important animal life in the world's oceans, people would choke to death from air pollution by the hundreds of thousands in the United States.
• In 1975, the news media informed us that a new Ice Age was imminent.
• From 1970 through 2000, the world's population grew from 3.7 billion to 6.1 billion, but the food supply grew faster; it is now also apparent that world population will stabilize at 9 billion to 10 billion around the middle of this century.READ MORE
• Since 1970, the six principal air pollutants tracked by the Environmental Protection Agency have fallen significantly, even while U.S. population and energy use have grown.
• Within 10 years, the imminent calamity of global cooling was replaced by global warming.
Wellington is debating a cap-and-trade scheme to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets. Because New Zealand is already a low carbon-dioxide emitter, the bulk of its emissions come from agricultural sources, such as sheep. So the government is proposing to implement caps not only on carbon dioxide from industry but also on methane and nitrous oxide from farms.
The cost, for farmers and industry alike, is likely to be prohibitive, says the Journal:
• The government's plan would result in 22,000 job losses by 2012, or 1 percent of today's employment, according to the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research
• That translates into NZ $4.6 billion (about U.S. $3.6 billion) annually in lost gross domestic product (GDP), or a NZ $3,000 (about U.S. $1,536) cut in each household's annual spending.
This analysis assumes that as greenhouse gas fees make Kiwi industry less competitive globally, businesses and jobs will move overseas. The government disputes this conclusion, mainly because its own analyses assume New Zealanders will be willing to take lower wages, says the Journal.
[the physics of economics applies to all nations and the math is the same: subjecting ourselves to the Kyoto scam (or anything like it) will require some combination of Americans working for less or unemployed]
GENEVA (Reuters) - Obese and overweight people require more fuel to transport them and the food they eat, and the problem will worsen as the population literally swells in size, a team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine says. [what school?]
In their model, the researchers pegged 40 percent of the global population as obese with a body mass index of near 30. Many nations are fast approaching or have surpassed this level.
Because thinner people eat less [?] and are more likely to walk than rely on cars [??], a slimmer population would lower demand for fuel for transportation and for agriculture. [this is science?]
The next step is quantifying how much a heavier population is contributing to climate change, higher fuel prices and food shortages, he added. [using what, the above 'model'? And Reuters reports this is a 'study'?]
[are you frightened yet? this scam is a lever to regulate everything...]
Friday's NBC Nightly News took a balanced look at the issue of whether colleges would be safer if students were allowed greater freedom to carry concealed weapons on campus. Though the report failed to delve into any supporting statistics, soundbites were featured from advocates on both sides of the issue, including Mike Guzman of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus: "This is where we see mass shootings occur, at gun-free zones, because these criminals have a government guarantee or a university guarantee that their intended victims will be unarmed and unable to defend themselves." (Transcript follows)
Perdue signs law allowing guns in restaurants
Georgians with carry licenses will be able to tote their concealed guns on public transportation, in restaurants that serve alcohol and in state parks under legislation signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday. Perdue inked the popular gun bill on the final day for him to sign or veto legislation.
[some folks get it][btw: 40 states now allow concealed carry for law abiding citizens. The 10 that don't? The same ones with the highest crime rates - but that's only a coincidence - move along...]
America's Gross National Happiness
You'd never guess it listening to Obama or Hillary talk, but Americans are among the happiest people on Earth.
We are also one of only two nations in human history to make "happiness" an explicit core of our national agenda, as economist Arthur C. Brooks points out in his new book "Gross National Happiness." [snip]
Why? Brooks emphasizes one important variable: personal efficacy. He points to an experiment in which nursing home residents were given two simple freedoms: They could decide which night would be "movie night," and they could choose and care for the plants on their floor. Even such tiny differences in personal choices had huge effects on the happiness of these senior citizens. [snip]
But in a seeming paradox, Brooks also points out that another opposite factor also influences personal happiness: "moral constraint." Moral traditionalists -- who accept that right and wrong impose strong constraints on their own actions -- are far happier than those who believe anything goes...