Monday, February 26, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

The truth is, Al Gore is a hypocrite.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

Of course, Al Gore is not alone. The cloyingly sanctimonious David Suzuki sets the standard.

Jason Curan, a Suzuki spokesman, confessed to the Winnipeg Sun that the Suzukimobile was "kind of too fancy for our needs." There are at most eight people, including the driver, on a bus built for 30 or more.

The Suzuki Foundation could have chosen a smaller vehicle that used less fuel and produced fewer emissions, but, well, the holier-than-thou ecopreacher seems to like to travel in style. Dr. Suzuki's Sanctimony '07 tour is not even using biodiesel rather than regular diesel because, as Mr. Curan further admitted, that would void the engine's warranty.

Using a bigger-than-needed vehicle for comfort and eschewing environmental alternatives because of pragmatic concerns such as warranties: Why, the Suzuki-ites sound just like the consumers they like to deride for their lack of green consciences.

Like the Live Earth producers, the Suzuki tour has promised to buy carbon credits to cover its emission tracks. But buying credits is to reducing emissions what the medieval practice of buying indulgences was to absolving sins.

Update: Bush home a model for energy savings.

Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this "eco-friendly" dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.

This is President George W. Bush's "Texas White House" outside the small town of Crawford.

Notice that this article is dated 2001.

Update: Al Gore argues that he buys lots of "green energy."

But, it should be pointed out that he only started doing this when it was pointed out that, up until 3 months ago, he didn't buy any green energy, when his previous fraud was exposed by bloggers.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Testicle Sighting

At a university of all places!!!!!!!!!

Athletic officials will not establish a designated prayer space for Muslim students at sporting events held at Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena, said John Mack, Northwestern's associate athletic director of external affairs.

Instead, officials will grant certain concessions, such as allowing prayer rugs into the stadiums and letting students pray in places that do not block traffic flow.

The decision came after Muslim students expressed a need for clean prayer areas in January. Associated Student Government passed a resolution asking the athletic department to meet with the Muslim-cultural Students Association to explore possible accommodations.

Do the Unions' Dirty Work

I have heard it said that I don’t have much nice to say about Democrats. Well, I have this to say about Washington’s Democrats. At least no one in the legislature has yet introduced a bill banning the deployment of space-based mind control weapons, as U.S. Congressman (D-Ohio) and former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich did. Nevertheless, the Democrats have felt sufficiently invigorated by the majority they won last November to embark upon an unmistakably Democratic course. And, in this state, that means handing their puppet strings to the unions.
Only about 1 of every 8 wage and salaried workers in this country belongs to a union. The only union sector that is still growing is the public employees sector, where the rate of union membership is about 37%. More and more, private sector employees are choosing to remain non-union and non-unionize industries tend to perform better than unionized and so grow faster. But when people exercising their freedom of choice fail to choose as the union goons believe they should, the unions yank on their puppets’ strings and invoke the coercive power of government.
Governor Gregoire knows full well that she owes her current job to the unions, and in particular to the teachers’ union. Had the unions not repaid her for subverting a Washington state initiative that forbade unions from using union dues for partisan political purposes, then she would just be another out-of-work ex-attorney general. I can just imagine her standing on street corner somewhere holding up a hand lettered cardboard sign reading: “Will undermine the will of the people for food.” But, it didn’t turn out that way.
Her contribution to union goonery, was rewarded with the governorship. To gain that assistance, she used her previous office to eviscerate Initiative 134, a law that was passed by 72% of the voters in 1992. This law prevented unions from using union dues for politics. The teachers’ union persisted in supporting Democrats with union dues and was sued by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. Christine Gregoire and the Public Disclosure Commission formulated rules that allowed the unions to take and spend its members’ money as long as it was passed through some sort of intermediary account before being deposited in her and her party’s campaign coffers.
This did not end the legal wrangling and the case of dissenting teachers is now before the United States Supreme Court. The unions and the Democrats are not optimistic about their prospects and are now pushing a preemptive law that would erode the final workers’ protections granted by the voters 15 years ago. So, even if the court restores a bit of financial liberty to Washington’s union members, the legislature is preemptively planning to take it away.
And, the unions are also directing their marionettes to regulate non-union shops into oblivion. And, of companies whose employees elect to remain non-union, Wal-Mart predictably stands as the biggest and juiciest target. The unions have selected about 30 states, including Washington, for their scheme to force large employers to purchase health care insurance for their employees. Washington’s law is modeled after a similar one, which was recently struck down by the courts in Maryland. The law would force large employers to spend an additional 9% of their payroll purchasing health insurance. And if they don’t, they have to give the difference to the state government.
Contrary to the popular wisdom, Wal-Mart does offer its employees health insurance. Wal-Mart’s sin is that its insurance plan is voluntary. Employees may purchase low cost health insurance through the company and/or deposit money, with Wal-Mart matching the contribution, into a medical saving account. That’s actually a pretty good deal. Most of Wal-Mart’s employees are young and their jobs are entry level. For people in this demographic, health insurance may not be a good gamble. Most people within that age group do not require as much medical care as health insurance costs. Their choice not to purchase health insurance can actually be defended as economically sound.
But unions, and by extension, Democrats, do not wish to grant Wal-Mart employees this freedom. Their plan is to make health insurance mandatory. The result will inevitably be less take-home pay for Wal-Mart employees, fewer employees and higher prices for everyone else.
Space based mind control maybe be out. But centrally planned economic control is definitely in.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Unparalleled Perfidy

The loathsome John Murtha.

I try to understand what makes this man work. Here's my theory. John Murtha comes across as a rheumy drunk and I'm sure most people treat him like one. Suddenly, there are these people who tell him how wonderful he is and he wants to cultivate their worhip.

Where Do We Find Men Like This?

And where would we be without them?

Sgt. George Perez with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team jokes that when he makes a rough landing, he's always sure to let his left leg take the brunt of the abuse.

That's because his leg is pretty special.

"If I jump and twist it or break it, I can always just go back and get a new one," Perez says as he grins and taps on the metal of his prosthetic leg. "It's pretty tough, though. Actually, this one is bullet proof, too. It's the one I wore when I was fighting over in Afghanistan."


Friday, February 16, 2007

Richard Branson Owes Me $25 million

When you have finished reading this newspaper, toss it into your trash barrel. Do the same with magazines, cardboard, egg cartons, and any other wood fiber product you use. Recycle nothing.
There. Now Richard Branson owes me $25 million dollars.
Richard Branson is the gloriously good looking and impeccably coifed owner of Virgin Airways. As owner of a fleet of jets, Richard Branson pumps inconceivable quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the process of enriching himself. So perhaps he was trying to purchase an indulgence last week when he posed for a picture with Al Gore and offered $25 million to whomever comes up with a means of scrubbing the Earth’s atmosphere of carbon dioxide and thereby save the world from the ravages of global warming. Sounds like a good plan to me.
And now I just provided the solution, so I figure he owes me the money - at least some of it. After all, the carbon content of all the paper manufactured in this country translates into 300 billion pounds of carbon dioxide annually. I’d be willing to bet that burying that much carbon dioxide would more than make up for Branson’s pollution. And, besides, burying paper in landfills rather than recycling it would seem to be a responsible course of action if global warming is really the threat to civilization that Al Gore says it is. It makes more sense than carbon taxes.
Now I do not honestly expect Richard Branson, Al Gore or anybody else to applaud the brilliance of my idea. The environmental movement is governed by an orthodoxy that scorns ideas such as mine as heresy for which I probably deserve to be burned at the stake. My idea only gets the job done. It does not make us poorer or less free. America would not have to concede any sovereignty and it does not make government any more powerful. It fails every test that matters.
But, the very fact that Branson, with the prophet Al Gore at his side, offered a reward for, what is in essence environmental engineering, reveals that environmentalism is taking a very tentative baby step toward genuinely sensible solutions. And that means that even environmentalists have begun to take global warming seriously.
It wasn’t that long ago that any mention of environmental engineering would have brought torch waving and pitchfork bearing environmentalists pounding on your door. Someone once calculated that planting about 75,000 square miles (roughly the area of South Dakota) worth of fast growing hybrid poplar trees would, in just a decade or so, remove from the atmosphere all of the CO2 generated by the United States from the dawn of the industrial revolution. The proposal was met not just with indignant shrieks, but with ecoterrorist arson. Another plan to fertilize equatorial oceans and remove CO2 by stimulating plankton growth was greeted just about as warmly. Chemical engineers tell us that we already have the technology to scrub the skies and dispose of the carbon dioxide by depositing it two miles beneath the surface of the ocean where the cold and extreme pressure will entomb the CO2 as a stable supercritical fluid that would lie inert on the abyssal plain until we can think of something better to do with it.
One would think that if environmentalists genuinely believed that the world was as imperiled by global warming as they claim, then they would at least consider remedial actions. Instead, they steadfastly adhered to such dogmatic ritualism as the Kyoto Treaty, which would have accomplished little while impoverishing us much.
I have long said that I will take global warming seriously when environmentalists take it seriously. That means that they would have to yield some ground on nuclear power and environmental engineering. Instead, Al Gore has emerged not just the voice of environmentalism, but also a glaring example of insincerity. He demands sacrifice from us, but keeps three mansions and declines to check a box on his power bill that would add a surcharge to pay for wind power generation. Richard Branson probably wouldn’t sacrifice the energy required to power his blow drier, but he’ll lecture the rest of us on the sacrifices we should make.
But, as only Nixon could have normalized relations with China, perhaps it will require an environmentalist to pave the way for rational climate policy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Surge is Working

To the great disappointment of more than a third of the Democratic Party, the surge in Iraq is already bearing fruit.

It seems that radical Islamic cleric, Moqtada al Sadr, isn't quite ready to frolic with his virgins just yet.

While members of the U.S. House of Representatives take turns weighing in on President Bush's planned troop surge in Iraq, the focus in Iraq is not on the arrival of more U.S. troops, but the departure of one of the country's most powerful men, Moqtada al Sadr and members of his army.

Who Said It?

A prominent politician just released the following quotation.

As regards lying, his (President Bush's) record is well known, and he has gone down in history as one of its most notorious liars. As for his addiction to gambling, it motivates him to continue to place losing bets until he goes completely bankrupt, which is the obvious psychological motivation behind his Iraq policy. And were the Americans to leave him alone, he would continue to send their forces to Iraq until the Mujahideen kill the last one of their soldiers.

Was it
Ted Kennedy?
Hillary Clinton?
John Kerry?
Nancy Pelosi?
Howard Dean?
None of the above?

Answer, here. Clearly, he views himself as one of the Democratic Party's preeminent political advisors. The trouble is, they're taking his advice.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Case for War, Part III

It’s easy to tell when we’re a long ways from the Iraq war’s next “grim milestone.” With the last grim milestone receding into the past and the next grim milestone a year or more away, the mainstream media are forced to concoct such silly headlines as Tuesday’s Associated Press story, “Death Toll Keeps Rising...” as though it might actually go down. It’s probably no coincidence that grim milestones are all multiples of 10, as I’m sure that the same lively minds that cook up headlines like the one noted above still need their fingers to count on.
Trust me. The 2999th life lost was just as precious as the 3000th.
Grim milestones could be tabulated another way, without abandoning the powers of ten rule. For example, if our losses continue at their current pace, we’ll reach 1% of the lives lost during the Civil war in another 18 months or so. The same goes for World War II. And keeping the math simple, later this year, we’ll approach half of the losses we suffered during the Philippines anti-insurgency effort of 1899.
It’s worth remembering that nearly twice as many servicemen died in accidents during the final full year of the Carter Administration than died in Iraq last year. Considering how terribly underfunded the military was during his reign of error, it’s likely that many of those deaths were attributable to poorly maintained equipment. I don’t recall any newspapers declaring a grim milestone when the 2000th active duty serviceman died in 1980.
Although the “Greatest Generation” that fought so nobly during World War II deserves its notation, this country has never produced a better quality of men and women than those who have volunteered to fight this war. The threat that challenged the Greatest Generation was more immediate and less abstract than the challenge this generation’s finest have volunteered to engage. For most Americans, the threat we face is just as remote and theoretical as global warming and just as easy to ignore in our daily lives. Every time I see a public service announcement warning us of the threat of global warming, I have to wonder if just once in a while the threat of radical Islam might deserve such mention.
And this generation’s warriors are sacrificing a much more comfortable lifestyle than the Greatest Generation left behind. While most of this generation chooses to accept challenges no greater than the seventh level of some video game, a small fraction so values a country that can provide most of its citizens with such untroubled lives that they gave up their share of it to defend it for the rest of us. That such a decadent society can still produce warriors of such valor undoubtedly challenges our enemies’ preconceptions.
This is particularly amazing as so much of our popular culture and our education establishment is dedicated to convincing young minds that America is at its core a corrupt, evil and oppressive place not worth defending. We have entire academic departments within our universities devoted to poisoning young minds.
In spite of all the institutions dedicated to demoralizing our youth, today at least, we still produce enough of these fine young men to keep our nation secure. We will have reached a genuinely grim milestone when we no longer can.
Nevertheless, this war has certainly not been without its grim milestones.
A recent opinion poll revealed that only 51% of registered Democrats actually wanted the United States to win this war. More than a third (34%) actually wanted failure and another 15% were uncertain. I’m not sure when it happened, but surely we have long ago passed a grim milestone when barely half of the majority party still wants this nation to win on the battlefield.
Recently a New York Times reporter was publicly scolded by his newspaper’s ombudsman and its managing editor for stating on the Charlie Rose show that he hoped for a US victory in Iraq. Surely it was a grim milestone when the nation’s historically premier newspaper crossed a line that considers patriotism in time of war inappropriate.
For a time last year, the French government was unable to convince the French military to fulfill France’s obligations to the peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. When the US military views its primary task as marching in parades, then we will have truly reached our last “grim milestone.”

Monday, February 05, 2007

Humanizing a Monster

ABC News kisses a butcher's ass. Not one question about Syria's support for terror.

"Do you have an Ipod?" "What's on it?"

Such penetrating questions.

There will be a commercial and a 15 second piece about the Queen Mary. Then, Dianne Sawyer yucks it up with a savage mass murderer and a man who is assisting Iraqi terrorists kill our servicemen and women.

"The Dishonorable Harry Reid"

One has to wonder why this stuff didn't attract more mainstream media attention before the election.

Harry Reid's skill at making money in real estate makes Donald Trump look like an apprentice. If he ever writes his autobiography, it should be called "The Art of the Shady Deal."

If you accept Harry Reid's explanation that his most recent land deal is on the square, then he has a bridge to sell you. No, not that bridge. Another bridge built over the Colorado River a few miles from property in northern Arizona he bought at about $167 an acre. He doesn't own that bridge, either.

And, Harry's just getting started. I'm sure the national interest was at stake when Reid tried to pass a federal law that would have prevented oil companies from abruptly ending contracts with lubricant dealers.

Or maybe it wasn't the national interest, but the interest of a partner who has been lining Reid's pockets.

In 2002, Reid paid $10,000 to a pension controlled by longtime friend and Las Vegas lubricants dealer Clair Haycock. In return, Reid got full control over the fund's portion of a 160-acre parcel in Bullhead City, Ariz., a 37.5% share. Reid and Haycock jointly owned the entire parcel for more than20 years.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, "Reid's price for the equivalent of 60 acres of undeveloped desert was less than one-tenth the value the assessor placed on it at the time." According to the Times, "If Reid were to sell the property for any of the various estimates of its value, his gain on the $10,000 investment could range from $50,000 to $290,000."

Actually, one doesn't have to wonder why.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Case for War, Part II

Nearly seven decades later, former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is still derided for his triumphal “peace in our time” declaration upon his return from negotiations that handed much of Czechoslovakia to Hitler in exchange for a promise of good behavior. His standard for naive irresponsibility might well be eclipsed if future history books record that the United States fled Iraq before completing the mission.

The World Trade Center dust had not yet settled before the left predicted that killing Osama bin Laden would not end terrorism. We had to address “root causes.” But since George Bush starting dealing with those root causes, the left has criticized him relentlessly for failing to end terrorism by killing Osama bin Laden. History has provided us with an opportunity to address those root causes. And one of those root causes is nearly 15 centuries of Islamic holy war against infidels.

Compare these two declarations for their intolerance and embrace of violence.

Mohammed: "I was ordered to fight all men until they say, 'There is no god but Allah.' "

Osama bin Laden: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."

History has followed a straight-line between these two statements.

Saddam Hussein’s egomaniacal and despotic regime prepared the ground for us to change the course of history. His cruel tyranny made his people eager for a liberator and hungry for democracy. His totalitarianism permitted no rival. Not even Allah was allowed to compete with Saddam’s self-deification. And so, Iraq is unique among Middle Eastern Islamic countries in that it possesses a thoroughly secular public school system.

One of the relatively few intervals of peace in Islam’s history reached its peak in the 11th century when the Islamic Middle East was the most advanced and enlightened civilization on Earth. Socratic philosophy is considered the foundation of Western Civilization. Herodotus is called the father of history. But we owe most of what we know about Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, and Herodotus to Islam. The originals were lost during Europe’s Dark Ages, but Mesopotamians had translated the Greek texts into Arabic. The Arabic translations were re-translated into European languages. Without Islam, our universities would not have enough material to offer majors in Classics. Eleventh century Islamic medical texts translated into European languages were the foundation of European medicine for centuries.

Sadly, contemporary mullahs viewed this enlightenment as a threat and began to re-exert their control beginning in the late 11th century and decreed that all that Allah wanted his people to know, he put into the Koran. If He had wanted Muslims to know about mathematics, philosophy and astronomy, then he would have included that in the Koran in the first place. And so books were burned and libraries were sacked throughout the Middle East. And the Middle East descended into its own Dark Ages.

As such, the news that the Taliban in Afghanistan had issued a death sentence on all teachers should have come as no surprise to Islamic historians. Since last autumn, Taliban terrorists have been entering the homes of Afghan teachers and killing everyone they find. This is simply a re-emergence of that millennium-old attitude that considered education a threat to Islam. Light threatens all fundamentalists.

Unfortunately for the 21st century Western World, modern Islamists have decided that Allah’s people need to know a few things that were omitted from the Koran. After all, the Koran contains no plans for nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
Osama bin Laden and I agree on one thing: Fundamentalist Islam and democracy are incompatible. Malaysia and Thailand manage to live peacefully with their neighbors. Arab Americans prosper in the US quite well, exceeding the national average in education and family income.

There is no reason to believe that a prosperous and democratic Iraq would not blossom as well. Neighboring despots consider that prospect so threatening that they have made Iraq the central battlefield of the war on terror.

I have not yet heard any profound or memorable rhetoric from the surrender crowd that will gain them Neville Chamberlain’s immortality. And so I will predict today that if surrender advocates achieve their goal, history books will record George W. Bush’s warning that, “If we leave, they will follow us home,” as the most memorable quote of the national debate. If those words prove prescient, history will not treat the defeatists kindly.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Old WAZZU Makes the News Again

I don't think that the Washington State University Relations office will be promoting this one though.

Once in a blue moon, a college president vigorously defends free speech. At Northern Kentucky University, president James Votruba rebuked and suspended a tenured feminist professor, Sally Jacobsen, who led a group that demolished a campus-approved right-to-life display. Jacobsen cited two justifications: her deep feelings and her alleged free-speech right to tear down displays that offend her. “I did invite students to express their freedom of speech rights to destroy the display if they wished,” she said. “Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it.”

But far more typical than Votruba was Washington State University president V. Lane Rawlins, who hailed the disruption—and subsequent cancellation—of an intentionally offensive student play that irritated blacks, Christians, Jews, gays, and others. Rawlins defended the disrupters, saying that they had “exercised their rights of free speech in a very responsible manner.” Later documents showed that the university had actually organized and financed them. In the real world, such a revelation would have cost Rawlins his job. But on today’s campus, it passes without comment, in part because students can point out, with perfect moral justification, that forcing the cancellation of speeches and stealing newspapers are just logical extensions of campus speech codes.

The Culture of Corruption


Mollohan, who chairs the House panel which controls the Justice Department budget (including the FBI), has been under investigation by the FBI for a rather knotty mess of nonprofits, friends and real estate deals that appear to have made a lot of money for a lot of people.

According to documents filed by his campaign with the Federal Elections Commission, the law firm Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evan has collected $140,000 from his campaign. The campaign says that as of Dec. 31, 2006, it owed the firm another $20,000,

Mollohan has said that because of the investigation he would recuse himself from decisions concerning the FBI's budget, but some believe that doesn't resolve the conflict of interest.

"Just the fact that he's not going to micromanage the FBI's budget doesn't mean he can't play havoc with the Justice Department budget," conservative watchdog Ken Boehm told earlier this month. "When the Justice Department goes to his subcommittee - and they need all sorts of approval out of his subcommittee for other spending things and other things they want - they're going to a man they're investigating," he said.

Hat tip: The Blogfather.

The Muslim Mein Kampf

Click here.