December 20, 2014
In his last press conference of the year, Barack Obama responded to questions about the Sony hack by (allegedly) North Korea.
Obama vowed to respond proportionally "in a place and time and manner that we choose.” What exactly does that mean?
It is certainly reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's threats of "dire consequences" whenever the U.S. suffered another outrage - consequences that never seemed to materialize.
Actually, BHO's teleprompter lifted this from George W. Bush, who, after identifying Al Qaeda as the culprit in the 911 attacks and calling for war, said it would end in a place and time of our choosing.
Obama's teleprompter figured the public forgot this dramatic line, and sought to recycle it, making Obama into a war president on a par with Mr. Bush. (His favorability rating is certainly competitive enough.)
Mr. Bush's expression made a certain amount of sense; he was warning Al Qaeda that we were going to war against them and would be the ones choosing the battle fields. Obama has no sensible reason to make such a statement; OF COURSE we will choose where and when we will retaliate, if we retaliate at all. Since it is "proportional" it must mean we are going to launch a counter cyber attack on North Korea.
If it is proportional, it means it will be directed against North Korean commerce and not the government/military establishment. If that is the case, what will be accomplished? North Korea has virtually no commerce. Maybe Obama plans to force North Korea to cancel a new movie they are making? That would be very bad for Korea; they will be hard-pressed to lose a glowing tribute to Kim Jong-Un, especially in the new year. How sad for the N. Korean peasants, to be forced to watch reruns of all the other Kim Jong-Un tribute films!
If we are going to retaliate then it will require going after the N. Korean military computers. And if we do that it will not be proportional. Obama's teleprompter cannot have it both ways.
And certainly Mr. Obama cannot complain about cyber-attacks from foreign powers, since he himself likely authorized just such an attack on the Iranian nuclear program. Granted, Iran has had a rogue nuclear program and our actions are certainly justifiable from any reasonable perspective, does it not smack of hypocrisy to complain about a cyber attack against the U.S. when we ourselves have indulged in cyber attacks against others? Could not North Korea argue that this was a retaliation against the U.S. for the Stuxnet attack on Iran? Iran and North Korea have a series of science and technology agreements and North Korea is pledged to mutual support for the Iranians. Would not "proportionality" then be satisfied?
One wonders if Obama's teleprompter has found a way to sound tough but ultimately do nothing.
The problem with cyber warfare is there are ultimately no winners; the weapons change but the battle will not end. In the final analysis it is merely a tool in another type of conflict, and that conflict can only be won by making the enemy know he is beaten. The enemy has to feel so defeated that continued resistance is futile, and he gives up. That is what has been wrong with the "war on terror" - we are not fighting the people who give succour to the terrorists, and so the enemy has every reason to continue the struggle. And that is what is going to be wrong with any Obama "proportional" response; it will leave the enemy ready to regroup and fight again. There will be no psychological sense of victory or defeat.
Obama and his teleprompter are incapable of understanding this.
And one wonders about the complicity of China or Russia in all this.
After all, this was a commercial attack, not an attack on our national security structure. Any fool should be able to tell that the U.S. is in great economic peril, and continued pressure on the American economy could drive us into the graveyard of history. Would not cyber-attacks on American corporations be logical, especially through a proxy? The Chinese have been hacking our corporations for years, as well as U.S. government computers. But they wouldn't dare DAMAGE our corporate interests directly for fear of retaliation.
And the Russians have excellent hackers; they created hostageware, for instance, that is nigh unto unbreakable (my brother Brian got such an infection and had to buy a new computer.) Russia and China have been becoming quite cozy in recent years. Russia is a strong ally of Iran, and Russia is also in serious trouble right now thanks to low oil prices. The Russians would have an interest in helping to damage the U.S. with a cyber attack. So we have Iran, China, Russia, and North Korea with motives. Certainly China and Russia have the means. Opportunity, well, there is nothing but opportunity in the modern world. Any or all of these actors could be behind this.
I suspect this is the tip of a huge iceberg.
Mary and Joseph, exhausted after their long trip, beg the innkeeper for any room he may have:
"But innkeeper, the hospital turned us down because Augustus Caesarcare computer can't find our records online - and they just raised the premiums!
"I'm sorry, Joseph, my rooms are all filled with Roman Bureacrats on Solstice holiday - and I have to confiscate some citizens' pigs and rams for the feast."
December 18, 2014
Good news IF the GOP-dominated House remembers to act like the opposition.
Last Sunday, in the hallowed pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the paper’s chief editorial writer Kevin Horrigan penned a piece entitled "Cheney or McCain?” along with the subtitle "Torture: The Incredible Burden of Being an Old White Guy.” The OP-ED could have been a lighthearted piece about growing older in a changing nation, or it might have been a more serious consideration of the thorny problem of America, her enemies, and the line between tough interrogation and torture, either of which would have been welcome under varying circumstances. Unfortunately, Mr. Horrigan used the recent torture revelations as a teaser to write a column bashing "Old White Men”, and blaming them for all of the current national problems. Despite the title, the work is only tangentially about torture, and its purpose, such as there is one, is simply to heap scorn and ridicule upon the Left’s favorite targets, namely White Men.
According to Horrigan white males are angry, they cannot think for themselves, they have had it too good for too long, they have propped themselves up by suppressing women and minorities. Furthermore, white men are the primary beneficiaries of the bloated welfare state, even if they refuse to admit this unpleasant fact. He also implies that most white men, who strike a pose in favor of a strong national defense, and are reluctant to lambast the CIA on the torture issue, are actually chicken hawks who avoided military service. Horrigan essentially states that white men need to get over whatever is bothering them, pipe down, and take the medicine that they have had coming for a long time.
Horrigan begins the column in a somewhat benign fashion. He states, "Things get harder and harder for Old White Guys.” He laments the undeniable truth that the vitality of youth fades, and is replaced by the physical aches and pains of middle age. Horrigan is also on solid ground when he argues that white men are no longer the targeted advertising demographic group, they can no longer smoke cigars in public, and, worst of all, pretty girls no longer notice them! Most pale men, of a certain age, could not argue with this summation.
When he shifts gears to the meat of the column, Horrigan falls off of the beam. As he puts it, "Worst of all, Old White Guys carry a huge political burden.” What might that burden be? White men are the backbone of the Republican Party, and we all know how difficult that must be! Horrigan than argues that the average white male cannot think for himself and must rely on Fox News, the National Rifle Association, "…knuckleheads on talk radio”, and assorted fringe groups to think for him. As Horrigan puts it, "We tune in to Fox News to get our marching orders from other Old White Guys or blonde women in short skirts…” No mention here of mind numbed liberals who take Rachel Maddow’s word for it, or confuse satirical comedy with thoughtful political analysis. This is actually more of a way to insult the Republican Party than it is to bash a certain electoral segment. Certainly, if one of the two major parties survives by whipping its Know-Nothing base into a frenzy it can have nothing of substance to contribute to the national debate.
Horrigan then gives a quick rundown of recent history and shows that the Old White Men have been wrong every time, and thus, the liberals have always been right. He mentions the tragic events of two years ago at Newtown, Connecticut and accuses the NRA of using the Old White Men as their strike force against sensible and necessary gun control laws. Horrigan conveniently ignores the fact that Connecticut, a very deep blue state, has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. He mocks the idea that guns, as inanimate object do not kill, but that bad people use guns wrongly. The unfortunate citizens of Sydney, Australia might quibble with him on this point.
His next point is the supposed fact that all Old White Men are opposed to Obamacare. Horrigan implies that this opposition is based on ignorance of the facts of the ACA, and the idea that there is nothing in this for the Old White Men. He states the liberal talking points that the details prove Obamacare is wonderful, and that it was a plot hatched by conservatives at the Heritage Foundation, and pseudo-Republicans in Massachusetts. Horrigan makes no mention of the fact that many people, of all ages and genders dislike Obamacare because they were sold a pack of lies. Johnathan Gruber has told us so, and contrary to Horrigan’s inference that Mitt Romney was the father of this monstrosity, Gruber claimed that he was the architect of the plan, and that the administration sold it to the public through lies, and appealing to the stupidity of the American voters. Certain people who initially approved of the legislation changed their minds when they found out that they could not really keep their doctors, or their insurance plans. The Post-Dispatch has triumphantly noted the millions who have enrolled in Obamacare since last year, without noting the three million who were cancelled from their private plans, nor the intentional inflation of the numbers through creative accounting. Finally, Horrigan might want to consider the untruth of the claim that Obamacare would lead to an average savings of $ 2,500 per customer, now that sticker shock is setting in. No it is far better to taunt and mock the Old White Men, saying that they oppose Obamacare because there is something good going on and they can’t get some of the gravy for themselves.
Mr. Horrigan then segues into the gay marriage debate. As he phrases it, "Old White Guys really hate gay marriage.” He notes that federal judges have been overturning state laws, and constitutional provisions, and are making gay marriage "legal” in many jurisdictions. Horrigan chooses not to discuss the reason that many, although an admittedly shrinking number of people, are opposed to the gay marriage imperative. Some oppose the cavalier practice of federal judges striking down state constitutional provisions that they personally dislike. Others believe that traditional marriage is a better arrangement for the raising of children than the alternative. Still others contend that traditional marriage is a pillar of society, and that we trifle with such things at our own risk. There is much more to this than the simple obscurantism of Old White Guys at work, but such an admission would torpedo the liberal premise, so Mr. Horrigan chooses to ignore this, and prefers to jeer at the other side.
Finally, Kevin Horrigan moves to Ferguson, in a manner of speaking. He naturally accuses the Old White Men of racism, and claims that white men want to keep guns in their homes because they are racists who hate and fear black people. Mr. Horrigan does not acknowledge that firearm ownership is much more common in rural areas, where the racial angle does not figure into the equation. He repeats the discredited story of Michael Brown being shot while attempting to surrender, and states that Old White Men accept the official police account uncritically because they secretly support a white policeman, and irrationally hate an unarmed black teenager.
Horrigan then moves on to discuss the fact that white men have had it too good for too long. He brings up the old mantra of "White Privilege”, and throws a couple of new sociological terms, namely "Male Privilege”, and "Old Privilege” into his noxious stew. He argues that white men who think they have earned whatever they have in the world are sadly mistaken, because they got good jobs, good wages, and good benefits largely because they were white. He further out, "…throw in the notion of male privilege, and then point out that old folks get a disproportionate share of federal benefits and you’ve pretty much singled out the Old White Guys as triple privileged.” Mr. Horrigan here gives a fairly trenchant criticism of the errors of the welfare state, yet he doesn’t advocate overhauling, or dismantling this mistake. It is more fun to throw cream pies at those who, he contends, benefit from it without giving it credit. (Regular readers of this column might remember that Mr. Horrigan proposed a national holiday in 2013 celebrating the centenary of the graduated income tax!)
Finally, our fearless editorialist discusses torture. He claims that most Old White Guys implicitly endorse "enhanced interrogation”. He claims that Old White Guys, by which he means, of course, "conservatives” think it was a mistake to broadcast this information, and that anything goes when it is done "… in the name of protecting the good old U.S. of A. " I suppose that everyone knew that a liberal would get around to mocking patriotism sooner or later. Horrigan finishes his column by claiming that most of his straw men, labeled Old White Guys, are actually chicken hawks who avoided military service like Dick Cheney, rather than the G.I. Joes who walked the walk, like John McCain. He says that when the Old White Guys have to choose between the draft dodger and the knight-errant, they will line up with the slacker every time.
Now Mr. Horrigan is certainly entitled to his opinion, and the PD is his home, so they will publish his essay. This piece, however, is important because it shows the liberal mind at work. Would the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have dared to publish an Op-Ed in which their top editorial writer mocked, ridiculed, and insulted all young black men? Would they have allowed Horrigan a platform to do the same to middle aged white women? Would they have consented to a piece that castigated any black, Hispanic, or Asian women? What about unemployed, gay pro football defensive ends? Of course not, and it goes without saying that this would never be permitted! White men, however, are not on the Left’s protected species list, and can be slandered, insulted, and defamed to an editorial writer’s hearts content.
Now, let us see whether Mr. Horrigan possesses the courage of his convictions. After all, he is an Old White Guy. He has had it too good for too long. He has had a comfortable sinecure at a major metropolitan daily newspaper for lo, these many years. Will he realize that he’s had it too good, and set the world an example by graciously stepping aside, so that a deserving woman or a certified minority can take his job? The answer is almost certainly a resounding "no”. Old White Men may carp and moan about their lot in life, and chafe at the implication that they are the nation’s biggest problem. We need other Old White Men, at the Post-Dispatch, to keep smugly telling the m the "truth”.
Merry Christmas, again, to all
Larry Elder points out that many more whites were killed by police than blacks - and that the number of blacks killed has dropped by 75% in the last two decades.
"In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops -- and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.
Police shootings, nationwide, are down dramatically from what they were 20 or 30 years ago. The CDC reported that in 1968, shootings by law enforcement -- called "legal intervention" by the CDC -- was the cause of death for 8.6 out of every million blacks. For whites the rate was was .9 deaths per million.
By 2011, law enforcement shootings caused 2.74 deaths for every million blacks, and 1.28 deaths for every million whites. While the death-by-cop rate for whites has held pretty steady over these last 45 years, hovering just above or below the one-in-a-million level, the rate for blacks has fallen. In 1981, black deaths by cop stood at four in a million, but since 2000 has remained just above or below two in a million.
So what's driving this notion that there is now an "epidemic" of white cops shooting blacks when in the last several decades the numbers of blacks killed by cops are down nearly 75 "
I'll tell you what's driving it; racism against white people, that's what. Elder thinks it stems from the "bad white guy" narrative being beloved by liberals - which is simply a fancy way of saying reverse racism.
And it promotes the growth of the State. Democrats want to remove the protections of the Grand Jury for police officers who shoot civilians in the line of duty, and Obama is solidly on board with that unconstitutional effort. The goal? To disempower local and state authorities and the citizenry.
And Obama has gotten considerable amounts of money to address this "problem".
But in the end this is about removing fundamental Constitutional protections to elevate the protected classes at the expense of the majority. It is a form of black supremacy.
If "white privilege" is bad is not "black privilege" equally so?
December 17, 2014
December 16, 2014
This from Senate Conservative Action:
SENATE REPUBLICANS VOTE TO WAIVE THE CONSTITUTION
There is no question that President Obama's executive amnesty violates the Constitution. Even the president acknowledged back in September that he would be "ignoring the law" to carry out such an action.
Ted Cruz (R-TX)U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) raised a constitutional point of order against the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending that, if sustained, would have sent the bill back to the House to remove amnesty funding.
Unfortunately, a group of Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to reject Cruz's point of order and to ignore the serious constitutional problems with the president's executive amnesty.
These 20 Republicans voted to waive the Constitution.
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
John Barrasso (R-WY) Dean Heller (R-NV)
Dan Coats (R-IN) Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Thad Cochran (R-MS) Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Susan Collins (R-ME) John McCain (R-AZ)
Bob Corker (R-TN) Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
John Cornyn (R-TX) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Mike Enzi (R-WY) Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Jeff Flake (R-AZ) Roger Wicker (R-MS)
CR #353, 12/13/14
SENATE PASSES $1.1 TRILLION OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL
After waiving the constitutional point of order, the Senate passed the omnibus bill, which fully funds Obamacare, does nothing to stop the president's amnesty, and includes an earmark to help the DC establishment defeat conservative challengers.
These 24 Republicans voted for the bill.
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
John Barrasso (R-WY) John Hoeven (R-ND)
Roy Blunt (R-MO) Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
John Boozman (R-AR) Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Richard Burr (R-NC) Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Dan Coats (R-IN) Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Thad Cochran (R-MS) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Susan Collins (R-ME) Pat Roberts (R-KS)
John Cornyn (R-TX) John Thune (R-SD)
Mike Enzi (R-WY) Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Deb Fischer (R-NE) Roger Wicker (R-MS)
CR #354, 12/13/14
Henry Percy has written a blog piece at American Thinker http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/12/run_warren_run.html in which he talks about Elizabeth Warren's hypocrisy in talking like a populist while she is documented to support big corporations. He acts as if the GOP, which is getting ready to run away from its Constitutonal role and fold to Obama on the (fill in the blanks: amnesty, national budget, downsizing the military, etc.) doesn't even have to consider Warren as a threat because she is a politician whose actions don't match their deeds. Below is my posted comment/reply to his smug blog piece.
The premise of this piece is that being a phony liberal is the kiss of death, politically speaking. Being a skilled liar is more of a reason to succeed in politics than telling unpleasant truths. On the contrary, Elizabeth Warren is energetic, a dynamic speaker (even though what she says is hypocritical doubletalk) and as much of a problem for the GOP as Hillary. I would not be so self-assured as a Republican or conservative to think that the press won't cover for Warren and treat her (or Hillary) as if they were two American versions of Joan of Arc. What is more worthwhile than smugly dismissing Warren is finding a GOP candidate who can win by resonating with the conservative base. Another version of Mitt Romney or John McCain or Bob Dole or Jeb Bush will lose to the Dems - and will look like Harold Stassen, the perennial Great GOP Hope who never made it to even the nomination for President. Mr. Percy, you can't beat something with nothing - or a media Dem somebody with a GOP nobody.
Many here joke about Fauxcahontis. I've even said that Warren's idea of the Trail of Tears was when the Boston Braves left Fenway Park for Milwaukee in 1953 (and eventually on to Atlanta). But Fauxcahontis is in the US Senate and most of us here are not. Certainly none of us are in the Senate representing Massachusetts as GOP conservatives. In 2012, the famous columnist Michael Barone predicted that Obama would lose by double digit vote counts. After the election, Barone didn't even have the decency to write that his logic was deeply flawed. I am not in a hurry to write off Democrats because they aren't logical or consistent - or even deliver on promised prosperity. Neither are a majority of the dumbed down voters.
In 1920, some young American WW I pilots had started a Polish Air Force wth some surplus airplanes and helped defeat an invading Soviet force near Warsaw in what was called "The Miracle of the Vistula." The communist political officer traveling with that Soviet Army was the young Joseph Stalin.
The Americans who started this Polish Air Force were lead by a man named Merian Cooper, a direct decendant of an officer Cooper who was one of Gen. Pulaski's officers in the American Revolution. Pulaski was mortally wounded leading the charge that won the Battle of Savannah. Cooper accompanied Pulaski on a ship trying to get the general to better hospital care in Charleston, SC. Pulaski died holding Cooper's hand and was buried at sea.
The decendant Merian Cooper, a WWI US Army pilot, after beating the Russians in 1920, went on to become a movie producer and was the writer and producer of King Kong. His Polish Air Force efforts lead to flying clubs and the Polish pilots who escaped WWII Poland to fly with the RAF in the Battle of Britain in the Kosciuszko Squadron. This is all detailed in another book "A Question of Honor" by Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud. Cooper became an Air Force staff officer with US Forces in China during WWII. Cooper also escaped captivity by the Germans after being shot down in WW I.
Jack's Personal Note: Interesting enough, my father's brother was a mechanic in the Polish Air Force, one of the few Jews allowed in that elite branch of their military. He did not survive WWII and we don't know what happened to him.
The first commander of the Israeli Air Force was a native Israeli who learned to fly at a secret private airfield in New Jersey. More info can be found in the book "I Am My Brother's Keeper" by Jeffrey and Craig Weiss.
from the book's description on Amazon.com:
Based on recently declassified documents and more than two hundred interviews, I Am My Brother’s Keeper tells the story of the more than one thousand Americans and Canadians, Jews and non-Jews, who fought in Israel’s War of Independence.
Did you know:
• The first commander of the Israeli Navy was Paul Shulman, an Annapolis graduate;
• George "Buzz” Beurling, Canadas leading World War II ace with more than thirty kills, flew for Israel;
• The first general in the Israeli Army was West Pointer Mickey Marcus;
• The Israeli Air Force’s leading aces in the War of Independence were Rudy Augarten, an American, and Jack Doyle, a Canadian;
• Israel’s first tank commander was Lionel Druker, a Canadian; and
• The Israeli Air Force’s first test pilot was Slick Goodlin, the man who flew the X-1 experimental aircraft before Chuck Yeager.
These volunteers, and many others, served in all branches of the Israel Defense Forces - the army, the air force, and the navy. They were critical to Israel’s victory. Most of Israel’s fighter and heavy bomber bomber pilots were North Americans, and Israel would not have had an effective air force without them. In other areas, the Americans and Canadians provided invaluable technical expertise and combat experience. They stood shoulder to shoulder with Israel’s citizens in that country’s most desperate hour. Thirty-eight of the volunteers lost their lives in the struggle for a Jewish state. Others were wounded, and some ended up as prisoners of war of the Jordanian and Egyptian armies.
This is a story about men like Rudy Augarten (shown on the front cover), who interrupted his studies at Harvard to fly for Israel. This, despite the fact that Augarten had been shot down over occupied France during World War II, and survived sixty-three days behind enemy lines. It’s about Chris Magee, a World War II ace and veteran of Pappy Boyington’s Black Sheep Squadron who felt the Jews deserved a homeland. And about American Indian Jesse Slade, who believed that fighting for Israel was "the Christian thing to do”. And Buzz Beurling, the legendary "Falcon of Malta” who sought to recapture the glory days of World War II.
It’s about David Starec, who left his rabbinical studies in New York to serve aboard the Exodus, the most famous of the refugee ships that tried to break through a British blockade of Palestine. And George Tzizik, who refused to let a wooden leg keep him out of the fray. And Ray Kurtz, a Brooklyn fireman who led a daring bombing raid on Cairo.
I Am My Brother’s Keeper captures the powerful story of those Jews and Christians who stood up to be counted at a critical time in Jewish History. Only three years after the Holocaust, these volunteers helped establish the State of Israel.
This story will forever change your understanding of the relationship between Americans and Israelis.
December 15, 2014
The CEO of Concerned Veterans for America - and an Ivy League grad - and Megan Kelly of Fox News take a psychologist to task for his support for black students getting days off in an Ivy League law school because of the Ferguson and Staten Island legal decisions.
Go to the link and watch the video.
'In America, We Have Grit': Megyn Takes on Students Seeking Exam Delays
By Alan Caruba
Reality caught up with Obama in the two midterm elections of 2012 and 2014. The voters shifted power in Congress to the Republican Party. In the most recent midterms thirteen of the Senators who had voted for ObamaCare were defeated.
Remember how radical environmentalists pressured governments to ban DDT and Alar? Now it looks like some European scientists conspired to pave the way for a World Wildlife Fund campaign to ban neonicotinoids. Numerous farmers now rely on these novel pesticides to replace far more toxic crop protection chemicals that they previously used. But a recently leaked memorandum summarizes the scientists’ discussion about coordinating the publication of papers in respected scientific journals, to support their claim that neonics harm honeybees. "If we are successful in getting these two papers published,” the memo states, it will be much harder for politicians to resist calls for a ban.
Extensive studies show that neonics are safe for bees – and other research has identified problems that truly are afflicting these busy pollinators. We need to let real science do its job, and stop trying to short-circuit the process with politicized papers and anti-pesticide campaigns. Otherwise, bee mortality problems are likely to spread.
Still more politicized pseudo-science?
The neonics and honeybees saga takes interesting, potentially fraudulent turn
Widening efforts to blame neonicotinoid pesticides for honeybee "colony collapse disorder” and other "beepocalypse” problems have taken a fascinating turn.
Insisting that scientific evidence shows a clear link between neonics and honeybee population declines, EU anti-insecticide campaigners persuaded the European Union to impose a two-year ban on using the chemicals. Farm organizations and the Union’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department unsuccessfully opposed the ban, arguing that evidence for a link is not persuasive, and actual field studies in Canada and elsewhere have found little risk to bees from the pesticides.
Then this year’s canola (rapeseed) crop suffered serious losses of 30-50 percent, due to rampaging flea beetles. Over 44,000 acres (18,000 hectares) were declared a total loss. Euro farmers blamed the ban.
Now it appears that the campaign against these newer, safer pesticides – and the scientific papers that supposedly justify the ban – were all part of a rigged, carefully orchestrated environmentalist strategy.
A recently leaked memorandum, dated June 14, 2010, summarizes a discussion earlier that month among four European scientists who wanted to block neonic use. The memo says the four agreed to find prominent authors who could write scientific papers and coordinate their publication in respected journals, so as to "obtain the necessary policy change to have these pesticides banned.”
"If we are successful in getting these two papers published,” the memo continues, "there will be enormous impact, and a campaign led by WWF etc could be launched right away. It will be much harder for politicians to ignore a research paper and a policy forum paper” in a major scientific journal. Initial papers would demonstrate that neonics adversely affect bees, other insects, birds and other species; they would be written by a carefully selected primary author and a team of scientists from around the world. Additional papers would be posted online to support these documents – and a separate paper would simultaneously call for a ban on the sale and use of neonicotinoids.
(The WWF is the activist group World Wildlife Fund or World Wide Fund for Nature.)
One meeting attendee was Piet Wit, chairman of the ecosystems management commission of the environmentalist organization International Union for Conservation of Nature. Another was Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond, who became chairman of the IUCN’s Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, which was inaugurated in March 2011, just after the European Union agreed to finance the Task Force to the tune of €431,337 ($540,000). Vouching for the Task Force as an "independent and unbiased” scientific "advisory” group was the same Dr. Maarten Bijleveld, who is also a founding member of the WWF’s Netherlands branch and an executive officer of the IUCN’s environmental committee.
Further underscoring the "independent” nature of these organizations, the EU awarded the IUCN €24,014,125 ($30,000,000) between 2007 and 2013. Moreover, IUCN task force membership is by invitation only – making it easier to implement the Systemic Pesticides Task Force’s stated purpose: to "bring together the scientific evidence needed to underpin action on neonicotinoid pesticides.”
The entire operation is odorously reminiscent of ClimateGate orchestration of alarmist research and banning of studies questioning "dangerous manmade climate change” assertions, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s 1972 DDT ban, regarding which then-EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus later admitted that he had not attended a single minute of his own task force’s lengthy hearings or read a single page of its findings, which concluded that the insecticide was not dangerous to humans or most wildlife.
The IUCN/WWF campaign also recalls the equally well coordinated effort by Fenton Communications, CBS "60 Minutes” and the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban Alar (a chemical used to keep apples ripening longer on trees), in a way that would channel millions of dollars to the NRDC. It reminds me of former Environmental Defense Fund senior scientist Charles Wurster’s assertion that, "If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they never had before.”
Never mind that the Alar scam sent many family apple orchards into bankruptcy – or that millions of African and Asian parents and children have died from malaria because radical greens have made DDT largely unavailable even for disease control. For them, humanitarian concerns rarely enter the discussion.
As science writer Hank Campbell observes, all these campaigns reflect proven strategies "to manipulate science to achieve a political goal.” They follow the Saul Alinsky/Big Green script summarized by Madeleine Cosman: Select and vilify a target. Devise a "scientific study” that predicts a public health disaster. Release it to the media, before legitimate scientists can analyze and criticize it. Generate emotional headlines and public reactions. Develop a government "solution,” and intimidate legislatures or government regulators to impose it. Coerce manufacturers to stop making and selling the product.
Environmental pressure groups have repeatedly and successfully employed these steps.
In a recent speech, Harvard School of Public Health Professor Chensheng Lu claimed that his "Harvard Study” clearly demonstrated that neonics "are highly likely to be responsible for triggering Colony Collapse Disorder.” However, pesticide expert and professional pest exterminator Rich Kozlovich says the vast majority of scientists who study bees for a living vigorously disagree. They cite multiple problems, including the fact that small bee populations were fed "astronomical” levels of insecticide-laced corn syrup, and the colonies examined for Lu’s paper did not even exhibit CCD symptoms.
President Obama has nevertheless relied heavily on all this pseudo-science, to support his June 2014 memorandum instructing relevant U.S. agencies "to develop a plan for protecting pollinators such as honey bees …in response to mounting concerns about [their] dwindling populations on American crops.” The "serious” problem, Mr. Obama insists, "requires immediate attention.”
He is playing his role in the Big Green script but, as my previous articles have noted (here http://www.cfact.org/2014/04/06/perils-of-commercial-beekeeping/, here http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2013/09/07/to-bee-or-not-to-bee-n1693720/page/2 and here http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/55315), nothing in honest, actual science supports his call for yet another Executive Branch end-run around the Legislative Branch and a proper vetting of what we do know about neonics and honeybee problems.
Neonics are vital for numerous crops: canola, soybeans, wheat, winter squash, citrus groves and others.
Derived from a synthetic form of nicotine and often applied to seeds, "neonicotinoids” are incorporated into plants to defend them against pests. This allows growers to be much more targeted in killing crop-threatening insects: only those that actually feed on the plants are affected. This approach (or spraying) also means growers can successfully grow crops with far fewer large-scale insecticide applications, and dramatically reduce reliance on more toxic pesticides that do harm wildlife, including bees. Real-world field studies have shown that bees collecting pollen from plants treated with neonics are not harmed.
Other research has identified serious problems that truly are afflicting bees in Canada, the United States, Europe and elsewhere. Varroa mites carry at least 19 bee viruses and diseases – and parasitic phorid flies, Nosema intestinal fungi and the tobacco ringspot virus also cause significant colony losses. Beekeepers have accidentally killed entire hives, while trying to address such problems.
Colony Collapse Disorder has shown up from time to time for centuries. A hundred years ago it was called the "disappearing disease.” It now seems to be ebbing, and bee and beehive numbers are climbing.
We need to let real science do its job, and stop jumping to conclusions or short-circuiting the process with politicized papers, anti-neonic campaigns and presidential memorandums. We need answers, not scapegoats. Otherwise, bee mortality problems are likely to spread, go untreated and get even worse, while neonic bans cause widespread crop failures and huge financial losses for farmers.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-earth money machine.
This piece of holiday cheer is sung to "Holly Jolly Christmas" and speaks about my usual holiday temperament:
Have a humbug humbug Christmas
it's the worst time of the year
I just hope we don't get snow
I'll drink another beer
Have a humbug humbug Christmas
And when you walk down the block
flip the bird to every turd
as you go into hock
Ho ho the Mistletoe
stuck in someone's eye
then when you look at them
you will see them cry
have a humbug humbug christmas
so in case you think I shirk
oh by golly have a humbug humbug christmas
Have a humbug humbug Christmas
And when you walk down the block
flip the bird to every turd
as you go into hock
have a humbug humbug christmas
so in case you think I shirk
oh by golly have a humbug humbug christmas
December 13, 2014
Black on white violence is 25X white on black.
What, white lives don't matter?
Apparently not. The media has completely ignored this horrible murder of a white girl by black thugs (one of whom was her ex-boyfriend). Apparently Jessica Chambers is just another statistic, a casualty in the media's war against "white privilege".
Is the name Maria Chappelle-Nadal familiar? She has been omnipresent at the Ferguson riots. A state senator from University City, Chappelle-Nadal famously tweeted "F#%$ YOU, Gov. Nixon!" She also not disapprovingly refered to the chaos in Ferguson and the St. Louis area in general as "our race war".
Well, Chappell-Nadal sponsored a bill in the Missouri Senate to backdoor gun control.
From my own American Thinker article a while back:
1.This act creates the offense of failing to stop illegal firearm possession. A person commits the offense if he or she is the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18, he or she knows the child possesses a firearm in violation of the law, and he or she fails to stop the possession or report it to law enforcement.
2.This act also creates the offense of negligent storage of a firearm. A parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18 commits the offense by recklessly storing or leaving a firearm in a manner that is likely to result in the child accessing the firearm if the child obtains access to the firearm and unlawfully carries it to school, kills or injures another person with it, or commits a crime with it.
3.This act requires a parent or guardian to notify a school district, or the governing body of a private or charter school, that he or she owns a firearm within 30 days of enrolling the child in school or becoming the owner of a firearm.
Chappelle Nada is quite happy with a race war, provided white people are stripped of their ability to defend themselves. I guess white lives matter less than black lives.
This shows how the people leading the "hands up! Don't shoot!" charge really think. They are black supremacists, plain and simple. A few dozen dead white people don't matter in their eyes.
Like Bill Cosby? Turns out that some of the women making claims against him may not be paragons of virtue.
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