Hyping Joaquin!

The media are breathlessly waiting at this time to find out which way the wind will blow.  A few miles West, and Joaquin will turn into a major hurricane – possibly even category 4 – by the weekend and (they all hope) hit the Eastern Seaboard, bringing cataclysm and human suffering on a scale not seen since Hurricane Sandy combined with a Nor’easter over New York and New Jersey in 2012!  A few miles East, and Joaquin will be the disappointment of the week, and life will go on.

The truth is, even Sandy was only a Category 2 Hurricane when it hit the US.  No Category 4 or stronger hurricane has hit the East Coast since 2004 (Charlie), so this COULD be a major event coming.  Could be.  Maybe.  If.

Could Be! Maybe!  If!

I am not discounting the danger of a large storm.  But after 10 years of drought, even the potential for rain makes many a man stand up and take notice.  The media would be ecstatic if Joaquin makes it to Category 5 for landfall in North Carolina by Saturday!  Could this be another Katrina?

A Dash of Cold Water

Cyclonic activity in the world is not trending one way or another.  “Climate Change,” no matter what the alarmists may tell you, is not leading to an increase in strength, number, or duration of hurricane activity, and anyone linking this or any other storm to “Global Warming” is pulling your leg for political purposes.  For those of us 1,000 miles from the storm, this is just a “pay attention, be ready to help” moment.  For those on the coast – you get the great view of the ocean, you deal with hurricanes.  Get ready, and get over it.

Consistency – The Hobgolin of Little Minds and Rational Arguments

I have a friend on the internet who claims to be “pro-life” in much the same way that Nancy Pelosi claims to be “Catholic.”  That is, he really, really thinks abortion may be sometimes in the most extremely disturbing cases be somewhat morally questionable (think Dr. Gosnell of Philadelphia killing live babies after botched procedures), but that if we want to reduce the number of abortions, we need to educate and empower women, and provide alternatives to abortion that make them rare.  By no means does he believe we should pass laws to enforce behavior that we might (again, in extreme cases) find morally objectionable.  Such laws punish the poor (mostly minority, by the way) women who are caught in situations where abortion provides a solution.

So, he’s against legislating morality.

Except he supports social welfare laws.  That is, he supports laws that punish rich (mostly non-minority) people by forcing them to share their wealth.  Apparently educating wealthy people about the needs of the impoverished and then providing them ample opportunities to donate in a charitable manner doesn’t work on the wealthy – not like it would on poor, desperate women, anyway.

He’s also in favor of laws punishing rape and murder.

You see, educating would-be rapists and murderers about the social, economic, and moral implications of rape and murder would be wasted on those not born to “white, male privilege.”  His words, not mine.  Apparently women can be educated, and white men can be, but minority men can’t be expected to learn proper behavior, so we need laws to punish them for their behavior.

He’s also in favor of forcing people to espouse and participate in “gay” marriage.

Educating those who are against such behavior is wasted breath – we need laws to enforce the pro-gay agenda.  Otherwise, people who disagree will go around discriminating willy-nilly against those who think or act differently.  Laws to make such behavior punishable!  Laws that put people in jeopardy of liberty or property because they don’t “toe the line.”

You see, he’s in favor of laws to promote HIS beliefs, but since his beliefs are the RIGHT beliefs (or is that LEFT?) then he is not inconsistent to favor those while working against legislation that “imposes” some other beliefs.

But consistency would be the hobgoblins of littler minds than his….

A Nation of Laws : It was great while it lasted….

I lost hope tonight.  I used to believe that America was a land where laws mattered.  I used to believe that Justice was blind, and that her scales were fair.  If you broke the rules, you were duly punished, and if you lived by the rules, you may not be rewarded, but at least you were left alone.

I realized tonight that all across America, the Federal Government, and specifically the Obama Administration, has placed a huge thumb on those scales.  Much as they did when Obamacare became a problem and the President waived his magic pen to change dates certain written into the law, they have waived their pens again and saved tens of thousands of illegal immigrant “children” from odious paperwork by declaring them “homeless.”

If you are a citizen, YOUR child will have to provide proof of immunization, transcripts from another school, and reams of documentation to enter school this fall.  However, if you crossed our borders illegally, you are “homeless” now – and all of the procedures which citizens are compelled to follow you are released from.

I resent being told that because I have followed the rules in the past that I need to continue following them as those who have broken our laws from the get-go are now given “waivers.”  I resent that a man in the White House can wave his pen and make the laws no longer apply.  I resent paying taxes to a government that goes out of its way not to fulfill it’s basic duties to apply the law equally and with complete disregard for legal status, color, sex, or anything else you want to include.

And if I resent it, I can only imagine how people who made the arduous (but legal) journey through our present byzantine immigration system feel.

It’s almost as if Obama and the Democrats, desperate to hang their hats on something other than their complete lack of accomplishments, are pushing as hard as they can to foment unrest and lawlessness.  If they can get one Tea-Party Patriot to go over the edge, one group to declare “war” on the government, they will be able to hang the November election on it – painting all conservatives with the brush of “anarchists” and “haters.”

And I am afraid – truly afraid – that some nut job out there, or group of nut jobs, will take the bait.  Never mind that the Conservative “nuts” the Main Stream Media so slather over after every “mass shooting” or “violent incident” turn out to be hard-core leftists or completely apolitical.  They only need one bona-fide “conservatie” story before November.  My guess is they’ll be painting the cop in Ferguson who shot that young man as a “died in the wool Republican” if he is revealed to have voted 40 years ago for Nixon before joining the Democrat party and supporting every liberal agenda since.

If America does not make a hard choice, and move back to being a nation of laws and not men this November, it’s probably over.  The elite will get favors, and the rest of us will get the bill.  I used to say “I wanted a revolution until I got investments.”  I forgot how much I have invested in the very fabric of a country that enforces its laws….

Gaining a Perspective on Magnitude

When I read the latest tripe on Global Warming* the new weasel argument is to talk about numbers out of context.  For example, people talk about “adding three Hiroshima bombs per second of extra energy” to the ocean as a result of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.  Wow.  That sounds scary.  Three extra bombs.  Per second.

Out of Context

So, how much energy is that exactly?  I mean, how many “Hiroshima” bombs per second NORMALLY go into the ocean per day from sunlight?  Energy is typically measured in Joules.  That Hiroshima bomb, for example, measured in at 63 Terajoules (63 trillion joules).  According to wikipedia, the earth receives approximately 174 petawatts from the sun, of which approximately 70% is not reflected, making for 121.8 petawatts.  121.8 petawatts = 121.8 petajoules / second.  121.8 petajoules = 121,800 terajoules.  So the earth receives about 1933.3 Hiroshima Bombs per second of energy.  Let that sink in while I check my math.  121.8e15 / 63e12 = 1933.3.  Yep.

So we’re worried about an extra 0.15 % power change.  Of course, while they deny using the metaphor to “scare” people, nothing is scarier than atomic bombs!  Now, if they said “we’ve detected what we believe to be an extra 0.15% change in energy in the atmospheric system, and we have to radically change our world energy structure at a cost of TRILLIONS of dollars…”  that would be scary!

How Big a Temperature Increase?

So, as the “heat content” of the Ocean rises by “3 Hiroshima Bombs” a day, what is the actual temperature increase caused by all that energy?  Well, it must be massive!  It’s hiding, you know, waiting to jump out at us without warning and say “gotcha!”  And it’s massive – I mean, it’s 3 Hiroshima Bombs a second EVERY DAY!  HUGE!

Well, again, luckily, someone has done some calculations, and it turns out that adding 3 Hiroshima Bombs to the ocean every second for 10 years produces a…wait for it…. point 1 degree Centigrade (0.1 C ) rise!  That’s right, people – we’re all going to die now!  This is why people state the numbers in Terajoules and Hiroshima Bombs.  You tell people about BIG NUMBERS and dangerous BOMBS, and you can get them to panic and beg you to save them.  You tell people numbers they understand, and all of a sudden it’s not quite the scary bogeyman you need to extract their money from their wallets.

Never mind that we have only 150 years TOTAL data measured with any scientifically accurate instruments, or that we have less than 100 years of world wide coverage, or less than 50 years of satellite data, so making comparisons to the past is impossible.  Oh yeah, ignore the fact that they keep massaging the data (torturing it) to get it to show warming.  It’s all “settled science.”

Apocalypse Never

So, as hurricanes continue to miss the US Coast, and tornado activity in the Midwest continues to be less than “extreme,” as CO2 gets pumped into the atmosphere by India and China at rates that will dwarf the US’s paltry and declining contribution to “greenhouse” gasses, I’m not going to be all that concerned.  You see, there’s LOTS of room in the oceans, and there’s lots of room in the atmosphere, and every year of increasing CO2 results in LESS warming (CO2’s effects are logarithmic – something I’m going to make you look up on your own), and things are generally getting better meteorologicaly.  Life likes warmth – always has, probably always will, and more people die from cold events in winter than heat waves in summer.

CO2 Causes Warming, NOT “Climate Change”

Because the world has not warmed for 17 years, econuts and warmunists have taken to calling the condition whereby man burns CO2 and affects the weather “Climate Change.” Don’t let them do it.

CO2 Can Only Warm

The only effect that CO2 can have on our atmosphere is to warm it.  CO2 does not cause any other atmospheric disturbance.  Therefore, when people claim that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses (GHGs) cause “Climate Change,” correct them.  Don’t let them bait and switch the conversation.  Climate always changes, and research had not proven yet that some “radical state change” in the climate at the end of the 20th century, or pending in the 21st century, has in any way affected the overall climate on the planet.

Climate Deniers

Do we (being humans) affect the climate?  Yes.  It’s hard to change overall land use on the massive scales that we have without affecting the climate.  We’ve added massive amounts of humidity to the American Southwest.  We’ve changed dense forests to farmland.  We’ve built huge metropolises that no longer have the same warming and cooling characteristics as the forest and plains they replaced.  It’s called adaptation.  We change our environment to suit us – kinda what makes us human, you know?  Nobody with any sense at all denies man has an influence on the climate.  For good or for bad, climate changes and we change with it and sometimes change it.

“Climate Deniers” is a term invented by warming alarmists, however, to set up a straw man.  It’s summarizing opposition as being in “denial,” like Holocaust deniers.  Don’t let them do that either.  It’s simplistic, and is a tactic used by the weak of mind.

Climate Models Don’t Predict

No matter how hard they try, 97% of all climate models are WRONG.  They’ve completely missed the “pause” in global warming.  Does that mean they’re completely wrong?  No.  They are useful models for teaching us what we know, and more importantly, what we don’t know about climate.  But I wouldn’t wager $10 on any one of their 10 year “simulation” runs.  Why we want to bet TRILLIONS on those runs is beyond me.

In summary – don’t be a “Climate Change Denier,” it’s a silly position.  But don’t let someone else declare it’s about “Climate Change.”  If it’s not WARMING, CO2 is not the problem!

What’s a few words between friends?

President Obama, for the 2nd time, has determined that the “words” of a law are less important than the political realities surrounding the upcoming mid-term elections. Apparently, dates that appear in laws are “open to interpretation,” even though they appear to be hard and fast dates. Obviously, the possibilities are endless.

Election Day is just a “Date”

Suppose, for example, that Election Day is seen as inconvenient. Is is, after all, just a date – and the need to protect the population from the inconvenience or pain of elections is obviously a sufficient reason to ignore, or delay, such dates.

The same could be said for Inauguration Day. Put it off a couple of years – what’s the big deal? Statutory dates are now open for interpretation anyway. If Obama wishes to put off the inauguration of the next president until 2027, what’s to stop him? It’s just a date, and we need to protect the Citizenry from the pain and inconvenience of learning the new President’s name anyway.

A Rose by Any Other Name

My only question is – why are “dates” different from other parts of the law? I mean, a penalty is already a tax, and hard fast deadlines are just targets. Why can’t numbers be re-interpreted? Obviously they’re just words on paper. Rights enumerated in the constitution? Well, obviously people can bear arms – just not weapons. The Press only refers to printing presses operated by Responsible Journalists. “Unreasonable Search” is just a phrase designed to protect the guilty, and “Self Incrimination” is just a meaningless phrase.

According to Ancient Scripture, when a King issued a decree, the letter of the law had to be followed (c.f. Esther). If the king said something, the rule was it had to be followed. When the King said that his subjects could kill the Jews, he was unable to rescind that order. His solution was to pass another law allowing the Jews to defend themselves.

Apparently, Obama would have just ignored the rules. He’s more than a King. He is Judge, Jury, and Executioner – taking the role of Legislature and Judiciary all in one!

Some may claim this is to make the law “workable.” They are living in a dream world. The motivations are obvious to all but the most partisan of sycophants. If the Health Care Law, as passed, were being enforced as written, the Democrats wouldn’t stand a chance in the next 2 election cycles. The House, the Senate, and the Presidency would be solidly Republican.

And THAT would be President Obama’s legacy. So apparently, to avoid that disaster, the Constitutional Scholar feels it’s just more convenient to destroy the Rule of Law that forms the basis of the Republic.

“When a [ruler] becomes a tyrant, he thereby breaks the bond binding his subjects to him….” – Thomas Jefferson, 1776 The Musical

Abbot and Costello Meet the Bogeyman

Abbott and Costello had nothing on Obama and Kerry, as our current unfolding debacle in Syria shows.  I’m just not sure who’s the “straight man” in the new act.

A Red Line in the Shifting Sands

First, there was a “Red Line.”  A “Red Line” that Assad of Syria must not cross – or there would be severe, immediate repercussions that involved military action!  Sometime in August, the Obama Administration says that Assad crossed that red line – forces which may or may not have been under his control gassed civilians.  This was it – time for Obama to prove he was a man of his word.  However, a funny thing happened on the way to the airstrikes.

First, there was the whole problem of “proof.”  It was difficult to get actual, certifiable proof that Assad had, in fact, ordered (or even sanctioned) the chemical weapons attack.  In a country where there have been fake reports about atrocities on both sides, along with numerous real atrocities on both sides, and a constant flux about who is actually on who’s side to begin with, this was not a “slam dunk.”  The best the Obama Administration could muster, according to news reports, was that the NSA had intercepted a frantic call from a mid-level military commander in Assad’s regime to the chemical weapons unit that purportedly carried out the attack demanding to know why they had used chemical weapons.  Hardly “proof” that Assad knew about or sanctioned such an attack.

Russia, never one at this point to miss an opportunity to show up it’s good “friend” the USA, immediately rejected the US claims of Assad’s complicity.  Assad serves a political purpose for Putin, so they have a stake in making sure he isn’t overthrown (yet).  China is another one looking to play in MidEast politics, because nothing secures your bona-fides as a Superpower like getting mired in the Middle-East Conflicts.  China has also rejected the idea of military action on the part of the United States.

Britain, the holders of a “special relationship” with America, immediately and most un-impressively failed to pass a resolution supporting the use of force against Assad.  France first supported us, and then walked back the support.  Kerry went forward last week and claimed we have a lot of “Secret Supporters.”  Yes, that’s right – countries who’s support for us is so deep it must remain secret.

Obama, faced with a dwindling supply of allies, decided rather suddenly that if he couldn’t get NATO, or the UN, or the Arab League, or anybody else to support his decision that action must be taken, he would go to Congress and have them authorize the smallest of airstrikes.  Just a few well-placed bombs to “punish” Assad, but not really enough to affect the outcome of the current civil war in Syria.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Such a milktoast resolution might have passed muster, had not Obama run smack dab into Public Opinion – 72 percent of which is currently against doing anything at all.  The proposal started as “fire a few missiles, watch a few camels explode, have cake…” and has since become a discussion of how far is far enough without going too far while not tying the President’s hands and actually doing something significant.  Hawkish Republicans want a strike only if it furthers an agenda pointed at regime change in Syria.  Skittish Democrats want assurances that we are not committing to any sort of war.  Nobody wants to put boots on the ground, and everyone is worried that the people we are attacking are not necessarily the worst actors on the stage!

In this uncertain climate, where a filibuster is shaping up in the Senate and a failure to pass the resolution is almost a certainty in the House, Kerry gives Syria an out – a way of avoiding military attacks that Obama seems less and less eager to make alone.  It’s a “rhetorical” offer, we’re told later.  If Syria gives up control of all of its chemical weapons by the end of the week – something nobody in their right mind believes Syria will agree to – the US will cancel the airstrikes.

The problem with Secretaries of State making “rhetorical” offers like this should become immediately clear.  What if someone accepts the nonsense and irrational offer?  What if Syria actually says “Sure, we’d be willing to do that.”  What if Putin goes to Syria and sits down with Assad and appears to come home with that exact agreement.  What if they say “yes.”

Like an inept prosecuting attorney, John Kerry asked a question he didn’t know the answer to.  He thought he knew.  Conventional wisdom and common sense told him he knew.  I mean, EVERYONE knew the answer, right?

Apparently, someone forgot to tell Assad and Putin, one trying to hang on to his political and literal life, the other seeing an opening to reassert Russian prestige as a Middle East negotiator, that they weren’t supposed to say yes.  Assad is supposed to be a raving maniac who gasses his own people.  Putin is some “thug” ham-handedly pushing Russia back to a Cold War stance.  Neither is supposed to be this politically adept.  Neither is supposed to be clever enough to outwit Obama and Kerry!

So what is this?  Amateur Hour at the White House?  Kerry and Obama have just been outmaneuvered by a couple of hecklers who were getting a rise out of them.  This is the best we have?  Foreign Policy via “Off the Cuff Remark?”

“Playing the part of put-upon, misunderstood leader of a small, unimportant country this evening, Bashir Assad.  The part of the war-mongering, bullying, incompetent, ugly Americans will be Barak Obama and John Kerry.  The part of good-faith negotiator and worldly man about town will be played by Vladimir Putin.”

The net change in Syria over this entire fiasco?  ZERO – that’s the plot twist we should have expected…..