Saturday, June 30, 2007

Russia aides Iran in Quest for Nuke's

The day after I posted my blog on Iran, a news story broke out of Iran that fit in directly with my post. Iran has instituted a fuel rationing system in expectation of sanctions being placed against it for its nuclear program. There have been riots in the street with buildings and gas pumps being burned. FOX News reported that many Iranians believe they are entitled to cheap gas because of the oil reserves found in Iran. Ahmadinejad is being heavily criticized for both the rationing and the way it was broken to the public.

This morning, another news story appeared that I believe is important. I have argued against the effectiveness of the United Nations. In my post from Tuesday, I commended Peter Schweizer for his article recommending action against Iran. I commended him because he never calls for the United Nations to assist in the economic warfare he lays out against Iran. The riots over gas rationing show that Iran would be hurt if we prevented it from importing gasoline, a news story from this morning shows why we shouldn’t involve the United Nations.

FOX News is reporting that Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman is attempting to invest heavily in the Iranian market. His company, Alfa Group, is trying to buy a controlling share in an Iranian mobile phone company. Why is this important? Because in doing so, Alfa Group is making financial deals with Bank Saderat. Bank Saderat has been providing funding to Hezbollah. There is evidence that the deal by Alfa group would dilute the control of a political rival of Ahmadinejad’s thereby helping him to consolidate power.

Russia has had a history of both supplying Iran with conventional weapons, and blocking any sanctions against Iran. Russia has also sold Iran a $1 billion nuclear reactor which is currently under construction. Russia has shown it has a vested interest in helping the Iranian government. With Russia working actively against sanctions on Iran, can the United Nations impose any sanction that might actually work to bring Iran back from its nuclear course?

As I said on Tuesday, Iran can not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. Some have offered that we should avoid military action until Iran gets to the testing stage of a nuclear weapon. I counter that by then it would be too late. Ahmadinejad and the mullah’s of Iran believe there is a religious component to their quest for nuclear power. They believe they are preordained to hasten the arrival of the 12th Imam. They also believe the best way to do that is to begin a war with Israel. With nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad could make his desire to destroy Israel a reality. Because of that, there is no reason to believe Ahmadinejad won’t consider “testing” his nuke’s in Israel. Russia could also give him cover by allowing a test in Russia, and thereby hide the fact he is even testing weapons.

If we continue to wait to act in Iran, Ahmadinejad will get nuclear weapons. Once he gets nuclear weapons, it is only a matter of time before he uses them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Time for Action against Iran

There are two interesting news articles today that I thought might represent a good departure from the global warming debate. With the temperatures of some of my readers getting high enough to force certain “Anonymous” readers away from my blog, I thought it might be worth discussing something that is more likely to destroy the world than global warming. What is this terror that Al Gore is ignoring? Iran.

I have written previous post on this site arguing that Iran represents a clear and present danger to the United States. I am for the use of the military in Iran if we decide it is the only way to prevent a nuclear Iran. With the mindset of the rulers of Iran what it currently is, I believe Iran would not hesitate to use a nuclear warhead if it was able to get one. Mutually assured destruction means next to nothing if you believe you are preordained to usher in a new world order.

Iran has been at war with the United States and Europe since at least 1979. The latest salvo appears to be the use of the Iranian military to place bombs in Iraq. This story has been reported inThe Sun Online. This is still a developing story as I haven’t seen it reported anywhere else yet. The Sun sites an intelligence source as saying that British forces have seen Iranian helicopters ferrying soldiers into Iraq so they can place IED’s. The Sun says this claim is backed up by, “…very senior military sources.” However, the Sun is the only place reporting this story. Is this enough to go to war with Iran over? No. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only piece of evidence that Iran is at war with the West.

Peter Schweizer has a very good piece in USA Today outlining some of the other marks against Iran. Among other things, Iran is providing military equipment and funding to our enemies in Iraq. They captured British sailors and continue to hold 4 United States citizens. The Iranian President has stated more than once his intention to wipe Israel off the face of the map. I am inclined to take people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at their word. If he wants to destroy the Little Satan because he says he can win a war of attrition between Jews and Muslims, the West should be very concerned.

As I said earlier, I am for a military strike in Iran to keep them from acquiring a nuke. However, Mr. Schweizer lays out an economic war that I could support. He believes in a two prong assault, the first is a full gasoline embargo. This would be enforced by the United States Navy Fifth Fleet. Mr. Schweizer says that Iran imports almost half of its gasoline and is particularly vulnerable in this area. Secondly, he argues that the United States should begin counterfeiting Iranian currency. As I stated in another post attacking China for this very ploy, counterfeiting another nation’s currency is an act of war. However, in this case, Iran has been at war with the United States for decades. We can stick our head in the sand and hope the bully leaves us alone, or we can fight and stand up to these bullies.

The other very interesting part of this article is that Mr. Schweizer never once calls for aid or approval from the United Nations. Whether this course of action is taken or not, Mr. Schweizer should be applauded for this. It is time the United States shows that she is willing to stand up to those who would kill us, and we are willing to do it without international approval. The United States is the lone Superpower in the world. It is time we started acting like it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

"Global Cooling"

Many who subscribe to the belief of “man-made global warming” simply can't believe legitimate scientist disagree with the theory. An article I came across this week seems to disprove this theory.

Dr. R. Timothy Patterson has an article in describing his current research. In case you’re wondering what Dr. Patterson’s credentials are, I have done a little homework. Dr. Patterson obtained his B. Sc Biology and B.A. Geology at Dalhousie University. He later obtained his PhD Geology form UCLA. He is Principal Investigator of a Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences and the Canadian Leader of the International Geological Correlation Program “Quaternary Land-Ocean Interactions”. In the bio for the article, he is listed as Director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Science, Carleton University.

The article, “Read the Sunspots”, argues that the Sun and stars are the major driving force behind climate change on our planet. Dr. Patterson states, “Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth.” Dr. Patterson’s research has involved looking at cores from the mud of Western Canadian fjords. I have provided the link in case anyone wishes to read the research as presented on The core results are summarized quite well by Dr. Patterson:

“Our finding of a direct correlation between variations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate indicators (called “proxies”) is not unique. Hundreds of other studies, using proxies from tree rings in Russia’s Kola Peninsula to water levels of the Nile, show exactly the same thing: The sun appears to drive climate change.”

CO2 levels do find their way into Dr. Patterson’s paper. When they appear, it probably isn’t in a form most would expect in an article from a professor of Earth Sciences. Dr. Patterson says, “…CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet’s climate on long, medium and even short time scales.”

Dr. Patterson’s work found that as solar activity increases cloud activity decreases; as cloud activity decreases, global temperature increases. Dr. Patterson believes that by 2020, solar activity will be decreasing; hence our global temperature will decrease. He believes we really need to be worried about “Global Cooling”.

I wanted to point out this article because it illustrates one important thing: How much consensus isn’t present in global warming. As Dr. Patterson states, “In a 2003 pool conducted by German environmental researchers Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, two-thirds of more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries surveyed did not believe that ‘the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases.’ About half of those polled stated that the science of climate change was not sufficiently settled to pass the issue over to policymakers at all.” I have been criticized here for it, but I have constantly called for more research in this field. Humans simply don’t know enough about our environment to begin passing laws regulating industry with the hopes of changing a 1 degree temperature over 100 years.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The UN blames Global Warming for Darfur

Writing on Saturday, the Secretary General of the United Nations illustrated why the United Nations is no longer taken seriously. Ban Ki-moon said that man-made global warming was to blame in Darfur for the deaths of 200,000 or more people. How exactly did global warming spark the fighting between the government and rebels? The Secretary General would have us believe that a decrease in rain over the last two decades has led to the violence we are witnessing today. Please keep in mind that Sudan has been independent for the last 51 years. In that time, civil war has raged for 40 of those years.

How did war start in Sudan? That is a very complicated question. It also depends on which war you are talking about. After spending some time searching for writings on Darfur and Sudan, it is quickly apparent that war has been with this country for some time. The most recent version seems to have started around 2003 because rebel groups felt the government was neglecting certain areas of the country. Many have accused the government of participating in genocide in Darfur. The rebels have accused the government of using Arab militia’s, referred to as “Janjaweed”. The Janjaweed groups attack villages after the government has softened the targets up with air power. Most agree that there are active Arab militias in the country doing whatever they wish. The UN has launched its own investigation and doesn’t believe there is genocide going on in Darfur, but in an interesting play on words, acknowledges that there are those who have the intent to commit genocide.

If we weren’t talking about the deaths of 200,000 to 400,000 people, this might be a joke. If the UN itself was capable of doing anything in Sudan, one might be concerned about the thoughts of the Secretary General. However, for the Secretary General to say this may be caused by global warming is simply one further illustration that the United Nations should be ignored. Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere aren’t causing Muslims to kill each other in huge quantities. Hummers in America aren’t raping women for walking to far from home at night in search of water or firewood. “Big Oil” isn’t ……actually….there is a problem with “Big Oil” in Sudan. However, this big oil comes in the form of China and Russia.

There is a very limited African Union force in Darfur (7,000 to 9,000). Many want to boast that number. However, two of the veto votes on the Security Council (Russia and China) have blocked those attempts because of their own trade contracts in the Sudan. Perhaps instead of citing climate change Mr. Ki-moon should look at the United Nations and seriously consider that it might be part of the problem in Sudan. Instead of the United Nations conjuring phantoms to blame for it’s own incompetence, perhaps the UN should recognize that some of its own members are helping to continue the problem in Darfur.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Terrorist Operating Charities in Boston

Floyd Abrams wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago that has not gotten the attention it deserves. In his article, Mr. Abrams explains that suing someone in court isn’t always the smartest course of action. “Be Careful What You Sue For” provides a few examples of cases where parties sued in court for things said about them only to have the suit bite them in the proverbial rear end.

The latest example, and a case Mr. Abrams was part of, is what I wish to direct this post towards. Recently, the Islamic Society of Boston sued 17 assorted individuals for libel. The Society had obtained a piece of property from the Boston Redevelopment Authority for a price far below its market value. Numerous parties including Mr. Abrams client, terrorist expert Steve Emerson, raised concerns about the transaction. Mr. Emerson and others urged, “…Boston authorities to reconsider their decision to provide the land on such favorable terms…to an organization whose present or former leaders had close connections with or who had otherwise supported terrorist organizations.” Remember, we are talking about a charity operating in the United States and dealing with a local government.

As the court case began to unfold, things started looking bad for the Islamic Society of Boston. The founder of the Society, Abdurahman Alamoudi, “…had been indicted in 2003 for his role in a terrorism financing scheme, pleaded guilty, and had been sentenced to a 23-year prison term.” But really, can we judge one charity based on the founder being a terrorist? Not so quick…

One of the members of the board of trustees, Yusef Al-Qaradawi, also had a few skeletons. Al-Qaradawi has been identified by the US Treasury as a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Qaradawi also endorsed the killing of Americans in Iraq and Jews everywhere. Is this enough to be suspicious of the Society…

Walid Fitaihi, a director of the Islamic Society of Boston, had written endorsing the killing of Jews for their, “oppression, murder and rape of the worshipers of Allah.” He had also accused the Jews of committing the “worst of evils” and of bringing “…the worst corruption to the earth.” And in case you still have any doubts, bank records revealed that the Society had raised funds for the Holy Land Foundation and the Benevolance International Foundation. Both of these charities have been identified as groups that raise money for Hamas (in the case of the Holy Land Fund) and Al-Queda (the Benevolance International Foundation).

At the end of the article, Mr. Abrams points out the lessons to be learned from this and similar cases. The first is that individuals or groups suing for libel should carefully consider what may happen if they sue. Secondly, counsel fees should be awarded to the winning side in cases similar to this. Both of these lessons are important, but I think Mr. Abrams misses the bigger lesson, a charity was shown to have terrorist ties in a court of law.

These are details that were brought as the case was pursued. An Islamic Charity is operating in the United States, and continues to operate in the US that has been proven to have terrorist ties. While I am not surprised this isn’t getting more coverage, I am greatly troubled that it isn’t. How can we even be debating some of the issues in Congress right now, when we allow a group to raise funds and associate with terrorist in our own backyard? Boston has plans for this group to give lectures regarding Islam to the local community. Do we really want to provide a venue for terrorist to teach the public here in our home towns?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mr. his own words.

This clip comes from Rush Limbaugh. I was listening to his show today when he discussed this clip. It is from Al Gore on the campaign trail when he and Clinton were running for their first term. If you have read this blog, you can probably guess my feelings towards Mr. Gore. Even if you don’t agree with me, or Rush for that matter, you should listen to the Mr. Gore in his own words.

As Rush said, this leads us with some very “inconvenient” conclusions. Was Mr. Gore being less than honest with the American Public? Did he change his mind when the next Bush came along and did what he and Clinton didn’t do? Should we remember this clip when we watch “An Inconvenient Truth”?

Megga Dittos to Rush for getting this out.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Senate listens to American people

The comprehensive immigration reform bill that has been heavily discussed in the Senate this past week has been shelved. While the bill is not “officially” dead, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has pulled it off the table for the time being. I believe pulling this bill off the schedule is the right thing to do. Many Senators on both sides have already talked about making amendments in the coming weeks to get this bill back on track.

I believe this has been a small victory for the American people. This bill has been polling at lower and lower numbers. There are aspects of this bill that those on the left and the right disagree with. However, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and the President have been pushing very heavily to get this bill made into law.

I know there are many people that don’t believe their voices matter in Washington. They think the two parties control everything and our voices don’t matter. I think the American response to this bill illustrates a different reality. If enough people don’t like something, and they are willing to speak out against it, our officials have no choice but to listen. That is what happened with this bill.

I think this should be celebrated because the voice of the voters was heard over everything else in Washington. For those who didn’t believe, we now know that our voices have weight.

In the coming weeks, the Senate will try to revive this bill. They will want to let the noise die off and try again. Our jobs as voters is to watch them, and when they bring it back up, we must let them know what we think. If they backed down from the voters once, we can make them do it again.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Global Warming Advocates attack NASA

Recently NASA Chief Administrator Michael Griffin has been under attack for comments he made to NPR regarding Man-Made Global Warming. In an interview on May 31st, Mr. Griffin was asked by the NPR interviewer if he was concerned about global warming. The NPR interviewer said some people claim NASA isn’t spending enough money to study climate change from space. Mr. Griffin responded that he was,”…aware that global warming exists.” He restated much of the global warming argument. This argument states that over the last 100 years, the earth has experienced a temperature increase of about 1 degree centigrade plus or minus about 20%. Mr. Griffin even stated that it appears “nailed down” that much of this is manmade. If the interview had stopped here, I doubt many would have even known the NASA Administrator did the interview on NPR that day. However, it was the question and answer that came next that has caused such a controversy. As provided by NPR;

(NPR) Q: Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?

(Michael Griffin) A: I have no doubt… a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change. First of all, I don’t think it’s within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings – where and when – are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take.

This is a fair answer. Administrator Griffin was asked if global warming is a problem we should wrestle with. He raises a very good point in his answer: how do we know this is the best climate for the planet, and who gets to make that kind of a decision?

Responding to the interview on The Hill’s website, Mr. Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters indignantly wrote, “Griffin’s remarks are not only ignorant, but insensitive,” [emphasis mine]. Mr. Karpinski also wrote the following:

“As the world’s most renowned scientist concluded in the [IPCC] reports this year, the debate on global warming is over: global warming is occurring, humans are contributing to the problem and we need to curb the greenhouse gasses that cause it.

It’s not rocket science.”

Mr. Karpinski has illustrated the real problem with the global warming debate: any opposition viewpoint is attacked and not considered on its merits. Scientist who disagree with the man-made global warming theory are called insensitive. In the case of the NASA Administrator, his critics have even begun calling for his resignation. One would think Mr. Griffins comments, as NASA Administrator, would be worthy of some consideration. Instead, critics invoke flippant remarks such as, Mr. Karpinski’s statement that, “[Global Warming is] not rocket science”.

If this statement is true, then there are a few troubling facts about global warming Mr. Karpinski and others should be quite willing to explain. For example, if the science is as simple as we are lead to believe, why are there no computer models that can accurately predict global warming? Surely something so simple can be modeled. Perhaps Mr. Karpinski can explain why CO2 which represents such a miniscule portion of our atmosphere can cause such global catastrophe. How about explaining why other planets in our solar system (such as Mars) are also exhibiting signs of global warming. Presumably these planets don’t have a man-made source of increased CO2 emissions.

Many proponents of Man-Made Global Warming have increasingly cited the “consensus” of renowned scientist. Setting aside the fact that consensus is not part of the Scientific Method, the statement is false. Lawrence Solomon has been writing a series about prominent scientists who challenge the climate change debate. He originally started the series to simply profile six high ranking scientists. He wanted to illustrate that there is credible dissent within the scientific community. He has now profiled more than 20 scientist and isn’t sure when he will stop. Mr. Solomon writes, “Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. “ He continues, “…there is no consensus at the top echelons of scientists…and certainly there is no consensus among astrophysicists and other solar scientist…”

The truth of the matter is that Global Warming, both man made and not, is an extremely complex issue. It is worthy of study by the best and the brightest. However, like many things in our universe, man simply hasn’t reached the point where we can scientifically prove many of our theories. Mr. Karpinski and other critics should remember that rocket science has quantitative measurements, repeatable experiments, and accurate computer models. Instead of insulting the NASA Administrator and calling for his resignation, global warming advocates should focus on improving the science surrounding global warming. We need legitimate study and research and not insulting remarks regarding those who disagree.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Can the Senate and the President be trusted?

The Senate is feverishly working to pass a “comprehensive immigration reform bill”. This bill has been produced from negotiations between republicans, democrats, and the President. It is very sweeping in its nature and has upset many on both the right and the left.

Those on the left are upset that the bill includes fines and limits to the number of legal immigrants that will be allowed in. Those on the right are upset at what they perceive to be amnesty. Both sides have legitimate concerns for what is a very far reaching bill. I personally have many concerns with the bill. However, if I had faith in the President and Congress to enforce these bills, I could tolerate the bill.

I think many Americans feel the same way. We have lost faith in our elected officials to do what they say they will do. The President (with an approval rating of around 33.3%) and many in Congress (approval rating of around 33.4%) are defending a bill that has an approval rating of around 26%. There are aspects of this bill that I actually like and think will work. If I knew these aspects would be enforced, and would be enacted as the supporters say it would be, I would try to stomach the aspects I don’t like. However, I simply don’t believe it will happen. I think many Americans would agree. I think many believe the parts of this bill they like will be ignored, and the parts they don’t like may (and I mean “may”) be enforced.

The President and the Senate have not acted like they want to convince us that these fears are unfounded. The bill was announced and there was an attempt to have it voted on without any floor debate. I believe many Americans get very nervous when they hear that a particular bill is going to be passed without any time for the public to review it. Supporters of the bill have also been less than forthcoming about the cost of this bill. Projections done by the Heritage Foundation have placed the cost of this bill around $12 Trillion. I have yet to hear any rebuttal from those who support this bill.

McCain and others would say,”If you don’t like it so much, what’s your solution?” I think the Senate needs to back up, and try to pass something of a smaller scale. Show the American public that they can be trusted. Pass a portion of the immigration bill (like the border protection aspects) and act on that bill. Don’t simply say you want to secure our borders, do it. Surely no immigration reform can have any meaning without providing a control to the number of illegal immigrants coming through our border. If Congress and the President can pass a meaningful border security measure AND actually implement the bill, then come back to the compromise table.

Prove to the American public that our officials will do what they say they will do. Once the Senate proves it can be trusted, then pass something that will keep us from having this exact same conversation twenty years from now.