Saturday, March 31, 2007

Email With A Global Warming Denier

This is an email exchange with writer Tim Ball who published this story denying that global warming exists. The first email is at the top, and the last email at the bottom.
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On 2/27/07, Simmons wrote:
In response to Dr. Tim Ball, http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming020507.htm
You want proof? Here's your proof:
http://thethoughtsontheworld.blogspot.com/2007/02/factsheet.html
Where's your proof that carbon dioxide isn't a greenhouse gas? You have no evidence while claiming people that believe global warming exists have no evidence.


On 2/27/07, Tim Ball wrote:
Would please read what I wrote. I never ever said CO2 wasn't agreenhouse gas. What I said was there is no evidence other than inthe useless computer models that it is causing climate change now orin the past. And that comment is applied to the total CO2. the human portion is so miniscule a part of the natural CO2 that it is wellwithin the error of of the estimate of how much CO2 there is in theatmosphere.I don't mind criticism, even if, as is usually the case, the person doesn't know what they are talking about. I just prefer it beaccurate and relevant.Tim Ball


On 28-Feb-07, at 12:12 PM, Simmons wrote:
http://bp1.blogger.com/_5rb8OzBF17U/RdYm3-DugmI/AAAAAAAAAAs/HOaz1AqCGKM/s320/Temp_CO2+Longterm.gif


This graph shows the carbon levels over time (in red) and temperature levels (in blue).They were taken from ice cores in Antarctica. This proves that as carbon levels varies, so does global temperature (approximately).Do you know as much about climate change as you claim?


On 2/28/07, Tim Ball wrote:
What that graph shows, as dozen of researchers have confirmed, is that the temperature changes before the CO2 not as the basic assumption of the humans causing temperature change assumes.

Here is a lot more information for you to bring yourself up to a walk on climate science.

H.L. Mencken said, "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule" which surely applies to Al Gore.

Almost all politicians know little or nothing about the science of climate and climate change. This is also true of the majority of the public. Groups using this lack of understanding added to exploitation of fear have driven any consideration of the science out the window. The difference for the politician is they feel pressured to respond and they are in a position to influence policy in incredibly expensive and useless ways. If you want to read how the fear is exploited, read Michael Crichton's book "State of Fear."

The underlying thrust of the argument of climate change is that it is being caused by humans and specifically our production of CO2. This is a vehicle being used to undermine the successful way of life we have produced that has enhanced the length and quality of life in every country that has tried it. People like Maurice Strong are the heart o ftis battle. He said, "Isn't the problem with the planet the industrialized societies? Isn't it our job to eliminate them?" This man organized the Rio Conference and was amajor player at the UN from which sprang the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the sole source of evidence for global policy on climate change. They could not attack energy because too many people would protest so CO2, the byproduct of what fuels our societies and produced by those nasty evil energy companies. I am not here to defend them or anyone else. What I want is the scientific truth and everything I know shows CO2 is not the cause of global warming or climate change.
Consider the following

When I began my climate studies the consensus was impending doom because of another ice age. In a book titled, "The Cooling" by Lowell Ponte (1976) wrote,
"It is cold fact: the global cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species." Change the seventh word to warming and we are hearing the same unjustified hysteria today. A more important change is the switch from global warming to climate change. Why? Because the world has cooled since 1998 while atmospheric and human CO2 has increased in direct contradiction to the theory. So we spend billions when a large section of climate scientists anticipate a much colder world by 2030.

A common problem with this entire issue of climate change is confusion between pollution and global warming or climate change.. Despite attempts to muddy the water, for example by the Canadian government listing CO2 as a toxic substance, global warming and climate change are not about pollution. Questioning the climate science does not mean there is not a recognition of or concern about clean air and water and a healthier environment.
CO2 is not a pollutant, it is a naturally occurring gas without which there would be no life on earth. Indeed. it is reasonable to argue that reducing CO2 is a negative move. Some salient points about CO2

1. It is at 385 ppm (bottom right side of diagram) at the lowest level in 600 million years.



Notice there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature at any point.
Research by Sherwood and Craig Idso at http://www.co2science.org/ shows most plants function best between 1000 and 1200 ppm. Commercial greenhouses are pumping these amount in and achieving four times better growth and yield with significantly less water use. This suggests the plants have evolved to that level and our now CO2 'starved.'

2. Concern that temperatures will rise with increasing CO2 are cancelled by a couple of important facts. First, the ice core covering 420,000 years shows that temperature in creases before CO2. This is in complete contradiction to the assumption that an increase in CO2 due to human will cause an increase in temperature.

3. Even if CO2 doubles or triples there is an upper limit to the amount of temperature increase that can occur because of its role as a greenhouse gas. This upper limit is set at 1.5°C, but some like Richard Lindzen believe it is less. The reason for this upper limit is because the atmosphere is close to saturation for CO2 now so any further increase will not increase its ability to 'trap' heat. A good analogy is painting a window with black paint to block the sunlight. the firsts coat achieves 98% reduction. Any subsequent coats achieve dramatically less reduction.

4. They get around this last problem in the computer models by assuming with no scientific justification a 'positive' feedback. A positive feedback in climate science means one that enhances a trend, while a negative feedback stops or reverses the trend. They assume the increase in temperature will result in increased evaporation, which will cause more heat to be trapped and temperatures to continue to rise. In fact, the amount of increased evaporation is negligible compared to the total amount already in the atmosphere. Wtaer Vapor is by far the most abundant greeenhouse gas being 95% by volume. CO2 is less than 4% by volume and the human portion of that is about 0.4%. In additon, the increased water vapour is more likely to increase cloud cover which will act as a negative feedback blocking the sun and causing cooling.

5. In Canada, from 1997 to 2006 the Auditor General reports Environment Canada pent $6 billion dollars on climate change with no results or effect whatsoever. During that same period while pollution levels declined they failed to meet their own targets and they certainly could have declined more rapidly if the $6 billion was properly spent on pollution.

Beyond this,

1. I am concerned about the fact that large segments of society, social, political and economic, are being bullied into silence by a small group of extremists even in the land of the free. They have stolen the moral high ground so that anyone who dares to question is accused of not caring about the planet, the environment or the future of the children. People are also silenced by not wanting to show their lack of understanding of what is a very complex subject. Both fear and lack of understanding are being exploited
2. The credibility of science is in jeopardy. My concern is when the public realize the extent to which they have been misled, sadly deliberately in many cases, they will not believe anything they are told and real issues will not be dealt with. I wrote an article with the title "What happens when Chicken Little cries Wolf?" to summarize the problem

A few sources you can follow include our own web page at,

http://www.nrsp.com/

I also helped set up and remain an advisor behind the scenes for Friends of Science at

http://www.friendsofscience.org/

Two other sites I recommend include a more scientific one at with much material on the global average annual temperature

http://www.co2science.org/

If you want more in depth discussion about the manipulation of data visit the site of Steve McInytyre who exposed the "hockey stick" fraud. You will find extensive discussion here on the latest "adjustments to the temperature record, which, in my opinion border on malfeasance.

http://www.climateaudit.org/

and a more general one at

http://www.junkscience.com/

You can use the links provided on these sites to lead you to other material
Here are ten excellent newspaper articles with good information.
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=22003a0d-37cc-4399-8bcc-39cd20bed2f6&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=1d78fc67-3784-4542-a07c-e7eeec46d1fc&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=ae9b984d-4a1c-45c0-af24-031a1380121a&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=b228f4b0-a869-4f85-ba08-902b95c45dcf&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=63ab844f-8c55-4059-9ad8-89de085af353&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=fee9a01f-3627-4b01-9222-bf60aa332f1f&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=17fad0e2-6f6b-41f3-bdd8-8e9eeb015777&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=9bc9a7c6-2729-4d07-9629-807f1dee479f&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=edae9952-3c3e-47ba-913f-7359a5c7f723&k=0

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=069cb5b2-7d81-4a8e-825d-56e0f112aeb5&k=0

I hope this helps you understand what is happening as fear and lack of understanding among people and politicians is exploited and we are driven toward terrible and unnecessary policies that divert from the real issues like clean air and clean water.

I am concerned about several things but two in particular.
1. I am concerned about the fact that large segments of society, social, political and economic, are being bullied into silence by a small group of extremists even in the land of the free. They have stolen the moral high ground so that anyone who dares to question is accused of not caring about the planet, the environment or the future of the children. People are also silenced by not wanting to show their lack of understanding of what is a very complex subject. Both fear and lack of understanding are being exploited
2. The credibility of science is in jeopardy. My concern is when the public realize the extent to which they have been misled, sadly deliberately in many cases, they will not believe anything they are told and real issues will not be dealt with. I wrote an article with the title "What happens when Chicken Little cries Wolf?" to summarize the problem.
Why have senior scientists continued to deny the evidence?
Tolstoi had a comment on this conundrum.
"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives."

Regards

Tim Ball

On 2/28/07, Simmons wrote:

The graph does not show that temperature changes before CO2. That is just plain wrong.

In response to "global cooling" (which all global warming deniers consistently bring up): Science and technology has evolved so much since the 40s. First of all, computers. There has been so many advances, they're countless.

Your graph is absolutely incorrect. In the other graph, if one looks closely in the top right corner, one can see a red spike with no temperature following behind it. This is proof that temperature doesn't follow CO2 and and that CO2 levels are spiking.

In respond to your factual claim that water vapor is the most common greenhouse gas: you're right. Water vapor accounts for 67% of the natural greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is responsible for 60% of the enhanced greenhouse effect (which you don't believe exists). That can be seen here (PDF).

Why do you continue to deny the evidence and scientist consensus?


Friday, March 30, 2007

State, National Governments And Health Care

The Constitution currently does not give the federal government the right to have a universal health care program. It specifically says in the 10th Amendment that any rights not stated in the Constitution belong to city and state government. There would need to be an amendment before Hillary OR John Edwards could start their health care plans.

There's no way new taxes are going to be enough for a national health care plan.

States should have their own health care plans, not the federal government.

Don't misunderstand; everyone should have health care. It's just that currently the government can't legally do it, and they won't have enough money to do it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Global Warming--The Truth Revealed

Based on yesterday's Global Warming poll, it looks like some people need to catch up on the facts.

Here’s a short summary of what’s happening in the atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide molecules have 3 atoms: 1 carbon, 2 oxygen. This makes it a greenhouse gas. Gases with 3 molecules or more are greenhouse gases. Why do they have to have 3 atoms, you ask? 3 atoms make them just big enough to block stop radiation from leaving the atmosphere. To explain this, you need to know about the greenhouse effect.

Energy from the sun travels to Earth as electromagnetic waves. It first encounters the atmosphere. Some infrared radiation and most ultraviolet radiation are reflected by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Some of the rays are reflected by clouds, gases, or dust particles. The energy that gets past the atmosphere next encounters Earth’s surface. Some of it is reflected back into the atmosphere, while the rest is absorbed. When the surface is heated, it radiates some of the energy back into the atmosphere as infrared radiation. This radiation cannot escape back into space. Instead, much of it is absorbed by greenhouse gases. These gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane make life on Earth possible through this effect. This process by which gases hold heat in the air is called the greenhouse effect.

There is no question, even among global warming doubters, that burning fossil fuels releases CO2. CO2 is the biggest cause of the enhanced greenhouse effect, or man made global warming. Global warming doubters will say, “What about water vapor, the most common greenhouse gas?!” It is true that water vapor is the biggest cause of the natural greenhouse effect. Why doesn’t water vapor contribute to the enhanced greenhouse effect? Because of saturation. The air can only hold so much water. There is always the same amount of water on Earth because of this and because of the water cycle. Therefore, water vapor always contributes the same amount to the greenhouse effect no matter what.

More can be found at Thoughts on the World and a lot more can be found here.

The Real Deal For Iraq

The real deal for Iraq should be somewhere in the middle of the moderate Democrats plans and the moderate Republicans plans.

In the current bill, the troop pullout is attached to funding. They should be separate bills. Congress has the ability to stop a war, and it doesn't have to be through funding. It's happened before: Vietnam.

Reading the previous paragraph, one could correctly guess that the Real Deal involves the pullout of American troops from Iraq. Troops shouldn't and can't be pulled out immediately; That's just not smart. But, as even the President has said, our commitment should not be open ended. The plan would include a major force reduction by the middle and end of 2009. Not a complete withdrawal; a force of at least 10,000 would need to remain stationed there, if not more.

So you're beginning to think this sounds exactly like the troop plan that's already a bill. Here's where it's different: Congress (with the president's approval, of course) can decide to extend the time until the pull out or begin the pull out earlier based on certain conditions. These conditions would be based on casualty rates, causes of casualties, amount of Iraqi civilian deaths, and whatever else Congress deems necessary. The more success, the earlier troops would be pulled out. This is the opposite of the Pelosi Plan. But not only this, if the war begins to go extremely badly, the troops would be pulled out earlier. The definition of extremely would be dictated by the number of U.S. casualties. And if Iraqi civilian deaths increased, while American deaths remained the same or lowered, Congress would have the option of extending the pullout date.
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Or something like that. This was basically a rough draft, an idea that's been swishing around. The plan's not complete yet.

Maybe not even like that at all. Being sick doesn't allow you write very good posts ;).

UPDATE: This Boston Globe editorial says it much more clearly.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

[POLL] Is Global Warming Real?

Don't forget to comment.

Do you believe Global Warming is real and or caused by humans?
It's real and caused by humans
It's real, but it's not caused by humans
The Earth isn't warming
Not sure
pollcode.com free polls


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bush Is Finally Doing It Right In Iran


For once, the Bush Administration (note: without Rumsfeld) may actually be doing something right. Sanctions, diplomatic pressure, and military pressure are all pushing the right buttons.

The push for sanctions at the U.N. shows that the world is united against Iran’s nuclear program. Of course the sanctions will never make life horrible, but will be an annoyance.

Militarily, things have gone well too. The United States has sent two aircraft carriers and is conducting war games in Iran’s backyard. The constant repetition of “no option can be taken off the table” will start to worry Iran eventually, if it isn’t already. Last month there was constant attention by the media and by blogs on the possibility of a war with Iran. That’s probably getting them a little freaked out too.

But the most important thing is that the U.S. must NOT go to war with Iran. The results would be disastrous. Increased hatred by ordinary Arabs and Persians would lead to more terrorism. And the hatred wouldn’t just be from the Middle East; Europe wouldn’t be happy either. The British hostage problem has changed the situation slightly, but not enough to justify a war.

As middleXeast calls it, "coercive diplomacy" should be the Administration's plan for dealing with Iran.


The United States must be prepared to take the lead and synthesizes these three options into a coercive diplomacy, in which the threat and use of force re treated as integral part to diplomatic bargaining.


If Iran is dealed with correctly, President Bush's approval ratings could spike. But depending how it turns out, Bush might just be adding another F to his report card.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Everyone has the Right to Bear Arms

The Cafferty File, part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 7:00 question, and a response.
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7 p.m.: Why does a senator need to carry a loaded gun?

They probably don't, but under the Second Amendment you are allowed to. Just because you're a senator doesn't mean you don't have 2nd Amendment rights.

Even Some Republicans Want Bush Impeached

The Cafferty File, part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 7:00 question, and a response.
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4 p.m.: What does it mean if Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is using the word "impeachment" when it comes to President Bush?

It means even some Republicans are picking up on the views of many Americans; The Bush Administration has failed "We The People". Even if it's only because he's going to run for president, at least one more Republican is listening.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

UK Has Trackers on its Boats

British troops 'confessed' to incursion, Iran says

This story just gets more and more preposterous.

If the boats were in Iranian waters, the U.K .would know. They have trackers on their ships, as does the U.S. But if the British don't come out with some evidence soon, they'll essentially be saying that Iran is correct.

The U.K. has to come out with some evidence supporting its claim. If it doesn't, Iran has to come out with some evidence besides "We tortured the troops until they confessed".

Friday, March 23, 2007

What Is The IRS's Problem?

The Cafferty File, part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 7:00 question, and a response.
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7 p.m.: What's your biggest beef about the Internal Revenue Service?

The tax code is too complicated, causing loopholes. The code should be simplified, taxing every dollar you make, whether you donate it or not. It's simple things like that; Things that could be taken away and cause everybody a bit less trouble.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bong Legally Hits 4 Jesus

The First Amendment:


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District was a Supreme Court case that is still used today to determine whether a student’s first amendment rights were violated during a school punishment. During the Vietnam War, two students planned to wear armbands to school showing their disapproval of the war. The school, fearing commotion, banned the armbands before the students even had a chance to wear them at the school. Mary Beth Tinker, John Tinker and Christopher Eckhardt chose to display their dissatisfaction anyway. In consequence for breaking the rules, the students were suspended. The students sued, and the course went all the way to the Supreme Court. The court ruled in the Tinker’s favor, saying that public schools can only limit First Amendment rights if there is a substantial disruption. Because there was no substantial disruption the Court ruled that the Tinkers and Mr. Eckhardt could wear their armbands.

Background on Bong Hits 4 Jesus
Basically, a kid, Joseph Frederick, had a poster that said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” as the Olympic flame went by because he wanted to be on TV. The principal claims the poster violated the schools drug policy and suspended Mr. Frederick. Joseph and the Alaskan Civil Liberties Union sued the school for violating his First Amendment rights.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled in favor of Frederick. They supported their decision using the Tinker case.

Joseph Frederick was under the protection of the First Amendment. The message did not cause a disruption, nor did it insult anybody (another characteristic of when your rights can be limited). He should be apologized too, and the suspension taken off his record. For First Amendment rights to be limited, they have to take at test.

• Is it offensive?
• Is it illegal?
• Does it cause a substantial disruption?

Is “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” offensive? Not really. Is it illegal? Holding up a banner is perfectly legal. Did it cause a substantial disruption? No.

The Supreme Court should rule in favor of Frederick. He did not break any school rule nor did he violate the law.
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UPDATE: This post is now featured on the Blogger News Network.



Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Deja Vu-US looks to sell arms in the Middle East

Boston Globe: US looks to sell arms in Gulf to try to contain Iran

Can we learn from the past? Obviously not.

Quick history lesson: The Taliban actually did come to power after the CIA funded Islamists in Afghanistan to fight in their proxy war against the U.S.S.R. After the soon-to-be-terrorists claimed victory, the U.S. withdrew support, but they still had the weapons and the power. The Taliban took control.

Now the U.S. going to give weapons to dictatorships and monarchies in the Middle East. Does that sound smart? We have to think in the long-term. The U.S. has NOT been doing that recently.

Usually this failure of an administration is just worrying. Its incompetence is becoming frustrating and inspiring anger. One could even call for the impeachment of Mr. Cheney or Mr. Bush for obstructing justice and/or breaking the law ("enemy combatants", wiretapping, Plame, etc. etc.).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why?

Why?



Monday, March 19, 2007

Were the Confessions Forced?

The Cafferty File,
part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 7:00 question, and a response.
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7 p.m.: What do you make of the recent string of terrorists' confessions?

Terrorists bragging. If you were a captured terrorist, and knew you were going to be convicted, you'd probably go out as a martyr, claiming you were so great. Did some of confessions come out under pressure, or even torture? Probably.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Top 5 Things a Presidential Candidate Needs to Win

There are certain things candidates need to win elections. We all know you need to be known to win. For example, if only your mother knows your name, you’re not going to win an election. Feel free to comment on what you think a candidate needs to win, or if this list missed anything. By the way, support doesn’t count. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. A Good Iraq Strategy
Probably one of the most obvious qualities a candidate needs. Iraq is the war the U.S. is fighting (unless you include the war on terror). Would you vote for a candidate whose only plan as president would be to start a national health care plan? “Oh yeah, we’ll figure Iraq out after we finish health care. And who’s this Bin Laden guy you keep talking about???” An individual candidate’s strategy largely depends on what party they are in. For example, most Democrats would get out of there if they could. Meanwhile, many Republicans would try to fight it out.

2. A Clean Record
In the internet age, with Youtube, blogs (what are you reading right now?), and unlimited media, if you don’t have a clean record, someone’s going to find out. Take the late Senator Thomas Eagleton. He was a George McGovern’s vice presidential running mate, until someone found out that he had been hospitalized for depression. Depression probably isn’t a good quality for a vice president.

3. Charisma
After the miserable presidency of Mr. Bush, “We the people” are looking for a new and improved candidate. Once again, the internet comes into play. Candidates are scrutinized down to the tiniest nose hair (ewwwwww). Barack Obama is riding the “Charisma Wave”. We’ll see if it crashes.

4. Funding
Hillary Clinton plans to raise $100 million dollars. Most candidates are choosing not to use the Public Financing System. Without sufficient funding, candidates don’t have a chance of winning. Tom Vilsack ended his candidacy for president when he realized he wasn’t going to be able to get enough money to support his run.

5. National/International Recognition
Ever heard of Ron Paul? He’s not even a third-party candidate; He’s Republican. This quality goes hand in hand with funding. If you don’t have funding, you don’t have recognition. National recognition is important, but almost as important is international recognition. As the sole superpower, America’s interests are pretty important to the rest of the world, too. The Time Election Index shows Hillary Clinton has the most national recognition, with 95% of those polled saying they know “some” or “a great deal” about the candidate. Those polled were randomly selected registered U.S. voters.

Don't Touch Those Sanctions!

Israel: Shun new Palestinian government

A unity government formed between rival Palestinian factions was welcomed by Norway and the European Union, but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his Cabinet on Sunday that he would not work with the new coalition. Israel called for international opposition after a Hamas leader said the group retained the
right of "resistance."


If you had a neighboring country run by terrorists, would you be willing to go along with their every whim? Norway has dropped its sanctions against this elected government controlled by terrorists. Sanctions should remain. The almost (if not) civil war in the West Bank is making life horrible for Palestinians. A new government should be elected, and until then, sanctions should remain.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Three Problems with the Firing of the Attorneys

Boston Globe: Alberto Gonzales Should Go

IT IS customary for newly elected presidents to replace large numbers of US attorneys, especially if the new president is from a different party. It is not customary for presidents to sweep out many of their own appointees to these positions in the middle of their administration.


GDAEman has a post very similar to the two posts previous this one. In his (assuming your not a woman because of the man in GDAEman) comment here, he points out what is the problem.

yea, you're right... similar to my post. The list of abuses makes one feel like this attorney-firing incident is simply the last-straw. However, it's my understanding that what's going on is that the attorney-firing is a direct affront to the Senate because Senators traditionally nominate the US Attorney's for their state and because they are supposed to be able to confirm them.

On the last point, a provision slipped into the USA PATRIOT Act (note all CAPs) allowed the President to install US Attorneys without Senate approval.... of course, most of the senators voted for it.

Which raises another point... Congress routinely votes on big fat bills that they never read. God only knows what laws are on our books thanks to corporate lobbyists.

Thanks for the occasional visit.


The Patriot Act hasn't been mentioned a lot in news stories, but it seems to be part of the problem.

A new letter was released by the Justice Department yesterday. It essentially says "Karl Rove is wondering what's going to happen to Miers's plan to fire all the attorneys "at the beginning of Bush's 2nd term. No matter how much we all dislike Karl Rove, he wasn't a part of this conspiracy.

The three problems with the firings of these attorneys:
  • The attorneys were fired in middle of the President's administration
  • Congress was lied to about the reasons for the firings
  • These attorneys were appointed legally, but only under the illegal provisions of the Patriot Act


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Clinton Did It Normally-Bush Didnt

The argument is premised on a mistaken understanding of how the process works. When a president takes office, he or she nominates federal prosecutors at the beginning of the first term. Under normal circumstances, these U.S. Attorneys serve until the next president is sworn in.


Right wing bloggers have pounced on the fact that Bill Clinton fired all 93 attorneys at the beginning of his term. Read the quote above. Doesn't seem so bad anymore, does it? It really isn't that bad that Clinton (the Bill one) fired all of them.

And besides, the whole problem with this whole situation wasn't only the fact that these attorneys were fired for political reasons. The point is not that the attorney’s were fired, it’s that Congress and the public is being lied to about the reason behind the firings.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Is Alberto Gonzales the Source of the President's Problems?

So, the question is whether the attorney general should be fired. The answer is...yes. Will the President do it? No.

The politically biased firings of federal prosecutors, the NSA spying program and the FBI's illegal snooping are all black marks on his resume. As stated by many, including the New York Times, Mr. Gonzales seems to still believe that he is President Bush's personal lawyer. He appeases the president, telling the president his every whim is Constitutional.

Think about it. The controversies of the Bush presidency can all be traced back to him (and Cheney), excluding Iraq and Katrina. Guantanomo. Abu Ghraib (the President claims it isn't his fault, but really...). Signing statements. Torture. NSA spying. The FBI scandal. The politically charged firing of federal prosecutors. All of these are illegal and unconstitutional, a fact that Mr. Gonzales continues to deny. Alberto Gonzales is one of the biggest reasons the Bush administration is turning into a failure, if not the biggest. He should be out now.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Nuclear Power: Energy of the Future or As Bad As Fossil Fuels

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power

Nuclear Power is the controlled use of nuclear reactions to release energy for work including propulsion, heat, and the generation of electricity. Human use of nuclear power to do significant useful work is currently limited to nuclear fission and radioactive decay. Nuclear energy is produced when a fissile material, such as uranium-235 (235U), is concentrated such that nuclear fissionb takes place in a controlled chain reaction and creates heat — which is used to boil water, produce steam, and drive a steam turbine. The turbine can be used for mechanical work and also to generate electricity. Nuclear power is used to power most military submarines and aircraft carriers and provides 7% of the world's energy and 15.7% of the world's electricity.



Nuclear power: Its opponents decry it as the most dangerous power source on Earth. But is it really that bad?


Nuclear Accidents
“We’re all gonna die!” they say. “Remember Chernobyl and Three Mile Island!” Opponents of nuclear power claim nuclear power plants aren’t safe; there could be an explosion or waste could leak out, they say. Besides Chernobyl, only ~213 people have died from a nuclear accident. Meanwhile, diesel exhaust causes 21,000 deaths a year, asthma, and cancer according to a report by the Clean Air Task Force. Nuclear power is not dangerous to the public. Most of the fears regarding nuclear power are overblown.


Nuclear Power: Just As Bad As Fossil Fuels?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Nuclear_Power_Plant_Cattenom.jpg

Uh-oh, more science! Creationists cover your eyes! Nuclear power works like this: Nuclear fission produces heat, which is used to boil water to create steam and drive a steam turbine.
Steam is water vapor, the most common greenhouse gas on Earth. So, do nuclear power plants contribute to global warming and the enhanced greenhouse effect? The simple answer is no.

The air can only hold so much water. This is called “saturation”. Water vapor contributes to 60% of the natural greenhouse effect. Because the atmosphere can only hold so much water, water vapor does not contribute to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Therefore, nuclear power does not directly contribute to global warming. Indirectly, it does. For example,
electric generators used in nuclear power plants require gasoline.


So, Is Nuclear Power Good or Bad?
Nuclear power, if used carefully, could power most of the world’s energy needs. Of course, it wouldn’t be able to power all needs (i.e. cars). France can be a role model—80% of energy consumed there is nuclear. In contrast, 20% of energy consumed in the U.S. is nuclear. Nuclear energy, along with other non-fossil fuels could power the future.

What do you think?

More Alternative Energy Series:

Top 5 Reasons Geothermal Energy Works
What's So Special About Hydropower / Hydroelectricity?
Another Look at Nuclear Power: Nuclear Waste
The Wind Power and Solar Power Combination

5 Reasons Solar Power Works
Nuclear Power: Energy of the Future or As Bad As Fossil Fuels
The Temporary Solution: Coal
How Corn Ethanol is Bad


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fox News: Libby Found Not Guilty

Fox News strikes again!


Not Fox News But Faux News

Democrats cancel Fox News debate

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Nevada Democratic Party officials said on Friday they were canceling a presidential debate co-sponsored by Fox News, following a joke chairman Roger Ailes made about Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

In a letter sent to Fox, Nevada State Democratic Party Chairman Tom Collins and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Ailes "went too far" with comments made the night before.

Fox News. Should be called "Faux News".


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Iraq Troop Withdrawal -- Everyone, Even Bush, Wins

Dems propose pulling troops within 16 months

• Iraq troop pullout deadline would be triggered if conditions not met


This is an extremely good plan. Everyone wins, even Bush. To summarize the bill, troops would be pulled out in 16 months if conditions are not met. If the conditions are really bad, than the deadline would be even earlier. Bush gets a chance at his surge, but if it fails, game over. As it should be. The surge is the last chance in Iraq.


Earmarks and Term Limits

To continue yesterday's post...


Quote from a post at PoliteTalk Forums:

Earmarks should simply be forbidden. But beyond that, the only way to stop this loot-the-treasury mindset--short of our having more people run for office (and actually be elected!) who do so out of a sincere desire to perform public service, rather than as a function of career advancement--is to constitutionally mandate term limits for Senators and Congresspeople. That would at least reduce
the inclination to pander.






There's no question earmarks should be forbidden. The deficit is high enough. But term limits? How do term limits prevent earmarks?


Lobbyists are becoming a major power in Washington. Their influence over our representatives is unconstitutional.

Term limits. The phrase alone is enough to send shivers down any politician's spine. But what is their benefit? Every government is scrutinized in today's internet age. Corrupt senators are voted out anyway. What do term limits do besides inhibit good, patriotic government officials?


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lobbyists

The Cafferty File, part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 7:00 question, and a response.
------------------------------------------------------------
7 p.m.: Will it ever be possible to wean Congress completely off pork?

Haha. Funny joke.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Fake News Station and Ideologists

Griper Blade has an interesting post: Griper Blade: Propaganda and FOX News -- One and the Same.

Fox News isn't a real news station. It spits out untruthful distractions from Republican mistakes and untruthful information. Only hard-line ideologists can take it seriously. Ideologists don't take the situation seriously and propose the same solution according to their belief. Realists take a look at the situation and figure out the best solution. Which makes more sense?



Monday, March 05, 2007

How to Get More Young People to Vote

The Cafferty File, part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 5:00 question, and a response.
------------------------------------------------------------
5 p.m.: What's the best way to increase voter turnout among young people?

The best way to increase voter turnout among young people is to talk about an issue that is important to them and have a candidate they like. Issues that will affect their generation like global warming and Iraq will bring more young people out to the polls. A likeable and charismatic candidate will also encourage more young people to go to the polls.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Solution to Iraq

This solution proposes the pullout of some troops, but not a complete pullout YET.

------------------------

The actual Iraq War is over. Much of the battle against insurgents is accomplished. Now our forces are stuck in the middle of a civil war. The insurgents need to be finished off and the civil war ended.

Diplomacy is the key to all of this. The Iraq Study Group Report was passed over by the "decider" as soon as it came out. Bush needed to show that he was in control, and refuses to listen. He has to learn he can't have everything he wants, especially now that Democrats are in control of Congress. Serious negotiations with Iran and Syria must be immediate and unconditional.

The civil war is mind numbing. If the Iraqis could just get along, everyones life would be better. This is not a probable option. This point is where one must decide on whether to increase troops or partially withdraw (completely pulling out is not an option). The military is stretched too thin. Approxamitely half the American soldiers should be pulled out. ASAP. The troops that remain there should play an advisory role. Embedded in Iraqi units, they would train and aid Iraqi soldiers.

U.S. troops should take an advisory role while the government backs down and tries diplomacy. This is not our war any more. Its the Iraqis.


Hypocrisy

A decision has been made to update and redesign America's aging stockpile of nuclear weapons, even as the U.S. demands that Iran and North Korea not build up their own nuclear arsenals.
Hypocrisy.



A random (interesting) article, although it was published on Fox. Can it be trusted?
Swiss Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Post of the Month: February

This month's Post of the Month honor goes to...(drumroll)...Factsheet!
Normally, it would be reposted, but because of its length (9 pages), that is unnecessary.

Post of the Month

Post of the Month is going to be a new series at Thoughts on the World. Every month, a post will be selected to be the "Post of the Month" and will be reposted. A variety of factors will be included, including how well it gets the point across, how well written it is and how much thought it provokes.