Thursday, August 30, 2007

Over Half of Scientists Global Warming Skeptics

Words, once spoken, cannot be recalled. We all at times develop a case of foot-in-mouth disease. Politicians are some of the worst offenders. President Bush 41 said, "Read my lips. No new taxes." much to his regret. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin proclaiming "New Orleans is a Chocolate City", and Richard Nixon's claim that "I am not a Crook" are further examples of the illness.

But today, lets look at the Global Warming Alarmists who quote Al Gore's Global Warming headline, "... the scientists agree. It is Settled" in light of the latest post at Michael Asher's Blog (Survey: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory). The blog is part of the Daily Tech Web Site. As a historical base line, this paragraph lays the foundational basis for most Global Warming Alarmists arguments.
In 2004, history professor Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of research papers on climate change. Examining peer-reviewed papers published on the ISI Web of Science database from 1993 to 2003, she found a majority supported the "consensus view," defined as humans were having at least some effect on global climate change. Oreskes' work has been repeatedly cited, but as some of its data is now nearly 15 years old, its conclusions are becoming somewhat dated.

Recently the survey has been updated by Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte. Dr. Schulte used the same database and search terms as Professor Oreskes to examine all published papers from 2004 to 2007.
Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."
In the analysis of these papers, it is interesting to examine the definition of consensus view as used in the original report.
Not only does it not require supporting that man is the "primary" cause of warming, but it doesn't require any belief or support for "catastrophic" global warming. In fact of all papers published in this period (2004 to February 2007), only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results. [emphasis in original]
The changes represented by Dr. Schulte's review reflect the increasing amount of data resulting from new Research. In other words, the more research data we accumulate, the more likely it becomes apparent that Global Warming, or rather Global Climate Change is not the catastrophic event the Global Warming Alarmists broadcast. The facts show we need even more research before legislating Political Solutions to what may turn out to be a Natural Set of Events.
Schulte's survey contradicts the United Nation IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (2007), which gave a figure of "90% likely" man was having an impact on world temperatures. But does the IPCC represent a consensus view of world scientists? Despite media claims of "thousands of scientists" involved in the report, the actual text is written by a much smaller number of "lead authors." The introductory "Summary for Policymakers" -- the only portion usually quoted in the media -- is written not by scientists at all, but by politicians, and approved, word-by-word, by political representatives from member nations. By IPCC policy, the individual report chapters -- the only text actually written by scientists -- are edited to "ensure compliance" with the summary, which is typically published months before the actual report itself.

By contrast, the ISI Web of Science database covers 8,700 journals and publications, including every leading scientific journal in the world. [emphasis mine]
This survey is another blow for the "Chicken Little Alarmists". It clearly shows we need to take more time and do more research before embarking on a Political Course of Action which creates more problems than it solves.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In New Orleans Hurricane Katrina is TWO!

August 29, 2007 marks the second anniversary of the disaster created by Hurricane Katrina upon the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. According to various news outlets, up to 60% of the Pre-Katrina population has returned to the "Big Easy". But only 40% of the Pre-Katrina Schools are open. Much of the city looks more like the Hurricane made land fall a week ago, not 2 years. Houses set abandoned, and people complain that their money hasn't arrived.

Any idea how much we (the Taxpayers) have spent on the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast damaged by Hurricane Katrina? For the answer we turn to Larry Kudlow's article (The Big Easy’s Billion Dollar Boondoggle) at the National Review on-line (NRO).
The grand total is $127 billion (including tax relief).

With damages estimated at $81 Billion in New Orleans and President Bush claiming today that the Federal Government has distributed $116 Billion to New Orleans, Why have we already spent $35 Billion more in New Orleans than the estimated damages? The rest of the Gulf Coast only received $11 Billion and the recovery in Mississippi and Alabama is proceeding much faster.
The entire GDP of the state of Louisiana is only $141 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. So the cash spent there nearly matches the entire state gross GDP. That’s simply unbelievable. And to make matters worse, by all accounts New Orleans ain’t even fixed!
So where did all that money go, and why do we still need so much more? What part did the "Chocolate City" Mayor Nagin play in the rebuilding? What about Governor Katherine Blanco and US Senator Mary Landreau? Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are all insisting that we spend MORE money to fix New Orleans. What do all these Politicians have in common? They're DEMOCRATS.

More interesting stuff from Mr. Kudlow's article.
Meanwhile, according to an article by Nicole Gelinas at the Manhattan Institute, New Orleans has earned the distinct honor of becoming the murder capital of the world. The murder rate is 40 percent higher than before Katrina, and twice as high as other dangerous cities like Detroit, Newark, and Washington, D.C.
This is ridiculous. Why don't we pay the 300,000 residents instead of the Politicians? That's Larry's idea too. His math indicates each resident would have gotten $425,000.00 of our tax money. With this money they could have moved to someplace where the city is not below sea level. My math makes it more like $387,000.00, but that's still a lot of money for folks who have not yet seen any. In Mississippi they are recovering, but not New Orleans.
Think of this: The idea of using federal money to rebuild cities is the quintessential liberal vision. And given the dreadful results in New Orleans, we can say that the government’s $127 billion check represents the quintessential failure of that liberal vision. Hillary Clinton calls this sort of reckless spending “government investment.” And that’s just what’s in store for America if she wins the White House next year.
What would have been the all around better solution? Here's Larry Kudlow's idea.
Right from the start, New Orleans should have been turned into a tax-free enterprise zone. No income taxes, no corporate taxes, no capital-gains taxes. The only tax would have been a sales tax paid on direct transactions. A tax-free New Orleans would have attracted tens of billions of dollars in business and real-estate investment. This in turn would have helped rebuild the cities, schools, and hospitals. Private-sector entrepreneurs would have succeeded where big-government bureaucrats and regulators have so abysmally failed.
From my perspective, that sounds like a sound idea.

Terroristic Bomb Threats

It appears that there are many bomb threats being called into stores, banks and schools across the country. According to one story, the call may have originated outside the US. The National Terror Alert Response Center has summarized the numerous threats into one Article.
Bomb threats are being received at banks, universities, stores, shopping centers and more across the country. Several of the calls appear to have been placed from outside the United States. In one instance, a Wal-Mart store wired $10,000 to an account after being threatened.
This Wal-Mart store is located in Newport, RI. The full article comes from the ABC affiliate WCVB/TV Channel 5, in Boston (Police: Man Extorts $10,000 From Wal-Mart Store). Police have traced the account to which the money was transfered [sic]. They also say the 7AM call came from a land-line outside the State. They declined to identify the locations any further.

According to the summary, another similar event has taken place in Kansas. The Wichita Eagle (110 held hostage at Dillons in Hutch) reports this threat occurred in Hutchinson KS Dillons store yesterday.
A male caller held 110 employees and customers hostage with threats of a bomb Tuesday at a Hutchinson Dillons store, at one point demanding that they disrobe.

The ordeal ended after about 90 minutes when police determined it was safe to leave. Neither the caller nor any explosives were found.
No explosives were found. The Caller may have been from out of state, apparently had some sort of visual access to the store.

Also on Tuesday morning, a Safeway Store in Prescott, AZ was another target according to this article (Safeway in Prescott evacuated over bomb threat) published in the "Arizona Republic".
FBI agents are investigating a bomb scare at a Prescott Safeway store Tuesday morning because the incident was similar to bomb scares at Safeway stores in other parts of the nation.

“We are aware of other similar incidents with bomb threats at Safeway stores nationwide,” FBI Special Agent Deborah McCarley said Tuesday. “We are looking into whether they are connected.”
No bombs were found, but this threat also involved a demand for the transfer of money. Again in this instance, the Police believe the caller had visual access because he could describe the managers position.

From Vista, CA there is another bomb threat reported at a Von's Store by Channel 10 News (Bomb Threat Prompts Vons Store Evacuation).
A North County supermarket was evacuated Friday after a caller threatened to detonate a bomb and carry out a shooting rampage at the store unless money was wired to an Internet account, authorities said.
This store, like the others, did not yield any dangerous or explosive devices.

Last week a Safeway Store in Sandy, Montana received similar threats. Police investigate bomb threat at Sandy Safeway according to the Sandy Post.
At approximately 9:49 a.m. [Thursday, August 23rd], a female employee at the customer service desk was working with an as-of-yet-unidentified man on the phone, negotiating a wire transfer from Portugal.

Somehow, the man didn’t get the results he was looking for, and he responded by saying he was going to blow up the store if anyone came out of the door into the parking lot, according to the still-developing police report.
The store was cleared and allowed to re-open after about 3 1/2 hours.

Banks in Missouri and Kansas receive bomb threats and once again, the caller asks for wire transfers to foreign accounts in both cases or a previously placed bomb will be detonated according to the "Kansas City Star".
Twice in recent weeks, a con artist has called banks and demanded multiple wire transfers of cash to his overseas accounts.

If the demand is not met, the caller threatens to detonate a bomb that already has been placed in the bank, said FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza.

Lanza would not say whether any of the banks actually paid. A bank in Savannah, Mo., was called Aug. 24, and an institution in Hutchinson, Kan., got a call Tuesday, Lanza said.
Then from "The Iowa Gazette" on-line comes this article Another bomb threat at the U of I
The University of Iowa received another bomb threat today [August 28th]- its third e-mailed threat in just over two weeks.

But UI officials believe the e-mail today, and possibly the previous threats, could be part of a national rash of bomb threats at colleges and universities.
Next is this story (Police respond to bomb threat in Buchanan store) appeared Monday, August 27th in Indiana's South Bend Tribune on-line.
A bomb threat and hostage situation at the Hardings grocery store on Niles/Buchanan Road in Buchanan has forced the evacuation of the surrounding area.
The "Salt Lake Tribune" ran this article Monday, August 27th (Bomb threats clear Orem store today - twice).
Two bomb threats and two evacuations at an Orem Macy's store this morning.
Police say a man called early today to say there was a bomb in the store at 800 North State Street. He ordered store personnel to put cash on the front desk and leave.
KUTV reports that police cleared the store, sent in a bomb squad and found nothing explosive. Employees were allowed to return at 6:30 a.m.
At 7:10 a.m., another bomb threat was called in. KUTV says the store again was evacuated, searched by police and cleared for employees to return.
Yesterday 2 more Wal-Mart Stores in Virginia were the targets of bomb threats according to WDBJ Channel 7 News Roanoke, VA (Bomb threats close Salem, Fairlawn Wal-Marts)
The first call came to Salem. Police say a man called the Woodforest National Bank office inside the store and said there was a bomb inside the building. The caller said the bomb would be detonated unless money was wired to an account. There are no details regarding how much money was demanded; police say the Western Union address given was not in the Roanoke area.
Less than an hour later after the Salem call, somebody phoned in a bomb threat to the Fairlawn Wal-Mart in Pulaski County. Sheriff Jim Davis says this was also directed at Woodforest National Bank inside the store, but he did not provide further details.
Both stores were searched and re-opened without finding anything suspicious. Authorities are not sure the 2 incidents are related, but the similarities are obvious.

More colleges are being targeted according to this article courtesy of WTVF News Channel 5, Nashville, TN (Bomb Threat Raises Concern on Local College Campus).
Three Middle Tennessee State University employees received e-mails Monday saying there were explosive devices on campus. Authorities said they checked several buildings, but didn't find anything.

MTSU President Sidney McPhee has asked students and staff to call campus police if they see any suspicious-looking items.

Princeton University, Clemson University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Alaska at Anchorage also received bomb threats.
Boulder Colorado is another location where a store has received bomb threats. According to the web site King Soopers was the target. (Bomb threat closes King Soopers)
[Police spokeswoman Julie] Brooks said someone called in the threat and asked that money be wired or a bomb would be detonated in the market.
Indiana University has also been among the schools receiving bomb threats. The Indiana Daily Student on-line version ( ran a story with this title Dean receives Bryan Hall bomb threat via e-mail. About 10AM Sunday, an e-mail was sent via an anonymous web portal to one of the Deans.
Shortly after noon, occupants were able to return to the building. Then, police, working with IT, determined that universities in other states – Iowa, Illinois and Pennsylvania – received similar messages.
New Hampshire University has also been a receipitant of bomb threats according to the "New Hampshire Union Leader"(UNH office receives fake bomb threat)
Local police are working with federal authorities to investigate who e-mailed a fake bomb threat to the University of New Hampshire's admissions office Sunday morning after several other schools across the country received bomb threats, too.

The anonymous e-mail was sent at about 4 a.m. Sunday and received yesterday morning around 8:30, UNH Deputy Police Chief Paul Dean said. The message warned of a bomb at Grant House, where admissions is located, and a second bomb in a blue backpack at an "undisclosed location" on campus, but did not make any demands.
How many of these are related pranks? For the most part I suspect that those schools that received bomb threats are prank threats. As for the Grocery Stores, Banks and other shopping outlets may or may not be prank threats. But the FBI, State, Local and other policing authorities cannot discount any possible possibility, nor can we, the general public. It is more important now than ever before that "if we see something suspicious, we need to report it".

It is very disconcerting to learn about these threats, because we know that al Qaeda and other Terrorist Groups have every intention of creating another 9/11. If there was ever a need for increased Governmental tracking of suspicious individuals, it is now.

As I have pointed out in previous posts, we have blue "OnStar"® buttons in our cars, and ADT® always on microphones in our homes. Services, for which we gladly pay, but we rail against the NSA Electronic interception of messages to and from known Foreign Terrorists. After the attack is too late. Tell me now how you propose to gather Terrorist intelligence without the Patriot Act and NSA programs.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Obama Reveals How HIS Decisions Are Made

When it comes to making Presidential Decisions, I suspect that decisive, intelligent and what's best for the Country to be high on the list of descriptive words most of the General Public considers proper. Few want our Elected Representatives to make their decisions based on polls and to cast their vote solely to insure re-election. Honesty, not Political Gain is still valued highly by registered voters.

With this in mind, it is incredible that a Senator, and a Presidential Candidate would admit that he votes not what he believes is best for the country, but rather how that vote might be used to decide his re-election. This is an issue of Integrity, or rather lack of it, shown by Barack Obama as revealed by an article in the Washington Post (The Outsider's Insider).
It was the fall of 2005, and the celebrated young senator -- still new to Capitol Hill but aware of his prospects for higher office -- was thinking about voting to confirm John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice. Talking with his aides, the Illinois Democrat expressed admiration for Roberts's intellect. Besides, Obama said, if he were president he wouldn't want his judicial nominees opposed simply on ideological grounds. [emphasis mine]
He admired Roberts' intellect, but he voted against his nomination to the Supreme Court. Why?
And then [Pete] Rouse, his chief of staff, spoke up. This was no Harvard moot-court exercise, he said. If Obama voted for Roberts, Rouse told him, people would remind him of that every time the Supreme Court issued another conservative ruling, something that could cripple a future presidential run. Obama took it in. And when the roll was called, he voted no. [emphasis mine]
Obama voted no not because it was "the right thing to do". He voted against the Roberts' renomination because it was "the Political Thing to do". Senator Obama voted NO, because if he voted for what's best for America it "could cripple a future presidential run". Who's running the Government? The advisers, or the people we elect?

Do we want a President who takes a Poll, before he takes a stand? In 2004, John Kerry ran on the idea that he would take a World Poll to determine Future American Actions. Senator Kerry was rejected by the voters in part because of this stance. It is a sign of weakness, not strength.

Senator Obama has shown once again that he does not have the qualities to be Americas' next President. The facts are that he made a double error of judgment. First when he listened to his advisor, rather than his own best judgment, and second when he publicly admitted his lack of Integrity.

H/T BelderBlog

Alberto Gonzales Resignation Thoughts

The current Attorney General of the US, Alberto Gonzales, has resigned. He has been vilified by Politically Motivated Democrats. Their major bone of contention were his statements and testimony about the firings of 8 US Attorneys. In grandstanding political moves, and for purely Political Gain, the Democrats have tried to make much ado about nothing.

Under the Constitutional Powers granted to the Executive Branch, all 93 US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President. Particularly Senate Democrats have been guilty of engaging in a "fishing expedition" over the replacement of these US Attorneys.

Not one iota of evidence of wrongdoing has been shown to have influenced the Presidential Decision to replace these US Attorneys. The Democrats have waged a campaign, for strictly Political Reasons, of innuendo which cast a cloud of doubt over the issue without any basis in fact. This Congress with approval ratings about 20% needs a firm reminder of who the real enemies of the people really are.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales does have his faults. But for the most part, he is appointed to pursue the legal policy and priorities of the President. In this mandate, the Attorney General has a tremendous amount of discretionary authority to pursue various plans of action. According to a Blomberg Article (Attorney General Gonzales Quits Amid Accusations (Update1)) this morning, Alberto Gonzales succeeded in the following areas.
Gonzales was the 80th U.S. attorney general. Along with fighting terrorism, he sought to break up gangs, combat child pornography, crack down on illegal drugs and prosecute intellectual-property crimes.

During his tenure, the department won convictions in public corruption cases against Republican Representatives Bob Ney of Ohio and Randall ``Duke'' Cunningham of California. A third congressman, Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson, was indicted and is awaiting trial.
Despite what some legal scholars will undoubted say, the law and its application is still an art, not a science. So what is AG Gonzales' biggest fault? He is not an effective communicator. For that reason alone, Alberto Gonzales did not do well in a Political Arena where Double Speak is more important that Honesty.

Now the question of who will be the next Attorney General boils down to one basic question. That question is not who is best qualified for the position. The question is who will the Democrats approve, because the Senate has Constitutional authority to give "advise and consent" to any nominee.

There is one out that could result in the best person for the job actually doing the job. That is a recess appointment. Since the Congress will not be back in session until after Labor Day, the President has the Constitutional Authority to fill the position with an appointment before Congress returns. He did this with the UN Ambassador John Bolton.

President Bush will probably not make this move now, because the Democrats and the Public would scream Foul. But if Congress can be seen as obstructing the President for purely Political reasons, President Bush will likely use this power of a recess appointment when Congress goes on recess later this year.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Terrorists At Mexican Border

What are the steps necessary to carry out another Terrorist Attack in the USA? According to an article posted at "WorldNetDaily" (Iraqi terrorists caught along Mexico border) these steps are identified by National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.
"You've got committed leadership. You've got a place to train. They've got trainers, and they've got recruits," McConnell told the newspaper. "The key now is getting recruits in. So if your key is getting recruits in, how would you do that?"
Well the easy answer for me is the Border. Not Surprisingly also revealed in the article, is that this has already happened - but we caught them, right?.
"Coming up through the Mexican border is a path," McConnell said. "Now, are they doing it in great numbers? No, because we're finding them and we're identifying them and we've got watch lists and we're keeping them at bay."
Now, I certainly hope they caught them all, but with 10-20 Million illegal aliens in the US, I'm skeptical. A previous post like this one is one reason for my skepticism. RPG's, SAM's and Terrorists wanting to do us harm. Further proof we need Secure Borders - Both of Them.

Obviously, most of the illegal aliens who have gained entry into the US, are not Terrorists, but McConnell does admit to these astonishing numbers.
McConnell's office did reveal some numbers, during fiscal 2006, there were 14 Iraqi nationals caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally, while so far in 2007, that number is 16.

"Now some we caught, some we didn't," McConnell told the newspaper. "The ones that get in – what are they going to do? They're going to write home. So it's not rocket science; word will move around." [emphasis mine]
It is not encouraging to hear that we didn't really catch all of them. Question, How do we know that only 30 of the hundreds of thousands of illegals crossing the border were Iraqi?

Now especially if you oppose programs such as the NSA Electronic Monitoring, and Patriot Act, re-read the above quote and tell me again how you propose, at the very least, to monitor the ones we didn't catch at the border?
Also revealed was that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted 60 Iraqis crossing the nation's southwestern border in 2006 who were seeking asylum in the U.S., while that number so far in 2007 is 178.

The Times report said a U.S. intelligence analyst said there's been evidence that human smugglers, or coyotes, are telling Iraqis to ask for amnesty if they are caught.
One of the successes often pointed to by US Government sources is Mahmoud Youssef Kourani. Mahmoud in 2001 plead guilty to raising money for Hezbolla after entering the US through Tijuana, Mexico.
Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, for example, apparently paid a Mexican Consulate official in Lebanon $3,000 for a Mexican visa and then was smuggled into the United States in the trunk of a car.
It is apparent that we don't know how many got through undetected, but for those who think Border Security is not a problem - WAKE UP!

CO2 Again

Michael Asher's Blog at Daily Tech is an interesting look at the "Global Warming is Caused by CO2" claims.
Researchers on three different continents agree; CO2 is not the devil we once thought.
This article highlight something that I have pointed out for some time. Namely that CO2 has a limited role in the Global Warming component of Global Climate Change. See "Gore's - It's CO2" for one example.

The effect of CO2 on Global Temperature is best explained in terms of an analogy. For example, if tinting your windows reduces the amount of light entering from the outside by 70%, adding another layer reduces the remaining light by another 70%, a third layer cuts the remaining entering light another 70% and so on. (In case your keeping track, the first sheet cut 70%, the second sheet 70% of the 30% remaining or 21% and the third 70% of the 9% left or 6.3% for at total of 97.3%)

CO2 works in a similar fashion. As can be clearly seen there is a limit to the effect of CO2, and the effect is not linear. Therefore, the IPCC temperature increase claimed by the doubling of CO2 levels (1900-2100), has been grossly overstated. According Michael Asher's Blog, the corrected increase is exposed by one of 2 cited papers.
The first is by atmospheric scientist Stephen Schwartz, of Brookhaven National Labs. Entitled, "Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth's Climate System", the paper is based on more accurate estimates of feedback processes in the Earth's atmosphere. It concludes the IPCC estimate of 2 - 4.5C degrees warming (from the anticipated 1900-2100 doubling of CO2 levels) is much too high, and the actual figure should be closer to 1.1 degree.
Also remember that CO2 is only responsible for a part of the total Global Warming equation.
The conclusion is very significant as we've already experienced some 0.7 degrees of that warming. That means over the next century, only an additional 0.4 degrees warming is expected. And after that, the warming effect will nearly vanish.
Lin Zhen-Shan and Sun Xian are the 2 Chinese researchers who authored the second paper mentioned in Asher's Blog.
Using a technique called Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), they decoded temperature changes into three natural cycles-- 6-8 years, 20 years, and 60-years, along with a fourth signal, a non-periodic rising trend, which they associated with CO2-based warming. They found that the largest effect on temperature change was due to these natural cycles, and that the CO2-based trend could only be responsible for a maximum of 40% of the warming attributed to it.
What's even more damaging to those who continue to embrace the claim that CO2 is the most dangerous man made Greenhouse is the conclusion of the Chinese Researchers.
Most astonishingly, they concluded that global cooling will result for at least the next two decades, as the longer cycles are now both in downward motion. [emphasis in original]
As more research on Global Climate change is done, it becomes evident that we still don't know enough about the factors contributing to Global Climate Change. But one fact should be evident. There just isn't enough evidence to demand a Political Solution to What may well be the Natural Cycles of the Earth.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Elvira Arellano Deported
Now She Can Legally Apply For Re-Admission

Until now I have remained on the sidelines in the matter of a particular Illegal Alien - Elvira Arellano. Ms. Arellano was recently legally deported after spending a year in a Church where she claimed sanctuary. Sanctuary as applied to this case is an emotional term which has no basis under United States law. Ms. Arellano does not face any persecution from her native Mexico. She is therefore not eligible for Political Asylum Status in the US.

Illegal Aliens generally are a drain on Social Services and a Security Risk to the legal Citizenry of the US. (More this subject here, here here, and here.) As a matter of fact, a recent AP story indicates Ms. Arellano is somewhat of a celebrity in now that she's back in her native Mexico.
A Mexican Senate committee passed a measure Wednesday urging President Felipe Calderon to send a diplomatic note to the United States protesting the deportation of an illegal migrant who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year.
When Ms. Arellano was deported, she left her 8 year old son, Saul, in the care of his Godmother. Saul suffers from ADHD, and is a legal citizen of the US.
The committee also approved a scholarship to help her 8-year-old U.S.-born son, Saul, who is an American citizen and stayed in the United States.
Let's face facts. Any person who entered this country is an Illegal Alien, PERIOD. They are often referred to as "undocumented immigrants". This is a method of making someone who committed a crime sound more palatable. Should we start calling people "undocumented drivers" if they don't have a license and insurance? Besides, Ms. Arellano was also guilty of another crime in this country. Fraudulent use of a Social Security Number.

For me the "Straw that broke the Camels Back" in this case was the claim that the US broke the law by deporting Ms. Arellano.
"We cannot remain quiet in view of this injustice and must ask for firm action from our authorities," Mexican Sen. Humberto Zazue said.

He accused the United States of violating international deportation accords by denying her access to the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.
What? For more on the exceptional political support from US politicians Ms. Arellano has received, read the "Chicago Tribune" Editorial from August 17, 2006.
Arellano was arrested and deported once before and re-entered the country illegally. She was found to have used a fake Social Security number to work.

And yet she has benefited from some extraordinary political support, which few illegal immigrants get to enjoy. She won the help of members of the Illinois congressional delegation, who rallied around her because her 7-year-old son, Saul, a U.S. citizen, has ADHD and other health problems. She has been granted three stays of deportation since 2003. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) sent a letter to President Bush on Wednesday asking that Arellano be granted yet another stay.

But Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Barack Obama and others have said there is nothing more they can do for her. Because her son's condition has improved, some of those sympathetic to her cause suggest that another stay of deportation cannot be justified. [emphasis mine]
This woman has been granted 3 stays of deportation, remained in this country illegally 4 years since she was ordered deported by the court, and she has only now claimed she was denied access to the Mexican Consulate. Give me a break.

The "Trib" editorial a year ago got it right when they concluded with this.
Many illegal immigrants face the same situation as Arellano. Few get the breaks she has received in the last few years. They are all subject to U.S. law, as is Arellano.

It is time for her to abide by that law.
Ms. Arellano is no longer an Illegal Alien. Therefore, she should stop complaining about being deported and Legally apply for re-entry into the US.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pres. Bush Speech to VFW Aug. 2007

Possibly in preparation for next months report to Congress by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, President Bush gave a strong speech in favor of completing the job in Iraq, at the VFW in Kansas City. The speech received a warm reception particularly because he was addressing Military Veterans during a time of War. (President Bush Attends Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention, Discusses War on Terror)
As members of this proud organization, you are advocates for the rights of our military veterans, a model of community service, and a strong and important voice for a strong national defense. I thank you for your service. I thank you for what you've done for the United States of America.
Because of the events since 9-11, President Bush has been, in his own words and in reality, a "Wartime President". The enemy declared war on Western Civilization long before 9-11. But what the enemy did on 9-11 not only resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 civilians, it awakened our nation.
The struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it's a struggle for civilization. We fight for a free way of life against a new barbarism -- an ideology whose followers have killed thousands on American soil, and seek to kill again on even a greater scale. [emphasis mine]
A struggle for civilization because if radical Islam succeeds, their Holy War will continue until the World is governed by Sharia Law. Under Sharia Law, only Muslim's are first class citizens. All other non-believers, and women for that matter, are subjugated, second class persons. This War is not just about Iraq, it is about World Civilization and Iraq is only one small part of the Global War.
Now, I know some people doubt the universal appeal of liberty, or worry that the Middle East isn't ready for it. Others believe that America's presence is destabilizing, and that if the United States would just leave a place like Iraq those who kill our troops or target civilians would no longer threaten us. Today I'm going to address these arguments. I'm going to describe why helping the young democracies of the Middle East stand up to violent Islamic extremists is the only realistic path to a safer world for the American people. I'm going to try to provide some historical perspective to show there is a precedent for the hard and necessary work we're doing, and why I have such confidence in the fact we'll be successful.
Iraq could provide an Oasis of Muslim Democracy in the middle of oppressive Radical Islamic Governments and Societies. Repressive groups like the Taliban, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Fatah al-Islam and Hamas produce much of the Middle Eastern Instability and Violence. Retreat from Iraq would result in a destabilization of the Region and provide a base for World Wide Terror operations.
At the outset of World War II there were only two democracies in the Far East -- Australia and New Zealand. Today most of the nations in Asia are free, and its democracies reflect the diversity of the region. Some of these nations have constitutional monarchies, some have parliaments, and some have presidents. Some are Christian, some are Muslim, some are Hindu, and some are Buddhist. Yet for all the differences, the free nations of Asia all share one thing in common: Their governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed, and they desire to live in peace with their neighbors.
The question which haunts many of the West, is can a country with beliefs so different from the beliefs of the West become a democracy? History may very well give us the answer.
In the aftermath of Japan's surrender, many thought it naive to help the Japanese transform themselves into a democracy. Then as now, the critics argued that some people were simply not fit for freedom.

Some said Japanese culture was inherently incompatible with democracy. Joseph Grew, a former United States ambassador to Japan who served as Harry Truman's Under Secretary of State, told the President flatly that -- and I quote -- "democracy in Japan would never work." He wasn't alone in that belief. A lot of Americans believed that -- and so did the Japanese -- a lot of Japanese believed the same thing: democracy simply wouldn't work.

Others critics said that Americans were imposing their ideals on the Japanese. For example, Japan's Vice Prime Minister asserted that allowing Japanese women to vote would "retard the progress of Japanese politics."
There are an amazing number of parallel paths over the course of history. This is absolutely true when applied to the History of the United States of America. At the start of the Korean War, Democrat President Harry Truman, faced a Congress and Public similar to Today.
Critics also complained when America intervened to save South Korea from communist invasion. Then as now, the critics argued that the war was futile, that we should never have sent our troops in, or they argued that America's intervention was divisive here at home.

After the North Koreans crossed the 38th Parallel in 1950, President Harry Truman came to the defense of the South -- and found himself attacked from all sides. From the left, I.F. Stone wrote a book suggesting that the South Koreans were the real aggressors and that we had entered the war on a false pretext. From the right, Republicans vacillated. Initially, the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate endorsed Harry Truman's action, saying, "I welcome the indication of a more definite policy" -- he went on to say, "I strongly hope that having adopted it, the President may maintain it intact," then later said "it was a mistake originally to go into Korea because it meant a land war."
Change the Dates, Places and reverse the parties in control of the White House and Congress, it could be the History we are making today.
Throughout the war, the Republicans really never had a clear position. They never could decide whether they wanted the United States to withdraw from the war in Korea, or expand the war to the Chinese mainland. Others complained that our troops weren't getting the support from the government. One Republican senator said, the effort was just "bluff and bluster." He rejected calls to come together in a time of war, on the grounds that "we will not allow the cloak of national unity to be wrapped around horrible blunders."

Many in the press agreed. One columnist in The Washington Post said, "The fact is that the conduct of the Korean War has been shot through with errors great and small." A colleague wrote that "Korea is an open wound. It's bleeding and there's no cure for it in sight." He said that the American people could not understand "why Americans are doing about 95 percent of the fighting in Korea."

Many of these criticisms were offered as reasons for abandoning our commitments in Korea. And while it's true the Korean War had its share of challenges, the United States never broke its word.
And then there is Vietnam. Many of the Left continue to maintain that an Iraq pull-out would have very little consequence. Just as they said at the time about Vietnam, they are wrong. If History is any teacher, Vietnam should have taught us an important lesson about leaving before a victory, can be a disaster for the people who remain behind. But unlike Vietnam, this enemy will follow us home.
Then as now, people argued the real problem was America's presence and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end.


In 1972, one antiwar senator put it this way: "What earthly difference does it make to nomadic tribes or uneducated subsistence farmers in Vietnam or Cambodia or Laos, whether they have a military dictator, a royal prince or a socialist commissar in some distant capital that they've never seen and may never heard of?" A columnist for The New York Times wrote in a similar vein in 1975, just as Cambodia and Vietnam were falling to the communists: "It's difficult to imagine," he said, "how their lives could be anything but better with the Americans gone." A headline on that story, date Phnom Penh, summed up the argument: "Indochina without Americans: For Most a Better Life."
Have we not learned anything from History? Whether you believe we invaded Iraq for the right or the wrong reason, we are there right now. It is for History to judge the morality of the Iraq invasion. In Iraq, our course of action now, will enable us to face the future consequences. Prematurely leaving yields one set of consequences; finishing the task another set. History favors the latter choice.
The world would learn just how costly these misimpressions would be. In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge began a murderous rule in which hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died by starvation and torture and execution. In Vietnam, former allies of the United States and government workers and intellectuals and businessmen were sent off to prison camps, where tens of thousands perished. Hundreds of thousands more fled the country on rickety boats, many of them going to their graves in the South China Sea.

Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left. There's no debate in my mind that the veterans from Vietnam deserve the high praise of the United States of America. Whatever your position is on that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like "boat people," "re-education camps," and "killing fields."
The killing and torture of the "left behinds" is not the only lesson to take away form Vietnam. We are not fighting another Vietnam, and the comparison to Vietnam is only valid in referencing what would happen if we institute a pre-mature withdraw from Iraq. But the current enemy took notice and uses or Vietnam retreat as a recruiting tool.
There was another price to our withdrawal from Vietnam, and we can hear it in the words of the enemy we face in today's struggle -- those who came to our soil and killed thousands of citizens on September the 11th, 2001. In an interview with a Pakistani newspaper after the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden declared that "the American people had risen against their government's war in Vietnam. And they must do the same today."

His number two man, Zawahiri, has also invoked Vietnam. In a letter to al Qaeda's chief of operations in Iraq, Zawahiri pointed to "the aftermath of the collapse of the American power in Vietnam and how they ran and left their agents."

Zawahiri later returned to this theme, declaring that the Americans "know better than others that there is no hope in victory. The Vietnam specter is closing every outlet." Here at home, some can argue our withdrawal from Vietnam carried no price to American credibility -- but the terrorists see it differently.
Vietnam is an important part of our History. But it cannot now be changed. The present is all we have to work with, but by remembering and learning the lessons that History has taught us, the future becomes something better, for all. On the other hand, the President clearly stated what's likely to happen if we don't follow through. The view is from two men of the Vietnam era. One pro, one con.
Here's what they said: "Defeat would produce an explosion of euphoria among all the forces of Islamist extremism, throwing the entire Middle East into even greater upheaval. The likely human and strategic costs are appalling to contemplate. Perhaps that is why so much of the current debate seeks to ignore these consequences." I believe these men are right.
Our President is aware that History cannot fully predict all possibilities, but it can give us very good, although somewhat vague, indications of what the future will bring based on what we do today.
I recognize that history cannot predict the future with absolute certainty. I understand that. But history does remind us that there are lessons applicable to our time. And we can learn something from history. In Asia, we saw freedom triumph over violent ideologies after the sacrifice of tens of thousands of American lives -- and that freedom has yielded peace for generations.
This is one lesson we don't have to learn again.

OBL Claimed To Be Alive

There have been no US confirmed sightings of Osama bin Laden (OBL) since December 2001. That's when he escaped Coalition and Afghan Forces in the Tora Bora Region of Eastern Afghanistan. The fact that he is Alive and Well comes from Mansour Dadullah, whose brother, Mullah, was a top Taliban Commander. Mullah was killed last year, and Mansour's statement is found in an article printed in West Australian Newspapers Limited (Bin Laden is alive).
“He is extremely healthy and active,” Mansour Dadullah said, according to the video’s English-language subtitles. The clip was dated June 15, according to reports.
Mansour claims that bin Laden contacted him directly. Osama bin Laden, if he really is still alive, is in the rugged, mountainous area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border. Bin Laden has released several audio and video tapes since he was last seen, and there is at least a $25 Million bounty for his capture.

There remains speculation from others that Osama bin Laden is dead.
“There’s a very high percentage chance” that bin Laden is dead, Will Geddes, managing director of the London-based International Corporate Protection security company, said in a telephone interview today.

Even if bin Laden is alive, it may not be a “massive blow” to the US, Geddes said.
As a tactical target in the Global War on Terror, OBL is not that important. But for Strategic reasons, OBL is a very important target.
“Al-Qaeda is no longer one man leading an international army. The organization has become a “generic umbrella name,” he [Geddes] said.
For the time being, we still have no reliable report about the health of Osama bin Laden. There are now, and have been for some time, conflicting opinions about his condition.
According to reports in September, Saudi Arabian intelligence officials believe Saudi-born bin Laden died from a fever in a remote region of Pakistan.

The French newspaper cited a report from France’s DGSE external intelligence agency. Saudi Arabia and Western governments, including France and the US, cast doubt on the report.
Things haven't changed much since December 2001. We Still Don't know for sure.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sen. Lieberman Suggests Closing Iraq's Border

Today's Featured Article at the Opinion Journal of the on-line Wall Street Journal by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) (Al Qaeda's Travel Agent) is a must read.

Senator Lieberman has been a supporter of the Global War On Terror and agrees with President Bush that the course in Iraq is correct. The Senator agrees with the Republicans so often, and has received so much grief at the hands of the Democrats that he has said that he may support the Republican Presidential Nominee. More importantly, the Senator makes Sense.
The United States is at last making significant progress against al Qaeda in Iraq--but the road to victory now requires cutting off al Qaeda's road to Iraq through Damascus.

Thanks to Gen. David Petraeus's new counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, and the strength and skill of the American soldiers fighting there, al Qaeda in Iraq is now being routed from its former strongholds in Anbar and Diyala provinces. Many of Iraq's Sunni Arabs, meanwhile, are uniting with us against al Qaeda, alienated by the barbarism and brutality of their erstwhile allies.
The Senator makes the case for defeating one of al Qaeda's best weapons in the Iraq War - Foreign Suicide Bombers. Since 80% to 90% of all suicide attacks are perpetrated by Foreign Fighters, most of whom come across the Iraq Border from Syria, we need a plan to stop the flow.
That is why we now must focus on disrupting this flow of suicide bombers--and that means focusing on Syria, through which up to 80% of the Iraq-bound extremists transit. Indeed, even terrorists from countries that directly border Iraq travel by land via Syria to Iraq, instead of directly from their home countries, because of the permissive environment for terrorism that the Syrian government has fostered. Syria refuses to tighten its visa regime for individuals transiting its territory.
Senator Lieberman believes that if we shut off the supply of Foreign al Qaeda Fighters, al Qaeda in Iraq would not survive. That's because they are al Qaeda's most powerful in addition to being their best weapon.

The topography and length of the Iraq-Syria border make attempts to prevent the border from being an entry point very ineffective. Ineffective, that is, because Syria makes no attempt to aid coalition efforts. In order to get into Iraq, the Foreign Recruits must first get to Syria, and most come through the Damascus International Airport. Given the Police State which exists in Syria, it is not logical to claim that the Damascus Authorities don't know what's happening.
This is not the first use of the Damascus airport by terrorists. It has long been the central transit point for Iranian weapons en route to Hezbollah, in violation of United Nations Security Council sanctions, as well as for al Qaeda operatives moving into and out of Lebanon.

Now the Damascus airport is the point of entry into Iraq for most of the suicide bombers who are killing innocent Iraqi citizens and American soldiers, and trying to break America's will in this war. It is therefore time to demand that the Syrian regime stop playing travel agent for al Qaeda in Iraq.
What should we do about this situation? Senator Lieberman suggests that when Congress reconveins next month...
Responsible air carriers should be asked to stop flights into Damascus International, as long as it remains the main terminal of international terror. Despite its use by al Qaeda and Hezbollah terrorists, the airport continues to be serviced by many major non-U.S. carriers, including Alitalia, Air France, and British Airways.

Interrupting the flow of foreign fighters would mean countless fewer suicide bombings in Iraq, and countless fewer innocent people murdered by the barbaric enemy we are fighting there. At a time when the al Qaeda network in Iraq is already under heavy stress thanks to American and Iraqi military operations, closing off the supply line through which al Qaeda in Iraq is armed with its most deadly weapons--suicide bombers--would be devastating to the terrorists' cause.

Simply put, for the U.S. and our Iraqi allies, defeating al Qaeda in Iraq means locking shut Syria's "Open Door" policy to terrorists. It is past time for Syria to do so.
The time for the "Do Nothing" Congress to Do Something is now. This is a good start.

Iraq From The Other Side Of The Equation

We often hear about the "Quagmire" of Iraq. Until now always from the Coalition Forces experiences. What about the Terrorist side of this "Quagmire"? This question is answered by way of an article posted at TCSDAILY (The Iraqi Quagmire You Don't Hear About).
Say there's a group of people in Iraq fighting what looks increasingly like an unwinnable war. The core of this group is made up of foreigners intent on a mission of 'liberation' in a land historically alien to their ideologies. In the process of enacting their designs, this group has suffered considerable casualties, sunk untold sums in resources, and lost many once-reliable friends. Sound familiar? This is the current state of international jihadism, an institution with a situation grimmer and an outlook more despairing than for the US-led coalition. [emphasis mine]
This is part of the Iraq good news we don't often hear about in the MSM. And looks at the situation from a view not often considered.
There is a quagmire going on in Mesopotamia. Lost in the partisan heave-ho is strong evidence of a situation that's proving intractable, perilous, and with no end in sight. Yet, it's not our war; it's the one being waged by the forces of international jihadism. For as much as the Coalition has sacrificed - over a half-trillion dollars, nearly four-thousand dead, over-drafted international political capital, and upsetting the relative stability of certain commodity markets - our enormous commitment is a relative sideshow compared with the problems facing our enemy. Pound for pound, they've lost a lot more than gained and done so at a much more grievous rate than we [have]. [emphasis mine]
To say the least, encouraging and from a perspective which most of us would not have otherwise considered. This could be a preview of the Iraq Situation Report to Congress from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.
Militarily, the United States and some of its allies are seen as being bruised, but this has more basis as a political talking point than as an honest reflection of events on the ground. Without a doubt, morale among US troops is high and continues to rise in proportion to the rate of successes. Where Coalition troops encounter enemy combatants, there is generally but one outcome: victory. Instead, our enemies are increasingly reliant on media misinformation and sensational campaigns to portray their war as being anything other than what it actually is: a downward spiral. Although it's true that the United States military is suffering strains from the extended rigors of warfighting and peacemaking, ours is not a broken army and the enemy sure as hell doesn't have themselves another Afghanistan; as things stand, the enemy is a long way from being able to pop the proverbial corks of (non-alcoholic) champagne and relish American military recession. [emphasis mine]
I would be willing to bet that Democrats and for that matter the General Public have never considered the view presented by "walking a mile in al Qaeda's shoes".
When Iraq War critics employ loaded terms like 'quagmire' so freely, it's done in a manner that suggests aversion to actual debate on the realities on the ground. This can be best exemplified in Sen. Harry Reid's laughably premature declaration of defeat or Sen. Barack Obama's clumsy reasoning that genocide, as the likely result of impulsive withdrawal, should be of no concern to the United States. Most importantly, such statements highlight an uncomfortable unwillingness on the part of many war detractors to see the situation in a rounder, fuller perspective - that victory is an option and that defeat isn't an exclusively American, or a partisan, problem. Yes, there is much work ahead for the Coalition. And yes, the surprising turnaround of fortune could reverse just as quickly if we do not exploit the situation. But for now, momentum is on our side and not for our enemies. [emphasis mine]
Take note.

Global Warming Deniers Strike Back

As someone trained in the Scientific Method, I have long been skeptical of Al Gore and the Celebrity Global Warming Alarmists claims of impending disaster. The Chicken Little, Gloom and Doom types generally refuse to enter into any meaningful debate about Global Climate Change because "It is Settled". The Chicken Little group will not listen to, and attempt to silence any and all critics with innuendo, half-truths and bullying tactics, but very little factual, scientific rebuttal.

Recently the forces trying to force Carbon Offsets and drastic, expensive life-style changes down our throats through a Political Agenda and Man-Made Political Legislation have suffered several set-backs. Recently I wrote 2 different posts, Y2K Bug In US Climate Temperature Data and Global Warming - Before Gore Version which showed that when the Y2K Bug was fixed, 1934 not 1998 is the USA's hottest year. In fact by fixing this Bug, a re-calculation of data placed 5 of the 10 warmest US years prior to World War II. An Inconvenient Fact which seriously undermined the Chicken Little crowd because their claims no longer fits the facts.

Additional posts can be accessed by following my Global Warming Link. And last week I missed an important article from TCSdaily. This article (A Report from the Global Warming Battlefield) highlights the Y2K Bug.
First, NASA's James Hansen and his group had to fix a Y2K bug that a Canadian statistician found in their processing of the thermometer data. As a result, 1998 is no longer the warmest year on record in the United States - 1934 is. The temperature adjustment is admittedly small, yet there seemed to be no rush to retract the oft-repeated alarmist statements that have seared "1998!" into our brains as the rallying cry for the fight against global warming.
And there is other evidence unfavorable to the Global Warming Alarmists claims. One example is the placement of US Temperature Measuring Stations and Equipment which has allowed faulty, or at least questionable, data to be recorded and used.
Then, the issue of spurious heat influences on the thermometers that NOAA uses to monitor global temperatures has reared its ugly head. Personally, I've been waiting for this one for a long time. Ordinary citizens are now traveling throughout their home states, taking pictures of the local conditions around these thermometer sites.

To everyone's astonishment, all kinds of spurious heat sources have cropped up over the years next to the thermometers. Air conditioning exhaust fans, burn barrels, asphalt parking lots, roofs, jet exhaust. Who could have known? Shocking.
Further reading of this TCS article reveals a fact not mentioned by the Global Warming Alarmists. One of their bully tactics is to claim, as Newsweek and Al Gore did, that Researchers who publish opposing conclusions are tainted by Energy Corporation money while failing to mention the possible bias in their source of funds.
From the other side of the battlefield, Al Gore and Newsweek coordinated an assault on a few skeptics with all kinds of guilt-by-association accusations. They allege that a few scientists were offered $10,000 (!) by Big Oil to research and publish evidence against the theory of manmade global warming.

Of course, the vast majority of mainstream climate researchers receive between $100,000 to $200,000 from the federal government to do the same, but in support of manmade global warming. Apparently, that's okay since we all know that the federal government is unbiased and there to help, whereas petroleum companies only exist to force us to burn fuels that do nothing more than ruin the environment.
Also rarely mentioned is that Al Gore and selected friends, will rake in Millions of Dollars if Government Legislation can mandate his agenda. (For information on this subject see my post - Gore's Global Warming Profits)

Finally, maybe it's nitpicking, but I have never denied that Global Warming is a fact. My position is that we don't have enough accurate data to determine the cause and effect of Global Climate Change. This is important because Al Gore and the Other supporters of the "Disaster is Approaching Rapidly" screed, requires Expensive Life-Style changes for all of us. The Cost Of Global Warming is going to be a very hard pill to swallow. We return to the TCS article for this final quote.
Oh, and by the way, in the interests of a fair fight, the next time someone sees Al Gore, could you ask him to stop calling us "global warming deniers"? I don't know of anyone who denies that the Earth has warmed. I'm sure this has just been an honest misunderstanding on Mr. Gore's part, and he'll be more than happy to stop doing it.
However, there is good news for all of us about Global Climate Change (a better term than Global Warming). Another post at Michael Asher Blog published at Daily Tech last week advanced a new theory to account for the Global Climate Changes, both past and present. Major New Theory Proposed to Explain Global Warming opens with this paragraph.
"Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt" --Washington Post headline, November 2, 1922 [emphasis mine].
A great example to show that Global Climate Changes (both Warmer and Cooler) have been making headlines in Newspapers and Scientific Journals for nearly a century. About 30 years ago, the Climatologists were predicting a cooling Earth could be the fear of the 21st century.

As the post's Headline states, there is a New Theory to examine.
But that 80-year old news story also illustrates two of the great problems for the global warming theory -- its inability to explain sudden climate shifts in the Earth's past, and to explain why the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are so unequally affected by warming.

A team of mathematicians have come forth with a startling new theory that solves both these problems. Led by Dr. Anastasios Tsonis, their model says the known cycles of the Earth's oceans -- the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, El Nino (Southern Oscillation) and the North Pacific Oscillation -- all tend to try to synchronize with each other.
The Theory is based on a branch of mathematics know as Synchronized Chaos. If you don't have a firm grasp of advanced mathematics, just accept that it exists and someone understands it. Here, from the Daily Tech Blog again, is the layman's explanation of Synchronized Chaos.
The math predicts the degree of coupling to increase over time, causing the solution to "bifurcate," or split. Then, the synchronization vanishes. The result is a climate shift.

Eventually the cycles begin to sync up again, causing a repeating pattern of warming and cooling, along with sudden changes in the frequency and strength of El Nino events.
Simply put, this new theory, as I understand it, means Global Climate Change is More of a Natural Process than a Man-Made disaster. The evidence in these and other Scientific Studies would support the statement "That Man has not been shown to contribute significantly to disastrous Global Climate Change".

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rove Did It Better

The "Washington Post" article (How Rove Directed Federal Assets for GOP Gains) describes why the Democrats "Hate Karl Rove". He did his job better than anyone else in history has ever done. That Job was beating the Democrats at the Ballot Box.
The staging of official announcements, high-visibility trips and declarations of federal grants had to be carefully coordinated with the White House political affairs office to ensure the maximum promotion of Bush's reelection agenda and the Republicans in Congress who supported him, according to documents and some of those involved in the effort.
Simply put, Karl Rove did it better. So good in fact that the Democrats jealously envy and therefore vilify Mr. Rove. He beat the Democrats with a brilliantly co-ordinated, harmoniously orchestrated plan to maximize the Republican agenda.
Many administrations have sought to maximize their control of the machinery of government for political gain, dispatching Cabinet secretaries bearing government largess to battleground states in the days before elections. The Clinton White House routinely rewarded big donors with stays in the Lincoln Bedroom and private coffees with senior federal officials, and held some political briefings for top Cabinet officials during the 1996 election. [emphasis mine]
So what Karl did is not new, but the organization of and maximization of the effort to benefit Republicans was unprecedented.
But Rove, who announced last week that he is resigning from the White House at the end of August, pursued the goal far more systematically than his predecessors, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Washington Post, enlisting political appointees at every level of government in a permanent campaign that was an integral part of his strategy to establish Republican electoral dominance.
As you read this article, it is clear that Mr. Rove did his job so well, so effectively, that Democrats don't just dislike Mr. Rove, they claim to truly "Hate" him. At least the Democrats say "Hate" when in fact the Democrats act closely resembles a spurned lovers jealousy toward a rival.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee [Chairman: Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA)] are investigating whether any of the meetings violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using federal resources for election activities. They also want to know whether any Bush appointees pressured government for favorable actions such as grants to help GOP electoral chances.
Congressman Waxman apparently is one of the most envious of Mr. Rove's successes on behalf of the Republican Party in general and specifically the success of President Bush.

Democrats are now questioning Mr. Rove's tactics for possible violations of the Hatch Act. As mentioned in the article, the Hatch Act prohibits government resources, personnel and time being used for political purposes. No serious violations have surfaced, but the Democrats are trying hard to "dig up the dirt". Since they have not been effective in getting Congressional Legislation passed, investigation becomes the political battlefield for partisan politics. Karl Rove was very much aware of the laws, and stressed the need to conduct the effort according to the Laws.
White House officials say Rove had two basic rules: the first was to avoid meddling with grant and contract decisions made by career government employees; the second was to make sure they complied with the Hatch Act. "What was surprising was how adamant Karl and his whole team was that we involve the lawyers in our discussions to make sure we didn't come up with things that ran afoul of the law," DeBerry said. In March 2002, then-White House lawyer Brett Kavanaugh gave such a briefing on the "do's and don'ts regarding your participation in politically related activities," according to the invitation. [emphasis mine]
Personally I have not found the extreme Liberal Democrats to be good losers. For that matter they aren't particularly good winners either, but that's just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Mr. Rove realized how important positive press is to an election. No event is too small to merit Mr. Rove's attention.
No federal generosity was too small to tout. A top official of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was on hand with Shays when the NOAA awarded a single severe-weather alert radio, valued at $23, to an elementary school in Norwalk, Conn., two months before Election Day. [emphasis mine]
As is apparent from even a cursory reading of this Blog, I am a Conservative. I generally favor Republicans over Democrats. But I always consider the Candidate before the party in my voter booth choices. I think the Democrats could more effectively use their energies to learn from Karl Rove, as opposed to attempts to smear him. Admit that ROVE DID IT BETTER and move on.

Bridges Don't Need NEW Taxes

If you listen to a Politician, you soon learn that New or Increased Taxes will solve any problem. This is especially true when a disaster makes headlines. Headlines like the I-35W Bridge in Minnesota. And true to form, the automatic Political answer to raise the Gasoline Tax to fund repairs or upkeep issued forth. I have a better idea. Why not stop the Earmarking of funds for Bike/Walking trails and Bridges to Nowhere, and use those millions as the Federal, State and Local authorities deem best.

In Saturday's "Opinion Journal of the Wall Street Journal" the "Hot Topic" article (Of Bridges and Taxes) references specific instances of Earmark (Pork) Projects siphoning off funds which could have been used for road and/or bridge repair/maintenance. The roads and bridges are a very real problem, but one which can be solved with little or no increase in our tax burden.
The gas tax pleas are coming from the usual suspects, in both Washington and St. Paul. James Oberstar, the Minnesota Democrat who runs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, recently stood beside the wreckage and recommended an increase in the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gas tax, as a way to prevent future bridge collapses. His wing man, Alaska Republican and former Transportation Chairman Don Young, agrees wholeheartedly.
It is interesting that these same politicians in 2005 approved a $286 Billion Federal Highway Bill that diverted Millions of Dollars, (through Earmarks) away from needed road and bridge projects.
As recently as July 25, Mr. Oberstar sent out a press release boasting that he had "secured more than $12 million in funding" for his state in a recent federal transportation and housing bill. But $10 million of that was dedicated to a commuter rail line, $250,000 for the "Isanti Bike/Walk Trail," $200,000 to bus services in Duluth, and $150,000 for the Mesabi Academy of Kidspeace in Buhl. None of it went for bridge repair.
A lot of repairs could have been made with $12 Million. But it's also the States whose Politicians suffer from the same delusions that they know best how to Micro-Manage the Spending of Our Tax Dollars.
The Legislature started the year with a record $2 billion budget surplus, and the economy threw off another $149 million of unexpected revenue. Where did all that money go? Not to roads and bridges. The Taxpayers League of Minnesota says the politicians chose to pour those tax dollars into more spending for health care, art centers, sports stadiums and welfare benefits.

Even transportation dollars aren't scarce. Minnesota spends $1.6 billion a year on transportation--enough to build a new bridge over the Mississippi River every four months. But nearly $1 billion of that has been diverted from road and bridge repair to the state's light rail network that has a negligible impact on traffic congestion. Last year part of a sales tax revenue stream that is supposed to be dedicated for road and bridge construction was re-routed to mass transit. The Minnesota Department of Economic Development reports that only 2.8% of the state's commuters ride buses or rail to get to work, but these projects get up to 25% of the funding. [emphasis mine]
We need a system where each requesting authority makes its case based on need and merit. Then Federal, State and Local Governments should allocate gross funds based on need, and allow the requesting authority to spend the dollars as they see fit. If we really need a Bike/Walking Path, or a new light rail network, the funds can be specifically appropriated on their own merits. Allowing the local authorities to lobby for and delegate based on local need is much better than having a Politician Micro-Manage the funds for another Bike Trail. Do we really need more public projects named after our Politicians?

See my previous related post Earmarks Are Business As Usual For Congress for more about Earmarks.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

If This Wasn't So Serious, It Would Be FUNNY!

Across the country, police departments periodically hold "Gun Exchanges". These no-questions-asked programs allow citizens to turn in weapons for cash, gift certificates or merchandise. Yesterday the "ORLANDO SENTINEL" in Orlando, Florida reported that a real surprise was turned in - a four foot long Surface to Air Missile (SAM).
Picture of SAM
The shoulder-fired weapon showed about 6 p.m. when an Ocoee man drove to the Florida Citrus Bowl to trade the 4-foot-long launcher for size-3 Reebok sneakers for his daughter.
Assuming the weapon is operational, there are serious questions which need to be asked and answered. How did this missile get into civilian hands? Are there more and if so where and who has them? This missile is capable of shooting an airplane out of the sky. Could this be the next Terrorist method of attack? Right now, it appears nobody knows.
"I didn't know what to do with it, so I brought it here," explained the man, who said he found the missile in a shed he tore down last week. "I took it to three dumps to try to get rid of it, and they told me to get lost."
Next question-why didn't anyone notify authorities about this weapon? Three dumps and the person who turned it in knew about it, but nobody said anything? Wow. Something smells about this event.

H/T HotAir for the preceding.

In a related incident, United Press International, reports the finding of an Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) in a stolen Van.
A Marine Corps bomb unit was called in by California police who found an Iraqi-style rocket propelled grenade stashed in a stolen van.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Immigration Issue

When is a law OK to break without consequence? Surely most of us will agree that civil disobedience in protest against a perceived bad law is one of the rights of a true Democracy. But until the objectionable law is repealed, there is a consequence for this civil disobedience. Usually that involves a fine or Jail time upon conviction. So it was during the civil rights protests of the 1960s, and the anti-war protests during the Vietnam War. There are other examples too, some of which did not remain civil, but all of which had consequences.

It has happened before. It will happen again, but all of the past law breaking, no matter how just the cause, has resulted in consequences. Even the so-called "Regan Amnesty" had consequences. The actual name of the Legislation, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 did not mention the word Amnesty. This legislation did not automatically grant green cards or permanent resident status to any illegal immigrant. It was not free and only allowed those illegal immigrants who met certain requirements to apply for temporary residence in the USA.

This legislation was a failure in the sense that it was intended to stop future illegal immigration. A failure because today there are somewhere between 10 and 20 million illegal immigrants in the USA. The burden on our social structure, (schools, hospitals etc.) has been escalating exponentially. And it's all paid for by our Tax Dollars. The Tax Dollars of the Legal Citizens, for the benefit of the Illegal Aliens.

To add insult to injury, many cities have declared themselves "Sanctuary Cities". These cities will not ask any person about his immigration status, and are not allowed to consider immigration status under any circumstance. They will not enforce Federal Law or even notify Federal Authorities of possible illegal immigrants. Not even those illegal aliens who have been convicted of the most violent Felonious Crimes. "Sanctuary Cities" and Amnesty Legislation are examples of civil disobedience without consequence.

This is why so many illegal aliens are still on our streets committing 2nd, 3rd and 4th murder and vehicular homicides upon legal citizens after DUI, Rape or Sodomy convictions. Crimes they would not have been able to commit if the 1st conviction had been reported to Federal Authorities for Deportation as the laws require. They cannot commit a crime in the USA if they're not here to commit them. This is the consequence. But its victim is not the individual. It is Society which pays the price.

Illegal Immigration is a crime which we have the capacity to prevent. It does not require a whole set of new laws, just enforcement of existing law. Put up the Border Fence, patrol the Border, deport convicted criminals and Fine Employers who hire Illegal immigrants. Other practices would help too, but they are secondary to the preceding requirements. These secondary actions include Stopping Federal Payments to "Sanctuary Cities", and allowing only Legal Citizens to qualify for benefits such as Welfare, Food Stamps and Unemployment Insurance.

If there is no incentive to come to the USA, illegal immigration will dry up, and those already here will voluntarily go home. We don't need to hunt down every illegal immigrant. There will be no mass deportations, if we just enforce the current laws.

Because Illegal Immigration and Radical Islam are two of the greatest problems we face in this country, I read with great interest what our Political Candidates express on these issues. Enforcing our Immigration Laws by Lamar Smith has articulated Mitt Romney's position on the immigration issue.
For far too long, too many have spoken out on the problem of illegal immigration but done too little. The laws we need to combat illegal immigration are on the books in this country, and they are pretty clear. However, these laws only work if they are enforced across all levels of government – federal, state and local. If we are to end illegal immigration, we must establish the rule of law and enforce the current laws.

That is why the practice of creating sanctuary policies in places like New York City is so troubling. "Sanctuary cities" tell those who are here illegally that the laws of this country do not matter. Sanctuary policies create virtual amnesty zones for illegal immigrants. While amnesty was just defeated in the Congress, places like New York City offer a promise of amnesty to those who ignore our immigration laws. It is disturbing that some cities have intentionally decided that certain laws do not need to be enforced.
Both the recently defeated Congressional Illegal Immigrant Amnesty Bill, and the establishment of "Sanctuary Cities", are examples of Civil Disobedience without individual consequence. These actions constitute a serious erosion of our Democratic values as crimes against society. We are a society which has taught the last generation that our bad actions are not our fault. We are encouraged to blame others for our transgressions. There is no accountability, and no responsibility. It is time to reverse the course.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dick Cheney

History will be much kinder to Vice President Dick Cheney than most current pundits. The US has not suffered a major Terrorist attack since 9-11, in large part due to the very much behind-the-scenes efforts of Mr. Cheney. He is blunt, intelligent and extremely well informed. Critics don't always like his style, but most admit he is responsible for discovering and preventing US Terrorist Plots.

His popularity among the general public is low, mainly due to his low profile and lack of public understanding of his accomplishments. He could care less about polls. He cares deeply about the safety of the US. This is the thrust Today's Featured Article at the Online Journal of The Wall Street Journal. (The Cheney Imperative) STEPHEN F. HAYES is the author of this op-ed piece as well as a book about Dick Cheney ("Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President").

Mr. Cheney is a no nonsense, decisive action figure. He watched the unfolding 9-11 events in the White House. After 2 planes struck the World Trade Center, he did not hesitate when told another plane was headed toward Washington.
When an aide told Mr. Cheney that another passenger airplane was rapidly approaching the White House, the vice president gave the order to shoot it down. The young man was so surprised at Mr. Cheney's immediate response that he asked again. Mr. Cheney reiterated the order. Thinking that Mr. Cheney must have misunderstood the question, the military aide asked him a third time.

The vice president responded evenly. "I said yes."

These early moments and all that followed from them will define Mr. Cheney's vice presidency. He was aggressive in those first moments of the war on terror and has been ever since.
It is refreshing to learn of a politician who doesn't need to take a "Poll" before deciding what to do. In today's world, we don't have the luxury of delay. Events require quick, intelligent, responsible responses. Critics, of course, say this is not responsible action. I disagree, not because Dick Cheney is always right, but because he is able to see through the fog and confusion of the moment and is not afraid to take a firm decisive stand.

Effective Leaders are not afraid of making the correct but sometimes unpopular decision. They take responsibility and admit when they are wrong. As Mr. Hayes points out in his article, Mr. Cheney's public ratings are "abysmal", mainly because he is underutilized as a communicator.
Mr. Cheney likes to work in the background and he does not care much about being loved. "Am I the evil genius in the corner that nobody ever sees come out of his hole?" Mr. Cheney said in 2004. "It's a nice way to operate, actually." But this reticence has a price. Where there is an information vacuum, people move to fill it, particularly in Washington, a town that operates on appearances.

More important, Mr. Cheney understands these issues as well as anyone in the Bush administration. "He really does get it," says former Iraq Administrator L. Paul Bremer, no Cheney acolyte. "From his time in Congress on the Intel Committee, to his time as secretary of defense--I saw him every now and then in the '90s when we were both out of government--he really is a student a international security matters."
Mr. Hayes makes the case for turning VP Cheney loose as a Communicator, because Mr. Cheney is so effective.
Mr. Cheney can be a very effective communicator. That doesn't mean he never makes mistakes. He does. (His prediction in 2005 that the insurgency in Iraq was in its "last throes" comes to mind.) But recall his impressive outings in debates against Joseph Lieberman in 2000 and John Edwards four years later, or his appearance on "Meet the Press" shortly after 9/11--an interview that even the New York Times called "a command performance."
Since 9-11, many of Dick Cheney's suggestions and ideas have been controversial, but most importantly effective. It has been said that Karl Rove is the President's Brain. On matters of Terror, VP Cheney is more deserving of that title.
With intelligence officials in Washington increasingly alarmed about the prospect of another major attack on the U.S. homeland, and public support for the Bush administration's anti-terror efforts reclaiming lost ground, we need more Dick Cheney.
Next month, we will learn the situational assessment of the Iraq War from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. It is time to pave the way with the communication effort by the VP.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Global Warming - Before Gore Version

Last Friday I wrote a post about the Y2K Bug which was responsible for the Miscalculation of US Temperature Data. Fixing this bug resulted in re-evaluating the list of US warmest years. Serious is the best way to characterize the magnitude of the error. Most Global Warming Alarmists relied on this data to make their case.

Faulty data due to this bug showed 1998 to be the hottest Year, and 5 of the 10 hottest years occurring since 1990. When the Y2K Bug was fixed, the correct data showed 1934 to be the Hottest year and 5 of the 10 hottest years to be before World War II.

Warming Alarmists cite mankind's use of Fossil Fuels (Coal, Oil & Gas) as the major cause of Global Warming. But Mankind's increased use of Fossil Fuels occurred after WW II. With the Corrected Temperature Data, the link to increased Carbon Dioxide Emissions, due to the burning of Coal, Oil & Gas, was broken. The required cause and effect relationship between mankind's increased Carbon Dioxide emissions and Global Warming no longer exists.

Therefore, I was not surprised when (H/T Drudge) the "Washington Times" published Library of Congress search results which confirmed the corrected data (Inside the Beltway).
D.C. resident John Lockwood was conducting research at the Library of Congress and came across an intriguing Page 2 headline in the Nov. 2, 1922 edition of The Washington Post: "Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt."

The 1922 article, obtained by Inside the Beltway, goes on to mention "great masses of ice have now been replaced by moraines of earth and stones," and "at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared." [emphasis mine]
This was only one of several articles Mr. Lockwood found. Already there are indications that World Wide, Politicians are re-thinking their Global Warming positions.
Reacting yesterday to word that certain European governments and officials are suddenly trying to abandon their costly "global warming" policies, Royal Astronomical Society fellow Benny Peiser, of the science faculty at Liverpool John Moores University in Great Britain, recalls the teachings of Marcus Aurelius: "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Progress In Iraq

Michael Yon is one of the few embedded journalists I trust to report with accuracy. He doesn't sugar coat his reporting. It's all there, and it's a view you don't get from the MSM or other embedded reporters who spend 1, or 2 days or even a week with the units. Michael spends months with the troops. He has seen how the Iraq Army and Police operate. In 2005, the Iraqis ran, were as likely to shoot friend as foe, and were for the most part incompetent. The Iraqis are different in 2007. They have driven al Qaeda from Mosul although the insurgents still commute from the surrounding area to conduct ever decreasing attacks.

Today Michael has a new post about Progress In Iraq. I suggest it's a must read. Three Marks on the Horizon As we all know the National Iraq Parliament has taken the Month off. What you don't hear is the local Iraq Government is beginning to function for the benefit of the Iraq citizens. Generally the Iraqis trust what they can see. You have to earn their respect and trust, as most of the US Troops are doing. Units in Theater, earn the Iraqis trust and respect because these Troops have demonstrated that they are trustworthy.
Our military has increasing moral authority in Iraq, but the same cannot be said for our government at home. In fact, it’s in moral deficit because many Iraqis are increasingly frightened we will abandon them to genocide.
The Iraq Army and Police units are much more capable than a year or two ago. Especially the Army, to the point that the Iraq Army Units in Mosul are conducting their own missions. They still need US support, but that's all they need.

Because the Iraq Soldiers have progressed to this point, US Troops have been reduced in the Mosul Area. It's not completely safe yet, but it's getting there. Not because of Washington Politicians, but because of the soldiers and officers that Iraq is growing towards Independence and Democracy.
Today, the clout still is partially from the gun, and definitely the money is key, but there is an intangible and growing moral clout and it flows from an increasing respect among Iraqis for our military. Washington has no moral clout in Iraq. Washington looks like a circus act. The authority is coming from our military. The importance of this fact would be difficult to understate.
Iraq is a country that can be won. Iraq is a people who are becoming our allies.

Earmarks are Business as Usual for Congress

Ethics Reform It Ain't

Congress has proposed a 5 cent a gallon increase in the Gasoline Tax. The idea was floated after the Minneapolis I-35W Bridge Collapse to fund more Bridge Inspections. During a Presidential Press Conference August 9th President Bush was asked:
Q Mr. President, former Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Republican Don Young, says there are about 500 bridges around the country like the one that collapsed in Minneapolis last week. And Young and other Transportation Committee members are recommending an increase in federal gasoline taxes to pay for repairs. Would you be willing to go along with an increase in gasoline taxes of five cents a gallon or more?
Congress almost always favors Raising Taxes as the way to solve all problems. Why? Because all spending measures and especially Highway and Transportation appropriations are a favorite place for "Earmarks" (Pork Barrel Spending). "Earmarks" are not discretionary funds. They can only be spent for the designated purpose. It's the same as your employer designating part of your paycheck as only spendable for McDonald's "Happy Meals" as part of your yearly food budget. The President's response, on the other hand, was an intelligent 2 part answer.
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, Secretary Peters is gathering information and will report to the White House and report to the nation about what she finds about whether there are any structural design flaws that may be applicable to other bridges. She's in the process of gathering this information now.

The American people need to know that we're working hard to find out why the bridge did what it did so that we can assure people that the bridges over which they will be traveling will be safe. That's step one.
Step two of the President's answer was the attack on the current Earmark System as practiced by both parties in Congress.
You know, it's an interesting question about how Congress spends and prioritizes highway money. My suggestion would be that they revisit the process by which they spend gasoline money in the first place.

As you probably know, the Public Works Committee is the largest committee -- one of the largest committees in the House of Representatives. From my perspective, the way it seems to have worked is that each member on that committee gets to set his or her own priority first, and then whatever is left over is spent through a funding formula. [aka "Earmark"] That's not the right way to prioritize the people's money. So before we raise taxes which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities. And if bridges are a priority, let's make sure we set that priority first and foremost before we raise taxes. [emphasis mine]
As President Regan said: "The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much."

President Bush's answer goes to the heart of the Earmark problem. It's a method for members of Congress to accept Legal Bribes. It works like this. A member of Congress needs money to be re-elected. Therefore in exchange for Political Contributions to my re-election fund, I will "Earmark" funds in a budget appropriation measure for your company. In other words, each "Earmark" represents a member of Congress saying "I'm for sale". Since many in Congress put family members to work in their re-election campaign. Their wives, children and other family members are paid for this work out of the contributions.

When the Democrats assumed the majority position in both the House and Senate, they promised to reform the "Earmark" process. "Earmarks" are very hard to track. There is no database listing of who requests what and why. Basically there is no accountability.

Recently both the Senate and House passed "Earmark" reform as part of the Ethics Legislation. As yet they have not sent the Legislation for the President's Signature, because they are afraid of a Presidential veto, according to an Op-Ed piece in today's on-line Opinion of the Wall Street Journal (The Price is Wrong)
In a sign of just how deeply entrenched Congress's pork barrel culture has become, Democrats on Capitol Hill are delaying sending President Bush an ethics bill they've already passed that purports to reform lobbyist reporting and earmarks. The reason? They're afraid Mr. Bush will veto the bill, which makes only cosmetic changes on the earmark process, gutting the reforms Congress voted earlier this year. The White House has called what remains "worthless."
To give you an idea of the amounts of Millions of Dollars tied up in "Earmarks" the article make this statement.
Why the game of chicken? Earmarks are now a major industry on Capitol Hill, accounting, for example, for nearly 10% of the last transportation bill. As Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma points out, they also serve as a "gateway drug" used to buy votes for much bigger-ticket spending bills like the 2003 Medicare prescription-drug entitlement.
As the article points out, the practice of "Earmarks" cannot be defended on its merits. It is a form of Non-Competitive Bidding for Government (Our Taxpayer) Dollars.
Concealing just how the pork-barrel culture works is important to congressmen in both parties, because the process can't really be defended on the merits. Nothing illustrates that better than the exchange that took place just before Congress broke for its August recess between Democratic Rep. John Murtha, the overlord of spending on the House Appropriations Committee, and GOP Rep. John Campbell, a antipork reformer from California.

Mr. Campbell, a certified accountant, rose to challenge a $2 million earmark for a "paint shield" being developed by the Sherwin-Williams Co. in Cleveland. Since the actual sponsor of the earmark, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, chose not to defend her handiwork, Mr. Murtha took up the cudgel on her behalf. Mr. Campbell simply wanted to know if the Pentagon had asked for the paint shield, since the rationale for the spending was that it would "protect people against microbial threats."
Read the full article, as I can't really do it the justice it deserves. This article points to one of the reasons Congress has such a low approval rating. We can pressure Congress to change, and a Bush Veto of the "Ethics Reform" Legislation would help, because the ensuing debate will be entertaining and enlightening. The final paragraph of the article is telling.
Members of Congress like to think of themselves in pursuing the national interest in a dignified manner. Exposing how earmarks really work would make maintaining that image all the more difficult. Members would much prefer to keep the game show going and keep the details of who foots the bill hidden behind the curtain.
For more on the "Earmark" sham, Robert Novak has an article today too. (House of Corruption?)
[Republican Rep. Jeff] Flake insisted on debating the most egregious of the [Defense appropriations] bill's 1,300 earmarks placed in the Defense money bill by individual House members that authorize spending in their districts. Defending every such earmark was the chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee: Democratic Rep. John Murtha, unsmiling and unresponsive to questions posed on the House floor by Flake. [emphasis mine]
This is not a Republican/Democrat issue. It is an Ethics Issue which crosses all party lines and taints most members of Congress.
Democrats and Republicans, as always, locked arms supporting every earmark. It makes no difference that at least seven House members are under investigation by the Justice Department. A bipartisan majority insists on sending taxpayers money to companies in their districts without competitive bidding or public review. [emphasis mine]