Daily Wisdom

September 30, 2009

For The Record

Hat-tip to Heirborn Ranger. Be sure to check out all these videos...

September 23, 2009

ObamaCare: The Musical

Hat-tip to C.Wolski...

September 18, 2009

How The World Works

This guy is great! Be sure to check out his site from time to time by going here...


September 17, 2009

Juan Williams and Obama's Scary Critics

Juan Williams of NPR wrote a piece yesterday, which was a "Special" to the Daily News, and to which I must take exception. You can read the article HERE. In his article, Williams suggests that the "attacks" against President Obama are not only racially motivated, but they are even "scarier" than that...

The pattern of attacks on Obama suggests that there are people who don't accept the idea that this man, the first black man to win the highest office in the land, is really the President. These critics seem less interested in arguing about health care proposals than in building the case that Obama is not legitimately our national leader.

Williams then briefly mentions the debate over his qualifications to be president -- a reference to the clause in the U.S. Constitution that requires the president to be a "natural born citizen". But Williams mis-characterizes the debate by saying that to meet this constitutional requirement, presidents must be "native-born". This is a common misconception, and fails to recognize that there is a difference between "native-born" and "natural born" citizens.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Constitution uses terms like "natural born citizen" (and others), which it does not define elsewhere in the document. Making matters worse, the Congress and the courts have failed to provide an exact definition for the term "natural born citizen". Thus, we can only rely upon what we believe to be the generally accepted definition of the term "natural born citizen" when the Constitution was written.

As such, we know that our Founding Fathers relied heavily upon the writings of Emmerich de Vattel, who wrote The Law of Nations, or, Principles of the Law of Nature in 1758. According to the 'Preface to the 1999 Digital Edition' of this work...

This 1758 work by Swiss legal philosopher Emmerich de Vattel is of special importance to scholars of constitutional history and law, for it was read by many of the Founders of the United States of America, and informed their understanding of the principles of law which became established in the Constitution of 1787.

In Section 212 of de Vattel's work, he defines "natural born citizen" this way...

The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. [emphasis added]

Thus, a compelling case can be made that Barack Obama is not a "natural born citizen" because even while he may have been "native-born" in the United States, only one of his parents was a U.S. citizen. Barack Obama has publicly acknowledged that his father was a Kenyan and therefore a British subject at the time of his birth. Emmerich de Vattel goes on to say...

The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children... in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen. [emphasis added]

Juan Williams, having thus mis-characterized at least one important aspect of the debate, then goes on to make an inaccurate claim saying that, "They make this argument even when all Hawaiian documents, officials and news stories of his birth conclusively prove he is an American" [emphasis added]. But that is simply not true.

Barack Obama has only released a short-form "Certification of Live Birth". He has yet to release his long-form "Birth Certificate". There is an important difference here. A "Certification of Live Birth" merely certifies that a baby was born, and it should be noted that the State of Hawaii at the time of Obama's birth (1961) issued such certifications to parents of children who were born in other states and/or other countries. And while Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Hawaii's DOH Director, has said that she has "personally seen and verified" Senator Obama's "original birth certificate", she never said that it proves anything, "conclusively" or otherwise.

But let us assume for the time being that Barack Obama's birth certificate is completely in order, and that he was in fact born in Hawaii, and that the hospital of birth is listed, and that the delivering doctor has signed the document. We are forced to assume this of course, because Obama has never released it and wants us to accept it on faith. "Blessed is he who has not seen and yet believes."

But this still only tells us that Obama was born in America. As Juan Williams states, it proves to us only that Barack Obama is an "American". However, it still does not address the issue of his eligibility as a "natural born citizen". A Hawaiian birth does not in and of itself make Obama eligible to be president.

Williams goes on to say, "There are critics who claim he is Muslim, not a Christian despite all testimony about his years in the controversial church of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright." Well, as to whether or not Obama is a "closet Muslim" is impossible to say, but I think it is very unlikely. To the best of my knowledge, he has never unrolled a prayer mat and started praying in the direction of Mecca. Therefore, if he is a Muslim, he is not a very good one.

However, we should recognize that Obama pays much greater respect to Islam than he does to Christianity. He had Christian symbols covered up before he gave a speech at Georgetown University, yet took off his shoes in accordance with Muslim tradition at a Turkish mosque. And it should be pointed out that Jeremiah Wright was himself a former Muslim who embraced a brand of theology that is closer to something his friend Louis Farrakhan might preach, than to something that Jesus Christ might recognize.

Barack Obama said on his campaign website, "I am not and have never been a Muslim." After becoming President, White House press spokesman Robert Gibbs repeated Obama's statement. And that statement is currently on the Organizing for America website. Yet, Barack Obama has failed to release any documents pertaining to his college education such as entrance applications, transcripts, theses, etc. But why? Is it perhaps because some of those documents might contain a statement by Obama that his professed religion was Islam? It is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Is this speculation? Of course it is. But the point here is that President Obama has only himself to blame for these "scary" critics that Juan Williams speaks of. Having promised to be the most "open and transparent" president in history, Obama has failed to live up to that promise thus fueling such speculation. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the yet unanswered questions about Barack Obama create a vacuum that seeks to be filled. Without facts, speculation is the only 'substance' which can fill the gap.

Clearly, Obama has it in his power to end the rumors and fill the vacuum by supplying us with the truth. We could assume that he has nothing to hide, but he has spent what is estimated at tens of thousands of dollars to prevent the release of his personal information -- information that should be readily available to the American public anyway. He has done nothing to end the speculation, and everything to encourage the rumor-mongers.

Williams goes on saying, "Then there are claims that Obama is a Socialist who is trying to subvert America." What President Obama's intentions are, is difficult to say. But that he is a socialist is almost certain, despite any claims to the contrary. He was raised in part by a mother who was an atheist and, according to Obama, a "secular humanist". He was raised in part by his grandparents, who were friends with Frank Marshall Davis -- an avowed communist and labor union activist. Davis became Obama's mentor as Obama himself states in his own book. Obama himself attests to having participated in socialist meetings and conferences before going off to college.

He was a member of the New Party -- a socialist organization. He participated in events put on by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) -- self-described as the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. As a community organizer, he worked with ACORN and even defended them in a legal suit. He is an avowed disciple of Saul Alinsky who wrote "Rules for Radicals". He was friends with Bill Ayers, an unrepentant left-wing terrorist. His election was heavily funded by George Soros -- a socialist and globalist. He told "Joe the Plumber" that we need to "spread the wealth around".

During the campaign, Barack Obama told us to judge him by the people he surrounds himself with. Based on that standard, he must be a collectivist, statist, socialist and/or communist because those are the kind of people he has surrounded himself with. He has appointed nearly three dozen "czars" which are unaccountable to the Congress or the taxpayers, and who can rewrite government policy at their own discretion -- or Obama's. He nominated a Supreme Court Justice, who in her own words said that the bench is where "policy is made".

He tried to take control of the banks by seeking to have them convert their preferred stock into common stock, which would have given the government voting rights. He effectively took control of General Motors and fired the CEO. In the case of Chrysler Motors, he violated the bankruptcy laws and transferred wealth from secured bondholders to the auto unions. He's been pushing for a public option in the health care reform bill, which is merely a stepping-stone to a single-payer national health care system. Obama himself said he favors a single-payer system. A national health care system would effectively give the government control over one sixth of the entire U.S. economy. He wants to implement a climate bill, which is nothing more than a gigantic energy tax that will bring hundreds of billions of dollars into the federal government, and which will strictly regulate both energy companies and energy users. If this is not socialism, then what is?

Juan Williams then goes on to suggest that Joe Wilson's shout "You lie!" was racially motivated...

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) ratcheted up the racial heat when he shouted out "You lie!" as the President spoke to Congress. No white President - that is to say all who have come before - has ever had to put up with such contempt. There is a circumstantial case to be made that Wilson, with a history of membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and support for flying the Confederate flag over his state's capitol, is not above playing racial politics.

Aside from being almost laughable, Juan really had to stretch to come up with that one. Perhaps being an African-American himself, Juan is overly-sensitive to criticism of our nation's first African-American President. I have noted similar sentiments by African-American commenters at other websites. I'm sure that Juan's head tells him it ain't so, but he may have problems getting his heart to go along.

African-Americans swelled with pride following the election of Barack Obama. But even then some expressed concern that an Obama failure might be a reflection on all of them. If African-Americans took Obama's election victory so personally, then it is only fair to assume that they are likewise taking his criticisms personally as well. That is a mistake, and it can only lead to negative consequences. While it may be true that are yet some traces of unextinguished racism in this country, the fire has been under control for a long time. Obama's election proves that.

Finally, Juan makes a statement that I can agree with, but for a very different reason. I might have said the same thing myself, but come to a very different conclusion...

At some point, it is hard to ignore the common thread in this criticism: It is an effort to say that Obama is not one of us, not like us. And at that point, it is not crazy to ask the critics if they mean he is not one of them because of the color of his skin.

I think it is correct to say that Obama's critics (myself included) feel that he "is not one of us, not like us." His father was a British subject -- most of ours were American. His mother was an atheist and secular humanist -- most of ours were not. He was mentored as a youth by a communist -- most of us were not. He participated in socialist meetings and conferences -- most of us did not. He went to Harvard -- most of us did not. He was a community organizer -- we were not. He is a friend of ACORN -- we are not. He is a disciple of Saul Alinsky -- we are not. He went to church where the pastor bad-mouthed America for 20 years -- we did not. He is friends with unrepentant terrorists -- we are not. He believes in spreading the wealth around -- we do not. He enjoys the company of statists, collectivists, socialists and communists -- we do not.

Allow me to go on. We believe in the Constitution -- he wants to change it. We believe in the rule of law -- he subverts it. We are conservative -- he is progressive. He wants to cut Medicare -- we do not. He wants to raise taxes -- we do not. He wants higher energy prices -- we do not. He wants to curtail the use of coal, oil and gas -- we want to drill here, and drill now. He does not cling to guns, God and religion -- we do. He does not think we are a Christian nation -- we do. He apologizes for America -- we do not. He is ashamed of America -- we are not.

Trust me Juan, it has little or nothing at all to do with the color of his skin.

September 16, 2009

Health Care Requires...

September 13, 2009

Global Warming News - August 2009

Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics

United States
NOAA officially acknowledged that the month of July was unusually cool in the northeast, midwest and southeast, while warmer than normal in the west...

US temp anomalies (Click to enlarge)

In fact, NOAA also said that some states had their record coldest July ever...

State temp rankings - July (Click to enlarge)

On August 5th, the Yosemite Blog advised that the National Weather Service had issued a Severe Weather Alert for the central Sierra (including Yosemite). An unseasonable low pressure area was moving in over Central California, bringing with it some wild weather. Thunderstorms were expected at the lower elevations, but snow was expected at the higher elevations, down to about 8500 feet.

If you’re going to Tuolumne Meadows or Tioga Pass tomorrow take tire chains, warm clothes and a camera. I've never seen it snow in August in my lifetime.

On August 18th, the L.A. Times was reporting a record low temp for Lancaster. It was an "unusually cool summer... in Southern California." First came 40 straight days -- from late May to the end of June -- when downtown L.A. and LAX had below-average temperatures. Then July ended cooler than normal, despite a few scorchers. August is generally the hottest month of the year, but this August has been unusually mild. Weather experts said this summer has been cooler than average.

Near the end of August, temperatures started to fall in the northeast. There were frost warnings in New Hampshire as reported by Breitbart TV...

In Washington DC, some were suggesting that this year's cooler weather was responsible for a downturn in murders. Homicides there were down more than 25% from last year, after two years of increases. If the trend continues, the District will have the lowest homicide count since JFK took office. The dramatic downtown occurred as the city experienced an abnormally cool summer with average temperatures for May, June and July being a full three degrees below average for the past three decades. Some experts are wondering if the big chill is allowing cooler heads to prevail on city streets.

"The hard science is not conclusive," said George Washington University criminologist Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor. But "it's probably true that the cooler weather is responsible for the drop in violent crime. Any beat cop will tell you that a cooler summer means safer streets." Florida International University criminal justice professor Ellen G. Cohn said there was no direct link between weather and homicides, but cooler temperatures often correlate to fewer violent crimes -- and even less violent attitudes. When it's hot, "horn honking and property crimes are going up, with rape, riots, robberies and 911 calls in general."

In Indianapolis, August was ending on a cool note. The high temp for August 30th was only 71F. The record high for August 30th was in 1953 when temperatures soared to 97F. Last year, it was 88F. The normal temperature for this time of year is 82F.

On the same day, it was being reported that South Dakota was also experiencing cooler-than-normal temps. According to NorthWestern Energy, which provides electricity and natural gas to some 656,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, the mild summer has kept residents from flipping on their air conditioners. Customers in the state used a total of 20,000 less megawatts of electricity in July 2009 compared to July 2008. The difference, from 148,000 megawatt hours last year to 128,000 this year, would be enough to power about 26,667 homes for a month.

Likewise, parts of northeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin were under a late summer frost warning, and residents there were told that they should consider protecting their sensitive plants. The National Weather Service was warning that a cold ridge of high pressure would settle over the area, which would create the perfect conditions for a quick drop in the temperature into the mid-30s, and possibly below freezing in spots. The frost warning came during an unseasonable cold snap in the area. The weather service repored that the high temperature in the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on August 29th was 62 degrees -- which set a new record for the lowest high temperature on that day for the town.

On August 31st, Dayton Ohio experienced its coolest August morning in 22 years. At 46F, the National Weather Service said it was approaching Dayton’s record low of 42 degrees set in 1915. Charlie Woodrum, meteorologist at the NWS Wilmington office, said the normal low for August 31st is 59 degrees. To put the brisk weather in perspective, temperatures didn’t drop as low as 46 degrees for the entire month of September last year, Woodrum said. The average temperature for August was 71.4 degrees, 1.0 degree below normal. July’s average temperature of 69.6 degrees was 4.7 degrees below normal. It was Dayton's second coolest July on record.

Also on August 31st, Chicago ended the month with near-record low temps. The record low of 47 degrees was set in 1872. At O'Hare Airport and at Midway Airport, it was 49 degrees. In Waukegan Illinois, it was 48 degrees, and in Aurora it was a mere 41 degrees. Overall in Chicago, this August was hardly what one would call the dog days of summer. There was only one day (August 9th) where the temperatures reached the 90s. On average, temperatures in Chicago were 6.67 degrees below normal from August 20th through the end of the month. From August 27th through the end of the month, temperatures were an average of 10.6 degrees below normal. The coldest day was Sunday, August 30th, at 13 degrees below normal, followed by Thursday, August 27th, at 12 degrees below normal.

Northeast Kansas experienced what Matt Miller at the Lawrence Weather Watch described as "A very unusual summer"...

We've seen temperatures in the 70s more often than we've had highs in the 90s. In fact, only 23 days through all of June, July and August topped 90. What is more surprising is that 12 days in June topped 90, but only 11 in July and August combined. What has happened has been a long-lasting jet stream pattern that is favorable for heat in the South Central and Western United States, but much cooler-than-average temperatures across much of the Midwest and Northeast. It's not that it's unusual to have this pattern set up in the summer ... at some point. The amazing thing about the Pseudo-Summer of 2009 is that we've had this pattern for the better part of two months.

--Matt Miller, , 31 August 2009

NOAA's temperature data for August showed the central portion of the U.S. as below normal...

US temp anomalies - August (Click to enlarge)

US temps by division - August (Click to enlarge)

US temps State rankings - August (Click to enlarge)

Scientific Opinion

Answering 3 Simple Questions: On August 3rd, Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and David R. Legates, a Professor of Geography and the Delaware State Climatologist, asked why it seems so difficult to get straight answers from AGW alarmists to 3 simple questions. Australian Senator Steve Fielding recently posed three questions regarding climate change to Minister Penny Wong and her Department of Climate Change.

The questions were: 1) Has the world cooled since 1998, despite a five per cent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations? 2) Is the late 20th century warming unusual and, if not, then why is the current warming a problem? and, 3) Do all IPCC computer models project a "steady" increase in temperature for the period 1990 to 2008?

According to Soon and Legates, the "answers" Fielding received "often evaded the issues... and mostly discussed peripheral, if related, issues." Meanwhile, The Australian published an independent attempt to answer Senator Fielding’s questions by Professor Neville Nicholls. Again according to Soon and Legates, Professor Nicholls’ answers were "as misleading as the Department of Climate Change’s were beside the point."

In the opinion of Soon and Legates, the "straight" answers to Fielding's questions are: 1) Yes, temperatures did fall after 1998 while carbon dioxide rose; 2) Yes, late 20th century warming was indeed not unusual in either its rate of change or magnitude; and, 3) Yes, all IPCC models did project warming through a ten year period when instead cooling occurred.

Taken together, the correct answers to Senator Fielding’s questions indicate that the hypothesis of dangerous global warming caused by human carbon dioxide emissions is invalid. It follows that costly emissions trading legislation is at best pointless.

--Soon and Legates, Answering 3 Simple Questions, 3 August 2009

You can read the whole article HERE

Late Start For Tropical Storms: Also on August 3rd, Dr. Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D. asked why there seemed to be no media coverage of the fact that there had been no tropical storms yet...

As can be seen in the following graphic, as of this date in 2005 we already had 8 named storms in the Atlantic basin. And tomorrow, August 4, that number will increase to 9. In 2005 we were even told to expect more active hurricane seasons from now on because of global warming. Of course, even though it is interesting that the 2009 tropical season is off to such a slow start, it may well have no significance in terms of long-term trends. But the lack of news coverage on the subject does show the importance of unbiased reporting when it comes to global warming. Let me explain...

The public expects – or used to expect – the media to report on all sides of important issues, so that we can be better informed on the state of the world... But reporting on heat-related events while ignoring cold temperature records or events that do not support the claims of global warming theorists, will lead to a bias in the way the public views climate change.

--Dr. Roy W. Spencer, STILL No Tropical Storms? Must Be Global Warming, 3 August 2009

No tropical storms (Click to enlarge)

Dr. Roy W. Spencer is a climatologist, author and former NASA scientist. You can read the whole article HERE.

Cyclone Energy Index Down: According to Ryan N. Maue, a researcher at Florida State University, the Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index continued to drop through the end of June after having reached a peak at the end of 2005. From the graph below, you can see that during the last half-century, only 1993 reached a higher peak of cyclone energy than 2005 (the year of Hurricane Katrina). Since then, cyclone energy has been plummeting, and is very close to its lowest level in 50 years.

Cyclone Energy Index (Click to enlarge)

Hurricane Forecast Reduced: Almost as if in response to Dr. Spencer's queries, on August 5th an article appeared discussing revised projections from hurricane experts at the Colorado State University. The number of projected hurricanes in the north Atlantic this season was reduced to four, two of them expected to be major hurricanes with winds above 178 kilometers (111 miles) per hour. The revised projection came following one of the calmest starts to the hurricane season in a decade.

"We continue to call for a below-average Atlantic basin tropical cyclone season in 2009. We also anticipate a below-average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall," said Philip Klotzbach and William Gray of Colorado State University. They now project that there will be 10 named tropical storms this season, of which four will become hurricanes, and two of those major hurricanes. Their earlier forecast in June had predicted 11 tropical storms and five hurricanes. "The last time a storm didn't form until August 5 was back in 1992", Klotzbach said. He added, however, that "a quiet start of the season doesn't necessarily mean that the remainder of the season is going to be quiet."

On August 7th, NOAA also announced that it was predicting a quieter hurricane season. The new "likely" range according to NOAA -- calculated at a 70 percent chance -- is 7 to 11 named storms, with 3 to 6 becoming hurricanes. Of those, 1 to 2 are expected to turn into major storms with Category 3 winds of 111 miles per hour or higher.

German Scientists Dissent: Marc Morano at Climate Depot reported on August 4th, that over 60 German scientists signed a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel declaring their dissent against man-made global warming fears, declaring it a "pseudo religion", that CO2 increases have "had no measurable effect" on temperatures, and that the "UN IPCC has lost its scientific credibility". Morano updated the article on August 9th, saying that 64 more scientists endorsed the Open Letter to Merkel, bringing the number of German scientists who signed the letter to over 130.

You can read the whole article and the full text of the letter HERE.

Physicist Calls Alarmists Charlatans: On August 4th, physicist Gordon J. Fulks, Ph.D., wrote an opinion piece in the Oregonian, in which he refers to man-made global warming alarmists as "charlatans"...

Charlatans use every opportunity to promote climate hysteria, claiming that the global temperature is rising inexorably. Yet they overwhelmingly lack training in physics and meteorology. And the best satellite data show that the Earth as a whole has been gradually cooling for a decade. They love "green science" because it is wonderfully suited to selling expensive climate "solutions" to the scientifically challenged. Never mind that it is neither green nor science, just politics...

Real science is based on real evidence that can be independently verified, not on testimonials from those funded by politicians. Real evidence of climate change is easy to find. Real evidence that man caused it via greenhouse gases is completely missing.

--Gordon J. Fulks, Ph.D., Heat Wave, Yes, Warming, No, 4 August 2009

Gordon J. Fulks received a BS in Physics in 1967 and went on to get an MS and Ph.D. in Physics, all from the University of Chicago. He worked initially for the Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Enrico Fermi Institute of the University of Chicago doing experimental research on the solar modulation of galactic cosmic rays. He also worked for a think-tank in Santa Barbara, California, primarily supporting the US Defense Nuclear Agency on nuclear weapon effects. You can read the rest of his bio (PDF) HERE. You can read his whole article in the Oregonian HERE.

Cosmic Rays Linked To Climate: According to an article at the Watts Up With That? blog, Henrik Svensmark has written a new paper which Anthony Watts describes as "a doozy". The Svensmark paper, entitled "Cosmic Ray Decreases Affect Atmospheric Aerosols And Clouds", can be found (PDF) HERE. Svensmark concludes that "a link between the sun, cosmic rays, aerosols, and liquid-water clouds appears to exist on a global scale."

It should be noted that the IPCC has admitted clouds are the largest source of uncertainty in their global warming projections (IPCC, 2007). The formation of low clouds cools the climate system, but all (21) IPCC climate models decrease global average cloud cover in response to any global warming influence, such as that from man-made CO2 emissions, thus amplifying the warming effect of CO2. Because of the apparent relationship between higher surface temperatures and cloud formation, it has even been suggested by some that the presence of clouds produces warming, rather than warming producing the clouds through increased evaporation!

A link between cosmic rays and cloud formation has been suspected for a long time, and the affect of this phenomenon on climate change has been widely debated. Svensmark, of the Danish Space Research Institute in Copenhagen, originally proposed that cosmic rays -- high-energy particles that bombard Earth from space -- could be affecting the Earth's climate as far back as the 1990s. However, the IPCC felt that there were significant uncertainties in Svensmark’s theory, and they did not include cosmic rays as a possible cause of climate change in their assessment reports, including their latest report issued in 2007.

According to Anthony Watts...

This paper confirms 13 years of discoveries that suggest a key role for cosmic rays in climate change [emphasis added]. It links observable variations in the world’s cloudiness to laboratory experiments in Copenhagen showing how cosmic rays help generate atmospheric aerosols. This is important, because it confirms the existence of a sun-earth atmospheric modulation mechanism for clouds and aerosols. It is seen in an event called a 'Forbush Decrease'... A Forbush Decrease is a rapid decrease in the observed galactic cosmic ray [count, following a solar] coronal mass ejection (CME). It occurs due to the magnetic field of the plasma solar wind sweeping some of the galactic cosmic rays away from Earth.

--Anthony Watts, A Link Between The Sun, Cosmic Rays, Aerosols, And Liquid-Water Clouds..., 4 August 2009

In other words, as scientific research advances, the UN IPCC is left with supporting studies and data which grows ever more obsolete. It also means that their computer models become ever more irrelavent, as they are shown to not have accounted for important new variables. You can read the whole article HERE.

Debate Over About Ice Ages: According to another article at Watts Up With That?, the debate is now over about what caused the periodic ice ages to ocur on Earth over the past 2.5 million years and more specifically, how they ended. A team of researchers from Oregon State University and other institutions, have concluded that the ice ages were caused by changes in the shape of Earth's orbit, and by the changes in the angle of the Earth's axis relative to the sun...

“We can calculate changes in the Earth’s axis and rotation that go back 50 million years,” [Peter Clark, a professor of geosciences at OSU] said. “These are caused primarily by the gravitational influences of the larger planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn, which pull and tug on the Earth in slightly different ways over periods of thousands of years.”

That, in turn, can change the Earth’s axis – the way it tilts towards the sun – about two degrees over long periods of time, which changes the way sunlight strikes the planet. And those small shifts in solar radiation were all it took to cause multiple ice ages during about the past 2.5 million years on Earth, which reach their extremes every 100,000 years or so.

--Oregon State University, Media Release, 6 August 2009

Changes in Earth's orbit (not to scale)

It should also be pointed out, that the group studied the mechanism for the melting of the ice sheets at the end of these various ice ages...

The melting was first caused by more solar radiation, not changes in carbon dioxide levels or ocean temperatures, as some scientists have suggested in recent years. “Solar radiation was the trigger that started the ice melting, that’s now pretty certain,” said Peter Clark, a professor of geosciences at OSU. “There were also changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and ocean circulation, but those happened later and amplified a process that had already begun.” [emphasis added]

--Oregon State University, Media Release, 6 August 2009

You can read the whole article HERE.

32 Spotless Days: According to a chart at Solaemon's Spotless Days Page, the sun was completely spotless from July 31st through August 31st (a period of 32 days). This ranks it as the sixteenth longest spotless period since 1849. The chart was last updated on September 1st, so this spotless period may be even longer.

Spotless Sun - August 28th

Ice Sheets Not Collapsing: In the August 2009 issue of the AIG News -- Australian Institute of Geoscientists -- Cliff Ollier and Colin Pain have written a paper explaining why the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are not "collapsing" as some alarmists have suggested. Here is an excerpt...

Global warming alarmists have suggested that the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica may collapse, causing disastrous sea level rise. This idea is based on the concept of an ice sheet sliding down an inclined plane on a base lubricated by meltwater, which is itself increasing because of global warming.

In reality the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets occupy deep basins, and cannot slide down a plane. Furthermore glacial flow depends on stress (including the important yield stress) as well as temperature, and much of the ice sheets are well below melting point.

The accumulation of kilometres of undisturbed ice in cores in Greenland and Antarctica (the same ones that are sometimes used to fuel ideas of global warming) show hundreds of thousands of years of accumulation with no melting or flow. Except around the edges, ice sheets flow at the base, and depend on geothermal heat, not the climate at the surface. It is impossible for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to ‘collapse’.

--Ollier and Pain, Why the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets Are Not Collapsing (PDF), August 2009

You can read the whole paper (PDF) HERE.

Vostok Record Suggests No AGW: On August 24th, Anthony Watts posted some research done by R. Taylor who reviewed data from the Vostok Record which suggests that man-made CO2 is not having an effect on the climate, hence no AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming). The Vostok Record, is a series of ice core drillings made at the Vostok Station in Antarctica. It has provided us with proxy data on the climate going back 420,000 years.

In the following graph, you can see the correlation between temperature and CO2 levels. Temperature varies within a range of about 13 degrees C. CO2 varies within a range of about 120 ppm. And changes in temperature precede corresponding changes in CO2...

Vostok Record (Click to enlarge)

In other words, CO2 changes appear to lag temperature changes. As temperature increases, CO2 levels will start to increase as well, but years later. Conversely, as temperatures decrease, CO2 levels also start to decrease, but years later. To prove this, Taylor developed a relatively simple model that would mathematically predict CO2 levels at any point in time based on a time lag where temperature drives CO2. Compare the results of his model in the following graph to the graph above...

Model Predicting CO2 (Click to enlarge)

It is by no accident that Taylor only used data prior to the year "0". Taylor purposely ignored data from the last 2000 years in order to minimize any effects caused by man-made CO2. Taylor then asks us to focus our attention on the last 11,000 years, during which time humans have affected the equilibrium between temeperature ("T") and CO2...

Man-made CO2 & temperature (Click to enlarge)

The most recent CO2 determination from the ice-core has a date of about 340 BCE. We can add an early-industrial-era value of 290 ppm at 1800 CE and a value of 365 ppm at 2000 CE to provide figure 4. The scaling in the figure is consistent with the equilibrium model that fits the overall Vostok record, where a change of 1 °C in T causes a change of 10 ppm in CO2.

T and CO2 appear to have been in equilibrium until about 3000 BCE. Over the 5,000 years since then, CO2 has risen increasingly above its natural equilibrium. By 1800 CE, CO2 had risen to a level comparable to the highest in the Vostok record. During this time, T declined at a rate of 0.1 °C per thousand years, indicating again that CO2 has no apparent effect on T. The trends of this 5,000-year interval of excess CO2 are consistent with the equilibrium model, in which T is independent of CO2.

--R.Taylor, Atmospheric Temperature and Carbon Dioxide: Feedback or Equilibrium?, 24 August 2009

Political Opinion

Nobel Halo Fades For IPCC: On August 3rd, the New York Times ran a story by Andrew Revkin, which the Times itself described as discussing the "challenges facing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change"...

The work of the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore. After two decades of delivering climate reports to the world without fanfare, it suddenly had a wide following. But as the panel gears up for its next climate review, many specialists in climate science and policy, both inside and out of the network, are warning that it could quickly lose relevance unless it adjusts its methods and focus...

Environmentalists assert that the reports by the panel are watered down... Some experts fret that the organization, charged with assessing fast-evolving science, has failed to keep pace with an explosion of climate research. At the same time, scientists who question the likelihood of a calamitous disruption of the Earth’s climate accuse the panel of cherry-picking studies and playing down levels of uncertainty about the severity of global warming. "It just feels like the IPCC has gone from being a broker of science to a gatekeeper," said John R. Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and a former panel author.

--Andrew Revkin, Nobel Halo Fades Fast for Climate Change Panel, 3 August 2009

According to the article, Dr. Neville Nicholls, a lead writer on several parts of the last IPCC report, submitted a chart at a meeting in Budapest last year showing that 4,500 climate studies were published in 2007, triple the total a decade earlier. The sheer volume of new information coming out "presents a daunting challenge", said Dr. Nicholls, a climate scientist at Monash University in Victoria, Australia.

Daunting indeed. The IPCC will have to work overtime to try and keep up with all the new scientific information that is coming out, much of it which questions the assumptions and conclusions of the IPCC.

You can read the whole article HERE.

APA Buys Into Climate Change Fears: On August 5th, a task force of American Psychological Association (APA) concluded that psychological barriers keep most Americans from acting to fight climate change. Quoting interesting statistics, the task force said most Americans (75-80% in a Pew Research Center poll) said climate change is an "important" issue, but still ranked it last in a list of 20 "compelling issues" such as the economy or terrorism.

The not-so-obvious conclusion which the APA draws from these statistics is that things like "uncertainty, mistrust and denial" are the root cause of this apparent discrepancy. In other words, the APA assumes that if 75-80% of Americans think an issue such as "climate change" is "important", yet are unwilling to act upon it immediately, then those Americans must be "in denial" that climate change will affect them, or "mistrustful" of climate change proponents, or "uncertain" about climate change as an obvious reality.

I find it completely implausible, that a group which claims to understand the human psyche, cannot fathom the relative distinction between these two different positions held by the American public. Simply put, many Americans may indeed consider climate change to be an "important" issue. Assuming that a substantial majority of Americans are not scientists, and therefore cannot determine for themselves whether climate change is in fact real or not, they are most likely to depend on the mass media for the basis of their opinions. The liberal mainstream media routinely states that climate change is an important issue. Therefore, the majority of Americans agree with the media that it is an important issue.

Yet, when asked to rank climate change against 19 other "compelling issues" of our day, it should come as no surprise that climate change comes in dead last. The polls suggest that the issue of "Jobs" is the #1 concern of Americans, followed closely by "The Economy", and "Deficit-Spending". With an official unemployment rate at 9.7% and the "real" unemployment rate between 16% and 17%, are we to be surprised that climate change is not at the top of people's list of concerns? It seems hard to believe that the American Psychological Association cannot understand something as basic as that.

Therefore, I can only surmise that the APA members on this task force have bought into climate change alarmism "hook-line-and-sinker". Why would they be so concerned that "people don't feel a sense of urgency" about climate change, "despite warnings from scientists that humans need to make changes now"? We can only conclude that these psychologists have been so "brainwashed" by the alarmists, that they must assume anyone who is not an active climate change advocate must be mentally deficient or hampered.

Renewable Energy Sources Will Strain Grid: According to an article at Bloomberg News, President Barack Obama’s push for wind and solar energy carries a hidden cost: overburdening the nation’s electrical grid and increasing the threat of blackouts.

The funding Obama devoted to get high-voltage lines ready for handling the additional load of alternative supplies is less than 5 percent of the $130 billion that power users, producers and the U.S. Energy Department say is needed. Without more investment, cities can’t tap much of the renewable energy from remote areas, said Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He serves as the administration’s top official on grid issues and recognizes the dilemma it faces. "As we add more and more wind power, the grid will get more stressed, and there's going to be a point where the grid can't handle any more," Wellinghoff said at an energy conference in Chicago. "The first thing we need is to build out transmission."

--Christopher Martin and Mario Parker, Wind Promises Blackouts as Obama Strains Grid With Renewables, 7 August 2009

You can read the whole article HERE.

Political Climate For Energy Policies Cools: Jennifer Robison at the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote an article about the recent polls showing that Americans are more interested in jobs and the economy than climate change or energy policy...

Recent surveys show Americans cooling to global warming, and they're even less keen on environmental policies they believe might raise power bills or imperil jobs. Those sentiments could mean a tougher road ahead for elected officials looking to fund investments in renewable power or install a carbon cap-and-trade system.

"Right now, Americans are more concerned about the economy than the environment," said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll. "The politician who says, 'I'm going to cripple jobs and shut down factories' would be in trouble in this economy."

Here's what Gallup found: The number of Americans who say the media have exaggerated global warming jumped to a record 41 percent in 2009, up from 35 percent a year ago. The most marked increase came among political independents, whose ranks of doubters swelled from 33 percent to 44 percent. Republican doubters grew from 59 percent to 66 percent, while Democratic skeptics stayed at around 20 percent.

--Jennifer Robison, Political Climate For Energy Policies Cools, 9 August 2009

Other polls and studies are reviewed in the article, most of which seem to agree with the Gallup findings. However, Daniel Weiss, a senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, says those findings are wrong. "I don't accept their premise. I think the Gallup Poll is mistaken," said Weiss, who pointed to a Pew Environmental Group poll that found 77 percent of voters want lawmakers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and 55 percent said efforts to curb global warming will create jobs. [Editor's Note: The poll was actually conducted by the Mellman Group, a Democratic firm, and released by the Pew Environmental Group. See HERE.]

Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think-tank, said "I think there's a huge amount of skepticism among the public. They've heard all these claims, and now they've been informed that there isn't any recent warming," Ebell said. "The public, without having a lot of information about it, is pretty astute. I think the alarmists are having a hard time making the case for global warming simply because reality is against them and the public has figured it out."

You can read the whole article HERE.

Greenpeace Leader Admits Scare Tactics: According to a post by John Hinderaker at the Power Line Blog, retiring head of Greenpeace, Gerd Leipold, admitted in a BBC interview that his organization's claim that the Arctic ice sheet will melt by 2030 is probably untrue. "I don't think it will be melting by 2030," said Leipold. Nevertheless, he justified the group's actions as "wise, and rational, and reasonable" by saying that "we, as a pressure group, have to emotionalize issues". In other words, they have to lie. Judge for yourself...

U.S. Chamber Seeks AGW Trial: According to an August 25th article in the L.A. Times, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change...

Chamber officials say it would be "the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" -- complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect.

"It would be evolution versus creationism," said William Kovacs, the chamber's senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. "It would be the science of climate change on trial."

The goal of the chamber, which represents 3 million large and small businesses, is to fend off potential emissions regulations by undercutting the scientific consensus over climate change. If the EPA denies the request, as expected, the chamber plans to take the fight to federal court.

--Jim Tankersley, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Seeks Trial On Global Warming, 25 August 2009

You can read the whole article HERE.

September 11, 2009

Crystal Morning

This comes from Evan Coyne Maloney at brain-terminal.com...

Evan is one of my heroes. You can see the video at his website HERE

September 10, 2009

Remember Kevin Wayne Yokum

On one bright morning in September 2001, Kevin Wayne Yokum and 183 other innocent people were murdered at the Pentagon in Washington DC. Five Islamic terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 on 11 September 2001 less than 35 minutes into the flight, with 64 passengers aboard. The flight left Reagan National Airport bound for Los Angeles, but after being hijacked, it turned around and crashed into the western side of the Pentagon at approximately 09:37 a.m. EDT. All 64 people on board the aircraft and 125 in the building were killed, including the five hijackers (whom I have not counted among the "innocents"above).

Kevin was 27 years old. His hometown was Lake Charles, Louisiana, but he had moved to Maryland after being assigned to the Pentagon. He was an Information Systems Technician Second Class (IT2), in the U.S. Navy.

Kevin grew up with one brother and two sisters in Lake Charles, Louisiana, 40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and 50 miles from the Texas border. His brother, two years older, had joined the Army. After Kevin graduated from high school, he decided to become a Navy man.

Yokum traveled extensively on Navy ships -- Hawaii, Africa, South America -- according to his father, Allan L. Yokum. He had been based in San Diego, and was transferred to the Pentagon a few years prior to 9/11.

His sister, Trudie Ceasar, said Kevin came from a military family. He was a radio communications specialist. "The Navy is what he always wanted," she said. The two spoke by phone every Sunday in the years leading up to the tragedy. "Kevin was a fun-loving, silly guy," Ceasar said. "He was the life of every party."

According to an article by the US Dept. of Defense, his death came as a shock to Karen Saunders...

"Oh, my God, I didn't know that Kevin got killed!" Saunders exclaimed. Standing in a group of women looking at the large bulletin board full of pictures of people who died in the Pentagon terrorist attack [on] September 11, Saunders had come across the tribute to Navy Petty Officer 2nd class Kevin Wayne Yokum, a naval information systems technician.

Defense Department officials erected the three large bulletin boards around the Pentagon's River Parade Field, site of an October 11 "United in Memory" ceremony. Photographs and biographical sketches of those killed graced the exhibit.

"It just shocked me to see Kevin's picture on the board," Saunders said. "He worked on the fourth floor between Corridors 4 and 5 in the A Ring. He worked one floor under me, almost in the same position. I've been trying to figure out why, if he was in his office, he didn't make it out like we did. He must have been walking around on that side of the building. I can't think of any other way he would have gotten killed."

--Rudi Williams, Bulletin Board of Losses Tells Who They Were, What They Did, 12 October 2001

Perhaps Kevin was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Following the attacks of 9/11, IS2 Kevin Wayne Yokum was officially listed by the U.S. Navy as missing and presumed dead.

According to his U.S. Navy biographical information, Kevin enlisted in Houston, Texas, on 6 April 1992. His rank, effective 16 December 1997, was Information Systems Technician Second Class Petty Officer. He was 27 year old. His duty stations included:

Recruit Training Command, San Diego, CA -- 04/1992-06/1992

Service Schools Command, San Diego, CA -- 06/1992-09/1992

The USS Horne (CG 30) -- 10/1992-02/1994

The USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) 03/1994-10/1997

Chief of Naval Operations Telecommunications Center 10/1997-09/2001

Yokum when he served on the USS Horne

Awards and Decorations: Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal (2), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation.

Alan Ladd Yokum and his wife Beulah, held funeral services for their son, U.S. Navy Officer Kevin Wayne Yokum, at the First Community Baptist Church in Lake Charles, LA on 29 September 2001.

You were probably the nicest person I've met during my lifetime. You were never in conflict with anyone, and you were a very good listener. You were the kind of person that a lot of these youngsters could use as a role model. --Jerry Wilson (Class of '91), 23 January 2009

I grew up with Kevin in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We went to church together and sang in the choir. Kevin was a sweet and gentle soul. He always made everyone laugh. He made the bass in the choir really step it up. He had the most wonderful smile with dimples that showed he was definitely his mother's son, and his stature showed his father in him. --Natalie Chatman Hamilton, 30 July 2009

Kevin was the nicest person, a good cook, a comedian (in his own way), and friend to everyone. --Kema Moore, 10 September 2009

Never forget...

John Stossel on ObamaCare

Hat-tip to Grassfire.org

September 09, 2009

Liberty Lost?

To what depth have we fallen? To what rank have we been demoted, that 'We The People' can no longer exert any influence over that government which is "of the people, by the people, and for the people"? Did our forefathers fight and die so valiantly to obtain liberty, that we should now permit the chains of monarchy to be replaced by the chains of Congress?

It is unthinkable in our representative form of government, that statesmen should devolve into demagogues and tyrants imposing "mandates" on its citizens. Are we so free that we have no choice but to accept the yoke of government-mandated health care? Does our Constitution authorize the Congress to impose fines and penalties on the citizens of the United States because they choose not to purchase a product which they have no desire to obtain?

And what precedent shall this hegemony set? Shall Congress next mandate that 'We The People' purchase some other product which, in their opinion, is for some perceived "good"? Shall they next command what light bulbs to buy, what vehicles to drive, what clothes to wear, and what house to live in? Shall they next tell us what medicine we can have or what doctor we can see? Shall they tell us when it is time for us to die?

Are we so free that the government shall tell us where and when we can pray? Shall they tell us what we can or cannot say in public? Shall they tell us what radio programs we can or cannot listen to? Shall they impose upon us the chains of debt that we must force our children and grandchildren to wear? Shall we now be slaves on the Federal plantation?

Is this the country our Founding Fathers envisioned? Is this the freedom they so dearly cherished? Is this the America our soldiers fought and died for at Bunker Hill, the trenches of France, Normandy, Vietnam, or in Iraq and Afghanistan? Is this yet the "land of the free and the home of the brave"? Are we still winning "the perilous fight", or is this "the twilight's last gleaming" for American liberty?

September 04, 2009

Stimulus Spending And Job Growth: Update 3

In June I wrote an article called "Stimulus Spending And Job Growth". In the article, I pointed out that Barack Obama said his stimulus package would create approximately 4 million new jobs over two years. As you can see from the following graph, the trend of job loss continues. I have revised July's job losses according to the latest published figures. The number of jobs lost for the month of August was 216,000 which means that Obama's goal of 4 million new jobs in 24 months keeps getting more difficult to attain...

Instead of the 166,667 jobs per month he originally needed to reach his target, he now needs to create 360,111 jobs per month -- in order to make up for the 2,482,000 jobs that have been lost since the stimulus bill was signed. C'mon Mr. Obama... we haven't forgotten your promise, and we're still waiting.

September 03, 2009

My New Computer

Well, I finally took the plunge and bought a new computer. "Oooooh! Look at the pretty lights!" [Sorry about the picture quality, but in full daylight you can't hardly see the lights.] I got what they call a "bare bones kit"... in other words, 'some assembly required'. For $249.99 plus $1.99 shipping, I got a case with the power supply, a motherboard, a CPU (central processing unit) and fan, 2 gigabytes of RAM memory, and a 1 terabyte (1,000 gigabyte) hard drive. I supplied the monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, amplifier, DVD burner, front panel USB ports and floppy disk drive. They were left-overs from previous computer projects.

For those who are interested in such things, the CPU is an AMD Athlon™ II X2 running at a little over 2.8 GHz. The motherboard is a Gigabyte™ brand unit with built-in graphics and sound (so I didn't have to buy a video card or sound card). I'm running Windows™ XP Service Pack 2 as my main operating system, but I've set up the computer as a dual-boot machine running Linux (Ubuntu version) as an alternate operating system. I don't know much about Linux, but I want to learn.

The computer boots up noticeably quicker than my old computer, which is nice. It is also quieter. When I first turned on the machine, I thought something was wrong because I didn't hear anything. I had to put my hand over the fan outlet to make sure air was coming out. That's kind of nice too. Actually, there's nothing wrong with my old computer. It's been operating trouble-free for 6 years now. I built that one too, and (only by coincidence) it too is an AMD Athlon™ CPU on a Gigabyte™ brand motherboard. I bought this new computer mainly because I thought it was a great deal.

According to the website 'PCpitstop.com', my old computer ranks in the bottom 5% of all computers in the world. My new computer ranks in the top 17% of all the computers in the world. Quite a jump, eh? Frankly, it seems hard to believe that there's that much of a difference in the two, based on a side-by-side performance comparison. I think it simply boils down to a matter of statistics. My old computer is, well... 6 years old! And it wasn't 'state-of-the-art' when I built it. CPU's are now 3X faster. Video graphics are faster. RAM memory of 1, 2, or 4 Gigabytes is relatively common (versus 512 MB). Hard drives are WAY bigger, etc.

I've loaded most of my favorite programs onto the new computer and will slowly be transitioning from the old computer to the new computer. One program I will not be using on the new computer is Incredimail™. When I tried to install it on my new computer, it wanted me to pay for the 'Premium' version, even though I've already paid for the Premium version. Despite entering a valid license number, it refuses to allow me access to the benefits of the Premium version. Well, sorry! I'm not paying twice for a program I've already purchased. As a result, you may notice a difference in my future e-mails. There will be no emoticons, etc. Instead, I'll be using a free e-mail client called Thunderbird™ from Mozilla™, the same fine people who brought us the Firefox™ browser. It may be a bit boring, and my e-mail responses may be at the bottom instead of the top, but it's free (you can't beat the price), and it has a nice clean user interface.

OK, 'nuff for now. Happy computing y'all!

The Audacity of Hypocrisy

The response by Democrats to the recent news that New York Democrat Charlie Rangel "forgot" to disclose $600,000 in assets on his Senate financial disclosure form -- nearly doubling his net worth -- reveals the depth of their hypocrisy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) refused to remove Rangel as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, saying she wants the Ethics Committee to investigate him.

But Rangel is already under investigation for a disclosure last September that he failed to report income from a vacation property in the Dominican Republic. And that investigation was supposed to be wrapped up 9 months ago according to a deadline established by Pelosi herself. Her failure to pressure investigators to produce a report suggests she was simply hoping people would forget about it, and that the problem would fade away. No such luck.

Contrast this with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA operatives for "possible" wrong-doing regarding the interrogation of known terrorists. This despite the fact that he previously agreed with President Obama who said...

This is a time for reflection, not retribution. Nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past. For those who carried out... these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance... provided from the White House, I do not think it's appropriate for them to be prosecuted.

Holder had said, "It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department." Yet, he now has no qualms about reversing that position in what can only be described as a blatant political move to once again try and find fault with the previous administration. Bush-bashing it seems, is a popular sport in Obamaland.

It is certainly fair game to question Holder's motives, who is acting with the tacit approval -- if not at the specific direction -- of President Obama. If Holder is motivated by a sincere sense of justice to find the truth and uncover "possible" wrong-doing, then why isn't he appointing a special prosecutor to look into Chairman Rangel's questionable activities?

The fact that the House Ways and Means Committee is the chief tax-writing committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, and has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, only adds to the hypocrisy. Rangel is responsible for the committee that imposes taxes on others, yet it is far from clear that he has paid his own taxes. If he failed to report nearly half his assets on a Senate financial disclosure form, did he likewise fail to report them to the IRS?

The ignominy of the Democrats here, is demonstrated by the fact that while they ignore the potential abuse of power by one of their own self-serving partisan power-brokers, they malign the integrity of patriots who acted selflessly to defend our country from the very real threat of terrorist attacks in the wake of 9/11 during a time of war. They ignore the injustice of a questionable politician illicitly seeking to save his personal wealth, while ignoring the justice of unquestionable heroes legitimately seeking to save American lives.