Monday, December 29, 2008

Mission Creep

A reasonable definition of insanity is the process of repeating an action multiple times and expecting (hoping for?) different outcomes. History reveals that mankind has over the last several millennia improved on his capabilities to wreak havoc on his enemies through improved technologies in warfare. This linear and exponential advance in technology has historically resulted in various attempts to arrest the horrors associated with warfare by various means.

In one of the first such efforts, the crossbow was banned by Pope Innocent II in 1139 for use against "christian" enemies as being a weapon "...hated by God". It was apparently acceptable to use the device against adversaries of the non-christian persuasion.
For the most part such bans on arms have gone ignored or un-enforced except against ordinary subjects and serfs by their feudal or political "leaders".

Enter the 20th century and the unpleasantness of 1914 1918 "to make the world safe for democracy". By 1914, technology had outpaced military tactics to the extent that waves of infantrymen were ordered by slow to learn tacticians into frontal assaults on entrenched defenders equipped with Hiram Maxim's machine guns, not to mention poison gas and long range artillery. These horrors were sufficient to inspire the formation of the League of Nations by the "well meaning" victors for the purpose of avoiding the future need of such efforts to make the world safe for democracy.

A glance at recent history reveals how well the League worked out in such localities as Manchuria, Ethiopia, Spain, the Rhineland, Austria and Czechoslovakia and which resulted in a resumption of the hostilities placed on temporary hold in November of 1918. Since the League of Nations was such a success in promoting "peace through collective security" (irony alert) the new and improved version was launched in August of 1945 and designated the United Nations. Of course the victors of the second act of the world conflict were not about to allow pipsqueak former colonial nations to wield real power, thus the division of the new body into the General Assembly and the Security Council. It was thought that merely allowing third world powers the opportunity to engage in what amounted to a debating club would suffice to forestall any pent up urges they might have regarding the wielding of real power. WRONG! The "great powers" failed to perceive the second law of bureaucracies known as "mission creep" which is "the expansion of a project or mission beyond its original goals, often after initial successes". Examples of this phenomenon include the March of Dimes and the "humanitarian" intervention in Somalia 1992. The most egregious example of "mission creep" however is the juggernaut known as the United Nations .

It is doubtful that the founders of the UN in 1945 foresaw the multiplicity of agencies that would be emerging under the aegis of their creation such as:

Food and Agriculture Organization
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network
United Nations International Computing Centre
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations International Children's Fund
Water and Sanitation Division of UNICEF
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Environment Program
United Nations International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
United Nations Volunteers
World Health Organization (WWW)

The notorious Goebbelesque pronouncements (“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the ... consequences of the lie..." ) of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) which have been issuing forth for 20+ years under the auspices of the UN Environment Program have gained substantial traction in the service of unlimited governmental power. It is understandable that a substantial portion of politicians have subscribed to this nonsense as it increases their power and insures their perquisites. There is a possiblity however, that a turning point has been reached. Data collected over the past decade fails to validate the predictions of the computer models that the warmistas have utilized. This has caused them to not only spin the reasons for their error but in other instances to actually fabricate misleading data.

Why is it that the term "strangle in the cradle" only comes to mind in retrospect? In any event, there may be an up side to the present economic downturn; the politicians may shrink from burdening us with "Son of Kyoto". At least one can "hope".

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let's Call it What it IS... establishment of religion.

The soon to be emperor resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in New Rome Washington DC has just appointed as Pontiff Science Advisor John Holdren, a member of the College of Cardinals of the Warmista sect of the Green Religion Harvard faculty of environmental policy. By making this appointment according to the New York Times, the Marxist Messiah "...Pledges Allegiance to Science". This humble writer begs to differ.

The warmista sect bases its dogmas exclusively on the projections generated by computer models and asserts that this is "science". Computer modeling is by no means science. The generation of projections by computer modeling while useful for limited applications does not qualify as science:

A simple single word definition of science is the ability to predict. It is not used by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), yet they present their work as scientific predictions. Media and the public generally believe the IPCC is making predictions and that is clearly the assumption for government policies. Sadly, members of the IPCC do nothing to dissuade the public from that view. All previous “projections” were wrong. The most recent example is the period from 2000 to 2008. IPCC predicted warming but temperatures went down while CO2 increased. Finally, the IPCC AR4 itself explains why IPCC model projections fail.

“Models continue to have significant limitations, such as in their representation of clouds, which lead to uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change.” (AR4, Chapter 8. p.600)

It is hard to imagine a better example of Beadle’s axiom paraphrased as follows, “Half the work done by the IPCC is to make things appear what they are not.”

The warmistas dismiss the global cooling that has been objectively measured during the last decade as a "mere interruption due to la niña of the long term warming trend caused by human CO2 emissions". If this is the case, why have not the computer models predicted it since they are "reliable enough" to provide the basis for extreme government regulatory actions? Another glaring flaw common to virtually all of the computer models relied upon by the warmistas is the total absence of any factoring in of solar output variations as they have impacted previous changes in climate.

For these reasons as well as others I would assert that congressional confirmation of Professor Holdren's appointment as "Science Advisor" is a violation of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment to Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...". Religion is defined as: "3. A set of [unprovable] beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader [i.e. Al Gore]" who was consulted prior to the Holdren appointment.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Musings From Beyond the Crab Nebula...

...Or; how we spent our Saturday morning.

We were up bright and early (07:45 will pass for such on a December weekend at Lacedaemon) and out for a chilly drive to the "Largest gun show in the South" which should more precisely be characterized as an 80,000 square foot candy store for us "good ol' boys". This would include a native California political refugee and Mrs. ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ who is a Swedish national. The facility did not officially open until 09:00 hrs. and when we arrived at 09:10 hrs. the 50 acre parking lot was about 20% full (lots of pickups and SUVs) and the queue to enter the building which included an ethnic representation of the local population including a few wearing Obama for president regalia extended about 200 feet but was moving steadily.

Early in the show

Once inside the building, a tentative survey of some of the 2000 display tables whose exhibitors were already doing a somewhat brisk business revealed that mere possession of approximately 75% of the items being openly exchanged here could get the ordinary otherwise law abiding California citizen arrested and convicted of a felony in most cases and at the very least a plea bargain down to a serious misdemeanor.

Lots of Kalifornia Kontraband

The paradox here is puzzling indeed. A comparison of the firearm related crime rate between California and Georgia would indicate that on a per capita basis there is considerably less blood flowing in the streets of Georgia than in California . This is in spite of the legal presence of "assault weapons", high capacity ammunition magazines, flash hiders, bayonet lugs and pistol grips on semi automatic rifles and shotguns as well as private owners of firearms enjoying the right to give, sell or trade their property to relatives, neighbors or, allah forfend, willing strangers, without the permission and payment of fees to the state.

By 11:00 hrs. the crowd was shoulder to shoulder