FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Friday

More demands from Islam

I didn't know that there were any Europeans left who actually had a backbone. I guess I was wrong.

In this video, Pat Condell unloads on the peaceful, serene, loving religion of Islam. He is disgusted to see that every demand made by the "Religion of Perpetual Outrage" is met in the U.K. with spineless submission.

Wednesday

The New Ice Age

I am about to share a news story with you. Despite any impressions you may get from this article or any conclusions that you may draw from it, always remember one thing. No matter what happens with our climate, it is all caused by Global Warming. After all, that is what the Church of Global Warming has been trying to convince us of.

Freak snow storms or extreme heat waves? Global Warming.
Increased hurricane activity or a complete lack of hurricanes? Global Warming.
Bridge collapses and decreases in African circumcisions? Global Warming (I really wish I was kidding about that, but it’s true).

So, we all know that no matter what happens, it is all due to Global Warming. With that in mind, I give you this story from DailyTech:

Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling

Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming.

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

Interesting. The planet is cooling down…and fast. In fact, the cooling is so dramatic, that it stands to “wipe out” the 1 degree of warming that took place in the past 100 years. So, what is causing this dramatic temperature decrease?

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases.

What? Man is not the largest factor when it comes to climate change? Don’t these people know that nothing is more threatening to this planet or more able to upset the perfect harmony of nature than man? Don’t they know that man and his evil idea of industrialization is the most destructive force in the known universe?

Are they trying to suggest that a huge ball of nuclear fusion measuring 870,000 miles in diameter is actually more powerful than man?

Of course, even if such cooling could be attributed to sun activity, I’m sure that man is responsible for it. Our CO2 has obviously traveled into space and polluted the sun, thus causing it to cool.

It makes perfect sense.

Tuesday

Pork Spending

Because I am no shill for the Republican Party, I have no problem admitting this. Both Democrats and Republicans are equally guilty of wasting our money in order to buy votes. It’s called pork barrel spending, and it is a staple of politics in Washington. Need I remind you that it was a Republican who proposed the $315 million “bridge to nowhere,” while it was the Democrats who hid in a war appropriations bill more than $220 million to be spent on things like peanut storage, spinach production, and the shrimp industry.

These people are wasting our money.

However, last month, there seemed to be a slight chance of hope for curbing this earmark spending. House Republicans urged the Democrats to join them in an immediate moratorium on earmark spending. The Democrats refused. No one was going to stop them from wasting tax payer dollars on their pet projects.

Of course, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has argued that Democrats have adopted “tough” earmark reforms and will reduce the number of pork barrel projects (both of which are provably false).

So, the Republicans decided to hold them to that promise. They established a website called Earmark Reform, which would serve as a hub of information regarding GOP efforts to hold Democrats accountable for their earmark policies. It would offer a modicum of transparency into the pork-barrel spending habits of the Congressional majority.

The website was launched on February 12. Nine days later, on February 21, House Republican leader John Boehner was ordered by Democrats to shut the website down. In a letter sent to him by House Democrats, Boehner was told that the website violated House rules and must be shut down and moved to a different location with a different domain name.

It is strange, however, that the Democrats did not mention that the website violated House rules when they approved the URL last August.

The truth of the matter is that Democrats know that moving the URL of the website will confuse visitors to the website, and, most likely, result in decreased traffic. I guess things were getting just a little too transparent for them.

Friday

Pet Peeves

I have heard that if you bury your anger and never openly express it, it can destroy you. To avoid any future psychological trauma, I feel it necessary to reveal a few things that have been on my mind for quite some time. These things don’t just annoy me. They don’t just irritate me. They infuriate me.

1. Larry the Cable Guy actually has a career. And, it is gaining momentum, despite the fact that he is, in no way, funny.

2. The same can be said for Carlos Mencia. “Mind of Mencia” has been picked up for a 4th season.

3. Regardless of the fact that the phrase “Git-r-done” doesn’t mean anything (and, is actually just a random, ridiculous collection of letters and punctuation) people will still use it in everyday conversation, emblazon it across the rear window of their vehicle, and stitch it onto a Confederate flag displayed outside of their house (i.e. trailer).

4. Original and smart comedy is being replaced by catch phrases.

5. No one seems to notice that every episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” is exactly the same. Yet, it ran for nine seasons and is still in syndication. The same can be said for “Home Improvement.”

6. While ridiculously vapid and redundant shows like “Everybody Loves Raymond” or “Home Improvement” are allowed to run for 9 seasons, “Arrested Development” was cancelled after 3 seasons. And, it wasn’t even allowed to run a full 3rd season.

7. Movies like “Stomp the Yard” and “Who’s your Caddy” are actually produced.

8. Not only were “Stomp the Yard” and “Who’s your Caddy” produced. They were released nationally. Yet, I had to drive over an hour to find a theatre showing “Juno.”

9. Huge marketing campaigns are put behind television shows such as “Lipstick Jungle.” But, barely any attention is given to a show like “Journeyman,” causing it to be cancelled after only 13 episodes.

10. Commercial jingles did not die out in the 1950’s. Instead they are growing in number and their level of annoyance is multiplying exponentially (I’m looking at you FreeCreditReport.com).

11. Television and radio stations will even run these same annoying commercials multiple times during every commercial break of the same show. Yet, the truly funny and entertaining commercials which required at least a modicum of talent to put together are rarely put on the air.

12. “Reality TV” still thrives.


13. No one seems to understand the definition of “reality.”

14. American Idol is in its 7th season. Yet, in their commercials, they still use the phrase “There can be only 1.”

15. Similarly, 97.1 “The River” (an Atlanta-based radio station) has been on the air for over 2 years. Yet, they still refer to themselves, on the air and on their website, as the “NEW 97.1 The River.”

16. Rap “music” has become the juggernaut of the music industry.

17. Concordantly, Rap has inflicted on society a severe loss of basic grammar and communication skills, a culture which celebrates criminal behavior and lionizes thugs, and a perpetuation of the victim mentality.

18. Rap artists don’t seem to understand the basic idea of spelling in the English language. Instead, they mispronounce and redefine words, effectively creating a new word, then spell out the new word phonetically. (i.e Flo Rida, Shawty, or Soulja)

19. Apparently unaware that it looks like they have taken a wrong turn off of the ski lift, girls are still wearing Ugg boots.

20. In addition, girls are still unaware that oversized sunglasses actually make them look more like a Geocoris than an attractive human female.

21. It is still possible to walk into a public place and see males ages 13-30 with popped collars.

22. Regardless of how much noise, commotion, and trouble their child makes, parents will always believe that their child is an adorable little angel, and that everyone else around them is in complete agreement.

23. Though they fear that children are being oversexualized, parents apparently have no problem buying their 5 year old daughters Bratz dolls, or dressing them like underage prostitutes at age 12.

24. The average American can name all of Brad and Angelina’s children, and they could name the previous 6 winners of American Idol. The average man could tell you the names of every quarterback currently playing college and professional football. Yet, these same people couldn’t name their 2 United States Senators if their lives depended on it. Thus is the nature of our celebrity worship culture.

25. No one seems to understand the definition of the word “racist.” Nine times out of ten, when someone labels something as “racist,” in reality the term does not apply. To quote Íñigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”


Those are just a few of mine. What are yours?

Thursday

Obamamania knows no bounds

Obamamania has been ridiculously over-the-top for quite some time now. Anytime, a politician’s supporters begin having fainting spells at the very sound of his voice (or, like Chris Matthews, they admit to having a “thrill” run up their leg) you know that the hysteria surrounding that particular politician has reached unbelievably absurd levels.

All of that is absurd. But, this is just stupid:

It's probably safe to say that you have arrived as a politician when your audience applauds when you blow your nose.

Yes, just a day before a debate in Texas, Sen. Barack Obama has a head cold.

And about a half-hour into a speech here, the Illinois Democrat announced that he had to take a quick break. "Gotta blow my nose here for a second," Obama said.

Out came a Kleenex (or perhaps it was a hankie), and he wiped his nose.

The near-capacity audience at the Reunion Arena, which his campaign said totaled 17,000, broke out in a slightly awkward applause.


Oh, come on people. You applaud when a politician blows his nose? You have got to be freakin’ kidding me.

Friday

Make your own USB to 2.5mm adapter

In my review of the A218 MP3 watch, I discussed the primary problem with the watch. It has a 2.5mm port which serves as the data port and the headphone port.

If you know anything about modern audio electronics, you know that most of them utilize a 3.5mm port. Almost any headphones you have ever seen have a 3.5mm jack. The same goes for products such as the 2nd Generation iPod Shuffle which utilizes a multi-function audio port. It can be used as an audio port or as a data transfer port. But, all of these products will still utilize a 3.5mm port.

The A218 MP3 watch is a little different. Because it uses a 2.5mm port, you are limited on the types of cables and adapters that you can use.

Of course, the watch does come with a USB cable and headphones which will fit this 2.5mm port. However, the primary problem with this is the fact that the USB cable which comes with the watch is 12 inches long. In order to use this watch as a flash drive, you have to carry this long cable around with you everywhere. The purpose of the watch is portability. The 12 inch cable completely defeats this purpose.

So, I attempted to find a solution.

I found a USB adapter for the 2nd Generation iPod Shuffle. It is a very small adapter with a male USB on one end and a 3.5mm jack on the other. In order for this to fit the watch, the 3.5mm jack had to be reduced to a 2.5mm jack. These adapters are very easy to find. So, I ordered the iPod Shuffle adapter from eBay and picked up the 3.5mm/2.5mm adapter at Radio Shack. Once the iPod Shuffle adapter arrived in the mail, I connected the pieces together, plugged them into my MP3 watch, and waited for the magic. Much to my disappointment, nothing happened.

Apparently, the USB data signal will not transmit through a 3.5mm/2.5mm adapter. The 2.5mm jack has to be directly wired to the USB plug.

So, I tried to find an adapter that made a direct connection from a male USB to a male 2.5mm jack. I searched the Internet thoroughly. I even emailed manufacturers. No success. There isn’t an adapter like this anywhere on the market…none that I could find anyway.

So, what do we do when we can’t find what we need? We make it.

I started gathering the necessary materials, and studying up on the proper procedures. I found an old USB cable and a 2.5mm jack. But, during my research, I discovered a crucial aspect of the 2.5mm jack. The jack has to be a 4 pin jack. This means it has 4 connection points on it. You will know if it is a 4 pin jack because the tip will have 3 black rings on it. Most only have 2. Some even have 1.

So, I had to find a 2.5mm, 4 pin jack. Luckily, the MP3 watch came with an extra USB cable. So, I robbed the 2.5mm jack from that.

I had all of my parts:





Now comes the hard part…putting it together.

First, I had to figure out which cable connects to which. The USB plug has 4 cables…Red, Green, Black, and White. During my research, I discovered this page which is a guide on making a similar adapter for the iPod shuffle. Though the adapter on this page uses a 3.5mm jack, the principle is essentially the same.

There was a small problem, however. The diagram on this page told me which wire to put on which connection, but on the wrong end. It points to the tip of the 2.5mm jack which plugs into the watch. Obviously, you can’t solder to that end. So, I had to use an ohmmeter to figure out which connection corresponded to which soldering point. To save anyone else the hassle, I have revised the diagram to reflect this.



Once I had this diagram, I started the soldering process. It’s not easy. The parts are so small, and the plastic on the 2.5mm jack has a tendency to melt from the heat. But, I eventually got all the wires soldered on to the 2.5mm jack.



I plugged it in to the watch, plugged the USB cable into my Computer, and witnessed the most amazing thing. It actually worked!

The hard part was over with. After that, I made a basic casing for the adapter which consisted of the original USB casing and a little epoxy. I then connected a key ring to it and…Voila. I had a USB/2.5mm adapter that I could carry around with me anywhere.




The work gets a little tricky, but it’s really worth the effort.

Gadget Review - A218 MP3 Watch

As I have said before, I am a sucker for cool gadgets. Admittedly, they are probably only cool by my standards. To everyone else, they are just geeky. But, nevertheless, I love them. This is especially true for gadget watches.

If you read this previous post, you know what I am talking about.

I recently purchased a new gadget watch, and I just had to share my opinion on it. It has always frustrated me that there are so many seemingly cool gadgets available for sale on the Internet. But, finding a helpful review on them is next to impossible. I am always hesitant to buy something over the Internet unless I can read a review on the product. But, for this particular watch, I made an exception.

Without further adieu, here is my review of the A218 MP3 watch.

Different brands and styles of MP3 watches are available all over the Internet. I found this particular watch on eBay. If you browse around eBay you can find MP3 and MP4 watches with capacities of 256MB to 4GB. I wanted a simple MP3 watch with a descent storage capacity. But, I also wanted one that didn’t look like an MP3 player. It had to look like a regular dress watch so I could wear it to work and on an everyday basis.

The A218 MP3 Watch fit the bill. Take a look:



As you can see, it looks like a regular watch. But, there is so much more to it. It serves as a flash drive, an MP3 player, an FM radio, and a voice recorder! I’ll never be bored again.

One of the most amazing things about this watch is the storage capacity. It has 2GB of storage built-in. That’s enough for 400-500 MP3s and any files you need to take with you.

I’ve had the watch for a couple of weeks which has given me enough time to review all of the features. Here are my opinions…

MP3 Player:

Positive
I have been very impressed with the sound quality on this player. Some people, like myself, will be able to tell a slight difference in the sound quality of this player versus an iPod. But, then again, that could simply be attributed to the earbuds that come with this MP3 player. I will discuss more on that subject later. But, the MP3 player is simple to use. It’s really the best feature on this watch.

Negative
I should point out that when you add songs to this player, it will play them in the order that you add them, and will only play them in that order. You can’t rearrange them once they are on there. This might be a drawback if you already have 100-200 songs on there, and you want to add a new song to play first. You will have to delete all of your music, and then add them back on in the correct order. This can be a hassle if you really care about the order of your music.

FM Radio:

Positive
It’s a nice idea, but…

Negative
You can’t expect much out of this radio. Depending on your location, you may pick up more stations than other locations. But, the internal antenna leaves a lot to be desired. I am only able to pick up 3 or 4 stations, and I am in a good location for radio reception. The stations you can pick up will come in very clearly. But, as I said, there are very few of those. The FM radio isn’t that impressive.

Flash Drive:

Positive
It’s a simple plug and play USB flash drive. If you have ever used a flash drive, you know the drill. There is nothing different here. Once the watch is plugged in, it acts as a separate drive. You can drag and drop files, create and organize folders, etc.

Negative
Nothing. It is a basic 2GB flash drive. Everything works as it should.

Voice Recorder:

Positive
This has been very surprising. When I originally saw this on eBay, the voice recorder was a main focus of the seller’s description of the watch. He marketed it as a “Spy Voice Recorder.” I guess that is true since you can’t see the microphone at all. I still can’t find it! But, I didn’t think I would actually use this recorder.

I was wrong. I love the voice recorder! It is so handy for keeping notes and reminders. I have already used it several times. The sound quality is very good. Even if you hold the watch 12-18 inches away from your mouth, the microphone will still pick up your voice clearly. I have even recorded in a loud environment where there was a lot of noise in the background. Listening to the note, I could barely hear the background noise. My voice came through clearly.

Negative
There are two negative aspects to the voice recorder, and neither of them are very important. First, since the watch has no outer speaker, you have to plug up the headphones to hear your notes. You can also listen to them through your computer. Once, you plug up the watch to your computer, and open up the folders, you will see a folder named “Mic.” This is the folder where all of your voice notes are stored. You can simply open them from there and listen to them through your computer speakers. It would be nice, though, to not have to do any of this or plug up headphones. A speaker could come in handy.

The second problem is that, in order to record a note, you have to start the watch, wait for it to start up, put it in “record” mode, then press the record button. All-in-all, it takes about 20 seconds and 3 button-presses to do all of this. One-touch recording would be preferable. But, like I said, it isn’t a big deal.

Equalizer:

The watch claims to have 5 equalizer settings, and even has a button labeled “EQ” (though this button also serves other functions). However, the differences in the Equalizer settings are so insignificant that you can’t really consider them an important function.

Size:

Positive
I specifically looked for an MP3 watch which didn’t look like an MP3 watch. That includes being the size of a normal watch. This one definitely is. It’s not too wide, and it fits well on my wrist. I guess my only slight complaint is…

Negative
It’s a little thicker than I thought it would be. Normal dress watches these days are ridiculously thin. It would be nice if this watch was equally as thin, but I suppose that is too much to ask for all of these features. The watch is about 5/8 inch thick, so it still can’t be defined as “bulky.” Also, once it is on my wrist, I hardly notice the thickness.

Ease of Use:

Positive
This is an interesting subject. Once you get the hang of it, all of the functions are very straightforward and easy to understand. The only problem is getting to the point where you understand how to use the watch.

Negative
The instructions that come with the watch are completely useless. The watch is made in China, so the instruction manual was originally written in Chinese. If you know anything about the language, you know that many things in Chinese don’t translate well into English. I am guess that the company used an automated translation system to print an “English” translation of the instructions. It’s really just random English words thrown together in a pseudo-sentence format. Like I said, the instructions are useless. You just have to play around with the watch, and figure out how everything works. I’m pretty good with just pressing random buttons, so I figured it out fairly quickly.

Data port/Headphone port:

This is an important topic, and something to consider before buying this item. As you can see in the picture below, the Data and Headphone port is on the side of the watch.



It is similar to the port on a 2nd Generation iPod shuffle due to the fact that it serves 2 different functions depending on the type of cable that is plugged into it. However, there is one crucial difference.

This is a 2.5mm port (Some people may refer to it as a 3/32 port). It will only accept a 2.5mm jack. iPods, CD players, and almost any other electronic device being made today use a 3.5mm (1/8) port. I’m not sure why the manufacturer did this, other than to save space. But, it creates a small problem. You cannot use your regular headphones with this watch. The watch comes with 2.5mm jack earbuds, and the quality of these earbuds is decent. Most people may be perfectly happy with them. But, for comfort reasons, I prefer to use rubber tipped earbuds. But, due to the 2.5mm port, I can’t use my regular earbuds. And, finding 2.5mm earbuds in retail stores is very difficult. If you want a different style of headphones, you may have to find them online.

This watch also comes with a USB data cable. One end is a male USB which plugs into your computer. The other end is a male 2.5mm jack which plugs into the watch. This cable is crucial to using the watch, but consider this. The cable is about 12 inches long. In order to use this watch as a flash drive, you have to carry this long cable everywhere. It’s not very convenient or portable.

This is a problem. But, I found the solution. You can read about it here.

Final Assessment:
Overall, I rate the A218 MP3 watch very positively. It is a purchase that is well worth the money. In fact, the price is probably the best part. I found this watch on eBay for $25. That includes shipping!

$25 for all of these features? It’s a fantastic deal!

(You can find the A218 on eBay listed as: 2GB SPY VOICE RECORDER FM FLASH DRIVE MP3 WATCH A218)


***UPDATE***
I have been asked to post pictures of the watch on my wrist, so that you can see how thick the watch really is. Never one to disappoint my readers, here you go:

(Click the image for a full-size view)

As you can see, it really isn't that thick. I have had it for several months now, and I never think about it. When it is on my wrist, it never feels bulky. I hope that helps!

New Blog!

I swore to myself that I wouldn't turn this into a techy blog. But, apparently, my word isn't worth very much. I have made several technology-related posts on here, and I'm about to make another one.

However, in order to prevent these types of posts from becoming regular features on here, I started a new blog called Q Branch (Fans of the James Bond series will recognize the reference). Check it out!

(In order to get some extra exposure for Q Branch, I will be cross-posting here for the next few weeks.)

Thursday

Respect My Authority!

Before I go any further, let me preface this blog by stating that I absolutely do respect law enforcement officers. Many of them face terribly dangerous situations on a daily basis, and they do so to protect all of us. Their motto is “to protect and serve,” and many of them perform this duty with honor.

I know police officers. My brother is a police officer. This post is not a personal attack against them, and should not be construed as a gross generalization or overstatement.

With that said, I give you Baltimore Police Officer Salvatore Rivieri:



This guy is completely out of control, and should never be allowed to wear a badge. Completely unprovoked, he attacks this kid, puts him in a headlock, berates him and his parents, and repeatedly accuses this kid of “disrespecting” him. Officer Rivieri deserves absolutely NO respect. He is a nut-case. He is an egotistical jackass who got a badge to compensate for his own failures and shortcomings. He pursued a career in law enforcement in order to achieve the one thing he truly cares about…power.

So, how was this badge-wearing excrement punished? According to the Baltimore Sun:

A Baltimore police officer was suspended yesterday after a YouTube video surfaced on the Internet showing him berating and manhandling a teenage skateboarder at the Inner Harbor.

Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department and the mayor's office, said authorities have begun an internal-affairs investigation.

Suspended? Suspended? I would assume that this suspension is the first-step of his punishment pending the internal investigation. At least, one would hope. Suspension is not nearly enough for Rivieri. With no provocation, whatsoever, he attacked this kid!

Rivieri should be fired. Then, he should be brought up on assault charges. His actions were completely uncalled for. He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a badge.

Granted, I am no fan of punk skateborders, and this was an area of the park that didn’t allow skateboarding. Tell these kids to leave the park! Don’t attack them!

But, I’m sure this simple solution never occurred to Officer Rivieri. He is a power-hungry jackass. Unfortunately, there are too many of these wearing a uniform which they have no right to wear.

Wednesday

This thrill up my leg

I…I…I…I don’t know what to say. Wait, a minute. Yes, I do. Chris Matthews is a liar.

I have written many times before about specific instances of Chris Matthews’s left-wing bias. This is not a baseless, unfounded statement. It has bearing in actual fact. Chris Matthews has an unmitigated bias toward leftist thinking, and he thoroughly incorporates his bias into his supposedly “objective reporting.”

Today’s example was from a broadcast last night on MSNBC. The unabashed leftist Chris Matthews was joined by the unabashed leftist Keith Olbermann to “report” on the evening’s Presidential primary race. Matthews’s favorite politician, Barack Obama, won the Potomac Primary and delivered his victory speech. After the speech was over, Matthews gave his assessment. Watch the video:




MATTHEWS: I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event. He speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the feeling we have about our country. And that is an objective assessment.

“This thrill going up my leg.” That was Matthews's reaction to Obama’s speech. Not only did it thrill him. The thrill, which he apparently does get to often, ran up his leg. Are you people hearing this?

To top it off, after admitting to the fact that hearing Barack Obama speak gives him borderline sexual excitement, Matthews has the chutzpah to claim that it is an “objective assessment.”

AN OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT?!!! ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?

Monday

Is Environmentalism Really About The Environment?

A couple of months ago, I wrote about an interesting admission made by the Church of Global Warming at the Bali Conference. The “Friends of the Earth” promoted Global Socialism by suggesting that our “climate crisis” can be solved by a simple redistribution of wealth.

“A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.”

Nice huh? Well, it doesn’t stop there. A couple of “Environmentalists,” David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith, have even published their anti-capitalist dogma in a book titled, “The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy.”

If you’re amazed by the title, you’re really going to love the description of this book:

In this provocative book, Shearman and Smith present evidence that the fundamental problem causing environmental destruction--and climate change in particular--is the operation of liberal democracy. Its flaws and contradictions bestow upon government--and its institutions, laws, and the markets and corporations that provide its sustenance--an inability to make decisions that could provide a sustainable society.

Having argued that democracy has failed humanity, the authors go even further and demonstrate that this failure can easily lead to authoritarianism without our even noticing. Even more provocatively, they assert that there is merit in preparing for this eventuality if we want to survive climate change. They are not suggesting that existing authoritarian regimes are more successful in mitigating greenhouse emissions, for to be successful economically they have adopted the market system with alacrity. Nevertheless, the authors conclude that an authoritarian form of government is necessary, but this will be governance by experts and not by those who seek power. There are in existence highly successful authoritarian structures--for example, in medicine and in corporate empires--that are capable of implementing urgent decisions impossible under liberal democracy. Society is verging on a philosophical choice between "liberty" or "life."

Oh, boy. Where do I start? Notice how the authors completely vilify free markets and, the favorite villain of leftists, eeeevil corporations. They suggest that the real problem with existing authoritarian regimes is that “they have adopted the market system” in order to be economically stable. They imply that these societies could take great measures to save the planet if it weren’t for their evil market systems.

An authoritarian form of government is necessary, but this will be governance by experts and not by those who seek power.

Basically, they are saying that an Authoritarian government is the only way to save our planet, but only as long as Environmentalists are in charge. Wonderful.

But, lest you believe that the authors are actually promoting the shift of world Governments to Authoritarian control, they save the last chapter of the book to convince you otherwise.

There is a third way between democracy and authoritarianism that the authors leave for the final chapter. Having brought the reader to the realization that in order to halt or even slow the disastrous process of climate change we must choose between liberal democracy and a form of authoritarian government by experts, the authors offer up a radical reform of democracy that would entail the painful choice of curtailing our worldwide reliance on growth economies, along with various legal and fiscal reforms. Unpalatable as this choice may be, they argue for the adoption of this fundamental reform of democracy over the journey to authoritarianism.

So, they don’t necessarily believe that Authoritarian control is the ultimate answer. They simply believe in a “radical reform of democracy” which includes the “curtailing our worldwide reliance on GROWTH economics, along with various legal and fiscal reforms.” Without reading the book, I can’t say exactly what these “various legal and fiscal reforms” are. But, it is clear, based on their hatred of growth economics, that their "reforms" would seek the slowing, stopping, or even reversing of economies worldwide.

(You might be interested to know that former President Bill Clinton has made a similar proposal.)

We can also look to other writings by these authors to get a good idea of the types of reforms they desire. Take, for instance, this article written by David Shearman, one of the authors of “The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy.”

At OnlineOpinion.com, Shearman writes:

Liberal democracy is sweet and addictive and indeed in the most extreme case, the USA, unbridled individual liberty overwhelms many of the collective needs of the citizens.

There must be open minds to look critically at liberal democracy. Reform must involve the adoption of structures to act quickly regardless of some perceived liberties.

If we do not act urgently we may find we have chosen total liberty rather than life.

I believe Patrick Henry once faced a similar choice between Liberty and Life.

Has the surge been successful?

Has the surge in Iraq been successful? You tell me…

Al-Qaeda in Iraq faces an “extraordinary crisis”. Last year's mass defection of ordinary Sunnis from al-Qaeda to the US military “created panic, fear and the unwillingness to fight”. The terrorist group's security structure suffered “total collapse”.

These are the words not of al-Qaeda's enemies but of one of its own leaders in Anbar province — once the group's stronghold. They were set down last summer in a 39-page letter seized during a US raid on an al-Qaeda base near Samarra in November.

That second document is a bitter 16-page testament written last October by a local al-Qaeda leader near Balad, north of Baghdad. “I am Abu-Tariq, emir of the al-Layin and al-Mashahdah sector,” the author begins. He goes on to describe how his force of 600 shrank to fewer than 20.

He said of the loss of Anbar province: “This created weakness and psychological defeat. This also created panic, fear and the unwillingness to fight. The morale of the fighters went down . . . There was a total collapse in the security structure of the organization.” The emir complained that the supply of foreign fighters had dwindled and that they found it increasingly hard to operate inside Iraq because they could not blend in. Foreign suicide bombers determined to kill “not less than 20 or 30 infidels” grew disillusioned because they were kept hanging about and only given small operations. Some gave up and went home.

You can read the English translation of the letter here.

Friday

The Marxist Agenda

I just thought this was a very interesting article, and I wanted to share it.

Via Townhall.com:


Twenty years ago, a Marxist Scholars conference in New York City featured a seminar on how to use the classroom to convert students into Marxists. Covering the event, I was surprised to learn that the radical professors, for the most part, were no longer trying to turn English majors into Molotov cocktail throwers.

As early as the 1920s, many Marxists realized they could never persuade fat, happy capitalists to overthrow their governments, so they concluded they could only create their egalitarian utopia through a nonviolent cultural revolution. The strategy for this new style of revolution was to get people to reject traditional Western Judeo-Christian values and start thinking like Marxists, even if they would never apply the term to themselves.

In the classroom, the strategy required professors to convince students that America is an evil place desperately in need of change. Their tactic was to direct students’ attention away from America’s accomplishments and values, such as establishing freedom of speech and religion, and focus instead on America’s flaws and social injustice. Don’t praise George Washington for his sterling character and stunning achievements—condemn him because he owned slaves. Don’t let students think of themselves as citizens of a great nation, but as members of a victimized class or as potential victimizers.

Gee…does any of that sound familiar?

Monday

The Trojan Horse For Fascism

Someone once told me that Hillary’s plan for our Healthcare system is not about power or control. It is simply about helping “the poor” to get the medical care they need and deserve. She wouldn’t force anyone to buy health insurance if they didn’t want it. People will remain free to do what they want with their own healthcare. She simply wants to lend a helping hand to those who need it.

I guess Hillary didn’t get that memo.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Will you garnish wages of people who don’t comply, don’t buy the insurance?

CLINTON: George, we will have an enforcement mechanism. Whether it’s that or it’s some other mechanism through the tax system or automatic enrollments.

Under our inevitable system of Government-controlled healthcare, you can kiss your freedom goodbye. It is a Trojan horse for fascist control.