Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

In the run up to the second Iraq war, there came to light a document which came to be know as the “Downing Street Memo.”  The crux of this document is that it reflected the author’s concerns that the culture in the White House at the time was such that there was only one right answer, and that answer was war with Iraq. 

Intelligence estimates and analysis were feared to be colored by this culture, tuned and filtered or “cherry picked” to give the most damning possible indictments of Iraqi weapons programs, even if the evidence did not fully support such a view.  To quote, “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy“.

 Dissenting opinions were hushed up or buried, and the view seemed to be that since Pres. Bush had already decided in his mind to use military force, that the discussion was over, and efforts should cease to be about finding the truth, but rather, become oriented towards supporting the pre-established conclusion.

This document is often spoken of as a “smoking gun,” potential grounds for impeachment, and/or a clear revelation of the “rush to war,” demonstrating a resolve to take one certain course of action, regardless of what alternatives some naysayers might have suggested.   Sadly, a great deal of this seems to have been true.

The mindset, the policies, the actions reflected in the Downing Street Memo have been used by Pres. Bush’s many ardent critics and enemies as justification for their outrage, often bordering on hatred.  How COULD he just ignore evidence which didn’t support his view!?  How can we trust an administration that shows itself deaf and blind to any information save for that it wants to hear!?

Fast forward to 2009.

Many quite rational and sane voices on the “Right”, and now increasingly from all walks of scientific and political life, have become open sceptics about the “incontrovertible” nature of the “evidence” supporting global warming.   The science is weak, the evidence lacking, and the prophecies of doom and gloom wholly unsupportable.  Yet, despite the growing volume and number of protests, there still seems to be a prevailing culture of there being only “one right answer” in many circles.  There is a culture of implicit acceptance of all things global warming…as long as they paint a dark and terrible picture requiring immediate and expensive action.  More and more is seems that the available intelligence is being “cherry-picked” to support the pre-established conclusion, and that which doesn’t is ignored. To quote, “the intelligence and facts [are] being fixed around the policy“.

Now, via Michelle Malkin, I wonder if we are finally being provided with Global Warming’s version of the “Downing Street Memo?”

EPA plays hide and seek; suppressed report revealed

From Ms. Malkin’s article:

The free market-based Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington (where I served as a journalism fellow in 1995) obtained a set of internal e-mails exposing Team Obama’s willful and reckless disregard for data that undermine the illusion of “consensus.”

Sound familiar?

Later on, quoting senior supervisor Al McGartland of the Environmental Protection Agency with regards to a subordinate’s report that didn’t support the desired findings:

“The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”

Read the rest.  It’s really quite disturbing.  For all the frothing fist-waving and chest-beating of the vocal left about the Evil that was BushCheneyRumsfeldSatanHitler, for all the demands for impeachment and talk of war crimes, for all the hearfelt insistence that Bush “lied us into war,” what, I wonder, will be the response by the Left to this EPA whitewashing of evidence countering their own carefully nurtured global warming hysteria?

How many millions and billions will we spend “fighting an unjust war” against global warming?  Is Barack Obama lying is into this war?  Is there only one right answer in the Obama administration with respect to global warming? 

The screaming Progs have long lamented the “irresponsible deficit” inflicted on the American people by Bush’s war for oil.

Yet, how many trillions of dollars are we being forced to swallow in Obama’s war AGAINST oil?

How many people will die of starvation because we are using 1/3 of our corn crop to produce ethanol rather than export as food for hungry nations?  What will happen to our economy when the cost of houses doubles as they must be built to new, and very expensive…”green” standards?  When our electricy costs triple because we have outlawed efficient coal-fired energy plants and refuse to embrace nuclear energy?  All in the name of “complying” with an ill-considered and unsupportable global warming policy?

Many would suggest that Iraq didn’t pose a threat to the US, and so our war was illegal and immoral.  I’d like to suggest that the “war on global warming” is even more unjustified, illegal, and immoral, and poses a great threat to our country than Iraq ever did, or that global warming itself ever will.

They took out the paper towels in the bathroom to save paper, and replaced it with an electric blow dryer thing. Ah, but wait, to save electricity, it is a low power “green” dryer that essential wafts a warm breeze over my hands.

I want enough wind power to peel skin cells off the back of my hand, taking any germs with them.

But nooooooooo.  Gotta be green.  And damp.

I hate the environment.  GIVE ME BACK MY PAPER TOWELS!!!  {{shakes fist in impotent fury at a deaf and uncaring world.}}

Winter storms stretch to New England

The storms have cut power to tens of thousands of homes, glazed roads and been blamed for at least five deaths.

Thus, of course, further emphasizing the desperate need for drastic measures to combat global warming, such as spending millions of the creation of the position of  a global warming “czar”, with the requisite increase in bureaucracy by creating a new “federal department” to develop a national global warming strategy.

So, do you spend money to create a panel of “experts” to study a nebulous, ill-defined bugaboo called global warming…?

Or…do you instead “spend” that money in the form of reduced taxes on heating oil to provide real help to real people freezing their collective arses off?

I guess it depend on how “progressive” you are.

Region paralyzed by snow

Snowplow crews worked furiously Thursday against a wintry onslaught that dropped record amounts of snow over the Inland Northwest, repeating a pattern left from the brutal 2007-’08 winter.

At nearly 2 feet, the snow was so deep that it forced Spokane crews to focus on major arterial routes in an effort to keep the city from being completely choked.

Stores and government offices closed. Workers stayed home on the advice of authorities on both sides of the state line.

Forecasters warned that there may not be much time to dig out, and the work will have to be done in single-digit temperatures today and Saturday.

Another snowstorm could bring 5 inches or more Sunday with yet another storm in the offing for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Spokane ended up with 23.3 inches over 34 hours ending at 4 p.m. Thursday. Coeur d’Alene had 25 inches by Thursday morning. Other locations had more.

It was the most snow received in both Spokane and Coeur d’Alene in a 24-hour period since record-keeping began.

Now, I’m not an atmospheric scientist, or a Nobel-laureate sitting on the UN Climate Change panel, and I didn’t help invent the Internet, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  Okay, not really.  But I did have a nice continental-style breakfast this morning, so that ought to be close enough.

See, I’m kinda wondering how the Global Warming “exspurts” are going to be able to cook these numbers to make it fit the trend graph?  Here in Germany there are having more snow in my area than they’ve had any of the last five years.

So, let’s recap shall we?  NASA basically puts a stake into global warming’s liver by (rather grudgingly) revealing that a great deal of the hysteria around globular varmening is based on completely bogus data.

Shrill chest beaters declare that if the polar ice cap melts, then sea level will rise by a CATASTROPHIC 20 feet!  Except that, the North Polar ice cap is completely free floating.  There is no land mass underneath.  It is, in effect, one giant ice cube.  Which if it all melted, would result in a net DROP in sea level due to some pretty basic hydrodynamics.  Jr High chemistry and physics (the Archimedes Principle – Google it!).  But it doesn’t read as well in the headlines that way.

There is snow in southern California.  Las Vegas.  The ever-mutha-frickin’ D-E-S-E-R-T.  So how do gaseous, corpulent blatherskites like Al Gore still get paid exhorbitant speaking fees to climb up on stage and pound a pulpit about the coming Global Warming CatastropheTM?  Why are they not laughed off the stage?

The fact that there is such an overwhelming and ever-growing sea of evidence completely debunking the severity, impact, and/or causality, nay, the very existence of anthropogenic global warming, and yet it is still heralded by the likes of  Barack Obama as one of the single greatest concerns facing our nation and world today, suggests to me that there is a great deal more going on here than noble, well-intentioned science.

It’s about pushing the g/w agenda in order to force compliance with an ever more extensive and intrusive series of rules and regulations and policies designed to centralized authority, remove personal autonomy, and destroy nationa sovereignty.  For our own good, of course.  Actually, no.  For the good of the earth.  Mother Gaia and all that.  Your own personal well-being be damned.

And if you can’t see that, you deserve what is coming to you.

Update:  I’m not the only one who thinks this.

Resistance is futile?

Coming from the demographic that has historically been the most vein-in-the-forehead, screechingly, spittle-fleckingly opposed to a draft for the military, one has to wonder why the new standard bearer for the Progressive Utopian VisionTM is now marketing the idea of compulsory service as a core patriotic duty?

Hitler Jugend

Hitler Jugend

And just why do you suppose that it’s targeted at our high school and college age youth?  Via Wikipedia:

The HJ was organized into corps under adult leaders, and the general membership comprised boys aged fourteen to eighteen. From 1936, membership of the HJ was compulsory for all young German men.

The HJ was organized into local cells on a community level.

For example, many HJ activities closely resembled military training, with weapons training, assault course circuits and basic strategy.

Me, I’m wondering why we need a civil defense service. We have the Civil Air Patrol, the Boy Scouts, the Explorer program. Against what are we defending? As well funded as the military? Isn’t that called the National Guard?  The Police? EMS?

There is only one reason you need an organized civilian “militia” made up primarily of young, energetic, and quite impressionable youth.

The HJ maintained training academies comparable to preparatory schools. They were designed to nurture future Nazi Party leaders, and only the most radical and devoted HJ members could expect to attend.

Another branch of the HJ was the Deutsche Arbeiter Jugend – HJ (German Worker Youth – HY). This organization within the Hitler Youth was a training ground for future labor leaders and technicians.

One can only imagine the screeching, flailing flame wars that would ensue where a Republican President to suggest this.  Do you thing that the Nazi analogies wouldn’t be flying thick then?!

Remember towards the end of “The Sound of Music?” All the eager young men in their bright new uniforms, “watching” for “criminal” elements, as in, those who won’t get on board with the program?  It won’t be a neighborhood watch…it will be your neighbors watching YOU.

200px-pioneers_member_pinYou can invoke Godwin’s law all you want, but there’s a reason the Brown Shirt analogy keeps popping up.  Or perhaps, the Young Pioneers in Soviet Russia.

Because it looks and sounds exactly the same. Does anyone really believe that this will just be a domestic peace corps, going around cleaning up graffiti and picking up trash?

Then why is it called a “defense” force? It just fits all too neatly into this grand new socialist paradigm B.O. is preaching.  Expect that this will not go away.  It is an essential element of ground-roots social re-engineering.  Otherwise known as Change©.

It’s in the freakin’ manual. Get the youth first. 1960’s ringing any bells?

Once in power, communist leaders made the transformation of the younger generation central to the attempt to create new communist societies. Because young people lacked prior political experience and were considered more malleable than adults, communist leaders believed they could be transformed into ardent supporters of communism and builders of new socialist societies.

obama_biden_forward_poster_print-p228824279734048682td2a_210Watch as this idea, this program, is steadily retooled, renamed, reinvent and remarketed over time,all to make it sound more palatable and to respond to its detractors.  The words and labels will shift and change to counter opposing rhetoric by making the critics look increasingly petty and confrontational.   The consensus process will be brought to bear to marginalize dissent and encourage conformity through the use of emotion-laden catch phrases and rhetorical questions like, “Surely you care about X” or “You wouldn’t want Y to happen, would you?”  Just like it has with global warming, gay rights, radical environmentalism, and every other Progressive pet program.

It is not paranoia, political partisanship, racism, or ODS to look at the examples history gives us of “boiling the frog slowly,” to draw parallels to today’s burgeoning political trends, and then be watching and prepared for the next steps.  It is simply discernment and prudence.

And yeah, what she said.  Cuba’s “Committee for the Defense of the Revolution

The concept behind the CDRs was to create a citizen force that would reinforce the dictates of Cuba’s government, establishing a kind of omnipresent peer pressure network among next-door neighbors. Leaders of CDRs could put Castro’s every public thought directly and rapidly into the hands of every Cuban, so the government would not have to rely solely on mass media.

So, essentially, yeah.  That’s EXACTLY what I’m saying B.O.’s new militia will become.

Climate change scientists and researchers who rely on Government grants for their livelihood, are apparently insisting that more government grants are needed to adequately study climate change.  Shocking, I know.

Scientists: U.S. not prepared for severe weather, climate change 
{insert sirens, screaming, clips of black and white 1950′s B-movie disaster films, giant mutant ants eating police cars, etc.}}

Wow.  I’m shocked I tell you, just shocked!  In related news, foxes call for building of more hen houses for them to guard.

Now, I know the link is from “just a blog,” but it’s from a CNN blog, right?  Doesn’t that make it subject to all those multiple layers of fact checking and all that?  And yet this thing is the single greatest testament to the maddening doublespeak and vague obfuscation used so often by the global warming climate change nuts that I’ve seen in a while.  But wait, it get’s better…

Scientists cannot fully understand or deal with the impacts of climate change without the proper political leadership, and without funding for scientific observation and computing.

Scientists cannot fully understand climate change without the proper political leadership.  Just sort of savor that for a minute; let it roll around the ganglia and sink in a bit.  The trained, educated, Masters and PHD holding elite of the intelligentsia are struggling to understand climate change because they don’t have the right kind of POLITICAL leadership?  Huh?!

The scientists are making five recommendations they say will improve the country’s resilience to severe weather and climate change

Because without a full-on media blitz and complete with streaming video and annoying pop-up ads, the American people will be left to just blindly deal with seasonal weather extremes like they’ve been doing for the last 230+ years.  And the price tag for all this?

The group says lawmakers will need to add about $9 billion to the current $10 billion that is budgeted over the next five years.

But wait a minute!  I thought global warming climate change was a forgone conclusion, a done deal, an immutable fact right up there with evolution and the 9/11 coverup?  You mean {{shocked gasp}} there are things we don’t know?  Can’t predict?  Are inadequately measuring?  OH. THE. HORROR!   And then of course, from the Blinding Flash of the Obvious department, we get this little jewel:

Whether it is hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, snow, or drought, 75% of natural disasters around the world are triggered by weather and climate.

That’s right folks, you heard it here first.  Tornadoes, floods, snow and drought are caused by…wait for it…WEATHER.  And not just weather, but EXTREME weather.  Weather we will quite simply be unable to understand or predict without 19 Billion dollars in additional federal funding.

But wait, I say again.  I thought we had a “consensus” from the “majority of scientists” throught the “global scientific community” penning all sorts of strident missives about the types, severity, and near imminence of doom based on global warming climate change?  Did this lady not get the memo about “don’t mess with the meme?”

“Frankly, we think this is one of the most pressing problems facing humankind, but it just happens to be on a longer scale than a lot of problems our country faces,” said Fellows.

That’s right.  We need to be long-visioned about this, invest in the future, prepare our country for the worst.  Except when it comes to drilling for oil, because we won’t see any results for 7-10 years, you know.

So, in conclusion, global warming climate change is a confirmed fact, even though we don’t know enough about it because Washington has short-changed us on the funds.  And we can predict all sorts of dire consequences to global warming climate change, complete with fancy graphs and pie charts, and cool multi-media morphing animations showing jungles getting swallowed up by deserts, but you know, we can’t do REALLY cool graphs and 3D CGI graphics and cutting edge holographic surround-sound experience-based “teaching tools” at museums and theme parks, because the Government is more worried about funding the military and feeding the poor, and such.  Short-sighted mouth breathers that they are.  We must act now!

I dearly love the fact that in the entire linked article, the words “global warming” are nowhere to be found.  This term is now tres passe’.  Why, you ask?  Because in my neck of the woods, in Spokane, WA, they’ve experienced one of the coolest summers on record.  The temperature this week has been in the 50′s, with rain and hail.  In AUGUST.  So the term “global warming” rings a little hollow, and now it’s “climate change” and “extreme weather.”

And “give us more funding or we’ll all die.”  Subtle, guys.  Subtle.

UPDATE:
Me, I question the timing.  I have this vague suspicion that the thinly veiled suggestion of stronger “political leadership” in the area of climate change might, just MIGHT be meant to suggest that we elect someone a little stronger on the whole global warming thing than, perhaps oh say, the Republicans have been.  Cuz, you know, CNN is so fair and balanced and all that.

A day late and a dollar short, but that’s my usual M.O. anyway.

I didn’t get to watch all of the interview, debate, whatever it was with Rick Warren and the two presumptive presidential nominees, but I did get to see enough of both segments to get a representative taste of it all.

What I thought was the most interesting was the clear and almost irreconcilable philosophical disconnect between the two camps.  On questions of taxes, McCain was able to present the, to me, most common sense view that the best way to strengthen the economy, the best way to increase individual security and stability is to give them more of their own money with which to make choices.

I heard from Obama the basic tenet of progressive socialism that the rich bear some sort of inherently greater burden of responsibility to pay for social programs than anybody else.  If you make over $250,000, then you are going to take it in the shorts on taxes because you are (ptooie) rich.  What these social engineering crusaders seem constitutionally unable to comprehend is the simple reality that rich people spend more money because they have more money to spend.  The more penalties you put on being successful, the more burdensome you make it to have disposable income, the more you hamstring any kind of economic growth.  You’d think this to be self-evident, but the lofty idealism of the Progs sees higher taxes and centralized government as the cure for it all.  Here’s your government health care and like it.  No, really, you have to sign up, and you HAVE to pay X% of your income to support it.  You know, for the poor.  And the children.

I found it interesting that when asked which Supreme Court judges they wouldn’t have nominated, Obama named the conservative ones, and McCain named the liberal ones.  Which I guess ultimately shows that there’s probably a pretty good mix as it is.

As interesting as the actual interviews were the regular breaks to the commentator panel.  I just shook my head after a piece of the McCain portion, where the Democrat analyst was clucking and fretting and just generally all atwitter.  He was comfortably predictable as he trotted out the same tired old bugaboo about Roe V. Wade.   One of the most oft repeated memes amongst the Progs is the idea that one too many conservative justices on the Supreme Court, just let the ideological balance shift ever so slightly in the “wrong” direction, and the first thing they’ll do after fluffing their robes and dusting their wigs is overturn Roe V. Wade.  The big, dark, scary monster under the bed is that this will of course, by direct inference, lead to back alleys run red with blood from coat hanger abortions by savage, unscrupulous hacks preying on poor defensless teens who couldn’t seem to manage any other form of birth control.

Nevermind the fact that all overturning Roe V. Wade will do is return the decision on whether or not to ban abortion BACK TO THE STATES.  Roe v. Wade is one of the single most egregious violations of the principles of Federalism and States rights ever to hit the books.  Roe V. Wade only stated that it was unconstitutional for STATES to ban abortion, reserving that right solely at the Federal level.  The only thing that would result from round-filing this ridiculous piece of legislation jurisprudence is that States would be free, once again, to determine what happens inside their borders with respect to abortion.  But that kind of silliness simply can’t be allowed now, can it?

I also heard, yet again, the strange “7-10 years” mantra from the Dem side wrt domestic oil drilling.  I simply cannot comprehend how an otherwise seemingly intelligent human being can continue to parrot the nonsense that, since we won’t see results for 7-10 years from increased domestic oil drilling, then we shouldn’t start. Huh?!  NO, they cry!  We need better solutions, NOW! Not ten years from now!  Well no shit, Sherlock.  Let’s find some great, solid, workable short-term solutions, WHILE WE STEADILY BUILD THE INFRASTRUCTURE NECESSARY FOR OUR GRADE SCHOOLERS TO HAVE AFFORDABLE FUEL WHEN THEY START DRIVING 10 YEARS FROM NOW!   Is that as far the the “vision” of our Prog brethren extends?  Less than seven years?  Anything past that simply isn’t worth considering?  Idiots.

For a group of folks who are so “all about the children” all the time, they don’t seem to be real bright on providing for these same kids’ futures.

I didn’t see anything that radically changed my mind in this forum.  I thought B.O. was smooth as butter, baby.  He also deftly avoided answering/committing to a position on several of the tough questions.  I thought McCain was much more blunt, and direct, but he seemed to have a lot more of the common-sense answers and solutions to problems that I would expect.  He also talked around several of the thornier issues, but overall, I came away with a clearer understanding of his positions than Obama’s.

I just can’t get my head around the globalist, socialist, “rich people are bad and poor people are somehow developmentally disabled and need the Goverment to look after them” mentality that is modern progressive liberalism.  They say they demand an energy policy, but oppose nuclear fuel, building more refineries or drilling domestically, while we continue to send huge chunks of our GNP to foreign oil interests who are showing increasing hostility to us in the world market place.  Face it folks, we are a fossil-fuel based economy and have been for a hundred years.  That isn’t going to change overnight.  Sure, yes, absolutely, let’s find a way to change that, work for a brighter tomorrow and all that.  But let us also be starkly realistic about our ongoing energy needs for the next 20 or 30 years.

They say they are for the children, and yet excorciate anyone who would monkey with the sacrosanct Grail that is abortion.  B.O. said that he would support deploying troops in support of our national interests, but thinks we need to “dialogue” with militant Islam.

After all is said and done, though, I often wonder if we don’t make just a liiiiitle too big a deal about this whole thing.  We aren’t electing a king.   Appointing a chancellor.  There is no imperial decree.  The balance of powers still works…shakily at times…but it works.  As yet no President has managed to set aside the Constitution.  It’s Congress where the real sausage is made.  So, instead of making this one man the make or break all, the catastrophic tragedy or penultimate hope of the country, let’s just find the guy that will be the most likely to work within the system to do what’s best for the country overall.

Of the two serious choices we’ve got, I’ve got to say that the best person for that job is McCain.

Okay, so me, being the easily confused sort of individual that I am, I’m having a bit of a hard time figuring out how you get awarded the Nobel Peace for a PricePrize for “raising awareness about the grim, awful, terrible, inevitable, crushing, life-destroying, people-caused specter of global warming,” not too long after your “acclaimed documentary” gets a rousing kick in the nads for using bad science and overstating its claims.

The Nobel Prize – just one step above a star on Hollywood boulevard. 

 Of course, these are the same jokers that gave one to Yasser Arafat.  You know, that guy from the “religion of peace.” Also known as the “PLA” or “Hamas.”

Tell me again how the NPP is somehow non-partisan?  It’s supposed to be, but is it really?  Or does it, as an unofficial sycophant of the UN, merely seek to lend credibility to the feel good cause of the day, rather than acknowledging genuine accomplishment?

It’s starting to seem a little like my kid’s soccer team, where at the end of the year EVERYBODY gets a trophy for “participating.”  Time was, you got at the most a certificate for participating, and there were actual awards for the exceptional players; most inspirational, team leader, most improved, etc.

But when everyone gets a trophy just for showing up, they really don’t mean all that much anymore, do they?  All you’ve done is lower the bar, not raise expectations.

So do I put Mr. Gore in the same category?  Sorta.  To me, he’s an ideologue who has found an issue around which he can rally a following.  Mr. Gore may wholeheartedly believe in what he’s saying…but that doesn’t mean that he is right. To me, rather than raising an alarm, he serves more as a scare-monger using a high-visibility issue to push an agenda.  The radical environmentalists have long been working to impose penalties on industrialized nations…mostly western, capitalist nations mind you. 

Things like the Kyoto Protocol and other such “legislation” are, at their core, not really about saving the planet, but more about centralizing ever increasing aspects of our national sovereignty under the auspices of UN controls and mandates.  When we are governed by UN laws….we are governed by UN laws, not our own.

Those who seek to bring about this infusion of foreign control have found a highly effective avenue to do so via the environmental movement.  As much as people use, “but what about the children!?” to marginalize dissent, something long the lines of, “But don’t you care about the environment?!” can be every bit as effective in appealing to emotion-based responses, often (and deliberately) at the expense of a reasoned examination of the facts.

So, rather than contributing to world peace, I think Mr. Gore and his movement are accomplishing just the opposite.  By painting an overly bleak and even catastrophic outloook, by carrying on about the coming wars and conflicts over ever-diminishing supplies of resources, he and his cronies could very easily create a crisis where none need exist.

The simple reality of it is that the countries best suited to find solutions to such problems, and fill the needs of those who are genuinely in danger, are the successful, prosperous, and affluent free-market capitalist countries, who, while consuming the largest portions of the resources, are the most capable of distributing their products worldwide.  Yet activist groups and intrusive environmental regulations such as Kyoto seek to bring the heaviest tax on those whose production is the most efficient, and the most environmentally friendly.

Western countries take the earliest and heaviest hit by these groups not because they are the worst polluters, but because they are the most accessible.  They are an easy target, and they’ve shown a tendency to roll over early to these special interests, which only ensures that they will be targeted again with the next, tighter level of restrictions. 

To me, the Nobel Prize has become about lauding or approving of those who best conform to the socially approved meme, whether or not they’ve actually contributing anything meaningful to the furtherance of world peace.

So, in that respect, I guess Al Gore is highly qualified to receive the award.  Kudos, then.

UPDATE:

Yeah, what she said.

And him.

And them.

Just so we’re clear, charging people an additional $0.50 per GALLON of gas as an “incentive” to conserve gas and thus help fight against global warming is akin to the same sort of bullshit that had people dumping bales of tea in Boston Harbor 200 some-odd years ago.  That’s an extra 10$ on every 20-gallon tank of gas we’re already paying $60 for!  $70 a fillup!  That’s more than a day’s wage for a LOT of people!

Oh, and if that isn’t enough,

Dingell’s proposal would also phase out the mortgage interest deduction from taxable income on loans for large houses over 3,000 square feet and eliminate the tax benefit for homes over 4,200 square feet.

Dingell said while new bigger homes are more energy efficient than smaller ones built years ago, the so-called “McMansions” are usually located in the suburbs, requiring longer commutes that lead to dramatically more energy use.

So, you’re not only being penalized for driving a gas hog, but also for having a big house and the temerity to live to far away from work.

WASTER!  I wonder how fellow Democrats John Edwards , John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, or Al Gore, feel about that?

The money from the gasoline tax would go into the federal highway trust fund to pay for roads and mass transit. The jet fuel tax would be used to improve airports.

Suuuuure it will.  Just like all that money in the Social Security account will be there for me when I retire.  Uh huh.  Buying it.  Really.  And all that money we dump into the Department of Education actually goes to schools.  Snicker.

And, in a related point, most of the people pushing this kind of legislation ride around in limos, or write their fill-ups off as an official expense, and could care less what it actually costs at the pump.  Which, again, is what led to some tea bales being dumped in the aforementioned harbor, once upon a time.

And let’s not even talk about all they gas they burn flying the jet-set in for another environmental “summit.”  When I see Rep. Dingll driving around in a Prius, maybe THEN I’ll take him seriously.

Lends to mind a quote from the movie “300.” 

This will not be over quickly.  You will not enjoy it.” 

And yes, the context is the same.

Now, we all know that in this world, there are just two kinds of people: 1) Those who value the environment, those who understand the danger of global warming and capitalist over-consumption, who understand the felt-needs of the downtrodden and disenfranchised, and are willing to provide whatever entitlements and social programs are necessary, regardless of the drain on the economy, and then of course there are: 2) Earth despoiling christo-fascist hate mongers who wait for a Rapture so that they can escape a raped and despoiled Gaia, leaving the rest of you losers here to burn.

So, to help you self-actualize to the point where you can visualize your chakra into a form which will ensure your ascension to the first category, and not descend into a non-optimized self-awareness such that you become a #2, I, your spiritual guide, mentor, even shaman if you will, have provided the following primer on what to seek as your own personal Progressive Utopian Vision™:

- A highly-centralized form of government responsible for everything from providing universal health care to controlling wide-ranging aspects of our personal lives for our own good, as long as they don’t interfere with our sexuality, except for making gay marriage legal.

- Government schools, in addition to teaching basic facts, are also equally responsible for ensuring the proper socialization and political education of the students.  The worldview presented here supersedes and supplants that provided by other less reliable sources (specifically: parents).  Educational paths outside these schools are viewed as highly suspect and potentially damaging to a child’s well-being.  Remember, parents cannot be trusted with ensuring the emotional well-being of children.  That’s what schools and social workers are for!

- Taxes on individual income are seen as a core resource for the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the “poor.”  The only people allowed to be rich are movie stars, politicians, and other high-profile activists who support our Progressive Utopian Vision™.  These are the “good” rich people, as opposed to the “bad” rich people.

- The government has an equal or greater responsibility for ensuring an individual’s personal welfare than that of the individual themselves.  Clearly you can’t be trusted, or you wouldn’t have gotten yourself into this mess in the first place.

- Homelessness, drug use, and other “crimes” are society’s fault, often stemming from society’s failure to understand an individual’s specific needs and to properly “value” them.  Properly (publicly) funded outreach programs and multi-media presentations are key to overcoming these personal challenges.

- The military is an anachronistic throw-back to our imperialist past, and should be reduced to a purely defensive force.  What constitutes a “defensive” force will, of course, be determined by people who’ve never actually served IN the military.

- Abortion is a core tenet of fundamental human rights, opposition to which is seen as simply another form of support for slavery (for women).  If you don’t support abortion, you might as well have Kunta Kinte and Rosa Parks chained up in the backyard. With a Rottweiler.  A hungry Rottweiler.  In heat.

- The US shouldn’t be the world’s policemen, and we should keep our noses out of other peoples’ business.  As long as we don’t ignore world poverty, world hunger, human rights abuses and AIDS awareness, while paying our dues to the UN, who has peacekeeping forces and advisors in over 34 countries as we speak.

- Children should be rescued from “at-risk” environments where parents attempt to instill values contrary to that established by those who know better, i.e. – the benevolent leaders of the Progressive Utopian Vision™.

- You must embraces an all-inclusive a-theistic, humanist spirituality, but oppose exclusionary mono-theistic beliefs.  Remember, there is no god but, well, you, right?
 
- Global population should be significantly reduced.  Starting with someone else.

- Vast areas of the planet should be returned to their “pre-human” or “natural” conditions; or more specifically, pre-industrial conditions.  Except of course for the progressive elite, who will be able to buy carbon offsets for their 6,600 sq ft mansions in an otherwise untrammeled national forest.  An agrarian, pacifist economy, but still retaining all the benefits of modern medicines and technology.  Ah, now who wouldn’t want that?

- Those who insist on preserving a unique cultural identity are to be viewed as xenophobic and hegemonical.  We should be open to all social and cultural influences, except those that don’t support the utopian vision presented by the progressive intellectual elite.  Except that elitism is bad, well, unless you’re a Progressive intellectual, in which case it’s okay, because you really DO know better.

- We shouldn’t be burning fossil fuels, because they pollute the environment.  But we shouldn’t use nuclear power, because it could pollute the environment.  However, we should be driving electric cars using nickel-cadmium batteries, and using long-lasting light bulbs with mercury in them.  All of which need to be treated as hazardous materials when being disposed of, otherwise, they’ll poison the environment.  Never mind how expensive that is for people on fixed incomes (you know, those “poor” people you were so worried about?), this is the ENVIRONMENT we are talking about here!

I hope this little Primer of Progressivism© has been helpful to you in your quest for true enlightenment.  I can be contacted by simply closing your eyes and channeling your positive thoughts to me.  My oneness with Gaia will enable me to respond.  Thank you.

~~ Linked at Mitchieville’s “Carnival of the Politically Correct.”  Go Mayor!