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We've changed to a twice a day format!

Tune in to see two posts a day on weekdays.

Did you miss any of last week’s posts? Here’s the list, with summaries.

8 December 2014

Summary:  There’s now two posts per day on weekdays. Here’s last week’s content, in case you missed any.

About the “rape culture” at the University of Virginia, as reported by Rolling Stone

It’s time to forcibly re-shape America to fight the campus rape epidemic! Even if it’s fake., Dec 3 — Written before the story collapsed, fearfully.

We should mark our seasons by the prevailing hysteria rather than seasons. Much as calendars reflected the reigning monarch, we’d say this was the rape hysteria. Or Ebola, North Korea, melting Antarctica, Alar, overfilled garbage dumps, Saddam, Bin Laden, AIDS, bomber gap, missile gap, Yemen threat, Libyan hit squads, etc.  When we grow up we’ll no longer fall for these info ops, and perhaps then we can retake the reins of America. Perhaps until then we’re not fit to run a nation (good thing we have the 1% to do it for us).

The University of Virginia “rape culture” story crashes and burns. Will this become a story of failed agitprop? Or a win for the Left?, Dec 5

The Rolling Stone staff spent months researching the story about Janice’s rape at the U of Virginia. Its publication sparked a process of changes by the University’s leaders to change U VA’s “rape culture.” The story lasted less than two weeks before collapsing. Will the University stop the policy changes, or will this be another example of successful Leftist agitprop? Whatever the result, here we see why the Left loses — as the public chooses between its two mad political parties.

The University of Virginia shows how change comes to America: through agitprop and hysteria, Dec 7

Another round of hysteria in America, this time about the “rape culture” causing a “rape epidemic” on campuses. The flagship of this campaign, the lurid gang rape reported in Rolling Stone, has sunk. But the program rolls on, disconnected from the truth of this or any other aspect of the activists’ case. This is how change comes to America, and why meaningful reform remains difficult while our society slowly decays. As any society will when it’s ability to self-repair breaks down. We can do better.

Last week’s other posts covered different aspects of geopolitics, broadly defined

Shootings by police show their evolution into “security services”, bad news for the Republic, Dec 1

Read more…

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The University of Virginia shows how change comes to America: through agitprop and hysteria

7 December 2014

Summary:  Another round of hysteria in America, this time about the “rape culture” causing a “rape epidemic” on campuses. The flagship of this campaign, the lurid gang rape reported in Rolling Stone, has sunk. But the program rolls on, disconnected from the truth of this or any other aspect of the activists’ case. This is how change comes to America, and why meaningful reform remains difficult while our society slowly decays. As any society will when it’s ability to self-repair breaks down. We can do better.
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A rape victim speaks

To read the message, click to enlarge

Contents

  1. How Did We Get Here?
  2. How Change Comes to America
  3. What About All Those Rapes?
  4. For More Information

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(1)  How did we get here?

The story showing the “rape culture” at the University of Virginia continues to unravel, with stories in the media such as “Key Player in UVA Rape Story: Rolling Stone Never Talked to Me“, Hanna Rosin, Slate, 6 December 2014. However we’re dealing with agitprop, not just news. Activists manufacture these stories to justify social and political change. Their underlying truth is irrelevant to these stories ability to motivate Americans. That’s possible because people have found that we don’t object to lies. That’s a discovery of kind that changes the course of nations.

The initial project, pushed for decades by feminists, was re-definition of “rape” from crime by force to the more ambiguous crime due to lack of consent, then to the in the eye of the beholder crime due to lack of “explicit consent”. This greatly increased the numbers so that rape could be declared a major social problem (although a large fraction of sexual assaults or even rapes under the new definitions are not considered rape or assault by the victim — not just at occurrence, but even years later during the survey).

That required blurring the lines between rape by force (assault or battery) — which often leaves behind forensic evidence that provides a strong base for prosecution — to “he said, she said” accounts that would stump Solomon (this also distorts surveys, as they probably have very different rates of under-reporting). For details of the early stages of this project see “A matter of force: The redefinition of rape“, Timothy W Murphy, Air Force Law Review, 1996.  For an example of this advocacy in the press see “The Misguided Definition of Rape as ‘Force’“, Mary Adkins, The Atlantic, 21 May 2014 — “Sometimes, saying no is as brave as a person can be. Isn’t that brave enough?” She conflates woman sleeping with their boyfriends, with sex despite no affirmative consent (but no resistance), with violent stranger rape:

“Another close friend of mine, at age 27, was raped and murdered by an intruder in her sleep. She survived in the hospital for several days before passing away, having been beaten so badly. Her hands were broken from fighting back. Another local woman was also raped by the same intruder, but she didn’t fight back. She lived.”

Once people believe we face an emergency, hastily drafted legislation gets passed and the law enforcement system swings into action to force the desired changes in our behavior. The Left believes in social engineering. It’s one of their defining characteristics, despite their repeated failures from busing children to other schools (instead of fixing all schools) to wrecking our inner cities.

Read more…

The Disgrace of Our Criminal {in}Justice System, and hints of reform in the air

6 December 2014

Summary:  Horrific stories about our criminal injustice system, and hints of reform blooming.

Information on this website tends to the abstract. Statistics, trends, bloodless information. Today we have the opposite. David Cole reviews books telling small scale stories showing an illness in America’s soul, one unique among the world’s developed nations — and gives hints of reform in the air. These are among the most gripping accounts I’ve read in a long time, real but more powerful than any police procedural on TV. The recent attention to unjustified police violence makes this timely. People on both the Left and Right seek to hijack the push for change, turning it to their own political goals. Let’s stay on track, and hope to catch up to the other civilization nations.

We need a more aggressive Justice for the 21st C {by Zhack-Isfaction}

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The Disgrace of Our Criminal Justice

By David Cole

The New York Review of Books

4 December 2014 issue

Posted with their generous permission

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Review of these books:

  1. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
  2. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences edited by Jeremy Travis, Bruce Western, and Steve Redburn
  3. Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America by Jonathan Simon

1.  Stories of “justice” in America then, and now

In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), an innocent black man, Tom Robinson, is falsely accused of raping a white woman in a small 1930s southern town not unlike Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Robinson is tried and convicted by an all-white jury, despite the best efforts on his behalf of Atticus Finch, a white lawyer who defies the town’s lynch-mob mentality and demonstrates at trial that the victim’s story is false. Robinson tries to escape, and is shot in the back and killed. The book’s considerable dramatic power derives in part from its raw story of racial injustice, but also from the author’s choice of an innocent narrator, Atticus Finch’s young daughter, Scout.

Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy tells the story of an innocent black man from the real Monroeville, Alabama, wrongly accused and convicted of a violent crime against a young white woman, although in this case the crime is murder, and this time the story is nonfiction. Stevenson’s account of the trial and appeals of Walter McMillian takes place in the 1980s and 1990s, not the 1930s. But some things apparently do not change. McMillian, like his fictional counterpart Robinson, had committed the ultimate southern sin of having relations with a white woman, and he may have been singled out for prosecution in part because his affair had rendered him suspect and dangerous in the eyes of Monroe County’s white community.

Instead of Atticus Finch, the legal part in this story is played by Stevenson himself, a young African-American who grew up in rural and segregated Delaware, graduated from Harvard Law School, and founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law office in Alabama, to provide legal assistance to the many unrepresented men on death row there. Stevenson is today, along with his mentor, Stephen Bright, one of the nation’s most influential and inspiring advocates against the death penalty. He and his EJI colleagues have obtained relief for over one hundred people on Alabama’s death row, and won groundbreaking Supreme Court cases restricting the imposition on juveniles of sentences of life without parole.

Unlike Finch, Stevenson won his client’s case. After extensive investigation, he proved that the scant evidence offered at trial against McMillian was all false, much of it coerced out of hapless “witnesses” by a sheriff and prosecutor who needed to pin the unsolved murder on someone.

Read more…

The University of Virginia “rape culture” story crashes and burns. Will this become a story of failed agitprop? Or a win for the Left?

5 December 2014

Summary: The Rolling Stone staff spent months researching the story about Janice’s rape at the U of Virginia. Its publication sparked a process of changes by the University’s leaders to change U VA’s “rape culture.” The story lasted less than two weeks before collapsing. Will the University stop the policy changes, or will this be another example of successful Leftist agitprop? Whatever the result, here we see why the Left loses — as the public chooses between its two mad political parties.

This is a follow-up to the December 3rd post “It’s time to forcibly re-shape America to fight the campus rape epidemic! Even if it’s fake.” It’s the second of today’s two posts.

“Asking whether or not a victim is telling the truth is irrelevant … It’s just not important if they are telling the truth.”

— Sophie Hess, general manager of the Oberlin campus radio station WOBC speaking about Lena Dunham’s rape accusation, quoted by Breitbart, 4 December 2014

There are no blurred lines in rape

If only this was true

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On  November 19  Rolling Stone published “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA“ by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. As describe in the previous post about this, it told of a violent gang rape with ample physical evidence (no “he said, she said”).

The reaction was swift, providing a rich harvest.

“U.Va. is too good a place to allow this evil to reside” said its President, Teresa A. Sullivan. She suspended all social activities at fraternities until next semester, funded hiring of an additional trauma counselor for the Women’s Center, and promised a bounty of new policies (probably all recommended by feminist activists, perhaps like those at Harvard, setting up a Star Chamber-like tribunal without basic protections for the accused).

Critics quickly picked apart not just the story, but also Rolling Stone’s violations of basic journalist canons — such a contacting the accused for comment (e.g., at Slate and the WaPo). The Left’s response was quick. The New York Times, that stalwart defender of the liberal narrative, quickly found two professors of journalism to say that’s just fine.(for good reason American’s trust in the news media is at a record low). Kat Stoeffe at The Cut wrote a confused defense of the Rolling Stone article. Anna Merlan at Jezebel and Liz Seccuro at TIME published factually inaccurate, often emotional or illogical attacks on one of the critics, journalist and editor Richard Bradley. Others stated their values even more clearly:

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Then it all fell apart. Phi Kappa Psi denied the story, contradicting several key specifics. Other reporters subjected the story to real journalism, quickly finding discrepancies. Eventually Will Dana, Managing Editor of Rolling Stone, published an explanation and partial retraction, ending with:

Read more…

November brought us good news about jobs and wages. Here are the details.

5 December 2014

Summary: It’s the big day for economic stat junkies. Has the economy ended its long flirtation with recession, limping along near the 2% stall speed — supported by years of fiscal and monetary stimulus (now fading)? The last few quarters of GDP numbers suggest yes, but the job numbers have refused to cooperate. Here we look at the November report. It looks good.  This is the first of two posts today.

Economy

Contents

  1. The big lesson from this report
  2. The big picture of the economy
  3. Household survey
  4. Establishment survey
  5. Unemployment
  6. The hot sectors for jobs!
  7. For more information about

(1) The big lesson from this report

What can we learn from the November employment report? First, that one minute spent reading or watching economists predict economic numbers is a minute wasted forever. Most of the numbers are noise (changes withing the error bars; watch the trend instead) — and the forecasts are wild guesses. Life is short; spend it wisely. Here the forecasts of the best for the November gain in non-farm employment from the Establishment survey (CES). They guess because we want guesses. Guessing

  • JP Morgan 200K
  • Goldman Sachs 220K
  • Citigroup 225K
  • HSBC 230K
  • UBS 230K
  • Credit Suisse 235K
  • Morgan Stanley 235K
  • Deutsche Bank 250K

The actual was 321,000 (+2.8% SAAR), plus another 44,000 from revisions to September and October.

(2)  The big picture of the economy

This report supported the hopes of those hoping the US economy has returned to “normal” growth. But one swallow does not a summer make. Even with a good November, the YoY NSA growth in jobs is 2.0% by the Household Survey (CPS) and 2.0% by the Establishment Survey (CES) — two methods, same result.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts two surveys: one of households, one of businesses. They are not directly comparable, each giving different perspectives on the US economy. The Current Population survey looks at households. Compared to the survey of businesses it has large error bars; there are no revisions. It’s the basis for the headline unemployment rate, and gives useful data not in the more-accurate business (establishment) survey. Also, some research suggests that the household report shows inflection points before the establishment survey.

Both give identical pictures for the past year (YoY NSA): people employed (CPS) +2.0%, non-farm jobs (CES) +2.0%.  They’re also similar for the past two months (SA): +2.3% and +2.5%.

(3) The Household survey (CPS)

Read more…

2014 will be the hottest year on record! Except for the details, which ruin that narrative.

4 December 2014

Summary: Let’s look at the most recent hot story about climate change. It shows why the public knows so little about it, despite the intense coverage — and why so many are suspicious about what they’re told. Activists and journalists often prefer the simple politically useful narrative to the messy reality.  This is the second of today’s post, a follow-up to this morning’s How much did the world warm in November? How fast is it warming? See the numbers.

The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information — in the sense of raw data — is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these.

— Sir Arthur C Clarke, interview with Nalaka Gunawardene, posted at OneWorld, 5 December 2003

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We start with the science, a press release from the UK Met Office, 3 December 2014 (the WMO put out a similar notice that day) — Excerpt:

The global mean temperature for January to October based on the  HadCRUT4 dataset (compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit) is 0.57 °C (+/- 0.1) above the long-term (1961-1990) average. This is consistent with the statement from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today.

With two months of data still to add, the full-year figure could change but presently 2014 is just ahead of the current record of 0.56°C set in 2010 in the global series which dates back to 1850. The final value for this year will be very close to the central estimate of 0.57°C from the Met Office global temperature forecast for 2014, which was issued late last year.

Colin Morice, a climate monitoring scientist at the Met Office, said: “Record or near-record years are interesting, but the ranking of individual years should be treated with some caution because the uncertainties in the data are larger than the differences between the top ranked years. We can say this year will add to the set of near-record temperatures we have seen over the last decade.”

Note this looks at only one of the global temperature datasets; although the other surface temperature datasets agree (they rely on overlapping sources) neither of the 2 satellite datasets shows a record year.

For an example of accurate reporting on this see the Financial Times (whose demanding audience doesn’t tolerate lies and cant): “This year on course to be warmest on record“, 3 December 2014. They give accurate and precise news, put in context.

  1. The news (burying the lede, it’s at the end):”… The WMO said the average global land and sea surface temperature between January and October was about 0.57C higher than the average recorded between 1961 and 1990. It was also 0.09C above the average for the past 10 years.”
  2. Context:  “Mr Stott said it was “remarkable” to see a record year of heat occur in the absence of an El Niño, a warming water pattern in the eastern Pacific that has boosted temperatures in the recent past. But he added it was still too early to know whether 2014 signalled an end to the so-called pause in the rate of global warming during the past decade.”
  3. Political background (news seldom just happens): “The news came as thousands of delegates to this year’s UN climate negotiations in Lima arrived for the last big round of talks before a global climate-change deal is due to be sealed in Paris at the end of next year.”

Most of the major media follow the same format, but omit the FT’s scientific and political context (e.g., on CNN and The Guardian). They prefer instead to hype the warming.

Liberals tend to get their news from activists like Joe Romm at ThinkProgress. He goes straight for innumeracy, omitting all numbers and provides word salad instead. He quotes a UN official (WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud) who denies the pause — after several years during which climate scientists study its causes and forecast its duration. And he ignored Dr. Morice’s warning.

Read more…

How much did the world warm in November? How fast is it warming? See the numbers.

4 December 2014

Summary: How warm was the world in November? How fast is it warming? See the numbers. They might surprise you.

The world has been warming for 2 centuries. Seldom mentioned is how much it has warmed, which allows alarmists to more easily arouse fear (e.g., see Joe Romm’s latest; difficult to read graphs but no numbers). For the answer we turn to the NASA-funded global temperature data from satellites.  This post shows the numbers: the warming since 1979 is small (so far; the future might be quite different). The truth is out there for people willing to see it. Only with it can we prepare for our future.

Click to enlarge the graphs. This is the first of two posts today.

“It is extremely likely (95 – 100% certain) that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”
— conclusion of the IPCC’s AR5 Working Group I

Global Warming

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Contents

  1. What do satellites tell us about global warming?
  2. Was this the hottest November?
  3. The long-term history of warming
  4. Who produces this satellite data & analysis?
  5. For More Information

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(1) What do satellites tell us about global warming?

Satellites provide the most comprehensive and reliable record of the atmosphere’s warming since 1979.

The November 2014 Global Temperature Report
by the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville
(Blue is cold; red warm}. Click to enlarge.

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U AL-Huntsville November 2014 temperature map

Click to enlarge. From the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville

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See the equivalent graph from the surface temperature stations of the Climate Anomaly Monitoring System (CAMS) of the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) at the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).

Key points from the UAH report (prepared under contract for NASA), which show a world that has warmed since 1979, but only slightly (few alarmists know this; even fewer admit it):

  1. The global composite temperature in November was +0.33°C (0.60°F) above the average for November during 1981-2010.
  2. Global climate trend of temperature starting in 16 November 1978: +0.14°C  (0.3°F) per decade.
  3. Anomalies are computed per the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recommended method, comparing the current temperatures vs. a 30 year base period ending with the latest decade.

That warming has not, however, been uniform around the globe.

  1. The fastest warming has been over the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic portions of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Those areas have warmed at the rate of 0.49°C per decade, or more than 1.76°C (about 3.17°F) in 36 years.
  2. The oceans surrounding the Antarctic are cooling at the rate of 0.02°C per decade, or 0.07°C since December 1978.
  3. The Northern Hemisphere is warming more than twice as fast as the Southern Hemisphere (0.19°C per decade vs. 0.09°C per decade).
  4. The contiguous 48 U.S. states have an average warming rate of 0.22°C (almost 0.40°F) per decade during the past 36 years. That means the average atmospheric temperature over the lower 48 has warmed by 0.79°C or about 1.43°F during that time.

(2) Was this the hottest November?

Before we look at the numbers, Colin Morice (climate monitoring scientist at the UK Met Office) warns us that…

Read more…

It’s time to forcibly re-shape America to fight the campus rape epidemic! Even if it’s fake.

3 December 2014

Summary: Let’s look at the U Virginia rape culture. In other words, it’s time for another wave of hysteria followed by social engineering, this time about the epidemic of rape on campuses.

We should mark our seasons by the prevailing hysteria rather than seasons. Much as calendars reflected the reigning monarch, we’d say this was the rape hysteria. Or Ebola, North Korea, melting Antarctica, Alar, overfilled garbage dumps, Saddam, Bin Laden, AIDS, bomber gap, missile gap, Yemen threat, Libyan hit squads, etc.  When we grow up we’ll no longer fall for these info ops, and perhaps then we can retake the reins of America. Perhaps until then we’re not fit to run a nation (good thing we have the 1% to do it for us).

This is the second of 2 posts today. Post your thoughts in the comments.

Ms Magazine: on rape

Most don’t know they’ve been assaulted

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Contents

  1. The horrific story of gang rape at a prestigious university
  2. Reminders of past false stories
  3. Obvious actions
  4. About the epidemic of rape at colleges
  5. For More Information

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(1)  The horrific story of gang rape at a major university

A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA“, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, Rolling Stone, 19 November 2014 — Jackie was just starting her freshman year at the University of Virginia when she was brutally assaulted by seven men at a frat party. When she tried to hold them accountable, a whole new kind of abuse began.”

This describes an old-fashioned gang rape. No alcohol, no fancy date-rape drugs; no he-said-she-said. Lure the girl upstairs, then seven men brutally rape her for three hours. Bleeding she stumbles away. Three friends advise her not to go to the hospital, not to call the police. It would be a DA’s dream case, as so much physical evidence gives an easy convictions (blood and glass on the carpet, her wounds, DNA, etc).

The three friends launched into a heated discussion about the social price of reporting Jackie’s rape, while Jackie stood beside them, mute in her bloody dress, wishing only to go back to her dorm room and fall into a deep, forgetful sleep. Detached, Jackie listened as Cindy prevailed over the group: “She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’ and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again.”

It’s a horrific story. This girl stumbles into a fraternity of psychopaths (why didn’t they expect jail time?), then finds her three best friends are sociopaths. Although the vast majority of the media coverage has expressed uncritical outrage (always believe the victim), there have been some dissenting voices. First, questions about the reporting by Rolling Stone. Such as in “The Missing Men“, Allison Benedikt and Hanna Rosin, Slate, 2 December 2014 — “Why didn’t a Rolling Stone writer talk to the alleged perpetrators of a gang rape at the University of Virginia?”

Last week, we invited Erdely on the DoubleX Gabfest to talk about the story. I asked her in several different ways if she knew anything about the seven men whom Jackie accused of committing this crime, or if she had talked to them. In the story, Jackie’s roommate at the time, Rachel Soltis, tells Erdely, “Me and several other people know exactly who did this to her.” Jackie says she still sees “Drew,” the guy she alleges orchestrated the gang rape, walking around campus sometimes. (Jackie is the alleged victim’s real first name. Drew is Erdely’s pseudonym for the alleged perpetrator.)

Read more…

What the US doesn’t understand about ISIS, & must learn soon

3 December 2014

Summary: As we slide deeper into the Long War with Islam, blindly, urged on by ignorant voices, we do so against the advice of experts like Ahmed Rashid. Here he tells us about ISIS, their origins and their goals. He explains what were doing wrong, and recommends a better course. (First of 2 posts today)

Islamic Sky

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ISIS: What the US Doesn’t Understand

By Ahmed Rashid

Blog of the New York Review of Books

2 December 2014

Posted with their generous permission

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Over the last few days, as the United States has stepped up its bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria, it has been hard to escape another reality: the US is still looking for a coherent strategy against the Islamic State. Along with its relentless drive across the deserts of Syria and Iraq, and its continued massacre of civilians and members of endangered minorities, ISIS can now also claim its first victim in Washington with the sacking of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. His departure — prompted in part by divisions with the White House over Syria policy — highlights the deep problems of an air offensive against ISIS that has alienated Arab states and other allies in NATO, even as it has failed to bring tangible results.

The crisis ISIS has created for the West and the Arab world cannot be effectively addressed until there is a broader understanding of what ISIS wants. The first thing we need to recognize is that ISIS is not waging a war against the West. In view of the staggering growth in the number of ISIS’s international recruits — there are now estimated to be some 18,000 foreign fighters from 90 countries — the growing possibility that some who have joined the group may return home to carry out acts of terrorism must be taken seriously. There is also a risk that others who never went to Syria, like the shooter in the Canadian parliament in October, will be inspired by ISIS to carry out such attacks.

In contrast to al-Qaeda, however, ISIS has not made the US and its allies its main target. Where al-Qaeda directed its anger at the “distant enemy,” the United States, ISIS wants to destroy the near enemy, the Arab regimes, first. This is above all a war within Islam: a conflict of Sunni against Shia, but also a war by Sunni extremists against more moderate Muslims — between those who think the Muslim world should be dominated by a single strand of Wahhabism and its extremist offshoot Salafism and those who support a pluralistic vision of Muslim society. The leaders of ISIS seek to eliminate all Muslim and non-Muslim minorities from the Middle East — not only erasing the old borders and states imposed by Western powers, but changing the entire ethnic, tribal, and religious composition of the region.

Read more…

Nine years after Katrina, climate activists have earned their reward. We might pay dearly for it

2 December 2014

Summary: We rely on warnings about threats from our watchmen, experts or amateurs, who see danger before we can. Our ability to respond depends on the clarity of their warnings. Sometimes we don’t listen; sometimes they’re wrong. Sometimes we suffer because they minimize the danger or exaggerate the time until it arrives. Climate activists have practiced another form of alarm: exaggerating the certainty of the danger and minimizing the time until it hits. That works well, unless they’re wrong about both the timing and scale. Now all we can do is hope that the threat is small and distant, since we’re doing little to prepare.

Extreme Weather

Troubles lies ahead

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“Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson, perhaps apocryphal

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Art Horn (meteorologist) set the background for this sad story in his 9 October 2010 post:

Four hurricanes made landfall on the United States during the 2004 season. All of them hit Florida. … Then there was 2005. The hurricane season of 2005 was one for the record books. The long term average number of named tropical storms in the Atlantic basin is 11. In 2005 there were an amazing 27. The long term average number of hurricanes is 6. In 2005 there were a record 15. Actually the hurricane seasons of 1933 and 1887 were probably very similar in the number of tropical storms and hurricanes. There were no satellites to see all the storms back … This was also the year of hurricane Katrina. …

Making the most of this moment was Al Gore, as in this speech at Sierra Club’s National Environmental Convention and Expo in San Francisco on 9 September 2005. Excerpt:

Winston Churchill, when the storm was gathering on continental Europe, provided warnings of what was at stake. And he said this about the government then in power in England — which wasn’t sure that the threat was real — he said, “They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.” He continued, “The era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing and baffling expedience of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences.

Read more…

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