Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Economist Under the Microscope

Or, The Economist imitates Reuters

A colleague at work this week forwarded this editorial to me and I couldn't let it pass without a good fisking. Here goes, including a jab at the cartoon that came with it. (Cartoon art by KAL, satirical recomposition by SMSgtMac)

DICK CHENEY has never been a great fan of open government.

His staff refuse to reveal how many people work in his office, let alone what they do there.

On his orders, or was it a general security thing? What? – you don’t know? Ohhh-kaaaay.
He went to court to keep the membership of his energy commission secret.

Yes: all the way to the Supreme Court who found (7-2) for the Cheney argument and more importantly for the Bush Administration. You see, in this land where we have Citizens instead of ‘Subjects’, we also have something called ‘separation of powers’ among branches of government. The Supremes agreed that this issue fell under that Constitutional provision.
You can find the White House and the Pentagon on Google Earth. But the vice-president's official residence is pixellated out.

This has to be the most petty line in the whole editorial. Make no mistake, the author(s) don’t have enough real facts in this hit piece to write a headline, much less an actual ‘article’ on this topic – which is no doubt why we find it where we do, instead of as a cover story.
Are we to believe that Vice President Cheney barked out the orders from some secret command bunker in the dead of night “…and get Blair House off Google this instant so no one will know where I live!”
Which makes the trial of Mr Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, all the more notable.

Step 1: Set up straw man argument. Check!
The defence finally decided against calling Mr Cheney to testify.

‘Finally’? Finally? Was there a deadline to meet, tradition to follow, or perhaps a storyline to complete or something? So….effin’….what?

The deposition, hearing, and trial process is a dance that can make the Flamenco look easy. If the Libby lawyers thought it was absolutey necessary or beneficial to call the VP, they would have put him on the stand.

As it is, this has to be taken as a positive for the Libby side. This trial is, after all, in Washington DC. The denizens (adopting the author(s) use neutral words with negative vibes), as a group are closer to the Democratic Party gravy train than any other city in the country-- and are the most hostile city population in the country to the Republican Party because of it. Things would have to go pretty bad before a competent lawyer would willingly traipse out the second highest Republican authority figure in these circumstances.
But nevertheless the trial, which is now reaching its final stages, has cast a rare shaft of light on the vice-president's dark world. His handwritten notes have been projected on giant screens. His bureaucratic fingerprints have been examined in the smallest detail.

Ooooo -- Lovely use of the words ‘dark’ and ‘fingerprints’ .
It has always been clear that Mr Cheney is an exceptionally powerful vice-president.

How is he exceptionally powerful? I mean other than those powers delegated to him by the President of course.

Oh……and another thing: So what?
He has the largest vice-presidential staff in history (an estimated 14 national security advisers compared with Al Gore's four, for example), and vassals in most branches of government.

Is staff size supposed to be a supporting ‘point’? Is it beyond the author(s) grasp that there might be reasons the President wants the VP to have significant staff support? Heck, it could be put down to management style. Are the author(s) taking away style points?

Highlighting Clinton’s obvious non-reliance on Gore and comparing it with the obvious magnitude of President Bush’s reliance on Cheney since 9/11 is a pleasant (and no doubt unintended) observation on the part of the author(s). I’m surprised Clinton just didn’t give Gore a 1000 piece puzzle and then hid the box for eight yearsto keep Gore busy.

I also imagine almost any one of the VP’s associates would first laugh at the author(s) and then kick then in their shiny, leftist, panty-clad a** if they called them ‘vassals’ to their face.
But the trial has given a sense of how that power operates on a day-to-day basis.

So the Economist thinks it is getting a peek inside the sausage factory (and what a lame transition). So let’s see how sausage is made shall we? Here we go!
The two characteristics that have emerged most clearly are ruthlessness and obsessive attention to detail.

Now who would want somebody in public office at a time of war that was ruthless and paid attention to detail, especially when you have political rivals that would sell out the war effort for their own power gains? Oh yeah…I would.
Mr Cheney was clearly determined to punish Joseph Wilson for casting doubt on some of the administration's claims about WMD.(Mr Wilson wrote an article in the New York Times claiming that, during an official visit to Niger in 2002, he had found no evidence that Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase nuclear material from the country.)

Why not mention that Joe Wilson had lied extensively throughout the process as documented here, here, here and more recently here. And the 'no evidence' claim eventually gets changed (see below).

Is there any mystery to the author(s) as to why such lies should be countered? And characterizing the Administration as ‘determined to punish’ is a complete misrepresentation: the attempt was to squash the lies not (unfortunately) the liar.
And from the moment he cut Mr Wilson's article out of the New York Times and scrawled notes all over it, Mr Cheney devoted a striking amount of energy to the administration's offensive against him.

‘Scrawled’? Another evil sounding word, eh? The Economist seems to have one or more frustrated novelists on the payroll.
Devoted a “striking” amount of energy? Hmmmmm. The VP Checklist:
1. Cut out article that looks like it was written to undermine the Administration and the war effort using what you believe are distortions or fabrications and that could also involve criminal leaks of national security information,
2. Put notes in the margins,
3. Task some people to look into it,
4. Place article on desk as a reminder for you to ‘followup”.
Yep. Positively Eeeeevil MBA damage control techniques.
According to Mr Libby and a former PR aide, he dictated talking points for press officers to use. He discussed the case several times a day with Mr Libby, told him to deal directly with selected reporters, and instructed him to leak a sensitive document.

Hint: Press officers are hired to tell the side of the story of those who hired them. Is this news to the Economist?

And NO. Not ‘leaked’: au-tho-rized. Authorized, get it? Geez I get tired of people who don’t know squat about the role of classifying and declassifying AUTHORITIES who also go mouthing off about ‘leaks’.
Mr Libby's leaks are what landed him in trouble: he disclosed that Mr Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA agent, which is potentially a crime, though he is being tried not for that but for giving misleading evidence when questioned.

Really? I thought it was Armitrage who actually leaked.

Since the criminal grounds by which revealing Valerie Plame’s identity did not(and do not) exist, the use of the word “potentially” is a real stretch. It is akin to me stating "potentially I’m an NBA center because if I was eight feet tall I could be".

Please do try to be accurate: he is being tried for allegedly giving misleading information. Even if a hostile jury convicts him, it will be appealed and the conviction will almost certainly be thrown out at the next level.
Why was Mr Cheney so obsessed with Mr Wilson? Mr Wilson was a retired ambassador who had been peddling the story of his trip to Niger around town for months. Mr Cheney's office had difficulty in getting chosen reporters to tune into its arguments; indeed, but for Mr Cheney worrying at it like a dog at a bone, Mr Wilson's article would have been long forgotten.

Again, Wilson was peddling a lie with a negative impact. Watch and wish it away and it will go away eh? Well, at least that is consistent with a lot of people’s view of the the Islamist threat. And nice use of an unsubstantiated “so obsessed”.
One possible explanation is that Mr Cheney knew that the administration's claims about WMD were false. But it seems unlikely. Mr Cheney continued to argue that Saddam possessed WMD long after Mr Bush had backed down. His problem was not that he was lying, but that he was so convinced that Saddam possessed WMD that he could not see evidence to the contrary.

‘False claims’ seems an ‘unlikely’ cause eh? Would that be because the claims about Saddam attempting to acquire Niger Uranium were true? (Unless Joe Wilson is lying now instead of then!)

And so the Economist selectively ignores evidence so they can use the word ‘contrary’.

Is it the Economist’s view that because we did not find thousands or more WMDs, that there therefore were none?

Does the Economist maintain this pose even though we actually found many hundreds of weapons as well as a large body of evidence that Saddam Hussein was working hard to reconstruct his WMD programs

Is this the Economist’s view, in spite of the possibility many of these weapons may have made it to Syria according to the WMD survey team leader?

The other, more probable, explanation is that Mr Cheney was engaged in a personal vendetta, and that this was vicious inside-the-Beltway politics,not grand trickery.
Why is it more probable, and are we about to be given an answer? Answer: ‘Not really’.

Indeed, one of the most striking things about the trial is that it demonstrates just how much of a creature of Washington Mr Cheney really is. He may present himself as a plain-spoken son of Wyoming who eventually went on to become the no-nonsense CEO of a global company.
Yeah, it is amazing how he’s been able to navigate the waters of Washington off and on for all these years without losing his soul.

But in reality he is the quintessential Washingtonian.
He started his career as a failed academic, dropping out of Yale after a few terms and never completing his PhD at the University of Wisconsin. But he flourished when he came to Washington: attracting the attention of Donald Rumsfeld, rapidly climbing the greasy pole, and becoming Gerald Ford's chief of staff at the age of 34. He had found his perfect milieu.
Quintessential Washingtonians are usually failed academics who graduate from an Ivy league school, so thank goodness Cheney left before that happened. Imagine that, a go-getting idea man who decided not to finish his Doctorate. What are the odds?

Conspiring and manoeuvring
(A Bold Header! –unsupported by evidence, but presented through innuendo in various ways below. Tautology. Tautology. Tautology!

During his years as an insider he has acquired the typical habits of mind of veteran Washingtonians: an obsession with spin and gossip, including an over-inflated sense of the importance of newspaper articles; a hyper-sensitive nose for threats; and, it would appear, a determination to destroy his enemies by whatever means necessary.
Ah-ha!. In other words, he is an astute politician with lots of people who can’t go toe-to-toe with him. Why didn’t the author(s) say so? Oh, right, the Economist has that Eeevil ‘film-noir’ feel going and didn’t want to break the mood.
He began his career in the White House by conspiring with Donald Rumsfeld to sideline the vice-president, Nelson Rockefeller, and to rein in Henry Kissinger (who then combined the jobs of secretary of state and head of the National Security Council). If Mr Libby's evidence is anything to go by, he has been conspiring and manoeuvring ever since.

Nice use of ‘Conspiring’. Proof please. Not innuendo, not accusations. Evidence. Lots of evidence that removes reasonable doubt. Can’t find it? That’s all right neither could I. I would like the proof so I can finally know who I need to send the thank you note to for the Kissenger ‘rein-in’.

It was also during the Ford administration that Mr Cheney seems to have acquired a profound distrust of the CIA. He became convinced that the CIA was underestimating the Soviet military build-up. He lent his support to something called “Team B”, a group of foreign-policy experts who made it their business to second-guess the CIA over the Soviet threat.

Wow. He ‘lent his support’… “Team B”. It is amazing how the left has monopolized and rewritten the history of Team B since it happened, so the Economist can be forgiven for grasping at this piece of history. But they cannot be forgiven for forgetting the fundamentals of National Security or latching on to such a weak argument as ‘he supported’. Hot tip: Intel is hard. When national survival is at stake you can only afford to be wrong through being overly pessimistic.
Mr Cheney's distrust of the CIA grew even stronger in the 1990s, when he concluded that the agency had misjudged Saddam's military capabilities in the run-up to the first Gulf war. He relied on his own intelligence sources—the latter-day equivalent of Team B—and made repeated visits to the CIA headquarters in Langley to interrogate officers there on their intelligence.

So he thought the CIA failed earlier and he had the audacity to not trust them as much without a little verification and some confidence checks? Shocker!

[Actually all SecDefs rely on their DIA people and intel wherever they can get it. It’s why we call people like the VP and SecDef ‘decisionmakers’ and intelligence services, “services”.]

In any case this is the REAL blockbuster headline: "SecDef with people’s lives on the line wants confidence in the intel.” Gives one the vapors.

Mr Wilson was thus a ready-made target for Mr Cheney: an Iraq war sceptic who had been sent to Niger by a notoriously soft agency and who tried to ventilate his views in the newspapers.
Read: …a liar who had been sent to Niger… (Start of a good limerick?)
All this still leaves the biggest question unanswered. Where did Mr Cheney get his fervour from? The average Washington insider is a consummate trimmer. Mr Cheney comes across as a man firmly in the grip of an ideology. It will take more than the Scooter Libby trial to explain him fully. But at least Americans have learned a little bit more about the power behind King George's throne.

Fervo[u]r? Maybe Cheney just doesn’t like lying troublemakers mucking up National Security for political points.

Perhaps if more Britons in government had a rational ‘ideology’, it wouldn’t be so shocking to the Economist to find people with ideologies over here. (Also nice gratuitous dig at President at the very end: real professional journalism there!)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The 246!

Now THIS is the proper way to look at things. Found courtesy of Black Five

The 246 should be mocked into oblivion.

Rep Sam Johnson Smacks Down Ron Paul, et al

Maybe instead of adding weight against the DisHon. John Murtha, I can make a contribution against the cut-and-run idiots closer to home.

Observe the cliché-ridden themes of the alter-moonbat rant of libertarian and isolationist Ron Paul:

‘Questioning his patriotism’
It’s nothing more than a canard to claim that those of us who struggled to prevent the bloodshed and now want it stopped are somehow less patriotic and less concerned about the welfare of our military personnel.

‘America Imperialism’
Why are we determined to follow a foreign policy of empire building and pre-emption which is unbecoming of a constitutional republic?

‘9/11 was an excuse to attack Iraq’
Don’t forget: the Iraqis and Saddam Hussein had absolutely nothing to do with any terrorist attack against us including that on 9/11.


For all the misinformation given the American people to justify our invasion, such as our need for national security, enforcing UN resolutions, removing a dictator, establishing a democracy, protecting our oil…

‘We’re helping Osama Bin Laden’ or ‘they hate us because we’re there’
His recruitment of Islamic extremists has been greatly enhanced by our occupation of Iraq

‘It’s the Wrong War
Resorting to a medical analogy, a wrong diagnosis was made at the beginning of the war and the wrong treatment was prescribed.

‘We can’t win’
We all know, in time, the war will be de-funded one way or another and the troops will come home. So why not now?

Now compare Ron Paul’s blathering with Sam Johnson’s perspective on the issue of the ‘non-binding’ resolution. I include the full text** of Johnson’s comments, not just because I agree with him, but because it is his very perspective and the roots of that perspective that are at the core of the debate on the alternatives: Abandonment or Victory.

“You know, I flew 62 combat missions in the Korean War and 25 missions in the Vietnam War before being shot down.

“I had the privilege of serving in the United States Air Force for 29 years, attending the prestigious National War College, and commanding two air bases, among other things.

“I mention these stories because I view the debate on the floor not just as a U.S. Congressman elected to serve the good people of the Third District in Texas, but also through the lens of a life-long fighter pilot, student of war, a combat warrior, a leader of men, and a Prisoner of War.

“Ironically, this week marks the anniversary that I started a new life – and my freedom from prison in Hanoi.

“I spent nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, more than half of that time in solitary confinement. I flew out of Hanoi on February 12, 1973 with other
long-held Prisoners of War – weighing just 140 pounds. And tomorrow – 34 years
ago, I had my homecoming to Texas – a truly unspeakable blessing of freedom.

“While in solitary confinement, my captors kept me in leg stocks, like the pilgrims… for 72 days….

“As you can imagine, they had to carry me out of the stocks because I couldn’t walk. The following day, they put me in leg irons… for 2 ½ years. That’s when you have a tight metal cuff around each ankle – with a foot-long bar connecting the legs.

“I still have little feeling in my right arm and my right hand… and my body has
never been the same since my nearly 2,500 days of captivity.

“But I will never let my physical wounds hold me back.

“Instead, I try to see the silver lining. I say that because in some way … I’m living a dream…a hope I had for the future.

“From April 16, 1966 to February 12, 1973 – I prayed that I would return home to the loving embrace of my wife, Shirley, and my three kids, Bob, Gini, and Beverly…
“And my fellow POWs and I clung to the hope of when – not if – we returned home.

“We would spend hours tapping on the adjoining cement walls about what we would do when we got home to America. “We pledged to quit griping about the way the
government was running the war in Vietnam and do something about it… We decided that we would run for office and try to make America a better place for all.

“So – little did I know back in my rat-infested 3 x 8 dark and filthy cell that 34 years after my departure from Hell on Earth… I would spend the anniversary of my release pleading for a House panel to back my measure to support and fully fund the troops in harm’s way….and that just days later I would be on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives surrounded by distinguished veterans urging Congress to support our troops to the hilt.

“We POWs were still in Vietnam when Washington cut the funding for Vietnam. I know what it does to morale and mission success. Words can not fully describe the horrendous damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground.

“Our captors would blare nasty recordings over the loud speaker of Americans protesting back home…tales of Americans spitting on Vietnam veterans when they came home... and worse. “We must never, ever let that happen again.

“The pain inflicted by your country’s indifference is tenfold that inflicted by your ruthless captors.

“Our troops – and their families – want, need and deserve the full support of the country – and the Congress. Moms and dads watching the news need to know that the Congress will not leave their sons and daughters in harm’s way without support.

“Since the President announced his new plan for Iraq last month, there has been steady progress. He changed the rules of engagement and removed political protections.

“There are reports we wounded the number two of Al Qaeda and killed his deputy. Yes, Al Qaeda operates in Iraq. It’s alleged that top radical jihadist Al-Sadr has fled Iraq – maybe to Iran. And Iraq’s closed its borders with Iran and Syria. The President changed course and offered a new plan …we are making progress. We must seize the opportunity to move forward, not stifle future success.

“Debating non-binding resolutions aimed at earning political points only destroys morale, stymies success, and emboldens the enemy.

“The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops…Just ask John Murtha about his ‘slow-bleed’ plan that hamstrings our troops in harm’s way.

“Now it’s time to stand up for my friends who did not make it home – and those who fought and died in Iraq - so I can keep my promise that when we got home we would quit griping about the war and do something positive about it…and we must not allow this Congress to leave these troops like the Congress left us.

“Today, let my body serve as a brutal reminder that we must not repeat the mistakes of the past… instead learn from them.

“We must not cut funding for our troops. We must stick by them. We must support them all the way…To our troops we must remain…always faithful.

“God bless you and I salute you all. Thank you.”

**all emphases are Rep. Johnson’s

Rep. Johnson, as a veteran who suffered the consequences of a feckless Congress in an earlier war, has views that are clearly more substantive and deserving of recognition than the isolationist Paul’s. But since Paul is a useful idiot of the Left on this issue, I expect he’ll get a lot more media airplay.

Extra: If you get a chance to see the C-SPAN videos of the speeches, do so –and especially so in Rep Johnson’s delivery, watch it until the end. There you will see Rep. Johnson conclude his weighty observations and comments by struggling to walk away from the dias with the painful and permanent reminders of his service to his country. What a somber contrast in gravitas with the manic-Pekinese egoism that exudes from Medical Deity Paul.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Murtha Watch: Possibly Part 1 of Many

I've been considering making the UNHon. John Murtha the object of a running theme for quite a while now and haven't yet decided to definitely take on the task (Since I'm way behind on what I've already publically promised I will remain undecided for a while). The first part of deciding whether to take this on is to really evaluate and get to know your enemy -- and as retired military man, parent to a once and possibly future military man as well as in-law to military personnel, make no mistake Murtha IS my enemy. So I've been asking myself what kind of people would vote for this, this....well, whatever he is I can't really tell, but I suspect 'deranged' might be one of the adjectives.

Tonight I visited the Desp. John Murtha's House website and found a link to a map of his district here. (There is also a huge .pdf file on his site that will make an excellent reference for further study). A less detailed representation is below:

Fascinating! - And the Dems took Texas Republicans to task (and court) for Gerrymandering?
The demographics of Murtha's district deserve close analysis all their own, but at first blush it looks like his district was designed to avoid paved roads and cable access as much as possible. I suspect Murtha's base is largely poor, comparatively uneducated, and has statistically less access to a broader world view than some other places [update: based on the last election I have to also wonder about Pittsburgh]. (Oh! And his base includes a lot of people on his pork gravy train of course). I'll bet the vote in that district split largely along the Greedy-Ignorami Alliance vs. the Informed Patriot Defenders lines. Too bad the Greedy-Ignorami got out the vote last time outnumber the Patriots 2-1.
Another Update:
Maybe I'll just read Murtha Must Go and provide practical support to their effort. Catch their latest observations here.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Subversive Dem's and Roundheel Republicans



1. Also, sub·ver·sion·ar·y / tending to subvert or advocating subversion, esp. in an attempt to overthrow or cause the destruction of an established or legally constituted government.


2. a person who adopts subversive principles or policies.
[Origin: 1635–45;<>

—Related forms sub•ver•sive•ly, adverb sub•ver•siv•ism, sub•ver•sive•ness, noun

—Synonyms 1. traitorous, treacherous, seditious, destructive

With the Dem’s takeover of Congress has come the inevitable, and of course cowardly, SUBVERSION of the National Security through the weasel-like ‘non-binding resolution’ ploy to be followed by further SUBVERSIVE acts to undermine the war effort.

Meanwhile, their fellow travelers in the mainstream media scribe accounts of their activities as if they were merely reporting the Congress was declaring it National Dental Hygiene month.

NOW can I question these idiots’ "patriotism"?


Here’s hoping several of the Republican A**hats who voted with the Dems soon experience and recognize a deliciously ironic loss of office over this -- an attempt to appease the Left, on the very issue of appeasing our enemies.

Until the Republicans in Congress ditch their ossified leadership and start heaping rightful scorn on those who have deserted the War on Terror, ALL future appeals for contributions sent to me will meet my ‘roundfile’ unopened. If enough people did it, we wouldn’t have to do it very long to make things right.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bombers over Baghdad

Hat Tip: IPBTHL (Instapundit, Praise Be To His Linkness)

Note: After proofing this, I decided it may come over as gloating. Be advised it is actually just glee!
Omar Fadhil (Iraq the Model) posted a photo and story at Pajamas Media of a B-1 orbiting the city of Baghdad [PJM link broken: original here]:

“Meanwhile a new bird appeared in the sky. Not exactly new but one that’s been absent since the end of major operations in 2003. In fact this is the first time I’ve ever seen the B-1 flying over Baghdad. Since Tuesday, the long-range huge bomber appeared several times over — the city spending as long as 75 minutes in some cases.”

While the article is probably not completely accurate, I can’t describe how gratifying this development is to me. It is now one of several (three I can think of off the top of my head anyway) instances where a major analysis I performed was vindicated after initially receiving resistance from decision makers in the AF and DoD.

Sometime around 2000 I was doing concept and employment analyses on one of the Air Force’s iterative ‘Next Generation Bomber Studies’ contracts. I developed scenarios whereby a high-subsonic aircraft would loiter in orbit near or over a battle area in order to service time-critical targets of various stripes, including Close Air Support. When this was briefed to the AF’s program office responsible as part of a package of different concepts, a senior AF representative was heard to say:
(Sniff)…we don’t loiter bombers.
A short while later in the same meeting, in a discussion on time-critical target model scenario assumptions, another senior representative was heard to say:
(Sniff)….we don’t use bombers for close air support.
When Operation Enduring Freedom hit, one of the big news items (in the trade anyway) was the use of Long-Range Strike assets as direct fire support of Special Forces operators working with Northern Alliance ‘warlords’. At the time, it was a single instance of modern bombers being used in this manner, and it could always be claimed to be an exception.
Until now.
So I guess (Sniff)….the AF DOES loiter bombers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Icons: Site Housekeeping Update

I now have the icons again!
New Blogger didn't like them at first for some reason. I may not continue using them with the new 'Labels' feature, but they do make easy index references for readers.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Islamofascists ARE the Enemy

(Sorry Lefty Dems, you're still only in second place)

I've opined on the nature of the enemy in the War on Terror before at length here and here.

But if you want to see the absolutely ‘best’ breakdown to-date of the threat we are up against in the War on Terror go here to read the post at Breath of the Beast (Hat tip Michael Ledeen). Consider the referenced post as a refinement on the earlier posts.

The post even comes complete with a Contrarian that shows up in comments at both Ledeen’s Pajama Media blog and the Breath of the Beast. Well, actually it is more of a 'nit-picker'. The Contrarian cavils over the fine point of labeling the threat ‘Islamofascism’ instead of the more generic ‘Theofascism’ without offering any reason to avoid the more concrete and narrowly defined term other than the risk of being labeled an ‘Islamophobe’. Since any ‘phobia’ involves an ‘irrational fear', this label is of course easily deflected by anyone with a modicum of grey matter by asking in return: “If it is a ‘phobia’ on what basis would one be able to characterize it ‘irrational’?

The Contrarian is apparently engaged in hawking a book AND a ‘philosophy’. I won’t link to his stuff, because…well, let’s just say "Mortimer J. Adler , he ain’t". You can find the Contrarian's stuff on you own easily enough if you follow his internet spoor. I did, and would suggest reading Adler’s Six Great Ideas as a more rewarding exercise.

updated: corrected a very stupid typo.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"Big Air" Pushes Their Vision of The Future

And it involves squashing everyone else.....
(Hat tip, Instapundit)

If you visit the site home page where this graphic came from you will find:
“Smart Skies is a national campaign by the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) and its 18 member airlines aimed at modernizing the United States' National Airspace System (NAS), and the system's 35-year-old funding mechanism.”
I could just as easily and as accurately state that “Smart Skies” is a public relations effort by ‘Big Air’ that not only comes all-too-close to being deceptive by using the name NASA has for one of it’s public education programs, it is also a transparent effort to shape the debate concerning the future air traffic control system to their advantage AND try to dampen the Very Light Jet (Davids) movement which will force the airlines (Goliaths) to ‘change’.

I know this is not news to most people, but big corporations generally hate change because it means uncertainty and risk (hardly new to the post-deregulation Air Transport dinosaurs). I posted on the disruptive nature of the VLJs on air transport a while back here and here. (Ironically, if Big Air was more flexible they could exploit this development to their advantage -- and I am waiting to see which of the big guys wises up the fastest.)

General Aviation has always paid its way via fuel (primarily) and other taxes, but the ATA has been pushing the FAA for years to levy user fees on the system as well. General aviation groups such as AOPA and EAA have been fighting the ATA on this since before the Very Light Jets were on the horizon, and the VLJ industry sees it as a pure power play as well. For a summary of the issue, Eclipse Aviation has a copy of a very good article on their website here.

If the graphic that was posted had the airplanes represented in scale, you would have needed an electron microscope to see the planes. If they thought the American public was REALLY stupid they would have made the airplanes three times as big; and the graphic would be no less materially deceptive than it already is.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Climate Alarmists: Politicos in Lab Coats

I’ve said all that needs to be said (by me anyway) about ‘Global Warming’ here. Now the high priests of the Climate Crises religion are going for broke: pushing their same tired (although some of it is in a new party dress) junk on the public as ‘consensus’.

Looking at that old post again just made me think of something else: I love Glenn Reynold’s ‘Instapundit’ as much as the next fan, but I would humbly recommend his enquirer pass up asking a law professor questions and start the journey of discovery with a trip to three websites:

1. Here visitors will get pointers that direct them to the vast body of research on CO2 and climate that climate alarmists fail to mention, mock or play down. The site really puts CO2 and it’s effects/role in climate in perspective, and is a great jumping off point to ‘hard science’ research papers. Also, be sure to check their “Temperature Record of the Week” ! Every week the site presents a temperature chart of someplace in the U.S. showing average temperatures dropping over the last 70 years.

2 & 3. Visit Climate Audit and Real Climate -- in that order. At the first site you will find devastating arguments against the climate alarmist’s theories and methodologies are the norm. At the second, you will find ad hominem attacks against those who oppose the climate alarmists are the norm. The first website touts empirical evidence, repeatable findings, and multi-disciplinary research. The second…......doesn’t (but they have “models”!).

Pick your side, but choose carefully – someday most people will notice that all these climate models couldn’t predict the present, much less the future

Current News:
Climate Audit has noted a peculiar ground rule for the latest IPCC ‘report'. Seems the final draft can only be changed to make the ‘scientific’ report match the executive summary. Now that is ‘science’ the United Nations way!