Friday, December 30, 2011

Either Someone is Clueless or Very Funny

As many of you would know, Rick Santorum, due to his vicious theocratic tendencies was the butt of a joke. Writer Dan Savage promised to create a definition of Santorum and propel it to the top of the Google search pages. He created a page called where the name is defined as: "The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex." The site gets more hits through Google than Santorum's own website so it sits first in the ranking when Santorum is entered into the search engine. Given that, check out the Philadelphia Daily News with there recent headline regarding the frothy mixture himself. This is funny.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The State of the Race for the Republicans

Here is my best guesses on the primary for God's Own Party (GOP).

Iowa is Ron Paul's best chance. It is the smallest primary which means one doesn't need wide support just fanatical support and the Paul supporters are fanatical, if they are anything. I think it will Romney or Paul but that Paul may see a last minute drop in support. While Iowa is first it is actually one of the less important races because of the small number of voters involved.

Remember that if Iowa was important then Huckabee should have been the GOP candidate in 2008, McCain, the ultimate winner, was tied in 3rd place with Fred Thompson behind Huckabee and Romney. In 1996 Dole was only slightly ahead of bigot Pat Buchanan, whose views most closely match Paul's views. Buchanan's vote then is similar to what Paul is polling now. In 1988 Iowa picked Dole, then Pat Robertson with the ultimate winner, George H.W. Bush coming in third. In 1980 they picked Bush over Reagan. Since 1980, the final winner had opposition in 5 of the elections, with no opposition in 3. Iowa Republicans only picked the ultimate nominee twice, picking a loser three times. I don't think Iowa means much in picking the winner, but it could bust a loser.

If Ron Paul and Romney take the first two places, with Gingrich in 3rd place, it can hurt him. I don't think it will help Paul much, but I think it can hurt Gingrich significantly.

New Hampshire is the first real primary, but also one of the smallest and thus one of the easies to campaign in. A lot of candidates put an emphasis hoping to start a stampede in their favor. New Hampshire picked McCain in 08. In 2004 Bush was really running uncontested. In 2000 NH picked McCain over Bush thus picking a loser. In 1996 they picked Pat Buchanan, whose campaign went nowhere. In 1992 Bush won over the very weak Buchanan. in 1988, Bush won over Dole. In 1984 Reagan was unopposed and Reagan won in 1980. In the significant contested races NH picked the final candidate twice. While more important than Iowa is still a relative unimportant race in my opinion. I think Romney will win New Hampshire.

South Carolina is the first of the bigger states with a primary. I think the race there will be between Gingrich and Romney. Both offend evangelicals because of their religion. Gingrich is part of the "anti-Christ" Catholic Church and Romney is part of the Mormon "cult." At this point Gingrich has to win. If he loses both Iowa and New Hampshire the perception will be that the parade is moving past him. That will reduce his vote in South Carolina. If Paul picks up in the polls because a perception that he is stronger than he is, he could take away enough points from Gingrich that Romney could come in first. By this time it will be apparent that Bachmann, Huntsman and Santorum are going nowhere. Their support will be dropping quickly. Ron Paul should in third place in South Carolina sending the message to Republicans that the choice is Romney or Gingrich.

Next up is Florida, where Gingrich has a lead at this time, Romney is in second and Ron Paul is a very distant third. With Paul's vote totals seeming to fall, in New Hampshire and South Carolina, he should see them falling even more in Florida. Gingrich is posed to win Florida which will give his campaign some life again. If Romney comes closer to Gingrich than currently expected the lose will not hurt him much. At this point I think the race will clearly be between Romney and Gingrich.

Next up the Nevada caucus. Another small state but one where Romney is leading with Gingrich not far behind. Paul is a distant third there. If he picks up it will probably be an Gingrich's expense. Both Gingrich and Paul attract the more rabid conservatives in the GOP. So Paul is more likely to hurt Gingrich than hurt Romney. A Romney win here is likely giving a slight boost to his campaign over Gingrich.

The Maine caucus is next. It is a small state, which often means Paul's fanatical followers have an edge. But the Maine caucus is not relevant. The attendees nominate delegates and those delegates only go to a convention in May where they will vote on a presidential candidate. Exactly who will get those votes is not clear until May so this will have little impact on how the race is perceived, helping to push one candidate or the other.

The Colorado Republican caucus is still relatively small. Gingrich is ahead at this time. But by February 7th, a lot of can happen. If Romney was doing better than originally anticipated he could move into a closer race. Ron Paul won't be significant here. I think the race is going to still be pretty close by this time. The race is going to be clearly a race between Romney and Gingrich. Ron Paul's followers will be screaming that the "Insiders," "Establishment," "Bankers" or whichever conspiracy theory they lean toward were responsible for Paul's clear demise in the election. Why? Because the Texas Messiah himself can do no wrong in their eyes.

Closer to February I will reconsider the race. At this point I would guess that Romney will be the ultimate candidate but there is too much that can happen before then.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

This is Called a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Cardinal Francis George Warns That Chicago Gay Pride Parade Might 'Morph Into Ku Klux Klan':

The controversy is simple. The gay parade in Chicago is too big for the old route. So the city had it extended and moved slightly to make it easier for floats to turn some corners along the way.

The change in the route has a Catholic priest upset because his church is on the route and he doesn't want gays around.

So the Archbishop (a totally unbiblical position) weighs in and then arbitrarily compares gays to the Ku Klux Klan and says he doesn't want gays protesting the church. Well, maybe if he didn't compare them to the Klan such demonstrations would be far less likely. I can't see how he couldn't think that such comments would encourage the very thing he claims he doesn't want.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Should Scientists Be Forced To State Their Theology?

You would think that what is science, and what is religion, are two very different things. Facts are facts and faith is faith and, in my view, rarely do the two coincide. Nor should they. Gravity is true whether the scientist discussing it is a Jew, a Muslim, a rationalist, a Jehovah's Witness or a born-again revivalist.

But a Republican in New Hampshire wants to pass law requiring all scientists discussing evolution to reveal their political viewpoints and their personal beliefs about supernatural hocus-pocus and the like. Actually, the bill doesn't go quite that far. It only demands that a scientist state his religious views if he is an atheist.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Jerry Bergen says that it would:

"Require evolution to be taught in the public schools of this state as a theory, including the theorists' political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism."

That is pretty much the whole legislation.

There are a couple of things I immediately notice about this badly crafted piece of theocratic insanity. First, evolution is always taught as a theory. Apparently the legislator, like many fundamentalists, is unaware of what the term "theory" means in science. In science a theory is "a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principles or body of principles offered to explain phenomena." Science assumes that a theory is the best explanation for something that has not been disproved. In science the assumption is that all theories are potentially false, but that a theory is regarded as true if it the best explanation to stand up to scrutiny to date. In other words, there are lots of facts to back up the theory, and there is no good reason yet presented to dismiss it.

But the public tends to use theory very different. "I have a theory about 9/11," is not a statement of the best set of principles that explains 9/11. What most people mean, when they use "theory" is opinion. To them, every opinion is a theory. But in science every opinion is not a theory.

Now many of the less educated on the Religious Right tend to be confused between the two. They assume that if evolution is a "theory" then it is like an opinion, a statement of personal preferences. Thus the witch doctor who claims an illness is the result of a curse is put on par with a doctor who found the virus causing the problem. Hence, their creationist nonsense is put on par with the science of evolution.

What this Republican is doing is trying to force the schools to teach the idea that evolution is merely an opinion, that is using theory in the common, unscientific sense of the word.

But, while many see this bill as aimed at the scientists who explain evolution, it seems more broadly written than that. Broad legislation is almost always bad legislation. This law would demand the "theorist" to state his political and ideological views and whether or not he is an atheist. But who is the theorist? Is it the author of a science book? If so, how do they force scientists, most of whom will not be living in New Hampshire, to submit to a state mandated Inquisition regarding their beliefs?

Who will determine what the theorists really believes? Would theorists have to report all changes in their beliefs every time they change their mind? I just don't see how this bill could possibly be enforced against scientists.

But, I do see the bill as being broader than that. Wouldn't the theorist also include the teacher doing the theorizing in class? I think so. This would do something we haven't done in a long time—force every teacher to publicly reveal their beliefs on politics, ideology, and god. And what do you think will happen to the teachers who would be forced to reveal they are atheists? If you don't think the fundamentalist fanatics would demand a lynching then you are mistaken.

If a teacher voluntarily tells their students they are atheists the Religious Right routinely demands the teacher be fired. They march on school board meetings, petition, shriek loudly, wail shrilly, and whine about the mere presence of a non-fundamentalist is a violation of their religious freedom. So, atheist teachers who reveal their rational thoughts on the topic, are subject to all sorts of harassment from the fanatics. Now, they appear to want to force each atheist to out himself if he or she is to teach evolution. I'm sorry but this is an invitation to a witch burning.

Of course, none of this is relevant to whether the scientific theory in question is a valid one or not. Germ theory is the most plausible explanation regardless of the beliefs of the theorist. And, whether the Jesus-addled Republicans like it or not, evolution is the most plausible explanation for how life as we know it came to be. And no witch hunt for atheists is going to disprove the theory of evolution, and without that, it will still remain the most logical, scientific explanation.

Be it demons causing disease, or creationism, those are not scientific theories. They confuse opinion with theory.

More importantly, their faith statements can not be theories. The hallmark of a scientific theory is that it can be disproved. But their faith statements are outside science. The idea that there is a god somewhere is not something the scientist can disprove. This is why logic puts the burden of proof, not upon the denier, but upon the person making the affirmative assertion. If the creationist kooks want to replace evolutionary theory with faith-based assertions, they have first show why evolution is deficient and why their faith-based claims are a better explanation. They don't do that. Instead they want to pass laws to force people to publicly disclose their private beliefs.

By the way, if this law were to be enacted, ask yourself what kind of powers a government would need in order to enforce it. What you will realize is that this is not a law that "small government" people would enact. It is Big Brother at work.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Republican Sex Scandal of the Day

Daniel Lucas was a candidate for state representative in Colorado. More precisely he was a failed candidate. A long-time Republican, Lucas lost to the incumbent by almost a two-t0-one margin.

Lucas told a local paper that he's an "open book" and said that he were stranded on a isalnd he would want, "water, food, and a girlfriend."

Perhaps he might adjust that wish to food, water and the pizza delivery boy.

Mr. Lucas is appearing in court in February. The pizza delivery boy says he delivered the pizza but Lucas was acting weird. He was paid for the pizza and then asked if he could get some extra Parmesan cheese. The delivery boy went to the car and got the items. When he returned he found Lucas on his knees. The former Republican politician asked suggested an exchange of money for oral sex on the young man. Lucas denies it all. He says they had friendly banter and that in one comment the delivery boy intimated Lucas was gay so Lucas claims he "began acting gay." Yep, gay guys always are on their knees in front of pizza delivery boys.

The delivery boy says that he backed out of the door immediately and that Lucas tried to grab his arm to prevent him leaving. Lucas may already have started working on a defense when police arrived after the delivery boy complained.

Lucas "appeared nervous and his train of though was not linear, as he bounced between several topics." (Hmm, this sounds like the majority of the GOP presidential candidates.) Lucas claimed his mother wanted the extra condiments for the pizza but when police asked to speak to her they were told she wasn't even there. Lucas did tell police he had "probably done something inappropriate that he should not have done." Lucas later changed his story claiming that the delivery boy had come on to him and that he must have done something to the pizza and that he (Lucas) was keeping it for DNA evidence. Lucas then told police he "won't do it again" and was willing to drop the whole thing. I bet he would.

Now, to be clear, assuming the delivery boy is competent, and I assume he is, then Mr. Lucas did nothing that ought to be a crime. He made a monetary offer for sexual favors. I don't think that should be a criminal offense. But once again the Republicans are proving the difficulty that comes with being the party of "morality" and "family values." The hypocrisy is so obvious that each case will be noticed. If the GOP would just get behind a live-and-let-live philosophy, stop pretending they speak for God, and chuck the fundamentalists out into the street, things would be much better.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another Video Catches Cop in Routine Lies

Seattle police were raked over the coals by a U.S. Justice Department which found a pattern of excessive force. In spite of that two officers pull this little routine.

According to the police officers two men came to a stop sign and failed to stop, so the police pulled them over. The police report claimed the men almost hit pedestrians crossing the road. But the video shows otherwise. The two Hispanic men stopped at the sign in a full stop and there were NO pedestrians.

Police not only pull the men over on these false charges but immediately begin manhandling them and shouting abusively at them. An attorney says it appears the cops were intentionally trying to bait the men into getting physical so they would have an excuse to rough them up.

Once again a video tape has shown that cops do lie about the people they pull over. They manufacture false accusations against innocent people and get off on being violent and aggressive.

This will continue until we take a zero tolerance policy with police. First, any penalty that applies to private citizens for violating the law ought to be doubled for police officers. They should be held to a higher standard if they are going to be the enforcers of the law. Second, all damages should be paid by the officers and not by the taxpayers—even if this means they lose their homes and doughnut collection. Finally, we have to abolish all laws that are being used by the police to harass individuals videotaping the officers. If we are going to have any law on the matter I would prefer one that says all individuals with cell phone cameras are required to capture all arrests and police incidents they witness and offer the recordings to prosecutors. Now, I wouldn't do that, but if there is only a choice between making such recordings illegal, and making them mandatory, we'd be better off with them being mandatory.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

The Continuing Saga of Family-Values Republicans

Another conservative "family values" Republican can kiss his career good bye, though apparently he would be rather kissing men anyways.

Greg Davis, is the right-wing mayor of Southaven, Mississippi. He was a Republican candidate for Congress in 2008. He is married, has kids, and ran on anti-gay platform.

But Davis has a problem. He is under investigation for using city credit cards improperly. Apparently we are talking significant amounts of money as Davis has already had to pay the city back $96,000 so far, and it another $170,000 are in dispute.

As part of the investigation receipts for expenditures were required. One of the receipts got the attention of the media. It was from a store in Toronto, Canada named Priape. To be precise, the store is a porn shop, but only with gay porn. Well, with the receipts in public there wasn't much Davis could do. He told a press conference, "I think that it is important that I discuss the struggles I have had over the last few years when I came to the realization that I am gay."

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Bishop Reminds God what God is Supposed to Believe

I am always amazed that any human being pretends to speak for God. I am most amazed when those that have covered-up child abuse for decades pretend to do so. And, to make it worse, pretend they have some moral authority to do it. Anyone who claims to be a "man of God" is a fraud, a liar, and probably after your wallet or your obedience. Certainly, many who have claimed it within Catholicism were also after your kids.

John Nienstedt plays at being an "archbishop," a rank within Christianity unobtained by Jesus during his life time which, I guess, makes Nienstedt his superior.

Nienstedt, who wears the funny little outfits that the Vatican thinks makes them look pretty, has issued a "marriage prayer" for Catholics. His whole purpose of the prayer is not as a prayer at all but to push his own political agenda on Catholics, most of whom actually know the Church has no moral capital left to spend.

Prayers, in my opinion, are not actually meant for some god. They are meant for the person praying. They give the supplicant a false sense of being in control, it is an assurance they are "doing something," even when they are just talking. None of it makes sense to me, even if I were to accept the premise that there is a magic man in the sky. The Christian concept of prayer contradicts basic Christian theology.

First, the supplicant can not, according to the nonsense theologians vomit out, tell God anything he doesn't already know. You can't tell God what you need, or what terrible thing needs righting. He already knows. And, you sure as hell can't manipulate God and force him to act in ways that he doesn't want. So, you can't tell him anything he allegedly doesn't know, and you can't get him to do anything he doesn't already want to do.

And since he knows all this before you get down on your knees (Please note I do not recommend allowing children to be on their knees in front of priests or even archbishops), and since he already knows what he's going to do, then your entire prayer is an exercise in futility.

Of course, it does appear that a lot of believers actually do think that they can use prayer to manipulate God into acting in new ways. They can get him to change his mind by harassing him with whinny supplications, especially if they throw the right combination of words at him. In the Nienstedt's "prayer" the right combination is "We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen."

The problem with that is that a god who is all-knowing would already know his final decision. And since he would know instantly, you can't even call this a decision. There is no process of mulling things over. He doesn't have to say: "Let me research that and get back to you." He already knows all the relevant facts and has made a decision instantly. And he did that an eternity ago, already setting the course of action as to what would happen.

In fact, I pity the Christian God. He can't learn anything. He can't discover new ideas or even change his mind. Everything is now an eternity old for him. He's already made all the decisions he will ever make and set into motion all the actions he decided upon. He makes no effort to do anything. There can be no sense of accomplishment as it takes no effort for him. Spewing out universes, for him, is like stepping on an ant—something we do with little thought and no effort. His entire existence is a pretty boring one. Me, I'd be thrilled with exploring the universe, but I don't pretend to know everything already. I would be learning new things constantly. He just has the same old stale information, knows the answers to every riddle, can't find something new and can't change his mind. God goes for eternity without the wonder of surprise. That's the drawback of perfect knowledge.

If God could change his mind, then what he previously "knew" regarding his action would be wrong. He would lack perfect knowledge. And if he lacks perfect knowledge, then like us, he could make mistakes. Which, might explain Nienstedt and the Vatican—big mistakes made by an imperfect God who didn't know what was the right way to go.

Nienstadt's entire prayer is directed against the right of gay couples to have legal marriage contracts. In Nienstadt's prayer there are "holy marriages and holy families," that would be anyone who fucks to have babies and for no other reason. And that excludes gay couples because they don't procreate together and the ONLY justification for an orgasm, in Catholic theology, is to make babies. Otherwise sex is evil and disgusting. And if there are "holy marriages and holy families" then there are unholy marriages and unholy families—and if you think Catholic theology ONLY means gay couples in that "unholy" category, you are in for a surprise.

In the so-called New Testament, Paul told the Corinthians that he wished they were all celibate. In truth, the Vatican has never given up the idea that a sexual, loving relationships is second best. Celibacy, like what priests are supposed to obtain, is superior. Paul said that marrying was only preferable to burning. To quote the book, From Sacrament to Contract, "Augustine regarded marriage as less virtuous than virginity and chastity and sexual intercourse as per se sinful. But marriage, as a creation of God, had its own inherited goods, which at least mitigated the sinfulness of sex." Marriage was a suboptimal choice left for those who couldn't resist the temptations of sex. So, Vatican, how did that work out for you?

In the ideal Catholic world everyone would be celibate, which would sort of bring about the end of the world. But before the last celibate Catholic died a lonely death, we would all be sexless, souless people. Imagine that the perfect world is one where all men are like priests and all women are like nuns: angry, drunken, frustrated, hateful, dried-out hypocrites. At least in this world the "children" would be safe because their wouldn't be any. No kids for nuns to smack around, none for priests to offer a little extra communion wine to, in exchange for a quicky in the confessional. What an awful world it would be. Now, I happen to favor celibacy for Christians. I can't think of a faster way for their religion to die out.

The so-called Shakers tried this model. They relied on other people having children that they could adopt, in order to stay in existence. But since adoption by religious groups was banned they have dwindled down to three celibate members in one location. Otherwise the religion has totally died out.

But, back to this Nienstedt fellow. His prayer includes the supplicant saying: "Grant to us all the gift of courage to proclaim and defend your plan for marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman in a lifelong, exclusive relationship of loving trust, compassion, and generosity, open to the conception of children." (See, that last bit about conception is necessary since any sex without it is from the pits of hell, demonic and evil.)

But, what gets me is that the supplicants are telling God what his "plan for marriage" is, as if God didn't already know what he planned, and know it before Nienstedt even started running around in red dresses.

If they want to play dress-up, chant, swing stinking incense around, and pretend to manipulate the creator of the universe, that is their right. They can even imagine that they are doing so on behalf of magic men in the sky. But they are insisting that their religious delusions be the foundation of secular law. Now, given that I can't think of an institution with more sexual pathologies and problems than the Catholic Church, I really think they should mind their own fucking business. Before they start interfering in the loving relationships between adult same-sex couples, maybe they ought to stop lying about their priests raping kids. Maybe they should tell their frustrated nuns to ratchet things down a bit, put the rulers down, and leave the kid's knuckles alone. Maybe they should worry about the beam in their own eye before bitching about the splinters in the eyes of others.

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What Kind of Teacher Does This to a Child?


Thank you, Christopher Hitchens: You Are Already Missed

I am deeply saddened to write that Christopher Hitchens has died. His was a voice that the world needed and we are poorer because of his death. He died as he lived: a rationalist.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Who Would Jesus Assault?

Some religious right folks in Mississippi started a group they called The Savior Unit. They call themselves a "tactical search team that is faith based. Our purpose is to promote Christ." They say they detain "offenders who are danger to society." I'm not sure how they define offenders, but I would guess rather broadly.

The Savior Unit came to the attention of police who got a call about a home invasion. Apparently these "faith based" thugs, dressing in military outfits and bullet-proof vests smashed in the door of a home and dragged out three people for a beating, including a 70-year-old man. After promoting Christ by assaulting people the police caught them and prevented them from further witnessing in said manner, which no doubt some Christian group will say is violating their religious freedom.

The Savior Unit was primarily made up of adolescent males who would retreat to the woods to learn about guns and God.

The leader of this para-military religion band of kooks was 32-year-old Michael Schaffran. Like so many on the religious Right, Schaffran seeks to protect society from people like himself. If they were out to get "offenders who are a danger to society" they might take notice that Schaffran has felony convictions for theft, forgery and aggravated assault. Yes, who would Jesus assault?

Schaffran's mother claims her son "was keeping them [the other paramilitary members] out of trouble, on a good path," and mentioned how he took one of the other invaders to church as evidence.

The mother, in what is clearly a faith-based claim, said her son heard screaming and went to rescue a woman. Odd that he just happened to be in a bullet-proof vest when walking innocently by this house. Odder still is that the woman claims they grabbed her and forced her to the ground. And even odder yet is that the two Savior Unit members ran for the woods, their tails between their legs, when the police arrived. Heroes usually don't flee. But, the virtue of faith is believing something in spite of the evidence, not because of it.

Sadly, the religious Right has a tendency to want to use force to save people who don't think they need saving, except perhaps from the religious Right.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Big Government Scares More Americans

Gallup just released a poll asking Americans who they fear most: big government, big business or big labor. Government terrifies more Americans than the other two combined, by a two-to-one margin.

Sorry, Occupy Wall Street but fear of big business has been declining, not increasing. Sorry, conservatives, its not the unions that scare people but government.

Now, I should note that the main threat that unions and big business pose to Americans is that they have access to big government. Each of the other two "threats" gain their powers primarily because of their access to political power. And big labor, these days, is heavily about government. The unions don't represent most workers anymore, except when it comes to government workers. Unions are now cartels for bureaucrats. The New York Times wrote: "For the first time in American history, a majority of union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees." In fact, there were 500,000 more unionized government employees that unionized private employees.

Considering that the unions used to represent the taxpaying workers of the country, it is interesting to see they now primarily represent the tax consuming bureaucrats of the country. Without big government union memberships would be half what they are. Today, union officials are heavily reliant on the people who want to tax working people even more to sustain the programs that most people don't want.

And this just isn't libertarians concerned about big government. More Democrats now say they fear big government than fear big business. Gallup says that the numbers of Democrats concerned about big government was high during the Bush years and dropped after Obama took office but has been increasing. In other words, Democrats who lost their fear of government after Bush was out of office, have regained that fear with Obama in power. After Obama took office only 32% of Democrats said they were more worried about big government. After three years of Obama that number has risen to 48%. This means that the numbers of Democrats concerned about overreaching government has increased by 50% while a Democrat has been in office. And it doesn't have far to go, just 8 points, until it reaches the levels of concern under George Bush.

Among key independent voters more of them are concerning about Obama's big government than were actually afraid of it under Bush. In 2006, 60% of independents said they worried about big government more. It declines slightly by 2009, to 59%, but has since risen to 64%

The reality is, that most Americans are not in tune with Obama's attempts to centralize power in Washington. Yet, he does well in head to head polls against Republican contenders. The reason for that is simple—people don't like the Republicans either.

The Republicans who have staked their future on moralistic platitudes, religion and gay hating (Bachmann, Santorum and Perry) are doing poorly in the polls. The candidates who are doing better have emphasized other issues, even if they share the small-minded prejudices that now run the Republican Party.

What neither the Republicans, nor the Democrats, get is that voters don't like either one of them. The landslide for Obama wasn't the public embracing his elitist views about centralized power, preferably in himself. It was a vote against two terms of Bush. And, when November comes around, and asshole Republicans are swept into office, it won't be voters suddenly embracing the Republican's theocratic tendencies. It will be disgust at the first term of Obama rule.

The number of voters who identify as Republican or Democrat are diminishing. More and more are saying they are independent. And this voting group shows mushy libertarian sentiments that neither party represents. The one candidate who comes closest to that sentiment is Gov. Gary Johnson, but the Republicans and the media have worked together to make sure Johnson is excluded from the debates. Even when he's qualified the rules were changed in order to disqualify him again. Big government Republicans (which is most of them in Washington), and big government Democrats (ditto) are allies not enemies and they will close ranks on the likes of Johnson precisely because his values do resonate with a large percentage of voters, especially the growing body of independents.

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Where, oh where have the hurricanes gone?

Remember hurricane Katrina? The moment that big one hit the U.S. the doomsayers in the global warming movement said it was all about global warming. Well known alarmist Kevin Trenberth warned: "Computer models also suggest a shift in hurricane intensities toward extreme hurricanes." Trenberth, who was the main editor on hurricanes for the IPCC, wanted opponents of his theory left unpublished. He knew in his heart that hurricanes were increasing in frequency and intensity. Now, he did admit that this was true "even if this increase cannot yet be proven with a formal statistical test."

Trenberth wrote in Science, that during 2004 "an unprecedented four hurricanes hit Florida... Some scientists say that this increase is related to global warming; others say it is not." "Thus, although variability is large, trends associated with human influences are evident in the environment in which hurricanes form, and our physical understanding suggests that the intensity of and rainfalls from hurricanes are probably increasing, even if this increase cannot yet be proven with a formal statistical test. Model results suggest a shift in hurricane intensities toward extreme hurricanes."

Time Magazine ran a story headlined "Is Global Warming Fueling Katrina?" Ross Belbspan, in the Boston Globe wrote that while the hurricane "was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming."

Hurricane Katrina was born August 23, 2005. It has been six years since the media was assuring us that global warming was driving hurricanes to greater intensities and frequency. According to the BBC, "The IPCC 2007 report claimed that global warming was leading to an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and floods." They also noted that the IPCC reported was "based on an unpublished reprot which had not been subject to scientific scrutiny—indeed several experts warned the IPCC not to rely on it." The IPCC used the report because it substantiated the entire theory on which their very existence relies.

And, a new hurricane record is about to be set—but not the kind of record you would expect from the dire warnings. The last major hurricane to hit the United States was Wilma which was formed on October 15, 2005. Since then there have no large hurricanes (categories 3, 4, 5) to hit the United States. This record will be 2,232 days from the last major U.S. hurricane. The previous record was a period between September 8, 1900 and October 19, 1906. So this record means we have just gone through a period of the least amount of severe hurricanes since a century ago.

Roger Pielke, Jr. notes that the chances of an intense hurricane before next summer is practically zero, since hurricane season won't start until then. And he says it appears "the days between intense hurricane landfalls [are] likely to exceed 2,500 days." Of course, there is a decent chance that no severe hurricane will hit in 2012 either. But, we can't know until the winter of 2012. What we do know is that we have just gone through a period of the least intense hurricane activity in the memory of anyone alive on the planet today.

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