Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Scan

Al Qaeda No Big Deal

Let's not overblow this whole al Qaeda thing, shall we? So says the retired (Thank God!) top adviser on terrorism to the British government, Richard Mottram. The Observer reports:
Britian's outgoing intelligence chief believes there is a danger of exaggerating the threat posed by al-Qaeda at the expense of equally significant security issues, such as global warming.

Sir Richard Mottram, who has just stood down as Permanent Secretary in charge of Intelligence Security and Resilience, the body that advises the Prime Minister on the country's response to emergencies, will use a lecture this week to call for individual citizens to play a new role in combating the risks associated with increasing globalisation.
I have to say I do like "Relilience" bit. Dept. of Homeland Security and Resilience? Nah. Half the country wouldn't understand the meaning.
There was a danger, he said, of over-emphasising the spectre of international terrorism, which could play to al-Qaeda's advantage and divide communities.

'What we shouldn't do is play into al-Qaeda's hands by exaggerating the extent and nature of the threat they present globally. This focus is not smart when it comes to dealing with people who are trying to make us think that they are the greatest threat.'

Instead Mottram ... said there was a need to understand the potential impact of a range of strategic risks, of which terrorism was just one. He identified global warming, flu pandemics, the emergence of rogue states, globalisation and its impact on power balances, global poverty and its impact on population movement, energy security, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and serious and organised crime as similarly significant problems.
Yes, let's be careful to keep our troops handy in case we need them to fight global warming, globalization and poverty!

Please, Mottram, let's acknowledge that different problems have different solutions and attentiveness to al Qaeda does not preclude attentiveness to the others.

Clarity In Des Moines

Nice town, Des Moines. Figured in my meeting of Incredible Wife. Long story. But here's a short story, from today's editorial page of the Des Moines Register:
“With dissension at home and distrust abroad, as American troops continue to fight wars on two fronts, the times call for two essential qualities in the next American president,” the Register’s editorial board concluded. “Those qualities became the paramount considerations in making endorsements for the Democratic and Republican nominees in the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

“The times call for competence. Americans want their government to work again. The times call for readiness to lead. Americans want their country to do great things again. They’ll regain trust in their government when they see a president make that happen.”
The times, the say, call for John McCain and Hillary Clinton -- the paper's picks for the upcoming caucuses.

You know, I couldn't agree more.

hat-tip: memeorandum

Pucker Up

It's going to get dry, very dry, here in California, thanks to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a premier Greenie litigation mill. We've been waiting with bated breath (parched throats?) for the decision in the NRDC's lawsuit against the future of California to come down, and it has, and badly:
FRESNO – A federal court order finalized Friday could mean millions of Californians will have to get accustomed to spending more money on less water – and soon.

The order by U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger, based in Fresno, wraps up his August decision in favor of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The environmental group sued state and federal agencies that pump water out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Wanger ruled that those agencies failed to adequately protect the Delta smelt, a fragile fingerling listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. His final order in the case Friday could result in a 30 percent reduction in water pumped out of the Delta starting as soon as Christmas Day. (Sac Bee; registration required)
The Delta smelt is threatened, not endangered; that means a lot. Under section 4(d) of the Act, a threatened listing gives many more options for how to deal with the species listing. Then why are we facing a 30 percent reduction in water deliveries -- when we're already on the cusp of mandatory conservation measures?

That's why this decision is such a massive victory for the no-growth Greenies. While a lesser alternative could have been possible, the Greenies have succeeded in creating an artificial drought, a regulatory drought, under the guise of protecting a species that is merely threatened, not endangered, in order to place an artificial cap on humanity's growth in California.

And While We're On The Subject

Meanwhile, in LA:
In the midst of a drought, Los Angeles officials announced Friday that 600 million gallons of water must be dumped from two reservoirs that supply a swath of the city because an unexpected chemical reaction rendered it undrinkable.

Silver Lake and Elysian reservoirs registered elevated levels of the suspected carcinogen bromate between June and October, the result of an unusual combination of intense sunlight, bromide naturally present in groundwater and chlorine used to kill bacteria. (LA Times)
LA gets its water primarily from the Owens Valley, not the Delta, but this is not a good time to be losing any water supplies in California.

Another Terrorist Guilty Plea

Friday, it was two terrorists pleading guilty in OC; today it's one in San Diego.
A well-known animal rights activist pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of showing people at a speech in San Diego four years ago how to make a destructive device with the goal of having someone commit a violent crime.

The plea by activist Rodney Coronado [shown here with a jug of gasoline] ends a controversial case that involved free-speech rights and an unsolved arson case in University City in 2003.

Coronado's case went to trial in September, but the jury could not reach a decision and a mistrial was declared. Some on the panel said afterward that the majority was leaning toward acquitting Coronado.

Coronado's lawyer, Jerry Singleton, said that as part of the guilty plea, the government will not pursue two other cases against his client. One in Washington, D.C., involves the same charge stemming from a speech Coronado gave at American University there. (SD Union Tribune)
Coronado is a cause celebre in the radical animal rights movement, and his guilty plea ends his years-long effort to exploit his criminal behavior to draw more goofball animal lovers into his Animal Liberation Front terror cells.

Note to warden: Throw away the key.

Where Is The Passion?

On Capitol Hill, they drone on with their "my esteemed colleague" this and "the gentleman from North Dakota" that. Yawn. Where is the passion?

Is it just that we're not eating enough kimchee?

Who even knows what they were fighting over this time at the Korean Parliament? Sky News just calls it "an election fight." Whatever.

It's comforting, isn't it, to know that while Samsung and LG and Hyundai are becoming globally competitive and knocking our products around, the SoKo government is knocking itself out.

Stupid Penguins Warmies

Where is the intelligence in this?
Penguins In Peril As Climate Warms

ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2007) — The penguin population of Antarctica is under pressure from global warming, according to a WWF report.

The report, Antarctic Penguins and Climate Change, shows that the four populations of penguins that breed on the Antarctic continent — Adélie, Emperor, Chinstrap and Gentoo — are under escalating pressure. For some, global warming is taking away precious ground on which penguins raise their young. For others, food has become increasingly scarce because of warming in conjunction with overfishing.
There's causality between overfishing and global warming? Did not know that?

I also did not know that the penguins had not survived the multitude of previous warming/cooling cycles they've been through. Pity they were wiped out the last time it got warm!

Oh, they weren't wiped out last time? Perhaps someone should tell the WWF, since the the Greenie/Warmie WWF does not appear to have the collective IQ of that other WWF, the ones that smash themselves up in a wrestling ring.

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