Sure looks that way. This image is from the Hubble Telescope:
This adorable image — in which the galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849 seems to be smiling at the camera — comes courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope. It was spotted by Judy Schmidt, who submitted a version of the image to the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures image processing competition, where anyone can sift through the Hubble’s massive data pools to highlight hitherto ignored sights from the stars.
But don’t worry — that’s probably not a giant, intergalactic Pac-Man, getting ready to devour worlds:
In this case, the cosmic “face” is actually caused by a neat galactic phenomenon as well: gravitational lensing. Large galaxy clusters sometimes produce such a strong gravitational pull that they warp the time and space around them. This can be a great thing for scientists on Earth, because that warping can act as a natural “lens” and magnify faraway objects behind the clusters, making them more visible to space telescopes. But the magnification also warps the objects.
Still — wouldn’t it be cool if it were?
PJM special correspondent Cathie Adams is covering the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru this week.
As the conference gets underway, Adams is taking in the sights and sending them to us. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Outside the conference hall, this odd cloudy sheep greets attendees.
Apparently the UN favors nebulous sheeple over thinking people.
The UN also favors trees. Weird trees. With a person aboard.
And…bugs. Take a close look at the bottom of the pedestal holding up the bugworld sculpture below.
Message: We’re doomed but the bugs will rise after us.
At a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Lima, Peru, delegates from 196 parties are drafting a new legally binding treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that is to be completed next year in Paris, France. At the outset of negotiations, environmentalists are calling for the new treaty to mandate a cap and tax on greenhouse gas emissions to go into effect by 2020. And to eliminate the use of fossil fuels altogether by 2050.
President Obama’s recent climate announcement with China, that the U.S. would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, is a boost to environmentalists at the Peru meeting that extends from December 1-12.
Stated by Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace, “In Lima, the countries must agree on the long-term goal of phasing out fossil fuel emissions to zero by mid-century while moving towards 100% renewable energy for all in a fair transition period. Subsidies for fossil fuel industries must be shifted towards renewable energy deployment and climate adaptation for vulnerable countries. In countries like the US, China, and the EU, the phase-out of coal must be accelerated.”
Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis, international policy adviser for Climate Action Network Latin America, added, “We must leave fossil fuels in the ground and not repeat the steps of the developed countries that brought us to this point.”
The UNFCCC thesis is that rich nations are responsible for climate change because they burn fossil fuels to produce energy, even though there is no conclusive science to substantiate the claims. Furthermore, the poor nations want the rich nations to fork over a minimum of $100 million annually for the UN’s Green Climate Fund that is to afford renewable energy for the poor.
On the first day of the conference, Climate Action Network, a conglomerate of 900 radical green groups from about 100 nations, mocked Australia, Belgium, Ireland and Austria because they have yet to donate to a new Green Climate Fund. With a new legally binding treaty, they hope to make nations pay penalties for using fossil fuels. The climate will continue to change, even if nations are energy poor.
Remember it was President Bill Clinton’s VP Al Gore who flew to Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 to revive talks for the same scheme to cap and tax greenhouse gas emissions. That treaty was never ratified by the U.S. Senate because it would have killed American jobs and devastated our economy. Even so, Americans should expect Obama to sign the new legally binding treaty before he leaves office, which should make American voters cautious about electing another President Clinton in 2016.
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio made headlines when lecturing the United Nations on climate change demanding restrictions on carbon emissions. To say he is an environmental hypocrite would be an understatement. The multimillionaire with an estimated worth of $220 million has a fleet of private jets, a small flotilla of yachts, and, of course, four spectacular homes. DiCaprio’s carbon footprint is as big as his ego. In just the past year, he’s made some twenty trips around the globe, from skiing in the French Alps to visiting Brazil for the World Cup. And I’m sure he didn’t drive a Prius or a Volt on his way to all those planes and yachts. Where would all the supermodels sit?
As an environmental activist, DiCaprio has called for the divestment in fossil fuels. He recently narrated a propaganda film called Carbon, where he said, “We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense.” Leo also sits as a board member for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The NRDC is left-wing, radical environmental organization that routinely advocates for the most draconian measures aimed at its myopic idea of “environmental protection.” Like DiCaprio, the NRDC advocates that institutions and individuals rid themselves of any investments in evil fossil fuel or carbon producing industries.
A closer look at some of the NRDC’s own leadership reveals a stunning level of “do as I say, not as I do” hypocrisy. Several of the organizations’ board members are profiting handsomely from the very things they claim are destroying the earth.
Frances Beinecke, the president of the NRDC, is married to Paul Elston, the founder of Long Lake Energy Corporation. In the 1980s, Long Lake Energy Corporation used dammed rivers and fossil fuels to generate energy—and they made millions of dollars on power plant projects that utilized fossil fuels and hydropower. Ms. Beinecke has criticized hydropower saying it can “cause serious harm to fish and wildlife” despite the fact that her husband profited from it.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Daniel Tischman, who serves as Vice Chairman at AECOM. AECOM’s core business is—you guessed it—oil and gas. In 2013, it was announced that AECOM won a $15 million contract from Ghana National Gas Company. In May 2014, AECOM announced that it would open Shell’s first liquefied natural gas fueling lanes for heavy-duty commercial trucks. In July 2014, AECOM acquired URS, known for their strength in the oil/gas/fracking sectors.
NRDC Board Member Adam Albright is a private investor who founded the ARIA Foundation. The foundation holds major investments in oil and gas enterprises such as Canadian Natural Resources, Noble Corp., and Transocean Ltd. The ARIA Foundation has previously held stock in Chevron, Halliburton, and Texaco.
Sarah Cogan is a lawyer with Simpson Thacher & Bartlet and has worked for the NRDC for years and is now a board member. Cogan’s clients include ClearBridge American Energy MLP Fund which has hundreds of millions invested in pipeline and fracking companies such as Kinder Morgan, Energy Transfer Partners, and Regency Energy Partners. Energy Transfer Partners bought Sunoco in 2012 for $5.3 billion. Regency Transfer Partners has major operations in the Marcellus Shale basin, the center of the fracking boom in the United States.
Mr. DiCaprio has taken an absolutists life or death moral approach to climate change. His own extremist approach raises the question of whether or not Leo is aware that his fellow NRDC leaders are getting rich off of supporting the very same companies he claims are putting “poison” in the environment. Given Mr. DiCaprio’s own carbon footprint, he may not even care.
Humans have only been able to keep accurate track of temperatures fairly globally for about 100 years now. Considering the age of the earth, which is billions of years, 100 years of temperature readings is not a statistically significant sample size to assess massive climate trends and changes. It’s all we have, but it’s not enough.
And it’s nowhere near as conclusive and “settled” as the warmists and alarmists claim that it is. In fact, the globe hasn’t even been warming for the past 18 years or so (hence the switch to “climate change”), a fact left out of pieces like this one, which blames global warming for a supposed shrinkage in the size of mountain goats.
New research has found that climate change is causing mountain goats living in the Alps to shrink. The study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, found that adolescent Alpine chamois mountain goats are significantly smaller than their peers were 30 years ago, weighing about 25 percent less than goats in the 1980s did. The researchers called this change in body mass over 3 decades “striking.” They also said the shrinking “appears to be strongly linked” with increased temperatures in the growing season of the goats’ Alpine habitats.
25% in 30 years? At that rate, they’ll become trendy pocket pets in another year or two.
The researchers note that in ungulates, a group of mammals that includes goats, cows, horses and other hoofed animals (though whales and dolphins are also sometimes included), “behavioural changes, such as allocating less time to foraging, play an important role in thermoregulation.” This means that, to avoid getting too hot, the chamois goats don’t forage for food as much during the hottest parts of the day, and don’t forage as much in general when the temperature remains high throughout the day. If chamois eat less during warmer growing seasons, they aren’t likely to reach the same body mass as goats who lived through cooler growing seasons.
Smaller goats? Even if that’s true I’m struggling to see an actual problem here. So surely we must modify our entire economic system and put it into the hands of wizened central planners. Let us all sacrifice human self-determinism for the sake of the body mass of a bunch of goats.
The same “Think” Progress article makes all kinds of other questionable claims.
As the study notes, this isn’t the first time that scientists have discovered climate change to be behind changes in animal body mass. Six species of salamander in the Appalachian Mountains have been growing shorter over the last 50 or so years, with salamanders living in the southernmost sites that researchers visited showing the most shrinkage. And shrinking sea ice is in turn leading to smaller polar bears — the lack of sea ice means polar bears can’t hunt like they used to, and end up spending less time eating and gaining weight.
Still struggling to see an actual problem, even if all of that is true.
Polar bears may or may not actually be shrinking, and but polar ice is not. The fact is, all polar bear population figures and statistics are educated guesses — according to pro-polar bear activist scientists. That’s fine; educated guesses are part of science. Dogma claiming to be science that happens to support a given political platform and blasts all skeptics and critics with the open-mindedness and tolerance of the Spanish Inquisition is not.
Polar ice grows and shrinks seasonally and over longer timescales, and currently Antarctic ice is growing at a record rate while Arctic ice is shrinking somewhat. That’s subject to change as the climate does in fact change, as it has done for literally billions of years (therefore, well before the invention of the eeevil internal combustion engine). That’s a whole lot less sexy to say than “We’re losing all the ice and all the animals are shrinking and New York is gonna be underwater!” but it’s the truth.
As for the mountain goats? Who knows? The goats might have been bigger or smaller prior to the onset of climate alarmism. The data are incomplete. Animals adapt. We need data, not dogma.
I’ll take an educated guess that “Think” Progress is full of political hot air, though.
Why? Why do I follow Think Progress on Facebook? Well, two reasons—one is that I think it’s important to know what the other side is saying. The other reason is because sometimes it’s downright hilarious.
This falls into both camps.
Think Progress thinks it embarrasses conservatives anytime they express even the slightest doubt that man-made climate change is upon us. All the more reason for them to go nuts when they heard that a Michigan congressman had not only said he didn’t see the evidence behind the global warming hype, but that he called himself a scientist. They published an article, which was the lead for several hours on their website, entitled: “Congressman: ‘I am a Scientist’ And There’s No Evidence Of Manmade Climate Change.”
The ultra-liberal Center for American progress uses Think Progress as their primary blog, and Time Magazine included it as one of the top-25 blogs. They don’t necessarily call themselves a source for news, but they do present their findings as facts, and sway people’s opinions with their logic.
Let’s go back to the Michigan congressman, Rep. Dan Benishek.
He has a degree in Biology from the University of Michigan, and a Medical Degree from Wayne State University, and he’s been a practicing surgeon most of his life. I am fairly familiar with him and his excellent work, because I lived and worked in Michigan for almost a quarter of my life. He is a man who retired from his medical practice, and realized that the world wasn’t the way he wanted it to be for his grandchildren. So he did something about it—he ran for US Congress, and currently serves.
He apparently said that, as a scientist, he only believes something if it is supported with evidence in a peer-reviewed journal. And, he argues, he has not seen support for the idea of man-made global climate change in such a peer-reviewed manner.
I’m not going to argue one way or another on climate change; do your own homework.
But, this is why Think Progress went crazy. They heavily implied that Benishek was not indeed a scientist, and most of the Facebook comments were as such. Firstly, lets put this to rest—being a Medical Doctor is being a man of science. Its called Medical Science! Let alone having a science degree in Biology. Some of the most scientific discoveries have been written about in medical peer-reviewed journals, like the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, etc. Even if he is not directly a climatologist, he is still a scientist, even in the way he would go about researching a topic.
But, I’m more concerned with the poor quality of the Think Progress article itself. The writer, Jeff Spross, is a “reporter and video editor for ThinkProgress.org,” and has worked for such publications as The American Prospect and The Guardian. One would think that in an article, where he questions the validity of someone’s claims, that he has fact-checked his own claims. Well, even in the case of this so-called reporter, you’d be wrong.
The original article (he has updated it a couple times) had this sentence in the very first paragraph: “In recent months, American politicians from House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to Louisiana Governor Rick Scott (R) and U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R-IA) have all responded to questions about humanity’s role in climate change with some version of ‘I’m not a scientist.’” He goes on to talk about where Benishek gets his campaign money from, that many scientists agree on climate change, and that there are peer-reviewed sources for his info — but can we trust an article with two blatant misstatements in the first paragraph?
Let’s start with the fact (uncorrected as of writing this, by the way), that John Boehner is not the House Majority Leader. He is the Speaker of the House, second in the Presidential line of succession, and presiding leader over the House of Representatives. The House Majority Leader is California Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and he is only the leader of the Republicans in the House. Boehner is the leader of all House members. And, Rick Scott is indeed a Governor, but he’s the Governor of Florida, not Louisiana.
This type of article is cited and treated as a sacrosanct argument for leftists on Facebook. If a ‘reporter’ is going to cite figures and facts, he should also be able to at least get the most Google-able stuff right. This type of sound bite journalism is part of the problem with American civics knowledge, and makes you wonder what other non-factual blog posts they sneak by with.
At least, according to the “People’s Climate” marchers who trashed New York City this weekend.
These people want to impose socialism, the brutal system that has failed or is failing everywhere it has ever been tried.
The Hill reports that President Obama wants Congress to give him a $5 billion fund, but does not want to go to Congress to get explicit authorization to fight the Islamic State.
President Obama is pushing congressional leaders to authorize a $5 billion counterterrorism fund that could be used to support operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The president first suggested the fund during a foreign policy address earlier this year at the West Point military academy, but it went nowhere in Congress.
The idea was revisited on Monday by White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who floated it as something that “would strengthen the hand of this president and future presidents for dealing with urgent situations like this.”
“This is a core component of the president’s strategy for dealing with this and other issues like it around the globe — that is, additional resources that can be used by the United States to build up effective partners so that when the United States has to confront threats like this, that we have well-trained, well-equipped, effective partners that we can work with to confront these problems,” Earnest said Monday.
Did you see the part that I put in bold letters there?
That’s some tricksy maneuvering by the White House. The imminent threat, the one that the president is resisting going to Congress over, is IS. But Earnest made sure to include “and other issues like it around the globe.”
Now, what might those be? What else might constitute a looming “threat,” in the eyes of this administration?
If you ask Secretary of State John Kerry, it’s “climate change.”
Former Secretary of State and presumed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says climate change is “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.”
Not IS or similar Islamic terrorism. Not Putin, with his designs on rebuilding the Soviet empire.
President Barack Obama: climate change is a “direct threat” to the United States.
Now the president resists consulting Congress on IS, but wants Congress to hand him a check for $5 billion to deal with IS “and other threats like it around the globe.” He wants the money, but no oversight on how it gets spent.
Congress should not write the president a blank check.
They’re not coming back to TV, though, to extend the series from its original 14-episode run. And they’re not making a movie sequel to Serenity. Which is too bad, because that movie was one of the best sci-fi films of the century so far.
The cast — Captain Mal, Inara, River Tam, Jane, the whole gang — are reuniting for Firefly Online, the long-promised MMORPG that carries the ‘verse to PC, Mac, iOS and Android. Even characters who were killed off in the movie have come back for the game set in the Firefly ‘verse.
The news seems to have crashed the game’s site.
Getting the cast together for a full series might be impossible, since most of the originals have gone on to have longer running hit series or promising new series including Homeland (Morena Baccarin), Castle (Nathan Fillion) and The Last Ship (Adam Baldwin). Baldwin also has a solid gaming career going, with voiceover work in major titles including Injustice: Gods Among Us and Batman: Arkham Origins.
Firefly Online will let players captain and outfit their own ships, hire crews, run from Alliance heavies, smuggle stuff, explore worlds and aim to misbehave. With the entire cast reprising their roles, FO is about as close as we’re ever likely to get to more true content. If it follows the lead of other MMORPGs like Star Wars: The Old Republic and DC Universe Online, the series characters will turn up in downloadable content including new storylines.
Energy prices are rising for Americans because Barack Obama wants it that way. He told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would use energy prices hikes to socially engineer energy use, and that is one promise on which he is following through. His EPA’s war on coal alone stands to jack up power prices 70 to 80 percent, according to Dr. Julio Friedmann, of the US Department of Energy.
In recent remarks to the League of Conservation Voters, Obama said that he expects the rest of the world, including developing countries and the largest economies, to do what he is doing to their own energy consumers.
“[W]e’ve got to lead by example. They’re waiting to see what America does.” Obama said on June 25. “And I’m convinced when America proves what’s possible, other countries are going to come along.”
Asia’s two largest economies are not waiting to see what America does, and they’re showing no sign of following Obama’s anti-coal lead.
China says it shares Obama’s goal, but it is following its own lead.
China’s chief climate official Xie Zhenhua said China should not be subject to the same rules for greenhouse gas emissions as the United States and other rich countries, signaling that Beijing will oppose any attempt to impose them at next year’s world climate conference.
“We are in different development stages, we have different historical responsibilities and we have different capacities,” Xie told reporters.
Japan is not only not following Obama’s war on coal, it is increasing coal use in new domestic energy projects, according to Mari Iwata in the Wall Street Journal today.
Japan said Wednesday it would step up support for coal-fired power plants in developing nations, challenging a U.S. policy that seeks to discourage such plants in an effort to fight global warming. […] The move represents a repudiation of the Obama administration’s strict stance of carbon emissions. Washington is talking to members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of developed nations, about a rule that would ban national export-credit agencies from financing new overseas coal power plants.
Japan understands that coal can safely power its economy.
Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth strategy, Tokyo seeks each year to back overseas coal power-plant projects worth about $4 billion. Typically those projects have Japanese investors and use at least some Japanese equipment. While the annual target hasn’t been reached yet, several major projects have recently gotten under way.
Japan has long supported energy efficiency. Unlike Barack Obama, who claims to support an “all-of-the-above” strategy that in reality only supports the development of expensive so-called “clean” or “green” energy, Japan actually does support all-of-the-above.
China and Japan are the world’s second and third largest economies respectively.
They’re not buying the Luddite, anti-energy radicalism that Barack Obama is selling on energy.
If You’re Skeptical of Man-Made Climate Change, Barack Obama (Who Is Not a Scientist) Is Very Unhappy With You
Scraped from Mashable.
In an interview airing on Monday night, President Obama reveals his frustration with lawmakers who question the very existence of manmade global warming. The interview, conducted for the Showtime documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously,” features a revealing exchange between New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and Obama, in which the president admits to having the desire to “unload on” lawmakers, such as House Republicans, who question the existence of manmade global warming as well as its severity.
Excerpts of the interview were published in the New York Times on Sunday, and a video clip was posted to Youtube.
“Look, it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us,” Obama said. “…We can argue about how. But let’s not argue about what’s going on. The science is compelling.
The baseline fact of climate change is not something we can afford to deny. And if you profess leadership in this country at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges, if not the most significant long-term challenge, that this country faces and that the planet faces.
Actually, the “how” is a big part of the argument, but Obama (who is not a scientist) just leaps over it. The climate is changing, because that’s what climate always does. It changes. The steady-state universe went out of science fashion decades ago, and scientists are just now really getting a good handle on how variations in the Sun’s energy output impact climate here on earth. But “the Sun has a massive impact on Earth’s climate” is the safe way to bet. It’s just a lot bigger and more consequential than we are.
That’s not the only “how” that’s worth arguing about. Even if you accept that mankind is changing the climate, “how” do we change that — or should we? We are a part of nature, if you believe the godless leftists who are pushing their climate change narrative. If we’re a part of nature, then anything we do is natural, including making Earth warmer (or cooler, as scientists — a community that does not and never did include Barack H. Obama Jr. — thought just a few decades ago) is just part of nature. It would be unnatural to oppose that. So there’s one philosophical argument, and then there’s a practical argument — how do we go about changing the climate back? First, you have to suppose that changing it back (rolling back the clock, liberals would argue in other political contexts) is even possible. Then you have to decide that it’s desirable. Then you have to decide what measures will change it back, and whether those measures are worth it. And whether they’ll even work, as we have no history of intentionally changing the entire planet’s climate. That’s kind of a big job. This administration can’t even take care of sick veterans. Yet Obama believes he’s smart enough to heal the planet? Yes, actually, that’s exactly what he thinks — the arrogant boob. He ought to demonstrate competence in a smaller job first. Like, just to pull something out of the air, building a functional health insurance website…
What I’m saying is, Barack Obama is offering a simplistic, bordering on childish, presentation of all the arguments involved in what we think of as “climate change.” But, as he knows well, childish argumentation is often very effective at generating emotional responses.
It hasn’t proven to be very effective so far, though, in changing votes. Americans tend to rate “climate change” very low in our issue priorities. A majority of Americans are at least somewhat skeptical of “climate change”/”global warming” as an issue that’s worth their time. A 59% majority worries more about jobs than “climate change.” Even as an environmental issue, climate ranks behind air and water pollution in Americans’ concerns. It’s just not an issue that moves a lot of voters, nor is it an issue that causes its strongest advocates to change their lifestyles. Barack Obama still joins the likes of Al Gore in jetting around the world, spewing all kinds of noxious gases (in more ways than one) to lecture everyone else about our carbon footprints. Until these enviro radicals practice what they preach, they earn nothing more than the right to be ignored.
I will admit I’m not part of the space age generation. I wasn’t even alive when the original Star Wars movies were coming out.
I have missed some of our nation’s greatest achievements in space flight—the moon landing and the first Space Shuttle launches—and I’ve also missed some of its greatest tragedies—the Challenger disaster and NASA’s suspension thereafter.
But, I’ve always considered myself an honorary member of that age group. This is both represented by my obvious “old-soul” mental maturity, but also by my undying love for all things NASA and astronaut related.
My mother worked for a NASA contractor, and so I’ve had some tremendous opportunities to, for instance, meet Carl Sagan and attend two Shuttle launches from Cape Canaveral. And my childhood bedroom featured a large Shuttle mural and several mission posters, along with a cute (yes, cute!) Snoopy astronaut stuffed animal.
It seems as though I missed some of the aforementioned highlights of NASA’s exploration, but I have unfortunately lived through some of its darkest moments.
When Columbia exploded upon reentry, I remember figuring that people would give up on NASA and her proud birds of flight, but they didn’t. At least not right away.
President Bush told us that, not only would we continue, but we would actually expand our efforts, to land on the moon once more, and even put a man on Mars. They were going to build a whole new rocket ship and it was going to take Americans to places unimaginable.
Then the confusing years of Obama started.
President Obama defunded Bush’s optimistic programs, and canceled the Shuttle program. He reorganized NASA to be a pseudo-State Department subsidiary, reaching out to Muslim countries, and providing climate and science education around the world. This presents the need for the highly scientific phrase—huh???
Less than a year after this decision, Obama started strongly encouraging science, math, and engineering education. And he redirected tons of Education Department spending to these pursuits. Rather than spend all this money on the education, wouldn’t it make more sense to give students an incentive for studying these things? Um, maybe by continuing to employ thousands of them, and allow them to achieve great things…by continuing NASA exploration.
Now, its not like I’m unsympathetic to the privatization argument. Space X and Virgin Galactic are changing the space frontier in great ways. But I think it’s clear by now that the Obama administration will spend exorbitant amounts of money, in one way or another. I would just prefer if they spent money in ways that expand our scientific horizons, not just train people for how to participate within what’s currently known.
Oh and there’s another thing—
$150 billion dollars is what some medium-sized countries’ GDPs are. In fact, it’s pretty damn close to what Ukraine’s GDP is (but we’ll discuss Crimean politics in a sec).
And this is what our generation’s predecessors spent on the International Space Station. Set up as the pinnacle of laboratories in space, this project was undertaken by many countries as a joint venture. And of course, our old space-race pal, Russia, was a primary partner.
But now all of the Space Shuttles are sitting in museums. Plans to create a new ship have been long on the backburner (if in the kitchen at all). And so we have no means of accessing the Space Station, let alone launching several of our communications and military satellites.
Obama thought his Smart Diplomacy would be the answer. We would pay the Russians, so that they would deliver our researchers to the Station, and would sell us their rockets to launch our satellites.
When Putin led Russia into a Ukrainian invasion, Obama bristled. Leftover from our Cold War days, the US was allied with Ukraine, and this was an affront to our efforts in the region, and an embarrassment for Obama.
Obama sanctioned Russia, and I guess thought that they wouldn’t care. I suppose he figured he was being magnanimous, because he didn’t provide military support for Crimea, and only economic sanctions…but Putin didn’t see it this way.
So now we’re at a standstill in two ways. Putin continues his hostile presence in Crimea. And, his administration has launched an offensive against the US in another way—by cutting off their space exploration systems.
The Russian version of NASA has said they will no longer sell us any rocket parts or engines, to aid in any deemed military use. And they will not transport our astronauts or researchers to the International Space Station. Their Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, even said “I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline.”
I think Obama and his administration have mangled this Russian situation altogether. First upset by their homophobic laws, Obama didn’t attend the Sochi Olympics. Then fearing a hostile takeover of Ukraine, Obama put economic sanctions on Russia. It is important to note that Obama’s efforts have in no way quelled Putin’s advances. But it seems like he legitimately forgot that we rely on Russia, based on his own policies, for space travel. So much for Smart Diplomacy.
Obama’s continued confusion with regard to foreign policy has led us to have trampolines as the only answer. And he has become even more the ‘Huh???’ President.
A new Gallup poll finds that “climate change” or whatever disguise that movement is hiding in lately just is not a top concern for American voters.
On a list of 15 national issues, climate change ranks near the bottom with only 24 percent worrying about it “a great deal.”
About half, or 51 percent, said they only worry about climate change a little or not at all.
The poll comes just a day after Senate Democrats wrapped up an all-night talk-a-thon in which they pushed for Congress to tackle climate change.
The Democrats who organized that talk-a-thon were misguided in thinking that merely talking about something for a long time makes it go viral. They were trying to emulate previously successful talk-a-thons by Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. But those talk-fests were not creatures of their party; both grew up organically out of the senators’ real concerns over the issues they addressed. The Democrats tried manufacturing a similar event and just ended up wasting their time. No one paid them any attention at all, not even their slavish media allies.
For the Democrats and the climate change panic brigades, their moment may be ending. Concern over the environment peaked in 2007, and Democrats took total control with Obama’s election in 2008. Obama came in pledging to lower the seas and reverse the warming (which wasn’t really happening, according to the data that came out during 2009′s Climategate and afterward). Obama and his cohort had full control of Washington for the next two years yet accomplished little on climate beyond pushing some seriously misguided regulations through the EPA. Now they have lost the House, Obama is discredited and unpopular, and the Democrats are poised to lose the Senate as well. This week’s talk-a-thon, as pathetic as it was, may be turn out to be the high-water mark for “climate change” politics for a generation.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s power to formulate regulations without Congressional authorization is the subject of a case currently being decided in the US Supreme Court. Justices have voiced skepticism that the EPA even has such power. But that isn’t slowing the agency down, nor is the rapidly developing situation in Ukraine. The EPA is reportedly set to announce yet another round of unilaterally-imposed sanctions on the US economy.
The Environmental Protection Agency will reportedly announce a new rule Monday that requires oil refiners to strip even more sulfur molecules from American gasoline blends.
The New York Times reports that the new rule will require oil refiners to install new equipment and carmakers to install newer, cleaner fuel-burning technology in engines. The EPA estimates that the cost of gasoline will be raised by two-thirds of a cent per gallon as a result of the new regulations, while the sticker price of a car will be increased by $75.
The former estimate is disputed by Charles Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers lobbying group. Drevna claims that the price of gasoline could rise by up to 9 cents per gallon.
“I don’t know what model [the EPA] uses,” Drevna told The Times. “The math doesn’t add up.”
That’s the story of the Obama administration: The math doesn’t add up.
NakedDC has, um, this.
It’s AlGore’s handout at the 2014 International UFO Congress and Film Festival. The handout highlights the hot conditions on Venus to warn us earthlings. Gore may not be aware that there is no life on Venus. Not indigenous. As far as our probes and Russia’s probes have determined, it hasn’t been colonized by space aliens either. It’s a hot rock.
So, the “reality” in Gore’s “ClimateRealityProject” may not be appropriate.
Plus, how does Gore know that the aliens aren’t coming from a cold place out in space? Why is he a warming chauvinist?
John Bolton is always bracing. Today he appeared on Fox and took Secretary of State John Kerry to task for his “mushy” talk on “climate change.” Kerry gave a speech over the weekend in which he claimed that “climate change ranks right up there” with major threats including weapons of mass destruction.
Wars are fought over WMDs, by the way.
BOLTON: This is mushy thinking at best. People decided global warming was a national security threat. They anyhow they bring to mind the most severe threat that the country faces. Now we compared it to weapons of mass destruction. And nuclear weapons and biological weapons. And I think this rhetorical scare campaign undercuts the point Senator Kerry is trying to make. He is foolish.
Kids of a certain age remember ads for Amazing Live Sea Monkeys. They ran in the backs of comic books. The ads promised that Amazing Live Sea Monkeys would hatch, grow, and become your friends.
Amazing Live Sea Monkeys were supposed to be so amazing that they even had their own Saturday morning show.
And a video game.
When Barack Obama burst into American politics, he promised to be a different kind of politician. He promised Hope. And Change.
The media were smitten.
Hollywood couldn’t get enough of him.
Despite their skepticism of the young, inexperienced senator, many Americans fell in love too.
And he was elected President of the United States. Twice.
Thanks to all who entered our first and very popular photo caption contest of the new year.
Based on all the politically incorrect entries, several of you should follow the lead of our friend “rbj” who entered:
Rendering of the Obama statue proposed by The Obama Temple.
Then, he quickly followed up with this comment:
It was begging to be said. I‘m packing for reeducation camp right now.
Please note that this is an excellent example of pro-active thinking. May I suggest that many of you regular contest goers keep your bags packed as well.
Now let us begin the “hellish task” of announcing the winners of this “devil of a contest.”
There were two writers that stood out Kuce and RockThisTown. Both had numerous entries and several that deserved a place in the winner’s circle.
“If you like your soul, you can keep your soul.”
“Satan visits OK State Capitol; conveys greetings from Timothy McVeigh.”
“Representative of Infernal Revenue Service visits Oklahoma to teach children the dangers of the TEA Party.”
Satanic Temple demands equal representation in Capitol. Satan’s PR person quoted as saying “All politics is Hell – we just want our fair share”
“Satan relocates HQ to Oklahoma after Climate Change adversely impacts Hell”
“Oklahoma children welcome key Obama adviser to the capitol”
The Satanic Temple? You didn’t build that!
“Ahhhh, I love the smell of burning souls in the morning.”
A shoo-in to win a Nobel Peace Prize before he’s seated in the Temple.
“Hello, my name is Satan! Like me on Facebook.”
Hey, where’s my pitchfork? Oh yeah, I left it on Air Force One.
See, I told you to keep those camp bags packed!
Here are a few more winners. (Seriously, this winners post could be three pages long, so better that you just go back and read all the entries.)
DPeterson: “AP: The Democrats introduce their new Official Spokesman…”
wombat1: “If you like the religion you already have, of course you can keep it.”
David77 had two winners:
“Satan, Prince of Lies, …, oh wait, Obama has already received that honor.”
“Satan, Prince of Darkness. Hey, wait, that’s racist.”
Cfbleachers our “Caption King Emeritus” displayed his usual brilliance with these three winners. (Note: As mentioned in the original contest, The Satanic Temple has named that “thing” depicted in the statue, Baphomet.)
Baphomet vs. The Ten Commandments, the final knockout game.
I understand Baphomet has little chance of winning a spot in Oklahoma, but that MSNBC has offered an anchor position as consolation.
“Can I get the internet on my Obamaphone?” Sure, your browser is called Baphomet.
Finally, our contest was missing entries from our 2013 Caption King, Chris Henderson. A signal that he is back in re-education camp (again) likely due to the photo below that he submitted to our last contest.
FREE HENDERSON NOW!
Alert the (Danish) media and see you all next time a photo is worthy of a PJ Tatler Photo Caption Contest.
“As a site, reddit is passionately dedicated to free speech.” Except when it’s not.
The gist at Grist: reddit has closed off comment and posting privileges for anyone who doesn’t toe the global warming line. Their censorship has been so effective at shutting off debate that they’re encouraging all newspapers to do the same thing.
The former Vice President of the United States, a man who once took an oath to defend the Constitution with its pesky guarantee of free speech, thinks this closing of minds is a very good thing.
— Al Gore (@algore) December 17, 2013
As a privately run site, reddit has the freedom to limit discussion as it sees fit. No one is disputing that. But calling for all newspapers everywhere around the country to toe the same line — especially as the evidence or global warming crumbles, and the implications of imposing the warming crowd’s preferred policies needs to be debated openly — is a bit much to take from people who cast themselves as enlightened, open-minded and tolerant.
I blame global warming. Or Bush. Whatever.
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Saturday, Nov. 30, had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, thanks in large part to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean. This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes.
“A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster atNOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns.”
Or, the climate patterns don’t really exist.
Thirteen named storms formed in the Atlantic basin this year. Two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes, but neither became major hurricanes. Although the number of named storms was above the average of 12, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were well below their averages of six and three, respectively. Major hurricanes are categories 3 and above.
Remember when Algore predicted that “global warming,” eventually rebadged as “climate change,” would produce more, stronger, meaner, fatter, more temperamental and less tolerant hurricanes? He made a movie about it and everything.
Heh. Also, LOL. What a duplicitous dope.
This is some lead, Washington Post:
Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record large extent for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world.
The world hasn’t actually been “warming” for the past 15 years or so. But let’s not let reality intrude into “settled” science.
On Saturday, the ice extent reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to data posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site. That number bested record high levels set earlier this month and in 2012 (of 19.48 million square kilometers). Records date back to October 1978.
The growth doesn’t fit the models, yet no one is ready to junk or change the models…
“This modeled Antarctic sea ice decrease in the last three decades is at odds with observations, which show a small yet statistically significant increase in sea ice extent,”says the study, led by Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Barnes.
A recent study by Lorenzo Polvani and Karen Smith of Columbia University says the model-defying sea ice increase may just reflect natural variability.
If the increase in ice is due to natural variability, Zhang says, warming from manmade greenhouse gases should eventually overcome it and cause the ice to begin retreating.
“If the warming continues, at some point the trend will reverse,” Zhang said.
Keep the faith!
A long-rumored blooper reel from Star Wars: A New Hope has turned up. The reel, which is silent for its first 48 seconds, features Han Solo chewing on his mic, Ben Kenobi nearly chewing on Chewy, and clumsy stormtroopers falling over themselves. Take a look.
Taken out of context, it may look like video game Bioshock Infinite is an attack on American history, patriotism and the Tea Party. In fact, for the first few hours of play the game does feel like that. You play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton officer who has a massive debt he can only repay by fulfilling a mission to rescue a teenage girl from a tower prison. There its resemblance to fairy tales ends and its horror story begins.
The game is set in 1912, in a city called Columbia up in the sky. It’s a city of separatists who see themselves as true patriots and their leader as a true savior. A few hours into the game, and I’ll try not to spoil anything until page two, you run into these mechanized boss characters.
If this is an attack on the American founders, it isn’t subtle. Notice the sign behind the beast. Called a Motorized Patriot, it’s a combat robot George Washington wielding a crank gun against the protagonists while he spews phrases that sound vaguely Biblical. During chapter loads, the developers offer a helpful hint for killing them: You should shoot them in the back. How nice.
So is this game, then, an attack on patriotism?
I haven’t played it all the way to the end yet (but I’m very very close), but the answer has to be no. Bioshock Infinite is first and foremost a first-person shooter’s science fiction take on the multiverse theory, with some color taken from the mess that is American politics.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away to those who have not played it yet, so if you’re playing the game and don’t want anything spoiled, don’t click on the next page.
This graph should change the debate over global warming forever.
Pay close attention to what happens to the black line before and after the vertical white line. Everything to the left of that line was pieced together by global warming advocates after the fact. Their predictions going forward — to the right of the white line — have been proven wrong. If they were right, the black line would track with the pink and red areas. It doesn’t.
The source of this graph is the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The effect of publishing this graph has been swift. Global warming advocates are backtracking.
Academics are revising their views after acknowledging the miscalculation. Last night Myles Allen, Oxford University’s Professor of Geosystem Science, said that until recently he believed the world might be on course for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than five degrees this century.
But he now says: ‘The odds have come down,’ – adding that warming is likely to be significantly lower.
Prof Allen says higher estimates are now ‘looking iffy’.
Yesterday Piers Forster, Climate Change Professor at Leeds University, said: ‘The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the terms changing climate, make the high estimates unlikely.’
And Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said: ‘The models are running too hot. The flat trend in global surface temperatures may continue for another decade or two.’
James Annan, of Frontier Research For Global Change, a prominent ‘warmist’, recently said high estimates for climate sensitivity now look ‘increasingly untenable’, with the true figure likely to be about half of the IPCC prediction in its last report in 2007.
Global warming as it has been sold politically by alarmists like Al Gore is science fiction. He got rich, the rest of us have gotten stuck with the tax and energy bills. Governments including our own have invested vast sums of money imposing a “greener” economy, based on previous predictions that have now turned out flat wrong.
President Obama intends to double down on his bad green investments while he kills off the US coal industry and imposes a regime that, in his own words, will cause energy prices to “skyrocket.” He and his EPA chiefs should be hauled to Congress for hearings, using the graph above as Exhibit A against them.
“FOIA” has harshed the climate hysterics’ mallow again. Wattsupwiththat is scanning the new emails for gems.
Update4: An email showing some insight on the beginning of the use of the word “denier” along with some demonstrated coziness with media activists.
Update5: Mike Mann rages and releases the attack dogs Monbiot, Romm, Media Matters and others in response to a perfectly valid and polite inquiry from the Wall Street Journal, suggesting a smear before the reporter even write the story.
Update6: From Junkscience.com, who spotted this exchange: Wigley accuses IPCC and lead authors of ‘dishonest presentations of model results’; Accuses Mann of deception; Mann admits
Update7: From Junkscience.com, Briffa worries that manmade environmental change distorts tree-ring analysis.
Much more at the link. And away we go…
“FOIA” addresses some of the conspiracy theories behind the Climategates.
I don’t expect these remaining emails to hold big surprises. Yet it’s possible that the most important pieces are among them. Nobody on the planet has held the archive in plaintext since CG2.
That’s right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil. The Republicans didn’t plot this. USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK. There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.
“FOIA” is a lone individual, acting for the greater good by exposing the powerful. Once upon a time, Hollywood made movies about this sort of thing. Well, when they acted from a certain point of view, anyway.
America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.
Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
“People are surprised sometimes,” he added, describing the reaction to his assessment. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”
The admiral commands an area that stretches from California across the entire Pacific to India. He’s not a scientist.
“The ice is melting and sea is getting higher,” Locklear said, noting that 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of the coast. “I’m into the consequence management side of it. I’m not a scientist, but the island of Tarawa in Kiribati, they’re contemplating moving their entire population to another country because [it] is not going to exist anymore.”
As noted, the admiral isn’t a scientist. His strategic thinking is the consequence of junk science, though.
Officers at the level Locklear has reached tend to be political creatures, that’s how they get commands. Locklear’s thinking therefore reflects the Obama administration’s thinking.
h/t Weasel Zippers
The longfaced new Secretary of State, John Kerry, delivered his first major address today. It was not on the recent North Korean nuclear tests or the ongoing strife in the Middle East or the rise of China. It was on global warming aka climate change.
Secretary of State John Kerry gave his first major foreign policy speech today. In his address, delivered at the University of Virginia, he discussed tackling climate change.
“We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate,” said Kerry, according to prepared remarks.
“And let’s face it – we are all in this one together. No nation can stand alone. We share nothing so completely as our planet. When we work with others – large and small – to develop and deploy the clean technologies that will power a new world, we’re also helping create new markets and new opportunities for America’s second-to-none innovators and entrepreneurs to succeed in the next great revolution.”
Kerry called for collective action to deal with this problem.
And so forth. I’m sure you can imagine his dull tones and his deadman delivery as well as I can. John Kerry is a spectacularly unimpressive man and a dreadful public speaker, easily one of the worst in politics today. The Democratic Party has abdicated American foreign policy, as a party. They’re just not interested in it. It’s hard to blame them, really, since a majority of the American people can’t be bothered with foreign policy either.
As for Kerry’s scientific acumen, a plurality of scientists have pretty much abandoned the idea that humans are making things hotter. Not that we should conduct science by poll, which is itself as much art as science. But politicians like Kerry and his boss apparently never will let go of the idea that they can literally save the world. At least, from the internal combustion engine, if not the mullahs and assorted other madmen roaming the planet.
As predicted, I was correct when assuming that Tatler fans would write a better caption than the Drudge Report for the photo that was the subject of our latest and extremely successful Photo Caption Contest. However, I could not have predicted the huge number of captions that exceeded my expectations!
So to celebrate all your creative energy there are three different categories of winners.
The first category is Politically Themed Captions and here are the winners:
Just imagine what I could do if I wasn’t on vacation most of the time. B. Obama. Submitted by weo
A picture of Barack Obama descending to Earth from Mount Olympus. Submitted by David W
After four years of the Obama economy, the US is no longer able to afford to keep the heavens in repair. Submitted by rbj
Obama: “If I was a planet and had a sun, this is what it would look like.” from RockThisTown (a Caption King)
Meteor strikes Russia – Obama adds the country as a stop on his next apology tour and blames Bush. Submitted by Scottch
And this one submitted by Chris Henderson was not exactly a caption, but a winner anyway:
Let’s see: - Smokes - Very dense - Gives off a lot of hot air - Flashy outside, but not much inside - Leads to the destruction of the local economy – But enough about Obama, a meteorite hit Russia.
Our next category is Just Plain Humor and the winners are:
“Somebody get Bruce Willis on the phone!” Submitted by Alyric
Actual CNN headline: Too much Global Warming in Russia attracts asteroids. Submitted by Adi (a Caption King)
(Adi really was quoting CNN but only added Russia to the headline.)
From that wild and crazy Henderson family (Don the father and Chris the son, both Caption Kings) we have these four winning entries:
Of course it’s a movie. It’s Skyfall! Chris Henderson
I’m from [CRATERS R US,] Is this where I break ground?
I just love crashing a Communist party, Molotov cocktail anybody?
To Russia, with love from the Cosmos. All from Don Henderson
Finally, we have the grand winner’s circle of Heavenly Themed Captions. These submissions deserve extra credit because they actually answer the contest question, “So what is the meaning of it all?”
God is not taking the Pope’s retirement easily. Submitted by rbj
Scottch, already an earlier winner, submitted the greatest number of winning Heavenly captions, so Scottch is our Grand Prize Winner with these fabulous entries:
God is apparently NOT amused.
Lightning striking the Vatican, meteorite hitting Russia, another hitting Cuba………Just my way of saying “Can you hear me now? ” ……God
In other late breaking news, for some reason lots of Russians have suddenly gotten religion!
That whole Book of Revelations thing …….no, I wasn’t kidding.
Congrats to Scottch, our new reigning “Caption King.”
But woe to us if we ignore our first and last Caption King of Kings, cfbleachers who submitted the following winners:
You say you want a Revelation, well you know…
Lent. Fast AND Furious.
Lucifer’s Lightnings and Michelangelo’s Meteors take the field for the final game of this World’s Series.
Apparently, Heaven Can’t Wait.
You know, that crazy guy on the street corner may finally be right.
(Yes, that may be true and perhaps the answer to our contest question.)
Thanks for playing along and we will see you all next time a photo is worthy of a Tatler Photo Caption Contest!
In response to the tragic news that a meteorite struck Russia resulting in damage and injuries, Drudge Report posted the caption, “This is not a movie,” under the photo that is the subject of our latest Tatler Photo Caption Contest.
Now, as always, I am confident that Tatler fans can, and will, write much better ones. However, there is a theme to our current contest.
Besides a meteorite striking Russia, consider all the other cosmic events that have occurred today and in the last few days:
Lightning struck the Vatican just hours after the Pope announced his resignation. (The subject of our last photo caption contest and here are the winning entries in case you missed the post.)
This afternoon, an asteroid had a record breaking pass by planet Earth, the closest and largest ever recorded.
And now, late today, there are reports that a space rock crashed into Cuba.
So what is the meaning of it all?
Are these four events only a coincidence or is there something more. (Cue Twilight Zone music.)
That is the caption theme our VIP judges will be looking for in the winning entry.
(But of course you are free to write whatever you like!) Just abide by our rules of “be nice and stay classy because the media is watching.”
Have fun and don’t forget to look up to the heavens for inspiration.
This is so wrong, but also so funny.
PC Magazine has more:
Was this a viral marketing effort from the producers of The Walking Dead? No, it seems as though some industrious hackers breached the station’s emergency alert system, and sent out the bogus warning about zombies attacking the living.
“Someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System and announced on KRTV and the CW that there was an emergency in several Montana counties,” the station said in a Monday statement. “This message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency. Our engineers are investigating to determine what happened and if it affected other media outlets.”
The message kicked off like any other emergency alert – with the dialup-esque bleeps and tones and an alert crawl atop the screen. But rather than warning about a weather emergency or some other plausible situation, a menacing voice came on to warn people about zombies.
Whoever did this obviously has some braaaaains.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is trying once again this Congress to get her assault weapons ban renewed, said in a tweet this afternoon that more than 10,000 calls were made to senators’ offices yesterday by Faiths Calling to Prevent Gun Violence.
The coalition said Friday that “millions” were set to participate in the effort to call on Congress for stricter gun-control laws.
Participants included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches representing 37 Christian denominations, the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish movements, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, PICO National Network, the Islamic Society of North America, Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House, and many others. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism led the effort.
“On this issue of dire importance to the safety of all of our children and communities, the broadest array yet of faithful Americans is joining together in one chorus to call on Congress to pass sensible solutions to the epidemic of gun violence that has long plagued our country,” said Rachel Laser, deputy director of the Religious Action Center.
Callers were asked to promote universal background checks for all gun purchases, bans of semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, making gun trafficking a federal crime, and improving access to mental health services.
Leaders in the coalition made an appeal to President Obama and Congress on the one-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting to “endorse reasonable steps taken to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people through measures such as ensuring and enforcing universal background checks for gun purchases, collection and publication of relevant data on gun violence, and other constructive measures that will limit gun violence.”
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is supposed to be strictly scientific. So why, then, is it accepting financial sponsorships from the activist group World Wildlife Fund?
If only disposal of all tyrants was this voluntary.
Fresh off the Islamic Republic swearing that it really did send a monkey into orbit, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has volunteered to go to space himself, reports Mehr News Agency this morning.
On the sidelines of a visit to a space exhibition, Ahmadinejad said “sending living things to space is the result of Iranian efforts and dedication of thousands of Iranian professional scientists.”
“I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists,” the president said.
“We should admit that some do not tolerate Iranian greatness and growth. Iranians has incited devils’ hatred by Iranian idealism, perfectionism, and being human.”
Yesterday, Mehr decried the U.S. for not believing that it had launched a monkey into space.
“When White House Spokesperson appeared quite nervous and agitated before reporters and expressed US concerns over Iranian astronaut monkey’s health, it was quite revealing,” the Mehr report said, adding illustrative space monkey photos to prove the Iranian government’s point.