Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Divinely Inspired Leaders: A Comparison

Quds day is an Iranian holiday started by the Ayatollah Khomeini. It's basically a hatefest. The Western media ignores it. Fortunately, MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) does not.

MEMRI reports on how Iranian President Ahmadinejad is marking the occasion this year:

President Ahmadinejad gave a series of speeches leading up to and on Quds Day. At an Iftar address on October 14, he discussed his "connection with God" and said: "The president of America is like us. That is, he too is inspired ... but [his] inspiration is of the satanic kind. Satan gives inspiration to the president of America."

Mr. Ahmadinejad delivered his Quds Day speech under a banner that read, "Israel must be wiped off the face of the world." He described the holiday as "a day for confrontation between the Islamic faith with the global arrogance."

In another speech, he said Israel was "doomed" and promised that the Israeli "regime will be gone, definitely."

The words "the Zionist regime is a cancerous gland that needs to be uprooted" were written in a communiqué from the Iranian Foreign Ministry in honor of the holiday. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki held a meeting for other Islamic countries'
ambassadors to Iran and told them that Israel's existence would be shattered and
that death bells were tolling for the Zionists. At the meeting, the Palestinian Arab ambassador to Tehran, Salah Zawawi, said, "The day for the liberation of Quds Day is close at hand."


Aside from the fact that Ahmadinejad is a Jew-hating anti-Western zealot, here's what grates my undercarriage about all of this: Here in the U.S., Democrats having been sounding the alarm for more than six years about the "dangerous" religiousity of President Bush. The fact that he is a literalist Christian, we are told, suggests that he will do all sorts of irrational and inhuman things, just because he believes he is doing God's work. He thinks himself a Crusader of Christ. He seeks to impose his theocratic vision on the world. And so forth. The Left is perpetually apoplectic about President Bush's Christianity.

As a result, the Far Left engages in assassination fantasies and weeps for the death of Western civilization.

Now take Ahmadinejad. He has repeated, over and over, his belief that all non-Muslims must convert or die. He has regularly proclaimed that Israel will be destroyed and that it's his country's right to develop nuclear weapons in pursuit of that end. America, too, is evil according to this Mouthpiece of the Prophet, and its uppance will come. He claims to have witnessed the coming of the 12th Imam, and he even contends that while he addressed the U.N., Allah infused the assembled delegates with his spirit so that they all sat, rapt, and divinely engulfed by his words.

The reaction from liberals? Threat shmeat. We need to talk with him. If only we could stop being so belligerent, and sit down and listen, we could work all of this out. We could come to some agreement, some arrangement, so that he'll stop wanting to destroy us. Maybe if we just jettison the Jews . . . .

Bush must die, but Ahmadinejad must be reasoned with. A dangerously large plurality of this country is delusionally suicidal.

(h/t Power Line)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This Just In . . .

Report: Sex Is Always On Men's Minds.

UPI breaks another shocking story.

Too Stupid to Govern

I may be conservative in a lot of ways, but I am not a Rick Santorum-style social conservative. Nevertheless, I cannot fathom the thought of Bob Casey becoming one of Pennsylvania's Senators. He is, not to put too fine a point on it, a doofus.

Here he is in a Philly Inquirer interview, showing off his vapidity on the subject of warrantless NSA wiretaps:
Interviewer: Let me ask you to shift gears to the anti-terrorism initiatives. Last night in the debate, I think you said that you'd support warrant- less wiretapping. How does that square with your suspicion about this White House? Why would you be willing to let them do that without judicial oversight? And on the Military Commissions Act, would that have been something you would have supported? In general, your outlook on anti terrorism initiatives.
Casey: Yeah, I think going backwards the, with regard to the detainees and interrogation, look, we've had people like John McCain, and you could give other examples as well, but people who have looked at this for a long time who have been very serious about making sure that we are very tough in our interrogation, that we get as much information as possible from those we detain and interrogate and also John McCain, showing the kind of independence that Rick Santorum never seems to show, took on the administration and I think they, based upon their experience, I think they got it right and I think I would have support that. Secondly, on the question of wiretaps, my position all along has been we've got to do everything possible and give every tool that government agencies need, intelligence, law enforcement, give them the tools they need to fight this war on terror. And I think we, in terms of wire tapping, whether its terrorists, known terrorists, or suspected terrorists, we've gotta give this government all the tools it can. And I think what we've seen in the past is the system that has been setup when its operated according to the law, and when the administration goes and puts a wiretap in place and then comes back later and gets a warrant after the fact, the system that has been setup is a pretty solid system, but they often don't comply with it. You can support having a lot of tough wiretapping, but also support the kind of tough oversight of the administration, which I think has been lacking. And I think we can have the two in balance at right.
Interviewer: Well, it might have been misreported this morning, but it certainly seemed to me as if you were endorsing the NSA program which is warrant less wiretapping without court oversight.
Casey: Well, I think, look, my position all along has been you've got to have the ability to wiretap known or suspected terrorists, and I am going to make sure that everything I do in this area is focused on anti terrorism and making sure that we are being as tough as possible to ferret out any kind of plot or and kind of terrorist activity.
Interviewer: Bob, it's real simple, and it seems to me you are dancing around it. Either you believe that the President or his designees need to go to the FISA court and provide some probable cause for the wiretapping, or you don't. They say they don't. They say they can do it on their own say so and there's no oversight of whether the person they're wiretapping is actually credibly a terrorist suspect or not. That's the issue. Do they have to go through the FISA court or not? Nobody's
debating that we need to wiretap suspected terrorists.
Casey: You know very well that Senator Specter has worked very hard on this to try to get this right and I think with bi-partisan cooperation, working with people like Senator Specter, as I know I can, that we can get this right. I don't, I don't, I don't see what the...
Interviewer: It's a real simple question. Do they need to go through the FISA Court as the FISA law has said since 1973 or don't they? They say they don't. We say they do. What do you say?
Casey: I think it's worked well.
Interviewer: What has worked well?
Casey: I think it's worked well when you use that system and you use it in the context of making sure that we are doing everything possible to, to...
Interviewer: So, are you saying that the president has been breaking the law since 2002, or whenever the NSA program started?
Casey: I'm saying that people like Senator Specter have a lot of questions about whether or not the law was broken. I don't think anyone has made a determination about that. I think that's pretty clear.
Here's a candidate for the United States Senate, speaking with a sympathetic reporter from newspaper that universally endorses Democrats, and he can't answer a simple question without devolving into an Abbott and Costello routine.

Our nation has 100 Senators at any given time. Should this guy be one of them?

(h/t The Corner)

UPDATE (9:24 p.m.) By the way, when we Republican types talk about liberal bias in the media, this is the sort of thing we're talking about. Did you notice this "question" in the interview:

Interviewer: It's a real simple question. Do they need to go through the FISA Court as the FISA law has said since 1973 or don't they? They say they don't. We say they do. What do you say?

Spinning the contents of a complex statute (that has been subject to critically important Supreme Court analysis) and unabashedly taking a position on a contentious political issue. But Fox gets excoriated as hypocritical for calling itself fair and balanced.

Monday, October 23, 2006

See Smoke? CALL 9-1-1

Usually, that admonition makes sense -- if the smoke is billowing out of a building that also happens to be engulfed in flames.  But, proving that there is no limit to nanny-state idiocy, the city of Omaha, Nebraska is encouraging citizens to dial the emergy response number if they see people smoking cigarettes, in violation of the recently enacted ban on smoking in public places.

One can debate the merits of banning smoking in public places.  But what sensible argument can be made to support the proposition that a city's police, fire, and medical emergency resources should be tied up enforcing such a law?  I can think of none.

But the state knows what's best for us.  Do as you're told.

I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I'm looking forward to the first fiasco where a citizen in Omaha is unable to get help in a real emergency because the 911 lines are jammed with anti-smoking tattletales.

Morons.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Consent

This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Price of Elitism

The New York Times' profits are down 39%. That's what happens when you have a national audience, treat it like it's comprised of morons, and refuse to make your content accessible on the internet at no charge.

Relatedly, Air America, the "liberal" radio talk network, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.

Freedom of Misinformation

I have written on previous occasions about anti-Israel bias in the reporting of various Western news agencies. It is no secret to those who follow the U.K. press that the BBC itself has perpetrated some of the worst anti-Israel propaganda in the English-speaking world (it's not quite up to Al Jazeera status, but close sometimes).

So it's fascinating to learn that the BBC is the subject of a report that, it is widely believed, exposes this bias in a comprehensive fashion. The 2004 report, the result of an internal investigation by BBC senior editorial advisor Michael Balen, has thus far been concealed from the public. And the BBC is now waging a fierce legal battle to prevent its release.

The irony here is that the lawsuit seeking the report's release was filed pursuant to Britain's Freedom of Information Act, a law that the press uses regularly to uncover information in government records. The BBC is a hybrid press-government organization. It is publicly funded and dominates the British broadcast media. Its nothing-to-see-here-folks effort in this instance speaks volumes in answer to the question whether the BBC views itself as an equal-opportunity disseminator of information or an advocate for specific (read: anti-Israel) points of view.

Keep an eye on this one.

(h/t Dan Collins guest-blogging at Protein Wisdom)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Multi-Culti Madness

Since Europe has decided to function as the world's petri dish for excessive "multiculturalism," it behooves us to pay attention to the experiment. Consider this: A British school girl was placed in a science-project group with five other students. The girl complained that the other students didn't speak English -- they only spoke Urdu, a language spoken primarily in Pakistan. The result of her complaint?

The student was arrested for making a "racially insensitive remark."

This is the kind of P.C. garbage that the American Left seeks to impose, primarily where Spanish is concerned. Just imagine if your child were placed in a work group in school with children who spoke no English. Suppose that your child objected because the language barrier would make it impossible to collaborate with the other students and, thus, impossible to satisfactorily complete the assigned classwork. Should your child be arrested? Or required to endure the situation and fail the assignment? In order to be culturally "sensitive"?

There are people -- Americans, even -- who think so. Are you going to vote for them next month?

There is nothing "racist" or "insensitive" about expecting people who move to a country where a particular language is spoken to learn that language and to use it in their public lives. My great-grandparents did it. Soo, too, did the ancestors of just about any American reading this blog.

If an American moved to Mexico, would he be entitled to get away with not learning Spanish? If a Brit moved to Pakistan, do you suppose similar accommodations would be made? Of course not.

Wake up, wake up. This madness is becoming our near future.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Modest (and Insane) Proposal

British Tory MP Boris Johnson suggests in today's London Telegraph that the solution to the Iranian nuclear standoff may be simply to "Give Iran The Bomb." In fairness, Johnson makes it clear that he's not advocating this, necessarily. He's just "running it up the flagpole" because nobody can think of anything better.

I'll give Johnson the benefit of the doubt and take the piece as at least partly tongue-in-cheek. I hope so, anyway, not least because Johnson's thesis rests on the fundamental misimpressions that (1) Iran will be deterred from using nukes by Israel's retaliatory capability, (2) Iranians would feel "grateful" and "engaged" toward the West if we nuclearized them, and (3) Iran is moving "towards pluralism."

I'll chalk that all up to wishful thinking, rather than an intent to deceive. I must be feeling charitable today. I won't feel so charitable if Johnson's Democrat friends on this side of the Atlantic start to echo the sentiment. On the other hand, it would be political suicide for them, so . . . quick! Somebody call Dennis Kucinich!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

North Korea: It's The Economy, Stupid

It's always nice to read an article that bolsters my own view of things. That's why I was pleased to find Dan Collins' (guest-blogging over at Protein Wisdom) link to this Times of London piece by former-Leftist-turned-normal-human-being David Aaronovitch.

Aaronovitch agrees that for Kim Jong Il, the pursuit of nuclear weapons is far less likely to be a military strategy than it is -- at bottom -- an economic one. He writes:

The irony of North Korea’s state policy of juche — or complete self-reliance — is that it has been maintained largely through foreign aid or subsidy. Under pressure from China, Pyongyang has tinkered with economic reform, but its limited policies have backfired, pushing up basic prices without creating new industries. The country today is immiserated, defenceless against natural disasters and prone to famine.

It could well be that the regime sees a possibility in bargaining the development and deployment of its new weapon against substantial further aid.


Aaronovitch expresses slightly stronger concern than I do regarding the consequences of Kim's nukes, but his brow furrows for the same reason mine does: proliferation to terrorists and to more offensive-minded regimes. He glumly (and in my view correctly) concludes that the United Nations can do little about it and is inclined to do even less. Ditto China, which is the only single nation in the world that holds any appreciable (if still limited) influence in North Korean affairs.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Yawn?


So, Kim Jong Il has finally conducted his nuclear test. And the whole world is shocked -- SHOCKED -- at the audacity of it all.

I may be the only person in the world who doesn't view North Korea as a major threat to the U.S. Kim is insane, and irrational actors can be dangerous indeed, but I don't think his brand of insanity tends toward dreams of world domination or the utter destruction of his enemies.

I think Kim seeks nukes as nothing more than a bargaining chip. Ditto his missile tests. His regime is dependent on the outside world to prop up its completely failed pseudo-communist economy. By developing nuclear weapons, he perceives that he can wrest even greater concessions out of the West. And he's probably right, given the way Europe prefers to handle threat-spewing dictators (talk, talk, talk, talk, talk . . .). Kim lives the good life while his people suffer. His goal is to remain in power and to continue being worshipped as a god by millions of starving dupes. He won't take any action that's likely to bring his party to an end.

Thus, Kim is never going to launch a nuclear strike at the U.S. The only real danger his possession of nukes (or ICMB technology) poses to us is the danger of proliferating the technology to terrorist groups or to other nations (e.g., Iran) that have a greater inclination to use them offensively. And that's no small concern. But it's no more cause for concern than Russia, which -- despite probably lacking an intentional policy of arming terrorists -- has permitted the arsenal of the former U.S.S.R. to become the subject of an international black-market fire sale.

Regionally, Kim is a problem. His development of nukes changes the equation in a very delicate dance involving Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and even (to a lesser extent) Vietnam. Japan might perceive the need to develop a nuclear deterrent, for example, which would spook the Chinese, who have designs on Taiwan and might seek to flex a little in response . . . and so on. All of which could complicate things for the U.S. (particularly because of our military presence in South Korea and commitment to Tai independence). But I just don't see mushroom clouds in the U.S. as the likely progeny of Pacific Rim tension. Perhaps I'm naive.

(Of course, if mushroom clouds in the U.S. are your cup of tea, be sure and check out the new hit CBS drama, "Jericho.")

Friday, October 06, 2006

British Jihad (Updated)

That's right. Jihad in Europe: It's not just for the French anymore.

Although it's no secret that radical Islam has infected British society, things are starting to get violent there, catching up with developments in France (see my "French Intifada" post, below, for details).

According to the British Daily Express, "[t]he outbreak of disorder began after a mother and her daughter were set upon by a gang of 20 Asian youths armed with baseball bats, iron bars and pitchforks."

Note that in Britain, like in the U.S., the media shy away from describing the assailants in a meaningful way. The issue here is not "Asian youths," it's radical Muslims. This is apparent from the chants of the "youths" as they terrorized the Queen's hometown: "Meanwhile, scores of Asian youths marched through the streets chanting 'We are getting our mosque.'" Is it their Asian-ness that's relevant here? Or is it something else?

If only we infidels would simply submit to Allah, all of this unpleasantness could be avoided. How unreasonable we are.

UPDATE (10:40 a.m.): Speaking of British jihad, there's also this little item in The Scotsman. Seems a 15-year-old (white) boy was abducted, stabbed, set on fire, and killed.
MURDERED schoolboy Kriss Donald pleaded: "I'm only 15. What did I do?" as he was beaten up and dragged into the back of a car by his abductors, a court heard yesterday.

His attackers? Imran Shahid, 29, Zahid Mohammed, 22, Zeeshan Shahid, 29, and Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq, 27.

Another heroic victory for the Religion of Peace.

(h/t Power Line)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Primary Reason Now A Technorati Member

Technorati Profile

And the tentacles reach further still.

The French Intifada

According to an article in today's London Telegraph, "Radical Muslims in France's housing estates are waging an undeclared "intifada" against the police, with violent clashes injuring an average of 14 officers each day."

Interesting. Surely this has nothing to do with support for the Great Satan (The U.S.) or the Little Satan (Israel), since France has worked earnestly to support neither in international affairs. So what's this all about? Is it simply poor immigrants who are lashing out because the French are refusing to let them assimilate? Hardly. The French police -- who are the only people in France who have to deal with the problem -- recognize that it's something quite different:

Michel Thoomis, the secretary general of the hardline Action Police trade union, has written to Mr Sarkozy warning of an "intifada" on the estates and demanding that officers be given armoured cars in the most dangerous areas. He said yesterday: "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails. You no longer see two or three youths confronting police, you see whole tower blocks emptying into the streets to set their 'comrades' free when they are arrested." He added: "We need armoured vehicles and water cannon. They are the only things that can disperse crowds of hundreds of people who are trying to kill police and burn their vehicles."


This violence is not occurring because Muslim immigrants are unable to integrate themselves into their new nation. It's occurring because their new nation refuses (so far) to capitulate to the ways of the Muslim immigrants. And this is but a preview of coming attractions.

How long is it going to take before Europeans (and American "liberals") realize what's going on? Before they realize that radical Islam cannot be placated, appeased, pandered to or negotiated with? How much violence will western nations have to endure before we wake up and understand that these extremists will accept nothing short of our capitulation?

Unfortunately, capitulation is France's speciality. It's going to get worse, not better, in the French suburbs.

I wonder what the international climate will look like a decade or two down the road when (1) the Muslim population of Europe is double (or more) what it is now and has been permitted to erect mini-states (replete with Sharia law) within European nations, and (2) Iran has a nuclear arsenal because the West refused to take any action to prevent it. Will we be better off for having bent over backwards to make nice with the "Religion of Peace"? Will be be safer from terrorism? Will we have more options, or fewer, in our efforts to secure our countries?

Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Worse

Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khameini has forbidden Muslims to masturbate during Ramadan. I'll bet by the time the holiday comes to an end some of those boys will be ready to just EXPLODE.

Insensitive? You bet. But you get the joke, which means there's some truth in there. It's a good thing my readership is pretty small, otherwise the footsoldiers of the "Religion of Peace" would probably burn down an embassy or two just to show me how offended they are by the implication that they are prone to senseless violence.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Welcome, City Journal Readers

Seems the City Journal (a site I've known and frequented for some time) has linked to my Fox News post (Brian C. Anderson, who wrote the L.A. Times piece I linked to, is a senior editor at CJ). Much appreciated. Take a look around and be sure to come on back if you like what you see so far.

Shame and No Shame

(Now-former) Congressman Mark Foley (R. FL) has become a household name this week; it was revealed that Foley solicited sex (repeatedly and graphically) from a male, teenage Congressional page. The texts of instant messages (sort of like live emails, for the non-techies out there) were provided by, well, someone to ABC News. And now they're public. And they're disgusting. I don't think any actual sexual acts took place, but it doesn't matter.

Foley deserves everything that will now happen to him. He has already resigned, and criminal prosecution will follow. What's nearly as galling as his underlying conduct is that Foley has publicly defended himself by citing his (purported) alcoholism and the fact that he was (allegedly) molested by a clergyman as a child. Neither -- even if true -- is an excuse, and he should shut up.

But so, too, should Democrats shut up. The incessant crowing about the scandal's proof of GOP hyprocrisy is infuriating (and obviously calculated to affect next month's mid-term elections). Democrats live in glass houses when it comes to sexual scandals, even those involving underage victims. A top ten list is available here.

If anyone wants to talk about hypocrisy and sex scandals, one need look no further than (1) Barney Frank (D. Mass.), who remained in Congress after it was revealed that he let a gay prostitute run a brothel in Frank's apartment; (2) Fred Richmond (D. NY), who remained in Congress after being arrested for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old; (3) Gerry Studs (D. Mass.), who remained in Congress for six more terms after being censured for a relationship with an underage male page; and (4) Mel Reynolds (D. Ill.) who was pardoned -- pardoned! -- by Bill Clinton -- Bill Clinton! -- after being convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault of a 16-year-old.

Democrats: Feel free to join the rest of us in excoriating Foley for his unconscionable behavior. But please pause and recognize the difference between what happens when a Republican does this sort of thing (effectively excommunicated from the party) and what happens when a Democrat does it (business as usual). And lay off the "hypocritical GOP" talk. One need not have a particularly long memory to see how vacuous it is.

Happy Birthday, Fox News

The Fox News Channel turns 10 this week, and Brian Anderson (author of "South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias") has a nice piece in the L.A. Times (of all places) marking the occasion.

Fox News is the cable news network Democrats love to hate. They insist it is anything but "Fair and Balanced," which is FNC's tagline. You know what? They're right! Fox News is not, on the whole, a network that strives to be objective in all its programming. It bears noting, however, that Fox's 6:00 nightly news broadcast, anchored by Brit Hume, was deemed the most centrist news broadcast on television in a study by political science professors from UCLA and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

In its opinion content (not its news broadcasts), Fox News leans perceptibly to the right. It's no secret. What's amazing (and entertaining) about the consistent outrage from "liberals" about Fox's "bias" is that Fox is simply a mirror image of CNN, MSNBC, CBS, and (to slightly lesser degrees) NBC and ABC. Fox is simply no more "conservative" in its content than CNN is "liberal." But the "liberals" want to have their cake and eat it too, pointing accusing fingers at Fox for "bias" while refusing to acknowledge any leftward slant in any single mainstream medium, broadcast or print.

What truly rankles "liberals" about Fox, though, is that it succeeds. It appeals to a huge segment of the American public that is tired of being condescended to by the likes of Anderson Cooper, Chris Matthews, and Dan Rather.

What do I like about Fox? It's not that Fox's opinion content automatically cheerleads for Republicans. In fact, it doesn't. Bill O'Reilly is anything but a party-liner, frequently criticizing President Bush and Congressional Republicans on issues ranging from border security to special treatment of oil companies. Half of "Hannity and Colmes" is Alan Colmes, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat. Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of O'Reilly, Hannity, or Colmes (or Greta van Susteren for that matter). I don't watch them much. Mostly I just watch Brit Hume (and, before he became the White House spokesman, Tony Snow).

No, what I find endearing about Fox is its tone on issues of national import. Fox News commentators are assertive with criticisms of government -- including Republicans -- and report bad news as well as good. But, watching Fox cover Iraq or the broader War on Islamofascism, I get the sense that the Fox commentators actually want the United States to succeed. They are proud of the United States. I do not get the same sense from CNN, for example, where the commentators do not even try to conceal their aspirations for the U.S. to fail in Iraq because it would be politically helpful to Democrats. (That's why you never see good news about Iraq from CNN -- and there is good news, if you know where to look . . . take a guess where that might be).

So congrats, Fox News Channel. Here's to ten more years of infuriating the Left.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Global Smarming

I haven't yet written on this blog about global warming. I don't have much to say on the issue, since I'm not a scientist. Overall, here's my perception: Scientists seem to agree that the world is currently in a warming trend. They disagree regarding whether, and to what extent, that trend is caused by human behavior -- chiefly the consumption of fossil fuels.

I find it compelling that the world has endured far more extreme temperature changes than what we're experiencing today. The world has been much, much warmer, and at times long before man first burned coal (and as recently as the 15th century, for example). To me, that suggests that the Earth can grow warmer as a result of factors other than human fossil-fuel consumption.

I also find it compelling that in recent history certain scientists (and the news media) have raised the global-warming alarm before . . . back in the early 20th century. What's more fascinating is that by the 1970s, scientists and media scare-mongers had shifted to fretting over Global Cooling! In short, every time the Earth's temperature changes, there is a chorus of doomsayers willing to proclaim not only the imminent end of civilization, but that it's humanity's fault to boot.

I don't pretend to be able to read the raw data myself, but it strikes me as an unproven proposition that human behavior is causing global warming, and an even more dubious proposition that we're causing hurricanes, tsunamis, and arctic decline. And the ability of scientists' models to predict the weather more than a week in advance -- let alone many years down the road -- is suspect at best.

At bottom, then, I think it's foolish to push for policies that will cost trillions of dollars (Kyoto Protocol), ravage the world's economy, and ultimately sow poverty and starvation . . . all on what amounts to a hunch. I'm even more skeptical, given that the chief proponents of the global warming scare story among scientists are those who depend on it for billions of dollars in annual grant money.

Most people are like me in that they don't undertstand the science well enough to form a confident, independent scientific opinion about the extent and causes of changes in the Earth's temperature. I find that most folks I know who "believe" are Democrats (or self-styled "liberals") who knee-jerkingly insist on the certainty of it because Republicans are skeptical and because Al Gore said it's all true. Thus, the Dems are "supporting the environment" -- unlike the evil GOP -- even if there's no rational basis for the specific policies supported by global-warming alarmists.

This throaty intro is all a lead-in to a fascinating exposure of what passes for "reasoning" among the global warming cheerleaders in the media. Senator James Inhofe, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee was on CNN debating the issue with host Miles O'Brien. Sen. Inhofe has studied the issue carefully and is its most prominent authority in Congress. Inhofe consistently cites verifiable sources and authorities for the facts that (among other things) Antarctica's ice mass is growing, not shrinking, and that the world was warmer five hundred years ago than it is today. And he's not afraid to criticize those -- including O'Brien -- who baselessly beat the drum of global-warming doom while insisting on ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

And O'Brien got angry when Sen. Inhofe criticized CNN's propensity for engaging in scare tactics on the issue despite the paucity of compelling evidence. So O'Brien cited a recent Hollywood movie to support his argument. Was it Al Gore's faux-documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth"? No, although climate scientists have stepped forward to catalog the errors and untruths in that bit of propaganda. Try "The Day After Tomorrow," a fictional 2004 disaster movie starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal.

So, Senator Inhofe appeals to science to make the case that global warming cannot be reliably attributable to human behavior, and CNN anchor Mile O'Brien rejoins with a citation to a fictional Hollywood popcorn flick. Who's being unserious about this issue?

Can I say with any certainty that fossil-fuel consumption is not causing global warming? No. But the burden of proof is on those who insist it is. For, if global warming is being caused by, say, the sun (as some scientists conclude), then it would be awfully stupid to flush the world's economy down the toilet in pursuit of an emissions-reductions "remedy" that will have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the true source of the trend.

But throwing money at problems without understanding them or focusing the effort in any meaningful way is what passes for "progressive" public policy. What else is new.