hopperbach


Climate of fear

Remember how in the months following Hurricane Katrina we began to hear dire warnings of what was to come in 2006? Here is a sampling of what was being reported at the time:

From USA Today:

For this year’s storm season, which lasts six months and promises to be active, the corps will not be able to upgrade the 181 miles of levees that remained intact during Katrina.

From CBC News:

This year’s north Atlantic hurricane season will be “very active,” spawning eight to 10 hurricanes, the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

From the New York Times:

Many experts view this hurricane season, which begins on June 1, with trepidation, and hope that the system is not put to a test like Hurricane Katrina before further improvements can be made.

From The Christian Science Monitor

With meteorologists predicting another severe round of hurricanes this summer, the US Army Corps of Engineers is hastily working to finish repairs to the New Orleans’ levee system by June 1 – the official start of hurricane season – calling the end product “stronger and better than before.”

From TerraDaily:

With the new hurricane season opening on June 1, experts predicted last week that as many as 16 named tropical storms could form this year, possibly six of them rising to Category 3 hurricane strength or higher.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for the dikes intended to protect low-lying New Orleans from floods, has failed to meet its self-imposed June 1 deadline to bring the levee system back up to pre-Katrina levels.

The media here was using one of their favorite tactics – creating drama by combining elements of two different stories. It’s boring to simply say the Corps of Engineers is working hard to repair the levees in New Orleans. But throw in some of the “expert” forecasts of the coming hurricane season and suddenly you can write THIS juicy headline: “Time Running Out as Workers Desperately Scramble to Fix New Orleans Levees: Hurricane Experts Predict Another Active Season“. See how it works? Neato!

Now, let’s contrast that to what they were saying in late 2006 as the hurricane season was wrapping up:

From CNN:

Defying predictions, the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season ended with a whimper rather than a bang on Thursday, without a single hurricane hitting U.S. shores.

From LiveScience:

MIAMI (AP) — The mild 2006 Atlantic hurricane season draws to a close Thursday without a single hurricane striking the United States — a stark contrast to the record-breaking 2005 season that killed more than 1,500 people and left thousands homeless along the Gulf Coast.

Nine named storms and five hurricanes formed this season, and just two of the hurricanes were considered major. That is considered a near-normal season — and well short of the rough season government scientists had forecast.

I would bring you more excerpts but they are much harder to find than the gloom-and-doom examples which preceded them. Stories where nothing happens just aren’t very interesting.

So what happened to all the hurricanes? Why were the experts wrong this time? Well, maybe it’s because they are pretty much wrong ALL the time. On Friday, the AP ran a revealing story which almost reads as a confession of their industry’s hunger for hype”

Each April, weather wizard William Gray emerges from his burrow deep in the Rocky Mountains to offer his forecast for the six-month hurricane season that starts June 1. And the news media are there, breathlessly awaiting his every word.

It’s a lot like Groundhog Day — and the results are worth just about as much.

“The hairs on the back of my neck don’t stand up,” ho-hums Craig Fugate, director of emergency management for Florida, the state that got raked by four hurricanes — three of them “major” — in 2004. When it comes to preparing, he says, these long-range forecasts “are not useful at all.”

So why run these stories at all if the predictions are usually incorrect? Because, the mainstream media doesn’t care if it’s correct — so long as the story fit’s into their doomsday template.

But a bigger question comes to mind if I may shift the topic a little… if the experts are wrong about what will happen in a few months, how can we believe them when they tell us what will happen in the next several years? Every day we are warned of the impending catastrophic effects that man-made global warming will bring to pass. But what makes these experts any more accurate about this than when they are predicting hurricanes?

An editorial by Steven Milloy that ran on FOXNews a couple of years back posed the same question:

Despite the vast collective expertise of NOAA scientists, immense quantities of atmospheric and oceanic data, and unprecedented computing power, NOAA failed miserably in predicting weather events a mere six months into the future – and reiterated those same ill-conceived predictions at mid-season.

Yet global warming alarmists, including those at NOAA, expect us to unthinkingly buy into their dire forecasts of global warming – predictions that extend 100 years or more into the future. Forecasting global climate change decades into the future can only be described as orders of magnitude more complex than forecasting an imminent, six month-long hurricane season.

Very good points. Those of you who have bought into this “debate is over” propaganda from Al Gore and other global warming advocates might want to sincerely ponder this. We are making laws, treaties and dramatic lifestyle changes based upon the predictions of the same experts who have trouble telling you whether it will rain on your cookout tomorrow afternoon. Maybe it’s time for more of us to step out of the growing chorus of doomsday voices and really examine the song that is being sung.

Granted it won’t be easy for you if you do. It has become very fashionable to ride the global warming bandwagon – so fashionable that it revived the career of a washed up ex-presidential candidate and turned him into a rock star overnight. If it’s the approval of your peers that you desire, global warming is a sure thing. Try ridiculing someone who is skeptical of man-made climate change and you’re certain to get some appreciative pats on the back. It’s hip to hang with this crowd.

But a much more useful endeavor would be to drum up the courage to seriously question what is being fed to you by pundits, politicians, celebrities and the status quo of climate experts. NOT necessarily reject it outright… just question it. Because whatever ends up being done about global warning will be very difficult to undo. Whatever personal freedoms are taken from you as the result of an environmental law or treaty will probably be forever gone even if the data they were based upon is later found to be faulty. Once a government takes power from you they are generally not so keen on giving it back. So it’s worth it to start thinking for yourself on this issue. And as you see from the hurricane stories above, the media isn’t going to be a whole lotta help…

This much is certain – regardless of which side turns out to be right the world will look a lot different ten or twenty years from now than it does today. Either the global warming alarmists will be right, which I guess means the Statue of Liberty will be underwater. OR the skeptics will be right in which case the statue will still be there but the liberty will be gone. The weather is changing folks…



Prejudice from the pulpit… again

Open your Bibles, please, to the second chapter of the Lamentations of Barack. It appears that Senator Obama has another unholy mess on his hands. This time from a Catholic priest who was a guest this past Sunday at the candidate’s church. From FOXNews:

Another Chicago minister is causing headaches for Barack Obama after he told the congregation at the Democratic candidate’s church on Sunday that Hillary Clinton felt entitled to the presidency because she’s white.

Michael Pfleger, a Catholic priest, issued a formal apology for his sermon Thursday after Obama put out a statement saying he was “deeply disappointed” by Pfleger’s remarks at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

“I regret the words I chose on Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Senator Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Senator Clinton or anyone else who saw them,” said Pfleger.

In it, Pfleger, who is white, mocked Clinton for getting choked up on camera before the New Hampshire primary in January.

Okay… now some excerpts from the actual sermon. Remember this is a white Catholic priest:

“When Hillary was crying … I really don’t believe it was put on. I really believe that she just always thought ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white. And this is mine’,” he said, shouting at times. “Then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey I’m Barack Obama’. And she said, ‘Oh damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show’!”

After that, he simulated Clinton crying and then said: “She wasn’t the only one crying. There was a whole lot of white people crying … I’m sorry. I don’t wanna get you in any more trouble. The live streaming just went out again.”

He also said at one point, “America has been raping people of color and America has to pay the price for the rape. “

So what’s the big deal as far as Obama is concerned? After all, he doesn’t have close ties to Pfleger the way he did to Jeremiah Wright…… RIGHT?

Well.. actually……

Pfleger is not a member of Obama’s church, but Trinity United confirmed he was a guest at the church Sunday.

Pfleger’s support of Obama is well known in Chicago; an Obama aide confirmed that Pfleger contributed to Obama’s state Senate campaign during his years in the Illinois legislature.

The aide told FOX News that when Obama was a state senator in 2000, he secured a $100,000 earmark for the ARK Community Center, a center attached to Pfleger’s St. Sabina church. The aide said the initiative was awarded to help keep at risk kids off the streets by giving them a place to play.

Pfleger was also once a member of the Catholics for Obama Committee, which is a voluntary advisory committee to the Obama campaign, the aide said. But the aide said Pfleger decided to step down a few weeks ago from this committee, though the campaign did not request the resignation.

So even though Pfleger is not quite as cozy with Obama as was Rev. Wright, his righteous fingerprints can still be seen all over the Senator’s career.

In addition to the disturbing pattern we see emerging here, we also get a revealing glimpse into Obama’s overall campaign strategy on race. We suddenly realize that the reason Obama has always “officially” taken the high road on racial issues is not because of some inherent color-blind integrity he possessed. Rather he never brought it up simply because HE didn’t have to. Why play the race card when others can do it FOR you? Can I hear an AMEN?

Here is the YouTube clip of a very full of himself Pfleger going at it…



Sleepless in Guantanamo

A detainee at GITMO has decided he’s tired of the tropical life and wants to go home. A lawyer for Mohammed Jawad (for once can’t one of you folks over there just name your kid Steve?) is trying to have the charges against him dismissed.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—An Afghan detainee at Guantanamo Bay was the alleged victim of an abusive tactic meant to decrease his resistance to interrogation, a Pentagon-appointed defense attorney said Wednesday in a motion to dismiss charges.

Air Force Maj. David Frakt filed the motion to dismiss war-crime charges against Mohammed Jawad because he was allegedly subjected to a sleep-disruption technique that involved round-the-clock cell transfers at the isolated U.S. detention center in Cuba.

Frakt alleged that Jawad underwent the so-called “frequent-flyer program” at the U.S. base a total of 112 times during a two-week period in May 2004. Jawad, a 23-year-old accused of a grenade attack that wounded two U.S. soldiers, was about 19 at the time.

Poor little jihadist, having to go from cell to cell like that. The humanity.

Give me a break.

I have no sympathy for Islamic radicals. Zero. Can’t quite remember where it all started… maybe it was that crisp fall day in 2001 when I witnessed smoke pouring up into the heavens where two buildings used to stand. Yeah… that pretty much iced it for me I think.

Since when did sleep deprivation become torture anyway? And if it is, can I bring my neighbor’s fox terrier to court? I’m not sure what secrets he is trying to pry out of me in the wee hours but he’s wearing me down fast.



What’s wrong with you consumers?
May 29, 08, 4:36 pm
Filed under: economy, media, MSM, recession | Tags: , , , ,

More bad news for financial armageddonists. The economy may be picking up again:

The new reading on gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, was an improvement from the government’s initial growth estimate for the January-to-March quarter as well as the economy’s performance in the final quarter of last year. Both periods were pegged at a 0.6 percent growth rate.

Gross domestic product, or GDP, measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States.

The first-quarter performance matched analysts’ forecasts and offered a somewhat encouraging sign because it showed the economy was still growing at that time. The figure didn’t meet a definition of recession, which under a rough rule is two straight quarters of shrinking GDP, and might raise hopes the country can dodge a full-blown downturn.

Certainly these GDP numbers hurt the overall GAD (gloom-and-doom) quotient that the media relies on so heavily. This is a bad omen for those on the left who who were counting on an election-year crash-and-burn.

I’ve always sort of wondered anyway… do we really have to have a recession just because the media tells us we’re going to have a recession? Experts will point to economic indicators and other impressive sounding jargon — and no doubt housing and fuel are having a negative impact and more jobs than usual are being lost. But I propose that the media itself plays no small part in affecting the psychology of the consumer and business owner.

In short, they peddle fear to the point that we become afraid to spend our money.

If that’s true — and I believe it to be — what we may be witnessing is a gradual waning of the MSM’s influence over us. They certainly don’t scare me anymore… especially after enduring their magnum opus of mass-hysteria called Y2K a few years back. Maybe people are wise to the press now. Maybe they have resolved simply to live their lives and ignore all the dire forecasts.

So what would happen if this really occurred on a mass scale? My personal prediction: the economy would boom and more people would be… well… happy. And Democrats would suffer mightily as their sacred doomsday propaganda arm started to lose it’s grip on their voter base (thank you, Senator… but we’ll make our OWN “change”). What a lovely thought…

In case you were wondering… the color of my little world is red… rosy red….



A simmering Rice lashes back

So you’re an ex White House Press Secretary and you want to make an extra buck. And to make that extra buck you decide to publish a memoir which among other things levels stinging criticism at the Prez for his Iraq war strategy. And for extra measure you decide to include Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in your scathing appraisal of the war.

What you had better anticipate if you do this, Mr Scott McClellan, is that Condi will respond. And when she does, once again people will be reminded — whether they want to admit it to themselves or not — of just what an intelligent and eloquent woman she is. And you DO know, Mr McClellan, that when Condi defends herself with that intelligence and eloquence, YOU will end up looking like a bitter schoolboy who has just had his SpongeBob doll taken away. I’m sure you factored that in, right?

Rice set the record straight today:

“It was not the United States of America alone that believed that he [Saddam] had weapons of mass destruction that he was hiding,” Rice said, dismissing suggestions that the administration knew the intelligence was incorrect.

“The story is there for everyone to see, you can’t now transplant yourself into the present and say we should have known what we in fact did not know in 2001 and 2002,” she said. “The record on weapons of mass destruction was one that appeared to be very clear.”

Those who were skeptical should have spoken up at the time and argued against U.N. sanctions such as the oil-for-food program, she said.

“The threat from Saddam Hussein was well understood,” Rice said. “You can agree or disagree about the decision to liberate Iraq in 2003, but I would really ask that if you … believe he was not a threat to the international community, then why in the world were you allowing the Iraqi people to suffer under the terms of oil-for-food.”

What Condi is doing here is brilliant. Her point is threefold: first that we invaded Iraq based upon intelligence that was gathered years before Bush took office. Second, that the U.N. leveled sanctions in the 1990’s that were based on this same data. Third, that if anyone was guilty of exploiting the situation in Iraq, it was the U.N. with it’s horribly corrupt Oil For Food debacle.

Now, for the facts: after watching for years while the U.N. played footsy with Saddam Hussein, the U.S. under George W. Bush finally decided to actually do something about him. Not content with just dropping bombs from afar the way Bill Clinton had done earlier during “Monica’s War” (which, by the way, Billy-boy justified by citing the SAME WMD data), President Bush took the fight to the ground… and in the process pulled a murderous tyrant OUT of the ground and brought him to swift justice. As for WMD’s — I suspect most of them took a trip on the Baghdad Express to sunny Syria during the nine months we wasted dicking around with the U.N. before finally taking matters into our own hands.

Enjoy your 15 minutes, Mr. McClellan. The press will exploit you for a few weeks the same way you are exploiting the honored position you once enjoyed. And when they are finished, you and your book will find yourselves in the bargain bin of history, buried somewhere between John Kerry’s A Call to Service and Squiggles the Magic Glow Worm.



A monumental contrast

FOXNews ran the following picture in a lighthearted reference to Hillary Clinton’s aspirations for greatness as she campaigned in South Dakota:

Hillary Clinton Mt. Rushmore

Whether this pose was set up (and knowing Hillary it probably was) or whether a photographer managed to get just the right shot is not known.

In either event, the photo is interesting in that it accomplishes just the opposite of what Clinton may have hoped. Seeing Hillary’s goofy visage juxtaposed against the backdrop of four of the more remarkable figures in American history is laughable. It’s like putting a velvet Elvis next to the Mona Lisa. Having her pose next to giants only shows what an ant she is in comparison.

What Hillary fails to grasp is that these men did the great things they did out of passion and deep conviction for their country — not because they hoped to one day have a monument created in their honor. Hillary, on the other hand, has visions of greatness FIRST and then tries to fill in the blanks with public acts designed to make her look good.

Nice try Hil… but no.



Columnist makes hay of Bolton event

George Monbiot

A columnist for The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper had to be restrained today as he attempted a citizen’s arrest on former UN ambassador John Bolton for supposed war crimes in Iraq. Columnist and activist George Moonbat Monbiot was blocked by two “heavily-built security guards” as he attempted to serve Bolton with a “charge sheet” at the end of a talk he was conducting at the Hay Festival in Wales.

After being released by the guards the columnist – a fierce critic of the 2003 American-led invasion – made a dash through the rain-soaked tented village in a failed attempt to catch up with Mr Bolton.

Click here for exclusive audio of the dramatic event as it unfolded.

The Telegraph continues:

A crowd of about 20 protesters, one dressed in a latex George Bush mask, chanted “war criminal” as Mr Bolton was ushered away.

Ah yes, what would an anti-war protest be without the obligatory dweeb in a Bush mask. Sure makes ME think long and hard about U.S. foreign policy.

Man it would have made for such a perfect ending if Bolton’s limo had made an illegal u-turn as he left the scene. Who needs TV Land when we have this kind of comedy? Thank God for activists.