Where Is Hillary?

This seems to have been a massive Charlie Foxtrot of the State Department as well. Just for example, how did this guy get a multiple-entry visa?

Yet Her Highness is nowhere to be seen. In fact, the last time I recall seeing her was when she was berating a middle-school student somewhere near Timbuktu for asking a badly interpreted question about her husband.

At least Janet Incompetano has been out taking fire, making a fool of herself on an hourly basis, even though her department actually had not that much control over what happened. Do we need to put the Secretary of State’s picture on a milk carton?

Punishing Us For Our Sins, Continued

Some readers may recall a sophomoric comment from an “Ethan” at this post. He persists, but I doubt if anyone is following it any more other than him. So I thought I’d start a newer thread to continue the discussion, and hopefully educate him. He last wrote:

“Mass economic dislocation, poverty, disease and death,” though, are all consequences of climate change. Sea level rise will send billions of people scrambling for higher ground, competing with the existing population for dwindling resources. The deserts will spread, and indeed are already spreading, destroying millions of acres of arable land in the southwestern United States and northern Africa.

Now, I am not suggesting solutions to this problem. Massive government intervention leaves a bad taste in my mouth, too. But it makes me sick to think that there is still so much doubt about climate change and its consequences among the general population, when the science is solid. My statement that 1 percent of scientists think climate change might not be human caused may be “argumentum ad verecundiam,” but it is nearly accurate…the number varies slightly from survey to survey, but in all the reports I could find it has never been above 4%. So we’re looking at, at worst, 97% consensus that climate change is a reality, and that human activity is the driving force behind it.

I have read the “climategate” emails, and frankly, there is nothing in them that suggests a vast conspiracy of scientists. They contained unprofessional language concerning doubters of climate change, but all of the quotes which seem to point to such a conspiracy were obviously removed from their proper context when reprinted by the media. In fact, I blame the media for the fact that so many people in the United States are not sure if climate change is a reality. That 1 – 4% of scientists is given equal time with the 97 – 99% who are positive climate change is happening, which creates widespread doubt when it should be minimal.

Now, again, I don’t know exactly what should be done about climate change. Action on a large scale is needed, and frankly I don’t know if people are ready for that. But the consequences of inaction will be very high, and will be seen in my lifetime. The consensus is that our emissions of greenhouse gases (e.g., our consumption of fossil fuels) must peak by 2015 for the temperature to stabilize at no more than 2 degrees Celsius above temperatures at the end of the last century. So I don’t know about you, but I’m probably going to buy an electric car when they hit the streets, and I think I’ll be doing my shopping at local farmers’ markets whenever possible. Even those little things (buying potatoes grown in your state instead of ones that were flown or trucked across country) make a difference. I just hope those little things are enough.

I’m kind of swamped today, but I trust other readers will set him on the road to wisdom. I would suggest though (because it’s not obvious that he did) that he start (as I suggested at the time) by reading the piece I wrote at PJM that the post was partially about.

Did He Say Why He Waited?

I’d like to know what they got out of the guy before he lawyered up. There seems to be an assumption that he waited until the end of the flight in the hope that he would scatter airplane parts and jet fuel (not that there would be that much at the end of a flight) over the southeast Michigan landscape, or perhaps the airport itself. Call it the poor man’s hijacking. I assume that this is the thinking (to use a generous word) behind the rule about sitting with an empty lap for the last hour of flight.

But the chances of a bomb taking down an aircraft by blowing a hole in the fuselage are much higher when it’s at altitude, and more likely to pop like a balloon. Even if it had worked as designed (again, to use a generous word) it might not have brought down the plane at the lower altitude.

What if the lateness of the attempt was just that it took him that long to work up the gumption to do the deed? He had the whole flight to think about it, and it was almost over, and he finally realized that if he was going to do it, he had to do it now, and procrastination time was over? If so, it’s just one more reason to think the new rules imbecilic.


If the president is so big on change (and hope) here, why is he so seemingly averse to it in Iran? And why was he so quick to declare the Honduran regime illegitimate, but remains unwilling to do so for the Tehran tyrants?

Does anyone imagine that regime change in Iran would give us something worse? Other than, of course, the president won’t get to continue to futilely show his diplomatic chops by naively negotiating with this one?

“Because We Can”

Christopher Hitchens:

Why do we fail to detect or defeat the guilty, and why do we do so well at collective punishment of the innocent? The answer to the first question is: Because we can’t—or won’t. The answer to the second question is: Because we can. The fault here is not just with our endlessly incompetent security services, who give the benefit of the doubt to people who should have been arrested long ago or at least had their visas and travel rights revoked. It is also with a public opinion that sheepishly bleats to be made to “feel safe.” The demand to satisfy that sad illusion can be met with relative ease if you pay enough people to stand around and stare significantly at the citizens’ toothpaste. My impression as a frequent traveler is that intelligent Americans fail to protest at this inanity in case it is they who attract attention and end up on a no-fly list instead. Perfect.

It will continue until we demand our rights again. And unfortunately, this is a bi-partisan problem. This idiotic philosophy applied in the last administration as well. It’s a natural tendency of bureaucrats of any stripe.

Also, I was listening to some talk radio today in the car (Prager) and it occurred to me that people have this strange notion that “safe” is a binary condition. Something is safe or it is not. But it’s not. As I’ve said in other contexts (what a mess the human spaceflight program is), there is no safety this side of the dirt. Every decision you make, every action you take, carries some level of risk. Each one must be balanced against the expected benefit. When someone asks the president if it’s “safe to fly,” he should use it as a teachable moment. But he won’t.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!