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Articles Posted in October 2008

 

Anthropogenic Global Warming- Fact or Hoax

(26 Oct 08) THIS IS A VERY LONG READ BUT WORTH THE TIME

“...the actual measured rise in average ocean levels is in the order of 1.6 millimeters (about the width of a match ) annually.  There are 25.4 mm in an inch, so in 25 years, the oceans might be up about 1.5 inches or so if the trend continues....” 

 “....Michael Mann, a paleoclimatologist, submitted a paper to Nature magazine in 1998 which, unfortunately, was not subjected to peer review before publication.  In it, he offered what has now become known as the famous "hockey stick" chart, showing the earth's temperature having been relatively constant for the past thousand years before suddenly skyrocketing upward at the dawn of the 20th century.  His interpretation was that man's production of CO 2   in the modern age was obviously responsible for the sudden increase.  It turned out to be one of the biggest scientific blunders of all time....Along comes Steve McIntyre , a Canadian analyst, who spends two years of his own personal time reverse-engineering Dr. Mann's PCA program.....McIntyre submitted his work to Nature Magazine - since they were responsible for publishing Mann's flawed research without peer review in the first place, but they reportedly rejected it, saying it was "too long".  He then shortened it to 500 words, and re-submitted it, but again it was rejected, this time saying it was "too mathematical" or words to that effect.  Heaven forbid any publication calling itself an "International Weekly Journal of Science" from actually publishing any science that hinged on mathematics.  Let's all push a yard stick into the snow, measure the snow depth, call ourselves "climate scientists", and get published in Nature.  In the end, McIntyre turned to the internet and its true freedom of the press, and today he is known to every serious climate scientist on the planet as the man who broke the hockey stick..” Anthropogenic Global Warming- Fact or Hoax , James A Peden “....Al Gore likes to say that mankind puts 70 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. What he probably doesn't know is that mother nature puts 24,000 times that amount of our main greenhouse gas -- water vapor -- into the atmosphere every day, and removes about the same amount every day.... In reading "scientific articles" one must also be very alert to use of the word "if".  This is the killer word - the Colt .45 of sloppy or even deliberately misleading science.  "If" the sea level rises 40 feet, then certainly most of Manhattan will be flooded.  "If" the moon falls on Kansas, then certainly wheat prices are going to soar out of site.  Within a sentence or two, "if" morphs into "when" and soon everyone is convinced that the moon is absolutely going to fall on Kansas, it's just a matter of time, we're all doomed... unless we take immediate action to stop it.... Al Gore tells us the Greenland ice cap is thinning, but he doesn't mention that a newly discovered volcanic " hot spot " may be a contributor, along with warming on the coast due to warmer waters coming up the gulf stream.  In general, we found growing glaciers outpacing melting glaciers by a good margin.  Nothing like cherry-picking an isolated example to create panic, Al...the actual measured rise in average ocean levels is on the order of 1.6 millimeters (about the width of a match ) annually.  There are 25.4 mm in an inch, so in 25 years, the oceans might be up about 1.5 inches or so if the trend continues....” 

Editorial: The Great Global Warming Hoax

(26 Oct 08) Editor's Introductory Note : Our planet has been slowly warming since last emerging from the "Little Ice Age" of the 17th century, often associated with the Maunder Minimum .  Before that came the " Medieval Warm Period ", in which temperatures were about the same as they are today..... we're seeing a sort of mass hysteria sweeping our culture which is really quite disturbing.  Historians ponder how the entire nation of Germany could possibly have goose-stepped into place in such a short time, and we have similar unrest....many of the claims were just plain fishy.  The extreme haste with which seemingly the entire world immediately accepted the idea of Anthropogenic ( man-made ) Global Warming made us more than a little bit suspicious that no one had really taken a close look at the science....” Editorial: The Great Global Warming Hoax “....We also knew that the catch-all activity today known as "Climate Science" was in its infancy, and that atmospheric modelling did not and still does not exist which can predict changes in the weather or climate more than about a day or two in advance.... So the endless stream of dire predictions of what was going to happen years or decades from now if we did not drastically reduce our CO2 production by virtually shutting down the economies of the world appeared to be more the product of radical political and environmental activism rather than science.  Thus, we embarked on a personal quest for more information, armed with a strong academic background in postgraduate physics and a good understanding of the advanced mathematics necessary in such a pursuit... As our own knowledge of "climate science" grew, so grew our doubts over the "settled science".  What we found was the science was far from "settled".. in fact it was barely underway....”

Climate Alarmism's Flimsy Foundation

(26 Oct 08) “.....Forget pretty much any news reporting you see that attributes disastrous phenomena to global warming, because it's all designed to create a fog surrounding the core issue: is climate change human-caused or not?  A most recent example is from Monday's Washington Post , in which alarmist reporter Kari Lydersen (who has a long record of such journalism, in addition to work she does for leftist publications such as 'In These Times' and the 'Progressive' , on topics including  "environmental racism") told about how waterborne diseases are expected to multiply due to future climate devastation.... The inevitable devastating consequences, as in so many environmentalist reporter articles, dominate the opening paragraphs of Lydersen's piece......I asked Lydersen where in the IPCC report it states with certainty that heavier rainfalls would rapidly increase, and she promised to get back to me on that -- "That was paraphrasing, not a direct quote from the report," she told me in an email. I'm sure....this kind of distractive reporting buttresses the lucrative industry that is global warming alarmism....” Climate Alarmism's Flimsy Foundation , The American Spectator “.....we have a whole derivative economic sector constructed on the foundation of a single premise: that increasing greenhouse gas emissions are having a greater impact on global climate than are other phenomena such as solar activity, cloud cover, ocean temperatures, El Niño/La Niña, etc. If that single thesis is deemed false, then all these offshoot opportunities for researchers, government, universities, nonprofits, rent seekers, and media goes into a deep chill. Goodbye grants. Adios agency positions. Ciao, charitable contributions. So long, subsidies..... the difficulty of the alarmists' protectionist task only grows. There has been no significant warming since 1995, and none at all since 1997. The numbers of detracting scientists were already sizable and are only continuing to grow (PDF)....When you think about it, the global warming industry is not dissimilar to the current mortgage-instigated mess the country now faces. We have a planetary heat crisis and an insufficient home ownership crisis. Government demands intervention to remedy both mistaken theories. Media joins in celebrating and promoting the new agenda. A bubbling system of artificial wealth is created..... One has finally collapsed. When will the other?

An open letter from The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley to Senator John McCain

(23 Oct 08) Another example of the chicanery and duplicity of the IPCC and a complicit media

 “....It is true that the excitable media reported that melting glaciers would have a very large effect on sea level, but this was because the UN's bureaucrats had inserted into its 2007 report, after the scientists had signed it off, a table in which the estimated contributions to sea-level rise from glaciers and from ice-sheets had each been multiplied by 10, by the simple expedient of moving four decimal points sideways. When I wrote to the UN pointing out this error, the UN quietly corrected, relabeled, and moved the table: but by then it had obtained the alarmist headlines that had been intended: and not one of the newspapers that had printed the incorrect figure bothered to correct it once the UN had been compelled to revise the table....”

An open letter from The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley to Senator John McCain

The facts about “rising temperatures “...For most of the past 600 million years, the mode of temperature - the temperature that most often prevailed globally - is thought to have been 12.5 °F higher than today's temperature: for today's temperature, in the perspective of the long recent history of our planet, is unusually low. During each of the last four interglacial periods over the past half-million years, temperature was 5 to 8 °F warmer than the present.... For 2000 years in the Bronze Age, during the Holocene Climate Optimum (which is called an "Optimum" because warmer is better than cooler), temperature was up to 5 °F warmer than the present. Thanks to the warmer weather, on many continents simultaneously, the world's first great civilizations emerged.... At both Poles, it was warmer only half a century ago than it is today. For temperatures in the Arctic , see Soon et al. (2004). For the Antarctic, see Doran et al. (2002).....From 1700-1998, temperature rose at a near-uniform rate of about 1 °F per century [Akasofu, 2008]. In 1998, "global warming" stopped, and it has not resumed since: indeed, in the past seven years, temperature has been falling at a rate equivalent to as much as 0.7 °F per decade [ Hadley Center for Forecasting, 2008; US National Climatic Data Center, 2008]. Very few news media have given any prominence to this long and pronounced downturn in the temperature trend... Despite rapidly-rising carbon dioxide concentrations, there has been no new record year for global temperature in the ten years since 1998; and, in the United States , there has been no new record year for national temperature since 1934 - a record set almost three-quarters of a century ago, and well before humankind could have had any significant influence on temperature... The facts about carbon dioxide concentration “.....You have said: "We know that greenhouse gasses are heavily implicated as a cause of climate change. And we know that among all greenhouse gasses, the worst by far is the carbon-dioxide that results from fossil-fuel combustion." Sir, the first of your two quoted statements requires heavy qualification: the second is scientifically false. The combined effect of the two statements is profoundly misleading... Greenhouse gases keep the world warm enough for plant and animal life to thrive. Without them, the Earth would be an ice-planet all of the time rather than some of the time..... Two-thirds of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is naturally present, and carbon dioxide occupies just one-ten-thousandth more of the atmosphere today than it did 250 years ago....” An open letter from The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley to Senator John McCain about Climate Science and Policy “....... The facts about the basis of the imagined scientific "consensus" ... The UN [IPCC, 2001], accepts that the climate is "a complex, non-linear, chaotic object", and, consequently, that "long-term prediction of climate states is impossible". Yet it then attempts the impossible by making predictions of climate sensitivity that are already being proven exaggerated by the failure of temperatures to rise as the computer models had predicted.... All of the climate models relied upon by the UN predict that the distinguishing characteristic or "fingerprint" of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcing as opposed to any other forcings is that in the tropical mid-troposphere, about 6 miles up, temperature over the decades should rise at two or even three times the rate of increase observed at the tropical surface. However, this predicted "hot-spot" over the tropics is not observed in any of the tropospheric temperature datasets since reliable measurements were first taken by balloon-borne radiosondes 50 years ago.... You also need to know that the values for climate sensitivity in the computer models - in short, the central estimates of how much the world's temperature will increase in response to a given rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - are not outputs from the models, but inputs to them. The computers are being told to assume high climate sensitivity [Akasofu, 2008]....Let me summarize the irremediably shaky basis for the UN's alarmist case. It is not based on physical theory. It is not based on real-world observation. It is based on computer modeling, in which - astonishingly - the models are told at the outset the values for the very quantity (temperature response to increased carbon dioxide concentration) that they are expected to find.....”

Dark Green ‘Carborexics': The obsessive generation of extreme environmental activists

(19 Oct 08) “....A new survey claims that seven per cent of Americans now qualify as “dark green”, hard core recyclers and carbon footprint worriers. But it is unclear whether some of their behaviour qualifies as eco-leadership or bordering on the obsessive-compulsive.....Sharon Astyk, a farmer in New York state, is using a special calculator to reduce her family's energy consumption to 10 per cent of the national average... Jay Matsueda, a Californian, runs his Mercedes on waste oil from a local restaurant and gives reusable bamboo cutlery as presents so people do not need to take plastic cutlery from takeaways....” Dark Green ‘Carborexics': The obsessive generation of extreme environmental activists, UK Telegraph “....He occasionally relieves himself on his lawn to “save a flush”, he told the newspaper. David Chameides, a Los Angeles cameraman, is collecting all the waste he accumulates in a year in his basement and writing about it regularly on an internet blog.... Dr Jack Hirschowitz, a New York psychiatrist, said such behaviour qualified as a disorder if it was taking precedence over everything else in the subject's life. David Zucker, a sustainability specialist at Porter Novelli, a PR company which has studied America's “dark greens”, said they were inordinately influential over other people's behaviour. He said the “deepest dark greens” were “bordering on the fanatic”, adding: “They're pushing towards a lifestyle of zero consumption....”

I've seen the ticking time bomb

(18 Oct 08) “...Financial institutions are at the confessional once again. They have made unprecedented provisions and write-downs against the toxic debt on their balance sheets. Our banks have assured us, hands on hearts, that their houses are now in order. But a further and critical time bomb exists within our financial system. To date it is largely unreported and unknown. When this bomb explodes, the mushroom cloud will be of a magnitude that dwarfs the current crisis and will change the world forever. This bomb is the over-the-counter derivatives market.... the global OTC derivative market is entirely unregulated. These instruments are not listed on any exchange and their prices cannot be seen in any newspaper. They typically do not appear on any external balance sheet. Should we taxpayers be concerned that governments have agreed to pledge sovereign wealth -- our national inheritance -- to support institutions with black hole exposures that cannot be quantified? Absolutely..... I've seen the ticking time bomb, Andrew Baggio, The Australian “...Financial engineering is a fascinating subject -- perhaps though, like genetic engineering, it is best left alone. Financial alchemists can slice and dice any form of property, package it, market it and sell it in a form that bears no semblance to its individual parts. This can be repeated any number of times. In many cases it is not clear whether the ultimate commodity is an asset, a liability or something else. When orthodox assumptions break down, as they have at present, these instruments and the financial exposures inherent in them are impossible to value and quantify -- even by their own engineers. And our Government in its wisdom has agreed that we will guarantee the obligations of our financial institutions with these hidden time bombs....”

To read more on this see Bomb ticking for off-balance banks , Adele Ferguson, The Australian Feb 18 2008 and Economies count the cost of derivatives,  Adele Ferguson, The Australian Oct 18 2008

Our New Established Religion, September Ian McFadyen, Quadrant 2008

(18 Oct 08) “.....Whatever the complexities of climate and climate science, one thing is clear: there was a specific point where the theory of global warming ceased to be a scientific hypothesis to be tested over time and became an incontrovertible article of dogma. Indeed it became the critical article of faith that would finally lock all the various environmental issues together in one overarching doctrine and bestow incalculable gravitas on the religion of Environmentalism, finally establishing it as the official religion of Western society....Just in case this seems to be a wildly rhetorical characterisation, consider the follow features that Environmentalism shares with religions in general. Symbolism and Ritual . Religion relies heavily on ceremonies which have no measurable result but provide emotional gratification, unify the religious community and reinforce belief..... Australia is currently preparing to cut its carbon emissions, even though this will have no effect on global carbon dioxide levels. In other words Australia is preparing to make a purely symbolic sacrifice which will have no practical effect but will reinforce in the population the sense that they are doing “something to help”—even though it is in fact doing nothing.... Martyrdom . The other justification for Australia's imposition of emissions reduction policies is that it will inspire other countries to do the same—an idea that is without any foundation whatsoever. This is a relic of religious martyrdom myths—stories in which devout believers are cruelly tortured and slain but never recant their faith... Damnation and Redemption .... Environmentalists preach that people can only prevent global catastrophe by changing their behaviour... Just as the church preached the horrors of Hell while at the same time maintaining that it was never too late to be saved, Environmentalism teaches that, no matter how hopeless the situation might seem, we can still be saved if we repent and follow the path of righteousness..... The Persecution of Heretics. .. Scientific sceptics are now being labelled as “climate change deniers” by zealots and are rapidly being accorded the same status as Holocaust deniers with similar threats of ostracism and career curtailment. There have even been calls to prosecute and jail people who deny the “reality” of climate change... The Creation of Demons .... Christianity has Satan and his minions; Environmentalism has the oil companies and the coal miners. These are the devils that bring woe into the world, who tempt weak humans into sin by offering them cars, trucks, planes and central heating in snowbound winters. The power of the fossil fuel demons is vast and they are always working to undermine the saintly work of the Environmentalists.....” Our New Established Religion, September Ian McFadyen, Quadrant 2008 “..... The Creation of a Priesthood .... Scientists, so long under a cloud because of their association with bombs, herbicides and insecticides, have redeemed themselves by alerting us to the damage that we (strangely not they ) have inflicted on the globe. In the climate change crisis they have emerged, for once, as the good guys in the eyes of the new Green middle class. After decades of being seen as the pawns of big business and the military-industrial complex, scientists are now seen as the revealers of truth, the interpreters of opaque data and trusted authorities on the interpretation of complex systems. They are even accorded the power of prophesy as they confidently predict the climate fifty, even a hundred years in the future.... . Messiahs and Saints .... At the top of any hierarchy are those with a direct line to God. In this case it is the celebrity scientists and economists such as Tim Flannery, Nicholas Stern and now Ross Garnaut, who write books and bring down massive reports (the Gospels) predicting the fate of the earth... Integration into Education .... Christianity reproduced itself for centuries by setting up schools and integrating itself into the daily instruction of students. Today school teachers relentlessly hammer home the importance of caring for the environment and organise activities to teach kids to think and act “Green”. Global warming is taught as a scientific fact and the destruction of the planet as an article of faith... Integration into Everyday Life ..... In a devout Christian or Islamic society, daily life is punctuated by religious observances and iconography. Today “Green” awareness is omnipresent, and there is a national campaign to make everyone aware of (and guilty about) their “carbon footprint”...... Crusades .... As noted above, magical practices and religious organisations came about primarily through anxiety: anxiety that the rain might not fall, the river might not flood, the cows might not calve or the corn not ripen. Anxiety has been harnessed by shamans and priests for thousands of years to manipulate people into performing rituals, making sacrifices and, most importantly, supporting a priesthood to protect them against impending disasters. It can also be used as a cause to wage war... Environmentalism has, in a mere fifty years, attained the hegemony, political influence and moral authority formerly accorded to the church. We have come the full circle to a pre-Enlightenment society, ruled by an officially sanctioned religion that is as dogmatic, inquisitorial and eschatological as medieval Christianity, where environmental scientists are the clergy, Green is the colour of purity and the central icon is not Jesus suffering on a cross but the image of a tortured planet dying for our sins....”

Fannie, Freddie and the Left

Given the international dimension and magnitude, and the international ramifications of this economic tsunami, and the associated trashing of share markets, and super and pension funds and the damage to just about every economy on the planet costing hundreds of billions of dollars,  it is beyond comprehension that specific individuals can't be brought to account. It's even more difficult to believe that Obama looks like a very big chance for the Whitehouse.

(15 Oct 08) “....As evidenced by Barack Obama 's rise in the polls immediately following the financial collapse of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, few Americans understand that for many years Fannie and Freddie have been, first and foremost, tools of Democratic politicians, funders of the Democratic Party, and, in the words of a former Fannie CEO, the intimate “friends” and “family” of the Democratic Party's left wing. Nor are most Americans aware that Fannie and Freddie, through their eponymous grant-making foundations, have funneled literally hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to a host of leftist groups and causes that work to promote Democratic agendas, causes, and policies. To set the record straight, it is worthwhile to examine the connections between Fannie, Freddie, and the Democratic Party.... A full account of the recent financial collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must consider the role of the Clinton administration... Now that the crisis has arrived, Democratic finger-pointing has become the order of the day. Leading the charge, Barack Obama not only blames Republicans, but tacitly blames capitalism as a whole, referencing it by the pejorative code name of “trickle-down” economics . Yet, Obama makes no mention of the fact that the Bush administration exhorted Congress for years to set up an agency to regulate lending institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.....” Fannie, Freddie and the Left , John Perazzo, FrontPageMagazine  “.....Nor does he mention that John McCain demanded similar oversight, only to be rebuffed by Democrats like House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who continued to favor the issuance of the subprime loans that have now caused the mortgage market to collapse....Since the 1990s, indeed, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been in the Democratic Party's hip pocket. From 1991 to 1998 , for example, Fannie Mae was headed by James Johnson, a longtime aide to former Democratic vice president Walter Mondale.... To gain a fuller appreciation for just how closely the mortgage companies were allied with the Democratic Party and its surrogates, one might look at the grant-making arms of Fannie and Freddie — specifically, the Fannie Mae Foundation and the Freddie Mac Foundation. The former was established in 1968, the latter in 1991. Together, they hold combined assets exceeding $285 million, and each year they give tens of millions of dollars (nearly $89 million in 2006 alone) in grants to predominantly leftwing organizations that promote a host of pro-Democrat agendas....”

Obama's Weatherman shows which way the wind blows

(14 Oct 08) “....The seemingly inevitable ascent of Barack Obama to become US president has hit a hurdle, as he is forced to confront accusations, supported by a hard-hitting television ad campaign, that he had a long-time association with two of America's leading terrorists from the 1960s, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, one-time leaders of the Weathermen (also known as the Weather Underground). ....It is not in dispute that Obama began his political career in 1995 at the home of Ayers and Dohrn, when his sponsor (herself on the far left of the Democratic Party and a champion of the Soviet Union as late as 1986) arranged for him to meet some influential leftists and potential campaign supporters and contributors who could launch his career..... Subsequently, "the record shows that connections between Obama and Dohrn have actively continued since Obama launched his political career in their living room in 1995"..... Michelle Obama and possibly also Barack Obama worked at the same law firm at the same time as Dohrn in 1984-88, while in 1995 Ayers co-founded the Chicago Annenberg Challenge using a $US50 million grant and selected Barack Obama to be the first chairman of the board of the project, a position that Obama held for eight years. Obama and Ayers also served together on the board of the philanthropic Woods Fund for three years after Obama joined the board in 1999. Obama also served on the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Education Fund with Ayers's father and brother.....” Obama's Weatherman shows which way the wind blows , Mervyn Bendle, The Australian  “....These facts cast doubt on the recent claims by Obama's campaign manager that Obama knew Ayers only slightly and only because they lived in the same neighborhood and their children went to the same school. Apart from the above connections, Ayers's children are much older than Obama's..... The Weathermen advocated urban guerilla warfare and terrorism and undertook an intense campaign of bombings, violent demonstrations, riots and jail breaks from 1969 into the early '70s, beginning with the Days of Rage, held in October 1969, to correspond to the trial of the Chicago Eight. In 1970, the group issued their Declaration of a State of War against the government of what they dismissed as AmeriKKKa. Ayers participated in 30 bombings in this period, including attacks on the New York Police Department headquarters in 1970, the US Capitol in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972..... in his second book, The Audacity of Hope (2006), he declares himself to be a pure product of the '60s and specifically distinguishes the "pre-1967 liberalism" of his mother with "its sweet-natured romanticism", from his own radical political outlook based in the hard-core revolutionary currents of 1968 and the other violent years that followed. He described how his vision of the '60s was shaped by images of Black Panther leader Huey Newton...”

America's Second Wake-Up Call

A damning chronology of warnings and alarm bells going back as far as April 2001 – and it seems that we now have the Democrats as the arsonists now turning up to play the firemen.

(14 Oct 08) “.....In 1995, President Clinton mandated new regulations that coerced banks to make significantly more subprime loans to inner-city residents previously viewed as unqualified buyers in high-risk areas. Banks were rated on how well they complied and faced big fines if they didn't do what government regulators wanted. The government's worst decision was allowing and encouraging banks, for the first time, to bundle these subprime loans in giant packages with prime loans..... April 2001 : The Bush administration's fiscal budget stated that the size of Fannie and Freddie was "potential problem because financial trouble of a large Government-Sponsored Enterprise could cause repercussions in financial markets, affecting federally insured entities and economic activity." May 2002 : The Office of Management and Budget wanted disclosure and governance principles in Bush's 10-point plan for corporate responsibility to apply to Fannie and Freddie. February 2003 : A federal housing oversight report warned that unexpected problems at Fannie Mae could immediately spread into financial sectors.....” America's Second Wake-Up Call , Investor Business Daily, “.... September 2003 : Treasury Secretary John Snow, in testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, recommended that Congress enact legislation to create new agency to regulate and supervise financial activities of housing-related government entities to set prudent and appropriate minimum capital requirements.Rep. Frank, the committee's ranking member, strongly disagreed, saying: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis . . . . The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we'll see in terms of affordable housing." February 2004 : The president's new budget again highlighted risks of the explosive growth of these government enterprises and the then-low levels of required capital. It also called for the creation of a world class regulator. The administration determined that housing regulators of government agencies lacked the power and stature to meet their responsibilities and should be replaced with a strong new third regulator . •February 2004 : Greg Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, cautioned Congress against taking the strength of financial markets for granted. He too called for reducing the risk by ensuring that housing GSEs are overseen by an effective regulator. April 2004 : Rep. Frank ignored warnings, accusing the administration of creating an "artificial issue." "People pay their mortgages," he told a group of mortgage bankers. "I don't think we are in any remote danger here. This focus on receivership, I think, is intended to create fears that aren't there. July 2005 : Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected legislation on reforming Fannie and Freddie. "While I favor improving oversight by our federal housing regulators to ensure safety and soundness, we cannot pass legislation that would limit Americans from owning homes and harm our economy in the process," he said August 2007 : Sen. Dodd, another Democrat, ignored President Bush's emphatic calls for Congress to pass Fannie and Freddie reform legislation and called for him to immediately reconsider his ill-advised position....”

McCain Letter Demanded 2006 Action on Fannie and Freddie by  Human Events

In all the blame game and the obscene scrambling for the high moral ground by the Democrats, why aren't the media making more of this...(I know, silly question)

(13 Oct 08) Sen. John McCain's 2006 demand for regulatory action on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could have prevented the current financial crisis, as HUMAN EVENTS learned from the letter shown in full text below. McCain's letter -- signed by nineteen other senators -- said that it was "...vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]...operate in a safe and sound manner.[and]..More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event that either should fail." McCain Letter Demanded 2006 Action on Fannie and Freddie by  Human Events ......Sen. Obama did not sign the letter, nor did any other Democrat.

There's a Gold Mine In Environmental Guilt

Papal Dispensations by another name

(13 Oct 08) “....This is strange territory. The Dow is down. Wall Street needs a bailout. But in the Washington area and across the country, there is still a bull market in environmental guilt. Sales of carbon offsets -- whose buyers pay hard cash to make amends for their sins against the climate -- are up. Still. In some cases, the prices have actually been climbing. In other words, when nearly everything seems to be selling for less, thousands of individuals and businesses are paying more for nothing, or at least nothing tangible.... "I was feeling really guilty because I was basically traveling to three continents in the last month: 'I've spent basically six days on an airplane. I've got to fix this,' " said Michael Sheets, 27, who lives in the District's Logan Circle neighborhood. So a few days ago, Sheets paid $240 to a Silver Spring-based vendor, Carbonfund.org, choosing its offsets because they were more than $100 cheaper than a comparable package from another offset seller. He got back an e-mail saying that the 52,920 pounds of greenhouse-gas emissions attributable to him for the entire year, including his trips to Trinidad, Thailand and Argentina, had been cancelled out....” There's a Gold Mine In Environmental Guilt , Washington Post “....Some offsets are sold like stocks on the Chicago Climate Exchange. Other groups sell them directly to consumers. One study last year found that offset prices ranged from $1.80 per ton of emissions to $300, with most about $6.10. Watchdog groups say offset vendors sometimes do not deliver what they promise. At the Chicago Climate Exchange, where offsets are sold like pork bellies or stocks, Sept. 23 was the second-busiest trading day in the four-year history of the market....Experts who study offsets say a cultural shift is at work, in which the American public has become accustomed to feeling guilty about climate change, and, instead of writing letters to members of Congress or donating to an environmental group, they have learned to buy their way out....

Planting Seeds of Disaster

ACORN is an acronym for  Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

(11 Oct 08) “.....You've got only a couple thousand bucks in the bank. Your job pays you dog-food wages. Your credit history has been bent, stapled, and mutilated. You declared bankruptcy in 1989. Don't despair: You can still buy a house.” So began an April 1995 article in the Chicago Sun-Times that went on to direct prospective home-buyers fitting this profile to a group of far-left “community organizers” called ACORN, for assistance. In retrospect, of course, encouraging customers like this to buy homes seems little short of madness. At the time, however, that 1995 Chicago newspaper article represented something of a triumph for Barack Obama. That same year, as a director at Chicago's Woods Fund, Obama was successfully pushing for a major expansion of assistance to ACORN... ACORN's entirely deserved reputation for militance is balanced by its less-well-known “inside strategy.” ACORN has long employed Washington-based lobbyists who understand very well how the legislative game is played.... Critics of the notion that CRA had a major impact on the subprime crisis ask how a law passed in 1977 could have caused a crisis in 2008? The answer has a lot to do with ACORN — and the critical years of 1990-1995. While the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act did call on banks to increase lending in poor and minority neighborhoods, its exact requirements were vague, and therefore open to a good deal of regulatory interpretation.....” Planting Seeds of Disaster , Stanley Kurtz “.... ACORN's efforts to undermine credit standards in the late 1980s taught it a valuable lesson. However much pressure ACORN put on banks to lower credit standards, tough requirements in the “secondary market” run by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac served as a barrier to change.... By July of 1991, ACORN's legislative campaign began to bear fruit. As the Chicago Tribune put it, “Housing activists have been pushing hard to improve housing for the poor by extracting greater financial support from the country's two highly profitable secondary mortgage-market companies..... Finally, in June of 1995, President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and Secretary Cisneros announced the administration's comprehensive new strategy for raising home-ownership in America to an all-time high. Representatives from ACORN were guests of honor at the ceremony..... In his remarks, Clinton emphasized that: “Our homeownership strategy will not cost the taxpayers one extra cent.... Up to now, conventional wisdom on the financial meltdown has relegated ACORN and the CRA to bit parts.... ACORN is at the base of the whole mess. ACORN used CRA and Democratic sympathizers to entangle Fannie and Freddie and the entire financial system in a disastrous disregard of the most basic financial standards. And Barack Obama cut his teeth as an organizer and politician backing up ACORN's economic madness every step of the way....”

The party's over for Iceland, the island that tried to buy the world

(9 Oct 08) “….The bars and restaurants of Iceland's capital are packed, the Range Rovers and BMWs are parked nose to tail all along the streets of the central 101 district, and music is pumping from a black stretch Hummer limousine cruising by….Iceland is on the brink of collapse. Inflation and interest rates are raging upwards. The krona, Iceland's currency, is in freefall and is rated just above those of Zimbabwe and Turkmenistan….International banks won't send any more money and supplies of foreign currency are running out…..on Friday night that they had no means of paying the foreign currency advances needed to import more foodstuffs….This North Atlantic volcanic island, which is the size of Cuba, with a population of 320,000  is an unlikely player on the global financial stage…. But Iceland built its extraordinary wealth on the crest of the worldwide credit boom and now the crunch is sweeping it away, bankrupting a people for whom the past eight years have been, for most of them and by their own admission, one long party….. The nation's celebrated rags-to-riches story began in the Nineties when free market reforms, fish quota cash and a stock market based on stable pension funds allowed Icelandic entrepreneurs to go out and sweep up international credit. Britain and Denmark were favourite shopping haunts, and in 2004 alone Icelanders spent £894m on shares in British companies…..” The party's over for Iceland, the island that tried to buy the world , The Observer  “….In just five years, the average Icelandic family saw its wealth increase by 45 per cent…. 'This crisis has been a heavy blow. And many people should have a bad conscience for what has happened. Someone should be prosecuted, they have sucked Iceland dry, taken the money and ran, and left us totally in the shit…..Like many his age, Tomasson has only a vague memory of harder times, before the boom that brought Iceland the highest per capita wealth in the world. Older islanders call them the 'Krutt-kynslotin' - the cuddly generation. Eco-aware, earnest but pampered, they drift from organic café to bar, listening to the music of Björk and Sigur Rós, islanders who have made it big abroad. 'They will have to get their hands dirty now,'… ‘That's good though, they are the I-generation; iPods, iPhones, everything starts with I. Well, we will have to go back to the basics now. Icelanders are risk-takers, but hard working, they will have to downsize. We will have to eat haddock and Icelandic lamb and forget these imports of goose livers and Japanese soy sauce. When everyone was extremely rich in Iceland - you know, last month, it was with money that they never have earned. Now those who were extremely rich are just normally rich, but they think they are poor. They were spoilt, spending billions.'…..”

The Trillion-Dollar Shakedown That Bodes Ill For Cities

The Community Reinvestment Act funnels billions to left-wing activists, while threatening to destabilize lower-middle-class neighborhoods. Winter 2000

(9 Oct 08) “....The Clinton administration has turned the Community Reinvestment Act, a once-obscure and lightly enforced banking regulation law, into one of the most powerful mandates shaping American cities—and, as Senate Banking Committee chairman Phil Gramm memorably put it, a vast extortion scheme against the nation's banks. Under its provisions, U.S. banks have committed nearly $1 trillion for inner-city and low-income mortgages and real estate development projects, most of it funnelled through a nationwide network of left-wing community groups, intent, in some cases, on teaching their low-income clients that the financial system is their enemy and, implicitly, that government, rather than their own striving, is the key to their well-being..... As enforced today, though, the law portends just the opposite....CRA decreed that banks have "an affirmative obligation" to meet the credit needs of the communities in which they are chartered, and that federal banking regulators should assess how well they do that when considering their requests to merge or to open branches.....During the seventies and eighties, CRA enforcement was perfunctory. Regulators asked banks to demonstrate that they were trying to reach their entire "assessment area" by advertising in minority-oriented newspapers or by sending their executives to serve on the boards of local community groups. The Clinton administration changed this state of affairs dramatically....” The Trillion-Dollar Shakedown That Bodes Ill For Cities , Howard Husock,  City Journal, Winter 2000  “.....By intervening—even just threatening to intervene—in the CRA review process, left-wing nonprofit groups have been able to gain control over eye-popping pools of bank capital, which they in turn parcel out to individual low-income mortgage seekers.....(Bruce) Marks is unhesitatingly candid about his intent to use NACA to promote an activist, left-wing political agenda. NACA loan applicants must attend a workshop that celebrates—to the accompaniment of gospel music—the protests that have helped the group win its bank lending agreements....The home mortgage business is his tool for political organizing...This policy—"America's best mortgage program for working people," NACA calls it—is an experiment with extraordinarily high risks....Looking into the future gives further cause for concern: "The bulk of these loans," notes a Federal Reserve economist, "have been made during a period in which we have not experienced an economic downturn." The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America's own success stories make you wonder how much CRA-related carnage will result when the economy cools....It will take a Republican president to change or abolish CRA, so firmly wedded to it is the Clinton administration and so powerfully does it serve Democratic Party interests.....”

Social engineers are bad bankers

(2 Oct 08) “….In 1772, the collapse of the Ayr Bank led to the Edinburgh banking crisis of that year. Only three of Edinburgh 's 30 private banks survived. Adam Smith commented that "the operations of this bank seem to have produced effects quite opposite from what was intended". The Ayr Bank had been established in 1770 to provide long-term loans and provide credit to people who otherwise found it difficult to borrow, financing a speculative boom in housing, turnpikes and canals, the transport infrastructure of the time….. It borrowed from other banks in London and Edinburgh and, as borrowers began to default, it had to pay off its debts by securing greater loans. Smith's final verdict on its collapse was that it only enabled borrowers "to get much deeper into debt, so that when ruin came, it fell so much the heavier". The British economy struggled to recover until the 1780s….The collapse of the Ayr Bank tells us much about the present crisis…In 1999, then president Bill Clinton instructed the Fannie Mae Corporation to ease credit requirements on loans to ethnic minorities and low-income earners. In this nationwide scheme, the pilot program alone involved 24 banks. This was to include what became known as the sub-prime sector. Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive in 1999 said that in addition to "reducing down payment requirements" the corporation would underwrite loans in the sub-prime market….The parallels with the Ayr Bank are startling…” Social engineers are bad bankers , John Montgomery, The Australian “…The strategy announced in 1999 was to spur the banks to make more loans to people with poor credit rating, and especially to blacks and Hispanics. This was done by offering mortgages at 1 per cent above the standard variable rate.....Not everyone was convinced this was a good idea. Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute warned: "If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out."…The culprits in all of this are the executives and board members of Fannie Mae for buying unsecured and risky loans, the Federal Reserve for putting up interest rates too far and too quickly, and the banks for what almost amounts to pyramid selling of bad debt based on fools' mortgages. Fannie Mae's structural flaws were an accident waiting to happen…But there is another culprit. The Clinton administration, in pressuring Fannie Mae, created the policy of lending initially good and then bad money to people who were themselves bad credit risks. This was done for good political - not to say politically correct - reasons: the targeted extension of home ownership to minority groups. But this social engineering has been achieved at a heavy cost, not least to those who have lost their houses and taxpayers who may now have to pick up the cost of an emergency package. People awarded such loans may well be forgiven for thinking they are now worse off than they were in 1999….”

Climate hysterics v heretics in an age of unreason

(2 Oct 08) “….In a May issue of Nature, evidence about falling global temperatures forced German climatologists to conclude that the transformation of our planet into a permanent sauna is taking a decade-long hiatus, at least….believers in man-made global warming demand more and more money to combat climate change and still more drastic changes in our economic output and lifestyle. The reason is that precisely that they are believers, not scientists. No amount of empirical evidence will overturn what has become not a scientific theory but a form of religion…..But what kind of religion? More than 200 years ago, Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume put his finger on the process. His essay, Of Superstition and Enthusiasm, describes how even in civilised societies the mind of man is subject to certain unaccountable terrors and apprehensions when real worries are missing. As these enemies are entirely invisible and unknown, like today's greenhouse gases, people try to propitiate them by ceremonies, observations, mortifications, sacrifices such as Earth Day and banning plastic bags and petrol-driven lawnmowers….Fear and ignorance, Hume concludes, are the true source of superstition. They lead a blind and terrified public to embrace any practice, however absurd or frivolous, which either folly or knavery recommends….” Climate hysterics v heretics in an age of unreason , Arthur Herman “…As with the Church in the Dark Ages or the Inquisition during the Reformation, they denounce all doubters…This is not the first time, of course, that superstition has paraded itself as science, or created a priesthood masquerading as the exponents of reason. At the beginning of the previous century we had the fascination with eugenics, when the Gores of the age such as E.A. Ross and Ernst Haeckel warned that modern industrial society was headed for race suicide…And then as now, proponents of eugenics turned to the all-powerful state to avert catastrophe. A credulous and submissive public allowed politicians to pass laws permitting forced sterilisation of the feeble-minded, racial screening for immigration quotas, minimum wage laws and other legislation which, in retrospect, set the stage for the humanitarian catastrophe to come…Real science rests on a solid bedrock of scepticism,…. It constantly re-examines what it regards as evidence, and the connections it draws between cause and effect. It never rushes to judgment, as race science did in Germany in the 1930s and as the high priests of climate change are doing today….”  

Burning down the house: What Caused Our Economic Crisis

(1 Oct 08) Burning down the house: What Caused Our Economic Crisis, is an unusual youtube presentation that gets your attention and gets  to the guts of the economic calamity on Wall Street. The criminals involved here going back many years are Jimmy  Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Check it out for yourself. You'll see that both Bush and Mcain identified the problem years ago but were hobbled and hamstrung by the Democrats from doing anything about it. As we know, leftwing social engineering is all about the politics of the Warm Inner Glow except, as usual that feel-good Warm Inner Glow is coming from the house burning down. Literally!!

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