Sunday, June 25

"The sky is falling....The sky is falling."

Parade, the Sunday feature in newspapers all over the country, came out with a good one this morning (Sunday, June 25, 2006. It features an article by Eugene Linden titled, "Why You Can't Ignore the Changing Climate." Linden, who obviously hasn't researched his subject beyond the false UN reports and Gore's unscientific rantings, tells us the weather is changing. (Duh!)

In his sky-is-falling report, Linden claims that "We're making it worse" by burning gas and oil in engines. ". . . gas-guzzlers contribute to climate change," he writes and adds that those furnaces and engines have "pushed carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere far above where they've been for hundreds of thousands of years." Citing the thoroughly debunked Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (go to www.sepp.org and do a search on the panel for the truth), and Science Magazine (whose professional science credentials are non-existent)as his proof.

Now, no one would argue that the climate isn't changing -- it has been warming (and cooling and warming again) since the end of the Ice Age. The question is whether civilization has anything to do with it and there is NO (I repeat NO) true scientific evidence that it does. Again, if you're interested in what real scientists who have studied these things for years have to say on the subject, www.sepp.org is your best and most authoritative voice on the subject.

On that site you can also find out WHY certain politicians are so anxious to perpetuate this myth, but that's not what prompted this piece.

It's the last section in the article that caused me to do a double-take and sent me here, to the computer. In a section captioned, "Climate Has Destroyed Past Civilizations," Linden says that a drought in Mesopotamia 4,200 years ago destroyed that civilization (no doubt a result of the gas-fired SUVs and industrial furnaces of the Akkadian culture!) and that climate caused the collapse of the Mayan culture as well as the end of Norse expansion into the New World in the 14th century.

Doesn't Linden see that those very points destroy his argument? Yes, the climate has changed -- off and on, back and forth -- since the beginning of time. But hydrocarbons and man-made pollutants have only an irritant affect on local atmospheres. Scientists who have studied climates for years contend that there is absolutely no credible evidence to justify the claim that man has any control whatsoever over the climate.

"Past civilizations had no way to know that climates could change," he writes. "We do." But those civilizations also didn't have the technology Linden claims is causing climate changes. It follows that the technology in question wasn't a factor then, and isn't now. The reason for giving up gas-fired engines is more significantly grounded in our dependency on oil from the Middle East. But it's silly, useless, egotistical and foolish to claim that man can control the climates of the earth by getting rid of gas-fired engines, etc. The sky isn't falling, Mr. Linden.

Friday, June 23

Thursday, June 15

Duty Call for the Long Gray Line

Last night some TV political pundits were musing that it seems the Democratic Party has decided to run veterans for office to give the impression that they are better qualified to handle the war in Iraq than the Republicans. As we're all aware, the Democrats accuse President Bush and the Republicans of lying and getting us into a war they believe we cannot win.

It's always fascinating to see how the Democrats ALMOST get it right, but not quite. If that is their thinking -- that running ex-military men for office will produce better legislation and better government -- they're falling just short of the mark. Just because a person served in the military doesn't mean he or she is more qualified than anyone else to serve in Congress.

There's one exception to that statement: the graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

What we need in political offices now are men (and women) with a strong sense of honor; people we can trust. Most Americans are quite cynical about expecting more in terms of morality and ethics from office holders, possibly because they are not honest and trustworthy themselves and can't imagine that others might be.

You don't graduate from West Point unless duty and honor have become part of your very being. West Point graduates are pledged never to "lie, steal or cheat or associate with those who do." (Of course that last phrase makes it difficult for one to work with more than half of the present members of Congress!)

Most Americans hear those words and think they are just that -- words. But they are more than that to a member of the Long Gray Line. They are a lifetime committment; stronger even than marriage vows.

In his autobiography, "It Doesn't Take A Hero," Gen.(Ret.) Norman Schwarzkopf writes, "To this day it's hard to explain the impact West Point had on me. Somehow, during the four years I spent in that idealized military world, a new system of values came alive in my mind. When I began as a plebe, "Duty, Honor, Country" was just a motto I'd heard from Pop. I loved my country, of course, and I knew how to tell right from wrong, but my conscience was still largely unformed. By the time I left, those values had become my fixed stars."

For the past 23 years I've been on the periphery of a West Point family. My son-in-law, his father, two brothers and sister are all graduates of USMA and as of this past May 27, my grandson is, as well. I have seen first hand what it means to be dedicated to honor -- the difference it makes in the lives of those who live it and in the lives of those affected by it. It's what our country needs now.

In his speech at graduation, President Bush said, "This is the first class to arrive at West Point after the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. Each of you came here in a time of war, knowing all the risks and dangers that come with wearing our nation's uniform. And I want to thank you for your patriotism, your devotion to duty, your courageous decision to serve. America is grateful and proud of the men and women of West Point. . .My call to you is this: Trust in the power of freedom, and be bold in freedom's defense. Show leadership and courage -- and not just on the battlefield. Take risk, try new things, and challenge the established way of doing things. Trust in your convictions, stay true to yourselves -- and one day the world will celebrate your achievements."

Because the Long Gray Line has proved, individually and collectively, each individual's dedication to truth and honor, America can rest assured that the defense of the nation is in good hands.

It would be grand to know that the leadership of the nation was in the hands of West Point graduates. Honor and courage are more than just words to them; those values are a way of life. We need men and women whose lives are dedicated to those principles to serve in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of our government.

You'll find the text of the President's speech at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/05/20060527-1.html and there's a video of the USMA graduation ceremony at http://www.usma.edu/publicaffairs/graduation2006/grad2006c.htm

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