People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, February 05, 2007

He's Alive!

Well, word's going 'round that the Iraqis didn't actually hang Saddam after all. It was his double:

New Conspiracy Theory in Egypt: It Wasn't Saddam But His Double Who Was Executed
MEMRI Special Dispatch

A new conspiracy theory has gained currency in Egypt in recent weeks, according to which it was not Saddam Hussein, but rather his double who was executed. Also, it was not his two sons 'Uday and Qusay who were killed during the war, but their doubles.

The book Saddam Was Not Executed and 'Uday and Qusay Were not Killed - The United States' Lies and the Double Game, by Egyptian researcher, author, and journalist Anis Al-Daghidi (363 pp), was published in early January 2007. In it, the author claims that Saddam Hussein was never captured, and that it was his double that was executed.

Mahmoud Nafi': "The first thing that Al-Daghidi focused on to prove that it was not Saddam who was executed but his double was the mole on his forehead or on his temple. The 'real' Saddam Hussein did not have such a mole, and thus the Saddam who was put on trial was his double, Mikhail Ramadhan, whose real name is Makhluf Ramadhan …

"In addition, Saddam's hair was thick, whereas the hair of the double we saw in court was thin… " (link)

As for Uday and Qusay, my brother's son, Jon Fuhrman, was with the 101st Airborne and was in Mosul positioned on the perimeter of the firefight that took place that ultimately brought down the two sons of Saddam. If it wasn't them that got killed, someone else sure had all hell handed to them that day.

And as for Saddam, look on the bright side. If we do find him, the Iraqis can hang his skinny ass again.

A Leap Back In Time?

This was actually breaking news back in 1964, with Lyndon Johnson's passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act, but someone forgot to tell the folks over at the Richmond Times-Dispatch that it's rather stale now:

That war was lost. 43 years ago.

A More Worthy Theory

While the Roanoke Times editorialists this morning declare "with near certainty" that global warming is man-made and aver with comparable certitude that those who are prepared to poke holes in their slam dunk theory are paid Exxon Mobil hacks (why are they so frightened if they are so certain?), and while the Washington Post this morning skips the climate change debate all together and goes right to attacking those who provide alternative theories as to the cause for our planet's one degree increase in temperature ("A Washington-based think tank has been soliciting critiques of the just-released international assessment of the evidence on climate change, a move that prompted some academics and environmentalists to accuse the group of seeking to distort the latest evidence for global warming."), I thought it time to offer up the real reason for the planet's heating up.

Look skyward. It's in the clouds.

Cosmic rays and climate

A decade ago the danish scientists Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen proposed a controversial climate theory.

The theory says that cosmic rays influence Earth's climate through their effect on cloud formation. Or in other words: Remote exploded stars play an essential role in everyday weather on Earth,- as well as in the global warming the world has experienced in the last century.

The original theory rested on data showing a strong correlation between variation in the intensity of cosmic radiation penetrating the atmosphere and the amount of low-altitude clouds. Cloud cover increases when the intensity of cosmic rays grows and decreases when the intensity declines.

Global warming caused by cosmic rays?

It is known that low-altitude clouds have an overall cooling effect on the Earth's surface. Hence, variations in cloud cover caused by cosmic rays can change the surface temperature. The existence of such a cosmic connection to Earth's climate might thus help to explain past and present variations in Earth's climate.

Interestingly, during the 20th Century, the Sun's magnetic field which shields Earth from cosmic rays more than doubled, thereby reducing the average influx of cosmic rays. The resulting reduction in cloudiness, especially of low-altitude clouds, may be a significant factor in the global warming Earth has undergone during the last century.

Getting closer

It is already well established that when cosmic rays, which are high-speed atomic particles originating in exploded stars far away in the Milky Way, penetrate Earth's atmosphere they produce substantial amounts of ions and release free electrons.

Results from an experiment, called SKY (Danish for ‘cloud'), show that the released electrons significantly promote the formation of building blocks for cloud condensation nuclei on which water vapour condenses to make clouds.

Hence, a causal mechanism by which cosmic rays can facilitate the production of clouds in Earth's atmosphere has been experimentally identified for the first time.

However, until october 2006, there has been no experimental evidence of how the causal mechanism linking cosmic rays and cloud formation may work.

The experiment

The experiment took place in a large reaction chamber which contained a mixture of gases at realistic concentrations to imitate the chemistry of the lower atmosphere. Ultraviolet lamps mimicked the action of the Sun's rays.

During experimental runs, instruments traced the chemical action of the penetrating cosmic rays in the reaction chamber.The data revealed that electrons released by cosmic rays act as catalysts, which significantly accelerate the formation of stable, ultra-small clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules which are building blocks for the cloud condensation nuclei. A vast numbers (sic) of such microscopic droplets appeared, floating in the air in the reaction chamber.

'We were amazed by the speed and efficiency with which the electrons do their work of creating the building blocks for the cloud condensation nuclei,' says team leader Henrik Svensmark, who is director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research within the Danish National Space Center. 'This is a completely new result within climate science.'

New perspectives on climate change

This reveals a link more subtle than any straightforward idea of, say, a warm climate being life-friendly or a cold climate deadly. The record shows that in all icy epochs the biosphere kept lurching between exceptionally low and exceptionally high productivity.

Most likely, the variations in cosmic radiation affected biological productivity through their influence on cloud formation. Hence, the stellar baby boom 2.4 billion years ago, which resulted in an extraordinarily large number of supernova explosions, had a chilling effect on Earth probably by increasing the cloud cover.

This is one of a number of new perspectives on climate change arising from the discovery that cosmic rays promote the formation of clouds, which have a cooling effect on the surface temperature of Earth. (

The difference between this research and the theory exposited by all the (lavishly funded, ahem) global warming-is-man-made scientists is that the Danish study was actually developed and tested the old-fashioned way. Through exacting, controlled scientific laboratory experimentation. Not through carefully formulated computer models (that have been notoriously inaccurate in the past).

So. The western world is coming together with near certainty that the planet is warming as a result of the build-up of greenhouse gases. A theory based mostly on guesswork.

Me? I say prove it. Until you do, I'll go with the science every time.

A Tax Increase Proposal. The First Of Many.

A Democratic candidate for president has come out with a plan that calls for a massive increase in your taxes. How out of character ...
Edwards' Health Care Plan Includes Taxes
Associated Press

Washington (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards wants to provide health care coverage for the 47 million people who currently lack it and reduce the cost of coverage for middle-class families.

The plan could cost up to $120 billion a year, and the candidate acknowledged it would require higher taxes.

"The bottom line is we're asking everybody to share in the responsibility of making health care work in this country. (link)
I guess this pretty much sums up the reason I cannot be a Democrat. The logic that supports Edwards' plan - that we need to pay more in taxes in order to pay less on our health care - is completely incomprehensible to me. And always will be.

Edwards, by the way, is expected to do well in the Democratic primaries ...

On Environmentalist Elites

An hilarious poke in the eye aimed at those fabulously wealthy leftists who are doing their part to conserve on energy in order to save the planet. Think Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Blinded By Hatred

Only someone suffering from a serious case of Bush/Iraq/Hate Syndrome could have watched the (lackluster) Superbowl last night with its powerful and wonderfully creative commercials, and come away with this:
Super Bowl Ads of Cartoonish Violence, Perhaps Reflecting Toll of War
By Stuart Elliott, The New York Times

No commercial that appeared last night during Super Bowl XLI directly addressed Iraq, unlike a patriotic spot for Budweiser beer that ran during the game two years ago. But the ongoing war seemed to linger just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials.

More than a dozen spots celebrated violence in an exaggerated, cartoonlike vein that was intended to be humorous, but often came across as cruel or callous.

For instance, in a commercial for Bud Light beer, sold by Anheuser-Busch, one man beat the other at a game of rock, paper, scissors by throwing a rock at his opponent’s head. (link)
Now when I watched those many Bud commercials, my thoughts were of ... beer. But I suppose, if one views the Iraq War as the disaster - no, as the end of America as we know it - that these people think it is, then, yeah, I could see a link between beer and Baghdad. Bud and bombs. Brew and butchery.

That is, if I were completely consumed with hatred for my president and for my country.

As for me, I'll celebrate the Superbowl, America's sport, spectacular, with a tall one. Here's to you, America. Cheers.

On A Wing And A Prayer

The Democrats in Washington have come up with a plan. They were stymied for a short while trying to balance their commitment to not raise our taxes with their perennial push to spend more of our hard-earned money. They now plan on meeting both demands. Of course, they also suffer from a serious case of group dementia:

Democrats Seek Unpaid Taxes, Setting Up Clash
By Edmund L. Andrews, The New York Times

Washington, Feb. 2 — Congressional Democrats, hoping to finance an ambitious agenda without raising taxes, are on a collision course with the Bush administration about pursuing the potentially vast amount of money that people hide from the Internal Revenue Service.

House and Senate Democrats say the government could collect as much as $100 billion more a year by whittling the tax gap — the unpaid taxes, mostly on unreported earnings, that the I.R.S. estimated was about $300 billion a year.

But the Treasury Department, which oversees the I.R.S., says it cannot realistically recover one-tenth as much as Democrats suggest. (link)

At least the Democrats have come up with something different from the usual refrain, which is: We're going to save money by improving efficiencies and streamlining government processes.

This new ploy will serve a purpose. The Democrats will now spend money on new projects and will say they have paid for them with the to-be-collected uncollected tax revenue, though they won't be successful in getting the IRS to collect it. Having failed, they'll then have to throw the dollars spent into the national debt category. Familiar territory to them over the years.

Some things never change.

When In Rome ...

I guess you have to be a Muslim to understand.