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

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Ouch

Here's my response to Obama's latest plan for Afghanistan: God, I hope it works.

Thing is, nobody seems to know what "works" means anymore.  It isn't a matter of victory over terrorists now.  Nor about doing anything to bring Osama bin Ladin to justice.  As best I can tell, our strategy is to get out of Afghanistan and declare victory stability in doing so.

OK.  I'm supportive.  It beats sending troops to slaughter for absolutely no reason.

Others, I should mention, are not as accepting of the speech that Obama gave the other night as I am.  In fact, some are downright hostile:
Searching in Vain for the Obama Magic
By Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel

Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America's new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric -- and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught.

One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama's speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.

An additional 30,000 US soldiers are to march into Afghanistan -- and then they will march right back out again. America is going to war -- and from there it will continue ahead to peace. It was the speech of a Nobel War Prize laureate.

It was as though Obama had taken one of his old campaign speeches and merged it with a text from the library of ex-President George W. Bush. Extremists kill in the name of Islam, he said, before adding that it is one of the "world's great religions." He promised that responsibility for the country's security would soon be transferred to the government of President Hamid Karzai -- a government which he said was "corrupt." The Taliban is dangerous and growing stronger. But "America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars," he added.

It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. [link]
Wow.  And this from one of those European allies that Obama was going to do such a good job of winning back after Bush drove them away.

There's a point here.  But I'd rather not face it.  There are too many precious American lives at stake.  Obama must succeed - whatever that means.  The alternative is too heartbreaking to consider.

Anderson Who?

I probably haven't watched 20 minutes of "Anderson Cooper 360" in my lifetime.  If it were between sitting in front of the TV and having to to put up with his monotony and observing the mating habits of lichens, molds, and spores, I'd pick the latter, hands down.  His delivery struck me as being that boring.

Apparently I ain't alone:
Anderson Cooper's Ratings Plummet
By Erin Carlson, Business Insider

Anderson Cooper is fading in the ratings.

The respected CNN anchor has seen his numbers slip significantly through the past year. His 10 p.m. show, "Anderson Cooper 360," has declined 62% in total viewers and 70% in adults 25-54 from November 2008, according to Nielsen figures. [link]
Mm.  That can't be good for Cooper's job security prospects.

Maybe he should look at it this way: He just wasn't cut out for this kinda thing.  Maybe he'd be better at something requiring less emoting.  Like being president.

'Science' Becomes Politics

I've written before about that moment in time when a lightning bolt struck and I came to the brutal realization  that the environmentalists among us were a dangerous lot.  It was back in the mid to late 80's.  The venue was CNN's "Crossfire."  The subject (as I remember it) was the looming ozone hole disaster.  One of the guests was then-Senator Tim Wirth (D-Colorado), who was calling for swift action to head off that growing menace.  When confronted with the fact that there was insufficient evidence to support the notion that humans were causing ozone depletion, Wirth responded: "We can't wait for evidence!  By then it'll be too late!"

I knew at that moment that these people were off the reservation.

Well, it turns out that that logic - we must act even though there is no proof that a problem exists or that our actions will have any appreciable or desirable effect on that problem - is now codified.  In science.

My God:
Climategate: Science Is Dying
By Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal

Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science. The nature of that risk has been twofold: First, that the claims of the climate scientists might buckle beneath the weight of their breathtaking complexity. Second, that the crudeness of modern politics, once in motion, would trample the traditions and culture of science to achieve its own policy goals. With the scandal at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, both have happened at once.

This has harsh implications for the credibility of science generally. Hard science, alongside medicine, was one of the few things left accorded automatic stature and respect by most untrained lay persons. But the average person reading accounts of the East Anglia emails will conclude that hard science has become just another faction, as politicized and "messy" as, say, gender studies. The New England Journal of Medicine has turned into a weird weekly amalgam of straight medical-research and propaganda for the Obama redesign of U.S. medicine.

Beneath this dispute is a relatively new, very postmodern environmental idea known as "the precautionary principle." As defined by one official version: "When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically." The global-warming establishment says we know "enough" to impose new rules on the world's use of carbon fuels. The dissenters say this demotes science's traditional standards of evidence.

The Obama administration's new head of policy at EPA, Lisa Heinzerling, is an advocate of turning precaution into standard policy. In a law-review article titled "Law and Economics for a Warming World," Ms. Heinzerling wrote, "Policy formation based on prediction and calculation of expected harm is no longer relevant; the only coherent response to a situation of chaotically worsening outcomes is a precautionary policy. . . ." [link]
Go ahead.  Make the case that the sky is falling.  You'll have as much credibility as do any "scientists" or politicians who adopt this (lazy?) "precautionary principle," a scheme that requires no hard evidence, but a lot of political motivation and guesswork.

One can expect this from the lowlife scum who find their way into politics.

But science was always above sinister motivation and intrigue.  And fudging data in order to achieve a desired result.

It was, wasn't it?  Wasn't it?

And They Criticize Palin ...

Another day, another stupid utterance from our vice president:
ABC’s Diane Sawyer Ignores Joe Biden Gaffe: The ‘Nuclear State of Afghanistan?’
By Scott Whitlock, NewsBusters

Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer on Wednesday conducted a generally tough interview with Joe Biden on the subject of Afghanistan, but ignored an embarrassing gaffe from the Vice President: "Our number one enemy concern is the existential threat, al Qaeda. Number two is the stability of a nuclear state called Afghanistan, under siege by radicals." Did the Vice President, perhaps, mean Pakistan? It's unclear as Sawyer didn't follow up. [link]
What a goofball.  But then we knew that all along, didn't we?