Tuesday, June 27, 2006

John Kerry's Skimmer Scam

With John Kerry's allies working on a dossier to refute claims made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in time for his 2008 run, Thomas Lipscomb looks at one particular incident in detail over at Real Clear Politics:

Kerry's summary of the mission? Here is what he told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press":

"We were in combat. We were in a very, very--probably one of the most frightening--if you ask anybody who was with me, the two guys who were with me, was probably the most frightening night that they had that they were in Vietnam... ."

Kerry in TOUR OF DUTY:

"It was a half-assed action that hardly qualified as combat, but it was my first... . ... [A] minor skirmish, but since I couldn't put my finger on what we really accomplished or on what had happened, it was difficult to feel satisfied. "

Finally, Kerry in TOUR OF DUTY a la recherche... from his "journal" nine days after "whatever" happened in Na Trang Bay:

"A cocky feeling of invincibility accompanied us up the Long Tau shipping channel because we hadn't been shot at yet, and Americans at war who haven't been shot at are allowed to be cocky."

Take your pick.

Poor Schachte, who had had a boring evening ending in a blown mission - somehow in the same time and place in that parallel universe to Kerry's "frightening" magical mystery tour - got debriefed by the Coastal Division 14 commander Hibbard, filed no after action report since there was no enemy action, told Hibbard Kerry wanted a Purple Heart, and hit the sack, mildly disgusted.

Kerry got back in the same time and same place, and filed no after action report. Neither did Mike Voss, despite an action as described by Kerry that certainly merited one and would have guaranteed him an automatic purple heart with no problems with either Hibbard or Schachte had he filed one. In fact, according to Hibbard, it would have been the only after action report filed on one of Schachte's skimmer missions which weren't as effective as he and Schachte had hoped. Schachte disagrees and is convinced there must have been "one or two."

Kerry reported to Navy doctor Louis Letson the next morning after duty hours began at 8 AM. Schachte had told him, "No enemy action, no purple heart." Kerry's appeal to Hibbard brought the rejoinder "I have seen rose thorn injuries worse than that. No enemy action, no purple heart." Surely a doctor would be more understanding, not that it mattered. Only Kerry's direct commanders could approve the award.

Kerry lay down on Letson's examination table and told Letson: "We were involved in a fire fight and we received fire from shore." One of the four or five men hanging around the dispensary out of Kerry's sight lowered his head and began to wag an emphatic "no" and stifle a laugh. Letson found ¼ inch fragment sticking out of Kerry's upper arm. It looked like wire about the diameter of a toothpick, he pulled it out with his forceps and flipped it with a tiny "klink" into a steel basin held by his Hospitalman, Jesus Carreon, to the applause of the appreciative audience. Letson was so amused he took a photo of Carreon holding the basin with the ½ inch fragment barely visible in the bottom of it.

An Inconvenient Truth for Gore

Scientists are skeptical on the claims in Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth:
"Scientists have an independent obligation to respect and present the truth as they see it," Al Gore sensibly asserts in his film "An Inconvenient Truth", showing at Cumberland 4 Cinemas in Toronto since Jun 2. With that outlook in mind, what do world climate experts actually think about the science of his movie?

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

But surely Carter is merely part of what most people regard as a tiny cadre of "climate change skeptics" who disagree with the "vast majority of scientists" Gore cites?

No; Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing significant global climate change. "Climate experts" is the operative term here. Why? Because what Gore's "majority of scientists" think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.

Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. "While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change," explains former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball. "They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies."

This is highly valuable knowledge, but doesn't make them climate change cause experts, only climate impact experts.
Read the whole story: Scientists respond to Gore's warnings of climate catastrophe - "The Inconvenient Truth" is indeed inconvenient to alarmists as reported in the Canada Free Press.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Screwtape on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Reading Party of Death reminded me of this:
"It is true," Screwtape continues with a shrug, "that much of the groundwork was already laid. We had already convinced people of the rightness of destroying inconvenient life. Now they talk quite coolly of "blastocysts," and "clumps of cells" and "surplus embryos." My genius was to recognize that they needed just a little push to be convinced, with their mania for recycling, that by harvesting something that would otherwise be chucked out, they are doing a positive good! Think of it: They believe they occupy "the moral high ground." Oh, the profits for us — "
From Screwtape Revisited by Meghan Cox Gurdon on National Review last year.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The "Reality Based Party" on 9-11

The "9-10 Democrats" are now joined by the "9-11 Morning" academics - The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on college professors sunk in the swamp of 9-11 conspiracy theories - Professors of Paranoia? :
Nearly five years have gone by since it happened. The trial of Zacarias Moussaoui is over. Construction of the Freedom Tower just began. Oliver Stone's movie about the attacks is due out in theaters soon. And colleges are offering degrees in homeland-security management. The post-9/11 era is barreling along.

And yet a whole subculture is still stuck at that first morning. They are playing and replaying the footage of the disaster, looking for clues that it was an "inside job." They feel sure the post-9/11 era is built on a lie.
For some sanity, see 911myths.com.

Democrats Keep Betting on Failure in Iraq

From John Fund at the WSJ: Trying to Get Even:

During last week's congressional debate over the war in Iraq, critics of the Bush administration's policy made three arguments: that President Bush more or less lied when claiming Saddam Hussein was a threat to the U.S., there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that no progress is being made in the war there.

All three assumptions rest on shaky ground, so it is remarkable how much critics have seized on them with such fervor and certainty--the very vices of which they accuse the war's supporters. Indeed, one wonders how Democrats would react if real evidence of weapons of mass destruction, say the discovery of chemical weapon shells, surfaced. Would they step back and re-evaluate their assumptions, or would they accuse the Bush administration of planting the evidence as part of a Karl Rove-inspired pre-election dirty trick?
Fund analyzes all three assumptions of the "reality based" party and they don't exactly look like chalk. Marc Cooper sees the same losing bets in Electoral Roulette:
What does the Democratic Party and loser-gamblers have in common? Well.....

Last week when I was in the Sandia Canyon casino outside of Albuquerque, I was watching a mark play the roulette wheel in the most bizarre fashion. He had bet just about everything available. He was sure to get paid off each pass of the wheel. And just as sure to lose a small percentage of his stake each time. I noticed, for example, that he had put $10 on each of the three columns of 12 numbers each. Because every number on the board is in one or the other of the columns, the winning bet pays only 2 to 1. If you bet all three, you will get paid every turn of the wheel but you will only make back your bet. You will put $30 down on the table. And you will collect $30. You can't win. But if a 0 or 00 comes up -- a one-in-nineteen chance-- you lose everything. Only a fool would take that tack.

Yet, that's exactly the "strategy" the Democrats are using now on the issue of the war. It dawned on me today that the Dems are hedging their bet in the same exact manner. I listened very carefully today to two separate interviews DNC Chair Howard Dean gave on cable news stations. And it matched up perfectly with what Harry Reid told me a week ago when I interviewed him in Nevada. The Democrats do have a position on the war; in fact, they have three. Or is it four?