A Colorado landowner ignites his cigarette lighter and holds it close to tap water running from a faucet in his home. A few seconds pass, and the single flame bursts into a ball of fire that sends the man reeling backward. This shocking scene appears in the 2010 documentary Gasland, produced and directed by filmmaker Josh Fox, which he touts as an exposé on the evils of a particular method of drilling for natural gas called hydraulic fracturing or “fracing,” pronounced “fracking.” Fox claims that nearby drilling contaminated area groundwater, causing the fireball to burst from that Colorado tap. What Fox ignores is the fact that the landowner, Mike Markham, lodged a complaint with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) in May of 2008, and while investigators did find methane in Markham’s well water, they determined it to be strictly from natural sources. “There are no indications of oil and gas related impacts to [the] water well,” reads the report, and the regulatory agency declared the issue resolved in September of the same year.
The anti-Christian policy of the Egypt military rulers became even more readily apparent as they blamed Christian victims and “enemies of the revolution” for a series of violent clashes which left over two dozen people dead. In another tragic example of a military junta blaming its victims for its oppressive actions, Major General Adel Emara denied widespread reports of the military’s actions, which murdered dozens of Christians, According to one Associated Press report, Emara “tried to clear the military of any blame in the killings. He denied troops opened fire at protesters, claiming their weapons did not even have live ammunition. He said it was not in ‘the dictionary of the armed forces to run over bodies ... even when battling our enemy.’ " The Coptic Church — which Emara seems to consider the “enemy” of the ruling council of Egypt of which he is a member — experienced a very different side of Egypt’s military than that which is being creatively constructed by the regime. As Alex Newman wrote previously for The New American: Anti-Coptic violence in Egypt, of course, is hardly a new phenomenon. Islamic extremists have been bombing Christian churches there for years. But in the post-Mubarak era the attacks have intensified — and this weekend's state-sponsored violence might be the start of a whole new chapter. ...
When news broke yesterday that United States intelligence agencies thwarted an Iranian government-sponsored assassination plot against the Saudi Arabian ambassador, the blogosphere immediately lapsed into a frenzy sifting through the information released by the Justice Department. A number of experts have come forward questioning the data provided by the federal government, suspicious that there might be some underlying intent at play. According to the Justice Department, Manssor Arbabsia and Gholam Shakuri conspired to murder Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir and attack Saudi installations in the United States. Targets included Israel’s embassy in Washington, as well as those of Israel and Saudi Arabia in Argentina. The Justice Department claims that the Qods Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was involved in the plot, as well as a member of a Mexican drug cartel, who turned out to be an informant of the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Likewise, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the plot “was directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government. High-up officials in those agencies, which is an integral part of the Iranian government, were responsible.”
On Wednesday, the trial of former Soviet military officer and arms dealer Viktor Bout, 45, opened in the U.S. district court in Manhattan with a strong assertions from Assistant Attorney Brendan McGuire. “One hundred surface to air missiles, 20,000 machine guns, 20,000 grenades, 740 mortars, 350 sniper rifles, 10 million rounds of ammunition and five tons of C-4 explosives,” McGuire told the jury in his opening statement. “Viktor Bout wanted to provide all of it to a foreign terrorist organization he believed wanted to kill Americans. He had the experience to do it, he had the expertise to do it, he had the will do it. He wanted to do it.” McGuire asked the court, “Why — for the money?” According to Viktor Bout’s own words, as recounted by the undercover DEA agent responsible for Bout’s capture, Louis Milione, in a television interview on the CBS show 60 Minutes, prior to his arrest Bout told Milione that he would be able to supply "anti-personnel mines. Fragmentation grenades. Armor-piercing rockets. Money laundering services. And all within the context of speaking about a shared ideology of communism and fighting against the Americans.” (Emphasis added.)
Now that the Senate has officially and resoundingly defeated President Obama’s jobs bill (The American Jobs Act), the question remains: just how do real jobs grow? Matt Welch, writing in the November issue of Reason magazine, reminds his readers of what doesn’t work: government promotion of ideology. The Solyndra debacle is the most recent but not the only example. In May 2010 the President gushed over the positive impact Solyndra was having in growing jobs in the “green” sector:
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been pressuring the National Park Service to locate sites related to the histories of women and minorities, particularly Latinos, which could be added to the National Register of Historic Places or otherwise preserved as parks or properties.
The UN's list of climate-change tricks continues to grow with news this week from the World Climate Report. It accuses the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of predicting exaggerated risks of extreme weather attributed to anthropogenic global warming (AGW). In its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), IPCC made the claim that "intense precipitation events" have been increasing in severity across more than half of the globe since 1950. It based the finding on a method called the fixed bin approach, which categorizes average daily rainfall into ranges or "bins" (e.g., one-half to one inch, one to two inches, or more than two inches) and ranks these bins as a percentile of all precipitation events. However, when used to determine trends in annual precipitation, the fixed bin method can produce false results indicating extremely severe storms that were not actually so harsh. Long before AR4's publication, researchers with the University of Virginia, the University of Colorado, the Cato Institute, and New Hope Environmental Services exposed fixed bin flaws in the 2004 International Journal of Climatology.
Pennsylvania’s Messiah College provoked some fierce controversy when it invited leftist professor Frances Fox Piven to speak during its annual American Democracy Lecture. During Piven’s appearance on Tuesday night, she was greeted cordially by students and faculty alike, but the overwhelming opposition to her message was made clear by pointed questions and well-placed boos. The college, which is a Christian higher education facility located in Grantham, Pennsylvania, described Piven as a “Distringuished professor of political science and sociology at the graduate school and University Center of the City University of New York.” Piven is well-known for her radicalism and continued push for a nationwide embrace of extreme leftism. Piven is famous for her 1960s Cloward-Piven Strategy, named after Piven and her husband Richard Andrew Cloward, of “deliberate economic sabotage.” The Cloward-Piven Strategy sought to “hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the renegade Catholic who is not permitted to receive communion, told a group of abortion advocates that she joined them in being "at war” with Republicans on the abortion issue. Speaking before the radically pro-abortion organization NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly the National Abortion Rights Action League), Sebelius accused Republicans of trying to “roll back” women’s rights and the “progress” they have made during the sexual revolution.
Breaking news yesterday revealed that U.S. law enforcement officials thwarted a plot to kill Adel A. Al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the story as it went viral. According to the FBI and DEA, the plot, allegedly backed by the Iranian government, was to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States in a conspiracy involving a secret Iranian military unit and a citizen of the Islamic republic with a U.S. passport. Holder reported that the plan “was directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government. High-up officials in those agencies, which is an integral part of the Iranian government, were responsible.” He added, “In addition to holding these individual conspirators accountable for their alleged role in this plot, the United States is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions.”