Publishers of the Times World Atlas are under fire for exaggerating ice loss in Greenland and are "urgently reviewing" their newest map of that country. HarperCollins claims the latest edition of its atlas, published September 15, depicts the world "at its most fragile," but scientists say it shows a dream world. One expert told Reuters the atlas suggests Greenland's massive ice sheets are shrinking at a rate that "could easily be 20 times too fast and might well be 50 times too fast." HarperCollins admitted it erased 15 percent of Greenland's ice cover from its previous 2007 atlas, an amount Elizabeth Morris of Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute said "would lead to a sea level rise of 1 metre," according to Varsity. She and six colleagues wrote a letter to the publisher calling the mistake "implausible" and "stupid." Glaciologist Poul Christofferson also signed the letter and told Reuters that "a sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is clearly still ice-covered."
Tim Hawkins is a very funny guy. He sings a great song, “The Government Can,” with body movements that tell the story in a truly hilarious way. I watched it the other day on a website with an incredibly simple but potent message: that 545 people in Washington are responsible for all of America’s woes. Charley Reese, the writer, explained in an essay posted at LewRockwell.com: One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices — 545 human beings out of 235 million — are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. He explains further: Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?
After days of media hype, NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell into the Pacific Ocean without — it would seem — having harmed so much as the proverbial fly. The satellite had orbited Earth for 20 years without receiving much public attention. Launched by the space shuttle Discovery in 1991, UARS had quietly gone about its work until its inevitable, inexorable descent hurtled the six-ton satellite into the public spotlight at the very hour of its death. UARS’ function was to study the ozone layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The satellite’s mission was only supposed to last for three years, but — with a longevity strikingly similar to that of NASA’s Mars landers — UARS continued to function over a decade after the conclusion of its scheduled mission. When the Bush administration reduced funding for the Earth Science Enterprise, the UARS was officially decommissioned, and the satellite was dropped from its higher orbit in December 2005. It was this final burn that led to the UARS’ fall from space nearly six years later. According to press reports, the satellite harmlessly dropped into the Pacific Ocean. FoxNews noted:
Some of America’s most diligent Leftists have planned a series of events along the West Coast, targeting banks and the homes of bankers in much the same way that SEIU protested outside the home of Bank of America executive Greg Baer — intimidating Baer’s 13-year old son who was trapped in the house alone. The “Days of Rage” will be taking place at a host of spots in greater Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. The groups have circulated a flier that reads “Make Banks Pay” indicates that from Monday September 26 to Thursday September 29, the demonstrators will be doing the following:
While America's President shrinks from facing the demographic catastrophe lurking a decade or two down the road for Social Security, Medicare, and public pensions, there is evidence in Germany that such a debacle might be avoided — and a glimmer of hope in France. Last year French President Nicolas Sarkozy raised the retirement age in his country from 60 to 62 — for which he endured weeks of demonstrations and a lessening of his popularity. Now his Prime Minister, François Fillon, has suggested that France should place its retirement policy in line with that of Germany, which has voted to increase the retirement age to 67. (That is a year higher than the full Social Security retirement age for Americans born from 1943-1954.) Fillon touched on that subject during a September 22 speech to business leaders in Paris, stressing that in areas of fiscal impact such as retirement age, France needed to dovetail its policies with Germany, the largest economy in the European Union.
Italian authorities vowed a few days ago to send home more than a thousand Africans who invaded the isle of Lampedusa after leaving Tunisia and Libya to seek fortune in Europe. The latest pronouncement from Italy, London's Telegraph reported, came after the detained illegal aliens set fire to the facility in which they were housed. But the latest crisis on Lampedusa is merely one more ugly episode in the avoidable fate that befell the island when the tsunami of refugees landed after the collapse of Tunisia’s government early this year. The island is just 113 miles from Tunisia, and is indeed closer to Africa than to its mother, Italy. Throughout this year, Italian officials sat paralyzed, wondering what to do about the great African migration while the teeming horde of Tunisians, Libyans, and others swept over Lampedusa like a biblical plague.
Opponents of ObamaCare have long argued that the law poses a grave threat to Americans’ privacy. Although that argument was based on informed speculation, a new rule proposed by the Obama administration provides concrete evidence that privacy concerns were indeed well-founded. The rule, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), would require “insurance companies [to] submit detailed health care information about their patients,” according to a Washington Examiner op-ed by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.). If enacted, the rule would enable the government “to collect and aggregate confidential patient records for every one of us,” declares the Congressman. “This type of data collection is an egregious violation of patient-doctor confidentiality and business privacy,” he maintains, likening it to “J. Edgar Hoover in a lab coat.”
Observers who surmised that President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act was a gimmick designed to make the employment situation look better just long enough for Obama to be reelected — never mind the long-term consequences — have been vindicated. A recent Associated Press report states that Obama’s plan would at best reduce the unemployment rate by a single percentage point in time for the November 2012 election, after which it would become “a drag on the economy” to the point that “by 2015, the economy [will be] in the same place as now, as if there were no jobs package.” Taxes, meanwhile, will have permanently increased by some $1.6 trillion. Obama has been careful not to make his own prediction about how many jobs his bill would create, fearing that he would only be sealing his own fate if reality failed to live up to his forecast. Instead, he turned to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, who estimated that the bill would generate about 1.9 million new jobs in 2012, or 158,000 a month, leading to a one-percentage-point reduction in the unemployment rate and a two-percentage-point increase in the gross domestic product. The AP notes that Zandi’s jobs estimate “is somewhat higher than private analyses that suggest the plan would create 100,000 to 150,000 jobs a month.”
The government of Uganda and the“carbon credits” firm New Forests Company — accredited by the United Nations and largely financed by the World Bank and the European Union — are under intense public pressure after evidence emerged that over 20,000 poor Ugandan farmers were brutally evicted from their lands in order for the U.K.-based company to plant trees. The atrocities, publicized in a September 22 report by the non-profit aid group Oxfam, have made headlines around the world. Under the guise of saving the environment from global warming and climate change, armed enforcers reportedly burned locals’ houses to the ground — along with at least one child who was inside his home when it was set ablaze. The goon squads also reportedly terrorized and beat the residents, threatening to murder anyone who resisted. “We were beaten by soldiers. They beat my husband and put him in jail,” Naiki Apanabang, who obtained her family’s land in recognition of her grandfather’s military service, told Oxfam investigators. “The eviction was very violent.” Apanabang and her eight children no longer have enough food to eat — let alone money for schooling.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under mandates established by ObamaCare, awarded $10 million dollars to “129 organizations across the country that would like to become community health centers. These funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, support organizations’ development as a future health center.” Nearly 10 percent of the total sum doled out was sent to the state of Florida. The Sunshine State received nearly $880,000. This largesse was not surprising given that Florida reportedly has one of the highest rates of people without insurance in the country. According to a story published recently in the Florida Independent: Recent information released from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Florida had the third highest percentage of residents without insurance in 2010. According to 2010 Census information (.xls), in a three-year average from 2008 to 2010, Florida’s percentage of uninsured people was 20.7 percent.