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Before you can even begin to be taken seriously when demanding people change their behavior to ‘save the planet’ from climate change, you have to do 4 things:

1. prove the climate actually is changing and doing so in an unnatural fashion.

This means you have to rule out things like the influence of the sun or other cosmic influences, natural phenomenon, long-term cycles, etc.

While there is considerable evidence out there that there are changes in specific environments, localized settings and even regional scale alterations from recorded, past events, changes occur in the climate all the time. Proof of ‘a’ change is not proof of cause and effect.

Arctic ice shelf growth

Disregarding the amount of ‘tinkering’ with the data and political manipulation of the so-called facts, biased sampling and reporting, agenda driven (pseudo) science and other questionable contributions to the climate debate, it is still necessary to not only prove there is a change occurring but it is necessary to draw a direct, undeniable, peer-reviewable, incontrovertible ‘change’ that is not simply one of many changes the earth has and will continue to experience over it’s lifetime.

expanding sea ice

expanding sea ice

Before you can even proceed to the next step, this step has to have been achieved satisfactorily, withstood scrutiny, not been explainable through other means, and so forth. Some would argue this step has been achieved while others say there is considerable evidence that it far from established. But before any other considerations are even relevant, the proof of ‘a change’ that is ‘not natural’ must be achieved.

If and only if such satisfactory proof of such an unprecedented change is occurring, then you still have three more conditions that need to be met before you can suggest any drastic change in behavior.

2.  prove the changes are going to be predominantly ‘bad’.

Even if you ‘can’ and ‘have’ proved a change is happening, it is still necessary to prove that the sum of ‘bad’ things resulting from the changes outweighs the sum of ‘good’ things that may result. In other words, even if you can prove that your particular computer model which predicts an increase in temperature is going to be the first one that is right about such a prediction, you still need to prove that the increase in temperature you are predicting is going to cause more harm than good. Even if you can establish without question that sea levels will rise, you have to also establish that the net result of such a rise is going to cause more problems than it creates opportunities. Even if you can show inevitable changes in weather, you have to also show that such changes in weather will degrade conditions more than they improve them.

If the end result of any alleged change is going to be more positive than negative, suggesting any alteration to that change is absurd. Once again, before you can proceed any further, you must establish the ‘net sum’ as negative before making any suggestions.

3. prove humans are the cause or at least a key cause of the problem.

One of the key premises of ‘climate change’ dating back more than a century through ‘cooling’, ‘warming’, ‘cooling’ and the current on-going ‘warming’ scares, the key factor in all of these environmental discussions  has been the alleged involvement of mankind and the effects of human behavior. If you are suggesting human behavior is a key ’cause’ and that [drastic] changes in human behavior are ‘necessary’ to prevent further problems, then you have to make the case that humans are actually causing the problem or at least making a significant contribution to making it a problem in the first place.

One example is the continued hysteria over CO2. While it is true that you can show empirically that CO2 concentrations in test samples have increased by 100ppm from 300ppm to 400ppm, you have to then establish that this measured increase is one of the key factors in the changes you allege are coming. The reality is that 100ppm stands for one hundred parts per million. For those who are math challenged, that amounts to 0.01% of the atmosphere as a whole. Furthermore, most of the data used to create that number represents air masses around human population and is arrived at through samples taken at ground level. In fact, when you sample further away from population centers, the numbers go down — the further away, the further they drop. Why? Trees! Grasses! Green stuff. Still more, if you take samples higher in the atmosphere, the concentrations are not nearly as high. Why? CO2 is heavier than the bulk of gases in the atmosphere, thus is settles in higher concentrations near ground level. (near all those trees and grasses and green stuffs) But the greenhouse effect requires the entire atmosphere to produce the effects alleged by greenhouse-related AGCC theories.

CO2 levels at different altitudes

Measurements in Colorado — CO2 levels at different altitudes

So the premise of ‘man’ contributing to any alleged problem must be established to support any solution that involves a change in the behavior of man. And once again, this must be established before you proceed any further.


4. prove whatever change you are suggesting will not only help prevent, fix or otherwise solve the ‘bad’ problems in #2 but will not ’cause’ still more bad problems and is better than any alternative approaches.

There was some guy that posted a scare-tactic video labelled melodramatically, “The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See” on YouTube. I regret having to link to it now, but it is essentially a stereotypical pseudo-science, pseudo-logic, purely emotional example of the kind of hype involved in this entire debate. He shows what he alleges to be a ‘logic diagram’ of the potential consequences of action vs inaction against the two scenarios of doing something and doing nothing. Yet his so-called ‘unquestionable logic’ completely disregards the consequences of draconian changes upon the ability of individuals and societies to actually ‘cope’ with the outcomes of either scenario which results from something AND nothing happening.

In other words, given his scenario of doing absolutely nothing, society and life go on as normal. Technology continues to advance, people still go about their lives, science still does its thing. Economies still function without interference, industry continues to grow, inventions continue to be made and brought to market. In short, human progress moves on.

Meanwhile, his premise for ‘doing something’ assumes doing something drastic. Under the drastic scenario, we must assume that certain advances are restricted, people’s lives are regulated, science is limited. Economies are interfered with, industry is put on a short leash, inventions are now gauged by their potential contribution to the global-climate-change before being allowed in the market. In short, human progress is slowed or halted all together.

Under either contrasted scenario of climate change being real or being a bunch of chicken little fear-mongering, the resulting society in the do-something, drastic-change scenario is crippled and working at a reduced, limited, restrained or otherwise hyper-regulated capacity. Innovations are stifled and subject to a central planning filter. Potential solutions are not up to the society as a whole, but up to the green-police. And the means to arrive at those solutions is not enhanced by a robust economy with access to all available resources, but limited by a restricted and hyper-regulated one.

Thus if you have managed to establish the first three points with reasonable certainty, you are still under the requirement of showing that any changes you suggest to fix the problem, actually fix the problem!

So ask yourself…

All of these 4 points are not politically biased (even if some of my intervening comments reflect my own views on the subject). They are basic critical thinking 101. Whether you support AGCC theory or oppose it, the four points by themselves have merit. The requirements of the four points are not extreme and are not unreasonable. So before you pick a side — or if you have taken a side, before you move to act — stop and ask yourself:

“Have these four conditions been met?”

It should be no mystery to anyone that my conclusion is a big, fat NO.

(watch for another post in the future on this subject about water’s role in ‘global cooling’, likely to be called ‘Four More Things on global climate change’)

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ImageI’ll never forget when US Airways flight 1549 had to do an emergency belly landing in the Hudson river and no one was injured. Shortly following the event, a whole lot of people started clamoring about how it was ‘a miracle’ or that God definitely played a role in getting all those people to safety. My inbox was no exception.

Such things tend to frustrate me because it shows the blatant confirmation bias of the religious thinker. No one questions that ‘God’ steps in to do the ‘good’ outcome but they do not also apply that similar thinking to the ‘bad’ outcomes any more than they think the same ‘God’ would have played a role in causing or should have played a role in preventing the situation in the first place.

For example, do you suppose that anyone on board was ‘cursing’ God when they thought they were going to die? Or what about passengers or witnesses to crashes where no one survives? Well, obviously, that is just part of God’s plan then right? It’s a mystery!

Such thinking is not only inconsistent and intellectually dishonest, it distracts from the real heroes doing real things — real people! — who are contributing to great outcomes. To more than one person who sent me the ‘miraculous’ assertion, I had but one response:

Yes, I am sure that God personally intervened to make sure that all of those passengers and crew as well as the people on the ground were not harmed.
I’m sure that the years of training and calm headed, quick thinking of the pilot and the flight crew played absolutely no role in keeping the jet from crashing.
And the air traffic controllers using the world’s most advanced and coordinated air traffic system, radar technology, two-way radio communications and direct lines to multiple airports across the northeast didn’t have anything to do with it.
Nor did the years of development and advancement in aircraft design, technology and safety measures contribute in any fashion.
The flight attendants, their years of training and their similar cool thinking keeping the passengers calm and following safety procedures that have been practiced and rehearsed had nothing to do with it.
Not to mention the passengers themselves for following instructions and remaining so calm and working together.
No one on the ground in New York city with a cell phone, similarly developed through years of technology utilizing one of the most advanced telephone systems in the world calling upon seeing the plane going down did anything to help.
The 911 operators utilizing their refined network of emergency resources and vast network of trained emergency response procedures obviously did not contribute.
Nor did the quick response of the harbor authority and their rescue vehicles that rushed to the aid of the plane once it was safely upon the water.
Obviously it was all God’s work.

Now I’m sure you’ll probably say ‘well, God created all those things’ or that he had a hand in carrying them out. But I’m just curious. If God really wanted to make sure all of those people were safe, wouldn’t it have been far easier and less trouble in the long run….

…. if he had just moved the goose 3′ to the left?”

WSIDAirplaneGeeseinFlight

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When you head in to work tomorrow, take a look around you. Take a look at your fellow workers. Try to imagine for a moment how many of them are content with working there. Is it at least 7 in 10? If you currently work in a non-union workplace and just 1-in-3 of your fellow employees think starting a union is a good idea, they will soon be taking money out of your paycheck whether you join the union or not – and there will be nothing you – or the law – can do to stop them! On the contrary, the law will in fact, protect their right to do it!

The Michigan ballot proposal 2, a proposed amendment to the Michigan state Constitution is dubbed the ‘Protect Our Jobs‘ proposal. But perhaps it should be called the ‘Protect Our Mobs‘ proposal instead. The proposal was essentially started by a number of large union lobbies in response to the growing number of states adopting “Right to Work” legislation. In that many dub ‘Right to Work’ laws as ‘Union Busters’, the unions decided to make a pre-emptive strike by enshrining the right to unionize and collectively bargain in the state’s constitution, essentially forever banning ‘Right to Work’ in Michigan.

Well, that sounds great right? Protecting a worker’s right to organize? But workers already have a right to organize and Right-to-Work legislation cannot take that right away. Right-to-Work simply gives a worker the right to ‘opt-out’ of a union if they do not wish to belong to one. Now some of you more savvy civics students may be aware that due to the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, workers already have the right to opt-out of unions if they so choose. So what’s the problem?

The problem results from two things. The first being a US Supreme court decision made in the case of Abood vs. the Detroit Board of Education from 1977, and the second a standard set by the National Labor Relations Board.

Mandatory Dues

In the Abood case, the Supreme court ruled that an individual cannot be forced to pay for political costs associated with a union at his workplace if those political funds went to support causes that the employee himself did not support. Great right? But the case also upheld that an employee can be required to pay union dues even if he has no interest in joining the union, lacks a vote in said union, negotiates his contract independent of the union and receives no other benefits from the union. Not so great!

The briefs from Abood cite a number of reasons for the decision from ‘receiving benefits’ of collective bargaining to ‘promoting peaceful labor relations’ and stopping ‘free riders’. But suffice it to say, once unionized, employees who are not members of the union at a company can and are required to pay union dues.

The 30%

Protect Our Mobs

The second issue is just what it takes to establish a union in the first place. If you aren’t part of a union shop now, Proposal 2 passing will only increase the likelihood that you soon will be by making union protections a front page issue and enshrining such organization as part of Michigan Constitutionally protected rights.

So just what does it take to start a union? Well, according to current policies with the National Labor Relations Board, (empowered by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935) “[the perspective union] must file a petition supported by a showing of interest from at least thirty percent of the employees in the group that the union seeks to represent, typically called the bargaining unit.” So, in other words, just 30% of the people working for a given company need to be interested in forming a union. That’s just under one in every three employees. Another way to put this is, that 3 out of every 10 employees of a company can require the other 7 to pay to support their desire to unionize.

Besides the fact this is only an attempt to stifle individual rights by blocking the right of individuals to opt out of union membership and mandatory dues withholding from their paychecks, this is law is also a blatant attempt at establishing ‘group rights’ and empowering large unions. I cannot make the suggestion strongly enough on just how this will kill Michigan jobs and take away individual choice.

Vote No on Proposal 2

Vote No on Protecting Mob-rule!

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If someone has evidence to show how Romney is going to be ‘so much better’ than Obama, please bring it forward. (and because ‘he says so’ is not evidence – I can show you how he says just about anything to garner support)

How is Romney ‘better’?

We can’t say he’ll be better when it comes to national healthcare – he already says he doesn’t intend to get rid of it, he intends to replace it. And Romney said he supports mandates.

We can’t say he’ll end progressive taxation – he’s already said he supports taxing the haves to provide for the have-nots.

We can’t say he won’t be for expanding government, his enacting Romneycare in Massachusetts shows otherwise.

We can’t say he’ll be better at ending cronyism, he’s being funded by many of the same sources as Obama.

We can’t say he’ll be better when it comes to encroaching on rights and liberties…

Romney supports:

Romney is against:

We can’t say he’ll be better when it comes to ending wars. (Romney on Iraq)

So what is he ‘better’ at????

Some have argued that they don’t want to see Obama appointing new justices to the supreme court. Yet when Obamacare came up for a Supreme court challenge, it was Chief Justice Roberts that cast the swing vote in favor of Obamacare – a Bush appointee. One that was endorsed by none other than Mitt Romney.

Ryan as Romney’s VP Choice

Now we are told that Paul Ryan having been chosen for the role of vice president will make all the difference. We are told he is a conservative’s conservative. The media even portrays him as a radical and extremist. But what does Ryan’s record have to show?

Paul Ryan voted for:

  • Tarp
  • the auto bailouts
  • Medicare expansion
  • housing subsidies
  • extending unemployment compensation
  • a national ID card
  • making the Patriot Act permanent
  • the NDAA and surveillance without a warrant
  • No Child Left Behind
  • keeping troops in Iraq indefinitely (and against removing troops from Afghanistan)
  • both the 2008 and 2009 stimulus bills

Ryan’s so called ‘extreme’ budget plan doesn’t even seek to balance the federal budget until the year 2045!

Ahhh, but some say ‘he is a supporter of Rand’ or at least that he mentions the ideas of Ayn Rand and brings them into the forefront of national news. Let’s recall how he last chose to spoke of Ayn Rand:

“I later in life learned about what her philosophy was, it’s called Objectivism. It’s something that I completely disagree with.”- Paul Ryan on Real Clear Politics

The best that objectivists can hope for is that Paul Ryan obtaining the position of vice president will lend validity to his assertion that her ideas are not suitable for government.

So I ask again, R&R is better how? More Rationalization and Recidivist politics?

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I’m surprised no one has been making as much noise with the numbers while the whole occupy thing has been going on. I was busy with doing things on the new job or I would have got to this sooner, but I think it’s about time to take a look at just what that infernal 1% is doing. The OWS folks like to tell us that the rich need to pay more, that they don’t pay their fair share, etc. So what are they actually paying?

Let’s start by looking at the 99% shall we? Wikipedia reports that the median household income in the US in 2009 as we were barely eeking out of the latest recession was right around $50,000/yr. In that same year, those making that much or below were only paying a sum total of about 10% [1] of the total tax burden in this country. This is despite them making up about 59.5% of the total workforce [2].  Those making less than $32,000/yr account for more than 50% of the total population and are only responsible for less 2.25% of all taxes paid.

So who’s carrying the burden? Let’s climb the scales a little higher shall we? The top 10% of wage earners were responsible for paying over 70% of all income taxes paid in the year 2009. (Keep in mind, these numbers are ‘income tax paid’. These numbers do not reflect taxes upon corporate earnings prior to them being paid out as salaries or distributed as dividends to shareholders) This is just ‘income’. But lets go a little higher.

The top 5% carried the weight of  almost 60% (58.66) of all income taxes paid! So 95% of the US working population only paid 41.44% of total taxes paid. And what about that nasty, dirty, rotten, good-for-nothing 1%?

The top 1% of wage earners carried 36.73% of the total national income tax burden in 2009. Those evil rotten bastards!!! I just have to ask the question, if they aren’t paying enough (especially considering this doesn’t account for double-taxation on corporate earnings), how much is too much?

[1] “Who Pays the Income Tax?” – National Tax Payers Union
[2] “Money Income of People” – US Census Bureau

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Public Act 165 of 2003, known as the Driver Responsibility Law, took effect October 1, 2003. This law was amended by Public Act 52 of 2004 and Public Act 460 of 2008.”
(mcl Section 257.732a)

So says the Michigan Government website dedicated to the Michigan Driver’s Responsibility Law under the heading ‘What is Driver Responsibility‘.  They go on to say:

Its purpose is to encourage traffic safety by deterring potentially dangerous driving behavior. Other states, including New Jersey and Texas, have implemented similar laws.

The reality is that the MDRL is a controversial law that has been subject of considerable debate since it’s enactment, including recent legislation aimed at eliminating many of the fees.  (most recently, Senate Bill 166 dubbed ‘repeal the “Bad Driver” Tax” put forward by Sen. Bruce Caswell (R) – it is currently stalled in committee)

The alleged purpose of the law is to act as a ‘deterrent’ to various forms of bad driving and other violations such as drunk driving or not having the proper insurance.  The alleged justification for the fees is to ‘cover the [additional] costs’ related to such violations and costs ‘to Society’ related to the offenses or the people committing them.

Many of the voices speaking out against this law point out that it targets the poor, seems to constitute a ‘double jeopardy‘ violation (in that the fees are only assessed after and in addition to the fines of a specific violations), and aren’t even meeting the original goal of revenue collection. (49% of the fees have not even been collected [1])  There are even questions as to whether or not people of low incomes facing bankruptcy may still be held responsible for payment of the fees.

Double Jeopardy and the Michigan Court of Appeals

The issue of ‘double jeopardy’ has already been addressed in the Michigan Court of Appeals in case Docket No. 264103, Todd Dawson v. Michigan Secretary of State and Department of Treasury.  In that case, the plaintiff argued against the statute on three grounds;  the first involving violation of the ‘double jeopardy’ clauses of both the United States and State of Michigan Constitutions, violations of ‘equal protection’ clause of the 14th amendment to the Bill of Rights, and on violation of the ‘uniformity of taxation‘ clause under Michigan law.

The court found that since the the fees were ‘civil’ in nature and since the defendant did not establish they were ‘invalid’ in nature that they did not constitute a violation of either State or Federal protections against double jeopardy — which applies to criminal prosecutions and punishments.  Further, since the fees were assessed allegedly to cover the additional ‘cost to society’ resulting from specific acts, they could not be deemed as violations of equal protection or uniformity of taxation.

Although it should be obvious by anyone reading their ruling that this almost seems ‘contrived’ and leaves a sour taste in your mouth, the ruling appears to be consistent with the law.  (What is distasteful is that it appears this may have been considered by the lawmakers who supported the law in the first place and thus constitutes an ‘end run’ around these very Constitutional protections)

The plaintiff attorneys in the Dawson case filed an appeal but the motion for appeal was denied.

Due Process

One of the issues that was not addressed by the Dawson case was the matter of ‘due process‘.   The fifth and fourteenth amendments to the US Constitution protect a citizen’s right to have their day in court, to face their accusers, not not be required to testify against themselves and to be able to address any charges levied against them in a fair and reasonable manner.  This right was not only addressed in the original 10 amendments but was clarified further in the 14th after these rights were denied to citizens such as slaves and Native Americans.

People assessed these Driver Responsibility Fee have no means of appeal.  The Michigan DRL website says as much in their list of Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I appeal the suspension?
No. In accordance with MCL 257.322 and 257.323, there is no hardship appeal of the Driver Responsibility fee or Driver Responsibility suspension.

(It lists no other comments on appeal for other ‘non-hardship’ related reasons.)

Furthermore, the Michigan law [mcl 257.907(4)] already addresses the ability of the district courts to assess both fines and additional fees for costs related to these offenses, stating:

“the judge or district court magistrate shall summarily tax and determine the costs of the action, which are not limited to the costs taxable in ordinary civil actions, and may include all expenses, direct and indirect, to which the plaintiff has been put in connection with the civil infraction, up to the entry of judgment*.”

*this section further limits such additional charges for costs to a maximum of $100.  (MDRL fees can be up to $1000 assessed for two years in a row for a total maximum of up to $2000, 20 times as much)

The end result is that the views of the Appeals Court that “the Legislature intended to impose a civil, and not a criminal, penalty” would seem to suggest that the ‘civil’ fee is being treated as separate and distinct from the legal action — except to the extent that the one is incurred as a result of the other.  Since this fee is assessed not through the criminal ruling of the court, and since there is no avenue to challenge or appeal it’s being levied then it would seem to be akin to a Bill of Attender (forbidden by Article I, section 9 of the US Constitution) and a clear violation of the principles of due process.

Why should I care?

Of course, if you don’t get stopped for traffic violations and keep your insurance coverage current, you will likely never experience one of these fees.  So why should you give a damn about having it repealed? Among other things, the same types of arguments in regards to ‘due process’ violations for flat fees are being addressed regarding other types of legislation.

Just some examples of these include the national healthcare reform  mandatory requirement under President Obama’s Comprehensive Health Reform package and things such as windfall profit taxes and retroactive penalties on corporate bonuses for executives.


[1] Huron Daily Tribune (michigansthumb.com) May 10, 2011
 Fees Exist Beyond what’s paid at the Court House
“According to Caswell’s office, roughly $1.2 billion has been assessed in driver responsibility fees, but only about $626 million has been collected, which is a return [of] about 51 percent. As of January, nearly 2.5 million people have had their license suspended.”

(I was going to post something else tonight, but moved it back a few days as this has become a more ‘pressing’ issue today – I’ll add a comment as to why below)

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On the way back from the store, I managed to catch the last few minutes of a prolonged rant by radio talk host Mark Lavin.   He was all worked up in his typical lather, this time because President Obama decided not to release photos of Osama Bin Laden taken after the recent raid leading to his death.

Among other things, Mr. Lavin alleged that we wouldn’t have hesitated to post such photos in World War II or worry about hurting the feelings of the Japanese or the Germans in that war, saying “I don’t give a damn!” in regards to any offense caused to combatant Muslim fundamentalists who qualify as terrorists.

While I am in agreement about not worrying about offending terrorists, and while not wanting to make anything akin to a ‘moral equivalence‘ argument, I have to disagree with the nature of his comments in regards to the photos.  I will avoid making it a moral equivalence argument by refraining from phrasing it as ‘how can we say…’ type statements but instead focusing on ‘why’ we have made some arguments in the past in support of my view as to why we ‘should not‘ release any photos of Bin Laden’s dead body.

Nick Berg

Almost exactly 7 years ago on May 7th, 2004 we learned of the gruesome death of Nicholas Evan Berg when not only was the news released of his being captured and held by terrorists, but the terrorists themselves released a video of his being beheaded that went viral on the internet.  At the time we were outraged not only by the act itself but by the superfluous act of releasing the footage.

9/11

Then of course there was 9/11, when we saw Palestinians celebrating in the streets of Israel  with reports of celebration in other regions known to be less friendly to the US and western nations.

Al Jazeera

We expressed outrage at news sources like Al Jazeera for continuing to be a mouthpiece for Bin Laden and other pro-terror leaders who were doing little less than gloating following various attacks on pro-western targets.

It’s not Moral Equivalence.

I am not making an argument that ‘we are no better than them’.  We clearly are.  There are ongoing complaints that we often go ‘too far’ in trying to promote the ‘rights’ or at least to take great care in protecting the rights of innocents in our efforts to put an end to terrorism.  (Mark Lavin’s argument is just another example of one of these)  We are better because we do not act without reasonable cause and without seeking input and even assistance from our allies and the international community in general.

And, as I already stated, I am not going to frame this from the perspective of ‘how can we possibly …. in the future if…‘.  Instead, look at why we were outraged by the prior events mentioned.  We do follow reason and there were reasons to be outraged.

Our leaders may use reason and consultation in coming to solutions, but our leaders are practically guaranteed airtime whenever they speak of our achievements to destroy our enemies.  Because our leaders use reason and wisdom, and because our nation bears global influence, there is nothing wrong with that.  And we support freedom of the press.  And our leader has already spoken of the death of this enemy to our freedoms.

Again, Obama was far more justified to go on media sources to break the news.  Our action was a response to specific acts recognized worldwide as unprovoked attacks on innocent citizens.  While an Islamic extremist could probably raise many events relating to specific acts of the west that are worthy of question and even condemnation, they do not seek acceptance or agreement with their ideas in the global community but instead act hastily and recklessly and cheer the deaths of innocents and combatants alike.

We’ve already seen footage that has made the news wires of celebrations in Washington DC and New York city following the announcement by our president.  Many news sources and political figures are quickly trying to point out that the celebrations ‘probably’ reflect a celebration of justice having been done.  And whether or not there are vindictive, vengeful faces in those crowds, I do not think it wholly unreasonable that most in the crowd would concur with that assessment of their motives.

(consequently, there were also large scale celebrations in the Arabic community here in Dearborn, MI – and they are essentially saying the same thing, that they are celebrating justice having been done.  They point out the fact that Bin Laden has killed more Muslims than Americans.  But additionally many of the former middle eastern Muslims here are also saying they are glad to see him gone because of the damage he has done to the reputation of non-extremist followers of Islam)

Finally, do we really want to cross the last border of those things we have previously condemned (with good reason) by making public the pictures of a dead leader of our enemies?  What would it achieve?  Lavin eluded to things such as ‘showing our resolve’ or making it clear to our enemies ‘what we are capable of’.  But was not tracking down and killing him sufficient to do that?  What necessity is there to release the photos that would not qualify as braggadocio or overkill?

Justice was served when we sent in the seals and they got the job done.  There is no necessity of heaping on gratuitous releases of macabre photos and putting us in the same camp as our enemies when it comes to how we behave as a civilized nation.

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