Monday, December 19, 2005

The Casualties Game

You can tell that the right is starting to feel confident, because some old arguments are coming to the fore. After the NYT, of all places, posted a graph comparing civilian casualties in Iraq with other recent troublespots, GatewayPundit created a graph of his own, comparing Iraq War casualties with those of previous American Wars. Students of History will note that a war is missing, the 1898 Spanish-American War. I said so in a comment, and suggested that as the Spanish-American War led to a long counter-guerrilla campaign for mastery of the Phillipines, such a comparison would be far more apt.

I then decided to look the numbers up myself.

According to Wikipedia, The Unites States suffered 2,446 killed and wounded in the five months of the 1898 war, and another 4,324 killed and 2,818 wounded putting down the Phillippine insurgency. However, there seems to be a dispute on the time frame. Theodore Roosevelt declared victory over the insurgents in 1902, Wikipedia ignores this event and rather baldly declares that the insurgency went on until Woodrow Wilson's 1913 offer of eventual independence (indeed, the article seems to focus entirely on the negative aspects of the campaign, not only ignoring the American successes but placing all blame on the Americans for the outbreak of the conflict, and even going so far as to attribute miserliness with veteran's benefits to the American government as a reason for naming the conflict an insurgency rather than a war). While it is true that guerrilla activity continued on outlying islands, especially in the south, by 1902 Aguinaldo's army on the main island of Luzon had been defeated. This entry from the 20th Century Atlas suggests that the 4,000 number is taken exclusively from the years 1899-1902, but I could be wrong on that.

At any rate, the Phillippine Insurrection appears to be in all ways worse than the Iraq War. Especially different is the scale of civilian casuatlies: approximately 30,000 in Iraq, approximately 250,000 to 1 million in the Phillippines. The political fallout was worse as well: although they enjoyed a degree of self-government, the Phillippines did not become independent until 1946 and have had limited success as a nation-state.

Yet, despite all this, despite the bloodshed and the fury and a level of anti-civilian action well in excess of what we would consider just or desirable, the Americans won in the Phillipines. Aguinaldo was defeated, so eventually were the Moros. Nor did this happen in the absence of domestic political opposition. William Jennings Bryan, after convincing the Democratic Senate to vote for the Treaty that set American rule over the Phillipines, ran against President McKinley on an "anti-imperialist" platform. Somehow, the will was found, despite errors and cruelties which are typical to war, to carry on. It would be a poor commentary indeed if we were no longer capable of such today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What Madness is This?

Republicans running the federal government believe, "You are on your own to buy your own health care, to buy your own retirement security ... to buy your own roads and levees," Obama said, referring to flood barriers that gave way in New Orleans during Katrina last August."

What, entrust the people to buy something they need? Suggest that the government not provide for everything? Why would anyone want the people to take care of themselves? Why, God, Why?

Sensible Mom may have struck upon the answer:

Then how does Obama explain the medicare prescription bill, the education bill, the money the federal government has historically earmarked for levees in New Orleans (that local officials used for other pet projects)...?

I believe it was P.J. O'Rourke who said that governments and money were like whiskey, car keys, and teenage boys; perhaps an inevitable combination, but nevertheless not one that should ever be encouraged.

Is it True, That When Vanity Fair Takes Your Picture... lose your relevance?

Lileks = Funny

A few exerpts from his 2005 Year-in-Review:

Pope John Paul II dies. To the horror of many, his successor turns out to be Catholic.

Israel voluntarily withdraws from Gaza, earning approximately 17 seconds of good will from the international community. Personal best!

Hurricane Katrina strikes precisely at the moment when the dynamite charges, personally installed by Karl Rove, blow up New Orleans’s levees. Teams of the same ninjas the Bushies used to rig the Diebold voting machines have already disabled the buses that could be used in evacuation. Initial media reports indicate that refugees in the Superdome have resorted to murder, cannibalism, voodoo, keno, and possibly jai alai. FOX anchor Shep Smith is consumed on camera by zombies. His last words indicate that he shares their outrage, if not their desire for sweet, sweet brains

Read the whole thing.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Should I Take it as a Sign of Our Success...

...that the Iraqis are voting, again, and that neither the WaPo nor the NYT appears to care? Can I take a moment to point out that millions of Arabs and Kurds voting to elect representatives as per their agreed-upon Constitution has become, for us, a minor story? Been there, done that, so 2004?

And before anyone says that elections don't equal democracy, let me look up the Arabic word for "bollocks." One election doesn't equal democracy. Regular, free, competitive elections are precisely democracy. One can argue against the Iraq war for many reasons, but you cannot argue that it has failed to strengthen moderating influences in the Middle East. Granted, it's not all a bed of roses, and much more needs to be done. But there is merit in standing our ground, and more in continuing to denounce our enemies.

Guess Who Wrote This:

If portions of the Constitution stand in the way of desired policies, rather than trying to change the Constitution, instead find someone with academic credentials to say that the Constitution doesn't say what it says, to make a halfway plausible, somewhat believable but basically pretend argument that it actually says something entirely different from what it appears to say and what we always thought it said. If the argument is weak, just sing it loud and stick to it! It is, in form at least, an argument! It was written by a law professor!

If you said Cary Tennis of Salon Magazine, you'd be right. Of course, he's writing not about judicial activism but the administration's arguments for its "program of torture," as apparently buttressed by Berkley professor John Yoo. And it comes as a rather meandering coda to advising an activist professor at a college in the "mountainous northeast" to stay where he is and not rush to the barricades, which he suggests after declaring that "if the current oligarchy cannot be removed via the ballot, direct political action may become an urgent and compelling mission." This is a profoundly ludicrous statement, as the current "oligarchy" (by which I assume he means the Bush administration) will be removed neither by ballot nor bullet, but by the 22nd Amendment. Perhaps he means Republicans in general, which leads to all manner of fascinating questions, such as why continued electoral victories for Republicans would qualify as oligarchic, and how such power could be wrested from them without resorting to means which are, shall we say, less than free and open.

But I don't expect answers to such questions, and am not concerned by them, as I do not think Tennis himself has even considered them. Rather, I hold this to be nothing more than the classic leftist phantasmagoria of civil disobedience as ersatz revolution. It is part of the Orwellian nostalgia of the 60's that believes that protesters ended the war in Vietnam (when it was really Nixon's policy of "Vietnamization," expanding operations into Cambodia, bombing the North without restraint, and opening relations with China) and forced the Nixon Administration from office (when it was really the Democratic-controlled Congress). Tennis plays a double game here: he wants to be able to stand in the streets and participate in a demi-mystical "speaking truth to power," but he has no intention of actually camping in the streets, nor of organizing anything that really would force the government from power. So he tells the young man that the time is not yet ripe, that he must preserve his status until the eschaton, when his gesture will have greater significance (as though anyone would be shocked by a professor at a protest. You see the time-warp these people are caught in? If anyone's stuck in the 50's, it's this lot).

I think we all know what Lenin would have made of this man.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Get Away From Here, Kid, You Bother Me...

Cathy Seipp has an interesting rumination on the idea that "Children should be seen and not heard."

I for one am not holding my breath, because the factors that lead us to the current epidemic of rude, noisy children are not going away anytime soon. People will read the quotation above and find it distasteful, if not horrific, it provokes imagery of nuns with rulers and the Mom in Carrie, and the response, "What, do you hate children or something?"

Let me put it in the words of Brutus in Julius Caeser: it is not that I love children less, but that I love adults more. Moreover, I recognize the truth of the old dictum that in every generation civilization suffers an invasion by barbarians: we call them children. To be a barbarian is not a moral fault, but a path down which we must all tread. But succoring the barbaric is no way to preserve a civilized society.

Our modern child-rearing techniques seem focused on the emotional lives of children. I think this is wrong, because in the grand scheme of things, the emotions of children are transitory and relatively unimportant. Child-rearing should be about not the blooming of the child's life but the coaxing into existence of the adult the child must become. None of the research-approved, peaceable parenting skills that the elite would foist on us are half so valuable as inducing a child to think beyond his immediate wants and desires. And I am unconvinced that this can be done without the use of fear.

Yes, I said fear. It is written that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. To this, I add that the fear of parents is the beginning of familial peace. the State of childhood is a state of constant physical and emotional flux. They are long on impulse and short on experience. Catering to that mind-set gives that mind-set power that it neither deserves nor can use justly. To make up for that experience, it is necessary for parents to set boundaries and defend them to the utmost. As the best defense is a good offense, a properly built fear of parental anger keeps boundaries defended, sometimes without the parent even knowing it.

Of course it would be foolish for anyone to rely on nothing else but fear to raise children. Those who do so rapidly cross the line from discipline to abuse. But child-raising without fear makes the child the ruler of the house, the child's wishes the ones that gain the most attention, and the adults the ones who dread doing and saying the wrong thing. This is precisely the opposite of what it should be, and we see the evidence daily.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Observe the Following:

The Government tries to get Corporations to pay into their pension plans what they say they're going to pay into their pension plan. Result? Not only the corporation but the union resists. Apparently actually funding their pension plans will be bad for business, to such a degree that even the union foresees pain. Or, heaven forfend, the corporation might decide to ditch the thing and go with a "defined contribution" or 401(k) plan. Gee, why wouldn't the union want that?

If this goes on, you can look forward to a number of future news stories:

  • The collapse of the auto industry's pension plan, with accompanying scandal, and rousing of rabble against the "corporate America." Micheal Moore might make a triumphant return to form.

  • Blame transmitted somehow to our (slightly) more corporate-friendly party, the GOP, despite the fact that it's Republicans currently pushing to make GM pay what it should.

  • More and more pundits drawing the parallels between old-style pension plans and Social Security. I mean really, how can anyone argue that the current system is suited to survive?

  • For more information, consult The Essayist #6 and How Social Security Reform Got Borked.

    If We're Going to Do This...

    ....we would do well to consider the likely consequences. As far as I can determine, they fall along these lines:

    1. Possible Iranian/Pan-Arab Military Attack on Israel. I don't know that this is very likely, but it is a possibility. If Saddam's WMD's actually existed in large quantities and actually made it to Syria, this is the kind of move the Baathists and others will be wanting. Scuds flying at Tel Aviv in revenge for Israeli surgical strikes into Iran are not beyond the bounds of possibility. A weakened Hassad may be unable to restrain the outbreak of war. And even if Syria doesn't launch, Iran might. Missiles flying back and forth across the MidEast could lead in a variety of places.

    2. Protests/Riots/Blowback in Iraq. The extent of Iraqi sentiments regarding Israel have not, to my knowledge, been closely quantified. Nor, for that matter, have their sentiments regarding a nuclear Iran. Will they be outraged as Israeli cruise missiles flying over their airspace? Will they officially protest and cover their glee? Will they not care? It's something we should know.

    3. Collapse of the Mullarchy. Military embarrassment is often the father of Revolution for unpopular regimes. So it was for Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, etc. A coup by the military against the "too-soft" regime might spin out of control. But we've been hoping that the people will throw off the Islamic state for some time, and so far the state has demonstrated the will to survive.

    4. Failure. Iran's weapons facilities won't be as easy to take out as Iraq's was in 1981. Several of them are spread throughout the country, and I'm sure that several of them are near enough to civilian areas as to be uncomfortable. The Israelis might launch a strike and accomplish nothing but stirring the hornet's nest.

    It would be nice to see some commentary along this line. Perhaps Belmont Club would be interested.

    Pursuant to Essayist #12:

    A classic example of reductionism, courtesy of Slate. It begs many questions: is a police threatening harsh treatment at the hands of other prisoners in jail "torture"? Is using bright lights to disorient and disturb thought processes "torture"? Is playing good cop/bad cop "torture"? If not, why not? They're all coercive, and they're all aimed at getting information, or a confession, out of what may be an innocent person. Where is the line drawn? And if the line can be drawn, and clearly, why is it risible to argue that the line should be drawn elsewhere?

    I'm not holding my breath for answers.

    Wednesday, December 07, 2005

    The Essayist #12: Torture and Reductionism

    As our Secretary of State tours Europe and lets the cat out of the bag regarding where our "black sites" are (and, by association, who gave us permission to establish them), the torture debate still hasn't reached anything like a mutual exchange of ideas. The MSM has gone into full eye-rolling mode, blithely skimming by Administration attempts to define "torture". The assumption is made without ever being stated that a) all coercive interrogation is torture, b) all attempts to define it otherwise are non-starters.

    Charles Krauthammer, naturally, has a different point of view. First, he makes an important distinction: between a military prisoner of war...

    First, there is the ordinary soldier caught on the field of battle. There is no question that he is entitled to humane treatment. Indeed, we have no right to disturb a hair on his head. His detention has but a single purpose: to keep him hors de combat.

    ...and a terrorist...

    A terrorist is by profession, indeed by definition, an unlawful combatant: He lives outside the laws of war because he does not wear a uniform, he hides among civilians, and he deliberately targets innocents. He is entitled to no protections whatsoever. People seem to think that the postwar Geneva Conventions were written only to protect detainees. In fact, their deeper purpose was to provide a deterrent to the kind of barbaric treatment of civilians that had become so horribly apparent during the first half of the 20th century, and in particular, during the Second World War. The idea was to deter the abuse of civilians by promising combatants who treated noncombatants well that they themselves would be treated according to a code of dignity if captured--and, crucially, that they would be denied the protections of that code if they broke the laws of war and abused civilians themselves.

    He goes on to describe two circumstances under which terrorists may be subject to coercive interrogation: 1) the oft-repeated Ethics 101 dilemna of a bomb in an urban area and one person who knows where it is and how to disarm it, and 2) a high-level terror commander (Krauthammer uses Khalid Sheikh Mohammed), who can name names and places. He calls for interrogation to be banned by U.S. military personnel and to belong only to, as he puts it, "highly specialized agents who are experts and experienced in interrogation, and who are known not to abuse it." Leaving aside the question who these people are, and how they're going to come by their expertise, this seems to at least be a framework for interrogating an enemy without descending into barbarism.

    A DailyKos poster, on the other hand, attacks this with the words of NRO's own John Derbyshire, who is becoming a rather unpredictable chap. The same fellow who once intoned that we would not be able to defeat terror without breaking some heads open has categorically denounced torture of any kind, thusly:

    The first thing to be said about torture, as a means of discovering facts, was said by Aristotle in Book 1, Chapter 15 of Rhetorica: torture doesn't work very well. Under physical torture, some people will lie; some will say anything to make the pain stop, even just for a while; and a surprising number will refuse to yield.

    A valid point, but one which Krauthammer addresses:

    Is one to believe that in the entire history of human warfare, no combatant has ever received useful information by the use of pressure, torture, or any other kind of inhuman treatment? It may indeed be true that torture is not a reliable tool. But that is very different from saying that it is never useful.

    The monstrous thing about torture is that sometimes it does work. In 1994, 19-year-old Israeli corporal Nachshon Waxman was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. The Israelis captured the driver of the car used in the kidnapping and tortured him in order to find where Waxman was being held. Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister and peacemaker, admitted that they tortured him in a way that went even beyond the '87 guidelines for "coercive interrogation" later struck down by the Israeli Supreme Court as too harsh. The driver talked. His information was accurate. The Israelis found Waxman.

    It remains to be seen just how effective our interrogations methods will be, how much information they will yield. Indeed, given the secrecy such operations tend to entail, we may never know. Perhaps, concurrent to a framework of interrogation, we construct a framework of declassification, of public knowledge of success rates, if such can be done without compromising intelligence.

    There's a slippery-slope argument to be dealt with as well. More Derbyshire:

    Don't let's kid ourselves that we can pick and choose from the menu. "Yes, we'll beat, but we won't pull out fingernails." ... "Yes, OK, we'll pull out fingernails, but we won't rape your children in front of you." Forget it — when you start on the road of torture, there is no end. We beat him: he doesn't talk. We remove his fingernails, and then, for good measure, his toenails: Still he won't talk. That nuke is ticking away in a high building, in some American city. The suspect has a 16-year-old daughter: Do we send for her?

    However valid this slope is, the rapidity with which we descend it may well depend on our ability to accept failure. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed may be indeed a treasure trove of information useful and essential to prosecuting the war on Al-Qaeda, but how far are we willing to go to get it? At what point does the image of America-the-torturer become a net minus, inducing ordinary Iraqis and Afghanis to keep us at arm's length rather than inducing terrorist to spill their guts quickly? This is largely a debate we aren't having, because many of us can't accept that there's even a difference between a terrorist and a regular POW.

    Thus, the dangers of reductionism, of the refusal to recognize practical and moral distinctions. To many, anyone who is held by the government, be it a U.S. citizen for theft or a foreign national for plotting the mass-murder of Americans, is a defendant, and thus guaranteed the rights of a defendant. That this is legally questionable does not stop them from speaking and behaving as though it were set in stone, and castigating with empty labels ("pro-torture", "medieval," "Grand Inquisitor") those who say otherwise. By the same token, many believe that violence is violence is violence, whether indiscriminate and for its own sake or focused and targeted. They believe this because it has the ring of cosmic truth to it: to a degree, all prisoners share a universal experience, and all violence bears the same marks. But only to a degree.

    It's not moral cowardice to point these things out. In many circumstances, it's impossible to make judgements without making distinctions between type and purpose. The Jesuits themselves, not known for being nihilists, have a dictum: "Never deny. Seldom affirm. Always make distinctions."

    No one should be called unpatriotic because they blanche at the thought of agents of the U.S. Government depriving captured men of sleep and comfort to make them talk. Such things run against the grain of popular government. And the wartime powers that the Executive branch claims, the wartime plans it creates, indeed the very wars they propose must be subject to scrutiny. Such is what a loyal opposition is for. But scrutiny that does not make room in its rhetoric for the actions and goals of our government as seperate from the actions and goals of our enemies is counterproductive. A significant amount of the Left's criticism of the manner in which the War on Terror is being fought would have, I think, greater resonance if these criticisms were not dismissable as being made in bad faith. We cannot rationally discuss how far we should permit ourselves to go if one side refuses to concede that we should go anywhere.

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    Sad, Hollow Men

    Read Mark Steyn on the Democrat Defeatists:

    Kerry drones that we need to "set benchmarks" for the "transfer of authority." Actually, the administration's been doing that for two years -- setting dates for the return of sovereignty, for electing a national assembly, for approving a constitution, etc, and meeting all of them. And all during those same two years Kerry and his fellow Democrats have huffed that these dates are far too premature, the Iraqis aren't in a position to take over, hold an election, whatever. The Defeaticrats were against the benchmarks before they were for them.

    All of which might be, as Glenn Reynolds thinks, code for consensus, that in offering agreement that sounds like criticism the Democrats may be able to keep the war going while placating their base, to transform themselves into hawks while still hating Bush. It remains to be seen whether they've actually got the stomach for it. We may find out in 2009.

    But in all other respects, the Democrats have seemed bent on proving the joke about the definition of a liberal as someone who won't even take his own side in a fight. Somehow the left believes that violence is a spiritual malady that doesn't really effect their lives; that everybody really loses no matter how the war turns out. This is true of a few wars (Trojan, Peloponessian, World War I), but by no means all, a fact readily apparent to anyone with more than a superficial understanding of history. But the left is determined not to study war no more, and so have only one option when faced with it: fritter and carp, preach and howl.

    The old saw about how war doesn't prove who's right, only who's left, is absolutely true. If virtue and civilization were the guarantors of military success, we wouldn't need to fight this war (I'm not praising the virtue and civilization of us, by the way, merely underlining the outstanding lack of it in our enemies). But victory in war is dependent on a great many factors; and such things as cunning, killing power, and fortitude rank high among them. As the left is opposed to these things, it does not care for any victory which requires them, and will declare any such victory false, even if it should produce wonders undreamt of, such as the third set of elections happening in Mesopotamia. This is to be ignored, or at any rate declared "not worth the cost," because it doesn't fit the narrative of imperial conquest leading to People's War by the Great Oppressed. Keepers of an ancient tragic narrative of master and slave, bourgeois and proletarian, colonialist and noble savage, they cannot look at Zarqawi and see a brute, a thug, a barbarian who kills for it's own sake and believes himself rewarded by God for this. They see Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, and Ghandi all rolled into one.

    They are trapped in the past, determined to reduce everything to the old crusade no matter how much new data keeps slipping in. Having irrevocably decided that their society is not right, it naturally follows that in a war they do not wish it to be left.

    Saddam's Trial: Greatest Show on Earth?

    Ken Frost of "The Trial of Saddam Hussein" thinks that his trial is being handled less than well by the Iraqis. While I think it's too early to tell, it could be so. I certainly think that their should be a greater effort to control Saddam's theatrics; he should be restrained if he refuses to behave in a civilized manner. On the other hand, it's not as though anyone in Iraq has any real experience with fair trials.

    UPDATE: Here's Powerline:

    A court can only function if it is accepted that it has power over those who come before it. In this case, that basic premise is unclear. Many Iraqis still fear that Saddam could return to power; most of the witnesses against him do not dare to reveal their identities for fear that they will be killed by Saddam's allies.

    Like I said, all could still be well. The seeming meekness of the court could create an impression when it convicts Saddam and sentences him to die despite all the blowhardiness. But I'd like it better if the Court asserted its own authority in its own room.

    Blowback Works Both Ways

    Every time I've pointed out to someone anti-war that the terrorists aren't making themselves popular in Iraq, that no one in Iraq really wants Zarqawi to win, and therefore we can't lose unless we accede to defeat as we did in Vietnam, that person has been left without much of a response. The possibility that we could be the ones who win by default has generally never occurred to them. That isn't the way the script is supposed to work: It's the U.S. that's the ogre everyone hates, that makes things worse just by being there, that gets blamed for everything they do and everything that the enemy does, that gets a little closer to defeat with every explosion.

    Austin Bay has a little story that demonstrates an opposite trend. Gee, even Arabs are capable of acting in their own self-interest, and of perceiving which belligerent is less monstrous. Who'd a thunk it? I am of course being facetious; it's only leftists that really believe that Osama bin Laden is the most popular man in the Third World. Most people worldwide probably regard him as a thug and troublemaker but are simply not empowered to do anything about him. For the last several decades, the money and the guns have been flowing into the hands of mujahideen, not moderates. It's time that trend was reversed.

    And let me make the argument that we are achieving good in Iraq merely by being there, and standing in a line-up next to Zarqawi. We build schools; they blow them up. We respect mosques; they blow them up. We guard voters on election day; they...

    For two years, al-Qaeda and the die-hard Baathists have been doing their merry best to drive us out of the country with our tail between our legs. They've butchered thousands, committed ghastly public acts of brutality, and occasionally even gone toe-to-toe with our soldiers. They've accomplished jack-squat. The Constitution has been ratified, the elections have gone forward, a new Iraqi army is being trained. From Zarqawi's perspective, all the trends are negative.

    And we who are at home, supporting this effort. Need to be making this argument loudly, and publicly, and persistently. This only becomes another Vietnam if we let it.

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    Camille Paglia on Madonna:

    In cannibalizing her disco diva days, Madonna runs the risk of turning into a pasty powdered crumpet like the aging Bette Davis in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Will she become a whooping Charo shaking her geriatric hoochie-coochie hips on TV talk shows? Or should we expect a sudden, grisly collapse from glowing beauty to dust, like Ursula Andress as the 2000-year-old femme fatale in "She"? Too hungry to connect to the youth market, Madonna goes on childishly using naughty words and flipping the finger (as onstage at Live 8 last summer).

    All the more reason to grab the long hook and yank her showboating tail offstage. It's time to find new material, Camille. Your idols are aging, and there's thousands of artists worth the commentary. If "dance albums are sorely in need of a more sophisticated critical vocabulary," then why not start looking into some other work? Forgo your pop sensibilities for once and look for something that has merit merely to the ear.

    Umm...who am I talking to?

    Sorry about that.

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    I Like This Post...

    ...over at Tenebris, because it nicely jibes with C.S. Lewis' dictum that it is far more important that heaven should ever exist than that we should ever get there.

    I wonder how many people go through the motions of worship without a thought such as that ever entering their heads.

    The Thread that Will not Die.

    Protein Wisdom's posters refuse to let a joke go. I got in on the action, too. See if you can guess which one is mine.

    Global Warming is Going to Make Us Freeze!

    Or, Britain Freeze, or something along those lines. You see, the Gulf Stream is weakening, and that means less warm water and air from the tropics makes it to northern Europe. Consequently, things up there get colder. All of this the Guardian calls "a consequence of global warming."

    Please feel free to blither now.

    I'm no physicist, but I'm pretty sure that increased temperature means that stuff has more energy, and stuff that has more energy moves around more. So if Global Warming is so runaway and unstoppable, shouldn't the Gulf Stream be strenghtening?

    We're rapidly reaching the point where we could have comets hurtling at the earth in synchronized-swimmer formation and people would find a way to link it to "global warming." It's the bogeyman caused by Society's Evil, a secular Anti-Christ if ever there was one.