Tuesday tossed salad (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesOh, my gosh!  There is an embarrassment of riches out there this morning when it comes to thought-provoking, interesting, informative, or funny articles and videos.  Here are my favorites, in no particular order:

I pointed out here that terribly flawed, infantile, dangerous, and very non-scientific reasoning supported a study purporting to show that all the scientists in the world agree with anthropogenic climate change.  I didn’t have data, I just had common sense to back me up.  The data is now in, though, and it too shows how dreadful these “everybody believes in AGW” studies are.  No wonder Patrick Michaels is writing at Forbes that the age of science may end, as people view once-respected scientists as little more than ignorant shamans shaking sticks at the climate gods.  (My words, not his.)

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For a little bit of real science, this approach to sealing gunshot wounds is wonderful.  Think of all the lives that will be saved in Democrat-run cities such as Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Detroit, where Democrat voters routinely shoot each other.

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Will it surprise you to learn that Richard Hofstadter, one of the darlings of Progressive academics, was full of it?  No?  Well, it didn’t surprise me either.  (Link corrected.)

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“Zero tolerance” is one of the worst things ever to hit the Western world.  Before the dawn of that noxious notion in the West, zero tolerance was reserved for tyrannies:  Nazis had zero tolerance for Jews, gays, and gypsies; Iranians had zero tolerance for gays; Singaporeans had zero tolerance for spitting on the street; Saudis had zero tolerance for school girls with uncovered heads trying to escape burning buildings; etc.

Zero tolerance is never allied with either intelligence or human decency.  At about this time last year, in schools across America, zero tolerance was the justification for suspending elementary school kids possessing pizza slices or pastries that they’d chewed into gun shapes or little girls with water pistols that they never even brought to school.

Now, Canada has gotten into the act:  a retired Army sergeant made a wrong turn in Vermont and found himself at a border crossing.  Rather than letting him turn around as he requested, they interrogated him, searched his car, found his wife’s gun, ignored his concealed carry license, arrested him, and are now threatening him with three years in jail.  Obama’s State Department seems to be staying out of this one — no doubt because it’s thrilled to see Canada take the type of stand that Obama wishes he could.

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I wrote just yesterday that I wasn’t surprised that Philip Seymour Hoffman was a junkie who died of a heroin overdose.  To my mind, there was always something off about him.  Both Kevin Williamson and Jonah Goldberg look at the “off-ness” that lies the heart of heroin addictions.

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Here’s another addiction, one to which sick cultures always turn:  anti-semitism.

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Rob Miller (aka Joshuapundit) has another wonderful article up at The Times of Israel, this one about Israel’s reality — dealing with boycotts, lies, and intimidation.

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One wonders if the kids are getting a better or a worse education in a school captained by a principal with a great sense of humor.  I like to think that humor helps everything.  (But keep in mind that Jerry Seinfeld is being pilloried for suggesting that humor is not about skin color.)

Iran trying to use Canada as a conduit for nuclear materials

I’m not sure why Canada, except for maybe the large Muslim population, the porous border, and the country’s politically correct inertia:

Iran is attempting to acquire clandestine shipments via Canada for its nuclear program, a senior customs official said Thursday.

Canadian customs officers have seized everything from centrifuge parts to programmable logic controllers being shipped to Iran through third countries, George Webb, head of the Canada Border Services Agency’s Counter Proliferation Section, told the National Post.

The increasing number of cases involves entrepreneurs and state-sponsored cells, Webb told the daily, in comments that were confirmed to AFP by a spokeswoman for CBSA.

Microchips identified as possible “navigational chips” from the United States, Denmark and Japan were marked as headed for the United Arab Emirates, but officials suspect the end destination was Iran, said the Canadian daily.

“With all of the UN sanctions, of course, now no one declares that the goods are going to Iran. They actually declare UAE, Dubai,” he said.

The last seizure occurred just last week.

In April, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged a Toronto man with attempting to export pressure transducers, which can be used in nuclear power plants but are also required to produce nuclear weapons, to Iran.

Read the rest here.

Hat tip:  Sadie

Getting care in Canada

Steve Crowder looks at the Canadian health care system.  Some of his experiences are similar to those in any busy city emergency room, such as a long, long wait for a low level problem.  Others, most notably statements by nurses, make your eyes bug:  Three years to get an appointment with a personal physician?  The impossibility of cholesterol tests?  You have to see it all.  Since it’s Steve, the 20 minutes go by quickly:

After that, contemplate whether you’re going to get what you’re paying for if the Dem plan goes forward.

The scariest video I’ve ever seen

To the extent that this video may be the production of a pro-Muslim organization, it could also be seen as a boast, not a warning.  Regardless of the intentions behind it, those of us who cherish a Judeo-Christian, Western civilization must sit up and take notice — although I’m not sure that, in the end, there’s anything we can do anymore.  Taking notice may just mean sitting there and watching the end of the world as we know it.

Separating principles from personal preferences

One of the things I’ve always admired about Harry Truman is the fact that he was able to separate principles from personal preferences.  He was a racist who integrated the American military and an antisemite who was among the first to recognize the State of Israel.

I keep thinking of Truman when I see the American media’s stunning lack of curiosity, let alone outrage, about the Mark Steyn persecution taking place in Canada.  (Here’s a good, recent summary, for those unfamiliar with the matter.)  As a matter of principle, American newspapers should be howling at the thought that the Canadian government is stifling free speech.  The most that’s happened in the MSM, though, is a single New York Times article that presents the whole thing as an interesting relativistic question between old fashioned American values (free speech) and sophisticated European norms.

The problem, of course, is that members of the American media don’t like Mark Steyn’s speech, which recognizes factual truths that the American media refuses to acknowledge.  They’re therefore very happy for the Canadian government to do their dirty work and shut Mark Steyn down.  The fact that a greater principle is involved than their personal prejudices — and it’s a principle that affects them, the media, more than any single job demographic in America — does not seem to occur to them.  They are little people, with little minds, and no discernible values.