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Tough Questions About the Norway Attack – Study: Global Warming Decreases Storm Activity – Judge Napolitano: Open Letter to Boehner – Ron Paul: Stop Plundering the American People

August 1, 2011

Tough Questions Mount After Norway Attack

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Written by Alex Newman   New American
Friday, 29 July 2011 17:45

NorwayIn the wake of Norway’s terror attacks last week that left more than 75 people dead, questions are mounting about everything from the police response to the possible existence of a broader conspiracy.

Confusion surrounding the bombing and the shooting has only grown as more information — sometimes contradictory — continued to trickle out. At the top of the list are concerns that Anders Behring Breivik may have had accomplices.

According to multiple witnesses who survived the shooting rampage on the island of Utoya, there were at least two shooters. Breivik, in police custody since last week, has admitted to his role in the massacre. But survivors also described a “dark-haired” shooter who, unlike Breivik, was not wearing a police uniform.

Norwegian authorities did not rule out that possibility in the early days following the tragedy. More recently, however, police spokesman Henning Holtaas said that “earlier witness accounts indicated that there were several shooters, but nothing in the evidence we found on the island backs that up.”

But even if there were no direct accomplices, claims by Breivik that there are other “cells” in Europe waiting to unleash havoc have also attracted scrutiny. A 1,500-page “manifesto” attributed to the terrorist hints at the possibility that Breivik believed he was part of a modern-day “crusade” to expel Muslim immigrants from Europe under the banner of a new “Knights Templar.”

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the continent, and particularly in Norway, are reportedly still investigating the possibility. But so far, according to the AFP news service, officials have not publicly acknowledged that any evidence has been uncovered indicating the existence of co-conspirators.

A series of news reports with very few details in the days after the shooting, however, noted that at least six other suspects in Norway had been arrested at a run-down building in connection with the attack. They were all reportedly released without charges. And so far, authorities are saying that Breivik appears to have acted alone.

“It’s a unique case. It’s a unique person. He is total evil,” Norwegian Police Security Service director Janne Kristiansen told The Associated Press. “On the information we have so far, and I emphasize so far, we have no indication that he was part of a network or had any accomplices, or that there are other cells.”

But anti-immigration groups, especially in the United Kingdom, are reportedly under intense scrutiny. In Finland police arrested a young man on Thursday who they say had purchased a type of fertilizer that could be used in making bombs, though it is not believed that the suspect was in any way connected to the attacks in Norway.

Still, authorities all across Europe are said to be on high alert for potential threats inspired by Breivik’s rampage. “Clearly, one major risk is that somebody may actually try to mount a similar attack as a copycat attack or as a way of showing support,” a European Union terror adviser told the AP.

Of course, questions about how the tragedy could have been averted — as well as how to prevent similar attacks in the future — are attracting headlines, too. Particularly significant have been reports that it took police over an hour to arrive at the island where Breivik was slaughtering young political activists.

The Norwegian government recently announced the formation of an independent commission to investigate everything related to the attack, including the police response. But questions about the nation’s strict gun-control laws, lenient sentencing, and political climate have all been raised since the massacre.

Whether Breivik is sane or not is also being hotly debated. His lawyer insists that he must be insane, but other experts believe he was in fact a cold-blooded, intensely calculated murderer who understood exactly what he was doing. A medical team will reportedly investigate the matter, and the findings will likely play an important role in determining Breivik’s future.

If he is found to be insane, he could be placed in a mental institution instead of a prison. But, if doctors determine that he is mentally competent, prosecutors may seek a jail term of up to 30 years.

Reports that Breivik was using steroids – sometimes linked to increased aggression and violence – have raised questions as well. However, it is not clear if the issue will affect Breivik’s fate in a significant way.

On top of all that, conspiracy theories have been running rampant since the day of the attacks. Questions about the alleged addition of “Christian” and “conservative” to a Facebook profile attributed to the killer after the massacre have been at the forefront of the discussions.

But of course, like with other terror attacks, speculation about the possibility of it having been a “false-flag operation” is blazing across the blog-o-sphere. Theories about who else may have involved in the terror, however, are literally all over the map.

What lessons can be learned from the tragedy, if any, is another debate that is heating up as time goes by. Policy discussions surrounding the attack will almost certainly continue to intensify in the coming months — in Norway and around the world.

For now, large swaths of the media and certain special-interest groups are being criticized for attempting to score political points in the aftermath of the attack. Almost immediately after the tragedy was reported, the “blame game” began to spiral out of control.

Fears that there could be a backlash against individuals, political parties, and organizations espousing ideas resembling the killer’s are also growing. Time will tell whether or not the worries were justified.

Photo: AP Images


New paper shows global warming decreases storm activity

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Aug 1, 2011

paper presented this week at the INQUA Bern conference reconstructs storm activity over the past 7000 years along the French Mediterranean coast and finds that global warming during the Medieval Warming Period was “characterized by low storm activity” in comparison to cold periods such as the Little Ice Age. The paper concludes that cold periods increase storm activity because of the increase in thermal gradient between the tropics and poles.

New paper shows global warming decreases storm activity Fullscreen%2Bcapture%2B7302011%2B62747%2BPM
New paper shows global warming decreases storm activity Fullscreen%2Bcapture%2B7302011%2B63842%2BPM
Third graph from left shows storm activity with shaded areas representing high storm activity. Sea surface temperatures are shown in last graph at right side. Second graph from left is a proxy for solar activity. Vertical axis is number of years before the present.

Increased storm activity during Holocene cold events in the NW Mediterranean Sea

Pierre Sabatier et al

Abstract: A high-resolution record of paleostorm events along the French Mediterranean coast over the past 7,000 years was established from a sediment core from a lagoonal environment in the Gulf of Lions. Using a multi-proxy approach that integrated grain size, faunal analysis, clay mineralogy and geochemistry data with a chronology derived from radiocarbon dating, we recorded seven periods of increased in storm activity at 6,200; 5,400; 4,600-4,200; 3,600-3,100; 2,600; 1,900-1,500 yr cal B.P. and over the Little Ice Age. In contrast, our results show that the Medieval Climate Anomaly was characterised by low storm activity.

These evidences for high storm activity in the NW Mediterranean Sea are in agreement with the changes in coastal hydrodynamics observed over the North Atlantic and correspond to Holocene coolingperiods in the North Atlantic. Periods of low SSTs observed in this area may have led to a stronger meridional temperature gradient and a southward migration of the westerlies during these periods. We hypothesise that the increase in storm activity during Holocenecold events over the North Atlantic and Mediterranean regions was probably due to an increase in the thermal gradient that led to an enhanced lower tropospheric baroclinicity over a large Central Atlantic-European domain.

There are several other papers demonstrating that global warming causes a decrease in storm/hurricane activity, including this paper just reviewed by the NIPCC:

Reference: Clarke, M.L. and Rendell, H.M. 2009. The impact of North Atlantic storminess on western European coasts: a review. Quaternary International 195: 31-41.

According to Clarke and Rendell (2009), “an understanding of the patterns of past storminess is particularly important in the context of future anthropogenically driven climate change,” especially in light of “predictions of increased storm frequency … by the end of the current century.” Hence, they say that “a long-term proxy-based record of storminess, extending back into the Holocene, would provide … a firmer foundation for future predictions.” And in the present study they attempt to construct such a record.

Specifically, Clarke and Rendell reviewed evidence for storm activity across the North Atlantic region derived from instrumental records and archival evidence of storm impacts, comparing the information thereby obtained with sedimentological and chronological evidences of sand movement and dune building along western European coasts. In doing so, the two UK researchers determined that “the most notable Aeolian sand drift activity was concentrated in the historic period 0.5-0.1 ka (AD 1500-1900) which spans the Little Ice Age.” And they say that “within this period, low solar activity, during the Maunder (AD 1645-1715) and Dalton (AD 1790-1830) Minima, has been related to changes in Atlantic storm tracks (van der Schrier and Barkmeijer, 2005), anomalously cold winter and summer temperatures in Scandinavia (Bjerknes, 1965), and the repositioning of the polar front and changing sea ice cover (Ogilive and Jonsson, 2001).” In addition, they state that “the Holocene record of sand drift in western Europe includes episodes of movement corresponding to periods of Northern Hemisphere cooling (Bond et al., 1997) … and provides the additional evidence that these periods, like the Little Ice Age, were also stormy.”

On the basis of these several real-world reconstructions of North Atlantic storminess that impacted western Europe, it would appear that global warming would result in less rather than more storminess in that part of the planet, in contradiction of most climate-alarmist claims of more frequent and stronger storms there — and elsewhere — if the world were to warm any further.

Additional References:

Bjerknes, J. 1965. Atmospheric-ocean interaction during the ‘Little Ice Age.’ In: WMO-IUGG Symposium on Research and Development Aspects of Long-Range Forecasting, WMO-No. 162, TP 79, Technical Note 66, pp. 77-88.

Bond, G., Showers, W., Cheseby, M., Lotti, R., Almasi, P., deMenocal, P., Priore, P., Cullen, H., Hajdas, I. and Bonani, G. 1997. A pervasive millennial-scale cycle in North Atlantic Holocene and Glacial climate. Science 278: 1257-1266.

Ogilvie, A.E.J. and Jonsson, T. 2001. “Little Ice Age” research: a perspective from Iceland. Climatic Change 48: 9-52.

van der Schrier, G. and Barkmeijer, J. 2005. Bjerknes’ hypothesis on the coldness during AD 1790-1820 revisited. Climate Dynamics 24: 355-371.


Judge Napolitano: An Open Letter To John Boehner — Stand Up for The People!

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The Daily Bell
August 1, 2011

A few days ago, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, host of Fox News’ “FreedomWatch,” delivered a heartfelt plea to John Boehner, the Republican from Ohio who currently serves as Speaker of the House of Representatives. In case he wasn’t

In an open letter to Mr. Boehner read by the Judge on his program, he began by saying, “Dear Mr. Speaker, when the Founder’s of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 created the House of Representatives, it was fashioned to act as the voice of the people within the institutional checks and balances of the federal government. That’s why the entire House faces re-election every two years. That’s why constitutionally; you don’t even have to be a member of Congress to serve as Speaker. And that’s why the Constitution allows for thousands of members of the House for our current population. It is the people’s House and the people spoke last November; they cried out against a government completely out of control.”

Napolitano continued, “After President George W. Bush grew the US debt by seven trillion dollars in eight years in office and President Obama added four trillion in just two years in office, the people cried out against Big-Government policies that are sabatoging the economy and taking over our lives. And because they cried out, you are no longer just John Boehner from Ohio, you are now the second in line to succeed to the presidency. You are the Speaker for the House of Representatives. Mr. Speaker … Americans do not want to see the debt ceiling raised. They are sick and tired of paying interest on borrowed money, money borrowed in their name.”

And the good Judge is just getting started …


Freeze the Budget and Stop Plundering the American People

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Ron Paul
August 1, 2011

One might think that the recent drama over the debt ceiling involved one side wanting to increase or maintain spending with the other side wanting to drastically cut spending, but that is far from the truth. In spite of the rhetoric being thrown around, the real debate is over how much government spending will increase. No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. Instead, the cuts being discussed are illusory and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in prospective spending increases. This is akin to a family saving $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda.

But this is the type of math Washington uses to mask the incriminating truth about the unrepentant plundering of the American people. The truth is that frightening rhetoric about default and full faith in the credit of the United States being carelessly thrown around to ram through a bigger budget than ever in spite of stagnant revenues. If your family’s income did not change year over year, would it be wise financial management to accelerate spending so you would feel richer? That is what our government is doing, with one side merely suggesting a different list of purchases than the other.

In reality, bringing our fiscal house into order is not that complicated or excruciatingly painful at all. If we simply kept spending at current levels, by their definition of cuts that would save nearly $400 billion in the next few years, versus the $25 billion the Budget Control Act claims to cut. It would only take us five years to cut $1 trillion in Washington math just by holding the line on spending. That is hardly austere or catastrophic.

A balanced budget is similarly simple and within reach if Washington had just a tiny amount of fiscal common sense. Our revenues currently stand at approximately $2.2 trillion a year and are likely to remain stagnant as the recession continues. Our outlays are $3.7 trillion and projected to grow every year. Yet we only have to go back to 2004 for federal outlays of $2.2 trillion, and the government was far from small that year. If we simply referred to that year’s spending levels, which would hardly do us fear, we would have a balanced budget right now. If we held the line on spending and the economy actually did grow as estimated, the budget would balance on its own by 2015 with no cuts whatsoever.

We pay 35% more for our military today than we did 10 years ago for the exact same capabilities. The same could be said for the rest of the government. Why has our budget doubled in 10 years? This country doesn’t have double the population or double the land area or double anything that would require the federal government to grow by such an obscene amount.

In Washington terms a simple freeze in spending would be a much bigger cut than any plan being discussed. If politicians simply cannot bear to implement actual cuts to actual spending, just freezing the budget would give the economy the best chance to catch its breath, recover and grow.

Ron Paul’s post first appeared on Ron


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