Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Muslimization of Europe

Joe Angione, writing for The Villages, FL Daily Sun, wrote a very interesting article on the Muslimization of Europe. He refers to Geert Wilders‘ contention that in about a generation America will be the only nation standing against the onslaught of radical Islam. Joe further states 45 million Muslims now live in Europe, 25 percent of the European population. He presents a very persuasive argument regarding the dangers we may face in the future including nuclear war.

My fear is different; my fear is the Muslimization of Europe will lead us into another major war on the European continent. If we examine Muslim nations, removing their oil export monies, we find that Islamic, theocratic governments cannot raise their people’s standard of living beyond that of the middle ages. They cannot succeed in international commerce. They cannot function economically in an industrialized society to say nothing of succeeding in our electronic age. I cannot believe that any nation of Europe would become a Muslim theocracy regardless of the size of their Muslim population.

Today, the Muslims in Europe are an annoyance rather than an immediate threat to the native Europeans. They populate their own ghettos and it’s easy to turn a blind eye to their migration into Europe. However at some point, they are going to cease being an annoyance and become a threat. The first threat will be economical, as the Muslim population increases the people of Europe will tire of supporting an ever increasing population of who are not contributing to the national welfare but, rather, are a burden.

The second threat will be social, when the Europeans tire of the economic burden they will be faced with a population that they don’t know what to do with. They can’t send them home nor can they force them to assimilate. So what will happen? We can’t know because we have never before faced a similar problem. Each nation will react differently depending on the size of their Muslim population and political persuasion. Certainly there will be discord and rioting. More seriously we may find nation pitted against nation and wars may start.

If that happens, do you think we can keep our finger out of that pie? I don’t, we’ll chose sides and become embroiled in another war on the European continent.

We Americans, or at least our government, are not ready to admit that we should allow the other nations of the world to solve their own problems. We are not ready to admit that while other nations have problems, so do we - problems we need to solve without embroiling ourselves on foreign soil. We will find justification no matter how tenuous to interfere. This is a greater risk than the risk of an Islamic, theocratic Europe.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dreams Come True

<= This photo was posted to this Blog on Independence Day 2007.

Who suspected we would witness the inauguration of a black American, Barack Obama, as President less than two years later?

In that posting I quoted President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Gettysburg Address looking back to the founding of our Nation "Four score and seven years ago ..." and added:

"It is now eleven score and eleven years and our flag still flies proudly. Despite our many problems, we remain the last best hope for the crazy proposition free men and women can govern themselves. We are honored to live in the country with the highest degree of freedom, the widest availability of opportunity, and the greatest prosperity that has ever existed in the history of the world."

One-hundred years after Lincoln, in 1963, Martin Luther King gave his "I have a dream" speech including the memorable "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

How far we have come! In my own lifetime I personally witnessed "Negroes" required to move to the back of an interstate Greyhound bus as we crossed the Maryland border on the way from New York City to Washington DC. As a child I was appalled by "White Only" and "Colored" toilets in the South.

But, we have not come as far as I would like. We are still far, far, far from "colorblind". All the celebrations this week have focussed on Obama's skin color to a far greater extent than the content of his character.

Of course, we will always notice things like skin tone and eye color and gender and height and so on, but I long for the day when our regard for skin color falls to the level of emphasis we devote to other physical characteristics. Perhaps the historic events of this week will get us closer to MLK's dream come true.

Ira Glickstein

Thursday, January 8, 2009

NASA Predictions: Where have all the sunspots gone?

Also see the Updated version of the sunspot minimum

With thanks to and appologies to Pete Seeger:

Where have all the sunspots gone? NA-SA search-ing,
Where have all the sunspots go-ne? NASA don't know.
Where have all the sunspots gone? Global Cooling, anyone?
Will NASA ever learn? Will NA-SA ev-er learn?

Where has all the carbon gone? Green-house gas-es,
Where has all the carbon go-ne? Come down as snow!
Where has all the carbon gone? Heating houses, everyone,
Will NASA ever learn? Will NA-SA ev-er learn?

Where has Global Warming gone? Point not tip-ping,
Where has Global Warming go-ne? Its gonna slow.
Where has Global Warming gone? Normal seasons of the Sun,
Will NASA ever learn? Will NA-SA ev-er learn?

As Yogi Berra famously observed, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future."


When NASA scientists make predictions about the long-term future (six to twelve years) you don't expect them to make drastic changes in only a few months. Yet, they just have!

Back a few months ago (October 2008, see left side in photo above) NASA predicted that the upcoming sunspot cycle would peak at a higher level than the previous cycle which recently ended. The previous cycle peaked at around 120 in the year 2000. NASA predicted the upcoming cycle would peak at around 137 early in the year 2012, an increase of about 15% over the past cycle.

As the diagram above indicates, NASA smoothes short-term jagged excursions in sunspot counts and plots the yearly average as a smoothed bold curve. They also provide a range of about plus and minus 20% as indicated by the smooth curves above and below the average. All predictions refer to the smoothed averages.

This month (January 2009, see right side in photo above) NASA revised their prediction and now say the upcoming cycle will peak at a level some 30% below their prediction of only three months ago! They say it will peak at about 104 late in the year 2012, a decrease of about 15% below the past cycle. That is a grand total of 30% below their prediction of only three month ago!
If we go back a few years ago, to 2006, they were predicting a peak of 145 for the coming cycle, so the latest prediction is more than 40% lower than their original one. OY!


Back in 2006 NASA predicted the previous cycle was ending and the next would begin in late 2006 or early 2007.

Well, here it is 2009 and the next cycle has not begun!

That delay is the reason for the change in predictions. The next sunspot cycle was expected one or two years ago but has yet to materialize.

This is our US Government taxpayer money at work!


I am no weather or climate expert, but I think I can do better than NASA. My prediction, shown in the annotations above, is that the upcoming cycle will peak at about 80 in the year 2013 or perhaps even 2014.

Note that my prediction is that the peak will be reached a year or more later and will be near or below the lowest edge of the NASA plus and minus 20% band for NASA's October 2008 prediction. Please make a note of my prediction and, in 2013 or 2014, let me know how I did! Of course, anything posted to the WWW becomes a more or less permanant record so there will be proof if I am correct (and I will appologize if I am wrong).


Sunspot cycles are about 11 years long, with some as short as 9 years and others as long as 14. It turns out that average global surface temperatures are correlated with the number of sunspots and inversely correlated with the length of the sunspot cycle.

Although human activity, such as burning formerly sequestered carbon from petroleum, coal and natural gas and releasing heat energy and CO2 into the environment, accounts for a substantial fraction of the current Global Warming trend, most climate change is due to the natural cycles in the activity of the Sun and changes in the orbit and tilt of the Earth.

The above diagram, from Wikipedia, shows how sunspot activity has varied since the year 1600. According to NASA the period from about 1645 to 1715, called "Maunder Minimum" or "the Little Ice Age", corresponded to a time of little sunspot activity. The "Dalton Minimum" in the early 1800's was a shorter and smaller drop in solar activity. These periods saw considerable Global Cooling.
The period since 1940 has seen relatively higher solar activity that corresponds to the observed Global Warming.


If, as now appears possible, sunspot activity is actually decreasing, and if that trend continues (two big "ifs") we may experience a reduction in the rate of increase in Global Warming and, who knows, perhaps a bit of Global Cooling!

This could give us time to control our energy usage and switch to more carbon-neutral sources such as wind, water, biomass, direct solar, and nuclear, along with recycling and conservation. We may also benefit from the affects of globalization in raising living standards and reducing fertility rates.

However, so long as population continues to increase, along with worldwide standards of living, it is inevitable that we will continue to release more heat energy and sequestered carbon into the environment for the forseeable future.

The only "hope" we have to reverse this trend would be a nuclear war or a genetic engineering disaster that might block the sun for a season and/or reduce the population drastically. No one would wish for such a "solution".

Thus, unless the apparent reduction in sunspot activity leads us to an extended global cooling or temperature-neutral period, we will have to learn to live with a warmer Earth.

Ira Glickstein

Friday, January 2, 2009

Live Traffic Feed (and other Gadgets)


You may have noticed something new that has appeared in the right-hand column recently.

The "Live Traffic Feed" lets us know the town and country of the last ten folks who accessed this Blog. When you surf the Blog look down the right-hand column and you should see your location listed.

Mine is Lady Lake, Florida (my address is The Villages, Florida but I guess my Internet Service Provider is in nearby Lady Lake).

I am pleased to see someone from Lisbon, Portugal and someone else from Palermo, Sicily, Italy have been here in the past day. Also someone from Blookfield Hills, Michigan (Steve Ruberg?) and Palo Alto, California.

Over the past week I even saw Rabat Morocco, Brisbane Australia, Singapore, Winnipeg Canada and other places in the US including California and Massachusetts and Washington (both the State and the District). If you click on the Watch in Real Time hyperlink in the Live Traffic Feed gadget you will see a long list of hits, including the Topic they were attracted by.


You may also notice a link where you can see the most recent Dilbert comic strip. It is one of my favorites.

There is also a world map with most countries on it. Just roll your cursor over any country and the name should pop up. If you click you should get news from some website in that country.

There is also a dictionary link where you can type any word you find and get a definition. If you click on the little triangle, you can direct your query to a specific dictionary or to Google or other sites including Wikipedia.

The items in the right-hand column are called "Google Gadgets" and they have advertisements in them. However, I am not earning any money from the advts.

ADDED 06 JAN: I've changed the Live Traffic Feed that appears in the right-hand column to a different version that gives more information. In addition to country flag and name of city and state, it indicates where the person came from and on which Topic he or she landed.

If you click on the Watch in Real Time hypertext at the bottom of the Gadget, you'll get even more information about visitors to this Blog. This includes the time of arrival and departure, the browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc.), the operating system of his or her PC (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Apple OSX,etc.), the refering website (Google, Blogger, FeedJIT, etc.).

If they arrived as a result of a search on Google, it tells exactly what phrase they were searching for. This means whenever you access a website they can obtain all this information on you. So, next time you do a Google search for "femme fatal catfight' and get linked to the ASPCA website, they will know what your real interests are :^)

I also added a Live Traffic Feed Gadget to the website for my free online novel I was pleased to see I have several visitors there each day. Many have been referred from my listing at where 2052 - The Hawking Plan is listed as the second item in the Science Fiction section. Over the past two days I've had visitors from Australia, Ireland, China, the UK, Belgium and Malaysia, as well as from a few states in the US.

Ira Glickstein