Thursday, February 26, 2009
From Power Line:
Gabriel Schoenfeld blows the whistle on President Obama's decision to name Charles "Chas" Freeman, Jr. as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. This is the outfit responsible for producing National Intelligence Estimates.
Freeman is a shocking choice. He has a long and deep association with Saudi Arabia. In particular, he became president of the Middle East Policy Council in 1997. The MEPC is a mouthpiece for the Saudi government, which finances it. In this capacity, the MEPC has published an abridged version of the notorious essay by John Mearsheimer and Walt, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," which argues that American Jews have a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress, and use it to advance Israeli interests at the expense of those of the U.S. According to Schoenfeld, Freeman has expressly endorsed this thesis. It looks like Samantha Power won't be lonely in the Obama administration.
It's true. Here we are in the 21st Century and the Obama administration adheres to the "secret cabal of Jews running the world" model of international relations.
It's morally abhorrent, and par for the Obama course.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Really I hate the AP, with an all consuming passion. Why? Because they actively lie to the American people as a matter of policy. Case in point #25,899, Study: Antarctic glaciers slipping swiftly seaward
Antarctic glaciers are melting faster across a much wider area than previously thought, scientists said Wednesday -- a development that could lead to an unprecedented rise in sea levels.
A lie. Even the article itself proves this statement is a bald faced lie:
Antarctica's average annual temperature has increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.56 degrees Celsius) since 1957, but is still 50 degrees Fahrenheit (45.6 degrees Celsius) below zero, according to a recent study by Eric Steig of the University of Washington.
Call me crazy, but last time I checked "melting" occurs some 82 degrees Fahrenheit above the average temperature shown here. Besides, it is well established that precipitation patterns have more to do with the behavior of glaciers than temperatures. The article also states the area hasn't been getting a lot of snowfall. "Hmmm.... its 50 below and not snowing, yep the glacier must be 'melting'!"
Give me a break.
Besides, how is a 0.56 degree Celsius not an example of natural variation? The belief, perpetrated by the AP, that climate is stable is pure fantasy and only prays upon the lack of knowledge of a lot of readers.
That's my big problem with the AP. If you don't already know the reality from other sources, reading and believing the AP will make you dumber not smarter. It's unforgivable.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
OK, I'm just having fun with the headline here: NASA global warming satellite crashes after launch
Maybe it was supposed to float into space on a current of CO2?
Maybe carbon "credits" brought it down?
I'm gonna compile a list of academics who are committing scientific fraud in their attempts to foist their political ideology and personal opinions upon us all as if they were "science."
James "Global Warming" Hanson is grandfathered in, of course, but today I will add the following:
Stephen H. Schnieder of Stanford University
Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University
Joel B. Smith of Stratus Consulting (Not an actual academic, but an actual fraudulent dipshit.)
The reason? Statement like this:
Other researchers, they noted, have suggested that "the likelihood of the 2003 heat wave in Europe, which led to the death of tens of thousands of people, was substantially increased by increased greenhouse gas concentrations."
Tens of thousands? Bullshit. As I've noted before, such numbers have no basis in science. Absolutely none. They are the products of politically minded organizations looking for increased funding from public and private interests. The thing about science is you need real data about which one can be reasonably sure. Even a cursory glance at the Wikipedia page for the 2003 "heat wave" shows the data is not consistent. For example, within the same article we read:
18,257 people died in Italy.... New Scientist magazine reported 4,200 deaths in Italy and Spain attributable to the 2003 heatwave. The Guardian reported 1,000 deaths in Italy, 4,000 in Spain....
There were 141 deaths in Spain.
So what is with the different numbers? Well, they are being invented by various organizations concerned mostly with fund raising and inventing a "crisis." That any academic would treat such numbers seriously, without a hint of skeptical inquiry, shows a serious disregard for the scientific method. It is inexcusable, and can only be regarded as fraudulent.
"For example, events such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2003 European heat wave have shown that the capacity to adapt to climate-related extreme events is lower than expected and, as a result, their consequences and associated vulnerabilities are higher than previously thought," the scientists report.
Bullshit. Show me a scientific report that can blame (i.e. show direct causation) the impact of a rather pedestrian Cat 3 hurricane, like Katrina, on AGW? Oh, that's right, there isn't one. (Nor could there be one. Scientific causation is funny that way. It has to exist in the data before it can be proven.)
Really, if this is the best they have got... blatant fear mongering without even a gloss of real science behind it... then these folks are screwed, and they know it. Expect them to get increasingly shrill and loud as the financial underpinnings of their easy street existence begin to give way over the next 5 years or so.
OK, the main story is bad enough I suppose:
At a friend's sleepover more than a year ago, 14-year-old Phillip Swartley pocketed change from unlocked vehicles in the neighborhood to buy chips and soft drinks. The cops caught him.
There was no need for an attorney, said Phillip's mother, Amy Swartley, who thought at most, the judge would slap her son with a fine or community service.
But she was shocked to find her eighth-grader handcuffed and shackled in the courtroom and sentenced to a youth detention center. Then, he was shipped to a boarding school for troubled teens for nine months.
"Yes, my son made a mistake, but I didn't think he was going to be taken away from me," said Swartley, a 41-year-old single mother raising two boys in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
CNN does not usually identify minors accused of crimes. But Swartley and others agreed to be named to bring public attention to the issue.
As scandals from Wall Street to Washington roil the public trust, the justice system in Luzerne County, in the heart of Pennsylvania's struggling coal country, has also fallen prey to corruption. The county has been rocked by a kickback scandal involving two elected judges who essentially jailed kids for cash. Many of the children had appeared before judges without a lawyer.
The nonprofit Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia said Phillip is one of at least 5,000 children over the past five years who appeared before former Luzerne County President Judge Mark Ciavarella.
Ciavarella pleaded guilty earlier this month to federal criminal charges of fraud and other tax charges, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Former Luzerne County Senior Judge Michael Conahan also pleaded guilty to the same charges. The two secretly received more than $2.6 million, prosecutors said.
Horribile. Simply horribile.
But then they get to a list of the "crimes":
The Juvenile Law Center said it plans to file a class-action lawsuit this week representing what they say are victims of corruption. Juvenile Law Center attorneys cite a few examples of harsh penalties Judge Ciavarella meted out for relatively petty offenses:
Ciavarvella sent 15-year-old Hillary Transue to a wilderness camp for mocking an assistant principal on a MySpace page. He whisked 13-year-old Shane Bly, who was accused of trespassing in a vacant building, from his parents and confined him in a boot camp for two weekends. He sentenced Kurt Kruger, 17, to detention and five months of boot camp for helping a friend steal DVDs from Wal-Mart.
Catch the problem here? Trespassing and stealing are in fact breaking the laws, so one can understand how the teen got before a judge. But, what the hell was Hillary Transue doing before a judge in the first place? What part of the First Amedment do people in Pennsylvania not understand?
At worst, Hillary Transue thought she might get a stern lecture when she appeared before a judge for building a spoof MySpace page mocking the assistant principal at her high school in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She was a stellar student who had never been in trouble, and the page stated clearly at the bottom that it was just a joke.
Instead, the judge sentenced her to three months at a juvenile detention center on a charge of harassment.
She was handcuffed and taken away as her stunned parents stood by.
“I felt like I had been thrown into some surreal sort of nightmare,” said Hillary, 17, who was sentenced in 2007. “All I wanted to know was how this could be fair and why the judge would do such a thing.”
Yes, it's a good thing these judges are going to prison, but there is still this dim witted asshole of an assistant principal who is the reason "charges" were brought against a teenage girl for excercising her free speech rights. They should be fired, pure and simple.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I've gotten a couple of emails from folks who know I guest blog at Blue Crab Boulevard wondering why that site says it has been "suspended." I have no idea what is going on. I've sent a note off to Gaius but haven't heard anything yet.
Hopefully this is a minor glitch which will soon be cleared up.
Posted by Rich Horton at 2/19/2009 06:23:00 PM
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Especially in colleges, unfortunately:
Mike Adams, Townhall.com columnist (and former beneficiary of FIRE's help in his own free speech case) is the latest person to alert FIRE about an outrageous case at Los Angeles City College.
Last fall, when assigned to give an informative speech on any topic, student Jonathan Lopez delivered a speech to his Speech 101 class in which he spoke about his own religious views and experience. Unfortunately for Lopez, his professor, John Matteson, did not appreciate this example of an informative speech and refused to grade him for it, instead advising him to "Ask God what your grade is." He even put this "evaluation" in writing.
How do individuals this jaw droppingly stupid get to teach at a college? I'm sorry, but there is no way this could be a "brain fart" moment.
Why do I think Mr. Matteson will not be asked to attend a "sensitivity training" seminar.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Aren't Rhode Islanders loyal enough Democrats? I guess not. Remember back to the 1990's when Democrats railed against fat cats and their "luxury" yachts, and the resulting tax meant to "soak the rich" instead wound up putting thousands of Rhode Island workers making boats for, by and large, middle class buyers out of work?
well, now the Demcorats have a new target, fat cats with their "luxury" private jets. And who will this hurt? Hmmm....it's a mystery:
Orders for business jets nose-dived after lawmakers pilloried leaders of Detroit's Big Three auto makers for flying corporate planes to Washington to seek a government bailout. Now, one jet maker is striking back....
Across the industry, new orders for private jets have almost evaporated, and hundreds of existing customers have sought to defer or cancel orders that were placed in higher-flying days. In addition to layoffs, some jet makers have cut production by as much as 56%. Cessna, a unit of Textron Inc.[based in Rhode Island], is laying off more than 4,600 people, or roughly a third of its work force, to cope with the sudden drop in demand for private airplanes of all sizes.
Though much of the industry's reversal of fortune is due to the dismal economy, jet makers attribute part of it to the unexpected public backlash that erupted after the chief executives of Ford Motor Co., Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. traveled in private jets last year to ask Congress for billions of dollars in aid.
I'm sorry, but if you wanted to find the real culprits behind the current state of the U.S. economy, one would do better looking at the "fat cats" sitting in the Congressional Demcoratic caucus than those folks flying in American built Cessna jets.
But, hey, promoting economic ignorance is what Democrats do best these days, the actual consequences be damned:
The jet makers were unprepared for the backlash from Middle America. The irony, they say, is that many of the blue-collar layoffs at Cessna, Gulfstream and Hawker Beechcraft Corp. have been in places like Wichita, Kan., and Dallas.
In its ad, scheduled to run in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Cessna says "Timidity didn't get you this far. Why put it in your business plan now?" Instead of retreating, the company argues, companies should adjust and make sure they are flying the right type of aircraft.
So far, Cessna is the sole jet maker to take on the negative publicity with a high-profile ad campaign. A spokesman for Cessna declined to say how much it was spending, but he said "we have redirected more than half of our promotional budget to this campaign." The ads were developed by Dickerson-Grace in Denver, he said.
"We're all trying to battle misperception," said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, which represents corporate-jet owners. "The vast majority of the time, these jets are flying offices, where people can conduct business and have confidential discussions that could never occur on a commercial jetliner," Mr. Bolen said.
Yeah, this mindless Democratic ignornace mongering is really pushing the country forward.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Apparently, an academic publisher has decided to burn...uh I mean "pull" an encyclopedia of Christian civilization because it doesn't praise Islam enough and doesn't sufficiently "denigrate" the Christian faith.
Now we have the tale of a police officer who has been punished by the government for making a political statement (heretofore something protected by this thing called the First Amendment). Not only that, it was a statement made off-duty in the comfort of his own home.
Ah, but see, it was disparaging about the Fuhrer.
An Iowa State trooper who was investigated after it was shown that he forwarded an e-mail showing mug shots of people wearing Obama t-shirts has been suspended for 30 days.
Sgt. Rodney Hicok was at home and off-duty when he forwarded the e-mails, said an official with the Iowa Department of Public Safety Bureau and Professional Standards.
The e-mail made disparaging remarks about 15 people in the photos and referred to Obama as having "quite a fan base."
Hicok was not making a racial statement, the official said, but, rather, a political statement.
I'm sorry, but a state agency cannot have a "policy" prohibiting protected expression in direct violation with the U.S. Constitution. But, hey, if Iowa is now operating sans the Constitution these days what exactly makes them not fascists?
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Here is some "what color is the sky in your world" AGW "reality" from the aptly named comic Non Sequitur:
It is amazing what crapola anti-human humans like "super genius" Wiley here can throw out there with a straight face.
Let's recap the wisdom:
A) "Global Warming?? No one ever said anything about Global Warming?? No one ever said the planet would warm even during the winters. No one ever claimed the polar ice caps would go away. And even if we did say those things what we really meant was..."
B) "Climate Change! Yeah, that's the ticket. Because, as everybody knows, climate never naturally changes but remains constant for all time unless evil human beings buy SUV's."
C) "Now, of course when we say 'climate never changes' we mean it changes all the time, otherwise we never could have had those ice ages in the past. But there is 'climate change' and then there is 'climate change' if you catch our drift. What's the difference? Well, evil human beings silly!"
D) "Oh, what is the scientific difference? Well, see, the thing is, um... that's uh... Oh, I got it! Its complicated! Yeah, that works. That's suitably scientific, right?"
E) "So, to sum up our coherent and well thought out theories; Human beings are bad, and are making the world colder when the world cools, and hotter when it warms. See how neatly it all fits together?"
F) "O.K. Now give me $500 billion as an act of contrition. Then I will have plenty of cash to jet off to Bali to lament how awful we human being are over tropical drinks."
G) "If you don't you are irredeemably evil and other measures must be contemplated."
Monday, February 09, 2009
I mean, c'mon: Barney Frank: TARP's comp curbs could be extended to all businesses
Congress will consider legislation to extend some of the curbs on executive pay that now apply only to those banks receiving federal assistance, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said.
Yeah...no one here but us non-socialists.
And then there is this beauty by the truly dim witted Democrat:
“There’s deeply rooted anger on the part of the average American,” the Massachusetts Democrat said at a Washington news conference today.
Yeah, because we always do the right thing when we are angry.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Depraved, sick, inhuman, and evil are the only words: Fla. doctor investigated in badly botched abortion
Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.
Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.
Only Renelique didn't arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.
What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.
Police recovered the decomposing remains in a cardboard box a week later after getting anonymous tips....
The Department of Health account continues as follows: Just before noon she began to feel ill. The clinic contacted Renelique. Two hours later, he still hadn't shown up. Williams went into labor and delivered the baby.
"She came face to face with a human being," Pennekamp said. "And that changed everything."
The complaint says one of the clinic owners, Belkis Gonzalez came in and cut the umbilical cord with scissors, then placed the baby in a plastic bag, and the bag in a trash can.
Williams' lawsuit offers a cruder account: She says Gonzalez knocked the baby off the recliner chair where she had given birth, onto the floor. The baby's umbilical cord was not clamped, allowing her to bleed out. Gonzalez scooped the baby, placenta and afterbirth into a red plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.
This is murder, first-degree premeditated murder for hire. Not to mention she felt the need to torture the baby by burning it with chemicals in the process of murdering him or her.
(H/T to Althouse and Stubborn Facts)
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
So, the idea seems to be that Washington Republicans are engaging in purely ideological shadowplay for the benefit, not of their constituents, but their party bosses. And the effect of this shadowplay will be to wipe out programs that have little appreciable effect on the cost of the stimulus, and that no one but Republican bosses would have bothered to complain about, except for the theatrical bellyaching.
Such programs include, again quoting Madden, "money for the National Endowment for the Arts, $1 billion for the 2010 Census, $600 million for the government to buy fuel-efficient cars."
Now, I don't know about you, but I am confused. Why is anyone in their right mind considering sacrificing programs that no one really opposes...
Wait a freakin' second there. The normal way of doing business in Congress was suspended because there were "emergency" provisions that, we were told, needed to be done as quickly as possible. Alright, how does funding the NEA, or the 2010 Census, or the government car fleet, or cleaning up the Mall, qualify for "emergency" funding exactly? Why should debate on those issues be curtailed in any way shape or form?
The truth is Democrats don't want to actually do the hard work of making the cases for this spending in the old fashioned way. The poor dears, it makes it hard to stick to their three day work week. Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't fund the 2010 Census, but I do think we should have some deliberation concerning the funding to make sure it is appropriate in terms of levels.
I know, I know...that's crazy talk.
Besides, who could question the "emergency" need for a water slide or a frisbee golf course?
Really, the witch hunt atmosphere emanating from Washington is getting to be a little much: Backlash sinks Wells Fargo junket
Wells Fargo & Co. abruptly canceled a pricey Las Vegas casino junket for employees Tuesday after a torrent of criticism that it was misusing $25 billion in taxpayer bailout money.
The company initially defended the trip after The Associated Press reported it had booked 12 nights beginning Friday at the Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore Las Vegas. But within hours, investigators and lawmakers on Capitol Hill had scorned the bank.
Alright, I'm calling bullshit. Yes, firms that went with begging hat in hand to feed out of the public trough can be fairly criticized, but Wells Fargo isn't one of those companies. As has been reported, they were forced by the federal government to participate in the TARP foolishness.
"During the discussion, the most animated response came from Wells Fargo (WFC) Chairman Richard Kovacevich, say people present. Why was this necessary? he asked. Why did the government need to buy stakes in these banks? Morgan Stanley (MS) Chief Executive John Mack, whose company was among the most vulnerable in the group to the swirling financial crisis, quickly signed.
Bank of America's (BAC) Kenneth Lewis acknowledged the obvious, that everyone at the table would participate. "Any one of us who doesn't have a healthy fear of the unknown isn't paying attention," he said."
"Mr. Paulson said the public had lost confidence in the banking system. "The system needs more money, and all of you will be better off if there's more capital in the system," Mr. Paulson told the bankers. After Mr. Kovacevich voiced his concerns, Mr. Paulson described the deal starkly. He told the Wells Fargo chairman he could accept the government's money or risk going without the infusion.
If the company found it needed capital later and Mr. Kovacevich couldn't raise money privately, Mr. Paulson promised the government wouldn't be so generous the second time around."
Essentially this is like Don Corleone "making the banks an offer they can't refuse". The message was "make me your partner now, if you don't and need me down the road, we will crush you".
No one can claim that Wells Fargo has been anything other than a good and solid company. They did not expose themselves to the insane risks a lot of the other companies did, and so they shouldn't be treated now as if they had done something wrong.
Indeed, they did the American people a favor by buying what remained of Wachovia back when Citigroup was attempting to buy it with taxpayers footing the bill. Additionally, Wells Fargo made money this year. If they want to treat their employees well as a bonus for their hard and profitable work, what is wrong with that? Besides, why should the Wynn Hotel & Casino be deprived of its business? Are the people there unworthy of keeping their jobs? Well, if we make it impossible for businesses to book events like this lots of people will be laid off.
In the end, we don't need the neo-Puritans in Washington telling Americans what is "morally acceptable."
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
The University of Iowa will spend $165,000 in private money to hire consultants to develop plans for communications and binge drinking.
Hell, I'd do it for only $45,000 plus expenses (bar tabs, cab rides, and late night burrito consumption.) Definitely, I would advocate a hands on "learn by doing" method.
U of I President Sally Mason announced the plans to the Iowa Board of Regents as part of her presentation of how the university is handing $7.5 million in budget cuts for this year. Another 6.5 percent budget trim has been proposed for next year....
...designing a communications strategy and a plan to combat binge drinking were important enough priorities to warrant spending private money, Mason said.
Oh, they want to combat binge drinking.