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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, December 03, 2010

WORD AROUND THE NET

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Corrupt and venal representative Charles Rangel was censured by a large majority in the House of Representatives for his repeated and continual ethics violations and tax dodges. Although it represents just a slap on the wrist, he's acting like he's being chained up and whipped. The final count was 333 to 79 and the censure consisted of a few seconds of reading a bill calling for his censure. What I want to know is who those 79 were who didn't think all the stuff Rangel has done was worthy even of a meaningless censure vote.

Here's an example of how the system works for judges. County circuit court judge Keith Meisenheimer is retiring at the end of the month, earlier than his term. They almost always do that instead of when they are up for election. Sitting governor Kitzhaber is appointing his replacement as the law calls for, and he's giving the state bar eight days to look over the replacement and give recommendations or comment, according to Bojack. No time to really learn about a judge or do anything about it, and he'll be sitting in that seat for years before he comes up for reelection, at which point no lawyer will want to run against him and annoy a judge. That's how you stack the courts in your favor, even though theoretically the judges are voted on.

On television, cops have to get a warrant to check into someone's credit card information; it is presumed private until there is good reason to look. The federal government doesn't bother. Courtesy Gateway Pundit we learn this from Ryan Single at Wired's Threat Level blog:
Federal law enforcement agencies have been tracking Americans in real-time using credit cards, loyalty cards and travel reservations without getting a court order, a new document released under a government sunshine request shows.

The document, obtained by security researcher Christopher Soghoian, explains how so-called “Hotwatch” orders allow for real-time tracking of individuals in a criminal investigation via credit card companies, rental car agencies, calling cards, and even grocery store loyalty programs. The revelation sheds a little more light on the Justice Department’s increasing power and willingness to surveil Americans with little to no judicial or Congressional oversight.

For credit cards, agents can get real-time information on a person’s purchases by writing their own subpoena, followed up by a order from a judge that the surveillance not be disclosed.
...
It’s not clear what standards an agent would have to follow to get a “Hotwatch” order.
Nor is it clear what sort of investigation these are or why they need the documentation. Nothing you do is really all that private, but you'd think the ACLU and the other usual suspects who screamed murder every time a terrorist suspect was looked at by the Bush administration would be at least slightly interested in this.

When a cop is found to have cut corners or broke the rules to get a bust, that opens up all his previous cases to reexamination by courts and lawyers because the suspicion is that they might have broken the rules with those as well. Does that apply to reporters and pundits? Because here's what anti-semite hag Helen Thomas recently said:
"We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There's no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where there mouth is…We're being pushed into a wrong direction in every way."
Its the dirty joos with their "New York Banker" money that's the problem, not Muslim terrorists.

New York recently discovered a few lost votes from the last election. Two hundred thousand lost votes. How much will this change the election? Not at all, even if the count of votes actually makes a difference, because the Secretary of State has already certified the election and its official. Those people's votes just don't count, even if they are real votes such as tens of thousands of absentee vote military ballots that were discovered. Hey, they counted all the ballots that mattered: Democrats won.

A closer analysis of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" survey of soldiers reveals a slightly different picture than is generally being promoted. For example, 85% of Marine Combat Arms, 75% of Army Combat Arms, 64% overall say Negative, Very Negative, or Mixed impact on unit trust if DADT is repealed. Or If open homosexuality impacts combat performance, is the impact...9% positive, 91% negative or mixed impact. Chaplain Klingenschmitt at Christian Newswire has more details.

Nashville has a billboard up by WeCanKnow.org claiming Jesus will return May 21, 2011. Well, I hope so, but how many times have people gotten this wrong? It is interesting how Christians who read the Bible which says "no man may know" when Jesus will return, then claim to know. And it is even more interesting how people who keep predicting a specific date and end up being wrong keep being treated seriously by donors and followers. Actually the Bible says to not trust someone who claims to be a prophet that is wrong just one time.
Amy Hagopian, assistant professor with the University of Washington's Department of Global Health concludes military recruiters are a "threat to the health of adolescents."
That's from Linda Thomas at KIRO radio. Ms Hagopian compares military recruiters with child molesters trying to "groom" a child for sexual predation. I compare this woman to an idiot. Consider that when you or your kid is looking at college possibilities.

According to a Washington Post report, federal aid went to help companies such as General Electric in secret. GE, who then owned NBC, didn't bother using their news agencies to report this money, and is run by a huge Democrat donor and buddy of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Why the profitable and successful GE needed aid money to begin with is unclear, but its hard to avoid the sense that it isn't payback for their aid in getting Democrats elected. Some of the money also went straight to European banks rather than US companies.

President Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, trying to rally troops, raise morale, see what's going on in person, and encourage them that the mission is still strong despite his inconsistent and confusing public statements. I don't know how popular the president is with the troops but its always a big deal when the commander in chief visits, so good for him.

The X-37B sounds like something Marvin The Martian would be using to destroy earth, but its actually the space plane, designed to take off from earth, fly into orbit, and land again somewhat like a shuttle. It just landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base after a secret test flight into orbit, apparently successful. Unlike a shuttle, it has a smaller cargo bay and is launched on top of a rocket rather than strapped to the side of one. Its also unmanned, relying on robotics and computer guidance to do its job and land safely.

Chicago thugs decided a Christmas charity van was too tempting a target, so they set fire to it. The van gives away toys to thousands of needy kids each year, but this year they get nothing because punks wanted to have some fun.

Chase took over Washington Mutual after its moron head office lended millions of dollars to people who obviously could not repay the loans. I liked Washington Mutual's style, service, and the way they handled banking, but they apparently were idiots at the top. Now they're abandoning Wamu's signature selling point: free checking, and as a result I'm looking for another bank. Recently, they also decided that a Christmas Tree was too offensive to have in a branch. This wasn't a standard corporate policy, it wasn't because decorations aren't allowed or every branch has to have the same layout. They were afraid someone might be offended by a pretty decorated tree. I'm offended by Chase.

CNN's Drew Griffin is one of the reporters who've been critical of the Travel Safety Administration's outrageous and idiotic grope the passengers security policy. By total coincidence, this reporter also has been added to the federal watch list for extra security by the Obama administration. You know, its funny. Everything the left accused President Bush of doing - falsely, in most cases - President Obama is actually doing yet they just don't seem to be able to work up the same level of anger and fear.

Unemployment went up again, despite seasonal jobs and increased consumer confidence in November. AOL reports that the rate went up to 9.8%, brushing up against double digits again. As always, that number is about 50% of the actual unemployment number due to the way people are counted and who is left off (when the numbers were around 3% under President Bush, they were actually around 6-8% for example). Don Surber also has an AP report which notes:
Overall, 8.9 million people are receiving jobless aid, including 4.9 million that are doing so through the federally funded extended benefit programs. Those provide up to 99 weeks of benefits.
Extended unemployment benefits ended at the end of November, so perhaps some people will start looking for work that haven't been bothering.

Alarmists are holding another conference, this time in Cancun. Funny how almost all of these end up at sweet vacation spots around the world like Tahiti. They opened up the festivities with a prayer to... Ixchel, ancient Mayan jaguar goddess. Well, I guess praying directly to Al Gore wouldn't do, and if you are an atheist you may as well invoke forgotten, obscure deities.

The civilian trial of Ahmed Ghailani was a miserable failure, with him being convicted on only one of several dozen counts, because much of the evidence was thrown out. President Obama's response? Suspend all military tribunals.

Also, President Obama is recognizing that congress isn't going to do what he demands them to with oil and energy policy, so he's trying to use his power in the executive department to do it instead. The previous attempts to stop drilling oil were failures as courts pointed out that only congress can actually write or modify laws according to the constitution, but he's still trying. Why? Patrik Johnsson at the Christian Science Monitor explains:
"This may be an indicator of what Democrats and people on the hard left were saying after Democrats got thumped in November, that Obama should just start using executive authority and acting unilaterally," says Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. "This is the beginning of that ... process of governing."
Well if you can't get the people or congress to support your radical agenda, its time to be unilateral, something the left hated President Bush for allegedly doing.

Although it started out at a hilariously high value, the Euro's value against the dollar has been dropping continuously, down to around $1.30 at this point. The European Union is panicking, facing a choice between letting banks fail, or letting the EU crash and burn, along with several countries. They chose to beg for bailouts, and the US is printing new money to do just that. Yeah, this will end well.

Although Timothy Carney is convinced that Bush cooked the intel for the Iraq war, he can't stand how the left is portraying the Valerie Plame story, so he wrote a recent column about the events and the myth making that's been going on for almost a decade. Highlights include:
  • Novak was opposed to the invasion of Iraq
  • Valerie Plame's name and role was leaked by Richard Armitage (big time leftie and fellow opponant to the invasion)
  • Novak didn't believe that Iraq had WMD
He didn't touch on how Valerie Plame's work for the CIA was already known, that she was doing desk work, not classified super spy work, and that her cover as an asset was blown years before by a mole.

Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks and femmy douchebag recently admitted that yes, people were being killed because of his efforts to reveal all secrets:
“1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,” says Assange.
Its OK so many died because they had a right to know. Of course, its difficult to take him too seriously on the significance of his work, as he's claiming to be the source for the Climaquiddick leaks, and that's patently false.

Paul Boutin in Wired thinks the age of pirated music is ending, not because of rabid attempts by record companies to stomp it out or draconian laws by congress. No, he says its because the pirates won. Every demand they made has been met: its cheap and easy to download songs, the quality is better, the copyright control DRM software has been abandoned, and recent rulings actually are giving artists more of the cut for each sale. I suspect pirating will continue, but there's good reason to stop if you've been doing so. Now what we need is a better product from the artists and record companies.

And that's the Word Around the Net, December 3, 2010.

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