than the Cardinals baseball, St Louis is probably best known for its huge gateway arch, as the city once served as the gateway to the west and where many wagon trains started out. This 630 foot monument has stood for almost 45 years and is starting to show signs of age. Nicholas J Pistor reports at the St Louis Today
website that corrosion is attacking the monument and no one is able to tell yet how bad the corrosion is, whether its merely something that can be buffed and painted away or will require extensive work to repair. St Louis government officials are being very tight lipped about it and won't let anyone close enough to report on it except one guy who saw the arch for 40 minutes then was hustled away.The
American Medical Association has a journal which regularly reports on medical and psychological issues. A recent issue of the JAMA
looked at sexual abuse and found something that many have said over the years but didn't have hard data to support: boys who are sexually abused tend to not have a father around and tend to result in sexual disfunction and often homosexuality. This isn't some evangelical Christian outfit, its the AMA, which has no patience with the activism or ideas of the political or religious right wing.Cleveland
has so much money and such a great budget that they decided to buy special "smart" recycle bins for their citizens. These devices, according to Mark Gillespie at the Cleveland Plain Dealer
check to see if you're putting them at the curb for pickup. If you don't do it often enough, they let the government know and they send a trash guy over to dig through your refuse for recyclables. If they find enough, you get a $100 fine. Big Brother is watching. Its for your own good, they have to save the planet!Some
of the world's biggest polluters tend to be loud and demanding when it comes to alarmist rhetoric and what the US should be doing, but China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil can't even report on their pollution levels, according to Chris Neefus at CNS News
. The GAO reports that the latest data they have on these countries is from 1994, although estimates put China far ahead of everyone else in the world by this point.Hans
Blix, hapless UN inspector who let Iraqi officials under Saddam Hussein move materials around and bamboozle him for months, is back in the news. It seems he thinks Iran having nuclear power plants is just terrific, as long as the Russians supply them with fuel, according to Press TV in Iran:
The fact that Russia is supplying Iran with fuel is "very positive," as it demonstrates that Tehran could rely on foreign suppliers for its fuel need, Blix told the BBC on Sunday.
Meanwhile the Iranians continue their fuel refinement program for, as Sweetness and Light
snarks, "their massive medical research program."Howard
Dean, possibly concerned about his job as Democratic Party chairman, says that if the Democrats do poorly this November, its only because President Obama didn't try hard enough. Mike Lillis at The Hill
"This election, for better or for worse, depends on how hard the president fights between now and election day"
He also said President Obama needs to get outside Washington, presumably not on vacations. Meanwhile grinning idiot and White House spokesman Gibbs is attacking leftists for never being satisfied. Rats, sinking ship, QED.Want
a bagel, sliced and topped with butter and cream cheese? It'll cost you extra in New York City, for a very good reason. Jacob Gershman at the Wall Street Journal
In New York, the sale of whole bagels isn't subject to sales tax. But the tax does apply to "sliced or prepared bagels (with cream cheese or other toppings)," according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance. And if the bagel is eaten in the store, even if it's never been touched by a knife, it's also taxed.
The cost? About 8 cents a bagel. So the stores started charging extra for a sliced bagel, which annoyed customers, a slicing charge? Bruegger's Bagel started putting signs up telling people about the tax.News
out of South Africa is rarely very positive. From attacks on white farmers to unstopped roaming gangs of looters in Johannesburg and Capetown, the picture isn't a very pretty one. And lately news of those in charge living well while the bulk of the country suffers in abject poverty have begun to really annoy the corrupt politicians. The answer, naturally, is to silence the press. Celia Dugger at the New York Times
But the adversarial dealings of politicians and the press have taken a particularly nasty turn recently, as an infuriated governing party has sought to rein in newspapers it has come to see as determined opponents.
Business executives, civic leaders and journalists have responded with increasingly dire warnings that stringent measures being advanced by the governing African National Congress would threaten press freedom, enshroud much official activity in secrecy, potentially punish offending journalists or whistle-blowers with up to 25 years in prison and undermine the fight against corruption in the continent’s largest economy.
Tyrants spring up everywhere they are not continually and vigorously opposed.President
Obama campaigned on a lot of things, but one of them was climate change. Riding the wave of alarmist rhetoric just before it crashed against the rocks of warmaquiddick and reality, he promised green jobs, cap and trade legislation, and other things. The White House website included these promises and more. Until recently
, that is. The legacy media shrugged and no one seems to have noticed the sudden disappearance of this agenda. Given the abject failure of a "green economy" involving failed and profitless "green" technology and energy projects, that's probably a good thing.While
we're talking about President Obama's broken promises, this is a good time to mention the quiet abandonment of any charges being brought against the mastermind behind the bombing of the USS Cole. The Navy found some fall guy to take criminal charges for letting the attack happen but the guy behind it all? Peter Finn at the Washington Post
reports that Holder's justice department team doesn't want to prosecute. Why is this a broken promise? Flash back to February 2009, just a month after taking office, courtesy Jeff Zeleny at the New York Times blog The Caucus
President Obama on Friday assured family members of Americans who were killed in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole and in the Sept. 11 attacks that the terror suspects will be prosecuted and brought “to a swift and certain justice.”
Mr. Obama met for more than an hour with about 40 relatives of terror victims during an emotional afternoon session in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House. He explained his rationale for ordering the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be closed within a year, but pledged that the terror cases would be reviewed and handled through the courts.
Oh yeah that Guantanamo Bay closing? Let's just pretend that never came up, too.Muslim
attacks after 9/11 was a constant source of concern among the hand clasping left. Why, people will be mean to Muslims, we have to protect them and stop the bigoted, stupid American from hurting them! As it turns out there was an increase of attacks against Muslims after the terrorist strike in 2001: the FBI reported 127 more in the following year, a grand total of 155. Mark Hemingway puts it in perspective at the Washington Examiner
After 9/11, there was a quick spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes — there were 28 in 2000, then 155 in 2002. In 2008, there were 123. Even one hate crime is too many, but consider: Between 2 and 4 of every 100,000 Muslims was a hate crime victim in 2008. The murder rate in D.C. last year was about 24 for every 100,000 residents.
As he points out, there's a much higher rate of hate crimes against Christians than Muslims, and always has been.Marc
Thiessen (no relation to Tiffany-Amber
) wrote a great article in the Washington Post
about statistics and what you can get by questioning any large group of people. Basically he notes that 20% of any group you ask will have at least one goofy opinion: the moon landings were faked, the world is really flat, jet con trails contain mind control drugs, etc. Think about your group of friends, doesn't at least one out of five hold some silly or weird position on things? Maybe its you...Speaking
of goofy beliefs, Michael Walsh writing in Big Journalism
studied the Kennedy assassination. He looked over the paperwork, the evidence, the photos, and the original actual archives, not copies or internet sites. And he comes to one basic conclusion which people want so desperately not to believe: Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Why and what was behind it we'll likely never know (my money is on the mob) but he acted alone
. He points out something which a lot of people are misled by:
When you stop to think about it, Oswald didn’t fire three shots in that period: he fired two. With Kennedy’s car turning very slowly into Elm Street, directly beneath his sniper’s perch, he had plenty of time to line up the first shot, and so the clock properly starts from the moment he pulled the trigger, after which he got off two shots in under eight seconds. And his target was in an open automobile with his back to him.
Indeed. It really wasn't that superhuman a feat. The fact that Oswald was a hardcore communist is an aspect the left really wants to avoid discussing, too.Democratic
Congresswoman Maxine Waters from California has made a lot of money in a loophole of FEC regulations for her campaign. How does she do it? By charging money to put her endorsement on other candidates' literature. Why, exactly, anyone would consider this loopy woman's endorsement positive enough to pay up to $45,000 for is beyond me, but Lindsay Young at the Sunlight Foundation
has the full story.Iraq
has seen the last of its combat-only brigades finally pulled out of the country on President Bush's schedule. That doesn't mean there's no soldiers there or that they're somehow unready for combat, however. Kenneth Pollack has five myths of Iraq he writes about in the Washington Post
. Desiring to make sure his leftist bona fides are upheld, he invents a myth that he says the right clings to (Iraq is now secure enough it will not fall into civil war) but that's probably mostly to take the sting off the next myth he claims the left holds (The US is leaving behind a broken political system).Anne
Frank wrote in her diary about a tree she could see from her family's little hiding space during the Nazi occupation of her home land. She wrote about the tree:
Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs, from my favourite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind.
As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy.
I expect she still found times to be unhappy but the tree was a nice help for her in a dark time. The tree developed fungus and finally died
, toppling over last week. The tree lasted 150 years, more than ten times as long as Anne Frank.Writing
to the UN Human Rights council, the Obama Administration went out of its way to depict the US as negatively as it could. I guess he didn't want countries such as
Angola, China, Cuba, Russia, and Saudi Arabia - all of whom are on the council - to feel bad about themselves in comparison. Matthew Lee writes for the Washington Post
In its first-ever report to the U.N. Human Rights Council on conditions in the United States, the State Department said Monday that some Americans, notably minorities, are still victims of discrimination. Despite success in reforming such inequities as slavery and the denial of women's right to vote, the department said, considerable progress is still needed.
"Although we have made great strides, work remains to meet our goal of ensuring equality before the law for all," it said.
The report noted that although the U.S. now has an African-American president and that women and Hispanics have won greater social and economic success, large segments of American society suffer from unfair policies and practices.
High unemployment rates, hate crime, poverty, poor housing, lack of access to health care and discriminatory hiring practices are among the challenges the report identified as affecting blacks, Latinos, Muslims, South Asians, Native Americans and gays and lesbians in the United States.
Digging back a century and a half for bad stuff seems like evidence things aren't so awful but maybe that's just me.Google's
GMail is now set up so you can call people
using your computer. GMail already had voice chat, but now you can call any phone number in the US for free, and for about 2 cents a minute to most other countries. Given that many long distance carriers allow this for free, that doesn't seem like such a good deal, but then you don't have to pay anything up front for google. No fees, no franchising costs, no taxes. Just your internet provider fee.Chinese
writing has always been tough to learn, basically requiring thousands of characters to be memorized because they represent words rather than the tools to build words like other languages. Possibly because of this, young people are finding that the more they use computers and phones to communicate and type with, the less they remember
how to write and shape the various characters. Will that happen in other countries as well? They're certainly forgetting grammar and spelling.Doug
Ross has a fool-proof way
to avoid a traffic ticket. Its four simple steps and let's just say it involves various rulings by the Obama administration regarding illegals in the US.And
finally, the growth from the last quarter which was said to be over 3%, then was downgraded to 2.4%? They downgraded it again, to 1.6%. Hey, that's still positive, but at this rate its going to be contraction by Halloween. Its hard to avoid the sense that maybe the Obama administration isn't being entirely honest about these economic reports, at least right at first.
And that's the Word Around the Net for August 27, 2010.