Friday, January 07, 2011


"I noticed in 2008 that roughly half the news out there wasn't being reported."

Michigan as a state has been so poorly run by a series of corrupt, radical leftist governments that it is practically bankrupt. Detroit in particular is far worse than the rest of the state, and is the only city in America that has been contracting for decades rather than growing. It has lost so many people fleeing the corruption and misery that large sections of the city are uninhabited and slated to be bulldozed. The city is utterly out of cash and desperate to find ways to pay its bills. So, obviously, this is the perfect time to buy lots of stuff. Chastity Pratt Dawsey (I kid you not) writes in the Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Public Schools students will have access to 35,000 laptop computers in school starting next month in what the officials are calling an unmatched infusion of technology in the district.

DPS teachers already have received 5,000 new ASUS Netbook laptops and training as a result of the $49 million technology program funded by the federal stimulus money, Robert Bobb, the DPS Emergency Financial Manager said today.

In addition, 4,789 desktop computers will be distributed to ensure every classroom has a computer, which will add to the 533 desktop computers for early childhood education classes.
Included in this cost was rigging the entire school for wireless internet, because what every schoolkid needs is an internet connection in class. I'm not opposed to computers for students but couldn't this have waited until, I don't know, the streets were paved?

Firefox is my prefered browser, and since being rebuilt from the once-mighty Netscape Navigator just a few years ago has rapidly grown in popularity. Now, for the first time, Internet Explorer is number 2 to another browser in a major marketplace: Europe. Despite IE being given away for free in every PC sold, people are starting to prefer one they have to download to use. That should light a fire under Microsoft to make a superior browser.

Surprising no one, the hard left 9th Circuit Court (the most overturned federal court in the nation) ruled that a 90 year old cross on a hill violates the 1st amendment protection of worship and faith. The leftist judges there claimed the existence of two bars of metal intersecting shows preference to one religion over others by the state government.

This would be the same 9th circuit court who has, on a 3 judge panel, Judge Reinhardt (one of the most leftist activist judges in the nation). The panel is to decide whether or not a state constitutional ban on homosexual "marriage" violates the US Constitution. The problem? Reinhardt's wife worked on the case in question which normally would cause any conscientious judge to recuse himself to avoid any appearance of partiality or bias. Not Reinhardt, who wrote a letter full of red herrings and avoiding the topic to say he was perfectly qualified.

President Obama's White House staffers are complaining that being president is really tough and gosh if only Obama could get more time away from the White House he'd be better off. Of course, President Obama has actually spent nearly half of his time in office away from the White House. The effort by the staffers wasn't so much to wish for more time away as to try to develop the perception that Obama is working so very hard every hour on the economic crisis, which if its true shows the man to be either idiotic or stunningly incompetent, not exactly helpful for him.

Snow wasn't the only thing piling up in New York City when the sanitation workers went on an effective strike to show their displeasure at their contract. Trash did too:
"It is absolutely ridiculous," griped Brooklyn resident Gilbert Lee, who said a week was too long for the garbage to sit. "It's over 6 feet tall. It's a great wall of trash sitting in front of my apartment, all up and down Flatbush Avenue. It's just absolutely unacceptable."

The Department of Sanitation resumed garbage pickups on Monday for the first time since the Christmas weekend storm dumped 20 inches of snow on city streets. Trash collection was suspended while crews struggled to plow streets, Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said.
The AP writer of that story accidentally left out the part where they refused to clear the streets in protest of their pay.

Meanwhile, SEIU workers at the Sanitation Department have been revealed to have the kind of jobs you could get from the Soprano family. Don Loos at Big Government writes:
Big Labor and politicians across the United States have transferred union costs to taxpayers. For example, SEIU Local 444 (The Sanitation Officers Association, see related snow slowdown stories) has six full-time union officials who are paid full-time city benefits and salary, yet work 0.00% of the time for New York City. These Sanitation Officers are working on everything but New York City business – including political activities and golf outings – all on the taxpayers’ dime.
The SEIU president in particular is earning 6 figures from the Sanitation department, more even than he's getting from the SEIU. To not go to work. The Service Employees International Union isn't about the workers they allegedly represent. Its organized crime with a nice name.

Michael Barone recently pointed out something I was going to work on recently, and saved me the trouble. The Democrats in Washington are pretty much a bunch of fogies, old guys who've been in office for ages. The Republicans tend to be younger, newer, and fresher faces. He writes at the Washington Examiner:
The average age of Republican House members in the new Congress convening today is 54.9, younger than the Republicans' average age in the previous Congress, 56.5. But the average age of House Democrats has risen, from 58 to 60.2. That can be explained partly by the high turnover in the 2010 election. Many younger Democrats, first elected in 2006 or 2008, fell by the wayside. The old bulls from 65 percent-plus Democratic districts survived. Meanwhile, many young Republican challengers won.

But the results are historically anomalous. Going back to the Congress elected in 1950, there has never been more than a 2.8-year difference in the average age of House Republicans and House Democrats. The difference in this Congress is 5.3 years, almost double that.

The picture is similar on the Senate side of the Capitol, where the average age of Republicans is 61.4 and the average age of Democrats is 63.1. That's as wide a margin as in any Senate since the one produced by the election of 1982.
The image of Democrats as young, hip, trendy, and connected with today's youth really has nothing to do with reality.

Canada is seeing the next step in cultural wars that soon will hit America: polygamy. Long considered at best a bad idea, and illegal in most countries, polygamy is a part of some very old fashioned sects of Mormonism and one such group is challenging the Canadian government over an anti-polygamy law. Well who are we to judge, if consenting adults love each other, its wrong to prevent them from benefiting from marriage laws. If my third wife wants to visit me in the hospital, the cruel, fundamentalist present law won't let them! Its just backward and fascist to prevent this loving relationship -- one which will only strengthen marriage -- from being officially recognized and sanctioned. Well, don't all those arguments fit here, too?

According to a study highlighted in the BBC, more women today are seeking marriage to increase their net worth than even in the 1940s, a time when marriage was perceived as being about love, commitment, and a building block of society. Actually, why they'd think the 1940s would be a time when people especially married for money is unclear.

Google is being paid to direct searches on the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act to sites promoting, praising, and positive toward the legislation. Go ahead, look for "Obamacare" and see what you get on Google. The money for this process? Paid for by tax dollars through the Health and Human Services Department in the Obama administration. The best part is that these sites are riddled with misinformation and even outright falsehoods (like how spending a trillion more dollars will actually reduce the debt).

Looking over the last year, its sad to see what got reported by the legacy media, and what was ignored. Big Journalism has their top 10 list of what got undercovered (and would have been given much wider coverage in slightly different circumstances), here's the top 3:
  • The Pigford fraud, which was monumental and well-documented
  • Journolist, where leading journalists colluded on how to manipulate the news for the left
  • Ken Salazar's fraud in trying to shut down drilling
Powerline added another undercovered story: how the tales of Tea Partiers spitting on and yelling "nigger" at Congressional Black Caucus leaders was utterly false and deliberate lies to make the movement look bad.

Over at Piece of Work in Progress, Dan Collins had a few other undercovered stories. Such as how new data suggests that as many as half the "priest abuse" stories were fraudulent. The other big story was a pattern of Muslim abuse against Christians just in time for the Christmas season across the middle east, a pattern the Obama administration plays down or ignores. Key quote:
Public approval of the United States in most Muslim-majority countries has reset to the extremely low level it was before Mr. Obama became president, and in some cases is even lower.
Its almost as if they are irrational or something.

One last underreported story? Usually the press loves Wikileaks, but there's one batch they sort of soft pedaled and ignored: the one that showed the invasion of Iraq was perfectly reasonable and proper. James Zumwalt at Human Events meticulously examines one portion of the leaks and the history of the Coalition of the Willing, showing how clearly the nuclear weapons program of Iraq was a threat and why it had to be acted on - and how Joe Wilson lied through his teeth.

Romania recently passed a law which taxes palm readers, witches, and other supernatural practitioners, something we sort of snicker at in the US, but is taken seriously there. The witches have retaliated in a manner that anyone would expect: with curses and other spells cast on the government. If witches had any real, dangerous magical power, would people really try to burn and tax them? Incidentally, Romania is in serious financial trouble like most of the west, for its experiment in giving people lots of stuff in the expectation that rich people never run out of money to take away.

Expect ever rising gas prices. The price of gasoline has been creeping up slowly over the past year, but recent events suggest it will climb much faster. Since the cost of transportation affects nearly every other sector of the economy, that won't be great news for recovery. Steve Everley at American Solutions proposes five reasons the gas prices will continue to go up, directly related to Obama administration policy. Well, he was the guy who thought the 5 dollar a gallon gas prices in some places in 2008 wasn't high enough. His only concern is that the cost went up too fast, not too high.

As a new congress starts up, following a flood of public frustration against the previous congress, Senator Tom Coburn has some advice. Coburn was one of the Contract With America guys who were elected by the score in 1994, and he saw how that started out pretty well then fell to pieces and why. I fully expect the same thing to happen this time around, but if they are to avoid it, Coburn has great advice on how. Here are his main points:
  • It’s not about Republicans. It’s about the republic.
  • The enemy is not the other party, the president or your colleagues but the idea that the federal government is at the center of our national life, the equalizer of all injustice and the provider of material wealth.
  • You are swearing an oath to defend the Constitution, not your state or district.
  • The fact is, the government we can afford looks much more like a government that is constitutional than previous Congresses have wanted to admit.
  • The real challenge for new members, however, will come later when the certainty of principle wanes and competes with the allure of power.
Speaker of the House Boehner (R-OH; pronounced bey-ner, despite what it looks like) made a great speech when he took the gavel from Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) gnarled claws. Ace of Spades HQ has the video (full transcript here), and the speech included these lines:
The American people have humbled us. They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is. They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them. That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully, knowing I am but its caretaker. After all, this is the people’s House.
We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better; that fast legislating is good legislating; that allowing additional amendments and open debate makes the legislative process “less efficient” than our forefathers intended.
Let us now move forward humble in our demeanor, steady in our principles, and dedicated to proving worthy of the trust and confidence that has been placed in us.
Let's hope they all take that to heart and follow through on what is a great speech. Talk is cheap.

Warner Todd Huston has a great piece up at Right Wing News featuring some lesser known names but terrific talents in Hollywood who died last year. We all know about the big names, but these are people many (or all) of whom you'll recognize as smaller players, supporting cast members who were usually better talent than the big stars but never got that recognition. Here are a few:
Vonetta McGee (Jan 14, 1940, 1940-July 9, 2010) McGee was on TVs Cagney & Lacey as well as L.A. Law but she is better known for being in some of the best 70s blacksploitation films such as Blackula and Shaft in Africa.

James Gammon
(April 20, 1940-July 16, 2010) Gammon starred as the father in the late 90s series
Nash Bridges and was a staple actor in many movies, many of them westerns [and Major League]

Harold Gould
(Dec. 10, 1923-Sept. 11, 2010) Gould was best known as Rhoda's father in the 70s series The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. He was also a popular character actor in movies such as
The Sting and Silent Movie.
Take a look. Without guys like this, movies can't be made, and often they're what hold the picture together despite the main stars. Try to imagine True Lies without Tom Arnold, for instance.

Although I've written about this in the past, now the word is official. That study allegedly linking autism and innoculations for children? Totally fraudulent, according to leading British medical journal BMJ. Vaccinate your kids, please. Diseases once almost obliterated are starting to come back.

According to the United Nations, food prices are creeping up again and now are higher than at any point in the past. Last time this happened (largely due to idiotic biofuel policies), there were food shortages and riots around the world. Sometimes I wonder if supporters of that idiot Ehrlich aren't trying to make his predictions come true.

Environmentalists have ranted for years about a patch of garbage in the Pacific Ocean which they claimed was "twice the size of Texas." Well, an Oceanographer from the University of Oregon looked more closely and found that the size has been grossly exaggerated. Its about 1% that size, which makes it around 2% the size of Texas, or about 5400 square miles. That's still pretty huge, but not as big as claimed by hysterical, typically inaccurate greeny types.

That's still awful, and as I commented at Right Wing News where I first saw this story, in this case I am upset at the garbage in the ocean. You cannot go to the beach without finding trash from cruise ships just tossed over the side, you can't find any beach on earth without crap from boats that were just thrown overboard for centuries because they figured the ocean is so big, who will notice?

Even 2% of the size of Texas is pretty huge and that's more trash than ought to be out there. Its not that unreasonable to expect ships to carry their garbage to shore and store it properly, they could carry all that crap out there. This isn't some world ending nightmare, but its only reasonable to not junk up the ocean when you can so easily not do so.

And that's the Word Around the Net, January 7, 2011.


eric said...

Before Tom Coburn was elected to the Senate, he wrote a book about his time in the House from 94-2000, called 'Breach Of Trust'. Very illuminating story of how the GOP sold out principle for power. Per Coburn, everything was downhill after Newt and Trent Lott blinked on the government shutdown.

I highly recommend this book, it really details how the corruption machine in Washington works, and how most idealistic new elected officials are quickly distracted by the trappings of power and the culture of beuracracy.

vanderleun said...

Great job, Chris