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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, April 01, 2011

WORD AROUND THE NET

"He's found the perfect loophole, and the scary thing is now he's got it figured out if he ever does something like this again"

Loud Kitty
Smokey the cat is loud. This kitty purrs at three times the loudest cats ordinarily can purr at, loud enough to drown out the TV in the room. Smokey has been measured at 92 decibels, which is about the same volume as a car horn. That's one happy cat. She's a British Shorthair, which is a very attractive look. My brother had a beautiful blue-gray cat he named Smoky when we were kids, he was a great cat, but he wasn't that loud.

President Obama overturned a Bush plan to allow greater logging in Oregon - part of the response to multiple fires during the Clinton administration. Clinton's environmental laws refused to let any brush clearing or thinning take place in many forests, resulting in huge fires. The Bush administration allowed the clearing and thinning to take place. Obama reversed that, but in the process of doing so skipped a public hearing period required by law. A federal court recently ruled that this was illegal, and that the hearing must be held. Transparency.

Remember the rain forests? Sting was so distraught about them that instead of packaging his CDs in tough plastic boxed in recyclable paper, he put his out in paper wrapped in unrecyclable plastic. Nobody said Sting was very smart, just talented. Outrageously false numbers were thrown around about how fast the rain forests were being destroyed for two decades now - numbers which would have denuded the entire planet's forests by this point if they were true. As it turns out, the rain forests are gaining on the foresters, something people like me always said. Elizabeth Rosenthal writes in the New York Times:
By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster.
...
“Biologists were ignoring these huge population trends and acting as if only original forest has conservation value, and that’s just wrong,” said Joe Wright, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute here, who set off a firestorm two years ago by suggesting that the new forests could substantially compensate for rain forest destruction.
Conservationists are outraged and people who depend on AGW funding are worried.

Discovered in the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act have are few interesting details, such as a new $2 billion dollar bailout. Byron York explains:
Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire.
Basically the staffers and academic radicals who wrote this knew states cannot possibly sustain the costs that this will impose on them, they knew that unions were not going to be able to survive the costs it would impose on their health insurance benefits, so they rigged it to bail them out.

Another such hidden bailout? Remember when the AARP went against the wishes of the bulk of its members, costing them thousands of memberships, to support the health insurance bill? We know why now, courtesy Mike Flynn at Big Government:
According to this blockbuster report, released today by the House Ways and Means Committee, AARP’s support of ObamaCare and, specifically, the Medicare cuts was entirely rational and self-serving. The Committee found, after an 18 month investigation, that AARP stands to reap an extra billion dollars in profits from ObamaCare. (Yes, that is billion with a B.) Worse, this extra profit is largely BECAUSE of the Medicare cuts.
The money would come through the AARP's licensing of its name to insurers, which is worth most of their income right now. Flynn runs the numbers, and you can be sure AARP worked on this with the Democratic Leadership in congress for maximum benefit.

Every time an established industry faces a fresh, new, and innovative competitor these days, they inevitably run to the government begging for regulation and laws to protect them and crush their competition. According to the Telegraph, starlet Miley Cyrus has the same idea for her music:
Catapulted to fame off the back of Disney's Hannah Montana, Cyrus slammed the overnight success of YouTube phenomenons such as Rebecca Black.

"It should be harder to be an artist. You shouldn't just be able to put a song on YouTube and go out on tour," the daughter of country star Billy Ray Cyrus said.
Timothy Carney explains:
It's called "erecting barriers to entry," and the best way to do it is to hire a lobbyist and call for regulation "to protect consumers." Take a page out of the floristry industry in Louisiana with completely unnecessary licensing laws aimed clearly at keeping out entrants into the industry. The alternative is -- gasp -- competition.
Cronyism is a powerful force in business today, and it has nothing at all to do with a free market.

Speaking of cronyism and using law to fight competition, Boeing is involved in a recent scandal. According to Jennifer Freedman at the Bloomberg Businessweek, the air company got 5 billion in US Subsidies which according to the World Trade Organization gave it an "unfair advantage." Here's the thing; the European Union filed the complaint, and every single major business in the EU gets huge government subsidies so I'm not sure how exactly that works out in terms of unfair advantages. The EU complains that their hugely subsidized company Airbus can't compete with Boeing because it is hugely subsidized as well.

Here's a plan: how about all governments stop propping up all companies so they have to make it on their own merits and the market?

Maybe this guy kept finding the fridge door open and blamed his room mates or kids, maybe there was food missing and he wanted to find out who was doing it, and maybe he just set this all up but its pretty funny:


Here's the problem: how do you stop your pet from stealing food once it knows how? Its funny to make a YouTube video by training your pet to do something outrageous, but then what?

According to a Berkeley professor, human evolution required eating meat. Given that almost all vegans and vegetarians are evolutionists, how does this fit their "meat is bad for you we shouldn't eat it" philosophy? The prof claims this doesn't impact modern vegetarian diets, but the fact is biologically we need meat, why fight it?

March 30, 1911 the US Army adopted Browning's new .45 automatic pistol for the military, and it was used until 1985. I've fired a 1911 army model, and its a pretty good, solid pistol, although it does have a tendency to jam after just a few clips. It doesn't kick much and it has a heck of a punch, although 8 rounds is pretty small these days and newer guns are superior.

As Eric pointed out in comments yesterday, March 31 wasn't just opening day for baseball, but the day that Henry Ford invented the V8 engine, still the benchmark for power in muscle cars. V8s have a wonderful roar to them that whiny Euro 4- and 6-bangers just can't match, even if they often have more horsepower. 79 years ago that powerhouse was unveiled, and just last year Ford came out with their new engine that gives V8 power with V6 fuel economy.

President Obama was set to get an award from the Open Government Community for his unusually transparent administration even though this administration is not demonstrably more transparent than any other (and, in some ways, is less so). However, the president delayed the award without warning or stated reason, then took it at an undisclosed location, away from the press. This is like someone getting an award for animal kindness by at a dog fight. Perhaps he wanted to avoid awkward questions at the press conference like why they're trying to intimidate people filing freedom of information requests.

Governor Scott Walker is the left's new most hated person. Had Keith Olbermann not been canned at MSNBC no doubt he would have declared Walker the "worst person in the world" by now. Walker is trying to make his case for why Wisconsin is doing what they are doing, but the left doesn't want to hear it. Ordinarily when a big name politician during an important news cycle writes something for the New York Times, they get instant approval and printed. After all, its news and it will bring eyeballs. Not Scott Walker, who was denied an editorial. Can't let the other side get their say, people might start to understand the whole picture instead of the carefully crafted narrative.

Cold Equations has a helpful chart for world dictators. It explains how they can avoid attention and action by the Obama administration, and what will get notice:

CountryPrior relations with the USNuclear weapons programUS treatment of countryStatus of leader
EgyptAlliedNot significantPressured ally to step downPermanent vacation
LibyaModerately warm lately, despite past difficultiesAbandoned under US pressureBombs awayProbably on his way out
SyriaStrained to hostileNot a lot of info, probably has some programMild economic sanctionsLife is sweet
Iran"America is the Great Satan"Probably going to join the nuclear club soonIneffectual, intermittent saber-rattlingHappy as a clam
North KoreaHostileHas some nukes, ICBMs are in the worksIneffectual sanctions, endless talks, unkind portrayal in 2004 movie Team America: World PoliceYou know what sucks about being Kim Il-Jong? Nothing.

Notice, the reaction of the world to their actions has nothing to do with how evil or bizarre they are, just with how easily they can be dealt with and how it affects oil supply. In fact, the more friendly the nation, the more likely they will be abandoned and even attacked. The more hostile, the less likely.

President Obama has been found in contempt of court for trying repeatedly to shut down oil drilling in the United States. In other nations? He's all for it, apparently:
When was the last time an American president stood before an audience in a foreign country and announced that he looked forward to importing more of its oil? Answer: Just over a week ago, when President Obama joined political and business leaders in Brasilia in hailing the fact that their newly discovered offshore petroleum reserves might be twice as large as those in the United States. Americans “want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers,” Mr. Obama said.
In fact, the US Government is promising $2 billion (with a B) to Petrobras for their offshore drilling operations because apparently drilling for oil is not profitable. Incidentally, Brazil has gone from importing 77% of its oil from foreign sources in 1980 to importing no oil by 2009. They did it by taking advantage of their local resources. I wonder if any other country could do the same, especially one with the greatest fossil fuel reserves on earth?

Like or hate his movies (and some like Cobra were just awful by any standard), Sylvester Stallone usually is very stylish in his movies. Now he's started up a clothing line featuring men's wear based on those outfits. Lindsay Goldwert reports at the New York Daily News:
"Rocky at the end of the day is a love story," Michael Henry, a retail executive who is backing the brand, told Women's Wear Daily. "While Rambo showcases the other side of masculinity, he's a loner...the line will offer looks for "the rebel and the gentleman."
Supposedly the clothes will be pretty expensive, but they should look sharp. Maybe he can make a dent in the hipster market with something a bit less trendy and emasculated.

Film subsidies have never made a lot of sense to me. I mean, I understand the principle of trying to lure companies to your state for their spending by offering tax breaks, but movies make so much money that they hardly need the help. Arizona has ended their tax incentive program for movie makers, but Georgia has maintained theirs. I guess when you're looking for ways to cut budgets and increase revenues, extraneous stuff has to go.

Portugal recently refused to cut its budget to survive, prompting a governmental crisis for the Portuguese prime minster. A news story recently came out with might help explain why the representatives of the Portuguese people want to commit economic suicide:
Portugal is the poorest country in Western Europe. It is also the least educated, and that has emerged as a painful liability in its gathering economic crisis.

Just 28% of the Portuguese population between 25 and 64 has completed high school. The figure is 85% in Germany, 91% in the Czech Republic and 89% in the U.S.
Ignorance can help you think that there's an infinite amount of other people's money to prop up your lifestyle.

Muslim extremists in Ethiopia burned homes and churches, killing and displacing thousands of Christians in the western part of the country. This follows an accusation of a Christian desecrating a Koran, and for the less educated, more radical Muslim, that's enough reason to riot, burn, and kill without bothering to even ask if its true or not. Up to 10,000 Christians are without homes at the moment in one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.

Pity the poor college professor, abused and mistreated by the man in his job. Slaving away for Linkdozens of minutes a day these hard-working academics owe their soul to the company store for coffee, tweed jackets, patchoulli incense, and birkenstocks. No, seriously, there is a big move toward college faculty unions in Ohio, which the state government just put a stop to. Seriously? professor's unions?

Hillary Clinton has asserted that we are currently doing everything we can to bomb, strafe and use missiles to carry the rebels into power in Libya. The Obama administration wants them to win. Meanwhile, she also has stated that they don't know if al`Qaeda is among the rebels, nor do they really even know who they are or what they want behind "get rid of Khadaffi." Smart diplomacy.

Instapundit has a link to a story about UCLA. It turns out that a diploma mill doctor wrote a bogus study about Diesel exhaust killing people and the guy who blew the whistle got a commendation and a raise was fired. Why? The study helped the activist cause of several people on the board that decides whether or not to fire someone.

Probably you've seen this on the internet, but don't expect to see it in the legacy media: a Democrat union member in Wisconsin was arrested for sending a long, detailed, and hate-filled email including various death threats to Republican legislators in the state. That's not really news though. If you're a leftist news director.

Clay Dillow at Popular Science believes that the best way to find extrerrestrial intelligence is to look for signs of mining operations on asteroids. That would exclude earth's intelligence.

Governments do not produce, do not earn, and do not create. They take and redistribute and spend with very few exceptions. That's why learning that "more Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined” is so disturbing. My only hope is the popularity of shows like American Chopper, Sons of Guns, and other engineering and hard production efforts might generate interest in once nearly dead areas.
Opening day has its ugly side as well. When you combine beer, stupidity, and sports rivalries, bad things can happen. I watched the Giants/Dodgers game yesterday (clearly, the Giants need to work on their fielding) and it was a good game. Afterward, in the parking lot, some Dodgers fans attacked a Giants fan and beat him so bad he's in a hospital in critical condition. Probably these scum would have done this kind of thing for just about any reason, but people: its a game. Relax.

Have you seen this picture in any coverage of the weapons floatilla meant to break the Israeli blockade? I doubt it, the first time I saw it was this week:


That's an IDF member beaten and being tortured by the harmless, good will advocates of tolerance and fluffy bunnies on one of the floatilla ships.

Criminals too insane or mentally weak to understand what is going on in a trial are often remanded to a mental institution rather than given a criminal trial. However, to get someone committed without their approval they have to be deemed a danger to society or themselves. Lonnie Hyrum Johnson in Utah faces dozens of child sexual abuse charges, but his doctor has deemed him both unable to stand trial and not a threat to society. So he's going to go free although he'll be registered as a sex offender. Previous to these charges, Johnson raped a teenager and spent a year in prison before being released.

Clearly, he's no threat.

*UPDATE: Britain's National Health Service has gotten to be such a byword for the failure of socialized medicine that its even a joke to the British, but this latest example truly takes the cake. Margaret Hutchon, former director of the NHS died in a national health service hospital after her life saving operation was delayed four times.

And that's the Word Around the Net for April 1, 2011.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are wrong about Cobra, it had the best car of any Stallone movie.

1:58 PM, April 01, 2011  
Anonymous Christopher Taylor said...

Yeah that was a sweet car, and he looked pretty sharp in that one too. Lousy flick, though.

3:10 PM, April 01, 2011  
Anonymous Alex VanderWoude said...

Oh man, I hope there aren't very many pistol enthusiasts reading your blog because you might end up with some major comment spankings!

Speaking from personal experience, I would suggest that if your 1911 started jamming after a few magazines then you must have been using a very dirty or very poor quality pistol. Furthermore, although the original model was indeed limited to 7+1 rounds in .45 cal, modern versions are capable of much more, particularly if you use .40 cal or 9mm ammunition.

Hmmm, maybe I've fallen for that rarest of troll posts: one planted by the blogger himself...

10:39 PM, April 01, 2011  
Anonymous Christopher Taylor said...

I'm no great gun expert, but the .45 I fired jammed after 2 clips, and I have heard that the A1 had that tendency from other sources. Probably a better cared for, better quality version was less prone to jamming.

I didn't know about the other ammo, just the basic 1911. Thanks for the info!

9:33 AM, April 02, 2011  

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