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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, April 29, 2011

WORD AROUND THE NET

"Everybody's money is green, it's all the same, and I don't pick and choose who can come into my business,"

Gas Earnings
Those dirty gas companies are making billions off people and gas prices keep going up, clearly they are charging too much. That's what the Obama administration wants you to think, because if you realize his policies are directly and deliberately raising gas prices, that hurts him in polls. The problem is, oil companies make a fraction of what the government does at the gas pump. Exxon, for example, earns 2 cents a gallon when you fill your tank. Federal, state, and local Taxes and fees total more than 48 cents a gallon on average across America. Exxon just sells a lot of gallons, so it adds up. Imagine how much it adds up for the government.

This bit I'm going to all but swipe from Legal Insurrection. Its about Earth Day, and what President Obama did on that day, but it could apply to hundreds of other big time "green" pundits and politicians:
President Obama declared today's 41st annual Earth Day proof of America's ecological and conservation spirit—then completed a three-day campaign-style trip logging 10,666 miles on Air Force One, eating up some 53,300 gallons at a cost of about $180,000. And that doesn't include the fuel consumption of his helicopter, limo, or the 29 other vehicles that travel with that car.
That's like celebrating stop child abuse day by slapping your kid around.

More earth day news: CNN's T.J. Holmes actually confessed his eco-sins on live television. You can't make this stuff up. Matt Hadro has the transcript at Newsbusters:
Well, in today's "XYZ," I'd like confess my sins.

I drive a Chevy Tahoe. It gets 15 miles to the gallon in the city. While some people have SUVs to haul their large families around, it's just me driving by myself to work every day.

I have a number of TVs in my high house and leave them on just about all day, every day.

I often turn the water on in the shower, then I walk downstairs to maybe grab breakfast, leave the water running, then I go back upstairs to take a shower.
On and on it goes. There is no word on whether Al Gore gave him absolution and required penance. Seriously people, Earth Day is atheist eco not Easter. Its their holiday for their alarmist religion.

Washington State is considering a fine for buying electric cars. OK, sure, its called a fee, but what else do you call a price the government requires for taking some action? You buy an electric car, you pay a hundred bucks a year. The point is that they are trying to find some way to make up that sweet, sweet gas tax that they fear will be obliterated by a sudden flood of electric cars that won't come. Maybe they should just not give big rebates, subsidies, and tax breaks to electric car sales and recharging stations?

Britain is proud of its wind power plant although its had lots of troubles in the past. What isn't reported on as much is the fact that its producing a tiny fraction of what it was sold as putting out. Lewis Page writes at The Register:
In general it tends to be assumed that a wind farm will generate an average of 30 per cent of its maximum capacity over time. However the new study shows that this is actually untrue, with the turbines measured by the Grid turning in performances which were significantly worse:
Average output from wind was 27.18% of metered capacity in 2009, 21.14% in 2010, and 24.08% between November 2008 and December 2010 inclusive.
In general, then, one should assume that a wind farm will generate no more than 25 per cent of maximum capacity over time (and indeed this seems set to get worse as new super-large turbines come into service). Even over a year this will be up or down by a few per cent, making planning more difficult.
At each of the four highest peak demands of 2010 wind output was low being respectively 4.72%, 5.51%, 2.59% and 2.51% of capacity at peak demand.
But it only cost a few billion dollars to build.

You may have missed it like 99.9% of people in America, but Tuesday was declared "Equal Pay Day" by feminists. There's a problem with this day for feminists: women are tending to get paid better in America these days. Not only has the recent economic downturn hurt men far more than women but as Carrie Lukas explains at the Wall Street Journal, the wage gap is a myth. Why? Because what appears to be men being paid more is just businesses being reasonable. Men tend to work longer hours, and thus earn more pay. Men tend to work more dangerous jobs, and thus earn more pay. When all things are equal, in many cases women earn more in many jobs.

Wisconsin continues to suffer from thug tactics by the various unions. The latest news is a gas station that dared to fill up an assemblyman's car. They then got a phone call warning them to not do business with anyone who dares try to save the state from bankruptcy, and the call came from a school by a teacher who was at work. The teacher used a school phone to deliver the warning. The school district says it is taking "appropriate disciplinary action," hopefully more than a pat on the back and a warning to use a cell phone next time.

Oh, but there's more. People who signed petitions seeking recalls for assemblymen who fled the state on Union money to escape doing their jobs are getting phone calls. The calls questioned the people on signing petitions, and the caller ID is falsified to appear to be from a hospital - or perhaps the Democrats in Wisconsin are using a hospital to call from. I wonder if these petition signers are names from the ones that were stolen last week? This is likely a Democrat attempt to prove the petitions are fraudulent, but its actually harassment and fraud.

Pilot Online has a great article about something I've thought about but didn't have the time or resources to write up. You may have noticed that some products aren't going up in price like others at your grocery store. You also may have noticed that these products are getting... smaller. Carolyn Shapiro writes:
A carton of Tropicana orange juice squeezed down from 64 ounces, a full half-gallon, to 59 ounces. A “pint” of Haagen-Dazs ice cream isn’t a pint anymore, but 14 ounces – 12.5 percent less. A large box of Kleenex dropped from 280 tissues to 260. A pound of coffee, 16 ounces, dropped 25 percent to 12 ounces, and some brands have started to slim that further, down to 11-ounce bags.
You're still getting less for your money - often much less - it just doesn't feel like it until you get home.

President Obama likes creating commissions. He's averaged one a month since taking office, for subjects from gas prices, to deficit reduction, to childhood obesity and beyond. As Haley Peterson writes at the Washington Examiner, this is basically the executive version of "I'll get back to you on that" and never doing so. Its also a way to seem like you're doing something when you are not - and don't care to - such as a commission to study how to lower gas prices.

Reversals. Its been a great week for them. Here's a few that took place:
  • Paul Krugman at the New York Times wrote in 2011 about how cutting anything in entitlements or any reform is an evil plot to starve poor people, but in 1996 he was all for it.
  • Chris Matthews didn't waste time like that. He insisted no one would ever question a white president's admission to a university, but just ten minutes earlier questioned President Bush's attendance to Yale.
  • Oil prices are a rich source of varied and widespread reversals by the legacy media and politicians.
  • Then, of course, there's Obama's promise to never use signing statements while campaigning then using them to ignore cuts in his horde of Czars. But then he's done that a lot in 2 years.
Harvard has a reputation as being prestigious and elite university. Anyone who gets in, by association, is presumed to be someone very special (unless they're President Bush). And getting a Magna Cum Laude award at such a place is considered proof you must have been an amazing academic, someone truly brilliant. However, the truth of the matter is somewhat less impressive; courtesy Ace of Spades HQ. In 1999, there was an article at the LA Times explaining that Harvard was going to cut back on the number of these awards that were given out by 36%. The previous level? Anyone in the top 76% of the class could get one. You could pull a low C average and get on the honor student roll in Harvard.

Oh, and being on the Law Review? Much harder - unless you're black, in which case you don't have to be in the top 5% of your class. They wanted more color in the law review, so they just waived the requirements for any minorities. Almost as if getting these awards doesn't mean you're the smartest man on earth.

NAACP officer Lessadolla Sanders was found guilty of ten counts of voter fraud in Mississippi. She manipulated absentee ballots to give the results she wanted, thus affecting an election. She was sentenced to fifty years without the possibility of parole for her crimes. Just in case you were wondering, she didn't help Republicans with this fraud.

The New York Times continues to lose money, subscriptions, and advertising. However, their pay plan requiring a subscription to read any stories older than a day did earn them 300,000 participants when it started up. The problem is the bulk of those people are on 99 cent trial plans, and some are on there for free. How long will they continue? Their previous subscription plan got just over 400,000 buyers and was eventually abandoned. On the internet, making your material more expensive and difficult to obtain is not a good business plan.

Another evil Republican state is attacking teachers in their war on workers. The legislature of this evil, neocon-controlled Tea Party state (you know how crazy those Tea Partiers are) voted to end collective bargaining rights for benefits on teachers. Of course, they voted to do so on all public employee unions, including police and fire. And the state was heavily leftist Democrat-controlled Massachusetts. But other than that, the story is just like I said.

One of the left's talking points right now is that Fox News pushed the "birther" bit on Obama's birth certificate constantly, and that the news was fixated on this story. However, the Media research organization Poynter Institute did a study and found very differently than the left is claiming. Only 4% of all news stories anywhere were on the topic, and CNN and MSNBC covered the topic far more than Fox News.

Related to this story was President Obama's bizarre explanation why he finally revealed the full Birth Certificate people had asked for over 3 years ago. He said that it was because the Republicans in congress were to blame:
...two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we’re going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.
So the GOP was trying to cut spending and stave off economic disaster because... they wanted to see a birth certificate? Even Jake Tapper at ABC news is baffled by this statement.

Taco Bell's meat was the subject of a well-publicized lawsuit, but the lawsuit was recently, quietly dropped. I still wonder what's actually in Taco Bell's meat, because it doesn't taste or look like beef - nor does Burger King's meat, for that matter. Taco Bell is asking for an apology in a big ad in newspapers, mostly out of an attempt to do damage control.

Sometimes a study comes along that's fun in its contrasts. For instance, wealthy people (those making $250,000 or more a year) were asked about taxes, and they said theirs were too high, by 67%. In the same study the same people were asked if they thought "upper income" people paid enough in taxes. Those same people responded:
30 percent said "upper-income people" paid too little, 30 percent said it was a "fair share," and 38 percent said it was too much.
Like I and others have pointed out several times, how most people define rich is based on how much money they have. For most people, "rich" means "more money than me" regardless of how objectively wealthy they are. Andrew Gellman has some other interesting conflicting datLinka, such as how minorities consistently overestimate the number of blacks in America, and so on.

Conservatives like shows that have a big audience, leftists like shows that are niche specialties. That's the conclusion of a study of popular shows by political affiliation. For example, conservatives love NCIS, the number one top drama in America. Leftists love Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami. Conservatives love V, Leftists love Dexter. Republicans love White Collar, Pawn Stars and American Chopper. Leftists love Entourage, Damages, and Breaking Bad.

Of course, shows like Breaking Bad and Dexter are pretty well-written, and there's a lot of crossover (some leftists love NCIS, some conservatives love Entourage, etc). Both sides have their cheese, such as Survivor, Desperate Housewives, and Dancing with the Stars for conservatives (seriously?). Overall though, it appears that conservatives like big shows with healthy, vigorous, and heroic people, while leftists like shows about screwed up losers and damaged people.

Jimmy Carter, apparently upset that people are talking about him maybe not being the worst president in history, has gone to North Korea. There he said this to Kim Jong Il:
That the United States and South Korea have chosen “to deliberately withhold food aid to the North Korean people because of political or military issues not related is really indeed a human rights violation.”
Well sure, we should feed the people of North Korea while its own government deliberately starves them to keep them weak and in subjection while feeding its military and buying lots of goodies for the dictator. That is plainly the ACME of human rights.

Carla Marinucci from the San Francisco Chronicle was banned from the "print pool" press briefing at the White House, an insiders special reporter event preferred by President Obama. Her sin? Filming protesters who showed up to show their criticism of Obama's policies. The excuse was that they want only "pen and paper" work no movies, but the real reason probably has more to do with "you showed something bad we don't like" in a continuing effort by the Obama administration to totally control the narrative and even intimidate and attack press that won't obey.

Because I missed it when it came out, some catch up. For the first time since the Depression, U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes. As in, they are paying the federal government less than they're being given back. And we're nowhere near as bad off as people were then. Sounds like there might be some room to give in terms of cuts in that area, eh?

According to Wikileaks, Adil Hadi al Jazairi Bin Hamlili, terrorist accused of bombing Christian Churches and a Pakistani Hotel, was working for the British government. No, he wasn't blowing things up for the UK, he was in their intelligence service. Sky News reports:
The Algerian, who was captured in Pakistan in 2003, was described by interrogators as a "facilitator, courier, kidnapper, and assassin for al Qaeda".

They also believed he had withheld important information from Canadian and British intelligence and (was) a "threat to US and allied personnel in Afghanistan and Pakistan".
Also in the report, at least 35 terrorists in Guantanamo were recruited and trained in radical mosques in England.

And finally, apparently some rich royalty kid married some rich girl in England.

And that's the Word Around the Net for April 29, 2011.

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