Friday, June 10, 2011


"A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.”
-Alexis deTocqueville

First, some employment news:
  • Jobless claims went up again, higher than analysts expected for last month.
  • Less than half of black Americans have a full-time job.
  • Texas was the location of 37% of private sector jobs created in the last year. That's only slightly less than 47 other states combined.
  • The official unemployment rate for 16 to 19 year olds is 24%; make that around 35% if you include the people who gave up.
  • The number of college graduates under 25 with jobs is at the lowest level ever.
If you can't find a job, you're not alone.

Courtesy American Digest, we learn why book stores and old books smell good at The Green Apple Core. It turns out that as paper breaks down, it releases a chemical similar to vanilla flavoring. Its almost as if God wants us to read.

Europeans, like Americans, were largely raised on being terrified of radiation, and as a result utterly reject the idea of irradiating food to kill bacteria and critters living on it. In completely unrelated news, several dozen Europeans have died from a new strain of E Coli on vegetables which were not irradiated to clean them. Thousands of tons of vegetables are being destroyed in fears of disease and low sales. It would be easier to just wash them.

Operation Fast and Furious was a US Justice department scheme designed to allow drug cartels in Mexico to buy automatic weapons from the US in order to track their movements and find all the levels of the gangs. Instead it flooded the cartels with high-end US made submachine guns, and has resulted in at least 250 deaths. Congress is investigating how this could possibly have been greenlighted, let alone allowed to continue despite apparently desperate pleas from agents to stop the program. Its hard for me to not imagine this wasn't a back door way to make absurdly false claims of guns crossing the border to Mexico come true.

Federal administrators are always trying to get a bigger budget, and Douglas Shuman offered a unique one recently to congress: increase my department's budget or the deficit will get bigger. His department is the Internal Revenue Service, and his argument is that they can catch tax cheats with more money - plus it will cost more to implement the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act.

Concerning cheats, he might have a point: Paul Caron at the Tax Prof Blog notes that the IRS has been allowing millions of dollars in fraudulent motor vehicle deductions over the years. Combined with the wonderful tax cheating prisoners around the country, its pretty obvious the IRS isn't keeping up well with cheats.

Electric Cars have one major flaw that no amount of marketing or green guilt will overcome: they take forever to "refuel." Even a really really fast recharging car takes hours, and I can refuel a car with gas in minutes. MIT students may have found a solution to this problem.
Forgoing the traditional route of storing electrons in either nickel or lithium-ion, the MIT students have figured out a way to store electricity in semi-solid flow cells. Called “Cambridge Crude,” the charged particles are stored in an electrolyte gel that can be removed and refilled when drained, not unlike how we currently fill our cars with gasoline.
Supposedly this material can hold more energy than even the best batteries, at half the price. That sounds great except... batteries cost tens of thousands of dollars. So what will the price to fill your battery with this goo run? The prototype is expected in 2012, so we'll see.

What does the Railroad Retirement Board need side arms for? That's what Christian Adams wants to know, because its one more federal agency that's getting weapons based on Obama administration requests. Other armed agencies, courtesy Quin Hillyer at the Washington Times:
  • Department of Education
  • Small Business Administration
  • Departments of Health and Human Services
  • Agriculture, Labor, and Veterans Affairs
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Fish and Wildlife Service
Is there some special reason the federal government is arming up its agencies?

President Obama has decided that he likes South American despots, apparently. Not only did he direct his state department to fight to get would-be tyrant Zelaya back into power in Honduras but he has twice now called for the United Kingdom to sit down and negotiate with Nicaragua and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Except, to make matters clear on his position, the state department referred to them as the "Malvinas" Islands, what Argentina calls them. The people actually living in the Falklands want to stay there and be part of England.

Meanwhile the mission creep in the middle east continues. Now we learn that airstrikes have been ongoing in Yemen. Now, I'm not entirely opposed to hammering on Islamic radicals who are trying to take over various nations, and Khaddaffi is a scumbag who should have been taken out long ago. But isn't this the guy who swore he'd stop all this middle east interference and bring the troops home? I'm fine with the change if President Obama found out that this was a better policy and learned upon becoming president that his academic theories don't work in the real world. He just should make a public statement to that effect and apologize profusely to President Bush in the process.

Seattle's Mariners have been surprisingly not awful this year, as opposed to last year when they were surprisingly awful, and perhaps that's why they've decided to branch out into non baseball operations. KIRO TV is reporting that the Mariners are working on a video to reach out to gay teenagers considering suicide to convince them not to. Because nothing says "gay outreach" like baseball. Apparently. Not interviewed: the typically macho baseball players themselves.

Johnstown Pennsylvania suffered a horrific flood in 1934 that killed thousands and wiped out the town. The state passed a temporary bill to pay for rebuilding the city, and by 1942 had raised enough funds to totally rebuild the entire town from the ground up. The legislation continued and has been expanded several times, according to CBS Pittsburgh. This temporary tax is still in place, raising $200,000,000 a year on alcohol taxes.

Someone got the emails that Governor Palin sent around while in office and dumped them on news organizations. The Washington Post has sent out a request for readers to help sift through the thousands of documents to find dirt on Sarah Palin:
Over 24,000 e-mail messages to and from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin during her tenure as Alaska's governor will be released Friday. That's a lot of e-mail for us to review so we're looking for some help from Fix readers to analyze, contextualize, and research those e-mails right alongside Post reporters over the days following the release.
This strikes me as a bit excessive, even for the Palin-hating press, and absolutely a straight-up admission of extreme bias against her. To the best of my knowledge no news organization has ever done anythign of the sort before. Of course, they'd never sent as many press to a state to cover a vice presidential candidate before 2008, either. Particularly while basically ignoring Senator Obama's past.

Varrio Azusa 13 is a Hispanic gang in Los Angeles and Mexico. They have been cited in an indictment by the federal government and are being investigated for criminal activity. What makes this gang special? Apparently they've been specifically targeting and attacking blacks. If there's anything that will get federal attention, its "hate crimes" against blacks. You can do a lot of bad things without feds caring, but that's one thing they'll actually take action against.

Portland, like most big cities, is out of money. Its running a rather large debt and has been firing teachers (but not administrators, oh my never administrators) to try to find a way to pay for its services. Meanwhile, Shorewood High School has purchased 1600 I-Pads for its students. Previously, the school had bought Macbook laptops, but are retiring them for the I-Pads. Where's the money coming from? Well in 2010, Portland voters approved a levy for technology in schools. Sherwood is not, shall we say, an inner city school.

Meanwhile, the Portland City Government wants people to ride their bikes and walk. They want it so bad, they are giving away umbrellas to people who request them. Street repairs? Not such a high priority. They used that budget for pamphlets, umbrellas, and eager young college people to deliver them to your door.

President Obama promoted Chad's Chet's restaurant in Toledo, Ohio as an example of a business that the GM socialist takeover helped stay open, and hence proof that it was boosting the economy rather than just a gargantuan leftist bailout scheme using dollars the federal government did not have. Chet's is closing after 70 years in business. I can't help but be reminded of the president's use of Caterpillar as an example of how the "stimulus" package was boosting employment instead of a gargantuan leftist giveaway using dollars the federal government did not have. Caterpillar not long after announced layoffs.

Cronyism is a largely uncondemned evil in government. Business and government shake hands over special deals and cooperation on legislation that benefits them both behind the scenes and we as a public tend to pay the price. One example is the EPA and the American Lung Association. Steve Milloy writes at the Washington Times:
As Congress went on recess last week, the ALA took out billboard advertising in Michigan targeting House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican. The billboard ad features a child with an oxygen mask over her face and reads, “Rep. Fred Upton, protect our kids’ health. Don’t weaken the Clean Air Act.”

The ALA attacked Mr. Upton because he is leading the bipartisan effort in Congress to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases – essentially President Obama’s retaliation for Congress’ “failure” to pass “cap-and-trade” legislation last year.
Milloy lists several examples of this effort by the ALA to boost the EPA's policies and attack anyone who tries to question or disagree with them. This is just one more example of O'Sullivan's Law: "All organizations which are not self-consciously conservative will over time become liberal."

Imperial, that's the word often used to describe government which has a different set of rules for its self than for the people it governs. California's legislative body for example has specifically exempted its self from several new gun laws it recently passed. One reason they can do this is that the biggest cities (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento) will so reliably vote for the Democrat incumbent it doesn't really even matter what they do. Even after being overheard scheming to damage the economy to help their election chances, Democrats still control the legislature with a strong majority.

Should the health insurance bill the Democrats rammed through congress over loud, repeated, and very angry voter protests be fully implemented, at least 30% of businesses claim they'll simply drop health care coverage as a benefit. Why? Because it is prohibitively expensive. No one is exactly sure how expensive, but they know it will cost them a lot. This is one more reason businesses are slow to hire and expand these days: they see a huge cost increase on the horizon.

Generally people assume that video game players tend to be kids or teenagers, but according to a survey by the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a video game player is 37. That fits pretty well with what I've seen over the years as well. These games aren't child's play.

Yale set up an anti-Semitism study group, the only one of its kind, to examine the plague of this hate around the world. Recently, they decided to shut the YIISA down. Why? Because the troublesome fellows kept noticing that the primary leaders in anti-Semitism around the world were, in fact, Muslims, and refused to downplay or ignore that.

Originally President Obama met with economic advisers for a daily update on the economy and information on how things were going. The grinning, unlikable White House Spokesman Gibbs announced that several times. At some point, he stopped taking these mLinkeetings and just gets a paper every day instead. I guess there's only so many days in a row you can hear bad news.

Former senator and Democratic Party Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards is in serious trouble for misusing campaign funds to hide his mistress. There are even rumors that his wife gave testimony on tape before dying which will be used against him. But Jeffrey Taylor at the John Locke Foundation has a question: why was that illegal but the money given him by the University of North Carolina to present policy ideas on poverty not?
It was widely understood that the position of center director (annual state salary $40,000, funded by private gifts to UNC) and the entire multi-million dollar edifice itself was created solely to keep Edwards’ political career kicking in the wake of the 2004 election cycle. The association with UNC in turn permitted Edwards to set up non-profits which expressly aided him in his “presentation” to the public, to the tune of millions of dollars.
The New York Times even reported on this, and the money from this totals many times ordinary campaign donation limits.

Three of the world's worst human rights violators have been sitting on the United Nations Human Rights Council since it was rebuilt in 2006: China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia. Other tyrannical human rights abusers and dictatorships that have been on the council: Burma, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, as well as Belarus, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Laos and Syria. Curiously enough, they've yet to issue any condemnation of themselves. Israel on the other hand has been condemned several times each year for daring to exist.

President Obama is out proudly claiming wonderful things happened as a result of the socialist takeover of Chrysler and GM. The US government took over a large portion of both companies in order to save the UAW from going to bankruptcy court and being forced to renegotiate its insane and self-destructive union contracts. At the Washington Examiner, Conn Carroll ran down the numbers, showing that US taxpayers are out almost 6.5 billion dollars in the bailouts, so far. Even the Washington Post could not restrain its incredulity at President Obama's claims, fact checking them and finding them very wanting.

And finally, according to a Whitehall report, 40 Universities in the UK are breeding grounds for radical Islam. James Slack at the Daily Mail reports:
Alarmingly the Prevent review says that ‘more than 30 per cent of people convicted for Al Qaeda-associated terrorist offences in the UK... are known to have attended university or a higher education institution.

‘Another 15 per cent studied or achieved a vocational or further education qualification. About 10 per cent of the sample were students at the time when they were charged or the incident for which they were convicted took place.’
Political Correctness and a deliberate New Labor policy to fill England with immigrants that would be dependent on and friendly to New Labor politicians have borne fruit.

And that's the Word Around the Net for June 10, 2011.


Peccable said...

Europeans don't wash themselves very often, washing a vegetable must sound idiotic.

Anonymous said...

It's Chet's Restaurant, not Chad's.