Friday, June 17, 2011


"I don't like to kick a guy when he's down."
-Barbara Walters, boots bloody from kicking Nixon and Bush

Lemonade Stand
Whenever I watch Top Gear on BBC America, I'm subjected to ads about the coming BBC news report that night, and it usually has some big story about left handed epileptics trying to learn to swim in the Olympics or some such report. I always view these big story news reports with some skepticism due to many, many previous incidences of these reports being at best exaggerated and all too often faked or distorted to make the story seem more compelling. And as it turns out, the BBC does it too.

They did a story in their Panorama series about clothing manufacturing in India, looking at a firm called Primark. In it they showed footage of children doing unsafe things, like handling big needles and so on, and questioned the company's ethics. As it turns out, the footage was fake and the BBC has had to apologize. Too bad you can't get them to apologize for being so virulently anti-Israel and anti-US.

Want to buy a Chevy Volt? Well you know what they say about a fool and his money. You might want to look closely at the price tag before you lay down the green, so to speak. To actually find one on a lot to buy, you might have to go to another state, such as a New Hampshire man who had to travel to Connecticut to see one (although, given the size of those states, he could have walked). Eric Loveday at the Autoblog tells the story:
Upon arrival, the potential plug-in vehicle buyer was shocked to see that the Volt's window sticker included a $4,300 "market availability adjustment," which he likened to the dealership basically saying, "We're overcharging because we can." The salesman, in an attempt to justify the markup, claimed the dealership had previously had an intense bidding war among several potential buyers and sold a Volt for nearly $49,000.
Well anyone who wants to buy one of these things is very likely to be gullible enough to pay whatever they're told just to be "green" or at least perceived as ecologically righteous by others. Consider it a credulity tax.

When president Bush led a charge to try to save Social Security by allowing some younger people to optionally invest part of their funds in the stock market, the AARP went berserk trying to stop the plan. They ran hysterical, lying ads designed to terrify the elderly and spent millions and eventually - thanks in no small part to a huge effort by the legacy media - the plan was abandoned. Well, now the AARP is admitting that maybe yes something does need to be done. Now they are claiming they'll stop opposition to any cuts in social security benefits, and we'll see how long that holds up. My guess is just until a Republican suggests any.

Governor Jerry "moonbeam" Brown of California vetoed his first budget offering from the legislature. The California legislature, up against a deadline that would have made them go without pay if they didn't pass one by the 14th, threw one together that cut spending in higher education, law enforcement, and courts - because clearly, nothing else could be cut - and increased taxation was rejected by the governor because... it didn't have enough tax increases.

Oregon has some of the cleanest water in the country, in fact high tech companies like the Willamette Valley in part because the water is so pure. That's not good enough to the Oregon State government, which just issued new regulations requiring water be ten times as pure as the federal standards. Federal standards require water to be limited to a maximum amount of certain chemicals known to be harmful, and Oregon wants those limits to be ten times as low. The federal levels are known to medicine as being significantly below what is harmful to humans already. Given that almost all of these chemicals are naturally occurring in the water table due to various minerals in the ground, you have to wonder why. Certainly businesses have to wonder.

According to a Pew research center study, 17% of all news coverage in America last week was about former Senator Antony Weiner. Judging by blogs, I'd say it was closer to 80% online, mostly because it gave writers an excuse to write naughty double entendre headlines. That's part of why I gave it a pretty light touch, but I had to write about this bit from Baba Wawa on The View, courtesy Newsbusters: "He's never had another job. What does he do after this?"

Well, Ms Walters, that's pretty much the problem here. Politics is all he's ever done. That doesn't exactly reflect the American vision that the founding fathers had, and it left this putz with a feeling of invincibility and being above the law. He could do anything, who'd stop him? All he had to do was lie, and as Mickey Kaus points out, he could be absolutely sure the left would do anything to defend and protect him. Maybe we'd be better off with regular folks who serve a while rather than career politicians who want to die in office.

Also from Newsbusters, CNN anchor Don Lemon writes at their blog that actually believing what the Bible says is "naive, even dangerous." His problem? The Bible condemns homosexual behavior and he's gay. Faced with a choice between what he claims is his faith and what he wants to do with his life, he rejects faith but tries to find a way to cling to the tatters of religious affiliation anyway.

Not too far from the US Open some kids set up a lemonade stand. You know where this is going, I'm sure. County inspector. $500 fine. I don't knjow what kind of person gets this sort of job but I get the impression they are horrible, shriveled people inside.

Portland is so deep in debt they are firing teachers, but they have big plans with that debt anyway. Internet connections are so critical and important that the city government is working hard with Comcast to set up high speed fiber optic broadband to the Pioneer Square area (the local hipster hangout). They claim its to attract high tech firms to the area. Maybe if Portland's city policies weren't so openly hostile to business they would have an easier time attracting companies.
Yesterday I kicked Video Blogging several times in the ribs, but there are some good ones out there. Youtube has apparently killed its most popular features (embedding) but here's a link to a Steven Crowder video about Detroit. He's got a lot of really great ones posted at his channel on YouTube, they're worth listening to while you do other stuff even if you can't watch them.

Speaking of Steven Crowder, his manager tried to get him an appearance on The Daily Show. The Daily Show's producer wrote back and told his manager that they don't ever have conservatives on the show (which is true, they'll have some right-leaning people on sometimes, but never a conservative). Crowder posted the Email and talked about it on his video segments, and his manager got a call from the Daily Show and was pressured. He quit representing Crowder having found out that he'd have a tough time doing any work at all now unless he did.

At Big Hollywood, Larry O'Connor wrote about what its like to work in entertainment, how these contacts work to protect the star (Jon Stewart was enraged because it damages his "oh I'm just a moderate non partisan who doesn't push politics on my show" lie), and especially this:
The bottom line in this revelatory tale is that in this case the layers protecting all sides of the talent-hiring operation broke down a little. The layer that protects an actor from the ugly truth of political bigotry broke down. And thank God it did. Now Crowder at least knows who he is dealing with when he submits himself for a job. He knows that being talented and funny and attractive isn’t enough. You gotta stop being so damn conservative too.

And, the layer that protects Jon Stewart broke down too. That’s the layer that kept Leno from looking like the jerk years ago. See, when word got out about the e-mail, Stewart’s apparent reaction wasn’t outrage at his show’s policy, it was outrage that Crowder’s manager let the world know about his show’s policy.

The layer that protects Jon Stewart from getting his hands dirty with these decisions broke down in a big way. And his entire operation has been revealed. It’s too bad. When Stewart so famously had trouble shining his well known sanctimonious wit against his friend Rep. Anthony Weiner, wouldn’t it have served his show to have someone in the room who could point out the hypocrisy, the seriousness and yes, the obvious humor in the story that dominated headlines for two weeks? Someone like Steven Crowder? Of course it would have served his show. It would have made his show better.
Yeah but when it comes to politics, entertainment has shown repeatdly that they'd rather suffer a loss in money than even humor conservative ideas.

Reservoirs are bodies of water set aside, usually for drinking water. They contain fish, they have birds flying over, animals whiz nearby and it gets into the reservoir, and so on. Yet when one man was caught on camera taking a leak into the Mt Tabor reservoir near Portland, Oregon, the government decided they have to flush it at a cost of $33,000. Hey, guys fish are peeing in the water all the time. Birds poop in it as they fly overhead. Animals are dead and rotting in the water. This is what happens when city people try to handle outdoor issues.

Congressman Giffords, who was shot by a pot-smoking leftist loony in Arizona, has been moved to outpatient care out of the hospital, which is great news. I disagree with her politics, but I wish her a full, speedy recovery.

By the way, that "Operation Gun Runner" that the Obama Justice Department flubbed so badly they ended up flooding Mexico with high powered weaponry? Part of the reason they stalled and have been making it hard to investigate is that the ATF feared one of those guns was used in Arizona by said pot head lefty loon. It turns out it wasn't but that does sort of suggest partly why the left pushed so hard that this was a right wing loony influenced by the evil Tea Party and Sarah Palin.

Two related 9/11 stories, courtesy Rush Limbaugh's site. First is a woman who ordered Chinese and got the wrong order. She stopped the delivery guy and demanded a refund, but was refused (she says) so she called 9/11 and complained. The other story is another 9/11 call, this time from a junkie who complained that he was ripped off in a crack cocaine sale and wanted to get the canine unit out to find the guy who did it. I can't help but think of Fat Freddy buying Oregano. This stuff is funny but at the same time, it ties up emergency lines and time, costing the state money for some moron's complaint.

Rush has launched a Tea business. I remember well him pushing Snapple tea on the show, and he loves iced tea as much as I do, I think. His Two If By Tea line is available online only and has no shipping cost but the stuff runs at around two bucks a bottle, which means he's bundling shipping into the cost and that's really expensive for something I can brew up for about 5 cents a bottle at home, using the sun.

The US Senate voted to end ethanol subsidies. A previous attempt failed partly because several Republican congressmen refused to stop the wasteful destructive and pointless payout, but this attempt went through. Good for them, its a great start. Grover Norquist at Americans for Tax Reform opposed the vote (and like John Hawkins I wonder who's paying him to take this consistently pro-Ethanol position), but the vote went through.

The New York Times finally got around to noticing that playing golf all the time during a brutal economy and all the woes the country is facing does not show leadership and looks out of touch, to say the least. Of course, they didn't say that about President Obama, they targeted congress, as William Teach notes at Right Wing News. According to the Times:
“Most members of Congress won’t tell you, ‘I’m going to the U.S. Open at Congressional this week,’ simply because these days they would just as soon not be associated with the game of golf,” said the longtime Washington lobbyist Dan Tate Sr., who is one of the area’s top golfers, according to a recent ranking of power brokers by Golf Digest. “Most of them are going to say they are not going, or they are not going to acknowledge that they are going. There’s something wrong there, and it’s a shame, but they have to be aware of appearances.”
Yeah it does look bad. It looks like you're off to the country club with Biff and Muffy to play a rich man's sport while the country suffers unemployment.

President Obama's buddy and likely novelist Bill Ayers is an unrepentant domestic terrorist. He is also a leading professor at the University of Chicago, and finally he's banned entry into Canada. The Canadians seem to understand that he's a terrorist, even if the press and our president does not.

Speaking of Obama's radical pals, Hatem Abudayyeh (well named, he) had his home raided by the FBI as part of a terrorist investigation and sweep. Abudayyah was invited to the White House last year, and Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit has more on the Obama connections to this guy and other radical Islamic folk. I don't think Obama is a Muslim. I think he's a radical leftist who thinks anti-American guys must not be all wrong.

Change. Change from cronyism, lack of transparency, buddies getting power, payoffs, corruption, and business as usual in Washington DC. That's what President Obama ran on, and he won. Once he got in power, he changed all right, by showing everyone he could do it more than anyone else. At the Daily Caller, Amanda Seitz writes about how big-time Obama donors keep seeming to get big-money jobs in the obama administration:
iWatch News reported Wednesday that roughly one-third of appointments made by Obama were either bundlers who paid out at least $50,000 to the president’s 2008 campaign or spouses of these high rollers.

Nearly 80 percent of the bundlers who raised at least $500,000 ended up in what the White House described as “key administration posts,” the report found.

But, according to the White House, Obama has been completely blind to hiring candidates who donated money to his 2008 campaign.
Hey, maybe only the most qualified and finest in America gave President Obama stacks of cash in 2008! Yeah, that's the ticket.

The Stimulus Package cost around a trillion dollars all told, and it was supposed to save us from unemployment as high as 8%! Soon after passage, unemployment pushed past 10%, and about a million jobs were lost. But hey, the package "created or saved" about 450,000 government jobs, according to John Hindracker at Powerline. Too bad for you if you don't work for the government. If you want a handy graphic to show how this works, check out this one from Investor's Business Daily:

Government vs private jobs
Or, to put it another way, President Obama has been pushing Green Jobs as the savior of the economy, claiming he's created so many and they're making a difference. However, even the left-leaning Politico can't find these green jobs, and to make matters worse for the president, he's stepped in it again. This time he went to visit Cree LED Light Company as part of his "look, green jobs that I created or saved with the stimulus package!" tour. Because, you know, he doesn't have a job to do other than run for president. Turns out Cree is moving to China.

President Obama made a rare really stupid, obvious gaffe recently. Yeah he says goofy stuff sometimes and he makes a misstatement like 57 states, but this one was of another class. He blamed ATMs for job losses:
There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don't go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate."
Putting aside the fact that ATMs predated his presidency by a few decades, this just is basically ignorant about how technology and jobs work and is so patently stupid it makes him seem utterly clueless about real life around him. That's more fatal to a politician than signing a book 3 years backdated by accident.

New Mexico is looking into a little bit of voter fraud. Just 64,000 cases of potential fraud, over 10% of the entire voting total the last election. If even 10% of those are fraudulent, that would have been enough to throw the presidential election in 2000 in Florida, for example. That's seriously, seriously troubling, and I hardly think New Mexico is unique.

The EPA might have gone one regulation too far. Their latest plot was to rule that energy generating plants would have to cut back carbon emissions by a huge amount, which would in turn "necessarily cause energy prices to skyrocket" as the president clearly put it while running for office (conveniently ignored by voters. "Skyrocketing energy prices? Who cares, he's cool and he represents change! Besides by voting for him I can show I'm not racist!"). Well the EPA is backing off of those plans, sourly berating utilities for leaking the plan and condemning it, and they've also backed off of the vastly expensive boiler rules they were planning to implement.

Still, the EPA is busy spending money to promote various alarmist causes. The Washington Examiner reports:
According to the agency's grant database on its website, at least 320 overseas EPA grants worth more than $99 million have been approved in the past decade.
Said countries include China, Ethiopia, and even Interpol (?).
...some might wonder why EPA, rather than the State Department, is giving U.S. tax dollars to an Ethiopian nongovernmental organization named after a Greek goddess and often associated with various New Age religious groups in America and Europe [Gaia].
You'd think that would bother someone in the legacy media. Oh well.

Not long ago the media pushed a story about how alarmist scientists were getting all these death threats and how horrible anyone who dares doubt Global Warming must be. Tim Blair in a news column calmly pointed out that these "death threats" were pretty mild, very limited in number, and were actually recycled from a previous news report years ago. In response he got a very angry retort by someone and, well, I recommend highly reading Blair's hilarious fisking of the retort. It is truly glorious. A sample:
And your fans. Some of whom apparently think climate scientists should be chased down the street with burning stakes and hung by their necks until they are dead, dead, dead.
I don’t get the burning stakes. Wouldn’t burning them negate the purpose of obtaining stakes in the first place? Folks arrive at the lynching, somebody says “OK, get to work with the stakes” and everyone’s like, “Oh, we burned them.” Think, people.
Tim is always worth a read.
According to former CIA worker Glenn Carle, the Bush administration requested a background check and information on at least one strong war critic; Juan Cole. Apparently they didn't find anything meaningful, because nothing happened. Personally I don't have much problem with that because it was done in private. Its only troubling when the digging is "leaked" to act as intimidation and a warning to critics.

Remember in the Iraq war and rebuilding how the journalists were so notoriously lazy and worthless that even the Rolling Stone mocked them for hiding in ritzy hotels and using (usually terrorist sympathizing enemy) informants for their news? They're doing the same thing in much safer Libya, with Khadaffi protecting them. It isn't just the bias that's the problem with the legacy media - in fact, that's pretty far down the list. These guys are just awful at their jobs.

Also a memory from Iraq: the Pentagon sent $12 billion to Iraq in planes to pay for reconstruction efforts. Apparently around $6.6 billion of that was stolen and cannot be accounted for. Who got it? Did it make it to Iraq or was it lifted before it got out of the country? Was it "appropriated" for other projects and then reported as stolen? Did someone pull off the greatest heist in the history of the world (aside from the UN Oil for Food scandal, and that was a bunch of smaller frauds rather than one big one)?

Yeah, some white Scottish dude posed as a lesbian Arab and got big time hits and world coverage for her posts. Jonah Goldberg points out something though: the only reason this worked was because he was saying what the western media and academia wanted to hear. It was a magical Arab lesbian who said things were great, Israel sucked, and the Arab Spring revolution was all flowers, democracy, and no nasty radical Muslims were involved! Honestly that is the secret to big time blogging: say what people want to hear, either red meat, celebrity gossip, or feed people's preconceived notions.

Meanwhile, James Taranto wonders about the consistency of going to counseling for being heterosexual. A congressman shows he's stupidly interested in every woman on earth and cannot control himself, and goes to rehab - does that mean you can cure heterosexual urges? What does that say about homosexual urges, which we're told over and over are not just natural, proper, and quite reasonable, but totally incurable and never a choice?

Hilariously, Reuters tries to spin lower consumer confidence and less spending into good economic news. Here's the headline: Consumers spend less, recovery seen on horizon. Wait, I thought we were already in a recovery? Their argument goes this way: the decline was less than some expected (unexpected!) so that's really double secret good news. Sales slipped 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said, after a 0.3 percent rise in April. Good news. Sales go up under President Bush; bad news because they found an economist who said it should have been more.

Electric Cars: crappy power, cost too much, and charge slowly, but great for the environment, right? Not so fast, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Why? The batteries. They are so dirty to build and have to be replaced so often that you'd have to drive an awful lot to use less carbon by driving an electric car than a gas-powered one. An electric car owner would have to drive at least over 80,000 miles before producing a net saving in CO2, according to a study sponsored by the British Government and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. Oh, then there's all the pollution caused by the power plants that charge up your car. And anyone who has bought rechargable batteries know they never last as long as advertised. So stack on a few more thousand miles on that.

Under continual fire for idiotic spending on trash depicted as art, the National Endowment for the Arts is trying to win support for their unconstitutional department by getting gamers on their side. Bruce Edward Walker writes at the Washington Times:
According to the NEA’s website, the 2012 Arts in Media category now includes “all available media platforms such as the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, digital games, arts content delivered via satellite, as well as on radio and television; and media projects that can be considered works of art.”

Fear not that the NEA merely will fund a rehash of Grand Theft Auto as Million Dollar Art Heist, however. The NEA asserts that its panels possess the necessary knowledge and experience in digital media to judge applicants and their entries. These renaissance men and women will cut grant checks ranging from $10,000 to $200,000.
Video Games as art. Well, only if it offends red state Jesuslanders.

Judicial Watch has gotten Freedom of Information documents from the Justice Department that show that they pressured Dayton, Ohio fire and police departments to lower testing standards so that more minorities could get jobs there. Holder is looking out for "his people" again. It looks like he might be shown the door soon, and its long past time.

During a Seattle trial, a prosecutor noted that several eyewitnesses changed their minds and refused to testify against a black murderer because "the code is black folk don't testify against black folk." That's hardly news to anyone in a court. The Washington Supreme Court overturned the conviction because he said that. This was not an uncertain case, they had tons of evidence including video footage.

And that's the Word Around the Net for June 17, 2011.


Alex VanderWoude said...

"...the secret to big time blogging: say what people want to hear, either red meat, celebrity gossip, or feed people's preconceived notions."

Ouch, you're letting your bitterness leak through. I guess it's hard, and it might take a while to be able to feel philosophical. Hang in there.

vanderleun said...

Youtube embedding is still there and going strong. There was some sort of tech transition a couple of weeks back that made it iffy for a few days but that's solved now and you might have to clear your cache.

To get embed codes click on the "Share" button and then click on embed. Drops down and gives you a standard code but you can look lower and enter a width that will give you a proportion code that will fit in your left column.

That's it. Thank you for playing and for these posts as always.

SentWest said...

"which he likened to the dealership basically saying, "We're overcharging because we can."

Here, let me fix that:

"Which is like the dealership basically saying, 'We're charging what the market will bear due to low supply and high(?) demand. If we haven't sold it in two months come back and get it at a lower price.'"

Ahh, that's better....

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