Emily wants a gun, after a scary episode in her home city Washington DC. So she has set out to buy one, but getting a gun there is like finding a four leaf clover in Death Valley. She's writing a series of columns at the Washington Times and keeping readers updated to her troubles on Twitter. Washington DC has only one gun merchant, as the rest have their permits and building efforts blocked by the city government. You cannot legally buy a gun in Washington DC despite recent Supreme Court rulings, only outside the city and bring it in. You can't have a gun unless its registered, and you have to take a safety class to get the registration. You can only buy guns on a list of acceptable weapons, with a maximum magazine of 10 rounds. She's still trying after 3 days.
Why might she want a gun? There's a saying: when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. In Washington DC, those minutes keep getting longer:
The statistics, contained in the department’s fiscal 2005 budget performance report, show that the average response time for the highest-priority calls — Priority 1 — was 8 minutes, 25 seconds in fiscal 2003, up from 7 minutes, 19 seconds in fiscal 2002 and 7 minutes, 47 seconds in fiscal 2001.That's from a Washington Times report in 2010, courtesy Alphecca.
Meanwhile, another city finds that reducing gun laws results in less gun crime. This time its Chicago, where Fox News reports:
In the first six months of this year, there were 14% fewer murders in Chicago compared to the first six months of last year – back when owning handguns was illegal. It was the largest drop in Chicago’s murder rate since the handgun ban went into effect in 1982.Its almost as if armed citizens discourage criminal violence. Wonder why you didn't see that reported anywhere else?
Meanwhile, the other four most populous cities saw a total drop at the same time of only 6 percent.
Pigford is the name for a program to give black farmers financial restitution for alleged abuse by the federal Department of Agriculture in past years. As Big Government has shown the program has been a festival of fraud and abuse under the Obama administration, who is using it like a reparations project for blacks even if they were never farmers. Recently a lawyer for these farmers admitted this is happening:
I actually went to a meeting in Alabama, where these white lawyers from Texas had hired–you were there [“Yes, maʼam. And they're still calling me and trying to get me to fraud.”]–hired black people, hired black people to go into all these black churches and they literally told black people: “Oh, you didn’t have to farm. It doesn’t matter if your grandfather never farmed. If you ever thought about farming, youʼre eligible for this lawsuit.” So these people are thinking this is more of a like reparations-type lawsuit.This lawyer's position is that its mean of the government to prosecute fraud, because these people were misled, but he is describing the situation pretty accurately.
Remember the hole in the ozone layer in Antarctica? That closes and opens regularly like clockwork on a seasonal basis, but scientists believe it has reduced in size to a more normal fluctuation, and they tried to tie that to a CFL ban. However, another hole in the ozone layer has since opened up. Over the Arctic. Climate hysterics instantly jumped on that as proof of global warming but scientists there are blaming it on... excessively cold temperatures. Its almost as if the planet's atmosphere is more complex than we understand, or something.
Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) fresh from being reelected despite being roundly despised in Nevada, changed a Senate rule to block the minority party from being able to offer amendments to a bill. He's acting as if he thinks Democrats will forever be in the majority; not smart. But get this: he did so in response to Republicans trying to force a vote on the president's "jobs bill" which has zero co sponsors in congress from either party, in either house. Senator Reid wanted to stop that from coming up to a vote so bad he changed senate rules. But President Obama keeps blaming Republicans for stopping his bill.
Speaking of the "jobs bill" there's a little bit in there which would change law to make it easier for debt collectors - are you listening, you spoiled little idiots at Wall Street? - to call cell phones. In terms of those companies, I sympathize, fewer people use land lines these days. But that's not exactly consistent with the "banks are evil, credit companies are the problem" rhetoric that's coming out of the other side of President Obama's mouth.
Imagine a housing project that would only allow members of the developer's religion. Do you figure that might be a source of concern, even outrage? That it would be considered illegal, especially in Canada, with its tyrannical kangaroo court Human Rights Commissions? Except this time there's no particular cause for concern. You guessed it: they're Muslims. I'm fine with Muslims or anyone else restricting their rentals and sales to whoever they wish; its rude and often stupid, but that's part of your right to property.
Religious organizations noted that the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act would compel them by law to do religious procedures they considered immoral and wrong, such as abortion. President Obama stated that would never happen, and was echoed by Democrats in congress. No one believed him, and as it turns out he's always meant for the funding to happen:
Bantering with the audience at a fundraiser in St. Louis yesterday, President Barack Obama bragged about a new regulation, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has denounced as an “unprecedented attack on religious liberty.”Darn tootin'? Seriously?
"Darn right!" an audience member at the fundraiser shouted as Obama described the regulation.
“Darn tooting!” Obama said back.
Yet another pesky Inspector General is causing problems for the Obama administration. Democrats insisted these be put in office, and now the various IGs keep pointing out exactly what they didn't mean to be pointed out. The IG for the Department of Labor has reported that the "green jobs" program the Democrats started up with the "stimulus" package has produced jobs at a cost of $500,000,000 per job, and only 15% of the participants have created any jobs. He recommends the program be ended and the money not spent.
Republicans talk big about reducing government and spending, but typically when in a majority don't do anything of the sort. Timothy Carney has laid down a challenge for the GOP: a clear, easy, and obvious place to start with cuts and to promote the free market:
You might be surprised to hear there is a Harry Reid Research and Technology Park. You won't be surprised to learn that U.S. taxpayers are funding part of it.Basically the EDA is a device for congressmen to get things named after themselves while pretending to promote commerce, while helping out donors.
This monument to the Senate majority leader was not subsidized through some earmark Reid stuck in an appropriations bill. The $2 million grant came through a little-known part of the Commerce Department known as the Economic Development Administration. As Republicans assert that this time they are serious about cutting spending, killing a corporate welfare agency and pork machine like the EDA would be a great start.
Freshman Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., has introduced the EDA Elimination Act of 2011. In the upper chamber, conservative Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., proposed a similar measure. While EDA is relatively small and nearly unknown, Pompeo sees this as a crucial fight. He calls the EDA "pure redistribution" and the prime example of how federal involvement in the economy allocates wealth "by political processes rather than market processes."
Speaking of clueless Republicans, consider Georgette Mossberger, who told fundraisers and reporters (courtesy Gateway Pundit):
“I think tomorrow, we’ll be contacting one another and probably put something together with Romney… And I would say that the race is now Romney and Obama. Quite frankly, the enthusiasm wasn’t there at the outset. He’s less conservative than a lot of us would like. However, our first and foremost goal is to defeat Obama. And we do believe Romney, in terms of independents, will be a strong candidate. We will coalesce behind him now… the time has come to get behind him… Tomorrow I’ll be on the phone all day. Quite frankly, it’ll be easier, because now we know who it is who will be our nominee. So we will pull our Rolodexes out and get to work.”Yeah, kiss your funding goodbye, you clueless elite country club twit. This is why so many people on the right donate to candidates rather than party. The parties are run by worthless despicable trash who do not care a bit about what the membership thinks. They are motivated by power and success rather than idea and membership. Not one dime for the GOP, not a single penny. Donate to candidates, never the party.
President Obama has signed into law more debt than every single president of the United States before him combined. This data comes from the US Treasury Department. But... banks! Reaganomics! Boooooosh!!1!
Combining Yale and Harvard professors, a study came out recently that demonstrated that the more people know about the science and data behind climate, the more strongly they will hold their positions, both as alarmists and skeptics. In other words, the idiot slander that only scientifically illiterate people are skeptical about human-caused global warming is just nonsense.
Johns Hopkins is one of the most world-respected and prestigious medical organizations on earth. They also recently released a statement noting that male circumcision is proper and has medical benefits which banning circumcision would prevent. Not that any of this matters to anti-circumcision activists, just read the comments at the site.
Geoffrey Clark is the white guy who claims to be an Australian Aborigine. He's won various awards and grants from Aboriginal organizations - including ones for women. Andrew Bolt was silenced by an Australian court for pointing out how idiotic this is, but the Aboriginal organizations aren't amused. The Framlingham Aboriginal Trust threw him off the board, probably because he's whiter than Colonel Sanders.
Global warming hysterics have done damage to science, something I argued a while back. 2011 science Nobel Prize winner Brian Schmidt believes that the way the climate debate has been framed has diminished the standing of science. Climaquiddick didn't help much. Being wrong over and over in predictions and having your computer models be utterly, consistently, and unswervingly false probably didn't either.
Here's an example of deliberately misleading reporting on climate issues. The headline:
Yet in the body of the piece is this paragraph:
Lead researcher Brian Anderson of Victoria University's Antarctic Research Centre will take three years to predict changes in the country's glaciers, many of which have grown in recent decades despite global warming.Oh yeah, well other than that, in 100 years they may all be gone! Maybe. Or maybe they'll be bigger. Who knows? Not anyone alive today, and even if they did go away that doesn't mean humans caused it. But give us the money for a 3 year study anyway.
Meanwhile, various newspapers are heralding a study which indicates that the hated evil white male conservative is less likely to believe in human-caused climate hysteria than the average population. The study suggests this as a reason:
It has to do with their identity as an in-group," he said. "Something that would challenge the status quo is something [conservative white males] want to shun."But that's self-refuting nonsense. If this is all about belonging to a group identity, then these folks would want to go along with the bigger crowd. The truth is, conservatives are on the whole generally more skeptical, especially about big cultural issues, than other groups, for good or ill. And since the alarmist push is shockingly leftist in its goals and stated "solutions" then conservatives are even more likely to reject the whole premise. Is that really so hard to puzzle out?
Oregon State spent millions on "green jobs" but the Democrat-controlled government that spent it can't figure out how many jobs that spending actually resulted in. Oregon can only account for a "handful of created or saved" jobs - about 5o,000 or 4% of the Oregon workforce. And as Corey Pien reports, the definition of "green" is pretty broad:
But records show that the state has stretched its “green job” definition so broadly it includes such low-tech occupations as mowing lawns and shoveling manure. According to the Oregon Employment Department, the No. 1 “green job” in Oregon is “carpenter.” No. 2? Truck driver.Well, they were driving green trucks.
When President Obama unilaterally declared war on Libya, in violation of the War Powers Act, he claimed that this was only to help regime change and protect innocents. NATO stated strongly that it would attack any "rebels" (read: Islamic extremists including al`Qaeda) who attacked civilians. Yet as Mike McNally reports in Pajamas Media, NATO appears to be assisting rebels attacking civilians:
There are no reliable casualty figures, although pro-Gaddafi forces — not surprisingly — are reporting hundreds of civilian deaths caused by both NTC fighters and NATO airstrikes. While those claims can’t be verified, with both rebel forces bombarding the town for the past couple weeks it’s inconceivable that civilians are not being killed and injured.By the way, where's Khadaffi?
But far from defending the civilian population of Sirte, NATO warplanes were as recently as Sunday still conducting airstrikes in and around the town in support of the rebels. “Why is NATO bombing us?” asked one man who had fled with his family. It’s a fair question.
Personally I'm not that upset at the first lady taking trips once in a while, regardless of cost. Its very expensive to move the president or his wife around, including their family. You do have to wonder about how often she goes, though. And citing her children as "senior staff" to justify their cost is a bit sketchy as well. One picture of a staged trip to Target is not going to eliminate that Marie Antoinette image, Ms Obama.
Speaking of that Target trip, in a total coincidence, Michelle Obama's favorite clothing designer, Jason Wu, was recently awarded a contract to produce a limited-edition clothing line for Target. Its the Chicago Way.
Heterosexual AIDS is an important concept for the activist organizations that make so much money and have so much policy power built up around the disease. Yet Michael Fumento has pointed out very clearly with abundant data that Heterosexual AIDS is virtually unknown and has been shrinking in incidence for decades. You know how you get AIDS? Using dirty needles and having homosexual sex, 99.9% of the time. And the other times are from having sex with people who do the former.
Tom Nelson has a good question about Solyndra. The a major stakeholder of the company, Obama fundraiser George Kaiser is worth $1,200,000,000. Why did Solyndra need all that money from the federal government? Steve Jobs didn't get any loan guarantees or stimulus money. Its almost as if they knew the company had zero chance without continuous government subsidy. And either President Obama knew that... or he should have.
Speaking of Obama fundraisers, he recently went to one held by Tom Carnahan - yeah, he's closely related to Senator Carnahan - who coincidentally got a $107,000,000 tax credit in the "stimulus" package for his "wind farm" idea. Chicago Way.
More Chicago Way: AFL-CIO's Missouri foundation got a fat "stimulus" check as well, $527,529 to create jobs - which they specifically were exempted from reporting how many were created. This is how you get union support, just cut them a check at everyone else's expense. Must be nice to be able to throw money at your friends without paying a cent.
President Reagan made a couple of speeches in which he mentioned a welfare queen whose limo was taken away from her, eventually. Leftists love to claim that never happened, that he invented the whole thing, and that reporters scoured the earth looking for this woman and simply could not find her. Maybe they should have checked Lexis/Nexis for this February 28 1980 New York Times story all about her.
And all that stimulus pork, meant to save us from going as high as 8% unemployment rates? Yeah the unemployment rate went up to over 10% after it was passed. $200,000,000 was sunk into the Renewable Energy Lab in California, creating... well actually the company has had to lay off 100 people. I guess that was another "bad bet" by Energy Secretary Chu. Funny how all these green companies keep being bad bets. Almost as if it was obvious to anyone not blinded by ideology and the dream of green tech in violation of physics, economics and reality.
The recession is well known to have hit men far harder than women, but that violates the feminist code, so Institute for Women's Policy Research/Rockefeller Survey of Economic Security cobbled together a study to show that women were actually hit harder by the recession. Unfortunately they have to admit even in this study that:
The report notes more men than women lost their jobs in what they have dubbed The Great Recession.The basis for their study? They tried to quantify people "struggling" with low pay and claim that women are having a harder time finding work now than men - probably because fewer of them were laid off.
Men have lost 6.2million jobs since 2007, and women have lost 2.6million, according to the report.
New York State's Democrat-controlled assembly wants to change the right of free speech into a privilege. I'm not making this up, here's part of a statement from various Democrat senators from the state:
Proponents of a more refined First Amendment argue that this freedom should be treated not as a right but as a privilege — a special entitlement granted by the state on a conditional basis that can be revoked if it is ever abused or maltreated.Why? Well, for the children of course, to protect them from being offended or bullied online. Its all about controlling internet discussions and speech. Funny how its always the left that wants to silence dissent and remove free speech these days.
The Food Stamp President has managed to get the country to a new record high: 45,300,000 Americans are on food stamps now, out of just over 312,000,000, or just under 15% of the US population. Small wonder, then, that even President Obama has to admit that Americans are not better off now than they were four years ago. Great job.
You knew this was coming, as Herman Cain gains popularity and momentum: George Lopez questioned his actual blackness. The comedian recently said "The Republicans do know that he's darker than Barack Obama...but whiter on the inside." See, that's why they called Clinton the first black president, because to them, blackness is about ideology and leftist political tilt, not ethnic background.
Florida has a new gun law, one that prevents officials from preventing gun carrying. Yet the headline is remarkable, as Glenn Reynolds explains:
OKAY, THIS HEADLINE SEEMS STRAIGHTFORWARD: End of local concealed-gun bans worries officials across South Florida.Yeah, they were ignoring established law and violating people's gun rights, and now they're upset they might get in trouble for doing so.
But when you read the story, what the local “officials” are actually worried about is that they’ll be punished for breaking the law now:
So they happily broke the law to deprive people of their legal rights and now that they might be punished for doing so, they’re troubled?
Effective Saturday , many of South Florida’s “No guns allowed” signs are gone. That’s thanks to a new state law imposing fines of up to $5,000 on county and municipal officials, and even threatening them with removal from office, if they enforce firearms and ammunition restrictions other than those spelled out by state statute.
The state legislation has been on the books since 1987. But because it did not contain any penalties until now, many local governments passed their own, more restrictive laws.
Alarmist NASA scientist James Hansen is famous for having deliberately doctored old climate data to make it seem less dire then than it was. He's also famous now for becoming a billionaire by being a climate hysteric. If you ever wondered what his motivation was for being such a knucklehead and camera hound, now you know.
Jerry Pournelle has an idea for a new, improved NASA:
Mission for NASA: Become the national Space Prize organization. Congress appropriates $2 billion a year, relatively trivial amounts; NASA sets up prize committees, stores up the money, and gives it away as prizes. It doesn’t fund anything, it doesn’t need large staffs, it needs some bright people to come up with prize objectives and definitions, judges to determine that the prize objectives have been met, and someone to sign the checks for winners. Nothing else.Given how awful they've been since about 1972, that sounds better than they are now, and it would be a lot cheaper too. And guys like Hanson would have to go find work somewhere else.
Finally, after years of pressure, President Obama is opening up trade with some friendly countries. South Korea, Columbia, and Panama all are slated for better trade status, after being stonewalled by the Obama administration for almost 3 years. He was busy trying to get a communist tyrant in Honduras over the objections of its people, and couldn't be bothered.
This will shock you, I know, but it turns out the whole climate carbon credit scheme is not just a failure in actually reducing emissions but is wracked with fraud and abuse. But it is making some proponents of the process very wealthy.
Scotusblog asked what the Supreme Court of the US should do with the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act, and David Kopel has a lawyer's answer at Volokh Conspiracy:
The Court should re-affirm Gibbons v. Ogden, which followed the original understanding of the interstate commerce clause: “commerce” means mercantile exchange, plus some closely-related subjects, such as navigation. Among the subjects which are not interstate commerce, according to Gibbons, are “health laws of every description.” The Court should then over-rule South-Eastern Underwriters (1944), which broke from long-established precedent, and declared that even purely intrastate insurance was interstate commerce.This would not only block the constitution-raping monstrosity, but it would also detonate decades of legislation and spending based on a totally deliberate misreading of the commmerce clause. Win-win.
Warren Bennett continues to make President Obama's "Bennett rule" look stupider and stupider. Recently he said that "higher taxes on the ultra-rich is not going to solve the deficit problem," which is quite true. I and many other sites have shown that taking every single penny from every millionaire or richer in the US would not even pay for one month of the US debt. To solve that, the government would have to tax everyone paying taxes more than double, and they'd still have to cut spending.
Dogs can hear higher frequency sounds than humans, that's the principle behind a dog whistle, which puts out a tone that excites and attracts notice from dogs. Now Nestle is putting out an ad for Purina dog food which contains these tones to get a dog's attention when it runs. Like advertising wasn't obnoxious enough without your dog going nuts.
And that's the Word Around the Net for October 7, 2011.