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Friday, December 09, 2011

WORD AROUND THE NET

“Hundreds are dead as a direct result of actions undertaken by your subordinates and you wish to shame Congress?”
Matthew Hoy

Occupy LA Debris
Today is my birthday, back in 1965. Its funny, but I always thought people in their 40s were old until I got there, and now I don't feel any different than I ever did. Inside, its still just me.

Strangely, the press has been reluctant to report on the hardship elderly and homeless people are facing under the Obama administration. There's plenty of homeless out there - more than in decades - but you almost never hear about them. And since the warming period at the end of the last century ended ten years ago, they've got a much harder time, too. And as for elderly, vetrans and social security benefits finally saw a cost of living increase this year after two previous years of no increases. I know, because my mother is on social security, and while her expenses clearly were going up, benefits were not. The strange thing is that the first year the benefits actually increased was the first year Republicans controlled the purse strings in congress. But we all know they hate the poor and elderly, Democrats keep telling us that.

Meanwhile, household income continues to drop as inflation continues to rise. The price of gas has gone up over 3 and was close to 4 dollars a gallon since Obama took office, and homes continue to drop in price so more and more home owners owe more on their house than it is worth on the market. Yet we're told the recession is over?

We're often told that the American people are "unteachable" and are too dumb to get vast intellects lke Gore, Kerry, Obama, and... well anyone who's a Democrat. Ace at his HQ asks a related question:
Very well.

What has Obama learned in office? Which of his pre-existing beliefs has he learned to is wrong?

Don't say gay marriage; he's still "evolving" on that, so he is not ready to discard that old stance against gay marriage (not until January 2013, at least).

What has Obama learned?

The man is besieged by evidence of his own failures, after all.
The answer to an outside observer is "nothing." He gets mad at people for not going along with him, he refuses to bend, and absolutely won't question any of his basic presuppositions. Ace calls this "epistemic closure," the refusal to learn and grow from outside influence.

China is buying Canada's oil sands petroleum because the Obama administration refuses to allow a pipeline to be built to get it to America. In addition, they've begun heavily working on extracting oil from their considerable shale oil supplies. China's economy is teetering on the edge of collapse but if they can achieve real energy independence and even sell some of their oil, they can pull it back from the brink. If only America could do that...

Gamers are violating the Geneva Conventions, that's what the International Red Cross Association says. Laura Curtis at Hot Air quotes:
In real life, armed forces are subject to the laws of armed conflict. Video games simulating the experience of armed forces therefore have the potential to raise awareness of the rules that those forces must comply with whenever they engage in armed conflict – this is one of the things that interests the ICRC.
Recently, the IRCA announced that they would not be pursuing any action in Geneva since these are only games. This kind of thing does real damage to an activist organization's credibility and donations. Acting like an idiot helps get you attention, just ask PETA. That doesn't help you be viewed as anything but a clown, though, and young gamers tend to be more sympathetic and supportive of activist groups like the Red Cross. They're less familiar with how that organization lent its ambulances to palestinian terrorists, for instance. This kind of thing turns allies into mockers.

ACORN continues to get funding from the Obama administration, despite a congressional ban. The Obama administration argues that they're not sending money to ACORN, they are sending it to organizations which used to be called ACORN. Tom Fitton reports at Big Government that an independent audit shows that this violates federal law because these groups are still affiliated with the corrupt, criminal organization.

After spending months trashing parks and streets, endangering citizens, spreading lice and diseases most associated with medieval europe while complaining about the evil of banks and money, the Occupy movement is... opening a bank. Some banks are more equal than others.

Politico still gets tens of thousands of visitors a day, but their numbers have been declining since they've gone overboard on one side of the political fence. The site used to be pretty evenly split in its coverage, bonking both sides over the head, but as the presidential campaign has begun to heat up, they've really become pretty one-sided and they're bleeding hits as a result, according to the Daily Caller.

Just in case you thought the climate alarmists were just misguided or misled, here's a tale from The Nils-Axel Mörner at the Deccan Chronicle, from Climaquiddick II emails:
The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment claimed that “there is strong evidence” of sea level rising over the last few decades. It goes as far as to claim: “Satellite observations available since the early 1990s provide more accurate sea level data... This decade-long satellite altimetry data set shows that since 1993, sea level has been rising at a rate of around 3mm yr–1, significantly higher than the average during the previous half century.”

Almost every word of this is untrue. Satellite altimetry is a wonderful and vital new technique that offers the reconstruction of sea level changes all over the ocean surface. But it has been hijacked and distorted by the IPCC for political ends.

In 2003 the satellite altimetry record was mysteriously tilted upwards to imply a sudden sea level rise rate of 2.3mm per year. When I criticised this dishonest adjustment at a global warming conference in Moscow, a British member of the IPCC delegation admitted in public the reason for this new calibration: “We had to do so, otherwise there would be no trend.”
In other words, they recalculated the altimetry record to make it appear that sea levels were rising in order to produce a trend that they predicted must take place. Still, I'm sure some of them are just misled.

Close to home we have a couple of stories. First in Seattle there's the tale of the Russian girl living in the $1.2 million dollar home... on welfare. The couple had gotten over $100,000 in benefits including housing and food assistance. But there are no welfare queens. Just ask the New York Times.

Then there's US federal district judge Judge Marco A. Hernandez (appointed by President Obama, although Bush the younger tried to get him appointed earlier) in Oregon, who ruled that bloggers are not journalists. His argument? Jeff Barnard at the Associated Press reports:
Hernandez said Cox was not a journalist because she offered no professional qualifications as a journalist or legitimate news outlet. She had no journalism education, credentials or affiliation with a recognized news outlet, proof of adhering to journalistic standards such as editing or checking her facts, evidence she produced an independent product or evidence she ever tried to get both sides of the story.
Now, its obvious to any non-lawyer that a reporter or journalist is merely someone who gathers news and information, then reports it to others through any appropriate medium. So whatever protections news organizations enjoy, bloggers should obviously and unquestionably as well. However, I'm not so sure anyone should be protected by "shield" laws, blogger or legacy media hack. And given the lousy job most news organizations do, that last sentence is simply comical when used as comparison with the blogger.

Judge ruled that the blogger now has to pay $2.5 million of a judgment against the blogger for libel against the Obsidian Finance Group.

Remember Abramoff? The scandal about payoffs and corrupt lobbying that both parties were engaged in, but only Republicans were attacked for? Remember all the self-righteous condemnation by congressmen about those events? David Hogberg does, and he complied quotes at Investors Business Daily from Democrats embroiled in the Corzine corruption about Abramoff, to show their hypocrisy and lies.

I've noted this in the past: Republicans play by the insider old boys network rules, protecting Democrats out of loyalty and being part of the club - and the understanding that they're doing the same thing, so don't want to point the finger in public. Democrats don't, they point the fingers and attack Republicans while snickering about how they're getting away with exactly the same thing. They're both sides being corrupt about it, but Democrats add treachery and hypocrisy to the list of sins.

Probably this is just an unfortunate use of words by a man of science, but you can't help wondering sometimes if deep down this is what they really think. Anthony Watts quotes discredited ACU head Phil Jones from a climaquiddick II email:
Tim, Chris, I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting till about 2020.
Why does he hope this? Because it would "wipe the smug grins" off "skeptics." After going on and on and on about the horrendous doom that warming represents, you'd think he'd be less eager to see it take place.


Radio, almost free, as Rush puts it. Cheap entertainment is one of the first places people turn when things go tough financially. and it doesn't get much cheaper than radio. According to the Arbitron rating service, radio listening has been increasing lately, which makes sense. Its something everyone can afford.

This bears repeating and the article by Julian Simon at Global Warming.org covers it well: increased technology and prosperity results in better ecology. The richer and more advanced a culture becomes, the more clean a culture it is. Want to reduce pollution and "save the planet?" Promote advancement and riches. Except that's the opposite of what alarmists promote.

Looking back over the decades you can see a clear tendency among Americans: we like lower taxes and are suspicious of big government. But despite that, our government has kept going up over the years. Scott Rassmussen at Taki's writes:
If government spending in America had just held pace with population growth and inflation since 1954, government spending today would total $1.3 trillion. Instead, spending this year will top $5.4 trillion.
So what we claim to want we aren't backing up with our votes. That has to change.

Occupiers are fleeing the streets due to cold, fed up cities driving them out, and generally bad publicity but they still want to keep active. Jim Klinge at Bubble Info reports:
‘Occupy’ protesters and housing rights activists are planning to help families resist eviction from foreclosed homes and take control of vacant properties in some 25 U.S. cities on Tuesday, an effort aimed at focusing attention on the ongoing housing crisis and giving the movement a new focus after the dismantling of many of its encampments.
Well, why not, they were able to stay in parks illegally for over a month. Somehow I doubt they'll get as many takers for this, its a bit different squatting alone or with a few people than in a big party crowd with others.

Trying to instruct school kids about ways to do without so we can stave off climate apocalypse for our SUV sins, a head teacher in England shut the heat off in the entire school. On the coldest day of the year. The students learned something all right, they learned why we have heat and why its good to keep doing it.

Albert Pujols went to the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim (yeah, dumbest name for a team since the Tampa Ray Devil Rays) for $250 million dollars over 10 years. A quarter of a billion dollars. Do they really think he'll be worth that much at age 42 in 10 years? Seriously? So much for Pujols' promise to stay in St Louis and criticism of greed that makes them move to other teams. The stupid thing about these contracts is that big stars like him usually make more off endorsements and advertising than they do their paycheck, so why demand so much?

Football news: Raheem Brock was nailed for driving while drunk by Washington cops (don't mess around with the cops up there, they will get you for speeding, especially if you have an out of state plate). When pulled over he complained that in other states they just let him get away with it and whined that the locals don't know how to "take care" of sports stars. Well for one you're not a star and for two, this ain't Texas or Florida. You're just another citizen in the Northwest.

Meanwhile, a high school QB in the AAAA Super Bowl rushed for 20 yards for the winning touchdown in what he described as the "play of his life." The play was called back, because he the ref ruled that he had violated a ban "celebratory" activity. He raised his arm for two strides, and that was too much for the ref to stomach. The next play was an interception and his team lost. You can't celebrate, that might make the other team feel bad.

Some police districts refuse to release the data, but in the UK, "honor" killings are on the rise, according to a recent study. Up 47% since 2009, according to the latest data, in fact. And that's only the reported and investigated incidents. Multiculturalism, what can't it do?

Jeremy Clarkson, well-known curmudgeon and Top Gear humorist, has driven the usual suspects nuts in England for his recent statement about protesting government workers:
I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.

I mean, how dare they go on strike when they've got these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?
Well, yeah that's a bit much but its not unusual for British humor. The "have them all shot" shock statement of that type is a long, established form of comedic comment in Brit culture, but his targets were unacceptable: union protesters. Some are calling for Clarkson to be fired from Top Gear. Which would end the show, and cost the BBC millions, which simply is not going to happen.

Great Britain has another storm, this time a real one instead of just one of words of sputtering faux outrage. In Scotland, winds capped 165 miles an hour, destroying wind turbines and reminding Scots why they drink so much whiskey. This astounding gust was recorded at the Cairngorms, where a previous record was set of 173 mph in 1986.

Much too late to matter, finally elections corruption investigations have come to light about the 2008 election. It seems that petition signing fraud was rampant during the Indiana presidential primary, trying to help Barack Obama get on the ballot. He probably would have made it without the fraud, but this is just one more example on the Chicago Machine politics his team uses. Any means to an end, as someone once said.

President Obama's administration has taken to calling the Fort Hood shootings by a deranged Muslim screaming "Allahu Akbar" after clearly indicating he was doing so because of Islamic beliefs an example of "workplace violence." Sure, that's like Bob punching Joe in the face over the conveyor belt. Its practically the same, not Islamic terrorism at all.

Adam Corolla's rant against the childish participation trophy generation Occupy Movement is epic and well known but he's taking a lot of heat over it. Corrolla is no Republican but he's not a leftist either. He tried to explain the problem with how the media acts recently in a podcast:
I was doing an interview with this chick from Sacramento, and she was like, “aren’t you worried about the stigma of Glenn Beck?” I get this a lot … “aren’t you worried about being associated with the right?”

I said, “how come when Alec Baldwin announces we’re good buddies no one interviews me and says, ‘aren’t you worried about being connected to the left?’ That doesn’t exist.” She’s like, “well … well …”

The reason you’re asking that is because the media is slanting toward the left, and you all think that way … you can’t help the way you think.
And that's the key: they're so locked into a certain unquestioned worldview, surrounded by like-thinking people that they don't even consider what they're saying or doing. Its exactly like feminists complained about in the 60's; reverse the situation for perspective, what if you said that about a man? What if you said that about a leftist?

Aptera Motors is going under. They tried to make innovative, exciting electric cars, and all they did was use up a lot of money for a product people keep insisting they don't want. in April 2010, CEO Paul Wilbur all but pinned his company’s future on receiving a federal loan, so the Wired article tells us. Look, Thomas Edison couldn't get one to work. Maybe there's a reason these things never get off the ground without billions in government funding?
Meanwhile, gas powered cars keep getting cleaner and more efficient. Ford's new motor that gives more power for less fuel has revolutionized the auto world far more than traction control or "sport mode" in some Italian spine breaker. When you can crank 40-50 mpg out of a car that pollutes less and less with more power than an electric car, for a fraction the price, why on earth would anyone buy an EV?

Fighting against an out of control Environmental Protection Agency, the House of Representatives passed a bill to block their defining dust as pollution and destroying agriculture in the US. Whether the bill will even get to a vote in the Reid-controlled Democrat Senate is questionable.

Many such as myself have long suspected, and seen hints, that the Fast and Furious scandal was just a ploy to establish gun control, and now we have even more evidence that was the case. Sharyl Attkison at CBS News keeps her lone fight up in the legacy media to cover this massive story, noting that documents indicate that the ATF was trying to use the program to establish that so many guns were getting to Mexico that more laws were needed. Holder must resign now.

Obama's National Labor Relations Board has quietly dropped their complaint against Boeing. The air giant was trying to build a plant in South Carolina where they need jobs desperately and would be cheaper for Boeing to run, but the NLRB was upset because the SC plant would be union-free.

*UPDATE: Prof Jacobson at Legal Insurrection suspects that the entire conflict was just a bargaining chip in the renegotiations at their existing plants:
It all was a mere tool to give uthe machinists’ union greater bargaining power, which it then used in negotating a new contact with Boeing. Now that the new contract is done, the NLRB is dropping the case at the request of the union.
If that's so, and it sure looks that way, that's even clearer evidence that the Obama NLRB is just a union advocacy group with the force of the federal government behind it.

The US House of Representatives has bundled the continuation of the FICA deduction cut with a bill to create the pipeline to Canada. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill. Congress lacks the votes to override a veto, but does the president really want to veto the tax cut and the pipeline all at once? Its one thing to hem and haw and vote president on the pipeline until it's too late to build but to deliberately shoot it down is another matter. I'm not fond of wildly unrelated things being stapled together like this but it has forced Obama's hand in a way to make it clear what he thinks about the situation.

And that's the Word Around the Net for December 9, 2011.

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