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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, December 16, 2011

WORD AROUND THE NET

Don't know what's come over you
You've found someone new
And don't it make my brown eyes blue
-Crystal Gayle, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"

Heterocrhomidia Iridum
December 31 was the deadline fro buying your last incandescent 100 watt bulb in America (not every single bulb, yet, thanks to a reminder from commenter T.K. Tortch). However the recent spending increase bill agreed on in congress much to the dismay of conservatives around the nation, the ban has been suspended temporarily - so you'll still be able to buy these bulbs in 2012. One small victory for liberty in an overall loss as the federal government continues to spend more.

Iraq is officially over, declared finished by the Obama administration. Yet conspicuously missing from their statements is a key word: victory. Why not say we won? Because that gives credit to President Bush, and that simply cannot be allowed. And where are the massive ticker tape parades, the celebrations, the big newspaper announcements, the retrospectives, the war films showing heroism, and the rest? Well it was a huge embarrassment for the left, who continually predicted failure, misery, and loss and spent every waking moment trying to portray the combat and rebuilding in Iraq as a total catastrophe. So they'd rather just forget it, and they control the news media, the entertainment community, and the White House. So one more time, America spits in the face of the soldiers who sacrificed, fought, and died to protect liberty.

Christopher Hitchens has died. HIs continual smoking finally caught up with him in 2010 when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and he died last night at age 62. Hitchens was an unquestionably brilliant, witty, well-educated, well traveled man whose analysis of events was striking and thought-provoking. A strong liberal, he was always for the liberation of Iraq and the war on terror, which made him enemies during the Bush administration, but he was consistently liberal and often attacked the Bush administration as well. His intelligence, wit, and learning tended to evaporate when it came to religious issues - particularly Christianity - but he will be missed and was almost universally admired for his writing skill and brilliance. His brother Peter Hitchens is not as brilliant a writer, but is quite good as well - and is a Christian.

MSNBC and the Washington Post reported eagerly on a leftist blogger's assertion that Mitt Romney had used an old KKK catch phrase "Keep America American." This got quite a bit of coverage at both news organizations until someone pointed out that he'd said "Keep America America" which is a bit different. MSNBC apologized, as did several of its would-be celebrities, and the Washington Post printed a small retraction. Reporters are supposed to confirm and research aren't they? How hard would it have been to just find the actual quote? I suspect that this will come up again in the election, despite the correction, especially if he wins the GOP nomination.

Credit ratings for several gigantic world banks were cut last night in an announcement by one of those all-powerful ratings agencies only banks know about. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, Barclays, France’s BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank all saw ratings downgrades, representing a less trustworthy investment. This has triggered widespread fear that Europe's economic collapse is imminent, which would be just enough to tip the rest of the world off the precipice we're all so delicately balanced upon.

Michael Graham at the Boston Herald wonders what happened to "No Blood for Oil." No, he's not refering to the sudden and unreasonable decision by President Obama to attack Libya, he's talking about the Keystone pipeline from Canada to America. If we don't want to spend blood or wars on foreign soil to get oil, that means we should want to get as much oil from local friends as we can... right?
Instead, the Liz Warren left starts with “No war for oil,” then “No oil from Canada,” “No nukes,” “No coal” and then the inevitable, “Hey — wait! My iPad just died and there’s no electricity to charge it. Where’s my oil?!”

Remember: They’re the smart ones.
Sure they are.

Allegedly, Syria moved missile launchers to their western border, and ordered a huge shipment of gas and chemical attack protection gear. Keep in mind this is Debka and somewhat uncertain in its validity, but it is disturbing news if accurate. The theory is that they're trying to prevent an invasion like Libya faced, possibly staged out of Turkey. Syria is busy murdering its own people in an effort to prevent another Arab Spring uprising in the country.

Although the US Government has announced that the spy drone that Afghanis delivered to Iran is real I'm going to go on record here on my blog to officially say that I think its fake. Why they've announced the reality of this drone is up to some question - perhaps its useful to let our enemies think the GPS spoofing system works - but what the Iranians are showing looks an awful lot like a fake model to me, not a military device. I'm not alone in this assessment, either. At least one official notes the wing joints wouldn't be stealthy and doubts its validity as well.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a hard left Democrat, and Paul Ryan (R-WI) have come up with a plan to rebuild medicare. I've not read the plan, but knowing Ron Wyden I can't imagine its a very good one. The intent is to save medicare which is rapidly going bankrupt as more and more people pile onto the program (thanks in no small part to Democrats in congress allowing young people in their 20s earning wages that make them middle class onto the rolls). You can read the plan at the congressional website if you wish.

States spend an average of over 1 out of every 3 dollars of their budgets on education. Its hard to argue that they're getting their money's worth. As many have pointed out before several times, the spending per student (even adjusted for inflation) has been going up continually, but the testing and education quality has remained static or dropped. Any company spending more than a third of its total budget on a given program that shows no improvement would be changing their plan.

School boards around the nation decided it was just fine if junk food vending machines were put in schools - to raise money naturally - until parents and nutrition groups pointed out what a horrible idea it was to give kids unlimited access to sugar and fattening crap. So they started taking the vending machines out, but now that the controversy is dying down, the Seattle School board is looking at slipping them back in. After all that's money they aren't getting and those donuts at the meetings won't buy themselves.

Another victory in the global War on Terror: five terrorist suspects have been arrested in Italy. Their planned targets were Italian Jews, President Bush, and gypsies (called "Romanian Nationals" in the story). Yes, its still going on, even if President Obama wants to consider the effort over.

Biofuels, despite being not environmentally friendly and destructive to food production, are a hot topic for the "green" left. Like so many things leftist, the idea trumps the reality, so the concept of biofuels being the future clings bitterly despite its utter failure so far. And with such a person as commander in chief, its not surprising to learn that the Navy was ordered to buy 450,00 gallons of biofuel. Its not that the Navy has so much use for the stuff as its a subsidy of sorts, like buying GM products for the federal motorpool. The fuel cost $16 a gallon, four times the usual fuel prices.

Treasury Secretary Paulson was first appointed by President Bush, and he's proved lousy at both that and as chairman of the Federal Reserve, but at least he paid his taxes. And recently its been revealed that just before a Freddie and Fannie rescue to protect housing prices, he went to speak to several hedge fund giants to tell them about it. Ordinarily this is where I'd bash President Obama for his insider cronyist big finance ties, but President Bush was in office at the time. I'm sure they justified this massive insider trading scam as protecting the economy but it was blatantly wrong, and if not illegal, should have been.

San Francisco city council has voted to increase the minimum wage for the city to $10 an hour. Its as if they have no concept of economics or the principle of starting wages. If you have to pay someone that much to work for you, you're not likely to take a chance on someone totally unqualified. Or take a chance on a business at all. Expect Washington State to follow suit soon, with $10.01 an hour.

Wisconsin's leftists are trying to get popular governor Scott Walker recalled before its even more obvious how much the man's efforts have helped the state and education. The State Elections Board has officially announced that while they'll note fraudulent and repeated signatures, they won't dismiss them unless officially challenged. So at least one man has announced on television news that he's proudly signed 80 petitions. He's shown in the video saying
"Yeah. They cheated for Bush, so hey, I'm going to cheat to get Scott Walker out of here."
Clearly, a stable and intelligent individual here.

Senator Harry Reid, one of the most wretched and pathetic men to ever hold power in America, boldly announced that millionaires who create jobs are "Actually Like Unicorns, Impossible to Find. They Don't Exist." Reid himself is a millionaire, and he's never created a job in his life, so I suppose he might have a point, about some. Ace points out this is probably based on an idiotic column with the same concept which blatantly contradicts its self. Millions of Obama voters were devastated to find that unicorns don't exist.

Ron Paul has some really good ideas and smart arguments about the constitution and even some about foreign policy, such as the idea of closing many foreign bases and restricting spending to constitutional levels. However, he's also a crank and a goofball, saying things like “Just think of what happened after 9/11. Immediately before there was any assessment there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq.” OK he's a cranky old man but that's just horrible.

Don't it make your brown eyes blue? Well if you want, there's a new procedure that allows people to change the color of their eyes medically. It costs about $5000 and takes a few minutes under a laser. Strangely, this sort of elective surgery, along with other body modifications like pointy elf ears, vampire teeth, and metal studs under the skin to create horns is considered bizarre and a problem with society, while getting your naughty bits hacked off and pumped full of hormones to look like a woman is considered a protected right that national health services ought to provide.

Governor Patrick Deval (Democrat, Massachusetts) sent out invitations to the lighting of the holiday tree, and at the same time sent out invitations to the official lighting of the Menorah for Hanukkah. For some reason nobody in his office pointed out the idiocy of that stunt, and recently he admitted that, well yes, it was a Christmas tree after all. What fools Political Correctness doth make of us all.

NBC News has not done one single story all year long about the Fast & Furious scandal. Not one the entire year. Both ABC and CBS have actually covered it, particularly CBS who's doing their job. Does NBC really think the story goes away if they ignore it? This is the most heinous scandal in my lifetime and there hasn't even been a single arrest yet.

President Obama, with typical humility and grace admitted that there were presidents whoLinkaccomplished more than he has in his term of office so far: Lincoln, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson. Frankly its astonishing to me that he'd even want to praise Johnson, who was one of the most blatantly corrupt, criminal, and awful president the US has ever endured.

Retail sales were predicted to go up by as much as .6% in November, but instead barely rose by a total of .2%, disappointing to say the least. When Bush was in office, an increase of over a percentage point was disappointing. When Obama is president, it barely gets covered.

Occupy has claimed another victim. No, its not a bank, its not a vastly wealthy person, its not even a Republican. Its Milk Street Cafe in New York City which ran out of customers when the occupy movement barricaded the street off and blocked customers from reaching the place. This closure puts 70 workers out of jobs and the owner vows to never open another restaurant in NYC. Way to stick it to the man.

Surprising few, the National Association of Realtors recently admitted that they deliberately overcounted home sales from 2007 until October of this year. That means the already awful housing numbers are about to get significantly lower as the actual data is counted.

This week, the EPA announced that they had discovered hard evidence that "fracking" (hydraulically fractured rock to harvest natural gas) contaminates area water, long a claim by environmentalists (and depicted pathetically on CSI a few years ago). Except it was revealed that the evidence was collected by drilling 900 foot test wells, three times the usual depth of water wells. The drilling actually got down far enough to enter the natural gas reserves. If you can't find the evidence, just manufacture it, right, Dr. Ann Maest?

Further crushing the peak oil theories of some, another gigantic ocean of oil was discovered off the Falkland Islands. Its almost as if we aren't actually running out of the stuff.

Occupy destroyed $400,000 of landscaping and improvements at a Washington DC park. The DC police refused to act on the squatters and Representative Issa is wondering why exactly that's the case.

Patricia White has been fined $2000 in Washington DC. Her heinous crime? Putting kitty litter in the trash bin instead of recycling it. Kitty Litter is 100% biodegradable, but its a crime to not recycle some things in the city. I just want to know whose job it is to pick through people's trash to find things they should have recycled.

There is no "war on Christmas" as some breathlessly claim. That presumes organization and a deliberate, systematic effort to stomp out the holiday. However, there are some really stupid people doing really stupid things out of a sense of multiculturalism and Political Correctness. Take Plano, Texas where the 5th circuit of appeals is hearing a case:
The lawsuit was filed by the families of several elementary-school students in Plano, Texas. The suit states that, although the schools hold birthday and “winter break” parties, no Christmas parties are allowed. Moreover, the schools ban all “references to and symbols of the Christian religion and the celebration of the Christian religious holiday, Christmas,” at the winter-break parties. Even “red and green Christmas colors” are banned. And students were explicitly instructed “not to write ‘Merry Christmas’ on greeting cards sent to United States soldiers [or to retirement homes] because that phrase might be offensive.”

Apparently the schools never considered that such rigorous censorship might be offensive. Indeed, they went further. Students were allowed to exchange gift bags at the winter-break parties. However, the suit alleges, “students and parents [were] interrogated by school officials…as to whether or not the contents of their gift or ‘goodie’ bags…contain any religious viewpoint, religious references or religious message.” If they did, the bags were confiscated by school officials.

One student’s bags were seized because they contained pencils inscribed with the phrase “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” Another student was banned from giving his friends candy-cane-shaped pens with a laminated card entitled the “Legend of the Candy Cane,” which explained the Christian origin of candy canes. Another student, “during noncurriculum times and with no material and substantial disruption to the operations of the school,” was giving her friends tickets to a free Christian drama production at her church. Principal Jackie Bomchill ordered the tickets confiscated and destroyed because they “expressed a ‘religious’ viewpoint.”
The examples go on and on, in what can only be described as utterly clueless on the part of the school. No, there's no war on Christmas, but there's an awful lot of bitter, mean-spirited scrooges in positions of power.

Team Obama is collecting the names and addresses of people who don't support him. Sure its not that blatant, but that's the end result of a really childish, bitter plan announced recently. See, if you love Obama and want to send him money, you can include the address of a family member who doesn't to gloat about how you helped him. How anyone can see this as remotely proper or fitting is beyond me. Wasn't this the guy who claimed he'd heal America and bring the two political sides together?

Verum Serum has been collecting news reports about how much the Occupy Movement is costing broke and debt-laden cities and towns across America. The total is over $22,000,000 so far.

What do all these stories have in common?:
  • Some loon walked around in Hollywood, California with a gun, shooting random drivers and passers by before being shot and killed by police. Some thought it was a movie production as they watched him shoot at cars. Witnesses say he shouted "Allahu Akbar!" as he fired. The LA Times reports that "Police have so far found no motive in the shooting."
  • In Belgium another gunman opened fire, killing two vendors and wounding others before he shot himself. News reports called him a "right wing extremist" and "racist" but failed to mention his religion as a Muslim.
  • Also in Belgium was a man who threw grenades at a bus shelter, killing 4 and wounding 75. No motive was established, according to the New York Times. This man was also a Muslim.
Tabloid journalism can be as goofy as the Weekly World News to the page four girl type in England, but they all are pretty weak as far as reporting goes. Typically they focus on the scandal, the lurid, the sexually charged, and the shocking. The better ones tend to be accurate in their reporting, as far as they go but I don't care for them. However, the reason that English news organizations dislike tabloid papers has more to do with a hatred of the politics of their owner Rupert Murdoch than anything else.

Not long ago Murdoch's paper was caught up in a scandal where reporters there were tapping phone lines to listen to conversations, something many more respectable newspapers do but were quick to point the finger of condemnation at this one for. And as Brendan O'Neill points out at Spiked, they're quick to invent crap about Murdoch just to attack him. He concludes with this thought:
Perhaps the most striking thing is the double standards. The tabloids are being hauled over the coals for their denigration of the profession of journalism, by journalists who seem to have willfully, almost gaily, abandoned any serious commitment to objectivity and truth. It seems increasingly clear that serious journalism will not be boosted and improved by its present hounding of lesser press outlets, but rather will become even more shot through with emotionalism and snobbish zeal than it already is.
Yes, but their lack of objectivity and truth has a higher truth they appeal to, the Narrative.

Another green defeat, as PG&E has abandoned their Solar Energy unit because it costs too much and delivers too little. Like Electric Cars and Spider-Man, I like the idea of Solar Energy, but lets be realistic here. PG&E like many energy companies allows people to specifically choose "green" energy and pay a higher fee for exactly the same electricity everyone else gets.

Some good news, on jobs. According to a recent survey, more small businesses are interested in hiring lately than in a long time. I suspect they believe that congress at least will be out of the hands of the radical, anti-business left in November and have hopes they might be able to invest and survive.


President Obama seems to sense this possibility as well, but assures his constituents:
Well, what we're going to have to do is continue to make progress on the economy over the next several months. And where Congress is not willing to act, we're going to go ahead and do it ourselves.
This is why its not good enough to just have congress shift to another party. The president has to be replaced. He's made it abundantly clear he's willing and absolutely will violate the US Constitution to implement his ideas if congress won't do it.

Chirac was president of France back when Iraq was invaded, and he did everything in his power, and more, to protect Saddam Hussein. Why? Well a recent court ruling confirms what was obvious to everyone at the time: he was corrupt, in bed with the dictator, getting rich off the brutality and misery the Iraqi people suffered under. A lot of people got rich off that, most of them through the biggest scam in the history of the world before global warming: the UN Oil for Food scandal which almost no one faced justice for.

According to a Department of Justice document, Supreme Court justice (and then Solicitor General) Kagan "substantially contributed" to the Health Insurance Takeover Act. The only question is whether she'll actually recuse herself as the law and ethics demand when the bill comes before the supreme court next year.

Speaking of that monstrosity, another part of the bill phases in this January, and is estimated to cost 100,000 jobs as businesses cut back, close, or shift priority in an attempt to pay for the huge increase in cost. Many of these jobs will be Insurance Agents themselves, as the insurers struggle to keep their costs down to retain clients. Since the point of the bill was to make private insurance too expensive to survive, that's exactly what Obama, Reid, and Pelosi were hoping would happen.

Climaquiddick II is doing as much damage to the prestige, respectability, and public perception of global warming alarmism as the first one. A lot of people's money and power is on the line, which is why it isn't surprising that governments are cracking down on this where they let, say, Wikileaks skate. The UK government seized the computers of a blogger in England, and the Obama justice department in the US is going after the people who released the emails, too. Because when President Obama was running for office he vowed to go after whistleblowers: ”Such acts of courage and patriotism . . . should be encouraged rather than stifled.” Oh, wait. That was back when leakers were cool and patriotic.

Wal*Mart is a favorite target of the left, which only serves to reveal their lies when it comes to claims about wanting to help the poor, the elderly and the infirm. But one college student went to work there and noticed something different:
What I saw at Wal-Mart, however, was not temporary aid. I witnessed generations of families all relying on the state to buy food and other items. I literally witnessed small children asking their mothers if they could borrow their EBT cards. I once had a man show me his welfare card for an ID to buy alcohol. The man was from Massachusetts. Governor Michael Dukakis’ signature was on his welfare card. Dukakis’ last gubernatorial term ended in January of 1991. I was born in June of 1991. The man had been on welfare my entire life.
The need for real reform in welfare and a cut off point for most people is genuine and troubling.

New Haven's mayor has a brilliant idea: non-citizens should be able to vote! There are an estimated 10,000 illegals living in the Connecticut city and he wants them all to have their say. His argument is that since they're paying into the tax base indirectly through rent and purchases, its wrong for them to not to be able to have input. One wag feigned amazement at how he apparently didn't need to pay property taxes on his house when its not begin rented. Watch for this to grow in noise and pressure from the left over the coming years, in the name of fairness and being against racism.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Los Angeles has another brilliant idea: if you are an illegal, well you don't need a driver's license. Weasel Zippers quotes from Judicial Watch:
A few weeks ago the mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa​, directed the Los Angeles Police Department ​ (LAPD) to stop impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days as per state law. The measure is intended to keep potentially reckless drivers off the road and therefore protect the public. It applies to unlicensed drivers as well as those who have had their license revoked or suspended.

Under the law illegal immigrants make up the majority of the drivers who have their cars impounded because they can’t get licenses in California or most states. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told the local newspaper that this presents an “unfair burden” and “disproportionate blow” for illegal aliens, who he refers to as a “valuable asset to our community.”
You knjow what would help them more? Giving them the Mayor's house and all his pay. Can't you do your part, Mayor Villaraigosa? They're such a valuable asset.

The Associated Press has noticed something very valid which is hurting their business: while they can get the news out fast, the later commentary and analysis often is much more popular and desired than raw news bursts. Their answer? Add more commentary and analysis in their news reports. Although the AP is already infamous for bias, this is raising fears that the bias will become even more pervasive and pronounced.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has called for huge cuts in the defense budget as part of a way to deal with the massive debt policies they endorse have created. Honestly as I've said over and over, I'm sure there's a lot of places that could be cut in the defense budget. And if the GOP would vow to - after cutting their own budgets and salaries - push for cuts there and in the intelligence department first, they would have a lot more credibility and a stronger foundation from which to push for cuts elsewhere. Sure, the left always targets those areas and nothing else. Sure, those two areas are actually constitutionally sound while much of the rest of the budget is not. But nothing says integrity and honesty like going after your own pet projects first.

And that's the Word Around the Net for December 16, 2011

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ed in texas
Re the 'War on Christmas' story: some background. Have you noted recent reports of CAIR funded "charities" near Dallas, that go on to run into arrests by the FBI for supporting terrorists?
Welcome to Plano. They're not exclusive to the area, but they're certainly there.

4:37 AM, December 17, 2011  

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