Friday, February 24, 2012


“I was just asking a question. I didn’t mean it to be nasty”

Saucy Wenches
Amine El Khalifi is a Moroccan who was arrested by the FBI for plotting to carry out a suicide bombing at the US Capitol. Two things jumped out at me from this story by Tim Blair. First, the man had been in the US for 13 years after is Visa expired, yet the FBI thought they would set up a sting to nail him rather than just deporting him for overstaying his visa. Second, the FBI felt compelled (like the press often does) to say that this man "followed a twisted, radical ideology that is not representative of the Muslim community in the United States." Funny how that never comes up when someone claiming to be a Christian goes nuts.

Christine Keeler was the poster girl for the 60s swinging England scene. Part of a scandal in the UK government in 1963, she was photographed for men's magazines and was involved in various naughty activities with government types (one of which ended up being later revealed as a Russian spy). Now matronly and 70 years old, she says about the experience:
‘I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever bother with a man again,’ she says wearily.
"All that Swinging Sixties. It didn't do anyone any good, did it? Easy sex and the Pill. Marriages were ruined. I never did approve. I never really enjoyed the sex."
Yeah well the image and the idea usually is a lot more fun than the experience for most of these kind of things.

Doug Ross has one of the best headlines of recent events ever:
The White House: laser-focused on making condoms more easier to get than jobs
Don't have a job? What matters more to you: finding work or finding a condom? Like Investor's Business Daily puts it, the world's brokest nation fusses about sex.

Although this happened last year, its indicative of the Obama Administration's approach to energy. 28 birds were found dead near oil waste lagoons, so the North Dakota federal attorney has hauled the companies to court to sue them.
Continental Resources is accused of violating the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act because “on or about May 6, 2011 in the District of North Dakota” the company “did take [kill] one Say’s Phoebe,” of the tyrant flycatcher bird family. Brigham Oil & Gas is accused of killing two Mallard ducks. The Class B misdemeanors carry fines of up to $15,000 for each dead bird and up to six months in prison...
According to estimates by the American Bird Conservancy based on Fish and Wildlife Service data, wind turbines kill over 40,000 birds a year and have never seen any prosecution.

Second City TV was hilarious and cutting edge in the 1970s, which was over 30 years ago. Sadly, they're still cutting edge in their humor with bits like this on racism:

That was back when the left had a sense of humor and was willing to question their basic presumptions.

NOAA is the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and they are big time global warming alarmists. Recently, the NOAA purchased a fishing boat, valued at $300,000. You might say "well they do oceanic work they need boats" which is true, but their budget provides for boats, and this one is a bit luxurious for scientific study. Senator Brown (R-MA) gives details, via Gateway Pundit:
It would be bad enough if they had purchased this boat with taxpayer dollars.

But they didn’t. They paid for it with money that should belong to our struggling fishermen. They paid for it out of the fines that fishermen pay into the pot when they mistakenly catch the wrong kind of fish. Those dollars are supposed to stay in fishing communities to help the fishermen.

Here’s the boat. For a government vessel, that’s pretty flashy. Take a look inside. That’s a fully-appointed bar, the latest in on-board entertainment systems, and leather furniture complete with the ice chest and tackle rack.
The especially nasty twist is that the boat is paid for by fines levied on fishermen. So what's this boat for, exactly?

Elliot Dearlove in England asked another little boy on the school playground if he was from Africa since the boy had darker skin than he did. Little Elliot was hauled before the school officials and grilled on his racist tendencies and his mom was told to sign paperwork about her kid's evil attitude and okaying the school to go to higher authorities. She refused to sign it and tried to get her kid moved to a different school.

Canada, striving to end their miniscule gun problem, instituted a gun registration program in 1995, telling voters it would cost $2 million Canadian, and the cost would be offset by registration fees. $2.7 billion dollars later, the Canadian Parliament voted to end the program this month, noting that it hadn't managed to solve a single murder in the country, since killers tend not to register their weapons to begin with.

Washington Monthly ran a piece by Ed Kilgore with the headline: “Santorum to Mainline Protestants: You Are Satan’s Spawn.” At no point did Santorum say any such thing, especially not in the speech the magazine quoted, but they have yet to have even suggested a retraction. What he did note is that its Satanic influence for a lot of mainline churches to say Jesus isn't God, that the Bible contains some truth you can choose for yourself, and Mary wasn't a virgin when she conceived Jesus, for example.

Joblessness is a continuing problem in the United States, with at least one agency rating the unemployment in February at over 9%. Yet we keep being told jobless claims are dropping, how can that be? According to a report by Janet Whitman in the New York Post, a lot of people are just shifting government agencies.
As of January, the federal government was mailing out disability checks to more than 10.5 million individuals, including 2 million to spouses and children of disabled workers, at a cost of record $200 billion a year, recent research from JPMorgan Chase shows.

The sputtering economy has fueled those ranks. Around 5.3 percent of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 is currently collecting federal disability payments, a jump from 4.5 percent since the economy slid into a recession.

Mental-illness claims, in particular, are surging.
With some judges more than willing to hand out disability claims and an administration gleeful at having more people reliant on the federal government, this is a viable option for people whose unemployment has or will soon run out.

Netflix is moving slowly away from DVD mailers to direct streaming, and they took a giant leap toward that with the Weinstein Company. Now, Netflix can stream movies from this company before cable TV gets them, something that probably has the cable giants shaking in their boots. This means that Netflix gets all Dreamworks movies first, starting in 2013.

As a federal agency, the IRS is a powerful tool for partisan interests to punish their enemies and help their friends. For example, the Richmond Tea Party has been waiting 2 years for tax-exempt status, and recently was told they had to jump through a series of added bureaucratic hoops to get there, despite these not being required by law. Dave Martosko at the Daily Caller writes:
Those demands, Radtke said in a press release, included the answers to “12 additional questions in 53 separate parts.” The Richmond Tea Party was also ordered to hand over a list of all its donors and volunteers.

“The IRS,” Radtke added, “states that such information will be made available for ‘public inspection.’”

The Daily Caller has obtained copies of two letters to the organization from the IRS, dated September 10, 2010 and January 9, 2012. The earlier letter contains 17 separate requests for information, including “copies of your materials on Face Book [sic]” and “copies of any sponsorship agreements.”

The more recent letter, which Radtke addressed, does indeed contain 53 additional demands for information before the IRS can designate the group as a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization.
A Virginia state representative has asked the House of Representatives to investigate.

As gas prices ratchet up to what some fear may be higher than $5 a gallon this year, here are a few quote courtesy Jim Geraghty at The Corner:
“If drilling [in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] were approved today, it would be ten years before oil arrived in refineries.” — Sierra Magazine, January-February issue, 2002

“Oil extracted from the Wildlife Refuge would not reach refineries for seven to ten years and would never satisfy more than two percent of our nation’s oil demands at any one time.” — Senator Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.), April 17, 2002

The Bush plan to drill in ANWR offers “no real action to bring oil prices down now, no real prospect of freeing ourselves from dependence on big oil and foreign oil.” — Al Gore, Sept. 30, 2000.
There are several more at the link. Imagine what we'll be looking back at ten years from now. And President Obama is mocking the idea of actually attempting to get more oil as gas prices go up and up and up since he took office in 2009.

Meanwhile, as we consider the gas prices, looking back over the years we notice as the prices went up in 2007 under President Bush the press was a lot more concerned. Julia Seymore at the Media Research Center examined the press data:
The Business and Media Institute analyzed broadcast network news references to gas or fuel prices between Jan. 20 and Feb. 20, 2012 and from March 24 and April 24, 2008. BMI found that in the 2008 period there were more than 4 times as many gas prices stories, news briefs or news headlines on ABC, CBS and NBC as there were in 2012 (97 to 21).
And the tone was significantly more critical of the president. We're all just shocked, shocked to find this out.

Warmonger, that's what Bush was called. Bloodthirsty, and so on. President Obama, on the other hand, was voted a Nobel Peace Prize before even taking office. Here's a news story to read while you ponder that difference of perception:
U.S. troops helping in the fight against a brutal rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army are now deployed in four Central African countries, the top U.S. special operations commander for Africa said Wednesday.

The U.S. announced in October it was sending about 100 U.S. troops - mostly special operations forces - to Central Africa to advise in the fight against the LRA and its leader Joseph Kony, a bush fighter wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey, the top U.S. special operations commander for Africa, said the U.S. troops are now stationed in bases in Uganda, Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic.
When President Bush the younger called for an invasion of Iraq, some claimed it was because his daddy was targeted by Saddam Hussein for assassination. What do we call this activity by the Obama administration?

Loretta Harper is a school teacher in Nevada who was recently appointed co chair of the Reelect Obama campaign in Nevada. In a totally unrelated story, we learn that Ms Harper gave high school class credit to students who helped Nevada Democrats get elected in 2010. Yes, just Democrats.

Recently Rush Limbaugh looked at some Reagan speeches and quoted a bit from the Evil Empire one that drove leftists nuts at the time, comparing it to reactions to Santorum's Satan speech:
That shrewdest of all observers of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville, put it eloquently after he had gone on a search for the secret of America's greatness and genius, and he said, "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America. America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." I want you to know that this administration is motivated by a political philosophy that sees the greatness of America in you, her people, and in your families, churches, neighborhoods, communities, the institutions that foster and nourish values like concern for others and respect for the rule of law under God.
I don't have to tell you that this puts us in opposition to or at least out of step with a prevailing attitude of many who have turned to a modern-day secularism, discarding the tried and time-tested values upon which our very civilization is based. No matter how well-intentioned, their value system is radically different from that of most Americans. And while they proclaim that they're freeing us from superstitions of the past, they've taken upon themselves the job of superintending us by government rule and regulation. Sometimes their voices are louder than ours, but they are not yet a majority.
Let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness. Pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.
Yeah, and he was president. Remember: according to Carter administration insiders, Jimmy Carter was overjoyed that Reagan won the nomination because he was a crazy radical hard right who kept saying crazy stuff. That worked out really well for Carter.

People have started to notice that while Ron Paul will defend Romney at times, he has absolutely nothing to say against him, and attacks those who are doing better than Romney in the polls. As it turns out, there's a pretty tight relationship between the two, ever since they became friends in 2008's electoral run. Rick Santorum says they're working together, and the evidence certainly points that way, down to a possible high end cabinet position for Paul in the potential Romney administration. I used to think Paul was running to get his ideas out there. Now I don't think its quite that noble.

Afghanistan erupted in violence and protests after it was leaked that the US forces there burned several copies of the Koran which had been specifically edited to include radical and extremist passages and ideas. President Obama quickly apologized (but the burning of Bibles there garners no concern). Meanwhile, the Muslims there studiously ignore the thousands of Muslims being massacred in Syria by its own government. Burn a doctored copy of a book? Go insane. Thousands of fellow worshipers murdered? No particular cause for concern.

Emperor Penguins were said to be dying out in 2008, and of course global warming was blamed. Now, it turns out that the Emperor Penguin population is exploding. So far no one has credited global warming except Andrew Bolt.

US District Court judge Ronald B. Leighton (a Bush the Younger appointee) has thrown out a Washington State law requiring all pharmacists to carry birth control medication. The court noted that this law violated religious freedom and the conscience of the workers, and may impact later rulings about Obama trying to compel the Roman Catholic Church to pay for contraception for workers.

Dennis Fleming came home to find his home burglarized. He looked out the window and spotted a guy climbing out of his neighbor's window and ordered him to freeze, shot into the ground, and held him at gunpoint until the police arrived. He was arrested for firing the warning shot because its illegal to discharge a firearm in city limits. Police seized the pistol, and every other gun he owned. He faces a trial and possibly years in prison for foiling a robbery.

Although Tesla is looking very shaky financially, they're looking for another loan to follow up their $365 million one from 2009. Because electric cars are such a great investment, and the US is so flush with cash it can throw money at companies like this. Sure the US Constitution doesn't allow the federal government to spend taxpayer funds to prop up politically approved companies, but its for a good cause, right?

Have you ever accidentally left a dome light on or the headlights on your car and found the battery drained the next morning? It sucks, although you can charge the thing up, get a jump, or if you have an old stick roll start it, sometimes. Yeah, not so much with an electric car. Well Tesla Motors notes that if their car (and not just theirs, almost any electric car) runs flat on juice, its worthless:
Tesla Motors’ lineup of all-electric vehicles — its existing Roadster, almost certainly its impending Model S, and possibly its future Model X — apparently suffer from a severe limitation that can largely destroy the value of the vehicle. If the battery is ever totally discharged, the owner is left with what Tesla describes as a “brick”: a completely immobile vehicle that cannot be started or even pushed down the street.
Of course you can just buy a full new suite of batteries, which costs up to $40,000. Or a new gas powered car which costs $15,000. Buy two, and still save money.

Prosecutors want to be able to force people to decrypt their computers to access data for their case, but the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that this is a constitutional violation. They didn't seek some penumbra of privacy, but instead pointed to the 5th amendment's protection against self incrimination. Basically you don't have to help the government bust you. So why is it illegal to destroy materials that might be used in a criminal case or lie to a federal officer, hmm?

Ever been to the Dollar Store? I love the place, you have to be discerning because some of their stuff sells for under a dollar elsewhere, and a lot of it is just cheap crap but sometimes you can really get great deals. During the Great Depression of the 20th century, Woolworths became a huge business and moneymaker by selling things super cheap. And today, Dollar Stores are booming as well. While other businesses are closing and stumbling, these operations are booming, expanding, and growing. Good for them, but not such a great sign for us.

And that's the Word Around the Net for Feburary 24, 2012.


Eric said...

"According to estimates by the American Bird Conservancy based on Fish and Wildlife Service data, wind turbines kill over 40,000 birds a year and have never seen any prosecution."

Birds that get killed by wind turbines are just dead birds. It is worth considering that if a bird dies because it consumed toxic substances in a drilling waste lagoon (which can contain some nasty stuff), then it becomes easier for those substances to get into the food chain.

It should be a state and local issue, never a federal one, but I think it is a good regulation to require oil companies to be very careful with drilling waste, and to punish them harshly when they are not. It can be toxic, it can be radioactive, and it can be very hard to clean up. Part of the reason people in the northeast are so hostile towards fracking is because the drilling companies were dumping drilling waste in streams. They knew in other states that was illegal to do, but PA didn't have the same regulations as other states, so they did it because they could get away with it. I don't know what the reuglations are in North Dakota about drilling waste lagoons, but in other states oil companies are not allowed to leave those open and uncovered.

Christopher R Taylor said...

I don't really have a problem with being careful with the oil lagoons, I have a problem with nailing them for dead birds when they utterly ignore dead birds elsewhere. They didn't get busted for environmental damage or lack of proper containment, but just dead birds.

Eric said...

Also, regarding the case of Dennis Flemming: When I took a class to get my concealed-carry license, one of the things I remember the instructor talking about was the proverbial "warning shot". He said never to do it. In almost every state, the way the self-defense statutes are written, if you are a regular non-law enforcement citizen, your only legal excuse for "brandishing" a firearm at somebody is if you feel your life or the life of a loved one is in danger and you are using lethal force to stop them. Warning shots are almost always illegal, and it can sometimes even be illegal to hold them at gunpoint until the police show up.

The conventional wisdom is, "Only pull your gun if your intention is to kill somebody."

Eric said...

I agree it sounds ridiculous for them to fine them for killing birds, but I suspect it may be a case where the oil companies were doing something they knew they shouldn't do, but knew they could get away with legally, and the state legal authority found a way to nail them for it until they can get the proper regulations passed. I love the oil industry, but oil companies can be bastards like that, and the truth is a lot of oilfield workers in NY, PA, and ND are people from other states who aren't as careful about environmental damage as they would be if they were working in their own back yard.