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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, March 23, 2012

WORD AROUND THE NET

"This assignment was just creepy beyond belief — like something out of East Germany during the Cold War"

Boomless Supersonic
Sonic booms. They are kind of fun, and I remember as a kid once in a while you'd hear them. It was an interesting sound and seemed high tech and space age to me back then. A federal law was passed to stop planes from flying that fast low enough to cause problems for people, so its extremely rare you hear one these days. Well someone believes they've come up with a method of flying past the speed of sound without creating that effect. The solution is a throwback to the first planes built: a biplane. Apparently the concept isn't new:
Back in the 1950s, German engineer Adolf Busemann was the first to come up with a biplane design that thwarts shockwaves at supersonic speeds. The problem with a regular single-wing aeroplane is that as the jet nears the speed of sound, air compresses in front of and behind it, and when the plane goes past Mach 1, the sudden increase in air pressure sends two shockwaves radiating out.

Busemann showed that with a biplane, the configuration of the top and bottom wings would cancel out the shockwaves of each other. But because the wings create a small space for air to go through, when the biplane is still going below the speed of sound but getting faster, the wings could "choke", creating huge drag.
But only recently is technology really to the point it can work feasibly. The wings would adjust in flight based on speed and need, and although it hasn't been built and tested yet, the plane seems workable.

Sheriff Joe Biden is such an awful choice for Vice President it really ought to have been a signal during the 2008 campaign that Obama wasn't all he was cracked up to be, but voters didn't want to pay attention. Recently, trying to hype up the no-brainer call to send troops after Osama Bin Laden, he said that this was a "gusty call," the "most audacious plan in 500 years." Any military historian could list dozens of military plans far more audacious (such as Matt Holtzman's list), but honestly I think most would simply be confused why anyone would think the plan was audacious at any level to begin with.

Unexpected! That word just keeps showing up. This time its in description of a decline in new home sales. Just imagine how easy the copy will be to write for right-leaning sites if a Republican president is elected in November: what would they have said about Obama here? Where's the 'unexpected' lede?

Curiously, anti-gun groups have nothing negative whatsoever to say about the Fast&Furious scandal. Even if you mistakenly believe this was some kind of private op by a single attorney general in Arizona, you'd still think they would be crying foul about handing guns to murdering thugs and then not tracking them at all. Its almost as if they knew what it was all about: creating an atmosphere in which and an excuse for gun control laws.

While we're on the subject of the Fast & Furious scandal, not only did the Obama administration deliberately send guns to brutal, murderous Mexican drug cartels, but they caught one of the main figures in one... and let him go. The ATF caught Manuel Acosta and held him until he promised to help them out in exchange for being released. Then, shockingly, he just left and didn't give any assistance.

Personally I'm opposed to all of this kind of funding, but you have to admit the inconsistency and contradiction is strong in this story. President Obama has blocked federal funding for a program in Texas for single mothers in poverty. Why? Because the Texas law it would match in federal funds specifically says the money cannot go to Planned Parenthood. And helping a fellow leftist organization trumps helping poor women, apparently.

Rick Santorum was a useful force in the GOP election because he clung to not being negative about other candidates, he focused on social issues which the others desperately were trying to ignore, and he brought a completely different group of peoples' interest to the election. Like Ron Paul I thought he had no real shot at winning but was useful because he forced attention of candidates and the press on issues that weren't being covered. Now he has to go. Why? This line:
"If you're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch-A-Sketch candidate of the future."
No, Rick. President Obama for 4 more years would not be better than President Romney. I agree that Romney isn't enough different from Obama, but he is different and would be less destructive to the country, which is the best we can really hope for at this point. You've started going negative, which abandons your biggest strength, and your negative is stupid and self destructive. Drop out before you shove that foot even further down your throat.

What's that Etch-a-Sketch line about? Well Romney's campaign manager said that the general election is like an etch-a-sketch, you can just shake it up and start from scratch, negating what you said before in the primary election. I know what he was trying to say - that its like in sports where the postseason playoffs are basically starting over, a new season (especially for sports like Basketball and Hockey were most of the teams make it and it lasts ages). But in the context it sounded like Romney was only making conservative sounds to win and it reinforced the "Romney has no principles and only says what he figures people want to hear" vibe people get off the guy. Just dumb.

Perhaps you saw this story, but I missed it entirely. Apparently a series of news reports ran about Apple computers and their manufacturing in China, telling how awful it is and so on. Well Apple is beloved by the left and those in news and entertainment, so its no surprise that someone scrambled on that to find a refutation. And lo and behold here it is, apparently the guy who did the story for NPR's This American Life manufactured a great deal of the story.

Apparently someone at the Obama team thought this was an appealing picture, a great idea:

Its on the official Obama Tumblr account. Stoaty Weasel thinks this image is more appropriate.

Ronald Reagan won in part in 1980 by highlighting the waste and fraud in the welfare system of the United States. One famous line was about a "welfare queen" who drove a cadillac and lived in style off the government. A Chicago Newspaper put a reporter on the detail and swore he couldn't find anyone like that, but it doesn't take long to find plenty of examples of welfare fraud and waste. Recently, Nancy Pelosi's daughter did an expose on just such waste and fraud. HBO didn't want to carry it, probably because it doesn't help the leftist cause.

What is al`Qaeda's least favorite news channel in America? Fox News, according to a report by David Ignatius on Bin Laden at the Washington Post.
“It should be sent for example to ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN and maybe PBS and VOA. As for Fox News let her die in her anger,” Gadahn wrote. At another point, he said of the networks: “From a professional point of view, they are all on one level — except [Fox News] channel, which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks objectivity, too.”
The report also detailed a plan to kill President Obama.

Leftists were excited when they thought they had a rapist in the Tea Party movement, after all the examples in the occupy movement have tarnished that effort to mimic and oppose the Tea Party. He was supposedly the spokesman for the San Diego Tea Party movement but... it turns out he was tossed out months before the incident and wasn't involved with them at all.

Russia's government not long ago announced that it wouldn't get involved in Syria, but recently news has come out that they are. Russia is sending "anti-terror" troops (aka advisers and support) to help the Assad regime cling to power. There really is no evil that the Putin administration won't get involved in, is there?

Under President Bush, the debt skyrocketed far beyond what it had under all presidents before him. Under President Obama it has gone up even more in far shorter time. In 3 1/2 years, Barack Hussein Obama has presided over more debt increase than President Bush saw in 8 years of office. Bush was bad enough. Obama is far worse. And while President Bush kept sending budgets to congress that cut in various places to reduce the debt, President Obama keeps sending budgets that bloat it even more every year. And the Democrats in congress have failed to create a budget his entire time in office.

JPMorgan Chase has decided to close their investment account with the Vatican Bank. Why? Well a while back some allegations of money laundering and tax fraud were raised concerning the Vatican Bank, and they weren't holding their financial transactions to the same level of transparency that many modern investors and governments insist upon. The Vatican Bank began to clean house and change its policies such as formally adopting newer transparency rules, but recently the Obama administration placed the Vatican Bank on its list of money laundering outfits, and JPMorgan followed suit.

Now while I wouldn't put it past the Vatican to be involved in any of these things, the timing of all this does seem a bit curious, to say the least.

Media Matters is doing everything it can to silence Rush Limbaugh after believing it managed to force Glenn Beck off the air by boycotting advertising. Although both organizations claim there's no connection, MMFA has donated a hundred thousand dollars and been coordinating with the Stop Rush Project in trying to get advertisers to leave the show. Supposedly one such advertiser tells the story of how this works out on RightScoop:
He describes emails from people telling him that his company is now under constant surveillance, that they are watching every move he makes. His employees, even female employees, are getting emails calling them woman haters.

When asked why he doesn’t think it’s just a bunch of unhappy people, he said “The comments are all the damn same. ‘You hate women! You hate women! You hate women!’”
This whole advertiser boycott/silence guys I disagree with plot isn't working out as planned for the left.

Here in Oregon, there's a scandal involving the state's biggest newspaper. Oregonian editor Bob Caldwell, heavy anti-prostitution advocate at the paper, died while at a hooker's place. His friend and fellow editor Kathleen Glanville rushed over, moved his car to another location, and lied about how he died in her story written for the newspaper. Why she did it is some matter of speculation (probably to protect the newspaper from embarrassment and help her fellow worker) but she has been fired. The Oregonian isn't much of a paper anyway.

When he was Chairman of the Federal Reserve under President Bush, Ben Bernake oversaw and pushed for the TARP bailouts. However, before that he had some things to say about how the fed and fiscal policy should work:
"Letting future generations bear the burden of population aging is appropriate"

"At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained. In particular, mortgages to prime borrowers and fixed-rate mortgages to all classes of borrowers continue to perform well, with low rates of delinquency."

"It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions"
There are more such quotes at MoneyTalks. Best of hands, and all that.

Ronald Bailey at Reason Magazine wrote a long piece on the origins of morality in human nature, trying to figure out where morality comes from biologically or physically. Included was some entirely invented speculation on the morality of prehistoric man, and basically it was a naturalists' effort to figure out why we have a spiritual nature when nothing exists but what we can see, touch, measure, and scientifically examine. Shakespeare had it best:
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
-Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5
Or to put it another way, you're never going to find the answer to that question if you categorically reject an entire section of possibilities without even bothering to consider them.

Not too long ago, the last time gas prices were heading up under Obama, MSNBC ran a piece on how rising gas prices are good! When Bush was president, the media ran man on the street interviews of how high gas prices hurt them and showed sob stories of people who are being ruined by gas as high as $3.50 a gallon! Now? CNN Money thinks its good news the prices keep going up.

Israel has cleared out its embassy in Egypt. There are two reasons a country does this. Either because they are at war with the nation in question, or because the nation has become so chaotic and dangerous that the basic principles of diplomacy and civilization are decaying to the point that an embassy is not just pointless but dangerous for the people involved. In this case, it could be both.

Virginia is fairly right leaning, but only in the rural areas. Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County assigned a project to its 8th grade students: do opposition research on presidential candidates. Now in theory this is decent social studies and civics, but... they were told to only look at Republican candidates, and then the teachers sent what the students dug up to the Democratic National Committee. Students were uncomfortable and unhappy with this project, and around the country parents are scratching their heads wondering why a school would specifically and deliberately try to help one party win the presidency.

Former London Mayor "Red" Ken Livingstone is an open communist. He also is running for Mayor again, and he recently gave a sermon of sorts at a big mosque in the city. In it he said these lines, according to Andrew Gilligan at the Telegraph:
Mr Livingstone, Labour’s candidate for mayor of London, pledged to “educate the mass of Londoners” in Islam, saying: “That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet.” Mr Livingstone described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”

He praised the Prophet’s last sermon, telling his audience: “I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands [its] words and message.” He also promised to “make your life a bit easier financially.”
Why on earth would he say such a thing? Well one reason is probably because he's lagging by 8% in polls behind slightly less leftist candidate and present mayor Boris Johnson. Plus, he's one of the guys who thought that massive immigration from places like Pakistan would help the leftists win and retain power by giveaways to immigrants.

Also in England, a playground has been torn apart. The original playground was built as a memorial to 116 children killed by Luftwaffe raids on Aberfan, and was dedicated by the queen. Why was it shut down? Many of the older playground pieces like monkeybars and teeter totters were deemed dangerous to children and removed. Here are some images of the instruments of death:

DangerousDeadly

The horror.

While we're picking on England, one last story. Apparently some schools are telling children to not form friendships and make best friends. They are being told to make groups of friends but not one special friend. Why? Because if you have a fight its painful and makes kids feel bad, and that has to be avoided. Children must not learn that life is hard an painful, they must not ever develop the skills to deal with disappointment, hurt, and betrayal before they reach adulthood. Meanwhile, the children continue to make friends as normal.

And finally, a few weeks ago in a WATN I wrote about how the EPA was trying to force a family of farmers in Washington State to submit to their authority without having access to a court. The EPA literally said their decisions could not be appealed. Well the family took the EPA to court and won, they can appeal, and the EPA cannot ram them through the system without recourse. Why did the EPA lose? They went up against Sacketts (that is the name of the farming family). They should have known better.

Seriously though, the EPA has power over waterways and "wetlands" under the 1972 Clean Water Act to fight water pollution. However the bill has been expanded and the EPA given ever greater powers over the years, so now it also covers environmental concerns, creatures, water rights, and so on. And at no point has the federal definition of what "waters" means been ever decided, leaving it entirely up to the whim of regulators and individual agents. Its well-meaning federal power gone wild, and is likely unconstitutional to boot.

Apartheid and Jim Crow are alive and well, in Melbourne Australia. The far left city council has determined that aboriginal children need different, separate attention than whites, so they have two entrances to the city "playgroups." One for whites and one labeled "non-whites." Andrew Bolt has the image and details. Wonder if he'll get sued and forced to shut up about this one, too?

And that's the Word Around the Net for March 23, 2012.

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