Friday, June 15, 2012


"[The left] should just get brutally honest with themselves and with the rest of us and rename themselves the “It’s Different When We Do It” Party."

Egypt's woes continue. Michael Totten writes that sexual attacks on women have gotten so common and regular that he'd never, ever take his wife to the country.
I’ve heard one extreme sexual harassment horror story after another from women I know who have visited Cairo. I don’t personally know anyone who has been sexually assaulted in Egypt, but from my informal survey of female travelers there it appears the likelihood of a foreign woman experiencing extreme harassment approaches 100 percent.
He points out that this isn't some Muslim or Arabic cultural thing because it doesn't happen even in places like Syria. There's just something awful going on in Egypt, and women should stay away from the nation at all costs. Pray for the women who live there, because they are little more than targets.

Meanwhile the military junta in charge of Egypt refuses to relinquish power. They've dissolved the parliament, negated the constitution, and are disqualifying every single candidate for president except their favored, Mubarak’s former prime minister Ahmed Shafik. Some argue this is because the Muslim Brotherhood were going to take over and the military government doesn't want radical Islam in charge, but most of the military is radical Islam and has been attacking Christians and Jews in Egypt, even killing them. No, they just don't want someone other than them in charge, because then they lose their riches and power. But freedom won in Egypt. Just ask a leftist. Mubarak out = good, no matter what happens after that.

Doctor Seuss continues to entertain, educate, and fascinate young and old to this day. Few know he was a political cartoonist during WW2, and people love his work to the tune of over ten million dollars a year in sales. I remember well a particularly fun and witty episode of Moonlighting in which the entire show's dialog was written as if it was a Dr Seuss book. And someone has done some art for Star Wars in the same manner, with Seussian art:

Hey, its not all gloom and doom out there, some fun stuff is going on, too.

Imagine a popular show which features the severed head of the president. How do you figure the press, the academics, the leftists in entertainment and popular culture would react? How do you think people would respond to this stunt? Well HBO did just that in their Game of Thrones series, by putting President Bush's head on a pike. Ha, ha. HBO apologized, but this wasn't a "mistake" or a slip up, it was specific, deliberate, and painstaking. It takes time, money, and effort to create these fake heads and it was put on camera on purpose. They're free to do something stupid like this, and we're all free to cancel HBO.

Remember that the White House was sticking mentions of President Obama in past presidential biographies on the official US presidents website? Well they've changed that a little. They're still in the pages with the biographies, they're just set in a "Did you know?" section on the bio page now. Initially, Scott Shackford at Reason thought they'd been removed, but he noted the change.

Around America now there are 64 drone launching sites, more than one per state, at least that we're aware of. 12 of those are for armed Predator drones. Congress is trying to get a law passed which would require a warrant before the police and government could use drones to spy on people. I sympathize with law enforcement agencies who are handcuffed by rules and red tape and limitations, wanting to get the bad guys but needing to jump through hoops. But those hoops are there to protect the liberty of people who are not bad guys, so deal with it. I think virtually everyone in the country, let alone other nations, are sick of this Big Brother crap.

Curious about what Operation Fast & Furious is? If you have been watching the legacy media you barely know anything about it - NBC Nightly News finally did a story on it, devoting a whole ten seconds to explaining the scandal and doing a poor job of it. Well here's a video that explains the whole deal.

Focused on their job of protecting the nation from enemies both domestic and foreign, upholding the US Constitution, and fighting evil, the Pentagon has announced... Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgendered events for this month.

President Obama is going to announce a change in immigration policy today, that kids who came into the country illegally with their parents are not going to be deported. They will, however, be eligible for work permits. Further, "kids" are defined as "age 30 and younger." Just as reminder, Matt K Lewis at DC Caller quotes president Obama from just last year:
With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed — and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.

There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.
I guess he changed his mind. Or, he noticed internal polling that showed Hispanics aren't fond of him and thinks this will help his reelection chances.

The US State Department released human rights reports like it does every year, but this year is different: specifically left out of the report was religious freedom reporting. Pete Winn at CNS news reports:
The new human rights reports--purged of the sections that discuss the status of religious freedom in each of the countries covered--are also the human rights reports that include the period that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath.

Thus, the reports do not provide in-depth coverage of what has happened to Christians and other religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East that saw the rise of revolutionary movements in 2011 in which Islamist forces played an instrumental role.

For the first time ever, the State Department simply eliminated the section of religious freedom in its reports covering 2011 and instead referred the public to the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report – a full two years behind the times – or to the annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which was released last September and covers events in 2010 but not 2011.

Why the exclusion? Well for one thing all that information about how Arab Spring is an radical Muslim nightmare is awkward for the left to admit. And second, if you get all your information from the legacy media, chances are you don't know very much about it. And third, this is part of a pattern in the Obama administration over the years of downplaying religious liberty and oppression worldwide, possibly part of the "lets be nice to Muslims because they are the oppressed other and if we are then they will calm down" theory on the left.

Kathy Shaidle at Five Feet of Fury noticed something recently. Canada's deletion of the free speech-crushing article 13 which gave human rights tribunals effectively unlimited power to enforce political correctness has the left throwing fits. One of them recently wrote:
“Kike. Nigger. Faggot. Paki. Chink”

Warren Kinsella laments the fact that now that Section 13, the state censorship portion of Canada’s “human rights” statute, has been struck down, “haters” on the Internet will be able to deploy those awful words with impunity
As Mrs Shaidle writes:
as, hilariously, he himself has just done
Is Paki really that offensive? The truth is, one of the most painful costs of freedom is having to put up with stuff you don't like. That's what "tolerance" is all about, yet the left just doesn't seem to get that even while crying for tolerance.

Right on schedule after President Obama utters something that seriously hurts him (private sector is doing fine), someone on the left calls for a new tone, to end the "gaffe patrol" and start being serious. Mark Halperin at Time Magazine writes:
How can the press ever criticize politicians for trivializing our politics when we focus on statements that have little to do with the candidates actual views or their proposals for the future?
Yes, its always time to stop noticing gaffes when they hurt your guy. The time to start noticing them again is when your guy's opponent says something dumb. There's a difference, though, between a Gaffe (potato has an 'e' at the end) and saying something you believe that is politically damaging, however. One is a slip up, the other is just admitting what you believe.

Criminal charges against the blogger Aaron Walker have been dropped. Despite the incompetent judge's ruling, you can actually discuss someone's criminal past without it being illegal. Eugene Volokh is working pro bono on Walker's defense. Given that Volokh is someone congress calls on to help understand bill of rights issues and is a highly esteemed professor of law at UCLA, that's some serious firepower on his side.

US Commerce Secretary John Bryson is being investigated for a hit-and-run accident that resulted in him being taken to the hospital.
A police report cited by CNN said Bryson had been driving a Lexus and rear-ended another vehicle which was stopped at a railroad crossing.

The Obama Commerce secretary allegedly spoke to the occupants in the other vehicle, before leaving the scene, in the process striking the other car again.

He then allegedly struck a second vehicle driven by a couple in the neighboring city of Rosemead, the police statement said.

Officers arriving on the scene found him unconscious in his car and he was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Bryson's office says that he had a seizure before the accidents. Certainly something went wrong, after having 3 collisions in 5 minutes.

Bryson's acting replacement Rebecca Blank is aptly named: when it comes to previous jobs in the private sector, she has a big blank in her resume. Although she's been working at the government for 3 years and was a professor at Berkeley University, she's never held any real job in the private sector. Well being qualified is overrated, just ask President Obama. She has the theory down, and that's what really counts. To the left.

Why on earth anyone disputes President Obama's socialism is a matter of some confusion. He's made it pretty clear, even if he's been inconsistent about implementing the philosophy while president. From his membership in the hard left socialist New Party to his speeches on wealth redistribution at a Democratic Socialists town meeting in 1996, its obvious the hard left (even communist) influences of his youth have been central to his political philosophy. The strange thing is Obama's New Party membership came up in 2008 but the only thing the press wanted to talk about was VP candidate Sarah Palin's husband's involvement with an Alaskan separatist party.

Back in 2008 my first really big blog avalanche came when Mark Steyn linked to my site for a story about New Mexico and a human rights tribunal. What happened was that a couple who had a photography business refused to do a "wedding" shoot for a homosexual couple. They were hauled before a Canada-style human rights tribunal, and the fight began. The tribunal found them guilty of violating human rights by refusing to do this job. The couple appealed the case to a real court.

Now, two years later, the couple has been found guilty and ordered to pay $6600 in attorney's fees. What are they guilty of? Insufficient political correctness? Failure to exercise social justice? Menacing leftist ideology? No, the court ruled that this violated the human rights of the homosexual couple. The couple plan on taking this all the way to the supreme court if need be. As Ian Tuttle writes in the National Review article I linked:
The case is ripe for hypotheticals: An atheist web programmer asked to create a megachurch’s Internet site? A Muslim graphic designer asked to create an advertisement for a hot-dog stand? According to the court’s decision, the government has the right and the responsibility to force each to participate, despite his conscience objections. And in cities like Seattle, Wash., and Madison, Wis., where discrimination statutes extend to political affiliation, the government’s coercive power could force an ad agency to work on behalf of the American Nazi Party or the Communist Party U.S.A
This is about the liberty to do something a PC-protected identity group dislikes.

Peak oil alarmists took another hit recently, when Russia announced it found deposits of shale oil which they estimate is eighty times bigger than the reserves under North Dakota. This doesn't really surprise me, as most of Russia's resources have not been documented or even explored yet, and the nation is truly vast. And trust me, they'll be exploiting these resources, even if the US won't its.

Ignore the right! That's what Steve Almond wrote in the New York Times Magazine. He suggests they just ignore Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and anyone else who doesn't fit the plan. Almond thinks that if you stop fact-checking and responding to the right, they'll just wither up and disappear.
Imagine, if you will, the domino effect that would ensue if liberals and moderates simply tuned out the demagogues. Yes, they would still be able to manipulate their legions into endorsing cruel and self-defeating policies. But their voices would be sealed within the echo chamber of extremism and sealed off from the majority of Americans who honestly just want our common problems solved.
Which is not just foolish (much of America pays attention to these guys and they won't just disappear because beltway insiders and media elites ignore them - witness the Tea Party or the Swiftboaters) but its suicidal. The only exposure these guys get to any dissent is through these attempts to refute the right. I have written many times before that the left is basically walling off any dissenting ideas and as a result is becoming intellectually isolated in a way the right tries to be but cannot. Simply ignoring them entirely would seal off the left - dwindling in size and influence at present in politics - from a large section of the American public and facts that they don't want to pay attention to.

Cocooning is very attractive (as a Christian believe me I feel that pull to run away from the world) but its never going to help you win any victories. All that does is abandon the fight to your ideological foes.

England's Bill Giles is a very popular weatherman on BBC. He also was so convinced that uncontrolled global warming was going to demolish the world that he cleared out his vegetable garden at home and planted warm weather crops like olive trees. At least he put his money where his mouth is. Over a decade later and several massive ice and snow storms across England and he looks a bit silly. But at least he was consistent and willing to act on what he said, unlike Prince Charles, Al Gore, Tim Flannery, and the rest of the lot. Even if as a meteorologist he should have known better.

Remorseful, that's how a Texas dad feels after beating to death the man who was molesting his four year old daughter. Well I'm glad he has a conscience, but I hope he doesn't lose much sleep over this. As far as I'm concerned it was a reasonable and just action. That girl will grow up knowing daddy will protect her, but her boyfriends better be damn careful.

Chicago's teachers have decided that a $5,200,000,000 debt for the state of Illinois isn't enough, so they want a pay raise. They want nearly 30% increase in pay, and 90% of the teachers voted to go on strike if they don't get what they want. Given the quality of education in the city, I'm not sure students would even notice their teachers not showing up for work. Some numbers regarding Chicago's schools:
  • just 15 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading
  • just 56 percent of students graduate
  • Chicago Public Schools have a $700 million deficit
  • The average teacher there earns $71,000 per year before benefits are included
  • the average annual income of a family in Chicago is $47,000 per year.
Seems like maybe they don't really need or deserve a raise, even if there was money in the budget.

The Blue Man Group may be entertaining and interesting to watch but they apparently cannot educate kids. The plan was a new kind of innovative, progressive school, where kids have no books, no schedule, choose their own curriculum, or tests. And these are grade school kids. They aren't learning to read, they can't take tests, and when parents complained that their kids were unready to go to other schools, the Blue Man school sent practice tests home with the kids. "parents who choose progressive schools shouldn’t expect to see the same results as they do from a conventional school." the experts said. And they're right: you get no results you want from an education.

According to the American Energy Companies Report, the EPA's new coal pollution rules will result in the loss of over 5,000 jobs immediately and a cost of almost $33 billion for power plants to change over to the required pollution scrubbers. Guess where those costs get passed on? Tripling heating bills. Here's a nice map of the power plants across the USA that will simply shut down when these rules are implemented. Again, promise, energy prices skyrocket, Obama. Wear a sweater in the winter.

President Obama is trying to market himself with as big an array of kitsch and merchandising that makes Yogurt look modest. You can get socks, barbecue equipment, doggie sweaters, candles, can insulators, a dog leash, backpacks, hats, lingerie, hats, phone covers, and much much more. All to help the president win (or at least have a great vacation), and not a few people are looking askance at how crass and cheesy this all looks. Its one thing to have campaign buttons but underwear?

New Jersey's Supreme Court has ruled that even home owner associations have to obey the US Constitution. Yes, you can put political signs on your own property in America, the 1st amendment protects that, even if some people in your neighborhood thinks it hurts the property value or don't like that candidate. If you think fighting city hall is hard, try taking on the Home Owners association in the area. You don't really own your property, no matter what the deed says.

Japanese programmers have found a way to use facial recognition sofware to update in real time, so that it can scan your face and make a computer image respond the same way. They instantly used it to manipulate cutie virtual idol Hatsune Miku, of course. Expect this to hit games in a year or two, especially computer "role playing" games. Now when you pretend to be the nympho elf princess she can smile when you do.

And that's the Word Around the Net for June 15, 2012

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