Friday, June 22, 2012

WORD AROUND THE NET

"If we didn’t know better, [we] would have thought it was deliberately botched."
-Richard Nixon

Got some spare cash lying around? George Washington's personally hand-written and annotated copy of the US Constitution is up for sale in an auction. Aside from the actual constitution its self this is one of the most profound historical documents in the United States. And if Nicholas Cage was involved, it would have complex clues to a fabulous treasure. When originally put up for auction in 1977 it went for $13,000,000. Expect the price to be a bit higher today.

The Senate, including 17 Republicans - mostly farm belt guys - passed a pork-bloated Farm Bill, one of the most typically payoff-laden and kickback-packed pieces of crap constantly pushed through the system by congress. The Farm Bill is filled with the kind of legislation people are outraged by like studies on how fast shrimp run on treadmills, hidden away in safe passage because otherwise fiscally conservative rural legislators will sign off on those sweet, sweet farm subsidies to get reelected. Ace of Spades HQ has the full list of Republican Senators who signed on to it. Give them hell if they're in your state, or they'll never stop.

Fox News gets a lot of hate by kneejerk leftists, but I'm not a big fan either because their news coverage is fluff and tends to focus on missing little white girls and celebrity trials. And lately, the channel has been getting more like MSNBC than any sort of reliable news source. The latest stunt was a Fox News produced attack ad about how much President Obama sucks, and while I tend to agree that's not proper for a news channel any more than MSNBC's "how Romney sucks" documentary.

Meanwhile the AP has proved its no better. Although the president's invocation of executive privilege to cover up Fast & Furious has forced the legacy media to pay attention to the story and report it, their reporting is lacking. For instance, this Associated Press story claims that the program started under President Bush, when F&F was started in 2009 after a press secretary announced a new program President Obama demanded. And the Washington Post has a piece up claiming that F&F is the same as Operation Linebacker which merely tracked guns that were sold, instead of just selling guns to crime lords and forgetting about them. You can make us cover this, you right wing jerks, but you can't make us tell the truth! In their defense, of course, they may just really be that ignorant, having all but ignored the story for over a year.

This year, in America, more women are working than men. More women are managers than men, as well. Given that women are a slight majority in the general population, I suppose that isn't terribly shocking, but you'd never know it from the feminist rhetoric. For feminists to have political power and money gathering potential, they have to be the eternal oppressed minority no matter what happens. Because even if its proven beyond denial to the point the general public knows it well that women are clearly the majority and in power... well then its payback time for centuries of perceived abuse and oppression by men.

Tacoma school district in Washington state made a rule for schools: nobody gets any sunscreen unless they have a doctor's written orders. Teachers are forbidden from putting any on the kids (not entirely unreasonable) and the kids may only do so themselves with a note from their doctor. The rest? Roast. And that's exactly what happened at a field trip.
Jesse Michener was horrified Tuesday evening when she returned home from work to find two of her three daughters severely sunburned after field day at Point Defiance Elementary School.
Why didn't the parents put any on the kids? Well to start off it was raining when they left home, and by the time they got to the field trip it wouldn't have been much good anyway - it only is really effective for a few hours. Teachers noticed the kids were getting burnt but didn't take any steps to remove them from the sun.

Gas prices are plunging. The price had gone up in Washington State in part because of a fire, but that wouldn't have really affected the fuel in the area for months anyway. The whole fuel speculation and gas price dynamic is so obscure and arbitrary as to seem random, or perhaps even conspired to the general public. If gas companies were smart they'd work on policies and systems to change that.

Explosives were found near a Swedish nuclear power plant. What kind of explosives they were or how they got to the location has not been revealed as the investigation continues, but they were found on a routine perimeter check.

Like Spain and the US, the British government poured millions into "green" energy subsidies and loans, believing that it would transform the economy and reduce mythical global disaster. Now, ten years later, several of the turbines have lost blades, and the entire subsidy system is being shut down. It turns out that pouring money into energy production that's too weak to drive modern civilization while going into massive debt is a bad idea.

Canada's pilot wind turbine project at Rankin Inlet fell to pieces as well. In fact all the original wind turbines set up to kickstart an alternate energy explosion in the country are shut down and non functional. "We're not going to spend a lot of dollars into the research of what went wrong," said the manager of the company. I can't help but think these governments were scammed big time.

Aghani terrorist group the Taliban has stooped pretty low but they've found a new way lately to be evil. In retaliation for drone strikes against their murderous crew, a Taliban leader has announced he'll block Polio vaccinations until they end. Whether he has the power to do this or not is uncertain, but it does show their priorities: children will die until you stop martyring us. But don't you believe you go to paradise?

Amity Shaes collects many stories of black racial hatred against whites in a recent article, noting how if this is mentioned it tends to be called "mischief" and tends to not be reported at all.
It is hostility shared by the black teenagers who push white teenagers out of cars when they are trying to board a crowded train. It is shared by the (black) city employee behind the bullet-proof glass at the token booth, who looks at two simultaneous arrivals—one white, one black—and says to the black one with a pointed and gratified smile, 'You go first.
The truth is, racism against whites in America is becoming more and more prevalent and institutionalized even as blacks cry louder about being oppressed. If racism is wrong, its wrong against anyone, isn't it?

President Obama has changed his mind again on Washington DC's voucher program. The program, which almost exclusively helps black kids, is designed to let their parents put these kids into better schools than the ghastly inner city public schools they are nearby. President Obama at first supported, then announced the end of, then said he'd let it stay, then said he would end it again. Now he's back on the side of supporting it once more. The truth is, school choice initiatives like voucher programs (which give parents back tax money collected for public schools in the form of a voucher that can only be spent at an approved school) are supported very strongly by blacks in America. They are opposed, however, by teacher's unions.

Meanwhile, the fastest growing segment of America that home schools their kids are black parents. This isn't surprising, since many blacks live in poorer parts of big cities where the schools are often utterly horrible. Deprived of an option to send their kids to another school by unions and Democrats, they are just opting to keep them home. How long before a push begins to outlaw home schooling like in Germany?

Interrupting the president is unthinkably rude and completely unprofessional, so we were told after a Daily Caller reporter did so (apparently by mistake) recently. In fact, Sam Donaldson recently declared that the only possible reason you would interrupt President Obama is... you guessed it... racism. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator shares three videos of folks - including Sam Donaldson - of interrupting President Reagan. It happened quite a bit, and it happened with President Bush the younger for that matter. The truth is, its hard to tell when President Obama is done talking or not some times.

President Obama's declaration that he won't enforce immigration law against some illegals in America has not a few people quite annoyed. Why he's doing this is a matter of some speculation but the timing seems clear: he thinks it will help him get reelected. The problem for President Obama is that it will annoy at least as many hispanic citizens as it will delight them, I suspect. Meanwhile, Mickey Kaus at The Daily Caller lists some features of this decision not widely known:
  1. It also would give work permits to those who snuck across the border by themselves as teenagers.
  2. "know only this country as home” means 5 years continuous residence.
  3. Not being a criminal means total jail time less than 90 days.
That's what happens when you get lawyers involved in writing law and policy.

Amtrak has a special deal. If you send money to help lobby the government for more Amtrak funds, you get a discount on your train tickets. Or, as Gary Leff puts it: "Americans who pay to support more subsidies get charged less to travel on subsidized trains than those who oppose the subsidies.” Preferred customers.

Child Prostitution isn't just morally repugnant, it is an evil slavery that never has been wiped out even in America. You'd think this would be one area of agreement between all people in all walks of life and from all political perspectives. But as Zombie (courtesy David Thompson) notes... not so much with the Occupy Movement. These idiots showed up to protest the International Child Sex Trafficking Conference for... capitalism.
The Occupy narrative was very convoluted and can’t be coherently summarized in just a few images — in fact, they remained pretty incoherent even with all the space in the world to explain themselves — but we’ll get started with a few of their signs. This one said “End Police Terror Against Minor + Adult Sex Workers.” This is based on the Prime Directive of Occupy Oakland’s worldview: The police are mankind’s #1 enemy.
To better understand this, Zombie shared the Occupy website statement:
This is What Patriarchy Looks Like:

The H.EAT. conference is a conference of pigs and their nonprofit lackeys to increase the harassment, imprisonment, marginalization and criminalization of sex workers. Fronting as a conference against “child trafficking,” this conference brings pigs and nonprofits together to develop policing strategies that line their pockets while leaving sex workers exploited and disempowered. Pigs and nonprofits hide behind lies about “safety” and “protection” while they profit off the incarceration and “reformation” of sex workers. These pigs and nonprofits neurotically plug their ears to the fact they themselves are exactly the reason sex work can exist. Sex work, like all forms of work, can only exist within a society based on hierarchical economic systems like capitalism, which are protected by the police and patronizing reformist organizations that keep exploited people from revolting. The pigs are the enemies of sex workers, and of all workers.
Its difficult to even understand the insanity that drives this kind of response to the world, but one thing is clear: they objectively support child prostitution and sex slavery.

Forty Years ago, Watergate broke into the news. It was 40 years ago that the break-ins occurred and the coverups began. Although mild by modern scandals (300 people weren't killed, for instance), it was the biggest political scandal of the 20th century and ended up with a President of the United States resigning from office. Steven Hayward at Power Line remembers the events and brings up some interesting points that never have been cleared up:
  • The FBI was generally several steps ahead of Woodward & Bernstein's Washington Post reporting
  • No one is exactly sure what the burglars in the Watergate Hotel were actually after
  • The bug placed in an office was in a rarely-used one, and picked up little
  • Was the DNC headquarters being used as a call-girl ring?
  • why did veteran CIA agent James McCord do something as stupid as tape a door open a second time, which would be an obvious tip off to Watergate security?
We have since learned the identity of the primary source Woodward and Bernstein used for their stories, a disgruntled ex FBI employee who hated President Nixon. Not that he was necessarily making things up but it does make you want to scrutinize his stories a bit more closely.

Incidentally, there's a book written in 1977 that goes through history of previous presidents to Nixon and carefully lays out how they engaged in wiretapping, enemies lists, and every dirty trick Nixon was accused of (and probably did) but were ignored by the press because they were not hated as much as Nixon was. You might want to dismiss this as some bitter Republican but the Washington Post depicted It Didn't Start With Watergate as filled with "pummeling facts."

Several years ago I wrote about a Christian group that was banned from a Dearborn Michican Muslim festival held each year. Eventually the idiot mayor was taught that the first amendment does actually allow people to disagree with Muslims, and they returned. However, there's been problems since... and its with the Christians. Kevin Dolak writes at ABC News:
Christian protesters traveled across the country to Dearborn, Mich., where they taunted attendees and even held a severed pig’s head for three days at the annual Arab International Festival. The protests turned violent Sunday, and by the end of the day as many as 10 people facing disorderly conduct or assault charges, according to ABC News Detroit affiliate WXYZ.

“You’re going to burn in hell,” a missionary reportedly yelled at a group of Arab-American boys, while other protesters held anti-Muslim signs that made bigoted remarks about Islam and its prophet Mohammed, including “Islam is a religion of blood and murder” and “Muhammad (Islam’s prophet) is a … liar, false prophet, murderer, child molesting pervert.”

Young festival attendees later threw soda cans at the protesters and yelled, “Allah-U-Akbar” [God is the greatest], the Detroit Free Press reported.

Violence eventually broke out between festival goers and protesters, prompting Dearborn police to arrest a protest they claim incited the violence. Some protesters say that they were attacked first.

Well, perhaps, but if you keep kicking the beehive, eventually you're going to get stung. This kind of behavior, if its even half true, is something Jesus would have opposed strongly and in no uncertain terms. Love your neighbor, He said, then identified neighbor as "the guy you usually think is icky." Love your enemy, He taught, and these guys clearly think Muslims are their enemy. This is just terrible, assuming its true. We'll see, I suppose.

Jews, according to Israel's Prime Minister, should move out of France as soon as possible to avoid the violence against them there. France demanded an explanation for these remarks, but The Lid gives example after example of why its true.

France, impatient to see their nation totally collapse into economic disaster and chaos, is going to raise taxes. Remember: France has a large amount of Europe's banking deposits in its banks because they're offering an absurdly unsustainable level of interest return on investments there. When France goes, the whole EU is going to Hindenburg.

Although its too late to matter at this point, a recent book on President Obama's life has found at least nine big lies in his biography Dreams Of My Father. For example:
  • Hussein Onyango, Barack's grandfather, wasn't really imprisoned and tortured by the British.
  • Regina, a friend at Occidental who Obama writes about as a symbol of the authentic African-American experience turns out to be based on Carolina Boss, who is white. Regina was the name of her Swiss grandmother.
  • Obama wrote that he broke up with his New York girlfriend in part because she was white. But his next girlfriend, an anthropologist in Chicago, was also white.
  • Obama's mother left his father, not the other way around.
  • In his memoir, Obama mentions he missed out on playing time in high school basketball because he coach preferred players who "play like white boys do." In fact, Obama had to work hard just to make the team, and race had nothing to do with it.
In fact, Barack Obama was so infamous for making up stories about his life that he was actually lampooned by the Harvard Law Review staff. So why bring this up now? Well it demonstrates how poorly President Obama's life was examined by the press, how poorly they did their job. This is the toughest job in the world, you can't just let an applicant skate because you like him and he has bitchen slogans.

Related is how the biography describes Obama's reaction to working less than a year (his only private sector job in his life) at Business International:
"He calls it working for the enemy," Obama's mother, Ann, wrote after a phone conversation with her son, "because some of the reports are written for commercial firms that want to invest in [Third World] countries."

Writing to a former girlfriend, Maraniss says, Obama also "expressed a distaste for the corporate world." And in his engaging but unreliable memoir "Dreams from My Father," Obama described his time at Business International this way: "Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office. ..."
This would be the part of the book which claimed he was a big time wheeler dealer, working with international clients, in a cushy office, with a secretary.
"I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors -- see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in hand -- and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve."
He didn't wear a suit. He didn't meet with foreign powers. He didn't interview bond traders or financiers from anywhere. He didn't have a secretary but he did have a little simple office.

Gun ownership in America is on the rise, partly fueled by worries of some impending disaster, and partly based on concerns of potential gun control laws from a Democrat-controlled federal government. However, gun and other violent crimes are on the decline. Correlation, as I've noted many times before, does not imply causation - the two don't have to be related. However, this does fly in the face of conventional leftist wisdom which states that the poorer people get the more criminal they become, and that more guns = more gun violence.

According to a doctor in the UK, the National Health Service is euthanizing 130,000 elderly patients a year. This is part of what he says is the "Liverpool Care Pathway" which decides that patients who cannot recover and are about to die can be simply let starve or cut off from care. Now, this is in the Daily Mail - which sometimes is a bit, shall we say, exaggerated and sensationlistic, and its the word of one doctor, so who knows how valid it is. But this is the same thing as reports from Denmark, Sweden, and Holland about ending the lives of troublesome and poor patients who are declared a burden on the system and taking up hospital beds. Overall it is a bit of a trend in Europe to hear these reports. And while I'm all for not seeking care when you're beyond help or extremely old... that's a personal decision, not something a doctor should impose.

California's High Speed Rail system, started just as the state was sliding off into economic abyss, appears to be dead. It would have cost billions the state simply doesn't have, benefited few, and been a massive waste of money for the state. Again, I love rail, but its just not feasible or reasonable at present. Just because you like a thing doesn't somehow change reality and make it a good idea. And even if perhaps it is a good idea that doesn't mean you can afford it.

At the risk of being dry and economical, there's an excellent analysis of the basic flaws with the entire Eurozone idea, flaws which were brought up before it was even set up but ignored. Ian Lee and Nicholas J. Kalogerakos write in the Ottowa Citizen:
According to Nobel Laureate Robert Mundell, to be successful, a currency union must include:

1) labour mobility allowing people to move from higher unemployment regions to lower unemployment regions;

2) capital mobility across the regions;

3) price and wage flexibility across the regions to facilitate balancing of competitiveness across regions;

4) fiscal transfer mechanism to facilitate sharing resources between the poorer regions and the more affluent regions.

Yet, none of these conditions was met when the euro was established because of national laws and regulations that restricted these activities.
In other words, economically, the EU was impossible to sustain from the start and its failure was utterly predictable - and predicted.

Although I don't know for certain what is behind this or how standard journalistic practices are done, a recent story at Bloomberg News seems to have utterly violated every concept of responsible reporting. In the middle of a story praising Mexican President Calderone and attacking America for not having socialized medicine are the words "(OK? ---I'M MAKING THIS UP)" Now that's not part of the story... is it an admission of inventing something whole cloth and asking editorial okay? That part has since been scrubbed but... the internet is forever.

United Nations stories are a favorite of mine because the people at the organization swap between stupidity and corruption, yet are held up as scions of morality and right judgment. The most recent example is from a report on North Korea from Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization. One Free Korea has the story:
UN health agency chief Margaret Chan said on Friday after a visit to North Korea that the country’s health system would be the envy for most developing countries although it faced “challenges”. “Based on what I have seen, I can tell you they have something that most other developing countries would envy,” she told journalists, despite reports of renewed famine in parts of the country.

“To give you a couple of examples, DPRK has no lack of doctors and nurses, as we see in other developing countries, most of their doctors and nurse have migrated,” the director general of the World Health Organisation said. She also highlighted its “very elaborate health infrastructure” extending to a district network of household doctors, she added.

...she praised the extent of child vaccination in the country, citing coverage of about 90 percent, as well as the way it tackled tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases.
This goes beyond the term "useful idiots" but its along those same lines. Someone who got a special state-sponsored tour of a carefully scrubbed and selected portion of a brutal, backward dictatorship and believes everything they are told and shown without a shred of doubt or discernment. Someone that credulous and vapid should never, ever be given any power, anywhere, for any reason.

Not to be outdone, the IPCC, also affiliated with the United Nations, made sure their recent climate change party conference coincidentally held in a posh resort was diverse and inclusive. Hank Campbell writes at Science 2.0:
The new rules also mean it will be required that Africa will have five members on the IPCC and North America will have only four. I don't want to come off as elitist because I was lucky enough to have been born in North America but does anyone really think Africa has 25% more top-flight climate scientists than the USA and Canada...combined? The USA alone produces 32% of the world's science.

But that's not really what matters, say the IPCC. They believe America seems to have an advantage small countries do not; evil science media corporations, though they are overwhelmingly liberal, are still unfairly blocking out developing nation scientists from getting published, activists at the IPCC contend. With 25,000 open access journals and thousands of print ones, these researchers apparently cannot get printed and cited.
And this is how science dies, when you focus on political correctness and "fairness" rather than objective, demonstrable results. Sure, you're right, but are you multicultural? What about this culture's narrative, was it fairly represented?

Where's the best place in the United States to start a new business? Texas. Where's the worst? California, although Vermont comes close. Forbes has the whole breakdown, based on regulation, taxes, market, and more. My home state of Oregon is surprisingly not terrible, probably because most of the state isn't Portland.

Recently the Supreme Court ruled that the SEIU could not collect funds from non-union workers to pay for political efforts. It is law in several states (including Oregon) that you can decide not to join a union but if the union controls the workers in that job, you still have to pay dues because presumably you're benefiting from their efforts. But the SEIU started assessing an increased fee to pay for political activism, and charged the non-union folks, who rebelled. The Supreme Court agreed, this is not legal.

If the Obama reelection campaign isn't gettting desperate for money, they sure are doing an excellent imitation of it. The latest scheme? Register to give money to the Obama campaign in your wedding or shower! Instead of a blender, send money to a politician!

Legal Insurrection has a bit of information you might want to consider when you sign up for that $3 dinner with Obama. As Professor Jacobson points out, the cash value of the entire event (airfare, lodging, dinner, etc) is estimated at $4800... which the IRS then considers taxable. I doubt the people who set this up really even thought about it, and its pretty unlikely anyone who wins this will have a problem paying for the taxes but its still an unfortunate surprise for someone who signs up.

And finally, the difference between cats and humans when it comes to the vacuum cleaner:

And that's the Word Around the Net for June 22, 2012. Have a great summer!

No comments: