Friday, September 21, 2012


The committee has a “fiduciary responsibility to those who invest in our party." -DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

For a while I was able to use the old Blogger interface which I like much better and has a much more user friendly interface by tricking it, using an old edit link.  However, that's since been disabled and I have to use the new one, which I do not care for.  For the life of me I'll never understand why the internet is like a bunch of women rearranging furniture every few weeks.  If it works, don't fix it.  Stop changing your websites, stop changing how your page works.  Change just to generate excitement is not an upgrade it is just annoying.  People like what they're comfortable with.  At least, I do.
President Obama's "foreign policy president" theme is in ruins after the embassy attacks, but they tried really hard to keep it alive with the most outrageous and bizarre spin.  We were told that these Muslim radicals weren't upset at the USA, just some obscure film trailer.  We were told that these attacks were just "natural" protests that got out of hand.  We were told that these weren't terrorist attacks.  And now its all falling to pieces as the White House is starting to admit yes it was a terrorist attack, yes they were planned, yes, they were done by al`Qaeda, yes, the 9/11 date wasn't a total coincidence, no they weren't just protests, on and on.
Part of the problem for the Obama team is that they have to try to make it not look so bad that on the day when an Ambassador of the United States was raped and murdered along with his entire staff, the president was out getting a photoshoot and interview done in People magazine then jetting off to Las Vegas for a super rich fundraiser.  It makes him seem uncaring, fixated on election and power, and money-minded rather than presidential and concerned about life.  Almost as if he didn't care what happened to those people.  Even worse, the guy who led the attack on the Libyan consulate apparently was a man released by the Obama administration from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility because he was not a danger any longer.  And it appears that the continual crowing about personally killing Osama Bin Laden in a desperate hand to hand battle armed only with a rusty spoon actually has upset Muslims around the world.
The fact is, Obama had plenty of advance warning about these attacks to add security and declined to do so, as did Hillary Clinton at the State Department, in charge of the embassies.  The Consulate had repeatedly been threatened and attacked recently, and nothing was done to add to security.  One of the workers there sent out a message about the place being "cased" by Libyans and hoped he'd survive the night.  He didn't.  In short, in foreign policy terms, this was a horrific debacle, a complete disaster.
Something I've touched on a little in the past, but didn't complete my thoughts on was completed for me by Michael Barone.  Barone notes that this term for President Obama is much like FDR's second term, which he was almost certain to lose because the depression was getting worse, not better due to his Keynesian policies.  FDR was saved by the war, which he led so ably and was so great a man, the right man, in the job at the time.  And that's why Obama was pushing the foreign policy party nonsense, and that's why these embassy attacks hurt him a lot more than the left wants to realize.
Three Mile Island, the only nuclear power plant to have a serious accident in the United States, is shut down and venting steam again.  Yeah, the last time was in 1979, during the Carter administration.  There's no real danger here, but I wish they would shut down and rebuild all these old plants.  They were whipped up on the lowest bidder fast as possible to get nuclear fission materials ready for refining and aren't the best and safest models.  And again, I can't help but repeat: when I said Barack Hussein Obama was going to be Jimmy Carter II, I didn't mean it this literally.
Beer is not actually critical for survival, believe it or not, but it is a good thing to test out for survival scenarios.  The Army tested how beer reacts to radiation in its atomic tests in the 50's, along with other foods, with those mock towns and manikins set up in the desert.  Could it be drunk after being exposed to radiation?  How would it taste, how would it change?  Would it be mutant beer that gave superpowers?   Apparently it tasted a bit off and was declared safe for short-term use, probably a bit radioactive.
What should the punishment be for falsely accusing someone of rape?  Certainly I'm fine with the death penalty for actual rape, but false accusation should be punished too.  And a woman in England had a threesome with two guys then felt "dirty" and decided she'd just cover it up and make it all better by crying rape.  The men were jailed and treated like the scum a rapist is, until it was found she was lying.  Their reputations and lives won't be healed, but she's spending two years in prison.  Two years sounds light to me, but I do like the judge declaring her to be "wicked," that's a good word, and it truly fits.
Unemployment in Oregon has gone up to 8.9%.  For some reason, Oregon is one of those states that always has worse economic numbers than most of the nation any time a downturn happens. What's interesting is that the private sector seems to be stabilized for now, but the government jobs are declining, with 600 jobs lost last month alone.  As you know, I'm fine with a leaner, trimmer government but it is important to realize that when you trim the size of government down, people will lose jobs.
Meanwhile, Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler has put out a report pressuring Oregon based companies to diversify their board of directors to have more women and minorities.  I don't care who is on a board of directors on a private business, but the criteria should be ability and talent, not what they look like.  And doesn't the treasurer have other pressing concerns in a state in debt over $56 billion dollars?
Not that this is any shock to a long-time reader here or an informed political junkie, but President Obama overtly praised redistribution in a 1997 video.  News organizations are declining to run the video, but only NBC is explaining why.  Andrew Mitchell states that they can't (read: will not) "verify" the video, so they won't touch it - it would have been better to just pretend it never existed, now NBC looks idiotic instead of just disinterested in old news.
Again, I must warn people that the site is very NSFW and is fixated on cartoon nudity, but I can't pass up this hilarious headline at Senkaku Complex:
Scores Dye Horribly in Violet Explosion – China
The story?  Well it seems that a truck carrying powdered dye had an accident and dumped a lot of violet dye all over the streets, coloring animals, people, the roads, and even the nearby water a brilliant reddish purple color.  That headline is just clever.
Texting is just odd to me, but kids love it.  The problem is they love to do it all the time, even when operating heavy machinery, and they aren't the only ones.  Well an 11-year-old girl designed an application called "Rode Dog" that sets up a network of friends in a "pack" and tracks them on GPS.  If the friend is driving while they text, the app barks, hopefully alerting the friends to tell them to stop.
The ticket started with illegal parking by a truck.  But the cops noticed that the truck was leaking antifreeze and oil in a trail, and became curious why that would be so.  So they tracked the trail back to a telphone pole the truck had struck, leaving its paint behind.  Returning, they found that the driver had an outdated log book, a false record of duty, and his tires were in such bad shape they had to tow the truck.  Total tickets: $4600 and no more driving until the repairs are done.
Chesapeake Bay Journal is a newspaper for the bay area, and it tends to focus on environmental issues.  For over a decade now, that paper has been funded in large part by the EPA, something congress is investigating now.  Phillip Swarts writes in the Washington Guardian:
Between 2005 and 2010 alone, the federal agency has given $3.5 million to the newspaper’s founding organization, the nonprofit Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, in part to help print and distribute the newspaper, according to documents reviewed by the Washington Guardian.

The newspaper’s editor, Karl Blankenship, says the publication gets about 70 percent of its annual funding from EPA, averaging between $250,000 and $350,000 a year.
Funding a newspaper to deliver the EPA's hard left environmental party line is at best a violation of journalistic ethics, and probably well outside its mandate and spending limits, but its been going on since early in the Bush administration.
Much as I would like to believe the outrageous bias during presidential elections and lousy reporting in many other instances is the cause, much of the doom newspapers are facing is caused by the internet and advertising dropping off.  This chart illustrates their problem:

If the public stops subscribing as much to your paper for whatever reasons and you can't sell advertising... you're doomed.
Freedom of expression is one of the core values of the American public, but it seems to be waning as political correctness has taken hold.  A survey of 1000 likely voters claims that only 72% of the public thinks that freedom of speech is more important than not offending someone.  If that's true, what the hell is wrong with that almost 30%?  I know you can find a good 10% of the population anywhere that believes pretty much any lunatic crap but that many people think being nice trumps your basic right to expression?  I'd like to believe the poll is nonsense but I fear it isn't.
Again, the violence and attacks on Republican party HQs rears its ugly head like the last three elections.  This time its in Clark County Washington.  So far nobody has been hurt, but vandalism continues apace.  The left is so intimidating and up front about its fury against those who disagree that people are hesitant to admit their political leanings in some areas and jobs.  And this is in America?
Traffic Cameras are the darling of city governments because they represent a lot of revenue, but this story illustrates a problem not just for drivers but the government.Zahid Arab writes for KING 5:
Traffic camera glitches are blamed for thousands of drivers being issued fines in Federal Way.

According to traffic report by the Federal Way Police Department, almost 10,000 traffic tickets were issued in School Zone Speed Enforcement areas. The minimum fine: $210.

Federal Way police said there were minor technical problems.

"The cameras didn't function without the flashing yellow lights functioning," said Commander Sam McCall.
The speed limit is 20 mph when the lights are flashing, 35 mph when they're not.

Drivers said they were going the speed limit but still ticketed.
Seems to me that lawsuits will cost you more than the cameras earn.
Although the ICE is generally considered the enemy of illegal immigrants, apparently one employee from Arizona thought she'd make a profit.  She was busted for smuggling illegals into the country for pay recently.  She is at present on paid administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.
Supporting some politician on your own time is perfectly fine.  Doing so on the job and using job resources, not so much - especially when you sign a contract stating you won't do so as a reporter.  Peter Hamby at CNN sent out a tweet including a link to donations for Obama recently, violating his contract and journalistic ethics.  There's no word of any question or concern at CNN for this.
Similar to that story is this one from academia, one of several so far this year.  Professor Sharon Sweet has been suspended for  requiring all her students to sign a pledge that they'd vote for President Obama this year.  Not only is that unprofessional and unethical, its a violation of federal law.
Sometimes the press lets slip something they didn't mean to, a Freudian Slip of sorts.  One such example is given us in the New York Times by Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings:
In the Kinsleyan sense of accidentally telling the truth, that is. The paper is running a story today that essentially admits that Nakoula was arrested as a scapegoat:
The film was produced in the United States, though its origins are still shrouded. American federal authorities identified the man behind the film as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55. Though the film does not appear to violate any American laws, the authorities took Mr. Nakoula in for questioning on Saturday over possible federal parole violations connected to an unrelated criminal conviction. That action has done little to tamp down the unrest.
The point was to tamp down unrest?  He was taken in for questioning in the middle of the night by a bunch of cops to quiet down Muslims?  That's what Rod Norland and Sangar Rahimi seem to think.
Reporting on the Embassy attacks has been pretty tepid considering how it would have been under a Republican president.  The legacy media knows there's just no way to report this in a way that won't hurt the president, but have to say something, so the story is muddled often contradictory, and the spin is trying hard to find a way to make it not Obama's fault.  In another freudian slip, CBS reporter Margaret Brennan let slip:
What's clear is that the public won't get a detailed account of what happened until after the election.
Yes, I imagine so.
Middle age, the age roughly from 40-60 in days past, is being redefined.  Just like the age people are considered adults keeps moving up, now into the 30s in some takes, some folks think middle age starts at 55 now.  Well, the Peter Panification of western culture requires those ages keep going up.  You aren't really old, boomers!  You're still practically a teenager!  Party on, dude!
Diamonds have long been overvalued due to very clever market controls and slow release by the DeBeers corporation.  More common than emeralds, diamonds aren't worth what they are charged for, but that's what a virtual monopoly can do for you.  Now it is claimed that a meteor impact in North Central Russia has a fortune in diamonds from the gigantic meteor that hit, leaving a 62 mile wide crater.  The horde has been kept secret for a long time but now the report claims there are thousands of trillions of dollars in diamonds in it... at current prices.  Of course if you ship tons of diamonds onto the market, they're suddenly not worth that much.  In short, the crater would supply the current demand in diamonds for 3000 years.
According to Rhode Island civil rights law, a "father-daughter" dance is illegal.  The problem is a daughter wanted to attend but has no father, so she ran to the ACLU.  Instead of telling the girl "its okay, just have an uncle or something take you, they'll let you in" or "grow up there will be other dances" they took the case and won.  Dads all over the state probably are rejoicing they aren't going to be wrangled into a dance.
President Obama recently said he has learned that "you can't change Washington from the inside."  That would seem to be an appeal to the public: you have to make it happen.  Except when he was running for president in 2008, Obama said he couldn't change it from the outside either.  Ace responds at his HQ:
Outside, he fails.
Inside, he fails.
Unless there's some other category of sideriness I don't know of, it seems he just plain old fails.
But give him a mulligan.  Four more years!
Supposedly, the "stimulus" funds were to be used in the US only, or it wouldn't exactly stimulate the US economy.  However its been revealed that a lot of the money has been going to "green" companies that operate outside the US and to help them build companies in places like Spain.  now its been revealed that some of the money was used to directly buy solar panels from China.  I'm so disappointed, I thought "Sherriff" Joe Biden was going to keep everyone in line and prevent fraud and misuse of the funds.
President Obama went on David Letterman while embassies were burning and had a good old time.  The show was a festival of lies and inaccuracies, and old, no-longer-funny Letterman nodded and grinned along with it.  Some of the lowlights:
  • President Obama claimed its not right to call political opponents unpatriotic and said he never had (he has).
  • Obama also said that he'd never write off Americans, but William Teach runs down a career of doing exactly that, from "bitter clingers" to "teabaggers" and beyond.
  • Then, of course, there's this exchange:
    Having tuned in to the Republican National Convention, Letterman was moved by one of the confab’s signal messaging achievements. As he explains to the president:
    Here’s what I found troubling [at the GOP convention]...They had the clock, the debt countdown clock and, I mean, this thing is going like crazy and it’s several trillion dollars. Now, what is that?
    Obama responded with a recent history of government spending. Then Letterman went back to the tally: “Now, do you remember what that number was? Was it $10 trillion?”

    Then came the payoff, as the president made clear that he really didn’t want to utter the word “16”: “I don’t remember what the number was precisely.”
Well he can't really say "sixteen trillion" without looking really bad can he? And its going up so fast, really who can keep track of the exact number? By the way, the "recent history" listed there was "Republicans spent so much on the war, tax cuts, yadda yadda" instead of "well Congress and I raised the debt from almost 10 trillion to over 16 trillion, Dave."
Corporate taxes in the United States are double the world average, around 36% compared to around 18% worldwide average.  I'm sure that stimulates growth and encourages businesses to not outsource or leave the country.  I'm equally sure that this is still not enough and is not "fair" according to many.
Cheering for a team is not uncommon, but when you're a referee, its pretty much forbidden.  Last Sunday's Saints/Panthers game saw a replacement ref pulled because he revealed himself to be a big Saints fan on his Facebook page.  Again: Facebook will kill your career if you aren't careful.  Too bad the same standards don't apply to journalism, eh?
Katie was born in a parking lot in New Hampshire, at the Motor Speedway track there.  NASCAR gave the family two tickets to any race and promised that for the rest of Katie's life, she gets 2 free tickets a year.  Honestly racing is better to watch at home but still, that's a pretty nice gesture.
This one is all over the net, but I have to include it.  Like the bozo that set himself on fire burning an American flag, some guy burned a US flag in Pakistan and later died of smoke inhalation.  Maybe you should be more careful about this whole burning thing.  Undaunted, the protesters demanded America criminalize blasphemy against Islam or they will lose another consulate.
Apparently those protesters didn't hear about the ad the US State Department put together.  President Obama and Hillary Clinton state they "utterly reject the content and message" of the goofy Innocence of Islam youtube movie.  Yeah, that will show them not to protest and kill Americans.
Philadelphia businessman Ori Freibush got tired of the city not doing anything about a vacant lot next to his coffee shop, so he spent $20,000 of his own money and cleaned the place up, turning it into a little park with benches.  Eric Pfeiffer notes that he tried to get it done through normal channels to no avail:
Ori Feibush says he visited the local offices of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority four times, sent in seven written requests and made 24 phone calls to the agency asking them to take care of a major eyesore: an empty lot next to his coffee shop was home to more than 40 tons of debris.
The city is considering suing him for doing so, because he used unauthorized access to alter the city's property.  To beautify it, at his own expense.  Mostly I think they're mad that he made them look bad or wouldn't pay the required kickbacks.
Although this has been a rumor for years, now it has been confirmed: bars of gold containing tungsten under a thin layer of gold have turned up in Manhattan.  Tungsten is costs only about 90 cents an ounce (it sells by the ton), and gold is over $1500 an ounce so that's a pretty effective scam.  And its hardly surprising people are cheating to make money with how incredibly expensive gold is now.
Regulations are expensive for businesses, requiring them to take action, fill out reports, spend money for upgrades, change materials, and so on to comply with federal rules.  The Obama administration claimed their massive tidal wave of regulations isn't really all that costly, but Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner disagrees:
Current federal regulations plus those coming under Obamacare will cost American taxpayers and businesses $1.8 trillion annually, more than twenty times the $88 billion the administration estimates, according to a new roundup provided to Secrets from the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute.
And as always with the government, those costs will only grow.  Imagine the economic growth if only half of those regulations were rolled back?

When president Obama took an interview on Spanish Language TV network Univision, he probably was thinking "this will get me hispanic votes!"  What he didn't seem to realize is that the Mexican people are... less than amused by the Fast & Furious scandal and he got grilled by an almost hostile interviewer, leaving him repeatedly stuttering, confused, and incoherent.  Anybody can hit a softball gently lobbed at them.  That doesn't make you brilliant, it makes you ordinary.
According to Andrew Stiles at the Washington Free Beacon, the Democratic Party is in debt to the SEIU.  He doesn't mean politically, either.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) owes at least $8 million to a bank owned by one of the largest unions in the country, according to the committee’s most recent financial report.

The DNC initiated an $8 million loan with the Amalgamated Bank of New York on Aug. 10, the report shows, accounting for the majority of the committee’s overall debt of $11 million.
Yeah, that's a great idea.  Hey, union guys, what do you think about your dues going for this?
Something exciting and interesting to me is the 3-D "printer".  Essentially, this system uses lasers to create an actual 3-D model out of some material (usually a plastic of some sort) that is solid from a 3D computer model.  I always figured these things would run into the hundreds of thousands, but not necessarily.  Wired reports that a new company is selling home and business models for just over $2000, able to create a model from any CAD drawing or 3D Modeling software.  That's just amazing, and I'm really looking forward to this technology becoming more widespread.

And that's the Word Around the Net for September 21, 2012.  See you in the fall.


Loki said...

Engadget reports on a 3D printer that can be had for a mere 600 smackers.

Christopher R Taylor said...

I wonder how much the goo to print stuff out of costs?