"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Since The Mainstream Media Won't Hold That Fat Turd Accountable....
Court allows Marine sargeant to sue John Murtha for defamation.
A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition about his comments alleging "cold-blooded murder and war crimes" by unnamed soldiers in connection with Iraqi civilian deaths.
A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 18-term congressman for making the charge, which the soldier claims is false. Murtha, who opposes the Iraq war, made the comment during a May, 2006 Capitol Hill news conference in which he predicted that a Pentagon war crimes investigation will show Marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005.
It's too bad that the tough questioning is left to Jason Mattera, of the Young America's Foundation. On the other hand, the MSM continues to dig its own grave when it does.
Labels: John Murtha Lawsuit
The Invisible Hand Of Karl Rove
Karl Rove may not have an office in the White House anymore, but he is still setting traps for and making fools of the Democrats.
If I understand former Bill Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal, then the Democrats latest screwup is Karl Rove's work.
Following lead provided them by Media Matters, the mainstream media and the Democratic Party affected outrage after Rush Limbaugh supposedly described anti-war servicemen and women as "phony." In denouncing Limbaugh, the liberals revealed themselves as easily misled fools and Media Matters is exposed as a Rovian plot.
Last week Sidney Blumenthal pulls back the curtain and revealed that it was Karl Rove who baited the trap that Dan Rather stepped into.
Within minutes of the conclusion of the broadcast, conservative bloggers launched a counterattack. The chief of these critics was a Republican Party activist in Georgia. Almost certainly, these bloggers, who had been part of meetings or conference calls organized by Karl Rove's political operation, coordinated their actions with Rove's office.
Ah Ha! Sid Vicious figured it out! The memos were a Rovian trick to discredit Dan Rather and a legitimate story.
"There is not a date, or a name, or an action out of place. Nor does the content of the Killian memos differ in any way from the information that has come out after our story ... In order to conclude that the documents are forged or utterly unreliable, two questions must be answered: 1) how could anyone have forged such pristinely accurate information; and 2) why would anyone have taken such great pains to forge the truth?"
And so, Sidney ties it all together. It was Karl Rove who planted the forged documents and conspired with sympathetic bloggers to blow the story as soon as Dan Rather took the bait.
Amazing. And so now that I have the full picture of how Karl Rove ties the left into knots, I can only conclude that Media Matters is a Karl Rove front group that feeds disinformation to the left to keep them looking like fools.
I can only wonder - how did Karl Rove trick Moveon.Org and the New York Times into placing that embarrassing General Betray Us advertisement? And, was it a Rovian mole who slipped that line into Mrs. Clinton's ridiculous opening remarks the Petreus hearings?
Friday, September 28, 2007
Like Nailing Jello To The Wall
More On The Unsettled Nature Of Settled Science
Twenty years ago we so confident in our understanding of how ozone holes formed that we banned certain chlorofluorocarbons because they destroyed the ozone layer. The chemist who alerted the world won a Nobel Prize. But, it turns out that it was all wrong.
"This must have far-reaching consequences," Rex says. "If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being." What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.
The rapid photolysis of Cl2O2 is a key reaction in the chemical model of ozone destruction developed 20 years ago2 (see graphic). If the rate is substantially lower than previously thought, then it would not be possible to create enough aggressive chlorine radicals to explain the observed ozone losses at high latitudes, says Rex. The extent of the discrepancy became apparent only when he incorporated the new photolysis rate into a chemical model of ozone depletion. The result was a shock: at least 60% of ozone destruction at the poles seems to be due to an unknown mechanism, Rex told a meeting of stratosphere researchers in Bremen, Germany, last week.
Other groups have yet to confirm the new photolysis rate, but the conundrum
is already causing much debate and uncertainty in the ozone research community. "Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart," says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.
"Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely," agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. "Now suddenly it's like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge." ...
Nothing currently suggests that the role of CFCs must be called into question, Rex stresses. "Overwhelming evidence still suggests that anthropogenic emissions of CFCs and halons are the reason for the ozone loss. But we would be on much firmer ground if we could write down the correct chemical reactions."
It's not as though the Nobel Committee hasn't screwed up before. And more than once.
Labels: Freon Ozone Hole BS
It Takes An Academic To Understand This Crap
It's a good thing we have academia to guide us through the complexities of our daily lives. Otherwise, we'd simply be guided by common sense, which is for mere commoners like me.
I read someplace that an academic is the sort of person who will publish book after book on how to make love to a beautiful woman, without ever having had a girlfriend himself. I learned earlier this week that an academic is somebody who is so convinced of his intellectual superiority that he can lord it over the rest of us on credentials alone.
As I lifted up my Moscow-Pullman Daily News from my porch last Tuesday, I noticed that it was far heavier than usual. When I turned to the opinion page, I learned why. There was the former president of the Washington State University faculty senate proclaiming that his academic experience endowed him with a superior talent for understanding big words and thus conferred upon him the authority to call the man who stands between us and Islamo-fascism a fool and a liar.
The superior insight of the academic certainly explains Columbia University’s invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at that university’s world leaders forum. It also helps me understand why, after all the venom Ahmadinejad has spewed over the years, it was his insistence that Iran was somehow vaccinated against homosexuality that provoked academic opprobrium.
Hofstra University’s law school invited the convicted terrorist enabler and disbarred attorney Lynne Stewart to speak at a conference on legal ethics. Simpletons such as I have no hope of comprehending this. Such comprehension is only within the grasp of the academic mind.
Larry Summers was driven from the presidency of Harvard University and was recently disinvited from giving a speech at the University of California, Davis because he once raised the possibility that relatively few women enter fields like physics and engineering because of inherent differences between men and women. Even supplicating before the howls and bleats of offended feminists, whose behavior verified many clichés regarding women and feminists, earned him no credit. As I recall, he even attended a re-education camp – excuse me, I meant sensitivity training. But even though that would have earned him a second chance in a communist dictatorship, it did him no good at Harvard.
Summers’ theory certainly has more supporting evidence than the Islamist thesis that Jews are not really humans, but are instead descendents of pigs and dogs. But the academic mind just knows when to rise above evidence and grasp a truth that is obscured from lesser minds by facts.
Academics are above irony. Even as feminist scholars were celebrating their latest Larry Summers’ snub, Columbia University invoked “freedom of speech” to defend itself against criticism that it had provided a microphone and a spotlight to a belligerent bigot.
At some point Columbia University’s president, Lee Bollinger, appeared to have caught a glimpse of how the non-academic world viewed his university and attempted damage control.
Bollinger accused Ahmadinejad of being a “petty and cruel dictator,” and of being either “brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.”
“I feel the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for,” he concluded.
It might have been coincidence, but his epiphany synchronized nicely with fiduciary threats from alumni, as well as the state and local governments that provide Columbia University with significant financial support. Academics are not above accounting.
I know not whether Bollinger’s words were enough to make donors forget that Columbia lent its prestige and legitimacy to this century’s Hitler. It was especially troublesome that the dean of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, John Coatsworth, said that Columbia would have welcomed last century’s Hitler as well: “If Adolph Hitler were willing to engage in a debate and a discussion, to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him.”
Columbia also did a little preemptive airbrushing for history’s sake by covering the podium with a shroud that concealed the university’s name and seal, so that photographs of the event would show no evidence of the venue.
If academics wished to demonstrate a courageous commitment to free speech, they would exhibit the dreaded cartoons of blasphemy that American newspapers and broadcast television have refused to show. The most recent such cartoon in a Swedish newspaper resulted in a death sentence against the artist and Iranian demands that Sweden change its laws.
That would be just the sort of courage that even a dolt like me could appreciate.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Ron Paulian Form Letter Groupthink
Before I cut it off, I received the three comments to an earlier post today. I broke my one firm rule and allowed them onto my site to demonstrate how the Ron Paul campaign was "spamming."
The more I thought about it, the louder my irony alarm rang. Isn't Ron Paul supposed to be a libertarian? So explain to me why he would facilitate form letter group think.
Labels: Ron Paulatons
Let's Go Nuclear
Let the howling begin. For the first time in 34 years, an American company has filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the construction of a new nuclear power plant.
The proposal submitted Tuesday is to build two new reactors with a total capacity of 2,700 megawatts at the South Texas Project site in Matagorda County, where two nuclear units have already operated for 25 years. The size of the reactors is unprecedented -- the biggest American plants generally produce about 1,200 MW.
"This is a historical event," said Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico, long the Senate's strongest supporter of nuclear. "Consumers around the world are benefiting from clean nuclear power. Finally our nation is on the verge of taking greater advantage of this technology. I hope it is the first of many."
The statement has its irony. Nuclear technology, of course, was invented in this country. In the 1980s we gave it up for fear of accidents, which caused endless regulatory delays. One common argument among nuclear opponents was that nuclear energy was only an illegitimate offspring of nuclear bomb technology cooked up by scientists who felt guilty about building the atomic bomb. Over the last two decades, Japan (along with France) has become the world's technological leader. Toshiba, which enhanced its nuclear technology by buying Westinghouse, will build NRG's new reactors. The vessel heads will be manufactured by Japan Steel Works, the only forge in the world now capable of casting these huge structures. America is playing catch-up on our own technology.
I'm looking forward to all the same loud mouths who whine about global warming protest against our cleanest and greenest energy source.
Labels: Nuclear Power Plant Application
Hillary's Principles Of Convenience
Hillary Clinton once again demonstrated that her "principles" are made up on the spot to please the audience at hand.
Sen. Hillary Clinton scored with a Democratic audience last night by contradicting her husband's belief that a terrorist could be tortured to foil an imminent plot - but what observers didn't know is she was contradicting herself, too.
"It cannot be American policy, period," Clinton (D-N.Y.) told debate moderator Tim Russert, who asked if there should be a presidential exemption to allow the torture of a terror chieftain if authorities knew a bomb was about to go off, but didn't know where it was.
When Russert revealed ex-President Bill Clinton advocated such a policy on a recent NBC "Meet the Press" appearance, Hillary Clinton won huge applause from the Dartmouth College audience with a deadpan comeback:
"Well, I'll talk to him later."
She may have to give herself that talk, too.
Last October, Clinton told the Daily News: "If we're going to bepreparing for the kind of improbable but possible eventuality, then it has to be done within the rule of law."
She said then the "ticking time bomb" scenario represents a narrow exception to her opposition to torture as morally wrong, ineffective and dangerous to American soldiers.
"In the event we were ever confronted with having to interrogate a detainee with knowledge of an imminent threat to millions of Americans, then the decision to depart from standard international practices must be made by the President, and the President must be held accountable," she said.
Clinton's campaign did not immediately respond to numerous requests for comment on the eye-popping contradiction.
I'm sure that she would say something quite different if she were speaking to a gathering of "24" fans.
Labels: Hillary Clinton Kiss Ass
Surge For Me, But Not For Thee
I personally cannot get over the irony that all of the significant Democratic presidential candidates said that, as president, they would allow facts on the ground influence their surrender decisions. But, as senators and candidates, they demand immediate surrender regardless of the facts on the ground.
"I think it's hard to project four years from now," said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the nation's first primary state.
"It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting," added Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
"I cannot make that commitment," said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
Sensing an opening, Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson provided the assurances the others would not.
Update: I do not normally permit the sort of obviously spammed comments that have appeared on this post. In this case, I decided to let 3 identical comments through just to show how Ron Paul is abusing this privilege. I guess we're all supposed to believe that Ron Paul supporters are spontaneously rising up and venting their sentiments on blogs. If so, then they are a (very small) army of Stepford Wife-like automatons.
Labels: Democrat Surrender Monkeys
Terrorists Show Rosie The Love
Jihadis have found a true kindred spirit in Rosie O'Donnell and they want her to drop in and share a bit roasted goat at their table.
Muslim jihadist leaders interviewed for a new book were ecstatic about statements from television talk host Rosie O'Donnell about the war in Iraq and the global war on terror, agreeing with her outspoken views.
Some even invited her on a "fact finding mission" to the Middle East.
"I agree with what this O'Donnell says. ...We welcome Rosie O'Donnell to stay among us and to get to know the truth from being here, like many American peace activists are doing," said Ala Senakreh, West Bank chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist organization.
I'm sure they would insist upon Rosie wearing a burqua. I know I would.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
NPR Snubs President Bush
NPR's getting too big for its britches.
The White House reached out to National Public Radio over the weekend, offering analyst Juan Williams a presidential interview to mark yesterday's 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Little Rock.
But NPR turned down the interview, and Williams's talk with Bush wound up in a very different media venue: Fox News.
I'd bet that these arrogant bastards would have given Ahmadinejad anything he wanted for an interview.
Labels: NPR Presidential Interview
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Mahmoud, Hot or Not?
With all these blogs around, it's good thing that we have the mainstream media to keep us grounded in substantive and meaningful news.
So, cast your vote. Is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hot or not?
As one well-informed reader of the PI notes: "He does not DRESS like an enemy of democracy."
Labels: Ahmadenijad Hot or Not
Russia Forges Boldly Into The 1950's
Merciless Gang of 350 Criminal Baboons Terrorizes South Africa
It's not often that you see a headline like that.
"They get into the kitchens, they know where the fridge is, they open it and take everything, and then they defecate everywhere."
I'm waiting to hear Algore explain that this is being caused by global warming and as such is George Bush's fault. Or, maybe this is because America's image has suffered because of the Iraq war.
Labels: Criminal Baboons
Monday, September 24, 2007
Dan Rather Was Right!
Dan Rather said that presidential intimidation was influencing news coverage. It turns out that he was right.
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.
So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.
Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said.
GQ writer George Saunders traveled with Clinton to Africa in July, and Clinton is slated to appear on the cover of GQ’s December issue, in which it traditionally names a “Man of the Year,” according magazine industry sources.
And the offending article by Atlantic Monthly staff writer Josh Green got the spike.
“I don’t really get into the inner workings of the magazine, but I can tell you that yes, we did kill a Hillary piece. We kill pieces all the time for a variety of reasons,” Nelson said in an e-mail to Politico.
He did not respond to follow-up questions. A Clinton campaign spokesman declined to comment.
The Limit of Oregon's Environmentalism
The Beaver state prides itself on its environmentalism. But there is a limit. And it turns out that Oregonians have taken "not in my backyard" a little farther than Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. In fact, so far as Oregonians are concerned, one is not allowed to practice environmentalism in one's one backyard.
Who would have guessed that drying your laundry on a clothesline could provoke such hostility among neighbors?
Tuesday's Wall Street Journal featured a front-page story about Susan Taylor, a resident of Awbrey Butte, a Bend subdivision, and a clothesline aficionado. Hanging your her laundered flannel sheets on a clothesline sounds harmless enough, but to some of Taylor's neighbors, it seems, the clotheslines threaten property values.
The newspaper says even the development's managers have threatened legal action to prohibit the old-fashioned way of drying your stuff. Go here to read the complete story.
Earlier this year, Oregonian staff writer Gabrielle Glaser wrote about a modest movement promoting clotheslines nationwide.
But Glaser found that even in environmentally aware Oregon, the practice has critics.
Here's Glaser's story:
Claire Mancha has a thing for laundry. She has a high-efficiency washing machine, vintage steam irons and a crockpot-like portable washer she takes on the road.
But her clotheslines take the ritual to another realm, even in famously unsunny Oregon. The basement of her Milwaukie farmhouse is an intricate lattice of cords hung with slow-drying blankets and jeans. Outside, tablecloths snap on two long lines pulled taut between giant maples. A backup rotary contraption stands at the ready outside the greenhouse, awaiting more reliable skies.
Mancha's enthusiasm for air-dried clothing skips right past her property line. Wherever she sees flapping garments, she dispenses one of the "laundry award kits" she always keeps with her. "Congratulations!" says the message, attached to a package of clothespins. "You are a being a smart eco-citizen by hanging your laundry outside to dry."
Mancha is among a small but vocal group of Americans who see air drying not only as romantic and frugal. For Mancha and many others, the humble clothesline is also as political as it is poetic. "I have never understood," Mancha says, "why anyone could object to this."
But plenty of critics do, even in environmentally aware Oregon. To them, billowing underwear defaces suburban tidiness and harks back to Depression-era landscapes, both urban and rural. Homeowner's associations prohibit or restrict them in an estimated 60 million American yards, says Alexander Lee, of Concord, N.H. Lee is founder of the organization Project Laundry List (www.laundrylist.org). The right-to-dry movement it spawned helps promote clotheslines nationwide.
Lee launched Project Laundry List in 1995 as a student at Vermont's Middlebury College after he heard Helen Caldicott, the Australian physician and anti-nuclear activist. In the speech, Caldicott said that Americans had the power to reduce reliance on nuclear power if they took such energy-saving steps as drying clothes outdoors.
Since 1999, Utah and Florida have passed right-to-dry laws, and pressure is mounting in California, where an estimated 7 million households have clothesline restrictions, Lee says.
Electric dryers use more energy than most household appliances. American electric dryers each year consume the rough equivalent of 30 million tons of coal, or the output of the nation's 15 least-productive nuclear reactors, according to a 2004 article in Legal Affairs.
From 1999 to 2002, dryers also were responsible for 12,400 house fires in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Homeowners in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and California have far fewer electric dryers than those elsewhere. According to 2001 statistics listed by the Department of Energy, only 43 percent of Pacific households own them, compared with 57 percent nationwide.
Clothesline believers such as Lee say that hanging clothes offers rewards beyond energy savings. "I don't want to sound preachy," he says, "but it's so easy and so beautiful. It's art."
It is also time-consuming. In modern American society, most hours are spoken for. And some visitors to Lee's Web site -- he has been receiving 9,000 a week -- note that laundry duty often falls to overstretched mothers. "One woman said I was trying to reverse everything Betty Friedan had put in motion," he says.
Some men in the egalitarian West, however, scoff at such a notion.
Charles Lytle of West Linn takes great pleasure in the retractable umbrella line he hauls outdoors in spring and summer. "It's green, it's sustainable, and pillow cases smell absolutely wonderful," he says. "I tell people, 'I'm saving the salmon. Turbines at Bonneville Dam aren't running because of this."
But Lytle has limits. Air-dried towels are too stiff and scratchy, and sheets, he says, are too unwieldy for his apparatus. His son darted up to grab a line some years ago, and it resulted in a permanent tilt.
"It's the Leaning Clothes Tree of Conestoga Lane," he says.
Then he paused. "In fact, it may be the only clothes tree of Conestoga Lane."
Labels: Oregon Clothesline Hypocrites
The Unsettled Nature of Settled Science
We've all read the stories about how arctic ice this summer retreated to a record low. That's more proof that global warming is "settled science," right?
Less widely reported is that antactic ice is at a record high. Note how in this article from the New York Times that eight paragrapsh are dedicated to scaring us about global warming before noting that, "Still, he and other scientists acknowledged that both poles were extraordinarily complicated systems of ice, water and land, and that the mix of human and natural influences was not easy to clarify."
And finally, in the very last sentence, the Times admits that: "Sea ice around Antarctica has seen unusual winter expansions recently, and this week is near a record high."
The Washington Times casts a harsh eye on scientific cherry picking.
"And, while it's true that satellite photos have found an ice-free corridor along Canada, Alaska and Greenland and Northern Hemisphere ice at its lowest level since such images were taken in 1978, it's also true that Antarctic ice levels (Southern Hemisphere) are at record highs for that same period.
"That's right, according to the University of Illinois Polar Research Group Web site The Cryosphere Today: 'The Southern Hemisphere sea ice area has broken the previous maximum of 16.03 million sq. km and is currently at 16.26 million sq. km. This represents an increase of about 1.4 percent above the previous SH ice area record high.'
"To be sure, this historic bipolarity of the Southern Hemisphere sea ice maximum corresponding with a Northern Hemisphere sea ice minimum is puzzling.
"The fact that climate illusionists will only reveal the heads side of the coin certainly is not."
Labels: Global Warming BS
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Rachel Carson and the abolition of DDT wasn't the only big killer inflicted on the developing world by environmental fundamentalism.
By opposing fossil-fuel, hydroelectric and nuclear power, they help keep a third of the world reliant on wood and animal dung – or if they’re lucky, little solar panels on their huts. Deprived of energy for lights, refrigeration, hospitals, schools, offices, factories and safe water, they remain impoverished, plagued by disease and despondent about their future. Intense environmentalist opposition to biotechnology prevents Third World farmers from planting crops that resist disease and drought, require fewer pesticides, and yield bumper harvests that would reduce malnutrition and put cash in the pockets of destitute families.
The worst cabal of pressure groups remains virulently opposed to spraying tiny amounts of DDT on walls to keep mosquitoes out of houses, and using other insecticides to kill blood-sucking insects that carry malaria, dengue and yellow fever, and a host of other killer diseases. A year ago, the World Health Organization, U.S. Agency for International Development, President’s Malaria Initiative and other agencies again recognized the vital role of these chemicals – and reintroduced them in their comprehensive, integrated disease control programs. But Pesticide Action Network, Beyond Pesticides and Physicians for Social Responsibility demand that the agencies return to the disastrous policies of recent years, when disease and death rates were rising every year.
The activists and foundations had watched the tolls mount, but did nothing. They knew the approach they advocated didn’t work, but did nothing. They could have supported research into alternatives to DDT, or even bought bednets to protect children, but didn’t spend a dime on that. They spend millions to attack insecticides, and truly comprehensive solutions, but nothing to protect parents and children.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
At Least Jenna Jameson Respects the Troops
God's Gift To The Blogosphere
It's Dan Rather.
"Across the media universe the questions pour out: Why is Dan Rather doing this to himself? Why does he drag this out? Why won't he just come clean? Why would he let this happen in the first place? Why is CBS standing by him? Why ... why ... why? "There is only one plausible answer: Ours is a just and decent God."What I like best about the blogosphere is not its variety or its independence. It's the expertise. If I want to learn about a Supreme Court decision, I don't have to rely upon the dazzling ignorance of a journalism major. I can look up a blogger with a law school degree. The mainstream media seems reluctant to tell the world what a crock ethanol is as alternative fuel. But, the blogosphere is full of people who can crunch the numbers. And finally, when I want to know if a memo is fake or not, I can turn to somebody who knows what he's talking about. I don't have to take jerks like Dan Rather at face value.
Labels: Dan Rather Gasbag Liar
Friday, September 21, 2007
The Next Time You Feel Like Bitching About Potholes...
And the Democrats disparage the men who risk this every day on our behalf.
Labels: IED Iraq Video
Union Goons: "We're Only In It For Us"
Well, this should establish once and for all that it’s not about the children. After Idaho’s Senate President Pro Tem Robert Geddes (R-Soda Springs) proposed an educational reform that would reward Idaho teachers for good work, the teachers’ union and the politicians on the union’s leash objected that the proposal was “union busting.”
A major part of Geddes’ proposal would permit teachers to opt out of the “continuing contracts” they now gain after 4 years of employment. The continuing contract, a.k.a. tenure, makes it almost impossible for teachers to lose their job regardless of their quality of work. The reform would offer teachers an immediate $3000 annual pay increase in exchange for giving up continuing contracts. Teachers who believe that their work is deserving of renewed employment could, in effect, give themselves a raise. As long as the teacher’s performance is found commensurate with that self-evaluation, the teacher keeps the job and the money. Geddes believes that teachers who have to earn their continued employment annually will work harder and be more accountable for the quality of their work.
Sherri Wood, the unintentionally ironic president of the Idaho Education Association, the teachers’ union, argued that, “Teacher pay is a huge issue and needs to be discussed. But we don't believe a continuing contract has anything to do with how you pay teachers.”
Of course the continuing contract has everything to do with how teachers are paid. Ms. Wood must surely know that the current system rewards length of service far more than quality of work. And, as the proposed reform immediately offers a pay raise, that means that the continuing contract absolutely does impose a $3000 penalty upon teachers who are confident in their abilities.
The union’s concern is that the proposal would allow teachers to make individual determinations of their own employment circumstances and that would weaken the union’s authority over teachers. This is all about protecting turf and power.
Washington should try this. In Washington, legislators have had to lower standards and push back implementation dates for Washington Assessment of Student Learning graduation standards. If Washington’s teachers were held accountable for the quality of their work and faced possible termination for poor performance, it’s likely that more of Washington’s pupils could pass the WASL.
John Stanford, the legendary former Seattle Superintendent of Public Schools once complained that too many people treated schools as employment programs for adults rather than educational opportunities for children. He may have been too kind. Idaho’s teacher union seems to believe that the Idaho public schools are not even for teachers, but for the union leadership.
Education establishment groupthink has created a reverse Darwinian condition that culls the finest from the profession. Incoming education majors have the lowest college entrance examination scores on campus. Other majors see their graduating class’s average scores rise as those least capable flunk out or drop out. Education schools experience a lowering average as the most able transfer to other majors, and the least capable from other majors transfer into education. This trend actually persists after graduation, as the most capable grow frustrated with stifling conditions that do not reward effort or excellence and leave the profession all together.
At the very least, Geddes’ reform could keep those in this final group in the classroom.
Another interest group the union fails to consider is the taxpayer. You’ve heard of them. They pay the bills. Don’t they deserve a system that makes the people who pocket the taxpayers’ money responsible to the taxpayer for the quality of their work? I recently had a bad experience with an auto repair shop. I fired that garage and it will never get my business again. On the other hand, I’ll gladly pay more for a mechanic whose work I trust. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay poor teachers anymore than I should be forced to patronize incompetent mechanics. On the other hand, I’m sure that most Idahoans would reply that they’d be happy to reward teachers who do quality work in the classroom.
This is a case where what was not said spoke more loudly than what was said. Nowhere did the union or their lapdog politicians consider what might be in the best interests of the pupils or the people paying the bills. For that matter, they really didn’t even consider the teachers.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Jesse Jackson Accuses Obama of Excess Whiteness
Howard Kurtz has a wonderful column in today's Washington Post that starts with the absurdity of Dan Rather's delusional lawsuit against CBS, but then includes this gem:
Just when you thought the campaign might be detouring into substance comes this bulletin: Barack Obama isn't black enough for Jesse Jackson.
That's right, the 1984 and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate is questioning the racial credentials of the 2007 African-American candidate.
I see two possible explanations for this:
1. Jesse really misses the spotlight.
2. See number 1.
Here's a link to Jesse's laughable blather.
Jackson sharply criticized presidential hopeful and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white” in what Jackson said has been a tepid response to six black juveniles’ arrest on attempted-murder charges in Jena, La. Jackson, who also lives in Illinois, endorsed Obama in March, according to The Associated Press.
Jesse now says that he doesn't remember saying that. Hmmm. As I recall, he claims not to have remembered calling New York, "Hymietown."
The Washington Post takes a look at Hillary's donor list and finds a lot of familiar names of people who were involved in the Clinton's last fundraising scandal.
A close look at donors who have collected large sums from hundreds of people to give to the presidential candidates makes it clear that Norman Hsu, the convicted thief who attracted attention last month for donating $850,000 to Hillary Clinton, is far from the only controversial figure to play a major fundraising role in campaigns.
Apparently, the Clintons learned nothing from Chinagate. Or, maybe they did learn something - that with the assistance of an obedient and adoring press, they can get away with anything.
Update: The Wall Street Journal has a story on questionable fundraising by "Hillraisers."
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
And This Guy Gets To Vote!
I'd be willing to be that he's a Democrat.
Matt Wilkenson admitted that he made a poor decision, but he’d been drinking and messing around with friends and apparently lost some common sense..
“It's actually kind of my own stupid fault,” he told KGW.
Wilkenson said he’s always felt comfortable with his pet snakes and he thinks they could sense that.
“Their tails would be rattling you reach your hand in the cage and they're more scared of you than you are of them and they wouldn't strike,” he explained.
So when he was showing off his reptile relations with friends, he thought it would be fun to put the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake into his mouth and make them laugh.
However this test of fate was not laughable at all.
The rattlesnake latched onto the back of his throat and send venom surging into his body.
“Me being me, I put his head in my mouth,” Wilkenson recalled. “At first it felt like someone just gave me a shot in the mouth."
And within seconds, his tongue began to swell up, fill his mouth and cut off his airway
According to a strict interpretation of the rules, by surviving this idiot does not qualify for a Darwin Award. Maybe he could get an honorable mention.
And, does anybody doubt that he'd be covered by Hillarycare and that we'd all have to chip in to cover his medical bills?
Bad News For Democrats
Victory in Iraq!
This might require that Democrats exercise a willing suspension of partisan stupidity but we really are winning in Iraq. And it certainly isn't what they want to hear. Do you remember a year ago, when the greatest minds in the world declared that Anbar province was irretrievably lost? Well, it's pretty well pacified today and openly pro-American.
“As of July 30,” Major Peters said in early August, “we’ve have 81 days in the city with zero attacks since March 31.”
“We’ve had only one attack in our area of operations in the past couple of months,” said Captain Jay McGee at the Blue Diamond base. He was referring to the Jazeera area immediately north of the city and including the suburbs. “And we haven’t had a single car bomb in our area since February.”
Violence has declined so sharply in Ramadi that few journalists bother to visit these days. It’s “boring,” most say, and it’s hard to get a story out there – especially for daily news reporters who need fresh scoops every day. Unlike most journalists, I am not a slave to the daily news grind and took the time to embed with the Army and Marines in late summer.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Rather Proves Dreamliner Safe
Sunday, September 16, 2007
It's Official: Global Warming is BS
Well, it's MS anyway anyway.
Somebody call Al Gore. A Russian scientist now claims that 10,000 year old woolly mammoth turds are going to destroy the earth.
Sergei Zimov bends down, picks up a handful of treacly mud and holds it up to his nose. It smells like a cow pat, but he knows better.
"It smells like mammoth dung," he says.
This is more than just another symptom of global warming.
For millennia, layers of animal waste and other organic matter left behind by the creatures that used to roam the Arctic tundra have been sealed inside the frozen permafrost. Now climate change is thawing the permafrost and lifting this prehistoric ooze from suspended animation.
But Zimov, a scientist who for almost 30 years has studied climate change in Russia's Arctic, believes that as this organic matter becomes exposed to the air it will accelerate global warming faster than even some of the most pessimistic forecasts.
"This will lead to a type of global warming which will be impossible to stop," he said.
When the organic matter left behind by mammoths and other wildlife is exposed to the air by the thawing permafrost, his theory runs, microbes that have been dormant for thousands of years spring back into action.
Labels: Mammoth Turds Global Warming
Saturday, September 15, 2007
We Don't Have To Worry About This Here
Al Qaeda has offered a $100,000 reward for the murder of a Swedish cartoonist (with a $50,000 bonus if he's "slaughtered like a lamb") and a $50,000 for the murder of the editor of the newspaper that published the cartoon.
And, if that's not enough to bring Sweden to the Islamic heel, then Al Qaeda will attack the Swedish economy.
"From now on we announce the call to shed the blood of the Lars who dared to insult our Prophet... and during this munificent month we announce an award worth $100,000 to the person who kills this infidel criminal," he said in the 31-minute tape.
"The award will be increased to $150,000 if he were to be slaughtered like a lamb.
"We know how to force them to withdraw and apologies, and if they don't, they can wait for our strikes on their economy and giant companies such as Ericsson, Volvo, Ikea...."
This is something that American newspapers probably don't have to worry about. There isn't a publisher of a major newspaper in this entire country with stones big enough to print blasphemous cartoons in the first place.
Labels: Islamic Threats Against Sweden
Friday, September 14, 2007
Southern California Nanny-Staters Ban Burgers
Or, fast food makes people fat - Poor and minorities hardest hit.
Los Angeles is considering a two year ban on new fast food restaurants. Fast food makes you fat. It's unhealthy. And, the poor are the real victims.
[C]ity officials see the myriad fast-food outlets as a health problem and are seeking change. "Fast food is primarily the only option for those who live and work here," says City Councilwoman Jan Perry. "It's become a public-health issue that residents be given healthier choices."
And, of course, the nutrition nazis love it.
"Limiting fast food could be a practical solution if it starts to address the imbalance of too many outlets with food that is not nutritious," says Mark Vallianatos, director of the Center for Food and Justice at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Good grief! Food and Justice?
But, this is my favorite paragraph.
Many national food and health experts say the measure – which is slated for a vote on Sept. 18 – may be the first example of a health-zoning law in the United States. In 2006, New York City health committee chairman Joel Rivera lobbied against uncontrolled growth of fast-food chains, but did not introduce legislation. These observers are applauding the idea as a way to raise awareness about America's obesity epidemic, which hits poorer neighborhoods disproportionately.
Doesn't say something about our country when our poor people eat in restaurants too much and get fat as a result. John Edwards - call your office.
Labels: Fast Food Fat People Poverty
The NFL's Own Dog Fighting
“I wouldn’t bet against it.” That was part of Dr. Kevin Gibbons’ unfortunate answer when asked if his patient, Buffalo Bills tight end, Kevin Everett would ever walk again.
“There are some answers now. And many more questions remain. The patient's made significant improvement. But no one should think the functions in his legs is (sic) close to normal. Not even close. ... If you ask me, ‘Would he walk again?’ I would tell you that I wouldn't bet against it. But he has a long way to go.”
After colliding head on with the ball carrier during a kickoff return, Kevin Everett suffered a spinal injury that his surgeon described as “catastrophic” and “life threatening.” The replays, shown ad nauseum during highlight shows, pre-game shows and halftime shows, revealed a shattering collision that left Everett falling limply to the ground and lying absolutely motionless as he was hauled off the field. So, the news that he might actually walk again qualified as good news against that original bleak prognosis. But should it have happened in the first place?
Stated simply, the answer is no, it should not have happened. In any other workplace environment, a task as obviously dangerous as the kickoff return would have been banned by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. But, the NFL has gone to some effort to ensure that it remains a part of the game.
For the past few seasons, NFL teams have kicked off from their own 30-yard line. Before that, kickoffs were from the 35-yard line. And until 1985 teams kicked off from their own 40-yard line. The reason that the NFL, and for that matter, the NCAA, has kept pushing the kickoff back is because the kickoff return is one of the most exciting plays in the game. It’s entertaining. It sells tickets. It makes money.
It’s also the most dangerous play in football. On the kickoff, 22 players, 11 on a side, run toward each other at full speed. These players are unnaturally big and fast. They’re unnaturally big and fast even without performance enhancing drugs. But, their bones, ligaments and tendons are little different from yours or mine. The high-energy collisions that result from 270 pound athletes who run 40 yards in 4.5 seconds are potentially shattering. That’s why stars rarely play on special teams. They are not so expendable as, oh, let’s say, a third string tight end.
To put it in classical terms, when the choice was offered to spare the gladiator, the NFL turned to the fans and determined that the fans had signaled, thumbs down. The most dangerous play in footballs stays. And if kickers get so strong that too few kickoffs from the 30-yard line are returnable, then it will be moved back to the 25-yard line. The fans who come to watch football because they like big hits are like those fans who watch automobile racing for the wrecks. But their money spends just as well as anyone else’s.
All this points up a great irony. The NFL recently banned star quarterback Michael Vick for his involvement in dog fighting. Allegedly, under Vick’s supervision, or perhaps even his hands-on participation, dogs were fought until at least one suffered gruesome injuries. Dogs that failed to deliver a performance that satisfied the spectators and gamblers were put to death by any number of gratuitously cruel methods.
What’s the difference? Well, for one thing Michael Vick’s dog fighting did not imperil a young man’s life and leave him looking at a life of permanent disability. No grieving mother is keeping vigil over Michael Vick’s victims.
The kickoff is the NFL’s equivalent of dog fighting. While other sports, motor sports come immediately to mind, have taken steps to make their sport safer, the NFL keeps changing its rules to ensure that it remains a threat to life and limb.
The crimes of Michael Vick and his co-conspirators are ghastly and reveal a sickness of character that should make decent people gag. But is the NFL morally superior? Kevin Everett took the field Sunday with at least some understanding of the risks, but with a young man’s naive confidence in his own invulnerability. The NFL on the other hand has the statistics and the experience to comprehend the risk.
The NFL is unfit to judge Michael Vick.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Another Nominee For Irony Of The Year
Ultra Left Wing "Arabist" Juan Cole recommends that Democrats get hawkish on Iraq.
Of course, he doesn't give a rat's fanny about Iraq or the United States or winning the war on terror, or anything else that one should care about. He's worried that the Democrats rush to surrender strategy will marginalize the party for generations.
In all likelihood, when the Democratic president pulls US troops out in summer of 2009, all hell is going to break loose. The consequences may include even higher petroleum prices than we have seen recently, which at some point could bring back stagflation or very high rates of inflation.
In other words, the Democratic president risks being Fordized when s/he withdraws from Iraq, by the aftermath. A one-term president associated with humiliation abroad and high inflation at home? Maybe I should say, Carterized. The Republican Party could come back strong in 2012 and then dominate politics for decades, if that happened.
It is all so unfair, of course, since Bush started and prosecuted this disaster in Iraq, and Bush is refusing to accept responsibility for the failure, pushing it off onto his successor.
And then comes this howler:
As for Iraq itself, the best hope for the Dems may be that Gen. Petraeus actually succeeds, over the next year, in significantly reducing ethnic tensions. It is a slim reed to hold onto, as they recognize.
Now that would be a bitter pill - the Democrats' only escape from the corner they've painted themselves into is for the US to win?
Talk about ironic.
Hat tip: James Taranto
Labels: Juan Cole Irony
Irony Of The Year? Or, Who Would You Believe?
Hillary Clinton questions General Petreus's credibility.
"The reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief."
Isn't that precisely what Mrs. Clinton asks of us?
Oh, let's see. Mrs. Clinton learned how to turn $1000 into $100,000 by reading up on cattle futures in the Wall Street Journal.
She couldn't find subpoenaed Rose Law Firm billing records. Of course, they were discovered by one of Hillary's servants, sitting in the open, in the White House.
And, of course, Hillary had no reason to believe that Norman Hsu was a crook.
This is, of course, a very abbreviated list. But, the more I think about her slur, the angrier I get. Her obvious contempt for the military recalls her exploitation of the White House Marine Corp Honor Guard by forcing them into service as bellhops and waiters for her leftist house guests when she was first lady.
Update: " If you're not tough enough to repudiate a scurrilous, outrageous attack such as that, then I don't know how you're tough enough to be President of the United States." John McCain
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Science Unlocks One Of Nature's Great Mysteries
Of course, they could have saved a lot of money and learned all of this by simply watching Baywatch.
[D]uring exercise, women's breasts bounce more than previously estimated, moving a vertical distance of up to around eight inches compared with a past maximum measurement of six inches.
The bouncing, in some cases with breasts weighing 20 pounds or more, can prove painful and damaging to the limited natural support system.
Labels: The Science Of Bouncing Boobs
Perpetual Motion Machine Invented
And the mainstream media falls for it.
Somebody check the calendar. It isn't April 1 is it?
An Erie cancer researcher has found a way to burn salt water, a novel invention that is being touted by one chemist as the "most remarkable" water science discovery in a century.
John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies, it would burn.
The discovery has scientists excited by the prospect of using salt water, the most abundant resource on earth, as a fuel.
Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, has held demonstrations at his State College lab to confirm his own observations.
The radio frequencies act to weaken the bonds between the elements that make up salt water, releasing the hydrogen, Roy said. Once ignited, the hydrogen will burn as long as it is exposed to the frequencies, he said.
The discovery is "the most remarkable in water science in 100 years," Roy said.
"This is the most abundant element in the world. It is everywhere," Roy said. "Seeing it burn gives me the chills."
Roy will meet this week with officials from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to try to obtain research funding.
The scientists want to find out whether the energy output from the burning hydrogen — which reached a heat of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit — would be enough to power a car or other heavy machinery.
"We will get our ideas together and check this out and see where it leads," Roy said. "The potential is huge."
I miss cold fusion. At least I was too dumb to know immediately how impossible that was.
Democrats Strategy of Slander and Surrender
So far, the Democrats have lived down to all expectations I had for them. As the date for the Congressionally mandated report to the Congress and the progress of the surge strategy approached, the party of surrender, which had undoubtedly been reading and hearing good news coming from Iraq, preemptively attacked the character and credibility of the man who would be delivering the report and whom they had unanimously confirmed to manage the Iraq War.
Senator Chuckie "The Thug" Schumer (D-New York) led the Democrats to the precipice of the abyss and walked over it himself when he dismissed the improving situation in Iraq as an accidental consequence of the American military's incompetence. He has since tried to revise his slander, but the blogosphere caught him, and will not let him get away with it. The tale is here.
So threatened by the prospect of good news were the Democrats, that they could not even stay the course laid out by the party commissars. The original plan was to let those who hold the leash to do the dirty work:
“No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,” noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. “The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.”
But that's exactly what they did, starting with the Execrable Tom Lanto, D-California. The mainstream media is doing its very best to airbrush and sanitize the Democrats' more reprehensible comments. As I was driving to an appointment yesterday, I heard Tom Lantos (D-La La Land) on ABC Radio's the top of the hour news saying that he wished our troops well and that he hoped that they would be successful. However, I had heard this same sack of crap say with my own two ears that Tom Lantos: "The administration's myopic policies in Iraq have created a fiasco," added House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, a California Democrat. "The administration has sent you here today to convince the members of these two committees and the Congress that victory is at hand... I don't buy it."
Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Waitress Sandwich, immediately followed with a blast e-mail, again calling General Petreus as puppet and a liar. "The fact that there are questions about General Petraeus's report is not surprising given that it was brought to you by this White House."
A strong case could be made that it is the Democrats who are the ventriloquist's dummy - and the the hand working the dummy's mouth is held by George Soros. The weekend before Petreus's testimony, Moveon.org took out a full page ad in the New York Times accusing Petreus of betraying America. The New York Times helped subsidize this slander by giving Soros underwritten organization cut rate pricing on the advertisement.
That groups like MoveOn run the Democratic Party now is no longer disputable. To keep the storm troopers satiated while the Democrats fail to deliver defeat, Harry Reid (D-Porn Belt) last summer called Petreus "incompetent," and a mouthpiece for President Bush.
Today's Wall Street Journal has a fine piece detailing the Democrats slander machine, from today's Opinion Journal.
You should read it.
Labels: Democrats Dishonorable Liars
Monday, September 10, 2007
Does This Mean Bill Is Off Hillary's Team?
I see that Hillary Clinton is planning to return all money donated and bundled by Norman Hsu and that, from now on, her campaign will do criminal background checks. This should disqualify a significant percentage of Bill Clinton's political entourage, including Bill Clinton.
Fat Albert's Gas Emissions
Al Gore, the Johann Tetzel of the 21st.century: "Conservation is for thee, but not for me."
Of course, he buys indulgences, I mean carbon offsets. But, as you might assume, that's just a scam too.
We can't really blame the eco-scammers though. Why shouldn't they want to get in on the game.
Update: A great, great, must read treastise here.
We want our lifestyles to remain intact, so we hire others to do the heavy lifting. While they may well be grateful for the jobs, are we to believe we have improved our own moral standing in any real way? Or are we more like Xerxes, happy that others are there to lift us along on our platforms?
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Democrats - The Party of Child Prostitution
The Norman Hsu affair has opened the door on a very, very, very seedy side of the Democratic Party.
For example, one of Norman Hsu's business partners is Raymond "Shrimpboy" Chow, a supposedly reformed gang leader who, among other things, ran a child prostitution ring. His gang won a bloody war for control of Chinatown crime. But, best of all, he was recently awarded San Francisco's "Certificate of Honor" by city Supervisor Fiona Ma.
A convicted Chinatown gang member who faced possible expulsion from the United States -- and who came under scrutiny earlier this year when a well-known community leader was shot to death -- just got a surprising star on his resume, thanks to a San Francisco supervisor.
Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and his tong are the proud recipients of an official certificate of honor from the city, an award arranged by Supervisor and state Assembly candidate Fiona Ma.
This is the same Raymond Chow who was active in a Chinatown tong called Hop Sing until he and two dozen others were indicted in 1992 on racketeering charges for their alleged involvement in everything from underage prostitution to the international heroin trade.
I'm really looking forward to watching the MSM squirm as this tale unfolds.
Labels: Norman Hsu Shrimpboy Sleaze
Let The Turks Build Our Border Fence
I've seen some awfully extravagent numbers tossed around for how much it will cost to build a fence securing out southern border. Then, I see that Turkey is going to build a 470 kilometer fence along its border with Iraq for only 2.8 million dollars.
Turkey will erect a separation wall along the border with northern Iraq aimed at stopping infiltration of rogue elements of the nationalist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) inside their territory, the Turkish daily Yeni Shefak reported, quoting unnamed military sources.
The Turkish army will built a 470 km separation wall along the border with Iraqi Kurdistan at an estimated cost of 2.8 million dollars, the paper said.
Tthe wall will be protected with surveillance cameras, while rugged areas where the wall cannot be built will be electronically controlled to detect any violation of borders, the paper said.
We should also hire them to build a fence securing Iraq's border with Syria and Iran.
Labels: Border Fence Turkey
Osama Bin Olberman
The Eco-Indulgence Scam Industry
Frank Pastore starts by making an obvious, but essential point:
"There are some things you just gotta do yourself. Someone else can’t lose your weight, quit your addiction, parent your kids, or confess your sins.
You have to do it."
Then he gets to the meat of the carbon offset business. It's all a scam.
Last week, in a great article in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Can You Buy a Greener Conscience?,” author Alan Zarembo exposed how the whole voluntary carbon offset scam works by profiling one of the leading companies in the offset business, Native Energy. It’s an exposé on the need for governmental regulation of the budding industry.
Basically, Native Energy is a middleman that buys offsets from places like wind farms and methane farms, for say $2.00 to $4.00 a ton, and then they turn around and sell those offsets to the public at “market price,” which is usually between $9.00 to $15.00 a ton. So far, so good.
The problem is, Native Energy is only buying a small portion of these alternative energy suppliers but they’re declaring a benefit as though they bought the whole thing. They buy a 1 percent piece of the action but claim 100 percent of the benefit.
That’s like buying 1 percent of a race horse and keeping 100 percent of the winnings. Not good.
So, Al Gore isn't simply buying and selling indulgences, he's trading in guilt remediation for hypocrites (like himself) who are more concerned with image than substance.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'll take global warming seriously when people like Al Gore take it seriously.
Update: I've rejected a couple of comments on this post, which is something I don't often do. I rejected those comments because neither was actually written by the person who submitted it. They were form letters from a carbon offset scamming business whom I will not bother to identify as they don't deserve the attention.
If anybody else wishes to send me one of those form letters, save yourself the time.
Labels: Carbon Footprint Offsets Scam
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Hillary Not A Hsu-In After All?
I'm getting the feeling that Norman Hsu has been funneling some very dirty money into the Democrat Party. Even the New York Times is having a hard time ignoring the Clinton's Hsu-nanigans.
Norman Hsu's has become a man of considerable means, but without any visible means of support. The Times notes that his businesses seem to exist only on paper.
Since Mr. Hsu’s fall from grace, efforts to learn more about the nature of his business and the source of his wealth have led mostly to dead ends.
On campaign finance disclosure forms, he listed his employer as one of a half-dozen companies, some of them with names that seemed to change with each retelling. On some forms, the company was Components Limited or Next Components or Next Consultants. Other times it was Next Limited or Consultants Limited. And his title was different from one form to the next, sometimes appearing as president or managing director, other times as consultant, supplier or partner.
The Manhattan office addresses he listed appeared to be little more than mail drops, and his neighbors in the buildings said he rarely showed up and seemed to conduct no business there.
And the timing of many of his business dealing are suspiciously synchronized with his bundling and with other contributions to the Clinton campaign.
Can you say Chinagate? Maybe, part deaux?
George Bush Considers Bin Laden's Offer
Hsu Fly, Don't Bother Me
The Blogfather come up with another Norman Hsu joke - and good questions. It's too bad that the MSM in so incurious about this.
This one's pretty good too.
Here's an update on the Roamin' Norman tale from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Fugitive political fundraiser Norman Hsu was behaving erratically as he fled the Bay Area on Amtrak's California Zephyr, at one point stripping off his shirt and shoes, before paramedics were called to take him off the train in western Colorado, passengers said Friday.
Labels: Norman Hsu Jokes
Friday, September 07, 2007
Now, Bin Laden's Gone Too Far!
The Other Hsu Falls
Fugitive Norman Hsu was captured in Colorado yesterday and is back in a California jail.
Which leads me to wonder: If you're a convicted criminal on the lam, what better place to hide than at Hillary Clinton fundraisers? You'll blend right in with the other crooks.
Beyond Belief? Not Really
Larry Craig, The Republicans And The Narrative
The uncomfortable truth is that you are safer sharing a bathroom stall with Larry Craig than riding in Ted Kennedy's Oldsmobile. Why doesn't that matter? Why doesn't that matter?
I was looking forward to watching Larry Craig’s opportunistic allies squirm. But, it looks like he’s going to resign after all and spare his new “friends” the discomfiture. It was probably these new friends that had Senator Larry Craig reconsidering his retirement in the first place.
A week ago, the New York Times published a relatively sympathetic editorial that was in reality a slam against the supposedly intolerant Republican Party. This paper followed. But the tipping point may have occurred when Jim McGreevey, the disgraced former New Jersey governor, expressed his sympathy for Senator Craig in the Washington Post. Within hours Larry Craig’s office announced that he was having second thoughts.
Whether or not Larry Craig should be forced out of the Senate because Minneapolis police were trolling for men looking for love in all the wrong places is not a concern of this corner. What’s troubling is the hypocrisy of the whole affair – and not just Larry Craig’s. If Senator Craig were to change his mind concerning retirement, he’ll almost certainly learn that the liberal lachrymosis that he enjoyed in his role as a victim was almost certainly Alligatoridae in sincerity.
I was looking forward to hearing all those compassionate liberals who wagged their fingers at judgmental Republicans come to his defense. Would they still rally around him knowing that it might help him keep his seat?
Liberals who imagine that Larry Craig’s treatment by his own party represents homophobic intolerance are ignorant of the stupid party’s historical naiveté. Republicans labor under the misconception that they will be rewarded for holding their own to a higher standard than the opposition.
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was hounded into resigning his leadership post for saying kind things about an old man that were easily misinterpreted as an endorsement of racial segregation. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ former Ku Klux Klansman, Robert Byrd, still enjoys his party’s reverence. During a tribute to West Virginia’s most famous Grand Kleagle, Connecticut Senator and Democratic presidential wannabe Christopher Dodd, praised Byrd in terms that could just as easily have been misconstrued as Lott’s, but hardly a raised eyebrow was raised.
The reason is that the mainstream press is not just ideologically sympathetic to Democrats, but works from established narratives that facts will not derail. As Newsweek’s Evan Thomas said when defending the press’s treatment of the Duke University lacrosse team rape case: “The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong.”
According to the narrative, Democrats are smarter, more ethical and more compassionate. Republicans are rigid, intolerant, cold-hearted racists. Facts bounce off the narrative as bullets bounce off Superman’s chest.
Do Republicans believe that pursuing an ethics investigation of Larry Craig will bait Democrats into setting the bar so high that not a single member of their own caucus could clear it? If that’s what Republicans think, then they truly learn nothing from history. Didn’t Ted Kennedy drown a woman in his car without paying a price? Democrats don’t even acknowledge the bar.
While doing opposition research on Maryland senatorial candidate Michael Steele, staffers employed by New York Senator Charles Schumer’s office illegally stole Steele’s identity. There was no ethics instigation and little press attention. To this day, New Yorkers who rely exclusively on the New York Times for their news are ignorant of their senior senator’s involvement.
In the aftermath of the Mark Foley escapade, press attention focused on what the Republican leadership knew and when they knew it. The real story was what the Democrats knew, when they knew it and what they did with it. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rohm Emmanuel learned of Tom Foley’s lecherous missives to male pages a year before he made them public. If Foley were such a threat, then didn’t Emmanuel have a moral and ethical obligation to put a stop to it immediately? Instead, he sat on the information until he judged that its release would inflict maximum political damage on Republicans.
From 2001 through 2005, California’s Dianne Feinstein used her position on the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee to steer billions of dollars in contracts to her husband’s company. That strikes me as far more unethical than Larry Craig’s sexual appetites, but if she is being brought before the Ethics Committee to answer, I’ve not heard it.
But, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about the narrative.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Seattle's Tolerant And Loveable Liberals
Seattle Seahawk football stars are learning that there's a price to pay for straying from Seattle's ideological party line.
Are you still fans of Matt Hasselbeck and Mack Strong after they visited President Bush last week in Bellevue? Or have their political leanings turned you against them?
The Seahawks quarterback and fullback gave the 43rd president a No. 43 jersey with his name on it at a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for Rep. Dave Reichert at the Hyatt.
At the time, Hasselbeck called it a thrill and said it was a win-win, this opportunity to meet the president and get out of a team meeting.
But as soon as he saw the picture of the two players with Bush, Gary Wright, the team's vice president of administration, said he was concerned about negative reaction.
Maybe in really red Republican states, it would not have been a big deal. But Washington is a blue state, and deep, deep Democratic blue in King County. So objections were raised, and Hasselbeck heard them and read them. He got nasty voice mails, e-mails and text messages.
"I had no idea," Hasselbeck said.
One guy told him: "I hate you, I'll never wear your jersey, I'll never like the Seahawks again."
"Huh?" Hasselbeck thought. "Seriously?"
"Politics can be very mean and dirty," he said. "The things politicians say about each other, and what activists say, I had a brief glimpse of that for a couple of days.
"If I ever had any questions about whether I wanted to run for office, I now know the answer -- I don't."
As a quarterback, he's used to getting booed. "But this was a whole new level," he said. "I was very surprised how mean (they were)."
As evidence were these responses to Angelo Bruscas' blog posting on seattlepi.com:
"How dare Hasselbeck declare Bush an honorary Seahawk," wrote one. "Who is Matt speaking for? Bush is no Seahawk. He is the worst president of my lifetime, and I'm almost 60. Shame on you, Matt."
"To learn that two of the most popular Seahawks are strong (Bush) supporters ruins the season for me and my family," wrote another.
And Timothy P. wrote: "Just goes to show you that being a great athlete doesn't make you smart."
You've gotta love all that liberal tolerance. They prefer terrorist to Republicans.
Labels: Seahawks President Bush Backlash
These Hsus Were Made for Walking
The Blogfather has a few more Norman Hsu jokes.
The Norman Evasion
Hsu's on the Lam.
And, here's a great article on Hillary good friend. No wonder they gravitate toward each other.
The narrative makes one wonder just how seriously California wanted to bring this guy to justice.
Labels: Norman Hsu Hillary Clinton Puns
At Least Canadians Have Free Health Care
Some French Canadians in Afghanistan fire a French made anti-tank missile.
Labels: French Anti-Tank Missile Fizzle
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Hindu extremists arrested in massive bomb plot.
No - wait. They weren't Hindus.
"We were able to succeed in recognizing and preventing the most serious and massive bombings," Harms told reporters.
Officials said the hydrogen peroxide, stored in a hideout, could have been mixed with other additives to produce a bomb with the explosive power of 1,200 pounds of TNT.
"This would have enabled them to make bombs with more explosive power than the ones used in the London and Madrid (transit) bombings," Joerg Ziercke, the head of Germany's Federal Crime Office, said at a joint press conference with Harms.
The three suspects — two Germans, aged 22 and 28, and a 29-year-old Turk — first came to the attention of authorities because they had been observing a U.S. military facility at the end of 2006, officials said. All three had undergone training at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, and had formed a German cell of the group.
Quick. Somebody call Christiane Amanpour.
Labels: Muslim Terrorist Plot Germany
I didn't watch Christiane Amanpour's series "God's Warriors" when it aired on CNN. The first advertisement I saw set my BS detector off. I don't believe in documentaries that leave the viewer stupider. Everything I've heard since has only verified that I had my detector's accuracy. Salomon Benzimra neatly summarizes all that is wrong with politically correct news these days that tries to tries to treat all ideologies nonjudgmentally with his neat term, "Disproportionate Evenhandedness."
The irony here is that CNN, the New York Times, PBS, etc treat radical Islamist more respectfully than mainstream Republicans.
Her purpose was to show how faith affects present-day politics. This is a most relevant topic today. Religion, as any other set of beliefs, is perfectly entitled to influence the political agenda, as long as the tactics employed remain lawful. The very title of the program, God’s Warriors, implies that the three religions - Judaism, Islam and Christianity - are acting aggressively, or even violently, to carry out their agenda. If that is patently true for Islam, it is clearly not so for either Judaism or Christianity.
By ignoring the chasm between the strategy and tactics used in political action by Islam, on the one hand, and Jewish and Christian groups on the other, and by giving the three religions equal air time, Amanpour has done a great disservice to her audience. It is as though a single inner city murder should deserve the same CNN coverage as the mass murders in Bali, Tel Aviv, Madrid, London, Delhi, and countless others carried out in the name of Islam. She probably put the three religions on the same footing to be "politically correct," in a misguided drive not to discriminate or offend any group.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Islam - Organized Crime?
Prominent Dutchmen Theo Van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn were murdered by Muslims for offending the mullahs. Mullahs commonly incite riots to inimidate people and institutions that dare rub against their grain. How many people were died during anti-Danish or anti-Catholic riots?
Islam finds prison one of its most fertile recruiting grounds, here, here, here and here.
And, ahem, need I mention 9/11, Hizbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim brotherhood, Muammar Qadafi, Yasir Arafat, etc?
I do not bring this up gratuitously. I mention this because I see that the Belgian government is planning to prosecute Scientology as an criminal organization.
A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10-year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization.
Scientology said it would fight the criminal charges recommended by investigating prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen, who said that up to 12 unidentified people should face charges.
Van Espen's probe also concluded that Scientology's Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office.
"They also face charges of being ... a criminal organization," Pellens said in a telephone interview.
I don't know what transgressions Scientology is supposed to have committed. And I would certainly agree that Scientology is more interested in bilking its flock than saving their souls. But, is it really worse than the crimes that Islam has committed?
Russians Forge Boldly Into The 1960's
Russia has declared its intention to put a man on the moon.
President John Kennedy (the last Democrat with balls) declared that America would land on the Moon, "not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
Not sure why the Russians want to do it. Maybe they think that there is oil there.
Labels: Russia Moon Polio
Kooks In Charge - Seattle
A Seattle City Councilman has a big environmental idea - pet goats.
City Councilman Richard Conlin wants to give Seattleites (known in this corner as Seattleistas) the right to keep miniature goats as pets -- a proposal he bills as one small step for sustainability.
Conlin extols the virtues of pygmy goats, which can act as Earth-friendly lawnmowers and weed eaters, provide milk and cheese, and naturally fertilize yards.
Of course, you could gain the benefits of owning a goat by simply renting one.
With their four-chambered stomachs and insatiable desire to nibble on anything even resembling a plant, goats have gained credibility as land clearers among Seattle-area government agencies and private developers.
"Getting them to accept it is always the hardest part," said Craig Madsen, an Eastern Washington rancher who's part of the urban trend. His rentable herd of 270 Boer and Spanish goats has never been more in demand.
Skeptics, he's found, quickly become converts. Once the hooves hit the ground, few can question the tenacity of these ruminants to devour unwanted foliage.
"It was unbelievable," said John Iwanczuk, a project manager for Saltaire Construction in Seattle. "We've been in the business for 25 years -- we're skeptical about everything. But not only did it reach our objective, we saved a pile of money and made incredible inroads with the neighborhood."
Bringing goats into the city to do what they do best has its advantages: They're cheaper than manual laborers, chemical-free and popular with parents and children. Even the critters' droppings are in demand.
I wonder if goats have to apply for a permit to clear brush in King County?
Hmmm. I worry that our local environmentalist wackos might latch onto this idea. On the other hand, I have a couple of neighbors who are disinclined to clear noxious weeds from their property.
Monday, September 03, 2007
John Edwards - The Biggest Hypocrite Ever?
There are times when I think that John Edwards is exploring a new comedy genre rather than running for president. When he lectures on energy conservation or poverty, does he really think that we're so dumb that we won't notice the contradictions? If he thinks his future is in comedy, then he needs to have a look at Ted Kennedy, who has been working this standup act for more than 40 years and is still sweating away in the Senate.
W. Burt Prelutsky makes the case for the Breck Girl and assembles a few of his more egregious transgressions.
As I columnist myself, I understand word restrictions. But, I'm disappointed that Mr. Prelutsky couldn't find room for John Edwards Wal-Mart escapades, or how he enriched himself through subprime loans and hedge funds.
Labels: John Edwards Hypocrite